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The Ottoman State and Descendants of the Prophet in Anatolia and the Balkans (c. 1500-1700)

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Throughout the Islamic world those claiming descent from the Prophet Muhammad (T. seyyid/şerif, pl. sadat/eşraf) were (and are) accorded a special status. This article shows that the process of teseyyüd ("seyyidization") not only took place through official awards, but also through appropriation. In the Ottoman Empire registers thus began to be kept of officially recognized sadat. The examination of these, largely un(der)studied, sources argues that the state sometimes employed its capacity to seyyidize for (cultural) political purposes. The article also sheds valuable light on Ottoman policies vis-à-vis tribalism and nomadism. Dans le monde islamique entier un statut spécial était (et est) accordé à tous ceux qui revendiquent descendance du Prophète Mahomet (T. seyyid/şerif, pl. sadat/eşraf). Dans cet article on explique que le processus de tessyyüd ('seyyidisation') se passait non seulement par attribution officielle, mais aussi par appropriation. Dans l'Empire ottoman on a commencé ainsi à tenir des registres de sadat officiellement reconnu. L'examen de ces sources largement sous-étudiées démontre que l'État parfois usait de son autorité de 'seyyediser' pour des fins politiques (culturelles). Cet article jette en même temps une lumière de grande valeur sur la politique ottomane quant au tribalisme et au nomadisme.

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Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, of Sabancı University, Orhanli - Tuzla, 34956 Istanbul, Turkey


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