Saturday, 12 October 2019

ʿUthmān ibn Ertuğrul's Advice to His Son

From the forthcoming translation of the book Man and Allah's Justice on Earth, by Imam Muhammad Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti, may Allah have mercy on him:

The Sword of ʿUthmān ibn Ertuğrul

The founder of the Ottoman Empire, the warrior ʿUthmān ibn Ertuğrul, had an immense amount of experience in this reality. He saw with his own eyes how this divine standard practice controls the flow of history and the conflicts between nations, so much so that when his death was approaching, he turned to his son and squeezed out this reality for him from his experiences, giving him some rare, exquisite advice, part of which was:

‘Take this lesson from me. When I came to this land, I was as weak as an ant, and then Allah granted me these majestic blessings. Adhere to my way and follow my example. Strive to strengthen this Muḥammadan religion and to respect its people. That is the obligation of kings on earth.’[1]

[1] Allow me to substantiate the text of this advice as it is quoted in the book Abū al-Fatḥ as-Sulṭānī Muḥammad ath-Thānī by ʿAlī Himmat, which has been translated into Arabic by Muḥammad Iḥsān ʿAbdul ʿAzīz. It will draw your attention to many lessons, explain to you many of the meanings behind events and increase your faith in the justice of the Most High, the Supreme, who says in His Masterful Book, “Allah never changes a people’s state until they change what is in themselves.” [ar-Raʿd 13:11] The full text is as follows:

‘Give precedence to the Religion over everything else, and do not slacken in persevering therein. Do not employ people who do not care about the Religion, do not avoid major sins and are immersed in iniquity. Avoid harmful innovations and distance yourself from those who provoke you towards it and towards oppression. Expand our territory by way of armed combat (jihād), guard the money of the Muslim treasury against waste and strive to increase the wealth of the empire.

Have compassion for the men of the empire, who have devoted their lives to serving it with honesty and sincerity. Grant your protection to their children and progeny. Safeguard for the destitute their strength, do not stretch your hand towards the wealth of any of your subjects and offer your compassion and generosity especially to those who deserve it. Strive to use the troops of the army well and to grant them sufficient rest.

The scholars and men of letters are the force that is dissipated throughout the body of the empire, so be kind to them and encourage them. If you hear that one of them is in another country, summon him and ennoble him with wealth and generosity so that he comes to reside in your country.

Beware, beware of being deceived by wealth and soldiers! Do not banish the people of the Revealed Law from your door, and do not incline towards any action that contravenes the rulings of the Revealed Law. The Religion is our objective and guidance is our way. Take this lesson from me. When I came to this land I was as weak as an ant, and then Allah granted me these majestic blessings. Adhere to my way and follow my example. Strive to strengthen this Muḥammadan religion and to respect its people along with the rest of your obedient subjects. Do not spend more than is necessary from the finances of the empire, do not withhold your sincere advice from your successors and relieve your subjects from oppression.

When I die, bury me under the silver dome in Bursa. If anyone entrusts you with something that Allah has not commanded, do not accept it, and if you do not know something concerning knowledge of the religion, ask someone who does.’

[Translated from Al-Insān wa ʿAdālatu Llāhi fil-Arḍ (Damascus: Dār al-Fikr, (forthcoming), p.60-62]

ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb's advice to Saʿd ibn Abī Waqqāṣ


Unknown said...

Beautiful blog. Would love to have you deliver a lecture at our masjid. When are you in the UK next?

Mahdi Lock said...

Thank you for the kind words. Allah does what He wills with His slave.
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