Elmalılı Muhammed Hamdi Yazır on Waqf Issues in the Last Period of Ottoman Empire


Although religious endowments played an important role in the development and survival of Ottoman civilization, during the 19th and 20th centuries the empire experienced a loss of intitutional strength during a time marked by social and intellectual stagnation as well as a decline in political power. There are several complex reasons behind the transformation in the waqf system. They vary from the Ottoman confrontation with the modern state and the new economic mentality to various contemporary critiques on waqfs and some administrative regulations taken by the imperial authorities. The ethical and economic criticisms on waqfs by contemporary intellectuals and the efforts to unite the waqfs under a state controlled umbrella (Evkâf-ı Hümâyun Ministry) appears to be the chief factors which determined the fate of the waqf system in this period. In this article I will reference and analyze the approaches and comments on these two matters developed by one of the most eminent late Ottoman thinkers Elmalılı Muhammed Hamdi Yazır


Elmalılı Muhammed Hamdi Yazır Late Ottoman period waqf ethical critiques economic criitiques Evkâf-ı Humayun Ministry