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Ottoman Age Notables... Galileo Galilei (1564  1642), Italian physicist, astronomer, astrologer, and philosopher who was forced by the Catholic Church to recant his belief that the earth revolved round the sun.
Ottoman Age polymath
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Habibullah's
Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire
AND HER TIMES
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Sultans and Concubines and Eunuchs, oh my...!


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Ş
Term Meaning Comments
Şah [Shah] İsmail

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An ancient miniature painting of Şah İsmail
-- first published in Adilşiler (1953) by I.H. Ertaylan
80

Although the Safavid religious order was established in the 14th Century, Ismail was the founder of the 'modern' Safavid Persian dynasty and was its leader between 1502 and 1524 -- during the reign of his Ottoman rival, Sultan Selim I (1512-1520).
The Shah and the Sultan were merciless enemies -- until Selim's death in 1520. The desire by both men to control the Silk Road fueled their rivalry, but religious differences also played a part. The Ottomans were considered the wicked Sunni "sons of Yazid" in the eyes of the Shiite Persians.80
The forces of Selim I and Şah İsmail clashed at the momentous Battle of Chaldiran.
şalvar (shalwar)

'Competing' şalvars in the harem...7


The sultan's guard in military şalvar (late 19th century)7

Wide, baggy trousers narrowing below the knee, often reaching to the ankles -- in different varieties for men and women. Held in place around the waist by an uçkur, it is an outer garment -- worn over the underwear (if underwear is worn, that is). In the harem, the women jealously competed with each other as to the beauty of their şalvar's -- using the finest multi-colored brocade (often up to 8 yards of it) with fulsome gold and silver threading.
Şam Damascus  
Şamtrablus (Trablusşam)Tripoli (in Lebanon) 
Şarabdar The sultan's official wine cup-bearer.  
şehadet The Religious formula: 'Allah is great and Mohammed is his Prophet'.  
Şeker Bayramı Sugar Festival marking the end of Ramazan fasting.  
şerbet sorbet (sherbet)  
şeriat
(also seen as sharia, Shari'ah)
The sacred law of Islam.
The fundamental principal of Islam is complete submission to the will of Allah (God). So, the şeriat (which means, "the path leading to the watering place") is the expression of Allah's command for Muslim society. It is the divinely ordained behavioural path that a Muslim must follow in daily life -- and it determines a Muslim's after-life.66
In Ottoman society there was a dual system of law: the şeriat, (Islamic religious law) and the kanun (civil law). The şeriat was the basic law of Ottoman society, as it was of all Muslim communities. Believed to be divinely inspired, the şeriat was intended to cover all aspects of life for Muslims (political, social, and moral regulations and principles). In actuality it was highly developed only in the issues of personal behaviour as reflected in the Qur'an and early Muslim tradition. It never was developed in detail in matters of public law, state organization, and administration. Its general principles left room for interpretation and legislation on specific matters by secular authorities, and the Muslim judges of the Ottoman Empire recognized the right of the sultan to legislate in civil laws as long as he did not conflict with the şeriat in detail or principle. The şeriat was interpreted and enforced by members of the ulama/ulema.66
Şeyhülislam
(also known as the sheikh ül-Islam)

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This work (a detail from a engraving) shows the clothing worn by the Şeyhülislam, the highest ranking member of the ulema.74

The highest ranking representative of Islam within the borders of the Ottoman Empire.
Ebussuud (who was Sultan Süyleman the Magnificent's friend and advisor) was the most influential Şeyhülislam of the 16th Century.
The chief müfti of the Ottoman Empire, and from the middle of the sixteenth century, the head of the 'ulema', the learned religious establishment of the Ottoman Empire.
Şii (Shia, Shiite) Religious denomination of Islam. The Shiites are said to dissent from 'orthodox' Islam -- which is represented by the Sunni denomination. After the Sunni denomination, it is the largest Islamic religious denomination. Shiites regard Ali, the 4th Caliph, as the first true imam after Muhammad. Modern Iran is officially a Shiite Islamic nation. Also see, Sunni.

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