Prof. Dr. Zekeriya KİTAPÇI

    In spite of a number hadiths, which are narrated from the Holy Prophet of Islam, his relations with the Turks and its variations during the pre and early Islamic periods, still remain an obscure but important subject, unexplained in the pages of the general Turkish history. As a matter of fact, there are several factors that played very effective role in preventing the social, political and possibly the economic relations between the Arabs and the Turks since the early ages of history. The main obstacles according to our opinion, which are stopped the early developments of the general Turco-Arabic relations during, the long pre Islamic periods were, the geographical isolation of the Arabian Peninsula from the main structure of the continent of Asia and its locations in the out side of the Turkish major historical migration ways to the west. Also, benign a country occupied mostly by the dusty deserts and unattractive for the nomadic Turkish tribes, Arabian Peninsula always remained uninterrupted not only by the Turks and by many other foreign invaders in its past history.

    But what ever may be the effective reasons which prevented the developments of the early Turco-Arabic relations, there are many evidence that, the jahiliyye Arabs were not ignorant about the Turks, whom were the ruling power in the Central Asia and also controlling the famous historical Silk Road, that was expending it’s arms up to Middle East countries, even up to big Arab city like Mecca. Beside the several proverbs and valuable verses which are belonged to the pre Islamic Arabic poetry, explaining the physical aspects of the Turks, there are also a number of the correct hadiths (Traditions) narrated by the Holy Prophet, pointing out their strong character and their higher military sprit, show us that, the Arabs were not ignorant as totally from of the Turks and their military heroism even if they were living in a district country.

    But, here some questions are arising; how the Arabs were acquainted with the Turks? What was their source of in formations about this nomadic step people of Central Asia? Are these Hadiths called by the Holy Prophet are “correct” or “apogrifal” ones, created and narrated by many Muslim Scholars? What were the effects of these Hadiths on the Arabic leaders for their behaviors against the Turks? Are they changed their attitudes, or continued in the same unappreciated way? These are a few questions, which we tried to give right answer in our critical study named The Turks in the Hadiths of the Holy Prophet and their position in the Middle East.

    First of all, in our long Turkish Introduction, beside a satisfactory discussion to clarify the various cases of the subject, a wide account has been given about the correct hadiths, particularly for the Turks just to distinguish them among the many apogrifal ones, which are created by the other many lame thinking people for their wordly aimes. In our study we followed a comprehensive way and concentrated only on the records of the Sahihu Bukhary and Sahihu Muslim and the books of the Kutub es-Sitta most authentic hadiths collections that are accepted a sound and standing reference after the Holy Koran by the Muslim Scholars in their approach to solve the religious and social problems of the Muslim community since the foundation of Islam in the early Islamic History.

    Moreover the hadiths of the Holy Prophet about the Turks which has been recorded in the above mentioned capital books, could be classified on the three categories according to their contains. The First categories of the hadiths are dealing with the physical aspects of the Turks and their nomadically way of life in Central Asia. The second categories are giving detailed informations on the social a political upheaval of the Turco-Arabic relations in their long struggle which is going to be happen very soon. The third category are some of he hadiths advising the Arabs, what should be their common policy toward the Turks, when they became o powerful nations. Actually this policy was based on the principle of “the non valuations” and “non provocations of the Turks by the Arabs” as it was founded by the Holy Prophet.

    A special attention was made to one of these hadiths as the Holy Prophet said that; “Abandon the Ethiopians as long as they leave you and don’t attack the TURKS as long as they not attacking to you” as its recorded by the Sunan of Ebu Dawud, one of the most famous six authentic hadiths collections. Beside its textual study based on its various narrations recorded by the several Muslim Scholars, a wide discussion has been made particularly around this question; what was the effect of this Instruction of the Holy Prophet on the Arab Intellectuals particularly when they became a strong and powerful empire builder following his death?

    We tried to approach to these important developments in a more realistic way. Beginning from the early Islamic state in Medina including the time of the Holy Prophet, many interesting examples were given with the implementation of this Prophetical advice by the Muslim commanders. In fact not only the Caliph Omar, but many great Muslim leaders and commanders including some of the ümayyad Caliphs like Muawiya and Omar b. Abdu’1-Aziz, later on Hamza b. Adrak, and also al-Mutasım particularly al-Jahız, instead of provoking the Turks they followed this Prophetical Policy against the Turks ant treated them with caution and most favorable way according to common advise of the Holy Prophet.

    Moreover, we can find a very attractive comments about the implementations these significance narrations, which are recorded by al-Jahız in his classical book, called “The Superior Qualities of the Turks” indicating the implementation of this policy by the prominent Arab leaders in their struggle against the Turks.

    As we know that after the death of al-Mamun, al-Mutasım came to the Abbasid Throne (822-842). Having a Turkish blood from his mother side married a Turkish origin concubine; he gave great privileges for the Turks and formed a permanent Turkish imperial army in Baghdad and later on when he shafted to Samarra. When he had been attacked by the several rival groups and fanatic Arabs and Persian leaders in a subversive way, due to his favorable attitude towards the Turks, al-Jahız great Arabic literary scholar and prose writer, took his place in the Turkish side and argued with them in the recalling the same hadiths.

    He said that:“The traditions of Holy Prophet be an advice to all the Arabs. The right decision for us to live with the Turks in a peaceful way and abolish the fighting. What are you thinking about a nation that even Alexander the great called “Dhul-Qarnayn” (in the Islamic books), after defeating the whole world mercilessly in a fierce way, met the Turks and not attacked them and said: “Leave them alone and calling them TÜRK”.

    In addition to, we tried to give a full picture of the position of the great Turkish dynasty like; Seljuks, Mongols and the great Ottomans, whom, formed a word wide big empire in Central Asia, or in the Middle East as well as in the Central lands of Europe up to Vien. We explained their position in the light of the Hadiths of the Holy Prophet and their dominations of the Middle East or the old Caliphate lands. Because Holy Prophet informed in his eternal message that; “The Turks will ride to the inner side of the Arabian Peninsula” and he also said that; “The Turks will be the first nation whom will take the Caliphate from the hands of his Ummah.” This means that, they were nominated a solid candidate among the Muslim peoples for the Muslim Caliphate by the Holy prophet.

    In conclusion we can say that, the sayings of the Holy Prophet about the Turks are not a death subject in the valuable work of the Muslim Scholars. It was applied and narrated by the Muslim intellectuals in many occasion with the great interest in their religious, historical and literary works.

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Son Makaleler


Prof. Dr. Zekeriya KİTAPÇI, Osmanlıların Orta Afrika Politikası Askeri, Ticâri ve Siyasi İlişkiler, Osmanlı Ansiklopedisi Cilt I, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları [s.411]. Prof. Dr. Zekeriya KİTAPÇI, Türklerin Müslüman Oluşu, Türkler, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, Ankara (

Gazete Yazıları Zekeriya Kitapcı

Zekeriya KİTAPÇI, Afrikada İslamiyet, Tercüman Gazetesi, 23 Ağustos 1978. Zekeriya KİTAPÇI, Afrikada Misyoner Faaliyetleri ve İslamiyet, Bayrak Gazetesi, 1 Ocak 1985. Zekeriya KİTAPÇI, Nijeryada İslâmiyet ve Hıristiyanlık Mücadelesi, Türkiye Gazetesi, 02-03-04-05-06-07-08.01.1985 tarihli ...