Vezir, Düşünür, Devlet Adamı

10 Nisan, 1018
14 Ekim, 1092
Diğer İsimler
Ebu Ali el-Hasan et-Tusî Nizamülmülk

Thinker, statesman, grand vizier (B. April 10th, 1018, Tus/ Khorasan– D. October 14th, 1092,Nihavend). His full name was Ebu Ali el-Hasan et-Tusi Nizamülmülk (T.N. Abu Ali al-Hasan al-Tusi Nizam al-Mulk). He was one of the most significant statesmen whom Eastern historians particularly emphasize on. Nizam al-Mulk means the regulation of the state. He grew up taking lessons from the famous instructors of the time. He was a righteous grand vizier. He also established universities and strove to spread science in his country. He protected the great artists and scholars, created precious works, and showed the rulers the best way. Thanks to these qualities of him, he was given the name Nizam al-Mulk, meaning “the one who maintains the order of the state”. He started to serve for the government when he and his father were at the service of Ebü’l-Fazıl Es-Suri, the governor of Khorasan of Ghaznavid State. Later, he entered the service of the Seljuk Empire which was being established at that time, and worked as a grand vizier and counselor for Davut Bin Mikâil, Alp Arslan, Malik-Shah . Because he had superior abilities, every ruler recommended him to the next ruler.

            After The Battle of Dandanaqan (1040), he became a part of the retinue of Ali bin Şadan, the governor of Balkh at the time of Sultan Alp Arslan. He was charged with managing the provincial affairs. During the fight for the throne between Alp Arslan and Süleyman Bey, after the death of Seljuk Sultan Tuğrul, Nizam al-Mulk attracted attention with his appropriate views and suggestions. In 1063, he entered the service of Alp Arslan. When Alp Arslan became the sultan, he was appointed to the Seljuk Empire as the vizier.  After he was honored with the title Nizam al-Mulk by the caliph of the time, Kâim bin Emrillah, he was noted for this name.

            From the year 1064 when he became the vizier, till the year 1092 when he was martyred, he served the Seljuk Empire with a complete justice and sagacity for twenty eight years. Apart from The Battle of Manzikert, which he could not join due to his being on duty, he participated in all the Seljuk conquests. Upon the death of Sultan Alp Arslan, helping the crown prince Malik-Shah I to come to the throne, he succeeded in maintaining order and keeping the peace. He made a great contribution to the discipline of the Seljuk princes who opposed or rose against the Seljuk Sultan Malik-Shah. Sultan Malik-Shah gave him broad authority in the state government. The reign of Malik-Shah was the brightest and greatest period of the Seljuk Empire, thanks to wise and judicious ruling of him.

            Because Nizam al-Mulk was an intellectual, sophisticated, and appreciative person, his gatherings became the places where the scientists and artists met. The Abbasid caliph also respected him and became a part of his gatherings. He always did scholars, poets, artists favor, and paid them with compliments. He built many mosques, prayer rooms, and foundations.

            He brought many innovations to the Seljuk Empire in the governmental, judicial, military, economic, social, and cultural fields. He reorganized the palace, central government, courts based on the Islamic rules, and ground system placing them on robust rules. His new systems and the changes he made were practiced in his period and the following Turkish-Islamic states. Against the opponents who were trying to spread and get strong at that time, teaching the doctrine of Ehl-i sünnet (T.N. Sunni Islam, acting according to the practices of Muhammad) was made possible. For this reason, he established the Nizamiye Madrasahs, which were referred with his name, in different places such as Baghdad, Balkh, Nishapur, Herat, Isfahan, Basra, and Mosul. These madrasahs were very helpful for getting rid of the disorder resulted from the opponents’ movements against the doctrine of Sunni Islam in the tenth century.

            Nizam al-Mulk had a great part in the establishment, development, and regulation of the Seljuk Empire. He wrote a book titled “Siyeru’l-mülk” (Siyasatname or Book of Government, 1087-92), written in Persian, examining all regulations and changes in order to transfer his views, works and reasons on the state government to the next generations. In “Siyasetname”, administrative, financial, political, military, social, and cultural aspects of the Turkish Islamic states are observed. In this precious book, which has been published in our country, he guided the rulers and statesmen giving many examples, and examines the different aspects of the state government. According to him, no ruler or statesman could avoid reading this book. The biggest gift a ruler could give to his people would be justice. If the people were satisfied with the just state government, that state would continue living and gain power and strength every day. A state could not survive with oppression. The ruler should personally listen to the complaints of the ones who were oppressed, and take the right from the oppressor and give it to the oppressed one. A complete and rough copy of this work is in the Molla Çelebi part of the Süleymaniye Library, in Istanbul. Also, this work has been translated into several languages and published.

According to Nizam Al-Mulk, religion and sultanate were like brothers. Whenever there was a disorder in a country, there was also a corruption in the religion; religious people, who were bad, would appear. Whenever the religion was corrupted, the peace in the country would be disturbed; the troublemakers would become strong, and weaken the ruler. To know the goings-on in a country was the duty of the ruler. Otherwise, the troublemakers would dare to be unwary and tyrannize. If the ruler knew and did not care about it, then he was as cruel as them, and if he did not know about it, then he was careless, lazy, and ignorant. As being a poet himself, he protected the poets and scholars such as Omar Khayyám.

            Nizam Al-Mulk was the founder of the “ikta” (T.N. fief) system (giving the lands, taxes, or incomes belonging to the state to the government officers in return of their services). He also founded the system of providing scholarship and hostel for the students. He was the first ruler to prepare income and expense reports in the Turkish states. He was the founder of the first intelligence service in the world. With the innovations he brought to the Turkish state structure, he was one of the people who made way for the founding of the Ottoman Empire, which became a world empire later. He is accepted as one of the greatest statesmen of all time, in the world history.

            According to the novel “Fedailerin Kalesi Alamut” by Vladimir Bartol, he was killed being stabbed by an Assassin, a bodyguard of Alamut, who came to him under the mask of submitting a petition and introduced himself as a pupil of Al-Ghazali, in 1096. He was buried in his mausoleum in Isfahan. A work titled “Vasiyetnâme” (testament), which includes his suggestions for the state government after his death, is said to have been written by him. 

REFERENCE: Osman Turan / Selçuk­lular Zamanında Türkiye (1971), Mehmet Altay Köymen / Nizâmül-Mülk-Siyasetnâme (haz., 1982), Ali Sevim / Biyografilerle Selçuklular Tarihi (1982), Büyük Larousse Ansiklopedisi (s. 8689, 1986),  Erdoğan Merçil / Selçuklu Devletleri Tarihi: Siyaset - Teşkilât ve Kültür (1995), Wladimir Bartol / Fedailerin Kalesi Alamut (1998), Fazlı Konuş / Selçuklular Bibliyografyası (2006), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Fikir ve Kültür Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, c. 3, 2013) - Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (C. 12, 2017).


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