Molla Güranî

Osmanlı Şeyhülislâmı, Devlet Adamı, İslam Bilgini

Diğer İsimler
Ahmed bin İsmail bin Osman Güranî (asıl adı), Şerefüddin, Şihabüddin

He is a scholar in Islam, politician, the chief religious official in Ottoman (B. 1410, Ergani / Diyarbakır – D. 1488, Istanbul). His real name was Ahmed bin İsmail bin Osman Güranî. He was also known as the nickname Şerefüddin or Şihabuddin. There are some researchers who say his birth place was Şehrizor, the city on the north part of Iraq. Molla Güranî, who was a precious personality together with being respected and loved by the Ottoman palace and the people, was the teacher of Fatih Sultan Mehmet when he was just a prince. He memorized the “Koran” in his early childhood years. After he had completed his primary education in Hilar, he took lessons from various scholars in Baghdad, Diyarbakır, Hasankeyf and Damascus. He went to Damascus at the age of seventeen to receive courses from the religious scholars. In Cairo, he learnt kıraat (reading Koran in a true and good way), tafsir (interpretation of Koran), hadith (the Prophet Muhammad’s sayings) and fiqh (Islamic law). He took hadith and fiqh lessons from İbn-i Hacer Askalanî, the famous scholar of that period. He studied Sahih-i Buhari’s works.

Molla Güranî rose to fame in discussions made before the Mameluke government officials when he went to Cairo in 1432. Soon afterwards, he was appointed as the fiqh lecturer in Berkukiye Madrasah. In time, he became a well-known and respected scholar and lectured in Damascus. Because of the debate he participated in with Hamideddin el-Numani on Hanafi communion, he was taken from his post and banished to Damascus. Afterwards, he came to Anatolia upon the recommendation of Molla Yegân and was introduced to the Ottoman Sultan Murad II. As a result of the insistence of Murad II, he left the Shafii communion. As a reward, he was given the lecturer deed in Bursa Kaplıca Madrasah. Murad II gave him the deed first in his grandfather’s Murad Hüdavendigar Gazi Madrasah. Later he was appointed to the Yıldırım Madrasah.

Sultan liked Molla Güranî’s uncompromising stance on scientific issues. He was appointed to be the teacher of Prince Mehmed’s, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, and Sultan implied even to beat the prince if necessary. But it was never needed. Prince loved and had great respect for his teacher without fail. Thanks to him, in a short time he read the Koran through and had knowledge of many areas. On hearing that his son read the Koran through, Murad II presented Molla Güranî with large amount of goods and money.

 When Mehmet II came to the throne, he wanted to make Molla Güranî his vizier (minister). Güranî didn’t accept that proposal by saying, there were a lot of precious people working hard and waiting for that position and if he were the minister such appointment would discourage them, thus bring more harm than good. But he became a military judge, lecturer and kadi (T.N. Muslim judge) of Bursa. For a while he was near the Sultan of Egypt, Kayıtbay. Upon Mehmet the Conqueror’s recalling, he returned to Istanbul and was appointed to be the military judge and kadi in Bursa again. In 1480, he became the fourth Shaykh al-Islam of the Ottoman Empire. Once completed, he presented his famous interpretation of the Koran named Gayetü'l-Mesânî fi't-Tefsiri Kelâmü'r-Rebbânî to  Fatih. He won everyone’s love with his justice and honesty. He had four mosques, one Darü’l Hadis Madrasah and a Turkish bath built. He kept on lecturing for his whole lifetime.

Molla Güranî was a tall, bushy-bearded, solemn and imposing-looking. He didn’t go to the palace very often and did call viziers with their names. On a festival day, when the Sultan invited him to the palace, he didn’t want to go because of the mud, as his excuse. Sultan said that his coming to palace would be a festival itself for them and let him go inside until the stoop of the palace on a horse back.

Molla Güranî was a religious scholar in Islam who lectured Fatih Sultan Mehmet, had important duties as the military judge, Shaykh al-Islam and kadi and had a great impact on Islamic philosophers. This Islamic scholar, whose name was given mainly to Istanbul and many mosques, madrasahs, avenues and streets, gave advice to Fatih Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror and helped him with his works. Because of the sincere sympathy and care he felt for the Sultan, he didn’t refrain from criticizing when the occasion arose.

After having served as Shaykh al-İslam for eight years, he fell sick. He had a bed prepared for himself in his mansion in Istanbul. He told his hafiz students who gathered around him: “Today is the day for you to remunerate.” On the same day he wanted them to read the Koran until he died. One of the ministers, Davut Pasha was crying. Molla told him “Davud! Cry for your own situation!  I have lived in welfare and peace in this world. I hope from God, I will be peaceful in my last moments and my last breath too.” He bequeathed Bayezid II would perform a funeral prayer and pay his debts.  He also requested his dead body be put into grave by pulling his legs when he was brought to the graveyard.

Molla Güranî never gave importance to secular goods, but he encouraged the youth to improve. Hence, as time passed by he gave up lecturing and was busy with just raising students with his own methods in his simple lodge. He especially gave a lot of attention to reading. He died in the afternoon time during the winter in 1488. Bayezid II himself performed a funeral prayer for him in the funeral and paid his due debts. But nobody had the courage to pull his legs. He was put into his grave after being carried on a straw. His tomb is in front of the mosque he made to be built in the Fındıkzade town, between Aksaray and Topkapı. In Arabic resources, he is referred as “The scholar of Anatolia”. Molla Güranî mostly wrote texts on interpretation, hadith and fiqh. He has an ode about the science of Prosody.


Gâyet-ül-Emânî fî Tefsîr-i Seb’il-Mesânî (interpretation), El-Kevser-ül-Cârî alâ Riyâd-il-Buhârî (the explanation he wrote for Sahîh-i Buhârî), Şâtıbiyye Kasîdesi (an annotation about the city Ca’berî),  Keşf-ül-Esrâr an Kırâat-il-Eimmet-il-Ahyâr, Şerh-i Cem'ul-Cevâmi (on the method of fiqh), Levâidi’l-Dürer.

KAYNAKÇA: Arifi Paşa / Seyahatname (1891), Bursalı Mehmet Tahir / Osmanlı Müellifleri (c.2, s.1, 1972), Doç. Dr. Sakıp Yıldız / Fatih’in Hocası Molla Gûrâni ve Tefsiri (1987), Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi (1988), Müslüm Üzülmez / Çayönü'nden Ergani'ye Uzun Bir Yürüyüş (2005, s. 255), İhsan Işık / "Ünlü Bilim Adamları" (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013) - Diyarbakır Ansiklopedisi (2013) - Geçmişten Günümüze Diyarbakırlı İlim Adamları Yazarlar ve Sanatçılar (2014).



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