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Extra resources for Pre-Ottoman Turkey: A General Survey of the Material and Spiritual Culture and History, c. 1071-1330

Sample text

They were beginning to organize themselves in groups which, little by little, were to become true congregations. On the 43 PRE-OTTOMAN TURKEY other hand a general movement, with al-Ghazali as its ' . mOst famous spokesman, was seeking to combme the religious attit d u which, for the theologians, was fundamentally intellectual e ratiocinative, with regeneration through the heart. r . way, t he SOCla ' l 'm f I uence 0 fh ,lu Its t e Turks accentuated this move_ ment because these new converts, as yet unacquainted with th scholarly discussions of earlier Islam, were more immediate!

Many of the features of their conduct in this respect must therefore be attributed less to their own individual merits than to tlle force of the general movement of orthodox reaction which is characteristic of Islam from the eleventh century, in comparison with earlier generations. The Seljukids were great builders of mosques and other public centres. But their principal innovation was the madrasa. Certain precedents had existed in Khorasan, and across the sectarian barriers, among the Isma

It was Nizam al-Mulk himself who founded, in Baghdad, the most famous of all madrasas, the Nizamiyya, to which he summoned the greatest scholars of the time, including al-Ghazali. In theology, he was personally an adherent of the still much disputed teachings of ai-Ash' ari; but the Nizamiyya was not as exclusively restricted to these doctrines as has sometimes been thought, and the Sultan's government made particular efforts to avoid disputes, provided naturally that people remained within the bounds of what it considered to be compatible with orthodoxy.

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