Islam and the Turks

Muslims residing within modern Turkey's borders did not receive Islam directly from Makka and Madina. This might make some people uncomfortable. In 50 AH, Central Asia began to become Muslim. In the first century AH, some prominent people came to Makka and Madina from the region between modern Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.

The late Ismail Hami Danismend claimed that Turkish tribes became Muslim in large groups. According to some, the founders of the Hanafi school either were Turkish or had connection with Turks. In addition, the greatest Hadith scholars emerged and grew up in places where Turks were densely concentrated. Jurisprudence, Hadith, and Qur'anic commentary developed in Central Asia. In the fifth and sixth centuries AH, Islam was entrusted to the Seljukid states, and then passed to their heirs: the Ottomans.

Islam, with all its light and dimensions, went to Central Asia. Those of its aspects open to interpretation were interpreted there. The foundation for ijtihad (independent judgement reached through reasoning based on the Qur'an and Sunna) was evaluated there. It is no coincidence that the Hanafi school of jurisprudence found its most prominent representatives in that region, or that Islamic jurisprudence gained universality via such newly developed methods such as istihsan (preferring closed to open analogy, or preferring an exceptional law to the general one), istishab (preserving the existing legal situation and accepting it as the norm), and sedd-i zerayi (prohibiting that which leads to what is forbidden.)

In addition to Islamic jurisprudence, Sufism and the Maturidi branch of the Ahl-al-Sunna were widely spread in these Turkish areas. It is undeniable that the seed of Islam sown and germinated in Makka and Madina grew and became a universal tree in the Turkish regions. This is why I use the term "Turkish Islam" or "Turkish Muslimness" to express this reality. Hulusi Turgut, Nurculuk, Sabah daily, 01.23-31.97

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