This Guy: Not Stud – Looking/Bishonen Enough To Be An Ottoman Imam
By Mahmut ‘Chuck’ Connors
This was an advertisement in the 16th century Ottoman state for an ‘Imam vacancy’ at a mosque:
‘YAPIMI 1557 YILIN DA TAMAMLANAN SÜLEYMANIYE CAMİİ’NE, BİR İMAM ARANMAKTADIR. İMAMDA ARANAN NİTELİKLER, SÜLEYMANİYE VAKFIYESİ’N DE ŞÖYLE BELİRTİLMEKTEDİR.”
(The following are the characteristics of the imam who will be deemed fit for the position in Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul in the year 1557)
1-YÜKSEK İLIMLERİ VE ALET İLIMLERİNİ BİLECEKTİR.
(He must know tafseer, hadith, fiqh, usool deen, kalaam sciences, knows Qur’an by heart, he must know physical (mathematics, logic, astronomy etc…) and technological sciences as well as Art (calligraphy, carpentry, iron-smith etc…at least he should have the knowledge of one of these occupations).
2-ARAPÇA’YI VE FARSÇA’YI BİLECEKTİR. (He must know Arabic and Persian)
3-AYRICA, LATİNCEYİ DE BİLECEKTİR. (He must know Latin)
Note how there is no condition of knowing the native language (Ottoman Turkish)! i.e such great emphasis is placed on interfaith and inter-community relations that the ‘national language’ is of no importance to Imams.
4-KEFERE DİNİ İLE DİNİMİZ İSLAMI, MUKAYESELİ OLARAK BİLECEKTİR.
(He must know the comparative religious studies such as Islam-Christianity or Islam – Judaism, Judaism-Christianity etc…)
5-ATA BİNECEK, SPOR YAPACAK, GÜZEL GÖRÜNÜŞLÜ OLACAK VE GÜZEL GİYİNECEKTİR.
(He will know how to ride horses properly, be a sportsman at least in one field such as archery, wrestling, swimming etc…he will have good facial features and be well built, he will have excellent dress code and be well-dressed, neat and clean).
6-EVLENMİŞ OLACAK, KARISI BİR TANE VE GÜZEL BİR KADIN OLACAKTIR. (HARAMA BAKMAMASI İÇİN)
(He must be married with a maximum of one wife who must be very pretty and beautiful).
7-İLM-İ TEŞRİHİ (İNSAN YAPISI İLMİ) BİLECEKTİR.
(He must know the body language, human interactions and the anatomy, psychology and sociological human factors as well as deeply understanding of human nature).
8-GÜNDELİK OLARAK DA BU İMAMA, 15 BİN AKÇE VERİLECEKTİR.
(He will be paid around £4000-5000 in today’s money – per day)
Now a lot of people may see this as a joke. Today’s Muslims will baulk at the requirement for an Imam to be married to a beautiful woman and the huge sums of money that he is paid. But this is superficial thinking and shows naivete: having lots of money is a good way to prevent people being ‘bought’ (as the sad sight of Dawah carriers, speakers, Mosques and even jihadists clamouring to receive Salafist handouts shows).
Having a beautiful wife, like it or not, is indeed better for controlling ones desires and lowering one’s gaze, as per the advice of the Prophet (SAW). Same goes for females who have frequent contact with the opposite sex: a good looking man in ones life often precludes temptation.
Imams and speakers are often confronted with the challenges of celebrity status and frequent interaction with females who come to them with their most intimate problems and questions. Few today can keep their hands out of the ‘cookie jar’ – the trail of ex-wives, ‘misyars’ and illegitimate children left in the wake of even minimally well known speakers in the UK is testament to that.
Polygamy, hard to come by in the laity due to cultural and financial constraints, is normal or ‘de rigeur’ in scholars and speakers. One often wonders if it is ‘genuine’ or just promiscuity and a lack of self control in an Islamic garb, the bed hopping antics we are accustomed to from other celebrities given an Islamic veneer.
After all, how many people do you know that aren’t dawah carriers or ‘scholars’ who are able to thus indulge?
Many ‘dawah’ speakers conduct private, unsupervised classes for females and even new Muslim females, while not allowing the same leeway to women. Little or no checks are in place. If their marriages and divorces are anything to go by, they may well be best kept away from positions of authority or power over vulnerable (new) Muslim women who have come to them for advice or knowledge.
Oh, accuse me of being a jealous hater? But what about those persistent rumours about your favourite ‘dawah guy’ (I don’t need to specify a particular one; they are present in nearly every case and especially for the front men of a particular British Salafist ‘dawah’ organisation)? You know what…nearly every speaker has them if you are honest.
But the zombie fan club these individuals have persuaded that they are defenders of Islam allows them to continue to act with sexual impunity.
Looks like these ‘filthy Ottoman grave worshipping heretics’ (according to Salafis) were actually onto something…