Feyzullah Efendi

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Shaykh ul-Islam

Mehmed Feyzullah Efendi
Erzurum, Ottoman Empire
DiedSeptember 3, 1703(1703-09-03) (aged 63–64)
Edirne, Ottoman Empire

Mehmed Feyzullah Efendi was an Ottoman statesman and cleric, shaykh al-Islām at a key moment for the Ottoman Empire — during the Edirne event.[1]

The main opponent and enemy of Amcazade Köprülü Hüseyin Pasha as a result of which the whole Köprülü family descended from the historical and political scene. Son of the Mufti of Erzurum and a prominent student of Vani Efendi. In 1662 he accepted the invitation of his teacher to move to Constantinople, becoming his son-in-law. From 1669 he was a teacher of the future Sultan Mustafa II. In 1686, as a teacher of the sons of Mehmed IV, he was appointed Kazasker of Rumelia or the European possessions of the Ottoman Empire.[2] That same year he was saved from execution after the sultan's wrath. Valide Sultan − Gülnuş Sultan − plays the role of his patron and savior.

With his ascension, Suleiman II of the Ottoman Empire appointed his teacher shaykh al-Islām, but in the same year 1688 he was forced to escape execution by refusing to be a spiritual leader and returning to Erzurum. The janissaries are furious with him.

In 1695, with the coming to power of his other disciple Mustafa II, he returned as shaykh al-Islām. Gradually, by the end of the 17th century, he became the most powerful Ottoman statesman to whom the Grand Viziers were also accountable. In three years from 1695 to 1697 he succeeded thanks to his unscrupulous and unprecedented even for the Ottoman order corruption, he managed to appoint key people for the management of the empire. Nepotism reaches intolerable levels, and the newly introduced malikâne system sucks future revenue into the treasury.[3]

Amcazade Köprülü Hüseyin Pasha was busy negotiating the Treaty of Karlowitz and, through mandatory reforms to restore order and the empire's economy, fell victim to his intrigues after the death of Mezzo Morto Hüseyin Pasha.

The death of one of the greatest grand viziers and Ottoman statesmen, as a result of the intrigues of Feyzullah Efendi, angered everyone in the Ottoman capital − janissaries, esnaf and clergy. Mehmed Feyzullah Efendi and two of his closest associates, despite the sultan's intercession, and after a fatwa, were taken from the Edirne Palace, stripped naked, insulted and spat upon by a Muslim mob on the streets of Edirne, then handed over to the angry Christian. Prior to their execution, they were chased by a priest, even though they were Muslims. The priest offers them to confess. Killed with stones at the flea market, beheaded and thrown into Tundzha. After a few days in the water, their corpses were retrieved from the river and Feyzullah Efendi was buried in Edirne.[4]


  1. Feyzullah Efendi on the page of the Islamic Encyclopedia (in Turkish)
  2. Feyzullah Efendi Seyyid kimdir? (in Turkish)
  3. Робер Мантран, Историја Османског царства, Клио, Београд (2002); in Serbian
  4. Робер Мантран, Историја Османског царства, Клио, Београд (2002); in Serbian


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