Ottoman Caliphate Aided Ireland During Famine

Ottoman Caliphate Aided Ireland During Famine

On a recent trip to Turkey, President of Ireland, Mary McAleese expressed gratitude to the Turkish people for the humanitarian aid provided by the Islamic Khilafah to Ireland during the Great Famine, 160 years ago.

Turkish newspaper “Ikinci Vatan” reports that McAleese on her official visit to Turkey made the statement during her meeting with Turkish president Abdullah Gul and expressed the words of gratitude from the people of Ireland for humanitarian aid provided by Ottoman Caliphate.

During the period of 1840-1850, Ireland suffered the great famine, directly caused by the colonial policy of Great Britain who had occupied the territory.

In 1845, the onset of the Great Irish Famine resulted in over a million deaths. Ottoman Sultan Khaleefah Abdul-Majid I declared his intention to send 10,000 sterling to Irish farmers but Queen Victoria requested that the Sultan send only 1,000 sterling, because she had sent only 2,000 sterling herself.

The Sultan sent the 1,000 sterling but also secretly sent 5 ships full of food. The English courts tried to block the ships, but the food arrived in Drogheda harbor and was left there by Ottoman Sailors. Due to this the Irish people, especially those in Drogheda, are friendly to the Turks. note football crest below.

In 1845, the 10,000 pounds dedicated to the Irish from the Sultan would be worth approximately 800,000 pounds today, that is $1,683,280 US Dollars. On the other hand, the Queen gave the equivalent of 160,000 pounds today or 336,656 US Dollars, The Osmanli Traveller blog has copied to text a write up by a Christian Priest who wrote about the Sultan of the time in his travelogue.

His account mentions this incident briefly. What is interesting is that without knowing of the secret sending of the ships, the priest was already impressed with the character of the Sultan in his response to the Queen, as he stated;

“One or two anecdotes will put his character in its true light. During the year of famine in Ireland, the Sultan heard of the distress existing in that unhappy country; he immediately conveyed to the British ambassador his desire to aid in its relief, and tendered for that purpose a large sum of money.

It was intimated to him that it was thought right to limit the sum subscribed by the Queen, and a larger amount could not therefore be received from his highness. He at once acquiesced in the propriety of his resolution, and with many expressions of benevolent sympathy, sent the greatest admissible subscription.

It is well known that his own personal feeling dictated the noble reply of the divan to the threatening demands of Austria and Russia for the extradition of the Polish and Hungarian refugees. “I am not ignorant,” was his reply, “of the power of those empires, nor of the ulterior measures to which their intimations point; but I am compelled by my religion to observe the laws of hospitality; and I believe that the sense and good feeling of Europe will not allow my government to be drawn into a ruinous war, because I resolve strictly and solemnly to adhere to them.”

This is the true spirit of Christianity, and there is more it in the Mohammedan Sultan of Turkey, than in any or all of the Christian princes of Eastern Europe.”

The Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Medjid Khan: A Brief Memoir of His Life and Reign, with Notices of The Country, its Navy, & present Prospects by the Rev. Henry Christmas, M.A., 1853

It should be noted that this generosity and compassion occurred during the time of the supposed “downfall” of the Ottoman empire according to the Western Orientalists point of view, and Sultan Abdul Majid in himself is not counted as one of the greatest of Ottoman Sultans.

Furthermore the help was offered solely on the ground of charity to the Irishmen, considering that there was no request for help made from the British Empire who at that time ruled the whole of Ireland.

During that period of time more than a million people died out of hunger and millions became refugees. Most of these people were forced to escape to the US and also to other countries, where Irishmen initially occupied the bottom layers of society.

It was interesting to note that the Irish did not forget the hand of friendship that Turkey had extended to them. In the aftermath of the end of the first world war, when the Islamic Caliphate was being dismantled, Yahya Kemal Beyatli (d. 1958), a famous Turkish poet and a former ambassador, had an interesting memory from the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne, in which he participated as a reporter.

He recounts that while all the plenipotentiaries of the allied powers (The British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania, and the Serb- Croat-Slovene State) voted in unison in opposition to Turkey, the representative from Ireland was an exception; in each vote, he raised his hand in favour of Turkey’s interests.

Beyatli noticed this unusual person, and could not help asking him the reason, the Irish representative responded with;

“I am obliged to do it. Not only I, but are all Irish men and women, When we suffered from famine and disease, your Ottoman ancestors shipped loads of food and monetary donations. We have never forgotten the friendly hand extended to us in our difficult times. Your nation deserves to be supported on every occasion.”

I studied the Great Famine and the Michael Collins inspired uprisings in Ireland as part of my GCSE history, but of course this fact was never mentioned.

A simple examination of the events surrounding this engagement will open anyone’s eyes to the high station of the character of the Khaleefah’s combined with their skilful ability to traverse political waters to achieve moral, Islamic ends.

How many more facts remain buried in the annals of history of the positive steps that have been taken by Muslims to contributing towards a fairer and just society and civilisation?

Courtesy Of: Hotter Than A Pile Of Curry

The Great Mogul

The Great Mogul

In the early 16th century, northern India, being then under mainly Muslim rulers, fell to the superior mobility and firepower of the Mughals. The resulting Mughal Empire did not stamp out the local societies it came to rule, but rather balanced and pacified them through new administrative practices and diverse and inclusive ruling elites, leading to more systematic, centralized, and uniform rule. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic identity, especially under Akbar, the Mughals united their far-flung realms through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised culture, to an emperor who had near-divine status. The Mughal state’s economic policies, deriving most revenues from agriculture and mandating that taxes be paid in the well-regulated silver currency, caused peasants and artisans to enter larger markets.

The relative peace maintained by the empire during much of the 17th century was a factor in India’s economic expansion, resulting in greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and architecture. Newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule, which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience. Expanding commerce during Mughal rule gave rise to new Indian commercial and political elites along the coasts of southern and eastern India. As the empire disintegrated, many among these elites were able to control their own affairs.

The Mughal emperors were Central Asian Turko-Mongols from modern-day Uzbekistan, who claimed direct descent from both Genghis Khan (through his son Chagatai Khan) and Timur. At the height of their power in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, they controlled much of the Indian subcontinent, extending from Bengal in the east to Kabul & Sindh in the west, Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri basin in the south. Its population at that time has been estimated as between 110 and 150 million (quarter of the world’s population), over a territory of more than 3.2 million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles).

The “classic period” of the empire started in 1556 with the ascension of Akbar the Great to the throne. Under the rule of Akbar and his son Jahangir, India enjoyed economic progress as well as religious harmony, and the monarchs were interested in local religious and cultural traditions. Akbar was a successful warrior. He also forged alliances with several Hindu Rajput kingdoms. Some Rajput kingdoms continued to pose a significant threat to Mughal dominance of northwestern India, but they were subdued by Akbar. Most Mughal emperors were Muslims. However Akbar in the latter part of his life, and Jahangir, were followers of a new religion called Deen-i-Ilahi, as recorded in historical books like Ain-e-Akbari & Dabestan-e Mazaheb.

The reign of Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor, was the golden age of Mughal architecture. He erected several large monuments, the most famous of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra, as well as the Moti Masjid, Agra, the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, Delhi, and theLahore Fort. The Mughal Empire reached the zenith of its territorial expanse during the reign of Aurangzeb and also started its terminal decline in his reign due to Maratha military resurgence under Shivaji Bhosale. During his lifetime, victories in the south expanded the Mughal Empire to more than 1.25 million square miles, ruling over more than 150 million subjects, nearly 1/4th of the world’s population, with a combined GDP of over $90 billion. [Wikipedia]

Oil Painting by American Artist: Edwin Lord Weeks
Description: Great Mogul And His Court Returning From The Great Mosque At Delhi India

2 Muslims Guard Christendoms Most Sacred Site

2 Muslims Guard Christendoms Most Sacred Site

Every Christian knows the holiest places in Christendom are in Jerusalem. The holiest of all, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, was erected in 325, over the site where it is believed Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead.

Yet, few know that it is a Muslim who opens and closes the only door to this holiest of Christian sites.

In fact, it’s two Muslims: one man from the Joudeh family and another man from the Nuseibeh family, two Jerusalem Palestinian clans who have been the custodians of the entrance to the Holy Sepulchre since the 12th century.

Every morning, at 4:30, Adeeb Joudeh travels from his apartment outside the walls of the Old City to bring the cast-iron key to the church, just as his father and his forebears did before him.
Once there, he entrusts the key — looking like a 12-inch (30-centimeter) long iron wedge — to Wajeeh Nuseibeh, who knocks at the gate to call the priests and the pilgrims who spend the night praying inside. From inside the church, a wooden ladder is passed through a porthole to help him unlock the upper part of the enormous door.

Then, he unlocks the lower one before handing the precious key back to Joudeh. The ritual is reversed every evening at 7:30, after hundreds of tourists and pilgrims have left the church.

During holidays, such as Holy Week, which culminates Sunday with the Christian Easter, the elaborate opening and closing ceremonies take place several times a day.

Why the elaborate ritual? As often happens in Jerusalem, a city holy to several peoples and religions, there are different versions to explain why two Muslim families hold the key to the holiest site in Christendom.

“After the Muslim conquest in 637, the Caliph Omar guaranteed the Archbishop Sophronius that the Christian places of worship would be protected and so entrusted the custodianship to the Nuseibehs, a family who originated in Medina and had had relations with the Prophet Muhammad,” said Nuseibeh, a retired 63-year old electrician, while waiting in a nearby cafe to carry out his duties at the Holy Sepulchre.

“It happened again in 1187, after Saladin ended the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. He chose our family again to look after the peace between the different Eastern and Western Christian confessions, which were at odds over control of the Sepulchre,” he said with a gentle smile, sitting next to his son, Obadah.

To this day, coexistence among the several Christian churches sharing the Holy Sepulchre is a delicate one. Catholic, Greek, Armenian, Coptic, Syriac, and Ethiopian Orthodox monks have resorted to fists more than once to defend their respective denomination’s rights and privileges in the church, as defined in an decree by the Ottoman Empire, known as the Status Quo of 1853.

Such impious brawls between clergy proved Saladin’s prescience 1,000 years ago, when the sultan sealed the second front gate of the church and entrusted control of the remaining entrance to neutral custodians.

Each Maundy Thursday since the end of the 19th century, the two Muslim families give the key to the Holy Sepulchre to the local Franciscan friars, for as long as it takes to walk to the church in a procession and to open the door after the morning liturgies. When those are completed, the friars return the key to the families.

This ceremony, which confirms in practice the validity of the Muslim families’ custodianship, is repeated with the Greek and Armenian communities, on Orthodox Good Friday and Holy Saturday, respectively.

For about 20 minutes, Joudeh ceded control of the only existing key to the Holy Sepulchre. While there is another key, it is broken and no longer used. The functioning key is normally kept in a small office attached to the church and is guarded by an employee of the Joudeh family.

“This key has seen Saladin and every generation of my family since 1187. To me, it’s an honor to be in charge of the holiest of Christian places,” Joudeh said, while walking the cobblestoned alley leading to the Holy Sepulchre.

By Gabriele Barbati