Defter donations sent in two two revered harems / Surre defteri from 1617-18

  • Azra Gadžo-Kasumović
Keywords: „Surre“ defter 1617-18., privilegije, donacije, vakufi iz Anadolije i Rumelije, Medinei munevvera, bezbjednost hadžija, ribati, zavije, hudžere, sufije, mudžaviri, džemati, nefesi, dah pobožnosti


The paper Defter donations sent to two revered Harems / Surre defteri from 1617-18 analyses the contents of registers from the 1617-18. The Defter has the individual tughra of II Sultan Osman Shah, son of Ahmed Han. The defter was placed in the archives of the accounting office for two Harems / Haremeyn-i şerifeyn-i muhasebesi which hold that kind of documentation. It can be assumed that in some unknown removed them from these archives, either by ending up it in the hands of a high rank government official or that it was taken from the archives in the years when the Ottoman Empire fell apart. The defter ended up in Gaza Husrev-bey library in 1916, according to a note on the front page, donated mualim Uzejir Cengic .

Despite missing some pages, the defter provides valuable information about the Ottoman donors, beneficiaries and the amount of donations and the way in which the distribution function specified donations. About donations / surre to Mecca and Medina in the recent period, much has been written in Turkish litera- ture, mainly on the basis of preserved registers from the 18th and 19th and early 20th century. I know that there are published fragments of defter from 1052/1642-43 referring to Medina, and that have similar content as the defter from 1617-18, and that there are defters from 1049/1639-1640.

The defter from 1617-18 shows that one hundred years after Sultan Selim I became Caliph and began regularly sending donations to two Harems continued. In addition of sending a donation with an armed escort constituted a factor of safety and security Hajj routes, the purposed grants supported local people and sacred places from various parts of the Ottoman state to its bustling devotion that rises continuously over two Harems and offering prayers for the duration of the power of rulers contribute to lasting rule of the ruling elite as long as long as it rules in the name of God and as the government seeks justice. In this respect it fullfiled the sense of the honorable verse: Fa᾽ğa‘l af᾽idatan mina᾽n-nȃsi tahwȋ ilayhim wa᾽rzuqhum mina᾽t-tamarȃti la‘allahum yaškurūn.179 The defter shows that the Ottomans with their donations supported the functioning of a significant number of businesses that are in defters individually listed in the Medina and the Sufi community which composed of a large number of mudžavir (caretaker of a srhine) from various parts of the Ottoman state, including shrine caretakers the Bosnian eyalet.

In defters are listed the names of some members from the Bosnian eyalet: Ali Bosnevije from Čelebi Pazara, Ali Halife Bosnevije and Ibrahim Efendije Bosnevije. It is evident on the basis of numerous donation defters from the 19th and 20th century that support for Sufi communities did not exist at that time in the way that is recorded in this defter from the early 17th century.

In this defter, special support for members of the Hanafi madhhab is expressed. Accordingly, the Ottomans as the executive authority of the Islamic state within the specified period, in collaboration with the sheikhs of Mecca and Medina, were the main carriers of the security of pilgrims and Hajji rituals. Therefore with their donations they were the organizers and supporters of an uninterrupted and continuous and intensive maintenance and perform prayers as they supported the continuation of the rise of devotion over the two honorable Harems.

How to Cite
Gadžo-Kasumović, A. (2013). Defter donations sent in two two revered harems / Surre defteri from 1617-18. Anali Gazi Husrev-Begove Biblioteke, 20(34), 5-36. Retrieved from