Hürrem Sultan (c. 1500 – 18 April 1558; fully: Devletlu İsmetlu Hürrem Haseki Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-Şân Hazretleri; birthname unknown, according to later traditions either Anastasia Lisowska, or Aleksandra Lisowska, also known as La Rossa or Roxelana) was the favorite consort and later the legal wife of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and the mother of Şehzade Mehmed, Mihrimah Sultan, Şehzade Abdullah, Sultan Selim II, Şehzade Bayezid and Şehzade Cihangir. She was one of the most powerful and influential women in Ottoman history and a prominent figure during the era known as the Sultanate of Women. She was “Haseki Sultan” (chief wife of the Sultan) when her husband, Suleiman I, reigned as Ottoman sultan. She achieved power and influenced the politics of the Ottoman Empire through her husband and played an active role in state affairs of the Empire.
Modern sources do not contain information on Roxelana’s childhood, limiting themselves to information about her Polish, Rusyn, or most likely Ukrainian ethnic origin, and mentioning the Kingdom of Poland as her birthplace. In the middle of the 16th century, the ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Crimean khanate Mikhalon Lytvyn in the composition of 1548–1551 “De moribus tartarorum, lituanorum et moscorum” at the description of trade specifies that “[…] the most beloved wife of the present Turkish emperor - mother of his primogenital [son] who will govern after him, was kidnapped from our land”.
According to late 16th-century and early 17th-century sources, such as the Polish poet Samuel Twardowski (died 1661), who researched the subject in Turkey, Hürrem was seemingly born to a father who was a Ukrainian Orthodox priest. She was born in the town of Rohatyń, a major city of the Ruthenian Voivodeship in the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. In the 1520s Crimean Tatars captured her during one of their frequent raids into this region, took her as a slave (probably first to the Crimean city of Kaffa, a major centre of the slave trade, then to Constantinople) and selected her for Suleiman’s harem.
She quickly came to the attention of her master, and attracted the jealousy of her rivals. She soon proved to be Suleiman’s favorite consort or Haseki Sultan. Hürrem’s influence over the Sultan soon became legendary. She was to bear the majority of Suleiman’s children and in an astonishing break with tradition, she was eventually freed. Breaking with two centuries of Ottoman tradition, a former concubine had thus become the legal wife of the Sultan, much to the astonishment of observers in the palace and the city. It made Suleiman the first Ottoman emperor to have a wed wife since Orhan Gazi and strengthened Hürrem’s position in the palace and eventually led to one of her sons, Selim, inheriting the empire.
In the Istanbul harem, Hürrem Sultan was a very influential rival for Mahidevran Sultan. Hürrem gave birth to her first son Mehmed in 1521 (who died in 1543) and then four more sons, destroying Mahidevran’s status of being the mother of the sultan’s only son. The rivalry between the two women was partially suppressed by Ayşe Hafsa Sultan, Suleiman’s mother, but after her death in 1534, as a result of the bitter rivalry a fight between the two women broke out, with Mahidevran beating Hürrem. This angered Suleiman, who subsequently sent Mahidevran to live with her son, Şehzade Mustafa, in the provincial capital of Manisa. This exile was shown officially as the traditional training of heir apparents, Sanjak Beyliği.
Hürrem and Mahidevran had borne Suleiman many sons, four of whom survived past the 1550s. They were Mustafa, Selim, Bayezid, and Cihangir. Of these, Mustafa was the eldest and preceded Hürrem’s children in the order of succession. Hürrem was aware that should Mustafa become Sultan her own children would be strangled. Yet Mustafa was recognized as the most talented of all the brothers and was supported by Pargalı İbrahim Pasha, who was by this time Suleiman’s Grand Vizier. It has also been suggested by a number of sources that Ibrahim Pasha had been a victim of Hürrem Sultan’s intrigues and rising influence on the sovereign, especially in view of Ibrahim’s past support for the cause of Şehzade Mustafa. Hürrem is usually held at least partly responsible for the intrigues in nominating a successor. Although she was Suleiman’s wife, she exercised no official public role. This did not, however, prevent Hürrem from wielding powerful political influence. Since the Empire lacked, until the reign of Ahmed I, any formal means of nominating a successor, successions usually involved the death of competing princes in order to avert civil unrest and rebellions. In attempting to avoid the execution of her sons, Hürrem used her influence to eliminate those who supported Mustafa’s accession to the throne.
Thus in power struggles apparently instigated by Hürrem, Suleiman had Ibrahim murdered and replaced with her sympathetic son-in-law, Rüstem Pasha. Many years later, towards the end of Suleiman’s long reign, the rivalry between his sons became evident. Furthermore, both Hürrem Sultan and the Grand Vizier Rüstem Pasha turned him against Mustafa and Mustafa was accused of causing unrest. During the campaign against Safavid Persia in 1553, because of a fear of rebellion, Sultan Suleiman ordered the execution of Mustafa. According to a source he was executed that very year on charges of planning to dethrone his father; his guilt for the treason of which he was accused has since been neither proven nor disproven. After the death of Mustafa, Mahidevran Gülbahar lost her state in the palace (as being the mother of the heir apparent) and moved to Bursa and lived a troubled life.[Her last years, however, were not in poverty, for Selim II, the new sultan after 1566 as well as her stepson, put her on a salary. Her rehabilitation may have been possible only after the death in 1558 of Hürrem. Cihangir, Hürrem’s youngest child, is said to have died of grief a few months after the news of his half-brother’s murder.
After Suleiman executed Mustafa in October 1553, there appeared some sort of dissatisfaction and unrest among soldiers who blamed Rüstem Pasha for Mustfa’s death. Then Suleiman dimissed Rüstem Pasha and appointed Kara Ahmed Pasha as his grand vizier in October 1553. But almost two years later, Kara Ahmed Pasha became the victim of vicious calumnies brought against him by Hürrem Sultan who wanted her son-in-law, Rüstem Pasha, to become the grand vizier again. Kara Ahmed Pasha was strangled in September 1555, and Rüstem Pasha became the grand vizier once more.
Suleiman also allowed Hürrem Sultan to remain with him at court for the rest of her life, breaking another tradition—that when imperial heirs came of age, they would be sent along with the imperial concubine who bore them to govern remote provinces of the Empire; the concubines were never to return unless their progeny succeeded to the throne (Sanjak Beyliği). Hürrem also acted as Suleiman’s advisor on matters of state, and seems to have had an influence upon foreign affairs and international politics. Two of her letters to King Sigismund II Augustus of Poland have been preserved, and during her lifetime, the Ottoman Empire generally had peaceful relations with the Polish state within a Polish–Ottoman alliance.
Aside from her political concerns, Hürrem engaged in several major works of public buildings, from Mecca to Jerusalem, perhaps modeling her charitable foundations in part after the caliph Harun al-Rashid’s consort Zubaida. Among her first foundations were amosque, two Koranic schools (madrassa), a fountain, and a women’s hospital near the women’s slave market (Avret Pazary) in Constantinople. She commissioned a bath, the Haseki Hürrem Sultan Hamamı, to serve the community of worshippers in the nearby Hagia Sophia. In Jerusalem she established in 1552 the Haseki Sultan Imaret, a public soup kitchen to feed the poor and the needy. Some of her embroidery, or at least that done under her supervision, has also survived, examples being given in 1547 to Tahmasp I, the Shah of Iran, and in 1549 to King Sigismund II Augustus. Esther Handali acted as her secretary and intermediary on several occasions.
Hürrem Sultan died on 18 April 1558 and was buried in a domed mausoleum (türbe) decorated in exquisite Iznik tiles depicting the garden of paradise, perhaps in homage to her smiling and joyful nature. Her mausoleum is adjacent to Suleiman’s, a separate and more somber domed structure, at the Süleymaniye Mosque.
In such an atmosphere of hostility and suspicion it is not surprising that the thoughts of many Kosovo Albanians turned once again to emigration. An additional reason for some Albanians must have been the restrictions imposed on Islam since the Communist take-over. The şeriat courts had been suppressed in 1946, the mektebs (Koranic elementary schools) abolished and the teaching of children in mosques made a criminal offence in 1950, and the dervish orders officially closed down in 1952. While these changes were happening the Yugoslav authorities took unusually active measures to enable and encourage people in Kosovo and Macedonia to identify themselves as ‘Turks’ by nationality: given the traditional overtones of the word ‘Turk’ in the region (where it had been used as a general term for Muslims), this move may have held a special attraction to the more devout elements of the Muslim Albanian population. As a result, the number of people registered as 'Turks’ in Kosovo jumped from 1,315 in the 1948 census to 34,583 in 1953. Strong pressure was put on the Kosovo authorities by Belgrade in 1951 to encourage this process by declaring the Turks a national minority there and opening new Turkish schools. To some extent is may have been merely an application of the new principle of 'divide and rule’. But in 1953, when Yugoslavia signed a new treaty with both Turkey and Greece and large-scale emigration of Yugoslav 'Turks’ to Turkey was permitted, it began to seem that a long-prepared policy had been at work, aimed at the complete removal of large numbers of Albanians.
The leading advocate of such a policy in the pre-war period, Vasa Čubrilović, had made a seamless transition in his own career from Serbian nationalist to Communist adviser, and had submitted another report to the Communist leadership in November 1944 urging that 'The only correct solution of the question of minorities for us is emigration.’ Large-scale emigration began in 1953 with, according to some reports, 13,000 'Turks’ leaving Yugoslavia for Turkey. It has been estimated that between 1945 and 1966 roughly 246,000 people emigrated to Turkey from the whole of Yugoslavia. More than half of that total was probably from Macedonia (where the recorded population of 'Turks’ had jumped from 95,940 in 1948 to 203,000 in 1953); some of those who left may have been Muslim Slavs, and some, indeed, may have been ethnic Turks. Detailed figures for Kosovo are not recorded, but a total in the region of 100,000 for the whole of that period may not be an unreasonable guess.
Hürrem Sultan (fully: Devletlu İsmetlu Hürrem Haseki Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-Şân Hazretleri; c. 1502 – 15 April 1558, also known as Roxelana) was the favorite consort and later the legal wife of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and the mother of Şehzade Mehmed, Mihrimah Sultan, Şehzade Abdullah, Sultan Selim II,Şehzade Bayezid, and Şehzade Cihangir. She was one of the most powerful and influential women in the Ottoman history and a prominent figure during the era known as the Sultanate of Women. She was “Haseki Sultan” (chief wife of the Sultan) when her husband, Suleiman I, reigned as the Ottoman sultan. She achieved power and influenced the politics of the Ottoman Empire through her husband and played an active role in state affairs of the Empire.
Hürrem not only became Suleiman’s partner in household, but also in empire affairs. With her intelligence, she acted as Suleiman’s chief advisor on matters of state, and seems to have had an influence upon foreign policy and international politics, made her one of the most powerful and influential women in Ottoman history and in the world that time, even when compared with womens who held title valide sultan. In same reason, she became controversial figure in Ottoman history for manipulating and plotting against her politic rivals.
Aside from her political concerns, Hürrem engaged in several major works of public buildings, from Mecca to Jerusalem, perhaps modeling her charitable foundations in part after the caliph Harun al-Rashid’s consort Zubaida. Among her first foundations were amosque, two Koranic schools (madrassa), a fountain, and a women’s hospital near the women’s slave market (Avret Pazary) in Constantinople. It was the first complex constructed in Istanbul by Mimar Sinan in his new position as the chief imperial architect. The fact that it was the third largest building in the capital, after the complexes of Mehmed II (Fatih) and Suleyman (Süleymanie mosque), testifies to Hurrem’s great status. She also built mosque complexes in Adrianopol and Ankara.
She commissioned a bath, the Haseki Hürrem Sultan Hamamı, to serve the community of worshippers in the nearby Hagia Sophia. In Jerusalem she established in 1552 the Haseki SultanImaret, a public soup kitchen to feed the poor and the needy. This soup kitchen was said to have fed at least 500 people twice a day. She also built Imaret Haseki Hürrem, public soup kitchen in Mecca. Some of her embroidery, or at least that done under her supervision, has also survived, examples being given in 1547 to Tahmasp I, the Shah of Iran, and in 1549 to King Sigismund II Augustus.
100 things that you did not know about Africa - Nos.26 - 50
26. West Africa had walled towns and cities in the pre-colonial period. Winwood Reade, an English historian visited West Africa in the nineteenth century and commented that: “There are … thousands of large walled cities resembling those of Europe in the Middle Ages, or of ancient Greece.”
27. Lord Lugard, an English official, estimated in 1904 that there were 170 walled towns still in existence in the whole of just the Kano province of northern Nigeria.
28. Cheques are not quite as new an invention as we were led to believe. In the tenth century, an Arab geographer, Ibn Haukal, visited a fringe region of Ancient Ghana. Writing in 951 AD, he told of a cheque for 42,000 golden dinars written to a merchant in the city of Audoghast by his partner in Sidjilmessa.
29. Ibn Haukal, writing in 951 AD, informs us that the King of Ghana was “the richest king on the face of the earth” whose pre-eminence was due to the quantity of gold nuggets that had been amassed by the himself and by his predecessors.
30. The Nigerian city of Ile-Ife was paved in 1000 AD on the orders of a female ruler with decorations that originated in Ancient America. Naturally, no-one wants to explain how this took place approximately 500 years before the time of Christopher Columbus!
31. West Africa had bling culture in 1067 AD. One source mentions that when the Emperor of Ghana gives audience to his people: “he sits in a pavilion around which stand his horses caparisoned in cloth of gold: behind him stand ten pages holding shields and gold-mounted swords: and on his right hand are the sons of the princes of his empire, splendidly clad and with gold plaited into their hair … The gate of the chamber is guarded by dogs of an excellent breed … they wear collars of gold and silver.”
32. Glass windows existed at that time. The residence of the Ghanaian Emperor in 1116 AD was: “A well-built castle, thoroughly fortified, decorated inside with sculptures and pictures, and having glass windows.”
33. The Grand Mosque in the Malian city of Djenné, described as “the largest adobe [clay] building in the world”, was first raised in 1204 AD. It was built on a square plan where each side is 56 metres in length. It has three large towers on one side, each with projecting wooden buttresses.
34. One of the great achievements of the Yoruba was their urban culture. “By the year A.D. 1300,” says a modern scholar, “the Yoruba people built numerous walled cities surrounded by farms”. The cities were Owu, Oyo, Ijebu, Ijesa, Ketu, Popo, Egba, Sabe, Dassa, Egbado, Igbomina, the sixteen Ekiti principalities, Owo and Ondo.
35. Yoruba metal art of the mediaeval period was of world class. One scholar wrote that Yoruba art “would stand comparison with anything which Ancient Egypt, Classical Greece and Rome, or Renaissance Europe had to offer.”
36. In the Malian city of Gao stands the Mausoleum of Askia the Great, a weird sixteenth century edifice that resembles a step pyramid.
37. Thousands of mediaeval tumuli have been found across West Africa. Nearly 7,000 were discovered in north-west Senegal alone spread over nearly 1,500 sites. They were probably built between 1000 and 1300 AD.
38. Excavations at the Malian city of Gao carried out by Cambridge University revealed glass windows. One of the finds was entitled: “Fragments of alabaster window surrounds and a piece of pink window glass, Gao 10th – 14th century.”
39. In 1999 the BBC produced a television series entitled Millennium. The programme devoted to the fourteenth century opens with the following disclosure: “In the fourteenth century, the century of the scythe, natural disasters threatened civilisations with extinction. The Black Death kills more people in Europe, Asia and North Africa than any catastrophe has before. Civilisations which avoid the plague thrive. In West Africa the Empire of Mali becomes the richest in the world.”
40. Malian sailors got to America in 1311 AD, 181 years before Columbus. An Egyptian scholar, Ibn Fadl Al-Umari, published on this sometime around 1342. In the tenth chapter of his book, there is an account of two large maritime voyages ordered by the predecessor of Mansa Musa, a king who inherited the Malian throne in 1312. This mariner king is not named by Al-Umari, but modern writers identify him as Mansa Abubakari II.
41. On a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 AD, a Malian ruler, Mansa Musa, brought so much money with him that his visit resulted in the collapse of gold prices in Egypt and Arabia. It took twelve years for the economies of the region to normalise.
42. West African gold mining took place on a vast scale. One modern writer said that: “It is estimated that the total amount of gold mined in West Africa up to 1500 was 3,500 tons, worth more than $30 billion in today’s market.”
43. The old Malian capital of Niani had a 14th century building called the Hall of Audience. It was an surmounted by a dome, adorned with arabesques of striking colours. The windows of an upper floor were plated with wood and framed in silver; those of a lower floor were plated with wood, framed in gold.
44. Mali in the 14th century was highly urbanised. Sergio Domian, an Italian art and architecture scholar, wrote the following about this period: “Thus was laid the foundation of an urban civilisation. At the height of its power, Mali had at least 400 cities, and the interior of the Niger Delta was very densely populated”.
45. The Malian city of Timbuktu had a 14th century population of 115,000 - 5 times larger than mediaeval London. Mansa Musa, built the Djinguerebere Mosque in the fourteenth century. There was the University Mosque in which 25,000 students studied and the Oratory of Sidi Yayia. There were over 150 Koran schools in which 20,000 children were instructed. London, by contrast, had a total 14th century population of 20,000 people.
46. National Geographic recently described Timbuktu as the Paris of the mediaeval world, on account of its intellectual culture. According to Professor Henry Louis Gates, 25,000 university students studied there.
47. Many old West African families have private library collections that go back hundreds of years. The Mauritanian cities of Chinguetti and Oudane have a total of 3,450 hand written mediaeval books. There may be another 6,000 books still surviving in the other city of Walata. Some date back to the 8th century AD. There are 11,000 books in private collections in Niger. Finally, in Timbuktu, Mali, there are about 700,000 surviving books.
48. A collection of one thousand six hundred books was considered a small library for a West African scholar of the 16th century. Professor Ahmed Baba of Timbuktu is recorded as saying that he had the smallest library of any of his friends - he had only 1600 volumes.
49. Concerning these old manuscripts, Michael Palin, in his TV series Sahara, said the imam of Timbuktu “has a collection of scientific texts that clearly show the planets circling the sun. They date back hundreds of years … Its convincing evidence that the scholars of Timbuktu knew a lot more than their counterparts in Europe. In the fifteenth century in Timbuktu the mathematicians knew about the rotation of the planets, knew about the details of the eclipse, they knew things which we had to wait for 150 almost 200 years to know in Europe when Galileo and Copernicus came up with these same calculations and were given a very hard time for it.”
50. The Songhai Empire of 16th century West Africa had a government position called Minister for Etiquette and Protocol.
Robin Walkers book When we ruled is one of the best books Africans and African Diaspora can use firstly as a introduction to African history and secondly a good source to become proficient with precolonial African history.
INDONESIA, Medan, Sumatra : Indonesian students of an Islamic boarding school read the Koran, in the city of Medan, located on the island of Sumatra, on June 30, 2014, as the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country celebrates the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims around the world celebrate Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calender by prayers and fasting. AFP PHOTO / SUTANTA ADITYA
Muslim faithful throughout the world are currently observing the holy month of Ramadan. Observant Muslims participate in fasting (sawm), one of the five pillars of their faith, this entire Lunar month. Eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity is prohibited from dawn until sunset. Along side restraining from bad intentions,desires, and superficial needs. The fast is broken at sunset with the evening meal called Iftar. Local customs define varying traditions, including differing types of food used to break the daily fast. [Children, women in pregnancy/menses, sick/poor health individuals, and those traveling do not have to fast.] During this time, Muslims are also encouraged to read the entire Quran, to give freely to those in need, give charity, and strengthen their ties to God through prayer. The fasting is meant to teach a person patience, humility and sacrifice, to set aside time to ask forgiveness, practice self-restraint, and pray for guidance in the future.
1. Chinese Hui Muslim girls read the Koran, Islam’s holy book, at the Niujie Mosque as they wait for their fast on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Beijing. (Andy Wong/Assocaited Press)
2. A man takes a nap in between prayers at a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan during the holy month of Ramadan. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif)
3. A girl displays henna traditional paintings on her hand in front of a local Koranic school on the second day of Ramadan in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)
4. Palestinian Muslim worshippers break their day-long fast during a charity Iftar meal outside the golden Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalemon July 14, 2013. (Astroawani)
5. In Panama City, Panama, a Muslim man performs Friday prayers in the Jama Masjid Mosque during Ramadan. According to Saleh Bhattay, one of the officials in charge of the mosque, there are approximately 8,000 Muslims in Panama.(Reuters/Carlos Jasso)
6. Bosnian Muslims Rasim Hamidovic , 55, his wife Esma Hamidovic ,45, and their two sons Talib, 9, left, and Muhamed Mustafa, 5, eat dinner together as they prepare to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the last day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, in the village of Vukovije, 72 kilometers (44 miles) north east of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
7. A Sudanese man reads the Koran on the first Friday of Ramadan in a mosque at Umdowan Ban village outside Khartoum, Sudan. (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
8. A Muslim girl arranges plates before iftar (breaking fast) meal in India at the Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) in the old quarters of Delhi on July 11, 2013. (Reuters/Ahmad Masood)
9. Carli, the Ramadan drummer, walks the streets of Elmadağ in Istanbul, waking the inhabitants in time for Sahur, the last meal before a long day of fasting that starts with the call to prayer at sunrise. (Guardian/Jonathan Lewis)
10. Muslims offer Maghrib, the sunset prayer at Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia. Muslims around the world started their first day of fasting to observe the month long Ramadan. (Getty Images / Alex Wong)
Turkish mosque ! Notes from the tour guide:
Koppolla sign of Turkish style
Most beautiful of Mostar. All elements on exterior. Position of beautiful view.
Every mosque needs 3 elements
Middle- mirihab- hirab turned to Mecca. Praying southeast… Steps again for imam, uses these steps on Friday prayer only for men. Those 5 prayers at home. Duma, only pray at mosque. After finishing Duma, imam goes up the steps (bc no microphone) raising himself raise voice and people can hear him. Hudbah- holy speech but according to Islam. Door that leads up- miramet- muratine- assistant, call for prayer.
Small balcony- more rest of women. In this country, women and men are together. When imam calls prayer, Men first, then women.
No idols in mosque only fruits and vegetables are pixtured… And sentences from Kuran. Praying in Arabic. 90% of Muslim learn translation. Huge carpet- gift from Austrian Hungarian empire
1910- emporer France Joseph
Beads similar to rosary- 33 or 99. Complete prayer. 3 times through these 33 corns. To know how many times you pronounce. God you are the greatest. God thank you. God forgive me. At the end symbolically, 99 names in Islam.
David star- prophet of God in Islam. History of catholic and Muslim similar. Koran and bible.
Religion school in front of mosque, people buried in mosque
Fountain for religious washing. Washing
MALAYSIA, Hulu Langat : A Malaysian religious student reads the Koran at school during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in Hulu Langat, near Kuala Lumpur on June 30, 2014. Islam’s holy month of Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims worldwide marked by fasting, abstaining from foods, sex and smoking from dawn to dusk for soul cleansing and strengthening the spiritual bond between them and the Almighty. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN