Does Being Rafidi Mean Shi`ite?: The Representation of the Kızılbaş Belief in the Sixteenth Century Ottoman Records

Başaran R.

TRABZON ILAHIYAT JOURNAL, vol.6, no.1, pp.11-35, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.33718/tid.506735
  • Journal Indexes: TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.11-35
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


The Kızılbaş, especially by the sixteenth century, played a central role in the Ottoman-Safavid struggle due to its close alliance with the Safavid. By using period archival records ofthe Ottoman administration along with historical and religious documents composed bythe Ottoman elite scholars, this article aims to reflect the Kızılbaş’s religious orientation asperceived by the Ottoman policy makers. The documents examined include the fermans ofthe Muhimme registers, Selim Şah-name of İdrîs-i Bitlisî, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman of Ibn Kemaland the fatwas issued on the persecution of the Kızılbaş by Ibn Kemal and as afterwardsreutilized by Ebussuud. In doing so, this article intends to uncover the Ottoman perspective of the Kızılbaş religiosity as if it had ever been linked to Shi`ism. Further the notionrafidi to define Kızılbaş belief will be explored in detail to reveal if it is used as equivalentto the term shi`a.