Meral Bayrak Ferli̇baş

Keywords: Bulgaria, Rusçuk, Ruse, Waqf, Mosque, School, Tirsiniklizade İsmail Aga

Abstract

The philantropic institutions in the Ottoman Empire, which funtioned as a social unifying force in all the Islamic world, contributed to the formation of the works of charity and the establishment of waqfs. Further developed in the Ottoman Empire, these waqfs met all the needs of the society. The idea that "the better served the urgent needs, the superior were the waqfs" led to a rapid increase in the number of waqfs in line with the social needs varying according to region and time. But they were influential in the establishment or re-organizaton of certain villages and towns as well. Such charitable institutions did also revive in the town of Rusçuk, where numerous mosques and masjids, together with schools, dervish convents and lodges, fountains, spinkler and water tanks for ritual ablutions, all serving as religious, charitable and socio-cultural centers, worked for the society. This article intends to portray some of the waqfs in Rusçuk, which were an integral part of the Ottoman social life but failed to survive to the present. The research is based on archival sources and tries to outline the Works of waqf, their founders, sources of income, functionaries and balance sheets.