The First Stage of Publishing the Qur’an in the Ottoman Empire
Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt Üniversitesi, İslami İlimler Fakültesi, Felsefe ve Din Bilimleri Bölümü, Ankara/TÜRKİYE
Keywords: Qur’an, Mushaf, Kelām-ı Kadīm, Matbaa-i Āmire, Ministry of Education, Ottoman Empire.
The printing press in the Ottoman Empire was established in 1727 for the first time in Istanbul, on the condition that religious books were not published. However, the Qur’an has been published in other Muslim countries since the 19th century, as it has been printed in Europe for nearly three centuries. The reason why the Ottoman Empire did not allow printing was the concerns about ensuring the reliability of the text and showing the necessary respect during printing. However, it is understood that the main reason is the understanding of religion, the preservation of culture and tradition. Despite the fact that Mushafs printed in Europe and especially in the Islamic geography were banned from entering the country, it could not be completely prevented, nor could they be prohibited from being printed in the country by illegal means. The solution was first sought in allowing the Mushafs printed in London to enter the country; however, it has been found that this is not sufficient. The final solution was found in the printing of Mushaf under the control of the state after the necessary precautions were taken. Thus, after the decision taken by Sublime Porte in 1873, the printing of the Qur’an by legal means in the Ottoman Empire was carried out for the first time in 1874 under the supervision of Ministry of Education. In the article, information is given about the developments before the decision to publish the Qur’an and the period from 1874 to 1883.