On the Hamzevis and their teachings
Sunnah teaching of Islam, which was followed by the majority ofthe Muslim people in the Ottoman State, was the State ideology. Occasionally, there appeared groups and individuals who did not accept such a teaching, and influenced by the sufi tradition interpreted orthodox sunnism differently. But, the State very severely fought against ali those who cherished such ideas and tried to limit their influence. Existence of such groups and individuals is wit- nessed by rich archives documents on the basis ofwhich we can trace the area where and the time when such groups appeared, the charges under which they were sentenced, i.e. the notion ofheresy as understood at the time.
Husameddin Ankaravi’s disciple, Hamza Bali, after his sheikh’s death, leaves for Bosnia to serve and there he started leading the people. At the moment when more people gathered around him, the ulama there got upset by the influence that Hamza Bali had among the people, so that after their charges against the sheikh Hamza directed to Istanbul, he was called back to the capi- tal, where he was tried. Under the fetwa of Sheikh ul Islam Ebussuud Effendi, which he issued relying on the febva issued by Sheikh ul Islam Ibn Kamal, .Hamza Bali was sentenced to deatli in 969 H. (1561-62 A.D.).
His followers referred to as the Hamzevis continued their activities even after Hamza Bali had been executed. In the Muhimme defters (registers) ofthe Ottoman Government's Archives in Turkey (Başbakanlık OsmanlI Arşivi), there are decisions relating to the Hamzevis ftom 1582; also, Amiki Mehmed in 1614 wrote a risala (a treatise on the Hamzevis) in which the charges against the Hamzevis and their heresy are identical with those found in the court docu- ments.
This paper, which presents four new sources, along with the ones published earlier by other authors, is a step forward in understanding the teaching ofthe Hamzevis; it confirms their activities and the death of this order’s foun- der, as well as the attihrde ofthe State toward such movements.