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By Itzchak Weismann, Fruma Zachs

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This may have been due to Ottoman concern about arousing French and British anxieties, given their large Muslim colonies and the delicate state of international relations. Throughout his reign Abdülhamid II stressed the Islamic character of the Ottoman state and his own position as the Caliph. Considering the series of crises in the Balkans in the mid-1870s, followed by the disastrous war with Russia in 1877-8 and the Constitutional experiment, the Sultan became convinced that the most fundamental problem of the empire was lack of unity, and that the only practical basis for unity was Islam.

1, pp. 345-6. 74 Ibn Khaldun: Muqaddima, vol. 1, pp. 347-50. 75 Cevdet Pasa: Tezakir, pp. 148-9. Cevdet’s private papers in the Atatürk Kitapligi and various reports in the Yildiz Collection testify to his special interest in the issue. He 60 36 OTTOMAN REFORM AND MUSLIM REGENERATION took notes on the subject from al-Suyuti and Ibn Khaldun; particularly revealing is the argument taken from the latter that the condition that the Caliph be a Qurayshi is no longer required; see BOA, YEE 32/41, and Cevdet Pasa Evraki in Atatürk Kitaplligi, no.

16574. 34 OTTOMAN REFORM AND MUSLIM REGENERATION For example, Nazif Sururi in the introduction to his treatise entitled Hilafet-i Muazzama-i Islamiye (Istanbul, 1315/1897), p. 4, states that he follows Abdulwahhab Effendi. 43 Yasini Zadah: Khulasat al-burhan, p. 27. See also Ersahin: The Ulema and the Reforms, pp. 36-54. 44 These titles were frequently used in Takvim-i Vekayi, the first official newspaper published from 1831 on; see nos. 20 (1247/1831), 50 (1248/1832), and 102 (1251/1835). 45 Yasini Zadah: Khulasat al-burhan, pp.

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