Born in Balıkesir in 1522, İmam Birgivi later moved to İstanbul to study theology and military law. In time he became both a teacher and a dervish, then a judge in Edirne. Losing interest in law, he resigned his post and went back to teaching religion and morality. Eventually he moved to Birgivi on the outskirts of modern Birgi where, while teaching at a medrese, he also managed to find time to write 27 books, including “The Path of Mohammed”.


Like so many religious leaders, İmam Birgivi railed against the occuption of those in power and even returned to İstanbul to point out to (grand vizier) Sokollu Mehmet Paşa the errors of his ways. Needless to say the established religious authorities were not impressed by his arguments, which echoed some of those used today by people advocating a return to the caliphate.

İmam Birgivi’s books brought him great fame which may perhaps have protected him against a backlash from the rich and powerful. Rather surprisingly, he survived to die of plague in Birgi in 1573, aged 51.



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