Ahlâk-ı Alâî was written in 1563-65, while the author was kadi of Damascus, where he also discussed his work with Mustafa Ali (then divan kâtibi of the beylerbey).
Various. Ahlâk-ı Alâî was a very widespread, popular and influential work. “One of the ‘bestsellers’ of the Ottoman bookmarket from the 16th to the 18th centuries” (Baki Tezcan, “The Definition of Sultanic Legitimacy in the Sixteenth Century Ottoman Empire. The Ahlâk-ı Alâ’î of Kınalızâde Alî Çelebi (1510-1572)”, unpublished M.A. thesis, Princeton University 1996, 110).
Kınalızâde’s Ahlâk-ı Alâî (“Sublime Ethics”) is a highly ambitious enterprise, inspired by its predecessors in Persian, to encompass a full view of ethics in all three levels: individual ethics, or the governance of self, household economics (the governance of the family and the house) and political theory (the governance of the city, recte society). He explains this scheme in the first part of his introduction (K47-52).
His analysis is primarily based in the well-known categories of Islamic ethical theory. Thus, he begins by defining the basic features of the “soul” or “human reason” (rûh, nefs-i nâtıka). Human reason or soul is composed by three components, namely the “vegetable soul” or spirit of growth (nefs-i nebâtî), the “animal soul” or spirit of life (nefs-i hayvânî), and the “human soul” (nefs-i insânî). Kınalızâde explains their respective “powers” or faculties in his Introduction (K47-94).
The main part of the work consists of three books, each examining the three respective levels of ethics as explained in the introduction. The author begins by explaining (in the words of Tezcan, 111) that [individual-level] ethics is “a simple (müfred) science as opposed to “economics”, and politics, which are compound (mürekkeb) sciences, because they concern the actions of man in the context of an association” (K97). In the first chapter (K99-104) Kınalızâde speaks of the moral qualities (hulk), dividing them in “virtues” and “vices” (fazîlet and rezîlet). The human soul, he goes on, contains two powers, that of perception (kuvvet-i müdrike), pertaining to the mind and comprising the theoretical (kuvvet-i nazarî) and the practical (kuvvet-i amelî) powers, and that of motion (kuvvet-i muharrike), pertaining to the body and comprising the power of sensuality or lust (kuvvet-i şehevânî) and the power of wrath or passion (kuvvet-i sebu’î, kuvvet-i gazabî). If any of these powers functions with a prudent and moderate way (muktezâ-yı akl-ı sahîh, hadd-i i’tidâl) it becomes a virtue, while when it is used in excess (ifrât) or deficiency (tefrît) it becomes a vice. Thus, the four cardinal virtues are defined as the use of each power in a moderate way: the theoretical power produces wisdom (hikmet), the practical justice (adâlet), the sensual honesty (iffet) and the power of passion courage (şecâ’at). Respectively, the excess of the powers produces quick-wittedness (cerbeze, a vice insofar it provokes vain jokes and satire), for the theoretical power, immorality or debauchery (fücûr) for the sensual one, fury or impetuosity (tehevvür) for the power of passion, while their deficiency produces stupidity (belâdet), degeneration or apathy (humûd) and cowardice (cübn). Justice, however, has no excess or deficiency, only its contrary, namely injustice or oppression (cevr). The author notes here that while according to some, justice is the combination of the other virtues, this would not have logical sense; so he presents another definition of virtues and vices as well, based on a tripartite division of the soul into the angel soul (nefs-i melekî), the soul (or faculty) of passion (nefs-i şebu’î) and that of lust or appetite (nefs-i behîmî). Moderation, excess or deficiency of these three produce the same virtues and vices as described above, with justice now being the combination of wisdom, courage and honesty.
In the next chapter (K105-113) Kınalızâde follows that second categorization in order to enumerate the sub-kinds of each virtue. Thus, wisdom comprises intelligence, quick understanding, clarity of mind, easiness in learning, wit, memory and remembrance; courage includes haughtiness of spirit, boldness, high aspirations, perseverance, mildness (hilm), tranquility, valor, endurance, humility, compassion and public spirit (hamiyyet, defined as entering at pains in order “to protect the community and to defend one’s self and dignity”, himâyet-i himâ-yı millet ve hirâset-i harîm-i nefs ü hürmet: K108); honesty is subdivided in bashfulness, suavity of manners, will for self-improvement, tranquility, capacity for indifference, patience, contentment, dignity, chastity, orderliness, freedom for cupidity and generosity (sehâ). Now, this last virtue is so important that Kınalızâde proceeds in defining its own components, such as beneficence, forgiveness (afv), munificence, magnanimity and so on. Finally, justice is subdivided into faithfulness (sadâkat), familiarity, loyalty, compassion, visiting one’s relatives, fair retribution, fidelity in friendship, justice in human relationships (hüsn-i kazâ), affection, compliance to Godly rules, resignation to God and piety. Accordingly, in the third chapter (K115-123) the author names the various vices that are produced by excess or deficiency of each virtue. Here some differences arise, in comparison with the first chapter, as for instance debauchery and degeneration are defined as excess and deficiency not of the sensual power, but of the very virtue of honesty. In the same manner, justice here seems to have its excess, tyranny (zulm), and its deficiency, the acceptance of tyranny (inzilâm). Some say that both these vices are oppression (cevr), to others or to the self, while others accept as vice only the former, namely tyranny; the author is inclined toward the first opinion (cf. K146, where he boldly criticizes none else but Nasireddin Tûsî on this matter). He then proceeds in defining the excess and deficiency in the sub-virtues described in the first chapter, although he stops at the subdivisions of wisdom, noting that other vices are produced in the same way.
In the next chapter (K125-133), where he speaks analytically of the more serious vices, Kınalızâde keeps following the previous exaltation of generosity among the cardinal virtues, which thus become five rather than four. Still, he preserves a whole chapter (K135-139) to justice, considering it the greatest virtue as it is a combination of all others. It has been defined as three things: justice in distributing property or social rank (kerâmet ü mertebe), justice in financial transactions, and justice in punishment; in all three kinds, justice is defined as the proportional treatment of all parts (tenâsüb-i ri’âyet, K135). Since mankind, contrary to animals, needs a variety of artifacts to survive, such as clothes, weapons and so on, which cannot be all produced by each man alone, the formation of societies arises as a necessity; that is why society is a natural phenomenon (insân medeniyyün bi’t-tab’dır, K136). This leads to the need of a supreme power, in order to suppress tyranny and to arrange the value of money, which is the indispensable means of making the exchange of goods equal and just. Thus, three things are needed for the preservation of justice in society: the law of God (nâmûs-ı rabbânî), a human ruler (hâkim-i insânî) and measured money (dînâr-ı mîzânî); all three together have been named by the Greek sages nâmûs (νόμος), which corresponds to siyâset. First comes the law of God, to which the ruler must obey, while in his turn is the regulator for the money. The sixth chapter (K141-147) extends further the discussion on justice, quoting Aristotle, as rendered by Nasireddin Tûsî, and then Tûsî himself, and focusing on the religious dimension of justice and virtue.
The following chapters deal with various matters of ethical philosophy. The seventh chapter (K149-154) deals with the acquisition of virtues and whether it comes by nature or by teaching (Kınalızâde argues that one is taught the virtues, through the science of ethics, and then teaches them to oneself’s nature), while the next one (K155-168) concerns the ways acquired virtues can be preserved by the individual (here the author finds the opportunity to speak against bad company, satire, and so forth). The final chapter of the first part and the longest one of the whole work (K169-321) deals with the “diseases of the soul” (emrâz-ı nefsâniyye) and their remedies, discussing them in detail and with the help of various stories.
The second book of the Ahlâk-ı Alâî (K325-476) deals with what could be described as “economics” or the governance of one’s household (ilm-i tedbîrü’l-menzil), including servants. The book includes eight chapters, the last of which, as it will be seen, are more relevant to the third book. In the first chapter (K327-329), Kınalızâde repeats the reasoning on the natural cause of society, here meant as family; the five pillars of the house, he argues, are the father, the mother, the servant and the means of sustenance (kût). The second chapter (K331-332) deals with the head and manager of the household; he must firstly be like the shepherd, who protects and guides his flock, secondly like the doctor, who constantly looks after the health of his patient, and thirdly to keep an eye for any member of the household to be removed if necessary. In the third chapter (K333-334) Kınalızâde speaks of the house as a physical structure; he makes a distinction between permanent structures, as in towns and villages, and nomadic, movable dwellings.
The fourth chapter (K335-348) is of some importance for the study of political thought, as it deals with the subject of economy. Here Kınalızâde, after reiterating that the need for people’s professions is connected with the necessity of money, which he names “the guardian of justice”, explains that economics may be viewed in three ways: from the point of view of revenue, of keeping hold of the former, and of its expenditure. Thus he proceeds in examining all these three points of view. Concerning the sources of revenue, there are several categorizations: one is bipartite, i.e. revenue that comes through gain and by choice (e.g. trade or craft) vs. revenue that comes incidentally, such as gifts or inheritance. A more “economic” theory is tripartite, namely speaking of revenue from commerce, craftsmanship or agriculture. A third view sees four ways of revenue, adding leadership (emâret), i.e. pensions and salaries coming from the ruler. Speaking of the ancient controversy on which is the best way, the author notes that (in H. İnalcık’s summary translation, Economic and Social History, 44) “later authorities argued that so many illegal practices invaded the commercial transactions that a distrust on the origin of the fortunes arose; thus agriculture should have precedence over commerce. In the acquisition of wealth, one should refrain first from oppression and injustice; secondly from shameful activities, and thirdly from disgraceful or dirty occupations” (K336). Kınalızâde then proceeds in analyzing craftsmanship (sınâ’at), in a broader sense, however, that seems to include commerce and agriculture. Craftsmanship, he argues, can be divided in three categories, namely noble (şerîf), middle or neutral (mütevassıt), and inferior (hasîs). Noble crafts are those conducted by the human reason (nefs-i nâtıka) rather than the body, and they are subdivided in three main kinds: the “art of leadership” (san’at-ı vizâret), which has to do with the well-being of the community and pertains to the mind; the art of literati, scribes and judges, pertaining to virtue, knowledge of manners (edeb), eloquence, medicine, mathematics and so forth; and the art of soldiers (sipâhîlik). As for the inferior arts, they are also divided in three categories. Trades such as profiteering, witchcraft, calumny or pimping, which are opposed to the righteous ways of living, are the professions of mischief-makers and evil-doers; other professions, such as singing or buffoonery, are not opposed to the right way but only to the virtue and generosity of the spirit; finally, professions such as sweepers, tanners or cuppers, the crafts of the lowest (edânî vü erâzil sınâ’atı), are only producing bodily disgust for themselves (mûcib-i nefret-i tab’); however, they bring no damage to the mind so they cannot be considered improper. On the contrary, since everybody must make a living, it is necessary that these strata (i.e. the lowest) occupy themselves with such professions in order not to damage world order (nizâm-ı âleme halel gelmeye). (The same observation is reiterated later, when the author states that if everybody followed only the noble professions, the world order would be destroyed: K368, 412). Finally, the middle or neutral crafts can be divided into those indispensable, such as agriculture, and those that are not immediately necessary, such as the profession of the goldsmith. Here, Kınalızâde notes that (again in İnalcık’s words) “a craftsman should endeavor to make the best product possible without being content merely to earn his livelihood. While it [is] necessary, he [adds], to please the consumer since his satisfaction and prayers are the source of prosperity and salvation in this world and hereafter, it is a waste of time to be too meticulous making luxury goods. It is far better for a Muslim to spend his time in prayers” or charity (K337).
Moving now to the subject of keeping hold of the wealth, Kınalızâde warns against meanness, but stresses that the expenses must be kept lower than the income; it is not sinful to keep one’s wealth hidden, he says, provided the canonical alms have been extracted. He also gives specific advice concerning how one should invest one’s wealth in different ways (cash, estate etc.) in order to be better protected against adversities (K340). As for the rules for expenditures of the wealth, the author warns again against avarice, prodigality, expenses for vain boasting, and creating obligations when giving money. Expenditures are subdivided into those asked for, such as expenses for one’s family or canonic alms, those showing generosity, such as gifts to friends or presents to poets and story-tellers, and those one spends for himself; Kınalızâde then gives special advice, of a moral rather than practical nature, on each kind of expenditure.
The fifth chapter (K349-403) deals with the good manners of the people of the household. In this lengthy and highly interesting chapter, the author analyzes the necessity of marriage, the virtues needed of a good wife and the way the husband must treat her and vice versa (K349-362); advice for raising one’s children (K363-373; here [K365-66] Kınalızâde hints at the civil war between the sons of Süleyman in 1558, noting that “the princes who lost the war” found it very difficult to be fed in the little food given to them by peasants); rules of good manners (âdâb) for conversation (K373-378), for walking, sitting and gesturing (K378-380), for eating and drinking (K380-382), and for showing respect to one’s parents (K382-387). The final part of this chapter is devoted to servants and slaves, including advice for choosing them and a lengthy diversion of the characteristics of each race (K387-403).
With the sixth chapter (K405-450), Kınalızâde actually enters the domain of political theory, although formally still in the book on domestic economics. Indeed, the chapter, entitled “On managing the cities, controlling countries (memâlik), regal rules and godly laws”, contains two parts. The first part deals with the need of humankind for settlement (temeddün) and the nobleness of this science. Drawing mainly from Tûsî and Devvânî, and essentially expanding what he already said in the sixth chapter of the first book, Kınalızâde begins with a subtle philosophical discussion on simple and complex bodies and their mutual relations. Every individual, he says, needs to help and socialize with each other, starting from the simple couple of man and woman, needed for reproduction, then proceeding to the whole family and finally to societies (içtimâ’), as one person cannot produce all the goods needed; as he explained before, God’s wisdom leads to choose every kind of profession, even the inferior ones. Moreover, the existence of poor and rich is likewise justified, since if everybody were poor (or rich) nobody would serve anyone; while with the existence of rich and poor, the servants get a living from the the served and the latter get assistance, leading to the satisfaction of everyone’s aims and to the order of the world (nizâm-ı âlem) (K410-412). Now, since people have different wishes and this would naturally ensue fighting and disorder, governance (siyâset) is needed, which in turn comes from three things: the law of God, a ruler, and coinage. Here Kınalızâde discusses a possible objection: what about Cengiz Han, for instance, who imposed his own law (yasa) instead of God’s? The answer he gives is that such a state is subject to the continuous change of fate, and so its law is prone to collapse (K413-414). Now, the ruler, named “absolute ruler” (hâkim ale’l-ıtlâk) by the Greeks, “caliph” by the Muslims and imam by the Shiites (and his commands, “art of kingship”, caliphate and imamate, respectively) must in ideal circumstances follow the law of God and guard the world order, as a doctor guards the health of the body. Kınalızâde adds here that the disapproval of asceticism in Islam has to do with the fact that every member of mankind needs association, while the community has no profit from the ascetic (K416-418). However, obviously wishing to combine al-Gazali’s Sufism with this assumption, he starts in the second part of the chapter (K418-450) an excursus on love (mahabbet). There are two ways to avoid the dangers of oppression and fighting inherent to any human society, he says: on the one hand, rules of justice and kingly government, aimed to both high and low (âmme-i havâss u avâmm); on the other, love, which is reserved only for special individuals (havâss u efrâd ve a’yân u âhâd). If love prevails in a given group (cemâ’at), justice is not necessary as there are no conflicting wishes (K419). In the rest of the chapter, Kınalızâde explores at length the various sorts of love, its causes and features, from a distinctly Sufi point of view; among the sorts of love, he also discusses in brief that of the subjects (re’âyâ) for the Sultan (K441-442).
The seventh chapter (K451-459), like the following one as well, is entitled “On the governance of cities” (siyâset-i müdün). Kınalızâde here draws the well-known Aristotelian distinction (via al-Farabî) between the virtuous and the imperfect state (medîne-i fâzıla, medîne-i gayr-ı fâzıla), following closely Celâleddin Devvânî and his Platonic interpretations. The virtuous state is only of one kind, while the imperfect ones have three forms: In the “ignorant state” (medîne-i câhile), it is the bodily powers rather than the faculty of reason that lies behind the need for association (accordingly, there can be the “irascible ignorant state” or the “appetitive ignorant state”, medîne-i câhile-i sebu’iyye and medîne-i câhile-i behîmiyye); in the vicious or wicked state (medîne-i fâsıka) the faculty of reason exists among the people, but faculties of the body prevail; finally, in the “erroneous state” (medîne-i dâlle) people use their reason but consider wrong for right (K450-51). The “erroneous state” can be either infidel, like the Frankish or Russian states, or Muslim, like the Kızılbaş (Sürh-ser, meaning Safavid Iran). Such deviations can be explained by the fact that humans vary enormously in terms of intelligence and morality. Moving now to the “virtuous state”, Kınalızâde explains that its citizens (if we can translate ehl thus) include five classes (tâyife): (a) the “superiors” (efâdıl), on whom the good arrangement of the state affairs depends; these are the judges and ulema (hukemâ-i kâmil ve ulemâ-yı âmil); (b) the “possessors of languages” (zevi’l-elsine), who advise the people on good and right; (c) the “estimators” (mukaddir), who look after the weights and measures, knowing of geometry and mathematics; (d) the warriors (gâziler ve mücâhid, sipâhîlik), who protect the state against external enemies; (e) the “men of property” (erbâb-ı emvâl), who produce the goods necessary for the people. These are the “pillars of the state” (erkân-ı medîne); apart from them, however, there are also the “plants” or “weed” (nevâbit), those who are like the thorns among the useful trees (K457-8) (cf. Rosenthal 1958, 218). Kınalızâde furthermore divides these “weeds” to another five classes (in a slight alteration from al-Farabi, see Rosenthal 1958, 138): the “hypocrites” who do follow the right path externally but are vicious in their hearts; the “distorters”, whose beliefs are opposed to those of the virtuous and tend to prefer the “ignorant state”, and thus they interpret the laws of the virtuous state as they like; the “rebels” (bâgî), who openly rise against the ruler and wish to separate their community from the state; the “apostates” (mârik), who unlike the “distorters” wish not to misinterpret the laws but do so by mistake or misunderstanding; and the “sophists” who also deceive the people by distorting the laws. Kınalızâde notes that contrary to Nasireddin Tûsî’s opinion, these people cannot be corrected and they must be killed or exiled instead; he includes false witnesses, corrupt judges and professors, usurping sipahis, profiteers, and so forth (K459).
The eighth chapter (K461-476) sets on to explore the moral qualities needed from the ruler (pâdişâh). In the “virtuous state” the ruler may initially adhere to justice, and thus gain the hearts of the subjects, while in the “imperfect” one he uses oppression and fear, often prohibiting the subjects to use luxury goods and so forth. The king, thus, must have seven virtues (haslet): (1) high aspirations (uluvv-i himmet), i.e. he must act for the best of the community and the religion and not for base motives. Furthermore, he must abstain from wine-drinking and other vain leisure activities, aiming solely to expand and improve the state he inherited; Kınalızâde illustrates this point with many examples from Ottoman and other sultans, such as Süleyman Çelebi who kept indulging in entertainment and debauchery, leading thus himself to his doom (cf. Neşrî). (2) Sound opinions (isâbet-i re’y ü fikret), secured by natural intelligence (which, Kınalızâde prudently notes, is given by God to whoever asks for it) and experience. A ruler too young to have experience must read constantly books of history, such as Firdevsî’s Şâhnâme. (3) Resolution and stability (azm ü azîmet): once the ruler sets on a decision he must carry it out to its end. On the other hand, Kınalızâde hastens to add, this does not apply when the decision has been taken without circumspection and prudence. (4) Forbearance and endurance in adversities (sabr-ı şedâyid ve tahammül-i azâyim-i havâdis). (5) Wealth (yesâr, gınâ), so as not to covet the subjects’ property. Sultans should be rich, in order to cover their needs without exploiting excessively their subjects; all the more so since avarice leads often to apostasy of the army. If the ruler is too generous towards poets, his wife and courtiers, he is bound to give less to the military and thus dissatisfy the latter. (6) The obedience and fidelity of the army and the high commanders and officers. (7) The nobility of the lineage (neseb). Kınalızâde explains that “in most cases” a ruler’s noble genealogy is useful for the order of the kingdom and the loyalty of his subjects; he illustrates his case with the negative example of the Mamluk dynasty. He hastens to add, of course, that the Ottoman dynasty is of noble lineage, and that the loyalty of its soldiers and officers is beyond any doubt, as nobody would even conceive to replace the dynasty. He adds, though, that among all the above virtues noble lineage is not obligatory, only very useful.
After this final part of the book on house economics, Kınalızâde moves on to the "book on government" (tedbîr-i medîne), the smallest one of his work (K479-539); it consists of only one chapter, divided in some smaller parts. He starts with stating that societies (temeddün) are a composition and arrangement of various classes and communities (tavâyif, ümem). Now, in the beginning of each state (or dynasty: her devletin ibtidâsı) a class gets a unanimous agreement (presumably, on its aims and interests) and thus becomes strong; a small but united class prevails over larger but fractioned ones. It is evident that any ruling class (her tâyife ki bir devletin ashâbıdır) is very small in numbers in comparison to its subjects (re’âyasına); it prevails on them, however, because of its strength in unity and mutual assistance (ittifâk u te’âvün). On the contrary, whenever such a ruling class was divided by fractions and disagreement, its power declined (K479-80). After illustrating this point with historical examples and verses, Kınalızâde describes the famous “circle of justice”, although in a less complete form than he is to do in the end of the book: the wealth of the state (hazîne) derives from the well-being of the country, and this depends on justice. If an unjust ruler sets hand on the oxen of a village, he asks, how are the villagers to produce the tithe? If he usurps the wealth of merchants, what will become of the custom duties? The ruler must furthermore care for peasants in times of bad seed, and so forth.
Kınalızâde next proceeds to examine the conditions (or prerequisites, şurût) that ensure the ruler’s justice. The first condition (K485-486) is that all people are treated equally (cümle halâyıkı mütesâvî tuta), since men’s relation to the world is like the four elements. More specifically, the “elements of the world” (anâsır-ı beden-i âlem) are: (a) the “men of the pen” (ehl-i kalem), ulema, judges, scribes, doctors, poets and the like, are likened to the water element, since knowledge is vital for the life of the soul; (b) the “men of the sword” (ehl-i şemşîr), likened to the fire element; (c) the class of merchants and craftsmen (tâyife-i tüccâr u müsteclibân-ı bizâyi’ ve erbâb-ı hiref ü sanâyi’), likened to the air element since they bring ease and relaxation to the souls; (d) the farmers (zîrâ’at-gerler ve ekinciler), likened to the earth element: while they are working for the benefit of all, the other classes look down to them. Like the elements in the human body, these four classes must retain an equilibrium; whenever a class grows excessively it hurts the others and thus all the world; furthermore, each class must stick to its occupation. For instance, if most people become soldiers the portions of the merchants will diminish; if the military engage in trade and craftsmanship, disorder will ensue.
The second condition (K486-492) is that the ruler respects and esteems all four classes. In this respect, men are divided into five categories: (a) those who are naturally inclined towards good and also act for the benefit of the others; a just ruler must choose his companions and advisors among these people; (b) those who are inclined towards good, but do not practice their good influence in the benefit of the others; the king must look after their needs; (c) those who are neither good nor bad by nature; the ruler must protect them and try to guide them to the right path; (d) those who are bad by nature, but do not oppress the others; the ruler must treat them with contempt and encourage them to improve themselves; (e) those bad by nature who oppress the others. Now, the ruler has several ways to deal with such people, like imprisonment, exile and so on; if such measures do not bring result, some ulema have proposed execution, but it seems better to mutilate the member of the body that has committed a crime, when the Holy Law does not predict the capital punishment. Kınalızâde here refutes the opinion of some “contemporary ulema” who claimed that the punishments of şeriat did not suffice in this era, which had seen excessive numbers of criminals (K489-90).
The third condition (K492-494) is that the ruler treats all classes with equity in bestowing charities (hayrât). These charities are of three kinds, namely security (selâmet), property (emvâl) and generosity (kerâmet; meaning high posts). He must reward the good with gifts and offices, but proportionally and with generosity.
Kınalızâde proceeds then to stress the need for the Sultan to regularly listen to his subjects’ complaints, in order to ensure justice and prevent oppression by his officers and the grandees, an advice standard in Persian literature (e.g. Nizamülmülk). This can be done either by instituting special officials, preferably secret ones, with the task of reporting regularly the real situation of the subjects to the king, or by the latter holding regular audiences for complaints (K494-496). Similarly, the ruler must have secret information on the external enemies, keeping spies. However, no king can prevail at long term if he gets overrun by his pride; kings must always bear in mind that they might be overthrown even by lesser forces. Thus, they must not seek war when they are not sure of winning it. The ruler should not risk himself in battle, nor flee before his army does. If he chooses to send a commander-in-chief in campaign, then the latter must be brave and valiant, of sound intelligence, of considerable experience and endurance. The general should try to use stratagems and tricks, but not perfidy, if he can thus avoid battle. Peace is not to be broken among Muslim states; however, it can be breached if the enemy is an infidel; all the more so, a Muslim ruler should try to recover places once under Muslim occupation, such as Cyprus or Spain (K504). The king must show respect to his army, with gifts and conciliatory deeds (sılât), especially in times of war; the sons of timariots and other soldiers should be granted their fathers’ timars and salaries. Many Sultans, thinking that the most important thing is to fill the treasury, refused money to their soldiers, with the result of being alienated by them in times of need. However, as soon as everybody has had his portion of booty, the military must be prevented of looting; this should be imposed strictly, especially when one has to do with armies made of perfidious and greedy Tatars and Turks (K506). After the battle, the ruler must punish those that fled before the enemy, and also prefer to take prisoners than kill them: a general massacre is neither lawful nor prudent.
After this long excursion on war affairs, which belongs rather to the “mirror of princes” genre, Kınalızâde describes the manners (âdâb) required of the rulers’ boons and companions (K508-512). The difficulty of being a companion to a ruler, he states, is that no man is free from error and mistake; especially there is the danger of being punished excessively for minor misdemeanors. Thus, Kınalızâde gives a series of rules for good manners (edeb) for the companions: for instance, they should be mild and prudent; they must keep the kings’ secrets; abstain from greediness, either for the Sultan’s or the subjects’ wealth, but never refuse a gift from the king; to be patient and keep a low profile when in a kingly audience or council, and so forth.
The next part of the chapter gives advice on friendliness and social intercourse with the various “classes of men” (K512-517). As Kınalızâde explains, because humankind needs society, people have to be friendly and in a mutually benefiting way. After giving various advices on friendship, he proceeds to divide people in various categories in terms of friendliness and enmity, giving also various examples and advice (K517-528).
In a kind of appendix, Kınalızâde ends the “book on government” with two short summaries of advice, one by Eflâtûn (Plato; drawing from Nasireddîn Tûsî, K533-534) and one by Aristatalis (Aristotle; drawing from Devânî, K535-538). In the end of the treatise, he gives a diagram of the famous “circle of justice” (dâyire-i Adliyye, K539). It consists of a cyclical border, inside which these verses are written: “Justice is the cause of the righteousness of the world – The world is a garden, its wall is the state/power (devlet) – The Holy Law is what arranges the state (devletin nâzımı) – The only possible guardian of the Holy Law is sovereignty (mülk) – Only the army can give sovereignty a firm hold – Only wealth (mâl) can bring together an army – The peasant is he who makes the wealth (mâlı kesb eyleyen ra’iyyettir) – Justice makes the peasant faithful (ra’iyyeti kul eder) to the king of the world”.
The Ahlâk-ı Alâî ends with an “epilogue of epilogues” (K541-543), praising the Prophet and summing up some advice, such as: to learn the jurisprudence (fıkh) in order not to be an “ignorant Sufi”; to assist in the prayers, but not to become an imam or muezzin; not to frequent the judge’s court; neither exaggerate in the Mevlevi dance (semâ’) nor deny it; to abstain from “adolescents, women, and men of innovation (ehl-i bid’at)”; not to marry, if possible, since marriage makes men to wish for worldly goods and to forget the religion; not to laugh too much; and so forth.
 Cf. İnalcık, “Capital in the Ottoman Empire, 98-99. On the prehistory of this theory cf. Laoust, Henri, La politique de Gazâlî (Paris: P. Geuthner, 1970), 313-314.
 İnalcık (l.c.) sums up as follows: “The professions of ulema, bureaucrats and soldiers are based in spiritual qualities such as reason, rhetoric and valor respectively and thus make up the noble professions”, which is not very accurate. At any rate, the absence of the ulema in the text is puzzling.
 This differentiation between Muslims and Shiites is not found in Amasi’s work, who speaks only of the imam (Y129).
Kınalızade is strongly influenced by Sufi thoughts, being probably very close to the Nakşbendî order.