Demir, M. (ed.), Gelibolulu Mustafa Âlî, Füsûl-i hall ü akd ve usûl-i harc ü nakd (İslam devletleri tarihi, 622-1599), Istanbul 2006.
Political advice is contained also in Füsûl-i hall ü akd ve usûl-i harc ü nakd (“The seasons of sovereignty on the principles of critical expenditure”), a short history of the Islamic states from 622 up to 1592. Ali himself stresses that he compiled this work in order to show how kingdoms can be corrupted and how their fall can be prevented (D60). The introduction begins with the motto that God Almighty has ordained kings to His slaves on earth; then He singled out (imtiyaz virdi) eminent people (bellü başlu ademler) with the position of viziers, judges and officials, in order to help the kings, either in their power with justice or in their politics with political measures (gerek adâletle hükûmetde gerek hüsn-i tedbîr ve siyâsetde) (D55). As a consequence, kings must discern wise and worthy people from the unwise. The permanency of the kings’ power (mülk ü devlet) depends on their making their subjects and army, as well as the ulema and wise men, love them. A second prerequisite is that they must also have one or two companions (musâhib), who should be wise, disinterested, indifferent for public offices, knowing the science of history and the way the world must be; they should inform the king for the thoughts and the situation of the subjects. Thirdly, they must give very high attention to the fixing of market prices: if the sultans consider this matter trivial and leave it to the judges, then low-class people become rich and the army becomes poor (D56-57). Fourthly, kings must use spies in order to know in detail the situation of the borders and of the adjacent countries.
Then Ali proceeds in giving a summary of every Muslim dynasty, focusing on the causes of its decline. While some of these causes have to do with specific events, others pertain to his political views. Thus, Ummayads declined because of their greed for earthly wealth and because they did not give proper attention to the counsel of wise men; Abbasids because they did not protect their people from the Mongol invasions; Ghaznevids, because they let women and eunuchs interfere with state affairs, they changed often their officials and they let governors and high-standing men impoverish; the kings of Şirvan, because of their tyranny and oppression towards their subjects; various dynasties, because of civil wars between brothers. A supplement (D141-43) speaks of the Ottoman dynasty. The Ottomans differ from most of the previous dynasties in that they did not obtain power by any stratagem or trick, but by practicing the Holy War, while other Anatolian states that finally submitted to the Ottoman sultans declined because of their tyranny and oppression. Mehmed II’s vizier, Mahmud Paşa, proposed to him the promulgation of a legal code (bir kânûn-i kadîm vaz’ itmişlerdir), a measure that no previous Muslim king had taken, and suggested that once this code was promulgated decline could not touch the Ottoman state, if only for two reasons: first, if any of Mehmed’s successors decided to promulgate his own law; second, if outsiders (ecnebi) intermingle among the army. Indeed, states Âli, when such outsiders from Istanbul became accepted in the janissary army during the imperial festival of 1582 decline can be said to have started. From this point on, the janissary corps started to oppress the Muslims. Moreover, the granting of important posts, such as the scribes of the janissary bölüks or of the treasury, through bribery further corrupted the old law. Bribery reached such a degree, that it was considered licit (helal) like the tithe from fiefs (D142-43).