A Hanafi law manual in the vernacular: Devletoglu Yusuf Balikesri's Turkish verse adaptation of the Hidaya-Wiqaya textual tradition for the Ottoman Sultan Murad II (824/1424)
This study examines how Devletoglu Yusuf Bali esri's versified Hanafi law manual, written in Anatolian Turkish and dedicated to the Ottoman sultan Murad II (d. 855/1451), engages in a complex relationship between the nascent vernacular, Anatolian Turkish, and the Classical Arabic religious textual tradition. Devletoglu Yusuf's work, Man um fi ih, is a Turkish paraphrase of the Wiqaya, a popular abridgement of the major Hanafi law handbook, the Hidaya, in the form of a mathnawi (verse work of rhymed couplets). Several passages from the "Book on the Affairs of the Qadi" in Devletoglu Yusuf's work are analysed in order to gain insight into how the work functions as a normative text in the Classical Hanafi tradition set within a localized context. Furthermore, this study explores how the work expounds upon the benefits of transmitting religious knowledge in the vernacular and justifies the use of Turkish for religious texts by drawing on Hanafi-approved Persian language practices of religious devotion. Of particular interest is how Devletoglu Yusuf grounds his argumentation on the rhetorical theories of the Classical Arabic grammarian, Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjani.