Regulation of the Learned Class

Under the eminent seal of the sultan and by high imperial edict, to which obedience is due and which is carried out through divine favor and aid, it has been decreed thus: Whereas the providential aid and guidance of God have been freely granted to one of my high station, such that the trust of upholding the divine commandments and prohibitions has been laid at the gate of my prosperous and just realm, it is therefore needful that the task of upholding the symbols of faith and executing the rules of the manifest law be kept and safeguarded. The keepers of knowledge and erudition must therefore be trained and invested with authority, lest the [MEANING UNCLEAR—something like “attention to this matter.” Original language: “… fażl ü fużalā bābında daqīqa (?) fevt olunmaya.”] be lost. The purpose of this is to enable those of already fine disposition and prolific knowledge to pass through a period of fermentation, in which to apply themselves wholly and seriously to mastering the branches and roots[2] and discussing the rational and traditional. Thus shall each of them be equipped with the distinction and qualification to take up appointment in the professional fields of teaching and jurisprudence. Each shall be adorned with the fruitful knowledge and good character that comes with carrying the mandates of the Book and the Sunna. And each shall tread in step with the esteemed virtues and fine acquisitions, the right paths both intellectual and spiritual, and the conscientious and pious disposition that come with their calling. For this reason, my eminent command and imperial decree on the matter have gone into effect as follows:

  • Henceforth, no student, without having completed the customary lessons of scholars-in-training, shall be admitted to candidacy at my Sublime Threshhold by any other means. If one of this disapproved sort should gain candidacy, he shall not be regarded as one of the candidates.
  • As the authoritative books (kütüb-i muʿtebere) have by ancient practice been read, in the very same way shall students now read them. No one shall attend lessons with anyone who hastens through them or seeks advancement by teaching them as the student wishes. This prohibition of mine henceforth ends this practice. Any professor should give lessons however desired and accept a student who wishes to do the same, will be removed [ʿazl etmekle qomazın] and subject to major sanction/reproach [bold choice preferred]. Such professors as teach however desired shall no longer been sought for lessons, and their students shall not gain candidacy at the Porte.
  • Any capable student who has in some fashion studied some quantity of the customary books with a previous professor shall carry a certificate (temessük) in which those details shall be clarified. And no subsequent professor shall except him without first reviewing the certicate.
  • They shall read the books of legal science (mešrūʿāt), both the extended works and the digests, in accordance with ancient practice, above all for those desiring to take a position in the judiciary.
  • Of the authoritative books, the senior professors shall teach the Commentary on ʿAḍud in theology, the Hidāya in law, the Kaššāf in exegesis, and such other texts as they choose. Professors one level below them shall teach texts up to the Talwīḥ in legal theory. All junior professors below that level shall teach the Commentary on the Ṭawāliʿ in theology, the Commentary on the Maṭāliʿ in logic, the Extended Treatise in rhetoric, the Annotated Tajrīd in theology, and such didactic texts and commentaries in jurisprudence as they are able. In short, the later customary books shall not be begun until the earlier ones have been read.
  • The time during which students review their lessons to the professors, each given a due share, shall be closely attended to. Henceforth they shall not add any time to the balance of any one student. [A little free in the translation: İzafet hesabın min baʿd etmeyeler. Not sure if I got the correct sense of this one.]
  • The judges of every province and the administrators and supervisors of every college shall abide by this regulation. If therefore should be any one of the professors or students who does not comply with this regulation, they shall admonish him. And if they do not admonish him they will be subject to major sanction/reproach [bold choice preferred].
  • Henceforth advanced students shall not entice one another with blandishments. [Think I have this more or less right, but I don’t know exactly what this means.]
  • Professors may propose to have their capable students in the preparatory schools [I think this is referring to the Pre-Sahn schools, right?] teach the Commentary of the Šamsiyya in logic and more advanced works until they reach the Iṣfahānī.
  • When these students gain candidacy and arrive at the Porte [seem to be two things here, like getting candidacy and then working their way up until teaching at the Porte], even then shall they carry with them as certificates the letters written by their professors [ol temessük içün müderrisinden alınan mektubları bile getüreler].
  • And when professors grant diplomas, the quantity of books studied nor the method of study shall not be written untruly in the certificates which they write, nor shall they say other than the truth. If upon investigation something contrary to what has been alleged comes to light, they will be subject to major sanction/reproach [bold choice preferred].
  • Professors may assign capable students assisting them a regimen of teaching four lessons per week. They shall discipline one who fails and relieve one who fails repeatedly.

Thus, from this moment forward, if this regulation should be breached any of the professors or students, they will be subject to major sanction and painful punishment. Let them accordingly take caution.

Of this let them be advised, and upon the noble seal let them rely.

Written by high command.