ḴᵛĀJAZĀDA ASʿAD EFENDI, MOḤAMMAD (MEḤMED) (b. Istanbul, 10 Moḥarram 978/14 June 1570, d. Istanbul 14 Šaʿbān 1034/22 May 1625), Ottoman šayḵ-al-Eslām, poet, and translator of Saʿdi’s Golestān. He was the second son of Ḵᵛāja Saʿd-al-Din Efendi Eṣfahāni (d. 1008/1599), the famous Ottoman historian, statesman, and šayḵ-al-Eslām. After receiving the elementary education from his father, Asʿad studied with the known scholars of his time and, due to the influence of his eminent father, advanced rapidly in the hierarchy of the religious establishment. He first became a teacher (modarres) in various religious schools, the most important of which was the religious school of Salim (Selim) I. In 1590 he was appointed as the chief judge of Edirne, and in Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1004/August 1596, he became the qāżi-ʿaskar (judge of the army, a judicial rank just below šayḵ-al-Eslām) of Anatolia. Shortly after he was appointed the judge of Istanbul, and then the qāżi-ʿaskar of Rumeli. Upon the death of his brother, Moḥammad Efendi, he assumed the post of his brother as šayḵ-al-Eslām. He gave his daughter in marriage to Sultan Oṯmān II (1027-31/1618-22), but this did not help his relationship with Oṯmān, who had not forgiven him for supporting the accession of MoṣtaÂfā I after the death of Sultan Aḥmad I in 1617 and, moreover, for having refused to issue a fatwā condoning the execution of Oṯmān’s brother, Moḥammad. When Oṯmān was murdered in 1622 during the Jenissary mutiny, Asʿad did not attend his funeral, which was construed that he had resigned from the office of šayḵ-al-Eslām. He was re-appointed šayḵ-al-eslām in 1623, due to the influence of the grand vizier Kamānčakaš ʿAli Pasha, the position he held until his death in 1625.
Asʿad is known mainly for his Turkish translation of Saʿdi’s Golestān, titled Gol-e ḵandān, which he made for Sultan Aḥmad I (Istanbul, n.d.). He left a Persian divān and is credited with another one in Turkish, which seems to have been lost. He also wrote an addendum to his father’s Ottoman history, Tāj al-tawāriḵ
Münir Aktepe, “Es’ad Efendi,” in İA IV, pp. 358-59.
Idem, “Esad Efendi,” in Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi XI, pp. 340-41.
ʿAbd-al-ʿAziz Qara Čelebizāda, Rawżatal-abrār, Bulāq, 1248, pp. 481, 529, 641.
Ilmiyesalnâmesi, Istanbul, 1334, p. 437-41.
Ḥasan Čelebi Qenālizāda, Taḏkerat al-šoʿarāʾ, Ankara, 1978, I, pp. 154-57.
Ebrāhim Pečewi, Tārikò, Istanbul, 1283, II, pp. 346, 356 ff., 370.
Reżā, Taḏkeratal-šoʿarāʾ, Istanbul, 1316, p. 10.
Solaqzāda, Tārikò, Istanbul, 1297, pp. 705 ff., 719, 737 ff.
Originally Published: July 20, 2002
Last Updated: July 20, 2002