KAMĀL PĀŠĀ-ZĀDA, ŠAMS-AL-DIN AḤMAD, also known as Kamālpāšā-Oḡlu and Ebn-e Kamāl (873-940/1468-1534), prolific Ottoman scholar, author of several works in and on Persian. A native of Edirne, he studied under the local mufti, Mollā Loṭfi, and subsequently taught at the madrasas of Edirne, Uskup (Skoplje) and Istanbul; later he accompanied Selim I on his Egyptian campaign (922/1516-17). He held appointments as qadi of Edirne, then professor (modarres) at the Dār al-ḥaditò, and in 932/1525-6 became Šayḵ al-Eslām of the city. A staunch defender of Sunni orthodoxy, he ruled that war on Shiʿites can be counted as jihād.

Of the more than the two hundred works written by him, the bulk is in Arabic (over 180 titles, mostly on topics in the religious sciences). His two major works in Persian are (1) Moḥiṭ al-loḡāt, an Arabic-Persian dictionary, compiled 926/1519-20 (Atsız, no. 26; the unique copy of this bulky work of 532 folios is in the Süleymaniye Library, Şehit Ali Paşa no. 2681); (2) Negārestān (939/1532-33), in imitation of Saʿdi’s Golestān, which contains anecdotes about rulers and statesman of the Saffarids, Samanids, Ghaznavids, and Saljuqs of Rum (Atsız, no. 20; excerpted, with Latin translation, in Hammer, I, pp. 401-8, II, pp. 107-113). His remaining Persian works are short treatises: (3) Resāla dar wojud-e Ḵodā, on the existence of God (mss. in the Süleymaniye Library: Ayasofya 4794, fols. 202b-206b, and Esad Efendi 3652, 118-121; printed in Rasāʾel-e Ebn-e Kamāl, Istanbul, 1316/1898, pp. 149-57); (4) Resāla-ye manṭeq, on logic (unique ms. in the Süleymaniye Library, Haci Beşir Ağa no. 656, fol. 134a-b); (5) Šarḥ-e yak robāʿi-ye Abu Saʿid. . ., a commentary on a quatrain of Abu Saʿid b. Abi’I-Ḵayr; (6) Šarḥ-e yak bayt-e Ḥāfeẓ, a commentary on a verse of Hafez: Pir-i magoft... sonʿ naraft (mss. in the Süleymaniye Library, Bağdatlı Vehbi no. 2041, fol. 344a-346a, and Haci Mahmud no. 1366, fol. 85a).

Of Kamāl Pāšā-zāda’s works in Turkish, three concern Persian to some degree: (1) Daqāʾeq al-ḥaqāʾeq, dedicated to Süleyman the Magnificent’s famous vizier Maqtul Ebrāhim Pasha (d. 942/1536), a study of Persian homonyms in which the author declares in the preface that Persian is a language purified of any ambiguity and defect, and has been accorded a place among the idioms spoken in Paradise (Atsız, no. 8). (2) Resāla-ye Yāʾiya, a study of the functions of morphs written as yāʾ in Persian (ms. copied in 1070/1659-60, Istanbul University Library, TY 9723). (3) Jāmeʿ al-Fors, written for Aḥmad, the son of Bāyazid II (886-918/1481-1512), comprising a Persian grammar and vocabulary.Three copies of this substantial work are known to exist (Millet Kütüphanesi Ali Emiri Efendi, Edebiyat no. 251, 218 fols.; Süleymaniye Şehit Ali Paşa, no. 2616, 146 fols.; University no. TY 3769, 49b-189b). Although sources mention also Persian poems written by Ebn-e Kamāl, none is found in the known copies of his Divān (Atsız, no. 2). His other works in Turkish comprise important Ottoman histories, but include also Yusof wa Zolayḵā, a maṯnawi inspired by Jāmi’s poem (Atsız, no. 4).



Çiftçioğlu Nihal Atsız, “Kemalpaşa-oğlu’nun eserleri,” Şarkiyat Mecmuası VI, 1966, pp.71-112, VII, 1972, pp. 83-135.

Brockelmann, GAL II, 597-602; S II, 669-73.

R. Brunschvig, “Kemâl Pâshâzâde et le persan,” in Mélanges H. Massé, Tehran, 1963, pp. 48-84.

Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, ed., Fundgruben des Orients/ Mines de l’Orient, 6 vols., Vienna, 1809-18.

V. L. Menage, “Kemāl Pasha-zāde,"in EI² IV,879-81.

Osman Nuri Peremeci, Edirne Tarihi, Istanbul, 1939, p. 189.

Taşköprüzade, al-Şakaik al-nu’maniyye fi ‘Ulamai’d-devleti’l-Osmaniyye, Istanbul, 1985, pp. 377-80.

Ismail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Tarihi,Ankara, 1949, II, pp. 664ff.


(T. Yazici)

Originally Published: December 15, 2010

Last Updated: April 20, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XV, Fasc. 4, pp. 414-415