Author: Bilal Gökkır | Pages: 133–145
This paper explores modern Turkey's political and intellectual attitudes and their reflections on Qur'anic studies in the example of Elmalılı Muhammed Hamdi Yazır (1878-1942) whose exegetical work has been widely and influentially circulated. The task of the exegesis in Turkish was offered by Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı (Presidency of Religious Affairs) to Yazır as a result of the parliamentary decision in 1926 just after the closing of the madrasas in 1924. The idea was that Islamic sources, at least at the level of basic knowledge should be made available to the people in their native language. Yazır began to work on exegesis of the Qur'an, Hak Dini Kur'an Dili (The Religion of the Truth, The Language of the Qur'an) and completed in 1938. It might be seen that the exegesis was a product of secular governmental initiation with its control-oriented character. However, at the end it was revealed that Yazır resisted the politics in the favor of traditional Islamic understanding.