Was Ertugrul a Muslim? Prof. Dr. Faraz Anjum Research Department, Department of History, Punjab University discusses the facts.
A professor of history, Dr. Faraz Anjum, highlighted the following points:
The Turkish drama Diriliş: Ertuğrul, is well-received on social and electronic media. Some say that this is the story of the golden age of Islamic history and Pakistanis must watch this drama to make their history known.
A major scholarly work on Turkish history is the four-volume Cambridge History of Turkey. It was edited by Prof. Suraya Farooqi, an authority on Turkish / Ottoman history, as an assistant editor, as well as other Turkish historians. In its first volume, which deals with the period from 1071 to 1453, Ertugrul’s name is mentioned in only one place, on page 118.
According to the author, we do not know anything about Ertugrul and his presence is only known from a coin of his son Osman. The author’s words are:
“We know nothing about the life of Ertugrul, and his existence is independently attested only by a coin of his son Osman.”
The most well-known and widely read book in this regard in Urdu is Dr. Muhammad Uzair’s two-volume book, The Ottoman Wealth (دولت ِ عثمانیہ).
Syed Sulaiman Nadvi wrote the preface to this history, published by the famous scholarly institution Darul Musnafin, Azamgarh, and the purpose of this book was to acquaint the Muslims of India with the deeds of the Turks.
Dr. Uzair admits that Suleiman Shah and Ertugrul were non-Muslims and the first person in the tribe to convert to Islam was Ertugrul’s son Usman. Presenting the testimony of a Western historian, he writes:
“In the beginning of the thirteenth century AD, the tribes of Khurasan and other Trans-Canal regions appeared on the borders of Asia Minor. There is no explicit mention of their conversion to Islam in any of the histories. That is, Osman’s great heir Sulaiman Shah and his companions, who left their homeland, were non-Muslims.
The majority of tourist testimonies from the twelfth century onwards and later show that these nations were pagan, the various Turkish tribes who entered Asia at that time found themselves in an Islamic environment. The conversion of Uthman and his tribe to Islam gave rise to the Ottoman Nation. It was as a result of this conversion that Uthman’s victorious activities began after 9 AH (1290).
Ertugrul and Uthman lived a simple life in Sagut as a village chief. There is no mention of any war or victory of his time in history. Ertugrul’s relations with his neighbors were very peaceful. The broadcast states that both the infidels and the Muslims of this country respected Ertugrul and his son. There was no question of Kafir (Non-Muslim) and Muslim. Then all of a sudden we see ‘Uthman attacking his neighbors and conquering their forts. There is a preaching zeal in these people which is found only in those who have recently converted.”
The testimony of these two authoritative books is enough to prove that the etymology of the drama, Diriliş: Ertuğrul, has nothing to do with the etymology of history.
The Ertugrul of history was probably not even a Muslim and even if he was a Muslim, all the details of the jihad against the Crusaders and the Mongols which are the adornment of the drama are not backed by historical evidence.
“If you like the drama, you must consider it as fiction/story, but please don’t make it a drama of Islam”, Dr. Faraz Anjum, Professor Sarfraz Anjum, Department of History, Punjab University.
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