Edhem Pertev Pasha’s Work Entitled Itlāku’l-efkâr fî akdi’l-ebkâr that He Wrote to Defend Polygamy (Transcription and Evaluation)


Itlāku’l-efkâr fî akdi’l-ebkâr was written by Edhem Pertev Pasha, a statesman who was a member of the Bâb-ı Âlî ricâli (administrators at the highest level of state administration), to defend polygamy against the Europeans and the Westernist group in the Ottoman Empire. Based on the fact that the author appealed to the Muslims and encouraged them for polygamy in the last part of his work, it is also understood that the population decreased significantly and that he considered polygamy in the Ottoman Empire as a solution to this problem and aimed to make it widespread. The main starting point of the author is the idea that man’s marriage to more than one wife was natural. In Itlāku’l-efkâr fî akdi’l-ebkâr which was probably the first work written to defend polygamy, the effects of the pro and con views of the populationist and naturalist philosophers of 18th-century Europe on the issue of polygamy are clearly visible. In the work, the views were put forward in parallel to a significant extent with the views of the philosophers who totally or partially found polygamy positive in 18th-century Europe. On the other hand, the arguments and claims of the philosophers, who were against polygamy, were also responded. In the work, there are also the effects of the opinions in the figh and ethics books on this issue. However, the work presents some differences in some aspects, particularly forming the basis of the issue.


Edhem Pertev Pasha Polygamy Monogamy Populationism Tanzimat Period