Wednesday, April 18, 2012 By Maryam
Through a study of dreams, Özgen Felek charts the ascendance of the 16th-century Ottoman ruler Sultan Murad III from humble disciple to spiritual and political leader.
BY KELSEY GEISER
The Humanities at Stanford
Every night when the 16th-century Ottoman ruler Sultan Murad III went to bed, he looked forward not just to rest, but also to the guidance he would find in his dreams. In the morning, Murad, the grandson of Suleiman the Magnificent, reported his dreams to his Sufi – a mystical Islamic master who interpreted and transcribed the signs and symbols to help the sultan make decisions about his empire and his personal progress.
One night while dreaming of a boy with "a bejeweled crown on his head," the sultan reported hearing a voice in his dream that said, "It is not a boy, it is the religion of Muhammad and the religion of Islam; it is the religion of Muhammad."
Hundreds of dream narrations like this were eventually compiled into a bound manuscript that established the ruler not only as a religious leader but also as an important authority figure.