Thursday, January 05, 2006

Animal Foundations and Charity Stones

"The Ottomans, as sincere Muslims, were so filled with compassion towards all beings that they instituted foundations - not just for the care of the poor and needy, but for the welfare of animals in the wild. In fact, Ottoman society may be characterized as a society of foundations... There were foundations for birds, foundations for wild beasts. There were foundations for leaving carrion in forests so that wolves in the mountains would not go hungry."

- The Black Pearl, pg. 132

"...'charity stones' were erected in the Ottoman empire (some still stand in Istanbul today). A wealthy person wishing to make a donation would leave a sum on top of a stone pillar. Later, a poor and needy person would come by, reach up, and take what he needed from the deposit, without having to suffer the shame of being recognized by the donor." - pg. 46


Elizabeth said...

Unfortunately, the Ottomans exploited the Arab population they colonized.

Silencer said...

toward the end of their rule yes.
I still really like the Ottomans, as an Arab, altho my father and his generation have big issues with them. Skip back another two generations, however, and you'll find they used to love the Ottomans (or so I've heard).

Anonymous said...

Ottomans are quite famous about social justice.. most of the objective resources highlight how much emphasis they put on this issue.. however especially later time as the ottoman state was loosing its power and there were endless wars, most of the states were helping to the central system.. for example the situation in anatolia mainland was not better than one in arab peninsula. reading something about Lawrence of arabia will give some idea about ottoman-arab relations about later time.. however on the other side, in asian subcontinent, people were selling their homes and properties from their generosity and sending money to central state to help.. (later on Russia got some of these money and after their communist revolution they gave this money to turkey as their own help/gift) anyway.. so what I am trying to say, later time of the empire was really suffering for everybody in the middle east.. including the ones in anatolia.. during the first world war, there were villages for 20 years they have not buried any single man to their graveyards as all men went to the wars and not came back.. etc..
unfortunate cases of history.. that we may learn