This is an extract from the early XVI century Turkish chronicle written by Idris Bitlisi about the Kosovo Battle. This text is one of the most important historical sources on the Kosovo battle from the Ottoman perspective. Although the text is written more as a praise of the Sultan and his victory it is nevertheless interesting to notice that the motives of the Turkish expansion and the conquest of the Christian Balkans was propagation of the Holy War - Jihadd. Today we witness many attempts to dismiss the idea of jihadd as something alien to the original Islam. In fact this idea has remained the core of the entire islamic civilization, especially on the territory of Europe where the Ottoman Sultans saw themselves as enlighteners of the infidel West. Contemporary communiques and texts by Osama bin Laden and his followers are directly an offspring of the centuries old Islamic tradition of the holy war against "infidel" Christians.
God-pleasing work of Jihadd
/.../ Compared with
the devotion of the fighters on the battlefield of jihad, all earthly
gain proves to be trivial. According to the clear meaning of the word,
the holy war for the religion against the infidels and caitiffs is somewhat
like a struggle against one's own desires. Perseverance in danger and
in combat with the enemies of the chosen religion is a proof of the
fact that the fighters make a voluntary sacrifice. There is no doubt
that heroism /shahadat/, which is an obvious sign that the God-pleasing
enterprise of jihad has been accepted, and the sacrifice of one's life
and fortune on the path of the truth, which is a custom of the fortunate
ones, have always been greatly respected and appreciated .by the Lord
of the world, who can see all human errors and who knows the secrets
of very heart and soul. Such a service and God-pleasing deeds, God assigns
to the true believers. Such acts are highly valued among people who
love God /truth/, and whose love is sincere.
As the sultan ghasi was addressing the Creator in his plea that gloomy night, he suddenly, after utter despair and helplessness, lowered his head to his knee and went to sleep. Because of the great purity of his heart and his sincere belief, the gates of the mystery opened for him. Because of his honesty, good nature and the loving clarity of his heart, his eye penetrated into the spiritual world and he saw an angel descending from the heavens. It must have been the angel of water and rainfall or, perhaps, an angel of other important fidings - and he said to the sultan: 'Your prayers have been heard by the Divine Creator; your requests have penetrated all the gates." The sultan woke up from this dream of revelation (this spiritual experience) so full of Good's bliss and joy because he had achieved what he sought for, and then, he devoted himself to gratitude. When he awoke and opened his eyes, he saw that some of his wishes had already been granted: the sky of God's grace and mercy had already opened with rain that washed away all the dust of anxiety and fear that had covered hearts and souls.
This text is an English translation of the Firman of Bayezid in which the successor of Sultan Murad, who died in the Battle of Kosovo, describes the events of the battle.
The Firman of Bayezid
To you, oh Qadi ofBursa, you who are the most just among the Moslem judges, you who are the most kind among the Nobles, you who are a believer in the one and only God, you who are the fountain of wisdom and goodness, the heir to the Prophet's knowledge, you who are the object of my imperial goodwill, let your good deeds multiply, and also to you, my good Suleiman bay, the Vice Ruler of the Ottoman Empire, you who are the most faithful of those faithful to me, you who arc the flower of the Moslems and the ornament of the holiest Mecca and Medina, I send my blessing. May you spend eternity in honor. By the time this high firman of mine reaches you, let it be known that, after the battle took place, the battle which, as was God's will, took place at the Field of the Blackbird Kosovo, my father, Sultan Murad - whose life was fortunate and who died the death of a martyr, although he, after a dream he had dreamed, to the almighty Allah prayed, to let him die the death of a martyr, alive and without a wound - to his tent which reached the sky, returned.
And then, at the
time of our greatest pleasure and joy, when we watched the severed heads
of the Serbian nobles rolling under the hoofs of our horses, and some
of them standing, with their hands tied, and still some others standing
with their arms broken, suddenly, one of them by the name of Milos Kopilic,
who had arrived cunningly and under pretext, spoke out and said he wanted
to become a soldier of the victorious army. And when, upon his plea,
he was allowed to approach our most illustrious emperor in order to
kiss his feet, he, instead of doing it, pulled out a poisoned knife
which he had been hiding in his sleeve, and directed it fearlessly at
the body of the most illustrious emperor, and wounding him seriously,
quaffed his thirst with sherbet, the sweet water of martyrs.
Upon hearing of these events, I repaired toward the bed of the martyr, but only to find him - the emperor - dead; and at about the same time, it came to pass that my brother, Jacub bay, too, passed away into eternity. - I am dispatching the light emitting coffin with the body of my father with some trusting men so it could be buried over there. So then, when the body has reached there, you will bury it, without giving explanations of these events, but offering to his body, in front of all people, all the signs befitting a victorious leader, so as not to give our enemies any opportunity to suspect anything. All this is for you to know and in this my holy sign to believe.
Written in the middle of the month of Shaaban in the year 791.