He wrote it in support of his propaganda and false righteousness

His diaries reflect his disturbed personality

Abdul Hamid II was greatly affected by what he suffered from when he was young, and this appeared in his personality in his life after that. He wrote in his diaries about his love for isolationism, and that his father left the mark of cruelty on his features when he was young, and grew up with him in the stages of his life. The Sultan affirms that he does not trust anyone, even if he makes them feel that he trusts them, but in the end, he tyrannizes his opinion. Despite this, we find that he acknowledges the fate of his state and his people to achieve multiple projects, and a change in the features of the state, such as issuing a constitution that the state did not need, as events were ravaging the world, not just the state. 

The diaries of Sultan Abdul Hamid II came in five sections:

– Domestic policy.
– Foreign Policy.
– Islamic personality.
– Reform Policy.
– personality. 

The first section of the diaries deals with different titles, which varied between writing about young Turks and the constitution (1892). He wrote strange phrases like: “The amount of recklessness which the Young Turks reached during the reign of my sick brother. The Ottoman Empire has declined morally and financially”. These are strange hints from him, as he made the causes of societal and economic decline is a person who was considered by everyone to be ill and irresponsible. For your information, the total term of Murad V’s rule is three months. It is reported that his uncle Abdul Aziz was deposed from the throne and then committed suicide. This happened in an atmosphere dominated by mystery – as he described – and he mentions about his brother as “Then my brother Murad went crazy and was imprisoned”. 

We find that he frequently mentions the Armenians and that they are responsible for the chaos in his country, and the Turkish component in Anatolia must be promoted. Speaking about the declaration of the constitution, he says: “I have to inaugurate the council of envoys and announce the constitution to show that I am doing something important”. The weakness of the personality is evident despite the writings that are replete with the resources and repeated by the references. Several titles have been given to him, including: Caliph of the Messenger, Commander of the Faithful, Caesar of the Romans, the tyrannical master of the Oguz, the Red Sultan, and the owner of the thorn.

He wrote a letter to the Sheikh of the Shadiliya method: I raise this petition to the Sheikh of the Shadiliya method, to the wellspring of soul and life, to the sheikh of the people of his time, Sheikh Mahmoud Effendi Abi al-Shamat, and kiss his blessed hands hoping for his righteous prayers. I, with the grace of God Almighty, continue to read Shadiliya texts day and night, and I still need your heartfelt prayers”. This message was smuggled out to his Sheikh while he was in exile.

Under the title “Baghdad Railway (1898 AD)” he wrote the following: “We must work despite the restrictions of the British who are making tremendous efforts to prevent the implementation of our projects. Thanks to the Baghdad railway, the Europe-India path will return to its previous activity. If we connect this line to Syria, Beirut, Alexandria and Haifa, we will have created a new trade route. This path will not be limited to generating the great economic benefits of our empire, but will go beyond it to the military side, and it will support the strength of our army there”. Where is the rest of the world that his country controlled? Where is his slogan “Muslims of the world, unite?” But the matter is specific to the Ottomans and their Turkish nationality and their army.

Ambition was the trap of Abdul Hamid’s dreams, which he sees in his imagination, because he wrote about himself that he was a lot of imagination, and that was the reason for the character to ascend its owner and keep him away from the ground of reality. 

One of the historical examples and important events that we must shed light on is his imagination, which expanded by establishing railway lines linking parts of their sultanate with all the peoples around them. The reality is that the state cannot provide a giant budget to achieve this. However, the events were quick to offer inducements and facilitate this task, that the capital has multiple sources, including the money of the Arabs that was collected unlawfully as taxes, and the Islamic world cried out for the efforts to establish an railway network that would facilitate the arrival to perform Hajj and Umrah.

He targeted the Two Holy Mosques and destroyed the Suez Canal for the benefit of Istanbul's economy.

We wonder what are the temptations that were offered to the imagination of Sultan Abdul Hamid and made him line the pages of history that he was the executor of that giant project at the time? This project will contribute to reducing the European countries ’adoption of the bloc’s policy against his country. The Sultan approved the direct work on the project, although the financial allocations, the expertise of the technicians, or even the sources of financing and many other temptations were not completed, but the broad imagination prevailed. He said, “This line will be extended and will make us not in need of the Suez Canal, and it will connect Istanbul with the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. We will be able to secure civil and military transportation in a strong way”. This means a clear destruction of the economy of the Egyptians, in the interest of Istanbul. 

The second section deals with foreign policy, as it bears a very important title that opens doors to questions, which is “The Crusades against the Ottoman Empire”. He mentioned: “The Crusades never stopped, and the old Gladstone is still following the Pope’s footsteps – and he asks – whether the state deserves these campaigns. The state harbored Christians fleeing the hell of sectarian screams in the West during the Middle Ages. The Ottoman Empire was the only refuge for Jews who survived the oppression of the Inquisition in Spain”. He did not mention the catastrophic incidents that occurred to Muslims from the same regions from which his country received the Jews and Christians.

In the second section, titles are repeated in which there is a contradiction evident in reading every topic covered. However, he wrote about Russia and its hostility to him, as he said, important information, including: “There is one thing in common, which is that we have several million Muslims in Russia and they have people from the Orthodox Church who live in the Holy Land in Palestine and are sponsored by Russia. The inability for us to find a way of peaceful coexistence with Russia is a matter of regret”. His saying reminds us of the barter method used by his predecessors when the Muslims of Andalusia cried out for their help, but he did not regret that. 

He admitted that the Ottoman Empire was the only refuge for the surviving Jews of Spain.

In the third section, he chose to talk about the Islamic personality, and he dealt with conflicting headings such as: Islam is a religion of civilization and tolerance – and by that he meant tolerance of marriage to non-Muslim women – as if he was issuing a fatwa to allow this even though Islam did not forbid it. Here is the strange behavior of his personality and religious thought, as he says: “Destiny is a word that has always harmed people and caused them to suffer misfortunes, and there is no place in the Qur’an for the idea of destiny. Rather, it has become popular in recent centuries by people because of their laziness and lack of understanding. The saying of God willing (Insha’Allah) has become a refuge for everyone who wants to conceal his weakness and lethargy”. Then he talks about the subject of trust and that the Messenger, Peace be upon him, ordered Muslims to rely on God. It is a strange matter that shows his lack of knowledge of the texts of the Qur’an. We will not consider it strange, as the Shadiliya method dominated his thought. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “so fear Allah. And on Allah let believers put (all) their trust” [Al-Ma’idah: 11]. Allah also says in the Holy Qur’an: “To these will be allotted what they have earned; and Allah is quick in account” [Al-Baqarah: 202]. As another example from the Qur’an, Allah says: “To men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn” [An-Nisa: 322]. 

He also mentioned fanaticism. Although he and his predecessors are among the most fanatics to their race and supremacy, he refuses to be described as fanatic by Europe.

He wrote about the caliphate and the Shiites saying: “It is a matter of regret that no cooperation has taken place between us and Iran, and it should have sought rapprochement with us in order not to become a toy in the hands of Russia and England”. Among the reasons for that hostility and waste of previous eras without rapprochement is that the stage was a stage of war of interests, and the state was harmed by the policy of its sultans and their arrogance.

The fourth section is devoted to education of the Ottomans, artistic development and literature. The recurring question here: Where is the discussion about other state bodies? Through his diaries, he proved the extreme neglect of the Arab countries in particular and the Islamic countries in general. He mentioned the privileges under the title “The Rights of Nations”, as he criticizes the press, complains about it, and questions the reliability of its news. The reason for that is that she was revealing the tricks of his country. The press and journalists have been met with a fierce blackout and denial of it. What is happening today is like the past, “Erdogan and the press”.

The fifth section is about his personality, although he explained it through his writing style for the previous sections. He has devoted a title on ” personality “. He mentions that he suffers criticism for his isolation, and hates those who criticize him because they know how he grew up in bad circumstances in terms of his brothers’ cruelty to him. The strange thing is that he watches them during the fun and does not participate with them even though he wrote about his brother Murad’s treatment of him and describes his brother as poor. He appears troubled every time he mentions his brother Murad and his end, and blames everyone who could not understand him. He seemed to be surrounded by suspicion that once he ascended the throne, he found himself surrounded by people who wanted to tie him to the nets of intrigue. This is one of the customs of the ancestors of the Ottoman house, and the harem of the Sultan “Haremlik”. This suspicion indicates that he has hidden facts about the killing of his uncle Abdel Aziz and the madness of his brother Murad. He concludes by talking about the palace and mentioning the statesmen and their diversity, and that he repeatedly suspected everyone.

He moves to talk about music, the pieces of music donated to him from different nations and nationalities, and that he was not able to give them the gifts like his predecessors, and was satisfied with decorations and texts of praise, and this confirms the empty treasury. In spite of that, he speaks in the title of ” the miserly Abdul Hamid ” that he amassed a huge fortune that he hid outside the country – meaning Germany – because the banks in Istanbul are not safe. He documents his words by saying: “There is no reason to be surprised, as every ruler does what I have done”. The last headlines were about espionage, and the French publications that cost him a lot, he says: “The Greek journalist Nicolaides, who lives in Paris, gets huge sums of money from us every year in order to publish his newspaper (Notre Organ). We had to understand the importance of indifference to gossip, and the medals that we distributed as if they were decorative tools should be distributed to some journalists so that they would be on our side, because if they won these medals, they would be our voice everywhere. But it is too late and thousands of newspapers are on the opposite side”. He bemoaned the behavior of his country and his period of rule. He regrets that he supported foreign newspapers in order to be with him, but they turned against him despite the generous funding, which is one of the reasons for the deterioration of the treasury and the bankruptcy of the state.

These are some of the behaviors of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. His diaries contain many analyzes that reveal facts that were believed to be mysterious.

1. Amani Al Ghazi: The Ottoman State through the writings of the Orientalists in the Department of Islamic Knowledge (Jeddah: Cultural Works, 2012 AD). 

2. Khalil Inaljik: The history of the Ottoman State from emergence to decline, translated by: Muhammad Al-Arna`out (Tripoli: Dar al-Madar al-Islami, 2002 AD).

3. Abdul Hamid II: My Political Thoughts 1891-1908 AD, 2nd Edition (Beirut: Al-Resala Foundation, 1979 AD).

4. Lawyer \ Mohamed Farid: Tarikh Aldawlat Alealiyat Alothmania, revised by: Ihssan Haqqi (Beirut: Dar al-Nafaes 1983 AD).