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Ḥasan Kāfī al-Āqḥiṣārī

Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ḍīyāʿī

Ḥasan Kāfī al-Āqḥiṣārī (951-1025/1544-1616) was born in Āqhiṣār, present-day Prusac in Bosnia, then part of the Ottoman empire. After his elementary training he went to Istanbul, studying under a number of established scholars there, focussing on law. After completing his studies he went back to Āqḥiṣār where he founded his own school in 983/1575. Eight years later he was appointed judge of Aqḥiṣār, and five years after that he transferred to the district of Srem to assume a judgeship there, writing and teaching on the side. At the outbreak of the rebellion of Moldavia and Wallachia against the Ottomans in 1004/1495 he quit his post as judge of Srem to return to Āqḥiṣār. It is there that he compiled the present collection of aphorisms, anecdotes and traditions on good governance, being the right balance between the four different ‘interest groups’ in any given society: military, administration, peasants, and traders/artisans.