Ahmad ibn Ridwan

Ahmad ibn Ridwan

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Ahmad ibn Ridwan better known as Ahmad Pasha was the governor of the Vilayet of Damascus in the early 17th century. Before that, he was governor of the Sanjak of Gaza, a subprovince of Damascus under the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...


Governorship of Gaza

Ahmad Pasha was the son of Ridwan ibn Mustafa Pasha who founded the Ridwan dynasty which governed southern Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 for nearly two centuries. Ahmad acquired the governorship of Sanjak Gaza in 1585 following the death of Ridwan Pasha in Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

. Ahmad chose Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 to be the center of his Ridwan dynasty. He continued his relatively autonomous rule of the district—which at times included Jerusalem and Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

 in central Palestine—until 1605. During this period, he was also given the honorary role of amir al-hajj by the Ottoman state.

Arab biographer Muhammad Muhibbi described Ahmad Pasha as a "courageous" and "brilliant" man with a great understanding of history and science. Poets of the time wrote songs praising his knowledge. During his rule as Gaza's governor, the city became a cultural center. Its religious significance was boosted by the governor's scholarly attitude and by the influence of his close friend and adviser Khayr al-Din al-Ramli
Khayr al-Din al-Ramli
Khayr al-Din ibn Ahmad ibn Nur al-Din Ali ibn Zayn al-Din ibn Abd al-Wahab al-Ayubi al-Alami , better known as Khayr al-Din al-Ramli , was a 17th century Islamic jurist, teacher and writer in then Ottoman-ruled Palestine...

, an important Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic jurist in the region who he befriended in 1603.

Governorship of Damascus

Unlike his father, Ahmad Pasha had to lobby for the position of beylerbey ("provincial governor") of the Vilayet of Damscus. According to Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 historian Rifaat Abu al-Haj, Ahmad had to send to gifts and large sums of money to "countless vezirs and bureaucrates in the Ottoman capital Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 before being awarded the province in 1601. During his rule, Ahmad Pasha became a patron
Patrón is a luxury brand of tequila produced in Mexico and sold in hand-blown, individually numbered bottles.Made entirely from Blue Agave "piñas" , Patrón comes in five varieties: Silver, Añejo, Reposado, Gran Patrón Platinum and Gran Patrón Burdeos. Patrón also sells a tequila-coffee blend known...

 of Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 jurists and is known to have regularly consulted the ulema
Ulama , also spelt ulema, refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. They are best known as the arbiters of shari‘a law...

, high-ranking Muslim scholars, on provincial affairs. Abu al-Haj wrote by the time he had gained the governorship of Damascus, Ahmad had grown old. He died, while still in power, in 1607. Following his death, Ahmad's son Hasan "'Arab" Pasha inherited the governorship of Gaza and took part in putting down the revolt of Fakhr-al-Din II
Fakhr-al-Din II
Emir Fakhr-al-Din ibn Maan was the 1st prince of the State of Lebanon which has self-governed under the Ottoman Empire between the 17th and 19th centuries. Son of Prince Qorqmaz ibn Maan and Sit Nasab of the Tanukhi family, he was given the title "Emir" or Prince in Arabic because the Maan...

 in modern-day Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...