Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)

Review Article: 2021 Vol: 20 Issue: 5

Strategic Substantiations on the Formation of the Turkic Muslim Civilization: An Organizational & Cultural Perspective

Ilham R. Mamed-Zadeh, The Institute of Philosophy and Law of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Zemfira Z. Mamed-Zadeh, Institute of Philosophy and Law of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Tahir M. Makhamatov, The Russian Ecological Academy and Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation

Darya V. Zhigulskaya, The ISAA MSU named after M.V. Lomonosov and Institute of Oriental Studies RAS


The article substantiates the position on the difference between civilization and culture. The work analysis of the great poets and statesmen of the Turkic Muslim world, Nasimiy, Navoiy, Babur, testifies that the civilization rudiments are initially born in poetry, literature, painting, etc. in regions with a sufficient level of material and spiritual culture development. This is how the formation of the Turkic-Muslim civilization began. The authors concluded that, thanks to the national-religious policy in the Baburid and Ottoman empires, the integral system of the Turkic Muslim civilization is an integral part of the global civilization.


Turkic Muslim World, Culture, Civilization, Substantiates, Policy.


Since the time of the Marquis Victor Riqueti de Mirabeau, who introduced the concept of civilization into scientific circulation, civilization began to be identified with culture. Indeed, civilization began to emerge in the Renaissance and received clearer outlines and its conceptual design in the era of the European Enlightenment as the highest achievement of the society’s cultural and historical development. Based on this study, the authors substantiate the conclusion that the civilization essence lies in humanistic values that protect and exalt the person’s personality of any nationality and religion, that the Turkic-Muslim world, along with the Western European, Orthodox Slavic, Catholic-Latin American, Indo-Buddhist and others and contributes to the formation and development of a common human civilization

Literature Review

According to Danilevsky (1991) “cultural and historical types” of societies are, “as they say, civilizations”. Spengler's (1993) basic concepts of civilization are the world city and province, for civilization means the complete and arrogant domination of the city over the countryside. According to Toynbee (1991), civilization is a society that includes, as its constituent elements, an independent state “with a wider extension both in space and in time than a nation state, city-states or any other political unions; society, not the state, is the social “atom” on which historians should focus their attention”. The products of a civilization can be consumed by different nations, but the culture belongs only to one nation (Taha, 1985). However, in his understanding, civilization includes technology and the achievements of positive sciences, i.e., achievements of European scientific and technical culture, which is close to the concepts of modern cultural researchers. So, for example, Goff (1992) believes that civilization is a “total history”, which includes, along with intellectual and spiritual culture, “material culture - technology, economy, everyday life (because in the history process people build houses, eat, dress and generally function)”. Huntington (1994) examining the interconnection problems of modern communities, writes: “The Western world, the Arab region and China are not parts of a wider cultural community. They are civilizations. We can define civilization as a cultural community of the highest rank, as the widest level of cultural identity of people. Civilizations are determined by the presence of common features of the objective order, such as language, history, religion, customs, institutions, - as well as the subjective self-identification of people”. The modern researcher of culture, (Throsby, 2013) identifies culture with art, artistic creation, but not with civilization. This is the position of one of the leading contemporary British cultural historians, Burke (2015). He writes that “the concept of culture presupposes the concept of tradition, a certain kind of knowledge and skills, passed on from one generation to the next”. According to the well-known Russian specialist in global studies (Chumakov, 2015) “culture is what fundamentally distinguishes humans and various human communities from the animal world”. Its conceptualization was associated with the comprehension of humanistic values in human relationships, in relation to society to the individual as the highest value, when the creation of a public laws system that protect each individual and promote the expansion and development of the democracy, freedom, equality and justice principles, begins (Makhamatov et al., 2020). As noted by Starobinsky (2002), in the first meaning mentioned above, civilization “was of an ideal nature, representing a normative concept that allows one to discriminate and strictly judge non-civilized, barbarians, low-civilized”. In our study, we rely precisely on the initial meaning of the civilization concept.


In the process of analyzing the problem, the hermeneutic method was mainly used. Carefully identifying the main content of the leading experts’ works in the field of culture, civilization, philosophy of fiction, poetry and history made it possible to clearly define the content of the civilization concept and see civilizational elements in the creativity and state activities of the Turkic-Muslim world representatives.

Results and Discussion

As it is known, from the end of the 13th century, i.e. with the beginning of the Ottoman state formation in the north-west of Asia Minor, a new stage begins in the Muslim Renaissance history - the stage of the Turkic-Muslim socio-political culture and civilization formation (Mamedzadeh, 2011). This process was presented by continuing and additing the religious and philosophical trend evolution of Sufism, Arab-Muslim philosophy, history, mathematics and other sciences of the medieval Muslim East. The Turkic-Muslim civilization formation is initially observed in poetry as a form of national-ethnic self-awareness and identity. One of the brightest examples of its origin is presented in the work of the great poet and thinker Seyid Imadaddin Nasimiy. All over the world, the great and truly incomparable poet, philosopher-humanist of the Azerbaijani people Imodiddin Nasimiy is well known, and his works are read with great interest. As the German expert on Nasimiy, Heß (2001 & 2006), notes, “Nasimiy's reflections are becoming the most relevant for the inhabitants of the West and East, Asia and Europe ... This is the poet's genius, manifested in the hovering of his words over time and space. Words that are stunning with freshness, naturalness and spiritual strength even when translated from the original languages into other languages”. The President of the International Turkic Academy Kydyrali (2019) also notes that “Nasimiy made an invaluable contribution to the substantial enrichment of medieval Turkic poetry with the humanism ideas. In his works, the poet made the subject of research the “perfect man” (one of the key concepts in Sufi mysticism), whom he exalted”. The influence of Nasimiy's work on the Azerbaijani people history was manifested in the fact that the poet's verse language, as a more perfect form of a living folk language, was one of the factors in the formation and development of the people’s national self-consciousness, their awareness of their ethnic unity, the basis of national identity in the geography of related Turkic-speaking peoples. Nasimiy's poetic language revealed and developed the peculiarities of the Azerbaijani language and gave a powerful impetus to the improvement of the living, including the literary language of his people. Thus, in essence, as follows from Nasimiy's pantheistic teaching about God, the Christian Gospel and the Koran do not contradict each other. Indeed, both sacred books contain humanistic and peace-loving principles, which can contribute to the formation of civilized peoples’ civilization and cooperation. Here, the obstacle is different content interpretations of these scriptures, as well as the rulers’ political goals (Shikhieva, 2018). Nasimiy (Nasimiy, 1973) is one of the rare and brilliant thinkers of the Turkic-Muslim Middle Ages, who glorified such values that are the civilization criteria: the attitude of society to a person, to his life and personality as the highest value. He puts human greatness at the forefront of his creativity. Nasimiy constantly repeats that the value of a person, therefore, civilization is inextricably linked with his knowledge. “I have found the truth, I have become a likeness of God,” writes the poet-philosopher. Ignorance makes a person hard-hearted and likens him to Satan. Knowledge of the truth exalts man and helps man to manifest his divine essence. Man, according to the poet-philosopher, with his thoughts and vision of the prospects of the world is higher, richer and more than the existing state of being, for man was created by God as a creator. Nasimiy's thoughts, based on the deep progressive humanistic and democratic provisions of the Koran, were ahead of his time and did not fit the socio-political conditions of the Islamic world of those times. Representatives of the Central Asia Turks, Alisher Navoiy, the grand vizier and poet, Zakhriddin Muhammad Babur, the founder of the Great Mughal Empire, also make their huge contribution to the history of the Turkic-Muslim civilization formation and development. Among them, the Babur phenomenon is unique. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that he is the only representative of the era not only of the Muslim Renaissance, but also of the European one, who combined the civilizational principles of humanism and tolerance in his politics and creativity. Before Babur, (Bobur, 1989) these principles took place only in the work of artists, poets, writers and philosophers of this era, but not in the rulers’ politics. Unlike the Timur’s empire, the Baburids’ empire existed for more than 300 years, which, along with the improvement, the creation of irrigation systems, the construction of roads, caravanserais, etc., was no less helped by the policy of authorities’ tolerance in the field of national and religious self-determination of the local population. Babur's (Khasanov, 2011) tolerance is manifested even in the attraction of the Sunni and Shiite sects’ representatives of Islam to public service. Babur inspired and bequeathed to his son Humayun to regularly meet with representatives of various religious denominations, to present their leaders with royal gifts, but not to involve them in public service. This is probably due to the fact that, firstly, there were too many religious confessions in India and the involvement of some in the civil service would not find the correct understanding of others. Secondly, in politics Babur adhered to the principle of separating state affairs from religious affairs. Babur in his poems sets out the foundations and ways of achieving spiritual perfection and high morality, which go beyond the framework of one single religion and acquire universal human spiritual value. Tolerance to manifestations of national-ethnic identity in Babur's politics should be viewed by analogy with the of Alisher Navoiy’s politics and creativity combination. As you know, in his poems from “Khamsa” Navoi sang the friendship of different peoples’ representatives professing different religions: Shirin was an Armenian princess, Farhad was a Chinese prince, and his friend Shapur was a Hindu. Babur, like Navoiy, in his reasoning, observations glorifies justice, goodness, friendship, etc. In “Baburname”, gazelles, rubai and other Babur’s works, (Bobur, 1989), the issues of spirituality, the formation of a comprehensively developed personality occupy an important place. In his politics, as far as possible in his era, he realizes his humanistic worldview, reflected in his artistic work. With his policy and creativity, Babur formed a special intellectual and spiritual world in his empire’s society, in which he united the achievements of both the Turkic-Muslim world and the peoples of India of that time. With his creativity and politics in medieval India, he made a certain contribution to the formation of both Turkic-Muslim and Hindu civilizations. Non-Muslims of the Ottoman Empire were given the right to control all internal litigation and agreements, including in the field of marriage and divorce, inheritance issues, collection of internal taxes, as well as religious rituals. Tanzimat's reform policy helped transform the millet system. The Tanzimat reforms paved the way for the birth of the idea of Ottomanism, which Hanioğlu & Hanioğlu (2010) described as “a purely secular ideology”. In the context of the discourse on religious freedom proclaimed during the Tanzimat period, Ottomanism relied on the idea of equality of all citizens of the empire regarding their rights and responsibilities, regardless of religious and ethnicity. Thus, the Turkic-Muslim civilization is acquiring a systemic and stable character. The further development of the Turkic-Muslim civilization and its merger with the common human civilization as its integral part depends on the process of democratization in the Turkic-speaking countries (Nehru, 1955; Mahir, 2019).


Carefully examining the origin of the values of civilization in the Turkic-Muslim world, we come to the conclusion that their heritage is not a museum value, a historical monument of the literature of the Turkic peoples, but carries a scientific and theoretical substantiation and comprehension nature of civilization, emphasizing its universal human nature. Indeed, modern mankind faces the same tasks that wrote about and fought for: to realize the value of human life, to find the foundations of the unity of the human race, to enlighten our minds, to improve the world for the benefit of humanity and every person. A brief analysis of the history of the national and religious policy of the Baburid Empire and the Ottoman Empire allows us to draw another conclusion that civilizational factors in politics systematize the civilizational thoughts developed in the field of literature, poetry and philosophy and give them stability and publicity. Further development, deepening of the civilizational achievements of the Turkic-speaking world and their connection with global civilization depends on the improvement of democracy, the general education system, cultural policy and the activation of civil society institutions. Based on this study, the authors come to the conclusion that the essence of civilization is, first of all, moral, humanistic values that protect and exalt the individual’s personality of any nationality and religion, that every religious and ethnic community is Turkic-Muslim, Orthodox-Slavic, Catholic-Latin American, Indo-Buddhist, etc. - contributes to the formation and development of a common human civilization.


The authors are very grateful to their colleagues for the critical comments and advice that helped to improve the initial version of this research, and also thank their family members who constantly support and make favorable conditions for creative work.


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