Refusal of Alevism without Ali




Alevism without Ali, Islam, non-Islam, Hz. Ali, Sunnism


This study mainly deals with the discourse of “Alevism without Ali”, which has emerged and become widespread in recent decades, and is still on the agenda today as the number of supporters relatively increase. Those who spread the discourse of Alevism without Ali more express their opinions in an ideological attitude than they exhibit any scientific attitude both in establishing the content of the subject and in selection of sources. In this constructed discourse, the main sources that the Alevi path uses or is inspired by are either never consulted, or often, despite the tradition’s own discourse, a counter-discourse was tried to be developed by ignoring these basic sources with arguments that not belong to the tradition itself. This ideological attitude, which cannot or does not want to reach a distinction between the politicized Islam phenomenon and the knowledge tradition of Islam on which Alevism and other esoteric teachings are fed on, fictionalises the discourse that Alevilik is non-Islamic as a way of escape by considering the total rejection of Islam is a short and ease way. On the other hand, it is stated that the image of Hz. Ali in the authentic Alevi discourse is not real and that this image is entirely the emotional fiction of the tradition. Ignoring the Sufi literature in particular, it is said that there is a different image of Hz. Ali based on the knowledge of the hadith tradition, a tradition in which fierce debates are carried out today about whether they are real or not, and it is indicated that this is the image of the real Ali. The emphasis that the idea of Ali is a fiction and that Ali is actually described in the discourse of the Sunni Islamic tradition is likewise a derivate of the discourse that Alevism is non-Islamic. However, this claim is a product of a random elite from the same ideological identity, and is still waiting to be confirmed. In our opinion, these claims stem from a lack of understanding of the ancient discourse of a tradition that lasts for thousands of years. For this reason, this paper, which is thought as a refusal, is discussed and treated within this framework.


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How to Cite

Acar, S. 2022. Refusal of Alevism without Ali. Journal of Alevism-Bektashism Studies. 26 (Dec. 2022), 270–283. DOI: