Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Dönme (Ma'aminim, Minim, Shabbetaim)
(916 words)

The term Dönme (Turk. to turn; to convert, apostatize) is the usual designation for the adherents of the messianic mystic Shabbetay Ṣevi (1621–1676) who followed his example by converting to Islam. It was not a term of self-ascription and was first applied to them by Muslims in the Ottoman Empire. Members of the sect preferred to call themselves ma’aminim (Heb.) or mü’minler (Turk.), both of which mean “believers.”

After Shabbetai Ṣevi was compelled to convert to Islam by Sultan Mehmed IV in Edirne (Adrianople) in 1666, taking the name Aziz Mehmed Efendi, most of his followers…

Cite this page
Marc Baer, “Dönme (Ma'aminim, Minim, Shabbetaim)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 24 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0006730>
First published online: 2010

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