MILLI FOLKLOR, vol.2020, no.125, pp.215-226, 2020 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2020 Issue: 125
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Sociological abstracts, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.215-226
  • Keywords: Good, evil, award, punishment, morals, motivation
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The concepts of evil and good form the basis of morality, which has a relative and variable structure. These terms, which are often not independently addressed, are sometimes associated with knowledge as in Socrates, Plato and Al-Farabi in the intellectual history, sometimes with life instinct as in Spinoza and sometimes with the intention behind the behavior as in Kant. The content of these terms varies according to social values and time. Good and evil behaviors are also awarded or punished by the social control mechanism of the period. Social institutions or people direct individuals to behaviors suitable for the aims adopted by using the sanction power of award and punishment. There are rules that organize the social life from the most primitive communities to modern societies. The rules regulating the social life are shaped by changes in the social life. The written or unwritten legal system in each period is built on the contrast of good > award, evil > punishment. The most important element that ensures whether the person acts according to the norms and expectations or not, is the social control. Kutadgu Bilig, one of the first written works of the Turkish language, was written by Yusuf Has Hajib in Kasghar in 1069-1070. As is seen in its name, in this work comprising of 6645 couplets, Hajib explains the behaviors that will make people reach to happiness both in this world and life after death through the dialogues of four heroes. The period of Karakhanids is a period in which significant breaks and changes are seen in Turkish social life. In this period, there were also moral values and legal system, which organized the stability of the society and relations between the individuals. In this system of values, the historical Turkish morals and orders of Islam were indicated. Hajib, who knew that the society converted from old beliefs to Islam and needed a new moral and political aims, wanted to show his society and its rulers the system of behaviors that would lead to the happiness both in this world and life after death. The content of good and evil in the social life and world of thought of Turkish people who converted to Islam, has changed and a new type of good-right person came in sight. In Hajib's world of thought, good and evil are identified with the knowledge. Hajib, as an intellectual, presents the aims of new morals to a society that has proselytized in a way not to ignore the Turkish morals. Hajib's new type of good-right person is shaped by the principles of the Turkish morals and Islam, not by the Sufistic doctrines as in Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. Hajib has idealized people with knowledge who do not set their hearts in this world, who are bounded with God by faith and whose hearts are filled with the love of God. Hajib motivates people to do a favor. While Hajib was explaining the concept of good and the greatness of being a good person, he was motivating people to do a favor in different ways. Because, as a result of being righteous, the award will be absolutely achieved. Knowledgeable, compassionate and observant people can achieve peace and happiness. According to him, the human being that is a holy creature created by God, will be awarded both in this world and in the afterlife when it comes to good behaviors. According to Hajib, ignorance, speaking incorrectly, drinking alcohol, haram, rebellion, adultery, not obeying the law, etc. are evil. Since every person is punished for his/her misbehaviors in the social life from birth to death, Hajib also expressed the absolute sanctions of evil behaviors in the social life.