ON THE SOURCES OF SEBÂTÜ’L-ÂCİZÎN BY SÛFÎ ALLAHYÂR

Abstract
Sûfî Allahyâr is one of the important poets of Chagatai literature lived in
the 17th century and his work Sebâtü’l-Âcizîn which is written in Turkish
the precious and widely read book. This book is very appreciated in
Uzbeks, Turkmens and another Turkic groups live in the Middle Asia,
besides has been used as a course book at primary schools. Sebâtü’l-
âcizîn can be considered as an example of Nasihatname genre (a piece of
writing giving advices on religious issues), which comprises subjects on
religion and sufism. Classical Turkish Literature generally based on
religious information for instance, Qur’ân al-kerîm, Hadîth-i Sharîfs,
creed and fiqh books and mystic (tasavvufî) sources. Turkish poets,
appropriate with Classical Islamic Literature, especially at the beginning,
generally affected by the Persian poets who were experienced in this
genre and took them as reference for themselves. With impact of this
tradition, we can find a lot of traces in Sebâtü’l-âcizîn comes from Persian
Classical Literature poets. Also the verbal and nonverbal materials come
from folk culture are nourishing Turkish poets and give them the national
appearance. When we consider that sources, we can easily say Sebâtü’l-
âcizîn has got very precious cultural background. In this article, the
cultural background is examined, the information about the persons who
nourished Sebâtü’l-âcizîn, the work and the other sources were given and
comparative examples were also given.
Keywords: Chagatai Literature, Sufi Allahyar, Sebâtü’l-âcizîn, mysticism
(tasavvuf), Uzbek, Turkmen
SÛFÎ ALLAHYÂR'IN SEBÂTÜ’L-ÂCİZÎNADLI
ESERİNİN KAYNAKLARI ÜZERİNE
Özet
Sûfî Allahyâr, Çağatay edebiyatının 17. yüzyılda yetişmiş önemli
şairlerindendir. Sebâtü’l-âcizîn ise onun Türkçe olarak yazdığı çok
okunan değerli bir eseridir. Bu eser, Orta Asya’da yaşayan Özbek,
Türkmen ve diğer bazı Türk topluluklarında ilgi görmüş, ilk mektep
talebelerine ders olarak okutulmuştur. Nasihat-nâme türüne dâhil

* Doç. Dr., İstanbul Üniversitesi, Türkiyat Araştırmaları Enstitüsü, abidmahdum@yahoo.com.
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edebileceğimiz bu eser, tasavvufla ilgili konuları ve dinî bilgileri ihtiva
etmektedir. Klasik Türk edebiyatı alanında yazılmış eserlerin önemli
ölçüde Kur’ân-ı Kerim, hadîs-i şerifler, fıkıh ve itikat ilmine dair eserler
ve tasavvufî kaynaklar gibi dinî bilgilere dayandığı bilinmektedir. Klasik
İslamî edebiyat geleneğine uygun olarak Türk şairleri, özellikle
başlangıçta, genel olarak kendilerinden önce bu alanda kalem oynatmış
Fars edebiyatına mensup şairlerden etkilenmiş, onları kendilerine örnek
edinmişlerdir. İşte bu geleneğin de etkisiyle Sebâtü’l-âcizîn’de birçok
Fars klasik şairinin eserlerinin izine rastlayabilmekteyiz. Yine halk
kültürüne ait yazılı ve sözlü malzemelerin de Türk şairlerini beslediği ve
onların eserlerine millî bir görünüm kazandırdığını belirtmeliyiz. Bütün
bu kaynaklar göz önünde bulundurulduğunda, edebî değeri yüksek olan
Sebâtü’l-âcizîn’in zengin bir ilmî ve kültürel alt yapısı bulunduğunu
söyleyebiliriz. Makalede bu alt yapı irdelenmiş, Sebâtü’l-âcizîn’i besleyen
şahıslar, eserler ve diğer kaynaklar üzerinde durulmuş, mukayeseli
örnekler verilmiştir.
Anahtar kelimeler: Çağatay edebiyatı, Sufî Allahyar, Sebâtü’l-âcizîn,
tasavvuf, Özbek, Türkmen.
Sufi Allahyâr (b.hk. 1043/ 1633 – d.hk. 1133/ 1721) is a significant
scholar and a Sufi figure raised in Central Asia in the recent periods. He has
revealed his level of knowledge by writing an Islamic law and catechism book
entitled Meslekü’l-muttakîn. This book is a work of reference highly esteemed
by the Central Asian Turks. Thanks to his books entitled Sebâtü’l-âcizîn and
Murâdu’l-ârifîn, which tell about Sufism and moral virtues, he has been
frequently read and deeply appreciated by people. Particularly, Sebâtü’l-âcizîn
has been used as a course book during the first stage of madrasa education by
Turkmen, Uzbek and other Turkic communities. Sebâtü’l-âcizîn can be
considered as an example of Nasihat-nâmah genre (a piece of writing giving
advice on religious issues), which comprises subjects on religion and
sufism. Indeed, the book involves many religious topics ranging from issues of
faith to information on Islamic Law, from religious stories and advice to certain
Sufic information. For this reason, religious works mostly form the basis of
Sebâtü’l-âcizîn. Here is an attempt to explain all these religious and other
sources respectively:
1. The Holy Qur’ân: There are certain parts in Sebâtü’l-âcizîn which
directly refer to the Qur’ân. For instance, the facts that the Judgment Day is to
come and that it is mentioned in Qur’ân are stated as follows:
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Ķıyāmet ģaķ irür ey ādemí-zād
Ĥudā Ķur’ān içinde ķıldı köp yād (335)1
“Behold all mankind! It is a fact that the Judgment Day is to come. Allah
has declared it for many times in Kurân.”
While telling Miraj (Hadrat Mohammed’s Ascension), the fact that our
Prophet has been taken from Haram-eShareef to Masjid-i Aqsa (al-Aqsa
Mosque) is told in a verse in the Qurân2
is also involved:
Ģarem’din Mescid-i Aķŝā’ġa nāgāh
Alıp barġanıdur āyetde āgāh3
“The fact that he has been taken from Harem to Masjid-i Aksâ suddenly
has been stated in a verse in Kurân.”
In another couplet in Sebâtü’l-âcizin, there is another reference made by
citing from the 17th verse of Müzemmil Surah (73) :
Bolur ĥam ġam bilen ĥurdān-ı zíbā
Delílim “yec‛alü’l-vildāne şíbā” (402)
“Young and beautiful children are doubled up out of sorrow (on that
Judgment Day). My proof for that is the statement in the verse as “it even ages
children and makes their hair turn gray”.
In a different instance (between the 97th and the 100th couplets), it is told
that the phrase “He created by hand” should not be used for Allah, as the word
“yed” mentioned in the Qur’ân, which means “hand”, refers to one of Allah’s
abilities and that imams having the ability of interpretation can understand the
Qur’ân correctly.
The number of couplets inspired by or based on the verses of the Qur’ân
in terms of meaning is not a few, although they do not involve direct reference
to a specific verse. Mentioning all of them would be a wordy attempt. Instead,

1 The couplet numbers written next to sample couplets are determined according to the following
work: Abid Nazar Mahdum, Sûfî Allahyâr and his Sebâtü’l-âcizîn,(Unpublished Master Thesis),
Istanbul University Faculty of Letters, Department of Old Turkish Literature in Turkish Language
and Literature Section, Istanbul 1993.
2 Kur’ân-ı Kerîm, İsra Surah (17), verse: 1
3
Sûfî Allahyâr, Manzûme-i Sebâtü’l-Âcizîn, Elmektebeti’l-İslâmiyye Günbed-i Kâvus, Tahran hş.
1366/(1987), p. 201.
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we would only like to mention the following couplet, which directly refers to
the Qur’ân4
Ĥudā žulmetmedi híç bendelerġa
Velí tüz yolnı körsetdi alarġa (128)
“Almighty Allah has never tortured His subjects. He has shown them the
right way.”
2. Hadiths: After the Qur’ân, hadiths are the second level of sources in
Sebâtü’l-âcizîn. In fact, scholars of Islam have also regarded hadiths as the
explanations of the Qur’ân. The hadith part narrated in “Two Hadiths” chapter
in Sebâtü’l-âcizîn by citing from the book Mişkâtü’l-mesâbîh, which was
classified by Ebû Abdullah Muhammed b. Abdullah el- Hatîb et-Tebrîzî
(737/1336) begins as follows:
Bitipdur Cāmi‛-i Mişkāt içinde
Nebídin soradı sorġuçı bende (944)
“A man asked the Prophet the following question in Câmi-i Mişkât.”
In this hadith, the message is that the bad scholar is the worst among the
evil, while the good scholar is the best among the good.
In Sebâtü’l-âcizîn, we see that there are many references to hadiths. A
variety of examples can be counted to exemplify this fact. However, we would
like to mention only one example which refers to a widely-known hadith:
İrür her ķaysısı necm-i hidāyet
Bení-Ādemġa Ģaķ ķılġan ‛ināyet (211)
“Each one (of Sahabe-i Kiram) is like a star of trueness. The God favored
mankind and bestowed them upon humanity.”
In the couplet above, there is reference to a hadîth mentioned in sources
such as Taberânî, Beyhakî, İbni Asâkir, Hatîb, Deylemî, Dâremî which says
“My ashâb (can be translated as “my fellows” or “the ones who have seen me”)
are like the stars in the sky. No matter which of them you take as your guide,
you will reach trueness.”
3. Acknowledged religious sources and great scholars of Islam: In
serious works of religion, it is a principle to base the information provided on an

4 Nahl Surah (16), Verse 33 and Nisâ Surah (4), Verse 79
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acknowledged source. The works of distinguished scholars of Islam are also a
source of information for Sebâtü’l-âcizîn. In this work, citing by mentioning the
name of the concerned scholar is not something frequent. Here is the couplet in
which the name “Imâm-ı A’zam” is mentioned:
Alardın ba‛żı iş ki ķıldılar naķl
Ķılur te’vílini Nu‛mān-ı bā-‛aķl (183)
“Certain deeds (which seem to be faulty and are called “zelle (minor
mistakes of prophets)” of them (the prophets) have been reported. Having a
reasonable mind, Numân (Imâm-ı A’zâm) interprets these deeds.
As is seen, only the name of the scholar is mentioned above. In this
couplet, there is a citation from the great Sufi Ebü’l-Hasanı Harkânî:
Bitipdür Bü’l-Ģasan ol yaĥşı bende
Kitāb-ı Tenbíhu’ż-żāllín içinde (820)5
“Ebü’l-Hasan, that good man, wrote in his book named Tenbíhu’ż-żāllín.”
In the Sebâtü’l-âcizîn (published in Iran), writes Tenbíhu’ż-żāllín is
Ahmed-i Yesevî’s book,6
but according the couplet, Tenbíhu’ż-żāllín’s author is
Bü’l-Hasan named person. Seyyid Habibullah, writes on his book Hediyetü’ttâlibîn
(annotation of Sebâtü’l-âcizin), Tenbíhu’ż-żāllín written by great scholar
and sufi Ebu’l-Hasan-ı Harkânî.7 But after our research, we didn’t determine,
Ebu’l-Hasan-ı Harkânî has got a book named Tenbíhu’ż-żāllín.
On the other hand, in many parts, only the name of the work is
mentioned, without involving the name of the scholar. Here are a couple of
examples for such references:
Kitāb-ı Kāfí kim köp bā-ŝafādur
Didi ‛āmme bu yerde etķıyādur (195)
“In the book Kâfî (written by Muhammed Hâkim-i Şehîd), which purifies
and cheers the heart, it is written that pious people are meant with the word
“âmme”.

5 There is wrong prosodic. Written same as text.
6
Sûfî Allahyâr, Manzûme-i Sebâtü’l-Âcizîn, p.36.
7
Seyyid Habibullah bin Seyyid Yahya Han, Hediyetü’t-Tâlibîn, Niyâzî Printing Press, Lahor (no
published date), p. 115.
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There is a citation from the book named el-Kifâye by Âmir-i Şa’bî’s (h.
20 / 641- h. 104 / 723), one of the greatest in Tâbiîn (the ones who could see
Mohammed the Prophet):
Kifāye Şa‛bí’de hem bu bitildi
Resūlullah sözidin naķl ķıldı (1059)
“This is what is written in Âmir-iŞa’bî’s book named Kifâye. He
conveyed the word of the Prophet.”
Ebü’l-Leys-i Semerkandî passed away in 983 (h. 373). He has various
works such as Risâle fi’l-fıkh, Risâletü’l-Meârife ve’l-îmân, Risale fî’l-hikem.
We think that there is a reference to one of these works in the couplet below:
Risāle-i Ebü’l-Leys içre meźkūr
Nebídin ķıldı naķl ol ma‛den-i nūr (1064)
“It has been mentioned in Risâle by Ebü’l-Leys. That holy and honorable
person conveyed the words of the Prophet of Allah.”
Apart from the examples we have presented above, books such as Nihâye,
Hazâne, Şir’a Şerh-i Evrâd, Hulâsatü’l-fetâvâ, Mecma‘u’l-eşyâ and Mişkâtü’lmesâbîh
have been mentioned and citations from these works have been
involved in Sebâtü’l-âcizîn. However, we prefer not to mention them all here in
order to avoid being wordy. It should be noticed that the aforementioned books
are works on Islamic Law and on belief issues. Besides, while narrating the
anectodes of prophets, ashab-ı kiram and certain saints, the name of any work
written in siyer (life stories of prophets, saints or caliphs) or Tazkirat al-Avliyā
(a collection of biographies of saints of Islam) form is not mentioned.
Therefore, it can be said that reporting has been done in accordance with the
fragility of the issue.
Wise and knowledgeable people around the poet or the ones whom he
met on a certain occasion must also be counted among the sources that fed and
inspired him. For instance, in this couplet, Sufî Allahyâr bases his words
directly on a person he met (most probably his master in Sufism):
Köijül dersin su’āl itdim bir irdin
Telaššufdın didi: “Sorma bu sırdın” (1216)
“I asked a man a question about a lesson of soul. He showed his kindness
and said “Do not ask questions about this secret.”
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4. The works by the masters of the Sufic path which Sûfi Allahyâr is
a member of: Sufî Allahyâr’s Sufic hierarchy reaches Imâm Rabbânî, after
Habîbullah Buhârî and Muhammed Masûm-ı Fârûkî8
. All works of Sufî
Allahyâr, a member of Naqshbandî
9
and Mujaddidî
10 paths, have been shaped
within the framework of the criteria of these paths he belonged to. He generally
considered Sufism, shariah, knowledge, mortality, perpetuity, miracles, sedulity
and asceticism from this point of view.
The couplet we mention below has become a Naqshbandi classical and
has been used to state "Halvatdar-anjoman"11, one of the important notions in
Naqshbandiyah. In Mektûbât by Imâm Rabbânî, this couplet is written as
follows:
Ez-derūn şev āşnā vu ez-birūn bígāne-veş
Ìn-çunín zíbā reviş kem mí-buved ender-cehān12
“Be familiar from inside, but be like a stranger from outside. Such a good
behavior is rare and precious in life.”
Zafar Navayee has reported that when the question “What is the essence
of your order?” was asked to Şah-ı Nakşbend in Khosro, he said “being with
people in appearance and being with God inwardly” and read the poem above.13
Here, the second line of the poem is written just a little bit differently.
While telling the “sign” of reaching mortality, Sûfî Allâhyâr depicts this
issue with a different approach:
Özi aysa fenā boldum, imesdür
Fenā bolġan kişi hergiz dimesdür (566)

8
Sûfî Allahyâr, Manzûme-i Sebâtü’l-âcizîn, p. 9.
9 The path reaching Behaeddîn-i Buharî through Hazreti Ebubekir and named after him from then
on.
10 The path going on with the name “Mujaddidîyyah”, which refers to İmam Ahmed Rabbânî
Farûkî es-Serhendî, after Naqshbandi hierarchy reaches him.
11 Being alone in the crowd, that is, being physically among people, but being with God from the
heart.”
12 İmâm Ahmed Rabbânî, Mektûbât-ı İmâm-ı Rabbânî, (Daftaravval), Matba-ı İycu Keshnal,
Karaçihk. 1397/1972(Offset printing: İstanbul 1977), 290. letter, p.599.
13 Zafar Navayee Khosro, “Halvet der-irfân-ı İslâmî”, Scientific Information Database (SİD),
FALL 2010; 7(25), p. 113. Here is the web address:
(http://www.sid.ir/fa/VEWSSID/J_pdf/6002113892505.pdf)
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“If a mortal says “I’ve become mortal” or “I have achieved mortality, it
does not mean that that person is mortal or has achieved mortality. Anyone who
is mortal never tells it.”
With this couplet, we see that this issue achieves a better foundation:
Egerçi bolmasa fāriġ işidin
Özin kem körse her mü'min kişidin (554)
“If he goes on working devotedly and sees himself inferior to the others.”
Again, the couplet below, which is used by Sufis following
Naqshbandiyah and Mujaddidiyah paths and covered in the chapter “Der-men’-i
taklîd” of the book Câm-ı Cem by Evhadî, completes this meaning. This couplet
is also involved in the work by Muhammed Masûm-ı Fârukî, the master of Sûfî
Allâhyâr’s master:
Ez-birūn der-miyān-ı bāzārem
Ve'z-derūn ĥalvetí’st bā-yārem14
“In appearance (and physically), I am in the center of the market place.
Inwardly (mentally), I am with my beloved.”
Similarly, let’s add this couplet to the ones which have been used by the
aforementioned Sufis:
Mí-bín u me-gūy, mezheb ínest
Mí-bāş u me-bāş, meşreb ínest15
“See it but do not mention it; this is the path. Be and do not be16 (seem
“not to be” from outside.); this is the spirit.”
Sûfî Allâhyâr does not esteem dreams that much. Moreover, he says that
even certain explorations experienced while awake should not be taken
seriosuly. We can see his view about dreams in this couplet:
Yumup köz uyķuda körgen bile kes
Velí bilmes anı merd-i suĥan-res (900)

14 Hâce Muhammed Ma’sûm, Muntehabât Ez-Mektûbât-ı Ma’sûmiyye, İstanbul, 1987, 154th
letter, p. 123.
15 Hâce Muhammed Ma’sûm, ibid, 102nd letter, p. 100.
16 This statement can also be understood as “become and do not seem as become”
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“A person who has a good grasp of the word does not regard someone as
a saint only by taking what that person sees in his dreams.”
The couplet below is in Şems-i Tebrîzî Divan, which is known to be
written by Mevlânâ. We can see this approach especially in the works of Sufis
who are Mujaddidî (a follower of Mujaddidiyyah path):
Çu ġulām-ı āftābem, hem ez-āftāb gūyem
Ne şebem ne şeb-perestem ki ģadís-i ĥāb gūyem17
“I am a slave of the Sun (of Allah), therefore I speak of the Sun. I neither
am the night nor worship the night, why should I speak of sleep?”
In order to emphasize the fact that dreams should not be taken so
seriously, this couple is frequently mentioned in Mektûbât-ı Imâm Rabbânî.
Be-ĥāb ender meger mūrí şutur şud18
“The ant became the camel in a dream.”
5. Other literary and Sufic Sources: The Sufis and the Sufic works that
have influenced Sûfî Allahyâr are not limited only with the Sufic hierarchy of
which Sûfî Allahyâr. For instance, the poetic narration of love, morality, faith
and other virtues by Ahmed-iYesevî with a clear language and an erudite style
has constituted an indispensable model for the Sufi poets following him. Many
dervish poets maintaining Yesevî tradition have written poems of erudite.19
Although Sûfî Allahyâr followed a path different than Ahmed-i Yesevî’s
in terms of literary style, it can be said that he was one of Ahmed Yesevî’s
followers in terms of content. The hierarchy that Sûfî Allahyâr, who was
Naqshbandî and Mujaddidî, belonged to connects with Ahmed Yesevî when it
reaches Hâdja Yûsuf Hemendânî (d. 1140)
20, which greatly proves the
consonance between them, despite minor differences. It can be said that such
Turkish and Persian works written in Nasihat-nâmah genre and containing
religious information have inspired Sûfî Allahyâr.
We see that the great names of Persian literature, who are known to have
affected the formation of our classical literature, have influenced SûfîAllahyâr,
too. The fact that his works other than Sebatü'l-acizîn (Meslekü'l-muttakîn,

17 Hâce Muhammed Ma’sûm, ibid, 36th letter, p. 176.
18 İmâm Ahmed Rabbânî, ibid , 287th letter, p. 549.
19 For further information, see Köprülü, Fuat, "Çağatay Edebiyatı", İA, v. 3, Eskişehir 1997, s.
319-320.
20 Köprülü, Fuat, Türk Edebiyatında İlk Mutasavvıflar, Ankara, 1991, p. 31
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Murâdü'l-ârifîn and Mahzenü'l-mutî' în) were written in Persian supports this
idea clearly. However, this influence shows itself in Turkish poems as well. We
will try to manifest it by comparing certain samples. Let’s mention a couple of
samples by searching the meanings of some of the couplets, which can be
repeatedly confronted as “şahbeyt” (the best couplet in a gazel) in various Sufi
epistles, in Sûfî Allâhyâr’s poems. Here is a couplet by Ebû Şekûr-i Belhî:
Her ān şem‛í ki Ìzid ber-furūzed
Her ān kes puf kuned seblet bi-sūzed21
“Whoever puffs at a light (a candle) lit by Almighty Allah in order to
blow it out, burns only his own moustache and beard.”
The couplet below by Sûfî Allâhyâr is almost a word-to-word translation
of this couplet, except for only one word (çerağ-light):
Çerāġínı ki Ģaķ yandurdı ķoydı
Anı kim püf didi saķķalı köydi (715)
“Whoever puffed at a light lit by the God (in order to blow it out), he only
burnt his own beard.”
It is possible to see other couplets having the same meaning in the works
by acknowledged Sufi poets. The following couplets in Masnawi by Mevlânâ
Jalaluddin Rûmî are remarkable:
Şem‛-i Ģaķ-rā puf kuní tu ey ‘acūz
Hem tu sūzí hem seret ey gende pūz
Her ki ber-şem‛-i Ĥudā āred pufu
Şem‛ key míred bi-sūzed pūz-i ū22
“You wretched, scurrilous human being, if you puff at God’s candle (if
you attempt to blow it out), not only you, but also your fingers get burnt.”If
someone blow the candle burned by Allah, candle never burn out, just blower’s
mouth burns.

21 Eş’âr-ı Perâkende-i Kadîmterîn Şu’arâ-yi Fârsî, (Translation into French, revision, comparison
and introduction: Gilbert Lazard), 2. cilt, İnstitu-i İranşinâsî-yi Dânişgâh-i Paris, Tahran
hş.1341/(1962) , p. 88.
22 Mevlânâ Celâleddin-i Rûmî, Metn-i Kâmil ve Asîl-i Mesnevî-yi Ma’nevî, Çâp-hâne-i Dîbâ,
Tahran 1384/(2005), 6th book, p.1050.
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The principle of avoiding being a burden on others is of utmost
importance in our ancient culture, especially in Sufism. It is possible to come
across many saying stating this principle. The lines by Abdurrahman Jâmî (d.
hk. 898 / 1492) mentioning this issue is quite famous. Here are those lines:
Be-dendān raĥne der-pūlād kerden
Be-nāĥun seng-i ĥārā-rā buríden
Furū reften be-āteşdān nigūnsār
Be-fulk-i díde āteşpāre çíden
Be-farķ-ı ser nihāden ŝad şutur bār
Zi-maşriķ cānib-i maġrib devíden
Besā ber Cāmí āsān-ter numāyed
Ki bār-ı minnet-i dūn-ān keşíden23
“Notching on steel with teeth (nibbling it), cutting a hard stone with
fingernails, diving into a furnace headlong, putting fire in your eyelids, running
from east to west with something that only a hundred camels can carry on your
head. All of these are easier for Jâmî to do than to endure being indebted to
(taunting of) inferior people.”
Sûfî Allâhyâr wrote about this issue with statements close to the poem by
Jâmî:
Yügürseij künde bir kedü üçün çend
Buĥārā ülkesidin tā Semerķand
Bedeĥşān'dan köterseij yüz sírí taş
Bahası Belĥ içinde bolsa bir māş

23 Abdurrahman Câmî, Dîvân-ı Kâmil-i Câmî, Çâphane-i Pîrûz, Tahranhş. 1341/(1962), p. 791.
(Considering the meaning, the statement in the second line of the first couplet, written as “râh derhârâ”
in this source, has been written as “seng-i hârâ-râ” by taking another source as basis)
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Ve ger başı bilen çāh ķazsa bende
Köziniij yaşıça su tapsa anda
Eger ķazsa arıġ gezlik bilen merd
Aija bir ĥūşe-i cev ķılsa perverd
Bu miģnet birle tapsaij parça-i nān
Kişiniij minnetidin oldur āsān (730-734)
“Running from Bukhara to Samarkand for a pumpkin for a couple of
times everyday, lifting a stone weighing 100 sîris24in Badakhshan which would
mean only a grain of lentil in Balkh, digging a well with head and finding water
only as much as teardrops in it which produces only one barley ear and finding
only one piece of bread in return for all of these are much easier than enduring
the feeling of indebtedness towards someone.”
Again, the couplet below from Gulistân by Sadî (d. hk. 691 / 1292) has
correspondence Sebatü'l-âcizin in terms of meaning:
Zi-‛ilmeş melāl āyed ez-va‛z neng
Şaķāyıķ be-bārān ne-rūyed zi-seng25
“He gets offended by and bored with knowledge, feels ashamed of
listening to preaching and advice. No poppy grows on stone, even though it
rains on it.”
The couplet we have found in Sebatü'l-âcizin is given below:
Naŝíģat tiijlemes dil-saĥt maģcūb
Kökermes taşa yaġmur yaġsa hem köp (63)
“A hard-hearted person between whom and reality there is a curtain does
not listen to any advice. Nothing grows over stone even if it rains heavily on it.”

24 “sîri” is a weight unit. In the way it is used in Afghanistan today: Sîr-iKâbul= 7,5 kgs (approx.)
Sîr-i Shibirgan= 60 kgs (approx.; In Ferheng-i Farsî by M. Muin, sîr= 75 gr
25 Sa’dî-yi Şîrâzî, Bûstân-i Sa’dî, Âryâbân ve İhvân, Tahran,hş.1379/(2000), p. 122.
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We see that Sûfî Allâhyâr directly uses one of Hâfız’s lines. The
beginning of the stanza involving the first couplet marking Shakh Naqshband
Bahâuddîn al-Bukhârî’s death is as follows:
Behāu'l-Ģaķķ ve'd-dín šābe meśvāh
İmām-ı sünnet u şeyĥ-i cemā‛at26
Let the imam and the guide of Sunnah (Ahl al-Sunnah) and the elder of
the society, Bahâu'l-hakkve'd-dîn, namely Bahâuddîn Bukhârî rest in peace (and
in heavenly light).”
Here is the couplet in which SûfîAllâhyar used the first line of the couplet
above:
Behāü'l-Ģaķķ ve'd-dín šābe meśvāh
‛Avāmíġa yoluķdılar be-nāgāh (1558)
“Behâü'l-hakkve'd-dîn, namely Bahâuddîn Bukhârî met an ordinary
(illiterate) man. Let him rest in peace (and in heavenly light).”
One of the issues drawing attention in these examples is that poets such
as Jâmi and Hâfiz, who have influenced Sûfi Allahyâr, also have a connection
with Sufism. They are acknowledged not only in the Middle Asia but also in the
whole world of Turkish people. The fact that the samples provided here are
either şahbeyt or mısra-ı berceste (the most striking and elegant line of a poem)
is another important issue. Considering these all, it can be said that this scene
observed in Sûfi Allahyâr should be contemplated within the general context.
6. The Cultural Richness in which the Poet lived: Naturally, every poet
or author use the facilities and the material of the culture in which he has been
brought up. He builds the information he has acquired later on and the skills he
has developed on this basis. Common idioms and proverbs of the age have been
utilized in Sebâtü’l-âcizîn. In it, we come across idioms which are either
Turkish, or derived from Arabic or Persian and belonging to or internalized by
Turkish culture, such as “kızıl yüzlig (346), aklı kûtâh (481), kurug fem (416),
nurun alâ nûr (419)”. In the same way, proverbs in Sebâtü’l-âcizîn were used in
compliance with the rules of poetry. In the couplet below, the famous Turkish
proverb “sürüden ayrılanı kurt kapar.” (can be translated as “the sheep which
leaves the flock gets eaten by the wolf”) is involved:

26 Şemseddin Muhammed Hâfız, Dîvân-i Mevlânâ Şemseddîn Muhammed Hâfız, Çâphâne-i
Kâvyân, [Tahran] hş. 1354(1975), p. 493.
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Türkiyat Mecmuası, C. 21/Güz, 2011
Gelege böri çapsa ey filāní
Ķayu ayrılsa ol hem tişler anı (782)
“Beware that when the wolf attacks the flock, the sheep that leaves the
flock will be killed (by the wolf).”
In the following couplet, the proverb “Meyveli ağacın başı aşağı olur.”
(can be translated as “the tree that has fruits bends it head (out of modesty) is
mentioned:
Terek kim ol köterdi yoķķarı baş
Śemersiz boldı kördiij mu anı fāş (976)
“Do you clearly see that the poplar tree lifting his head upwards is
fruitless?”
The saying “Sular aşağıya akar.” emerges as a statement advising
humility in order to achieve enlightenment and spiritual earnings. This saying is
involved in Sebâtü’l-âcizînin the following way:
Eger feyż isteseij ķılma tekebbür
Beyükge aķmaġay baģr olsa hem pur (980)
“If you want to achieve enlightenment, do not be arrogant. Even though
the sea is full of water, it does not flow bottom-up.”
It is possible to increase the number of such samples and to examine all
of these sources within a greater range. However, we regard this number of
samples and evaluations enough to have a certain idea and comment on this
issue.
The richness of the sources in the background of a work of art shows how
substantial that work is. The information provided above proves that Sebâtü’l-
âcizîn has a rich background. The reason providing this is Sûfi Allahyar’s
knowledgeable personality. Besides its literary value, style of narration, content
and selection of topics, rich and substantial sources it has indicate another
important aspect of Sebâtü’l-Âcizîn.
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
Abdurrahman Câmî, Dîvân-i Kâmil-i Câmî, Çâphâne-i Pîrûz, Tahran hş.
1341(1962).
Ahmed Rabbânî, Mektûbât-ı Imâm-ı Rabbânî, Matba-ı Iycu Keshnal, Karaçihk.
1397/1972 (Offsetprinting: İstanbul 1977), 290.
Eş’âr-i Perâkende-i Kadîmterîn Shu’arâ-yi Fârsî, (Fransızca tercüme, tashih,
karşılaştırma ve mukaddime: Gilbert Lazard), 2. cilt, Institu-i Iranşinâsî-
yi Dânişgâh-i Paris, Tahran hş.1341/(1962).
Hâce Muhammed Ma’sûm, Muntehabât Ez-Mektûbât-i Ma’sûmiyye, Istanbul,
1987.
KHOSRO, Zafar Navayee, “Halvet der-irfân-i Islâmî”, Scientific Information
Database (SID), FALL 2010; 7(25), s. 113. Here is the web address:
(http://www.sid.ir/fa/VEWSSID/J_pdf/6002113892505.pdf)
KÖPRÜLÜ, Fuat, "Çağatay Edebiyatı", İA, v. III, Eskişehir 1997.
KÖPRÜLÜ, Fuat, Türk Edebiyatında İlk Mutasavvıflar, Ankara, 1991.
MAHDUM, Abid Nazar, Sûfî Allahyâr and his Sebâtü’l-Âcizîn, (Unpublished
Master Thesis), Istanbul University Faculty of Letters, Department of Old
Turkish Literature in Turkish Language and Literature Section, 1993.
Mavlânâ Jalaluddin Rûmî, Metn-i Kâmil ve Asîl-i Mesnevî-yi Ma’nevî, Çâphâne-i
Dîbâ, Tahran, hş 1384/(2005).
Sa’dî-yi Shîrâzî, Bûstân-i Sa’dî, Âryâbân ve Ihvân, Tahranhş. 1379/(2000).
Seyyid Habibullah bin Seyyid Yahya Han, Hediyetü’t-tâlibîn, Niyâzî Printing
Press, Lahor (no published date), p. 115.
Shamsuddin Muhammed Hâfız, Dîvân-i Mevlânâ Şemseddîn Muhammed Hâfız,
Çâphâne-i Kâvyân, [Tahran] hş. 1354/(1975).
Sûfî Allahyâr, Manzûme-i Sebâtü’l-âcizîn, El-mektebeti’l-Islâmiyye Günbed-i
Kavus, Tahran hş. 1366/(1987).

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