The Harran Poet Yusuf b. Fazlullah es-Sekâkînî’s Life, Literary Personality, and Understanding of ZuhtAhmet Aslan
Zuht poetry is a literary art form that expresses the sublime meanings of human spirituality, and as such has always shown itself to be present in the history of Arabic literature. With the encouragement of the religion of Islam, its presence has increased even more, with ascetic poetry having become an important school of Islamic literature. This article deals with the life and ascetic poetry of Yusuf b. Fazlullah es-Sekâkînî, who lived in Harran and is one of the important poets of this school. Es-Sekâkînî was an ascetic, a scholar, and an important poet who wrote in the field of asceticism. The sources that have information about him mentioned how he wrote a lot of poetry in the field of asceticism and vera [an advanced level of taqwa/pious devotion] and showed him to be among the famous ascetic poets of his time. However, most of his poems have been lost to time, with only 12 couplets from a eulogy and an elegy having survived to the present day. For this reason, no scientific study has been done on him or his poetry. This study attempts to shed light on his poetry and understanding of asceticism based on his poems in the sources. The study provides a summary of the development process of the ascetic school in Arabic literature, as well as information about es-Sekâkînî’s life and the political and cultural environment in which he lived. His poems that have survived to the present and Turkish translations are also presented, as well as information about his literary personality and style. The study has attempted to reveal his thoughts on asceticism by analyzing his poems, with the conclusion providing inferences based on the study.
Harranlı Şair Yusuf b. Fazlullâh es-Sekâkînî’nin Hayatı, Edebî Kişiliği ve Züht AnlayışıAhmet Aslan
Züht şiiri, insan maneviyatının yüce anlamlarını ifade eden edebî sanatların başında gelmektedir. Bundan dolayı Arap edebiyatı tarihinde varlığını her zaman göstermiştir. İslâm dininin züht hayatını teşvik etmesiyle beraber varlığı daha da artmış ve züht şiiri İslâm edebiyatının önemli bir ekolü haline gelmiştir. Bu makale Harran’da yaşamış ve bu ekolün önemli şairlerinden biri olan Yusuf b. Fazlullâh es-Sekâkînî ‘nin hayatını ve züht şiirini ele almaktadır. es-Sekâkînî, zâhit, âlim ve züht alanında şiirler yazmış önemli bir şairdir. Hakkında bilgi veren kaynaklar, züht ve verâ konusunda çok şiir yazdığını zikretmişler ve onu döneminin meşhur züht şairleri arasında göstermişlerdir. Ancak şiirlerinin büyük bir kısmı maalesef günümüze ulaşmamıştır. Bir kasidesi ve bir mersiyesinin on iki beyti günümüze kadar gelebilmiştir. Bu sebepten hakkında bilimsel bir çalışma yapılmamıştır. Biz es-Sekâkînî’nin kaynaklarda yer almış şiirlerini esas alarak onun şairliğine ve züht anlayışına ışık tutmaya çalıştık. Çalışmamızda Arap edebiyatında züht ekolünün gelişim sürecinin özetini vermeye çalıştık. Hayatı ve yaşadığı siyasî ve kültürel çevre hakkında bilgi verdik. Günümüze ulaşan şiirlerini ve Türkçe tercümelerini yazdık. Edebî kişiliği ve üslubu hakkında bilgiler sunduk. Şiirlerini tahlil ederek züht ile ilgili düşüncelerini ortaya çıkarmaya çalıştık. Bu çalışmamızdan elde edilen çıkarımlar sonuç bölümünde verilmiştir.
This article covers the life of Yusuf b. Fazlullâh es-Sekâkînî and his poems in the field of asceticism. Es-Sekâkînî was an important scholar and poet who lived in Harran. After receiving his first education in Harran, he went to Baghdad and Damascus as the centers of science to acquire knowledge. After receiving a good education, es-Sekâkînî took up no official duty in the state but rather tried to make a living performing the art of knife making as his profession. However, while performing his profession as a tradesman, he also dealt with education and science. After becoming a Sufi connoisseur, he turned his own house to a dar [house/abode] of al-Hadith and started to give lessons on Arabic language and literature. Due to his success in this field, he became the most important teacher in Harran. Once his dar al-Hadith became insufficient for his students, he had a mosque bearing his name built next to his house and continued his education and scientific activities there. Es-Sekâkînî lived an ascetic life, made studies, and wrote poems in the field of asceticism and poetry. The sources regarding him stated that he made studies and wrote poems on the subject of asceticism. Some sources have presented him among the famous ascetic poets of his time. Unfortunately, most of his studies and poems have not survived. Twelve couplets from a eulogy and an elegy have survived to the present day. Most of his studies and poems were assumed to have been destroyed during the Mongol invasion. For this reason, he and his poems have not been subjected to scientific study but only presented in the form of short biographies.
In this study, the authors attempt to shed light on es-Sekâkînî’s poetry and his understanding of asceticism based on his poems in the sources, as the one ode and twelve couplets of his that are available are of a type that could shed light on his poetry. This study attempts to summarize the developmental process of the ascetic school in Arabic literature and presents information on es-Sekâkînî’s life and the political and cultural environment in which he lived. His surviving poems and their Turkish translations are additionally included, with information given about his literary personality and style.
Es- Sekâkînî uses a sermon and preaching style in his poems, which is the method embraced by ascetic poets. He tried to affect people by using Zuht and prohibitive forms in his poems. Es-Sekâkînî used a simple and understandable language suitable to the audience due to the fact that he was appealing to the public. While trying to explain his thoughts on Zuht, he tried to explain the basic principles of the ascetic life. Although he lived at a time when Sufism and sects were active, he brought to the fore the principles of a simple and individual ascetic life based on the essence of Islamic faith. Es- Sekâkînî called people to live a life in harmony with the society in his poems and to work for the peace and well-being of society. He advised against emphasizing the worldly life and getting too attached to it. He said the life in this world to be temporary and its beauties deceptive. He emphasized the true life for man to be the life of the hereafter. He encouraged people to live a züht [ascetic] life and stated asceticism to be a way to salvation, one that saves man from the passions of the world and leads one to eternal bliss. He advised people to stay away from hypocrisy and vanity while advising them to perform their worship completely and only for the sake of God in order to earn the hereafter, which is the real home of mankind. Es-Sekâkînî stated that a life could be earned in Paradise by avoiding haram/forbidden and evil deeds and performing acts of worship fully. He wanted to draw people’s attention by describing the blessings of heavenly life. He dwelled on the fact that no one other than the Prophet should be taken as a guide in social and religious life. By praising the Prophet and explaining his miracles in this context, he wanted to draw attention to the Prophet’s role as a guide for ascetics, stating that one who turns away from the blessings of the world and strives to gain God’s mercy can attain supreme positions. Es-Sekâkînî stated being pessimistic to be unnecessary and making a new beginning is always possible for people. He advised people who sought forgiveness for their sins to be merciful and charitable and to do good deeds. He advised being patient with the troubles of the worldly life and to endure old age with the fire of love in order to reach the real Lover (Allah). Es-Sekâkînî emphasized that one can only improve by improving one’s own self and encouraged people to learn science and wisdom. During his lifetime, he avoided giving credit to the separatist ideas emerging as a result of the esoteric movements that had appeared in Muslim society.