The Motif of Conceiving by Eating an Apple in “Mawlid-i Fatima”Nursel Uyanıker
Religious persons born in extraordinary ways are heroes who’ve been granted holiness and protection from God. Fatima, the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, was an extraordinary person who was conceived through an apple which God sent through Gabriel. Fatima is a strong heroine in Islam and is believed will help Muslim women on the Day of Judgment. The study takes the mawlid text titled “Mawlid -i Fatimatü’z-Zehra”, registered at the Süleymaniye Library as Manuscript Donations Number 05846 and located between pages 6b -10b , as its subject. This text is bound together with another manuscript in verse titled “Mi’râcü’n-Nebi”. Although largely similar to the text titled “Viladetnâme-i Hazret-i Fatima,” studied by Hakan Yekbaş and belonging to the mathnawi collection of Süleyman Memdûh, contains some differences in terms of the number and content of the couplets. The transliterated text of the manuscript is provided at the end of this study. The study aims to show the psychology of the Turkish nation and the creativity in its imagination by considering the symbol of the apple as a sacred and religious motif. The study discusses and evaluates this subject under the headings of text analysis methods, hermeneutic perspective and content, language-expression/structure, context/execution, and function based on the work “Mawlid -i Fatimatü’z-Zehra”. The study objectively addresses the subject based on certain Ahl al-Sunnah, Shiite, and Alevi sources. As a result, Fatima, who is accepted as the matron of the midwifery profession, and the Mother Fatima cult are seen to fulfill the function of healing and maintaining birth, with the study evaluating the work as a liminal text in terms of folklore.
Mevlid-i Fâtıma’da Elma Yiyerek Hamile Kalma MotifiNursel Uyanıker
Sıra dışı bir şekilde doğduğuna inanılan dinî kişiler, Tanrı tarafından kendilerine kutsallık atfedilen ve korunan kahramanlardır. İslam peygamberi Hz. Muhammed’in kızı olan Fâtıma, Tanrı tarafından Cebrail vasıtasıyla gönderilen elma sayesinde doğumuna vesile kılınmış olağanüstü bir kişidir. Hz. Fâtıma güçlü bir kadın kahramandır ve inanışa göre Kıyamet gününde Müslüman kadınlara şefaat edecektir. Çalışmada, Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi Yazma Bağışlar 05846 numarada kayıtlı, “Mevlid-i Fâtımatü’z-Zehra” başlıklı ve 6b -10b varakları arasında yer alan mevlit metni konu edilmiştir. Manzum “Mi’râcü’n-Nebi” başlıklı başka bir yazma eserle birlikte ciltlenmiş bu metin; Hakan Yekbaş tarafından yayınlanan ve mesnevi-hân Süleyman Memdûh’a ait “Vilâdetnâme-i Hazret-i Fâtıma” başlıklı metne büyük ölçüde benzemekle birlikte; beyit sayısı ve muhteviyatı bakımından bazı farklılıklar içermektedir. Çalışmanın sonunda yazmanın çeviriyazılı metni verilmiştir. Çalışmanın amacı, elma sembolünü kutsal-dinî kişilik özelinde ele alarak Türk milletinin psikolojisini ve hayâl gücündeki yaratıcılığını göstermeye çalışmaktır. Hz. Fâtıma’nın doğumu ile ilgili yazılmış yazma eserden yola çıkılarak işlenen konu, metin inceleme yöntemleri, yorumsamacı bakış açısı ve muhteva, dil-anlatım/yapı, bağlam/icra, işlev başlıkları altında ele alınıp değerlendirilmiştir. Çalışma konusu bazı Ehl-i Sünnet, Şiî ve Alevî kaynaklarına dayandırılarak objektif bir biçimde ele alınmıştır. Sonuç olarak ebelik mesleğinin piri kabul edilen Hz. Fâtıma’nın ve Fadime Ana kültünün, doğum ile ilgili sağaltma ve sürdürme işlevini yerine getirdiği; halkbilim açısından eşiksel bir metin olduğu değerlendirilmiştir.
Fatimah al-Zahra is the daughter of Muhammad and the leader of the women of paradise in the history of Islam; she is also considered an important personality in terms of folklore who led to the formation of the Ana Fatma [Mother Fatimah] cult and the matron of midwifery. Mawlid is an Arabic word meaning “birth of a child.” The birth of the youngest child of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in combination with the apple motif has been seen as a blessing from God. This study aims to consider and evaluate Fatimah’s extraordinary conception as an example of a type of mawlid.
The study will examine and translate the text “Mawlid-i Fatimatü’z-Zehra”, date of writing and author are unknown. The manuscript is registered at Süleymaniye Library under Manuscript Donations Number 05846 and consists of four-and-a-half sheets containing 95 couplets. This text bears a great deal of similarities to the mawlid text “Viladetnâme-i Hazret-i Fatima” written by Süleyman Memduh in the 19th century. Differences also occur between the texts in question in terms of language and expression, structure, context and execution. The manuscript from Süleyman Memduh consists of only 83 couplets and was studied by Hakan Yekbaş. Yekbaş identified four mawlid texts written for Fatima in his book; however, the text that constitutes the subject of the current study is not among these four mawlid texts. One would not be wrong to think that many more mawlid texts exist among the manuscripts containing religious stories that are small in volume in terms of the number of leaves.
The introductory part of the text respectively gives praise to the Ahl al-Bayt and the four caliphs as well as an Arabic praise written for Fatimah. The second part of the text explains the prenatal events of Fatima, explaining how Khadijah had become pregnant through an apple brought from heaven, as well as some of the accompanying miracles that were seen. After listing Fatima’s family and characteristics, the third section discusses her birth. After a passage involving a slight digression, the fourth section concludes with Arabic praise about Fatima, the prayer for the Ahl al-Bayt and the twelve imams, as well as blessings of peace for Fatima.
Collecting religious texts that have been written for the purpose of being read and told among the public under four headings (i.e., language and expression/structure, content, context/ execution, and functions of the text) and evaluating them are important in terms of folk literature.
Fatima has the characteristics of a strong heroine and attracts attention for many reasons such as being the child of distinguished parents, enduring pain, being a useful person to society, and being an exemplary model for women through her roles of mother and wife. However, her life did not exactly coincide with the life of a hero in an epic. Her hagiographic life has changed her mission. Two of the most important functions of Fatima that are known to society are her healing and sustaining. Fatima is women’s greatest assistant during childbirth and the addressee of midwifery procedures. The cult of Ana Fatma is an extension of the cult of Umay Ana in pre-Islamic Turkish beliefs.
The narrative element has been instrumental with regard to her extraordinary birth but has also been symbolized by different fruits in the texts; this narrative element formed into oral folk narratives and with time was put down in writing. Although the apple symbol is associated with her birth in the text, it did not give Fatimah any extraordinary qualities. This is because Fatima was already an important person as the daughter of the Islamic prophet; still, because of Fatima, the apple has been legitimized as a sacred motif. In Europe, Jesus is believed to have collected himself the sins of the world symbolically after his birth, thus enabling humankind to return to its state of innocence before their fall into the world. Similarly, the use of the apple symbol in the birth of Fatima purges the Adam and Eve narrative, beginning anew sacred time and ensuring the cosmos. Thanks to this text, the apple in the story that had caused the expulsion of Adam and Eve from heaven no longer remained a forbidden fruit.
Mawlids about Fatimah being recited in a special way in a community in Medina, as well as the expression of “Let it be by the hand of our Mother Fatma, not mine” used by midwives during births in Anatolia show the diversity and prevalence of practices among people. As a result, the contexts of spelling and pronunciation are also necessary beyond seeing the written mawlid texts as just text. In line with this, the Fatima text addressed here evokes a ritual whose myth has disappeared.