Can Necip Fazıl Kısakürek’s Esselam be Read as a Contemporary Example of a Mawlid?Demet Sustam
Necip Fazıl Kısakürek’s Esselâm [Welcome] consists of 63 chapters of poetry written around the life of Hz. Muhammad and, contrary to his hopes, was unable to attract the attention of the literary community. The introduction to Esselâm is just as important as the rest of the text, which deals with the chronological biography of the Prophet and covers his birth, miracles, migration, Miraj, wars, and death. This presentation is a prerequisite text through which the poet has the reader understand his own intentions by entering himself between the text and the reader. Kısakürek insisted that his work Esselâm, with its subtitle of Mukaddes Hayattan Levhalar [Inscriptions from the Sacred Life], should not be perceived as a mawlid, yet gives the impression that he would be happy to have it read as a mawlid in his descriptions of his work. The aim of this article is to pursue the question of how far Necip Fazıl Kısakürek, who seemed to be confused about his work Esselâm, had realized what he’d envisioned and whether his intentions went beyond the meaning of the text. For this reason, Süleyman Çelebi’s Wasilat al-Najat [Opportunities for the Salvation] was chosen among the works written as a mawlid for comparison with Esselâm. Wasilat al-Najat is accepted as the founding text in the Turkish mawlid tradition due to its influence on the mawlids that were written after it; it had reached the level of the basic handbook of Turkish folk Islam and was read from not only at births but also during ceremonies such as funerals and weddings. The comparison between Wasilat al-Najat and Esselâm occurs over the structure and themes of the two texts, with the results being aimed at revealing how effective Necip Fazıl’s intention had been regarding the text of Esselâm.
Necip Fazıl’ın Esselâm’ı Çağdaş Bir Mevlit Örneği Olarak Okunabilir mi?Demet Sustam
Necip Fazıl’ın, Hz. Muhammet’in yaşamı etrafında kaleme aldığı, altmış üç bölümden oluşan Esselâm’ı umduğunun aksine edebiyat çevrelerinin dikkatini çekememiştir. Peygamber’in biyografisini doğumu, mucizeleri, hicreti, miracı, savaşları ve ölümü de dâhil olmak üzere kronolojik bir sırayla ele alan Esselâm’ın, metni kadar “Takdim” yazısı da önemlidir. Bu sunuş, şairin metin ile okur arasına girerek kendi niyetini okura sezdirdiği bir ön koşul metnidir. “Mukaddes Hayattan Levhalar” alt başlıklı eserinin, mevlit olarak algılanmaması üzerinde ısrarla duran Kısakürek, öte yandan eseriyle ilgili yaptığı tanımlamalarda eserin mevlit olarak okunmasından mutluluk duyacağı izlenimini verir. Bu makalenin amacı Esselâm ile ilgili kafası karışık olduğu anlaşılan Necip Fazıl’ın, tasavvur ettiklerini nereye kadar gerçekleştirdiği sorusunun ve yazarın niyetinin metnin anlamını aşıp aşmadığının peşine düşmektir. Bunun için Esselâm ile karşılaştırma yapmak üzere mevlit türünde yazılmış eserler arasından Süleyman Çelebi’nin Vesîletü’n-Necât’ı seçilmiştir. Vesîletü’n-Necât kendinden sonra kaleme alınan mevlitlere olan etkisi, Türk halk Müslümanlığının temel el kitabı mertebesine ulaşıp yalnızca doğumlarda değil ölüm, düğün gibi törenlerde de icra edilmesi gibi sebeplerle Türkçe mevlit geleneği içerisinde kurucu metin olarak kabul görür. Vesîletü’n-Necât ile Esselâm arasında yapılan karşılaştırma iki metin arasındaki yapı, tema ve izlek temelli olup sonuçları Necip Fazıl’ın Esselâm üzerindeki niyetinin metin üzerinde ne derece etkili olduğunu ortaya çıkarmaya yöneliktir.
While confusion is found regarding genres even within a tradition, giving a definite answer to the question of whether Necip Fazıl Kısakürek’s Esselâm can be read as a contemporary mawlid is nearly impossible. Moreover, attempting this does nothing but limit a modern text to a reductionist view.
The poet Necip Fazıl insisted that his work was not a mawlid in his Introduction to Esselâm, but in this same Introduction he creates the impression that he is presenting a modern mawlid text in every identification he makes about Esselâm. Kısakürek’s confusion and intentions he hoped to achieve through his text are the main starting points of this article. For this reason, the study makes a comparative reading between Kısakürek’s Esselâm and Süleyman Çelebi’s Wasilat al-Najat as a masterpiece of mawlid literature, and researches the extent to which Necip Fazıl had achieved his intentions regarding his work. A similarity exists between the two works in terms of having found their artistic value, even if not in terms of plot.
In Wasilat al-Najat, light spreads throughout the text as the dominant image and poetic expression. That unique aspect of the work did not escape Necip Fazıl’s attention, who also frequently used light imagery to describe the Prophet Muhammad in Esselâm. The presence of the light of Muhammed based on the belief that God created the Prophet Muhammad from His own light in both texts cannot be considered independent of the metaphor of light. Strong descriptive constituents draw attention to the sections in Wasilat al-Najat and Esselâm regarding the prophet’s birth, with both of them having Aminah, the prophet’s mother, undertake the role of narrator in certain places. While focusing on the birth of the Prophet, Süleyman Çelebi preferred to embellish situations with mythological elements rather than historical. The miracles of the Prophet are the most remarkable ancillary items in this respect. The Prophet’s miracles in Esselâm are also important in terms of showing the portrait Necip Fazıl drew of the Prophet. Even though Kısakürek in Esselâm focused on the Prophet’s human aspects, such as his wars and migration, Kısakürek’s poetic skill manifests itself in his admiration for the Prophet’s miracles. The Miraj miracle is the richest part in terms of mythology due to the difficulty of explaining it mentally. The poem “Miraç” [Miraj] in Esselâm presents the Miraj event according to the order in which it occurred in Süleyman Çelebi’s Wasilat al-Najat. The Buraq [the lightning and name of the steed that conveyed Muhammed] is featured in short versions of mawlid texts and takes place in both the works studied here only because this steed carried the Prophet on his journey to heaven. Apart from that, Buraq is not prioritized as a supporting figure. The sections in which the Hijra and the death of the Prophet are narrated draw attention in both works in terms of highlighting biographical elements over mythological elements. While the Hijra takes place in Wasilat al-Najat as a phase of the Prophet’s life, it is depicted in Esselâm alongside its reasons. While Wasilat al-Najat describes the Prophet’s Death, in detail, including his illness, conversation with Azrael, funeral prayer, and role as an intercessor on the Day of Judgment, Esselâm also discusses the Prophet’s death in detail, though within the framework of the Prophet’s illness, Farewell Sermon, day of his death, and state of the world after his death.
Esselâm carries traces of Wasilat al-Najat in terms of its artistic value, even if not in terms of plot. Esselâm also has poems with biographical elements. However, these poems are rather unsuccessful in terms of image usage, atmosphere description, and poetic expression compared to those written about the Prophet’s birth, Miraj, and other miracles; in this respect, these less successful biographical poems give the impression that Kısakürek had included them in Esselâm in order to complete the chapters to 63 which is the number of years Hz.Muhammad lived.The poems that are the subject of this study are remarkable in that they have been presented in an atmosphere suitable to the luminous world that Süleyman Çelebi had created in his mawlid Wasilat al-Najat. In addition, the image of the Prophet as created by Necip Fazıl in Esselâm is very close to the image of the Prophet adorned with miracles and extraordinary events as created by Süleyman Çelebi in Wasilat al-Najat. As such, Esselâm’s main memorable aspect, just like in Wasilat al-Najat, can be said to be the narrative pieces that Necip Fazıl embellished with mythological elements, more so than the historical documents.