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Khoja Akhmet Yassawi

2 Inuence
Ahmed Yassawi later moved to Bukhara and followed
his studies with the well known Yusuf Hamdani[4] (d.
1140). Yassawi made considerable eorts to spread
Islam throughout Central Asia and had numerous students in the region. Yasawis poems created a new genre
of religious folk poetry in Central Asian Turkic literature and inuenced many religious poets in the following countries.[5] Yassawi made the city of Yasi into the
major centre of learning for the Kazakh steppes, then retired to a life of contemplation aged 63. He dug himself
an underground cell where he spent the rest of his life.
Turkish scholar Hasan Basri antay noted that It was
a Seljuk king who brought Rumi, the great Su poet, to
Konya; and it was in Seljuq times that Ahmad Yesevi, another great Su, lived and taught. The inuence of those
two remarkable teachers has continued to the present.[6]
Yasavi is also mentioned by Ernest Scott (pseudonym)[7]
as a member of the Khwajagan Sus.

The Mausoleum of Khwaja Ahmed Yasawi.

Khoja Akhmet Yassawi (Uzbek: Xoja Ahmad


Yasaviy; Kazakh: , Turkmen:
Hoja Ahmet asawy, Turkish:
Hoca Ahmet Yesevi also spelled Ahmad Yasawi, Ahmet Yasevi, Ahmed
Yesevi or Ata Yesevi) (born in Sayram in 1093, and
died in 1166 in Hazrat-e Turkestan, both cities now in
Kazakhstan), was a Turkic[1] poet and Su (Muslim mystic), an early mystic who exerted a powerful inuence
on the development of mystical orders throughout the
Turkic-speaking world.[2] Yasavi is currently the earliest
known Turkic poet who composed poetry in a Turkic di3 Legacy
alect. Ahmed Yesevi was a pioneer of popular mysticism,
founded the rst Turkic tariqah (order), the Yasaviyya
(Yeseviye), which very quickly spread over the Turkic- A mausoleum [8] was later built on the site of his grave by
speaking areas.[3]
Tamerlane the Great in the city (today called Trkistan).
The Yasaviyya Tariqah which he founded continued to
be inuential for several centuries afterwards, with the
Yasavi Sayyid Ata Sheikhs holding a prominent position at the court of Bukhara into the 19th century.[9] In
the Yasaviyya Sus one comes across the greatest num1 Background
ber of the shamanistic elements compared to other Su
Orders.[10]
Yassawi was born to Sheykh Ibrahim. At age seven, when
he was orphaned by the loss of his father, Yasawi was The rst[11]Kazakh-Turkish university, Ahmet Yesevi Uniand liceum, Hoca Ahmed Yesevi Lisesi,[12]
raised by another spiritual father, Arslan Baba. By age versity,
seven, Ahmad Yasawi had already advanced through a were named in his honor.
series of high spiritual stages and then, under the direc- Naqshbandi Su Idries Shah mentions Ahmed Yasavis
tion of Arslan Baba, the young Ahmad reached a high lineage in his The Book of the Book.[13] Yasavi Sulevel of maturity and slowly began to win fame from ev- s are also present in Kashmir. They came to Kashery quarter. His father Shaikh Ibrahim had already been mir from Turkistan via Silk Route with Hazrat Amir-erenowned in that region for performing countless feats Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani. A historical background
and many legends were told of him. Consequently, it was of the Yasavi order can be found in the book SILSLAY
recognized that, with respect to his lineage as well, this YASAVI, written by Peerzada Mohammad Sha Yasavi,
quiet and unassuming young boy, who always listened to eldest member of the Yasavi family in Kashmir. The
book is written in Urdu.
his elder sister, held a spiritually important position.
1

References

[1] Ro'i, Yaacov (2000). Islam in the Soviet Union: From the
Second World War to Perestroika. New York: Columbia
University Press. p. 373. ISBN 0-231-11954-2. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
[2] Encyclopdia Britannica (2007): Related Articles to
Ahmed Yesevi, or Ahmad Yasawi, or Ahmed Yasavi
(Turkish author)", accessed March 18, 2007. Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
[3] I.Meliko, 'Ahmad Yesevi and Turkic popular Islam',
EJOS, VI (2003), No. 8, 1-9, ISSN 0928-6802
[4] Y. N. ztrk: The Eye of the Heart (Redhouse Press Istanbul 1988), p.49
[5] John L. Esposito, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of the
Islamic World, Volume 1, New York: Oxford University
Press, 1995, p. 271
[6] Hasan Basri antay, Chapter 7: Islamic Culture in
Turkish Areas, in Islam The Straight Path: Islam Interpreted by Muslims by Prof. Kenneth W. Morgan, Published by The Ronald Press Company, New York 1958.
Religion-online.org. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
[7] The People of the Secret by Ernest Scott (1983) ISBN 086304-038-1
[8] Yasavi (Shrine of Ahmed Yasavi), ArchNet Dictionary
of Islamic Architecture. Archnet.org. Retrieved 201304-09.
[9] Devin Deweese The Politics of Sacred Lineages in 19thcentury Central Asia: Descent groups linked to Khwaja
Ahmad Yasavi in Shrine Documents and Genealogical
Charters International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Vol.31 (1999) pp507-530
[10] The Sacred Sites of Kyrgyzstan, Cholpon K. Dyikanova,
Taalaibek K. Dyikanov, Jarkyn B. Samanchina (eds.),
Bishkek, 2004-2005, p. 8, citing Demidov, 1988, p. 3
[11] Ahmet Yesevi University Ocial Site. Yesevi.edu.tr.
Retrieved 2013-04-09.
[12] Hoca Ahmed Yesevi Lisesi Ocial Site
[13] Shah, I: The Book of the Book (Octagon Press), p.9 ISBN
978-0-900860-12-6

John G. Bennett (1995). The Masters of Wisdom.


Bennett Books. ISBN 1-881408-01-9.

External links
(Russian) UNESCO Heritage Mausoleum Hoja
Ahmed Yasevi
(Russian) National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Hoja Ahmed Yasaui
(Russian) Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Turkestan
(city in Kazakh SSR)

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