Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ)

SONY DSC
Mausoleum to Koja Ahmad Yassaui (UNESCO World heritage site), Turkistan, Kazakhstan.

Ahmed Yesevi was born to Ibrahim in Sayram at the end of the 11th century. He lost his father at the age of seven and was then raised by Arslan Baba [tr].By then, Yasawi had already advanced through a series of high spiritual stages and, under the direction of Arslan Baba, the young Ahmad reached a high level of maturity and slowly began to win fame from every quarter. His father Ibrahim had already been renowned in that region for performing countless feats and many legends were told of him. Consequently, it was recognized that, with respect to his lineage as well, this quiet and unassuming young boy, who always listened to his elder sister, held a spiritually important position.

Yesevi later moved to Bukhara and followed his studies with Yusuf Hamadani.[8] Upon the demise of Yusuf Hamdani, first ʻAbdullah Barki and then Hassan-i Andākī became the head of Hamadani’s khanqah.[6] Yasawi became the head murshid of the Naqshbandi order when Hassan-i Andākī died in 1160. He then turned this position to Abdul Khaliq Ghajadwani under Hamadani’s advice and moved to Turkistan City in order to spread Islam in Turkestan.[6]

Influence
Ahmad Yasawi made considerable efforts to spread Islam throughout Central Asia and had numerous students in the region. Yasawi’s poems created a new genre of religious folk poetry in Central Asian Turkic literature and influenced many religious poets in the following countries.[9] Yasawi turned the city of Iasy into the major centre of learning for the Kazakh Steppe, then retired to a life of contemplation at the age of 63. He dug himself an underground cell where he spent the rest of his life.

Turkish scholar Hasan Basri Çantay noted: “It was a Seljuk king who brought Rumi, the great Sufi poet, to Konya; and it was in Seljuq times that Ahmed Yasawi, another great Sufi, lived and taught. The influence of those two remarkable teachers has continued to the present.”[10] Yasawi is also mentioned by Edward Campbell (writing as Ernest Scott)[11] as a member of the Khwajagan. Yasawi also influenced Turkish poet Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, he said: “Who is this Ahmad Yasawi? If you study him, you will find our nationality in Him.”

Legacy
The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi was later built on the site of his grave by Timur in Turkistan City. The Yesevi order he founded continued to be influential for several centuries afterwards, with the Yesevi Sayyid Ata Sheikhs holding a prominent position at the court of Bukhara into the 19th century.[14] There is the greatest influence of shamanistic elements in the Yasawiyya compared to other Sufi orders.
Yesevi authored the Book of Wisdom (Turkic: ديوان حكمت‎, Dīvān-i Ḥikmet), a collection of poems, in Turkic.[3] The book was published in 1905 and 1895 in Kazan.[4]
The Naqshbandi Idries Shah mentions Yasawi’s lineage in The Book of the Book.[16]
The first Kazakh-Turkish university, Ahmet Yesevi University,[17] was named in his honor.
Legends about Ahmed Yasawi
Date palm
Legend has it that a religious mystic, Arystan-Bab, was the teacher and spiritual mentor of Khoja Ahmad Yasawi. It was Arystan-Bab who transmitted the amanat, which was contained in a pip of date palm. According to a legend, Arystan-Bab was an associate of the Prophet Muhammad. One day, Prophet Muhammad and his companions sat and ate dates. One of the fruits fell out of the dish, and the Prophet heard the revelation: “This date is for the Muslim Ahmad, who will be born 400 years later than You.” The Prophet asked his companions who would pass this persimmon to its future owner. No one volunteered. The Prophet repeated his question, and then Arystan-Bab answered: “If you beg Allah to give me 400 years of life, then I will give the date.”[18]

Timur’s dream
It is believed that one night Timur saw Ahmad Yasawi in his dream, where Yasawi predicted glad tidings of the forthcoming conquest of Bukhara. Taking this as a sign, Timur went on a campaign that would indeed be successful. After his victory, he decided to visit the grave of Yasawi and ordered to build there a majestic mausoleum.

Khawaja Ahmad Yasawi or Ahmed Yesevi
Ahmad Yasawī (1093–1166) was a Turkic poet and Sufi, who exerted a powerful influence on the development of Sufi orders throughout the Turkic-speaking world.
Yasawi is the earliest known Turkic poet who composed poetry in Middle Turkic. He founded the first Turkic Sufi order, the Yasawiyya or Yeseviye, which very quickly spread over Turkic-speaking areas. He was an Hanafi scholar like his murshid (mentor) Yusuf Hamdani.
Ahmad Yasawi made considerable efforts to spread Islam throughout Central Asia and had numerous students in the region. Yasawi’s poems created a new genre of religious folk poetry in Central Asian Turkic literature and influenced many religious poets in the following countries.
Yasawi made the city of Yasi into the major centre of learning for the Kazakh Steppe, 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 Çantay noted that “It was a Seljuk king who brought Rumi, the great Sufi poet, to Konya; and it was in Seljuk times that Ahmad #Yesevi, another great Sufi, lived and taught. The influence of those two remarkable teachers has continued to the present.”

 Ahmed Yassawi was born in Sayram, now part of present day Southern Kazakhstan, in 1093 and from the age of three, his momentous and epic life journey took on a draught of experience that would become one of the great stories of mystic journeying ever embarked upon.

During his life ‘above ground’ Yassawi became famed as an insightful and spiritual figurehead. He also partook in trade and was successful in that. Between bouts of material success and community leadership he found time to visit the great sheiks and Imams of the day, in his ongoing search and desire for communion with God. 

He also took on the role of family life, and between at least four of five wives, sired two offspring. His son died early in his teens and his daughter was to be Yassawi’s only remaining offspring. As was the custom then, several wives were the norm. Yassawi, a devoted follower of the Prophet (pbuh), he would have been keen to follow his example.

He took on this same devotion, when at sixty three (the age Muhammad (pbuh) died), he decided he could not live longer than him in the world. He therefore committed himself to ‘dying to live’. This saw him remove himself from all earthly ties and go into an underground cell where he was to pass a further sixty three years till his own passing.

It was during this time spent in prayer, communion and contemplation that he wrote his some ninety nine thousand Hikmet. Diwani Hikmet (Divine Wisdom) is all that remains, to date, of his sacred inheritance….

Ahmad Yasawi was born in 1096 CE in Sayram in Kara-Khanid Khanate (now Kazakhstan). Sayram is a town near Shymkent, Kazakhstan. Ahmad Yasawi’s father, Sheikh Ibrahim died in the early years of his age when he was only 7 years old. After which he was taken care of by Arslan Baba. Along with Arslan Baba, Ahmad Yesevi advanced many spiritual stages and became famous in every quarter even in young stage of his life. Another reason for his fame was his father, Sheikh Ibrahim. Consequently, he started to be admired spiritually an important personality.

Ahmad Yesevi later went to Bukhara and completed his religious education from Yusuf Hamdani. After the death of Yusuf Hamdani in 1141 CE (buried in Merv, Turkmenistan), Abdullah Barki became his successor as the head of Hamdani’s khanqah. After him, Hassan-i Andākī became the next one. After the death of Hassan-i Andākī in 1160 CE, Ahmad Yasawi became the next head of Hamdani’s Khanqah. During his period and throughout his life, Ahmad Yasawi played an important role in spread Islam to Central Asia. He also taught a lot of students through which a continuous system of religious education and preach started.

Ahmad Yasawi also played an important role in the field of poetry and literature. His poems brought a new religious folk culture in the Central-Asian Turkish and inspired a lot of poets. Ahmad Yasawi also founded a center for learning in the Kazakh steppe where he himself served until his retirement at the age of 63. After retirement, Ahmad Yasawi spent his remaining life in reclusion. Hasan Basri Cantay states that the famous poet Rumi was brought to Konya by a Seljuk king and also Ahmad Yasawi served Islam during the same Seljuk period. The influence of their service is yet continued. Edward Campbell (writing as Ernest Scott) also wrote Ahmad Yasawi as a considerable member of Khwajagan.

Ahmad Yasawi died in 1166 CE and buried in Turkistan, Kazakhstan. First, there wasn’t any mausoleum constructed there. After almost 200 years during the period of Timurlane (Timur), a masterpiece of architecture was built on his grave by Timur in between 1389 and 1405 CE. UNESCO accepted this as a work of history in 2000 CE. Later Ahmad Yasawi mausoleum was repaired by the Republic of Turkey by TIKA ingenuity. Also, the order founded by Ahmad Yasawi is still followed and Yasawi Sayyid Ata Sheikhs was holding a prominent position in Bukhara court.

It has also been reported that the book of wisdom “Divan-i-Hikmat” is of Ahmad Yasawi as it contains a lot of Turkish poems written by him as well as the dervish of his era. Ahmet Yesevi University, the first-ever Kazakh-Turkish university was established in Turkistan in 1993 after the great Sufi mystic and poet Ahmad Yesevi.

Peer-e-Turkistan
HAZRAT KHWAJA AHMAD YASAVI (quddus sirrahu al-aziz) ( Nanajaan of Hazrat Syed Makhdoom Ashraf Semnani Rahmatullah Alaih)

Khwaja Ahmad Yasavi was one of the most influential spiritual leaders in Central Asia. A Sufi poet, philosopher and a mystic who contributed tremendously to the development of mystical orders throughout the Turkic speaking world.

The people of Turkestan used to call him Ata Yasavi. ‘Ata’ means ‘Father’, and the Turks have used this word to designate their greatest Shaykhs.

many of the eminent Sufis of Turkestan are affiliated to him. many saints have arisen from his noble line.

Khwaja Ahmad Yasavi received spiritual training from one of the greatest Turkic shaykhs, Shaykh Arslan Baba (quddus sirrahu) and later Khwaja Shaykh Yusuf al Hamdani (quddus sirrahu).

When he reached the age of 63, he lived the remainder of his life secluded away, He explained: I have reached the age of the Prophet (ﷺ), sixty-three years, for me this is enough, no need to live beyond the time allotted to the prophet ﷺ. This saw him remove himself from all earthly ties and go into an underground cell until the end of his time on earth. It was during this time spent in prayer, communion and contemplation that he wrote his some ninety nine thousand Diwani Hikmet (Divine Wisdom)

His mausoleum in the city of Turkestan, present day Kazakhstan was built in 1389 by Turko-Mongol conqueror Amir Timur. It continues to draw pilgrims from all over the planet and has become a symbol of the Timurid dynasty.

Al Fatiha for his blessed soul

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s