The Eye of the Heart: An Introduction to Sufism and the Major Tariqats of Anatolia and the Balkans

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The Eye of the Heart: An Introduction to Sufism and the Major Tariqats of Anatolia and the Balkans

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Introduction to Sufism and the Tariqats of Anatolia and the Balkans

Yasar Nuri Ozttirk

The Eye of the Heart

Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2022 with funding from Kahle/Austin Foundation

The Eye of the Heart An Introduction to Sufism

and the Major Tarigats of Anatolia and the Balkans

By Yasar Nuri Oztiirk Translated by Richard Blakney oy)

EALMLNC Redhouse Press Istanbul



ISBN 975-413-024-8 THE EYE OF THE HEART Copyright 1988 Redhouse Press Cover Photo: An oil painting by F. Zanaro, from the archives of Taha Toros. Photos in text: Illustrations 1-9, 11-12, 14-38, and 40-46 by Haluk Konyah; 10, 13, 39 by Redhouse Press.

Typeset by: Istanbul Matbaasi Printed by: Bogaz Ofset REDHOUSE


Rizapasa Yokusu No: 50 Mercan 34450 Istanbul

Tel: 522 14 98—527 81 00

Translator’s Note The English text of this book is the product of the translation, condensation, and simplification of a much longer Turkish text prepared by Dr. Oztlirk for the Redhouse Press. The condensation and simplification were undertaken jointly by Dr. Oztiirk and myself in order to make the essence of a highly technical text available to a wide readership. Instead of attempting to translate Dr. Oztiirk’s Turkish renderings of Koranic verses, I have quoted the English renderings done by M. M. Pickthall in his The Meaning of the Glorious Koran. \n those instances in which a word or phrase of Dr. Oztiirk’s Turkish rendering differed substantially from Pickthall’s English rendering, I have altered Pickthall’s translation to make it conform to the interpretation given by Dr. Oztiirk. All translations of poetry appearing in the text are my own. In translating the poems by Yunus Emre I relied heavily on the interpretations given by Murat Sertoglu in his Yunus Emre Divani ve Ag¢iklamalari. Special thanks are due to Mrs. Sema Kirsali who patiently proofread and typed the various revisions of the English text for this book.

Richard Blakney


Acknowledgements Acknowledgement

is due to the following for plates in this book: Topkapi

Palace Museum Library, Istanbul, 1-9, 11-12, 14-38, 40-46; Diwan Literature Museum, Istanbul, 10, 13, 39. Thanks are due to the Directorates of both these museums, and especially to Dr. Filiz Ca&man,Curator of the Topkapi Palace Museum Library.


Preface This book is an introduction to sufism, the sufism of the tarigats (dervish fraternities) in particular. From among the great number of tarigats which have existed in the Islamic world I have selected for consideration only those which had large numbers of followers among the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. This decision was largely determined by the fact that these particular tariqats are the ones with which I am most familiar, their having been for many years one of my subjects of study.

The first part of the book is an outline of the principles and history of sufism. It begins with a discussion of how sufism is related to the Koran and the sunnat of the Prophet Muhammad. This is followed by a treatment of the most important sufi concepts and practices. An examination of sufi institutions, namely the tekke and the tarigat, concludes this general treatment of sufism. The second part of the book is a survey of the origins, development, beliefs, and practices of those tarigats which had the greatest number of adherents among the Turks of the Ottoman Empire.

Yasar Nuri Oztiirk Erenk6y, Istanbul May 1988