Ahmed-i Da’i of Germiyan

April 19, 2008 § Leave a comment

The Torture of the Beloved

The torture of the beloved is no punishment

at all

Thank God for the faithfulness of your cruelty

There are many beloveds with cypress-bodies,

witch-eyes, and trouble-making brows

But not one of them has been so enticing

as you!

If those thirst for the wine of you rubied lips

gave one thousand lives

One thousand lives for just the dregs-

it would be cheap!

No matter how much I am seperated from you,

no matter how far

Your image remains constant within my soul

Oh my beloved, why do you withhold our union?

It does not befit you to torment your slave

this way!

Do a favor for the lovers, bring joy and captivate

their hearts

One must be faithful, for we know beauty

does not last

From my heart, I love you dearly,

more than life itself

Believe me, God knows there is no error in what I say

In this poem entitled, The Torture of the beloved, Ahmed-i Da’i makes mention of “many beloveds” when he writes, “There are many beloveds with cypress-bodies, witch-eyes,”. Ahmed-i Da’i appears to be referring to an allure an attraction of perhaps, unexplainable magnetism yet describing this attraction as having “trouble-making brows”. The scholars have commented on this phrase writing,

“This introduces the notion of fitne, which involves disturbing the peace and harmony of the community by doing something (or having a quality) that causes trouble, unrest, riot, or misbehavior. The beloved causes such trouble in innumerable ways.” (Andrews; Black; Kapakli, 2006)

There is little known about the poet Ahmed-i Da’i (d. ca. 1500), however, scholars have said he was born “during the latter part of the fourteenth century”, in the Anatolian Turkish Beylik named Germiyan. Germiyan was established by the Oghuz Turkish Clans and it is likely that Ahmed-i Da’i was from one of these clans. Ahmed-i Da’i was well known in the court of Kütahya, the region’s center for the arts and cultural activities. 

After the invasion of Timur into Anatolia, Ahmed-i Da’i sought refuge and patronage in the court of the Ottoman Sultans. He was accepted into the court of Sultan Suleyman I and Sultan Mehmed and later became the private tutor to the young Prince Murad II. Ahmed-i Da’i was loyal to the Ottoman Sultans and dedicated many of his works to Ottoman officials. Scholars have written that,

Like many premodern intellectuals*, Ahmed-i Da’i was a master of many fields of knowledge from law to medicine, to literature and linguistics, to history and natural sciences. He wrote at least seventeen major works that we know of and collections of poetry in both Turkish and Persian. In addition he is thought to have been an excellent calligrapher… He is said to be buried in Bursa, the first Ottoman capital, however, his grave-site is not known.” (Andrews; Black; Kapakli, 2006) [*Emphasis mine]

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