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AHMED-İ HÂNÎ

Poet and theologian (b. 1651, Han village / Yüksekova / Hakkari - d. 1707, Doğubeyazıt / Ağrı). He received elementary education in Diyarbakır and Bitlis. He studied Arabic, rhetoric and religious sciences in various places in Eastern Anatolia. He studied natural sciences as well with particular interest in astronomy. He wrote his works in verse. He expressed the problems and derelictions of that period in his works. Hânî wrote his famous work Mem u Zin (Mem and Zin) when he was in Cizre, one of the important centers of the region. The work, in which it is possible to find the cultural features of Cizre region, is composed of verse and rhymed couplets and includes three hundred verses. He wrote his work in a fluent style. M. Emin Bozarslan translated the work, which also became the subject of a doctoral study (Michael L. Chyet, Studies on Mem u Zin-Mem and Zin, A Kurdish Romance), into Turkish. Some allegations were brought against the work, which was also filmed, and against the writer. It was determined that the allegations, which claimed that traces of beliefs before Islam are investigated in the work and that some statements are related to the belief in Zoroastrianism, had no firm basis. The fact that the writer wrote eulogies with sincere statements about Allah and the Prophet Muhammed at the beginning of the work, that he explained the harmony formed by contradictions in existence and events due to the magnificence and power of the Supreme Being and that he added prayers at the end of his work disprove the allegations.

Hânî rather concentrated on religious issues in the works he wrote in Kurdish. He wrote about the subjects of divinity and existence. He expressed his opinions about moral, social and cultural issues through his poems. He was a Sunnite and concentrated on the matters of the creation of the universe, the tasks imposed on people, etc. It is believed that Mevlana and Molla Cami influenced him because of the themes he wrote about and the subjects he emphasized in his poems. He not only dealt with theology but also with the problems of society. He was concerned about the problems in society and the carelessness of people. He suggested that social solidarity, education and helping each other was the solution. He worked hard to achieve success in his vocation. By emphasizing that science and wisdom must come before materialism, he drew attention to the weaknesses of people in these matters. Hânî entered into scientific debates with Shiite scholars when he was in Doğubeyazıt.

Said Nursî used the following expressions for Hânî, who was considered a holy person amongst society: “Mollah Ahmed, one of the geniuses of literary men” (Tarihçe-i Hayat-History of Life, p. 32), “Şeyh Ahmed” (Münazarat-Debates, p.105), “Famous Şeyh Ahmed” (Kastamonu Lahikası, p. 186). Hânî is introduced as “a literary man, poet, patriot, a person in love with the Prophet of Allah” (First Volume, p.94 of the work Bediüzzaman Said-i Nursî: Mufassal Tarihçe-i Hayatı-Bediüzzaman Said-i Nursî: Detailed Biography) by Abdulkadir Badıllı. Hânî spent the last years of his life in Doğubeyazıt and died there in 1707. His shrine, which is still used as a pilgrimage, is near İshak Paşa Palace.

WORKS:

Mem u Zin (Mem and Zin, a form of classical Divan* literature in verse), Çarkoşe (Four Directions, long poems in quatrains, each line written separately in Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish and Persian), Nûbahârâ Pıçûkân (13 sections, Arabic-Kurdish dictionary in verse), Akidâ İmânı (Religious Belief, 80 verses).