ESʿAD DEDE, MEHMED (Moḥammad Asʿad Dada), Turkish author and Sufi poet of the Mawlawī order (b. in Salonika, 1257/1841; d. in Istanbul, 13 Šaʿbān 1329/9 August 1911). He received his primary education in Salonika. In 1280/1863 he went to Istanbul, where he received a good traditionaleducation and attached himself to ʿOṯmān Ṣalāḥ-al-Dīn Dede, the shaikh of the Mawlawī lodge at Yenikapi. He studied Rūmī’s Maṯnawī and Ebn al-ʿArabī’s Foṣūṣ al-ḥekam under him and obtained the license (ejāza, q.v.) to teach these books. He then moved to Eskişehir, where the shaikh of the Mawlawī-ḵāna invested him with the Sufi mantle (ḵerqa) of succession. Esʿad Dede also joined the Sufi orders of Edrīsīya and Šāḏelīya. He taught Persian in several high schools and the Maṯnawī and Foṣūṣ al-ḥekam in a few mosques and madrasahs.
Esʿad Dede’s principal works are Turkish translations of the robāʿīyāt of Abū Saʿīd Abi’l-Ḵayr (q.v.); of Tārīḵ-e ḵᵛājagān; of ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Jāmī; of Rūmī’s Maṯnawī; and of Ebn al-Fāreż’s qaṣīda, known as Naẓm al-solūk or al-Tāʾīya al-kobrā. His other works include Nemūna-ye qawāʿed-e fārsī (Istanbul, 1308/1891), and Resāla-ye maʿād, on the subject of waḥdat-e wojūd, and Tawḥīd-nāma (all in Turkish).
İ. Kemal, Son asır Türk şairleri, Istanbul, 1969, I, pp. 329-30.
S. Ergun, Türk şairleri, Istanbul, n. d., III, pp. 1317-19.
Originally Published: December 15, 1998
Last Updated: January 19, 2012
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Vol. VIII, Fasc. 6, p. 562