EBRĀHĪM DEDE ŠĀHEDĪ, Turkish poet and lexicographer. His father Hodāyī Ṣāleḥ, who had been educated in Persia, was appointed by the Ottoman Sultan Moḥammad II as shaikh of a zāwīa in Moḡla in southwestern Turkey. Šāhedī was born there; since he was seventy-six years old when in 951/1544 he composed his Golšan-e asrār, the year of his birth must have been 875/1470. His father died when he was only ten years old and he had to work as an apprentice to a silk merchant (ḵazzāz). His great love of learning, however, took him to Istanbul, where he became a student at the Fāteḥ madresa. Soon afterward, repelled by the conceit of his teachers, he abandoned formal education and returned to Moḡla to follow the Sufi path. Later he went to Kütahya, where he met Dīvāna Moḥammad Čalabī, a famous Mawlawī dervish, and attached himself to him with his whole being. When Čalabī died, Šāhedī returned to Moḡla and became shaikh of the takīya of Sayyed Kamāl or Kamāl-al-Dīn, a post once also held by his father. He died in 957/1550 during a visit to the grave of Čalabī in Karahisar (Qarah Ḥeṣār) and was buried by the side of the shaikh.

Works. Šāhedī’s works are mostly of didactic nature; they include: 1. Golšan-e asrār (comp. 951/1544), in Persian; it contains his own biography and describes characteristics of Dīvāna Čalabī and his relations with him. Its importance lies in the full openness with which it presents the obligatorily secret, inner life of the Mawlawī dervishes. A copy is preserved in the Solaymanīya Library Halef Efendi, suppl., no. 74. 2. Golšan-e tawḥīd, a maṯnawī written in Persian in 937/1529-30 in immitation of Rūmī’s Maṯnawī. The poet explains how, in order to connect with each other 600 verses (bayt) chosen from the Maṯnawī, he created his work by adding to each verse five more verses of his own. 3. Golšan-e waḥdat; inspired by ʿAṭṭār’s Manṭeq al-ṭayr, it presents Sufi concepts such as the secret of mystic union by expounding such components of the face as hair, beard, mole, eye, eyebrow, and mouth and their union on the face. 4. Toḥfa-ye Šāhedī, a rhymed Persian-Turkish dictionary written in 921/1515 for teaching purposes as an act of gratitude to his father, who had been well-versed in Persian. The great vogue the work enjoyed is evident from the numerous manuscripts preserved in libraries and from its three printed editions (Istanbul, 1269/1853, 1271/1855, 1284/1867). 5. ʿEšq-nāma. This little Persian maṯnawī, long attributed either to Rūmī or to Solṭān Walad, has been proven to be a work of Šāhedī. 6. Tarāš-nāma, another work probably penned by Šāhedī. 7. A commentary on the Golestān of Saʿdī, but no copy has so far been found.



ʿĀšeq Čelebī, Mašāhīr al-šoʿarāʾ, ed. M. Owens, London, 1971, p. 244.

A. Gölpinarli, Mevlana’dan sonra Mevlevilik, Istanbul, 1983, pp. 132-40.

Idem, Mevlana Müzesi yazmalari, 3 vols., Ankara, 1967-1972, index.

Nafīsī, Naẓm o naṯr, pp. 468, 829.

ŠākÂīb Dede, Safīna-ye nafīsa-ye mawlawīya, Cairo, 1283/1866.

(Tahsin Yazici)

Originally Published: December 15, 1997

Last Updated: December 6, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VIII, Fasc. 1, pp. 65-66