ḤĀFEẒ-e ʿAJAM, HĀFEẒ-AL-DIN MOḤAMMAD b. Aḥmad b. ʿĀdel Çelebi, scholar of religion and author (d. 957/1550). He was born at an unknown date at Bardaʿa in the Caucasus to a father whose name is varyingly given as Aḥmad and ʿĀdel. After completing the major part of his education in his hometown, he came to Tabriz for further studies with a certain Mazid. He left Tabriz, however, for Istanbul after the Safavid Shah Esmāʿil I’s conquest of the city, and there he entered the services of Moʾayyadzāda ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Efendi, who was impressed by the breadth of his knowledge. The Ottoman ruler Sultan Bāyazid II appointed him to teach first at a madrasa in Ankara and then at one in Merzifon. Benefiting from a recommendation by Moʾayyadzāda, he was then appointed in turn to the ʿAli Pasha madrasa in Istanbul, a series of madrasas in Iznik, and finally to the Ṣaḥn madrasa, where he remained until his death in 957/1550.
Ḥāfeẓ-e ʿAjam was a prolific author, renowned for his ability to write with speed and in an attractive style. He also composed poetry, including qaṣidas in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, none of which have, however, survived. He wrote a number of glosses on well-known works, including Ḥāšia ʿalā šarḥ al-mawāqef on Šarif Jorjāni’s commentary on the Ketāb al-mawāqef fi ʿelm al-kalām of Qāżi ʿAżod-al-Din Iji (ms. Haci Selimaga, Üsküdar, 607). Noteworthy among the rest of his works are Resāla fi taṣwir al-hayulā; Maʿārek al-katāʾeb fi mabāḥeṯ min al-ʿolum wa’l-kotob (ms. Süleymaniye, Laleli 2513); Madinat al-ʿelm; Manāqeb ʿAli b. Abi Ṭāleb; Moḥākamat al-tajrid; Fehrest al-ʿolum; Erjāʿ al-ʿelm elā noqaṭa wāḥeda; Ḥašia ʿalā šarḥ Meftāḥ al-ʿolum; Sabʿa-ye sayyāra; and Nafṯat al-maṣdur (see Akün, for further details)
Ömar Faruk Akün, “Hâfiz-i Acem,” in Türkiye Dıyanet Vakfi İslâm Ansıklopedısı XV, pp. 80-83.
ʿĀšeq Čelebi, Mašāʿer al-šoʿarāʾ, ed. G. M. Meredith-Owens, London, 1987, pp. 844-85.
ʿAbd-al-Laṭif Çelebi Laṭifi, Teḏkera, ed. Ahmed Jawdat, Āṯār al-aslāf 9, Istanbul, 1314/1896, p. 125.
Qenālizāda Ḥasan Čelebi, Taḏkerat al-šoʿarāʾ, ed. Ibrahim Kutluk, Ankara, 1978, I, pp. 276-77.
Aḥmad b. Moṣṭafā Tāškuprizāda, al-Šaqāʾeqal-noʿmāniya fi ʿolamāʾ al-Dawlat al-ʿOṯmāniya, tr. Mejdi Mehmed Efendi, 5 vol., Istanbul, 1989, I, pp. 449-51.
Meḥmed Ṯüreyyā, Sejell-e ʿOṯmāni IIIstanbul, 1311/1893, p. 97.
Originally Published: December 15, 2002
Last Updated: March 1, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. XI, Fasc. 5, pp. 509-510
Tahsin Yazıcı, “ḤĀFEẒ-E ʿAJAM,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, XI/5, pp. 509-510, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/hafez-e-ajam (accessed on 30 December 2012).