ḤALIMI, LOṬF-ALLĀH b. Abi Yusof, an Ottoman poet and lexicographer of Persian origin (d. 922/1516). It is not clear when and where he was born and educated. Abu’l-Ḵayr Aḥmad Ṭāš-kuprizāda (p. 386) distinguishes him from another Ḥalimi of Kastamonu (Gibb, II, p. 267, n. 2). ʿĀšeq Čelebi, (fol. 89a) records that he came from Persia and through the efforts of Maḥmud Pasha (Ottoman grand vizier in the years 1453-67), he became a judge and a leading figure. According to Mehmed Süreyya (II, p. 241), he served as a tutor to Prince Moḥammad, the future Sultan Moḥammad-Fāteḥ, and died in 922/1516. Later sources (e.g., Moḥammad Ṯorayyā, II, p. 241) claim that he was from Amasya. According to his own Baḥr al-ḡarāʾeb, probably composed around 850/1446, he came from Persia and was appointed tutor to Prince Moḥammad, then residing in Edirne. It is probable that during Fāteḥ’s second reign he was made the judgeof Sivās. During his tenure in Sivās in 872/1467, he presented his Persian-Turkish dictionary, the Baḥr al-ḡarāʾeb, renamed Neṯār al-malek and provided with certain annotations, to Prince Bāyazid, who was then the governor (wāli) of Sivās. During this time he was taken to Tokat and imprisoned because of accusations leveled at him by Bāyazid’s associates. He was released after three months in 889/1484, when it was found out that the charges were only slanders. In 880/1475, he went to Istanbul, where he wrote the Qaṣida-ye ṭāʾiya (see below) and presented it together with a commentary to Sultan Moḥammad-Fāteḥ. How the sultan received this qaṣida is not known, and there is no information about the poet’s life after this point. Many works confuse his death date with that of Ḥalimi of Kastamonu. Since his works mention Sultan Moḥammad-Fāteḥ (r. 1444-46) and Sultan Bāyazid II (r. 1481-1512), but not Salim, he must have died within the reign of the former two sultans. The date 900/1494-95 given by Kāteb Čelebi corroborates this theory, and the fact that he states that Ḥalimi was murdered increases the plausibility of this date.

Works. Ḥalimi, a scholar well versed in Arabic as well as his native Persian, composed works typical of his era. He is best known as a lexicographer and literary theorist. Without doubt, his greatest achievement as a lexicographer is (1) his Persian-Turkish dictionary Baḥr al-ḡarāʾeb or Loḡat-e Ḥalimi, which can be found in several libraries under various names, such as Qāsemiya, Qāʾema, and Neṯār al-malek (Monzawi, Noskòahā, pp. 1920, 2012). This dictionary, based on the works of many earlier Persian lexicographers, contains approximately 5,540 words. In the manuscripts that contain examples, the book is divided into two parts. The first part, arranged alphabetically, is devoted only to words. The second part includes additions and points that are not covered in the body of the work, as well as a discussion of literary arts. It first discusses verbs, names, and letters, followed by a short treatise on prosody. In some manuscripts (e.g., Istanbul University Library TY 1404 and TY 1309) there is no second part. These sections are followed by information on the names of the moon, planets, and signs of the zodiac, as well as riddles, puns, and linguistic discussion. Three early manuscripts of this work are preserved in the Topkapı Palace Library: no. 2023 (copied 882/1477-78), A2763 (copied 923/1517-18), and A2769 (copied 922/1516-17). (2) Moṣarraḥat al-asmāʾ isan Arabic-Persian dictionary containing only nouns in alphabetical order (Monzawi, Nosḵahā, p. 2029; see also DICTIONARIES II. ARABIC PERSIAN, 3. ASĀMI-TYPE). (3) Ṭebb-e manẓum is a versified Persian work on medicine, dedicated to Sultan Moḥammad-Fāteḥ in 862/1458. In the preface, the author acknowledged his great debt in learning medicine to Greek physicians. He stated that he preferred to use Persian instead of Arabic in a versified work, because he believed that there was no language as refined and graceful as Persian. He also acknowledged his debt to Avicenna’s Qānun and Šefāʾ. The book discusses human health, motherhood, nursing, intrauterine care, pediatric illnesses, and other medical subjects (see Fonahn, no. 216). (4) Šarḥ moḵtaṣar al-aškāl is a short treatise on Islamic law in Arabic. (5) Qaṣida-ye ṭāʾiya is an Arabic poem with a commentary added later by the author and presented to Sultan Moḥammad-Fāteḥ. On the one hand, praising the sultan, and on the other, mentioning the misfortunes that he himself had endured, Ḥalimi describes the ideal relationship between rulers and religious leaders, and recounts the attitudes of previous rulers on this issue while chastising fraudulent scholars. He also inserts appropriate Persian couplets and stories. Only one manuscript of this work is known to exist (Süleymaniye Library Ayasofya no. 4088).



ʿĀšeq Čelebi, Mašāʿer al-šoʿarāʾ, facsim. ed. Glyn Munro Meredith-Owens, London, 1971.

Moḥammad Dabirsiāqi, Farhanghā-ye fārsi wa farhang-gunahā, Tehran, 1368 Š./1989, pp. 263-67.

Mustafa Ekran, “Halîmî, Lutfullah,” in Türkiye diyanet vakfi; İslâm Ansiklopedisi XV, Istanbul, 1997, pp. 341-43.

Adolf Mauritz Fonahn, Zur Quellenkunde der per-sischen Medizin, Leipzig, 1910; repr. 1968.

E. J. W. Gibb, A History of Ottoman Poetry, 6 vols., London, 1958-67.

Alizade Hoseyn Hüsameddin, Amasya Tarihi, Istanbul, 1927, III, pp. 229-30.

Moḥammad Ṯorayyā (Mehmed Süreyya), Sejell-e ʿOṯmāni: Taḏkera-ye mašāhir-e ʿOṯmāni, 4 vols., Istanbul, 1308-11/1890-93, II, p. 241.

Mehmed Tahir Bursalı, Osmanlı Müellifleri, Istanbul, 1334/1916, I, p. 272.

G. M. Meredith-Owens, Handlist of Persian Manuscripts 1895-1966, London, 1968, pp. 84, 85, 86.

Qenālizāda (Kınalızada) Ḥasan Čelebi, Taḏkerat al-šoʿarāʾ, ed. İbrahim Kutluk, Ankara, 1978-81, I, p. 303.

Šams-al-Din Sāmi, Qāmus al-aʿlām, Istanbul, 1308/1891.

Abu’l-Ḵayr Aḥmad Ṭāš-kuprizāda, al-Šaqāʾeq al-Noʿmāniya fi ʿolamāʾ al-dawlat al-ʿOtmāniya, ed. Ahmed Subhi Furat, Istanbul, 1985, p. 382.

İsmail Hakki Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Tarihi, Ankara, 1983, II, p. 600.

(Tahsin Yazici)

Originally Published: December 15, 2003

Last Updated: March 1, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XI, Fasc. 6, pp. 588-589