ḤOSĀM-AL-DIN ČALABI, ḤASAN B. MOḤAMMAD b. Ḥasan, Ebn Aḵi Tork (d. 683/1284), leading disciple and first successor of Jalāl-al-Din Rumi, who wrote down and edited his master’s original dictations of the Mathnawi (Maṯnawi). Information about the life of Ḥosām-al-Din is found in sources which aim primarily to narrate Rumi’s life-story and provide a contextual framework for the composition of his literary works. Rumi himself often heaps praise on Ḥosām-al-Din, in particular in his Mathnawi (most conspicuously at the beginning of each of the six books), which he even refers to as “Ḥosāmi-nāma” (Mathnawi VI, v. 2). This high praise is corroborated in Rumi’s Divān-e Šams-e Tabrizi as well as several of his letters (e.g., Maktubāt, p. 102).
Ḥosām-al-Din was born in Konya, Turkey, in around 622/1225. His family originated from Urmia in western Azerbaijan. His father, following the tradition of his ancestors, was the leader of a fotowwa brotherhood (youth guild; see javānmardi), and for this reason the title “Aḵi” (brother) is used before their names (Taeschner; Lewis, p. 216). Ḥosām-al-Din was still very young when his father, Aḵi Tork, passed away, but nevertheless the members of his father’s brotherhood are said to have accepted him as his successor. Aflāki reports further (pp. 738-39) that Ḥosām-al-Din led all his followers to Rumi, and also transferred the wealth of the brotherhood to Rumi’s order.
After the disappearance of Šams-al-Din Tabrizi (Rumi’s mentor) in 645/1247, Rumi devoted more time to the instruction of disciples and decided to entrust the administration of the waqf endowment of his order to a deputy. Ḥosām-al-Din succeeded the first incumbent, Ṣalāḥ-al-Din Zarkub, and held the position until Rumi’s death. Passages in the Mathnawi express Rumi’s confidence in his competence and sincerity, such that he rebukes the jealousy and backbiting of the older disciples, whom he had placed under his authority (Mathnawi I, v. 431; II, v. 1127). Rumi’s high opinion of him is further illustrated by his securing for Ḥosām-al-Din the position of shaikh of the Sufi lodge of Żiāʾ-al-Din Wazir (Maktubāt, p. 219; Aflāki, pp. 754-55).
The Mathnawi refers to Rumi and Ḥosām-al-Din staying up together all night in discussion sessions (Mathnawi I, v. 1817). During one of these sessions Ḥosām-al-Din is credited with having prompted Rumi to start composing the Mathnawi itself, by suggesting that he follow the examples of Sanāʾi and ʿAṭṭār in this regard (Sepahsālār, p. 142). Rumi then started to dictate his teachings in maṯnawi (couplet) form and Ḥosām-al-Din would write them down. After the first of the six books of the Mathnawi was completed, in around 660/1262 (Lewis, pp. 221-3), there was a pause on account of the death of Ḥosām-al-Din’s wife, which deeply affected him. In 662/1263-4, Ḥosām-al-Din resumed his important role as scribe and editor, writing down the Mathnawi as Rumi dictated, and then reviewing and emending it afterwards in consultation with him.
After Rumi’s death, in 672/1273, his disciples and family accepted his deputy Ḥosām-al-Din as successor. According to Sepahsālār (p. 146), a conflict arose among the disciples over whether Ḥosām-al-Din or Rumi’s son Solṭān Valad should be the successor, but this was resolved when Solṭān Valad himself acknowledged Ḥosām-al-Din as being more worthy of the honor. Ḥosām-al-Din held the position of shaikh of Rumi’s order until his death in 683/1284, when he was succeeded by Solṭān Valad.
Aḥmad Aflāki, Manāqeb al-ʿĀrefin, ed. T. Yazıcı, 2 vols., Ankara, 1959.
Badiʿ-al-Zamān Foruzānfar, Zendagāni-e Mowlānā Jalāl-al-Din Moḥ-ammad,2nd ed., Tehran, 1333 Š./1954.
Abdülbaki Gölpınarlı, Mevlana’dan sonra mevlevilik, Istanbul, 1953.
Franklin Lewis, Rumi: past and present, East and West, Oxford, 2001.
Jalāl-al-Din Rumi, Maktubāt-e Mowlānā Jalāl-al-Din Rumi,ed. T. Sobḥāni, Tehran, 1992.
Idem, Maṯnawi, ed. Moḥammad Esteʿlāmi, 7 vols. (including index volume), sixth edition, Tehran 1379 Š./2000.
Anne-Marie Schimmel, The Triumphal Sun, London, 1978.
Faridun Sepahsālār, Resāla-ye Sepahsālār,ed. S. Nafisi, Tehran, 1325 Š./1946; reprinted as Zendagināma-ye Mowlānā Jalāl-al-Din Mowlavi, Tehran, 1362 Š./1983.
Taeschner, “Akhi” in EI 2. Tahsin Yazıcı, “Ḥusām al-Dīn Čelebi” in EI 2.
Originally Published: December 15, 2004
Last Updated: March 23, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. XII, Fasc. 5, pp. 490-491
Mohammad Estelami, “ḤOSĀM-AL-DIN ČALABI,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, XII/5, pp. 490-491, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/hosam-al-din-calabi (accessed on 30 December 2012).