REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

SÜLEYMAN ÇELEBİ

Poet (b. ?, Bursa – d. 1422). Süleyman Çelebi, about whom there is not enough information, is a poet famous for his work Mevlid (a work depicting the birth of the Prophet Muhammad). It is said that he worked as an imam during the reign of Yıldırım Beyazıd (1389-1402) at Bursa Ulu Mosque.

He wrote the Mevlid to explain the superiority of Muhammad over all the prophets in response to a reference in the biography of Latifî that said there were no levels of superiority amongst the prophets. His tomb is on the Çekirge road to Bursa.

The original name of Mevlid, which is a work on the love of the prophets, was Vesiletü'n-Necât (The Salvation Path).

Mevlid, which was completed in 1409, consists of around eight hundred couplets in the meter “fâilâtün fâilâtün fâilâtün” in the mesnevi (rhymed couplet) style and with a very pure Turkish.

The six sections that form the book are Münacat (Rogation to God), Veladet (The Birth of our Prophet), Risalet (The Coming of the First Revelation), Mi'rac (The Miracle of the Prophet’s Ascent to Heaven), Rıhlet (His Death) and Dua (The Forgiving of Sin, the salvation wish of Muhammad).

Although hundreds of mevlids (long prayer and thanksgiving to God) had been written up to the 15th century, none of them was shown as much interest as Süleyman Çelebi’s work.

Mevlid, which Süleyman Çelebi wrote with a lyrical language and a great intimacy, has become the Islamic literary work that Muslim Turks have read the most for centuries.

Still, it is read especially on the birthday of the Prophet (12 Rebiülevvel), other religious days, circumcisions, marriages and memorial ceremonies. On some religious days, Mevlid is broadcast live from mosques on Turkish radio and TV.

The scientific publications of Mevlid: Süleyman Çelebi - Vesiletü'n-Necât (Süleyman Çelebi-The Salvation Path, by Prof. Ahmet Ateş, published by the Turkish Language Association, 1954); Mevlid (by Prof. Faruk Kadri Timurtaş, from the 1000 Foundation Works series published by the Ministry of National Education, 1970).