Life of Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi

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SULTAN OF HEARTS AZIZ MAHMUD HUDAYI
-May Allah Have Mercy on Him (1541- 1628)

His name is Mahmud, and he was described as “Aziz” (honorable) as a sign of respect for him. “Hudayi” was a nickname given probably by his Sheikh Uftada, and he used this name as pseudonym in his poems. It is narrated that he is a descendant of Junaid al-Baghdadi and it is even said that he is a descendant of Prophet Muhammed.

Hudayi was born in Kochhisar/Ankara in 948H / 1541. He received his first education in his town Sivrihisar and finished his religious education in Kucuk Ayasofya Madrasa (religious school) in Istanbul. While he was being educated in madrasa, he got the attention of his teacher Nazirzade Ramazan Efendi, so he appointed him as his assistant. Sufism at that time had a big influence, and Hudayi’s heart was yearning for deeper knowledge; therefore, he attended in addition to his education in madrasa the sohbets of Sheikh Nureddinzade Muslihuddin Efendi who was a leader in Sufism.

After he moved with his teacher Nazirzade among different madrasas in Istanbul, he was appointed as a teahcer in Selimiye Madrasa in Edirne. Also, he and his teacher became judges in Cairo and Damascus. Then Nazirzade became the Chief Judge in Bursa, and Hudayi was a teacher in Ferhadiye madrasa in addition to his position as deputy judge in Cami-i Atik court.

When he was in Bursa, he used to attend Sufism sohbets, and he attended the shobets of M. Muhyiddin Uftade who was the qutub (spirtiual pillar) in Bursa. Hudayi asked Sheikh Uftade to be his murid, but Sheikh Uftada demanded three things: to distripute everything he had to the poor, to quit his positions in madrasa and judiciary, and to struggle against his nafs to purify it.

Hudayi accepted these demands and after he was subjected to difficult tests by his Sheikh during his spiritual education, he was able to complete succssfully the required stage in short period which was not more than three years. Then he was asked to serve as a guid and preacher in Sivrihisar. After the death of his Shiekh, Hudayi moved to Balkans and Rumeli. After that he came back to Istanbul which was known as the capital of wisdom and knowledge. He lived in Kucuk Ayasofya where he once spent the days of his youth.

While he was busy in guiding and enlightening people in Istanbul, he decided to move to Uskudar district; therefore, he bought a piece of land to build a tekke and a mosque, and he started building a sufisim complex. He countinued to preach and advice people in many mosques in Istanbul. He had in Camlica-Bulgurlu a sufism zawiyeh where he sometimes detached himself from people and immersed himself in worshiping.

Sheikh Hudayi passed away in 3 Safar 1038H (2 October 1682) leaving behind many books. His grave is in the cemetery which is inside his comlex in Uskudar. The mosque there was build by himself. However, when a fire broke out in 1850, the complex was burned wholly. Later, the Ottoman Sultan Abdulmajid reconstructed it.

His dua to his lovers was:

“Those who visit us when we are alive, and those who visit our grave after our death and read the Fatiha when passing by our tomb are ours. May those who love us not drown at sea, may they not suffer poverty in their old age, may they not pass away without saving their faith.”

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