Ashrafoglu Rumi : An awliya from Nicaea

Ashrafoglu Rumi, who is also known as Ashrafzade-i Rumi is one of the medieval Anatolian mutasawwufs from the city of Nicaea. This city holds a special place in the history of Ottomans since it served in the 14th century as a capital city for the Ottoman empire. The city is also famous for handcrafts and pottery.

Perhaps in the intellectual climate in the city influenced Rumi, he is also known for his interesting poems that reflect his life views on sufism especially.

His birth year is unknown, he passed away in the year 1484 in Nicaea and his tomb is also located in this city. His real name is Abdullah.

At early childhood, he studied at the madrasas in Nicaea, then he travelled to nearby city of Bursa to study tafsir, hadith and fiqh.

However, he was not pleased, in order words, fully content with the formal education he has received and he was curious about the “sufi way”. This is usually a sign of a darwish, he gets formal education like tafsir, hadith and fiqh and then he wants to search for more, this is where the “tasawwuf way” comes in.

Knowing that he was to find a mutassawuf teacher for himself, he distributed his books for younger students and he set on the road to find Amir Sultan, another awliya of the same period from the city of Bursa. Amir sultan suggested him to travel to the city of Ankara to meet Hadji Bayram Wali.

What Amir Sultan did can only be explained by his modesty. Probably, seeing the high level of enthusiasm in young Rumi, he thought of Hadji Bayram as being a better teacher than himself.

Although we say “young Rumi”, he was already over 40 and Hadji Bayram Wali saw that he was very determined to walk the “tasawwuf path” and gave him some “spiritual exercises”

Rumi accepted all of these “tasks” straight away since he already knew they were related with riyazah and mujahada, two concepts related with Islamic taqwa. For more information about riyazah and mujahada please check :  Riyazah and Mujahadah : A diet for the soul

He served for Hadji Bayram Wali for 11 years. Once Bayram Wali told his student that it is not really appropriate to chat with his teacher, therefore Rumi didn’t utter a single word for 11 years, replied only when talked to.

After that period, Bayram Wali suggested him to travel to the city of Hama to be a student for Hossain Hamawi, who is one of the grand children of Abdulqadir Gaylanee. He was to learn about the Qadirriye order under the discipline of Hossain Hamawi.

Rumi also endured all kinds of riyazah and mujahada there and returned to the city of Nicaea.

He didn’t want to become “known” in public, therefore he kept a low profile in his city. However, after a while town-folks start to realize his spiritual “connections” and people started to flock near him to seek advices.

He wasn’t really happy to be away from “uzlet”, the sense of solitude for the mutassawuf.

Despite his preference for keeping a low profile in public, his “fame” grew exponentially, to a such degree that even high ranking Ottoman officers from the city of Istanbul wanted to be his student.

He has written many books and he is also known to have written many poems related to sufism.

Baris Tarimcioglu/





You must be logged in to post a comment Login