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Haci Bektas

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 3 months ago

An universal light from the 13th century: Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli

His philosophy embraces all races, nations, languages and cultures; even the deer and its hunter meet in this code of humanity and peace

SELAHATTİN SONMEZ

ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli, a13th century philosopher and an important figure in the Alawite faith and culture, will be commemorated in his hometown of Nevşehir between Aug. 16-18.
The celebration is an annual event in the philosopher's eponymous Hacı Bektaş district in Nevşehir.
His philosophy is a compassionate one based on the universal principles of humanity, tolerance and equality with an emphasis on spiritual purification and a disregard for formality: the love of God and of mankind is at its core.
Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli was also a pioneer in Anatolia for his emphasis on women's role in society and in the act of worship, supporting the idea that all believers - men and women alike - should take an equal part in daily life and worship side by side.
According to mythology, he came to Anatolia disguised as a dove: an animal symbolizing peace. Born in the city of Nishapur in the Khorasan region of Iran, Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli spent his childhood and youth in Khorasan, where he received his earliest education at the school of Hoca Ahmet Yesevi -- a learned thinker of the time.
Hacı Bektaş followed the Turkish migration routes from Central Asia to the West to arrive in Anatolia, where he settled in Sulucakarahöyük (now known as Hacı Bektaş). His arrival coincided with political and economic turbulence in the Anatolian Seljuk state and a collapse in central authority.
Emphasis on love and humility:
During this time Hacı Bektaş traveled from city to city and village to village to promote Turkish language and unity. He tried to expand an understanding of peace, love, tolerance and spiritual purification; rejecting all kinds of discrimination through his philosophy.
His contribution to unity among the Turks of Anatolia was crucially important: He exerted efforts to protect the Turkish language and culture from degeneration. The state of severe political and economic disarray in Anatolia facilitated the spread of his philosophy across the country.
His philosophy embraces all races, nations, languages and cultures; even the deer and its hunter meet in this code of humanity and peace.
His teachings later came to be known as Bektaşi and were given a systematic form in the 15th-16th centuries by the Bektaşi dervish Balım Sultan. This philosophy is a living cultural heritage that has been passed on from generation to generation over the centuries.
Hacı Bektaş believes that God is reflected in humankind and in nature and that a person attains true maturity and peace only through the love of God; the highest attainable degree is the one achieved by a loving heart. His philosophy is that the goods of this world are worthless; the only two things that illuminate ones way are divine and human love. He saw man and woman as equals. His emphasis on peace, equality and tolerance makes his philosophy almost a universal doctrine still widely popular today.
“The mind is the sultan of the soul”; “Remember that even your enemy is human”; “The end of the road that does not pass through knowledge is darkness. How glad are those who shed light into the darkness of thought”; “Control your deeds, tongue, and desires”; “The first step of talent is modesty. A person's perfection lies in the beauty of what he says”; “Seek and find. Do not hurt even if you are hurt yourself”; “Educate your women”; and “Whatever you seek, look for it in yourself. The adept are both pure and purifying.” The broad scope and nature of his philosophy is well illustrated by his sayings.

The thinker is commemorated every year in his hometown of Nevşehir's Hacı Bektaş district -- called Serçeşme by his believers and also home to his tomb. A series of activities will be held by the Alawite Bektaşi organizations in the city in commemoration of the philosopher.
The Alawite-Bektaşi Federation has the most extensive countrywide network for people of Alawite Bektaşi belief and culture. The federation's secretary-general, Fevzi Gümüş, said, “At the very heart of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 actually lies the philosophy of Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli. It is our essential duty to preserve and keep alive a teaching with such universal value and significance.”


What strikes me: parallels to western mystics Francis of Assisi and Niklaus von der Flüe.

Alevites

They are an important religious minority in Turkey, far more numerous than christians or jews, and they represent up to a fifht of the population. For long years the followers of Haci Bektas lived quite anonymous, doing their rituals nearly secret, not in mosques, but in "Cem evi", houses, where women and men worship together in dancing. Dileks says, they were called disrespectuously "Red hats". Who knows more about them? I would be glad to collect knowledge about them.

Ataturk visited in time the village of Haci Bektas and negociated with the result of a strong connection of all Alevis to the Turkish laic republic.

Nowadays they are appearing in public and resisting to the pressures of the sunnite religious authorities. It is time. The republic is in danger to be owerthrown by islamic fundamental people.

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