A Sufi View on the Divan of Hafiz in Ottoman Era: Mehmed Vehbi Konevi’s Commentary on the Divan of Hafiz


The Divan (Collected Poems) of Hafiz is considered as one of the most influential Persian texts, known to Ottoman Sufis and poets since the early period, on the literature of Sufism and poetry in Ottoman era. In addition to the fact that the poets compared their own poetical abilities to that of Hafiz and considered him as an ideal model, there emerged commentaries, which were distinctively written on the Divan of Hafiz by the Ottoman authors since the 16th century. Three complete commentaries, which were written by Sururi, Shem‘i and Sudi in the 16th century, demonstrate the influence of this Divan on the Ottoman Sufism-literature circles. The commentary, which was written by Mehmet Vehbi Konevi completely from the viewpoint of Sufism in the 19th century, will be the subject matter of this study. In this article, we will firstly address some different views on Hafiz with regards to the connection between his Divan and religion and Sufism. Afterwards, we will shortly address the three commentaries, which were written in the 16th century, on his Divan. Lastly, we will attempt to address the Divan in terms of the structure of the text, the commentary style and the main attitudes of Konevi, who considered Hafiz as a Veli (the friend of God, Saint).

Keywords: Poetry, commentary, Ottoman Era, Sufism, Hafız Divanı, Mehmed Vehbi Konevi.

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