Mawlids in the Old Turkish Literature

The word nativity (Mawlid) is ordinarily used to mean the date or place of birth, but it has a particular usage to mean epos and poems which describes the birth, life, death, and miracles of the Prophet Muhammad. Nativity epos and poems emerged in the Islamic world in the 10th century AD. They were mainly in Arabic, but they appeared in other languages as well. They were usually written in verse. Mawlid has a special place in Turkish people's mind and it, therefore, outnumbers other kind of religious genres. The first nativity poem in Turkish appeared in 1409 AD when Sulaiman Chalabi wrote al-Wasila al-Najat, though it is argued that Chalabi was preceded by others. After Chalabi's al-Wasila al-Najat, around 200 nativity poems were written in Turkish. Some follow the method and style of Chalabi, and some totally differ from him.


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