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).

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