Seyid Imadeddin Nesimi
Nationality: poet
Region: Aleppo, Syria

Seyid Imadeddin Nesimi Facts

Biography

Seyid Imadeddin Nesimi, (died c. 1418, Aleppo, Syria), mystical poet of the late 14th and early 15th centuries who wrote in Turkish, Persian, and Arabic.

Very little about his early life is known. He became acquainted with the founder of an extremist religious sect, the Hurufis, the Iranian mystic Fadl Allah of Astarabad, who was flayed to death for his heretical beliefs in 1401/02. Hurufism was based on a kabbalistic philosophy associated with the numerological significance attributed to the letters of the alphabet and their combinations (hence the name, from Arabic, huruf, "letters"). Nesimi seems to have studied with various mystical teachers before he met Fadl Allah, but after their meeting he became a zealous adherent of the sect, acting as missionary. Regarded as a heretic by the ?ulama?--i.e., those learned in the Muslim sciences--of Aleppo, he was accused of heresy and suffered the same fate as his master in about 1418.

Nesimi wrote two divans (collections of poetry), one in Persian and one in Turkish, and a number of poems in Arabic. The Turkish Divan is considered his most important work. (The Turkish used in this divan is close to Azerbaijani.) It contains 250-300 ghazals (lyric poems) and more than 150 quatrains (see roba?i). He expresses in his poetry both Sufi and Hurufi sentiments. Abounding in allusions to the martyred Fadl Allah, the poet's ecstatic verse repeats the basic Hurufi conception that man is the incarnation of God. His lyrical and elegant style makes him one of the most prominent early divan masters, assuring him an important place in Turkish literary history.

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