Friday, January 10, 2014


Meaning "place and time of birth," the word "mawlid" is used in the Islamic world to express the honored welcoming of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to this world.

Muslim poets competed with one another to make literary works regarding the Prophet, whom Allah sent as a mercy to the worlds. It was attempted in these prosaic and poetical works to welcome him to the world, to describe the miracles and extraordinary conditions of this event, especially the salvation of mankind honored by his arrival, and the intense feelings and joy of Muslims later honored with Islam. Sources inform us that the first rhymed mawlid of this nature was written by Andalusian traditionalist and historian Ibn Dihye al-Qalbi. He dedicated his work, "et-Tenvir fi mevlidi's-siraci'l-munir" to Albir amir Muzafferuddin Gokbori known as "Muazzam." Amir Muzafferuddin went down in history as the first Muslim to have a mawlid recited.

In Turkish literature the first mawlid was Ahmed Fakih's Carhname. It is known that there are approximately 200 mawlids written in Turkish. Undoubtedly the most widely accepted mawlid which is still recited today is Vesiletu'n-necat (Road to Salvation), the poetical work of Suleyman Celebi, the imam of Sultan Yildirim Bayezid Han. Celebi wrote this work in 1409. Actually there are Sufi signs in the mawlid of Suleyman Celebi who was a follower of Emir Sultan. According to sources, there are influences in this mawlid from Asik Pasa's Garibname and Mustafa Darir's Siyer-i Nebi.

Since the time it was first written there have been many vocal compositions for this mawlid, which is one of the most important forms of Turkish Religious Music and which has been recited with enthusiasm by Muslims for centuries. Within the framework of current knowledge it is said, on the one hand, that the mawlid was first composed vocally by Suleyman Celebi himself and Sinaneddin Yusuf; according to other information, it was composed by Sekban of Bursa, a 17th century composer. Particularly favored by Muslims during the Ottoman period, the mawlid was recited especially on the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), on holy days and nights, weddings, circumcisions and at ceremonies honoring the great, deaths, births, send offs of soldiers and pilgrims, etc. Although today the mawlid is recited according to the chanter's musical knowledge or what he learned from teachers or heard from masters, actually it should be recited in the form that it was composed centuries earlier. The traditional form which began to be forgotten in the later periods of the Ottomans has unfortunately been forgotten in spite of the efforts of persons like Mutafzade Ahmed Efendi. However, at the same time, information inscribed in the margins of hand written compositions as to which mode should be followed in verses and lines has come down to us today. Within this framework, which modes should be followed in the elements and bahirs (classes of meters) are as follows:

The following four groups are a part of mawlid ceremonies:

1. Asirhans: Chanters of the Quran.

2. Tevsihhans: Chanters of tevsih (a form of religious music) and hymns.

3. Mawlidhans: Chanters of mawlid bahirs.

4. Duahans: Those who make prayers.

Among recent famous mawlidhans, the following names should be mentioned: Hafiz (one who has memorized the Quran) Sami, Mustafa Sevki Efendi, Hafiz Zeki Altun, Hafiz Kemal Efendi, Mecit Sesigur, Emin Işik, Aziz Bahriyeli, Hafiz Kani Karaca, Fevzi Misir, Hafiz Ilhan Tok, Ibrahim Canakkaleli and Ismail Cosar. Also among younger mawlidhans are: Yunus Balcioglu, Mehmet Hadi Duran, Fatih Koca, Yahya Soyyigit, Bekir Buyukbaş, Selim Yildiz and Hafiz efendileri.

We are all aware how precious the mawlid is for our society. It is one of the most important and artistic forms of Turkish Religious Music, for it describes the birth of our Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (pbuh) towards whom our love and respect is infinite. Within the framework of this information, the time and place this ceremony is held is very important. Also it is very important that the people who chant the mawlid be musicians who know the changes in modes, who avoid degeneration of the traditional mawlid and who are full of love for the Prophet. It should not be forgotten that in mawlid ceremonies when the time and place are appropriate and the chanters recite beautifully, then the state of being that results will draw us closer to Allah and will be a vehicle for His forgiveness and the intercession of Prophet Muhammad.


Halil Can, Dini Musiki Ders Notlari (Class Notes of Religious Music).

Bekir Sitki Sezgin, Dini Musiki Dersleri (Lessons of Religious Music).

Asst. Prof. Nuri Ozcan, Turk Din Musikisi Ders Notlari (Class Notes of Turkish Religious Music).

Dr. Ali Kemal Belviranli, Musiki Rehberi (Music Guide), Konya 1975.

DIA, "Mevlid"

عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه قَالَ:
قَبَّلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْحَسَنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ وَعِنْدَهُ الأَقْرَعُ بْنُ حَابِسٍ التَّمِيمِيُّ جَالِسًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ الأَقْرَعُ إِنَّ لِي عَشَرَةً مِنَ الْوَلَدِ مَا قَبَّلْتُ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا‏.‏ فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ مَنْ لاَ يَرْحَمُ لاَ يُرْحَمُ ‏"‏‏
God's Messenger kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali (his grandchild) while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them", God's Messenger cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully." (Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), 18)

Title: Tracks from Neyzen Sadreddin Özçimi's album, Sufi Rhythms - Sultan-i Ask Artist: Sadreddin Özçimi