(1369 – 1417)
Seyyid Nesimi was born in 1369 in Baghdad, and is considered to be a great Sufi poet. His place of birth is not actually confirmed or known, it is assumed that he was born in Baghdad.
His poems received high attention and praise. He was able to write poems in Farsi, Arabic and Turkish meaning he was able to connect and communicate his message with people from all walks of life and from different ethnic groups. He praised and spread the messages of Hallaci-Mansur in most of his poems. Hallaci-Mansur was murdered by trial for preaching the en-el Hakk philosophy, he was one of the first in our known Alevi history to speak of the en-el Hakk philosophy.
The Hurufi ideology of ‘Vahdeti-Vucut’ or en-el Hakk was perceived as blasphemous in the Azerbaijani regions of the Middle East. Some of Nesimi’s friends and teachers were killed because of this. Because of this, Nesimi migrated to Anatolia where he found comfort and safety within Bektasi and Kizilbas Lodges which were significantly powerful and large during the 14th Century. He carried on his work and life as a person who followed the en-el Hakk understanding.
He was frequently captured by Timurid forces in the region where he was threatened and imprisoned. But on many occasions he talked his way out of imprisonment, where he provoked his imprisoners to question their beliefs, their leaders and their way of life. His poems, which can be seen below, show that he emphasised a rational thought process where he rejected dogma and sought the truth through the en-el Hakk philosophy.
Later in life he moved to the Halep area of the Syrian region where he influenced many people as he always did. His multi-lingual poems allowed him to communicate effectively with people all over the Middle East. Soon the Ulemma of Halep and Allepo rejected Nesimi’s claims and found them blasphemous. Nesimi’s understanding of divine humanism (where divinity exists within humanity, rather than above humanity) angered the Ulemma, leading them to carry out fatwas against Nesimi and his followers.
In order to prevent conflict and to prevent his followers from being massacred, he gave himself up to the authorities and was skinned alive until ‘dead’.
His poetry advocated the philosophy of vahdet-i vücud (unity of existence). His ideas were regarded as blasphemous by the Ulema in Aleppo, and he was executed through being skinned alive in 1417.
Multilingual, influential and significant poetry influenced thinkers such as Pir Sultan and Fuzuli and continues to influence Alevi-Bektasi-Kizilbas culture around the world. The en-el Hakk ideology continues to live and his liberal ideas continue to flourish throughout the world.
‘Pious people called this wine of love a sin,
I fill my goblet myself and drink it myself,
it doesn’t interest anyone,
Sometimes I fly to the sky and watch over the world,
Sometimes go down to the ground and the world watches me,
Sometimes I go to Madras and study in the name of Hakk
Sometimes I go to a tavern and have fun of wine,
it shouldn’t interest anyone
Some asked “is Nesimi” happy with his darling?”
I am happy or not, she is my partner,
it shouldn’t interest anyone.’
Məndə sığar iki cahan, mən bu cahâna sığmazam
Gövhər-i lâ-məkân mənəm, kövn ü məkâna sığmazam
Both worlds can fit within me, but in this world I cannot fit
I am the placeless essence, but into existence I cannot fit