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[Masters of Our Culture]

HACI BEKTAS-I VELI (1281 - 1338)       

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Haci Bektasi Veli, whose real name is Seyyid Muhammed bin Ibrahim Ata, was born in the city of Nisabur in Veli Horasan, in 1281. He received his first education from Seyh Lokman-i Perende. Lokman-i Perende is one of the successors of Ahmed-i Yesevi, and was a scholar in both material and immaterial sciences.

Hacı Bektas-i Veli, came to Anatolia on the completion of his education. Haci Bektas- i Veli, indicating the right path to the folk, and educating his students who became valuable then, got famous in a short time. Meanwhile, Bektas, his students, and the "Ahilik Teskilati" which is a religious, financial, military, and social association in Anatolia of which Bektas himself is a member of, have been accepted and revered by the Ottoman sultans.

Bektas-i has contributed greatly to building the State of Ottomans on sound bases. He prayed for the “Janissaries” and supported the soldiers during the reign of Sultan Orhan. Therefore, the Janissaries have accepted him as the spiritual leader and have depended on him in terms of the spiritual life and discipline. Haci Bektas-i Veli has been known as the master and moral leader of Janissaries. This has had very positive consequences on the efforts Janissaries have exerted in times of difficult wars. All these factors have strengthened the ties between the folk and the Janissaries.

Haci Bektas-i Veli has a work in Arabic, the name of which is Makalat. The people following the teachings of Haci Bektas-i Veli’s lessons and speeches, and becoming members of the sect are called “Bektasi” in line with the procedure in Islamic Mysticism.