Details Of Scholar Hajj Journey Of Hafiz Evliya Celebi
AMMAN — As a hafiz who recited the holy Quran by heart and was part of the clergy at the court of the Ottoman sultan Mehmet IV (1642-1693), and especially as a descendant of Ahmad Yasana, poet and Sufi mystic (1083- 1166) founder of the first Turkish Sufi order, Evliya Celebi (1611-1682), himself a member of the Gulshani Sufi order, periodically left the Hajj caravan from Damascus to Mecca to visit Sufi shrines and the tombs of the biblical prophets , thus confirming the links between Biblical Prophecy and Sufism.
GIS mapping of the Celebi route by archaeologist Claudine Dauphin, affiliated with Somerville College, Oxford, has resurrected the network of local pilgrimage routes and paths, which were offshoots or intertwined with the standard Darb Al Hajj Al Shami.
“As the Hajj caravan was traveling from Muzayrib to Dera’a, Celebi visited in Bosra Al Soghra the maqam of Hazrat Al Yasa Bin Akhtum, the Biblical Elisha, friend and disciple of Prophet Elias. After joining the caravan in Kutaiba, he made an excursus to Djolan to pray at the maqam of Sheikh Sa’adiya, companion of the prophet Ayyub (Job), and in neighboring Nawa, at Hazrat Ayyub, the tomb of Job itself, visited by Christian pilgrims since the 4th century, just like the tombs of the patriarchs in Khalil [Hebron]“, underlined Dauphin.
When the Hajj caravan reached Qatrana, Celebi could not miss the opportunity to travel west to Karak Castle, where he visited the nearby tomb of the great Sufi Sheikh Shuja, Dauphin noted in a recent interview. with The Jordan Times.
Meanwhile, the pilgrims had moved south on the Hajj route, to Tabut Menzel where Celebi joined them, noting that there was no village or town at the future Al Hasa – only the poet’s tomb. Celaleddin of the Khalwatiya Dervish Sufi brotherhood, who encouraged asceticism and retreat, Dauphin said, adding that as pilgrims drank the waters from the mountains of Khalil Al Rahman, the danger of Bedouin attacks intensified at as the caravan penetrated further into the desert.
“The Amir Al Hajj carefully organized the defense, dividing the pilgrims into 12 convoys, placing the cavalry in front, the skirmishers and local volunteers behind them, the soldiers covered by their iron shields advancing in waves and the sounds of the horsemen mingling with that of the pilgrims and the music of the Ottoman forces resounding like rumbling thunder echoing through the surrounding mountains for eight hours to ‘Unaiza’, described by Celebi as ‘a vast desert’ – for the fort had not yet been built,” she said.
In addition, the Wahidat and Bani Zuhd Bedouin tribes gathered there to negotiate with the Amir Al Hajj regarding their duties as guides and protectors of pilgrims against securing the Sürre (purse), Dauphin said.
“By alternating sandy or stony roads for 11 hours, the pilgrims reached Qala’at Ma’an surrounded by gardens, orchards and palm groves. The fort was devoid of a governor or guards, as these had been killed by Arabs, who were then occupying it,” Dauphin said, adding that Celebi had carefully noted the rebellious character of the people of Ma’an, controlled by the Ottomans under the threat of prison. or decapitation.
“It was only out of fear that the Arabs of Ma’an provided 2,000 camels to serve the caravan of pilgrims for a small fee from Ma’an to Al Ula in Hijaz,” Dauphin noted.
According to Celebi, the most dangerous and terrifying part for pilgrims was “Aqabat ash-Shamiyya” (Fassu’a), as “its rugged, barren and desolate slope, with rocks stretching skyward, between which each pilgrim had to disembark by carefully pulling his camel, so that the caravan did not present a united front, was an ideal ground for a Bedouin attack.To protect the pilgrims, the Amir Al Hajj dispatched all the janissaries guarding the caravan with their flags waving on the peaks and between alleys that could be ambushed,” Dauphin said. Ten hours later, the caravan reached Al Mudawwara, the last stop in Jordan: An empty fort in the shadow of a massive rock , symbolizing for Celebi the Sufi, “the creation of God and his pure power”, according to his travelogue (Seyâhatnâme).