DICTIONARIES AS DEVOTIONAL TEXTS: MUĞLALI İBRAHIM ŞAHIDI’S TUHFE IN CONTEXT
A TALK BY: JAMAL J. ELIAS (Walter H. Annenberg Professor of The Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies, University Of Pennsylvania)
İbrahim Şahidi (875/1470-957/1550) is one of the most influential scholars in Mevlevi history. He marks a turning point in the nature of the Sufi order from one centered around a liturgical devotion to the writings of Rumi (Mevlana) and to one that consciously attempted to shape literary movements in the Ottoman world. Among his works, a short rhyming Persian to Turkish dictionary, commonly known as the Tuhfe-i Şahidi, enjoyed centuries of influence as a textbook.
This presentation contextualizes Şahidi and his rhyming lexicon to explore the role played by Persian religious literature (and specifically Mevlevi works) in the history of language use in the Ottoman Empire.