He was born in 1936 in the village of Karmanca (Tepehan) in the central district of Hatay. His father was Hoca Şemseddin Efendi and his mother was Mrs. Zahide. He learns his first religious knowledge from his father, the imam of the village. He attended the first three grades of primary school in his native village and the fourth and fifth grades in Demirköprü village.
Şemseddin Efendi was sensitive about his son's education, so he had him study at the Antakya Qur'an Course for two years. Emin Işık also took talim and tajwit lessons from Hacı Emin Efendi, the imam of Habip Neccar Mosque, and Numan Efendi, the imam of Ulu Mosque. He also learned Arabic, Mültaka, Tafsir and Hadith from Abdullah Emir Efendi, the mufti of Hatay.
In 1951, while Emin Işık was studying at the Qur'an course, the Presidency of Religious Affairs sent a circular to all mufti offices stating that Imam-Hatip Schools would be opened. Upon receiving this news, Emin Işık receives permission from his father to study at an imam hatip school only a year later.
In 1960, he graduated from the Imam-Hatip School, where he attended the middle part in Adana and the high school part in Istanbul. He graduated from Istanbul Higher Islamic Institute in 1964, which he entered the same year.
After working as a teacher and administrator at the Istanbul Imam-Hatip School for four years, he won the assistant exam and completed his doctorate at the Istanbul Higher Islamic Institute with his edition-critical work on Abubakr Ibn al-Anbârî 's "Kitâbu'l- Vakfi ve'l-İbtidâ".
He received his first information about Turkish music from his father. How should the adhan be recited, in which style and makam should the morning, noon and evening adhan be recited? How to perform time, ground, meyan and decision when reading ghazals? He learns from his father what to pay attention to when moving from maqam to maqam in qasida and mawlid, and so on. During his years in Antakya, he benefited from the famous musician Sheikh Nuri and Harirîzâde. At Istanbul Imam-Hatip School, he learned hymns and mawlid from his teacher Ali Rıza Sağman. At the Higher Islamic Institute, he studied under Rahmi Şenses, Ali Üsküdarlı and Halil Can.
In his own words: "In short, ghazal, kasîde, ilâhî, durak, mersiye, mawlid and adhan are all separate and different forms. A call to prayer sung like a long air, a mersiyeh sung like a play air, a mawlid sung like a song, are felt and felt strange by those who do not know music. How to sing these forms can only be learned from the master. Our masters used to admonish us, 'Don't show the meyan before you make a decision, you will be shouting in vain! It is not enough to have a beautiful voice, one must use it properly and in accordance with musical forms. This is what art is all about."
After thirty-nine years and four months of official service, he retired in 2001 due to retirement age. He wrote more than a hundred scientific articles and encyclopedia articles. In addition to his works "Celâl Hoca, Hayatı ve İlmî Şahsiyeti", "Devlet Kuran İrade", "Devlet Kuran İrade", " Kur'ân'nin getirirdiği", " Belh'in Güvercinleri", " Aşkı Meşk Etmek", " Kime Kulsun", " Nurettin Topçu: The World of a Contemporary Dervish", as well as working on the simplification of Elmalılı Tafsiri with four of his friends.
If we want to describe Emin Işık using Ahmed Midhat Efendi's words as a guide, "My son! Learn only one thing, but perfectly! Or learn everything, but imperfectly! Compared to the current state of our Ottoman Empire, I think the second of these two options is preferable. I recommend it to you. But from now on, the first one will be preferred. And you should recommend it to your children!"
If we evaluate this anecdote in the context of Emin Işık, he is one of the rare intellectuals of the Ottoman Empire who learned everything and got a lot from everything.
He made his speeches more attractive to his listeners with poetry, literature, parables and stories. He is a person who takes a multidimensional view of his subject. He is a man of conversation who continues the tradition he comes from. He does not have an institutional dervish lodge or tekke, but he uses his room and space in the faculty as such. Although he grew up in the Fatret period, he learned, assimilated and carried our knowledge, wisdom and culture, which is the Ottoman legacy, from his masters. It is versatile. He was a hafiz, a mawlid, a poet and a musician. Undoubtedly, there are many people who have merits in these areas. But it is difficult to find one that is also contemplative and intellectual. Emin Hodja is a good intellectual who reads, thinks, writes and speaks.
One of the most distinctive aspects of him is that he is a conscious Turkish nationalist. He has never compromised on this, and he has trembled over our national values.
He always emphasizes "morality" and wants religious people to be moral individuals. He values sincerity. He often quotes Victor Hugo's words, "I keep my heart as I was born from my mother, and I will hand it over to my Lord in the same way". He wants to see this in the clergy as well and cites Abdülaziz Efendi, the addressee of his teacher Nurettin Topçu's words "If I had not known Aziz Efendi, I would not have understood our Prophet", as an example in this regard.
What makes him truly valuable is that he has deep wisdom. With a spiritual dream, Hz. Mawlânâ takbirs Emin Hodja's head on his blessed knees. Some time after this dream, Hüseyin Top, his friend since childhood, takes him to Midhat Bahârî Bey. Midhat Bahârî Beytur was the last Mevlevî sheikh appointed by Abdülhalim Çelebi, the last postnisha of the Mevlevî Âsitân, who held the position of Çelebilik in Konya. When he sees Mr. Midhat Bahârî, without any conversation between them, he rests his head on his knee and his teacher khutbahs his head... While describing this moment, Emin concludes, "I am ready to give the rest of my life to relive that moment..."
Emin Hodja is a modern dervish. He did not express this aspect of himself until recent years, but he revealed it on every ground with his attitude, demeanor and behavior. In our historical experience, the places where Sufi education took place were tekkes. Although lodges serve a great service, they are not a sine qua non of Sufism. As Ahmed Celâleddin Dede said:
Zikr-i Hak is not removed by being sedated
All beings are zâkir, the universe is a dergâht
The main thing is to live the Sufi ethics. Emin Işık is an exceptional example of a person who learned and knew Islamic Sufism, lived and represented it properly at a time when dervish lodges were closed.
Michel Chodkiewicz was born in Paris in 1929 in a family of 6 children. His father is a magistrate.
He completed most of his studies in Paris and started traveling after graduating from university. In 1951, he married his current wife of Italian origin. While working and taking care of his family, he learned Arabic through his own efforts.
In 1956, he starts working for the famous French publishing house Seuil Publishing. In 1965, he was appointed to the management of the Scientific Publications Society, a subsidiary of Seuil Publishing. In 1970 he launched the popular science magazine La Recherche and in 1978 the history magazine L'Histoire. He became Seuil's deputy general manager in 1977 and chairman of the board in 1979. From 1979 until 1989, when he retired, he worked as the general manager of the same publishing house. He maintained his connection with Seoul after his retirement until 2001.
Michel Chodkiewicz has 8 children, 22 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren with his wife of Italian origin.
He became acquainted with Ibn al-'Arabī through his works translated by the Spanish researcher Asín Palacios. Michel Valsan, a Shāzelī sheikh of Romanian descent, whom he calls an example of an Akbarī successor, helped him understand Ibn al-ʿArabī's teachings. These studies gave birth to a deep love for Allah and the Prophet.
Michel Chodkiewicz, who came into contact with Muslim society from his first trip to the Maghreb, deepened his research with his travels to countries such as Egypt, Turkey and Indonesia. These travels offer him the opportunity to explore Sufism. He became a Muslim through the teachings of Shaykh al-Akbar and his special relationship with him.
Parallel to his professional life as an editor, he continues his personal studies on Futûhât al-Makkiyya and Fusûsu'l Hikem. Because of this work outside the classical academic framework, in 1982 he became responsible for seminars on Sufism at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, a social sciences institution. After his retirement, he was appointed director of L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes.
According to Michel Chodkiewicz, "Sufism is not the decoding of archaic Greek or the reconstruction of the Cult of Osiris! Sufism is alive. Therefore, merely deciphering manuscripts in a room is not enough for this study. It is necessary to look for the source of Sufism in the Qur'an: In other words, Sufism is Muslim and not a mixture of beliefs transplanted from outside."
Michel Chodkiewicz's main fields of study are the doctrine of Ibn al-'Arabī and the history of wilayah in Muslim societies. Due to the lack of studies in this field, he has made it his main goal to solve the methodological problems.
In 1994, he led a symposium on "The History of Wali in Muslim Arab societies". In this symposium, Europe witnesses for the first time a synthesized treatment of the history of wilayat and especially the works of Ibn al-'Arabī, the pinnacle of the expression of the Islamic tradition.
In 1996, the renowned magazine Maghreb Horizons dedicated an issue to him with the title "Walāyah". This issue testifies to the respect shown to Michel Chodkiewicz by the most important scholars and students of Sufism and the influence of the master's work.
Michel Chodkiewicz's contribution to the intellectual and spiritual legacy of Ibn al-'Arabī is great. He brought to the fore the central role of the Qur'an and the Prophet's model in the Akbarite doctrine from the very beginning: According to him, Shaykh al-Akbar's teaching is not a theory; each of the fundamental concepts found in his works is a phenomenon that was personally experienced by both Ibn al-'Arabī and the other shaykhs he mentions. This penetrating richness is reflected in Chodkiewicz's great efforts in synthesizing and classifying the Akbarī corpus. Thus, the model proposed by Michel Chodkiewicz has been instrumental in illuminating the most complex aspects of guardianship in terms of its types, forms and functions.
According to Michel Chodkiewicz, Ibn al-'Arabī's doctrine is not only a Qur'anic thought; it is too intertwined with it to be separated from it. His studies have revealed that the structure of Ibn al-'Arabī's texts is determined by the structure of the Qur'an.
Chodkiewicz says: "I believe that I have shown that Ibn al-'Arabī's works, in content and even in structure, arrangement and order, can only be understood by reference to the Qur'ān. Therefore, it is not possible for someone who has not been thoroughly versed in the Qur'ān to understand these works. The reader who is Ibn al-'Arabī's interlocutor will be able to understand, in a word or two, Ibn al-'Arabī's reference to the verse or sūrah where the source of the thought in the text in question is found, even if Ibn al-'Arabī does not state it explicitly."
"Everything we say in our conversations and writings comes from the Qur'an and its treasures," Ibn al-'Arabī said of the sources he used in his works. Inspired by this, he writes in his book, An Oman without a Shore, in which he takes the reader on a long journey towards Ibn al-'Arabī and his system of thought, while at the same time astonishing and bewildering the reader by marveling at the invention of the Holy Qur'an: "Ibn Manzūr, in the preface to his famous Lisān al-'Arab, explains that his purpose in writing this dictionary was to collect all the words of the Prophet's language 'just as Noah built his ark while his people mocked him'. In a sense, what Ibn al-'Arabī has done is to build such an ark."
Ibn al-'Arabi says, "In astonishment, I saw an ocean without a shore and a shore without an ocean." Here, it would not be wrong to say that the images of 'umman without shore' and 'shore without umman' refer to the Qur'an itself. Elsewhere in his work, Shaykh Akbar says that the Qur'an is 'an ocean without a shore'. For those who do not see in it a permanent revelation, the words of the divine address are only a 'shore without an ocean'. But for those who have a strong breath and dive into it, it is limitless and inexhaustible. It should be well understood that the divine address has both characteristics at the same time. The 'shore' (the literal meaning and the limits that this literal meaning sets for belief and deeds) can never be lost, the Sharī'ah will always remain valid in this world, and it is only in and through it that man can reach perfection."
"It is impossible to think of guardianship in Islam in the absence of the prophetic model. Guardianship, which belongs to none other than God, has opened its doors to human beings to the extent of the Prophet, who is the 'best example'. Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the only perfect being, is the only one who fully realizes in actuality what it is that he was created for. Since the whole purpose of spiritual life is to attain this perfection, the purpose of wilayah cannot be anything other than to participate in the Prophet's wilayah."
Michel Chodkiewicz's numerous articles and books have been published and translated into many languages such as English, Arabic and Turkish.
He has published five works on the exploration and deepening of Ibn al-'Arabī's thought, both directly, through analysis, commentary and presentation of translated texts, and in the form of studies of other works, including one on 'Abd al-Qādir al-Jazā'īrī (The Seal of the Awliya, An Oman without a Coast...) There are many special aspects of Michel Chodkiewicz that sometimes dispel prejudices that have been repeated for generations, or even centuries, and sometimes invite the reader to benefit from his personal discoveries, which can be characterized as "experimental" and which are the result of his intimate interaction with texts.
In addition to his scholarly competence and rigor, Michel Chodkiewicz stood out with his kindness and compassionate attitude in human relations. He never left a question unanswered by students or colleagues, and everyone felt the deep sense of someone who not only explained the set of values he was talking about, but also tried to put these principles into practice.
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