ḠĀLEB DADA, MOḤAMMAD ASʿAD (Mehmed Esad Galib Dede) also known as Shaikh Ḡāleb (Şeyh Galib), poet in Turkish and Persian (b. Istanbul, 1171/1757; d. Galata, 26 Rajab 1213/3 January 1799). His father, Moṣṭafā Rašīd Efendi, was a poet, scholar, and member of the Mawlawī order with Malāmatī tendencies. Very little is known about Ḡāleb’s childhood and education. He began his study of Persian early, reading Toḥfa-ye Šāhedī, the versified Persian-Turkish dictionary of Ebrāhīm Šāhedī (d. 957/1550), with his father and later benefitting from the instructions of other scholars of Persian, especially poets associated with the Mawlawī order. His skill in Persian verse bears witness to the diversity of his teachers, among whom Solaymān Našʾat/Nešʾet (d. 1740) may in particular be mentioned. Among the Turkish poets with whose work he was especially acquainted were Moḥammad Fożūlī (d. 963/1556; q.v.), Moḥammad Ḵayālī (d. 964/1556), ʿOmar Efendi Nafʿī (d. 1044/1634), Yūsof Nabī (d. 1124/1712), and Nadīm Aḥmad (d. 1143/1730), but he was mostly influenced by the poetry of Ḥāfeẓ and Sawkat-e Boḵārī (d. 1111/1699), a poet of the so-called Indian style.
At the suggestion of Našʾat, Ḡāleb used the pen name of Asʿad in his early poems, but he soon abandoned it for Ḡāleb because a large number of other poets were using Asʿad as a pen name. He compiled his first dīvān in 1195/1680 at the age of twenty-four.
Ḡāleb first entered government service but soon abandoned it to commit himself totally to the life of a mystic, joining the Mawlawī order, in whose milieu he had grown up. He went to the center of the order in Konya, prepared to enter the retreat of a thousand and one days that was customary among the Mawlawīs, but, longing for home, he was instructed by the head of the order to return to Istanbul and join the Mawlawī convent there. Ḡāleb completed his long retreat at the Mawlawī convent (Mawlawī-ḵāna) in Galata, where he attained the rank of ḵalīfa and later, in 1205/1791, was appointed the shaikh of the convent. Ḡāleb’s poetry had already attracted the favor of Sultan Salīm (Selim) III, who himself wrote poetry and had also deep interest in the works of Rūmī and the Mawlawī order’s tradition of music and poetry. Thus Ḡaleb’s appointment as the head of the convent caused the sultan to undertake the restoration of Mawlawī convents in his empire. In addition, he paid three hundred ducats for the preparation of a gilded copy of Ḡāleb’s Dīvān, which he then presented to the poet. Ḡāleb died on 26 Rajab 1213/3 January 1799 and was buried in the garden of the Mawlawī convent in Galata.
Works. The Dīvān, published in lithograph edition (Būlāq, 1252/1836), contains a number of ḡazals and tażmīns in Persian, including two poems in imitation of Ḥāfeẓ, two in imitation of Kalīm Hamadānī, one in imitation of Sāʾeb Tabrīzī, and four in imitation of Šawkat Boḵārī, whom Ḡāleb particularly admired. The copy commissioned by Salīm III is kept in the library of Istanbul University (Turk. MS 5531). A transliterated edition of the Dīvān is published by Naci Okçu (Ankara, 1993).
Ḥosn o ʿEšq isan allegorical work partly influenced by the Persian work of the same title by Fożūlī (q.v.), which had in turn been inspired by the Ḥosn o Del of the Persian poet Fattāḥī Nīšāpūrī (q.v.). Although somewhat indebted to its predecessors, Ḥosn o ʿEšq demonstrated in full measure Ḡāleb’s brilliance as a poet. It also exhibits all the characteristics of the Indian style, Ḡāleb’s mastery of which led to his being called “the Šawkat of Rūm” (see Faṭīn, p. 310). Editions: as a supplement to the Dīvān, Būlāq, 1252/1836; ed. T. Olgun, Istanbul, 1939; ed. A. Golpınarlı, Istanbul, 1968. Prose renditions of the work have been made by Vasfi Maher Kocatürk, Huseyin Ayan, and Orhan Okay.
Šarḥ-e jazīra-ye Maṯnawī is a Persian commentary on an anthology of 366 lines of Rūmī’s Maṯnawī compiled by Yūsof Sīnačāk (d. 953/1546).
Al-Ṣoḥbat al-Ṣafiyya is Ḡāleb’s commentary on Aḥmad Dede’s al-Resālat al-bahīya fī ṭarīqat al-Mawlawīya, an Arabic work on the history and rites of the Mawlawī order.
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Originally Published: December 15, 2000
Last Updated: February 2, 2012
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Vol. X, Fasc. 3, pp. 259-260