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BAYRAMIYE. Established in the early fifteenth century, the Bayramiye (Ar., Bairamiyah) is a Turkish Sufi order. Its eponym, Haci Bayram Veli, was born near Ankara around the middle of the fourteenth century. In conformity with a pattern typical in Sufism, he abandoned a successful career as a teacher of the law to become a disciple of Hamiduddin Veli Aksarayi, remaining with him for at least three years until his death in 1412. Haci Bayram thereupon returned to Ankara and began, with great success, to propagate the order that became known after him. Either because of the size of his following or because of his master’s links to the Safavid order in Ardabil, which was then in the process of transition to Shiism, Haci(Haji) Bayram Veli was summoned to the Ottoman court in Edirne for interrogation by Murad I. He favorably impressed the sovereign, who not only permitted him to return to Ankara but also provided for the establishment of a Bayrami hospice in Edirne. By the time of Haci Bayram Veli’s death in 1429, the order had spread to Gelibolu, Karaman, Beypazari, Balikesir, Bursa, Larende, Bolu, Iskilip, Kiitahya, and Goynuk.

The central hospice of the Bayramiye remained that established in Ankara by Haci Bayram Veli himself, and its administration became vested in his descendants.

Nonetheless, the most important of his successors was Aksemsettin of Goynuk, a Syrian who had joined his following in 1426. Although Aksemsettin gained the favor of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror by participating in the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, he chose not to settle in the new capital, remaining in Goynuk, until his death in 1457. Aksemsettin had a number of successors, the most influential of whom were Ibrahim Tennuri (because of whose prominence one branch of the order became known as Bayramiye-Tennuriye) and Samli Hamza, active in the region of Adana. The line of Tennuri continued for at least three generations, but it was eclipsed in the seventeenth century by the Himmetiye, founded by Himmet Efendi, a descendant by initiation of Samli Hamza. The Tennuriye and the Himmetiye were classified together as Bayramiye-Semsiye because of their shared descent from Aksemsettin

In radical opposition to both stood the Bayramiye-Melamiye, going back to a certain Omer Dede Bicakci, who had disputed Aksemsettin’s succession to Haci Bayram Veli. The Bayramiye-Melamiye rejected, for the most part, all forms of dhikr (invocation of the divine name), the wearing of distinctive garb, and most of the other external appurtenances of Sufism; this line may be thought of as perpetuating antinomian tendencies that had been suppressed in the first Bayrami congregation. Its adherents followed a cult of devotion to the Twelve Imams of Shiism and cultivated an extreme interpretation of the doctrine of the unity of being (wahdat alwujud). The combination of these characteristics earned execution for several prominent representatives of the Bayramiye-Melamiye. The two varieties of the Semsiye were largely restricted to Anatolia (particularly its western regions), but the Bayramiye-Melamiye became widespread in the Balkans, especially in Bosnia, where its best known figure, Seyh Hamza Bali (executed in Istanbul in 1573) originated a branch of the order known as the Hamzevi.

Bayramis of the two Semsi lines also adhered to wahdat al-wujud, although in more circumspect fashion, and this may well have furnished the basis for an unspoken rapprochement with the Bayramiye-Melamiye during the nineteenth century. The authority of two Istanbul shaykhs, Hafiz Seyyid Ali Efendi (d. 1838) and Ibrahim Efendi (d. 1898), was accepted by all existing branches of the Bayramiye. Despite this reunification, the order failed to produce any leader of significance in early modern times, with the possible exception of Seyyid Abdiilkadir Belhi (d. 1921), an immigrant to Istanbul from Balkh in Afghanistan, who combined a Hamzevi affiliation with an inherited loyalty to the Naqsh-bandiyah. [See Naqshbandiyah.]

In 1840 the Bayramiye had only nine hospices in Istanbul, far fewer than several other Sufi orders. By 1889, the number had sunk to four; these appear still to have been functioning when in 1925 the Turkish Republic banned all the Sufi orders. By that time, the Bayramiye existed outside Istanbul only in lzmit, Kastamonu, and Ankara, where the central hospice was presided over by Semseddin Bayramoglu (d. 1945), a descendant of Haci Bayram Veli in the twenty-seventh generation. Unlike other Sufi groups, the Bayramiye was unable to survive the official proscription of the orders and the closure of its hospices. Although the subterranean cells used for retreat at the shrine of Haci Bayram Veli in Ankara are still frequented, it is primarily Naqshbandis who make use of them.

There are traces of the Bayramiye in the twentiethcentury Balkans. They were one of the orders represented in the Savez Islamskih Dervigkih Redova Alijje u SFRJ, a federation of the Sufi orders existing in Yugoslavia, established at Prizren in Kosovo in 1974. A Hamzevi hospice (led in 1986 by Abdulkadir Orlovic) survived through many generations in Zvornik, northeastern Bosnia, until the pillage of that city by Serbian forces in the spring of 1992.

[See also Sufism, articles on Sufi Thought and Practice and Sufi Orders.]


Ayni, Mehmed Ali. Hact Bayram Veli. Istanbul, 1343/1924. Bayramoglu, Fuat. Hact Bayram-t Veli. 2 vols. Ankara, 1983. Bayramoglu, Fuat, and Nihat Azamat. “Bayramiye.” In Tfirkiye Diya net Vakfi Islam Ansiklopedisi, vol. 5, pp. 269-273. Istanbul, 1988-. Cehajic, Dzemal. Derviski rodovi u jugoslovenskim zemljama. Sarajevo, 1986. See pages 185-204.

Golpinarli, Abdulbaki. Meldmilik ve Meldmilir. Istanbul, 1931. See pages 33-228.

Golpinarli, Abdulbaki. “Bayramiye.” In Islam Ansiklopedisi, vol. 2, pp. 423-426. Istanbul, 1943.

Kissling, Hans Joachim. “Zur Geschichte des Derwischordens der Bajramijje.” Siidost-Forschungen 15 (1956): 237-268.


Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/bayramiye/

  • writerPosted On: November 2, 2012
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