Ahmad Khatam Bjelopoljak Naqshibandi Sheikh and poet
In this work we shall try to present the poetical features of ghazals of Ahmad Khatam Bjelopoljak in the social and historical context. Apart from that, it deals with its relations with other cultural phenomena of 18th century Ottoman Empire and tasawwuf reception of his Diwan as well.
Ahmad Aqovali-zade (Bjelopoljak) Khatem (died in 1168/1754) was a son of Osman Shahdī-efendy Aqovali-zāde Bjelopoljak, a hāğegān (master- clerk of the government service) of the Emperor's Diwan, and a grandson of Mehmed Salim-efendy Kadić from Bijelo Polje (Aqova). It is unknown where Ahmad Aqovali-zade was born and grew up. It is known, however, that he graduated from University in Istanbul, then traveled to Egypt (Misr) and Hijaz. In Mecca, he was issued a license, iršād (a teaching and guiding in religion), from the Naqshibandi Sheikh Ahmad Yakdastī Ğuryānī, who introduced him into the tariqat Naqshibandi. In 1168/1754 he was appointed a qadi in Larissa (Yenišehir) in Greece, where he died.
He was well-educated, an excellent connoisseur of various disciplines of the Islamic sciences. His legacy is a well-organised Diwan of poems in the Ottoman, Persian, and Arabic languages. His Diwan was highly esteemed and often copied. Within the Diwan, poetry is classified into languages: Arabic, Turkish, and Persian, therefore, they are separate entities.
Khatem's poetry is poetical philosophy where thoughts are entangled in concentric circles and where each interpretation is only one of the possible interpretations. Khatem is a poet of thoughtful lyrics, profound feeling, dense and hermetic linguistic expression, whose simple poetic interpretation on surface is in reverse proportion to diverse implications and messages at the deep structure.