Fatma Sultan Mosque / Gumushanawi Lodge

HASAN HILMI (KASTAMONI) EFENDI (May Allah have mercy on him)

In addition to physical sciences, Hasan Hilmi Efendi taught hundreds of students including Muhammed Zâhid el-Kevserî and Mehmed Hulusi Efendi from Ezine, in the disciplines of knowledge, manners, morals and spirituality, and also trained 56 khalifas. Among these were Ayyub Sabri and Kâtip Mustafa Fevzi from Amasya, Yörükzâde Ahmed Fevzi from Bolvadin, Ali Rıza from Kayseri and Yusuf Bahri from Geyve.

Translations in other Languages

Hasan Hilmi Efendi (R.A), a sheik from the Gümüşhâneli Dervish Lodge who was taught by Ahmed Ziyauddin Gümüşhânevî and appointed the duty of deputy guide while his teacher was still alive, was born in 1240/1824 in the Azdavay  district of  Kastamonu.

Abdullah, the father of Hasan Hilmi Efendi generally known  as “Kastamoni” (meaning  from Kastamonu) among his followers,  was an illiterate but  devout (veli) person. As narrated by Hasan Hilmi Efendi,  his father suddenly fell ill on a Friday, and when he told his children: “Help me to perform the ritual bath (ghusl).Today I will go to my Lord (Allah). I want to go before Him in a state of purity”, his children fulfilled his wish. After performing the Friday prayers, he invited all his friends home, then after asking their forgiveness he passed away.

Hasan Hilmi Efendi was of middle-height, had a gleaming face, , a whitebeard, wheat colored skin, a neat nose,  wide eyebrows, and hazel colored eyes. He wore  the Nakshi crown and white turban on his head and a long  robe and dervish’s coat. He was a person  who resembled Abu Bakr (R.A) in disposition; was aptly titled a gentle person (Hilmi)  and  was an example of taqwa (piety).

He began his first studies  in Kastamonu. He was taught the sciences of Qirat (recital of the Qur’an), Sarf (morphology) and Nahw (grammar) of Arabic by  eminent scholars.

When he was 18 years old, Hasan Hilmi Efendi was sent to Istanbul by his father to complete his education. He stayed at  the Mahmud Pasha Madrasa (Muslim theological school) in Istanbul, where he met Ahmed Ziyauddin Gümüşhânevî. This is how the 50-year-long relationship began.

Hasan Hilmi Efendi attended the lessons taught by Hazim Efendi of Nevşehir at  the Mahmud Pasha Madrasa.  He was awarded a diploma on completion of his studies  including tafsir (Interpretation), fiqh (Islamic Law), hadith and Hikmah (a concept in Islamic philosophy).   

Hasan Hilmi Efendi volunteered as muezzin of the Fatma Sultan Mosque  that was derelict, deserted, and closed to worship at the time.  As he revived and reopened the mosque for the five daily prayers in a short time,  he was appointed as the head muezzin of  the mosque.   Later, Hasan Hilmi Efendi left the Mahmud Pasha Madrasa due to his duties at the Fatma Sultan Mosque. Nevertheless, he frequently visited  Ahmed Ziyauddin Gümüşhânevî to whom he was devoted with great respect  from the very beginning.

During that period, Ahmed b. Suleyman el-Ervâdî (k.s.) came to Istanbul, and Ahmed Ziyauddin Gümüşhânevî  began to follow him as his spiritual guide.  For a long time, Hasan Hilmi Efendi also wanted to become a member of this  sufi order. He revealed this desire to  his close friend and confidant Ahmed Ziyauddin Gümüşhânevî.  On permission of his sheikh Ahmed b. Suleyman el-Ervâdî, Gümüşhânevî recommended that he  followed the spiritual teachings  and lessons of Abdelfattah el-Ukarî, who, like Ervâdî, was the khalifa (deputy guide) of Maulana Hâlid-i Baghdadi.

 On the guidance of Gümüşhânevî, Hasan Hilmi Efendi began to follow  sheikh Abdelfattah el-Ukarî. He remained devoted to his sheikh with great submission until his death. In the meantime, Hasan Hilmi Efendi attended the hadith lessons of Ervâdî in the Hagia Sophia Mosque with Gümüşhânevî.

After his first sheikh passed away in 1864, Hasan Hilmi Efendi began to follow  Ahmed Ziyauddin Gümüşhânevî who  was appointed the duty of khilafa by Ervâdî. He received a  diploma for hadith sciences by attending Gümüşhânevî’s  hadith lessons. Immediately after this, on completion of the sayr al-suluk (journeying and initiation), he was given the duty of khilafa. While his sheikh was still alive, Hasan Hilmi Efendi became deputy and chief khalifa in the rank of a guide.

In 1863 Hasan Hilmi Efendi  fulfilled the duty of hajj (pilgrimage) together with his sheikh Ahmed Ziyauddin Gümüşhânevî.  On return from  his second visit to Mecca, Ahmed Ziyauddin Gümüşhânevî remained  in Egypt and Tanta for 3 years, and during this period appointed Hasan Hilmi Efendi  as his deputy  at the Gümüşhâneli Dervish Lodge. When  his sheikh returned to Istanbul, he sent Hasan Hilmi Efendi to Geyve  as the spiritual guide of the  Izmit-Adapazarı region. In Geyve, Hasan Hilmi Efendi  taught hadith in the madrasa and dervish lodge he built there, and  also worked to promote and spread the tariqa (sufi order).

When Ahmed Ziyauddin Gümüşhânevî was  not able to perform his duties  in the lodge any longer due to  weakness and old age, he called his follower and  head khalifa Hasan Hilmi (Kastamoni) Efendi from Geyve to Istanbul, appointed him with the duties of the lodge  and instructed  all of his devotees  to follow  Hasan Hilmi Efendi. After this,  Ahmed Ziyauddin Gümüşhânevî only performed  the Jumah (Friday)  sermons  and Hatm-i Hâce (collective dhikr) until his death. In the year he passed away, he transferred all of his duties,  including the Jumah   sermons  and Hatm-i Hâce dhikr, to Hasan Hilmi Efendi.

Following  the death of his sheikh in 1893, like his sheik Hasan Hilmi Efendi, who had continued his duty as spiritual guide  for 18 years  in the Gümüşhâneli Dervish Lodge , was engaged mainly in hadith sciences,  and completed the book of Râmûzü’l-ehâdîs (a book  on hadith), which was classified  as the lodge’s book of guidance, twice a year.

In addition to physical sciences, Hasan Hilmi Efendi taught hundreds of students including  Muhammed Zâhid el-Kevserî and Mehmed Hulusi Efendi from Ezine, in the disciplines of knowledge, manners, morals and  spirituality, and also trained 56 khalifas.  Among these were  Ayyub Sabri and Kâtip Mustafa Fevzi from Amasya, Yörükzâde Ahmed Fevzi from Bolvadin, Ali Rıza from Kayseri and Yusuf Bahri from Geyve.

Hasan Hilmi Efendi, who appointed İsmail Necati Efendi from  Safranbolu as his deputy and traveled to perform hajj in 1896, was a guest of Hafız Ahmed Ziyâüddin Efendi, one of Gümüşhânevî’s followers in Medina,  and  went  into seclusion for 18 days at the Al-Rawdah al-mutahhara (The ‘Purified Garden’ where the Prophet Muhammad is buried). 

Towards the end of his life when he became  incapable of fulfilling his duties and service as a spiritual guide, Hasan Hilmi Efendi appointed  İsmail Necati Efendi from Safranbolu,  a follower of Ahmed Ziyauddin Gümüşhânevî, as his deputy and  khalifa. One day, when he became  seriously ill and was unable to eat and drink, Hasan Hilmi Efendi slightly opened  his eyes, and after handing a piece of paper containing the legacy he had written to his followers, he said: “verily, my time to meet Allah (SWT) the Compassionate has come. But as you pray for me I am restless. This soul wants  to meet its Lord, the Glorious. Please, stop praying for me.” Eventually, Hasan Hilmi Efendi submitted his soul proclaiming  “Allah” with all his heart.   

Kâtip Mustafa Fevzi Efendi, one of his khalifas,  wrote about the life of his sheikh; his beautiful manners, journeys  and miracles in the poetical book titled “Menâkıb-ı Haseniyye fî ahvâli’s-seniyye”.

Hasan Hilmi Efendi, who passed away on 10 February 1911 at 7:15 a.m., is buried in the graveyard  of the Suleymaniye Mosque.