Turkish poet and novelist Necip Fazil Kisakurek was remembered in Turkey on Monday to mark the 37th anniversary of his death.
An activist who contributed to Islamic thought, the late poet became a prominent figure with his intellectual prowess, wit, poems about Islam and affiliation with the Naqshbandi Sufi order.
Born in Istanbul on 26 May 1905, Kisakurek completed his primary and secondary education at French and American colleges. In 1924, he entered the Department of Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he met intuitive and mystical philosopher Henri Bergson.
He lived a bohemian lifestyle in the French capital and started to get interested in gambling. At the end of a year, his scholarship was interrupted and he had to return home.
Back in Turkey, Kisakurek met the Islamic scholar Abdülhakim Arvasi and became his companion. The young man changed his lifestyle completely and introduced plays such as Tohum (“Seed”), Para (“Money”) and Bir Adam Yaratmak (“To Create a Man”) to Turkish literature.
Kısakürek was awarded many prizes and dedicated himself to reflecting his “great eastern thought” at conferences and other events. He also published the well-known Büyük Doğu (“Great East”) magazine to reflect that thought.
Necip Fazil Kisakurek died on 25 May, 1983. He asked people in advance not to send flowers or play music during his funeral and for everyone to participate in the funeral prayer. He further asked people only to read the Qur’an and Al-Fatiha, its first chapter for him.