Vefa Sect (Vefaiyye) During And After the Turkish Seljuk Age (A Different Approach to Turkish Popular Sufism History)
Ahmet Yaşar Ocak
Keywords: Turkish Seljuk, Vefa Sect (Vefaiyye), Turkish Popular Sufism History
The Vefai Sect was founded by a Sufi called Taj al-Arifin Seyyid Abu'l-Wafa al-Baghdadi with an Arabic - Kurdish origin in Iraq in XI. century. Abu'l-Wafa gained a large reputation during his time and became widespread at Iraq and Syria especially among nomadic tribes with Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic origins. Due to images it acquired among these tribes and that do not really comply with Sunni Islam, it was not welcomed by ulema (Islamic scholars of that period). Wafa'iyye, which entered into and spread over Anatolia via some Turkmen sheiks attached to this sect, was represented there through important representatives such as Dede Garkın and Baba İlyas-ı Khorasani and it contributed to some of the civil actions. Sheiks such as Sheik Edebah, Geyikli Baba etc. played an important role in establishment of the Ottoman Sultanate as the prominent people of this sect in XIV. century. Some new documents introduce that this sect has had a powerful role in the formation of both popular Sufism and Alewisim (a sect in Islam) in Anatolia.