Haji Bektash Veli is a historical figure who lived between 1207-1271. Unfortunately, due to the inadequacy of historical sources, the information about Veli’s family, childhood, and upbringing are as much as we could have obtained from the Velayet-nâme written after his death. Haji Bektash Veli was born twenty-four years after the marriage of Hâtem (Hatme) Hatun, the daughter of a scholar named Sheikh Ahmed of Nişabur, with İbrahimü’s-Sânî Seyyid Muhammed, the Sultan of Khorasan. After his father’s death, Veli did not accept the sultanate and left it to his uncle’s son, Seyyid Hasan. He was indeed born and raised in the city of Nishapur in Khorasan and later came to Anatolia.
Hacı Bektaş Veli was brought up in a great cultural environment and received a high-level education. His knowledge of Arabic, primary sources, and his influences in Anatolia and beyond clearly show this. When Haji Bektash Veli was four years old, his father sent him to Lokman Perende, one of the caliphs of Ahmed Yesevi, to learn science. Thus, he learns the external and internal sciences. In Velayet-nâme, it is stated that before he was given the rank of Kutbu’l-aktab and sent to Anatolia, he spent his time day and night with fasting, prayer, worship, obedience, zuhd, piety, and righteous deeds for forty years. Haji Bektash Veli, who went from Khorasan to Turkestan, was assigned to Rum by his mentor, Ahmed-i Yesevî. First, he goes to Hajj, and then he goes to Rum (Anatolia). According to the information given by Âşıkpaşa-zâde, one of the first Ottoman historians, Haji Bektash Veli, left Horasan with his brother Menteş, came to Anatolia, and settled in Suluca Karaöyük
Haji Bektash Veli, who has an important place in the Turkish-Islamic world and whose influence has survived today, is a mystic, scholar, and pioneer of the Bektashi path. The ‘Makâlât,’ which is his most voluminous work and includes his treatises on Sufi subjects, ‘Şerh-i Besmele’ in which he talks about the virtues of basmala, ‘Fatiha Tafsiri’ in which he explains and interprets Surah Fatiha word for word, ‘Sathiyye,’ ‘Makâlât-ı Gaybiyye’ and Kelimât-ı Ayniyye is known as Kitâbu’l-Fevâid.
The date of Haji Bektash Veli’s death is accepted as 1271. It is recorded that after Haji Bektash came to Kayseri with his brother Menteş and after Menteş martyred, Haji Bektash came to Karaöyük from Kayseri and his grave is there. His grave is in the Haji Bektash district, which is within the borders of today’s Nevşehir province.
2021 was declared the ‘Year of Haji Bektash Veli’ with the circular issued by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, while Veli was also included in the ‘UNESCO 2021 Commemoration and Celebration Program’ all over the world on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of his death.
*This biography was abbreviated from Haji Bektash Veli article written by Assoc. Dr. It is Hamiye Duran for Ahmet Yesevi University Turkish Literature Names Dictionary. The entire biography can be read at the link teis.yesevi.edu.tr/material-detail/haci-bektas-veli