Saturday, September 27, 2014

Some information about poet Mahmyt Pälwan!

Rakhman Gadarov,
scientific vice-director
of the on National Institute
of Manuscripts of the Academy
of Sciences of Turkmenistan.
MEDENIÝET: The Era of Happiness of the Powerful State, in accordance with the conception of our Esteemed President to collect, study, publish and advocate scientific and literary heritage of our thinkers, poets, biography and works of great thinkers like: Abu Sagyt Abulhaýyr, Hoja Ahmet Ýasawy, Mahmyt Zamahşary, Ýunus Emre, Jelaleddin Rumy, Burhaneddin Rabguzy, Horezmi, Ymadeddin Nesimi, Baýram han, Jahanşa Hakyky, Sopy Allaýar, Nurmuhammet Andalyp, Döwletmämmet Azady, Magtymguly Pyragy asre studied substancially and comprehensively. With this purpose scientific conferences are held and their jubilee is celebrated on the international level. Mahmyt Palwan is one the literary locomotives of the medival Turkmen literature. Mahmyt Palwan is one of the great Turkmen thinkers and poets was known among people by Ysmamyt Ata, as wrestler, with his high humanism and artistic rubai, who contributed greatly to the development of not only to Persian language literature but also whole Oriental literature as well.
In accordance with the available information, Mahmyt Palwan lived in the middle of 13th and at the beginning of 14th centuries in Khorezm area. He was born in the capital of Khorezm, Gurgenc, which is known as Koneurgench.
Mahmyt Palwan's Mosäue

Among scholars who contributed substantially to the study of Mahmyt Palwan’s biography are: Persian scholars, Sagyt Nefisi, Müjteba Keremi, Uzbek scholar T. Jelalow, Turkmen scholar G. Gurbanow and others.
Despite the fact that there are earlier resources and scientific works of the later period written in Persian, Uzbek, Russian and in other languages, we do not have accurate data about birthplace and place of burial of Mahmyt Palwan, also his life history has not been fully studied yet.
Many sources mention that the poet was from Urgench, which is Koneurgench. Scholars like Dehhuda [1], Moin [2], Muderris [3] and Shemseddin Samy Beg [4] state that he was from Ganja, but they did not point the source of that information. It is quite possible that one of them was mistaken and others reitereited his error, because all available sources affirm that he was from Urgench, and not from Ganja or Gurgench [5].
Some later sources provide information that after the plunderous assaults of Mongols, father of Mahmyt Palwan left ancient Urgench, capital of Khorezm for Khiva and future palvan (powerful man) was born during this trip. T. Jelalov wrote:”Poet’s father was from Koneurgench and his wife was pregnant when they were leaving for Khiva. Mahmyt Palwan was born in the house, in the outskirts of Khiva before his parents reached the town…” [6]. This idea was confirmed by the Turkmen scholar G. Gurbanow as well. Akmyrat Tajimow joins these scholars’ thought and proposes more details. His consideration is: “We have a record that Mahmyt Palwan was born during the resettlement. The place where he was born could be the area around the cemetery which is known among people as Ysmamyt Ata in Gorogly region” [7]
Let’s look how do earliest sources present this information?
One of the most ancient sources called “Arafatul ashykyn” (“Arafat Mountain of the Beloved Ones”) states: ”Palwan Mahmyt bin Puryay Weli… gem of God’s blessing, place of birth is in ruined town of Urgench” [8], while “Riyazush-shugara” (“Garden of the Poets”) notes: “The origin of the custodian of the divine secrets is from the ruins of the town of Urgench” [9]. In the work titled “Atashkedeyi Azerde” (“Azer's Fireplace”) the name of Mahmyt Palwan is among those who are “Personalities of Urgench, capital of Khorezm” [10]. Mujteba Keremi, modern Persian scholar also notes; ”This hero was born in Urgench” [11]. Even famous scholar Geldi Nazarow confirms not only Mahmyt Palwan’s birth in Urgench but also adds:”Mahmyt Palwan spent his life in Kuneurgench” [12]. The work written in connection with the visit of Mahmyt Palwan to Hindostan called “Strories about His Eminence Mahmyt Palwan” provides information that Mahmyt Palwan in his youthhood was apprentice of Alaweddin Alaw Pir (Guru), whose tomb is Kuneurgench [13]. All above mentioned primary and secondary sources attest to the fact that origin of poet is from Urgench, Koneurgench and he was born not during the resettlement to Khiva, in the outskirt to Khiva, but he was born in Urgench.
As there are different views on the birthplace of this great personality, there are also different ideas about his burial place.
We know many cemeteries connected with the name Mahmyt Palwan, in Khiva Palwan Ata (Uzbekistan, Khorezm region), in Gorogly etrap (Turkmenistan) Ysmamyt Ata [7], in Kuneurgench Piryar Weli Mauseleum. Can a person have several mausoleums connected with his name? History proves that there were people who had them: for example “Hazreti (Reverend) Ali, Mansur Hallaj, Yusup Hemedany [7] and some other famous personalities had several tombs. So if we come to conclusion that all above mentioned mausoleums belong to Mahmyt Palwan then we need to decide which of them are real tomb of Mahmyt Palwan.
In our opinion Piryar Weli Mausoleum located in Koneurgench is his birthplace, because it is connected with his grandfather and other relatives and Piryar is his grandfather’s name. It might be so that after the death of his father Mahmyt Palwan decided to build it in honor of his father or it is also possible it was built later by the people who respected this family very much. It means also that a person who left Urgench some time ago, returned to his birthplace before his death.
Thus, without taking into consideration the information from the first sources, burial of Mahmyt Palwan’s father in Koneurgench, construction of such mausoleum by his son or by the people who worship him, proves the fact that Mahmyt Palwan’s family’s connection with this place is substantial and guarantees even indirectly that he was born in this place. Besides, his penname is connected with Khoresm, which proves that he is from Koneurgench, and that he was born there and he considers himself attached to that soil. When people use word Khorezm, they mean Koneurgench and regions around it. If he were born in Khiva, he would have used Hywaky as the second penname for certain and scholars would have informed us about it.
It could be so that father of Mahmyt Palwan moved from Koneurgench to Khiva. But it happened later, after the birth of Mahmyt Palwan. During the Mongolian offensive, Gurgench, capital of Khoresm was ruined and devastated ruthlessly. Historical records attest to the fact that the population of Gurgench withstood heroically against the invaders for seven or nine months; they fought for every quarter, street, house and inch of land; at last Mongols decided to effect by stratagem and ruined the dam of Jeyhun and river flooded capital Gurgench and devastated it completely, the rest of the inhabitants were slautered. The town was desolated and abandoned, it was in the ruins.
“Having studied carefully the history of the period the poet lived after the invasion of Mongols, you can imagine the picture that the quality of living was very poor, people suffered hardships of war and disintegration” [14]. To tell the truth, hardships were everywhere, but Gurgench’s state was the worst. Survived population left and migrated for different countries. Probably father of Mahmyt Palwan left Gurgench for that reason. Flood of the Gurgench as a result of dam crush and change of the direction of Jeyhun River from its usual bed, devastated medieval farming lands for many years and changed inhabitants’ way of life. People moved to the east along the river bed.
The story that people who had left Urgench, including family of Mahmyt Palwan, probably settled in the area around present Ysmamyt cemetery is close to the truth. “Information that one the three tributaries of Amyderya flew that area makes this idea more reliable” [7]. In addition to it, there is a historical record that people revived their usual habitation in the borderline fortresses of Gurgench, like Yzmykshir, Eshretgala, region where Ysmamyt Ata cemetery is located and also in the regions of Diyarbekir and other areas [14].
We suppose that despite the fact that Mahmyt Plawan was born in Kuneurgench, he spent his childhood in Ysmamyt Ata area.
Few number sources inform us that he is from Khiva and that he was buried in Khiva. Nowayi, in his work titled “Nesayimyl-muhabbet” (“Breeze of Love”) informs us: ”Palwan Mahmyt Poke Yar is from Khiva and his penname is Buryara. …it was confirmed by the person from Khiva” [15]. We see that Nowayi took this information from the unknown citizen of Khiva. We understood that a person from Khiva considered his belief as a truth and declared that poet is a citizen of Khiva because there is tomb in Khiva which is well-known as the tomb of Mahmyt Palwan. One can not blame that unknown person because he declared his thought, which is his belief. Nowayi’s poem named “Hywakdandyr” confirms that this information is not quiet accurate.
Non of the sources mention that he is from Khiva. Vice-verce, the truth that Mahmyt Palwan’s birthplace is Koneurgench was confirmed by several sources. Besides, one needs to note that when we speak about Khiva we need to include its outskirts as well. The primary source of information about Mahmyt Palwan “Nefehatul-üns” confirms this fact. One can read: ”They tell that when Muhammet Hylwaty was praying zikr his voice reached four parsahs and Palwan Mahmyt Pokyar was his contemporary and was in conversation with him” [15]. The word Khorezm is used for general conception, and word Khiva does not mean Khiva town. Information provided by “Nefehatul-üns” (“Relief Breath of the Weli”) is confirmed by Nowayi [16]. Oraz Ashyky who lived in Ysmamyt Ata area wrote:
Ashyky speaks, he has many wishes,
You‘re Turkmen, place is Khorezm [17].
He used the word Khorezm in general meaning, but he meant area of Ysmamyt Ata. After Mongol invasion there was a tendency of diminishing the term Khorezm and Khiva became more popular. There is hypothesis that Yzmykshir, Eshretgala, Gyzyljagala and Shasenem regions probably appeared under the dominion of Khiva [14]. This thought could be truth, it is confirmed by the fact that until lately Khiva Khanate wanted to consider all above mentioned regions to be under his authority. From this point, we need to take into consideration the probability of the fact that when they speak about Khiva, they included wide areas including Ysmamayt Ata region as well.
It is true that, it is possible to suppose that Mahmyt Palwan lived some time in Khiva. He wrote in his rubai about it:
In Khiva dreaming to achieve his Kaaba,
Palwan Mahamyd’s hope and desire,
Heroism is truth an trust granted forever,
It is order from Lord and voe of soul.
He mentions that he was in Khiva at the moment of writing this poem. Above brought verse makes clear that living some time in Khiva he was not pleased at all and was longing home, his aim was to return to his native land, which he names as his Kaaba. Mahmyt Palwan like Zamahshary who lived in Mekka, but came back to his homeland, probably he lived some time in Khiva. He was highly honored personality of his time that’why he cannot be far from society of big towns and it impossible not to visit popular places.
History and life shows that in mosle world not only burial place of famous religious personalities, but also places where thay lived or visited, studied or worked are canonized. By the time, the origin of canonization place was forgotten and the place was considered as tomb. Thus, several mausoleums of renowned people appeared. From this point it is not surprise that Mahmyt Palwan had several burial palces. Chronicles prove that he was worshipped not only as a powerful person, but also as a great saint.
If so, then which of the mausoleums is real one? “In our opinion, real burial place of Mahmyt Palwan should be Ysmamyt Ata Cemetery [7]”. Is there any evidence to prove it? Yes, there is. The first evidence is brought by our great thinker, poet Magtymguly Pyragy who is worshipped as Saint Pir (guru) by the Turkmen people and whose every written word the most precise information and who lived 300 years ago and 300 years close to Mahmyt Palwan in comparison with us in his poem “heal me” (“Şypa ber”) provides us information:
Words my tongue was lamenting,
Instead tears, blood was streaming
In Khorezm my dear ones sleeping
Ismi Mahmyt, noble hero heal me [18].
Is there any Saint Pir or Holy Cemetery in Khorezm by name Ismi Mahmyt? Of course, there is no any saint person or holy place than Ysmamyt Ata. Ysmamyt is shorter form of Ismi Mahmyt, his folk name. How can we prove that Ismi Mahmyt or Ysmamyt is Mahmyt Palwan? Magtymguly gives an answer. The line “Ismi Mahmyt - är päliwan” is substantial proof. Magtymguly knew what he wrote, he would not dare to write about things he was sure about. We can not argue with Magtymguly. Nineteenth century people also were aware that Ysmamyt Ata was Mahmyt Palwan. Oraz Ashyky 19th century poet who lived in that area states that Ysmamyt Ata is Mahmyt Palwan:
Mountains, soil trembles from my strength,
Hundred thousand saints will be in service,
People think “He is Rustam son of Zal”,
If Ysmamyt Palwan was support of me [19].
I will call Ysmamyt-Palwan ata, Piryar [20].
Both of the verses of Magtymguly and Ashyky makes clear that Ysmamyt Ata and Ismi Mahmyt are the same person. If Ysmamyt Ata were not Mahmyt Palwan then Oraz Ashyky would have called him Ysmamyt Pir, Weli, but wouldn’t have called him “Ysmamyt Palwan”. Secondly great pirs, welies and saint people were buried as gonambashy, head of the cemetery, or if they were not head at the beginning, by the time they were honored by that title. In accordance with chronicles Mahmyt Palwan has been canonized as weli. Mausoleum has a pastoral staff. “About two meter length stick is considered Pir’s staff” [7]. In accordance with tradition, staff’s height should equal the height of the owner. Sources inform that Mahmyt plawan was tall and big person. Staff was prepared like art work decorated with fine ornaments, which speaks high status of it owner. Besides, the work titled “Kyssavy-hezreti Palwan Mahmyt” (“Story About Palwan Mahmyt”) provides legend connected with gazan (pot):”Each day they prepared food in gazans for the people of Khiva, they spent thirty nine gapak to prepare food. Ysmamyt Ata monument has a holy gazan which is considered to belong to Ysmamyt Ata. All this confirm our thought that Ysmamyt Ata is Mahmyt Palwan.
Some chronicles assert that Mahmyt Palwan was buried in Khiva [21]. T. Jelalow wrote: ”When Palwan… passed away, his apprentices buried him within the territory of his sheepskin sewing factory in accordance with his will and mausoleum had been built over this tomb“ [6]. Professor of Literature, Nazar Gullayew supports this idea:”When in 1326 mahmyt palwan died, his followersburied him near workshop and built dome over it. They decorated inside of that dome with fine rubai of their teacher [22]. ”But this thought is far from truth, because, there is no other source besides “Kyssayi hezreti Palwan Mahmyt” (“Story about Palwan Mahmyt”), which inform directly or indirectly about sheepskin sowing or sheepskin workshop or his burial about sheepskin workshop. His rubai do not mention about it as well. Secondly, Mauseleum-dome belonging to Mahmyt Palwan was not built by his followers, but it was built much later period. Monumental complex connected with Mahmyt Palwan’s mausoleum had not been built by the students of Palwan as was mentioned by Nazar Gullayew, but its construction began much later, in 1701 by the order of Khiva Khan Shaniyaz and was finished in 1810 by Master Annamuhammet Hezarasby at the time of reign of Muhammetrahym Khan II [23]. Also there is data that this monumental complex’ construction began by the order of Muhammetrahym Khan (1806-1825) and was ended during the reigh of Allaguly Khan (1825-1843) [24]. Thirdly, when Mujteba Keremi speaking about his mausoleum in Khiva informs us: ”Mahmyt Palwan was buried in Khiva Fortress, in Ishan (Ichan) fortress [25]”. Ichan fortress means inside fortress but not the main one, for that reason, inside fortress belongs to shahs, wezirs and court people, for that reason sheepskin workshop can not exist there. It was impossible to bury him there. Fourthly, appearance of royal burial near the tomb of poet confirms above mentioned idea. Besides literary sources which were engaged in canonization of Mahmyt Palwan’s personality and scholars, which regferred to those sources, none of the ancient chronicles and Mahmyt Palwan’s own poems provide information that he was connected with shahs or rulers of tha time, vice-verse in accordance with some Iranian literary researchers suppose that Mahmyt Palwan headed secret sufi trend called “Futuwwet” or ”Juwanmerdi”, (which means “humanism”, ”honesty”) which fought for the liberty from mongol invaders [26]. This thought is confirmed indirectly by ancient chronicles. Emin Ahmet Razy wrote in his work titled “Tezkireýi-heft yklym” (“Antology of Seven Continents”): ”Palwan Mahmyt Purya is among the gem of weli, in order to cover his state he engaged himself in the fight” [27]. Nowayi wrote:”he had secret Sufi knowledge” [15]. Mahmyt Palwan’s rubai prove this idea:
Our strength can make fate’s horse mate,
Our fame an reputation is higher than fate,
If an ant joins us to continue our deed,
Our authority turned it into giant.
These verses prove that Mahmyt Palwan had not any relationship with the upper circles authorised by Mongols.
Only Nowayi’s and Mujteba Keremi’s works contain information that he had a wrestling with the Shah’s wrestler. From this point, we can suppose that Mausoleum in Khiva could be a place where he had a wrestling. It is quite possible that places where he lived, stayed or wrestled were declared holy by his followers or ordinary people. Location of his mausoleums in many different places proves this idea. Fifthly, T. Jelalow mentions that Mahmyt Palwan erected domed construction near Khiva in honor of heroes who died in the battle against troops of Gengiz Khan, one can see its remnants in our days as well [6]. Nazar Gullayew, Professor of literature refers to T. Jelalow and agrees with his idea:”He built mausoleum over the graves of the heroes near Khiva who were perished in the war against Gengiz Khan. Ruins of that mausoleum are still there” [28]. If we assume that their information is correct, (even chronicles do not provide such information), then why Mahmyt Palwan from Khiva, but built mausoleum not in Khiva but in the area close to Khiva. Hero’s who fought against Mongols can be found in Khiva as well. This information means that he was not born and did not live in Khiva, if he had built mausoleum then he had built in Ysmamyt Ata region, in the area close to Khiva.
In addition, “Kyssaýy-Hezreti Pälwan Mahmyt” (“Story about Revetend Palvan Mahmyt”) literary work tells story that Mahmyt Palwan demonstrated miracle of creating stream near Khiva. This stream’s location is near Khiva, not in Khiva means a lot. One or two parsah close to Khiva assumes area of Ysmamyt Ata regions. Moreover, data about stream coincides with the time when one of the three tributaries of Amyderya was flowing along the region where Mahmyt Palwan’s family came to live. These things once again confirm that Mahmyt Palwan is Ysmamyt Ata and Ysmamyt Ata is Mahmyt Palwan.
I think another explanation will be appropriate. One of the popular folk legends tells that Ysmamyt Ata is not Mahmyt Palwan, but Ism Sahaba ibn Museyyip. Is this thought correct? Is this legend connected with historical truth? In accordance with the legend, ruler of the fortress, which was located around the Ysmamyt Ata Cemetery, Soltan Mahmyt declared Ism Sahaba as his pir at the throne, who was sent to Khorezm as an advocator of religion. After the death of Ism Sahaba was buried there.
With the lapse of time, part “Ism” from Ism Sahaba, and part “Mahmyt” from Soltan Mahmyt were connected and Ysmamyt came to existence. In accordance with another legend, Ysmamyt name appeared because Soltan Mahmyt introduced him among folk like: “My name is Mahmyt”. We learned that this legend is far from being truth and it was created later. Name “Mahmyt” and words “soltan” we “ism” are Arab words and Arab name and words can not exist before the spread of Islam in this territory. The word “soltan” in the meaning of patysha was used in the history for the first time in connection with Soltan Mahmyt Gaznaly. This was proved by historical chronicles. For that reason this word can not be used before spread of Islam, before existence of Soltan Mahmyt Gaznaly and even after spread of Islam in the meaning of patysha. It means that legend connected with Ism Sahaba is not truth.
Another question needs to be answered, how did Mahmyt Palwan’s name turn into Ismi Mahmyt-Ysmamyt? In our opinion, at the time when Mahmyt Palwan passed away, mausoleum had not been built on once, but in accordance with Moslem traditions stone was placed at the grave with inscription “Ismi Mahmyt”. Manuscripts written about Mahmyt Gaznaly also provide such informationin some extent. For example, biographic work “Atashkedeyi-Azer” begins its narration with the words:”Ismi Palwan Mahmyt“ [29] and “Riyazul-Aryf” (“Flower Garden of the Wize People”) begins with:”Mubarek ismi Palwan Mahmyt” [30]. With the lapse of time, it is possible that grave stone inscription “Ismi Mahmyt” turned into Ysmamyt.
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