Hamit Arbaş

Keywords: Mawlânâ,Gurcy Khatun,painting,portrait,sculpture,Islam,Seljukid


It is obvious that Islam gives privileges and importance to beauty and aesthetics as appeared clearly in the Qur'ân and the Hadithes of the Prophet of Islam. Nevertheless in the early years of Islamic history, there were a serious and historically justifiable resistance against painting and sculpture schemed around sanctified objects molded in the context of paganism. In fact, this resistance was not due to the opposition to painting and sculpture in terms of arts and aesthetics; but due to the usage of them for the telos of piety and worship. Arguably, the painting made by the consent of Mawlânâ represents both the inclusive character of the worldview of the Sûfî tradition, and the reconstruction of aesthetic imagination of this tradition through local forms and historical codes. At this juncture, Mawlânâ became an epitome of this historical refraction point. Mu'în al-Dîn Sulaymân Parwana was in charge of administrative duties in Kayseri and his wife Gurcy Khatun was about to go to Kayseri. Due to spritual attachment to Mawlânâ, she wanted to stay in Konya; hence she herself found out a solution to ease her grief due to this spatial separation: She sent out 'Ayn alDawlah, painter of the Seljukid palace, along with a few officers to draw Mawlânâ's portrait. Yet the painter painted saliently different Mawlânâ from what he really was. He tried to paint his portrait twenty times; however, he was not able to paint his portrait and in the end broke his pens and left the place. Later, he handed over them to Gurcy Khatun, painted on the stamped letters of the Seljukid palace. Till now, no original of these paintings have been found. In this study, based on scientific rationales we tried to prove that the six paintings that have been claimed to resemble Mawlânâ are not original ones.