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Khalwatiyya Shabaniyya Sufi Order and Hazrat Pir Shaykh Shabani Wali

Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali ( k.s.) was born at Cimdar Street in Cakırcayı Village of Gokceagac in Taskopru Town in Qastomoni. Although we haven't got enough information about the exact date of Hazrat Pir's birth, the year 1497 AD is recorded in the Museum's register. However there is a note next to this information which says the date is not certain. In ‘Safina-i Awliya’ his date of birth is recorded as 1499 AD and this shows that Hazrat Pir was born in 1490s.

The father of Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali ( k.s.) dies before his birth so he is born as a fatherless child and at the age of three he becomes an orphan after the death of his mother . During the following years he lives with a beneficient woman. The woman doesn't adopt him as a son but she takes care of him and pays his education expenses. She even sends him to Istanbul to complete his education.

Hazrat Pir receives his early education in Taskopru. He then goes to Qastamoni to get a deeper knowledge about exoteric and esoteric sciences especially Qur'an and Hadith and their interpretation. However he is not satisfied with the education he obtained in his hometown and he goes to Istanbul, a centre of intellectualism, and completes his schooling at Istanbul Fatih Madrasah. Because of his good character, his being serious and hard working during his schooling , he is highly appreciated by his teachers.

Shaban Effendi ( k.s.) is not satisfied with the outer knowledge and science and he starts to seek a perfect murshid who can guide him on the path of enlightenment. Although he shares his feelings with some Sufi Masters in Istanbul, his heart doesn't lean towards any of them and with sincere intention he goes on seeking the right guide. Meanwhile he receives his diploma from Fatih Madrasah. He is offered to work as a teacher (=mudarris ) at school by his teachers but he wants time before his decision.

That night in his dream a voice says, ' Return home, you are saved there'. Shabani Wali, who gets a spritual sign for returning home, says goodbye to his teachers and with a friend he takes the road to Qastamoni which passes through Bolu. On the way home he wants to visit Hazrat Hayruddin Tokadi whose name and fame he heard a lot .

Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali gains some knowledge about Hazrat Tokadi . When he comes to the neighbourhoods of Bolu, he sees two disciples who are following the road to Istanbul. The disciples say ,

'Our Master Hazrat Hayruddin-i Tokadi said Shabani Wali , a native of Qastamoni , was returning from Istanbul to his hometown and wanted us to take him to the convent. We are waiting for Shaban Effendi who is returning from Istanbul.'

Then Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali says ,

'I am Shabani Wali, from Qastamoni . ' He then walks through the convent of Hazrat Hayruddin-i Tokadi with his  two disciples.

They are received by Hazrat Tokadi in the afternoon. After performing the evening prayer in the convent, they join the circle of dhkir (=remembrance) . They finish their dhkir and they pray and make supplication afterwards. However, Shabani Wali can't find enough strength to stand up . This continues three days and they stay at the convent as quests. On the third day Pir Shabani Wali's friend says ,

'We have been staying here for three days. We’d better ask permission to go.'

Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali wipes the tears from his eyes and says,

'My friend , they are the links in the chain . Lovers of God attract you to their side and their silsila. Their ecstasy surpassed. I wish you a nice journey. It seems that I will stay here. ' He then says goodbye to his friend.

Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali, who decides to stay in the convent of Tokadi, takes initiation from him. He is enlightened by Hazrat Tokadi's guidance and this lasts twelve years. During this time he serves willingly and eagerly. He devotes  his nafs and soul  to his murshid. At the end he becomes his caliph. After Hazrat Hayruddin Tokadi's saying prayer for his caliphate, he is given permission to initiate disciples. Hazrat Tokadi says,

'You are given caliphate . Return to your hometown. Start to initate there , enlighten the lovers and the faithful ones and spread the Order. '

By the order of Hazrat Shaykh Tokadi, Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali starts his journey from Bolu to Qastamoni. However on the way he thinks , ' I will go to Qastamoni but the people want me to show miracles. It is human nature to expect miracles from saints. However I don't think that I have this power and ability.' Then he says to his friend ,

‘I'll return to Bolu to my dear master. I was going to Qastamoni for his demand.'

His friend says,

'Shabani Wali , I have a question, ' Do you have any doubt about your Shaykh? He gave you permission to initiate, then he thought you were capable.’

Then Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali says,

' What do you mean? My Sufi Master is the Sultan of Sultans. I  have no doubt.'

His friend asks, ' Then, why do you hesitate to go to Qastamoni? ' Hayruddin Tokadi speaks from his friend's tongue and says , 'Do what Hazrat wants you to do.’

As a result Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali continues his way and he arrives Qastamoni in 1530.

There are many hearsays about Hazrat Pir's coming into the city. One of them is as follows,

At that time there was Isa Dede who was in the lineage of Haji Bayram-i Wali in Qastamoni . He was famous for being a perfect Murshid. One day, while sitting with his disciples , he raises his head to look far . He says,

'Lovers , a perfect Man is coming from Bolu. Go and meet him and show him the best hospitality.'

His disciples take the road. They walk till a place called Darbant . However they can't see anybody. After some time a shadow appears in the distance coming slowly towards them. They see him when he comes near. One of them holds Hazrat Pir on his sleeve and says,

'Peace be on you! Where are you coming  from and where are  you going?'

Hazrat Pir says,

'I came from God and I go to God.'

The crowd can't  understand that he is Shaban Effendi. They say he is not that perfect Man whom Isa Dede talked about and they come back.

According to a hearsay Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali goes into seclusion in an empty tree-trunk on the outskirts of the city. There he spends his time worshipping and doing dhkir.

A few days pass. The disciples realize that the perfect man  who was informed by Isa Dede as their Master  was the traveller they talked to but couldn't identify. A group of people from Qastamoni, go back to the same place and go near the plane tree. They invite him saying,

'Our Master , we are longing for you.Come with us , please. ’

Shabani Wali accepts their invitation and leaves the trunk where he goes into seclusion and walks with  them through the city.

Then it is seen that the tree which became the dwelling place of that distinguished person can't stand to be seperated from him and follows him. The ones who witness this event become excited and surprise a lot. Shabani Wali who experienced this strange event turns his head back slightly and says,

'I shared my secret with you but I didn't ask you to expose my secret.'  Then the tree  stops.

Well, there are lots of rumours. However, they are beyond the mind's limits . They are divine miracles ( =karamat al- ilahiyya).

Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali first comes to the courtyard of Jalaluddin Mosque near Sayyid Sunnati Masjid , ' a small mosque' in Qastamoni. For a while he leads a solitary life there. He intends to go into seclusion in one of the khalwat khanas of Sayyid Sunnati Masjid and completes 40-day seclusion. The people who realize Hazrat Pir's perfections join his gatherings. At that time the masjid was outside the city centre therefore they invited Shabani Wali to Honsalar Mosque in Honsalar Street. Shaban Effendi spends his time preaching , giving advice and guiding the disciples in this mosque. Then a fire breaks out and Horasan Mosque burns. Shabani Wali doesn't let the disciples rebuild the mosque. He says , ' There is a reason(=hikmat)  for this fire’.

After the fire Shaban Effendi moves to a house close to Hisarardı Sayyid Sunnati Masjid and he continues his spritual guidance in the convent which was built by Hazrat Sayyid Sunnati. The guidance of Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali was so advanced that he taught  three hundred khalifs till his passing away.

Hazrat Pir( k.s.) passed away in 1569 AD. He was buried in the garden of his convent. Now his grave is in his Kulliya. His tomb is richly embellished. However there are more than ten graves of holy people who came after him  around his grave  under the same dome.

In a short time Shaban Effendi ( k.s. ) was accepted as a Perfected Being by people in Qastamoni because of the Islamic education he got in the Madrasahs of Istanbul and the spiritual education and training he received from Hazrat Hayruddin Tokadi. Hundreds of disciples were inspired by him.

There are many books written about Hazrat Pir . Although he didn't want people to know his experiences in the state of ecstasy and his miracles, they were heard by many of them . One of them is told as follows,

When he arrives Qastamoni , he opens a convent. Someone comes and asks ,

'What do you do? '

Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali says,

'I make hearts shine'.

The man understands it as, ' I make pots shine'. He then goes home and brings a sack of copper pots.' (The pronounciation of the words heart,  " kalp " and pot, " kap " are similar in Turkish)

He tells him to brighten them up.

Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali says ,

'I said  'heart'  but you understood it as 'pot'. Well, you took the trouble to bring them so I will render this service . Come tomorrow and take them. Next day it is seen that all the pots shine gleamingly although the sack isn't opened.

Lots of eulogies are said and written about Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali, one of the faithful friends and lovers of God, by his khalifs and disciples. Some of these sincere eulogies are as follows,

The sultan of ‘ Limaallah ’ is Shabani Wali

The substantial evidence of ‘ Semme  Vech’ is  Shabani Wali

Limaallah: The state of  being closest to God

Semme Vechullah:  ‘ Wherever you turn, there is the face  of God ’ ( The Cow, Verse 115)


He is the guide of  the path of the omnipresent, the markless

The ocean which is the continuous  existence of the sea of spiritual world is  Shabani Wali


The mirror of my heart was polished with the light of his guidance

The gnosis  of  the mystic school  is Shabani Wali


The one who walks upon the Path of Truth

The one who views  God’s throne  is Shabani Wali


The source of Light,  the celler of God’s mystery

The station of love is Shabani Wali


The representative of Divine, the rescuer of him

God in human form is Shabani Wali


Shavkiya is the image of multiplicy in unity

Shabani Wali, the  greatest  of all saints

Ibrahim Shavki

The head of the masters of Truth is Hazrat Shabani Wali
The worthy of Sufi Path is Hazrat Shabani Wali

There is the smell of Truth in his manners and speech
The compassionate one to all his lovers is Hazrat Shabani Wali

Pir was born on earth like a rising sun
The one who is drowned deeply in the Sea of Light is Hazrat Shabani Wali

He is like a nightingale who increases the beauties in Khalwati Garden
The greatest source of mystic inspiration is Hazrat Shabani Wali

He is  a lover, a  loyal one  and a real sweetheart

The one whose wisdom and thoughts are deep is Hazrat Shabani Wali

He became the member of grand Pirs' class
The one who is loyal to God is Hazrat Shabani Wali

He is the guide of Saints and the storage of the wise
The one who is the evidence of Sufi Path is Hazrat Shabani Wali


He is  the nightingale of the garden of  courtesy (=adab), the pride of the wise ones

The one whose feelings of spirituality are our guide is Hazrat Shabani Wali


He is inspired by God, he  is highly praised
The one whose love and inspiration are the friends of lovers is Hazrat Shabani Wali

You are the ocean of honour, the nightingale of Rose Garden
The one whose secret words serve as timely reminders is Hazrat Shabani Wali

O my beloved, for God's sake grant us your qualifications abundantly
O Shabani Wali , the compassionate one towards his disciples


Husayn Wassaf ( Hüseyin Vassaf)

We are the Dawn Wind
We tell the Secret Truth
We are the hands of Laila for Macnun

We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

The one who joins  us becomes wise
He becomes human while an animal
He becomes a lover of beloved
We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

Our body and heart  burned with  love
We have no doubt anymore
Now God is the guest of tongue
We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

We have no  selves
Our body is pure
Our faces are the face of God
We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

Our path is not without Shariat
We are not apart from the True Wisdom
We are not away from the Truth
We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

We went into seclusion with the Holy Forties
We chated with the Sevens
We ate with the Threes

We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

We are known as Khalwati
We saw the ' unity in multiplicy '

Our aim is  to be humble
We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

Burning burning, we whirl
We drink love wine with one another
We come today with great enthusiasm
We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

They shouldn't assume that we are impious
We are both believers and Moslems
We are not inventors but we are monotheists
We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

Our Pir is Shaykh Shaban
His principles are the essence of Qur'an
We are the willing victims on his path
We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

We can not be counted with hand
By breaking us we can't finish
We have a strange tonque
We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

The disciple Sadiq is ruined
He pludged into the sea of God
He always thinks of God
We are the nightingales of Shabani
We are the roses in the garden of unity

Ash Shaykh Sadiq
al Khalwati ash Shabani

Sulayman Nazif, one of our greatest man of letters , praises Hazrat Pir saying , ' If you want to have a lofty conscience, humble  yourself before Pir '.

Today the Kulliya of Hazrat Pir is richly decorated and properly kept . It receives many visitors from near and far in twelve months. The mosque in Kulliya is still active in daily use. There are two small rooms for seclusion (= two khalwat khanas ) in the mosque. One of them is on your left as you enter the building and it is called bloody khalwat khana. The reason why it is called like that is explained by the greats as follows,

The rising khalifs go into this sort of seclusion . Before they go into seclusion they give some money to the staff at the mosque in case they carry away their corpse. Then they go into bloody khalwat. Blood comes out of the disciples' body and even from the roots of their hair.

The ones who can leave khalwat khana alive are real murshids. If they can't survive, the money they gave is used for their funeral.

The other khalwat khana is on the right as you enter the mosque. This one is Hazrat Pir's own khalwat khana . Hazrat Pir's following lines are written on the plate placed over the door of his khalwat khana ,

This post is the kaaba of lovers
Whoever is imperfect becomes mature in this life

According to a hearsay, Hazrat Pir tells the story below about khalwat,

One day it is asked to Hazrat Pir,

'Are a glass of sherbet and a paper-thin sheet of dough enough for you?'

Hazrat Pir says,

'They are enough for me and for the mice’.

On the second and the third floors of the mosque there are so many khalwat khanas for disciples and they are still visited today.

The silsila of Khalwatiyya after Hazrat Pir-i Sakalayn Qutbu'l Alumu'l Fiddarayn Bila Niza as Sultan Ash Shaykh Hazrat Shabani Wali ( k.s. ) Qastamoni ( Shabani branch) who is in the 29 th line of Khalwatiyya Order.

Ash Shaykh Pir Hazrat Shabani Wali
1 . Ash Shaykh Umarul Fuadi Qastamoni
2 . Ash Shaykh Isma'il Qudsi Chorumi
3 . Ash Shaykh Mustafa Muslihiddin
4 . Ash Shaykh Ali Atwal Karabash-i Wali (Karabashiyya sub-branch)
5 . Ash Shaykh Muhammad Nasuhi Uskudari
6 . Ash Shaykh Abdu-lah Rushd Mudurnuwi
7 . Ash Shaykh Hadji Mehmed Zorawi
8 . Ash Shaykh as Sayyid Mustafa Charqashi
(The Founder of Charkashiyya , sub-branch of Shabani Branch )
9 . Ash Shaykh Hadji Halil Garadawi
10. Ash Shaykh Salih Effendi Qutahyawi
11. Ash Shaykh Hadji Usman Effendi (Soghutlu)
12. Ash Shaykh Isma'il Haqqı Effendi (Chaltili)
13. Ash Shaykh Sadiq Effendi ( Askishahirli)
14. Ash Shaykh Hadji Hafız Ali Riza Effendi (Oshaqli)
15. Ash Shaykh Mustafa Effendi (Oshaqli)
16. Ash Shaykh Hodja Hafiz Mehmet Dumlu Qutahyawi