Yūsuf Balasaguni

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Yusuf Balasaguni
Monument of Joseph of Balasagun
As shown on the Kyrgyz 1000 som note
Born
Yusuf

c. 1019
Died1077 (aged 57–58)
NationalityKarakhanid
Other namesKhass Hajib (title)
OccupationPhilosopher, Vizier, Statesman
Known forKutadgu Bilig

Yusuf Khass Hajib Balasaguni (Arabic: يوسف خاصّ حاجب‎, Yūsuf Khāṣṣ Ḥājib Balasağuni; Kazakh: Жүсіп Баласағұни; Uyghur: يۈسۈپ خاس ھاجىپ‎; Kyrgyz: Жусуп Баласагын) was an 11th-century Central Asian Turkic poet, statesman, vizier and philosopher from the city of Balasaghun, the capital of the Kara-Khanid Khanate in modern-day Kyrgyzstan. He wrote the Kutadgu Bilig and most of what is known about him, comes from his own writings in this work. He is also referred to as Yūsuf Balasaguni, derived from his city of origin.

Background[edit]

His birthplace Balasagun was located at the Burana archaeological site near the present-day city of Tokmok in Northern Kyrgyzstan. His birthdate is estimated to be 1018[1] or 1019.[2] His father was one of the prominent and wealthy people of that time. The young poet received his primary education in his hometown. His main influences were Avicenna, Al-Farabi and Ferdowsi.

Kutadgu Bilig[edit]

He started to work on the Kutadgu Bilig (Middle Turkic: Wisdom of Royal Glory) in Balasagun and was about 50 years old when he completed it in Kashgar[3]. After presenting the completed work to the Karakhanid Hasan ibn Sulayman (father of Ali-Tegin) - Prince of Kashgar he was awarded the title Khāṣṣ Ḥājib, an honorific similar to "Privy Chamberlain" or "Chancellor". Some scholars suspect that the prologue to the Kutadgu Bilig, which is much more overtly Islamic than the rest of the text, was not written by Yūsuf, particularly the first prologue, which is in prose, unlike the rest of the text. He died and buried in Kashgar, 1077.

Memory[edit]

Tomb of Yusuf Balasaguni[edit]

The mausoleum of the poet in Tainap, Kashgar was erected in 1865, but it was destroyed in 1972 during the Cultural Revolution and a school was built in its place.[5] After the death of Mao Zedong, the mausoleum was restored to its former location, and the school was transferred to another building. When restoring the mausoleum, several more unknown burials were discovered on its territory. The grave of Yusuf Balasaguni is decorated with inscriptions in Chinese, Arabic and Uyghur.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dilâçar, Agop (1988). 900. [i.e. Dokuz yüzüncü] yıldönümü dolayısıyle Kutadgu bilig incelemesi (in Turkish). Türk Dil Kurumu. p. 21.
  2. ^ Yūsuf (Khāṣṣ-Hājib); Arat, Reşit Rahmeti (1979). Kutadgu bilig (in Turkish). Türk Dil Kurumu. pp. XXIII.
  3. ^ Devereux, Robert (1985). "Yūsuf Khāss Hājib, Wisdom of Royal Glory (Kutadgu Bilig): A Turko-Islamic Mirror for Princes, Robert Dankoff, trans., Publications of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, No. 16 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983). Pp. 291". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 17 (4): 577–579. doi:10.1017/S002074380002972X. ISSN 1471-6380.
  4. ^ "Yusuf Khas Hajib Year Opening Ceremony was Held in Istanbul | Türk Dünyası Belediyeler Birliği". Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  5. ^ Millward, James A. (2010). Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang. Hurst. p. 54. ISBN 9781849040679.


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