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Ahmad Yassawiy is the first great representative of Turkic mystical literature and the founder of the oldest Turkic, order of Yassawiyya in Turkistan, which then influenced the Nakshbandiyya and Bektashiyya among the Turks.
Ahmad Yassawiy’s “Hikmat” (Divan-i Hikmat or Book of Wisdom) is the first known work of mystical wisdom written in the Turkic language of the area of Yassi, near the present town of Turkistan in Kazakhstan.

In his poems, he was the first to warn the Turkistanis away from sin. For centuries, different versions of Yassawiy’s “Divan-i Hikmat” were written out and amended or revised by many hands. It was often recopied and finally lithographed and reprinted in numerous places inside and outside Central Asia. As late as the twentieth century, it remained accessible to believers in oral and written form. His shrine in Yassi is one of the most respected places of Turkistan. In the 1390s Amir Temur had this shrine built in honour of Yassawiy, who was popularly known as the Turkistani saint and addressed as “hazrat”. Restoration of his shrine has recently been undertaken.
According to a legend famous among the people of Turkistan, out of respect for the Prophet Muhammad’s death at the age of 63, Yassawiy, at the same age, built a cave under the earth where he spent the rest of his life.
Ahmad Yassawiy is still very popular among Central Asians as being the spiritual father of the Turkistan nation. At the Second Congress of Turk Republics Ministers of Culture held in Baku, the year 1993 was declared “Ahmad Yassawiy Year” in honour of the 900th anniversary of his birth.

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