Demirî (Kemaleddin Muhammed)

Hadis Bilgini, Fıkıh Bilgini, Zoolog

27 Ekim, 1405
Diğer İsimler
Ebü'l-Beka Kemâlüddîn Muhammed b. Mûsâ b. İsâ el- Kahirî eş- Şâfîî

Zoologist, hadith and fiqh scholar (Born 1341, Semennûd / Egypt –Death 27 October 1405, Cairo). His full name is Ebü’l-Beka Kemâlüddîn Muhammed b. Mûsâ b. İsâ el-Kahirî eş-Şâfiî. He is known as Demirî Kemaleddin Muhammed. He was born in the northern one of the two Demîre villages which is located near to Semennud town in the Nile Delta.

Demîrî at first worked as a sartor. Later he devoted himself to science and stayed with and benefited from Bahâeddines-Sübkî for a long period. He received fiqh (Islamic Law) education from Cemâleddin Abdürrahim b. Hasan el-İsnevî, literature education from Burhâneddin İbrahim b. Şerefeddin el-Kirâtî; and Arabic education and education in other fields from Bahâeddin Abdullah b. Abdurrahman ibn Akîl. Recognized scholars such as İzzeddin Muhammed b. Ahmed en-Nüveyrî,  Sirâceddin İbnü’l-Mülakkın and Sirâceddin Ömer b. Ras-lân el-Bulkînî are among his teachers. Demirî became an expert in the fields of tafsir (Koran interpretation), hadith (words of the Holy Prophet), fiqh methodology (theoretical law), language and literature. He received a permission of fatwa and instruction (teaching competence, certificate). He taught in Azhar and Zahir mosques of Cairo and in Kubbetü’l-Baybarsiyye (Hankah of Baybars II) and İbnü’l-Bakarî Madrasah within bünnasr. He gave lectures and published fatwas in Mecca where he stayed for twenty years from 1379 until 1399.

De­mirî’s work titled “Hayatü’l-Hayevan” (Life of Animals) written about zoology 400 years before Westerners is the first encyclopedic work in this field. It contains all issues in this field. The author is a great Islamic scholar and has a sovereign position in especially fiqh. Demirî did not write this work upon suggestion. He intended to encompass all issues related to animals mentioned during his lectures, especially whether they are edible or not and religious judgments about this. He says that some adventures between some great people and animals and narrated sad or funny stories made him write such a work. For this purpose he had a lucid dream and decided to write this work due to alphabetic order. Except for this, he edited the work in 560 chapters enriched it with 199 poems taken from Arabic divans and completed its worksheets in the year of 773 (Islamic calendar).

This work of Demirî Kemaleddin was translated to Turkish by Mehmet b. Süleyman in 1400. Another translation was made by Abdurrahman es-Sivasî and published in Istanbul in 1914. This work which brought great innovations for the period it was written in is deemed as one of the worthiest works of the history among today’s zoology scholars, as well.

Demirî gained a decent reputation with his piety (turning one’s back to this world) and taqwa (restraining from sins with the fear of Allah) among Dârüsaîdi’s-süedâ (Hankah of Sa­lâhiyye) dervishes in Cairo to whom he belonged. His contemporary Markizî states in his work “el-Ukūd fî  târîhi’l-’uhûd” that he was together with Demiri for years and he participated to his preaching. He gained reputation with some wonders believed to be made by him and the “Muğayyebat” (Five Unknown Things: Day of Judgment, when it will rain, wombs, and the gain of tomorrow). Demirî passed away in Cairo and inhumed in Mekâirü’s- Sûfîyye near to Dâr-ü saidi’s-Süedâ.


Hayâtü’l-hayevân (This work which bestowed Demîrî a big reputation in the East and West and which has the quality of an encyclopedia of animals has three versions: “kübrâ” (long), vustâ (medium) and “suğrâ” (short). It was published many times. It has about ten abbreviated versions. Aside from whole or partial translations to Turkish, Persian, Latin, French and English it also became subject of numerous researches.), Muhtasarü’l-Ġayşi’l-müseccem fî Şerhi Lâmiyyetİ’l-’Acem (The abbreviated version of interpretations of Halîl b. Aybekes-Safedî’s work.), en-Necmü’I-vehhâc (Summaries of interpretations of Minhâcü’t-Tâlibîn done by Bahâeddines-Sübkî, İsnevîand others), Rumûzü’l-Künûzllezî Bereze İbrûzûhû Ahsen Bürûz (A didactic poem of 30.000 couplets in the fields of fiqh and kalam.), Manzûmefi’s-Tihbâbi’l-Vuzû (Interpreted by his son), Şerhu’l-Mu’allākâti’s-Seb’ (Keşfü-z-zunün), el-Cevherü’l-ferîd fî ‘ilmi’l-tevhîd, ed-Dibâce (Şerhu Sünen-iİbn Mâce: The work which consists of five volumes could not be completed.). Ğâyetü’l- Arab fî Kelâm-I Kükemâi’l-Arab (The scholar wrote an interpretation to his work.), et-Tez­kire.

REFERENCE: Dr. Adnan Adıvar / Osmanlı Türklerinde İlim (yay. haz. Aykut Kazancıgil - Sevim Tekeli; s. 30, 1982),, “Demirî” (Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi, c. 9, s. 297, 1994), Kemâleddîn Demîrî [1341-1405] Hayâtü’l Hayevân [Havas ve Esrarı] (2001), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Bilim Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 2, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013) - Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (C. 12, 2017).



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