Biography of
Prof. Dr. Mahmud Esad Cosan

He was born in a Canakkale (a city in the western part of Turkey) in 1938. He attended the department of Arab-Persian languages of the Faculty of Arts in the University of Istanbul and obtained his B.A. in 1960 by having four certificates from Arabic Language and Literature, Persian Language and Literature, the History of Middle Ages and Turkish Islamic Arts.

In the same year, he joined the Faculty of Theology of Ankara University as a research assistant in the department of Classical Turkish Religious Texts. In 1965, he received his Ph.D. by completing a dissertation on the fifteenth Century Poet Hatipoglu Muhammad and his writings. In 1967-68, he taught Turkish and humanities at the Ankara Advance Architecture and Engineering Private Institute.

In 1973, he became Associate Professor with his thesis on the Makalat of Hajji Bektashi Veli (The Articles of Haji Bektashi Veli) and became the head of Turkish Islamic Literature department. In 1977-78, while teaching at the theology faculty, he also taught Turkish Language and Literature at the Sakarya Government Architecture and Engineering Academy.

In 1982, he became full Professor. In order to devote more time to his considerable social and cultural activities, he asked his retirement and left the university in 1987.

He took his early Islamic education in his family. His father Halil Necati Efendi is a respected person who has inner vision and who studied from such scholars and Sheikhs (Sufi Masters) like Cirpilali Haci Ali Efendi, Serezli Hasib Efendi, Kazanli Abdulaziz Bekkine Efendi and Mehmed Zahid Kotku Efendi. He was a very close friend and student of Sheikh Mehmed Zahid Kotku who is being regarded the most influential Islamic figure of Turkey in the late Twentieth Century. Having being so close to spiritual environment Prof. Cosan too at his youth attended to the talks and teachings of Scholars and Murshids and received their material and spiritual blessings.

Upon completing his spiritual education (training), Sheikh Mehmed Zahid Kotku asked him to give hadith lessons at Iskenderpasha Mosque (the centre of the tariqah) in Istanbul in 1977. Mehmed Zahid Kotku appointed him as his caliph (successor) while he was alive. He undertook all of the responsibilities of the jamaat (the Naqshbandi Khalidi tariqah of Mehmed Zahid Kotku r.a.) when Mehmed Zahid Kotku passed away in 1980.

In his time, interest of listening the hadith lessons incresed considerably so much so the Iskenderpasha mosque was expanded and enlarged five or six times. In addition to this, new periodic Hadith lessons were introduced in the cities of Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Sapanca, Izmit and Eskisehir.

He personally paid attention and improved the activities of HAKYOL Egitim, Dostluk ve Yardimlasma Vakfi (The True Path Education, Friendship and Cooperation Foundation) which was being founded by the order of Mehmed Zahid Kotku (r.a.) and has had opened its branches in many cities. He worked to spread the activities of education and cooperation.

He founded the Ilim, Kultur ve Sanat Vakfi (Science, Kulture and Art Foundation) to do culture and art related activities and the Saglik Vakfi (Health Foundation) for health related activities. For the education of women he has had hundreds of women's associations established and hundreds of Ilim, Ahlak Kultur ve Cevre Dernek'leri (Science, Morality, Culture and Environment Association) for environmental activities. He aimed to bring people together and to have them organised for common objectives.

Furthermore, he paid attention to the restoration and renovation of some historical buildings and works which were left by Muslim ancestries and started them working according to their original aims. Ahmed Kamil Tekkesi (Sufi Centre), Selami Mustafa Efendi Tekkesi, Seyh Murad Efendi Dergahi (Sufi Centre), Sadiye Hatun Sifa Kulliyesi (Lady Shadiye Health Complex) are just to name a few.

In order to promote Islamic awareness and education he turned to the media. In 1983 monthly magazine Islam Mecmuasi and in 1985 Kadin ve Aile (Women and Family) and Ilim ve Sanat (Science and Art) were published. Gul Cocuk for children and Panzehir magazine for health and technology were published later on. Prof. Cosan still is guiding these publications and writing editorials.

He founded Seha publishing house to publish books and so far numerous books have been published in the field of religion, literature, history and culture.

For the development of Islamic printed media he took some steps and with those efforts Ahsen printing and Deha Desktop publishing and design firms were established. Currently trial editions of a daily newspaper called 'Sagduyu' (Common Sense) is being published.

In order to broadcast programs which are appropriate to religious and national values he initiated the establishment of AKRA (White, Clean Radio) radio station, which currently broadcasts to all parts of Turkey, Europe, North Africa, Middle Eastern and Central Asian Republics.

For the same purposes AK-TV television channel has been set up and currently broadcasting most parts of Turkey including Marmara region.

He urged the establishments of private schools in order to have quality Islamic Education. In many cities, private prepatory, primary and secondary schools have been established and the schools are very successful in terms of Islamic and academic excellence.

Having understood the need and importance of independent, knowledgeable and sincere imams he founded fiqh, hadith and tafseer institutes in Istanbul, Ankara, Konya and Bursa. Theology faculty graduates were admitted to these institutes and private lecturers and scholars were teaching Arabic, Hadith, tafseer, fiqh, aqaid and tasavvuf to the students.

He traveled extensively inside and outside Turkey because of tremendous interest for his talks and views and being invited to many parts of the world. For this reason, he made many visits; gave many conferences, seminars and talks and attended many educational programs including family and youth camps.

In order to strengthen relations with Muslims and to make visiting of Muslims easy he initiated the formation of ISPA (Iskenderpasha) Travel Agency. With the help of this agency Hajj and Umrah program, many internal and external trips and visits and many education and family camps have been realised.

Every year he met and established dialog with the Muslims who came for Hajj and Umrah from different parts of the world. He did not confine himself to one country only but to whole Muslim World seeing Muslims as parts of a whole body. He guided and warned Muslims inside and outside Turkey. He made countless suggestions, recommendations and solutions to the huge problems Muslims globally face. He did not hesitate even one minute to urge and support the Haqq (the truth), the good and the beautiful. He encouraged all Muslims to do similar activities.

Furthermore, He set up the norms of clean politics for Muslims in Muslim and minority countries. Being a non partisan scholar he set up the principles and methods of electing truthful, moral, religious, competent and educated public officers from local mayoral candidates to prime minister and president of a country. He believes that only the administrators with these qualities can deliver justice, peace and prosperity to a country and humanity.

He has students in many parts of the world including Middle East, Central Asian Republics, Europe, Africa, North America and Australia.

Prof. Cosan speaks Turkish, Arabic, Persian, English and German. He is married and has three children and nine grand children.

Published Books

1. Printer Ibrahim Muteferrika and his Risalai Islamiyah

2. Haji Bektashi Veli and Makaalat

3. Our Aim

4. Message of Islam

5. New Horizons

6. Amongst children

7. The principles of success

8. Turkish Language and Culture

9. The Purification of Self in Islam and introduction to Sufism (Tasawwuf)

10. Australia discourses 1

11. Australia discourses 2

12. Australia discourses 3

13. Australia discourses 4

14. New duties in the new era

15. The virtues and subtleties of Hajj

16. The Path and Fundamentals of Victory

17. Islam, Love and Tasawwuf

18. Organisation and Success in Social Activities

19. Methodology in Islamic activities (Dawah work)

20. The Power of Love in the Path of Success

21. Family's Morality Guide

22. Yunus Emre and Tasawwuf

23. Haji Bektashi Veli

24. The Jewels of Wisdom from our master Hz. Ali r.a.

25. Current Issues 1

26. Current Issues 2

27. Women in social activities

28. Ramadan and the Acquisition of Piety

29. Dawah activities

30. Islam, Tasawwuf and life

31. Come to Service (Khidmah)

32. Subtleties of Education in Islam

33. What is Tasawwuf?

34. The wrath and pleasure of Allah

35. Protection of faith and Islam