HomeREADERSLITERATUREMehmet Akif Ersoy (1873-1936): Time. Ground. Mind

Mehmet Akif Ersoy (1873-1936): Time. Ground. Mind

Time (Asr)

The Commentary of Mehmet Âkif Ersoy’s Surah Asr…

Hâlik has a nâ-mutenâhî name, the very beginning: Hak.

What a great thing to hold the right hand for the servant!

You know, when the Companions were saying, “Let’s break up,”

He used to read the Absolute Sûre-i ve’l-Asr, why is that?

Because in that great surah that is maknûn, asrâr-ı falâh;

First comes true îmân, then righteousness.

Then truth, then persistence. Here is humanity.

Once the four of them are united, there is no disappointment for you anymore. (Safahat)

Surah Asr

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious and Merciful.

1- I swear by the Asra,

2- Man is always in loss.

3- Except for those who believe, do good deeds, advise each other to truth and advise patience.

Ground (Travels)

Mehmet Âkif first traveled abroad to Germany at the end of 1914, then served in Arabia between May-October 1915, was in Lebanon in July 1918, and resided in Egypt between 1925-1935. In 1935, his second trip to Lebanon was in question. In addition, he worked in Rumelia and many cities of Anatolia within his profession of Veterinary Practice. During the years of the Independence War, he gave sermons in different cities starting from the First World War.

These observations were inspired by the lives of the people in the villages, towns and cities of the Ottoman geography, as well as by their impressions when they were in Germany as the developed country of the west, and also by our thinkers’ books on Asia (Japan, India).

Travel Chronology of Mehmed Âkif (b. 20 December 1873) [1]

He was born in 1873 (December 20).

1896 (May) He went to Adana and Damascus.

In January 1914, he went on a 2-month trip to Egypt.

He returned from a trip to Egypt in March 1914.

1914 Sent to Germany with a delegation appointed by the State.

1915 He returned to Istanbul from Germany.

In mid-May 1915, he went to the Najid region of Arabia on duty.

He returned from Arabia at the beginning of October 1915.

In May 1923, he returned to Istanbul and moved to Beylerbeyi. From there he went to Egypt.

He returned to Istanbul with his family at the beginning of May 1923.

He went to Egypt in October 1923 at the invitation of Abbas Halim Pasha.

1924-1925 He returned to Istanbul with Pasha.

Mind (İstikl Ã la and Economics)

Mehmet Âkif has become a flag bearer and standard bearer for our people in wide geographies with his mentality that he enriched with inspiration on the basis of time and ground. It is an anthem and a monument of Turkish Islamic history. He is a patriot who does not chase after material things. As a result of all his travels, observations and inspirations, Mehmet Âkif’s observations about the economic situation of the people and the country, which are also reflected in his poems, gave way to new thoughts. When these thoughts were evaluated, Mehmet Âkif Ersoy’s determinations about the origins of our backwardness in economics were in question, and these determinations showed themselves from many different angles. As a thinker beyond his poetry, the fact that he feels these issues in the depths of his heart and mind is proof that independence alone will not be enough, and that economic independence is also essential.His observations on this subject stem from his observation and evaluation of people with the sensitivity of a poet.

Mehmet Âkif, in his poem referring to the Asr Surah, listed the human qualities that will leave his mark on the time, and by carrying these qualities in himself, he was in constant motion and action on the ground on the field, he took tasks for himself in geographies from Berlin to the Hijaz, made observations, and as a result of these, he carried the qualities that he had in his heart. The spirit of independence has once again turned into a timeless National Anthem.

Istiklal here was not just to win the war in a war, to gain independence. This Istiklal was the basic characteristic of man in Surah Asr. A person who carries the spirit of independence will reveal his qualities and heart in all works related to the civilization he has, and in this sense, economics will also become a matter of independence.

The Safahat poetry book, the masterpiece of Mehmet Âkif, is also an Atlas. In no poetry book published in our language, such a richness of cities, countries, countries, people, people and geographies does not stand out. The book of Safahat is also a masterpiece in this sense. Safahat is the only poetry book that has an index among the poetry books published in our country. By indexing Safahat, cities and geographies in the poem can be followed in this way. In the Safahat Index, the names of persons, works, places, communities and institutions, cities, countries, continents, villages, towns, seas, oceans, lakes, rivers come to our eyes with inexhaustible energy and are revived in our imagination.

Written in a sad language, this book has revealed the misery and liberation in stages from debauchery and misery has been revealed to generations with the remedies it proposes as a beacon of hope in Safahat’s poems. This generation will be Asım’s generation, a beacon of hope.


Our social scientists have started to give more and more space to Mehmed Âkif Ersoy’s thoughts on economic independence.

“The person who complained the most about the introverted, anti-matter behavior pattern that shaped the spiritual and spiritual life in the Ottoman centuries, the ‘passive – resigned’ human type, is Mehmed Âkif Ersoy Bey. His is the line that could fascinate Max Weber: “Is it worth running in the evening, in the morning, in the world of lies?” Mehmed Âkif Bey expresses it beautifully: “What’s the point of the lying world? / If he dies, he will be in the future paradise of Mevla.» This esoteric mysticism has hurt our people.”  [2nd]

“What do we hope to achieve by saying economic development? We want our stomachs to be full, we want to have health opportunities that we can benefit from when we get sick, we want to educate our children, we want to give them a good education, and as a country, we want our backs not to fall forward in the international arena. We want us to stand tall in front of other countries and walk against them with confidence. It is possible to provide these with economic development. In this sense, there are many meaningful lines in Âkif’s poems that push us to do this.

Economic development is very important. Development is not only growth, but also processes such as health, education, comfort and good living are also included in this work. The issue of earning with effort is extremely important in Âkif. In one of his poems, Akif draws attention to the fact that we were not in good positions in industry and commerce at that time, and says that there is only agriculture at hand and it is not done in a modern, technological way, and that the most important concept for working is wanting. Paying special attention to science, education and getting rid of ignorance, Âkif travels to different parts of the world and processes the production landscapes he sees in his poems.

Mehmet Âkif Ersoy is one of our people whose services are not appreciated, appreciated and neglected enough. Akif is also a litigator. He is a believer. We commemorate Mehmet Âkif Ersoy with mercy, both as a character monument, as an exemplary person, as a thinker who put what philosophers told in prose into his verses, and as a person who left recommendations that could lift a nation up. Mehmet Âkif Ersoy is one of our people whose services are not appreciated, appreciated and neglected. Akif is also a litigator. He is a believer. Mehmet Âkif is a valiant person who adds his philosophical thoughts to his poems. [3]

With the hope that these important determinations of our scientists will ferment new Safahats with Economic Independence.


My meme Âkif

Babaocagi Silk Town,


Tekkeler Yakova


Hüdavendigar’s Kosovo

Sariguzel, Fatih Madrasa

Halkali, Catalca

Bayramic, Canakkale


Kastamonu, Konya

Eskisehir, Burdur

Sandikli, Dinar

Afyon, Antalya

Balikesir, Gallipoli



By Memed Akif

to his worn-out coat

hugging tight,

Can’t find wood to heat

Tacettin Lodge

flaming walls


last January

From Ankara

The fire of independence will surround all


last line

“To Kayseri

Parliament will not move


Istiklal Walls

burning with fire

By Memed Akif

Tacettin Lodge

will not be abandoned


Levent Agaoglu

September 7, 2019


[1]   http://www.mehmetÂkif foundation.org.tr/

[2] Prof. Dr. Ahmed Guner Sayar. Interview with Taha Akyol. 1 June 2020.

[3] “Prof. Mustafa Acar. Source: Aksaray University (ASU) Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences held the conference “Mehmet Âkif and Economic Development”. March 16, 2015

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