Where is the tomb of merkez efendi in istanbul? What is the history of merkez efendi?
The tomb which is situated in the district of Merkez Efendi, in Zeytinburnu Mevlanakapı, belongs to Merkez Efendi, one of the sheikhs of Halveti Sufi Order.
Merkez Efendi was born in the village of Sarhanlı in the city of Denizli in 1460. His real name is Musa Muslihiddin, but he is known as Merkez Efendi.
He moved to Bursa when he was 15 years old and attended to the Madrasa of Veliyuddin. After 15 years of education in this madrasa, he moved back to Istanbul. Medicine was among the sciences he had learned. Because of his extensive knowledge in medicine, his Sheikh Sünbül Efendi sent him to Bimarhane (Old Turkish Hospital) in the city of Manisa as an attendant. Merkez Efendi who served a lot to the patients of the city to get their health back, is also the inventor of Manisa’s Mesir Macunu, or a kind of paste made from 41 different spices.
After the death of Sünbül Efendi, Merkez Efendi came back to Istanbul and became the master of Halveti Lodge after the death of his sheikh.
Merkez Efendi was a modest, kind, and nice person. Ebussuud, the Sheikh al-Islam at that time, emphasized one of his characteristics as follows;
“I have not seen anybody so much away from hypocrisy as this respected man is.”
He protected the weak and poor, cared for children and made compliments to them all the time. He would carry nuts in his pocket in order to give them away wherever he saw children.
Merkez Efendi passed away in 1551 at the age of 91. Sheikh al-Islam himself led his funeral prayer. May Allah be pleased with him.
The Center of the Matter
One of the friends of Allah (awliya), Sünbül Efendi once asked a question to his disciples;
– What would you do if Allah gave you the duty of administering this universe?
The disciples who were never heard such a question were shocked. But they thought for a while in order to give answer to their sheikh, and they presented various responses;
– Sir, I would not let any infidel (kafir) to live on this earth!
– I would annihilate all kind of evil!
– I would destroy those who drink alcohol!
But one of them was silent without giving any answer. That person attracted Sünbül Efendi’s attention. He looked at him and asked;
– My son, what about you? What would you do?
The disciple, whose face turned red because of his manners, said;
“Is there any deficiency created by Allah in this universe which requires me to change?! While the divine order of this universe is going on so perfectly, how can I say “I would do such and such” with my limited mind? How would I dare?”
Sünbül Efendi felt glad after hearing this answer, and laid eyes on him with his smile and said;
– Now, the matter has found its place!
After this incident, that disciple started to be known as Merkez Efendi, and his real name Musa Muslihiddin was forgotten. (Osman Nuri TOPBAŞ, Asr-ı Saadetten Günümüze Faziletler Medeniyeti-1, p. 358-359)