Our only source for Dihkânîzâde (“son of the villager”) Ubeydullah Kuşmânî’s life is his own works. He describes himself as a “dervish traveler” and states that he started his voyages in the year of Selim III’s ascension (1790) and that he arrived in Istanbul five years later. He seems to have traveled in Russia or near Russia as well. Between 1803 and 1805 he was accused of being a spy of Tayyar Mahmud Paşa, because he had come to Istanbul from Erzerum; he was imprisoned and then released. From the historian Cabî Efendi we learn that he was exiled from Istanbul in 1808, because he had spoken harshly against the janissaries while preaching in a mosque, and this is the last information we have about him.
Zebîre-i Kuşmânî fî ta’rîf-i nizâm-ı İlhâmî(“The book by Kuşmanî describing the order [or, army] by İlhâmî”). Other works by Kuşmanî are a narrative of the 1806 revolt (Kabakçı İsyanı), a very short political essay (Mevâ’iz-i Kuşmânî, Millet Ktp. Ali Emîrî-Şer’iyye, nr. 591), and other treatises that have been lost.
 A play with words: İlhâmî means “inspiration-giving”, but it was also the poetic pseudonym of Selim III.