Weekly Letter

                       Reviving the Horizons of the Heart

Our egos compromise our relationship with God and the truth, thus creating a barrier with our spiritual world.
This leads to a profound detachment from God.
A small group of people who were committed to striving on this path, to developing the spiritual faculties, attempted to do good in our age but they were cut short by the bandits and fiends.
Their minds, hearts and emotions are full of impurity.
A friend of God says, ‘O God, do not look at the record of my deeds!’
I changed the second verse slightly.
‘If you intend on punishing, burn the record instead of me’
God will judge people according to the records of their deeds and people will be treated according to the lives they lead.
Nothing will change if you say, ‘Burn the record, not me’.
Your circumstances, your life and most importantly how you used your heart to establish yourself will be evaluated.
‘God does not value you based on your physical appearance and wealth.
He looks at your heart and sincerity in your actions and judges accordingly.’
In some reports, ‘your deeds’ are included in this.
He does not look at your physical appearance, your nationality, your social status.
As it was mentioned in the sermon earlier, He looks at your hearts and their inclinations.
He looks at whether your hearts beat with the recitation of ‘Hu’ (He).
He looks at whether your hearts remember and constantly long for Him.
The tongue of the heart has been neglected for a long time, it has not said ‘He’ for centuries.
You have to make up for this neglect, by starting once again, atoning for this neglect.
I said the following about making up for missed Prayers:
The Prayer that has been missed is performed either after or before the current Prayer of that time.
You perform the Compensatory Prayer first, and then the Daily Prayer that you normally do; especially for those who have never missed six Prayers; they don’t miss out on what should never be missed.
‘Maybe I prayed incorrectly; maybe I didn’t perform my Prayer as it should have been performed; maybe I wasn’t girded ready for worship.
I had better perform all these once again; after all, it’s just adding one Prayer to each of my Daily Prayers, that is all’
However, it is not that easy to repair the things related to thoughts and feelings and the heart.
Centuries have passed since the excitement in the hearts faded.
Centuries have passed since the tears in the eyes dried.
Centuries…
And similarly, it’s been ages since we moved away from God.
We caused ourselves to become veiled from the truth.
When we turned our back to Him, we were tripped up by our own shadows; our egotism.
We said, ‘We know, we do; it happens as we know things to happen’; we were trapped by these false statements of ‘I know’.
Satan lured us to path so completely.
May God protect us!
There was a little awakening.
A slight stirring, like turning from right to left in bed, like raising your head from the pillow, like viewing your surroundings, and that promised lots of things.
And the reason for that is that a step taken at the centre, in the beginning means a lot; it is a crucial reference for the steps which will be taken later on.
If you are not joking, then taking the first step means you have decided to climb.
So the ‘first step’ occurred, the first step was taken, intentions were made and sights fixed on reaching the top.
However, Satan got into these deeds as well, just as he has always polluted each and every good deed up until now; he polluted that composition of hope and ambition that cannot be measured by oceans.
People devoted to righteousness and the truth bear a huge responsibility including the revival of the inner, spiritual world.
It is necessary to accept everything one did in one’s past as dirtying one’s soul and to wake up in the middle of the night to wipe away his sins and spiritual shortcomings by shedding tears in prostration before God; to wash away the filth.
Do not underestimate your tears; they could be more precious than the blessed water of Paradise, which can put out the immense fires of hell.
Hence, the following saying:
‘I seek refuge in You from eyes that doesn’t shed tears.’
Indeed, we are at a crossroads whether to take a path to lead such a life.
Are we going to be able to make the right choice?
Will our carnal desires stop us from doing this?
The immune systems of our spirits are very weak.
A single day of pleasure can collapse spiritual immune systems or improper relationships with the opposite sex, or by having wealth, success, rank, title, or being applauded.
These things immediately collapse the immune system.
In one respect, one’s faith gets damaged, one’s good deeds are bound to dry up, purity of intention becomes invisible, God-consciousness becomes invisible, and the love and desire of God is forgotten.
When the spiritual immune system collapses.
When the immune system collapses, the body becomes susceptible to viruses.
What I have mentioned are the pillars of the spiritual anatomy of a human. When it collapses, human spirituality becomes susceptible to spiritual diseases.
Different things cause it to collapse.
Sometimes the pleasure of a single day, or a few months, or a few years, or even the pleasure of the entire life time causes it to collapse.
When that happens, Satanic viruses get a hold of our spirits and send messages to our neurons and start commanding us.
A human can sometimes come face to face with so many wrong signals, he may not know what to think or do.
And at times, because he is unable to solve those problems, without knowing if it is good or bad, he will be unable to retort.
That is why the Honourable Bediüzzaman says:
‘Do not drown in a bite of food, a word, a particle, a glance, a beckoning, a kiss!
Do not cause your faculties that are so extensive that they can contain the whole world to drown in such things.’
We could produce more examples:
Inclining an ear, casting a gaze, moving a lip, acting and talking in ways that are not really you.
These are factors that bring people down.
Bediüzzaman lists some of the important ones but you could list a hundred.
Does he mention, ‘egotism, conceit or haughtiness’?
He does not list these.
Does he draw attention to ‘being applauded’ or ‘love of the world’?
A human will not truly turn to the Divine Truth unless one tramples on all of these impurities with feet, heart and the mind.
Be cautious, step in care, be afraid of entrapment, do not drown in a bite of food, a word, a particle, an applause, a flatter, a position, a rank, some petty interest, some comfort, an easy life.
All of these are animalistic traits; do not drown because of them.
For God has created you in the best form and nature.
A human is a polished mirror, what is manifested in it and whats seen in that mirror is God.
That is why, ‘God has created humankind as the reflection of His All-Merciful essence.’
A mirror reflecting His Divine Mercy…
Humankind is such a great creation that when observed, it can be said; ‘Only humans
can be a proper mirror for God.’
This is what we call, ‘perfect pattern of creation.’
If this is what has been given to us, there are definitely things that must be given in return.
Does the honourable sage not say, ‘Servanthood is not the beginning of a delayed reward, but perhaps the result of a past blessing.
Yes, we have already received our reward.
We are charged with service and servanthood accordingly.
The service we perform for God is not the beginning of  the rewards we will receive in the future; it is equivalent to gratitude for all that we have received and all that God has provided us until this day, it is equivalent to the indebtedness, the praise and the glory due to God.
Yes, we have received our reward long ago; the things we do are merely elements of glory, praise and thanks to Him.
The correct way to live as a Muslim was modelled by the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, through their lifestyles.
The Rightly-Guided Caliphs.
In the time of one of them, 20 countries the size of today’s Turkey were conquered, people came to the right path.
In another caliph’s time 40 times the size was conquered.
However I believe that not even one of them owned a home.
Not one of them favoured one of their children.
When they were ready to leave this world, they did not have any assets in their name.
They walked to God as themselves.
Even as they walked like this, they did so with the concern, ‘Will I be able to account for this?’
They embodied true faith and the Messenger of God brought attention to them:
‘Take my path and that of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs.
Hold onto this path as though you clench on to it with your molars.’
Prophetic tradition is a path, a manner.
My path, my manners…
One who has matured and has positioned themselves towards guidance; Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali.
In order of rank they are followed by the Respected Companions, then the Respected Followers, and then those who have associated with the followers.
The Abu Hanifa’s are in this last category.
May God be pleased with all of them!
 
When a person lives their life on this path their doubts become so minimal, with God’s permission; God will not leave them stranded.
If one follows their path, treading in the footprints of guidance, without realising they will find themselves at the doors of Paradise.
When the Angels of Questioning come to the grave they will say, ‘There is no need to ask this soul.
They have done much more than they were asked, much more.’
Abu Bakr was a caliph, the head of the state and the leader of believers.
He was a caliph but he made a living from milking sheep five kilometres outside of Medina.
And he said this to those surrounding him:
‘Provide me a wage that matches what the average person needs to get by; I am the head of the state, I only deserve so much.’
He was so careful about this, especially before he left this world.
During those two years and three months of his rule, he laid the foundations of a heavenly design and entrusted it to the monumental figure of Umar who followed after him.
He said, ‘I do not know whether I have safeguarded what was entrusted to me but I have tried as hard as I could.
Henceforth, you are the reliable custodian of that trust’ and passed it onto Umar.
He also sent a jug to Umar.
The head of the state…
He is a real head of state.
Not like the impostors, tricksters, deceiving Amenophis, Ramses and Hitler-like people in in this day and age.
Yes, he sent a jug to the succeeding caliph with a note inside of it.
‘I looked into it and found out that the average person is given this much and needs this much to get by.
I realised that my wage was higher than that amount.
This excess amount belongs to the treasury, which I am entrusting to the individual who follows.’
The great Umar could not hold back his tears and sobbingly said, ‘You lived such a life that being a true Muslim is impossible after you.’
But Umar was not very different.
They directly followed the path of the Messenger, of the Archangel Gabriel, Michael and Israfil, the path that leads humans to God Almighty.
Step by step they followed that path.
They wholly represented the straight path and walked on it to reach their destination.
She is my mother.
At times, it crosses my mind, ‘Would my own mother become jealous’, since I love them more than her.
When the Honourable Khadija is mentioned.
If I don’t send salutations to her, I think of myself as an insolent being.
When I refer to the Honourable Aisha as being my mother.
I regard her at a level that would make my own mother envious.
My mother…
A new depth to the definition to the word ‘mother’.
Every time I say, ‘mother’, my heart aches a little more, to say it in such a way.
As she is the truthful daughter of the most truthful person; a devout role model in the Prophet’s house; someone that narrated almost half of our religion to us.
She narrated roughly five thousand traditions of the Prophet; more than all of Al-Bukhari.
This is, the essentials of your religion, adding meaning to the Qur’an, allowing us to better understand the arguments put forth by the Qur’an.
She entrusted these with you.
‘Take these on board, use them, don’t fall stumble along on the wrong path’.
Yes, my mother Aisha says:
‘Sometimes, we would look at the moon, time would fly by, Rajab would pass, and then the holy month of Shaban followed by Ramadan and a pot wouldn’t boil in our house.’
Her niece would ask, ‘What would you eat?’, she would respond, ‘the two black things’
Notice that she is referring to is two things defined with a single term.
Here, this is described as ‘two black things’.
Essentially, one is dates, most probably Ajwa dates, a blessed fruit, the other is water.
It might also be called “maayn”. Then dates would be mentioned alongside with water due to its relevance.
We get by on the ‘two black things’.
For their whole lives they lived in such a state.
‘I am a believer’
While those that say, ‘I am the leader of the Muslims, their director’, live and eat like Korah. Woe to them!
A believer is someone that reminds you of God.
A believer is such a person, a monument of the perfect pattern of creation, a polished mirror.
And above this is the state of the perfected soul.
‘Whatever exists in the universe is a mirror and subsists by Him;
It is God who is constantly reflected in the mirror of Muhammad.’
Peace and blessings be upon him
Giving direction to our hearts once again; perhaps pursuing the blessings of God; escaping the carnal desires, abandoning animalistic qualities, and rising to the loftier realms of the heart and soul.
If one does not rise to the levels of the heart and soul then they too cannot see what needs to be seen.
Why do you think we are considering these issues today?
Without us realising, God has blessed us with many things, I do not deny them.
The first step was taken on the path; the intention was pure, ‘the believer’s intention is greater than his action’. ‘Actions are only considered in light of their intentions’ is the Tradition.
Consequently, steps were being taken to make that climb.
The climb had begun; the first few steps were taken.
It was obvious who would pursue this cause to the very end.
As a side note:
May God Almighty crown you with the fruits of your intentions, may He crown you all if He wills.
And now God has granted us his pleasure for these important things.
Perhaps we have unintentionally attributed some of these things to ourselves.
‘I picked up a shovel and toiled to build this school, this university, with God’s permission’.
Look, you may also like to say:
‘With God’s consent we have opened this institution’, ‘what wonders God has willed!’
However, if there is even a slight thought of ‘I did it’ in your mind, then you are deserving of a slap across your nape.
For this reason, by knowing that all of this is a blessing from God, one can purify these actions and happenings.
And (remember also) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you are thankful (for My favours), I will most certainly give you more; but if you are ungrateful, surely My punishment is severe’ (Ibrahim, 14:7).
‘If you are grateful and say, “my Lord they are from You” then I will multiply my blessings, three times, four times, ten times.’
He has infinite treasures.
God’s treasures are filled with what you desire, as expressed by Junayd, filled with different kinds of worship.
God does not need your worship, if your intention is to please Him, be humble and sincere in your actions.
Whatever you do, do it for God.
Bediüzzaman says, ‘Do it for God, start something for God, meet with each other for God, speak for God; act in the sphere of God’s good pleasure.
Then the seconds of your life will be transformed into years.’
Look how prosperous this earning is, one becomes thousand.
Otherwise, if we take the ownership of these blessings, without us realising those thousands will become nothing.
But if you return the ownership to the real Owner, ‘Thousands of praise and glorification be to Him; He used us as actors within the framework of destiny.’ God forbid, I am not saying that this is a script; I am saying that, ‘He gave us roles in this destiny’.
I prefer this perspective. If you say, ‘I will sacrifice my life for the owner of the script’, then He will transform one to thousand.
Yes, if you dedicate a small part of a share to yourself, you will unconsciously transform the thousand to one and maybe to zero.
If you think it is all your work, then you will lose everything.
If you zero yourself in regards to the bounties gifted by God, God will put a number to the left of the zeros and the zeros will gain value and become ‘tens’, ‘hundreds’ or ‘thousands’.
God’s treasures are infinite.
‘Acknowledging and believing in no other might or power other than God’ is among the many treasures of Paradise.’
‘There is no other might and supremacy other than God.
And these are the treasures of God’ says the Noble Spirit of the Master of Humankind.
The carnal soul is something like code breaker that unravels the passwords of demons in human form.
Satan continually sends signals; the carnal soul interprets those signals according to its own agenda without you realising.
For this reason, if you leave the door ajar, Satan will enter and set up camp.
And the only things you will then receive are signals from Satan, because the carnal soul is open only to them.
Like Morse code…
And then you act accordingly.
The receptor is the carnal soul, and the one sending signals is Satan.
But if the carnal soul has escaped the station of the ‘evil-commanding soul’, in other words being only concerned with eating, drinking and sleeping, it will rise to level one, or the ‘self-accusing soul’.
The soul that criticises some of its actions, even for its best actions, it says, ‘This turned out slightly murky’.
This is a gradual step in that direction.
Some also talk about the ‘inspired soul’.
If you rise to that level, and question yourself like this, then God will expose you to divine inspirations and support you.
If you have God’s support, God-willing, you will not fail, you will not be stranded, you will not be degraded.
Some put in the ‘inspired soul’ here.
And some talk about the ‘soul at rest’ as the next step straight after the ‘self-accusing soul’.
The soul that has attained contentment and peace.
And this can only be achieved, with discourse, reflection, deliberation, remembrance of God and talk of the Beloved.
The ‘soul at rest’…
‘Those who have believed (and become established in belief), and whose hearts find rest and contentment in remembrance of, and whole-hearted devotion to, God.
Be aware that it is in the remembrance of, and whole-hearted devotion to, God that hearts find rest and contentment’ (Ar-Ra’d 13:28).
So hearts, or souls, will only attain rest and contentment through the heartfelt remembrance of God.
Let me say it in the words of the Imam of Alvar; I do not have such a heart but when he said, ‘La ilaha illallah’ (There is no deity but God), it was as though he was crumbling under the weight of those words, you could hear the sound of a pick plucking at the strings of his heart. A heart vibrating.
‘There is none Worshipped by Right, Truly Desired by Right but You.
Only You, O Absolutely Worshipped One!
Absolute, Absolute, Absolute, You are Absolute.
Me on the other hand, in front of You, I am restricted by the different things You have created, and I am a restricted one.
If even for an instant Your Manifestation is obstructed, I will be the zero son of zero.’
This is how the carnal soul is, however when it comes to the ‘soul at rest’, ‘be careful’.
‘Attention, listen carefully.
Hearts only reach contentment by remembering God’, therefore, the heart will set up camp where ever it needs to.
Some people speak of two other levels above the level of the ‘soul at rest ‘: the pleased soul and the pleasing soul.
And some say those two other levels are next to ‘soul at rest’.
One of the levels, the pleased soul, means:
You are content with God.
‘My Lord.
‘Whether it is suffering that comes from Your Majesty
Or fidelity from Divine Beauty
Both are pleasures to my soul.
Pleasant are both Your blessings and wrath.’
I am content’, you say.
The tradition states; ‘As a Lord, we are content with You, we are all content.’
It is stated in the past tense, ‘We are content from yesterday.’
Since ‘content’ is a verb, it means ‘we are content today as well’.
Also, the fact that it is written in the past tense, it means ‘The event is certain’; since we were content from yesterday, we will be content in the future till eternity, by God’s permission.
You have made a promise:
‘We are pleased with our Lord’s Lordship, Islam as our religion and the Pride of Humanity, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, as our Prophet.’
We are pleased with You as our Lord; we are pleased with Islam as our religion; and we are pleased with Your Messenger as our Prophet.
However according to the verifying scholars, God Almighty, is pleased with you according to your intentions and deeds.
In a sense, He, may He be glorified and exalted, looks at you from the wavelength of contentment and this results in you being pleased with Him.
Thus, He strengthens His compliance with you; you are content with Him and He is content with you.
The ‘soul content with however God treats it’ and the ‘soul pleasing to God’.
Some have described it as the two wings of ‘the soul at rest’; some have said, ‘This is a step, the other one is another step’.
As such, if you are to include the ‘inspired soul’ to the matter, fundamentally, after the  base carnal soul there are four elevated soul levels.
In addition, there is also a matter of the ‘pure soul’ and the ‘chaste soul.’
God knows best, the great Messengers, followed by their true successors; Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali are at the highest level of souls.
Maybe if we were to head down a little,
What do I mean by ‘down’?
In other words, each of them is like the North star; they are much higher than our level.
Such as Shah al-Jilani, Imam Shadhili, Najmuddin Kubra, Muhammad Bahauddin an-Naqshband, Mustafa Bakri Sidiqqi, Ismail Haqqi al-Bursawi, Imam Zayn al-Abidin, Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq and many other scholars.
As well as, Hadji Bayram Wali, Hasan Ali Effendi, Muhammad Kufrawi, Imam Muhammad Lutfi, Ihramjizada Ismail and other saintly people.
In a way, these people are like polished mirrors; when you look at them, they remind you of God.
When you look at them you remember God.
Wherever they appear, they encourage and lead humankind to say, ‘God is the Greatest’.
Indeed it was like that; they would express this through their eyes, facial expressions, hands and feet, tremors and laments.
In a way, these saintly people, would genuinely represent and stand next to those of the levels of pure soul and chaste soul.
God has deemed them ‘purified’; that is, He has deemed them successors of the purification of the soul.
Purification of the elementary passionate nature…
According to the boundaries set by Bediüzzaman, without absolving oneself, to see one self-immersed in filth, to question, ‘Could I be regarded as a human?’
One may make the Pilgrimage fifty times, and each time they circumambulate around the Ka’ba they may faint.
Fainting when kissing the black stone…
It means the peaceful stone, the stone which is peace itself’.
Being overwhelmed when kissing the black stone.
When his face touches this desirable object, he begins to weep.
Off topic; I saw people who wept when placing their heads on the black stone.
Even now when I think of it, I tear up.
There you will see people who weep and sob; they are the real people who have devoted themselves to Almighty God.
For if something like this had taken place, according to the measures of Bediüzzaman, for no one else uses such measures, he calls it ‘testifying to God’s Blessings’, for ‘O my God!
He would not give a person like me such bounties but I am staggered by the extent of His mercy.
How great is God, may He be glorified and exalted.
People like me in reality are those who should have saddles put on them; but as you can see, we are wearing robes made of satin.’
In fact that is what he is saying when you think of it.
If someone lets you put on an adorned dress and you look good with it and if others tell you: ‘What wonders God has willed! You are so beautiful, you have become so beautiful.’
If you in a state of humility say, ‘Who am I?
Nothing…
How can I say I look good?
In that moment it will be a rejection of the bounties of God’ I ask forgiveness from God, then where is the beauty?
Speaking like this is a rejection of God’s bounties.
The truth is to say, ‘Yes, I have become beautiful.
Yes I look good, but the beauty stems from the suit, and thus it belongs to the one who put it on me, it does not essentially belong to me.’
Yes, you may have become beautiful but that beauty does not belong to the robe, but to the One who made you wear the robe; the beauty you possess is a relative beauty.
Purity is crystal clear, where nothing has dirtied it.
As I mentioned in the beginning:
In today’s day and age, we may have done so much good and a drop of filth taints them, it is our carnal soul or Satan or the effects of politicians that can make those deeds wretched, like destroying warehouses full of honey and cream, may God protect us.
Yes, in order for it these deeds to remain pure, they must not be mixed with anything else; an absolute purity, an absolute innocence, an absolute chastity belongs only to the great Messengers; and amongst them the most complete one is the Noble Spirit of the Master of Humankind.
After all, when we do praise humanity we tie it all back to Him.
The Apex of humanity, the most devout servant of God, the one with no flaws, the Noble Spirit of the Master of Humankind, our Noble Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him.
‘How fortunate are the followers of Muhammad! For they have leaned upon such a steadfast Pillar, a Pillar directly connected with God.’ (Imam Busiri).
Glad tidings for us! For we have leaned upon such a steadfast, unwavering, unbreakable, and holy Pillar. A Pillar reaching far beyond the heavens in the Ascension, while also staying amongst us in this world.
Glad tidings for us, for we have leaned upon such a stable Pillar.
May God-Almighty make us of those eternally attached to this peridot pillar, to the Perfected Soul, till our last breath and beyond, under the Banner of Praise; may He make us forever together with our beloved Prophet.
And may He honour us with being together with our Prophet in Paradise, eating from the perfect blessings of God-Almighty.
This will suffice you.