Weekly Letter

 

BEING PREOCCUPIED WITH THE TRUTH

One of the slides on the screen that appears says:

 
‘Those who are not preoccupied with elevated goals, will troubled by lowly troubles.’  
If a person is to be burdened by troubles, they should be burdened with elevated or sublime problems.  
For example, whether their connection with God is strong or not?  
Are we able to use the teachings of the Pride of Humanity, peace and blessings be upon him, to respond to the countless blessings that God has bestowed upon us, use these teachings at times as a telescope, a microscope? Have we understood his teachings and actions perfectly?  
Servanthood to the Divine Being…  
This is a saying of the Honourable Sage Bediüzzaman:  
‘The Worship of God is not an act through which to demand a Divine reward in the future, but rather the necessary result of a past Divine favour.’  
So having an attitude like ‘We deserved this, we earned that’ is disrespectful towards God.  
Essentially everything is given to us.  
Even being able to say, ‘Us, me, you’.  
Some have considered these to be disrespectful.  
You, me.  
Get rid of the self so that He may manifest, take yourself out of the equation.  
Our existence is relative to the existence of the Ultimate Truth and Ever-Constant; a shadow of a shadow.  
In this sense we have no right to claim anything, He has given us everything.  
Then from now on no matter how long we live, even if were to live 950 years like Prophet Noah, peace be upon him, our sole duty is servanthood.  
The Qur’an says Noah lived ‘950 years’.  
Our minds cannot comprehend how things were in those times.  
It is necessary to accept what was said as it is, not allegorically.  
If we had such long lives, and spent our entire lives in servitude to God in full sincerity, we still couldn’t respond to the bounties bestowed upon us by God.  
We need to occupy ourselves with this concern.  
Another matter is that since we chose the path of the Prophets, delivering God’s message, making Him known to all humanity,  
Making the hearts beat with His love and filling them with excitement  
This should be a grand purpose of life.  
If one does not assume such an ideal, lowly troubles befall them.  
One would occupy one’s self with living comfortably in luxury and extravagance, desiring applause, appreciation, luxurious villas, and armoured vehicles.  
One’s heart would be filled with these and one would enter the path of Satan unknowingly.  
Essentially, Satan emphasises these feelings on human beings constantly.  
One’s resilience to Satan depends on God’s mercy; and God’s mercy depends on you being on His path.  
One needs to occupy himself with lofty ideals so that lowly troubles do not befall on them.  
One needs to occupy himself with the Truth constantly so that the falsehood does not occupy them.  
The following saying, while being slightly changed, belongs to Imam Shafi:  
‘If you do not occupy yourself with the truth, falsehood occupies you.’  
May God protect us from it.  
The things Satan will make you accept and tolerate.  
Satan will bring you to your knees and make you say, ‘This is not enough!’ and then throw you to the ground, that will also not be enough as it will try to bury you underground, may God protect us from it.  
Because Satan has had a hatred and contempt towards humankind from long ago.  
If Satan caused someone that God created as the ‘pure one’ to err, a single trick by Satan could make us collapse.  
The only way to stand upright against Satan is to stand in front of God in devoted servanthood, bowing down and prostrating in front of Him and spilling your heart out in front of Him.  
This is based on having a strong connection with Him. A weak connection will not last in the face of such things.  
I said these based on that slide that appeared on the screen.  
Before that image, another one had appeared:  
Was it, ‘Is a lie a word of unbelief’?  
Yes, that appeared just before.  
‘A lie is a word of unbelief’  
This belongs to the Honourable Sage Bediüzzaman, the Shining Light.  
That is, everyone that lies does not become an unbeliever, but it is a trait that belongs to unbelievers.  
God’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, lists the three traits of a hypocrite, these and many more can be within an unbeliever:  
He lies when he speaks.  
Does not deliver on his promise.  
And when entrusted with something he betrays that trust.  
Sometimes, a fourth attribute is mentioned; another Prophetic tradition states:  
‘When he makes a promise, he treats you with cruelty and breaches it.’  
Pardon me, these are such ‘treacherous’ acts.  
The first is deceit; a hypocrite’s attribute is an unbeliever’s attribute.  
‘Lying’ is mentioned mainly; ‘slandering’ also falls in that category.  
Having a slander that supports such lie is a greater sin.  
Because lying could only concern one’s self, whereas slandering questions others dignity and reputation.  
Do not defame or exclude others under the name of ‘confession’; do not try to obtain liberation by mistreating others.  
This falls into the ‘lying’ category as well; they are lying because they make false statements.  
A new slander every day, aimed at defaming others.  
Perhaps, one day they say, ‘Bekir has passed away!’  
The next day, if people have not believed it, they go out into the public, this time saying, ‘He is paralysed and bedridden.’  
And if you are not seen around, they say, ‘Okay, its working!’  
On another occasion, they say:  
‘He has attempted suicide!’  
Listening, evaluating and making judgements about these pollute the human mind.  
We do not occupy ourselves with such things but sometimes it is so widespread that everyone becomes aware of it.  
They stand and sit with the characteristics of an unbeliever, with the characteristics of a hypocrite.  
To commit one of these things once, twice, three times will not drag one to disbelief.  
Because these are major sins, they are deeds that can be removed, washed away, freed from with repentance.  
Repentance.  
Repentance comes first; to seek forgiveness from the God Almighty.  
And then to turn to Him completely, literally ‘return to God.’  
Then to repent wholeheartedly, which we call ‘taking an oath.’  
Those who are nearest to God Almighty use the term ‘turning to God in contrition.’ Islamic theologians do not use the term as so but the Sufis used it prior to them.  
‘Turning to God in contrition’ is what they say in their deep appeals. Indeed it is like a microbe that kills any sin or mistake that comes near it.  
Sixty years ago, if one opened his eye and glanced at something forbidden, 60 years later when one remembers it they say, ‘I repent a million times.’ ‘How could I have fallen into doing such a thing my Lord!  
If only You had taken my soul and I had not opened my eyes to it, not reached my hand towards it, not taken a step towards that forbidden act – please excuse me- not stirred up a blunder!’  
When it comes to mind 60 years later, they squirm in pain and say this.  
This is a sign of turning to God Almighty in contrition with deep appeal.  
Every time that these come to mind, their book of deeds are showered with repentance.  
Repentance…  
For a person’s book to include much repentance is something that is praised by the Glorious Prophet.  
‘Glad tiding to the person, whom has repented much as recorded in their book!’  
As such, to ask forgiveness from God not once, but a million fold, as one would do.  
To ask forgiveness from God a quadrillion times.  
God, I am unable to ask for forgiveness for my wrongdoings alone.  
In a lesson on the sayings of the Prophets, an anecdote from the life of the noble Abu Hurayra, he would supplicate twelve thousand times daily.  
I am assuming, ‘God who is beyond any faults, I seek refuge in everything that doesn’t please you.  
I am seeking your mercy and for the forgiveness of my sins.  
Dear Lord, increase me in knowledge and grant me salvation, and keep my heart steadfast; bestow blessings unto me; without doubt you are gracious, the Giver’.  
These are from prayers and supplications the Messenger of God peace and blessings be upon him, made throughout his life.  
The Respected Companions would pay much attention to it.  
Rather than their own supplication that they made up according to their desires, they decided that the right recognition and courtesy towards God would be to follow the one who knows God well.  
‘What did God’s Messenger say? How did he approach this? How did he hold the door handle? Lay his head on the bed, knock on the door, we must follow’, they said.  
The supplications that I refer to are present in the Morning and Evening Prayers; it belongs to our noble Prophet.  
In the same way that they say that, there are many things from our noble Prophet that they can use as supplications.  
He repeats this twelve thousand times.  
Those who find this strange, say:  
‘That much?’  
He says, ‘I will repeat as much as the sins I have’  
Yes.  
I do not know what kind of sin he could have engaged in!  
He came and lived with the poor folk and students in Suffa, Medina.  
They never once abandoned our noble Prophet.  
At times due to his hunger, his thirst, he fainted between the pulpit of the mosque and the door to Aisha’s home.  
They called him mad; he told them he fainted from hunger.  
There was always a certain distance between him and sin.  
He narrated the most Prophetic traditions amongst all the Respected Companions.  
May God Almighty allow us to be subject to their intercession.  
Indeed, Abu Hurayra turned to God in contrition.  
As stated in the Pride of Humanity’s interpretation on the matter of facing oneself, if you look at the prayers of Moses, Jesus, Jacob and Joseph you might assume they did nothing but sin.  
Fundamentally, they formed an attitude in regards to themselves.  
For some of the things that they said and did, the things they remember, the things that enter their imagination, things that, like a pest, flash in their minds or dreams.  
They accept these as though they have committed murder and say, ‘How could it be?  
God sees me.  
I should be after seeing Him too!  
I could not display the level of gratitude required of me.’ Like they have committed a grave sin they say, ‘I repent a million times.’  
If you look at the matter of facing one’s self, it is like that.  
Otherwise to say that their sins are like ours, may God protect us from it. That would mean to not know the value of those glorious individuals or their deep and profound relationship with God.  
May God Almighty grant us success in knowing them!  
May He allow us to travel on that spiritual journey forever.  
They say this (the image on the screen) is the letter written to Heraclius; it is hand written.  
Turning to God in contrition is not a level everyone can reach.  
A great Prophet, peace and blessings upon them.  
Perhaps the class of saints called the ‘substitutes.’  
The ‘pillars,’ they call them.  
‘Spiritual Poles,’ they are called.  
‘Spiritual helpers,’ are found in that time.  
Perhaps the respected expounders, the interpreters of Islamic laws and the reputable revivers of faith.  
They were indeed very vigilant on that matter.  
They carried everything on the way of ‘self-possession’ in the realm of Sufism.  
They did not have tolerance towards even the smallest, sin, slip, mistake, glance, or reach out; they would die on the spot.  
Indeed you see it in that individual:  
When he is reading the Holy Qur’an, he arches his back and places his head over it, dragging his face along the floor.  
Sometimes he reads on the subtle spiritual matters he had written himself.  
Pictures from the Hereafter  
What happens in the grave? What happens at the Great Gathering? What are the scales of deeds are telling us?  
What does the Bridge of Sirat say to us?  
The doors of Paradise have been opened; what do they ask of you?  
The Hellfire has opened its jaws, ready to suck you in inside it; what does it have to say to you?  
When they consider all of this at once, their hearts come to their mouths; they live their lives like this.  
In that time period, since the age of Prophethood, these have been experienced; the repentance, the turning to God in contrition.  
However they were not systemised. The requirements for such a system had not been developed.  
The Sophists later termed these states. In naming each level of repentance they in fact named the paths to take.  
They named the things one must do to reach certain levels and referred to them by those names.  
This is not to say that, ‘They did not exist before and have been invented later on!’  
They were the unnamed essences.  
They existed, but it was later on that people said, ‘What should we name this in our language?’ And they named it according to the language.  
There were spiritual paths, Sufi groups, and spiritual journeying.  
‘Journeying toward God’, ‘Journeying with God’, ‘Journeying from God’ are phrases that are involved.  
And they broke this al down into a manner that is attractive and desirable to us.  
It came to us as ‘The whole universe marches in this manner, what are you waiting for?’  
Our master Bediüzzaman states that hundreds and thousands of people have come to the right path by the aid of true guides.  
The path, that vision is open to you as well, by God’s permission.  
May God bless you with this as well.  
By God’s leave, reach the very summit of that journey, wonder why others do not make the same journey and then reach out to others and strive to get them to join you there.  
Your current place and standing shows that you are a candidate on this path.  
God almighty used the hands of others to spread you across this globe.  
If they had sincere intentions and helped you spread across the globe knowingly, they would all have the rank of saints at the moment.  
They did not act with this intention; they did it to persecute you.  
This became a source of sin for them, something to destroy them.  
While it became something to raise you up.  
Those who drew where they emigrate to from a hat; you spread to different places throughout the world.  
You fell into the earth.  
As Sadi Shirazi says, ‘Be like the earth so that roses may grow in you. For nothing other than soil can nurture a rose.’  
You migrated to all four sides of the world to grow roses and spread to all four sides of the globe to spike the ear of grains.  
You are to announce the Majestic Name of the All-Just God all around the world.  
We say:  
The honourable and Great Name of Almighty God will expand all across the world, like flags, like banners waving on poles.  
The majestic name of Muhammad will wave around like flags.  
Yahya Kemal wanted it to be like that.  
Was his vision to that extent or not but in his book With the Breeze of the Old Poetry, one of the things that is mentioned is:  
The poem ‘Call to Prayer’, as you know…  
Yes, you know well; would repeating it make you uncomfortable?  
‘You are a glorious command, the adhan of Muhammad  
The world is not large enough for your sound, the adhan of Muhammad  
If death should not have made Sultan Selim bow down  
The name of Muhammad should have conquered the world  
The sky becomes full of holy light when the sound is heard from hundreds and thousands of Minarets  
When the spirit of Muhammad blossoms  
All of the spirits see the ‘God is Great’.  
When the words of Muhammad echo in the Divine Throne  
And then in Skopje, at his mother’s grave he says:  
Let this poem, for the grave of my mother in Skopje,  
Be a gift of the beautiful statement of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.’  
This matter is not as simple a matter to be realised with only a single, or two or three generations.  
A generation must live that matter to an ideal state; they must genuinely show the maturity of reaching that ideal state; with all of their conduct, with all of their actions they must demonstrate this.  
By God’s will and beneficence they will solve people’s problems in the name of Islam, they will be exemplary to all people.  
And following them will come the next generation who will carry the cause a few more kilometres, and following them another will take it a bit more,  
Just as it is reported in the Sahih Muslim, there won’t be a single place on earth that his majestic name has not reached, by God’s grace.  
But for everyone to believe at the same level, for everyone to find the summit, this has never happened and won’t happen, this is how we must look at this.  
It didn’t even happen when the Pride of Humanity was around.  
Whoever He reached out to become like him, he painted them in his colours, but the hypocrites would not listen, they would constantly make plans behind His back.  
And in this way, we must keep reality in our sight when establishing our desired objective.  
Once again, let us continue with the Honourable Sage Bediüzzaman’s words:  
‘If people have no goals to pursue, or if the main objective is forgotten or neglected, the minds turn to individual egos and revolve around them.’  
If there is one thing that stands in the way of egoism, egocentrism, and many other unwanted things, it is the ‘desired objective’.  
The grand purpose of life.  
The French refer to it as the ‘ideal’. Ziya Gökalp used the term ‘ideal/goal’ to describe it.  
The Honourable Sage Bediüzzaman refers to it as the noble ideal.  
Thus, your reasoning, your conception, and in fact even your imagination should point in this direction.  
When going about your day, one should regularly think, ‘Why am I not dreaming about this?’  
Why am I not always imagining this?  
I wish I could dream about this all the time!’  
In that way, I suppose, God willing, many doors will open up for you like castle doors just as Istanbul’s walls did against the tactis/strategies of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, may his abode be Paradise.  
It has just come up on the screen:  
‘I commanded you the good but I haven’t taken it on board myself!  
I haven’t been on the straight path but “Be on the straight path!” was my word to you.’  
Busiri mentions this in his eulogy.  
Take and read my record!  
I have been telling you about such nice things however, since I haven’t been able to incorporate them into my nature, how on earth would those nice things have an effect on you?  
I must whine and crumble under the things I say so that they mean something to you.  
Yet alas!  
Alas!  
Peace be upon you all.