Discourse 3 (14.07.1997)
God is absolute beauty. In one of his Hadiths Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) says,
‘God is beautiful and he loves beauty’.
According to the masters of Truth(=ahlullah) there are two types of beauty;
Scattered beauty : The Universe
Complete beauty : Man
Isn’t God absolute beauty
So how can observing the beauty be a sin
Each beauty is the evidence of his might
Observing it is a worship
(These lines are written by Hodja Hafiz Mehmet Effendi)
Isn’t God the ultimate beauty ? Every beauty is a glitter from his beauty treasure. Masters of Truth(=ahlullah) say, ‘Both the beauty of universe and the beauty of Man are the reflection of God’s beauty’.
Do not care the beautiful one
Care the one who creates this beauty
Beauty is found in what is all around us -child , woman, man. Saints look at the beautiful face to see God’s beauty beneath . To look means to turn your eyes in a certain direction so as to see. However awareness is to see what you look.
‘One should look to see. Seeing in other words perceiving depends on awareness and inner vision. In short it requests wisdom.’
Look without perception is servile
Word without wisdom is misfortune
Think of a look which does not serve to perceive and a word which is of no use. On that occasion one is servile the other is misfortune. It is for this reason Saints of God always say wise words. Their words are deep and rich in meaning.
‘Whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good and hove.’ (The Cow, Verse 269)
Sufism is a path in which one is granted wisdom in other words filled with divine perfections and it consists of improving one’s manners by adopting Prophet Muhammed’s high morals and manners. According to the view of enlightened beings saying well uplifts one. In one of the hadiths Prophet Muhammad says,
‘The wise word is the word of the wise.’
They become eminent by the great words they say. They use significant remarks and that’s why their wise words endure and they are so effective. Their manners, looks and words became perfect because they were instructed by love. They got rid of their Selves. Their individuality absorbed in God. Yunus says,
If what I call I is the real I
Why aren’t I given to me
He also expresses the same truth in other words as follows,
God is the one who says I from everyone
Leave self and give it to its owner
Hazrat Mawlana highlights this truth by giving the example of ‘nay’ , which has seven holes. In Sufi terminology ‘nay’ symbolizes Perfect Man. The body of the Saint is like an empty reed. The one who blews in nay is the flutist . Likewise the flutist God speaks through saints. Saint is the one who passed away from individuality and absorbed in God.
When he was asked about Sufism Hazrat Junayd Baghdadi said , ‘God should make you die to yourself and should make you live in him’.
Now we shall go back to the subject of Divine Beauty through the fine words of Hazrat Niyazi Misri,
Your beauty turns everywhere into rose gardens
It converts gardens into orchards
You adorn everywhere with your attributes
Your presence manifests itself in all things
O my God! O my beautiful God! Your beauty turns everywhere into rose gardens. Every beauty that I see around is the reflection of your own beauty . With your beauty you convert everywhere into rose gardens, vineyards or orchards. By the way the Arabic word for ‘heaven’ is ‘jannat’, which means verdure – gardens, vineyards, orchards .
‘Saints see heaven wherever they look. This sort of look requests inborn talent. The spiritual joy in the heart of the capable person increases due to the enlightment.’
You are the one who is said about
You are the smell of rose
The one who touches your love
Don’t know himself, My God
The one who doesn’t dive into Love sea
The one who doesn’t see God’s face
The one who doesn’t sacrifice himself
Don’t become mature in you , My God
Yunus says these lines to express that he beholds God’s beauty everywhere.
Wherever you turn there is the beauty of God- mountains, flowers, flies. There is beauty even in deserts. There are flowers which are grown in hot sand-about 70 C- and amaze you. God is the most influential instructor. Can’t he say this will grow here or that will grow there? Nothing is impossible for God.
‘Surely Allah has power over all things.’ (The Cow, Verse 109)
‘There are beauties which make one crazy. He is capable of turning heaven into hell or hell into heaven. He can convert the most beautiful into the ugliest and the ugliest into the most beautiful. He can do whatever he wants and whenever he wants. He decorated the universe and man with his beauty to make his servants realize his presence and take warnings.’
My master Hazrat Mustafa Effendi(k.s.) said,
‘My son, if you look at the universe and man through my eyes, you hop just like children and can’t stand still because of your joy.’
These attributes and perfections are to express, to manifest or to declare the beauty of God. Because the images are the manifestations of God’s beautiful name ‘The Manifest’ (=Az Zahir ).
‘He is the First and the Last and the Ascendant( over all) and the knower of hidden things and He is Cognizant of all things ’ (The Iron, Verse 3)
Man is the essence of God. Every beauty demonstrates God’s Attributes but his Essence and Light manifest in Man.
God’s face is seen on Man’s face
God made man in his image
‘God created Man(=Adem) in the image of All Merciful God’
The word ‘Man(=Adem)’ in this line expresses Prophets and Saints of God. Their faces have lighted up and reflected the rays of Divine Light. In the gatherings of enlightenment the disciples look at the space between Sufi Master’s two eyebrows. Divine Light reflects to our hearts between his two eyebrows. This is the courtesy (=adab) of Sufi Path.
‘Islam is a religion of service. The essence of Islam is service. Moslems serve non-Moslems as well. The disciple who is enlightened through teachings requires to serve.’
Saints of God say ‘O my Lord, grant me to serve you’. They are in the service of God day and night. Who do you serve? You serve God’s servants. To serve Man is to serve God. People are the manifestations of God. So when you serve people, you serve God as well. You either realize this truth or not . Those who are aware of this are the matura but the others are immature.
Let’s say, a Brazilian coffee seller sells coffee to Turkey. He benefits from this trade. Is he aware of his service which is more important than gaining profit? If not, then he is under the illusion that he is doing financially well. Whether they know or not people’s every manner serve God.
Some are gifted with God’s grace. Divine Beauty (=Jamal) acts upon them. The service of Prophets and saints are so. However some are granted Divine Majesty (=Jamal).Wars are signs pointing to God’s ultimate judgement, his glory. The creator of war is God as well. If he didn’t want, there wouldn’t be any wars or peace. If there is love , there is sorrow as well. If there is black , there is white as well. If there is war, then there is peace as well.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made more than twenty battles. Sometimes they lost the battle but sometimes they gained victories . Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) didn’t unsheathe his sword and cut a head off but he was a commander . He founded a state, formed an army and ordered to attack . The Moslems under the command of him killed the polytheists. This is a rule of God as well.
“Peace was going somewhere in a hurry. They asked peace,
‘Where are you going?’
It said ,‘To the battlefield’ ”
First, war occurs and then peace comes after. Both Divine Majesty(=Jalal) and Divine Beauty (=Jamal) that comes after are good. Man must do battle with his self (=Jihal al-nafs). Moslem disciple is a combatant. He is the greatest warrior.
Badr War was one of the most splendid victories of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh). Moslem army was made up of three hundred warriors but the polytheist army consisted of over one thousand warriors. The equipment of polytheist outnumbered the equipment of Moslems by four to one . This war, which happened fourteen centuries ago, was a small war (=Cihad al- Asgar).
When Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) came back to Madina with the victory of Badr War, he said to his daughter, Fatima, and his grandsons, Hazrat Hassan and Husayin, (r.Anhüma) who went to the outskirts of the town to meet him;
‘The small war(=Cihad al-Asgar) finished but the great war (=Cihad al-Akbar) continues.’
His daughter, Hazrat Fatima, asked Hazrat Muhammad(pbuh),
‘Father, which war can be greater than that one? You defeated one thousand polytheist with three hundred people.’
Prophet Muhammad said,
‘My daughter, the great war is one’s struggle with his nafs.’
Spiritual battle is not something that everyone can do. You need strong weapons. The strongest weapon is the love of God. Self hoists the flag of defeat in front of this weapon. Every weapon made by man has been turned on Nafs.
In Sufi terminology, nafs is symbolized by dragon. In his Nutku Sharif great Saint and mystic Hazrat Niyazi Misri says’,
The dwelling place of ignorance and cruelty is your nafs
Be sure the dwelling place of knowledge and granted wisdom is your heart
Unawareness and cruelty are the characteristics of ‘suban’, the dragon of nafs. Commanding Nafs is responsible for ignorance and cruelty.
Be sure the dwelling place of knowledge and granted wisdom is your heart
Knowledge and granted wisdom dwells in your heart and ignorance and cruelty dwells in your nafs. The two of them are always battle eachother . If the heart is filled with Divine wisdom, love and affair, nafs is started to be educated and its title changes. It becomes exceedingly beautiful, it is called the most perfectioned. Nafs is called devil in Islam terminology, it is called the commanding nafs, (= Nafs al-ammare ) in Sufi terminology and in Reality (= haqiqat) it is called ‘ Divine Majesty ’ (=Jalal) .
When Prophet Muhammad said,
‘There is devil in every Man’.
The apostles of him asked,
‘O God’s Messenger! Is there a devil in you as well ?’
Hazrat Muhammad(pbuh) replied,
‘ Yes but I educated it and it became Moslem’.
Prophet Muhammad educated his carnal soul, ‘ nafs al-ammare ’, and it attained its ultimate end. One gains mastery over his commanding nafs by performing canonical law of Islam and voluntary worships.
Seclusion (=khalwat) , self-denial, patience, fasting, salat, toleration, modesty, trust, deliberation, foresight are required in the process of self purification and training. These trainings enrich nafs and it becomes a Purified Nafs . In a Qudsi Hadith God says,
‘My servant never ceases drawing nigh unto Me and when my servant does so, I become the hearing by which he hears, the seeing which he sees, the Hand by which he seizes and the Foot by which he walks.’
The carnal soul of a servant passes through certain stages and uplifts. At the end it attains its ultimate end and becomes purified. Shortly body unifies the spirit. His heart and his body become neutralized and Oneness is experienced.
If one became mature and saw God in Oneness , then everything would be in his service. If he didn’t realize the Truth , then he is in the darkness of Self (=nafs). He becomes the begger of water and bread. You can’t call him Man. As it is written in the Holy Qur’an he is lower than an animal. Apparently he is a human being but his character is that of animals. When he closes his eyes, he will rise up in the form of the animal whose nature is similar to his. The aim of life is to realise this truth.
The aim of love to Saint is to know oneself
The aim of knowledge is to comprehend Point
If you join points together, you can obtain the letter A of the Arabic alphabet ‘elif ’ . If you curl it from the edge and put a point under it , it becomes the second letter ‘be’. If you double the point, which is under and put them over , it becomes the third letter ‘te’. This shows that the origin of 28 letters is a point. Hazrat Niyazi Misri says,
Why did all these prophets invite people?
The aim is to insruct the secret of Oneness
Prophets said ‘ Follow us and realize the Truth ’. They invited the capable to instruct the Oneness of Being. They said ‘ Everything is an aspect of Oneness ’. Every atom has its origin in ‘One’ .
‘There are two eyes but they see the same thing.There are two ears but they hear the same thing . There are two mostrils but they smell the same thing . There are two hands but they do the same work. There are two feet but the place where they go is the same. There are two of every organ but the tongue is unique. What is the reason? Why is it so?’
Because heart belongs to ‘One’. The other organs’ being two doesn’t mean that they perform seperate things. There are two eyes but the same person looks through both of them.What looks on is the unique power which is soul. What really looks, hears, smells, does or goes is the soul ,which is the unique strength.These are all lessons. There is Oneness in two.
‘The Man is made up of two parts ; body and soul. The aim of life is to unite them. This occurs when one sees God in one’s own self.’
Saints say, ‘The two eyes see one of everything. Multiplicy is for Oneness.’
The one who is only busy with earning his living in the outer world of illusion can’t realise the secret of Oneness. He is in the state of multiplicity. However this is polytheism and he is polytheist. Although he hasn’t got any hand-made idols which he places in front and worships, he worships his own idol which is ‘nafs’. When one realizes the secret of Oneness, this idol disappears. Hazrat Yunus expresses this truth as follows,
I abandoned shame and wanted Beloved
I cut the rope at the threshold of Shaykh
What a familiarity! Let’s practise solitude
Let’s go into seclusion at the thieshold of Shaykh
With these lines Yunus expresses that he is freed from polytheism. Rope is worn by some Christian monks as a waistband to symbolize that he experienced Oneness.
With regard to Islam Hazrat Niyazi says,
Islam is a universal religion. Due to the changing time and with the unanimous consensus of all Muslim scholars (= Icma al-ummat), it gained universality . At the beginning of Moslem code of legislation it was written that ‘In the changing course of time Islamic stipulations are reinterpretated’. Moslem scholars, who are mature and perfect , come together and they do necessary changes depending upon the rule written at the beginning of Moslem code of legislation. If there wasn’t a rule like that, Islam wouldn’t be universal.