Discourse 13 (19.08.1997)
We were dry but we became wet
We were foot but we became head
We became winged like birds
Thanks God, we flew in the end
We were dry. What does dry refer to? It refers to being lifeless or being waterless like a dried up tree. A bare tree branch is of no use except being used for firewood. We were like dried-up trees. But the dried-up tree became green, sweet-smelling, fruitful and filled up with Light. It became wet again.
We were foot. We were on the ground. We were leading miserable lives and we weren’t humans yet, merely creatures of some kind. We were like foot but the mercy of God, intercession of Prophets and the support of Pirs saved us from our miserable lives. We were uplifted and became head. He thought this wasn’t enough and gave us wings. We became winged like birds. Now we are flying in the sky of spirituality. We are swimming in the ocean of love. We are rising up higher and higher through the beauties of sky. Our hearts became a rose garden. The Kaaba of the heart became purified.
We tried to interpret but this interpretation is not enough for these lines. Because they are like a treasure.
‘Abstract things are usually accepted to be in the sky and not heavy. They are excellent. Sediment settles at the bottom.’
People say, ‘God is in the sky.’ God is everywhere but what is meant by saying ‘in the sky’ is the great things’s being in high places. Don’t think that there is a tent in the sky and God lives there. Seek God in your heart. Because heart is limitless.
‘The sky has a limit but heart is limitless.’
Let’s ask Yunus how he gained these perfections.
‘O Yunus, you became wet while you were dry, you became head while you were foot, you didn’t have wings but you became winged and became a Phoenix that flew in the sky of infinity. You became a fish that swam in the ocean of spirituality. How did you achieve this? Tell us your secret. Then we can do the same thing.’
Yunus will reply as follows,
Under the guidance of Taptuk
I became a slave at his door
Lazy Yunus was immature
But thanks God, he became mature in the end
Love makes one mature. Lovers of God are so. Throughout history so many great people grew up in Anatolia. In no country other than ours there were so many lovers of God and there will never be. For this reason the word ‘Turk’ is a great word.
The character of Turks is worthy and noble. Ataturk saw this truth and for this reason he praised them by saying, ‘The Turkish nation is of excellent character. The Turkish nation is hard working and intelligent.’ Then he talks about happiness and says, “Happy is the one who says ‘I am a Turk’.”
Why don’t they see this? Why do they blame him? Ataturk never said , ‘ I am a Prophet’ but some people said, ‘ You are a Prophet.’ He denied this and said , ‘ No! I am a soldier. I am a commander.’
Ataturk passes a pleasant time in his compartment, while the train is passing through Kutahya station. Lots of people come to the station to see him. The Director of National Education in Kutahya at that time says,
‘O the people of Kutahya, Prophet came to our city.’
When Ataturk hears this in the compartment, he says,
‘Drive him away! Don’t let him come in. I am not a Prophet. I am a soldier, a commander.’
My father, Lutfu Bey, who is a few metres away from Ataturk hears these words. I heard this from him.
‘He shouldn’t be blamed or responsible for all the bad things. Sure he has some faults. He is a human being not a Prophet. But he has so many great works. He became a leader and led the people.’
The spiritual leaders of the time in Anatolia thought that he was suitable for this duty and chose him. Thousands of soldiers, hundreds of commanders, the mercy of God, the intercession of Prophets and the support of Pirs behind him, he saved the country from its enemies.
One day my master, Aziz Hodja Mustafa Effendi(k.s.), told this truth about this great commander,
‘My son, there is a photo of Ataturk which was taken while he was sleeping on the rocks of Kocatepe, covered with his military coat. Have you seen it?’
I said, ‘Yes, my master.’
‘My son, Mustafa Kemal who slept there is different from the one who went to sleep there. While he was sleeping, the saints of Anatolia and Sufi Masters enlightened him. When he woke up , he said, ‘ Armies, your first goal is the Mediterranean. Forward!’
One may ask , ‘Why Mustafa Kemal Pasha? Weren’t there others?’ According to my master, Hodja Mustafa Effendi (k.s.), Mustafa Kemal was brave and had a strong character. He showed this by gaining victories in many wars after he became lieutenant.
I heard another true story, which never heard before, from my master, Hodja Mustafa Effendi(k.s.).
Ataturk goes to Samsun by Bandýrma ship and starts the national resistance movement which is called ‘Kuvayi Milliye(= the military arm of the society)’. While he is moving from Erzurum to Sivas, his car breaks down. His friends try to repair it. Meanwhile Mustafa Kemal walks up and down the road. He is thoughtful. At that moment he sees an Imam (=hodja, the leader of congregational prayers) , who has a turban on his head, coming towards him on a donkey.
He comes near him and greets him. Ataturk replies saying,
‘Peace be to you!’
Mustafa Kemal Pasha asks him,
‘My hodja, where are you going?’
Hodja points out a village among trees which is 3-5 km away. He says,
‘Sir, I am going to that village.’
Mustafa Kemal Pasha inquires,
‘What will you do there?’
‘The Imam of that village was my master and the master of other Imams in this district. He educated many others like me. He invited the Imams of neighbouring villages to pray and read Qur’an. I am going there to join these prayers.’
‘My hodja, what is the reason of these prayers?’ Is there a circumcision or a wedding?’ Hodja Effendi says,
‘No, sir. There isn’t a circumcision or a wedding. The reason is, God gave a leader to this nation named Mustafa Kemal Pasha.He leads the Turkish people and starts the national resistance movement. I am going there to pray for his success.’
Mustafa Kemal says,
‘My hodja, May God accept your prayers. Let the children join your prayers because God answers the prayers of the innocent.’
Ataturk wants him to talk more and says,
‘My hodja, it seems that you look after your donkey well. It looks well-fed.’
‘Sir, it can’t speak. If we don’t care its fodder or straw, God punishes.’
Ataturk asks again,
‘My hodja, have you ever read a book about animals such as birds or any other living thing?’
‘Sir, I haven’t read but I have listened to a lot of stories about animals from the Imam of the village where I am going. If you don’t get bored of it, I can tell.’
‘ Please, go on. Tell.’
Hodja Effendi tells one of the stories that he heard from his master.
‘ Centuries ago one of the Greek scientists travels to identify and distinguish animals which give live birth and which lay eggs. He travels three or four years and gets lots of information and writes a book. He hears the fame of Hazrat Imam-i Azam in Baghdad during his travel and visits him. After welcoming, Hazrat Imam-i Azam inquires him,
‘ Why do you travel?’
The scientist who is a traveller as well replies,
‘ I am studying to identify the animals which give live birth and which lay eggs.’
Hazrat Imam-i Azam inquires,
‘ Have you finished your study?’
‘ Not yet. I must travel and study three or four more years.’
Then Hazrat Imam-i Azam says to the scholar,
‘ You have unnecessarily tired yourself. You don’t need to travel a lot to identify them. You can do this while staying in your hometown.’
The scholar’s eyes open wide with surprise and wonder. He asks,
‘ How can this happen?’
Hazrat Imam-i Azam says,
‘ Animals which have outer ears give live birth. Animals which have no outer ears lay eggs. For example ostrich is a big bird, however it has only inner ears so it lays eggs. Night bird is a small bird but it has outer ears so it gives live birth.’
Then the Greek scientist beats his knees and says,
‘ I wasted my time and effort.’
Ataturk listens to the story carefully and praises the hodja saying,
‘ My hodja, thanks a lot. You told it beautifully. ’
Then hodja says,
‘ Sir, it’s nice to talk to you but I’d better go. We will read the Qur’an and pray in the village and then I’ll come back to my village.’ Hodja Effendi goes only a few metres and returns. He comes near Ataturk and says,
‘Sir, we talked nicely but I don’t know who you are. Let me know your name.’ Ataturk goes near him and puts his right hand on the shoulder of the hodja on the donkey. He takes a deep breath and says,
‘My hodja, I am Mustafa Kemal who you are going to pray for.’ Hodja Effendi who hears this gets off the donkey and hugs Ataturk. They both cry. Then hodja goes on his way.
This story which is narrated to me by my master, Hodja Mustafa Effendi(k.s.) is heard by him from the ones who lived in those time.
Of course this story is a clear evidence of the source of the support and encouragement which cause the victory of the national resistance movement which Mustafa Kemal Pasha starts with the prayers and tears of the nation.
Hodja Hafiz Mehmet Effendi’s telling this story which is transmitted to him by his master, Hodja Mustafa Effendi(k.s.), is so meaningful. Because saints never talk unnecessarily. There are a lot to learn from their teachings even their way of speaking or their manners while telling them.
The truth which Hodja Hafiz Mehmet Effendi told about Ataturk, the great Turkish commander and military genius, is an evidence of the truthfulness of the words about him. Before expressing our own ideas, we’d better remind the subject below.
Although the names of people serve as etiquettes, they are not coincidences. There isn’t a coincidence in life. There is only God’s wishing from himself to himself. The things which seem like coincidences in fact God’s plan. For this reason we ‘d better explain the meaning of the name ‘Mustafa ’.
Mustafa is an Arabic name which is derived from purity and which means chosen one. What it means in Sufi terminology is only known by its experts. We have no competence to understand or no authority to tell this. However during one of the gatherings of Hodja Hafiz Mehmet Effendi we heard him telling the words of Muhammad Ikbal about the holy name ‘ Mustafa’, which was given to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), the leader of the universe. His words are as follows,
‘ The one who understands the secret meaning of Mustafa can see that Polytheism is hidden behind fear.’
After this beautiful line, Hodja Hafiz Mehmet Effendi said these words , ‘ The ones who are uncertain of themselves fear.’
So it is obvious that Ataturk was chosen by the Sufi Masters and saints of Anatolia and was supported and inspired by them. It is understood that Mustafa Kemal Pasha was divinely privileged. His being a victorious commander is the result of his being divinely privileged.
‘ Kemal’ is an Arabic name which means mature, capable.His being inspired by the Sufi Masters and Saints of Anatolia and his becoming a leader of Turkish national liberation struggle are the evidences of his maturity and capability.
His meeting and talking with hodja is a message of God to him. God says to him,’ The Turkish society with the old and the young, the women and the men, the inhabitants of towns and cities or the hodjas and Imams are behind you. They all pray for you.’
In the story the scientist’s being Greek and his meeting with Hazrat Imam-i Azam are messages as well. It is informed that Anatolia will be occupied by the Greek but the lovers of God won’t let this.
Likewise the Greek scientist who wasted his time by travelling many years to identify and distinguish the animals which give live birth and which lay eggs, the Greek wasted their time by trying to convert the Anatolian people to Christianity. Because as Mehmet Akif expresses in the March of Independence , ‘ These calls for prayer which are the evidence of religious base. Should be heard everywhere in my everlasting country.’ the Saints can’t accept the calls for prayer’s not being heard and the flag of Tawhid not flying in Anatolia. This has been so for centuries. When Turks come near a precipice, God, who loves Turks a lot, saves this nation from this destruction for the sake of Saints.
According to the teachings of our master, Hodja Effendi’s hurrying to go to the village after talking to Mustafa Kemal refers to everybody’s being obliged to fulfill their duties. The Statesmen are responsible for governing the country, Sufi Masters are responsible for training Perfect Men through their blessing, guidance and inspiration for Turkish nation and for the humanity and the Turkish commanders are responsible for protecting the country. The story below tells us this truth.
Atpazari Osman Effendi gives advice to Koprulu Mehmet Pasha.He says,
If you wear our cardigan, your rules and manners are spoilt. If we wear your caftan, our rules and manners are spoilt. By saying everybody should behave according to his own rules and manners, he advises the mind’s being used according to the one’s own character and abilities.
Similar words were said by Hazrat Hadji Bayram-i Wali who enlightened Murat II by staying a few days in Edirne Palace.
‘ My sultan, we would like to go. The brethrens are waiting for us. May God let your sovereignty continuous and let you serve the Ottoman well. We pray for you. Our duty is to educate the society. Your duty is to govern the society. Let us educate people so you can govern them easily. If we don’t educate them, then you may have difficulty in governing them.’
Ataturk was a victorious commander who successfully achieved the work of saving a country, which he was appointed to do, through thousands of soldiers , hundreds of commanders and of course the support of the saints. Surely he is a human being. He has some negatives beside positives like everyone. But the important thing is to understand how great his services are and to make others understand this. Because people can not gain anything by seeing the bad in others. We should see the good in them.
‘One deserves God’s mercy through the good works he has done and people always remember and pray for him along history. They let him live in their hearts.’
The ruling parties in the past should have caused people to love Ataturk . Turks have excellent character and a great nation. Turkish people remember the ones who served the nation during history with gratitude. If they let the Turkish people decide what they feel about him, sure they would remember this great commander who led the Turkish nation with thankfulness and gratitude. However some people idolized Ataturk. This behaviour disturbed the true believers in the country.
Ataturk shouldn’t have been idolized. If he were alive, what would he say to the ones who idolized him? Of course he would strictly oppose them. Likewise the Director of National Education who says , ‘ A prophet came to Kutahya ’ in the station , he drives away the ones who idolize him. Idolizing him was a great mistake. We would like to end this important subject with the meaningful lines of Ziya Pasha.
Whoever sacrifices himself for the sake of others
Will be remembered by the people till doomsday