Discourse 14 (20.08.1997)
‘And Allah has created you and what you make.’ (The Rangers , Verse 96)
God is the one who creates us and what we make. All affairs are under God’s control. There is no power but of God for the one who attains maturity. God is the only doer but he works through his spirit in things. Man is a thing as well. It is difficult to perceive this for the ones who don’t unite with God or see his manifestation in the anfus (=human selves) and Afaq(= the physical world). Perfect Men only care God’s power and manifestation. They say, ‘ Creation is nothing else but the manifestation of God.’ ‘Az-zahir’ (= the manifest) is one of the beautiful names of God.
‘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)
God is both the inward and the outward, both the first and the last. God is the Knower of all things. For this reason one’s thinking himself as a seperate existence apart from God is the biggest sin and polytheism. The aim of the Sufi Path is to make us silence our Selves which do not exist but look as if they exist. On the Sufi Path there is a principle that is called ‘iskat-i izafat’. It is to know what we call ours is in fact God’s possession. What exists is the manifestation and image of God. I would like to repeat the beautiful words of Esad Dede, one of the greats of Mawlawiyya,
It is God who is seen in everything
Never think he is apart from you
One’s thinking himself seperate from God is the biggest sin. The aim of the Sufi Path is to make us understand that all existence belong to God and the one we call ‘ I ’ is only an image, a surmise.
For the one’s who attain a higher understanding, the letter ‘ Lam’, which is in the middle of the Arabic script of the word ‘ Haqq’, disappears. Because it symbolizes multiplicity. If we omit it there is only God. It is difficult to understand and tell the enthusiasm of the heart of the one who attains this stage. Every instant of his life is like bayram. It is full of happiness. Why is it so? Because wherever he turns his face or whatever he looks he sees God. On this subject, Hazrat Niyazi says,
The wise see God wherever they turn
They grant grace whatever they see
‘ .....whither you turn, thither is Allah's purpose…..(The Cow, Verse 115)
Since the wise attain this perception, they see God wherever they look. Because from a mystical point of view, they are freed from ignorance which reigns in hell and enter the paradise for the wise. In truth, the hell is the ignorance of life. It is not knowing God.
‘The road to paradise passes through hell.’
When ignorance ends, the hell ends and it turns into paradise.
‘Do you eat raw dough instead of bread? You bake it first. When you open the oven door, you smell the delicious bread. In old words it is called ‘ sacred bread (=nan-ý aziz)’.
Let’s say the oven is hell. The bread got baked in the oven and became ‘sacred bread (=nan-i aziz)’ which is a blessing of paradise.
Diseases, wars, starvation, fights and all sorts of disagreements that happen to Man are all ‘Jalal(= Divine Majesty, rigor)’. They are the manifestation of Divine Majesty.
‘It is such a Jalal that it is like the night.’
Let’s say Jalal is night. But day is hidden in the night. You can not see it at 12 o’clock at midnight. When it is 5 a.m. and when morning dawns, the night which we call Jalal leaves. Likewise the baby’s coming after all the pain and effort, day which we call ‘Jamal’ comes after night. This is what the Sufi Path is .
‘The beginning of love is suffering but its end is pleasure.’
The lover who doesn’t suffer can’t understand the value of pleasure.
There is a way from suffering to pleasure, from sorrow to grace , from jalal to jamal, from night to day, from winter to summer.
‘If one can not stand winter, he can’t see summer. The mother can’t give a birth to a baby without birth pangs.’
‘If you say you can’t stand ‘jalal’, you can’t see ‘jamal’. If you say you can’t put up with hardships, you can’t gain grace.’
‘ Belief(=iman) is hidden in unbelief (=kufr) ’
Kufr literally means to cover, to conceal. Farmers are also called like that. Why? Farmers sow the seeds in October. What is seed? Seed is a gem. Farmers sow tons of seeds and cover them with soil . For this reason the farmers are called kafir (=one who covers or conceals something) for fun.
Farmers are called kafir because of covering the seed with the soil but there is faith which is hidden in it. These are the results of toleration, patience, wisdom and perception. The wise know this. The experts know this. For this reason they say ‘ It is visible to the wise but invisible to the unwise.’
The wise watched you in every face
Multiplicity dazzles one’s eyes. When you look at multiplicity such as colours, you see that pink, green, red, white have various tones. This is the world . The colourful ( =refers to the creator ) is hidden in colours. On this subject a perfect man says, ‘ He adorns himself with colours.’
Nature, people or environment, wherever you look! They are all hidden in colours. Look at the carpet, the flowers, the insects, the birds, the butterflies! They are all adorned and embellished with unique colours. These are God’s own beauty. The only way to attain this perfection is to become wise.
In his lines Hazrat Niyazi Misri says what happens when one is freed from this multiplicity and unites with God.
My Master, the multiplicity veiled the eyes of people
The wise watched you in every face
Here he addresses to Sufi Masters. He doesn’t address to the common people. Because only they know this. O the master, o my friend! This multiplicity veiled the people’s eyes. Whoever was freed from this multiplicity saw the real One hidden behind the colours and experienced Divine Union. Then he saw the beauty of God in every face. It is not something an unwise can do. What is important is to gain wisdom and to become wise. Being wise is to see what you look. For this reason the wise only see God. Hazrat Niyazi says,
Wherever you turn your face, be sure the divine secret is there
Whatever you hear, be sure the essence of Qur’an is in it
Whatever you see as a being looks as a being
Identify them as God so you see the light of God in them
Common people identify Man as Man. However the wise and enlightened people identify Man as God.
Those who learned the secret of divine union became wise. They attained wisdom. When one attains such wisdom, Hazrat Niyazi says,
Whoever learned this secret became wise
He is saved from being called an animal and became Man
In the past as a physical appearance he was Man but he had animal soul. But today both physically and characteristically, both innerly and outerly , both morally and characteristically he became Man.
Sufi path is a path of wisdom and a path of gnosis. Not everyone can understand this secret. Who can understand it? First of all he must have an inborn talent. Then this spiritual talent should be recognized and managed by a Sufi Master. Soil do the same thing to the seed. Neither a Prophet, nor an angel, nor a Sufi Master can give what God didn’t give. Sufi Master makes what is given by God apparent. Soil can’t give what is not present in the seed. It only gives what is in the seed.
O Niyazi, after you became pure like garnet and coral
Your words became the source of enlightenment for lovers
Garnet and coral are the most shiny and valuable gemstones. Brilliant, diamond, ruby that people use as rings or necklaces are all precious gemstones. Your character became so purified, so clear , so beautiful that there is no sediment in it. It became Light.
Pearl is made of light and water. It rains in April and May but the sun shines as well. A rough shell which is called oyster is alive. In this season it comes to the sea surface. It waits with its mouth open, takes the rain drop surrounded by sunlight and it closes its mouth , goes to the bottom of the ocean and goes into seclusion.
‘Khalwatiyya traces its roots back to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh). It is one of the main branches of Islamic Orders. For this reason 34 sub-branches derived from the order. It is productive. Khalwatiyya is like a factory which produces Sufi Orders.’
The oyster which dives into the sea waits there and as a result produces a pearl. And then people open it and make a necklace of pearl.
Hazrat Niyazi says that his character became excellent and his words became precious like pearl, carol and he says the way of those who are initiated into a Sufi Order is full of such beauties and perfections.
For this reason the words that pour from the mouths of Hazrat Niyazi and all the Perfect Men are the source of eternal life and enlighten the hearts of the wayfarers of the Sufi path.