‘ Man is ever hasty ’ (The Children of Israel, Verse 11)
To pursue science and technology careers and to be an expert in your choosen field are valuable things for the sake of people. I always appreciate those who are experts in their fields. One should be an expert in his career field. However this doesn’t mean he also knows himself. They are different things. If someone is recognized as an expert in his field and if he enters the path of love and if he expels all the worldly desires from his heart and polish it and uplift his soul during his travel towards purification, then we should appreciate him. In other words one’s adopting the qualities of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and attaining perfection let him know himself.
This is Sufism. If one has both career and spiritual joy, this is called ‘Zulcanahayn (=two-winged)’. This is something very valuable. That sort of people contribute to humanity in many ways such as health, moral values or science.
‘The image you see in the mirror is only a physical body. What makes a Man a Man is his inner life, his way of thinking and his character.’
As you know, today there are lots of well-educated people who abuse. They steal from the charity thing and they try to hide it by finding logical explanations as Turkish proverb says, ‘ Who steals the minaret, first prepares a case for hiding it.’ They bring shame upon humanity. Their life becomes hell. However they can’t see this since they are deceived by their Nafs. Their Nafs doesn’t let them experience the prestige and honor of being a true Man and it destroys them. They regret having been born. For this reason one shouldn’t let himself be ruled by his Commanding Self (nafs i ammara) and should always control it. The people of Truth (=ahlullah) say,
‘O my God, do not leave us to our egos even for one moment.’ And they implore God to keep them guided.
So to sum up, the first type of people who the teachings of Qur’an are addressed are lower than an animal. Those who are a bit better than them are both unjust and ignorant. Those who are unjust and ignorant don’t have mercy or compassion. They try to gain profit even if this causes others to lose. They never mind how they get it. They say, ‘ what is important is to get it. It doesn’t matter whether it is permissible or not.’ They do everything to gain. Those who do such things are not only the uneducated people. The educated ones, even the ones who are experts in their fields do the same thing. As I have said before, their being expert in their field doesn’t mean that they are perfect. They may claim that they are intellectual. Having a career doesn’t make one a Perfect Man. What makes Man honorable is good morals and values.
Let’s talk about the meaning of the word ‘ Intellectual ’ by mentioning its old usage, which is ‘Nevvere, yunevvirü, tenviren.’ The real intellectual is the one who is endowed with knowledge, faith and virtue, beauty, shame, good manners, generosity, loyalty, sincerity, reflection (= tafakkur), recollection (= tazakkur), gratitude, prayer, patience, modesty and divine perfections. This is the definition of ‘ intellectual (= the enlightened one)’.
Those who are not qualified with the divine characteristics are not human. They are only in human form. For that sort of people Hazrat Aziz Mahmud Hudai says,
Those who are outside are in difficulty
Don’t make the easy work difficult, come to the Union
Hazrat Niyazi has similar lines on that subject.He says,
The true Man is the one who knows himself
The image, which is seen, is only a shadow
What happens to shadow one day? It disappears. What is it the proof of? It is the proof of Sun.
‘If the sun is bright and if there is direct sunlight, things have shadow but if clouds hide the sun, the shadows disappear. However there is another sun, which is called soul, spirit or beloved. Nothing veils it. It never rises or sets. It is the Light of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).’
The sun is only a spark of the light of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The sun inside Man is the light of God’s essence. It doesn’t rise or set. Words are not enough to express his Light.
All the Saints (=ahlullah) were enlightened through this Light. They were filled with it. They became mature through these teachings and affection. They all expressed this Truth. As Hazrat Mawlana says, ‘I was raw (immature), I was cooked, I was burnt up.’
All of them are completely perfect. Their face reflect their inner beauty and perfection. If one’s personality is not good, if one is filled with jealousy, grudge, calumny, hatred, bad thoughts about others, revenge, pride, arrogance and ego, no matter what perfume or cloth he wears, his face reflects his inner ugliness. You can clearly see what’s inside of that sort of people. Those people frighten themselves when they look in the mirror. They ask themselves, ‘ Am I that ugly?’
‘Bad thoughts make one look ugly. However good feelings and thoughts illuminate one’s face.’
The face of Man is like a screen. You can see everything there. Face reflects heart. One may try to hide his feelings from others but his eyes reflect them clearly. If you know how to look into the eyes, then you can read them in the eyes. There is a proverb on that subject, ‘ The beautiful one is identified by her eyes; the ugly one is identified by her bad words. ’ The beauty here refers to the inner beauty. Those who have inner beauty have beautiful eyes and words as well.
'The Eyes are the windows to the soul '
The eyes of God’s friends are so beautiful. Their eyes were tinged with eye-salve. What is this symbolizing? It is the reflection of their inner beauty. I have never known a Saint who has ugly eyes. They are all beautiful.
Beauty here refers to the beauty of feelings and thoughts. You see old people in the streets. They spend their lives in sorrow, passion and hatred. Nothing satisfies them. They always want more. They try to gain profit even if it causes others to lose. That sort of people become ugly when they get older. Their faces are filled with wrinkles like the skin of a tortoise. Their false thoughts and confused ideas, their not knowing God and not giving themselves to God, their passion and revenge are easily seen on their faces. On that subject Hazrat Niyazi says,
If one’s outside is Man but inside is animal
He should beat himself up till he finds his true human identity
Death is painful for those who don’t find their true self. They should feel sorry about it. They should try to become fully human. They shouldn’t be human outwardly but animal inwardly. What does animal refer to? It refers to Man who has animal tendencies.
‘If one is filled with animal tendencies, being in the human form is of no use.’
One can only hide behind human appearance. It hides the wrinkles and the hatred and revenge to people.
‘God is beautiful and loves beauty.’
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mentions the inner beauty in this Hadith. As Hazrat Niyazi says the physical beauty is only a shadow.
Everyone desires spiritual joy but the incapable can’t attain it
Those who attain it are only one sect (fýrqah)
Everyone tends to experience spiritual joy a bit or more. However the incapable ones can’t attain this joy.
The incapable ones are the ones who don’t have inborn talent. Soil can’t give what is not present in the seed. Hyacinth can’t be grown from stinging nettle seed.
‘Every creature loves what is superior to them. They make every effort to reach it. We graft trees to obtain mature fruit. We add the rennet diluted to milk to obtain cheese and we add some yogurt to milk to obtain yogurt again.’
Who is superior to Man? Where does the Man try to reach? Perfect Man is superior to Man. There is one more stage which one has to pass through to become a Perfect Man. This can only be achieved through Sufi education.
The only way of one’s reaching the spiritual heights is his having inborn talent. It comes into existence in this world. God is not of course incapable to enlighten his servants. God enlightens his people, not the Sufi Masters. The real Master is God. However God does everything through his servants. He chooses some and informs them of their duties. God gives them talent on that subject and educates them privately. It is private because the education of love is private. All the Prophets’ and saints’ education is so. In a Hadith Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says,
‘My Lord educated me. He educated me very well.’
It takes some time to understand the quality and quantity of this education. The friends of God melt in the melting pot of love. They suffer at first but then attain pleasure. ‘ The beginning of love is suffering but its end is pleasure’ or ‘The lover who didn’t suffer can’t understand the value of pleasure’. All these are said to express this. For this reason they shed buckets of tears and melt in the melting pot of love. Physically they are Man but in fact they are the true image of God. Their body from head to toe is divinely enlightened. They are completely purified. Their physical bodies also change as they purify.
The people of Truth (=ahlullah) all express the same truth in different ways. When one completes the seven stages of the journey back to God, he also completes the three spiritual stages as follows;
1-Tawhid al-afal (=acts)
2-Tawhid al-sifat (=title)
3-Tawhid al-zat (=essence)
The disciple at first realizes tawhid-i afal. La faile illallah. (=God is the Doer of everything). He sees it like that. He experiences it. Not everybody understands it so. It requires perception and enlightenment. Then comes La mawsufe illallah (=All the titles belong to God). Finally, the people of Truth say, ‘ La mawcuda illallah’ (= There is no other existence except Allah). On that subject Hazrat Ahmad er Rifai has a fine line. He says,
‘The doer is God. The existence is God. Denying this gets you in trouble.’
What about the teachings of holy Qur’an? These are all Qur’an’s teachings. There is no other word than the teachings of Qur’an. The only face is the face of God. Whatever exists on earth has a sample in Man. For this reason Man is called Nusha-i Qubra (=the major copy). Physically, Man is a small creature. However his heart is limitless that is far beyond the seventh heaven. The eighteen thousand worlds can only be a point in the heart of Man.
‘Man is called ‘alam al-sugra (minor copy)’ because of his appearance. However he is ‘alam al-kubra (major copy)’ as his heart is infinite and he is the seed of the tree of creation.’
As we mentioned in our previous teachings, Hazrat Ali (k.v.) and (r.a.) expresses this Truth by saying, ‘Do you consider yourself a small thing, while the great universe is involved in you?’ For this reason Man is the index of world book.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the living Qur’an, the embodiment of Qur’an. His life was the reflection of God’s words.
‘And you do not please except that Allah please, surely Allah is Knowing, Wise’(Man, Verse 30)
The Arabic word Suunat (=affairs) is derived from the word ‘ Þe’n (=happening)’. Another old word is ‘ Hadisat (=event) ’. The new generation doesn’t know that word. It hasn’t been used for over twenty years. Now people use the word ‘ Olay (=event) ’ instead of it. All affairs are under God’s control. He directs them.
‘God wills. ’
Nothing happens unless God wills it. Without his will, even a leaf can’t move. The disciple completes his journey back to God and attains perfection. Then he stays in one of these stages; ‘ Cem ’ or ‘ Cem’ ul Cem ‘. What is ‘ Cem’? What’s ‘ Cem’ul Cem’?
The disciple gathers (=Cem) all the stages in him. He opens the doors of God through Cem (=gathering together). He then gathers (=Cem) God’s afal (=acts), sifat (=titles) and zat (=essence) together in him. Hazrat Niyazi Misri gathers the three ‘ Cem ’ together.
The doors of God are opened by Cem’u Cemu’l Cem’
The doors of God are opened by these three ‘Cem’. Let’s read the Nutku Sharif, which the line above is in.
God draw the Equator line (=hatt-i istiva) between eyebrows
God taught Man the names of all things in this line
‘ Hatt-i istiva ’ is the equator, which is the imaginary line that circles the earth. The line between the eyebrows symbolizes this. If you cut Man beginning at the point between the eyebrows as if you are a professional butcher, you draw the world map. The lungs and kidneys in the body become the symbols of continents and oceans. Billions of cells in Man become the seventh heaven. In the following lines,
Whatever exists on earth has a sample in Man
Find yourself in you, come back to Man
Hazrat Gaibi expresses Man’s being the small copy of universe. Because Man is the gathering place (=mecmuu’l ekvan) of all creatures.
God taught Man the names of all things in this line
Let’s explain this line depending upon the following verse.
‘And He taught Adam all the names’ (The Cow, Verse 31)
In the above verse ‘names’ refers to the name of all sorts of things such as paper, pen, man, sun, water, etc. They also have musamma (= the sense which the Name signifies.). Man is the sum of all. For example; when you eat an orange, you enjoy the taste of it. This is the sense of its name. Orange is the name of a blessing. What is important is its smell and taste. Or let’s say you smell a carnation. You bring it to your nose and inhale its sweet aroma. The smell of carnation is the sense, which the Name signifies.
You already have that smell. You already have that taste. When you smell, you inhale the aroma. When you eat something, you enjoy the taste of it. So what does this mean? It’s the union of them with their essence. They run to their essence likewise the rivers’ run to the sea.
‘Man is the essence of all tastes, smells and beauties. Every sort of beauty lies in Man. Because the essence of everything is Hu (=He).’
The mouth’s enjoying the taste or the nose’s smelling aroma is a union (=vuslat) .The ears’ hearing the voice of the beloved who is missed a lot is also a union. Meeting with the one whom you haven’t seen for ages, whom you missed a lot but couldn’t go and see because of the distance between you is a union as well. It is the union (=vuslat) of eyes.
Every organ experiences union (=vuslat). Touching someone is also a union. You caress your children or friends. Caressing is the union (=vuslat) of feeling. You feel pleasure. The taste of something or the aroma, which is, smelled give pleasure because they unite with their essence. Man is the essence of all existence.
Let’s return back to our main subject and explain the fine lines of Hazrat Niyazi Misri,
Those who found a way (=dem) to spiritual joy attained union like Niyazi
The sect, which is called ‘Naci’, is this sect
What does he say in the above lines? Here ‘ dem’ refers to path, pleasure. In fact ‘dem’ means blood. Here the right path is sirati mustakiym (=divine path). The perfect Man is someone who finds the direct path to God. Whoever finds the right path and attains pleasure is in union with God. So the sect, which will attain Union, is called Naci. In a Hadith Sharif Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says,
‘Islam has seventy-two sects. Only one of them which is called ‘ Naci ’ will enter Paradise, while the rest will go to Hell.’
In the above lines, Hazrat Niyazi expresses that the sect who attains union among the seventy-two sects is called Naci and they are the true wayfarers of the mystical path. In the last lines he says,
Maf’ulu mafailun maf’ulu mafailun (*the prosodiacal metre)
The secret hidden in Man is now hidden in this Niyazi
He uses the prosodic meter in the first line. Here he uses the word ‘dem’. We should think whether he means now, this Niyazi.
Let’s continue the other Nutku Sharif of Hazrat Niyazi, which we told the first lines before.
God draw the Equator line between eyebrows
God taught Man the names of all things in this line
Mustafa was taught the Divine knowledge, Man was taught the Names
The knowledge of prophets became apparent from them
The knowledge of prophets arose from them.
Make obeisance to Man so you become the true servant of God
Those who went away from Adam went away from God as well
Those who go away from Adam go away from God. Why is it so? Because God said to the angels, ‘Bow down to Adam’.
‘We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam ’(The Cow, Verse 34)
Angels obeyed this order. However one of them, Iblis, didn’t bow down to Adam. What does Iblis symbolize for Man? He is the symbol of pride. One cannot easily get rid of pride. It is only possible with Nafs’ being educated continuously and with the mercy of God, intercession of the Prophet (pbuh) and the support of Pirs.
One can dig a hole in a mountain with a pin but getting rid of pride is more difficult than digging a mountain. Hazrat Mawlana expresses this Truth as follows, ‘ the way of God is narrow like an eye of a needle. I passed through this narrow path by getting rid of my Nafs.
The Satan didn’t prostrate himself before Adam because of his pride and he accused of God.
‘He said: As Thou hast caused me to remain disappointed I will certainly lie in wait for them in Thy straight path ’ (The Elevated Places, Verse16)
The better side of ‘Ahlu- Sunna wa'l -Jama'at ’ (=Sunni Muslim) to the other sects is their true submission to God. They blame their Nafs because of their bad deeds. They do what Adam did not what Iblis did. What is the difference? There is a story about Adam’s being banished from the Garden of Eden because of eating forbidden apple. These are unclear expressions. Then Hazrat Adam begged God’s forgiveness and prayed as follows. The other prophets’ prayers are also mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.
‘They said: Our Lord! We have been unjust to ourselves, and if Thou forgive us not, and have (not) mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers.’ (The Elevated Places, Verse23)
Hazrat Adam (a.s.) asked God’s forgiveness. Adam blamed himself for his sin. However Iblis blamed God. For this reason Sufi Saints say, ‘ el an kemakan (=it is the same today)’.
‘Iblis didn’t prostrate to Adam because of his pride and was called Satan. This is the same today.’
In the Arabic language, Shaytan is derived from the word Shatana that means to hide the Truth, to draw away from God. The angle who is called Iblis didn’t bow down to Adam because of his pride. He didn’t accept the Truth. For this reason he was called Shaytan which is derived from ‘ Shatana’. If we see Satan through the eye of Certainty, he is called differently. Satan is God's Attribute of Al-Jalal (=majesty).
Make obeisance to Man so you become the true servant of God
Those who draw away from Adam draw away from God
Don’t think Man is small in size and for this reason weak and useless. He is not so in reality. To emphasize this Truth Hazrat Niyazi says,
They considered those who recite God’s name poor
They thought God was poor and they were rich
Jews did this. In Asr-i Saadat (=the time of our Prophet Muhammad and his four rightly-guided Khalifas) Muslims had some trouble. Jews were controlling the economic life and were causing them difficulty. There were some strokes. Because there was an Islam case. The rich Jews looked at the Muslims who were poor and said, ‘ Probably the God of Muslims is poor. He has nothing to give them. Look! They are poor.’
‘El an kemakan (=It is the same today.)’
He gives an answer to those who even today see Muslims so. What does he say? He says, ‘They considered those who recite God’s name ‘poor’.’ In fact they were poor. God is rich.
Likewise Jews, all of those who consider the friends of God ‘ poor’ are mistaken. Jews thought if their God hadn’t been poor, then they would have had better economic position and better clothes. In reality, they were the poor ones.
He doesn’t know the hidden treasure so he doesn’t know who the poor is
He can’t find the endless ocean unless he gets rid of all
‘There is a hidden treasure and the believers sit upon it.’
If one doesn’t know the hidden treasure, then he doesn’t know what the real poverty is.
‘It is such an infinite treasure that it has no beginning and no end.’
If one doesn’t know this, how can he know who the poor is?
‘Those who don’t move on to twoness, who can’t find and see God in this life, who don’t devote what they have to the beloved, can’t get rid of Nafs. Since they can’t get rid of Nafs, they can’t find the endless ocean.’
Bahr-ý bi payan (=endless ocean) is the heart. Those who can’t move on to twoness, who are not freed from worldly things don’t know what the heart is. The friends of God are in this endless ocean. For this reason they are granted God’s attribute of Al-Gani (=The Self- Sufficient). They don’t demand anything from others on the way to God. They serve without expecting any return. They are either rich or poor but they are still pleased with their situation. The rich are called ‘ agniya-yi shakirin’ (=the thankful rich) and the poor are called ‘Fukara-yi sabirin’ (=the patient poor). Both deserve to stand beside the Prophet. They are generous and high-hearted people.
The one who doesn’t become the companion of St Elijah doesn’t know the heights of heaven
The Arabic expression for ‘the heights of heaven’ is ‘ravza-i hazra’. Those who are not the companions of St Elijah, can’t be aware of the heights of heaven. According to the Sufi saints, ‘the heights of heaven’ refers to the spiritual joy in the heart of Perfect Man. ‘ Ravza ’ refers to ‘ heart’ and ‘ hazra’ refers to great pleasure, enthusiasm, happiness and love. One should also think what St Elijah refers to.
Those who haven’t drunk the water of immortality thought it was ordinary water
Those who didn’t know the water of immortality, which was drunk by St Elijah, thought it as ordinary water. However it was the water of immortality, which in fact refers to spiritual inspiration, spiritual life and divine science. For those who don’t know it, it is normal to consider it so.
The two eyebrows are the Wall and Alexander is in the middle
The doors of God are opened by Cem’u Cemu’l Cem’
Hazrat Niyazi likens the eyebrows to Chinese Wall. ‘Sedd’ means one, ‘Seddeyn’ means two. There are two (=seddeyn) eyebrows. Alexander is in the middle of them. Head symbolizes government and heart symbolizes palace. The executive power is between the eyebrows. Because brain is there. The five senses are there. The throne is between the eyebrows. Man is told in all these explanations.
The Chinese wall is your eyebrows. Alexander sits between them. Here the name ‘Alexander’ refers to the essence. We’d better tell a Sufi story about Alexander to make our subject clearer.
Alexander the Great and his vizier go around the country in disguise. Noone recognizes them in the places they go. One day, while Alexander and his vizier are eating in a big-city restaurant, two people, who came there before them, see them and start to talk about them. One of them says,
‘I liken those who are eating opposite to someone. Look at them. If you also liken them to someone you know, let’s write their names on a piece of paper and then read them. If we share the same idea, then we will do what we should do.
They both write to whom they liken them on a piece of paper. On the paper it is written that the one who is sitting on the right is Alexander the Great and the one on the left is the head of the viziers. They are both right.
They recognized them because they knew them before. Otherwise they couldn’t recognize them. Those who knew each other and who were together before, recognize each other even after many years. This is the case. Now it is time to remark and explain the Nutku Sharif of Hazrat Gulsheni. He says,
O Sezai, knowning the beloved dates back to eternity
If you haven’t met before, how will you recognize?
The two people’s recognizing Alexander and his vizier is the result of their knowing them before.
Knowing someone dates back to all eternity. Likewise the people who recognize Alexander and his vizier, the friends of God know God, know Prophet Muhammad and recognize each other in this world. If they didn’t know Alexander and his vizier before, they couldn’t recognize them. Likewise this, the real friends of God recognizes God in this world since they saw him in the world of spirits.
What is important in this story is this; the two people who recognize Alexander and his vizier say,
‘We recognized them so they should recognize us. Because recognizing someone is not unilateral. They go near Alexander the Great and bow. However Alexander asks,
‘Hide my identity. Don’t let the public know who I am. Otherwise I will cut your head off. Keep your love and respect in your heart.’
Obeying Alexander’s order, they behave like thousands of others who don’t recognize him. But they continue keeping their love in their heart.
The interpretation of this Sufi story is as follows; the restaurant refers to ‘the world’. The people who come into the restaurant and then leave it are the people who come into the world and leave. Alexander in disguise symbolizes God and his vizier is Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). Those who recognize them are the Saints who know God haq al-yaqin (= to know something after having experienced it)
‘The friends of God know God in this transitory world. This is the result of knowing someone from all eternity.’
In the world of spirits (=alam e-arvah), God asked, ‘Am I not your God? (=Elestü bi Rabbiküm)’. The Saints of God, who were asked this question and who saw the face of him, said, ‘ Beli (= Yes, you are our God)’. The fulfilment of this promise in this world is told in this story.
Because of the promise given to God in the world of spirits and the necessity to fulfill it in this world, the Perfect Men cry a lot, sigh a lot, love him a lot and wish to know him a lot in this world and they keep their promise. We’ll end this subject with the following lines of Hazrat Gaibi.
They didn’t divulge the secret of oneness,
The secret of God was always hidden from public
Saints’ keep knowing God as a secret inside them. However their respect and love reflect their manners as a great adab (=courtesy).
Let’s continue our speech by repeating the lines from the Nutku Sharif of Hazrat Niyazi.
The doors of God are opened by Cem’u Cemu’l
How did this happen? Now we’d better tell these three ‘Cem’ which are Cem’ü Cemü’l Cem. The doors of God are opened by them. What are they? Afal al-Cem (=realization of God’s being the doer of everything), Sýfat al- Cem (= realization of God’s having all the titles) and Zat al-Cem (= to realize that there is nothing except Allah)
How can those who deny God find this Misri?
Those who deny God can’t find this Misri. It is impossible.
Even though the Light of God is seen on his face
The Light of God is reflected in the face of Misri. He says, ‘If you don’t know Niyazi or in other words the Perfect Man, you can’t see God’s Light on his face’.
May their support be with us? May Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) intercede us. May Hazrat Imam Ali (k.v.) and (r.a.), the father of the Sufi way, and Saints support us. May the soul of sahabe-i guzin (= all the great disciples) and Ashara Mubashara (=the Holy Prophet gave the tidings of paradise to ten persons in their lifetime) rest in peace. May they attain the heights of heaven. Peace and mercy of God be on them.