Welcome to our website. Today Wednesday, 22nd November 2017
 

 

Zhikr in Khalwatiyya

 

 

With regard to zhikr Hazrat Aziz Mehmet Dumlu says ,

 

‘It is narrated in the books of Hadith that Prophet Muhammad ( pbuh ) recites Istighfaar ( seeking forgiveness ) 100 times ,  the Salawat-i Sharifa  (prayers on the prophet) 10 times  and the Kalima-i Tawhid , ‘ La ilaha illallah (= there is no God other than Allah )’ 300 times everyday. It was also rumoured  that the number of  kalima-i tawhid was 70 not 300.’

 

Zhikr is mentioned in many places in the Holy Qur’an. Some of them are as follows,

 

‘O you who believe! remember Allah, remembering frequently.’(The Clans,Verse 41)

                                                                                  

 

Islamic scholars  say ‘ remembering frequently ’ refers to ‘daily ritual prayers’. This interpretation is also correct but Hazrat Sulayman Chalabi expresses ‘ remembering frequently ’ in  Mawlud-u Sharif as follows,

 

With every breath continuously recite  God’s name

The name of God  is the strongest support

 

The disciples say ‘ Allah ’ with every breath they take. Don’t  they ever forget ? Sometimes they can forget but when they remember they start it again.

 

‘You can’t cook a meal by bringing it to boil. If the water is absorbed ,  you should add some  or  if it is overcooked,  you should turn down the heat.’

 

Tears, zhikr and tafakkur (=reflection ) are all occur under suitable conditions. The important thing is that  either the name of God is in the mouth of wayfarer  or  the love of God is in his heart. One of them always exists. This was always so and this should be so .  The Turkoman dervish, great Yunus expresses this truth in these words, ‘ God’s name is in the mouths, God’s love is in the hearts.’

 

We can also add  the saying of  the Greek philosopher  ‘ Epiktetus’

 

‘Remembering God should be continuous like taking breath. ’

 

In the Holy Qur’an God says ,

 

‘Remember Allah much, that you may be successful.’ ( The Congregation, Verse 10 )

                                                                                 

‘Surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest.’ ( The Thunder, Verse 28 )

                                                                                                              

 

The Arabic word ‘ Ela ’ which is   the first word  of the verse  means certainity , sureness. Although  the word  zhikr in the verse  refers to ‘ La ilahe  illallah’,  we see that zhikr is the love of God  when we go beyond  there is no God other than Allah’.

 

The Turkish meaning of the word ‘ Zhikr ’ is ‘ remembrance ’ so the lover’s remembering his love frequently is not unusual. If the loved one is God , then what is better than remembering him in every breath.

 

Zhikr begins with ‘ La ilahe illallah ’ ( there is no god other than Allah ) . Then it goes on saying  ‘Allah’ (  Allah    ) , ‘ Hu ’ (  O He    ), ‘ Hak ’ ( O  Truth ) . Zhikr of Allah with the tongue  pervades every cell of the body later . Then when the tongue  says the name of God with love once, what Sulayman Chalabi ( Süleyman Çelebi) says happens,

 

If the tongue says Allah once with love

All the sins fall like  leaves

 

If we purify ourselves of our sins like the falling leaves in autumn by saying Allah once with love and if we don’t say God’s name only once but with every breath and if this situation   continues  many years  , then we should think about what wordly and heavenly,  material and spiritual gifts and  lessons  God   gives to his beloved servant who remembers him frequently.

 

The great Saint Hazrat Niyazi Misri expresses the zhikr of billions of cells in the state of  spritual ecstasy as follows,

 

My  heart dived into that sea and I became speechless

I did  zhkir and  my body completely became the zhikr

 

We will mention what is meant by the parts of the body in our teachings later. We should think of  the ecstasy of someone who keeps busy with Dhikrullah(=reciting the names of God). There is only one beloved in his heart .  He forgets all but God and his previous sins turn into heavenly recompense and reward . That  person changes a lot that he becomes unsure whether he or God  does zhikr.

 

With regard to the zhikr Saints (= ahlullah ) unanimously said,

 

‘The aim of zhikr is  the chanting’s, the chanter’s and the chanted’s becoming One.’

 

There are so many verses about zhikr in the Holy Qur'an but we think  the subject is understood so we  ended  it  by mentioning a few verses below. According to Saints of Allah  the truth is : Zhikr attains perfection when the chanting (=zhikr), the chanter  (=zakir), and that which is chanted (=mezkur)  become One.

 

As regards  manners and zhikr,  Khalwatiyya Order is accepted as a path of Truth which prefers loud zhikr. Like all the other Sufi Orders the essence of Khalwatiyya is remembering Allah, being aware of remembering Him everywhere and every time and adopting all the qualities of God and  Prophet Muhammad.

 

To sum up, it can be said that this path of love , this great work is based on purifying the heart  from all impurities, annihilating self, adopting sublime moral characteristics and behaviours  by saying  Kalima-i Tawhid ‘ La ilaha illallah (= there is no God other than Allah )’,  practicing silent or loud zhikr of seven names of God ( asma), observing  the effects of happenings on heart and nafs , reading and interpreting dreams. After Hazrat Yahya-i Shirvani, Khalwatiyya Order divided into branches and sub-branches and the interpretations which were made by the murshids of sub-branches due to  changing  patterns of time caused some small differences without changing the origin of manners and zhikr. These small changes were not related with the main theme. They were only details.   

 

On the path of Khalwatiyya zhikr is performed as follows,

 

In the first stage of purification, Nafs-al Ammara (=Commanding Nafs) the disciple performs ablution and kneels down facing the Qiblah . By making  rabita ( the heart connection to a sufi master ) he  intends sincerely to perform zhikr . Then he recites Istighfaar ( seeking forgiveness ) 100 times ( One tasbeeh ) ,  the salawat-i sharifa ( prayers on the Prophet ) 100 times and Al-Fatiha ( The opening ) once. He turns his  head towards the right (as if he was looking over  his right shoulder ) and says ‘ La ilahe ’ ( nafy=banishment)  then bend  his head over his heart and striking  strongly  he says ‘ illallah ’ ( isbat= proof ) and goes on performing zhikr of  tawhid.  When  the Sufi attains to the second stage,  Lawwama ( =Blaming Nafs),  he recites ‘Lafz-i Jalil ’ which is ‘ Allah ’ ( =God ), when he enters into Mulhama (=Inspired Nafs ), he recites ‘ Hu ’ (= He ),  when he passes through  Mutmaina (= Tranquil Nafs ) , he recites ‘Haqq’ (= O Truth ), when he attains  Radziyya (=Satisfied Nafs ) , he recites ‘ Hayy ’(= O Living ), when  he attains Mardziyya (=Satisfying Nafs ), he recites ‘ Qayyum ’(=the Eternal) , when he attains   Safiyya (= Purified Nafs ), the name ‘ Qahhar ’ (=the Subduer ) is inspired.  The name ‘ Qahhar ’ is not recited. It is left to God , the owner of the Name.

 

Zhikr in Khalwatiyya has been performed like that for ages by Pirs. As it is informed above in Khalwatiyya Sayr-u Suluk (= journeying back to God ) consists of seven stages which are called Asma. Since Pirs who are inspired in Khalwatiyya Order have the authority to change the number of Asmas ( Names ) when they start a new branch , one of the greats of the path, Hazrat Pir Shabani Wali, increased the number of Asmas in Khalwatiyya from three which were, ‘ Tawhid al-af’al ’ (= Unity of Action ), ‘ Tawhid al-sifat ’  (= Unity of Attributes ) and  ‘Tawhid al-zat ’ (= Unity of Essence ), to seven  when he started Shabani Branch.

 

So we can say that there are seven stages (Asmas= Names of God ) which are Ammara, Lawwama, Mulhama, Mutmaina, Radziyya, Mardziyya, Safiyya in Shabani branch of Khalwatiyya.

 

First Asma which is Ammara is Nafs-i Ammara ( Carnal soul ) . The Sufi Master instructs the disciple  to recite Kalima-i Tawhid , ‘ La ilaha illallah ’ ( there is no God other than Allah ). By making rabita ( the heart connection to a sufi master ) , by being inspired by his Sufi Master  and by turning his head towards left and then bending it to right, the disciple  says ‘La ilaha illallah  with great enthusiasm.

Performing zhikr by turning head from left to right and striking  it over  heart is a rule. Following  the rules of path  is  essential  for communion with God. As  Saints ( ahlullah ) say,

 

‘If the rules  are not followed, one can’t get  anywhere else.’

 

The one who doesn’t follow the rules of path, can’t achieve union with God in other words can’t get any result . For this reason  whatever form the rules transmitted should be applied strictly.

 

According to the manners  which are  transmitted to us the disciple of first Asma ( the word Asma is also used to mean  stage ) is in Ammara (the name of the first stage which refers to Carnal Soul) . He recites Kalima-i Tawhid, ‘ La ilaha illallah ’ ( there is no God other than Allah ). He turns his head from left  to right and bends his head  over heart. By bringing the head strongly and repeatedly over the  heart, he makes the dead heart  alive. It is like someone sleeping. By doing this   the disciple improves himself.

 

Istighfaar ( seeking forgiveness ) is repeated 100 times ,  the Salawat-i Sharifa  ( prayers on the prophet ) is  repeated 100 times and Al-Fatiha ( The opening )  is said once at the beginning of zhikr.  This shouldn’t be forgotten. Istighfaar cleanses the disciple’s heart from the sins committed knowingly or unknowingly in the past. In the Holy Qur’an God says,    

 

‘To purify you a ( thorough ) purifying.’( The Clans, Verse 33 )

 

This verse was revealed  to Prophet Muhammad when he cleaned the Kabaa from idols. The Arabic word ‘ bayt ’ used in the Arabic form of the verse above  refers to  Kaaba in Mecca. However mystical and theosophistical meaning of ‘ bayt ’ is heart.

 

When Hazrat Muhammad entered the  Kaaba, there were 360 idols . He smashed the idols and throw them out. By throwing these idols which can be touched and seen, he cleansed the hearts of all the  believers who will follow him till doomsday.

 

‘Heart is sometimes like the home of idols. Don’t fill your heart with the love of  worldly things, otherwise it becomes the home of  idols.’

The one may be  a sultan or a scholar but unless he cleanses his heart through zhikr and  love of God, in other words if he is away from spritual knowledge, zhikr and God’s love, his heart becomes the home of idols. Because the love of worldly things turn the heart into a home of  idols.

 

‘The one whose heart is the home of idols  have neither   peace nor joy, nor love , nor enthusiasm. Because he keeps busy with inferior  things.’

 

When you look at him,  he is tall, well-dressed and sober-minded. However his heart is ruined and it is as if the home of idols. These are what is said by saints (ahlullah)  the vanities of life. Kushadali Aziz ( k.s.)  explains this as follows,

 

Ibrahim renounced all things but saved love for God today

He gave his heart to the beloved , he no more needs  heart

 

Knowingly or unknowingly our love of wordly things depends upon the love of God. Whether he knows it or not he loves God by loving things. Love belongs to God. Love is reflected in everything . It envelops  all existence. What is important is to be aware of  this . When the disciple  attains a high degree of spirituality he realizes by loving things he  loves God. Then the wise disciple sees God in everything. Their hearts are freed from worldly attachments. On this  subject Hazrat Shamsuddin-i Sivasi says,

 

I view that world of existence through the Light of Unity

I perceive what is seen from all is God

 

Hazrat Niyazi Misri has similar words on this subjects ,

 

I have seen the face of God apparent in everything 

For this reason I feel  happy  whenever  I look  in this Mirror

 

‘Idol’ refers to untrue love. Gold, silver, fame, position, etc. are all idols. These blessings -rank, station, position, wealth,etc. - which people treat as idols are not the idols of  Saints (ahlullah). They are perfected beings who experienced union with God ( tawhid ). As Shaykh Asad Effendi (k.s.) says,

 

What is seen in everyhing is God

Never think you are  apart from Him

 

According to Saints ( ahlullah ) everything is a mirror that reflects God. For this reason Hazrat Ismail Hakki Bursawi says,

 

This world is a mirror, everything is dependent upon God

God is seen permanently in the mirror of Muhammad

 

What Man, who is God’s  Khalif on earth, needs is to be wise and to cleanse his heart from temporary wordly ease and comforts. One should fill his heart with permanent and eternal love  instead of  transient  love.

 

‘ Majnun’s love for Laila was accepted as a wordly love. However in the end it was understood that by loving Layla he was actually loving God.’

 

On this subject there is the  prayer of Hazrat Ibrahim ( Abraham ) ( a.s. ) , the father of Tawhid ( union ) ,

           

Then when he saw the moon rising, he said: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he

said : If my Lord had not guided me I should certainly be of the erring people. (The Cattle, Verse 77)

 

‘O my God! Save my  heart  from  temporary  loves  which  exist  today  but will

not   exist  tomorrow. Please  keep  my  heart  away  from  them,  don’t  fill  my  heart  with  them.’            

 

You may love your house but it may burn. You may love gold or silver but the thief may steal them. You may love rank or position.You may proud of your position but the tongue has no bone and  one wrong word may  prejudice your position  in the society. People around you for years may disappear. These are not real love but wordly love.  A Perfect Man says,

 

‘Thanks God ! I cleansed the dirt of wordly things from my heart  by Tawhid.’

 

The interpretation of the verse above is ‘ cleansing your heart ’ . There are so many fine words related to this. A Perfect Man says,

 

‘Sultan  won’t stay in the  palace, unless it is in perfect condition’

 

God won’t dwell in your heart unless  you cleanse it. If we invite Sultan to the  palace of our heart, the palace should be worthy of  Sultan. That is we should cleanse  heart from the love of wordly things. How can heart be cleansed and uplifted?

 

Suppose  that there is a garden in front of your house and there is a plum tree in the garden. You want the sour plums of this tree to become ripe and sweet and you want them to be delicious, loved and desired by people. You want to get rid of these sour plums . What do you do then ? You graft  a sweeter plum tree branch onto your plum tree.

 

Everybody can’t graft . He  should be a specialist. You should find one and  ask him to come and graft  your tree. However you need to persuade him to accept. If you insist a lot, you then persuade him to come. He grafts  a sweeter plum tree branch onto your sour plum tree. The graft becomes effective after a while and the plum tree in your garden  starts  to give sweet plums. Like this Man  should get vaccinated .

 

Saints can’t be  perfect without being stoned

Trees can’t give fruit without being grafted

 

There isn’t an uninjured place (metaphor)  on the back of saints . On this subject a perfect man says,

 

For somebody’s becoming a Saint, forty hadjis and hodjas who are accepted honourable, honest and learned will call him  ‘misbeliever’ . They stone him and then he becomes a believer.

 

The above couplet reflects this meaning. For this reason saints hold no grudge or hatred against  people who throw them stones. On the contrary they are pleased with those who throw the stones. They don’t feel resentment towards them. This is what the perfection requires. The way to God is so. As Niyazi Misri expresses,

 

The path of love is full of trouble, each blessing costs suffering

Give up you  if you want to reach the beloved

 

This requires patience,  toleration and resignation.  As Hazrat Niyazi Misri says,

 

Be Ayyub(Job) in patience, be Yaqub(Jacob)  in enduring sorrow

Be a lover  like Yusuf(Joseph) if you wish to reach Kenan( a place of peace )

(Kenan: an  old name given to an area  in the Middle East which includes Israel, Jordan, Syria)

 

‘In enduring sorrow be Yaqub , in patience be Ayyub, in loving someone be a lover  like Yusuf,  if you want to reach Kenan( a place of peace ).’

 

Prophet Yaqub(Jacob)(pbuh) suffered separation from Prophet Yusuf(Joseph).
Yusuf’s  brothers were jealous of him and  threw him into a well.  They covered his  shirt in blood and took it to Prophet Yaqub(Jacob) and   said , ‘A wolf  devoured Yusuf(Joseph).His father cried until he became blind.

 

‘Prophet Ayyub(Job) is a symbol of patience. You must be patient like him.’

 

Prophet Ayyub(Job) (pbuh) suffered from skin disease, with painful sores. Worms were produced on his sores. but he did not utter a single word of complaint. He was always patient. Even the books say, ‘ One of the worms came nearer to  his heart and God says, ‘ O Eyyub! Do you have any complaints?  Prophet Ayyub(Job) (pbuh) says, ‘ O my God! I have no complaints but one of the worms comes nearer to my heart. If it penetrates to it, how can I love you?  I am worried about this.’

 

The worms in the story refers to  a caterpillar or a sort of insect. However its Sufistic interpretation is the things that happened to Prophet Ayyub(pbuh), sufferings and torments  he endured. The penetrating  worms are his people.

 

Who throws stone to a Sufi Master? This  happens because of the disciples’ lack of understanding of what was said to them. What Sufi Masters  avoid mostly is being wrongly understood. Sufi Masters say ‘ The ones who throw stone  are  from us  but the ones who cause this are not from us.’

 

While they were striping Hazrat Nesimi’s skin, enemies  threw stones . One of those who knew Nesimi threw a bunch of roses. When Hazrat Nesimi saw this, he said, ‘ The roses  of  beloved was sharper for me  than  the stones of enemies.’

 

Throwing stone means speaking against someone or back biting. However  bad remarks  have no influence on  them. As it is said,

 

Dirt can’t stick on a mosque wall.’

 

It is always clean. Bad remarks return to their  utterers. They suffer a lot. Because they are innocent and honourable. They are  pure like a small child in mother’s arms. Hazrat Gaibi expresses this truth as follows,

 

‘The believer’s heart is pure  so God dwells in it. ’

 

Their hearts are  the dwelling place of God and  transparent like clear water. Throwing  stones at them is the worst thing to happen to someone. This is a misfortune. On this subject Hazrat Gaibi says,

 

Never look down on  Saints otherwise you get ruined

Never hurt their feelings otherwise you get  ruined

 

They say, ‘ The one who falls  from the ninth heaven doesn’t die but the one who is removed   from heart is ruined.’  If he is  especially removed  from the heart of a real beloved, .... . Being removed  from a Saint’s heart is worse than falling from the ninth heaven.

 

At the beginning of the discourse about zhikr Hodja Hafiz Mehmet Effendi said the training in Khalwatiyya  Shabaniyya consists of seven levels which are called Asma. Now under the guidance of  his teachings we will  talk about these Asmas  and their meanings.

 

‘The first step on the ladder of purification is Nafs-i Ammara ( The Commanding Nafs ) What does ‘ Ammara’ mean? Who is  in Ammara?’

 

Nafs al-ammara ( Carnal Soul ) is the tendency in Man to  satisfy the desires of Nafs. He does whatever his Nafs wants. Hurting the other’s feelings, having evil intentions towards other’s possessions and good name, trying to possess them, breaching  trust and confidence, abusing government property, which are  unhuman behaviours,  are the work of Nafs-al Ammara. Shortly it is a type of animal life.

 

‘If one causes harm to someone  and takes pleasure to do it then he leads an animal life.’

 

The one who is in the lower state of human nafs, which is Nafs-i Ammara, does evil things and takes pleasure in evil deed and thoughts. For those who are the servants of their nafs God says in the holy Qur’an,

 

And I do not declare myself free, most surely ( man’s ) self is wont to command( him to do ) evil, except such as my Lord has had mercy on, surely my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful. ’ ( Yusuf, Verse 53 )

           

God also says in the Holy Qur’an,

 

‘And certainly we have created for hell many of the jinn and the men; they have hearts with which they do not understand , and they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear ; they are as cattle , nay, they are in worse errors; these are the heedless ones.’ (The Elevated Places, Verse 179 )

           

The attitude of the one who is  in Nafs-al Ammara ( The first stage on the path of spiritual purification ) is so. By reciting Istighfaar ( seeking forgiveness ) and  the Kalima-i Tawhid , ‘ La ilaha illallah ’ ( there is no God other than Allah )  , with the blessing of God , the intercession of Prophet and the favour of the saints , the disciple uplifts to the second stage. You may wonder  why the disciple seeks God’s forgiveness.

 

The disciple remembers the mistakes  of his past or in other words his past sins and he comes to his senses. The one who has taken  pleasure in evil deed and thought is  sorry for his sins now . He recites Istighfaar, ‘Astagfirullah al azim’ , ( seeking forgiveness ) and   repents in tears and  as a result he  uplifts his soul. Meanwhile the disciple has some dreams and he reports them to his Shaykh. His Shaykh makes their real interpretations  and says, ‘Well-done, my son! I sincerely wish  that God accepts your prayers. We will add another Name(Asma) to your prayer . ’ He then gives  the second word ‘ O Allah’( Ya Allah).

 

‘Man comes from a high position.’

 

‘God is on the side  of his servants . God wants to  uplift them . Because the Man’s real place is on  high .’

 

What is it similar to? There are babies who start to walk. They crawl  at first and then take their first steps . Parents show their baby a favourite toy.  The baby  takes a  step . He falls, then holds himself up and takes another step. Mother doesn’t give the toy to the baby  to make him go on  taking steps. Because  the child will take steps to take the toy.

 

God loves his servants a lot  so he provides a  similar atmosphere for them and gives rewards and punishments . Meanwhile  we feel  sorrow and weep over our sins. The taste of tears is different in every stage. The first  tears are bitter. Because the disciple wipes out past sins. Then the taste of tears change.

 

We tried to express the traits of the disciple  in the first stage which is Nafs-al Ammara  and the meaning of Asma (Name) which is given after being initiated by a Sufi Master. This can also be expressed through  the fine words of Hazrat Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi,

 

First take  initiation from a Murshid

Then save yourself from Ammara ( Carnal soul )

Go on, recite  Tawhid ( La ilaha illallah )

Then God inspires your heart

 

The disciple who enters into the second of seven levels, uplifts from Ammara (CarnalSoul ) to Lawwama ( Blaming Nafs).

 

Lawwama is derived from the word ‘Lawm’. It means to throw  stones, to stone yourself. The pilgrims’ stoning devil on the 1st , 2nd and 3rd days of Bairam after slaughtering sheep symbolizes this . They throw stones to their evil deeds and thoughts. In other words  the pilgrims  stone  the devils  inside them. The stones are symbols.

 

‘They overcame their nafs. If you want to subjugate your nafs, stone the devil inside you.’

 

 There are three stone pillars which are big  , middle and  small devil.  The big devil represents Hazrat Ibrahim(Abraham)(a.s.)’s  Nafs,  middle devil represents  Hazrat Hajar’s Nafs and the small devil represents Hazrat Ismail’s (a.s.) Nafs. Because they were not defeated by their Nafs. Pilgrims stone their previous sins in other words the devil inside them  to  overcome their Nafs. They truly repent their past sins which they took great pleasure while doing. They beseech and implore God by saying , ‘ I mustn’t have done that sort of things, they are undesirable.’ They shed tears over their sins  and say, ‘ O my God,  I obeyed the desires of  my Nafs. If  you don’t bestow mercy on me, I can’t save myself from this complicated situation.

 

God says , ‘ My servant repents  for his past sins. He sheds tears and asks  forgiveness and help.  He didn’t know or recognize me in the past. For this reason he made mistakes, he commited sins. He disturbed others. He hurt their feelings. He took the wrong way. But today  he repented and became wiser. He started to blame his Nafs.’ And then God changes his  evil deeds and bad manners into good deeds. This also shows that God’s mercy and love towards his people are infinite. In the Holy Qur’an God says about the second stage, which is Lawwama (blaming nafs ),

 

‘Except him who repents and believes and does a good deed; so these are they of whom Allah changes to evil deeds to good ones; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.’ ( The Distinction, Verse  70 )                                                                         

 

By saying ‘ illa men tabe ( except him who repents....)’ the disciple  promised not to do evil deeds again and became a true believer and by saying ‘ ve amene ve amile  amelen saliha ( ...and believes and does a good deed )’ he continued to do good deeds ‘ fe ülaike( these are they of whom )’ . As a result by his great mercy God changed the servant’s past mistakes and sins into good deeds ‘ yubeddillullahü  seyyiatihim hasenat ve kannallahu gafuran rahima.( Allah changes to evil deeds to good ones ; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful )’. He cleansed him from all bad deeds and changed them into good deeds.

 

It is impossible to tell the greatness of God’s mercy and love. Hazrat Mawlana expresses God’s love to his servants as follows,

 

‘God loves his servants so much that........ God loves his servants so much that...... and God is so merciful to his precious servants that ......... If his servants know God’s love for them is so great, even the old people  hop and jump like children while walking. It is a pity that they are not aware of the greatness of God’s love for them.’

 

To sum up, in the second stage, which is Lawwama,  the disciple starts to recite the word ‘Allah’ in addition to Istighfaar ( seeking forgiveness ),  the Salawat-i Sharifa  ( prayers on the prophet )  and the Kalima-i Tawhid. He recites either ‘ La ilahe illallah’ or ‘ Allah’ in the shopping area , in the market , at home shortly everywhere . He also has some dreams . He avoids evil deeds even evil thoughts. He passes from the world of multiplicity and moves towards  unity.

 

‘Look , all  rivers run to the  sea.’

 

There are many letters in ‘ La ilahe illallah’. However there are five letters  in ‘Allah’.  This also shows  the disciple’s  moving towards unity. The monotheist believes and accepts that there isn’t any other power or existance other than God. Getting true knowledge of God raises the disciple  to a level of perfection. The divine knowledge he heard from his Sufi Master dwells in  his heart.

 

In the second stage the disciple starts to perceive the incommunicable and communicable attributes of God  in afaq ( the world of nature ) and anfus ( the world
of self
). By saying , ‘ I haven’t got anything. My body which is made up of flesh, bone and a shovel of earth is your instrument ’ , the disciple truly expresses his inexistance but  God’s existance. God expresses this truth in the Holy Qur’an as follows,

 

‘ Say ; He, Allah, is One .’ ( The Unity, Verse 1 )

           

In this stage Niyazi Misri says,

 

“ Every single atom says ‘ I am God.’ ”

 

Each particle in the world says ‘ One’ or ‘ God’ and does His tasbeeh .

 

We will end the second stage with the words of Hazrat Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, one of the Poles( qutb ) of Islam ,

 

In the second stage God’s name is recited

Sins are replaced by good deeds

The attributes of God are  perceived  in this stage

Then God inspires your heart

 

On the Sufi Path attaining the second stage without being initiated by a Sufi Master is the work of  the learned  who have high moral values. However they are very rare. As Pir Sultan Abdal says,

 

This path is not the blind’s but the eyed’s

This rose is not the thorn’s but the nightingale’s

Call your Pir when you are in trouble

If he doesn’t come, he is not yours

 

The disciple enters upon  the third stage of purification which is Mulhama ( Inspired Nafs) . In this stage , Nafs-i Mulhama, nafs is cleansed little by little and the soul becomes purified. Nafs starts to be filled with  human virtues. You may wonder what these human virtues are. We can explain this with one of the hadiths of  Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh),

 

‘Adapt all  the moral qualities  of God and his Prophet. ’

 

Human virtues  are  adopting God’s and Prophet Muhammad’s manners  and moral qualities. It is the good behaviours’ taking the place  of hatred , passion , grudge, hypocrisy and the other animal characteristics. In other words the disciple stops performing bad deeds. This occurs because of the light of Tawhid. Because the disciple recites the Name ‘ Hu ’ in addition to  Istighfaar  ,  the Salawat-i Sharifa , the Kalima-i Tawhid, and  lafz-i Jalal( Allah).

 

There are many letters in ‘ La ilahe illallah ’. But the number of letters decrease to five  in the word ‘ Allah ’. They decrease to one in the Name ‘ Hu ’ (  O He    ) . What is ‘Hu’? It is a pronoun. It is a belonging from the past. In Turkish it means ‘it, this, that’. O Allah.... We can explain this a bit more:

 

At the end of the phrase  ‘ La ilaha illallah ’   there is the letter ‘h’. This is the short form of ‘ La ilaha illallahu’. The last letter of the phrase,  is written as ‘ Huve’ in Arabic. However it is read as ‘ Hu’ . This means ‘he’. O Allah ( O He )...... There is no God but Allah.

 

Muhammadu’r Rasulullah ( Muhammad is the Messenger of God ). For this reason Hazrat Muhammad ( pbuh) was a mirror reflecting Divine Essence.  One of the scholars asks  Ahmad Amish Effendi ( k.s. ), an old Khalwatiyya Pir,cting back the Divine Essenreflecting back the Divine Essenc

‘My master, you always talk about oneness but isn’t there twoness in Kalima-i Tawhid? What sort of  pantheist are you ? ’

 

He says,  ‘It is  La ilaha ill-Allah Muhammad Rasul-ullah.One of them is his Essence and the other is his attribute. ’

 

But one must also  know the truth that Hazrat Muhammad ( pbuh ) is God’s servant as well. So the definition  of servant is understood . The divinely-inspired meaning  of ‘being a servant’ is ‘ being inexistent ’.

 

‘How can your image in the mirror  or  the shadow behind you be another existence.’

 

For this reason Hazrat Muhammad ( pbuh ) was a perfectly polished mirror that  reflects  God. Shaykh  Galib, the disciple of Ali Nutki Dede, from Kutahya expresses this truth as follows,

 

My master, you are Ahmad-i Mahmud u  Muhammad Mustafa

My master, you are a polished mirror reflecting God

 

It should also be known that Shaykh Galib was the first person who uttered the title  ‘Our Master’ ,‘Effendi  to our holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad ( pbuh ).

 

‘The third stage (Asma),  O he ( Hu) ,  is a fire , a love , an ocean.’

 

After this explanation let’s mention another characteristic of the third stage, ‘ Hu ’. One should be careful while reciting ‘ Hu ’. If it is recited methodically, it  burns you. Because it is a fire. So how should we recite it? With half open mouth, extend the tip of the tongue forward to touch the back of the upper row of front teeth  and  take in a full belly breath and say ‘Hu’ .

 

I will tell you something that happened to me as a recommendation for you.

 

I was giving great  importance to the third stage, ‘ Hu ’, when I was a disciple. One day I   smelled  something burning. I went somewhere different but there was  the same smell. I wondered whether  the smell  came with me everywhere. I changed my place and went 100 metres away   but  there was still  the smell of something  burning. Then I visited the great person, Nuri Elifoglu (Alifoglu) from Kutahya.

 

I said ‘ My dear! I have a problem.’

 

He said smilingly, ‘ What is it , Hafiz Effendi ?

 

‘As you know  I   smell something burning wherever I go and it seems as if it comes with me. ’

 

With his sweet smile he said,

 

‘My son,  the smell comes from you . You are burning from the inside.’

 

The fine words of Hazrat Niyazi Misri at this stage are worth repeating,

 

The one who has your love always cries

Tears fall from his eyes, he burns and becomes fire

 

Whose heart  a drop of God’s love falls in , burns in  love. Love conquers and occupies the whole body. The word ‘Love ’ ( Ashq ) was adopted from the Persian in the Seljukian period. This Persian root word is pronounced as ‘ Iþk (Ishq)’ in Persion  and means ivy.

 

‘Short time after planting, ivy covers  the surface of a building. Likewise ivy a single drop of love which  falls into someone’s heart conquers  his whole body.’

 

Only a single drop of love burns the whole cells immediately. To emphasize the word ‘Iþk’,  Seljukian changed its  pronounciation as ‘ Aþk(Ashq)’. The  meaning of ‘Aþk(Ashq) ’ in Arabian  is Love.  In the holy Qur’an God says,

 

 ‘....... He shall love them and they shall love Him, ........’( The Dinner Table, Verse 54 )

 

‘.......and those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.....’ ( The Cow, Verse 165 )

 

The Arabian version of the verse the word ‘ Eþeddü (Ashaddu)’ which means ‘ very strong’ is used.  Everybody says we believed  but is the degree of their belief the same? No. There are three types of belief:

 

1- The belief of common   people : This sort of belief is on the tip of the tongue.

2- The belief of enlightened people : Their belief is high.

3- The belief of holy people : This is the belief of prophets especially Prophet Muhammad’s  and the belief of saints who came after him. This sort of belief is called perfect belief.

 

‘Whatever the circumstances and  conditions are  saints’ belief and love are so  strong.’

 

The holy people’s in other words prophets’ and saints’ belief is a belief which is effective in every drop of  their  blood, every part of their  heart and their every cell. The one who has this sort of belief  has the ability to perceive and distinguish. This sort of belief distinguishes truth from untruth , good from bad, bitter from sweet, unbelief from belief.

 

In the above verse by saying  those who believe are stronger in love for Allah ’  God mentions strong belief , the belief of saints. One can not be a true believer by the belief on the tip of his tongue. You should prove this. Because God says, ‘ I don’t believe when you say I believed. I test  you and I want to learn the degree of your belief.’

 

‘Your belief should be like fir, box or olive trees which never drop their leaves in the autumn  and which survive in cold winters and hot summers.’

 

How does God test us? How does he test whether we have belief  or not ? It is understood from our response to misfortune. Good fortune and misfortune are both  from God. When something bad happens to us,  we should immediately say, ‘ My God, this comes  from you ’ and we should bear it. This is ‘ the firm belief ’ ( habli metin ).  At this stage of purification  Yunus’s following  lines are remarkable,

 

O eternal sultan, O the ever-lasting One

O you whose grace is much, whose sorrow is nice - both your grace and sorrow are pleasent for me

Everything that comes from you- either a rose or a thorn- is pleasant

It can be a garment or shroud  - both your  grace and sorrow are pleasant for me

 

The belief of the one who sees good fortune and misfortune same  is a perfect belief. Faith ( Iman ) and Islam mean resignation to the will of Allah. At  this stage Niyazi Misri says,

 

The one who can’t see fortune and misfortune as One suffered

The one who is freed from this pain understands us

 

The ones who can’t see them as one and who fail to understand they are from God suffer. The ones who understand this and get rid of this pain are the wise. They are the ones who know God.

 

After giving detailed information about the third stage, we can express the essence of  it shortly as follows ,

 

The name ‘O He’ ( Hu ) which is recited over heart   methodically inspires  love and affection in the disciple and burns him. Thus,  the disciple  sees unity in multiplicity  and his heart burns. Because ‘O He’ ( Hu )  is universal manifestation ( mahzar-i kull ). It is all. Who’s God? God is universal being ( Allahu Allah ). He is ‘ Allahu haluku kulli shain’. Where can you reach by reciting ‘O He’ ( Hu ) ? We can also explain this by the lines of Hazrat Muhyiddin-i Arabi,

 

In the third stage he recites ‘ Huvallah’

He warbles continuously like a poor nightingale

Find God inside  your own body

Then God inspires your heart

 

The third stage, O He’ ( Hu ),   lasts many years . One of the greats of our way, Haji Ali Riza Effendi Aziz (k.s.), from Oshaq is said to have passed through the third stage in 30 years. I passed through it in 18 years. His passing through it in 30 years, my passing through  in 18 years or someone’s passing through it less than this is not unusual. This is a matter of time and manifestation ( tacalliyat ). Because there is heavenly manifestation in every body. This is the work of God. This is divine work.

 

Hazrat Niyazi Misri explains this truth through these fine lines,

           

Practise the zhikr of Sama (whirling ceremony) by saying ‘ Hu ’ burning burning

Feel the pleasure of God’s love by saying‘ Hu ’ burning burning

 

All the saints lifted the veils by saying ‘ Hu ’

They opened their eyes by saying ‘ Hu ’ burning burning

 

They perceived ‘Hu’ fills the seventy-two nations

They are inspired by every ‘ Hu ’ by saying ‘ Hu ’ burning burning

 

They found God, they met by saying ‘Hu ’ burning burning

The beloved was seen from everywhere by saying ‘ Hu ’ burning burning

 

O Niyazi, favour fills  the hearts of lovers

From the  tank of hidden treasure (=kuntu kanz), by saying ‘ Hu ’ burning burning

 

The fourth stage is Mutmaina ( Tranquil Nafs) . The disciple  recites the name ‘Haqq’ (O Truth ) in this stage. The fourth stage is the secret of  ‘ Mutu ’ (death) . In a hadith  Prophet Muhammad says,

 

‘ Die before you die ’

 

This is the secret  of this stage. What does ‘ die before you die’ mean? People have animal characteristics  from birth. These characteristics  pass on to  us  through the sort of  meat we eat. We eat  veal or lamb. If you eat veal, the character of  calf , if you eat lamb, the character of sheep, if you eat the meat of camel, the character of camel passes on to you. These characteristics  start to pass on to Man in the mother’s womb and then pass through mother’s milk. This exists in Man as a rule  of world. A western writer, Carilla, expresses  this as follows,

 

‘Every Man has the characteristic of one of the  animals from oyster to elephant.’

 

The secret of  Mutu ( death ) is , being purified of  animal characteristics completely and adopting human or divine qualities  in other words adopting the qualities of God and  Prophet Muhammad  . In this  stage while the disciple recites the name ‘Haqq’ (O Truth ) , the meaning of it becomes his joy . All the cells of  his body recite the name ‘Haqq’ (O Truth ) like his tongue.

 

Not only the tongue recites ‘ La ilahe illallah ,  Allah , ‘O He’ (Hu) , ‘Haqq’ (O Truth). It starts in tongue but then the cells awake. Man has billions of cells and they are all asleep. We can examplify this as follows : Think of Istanbul with a population of 15 million people. Millions of people are asleep at night in 8-10 storey apartments like boxes of matches. People who are asleep are alive because they take breath. Like Istanbul with a population of 15 million , cells are asleep. Prophet Muhammad says in a Hadith,

 

‘The  people are asleep; when they die, they wake up.’

 

In the fourth stage reciting the name ‘Haqq’ (O Truth )  alerts the cells. The cells which become awake starts to recite the name ‘Haqq’ (O Truth ). In the fourth stage not only the disciple’s tongue but also all his cells recite ‘Haqq’. Billions of cells- blood, fat, bone, nerve and vein, etc. cells -  do zhikr together. In Sufi terminology this is called ‘ Continuous Zhikr ’ (zhikr-i daim). The disciple is engaged in zhikr both he is awake and asleep. In the holy Qur’an God says,

 

‘Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee; save us then from the chastisement of the fire.’ ( The Family of  Imran, Verse 191 )

 

The disciple who is in the fourth stage  recites the name of God 24 hours.

 

When the heart enters the ecstasy of  sea of mysticism and the ocean of union  every part of the body starts to recite God’s name. We start to recite ‘ Allah ’ with tongue but then the tongue becomes speechless. And then we see that every part  of the body  recites ‘ Allah, illallah, Hu ’.

 

The tongue’s becoming speechless refers  to feeling great amazement and joy and feeling ecstasy because of  being engaged in reflection (tafakkur). In the end the disciple hears all his cells’  reciting ‘ Allah ’.

 

Another verse about  the fourth stage says,

 

‘O soul that art at rest.’( The Daybreak , Verse 27 )

 

‘Itminan’ means ‘ very high  degree of satisfaction’ in other words ease of heart as a result of perceiving  the existence of God in every single atom in afaq ( =the world of nature ) and anfus ( =the world of self ). How did he perceive? Through  the eye of wisdom.

 

‘Everybody has eyes but there is an eye which is for vision.’

 

In this stage the items which the disciple sees are the same as what the ordinary people see. However  there is a difference between their perceiving them. The people  see the mountain, stone, water, ground, sky, etc. In this stage the disciple also sees them but he perceives their meaning  as well.

 

‘There is a look which is only  to look  but there is another look to see. ’

 

In the Holy Qur’an the ones who have that sort of look are called ‘ ulul absar ’  which means those who have vision. In this stage the disciple perceives  the unity of God in  everything. Doubt, uncertainty and hesitation ends. Why? Because he witnessed. He saw God in everything.

 

‘One can not feel satisfaction without  seeing it through his own eyes . And  he can’t overcome his doubt or  hesitation.’

 

For this reason seeing occurs in the fourth stage. Seeing refers to having great capacity for understanding and perceiving. On this subject in the Holy Qur’an God says ;

 

‘...........and He is the Knower of subtleties, the Aware. ’ ( The Cattle, Verse 103 )

                                                                                                        

 

It can also be called foresight. The disciple sees all the secrets of God in him.

 

At this stage Hallaj-i Mansur said Anal Haqq ’  which means ‘I am God ’. Because of saying these words his head was cut off many centuries ago. According to Islamic Law, this is right and it should be done. When he came to his senses  after practising great ecstasy Hallaj-i Mansur offered this by saying, ‘ This word is against Shari’at. Then why are you waiting? Why  don’t you cut off my head?’ On this subject Hazrat Mawlana says,

 

Mansur said ‘ I am the Truth ’

Not Mansur but God said it

 

The one who said the word ‘God’ became God himself. Hallaj had been annihilated, so those were the words of God.  We can examplify this in the following example; if a piece of metal stays long in the fire, it looks as  if  fire. You can not see it apart  from fire . If you take the hot metal from fire and put it aside and let it cool, it looks like metal again.

 

Mansur’s saying ‘ I am the Truth’ is the state when the metal is in fire. The metal’s becoming cool refers to Mansur’s coming to his senses. Then  Islamic Law became effective.

 

When the metal turns into a reddish color in the cinder, it is no more a metal. When Mansur said, ‘ I am the Truth’,  regarding the spritual ecstasy and stage he is in, he said the Truth. These words are the result and reality of Mansur’s stage.

 

Hazrat Mawlana says, ‘ Saying ‘ I am God ’ is showing modesty.’  If Hallaj-i Mansur hadn’t said, ‘ I am God ’,  would he have said falsehood ( batil )?  What’s in the image of  falsehood ( batil)? There is an old saying of  a Perfect Man which is , Everything goes in accordance with God’s plan, don’t take the wrong way, fool. Everything is God. All existence, seen or unseen is the manifestation of God. However, God hides himself from creation.

 

O my God who  hide the believers in high , 

The eternal in the Eden  and the secrets  within things

 

When Mansur realised this mystery, he said ‘ I am God ’. Is he the only one who said ‘I am God’? No. Every Saint attains and passes through this stage. It is not necessary for all of them to say, ‘ I am God ’.This is a spritual joy between God and himself. It doesn’t matter whether his tongue says it or not because all his cells recite this. Hazrat Niyazi Misri expresses this Truth as follows,

 

The cry of ‘ Anal Haqq ’   is heard from every part of the body

God says, ‘ Hu ’ in the ocean in me

           

In his Nutk-i Sharif Hazrat Muhyiddin-i Arabi says,

 

Attain the fourth stage

Find the mystery of ‘ Anal Haqq ’  in your heart

Die in this stage before you die

Then God inspires your heart

 

When you attain the fourth stage, you will find the secret of ‘ Anal Haqq ’ in other words  the greatness and power of God in your heart. Because Man is Sirr al-Asrar’ which means  secret of secrets. In other words the place where secrets  are  hidden. That’s why he is the most honourable of all existence . Man is at the summit.

 

To sum up, in the fourth stage the disciple dies practising the secret of  ‘ Mutu ’ (death) . Henceforth the one who holds through disciple’s hand, sees through his eyes, speaks through his mouth  and  performs through him is God. He  exists no more  but God exists. At this stage the disciple manifests God and unites with him. In Sufi terminology this  is called Fanafillah which means absorption in God.

 

‘If you pour a glass of water into sea, it disappears from sight  but it becomes sea. ’

 

Let it not be misunderstood. If we think of God as sea and the disciple as a single drop of this sea, likewise the glass of water’s becoming sea by pouring it, the disciple unites with God in the fourth stage and becomes selfless . He knows himself after having seen it (= The eye of certainity). There are three ways of knowing God.

 

1- The knowledge of certainity (ilm al-yaqin): To know something after having heard it described.

2- The eye of certainity (ain al-yaqin ): To know something after having seen it

3- The truth of certainity ( haq al-yaqin ): To know something  after having experienced  it.

 

In the fourth stage  the disciple knows God through the Eye of Certainity so he becomes a witness. The one who sees and the one who is seen  are the same. Both of them are God. He is no more  a seperate existence.

 

‘If you fill different kinds of glass vessels with water and put them in a cold place, the water becomes frozen. Ice doesn’t have  its own shape. It  is made from water.

 

Water can be put in any vessel and it takes the shape and colour  of any vessel it is put in. Because water is the main element. Ice doesn’t always exist but water does. Ice is the frozen form of water .

 

In the fourth stage the disciple is like   ice  which melts and becomes water again. He hasn’t got his own body. Water has joined water. God is his mouth with which he speaks, God is his ears with which he hears, God is his seeing with which he sees and God is his body with which he performs. In a Hadith Qudsi God says this truth as follows,

 

‘My servant draws near to Me with religious duties and supererogatory works so that I am his hand with which he strikes, his seeing with which he sees, his mouth with which he speaks and I would surely grant him fountains of wisdom which flow from his heart to his tongue.’

 

You  found  a Perfect Man and  joined  his gathering . He speaks for many  hours. His words don’t end. He isn’t tired of  speaking. He doesn’t get bored of it. His words flow abundantly. They are limitless. He speaks so well. Listeners are enchanted .He inspires  everybody. This man is granted fountains of wisdom which flow from his heart to his tongue. Fountain of wisdom is  the  love of  God. God speaks through him. For this reason his speech is charming.

 

‘Likewise the flutist who blews in nay God speaks through the disciple who attains the fourth stage. ’

 

Prophets and saints are not physically different from ordinary people. They are apparent. They are made of flesh and bone, too. They eat and drink, too. They get married , too. They engage in trade or they are interested in art, too. When Prophet Muhammad declared his prophethood  in Mecca , the polytheists of  Mecca and  even his relatives said,

 

‘We eat and so does he. We get married and so does he. We engage in trade and so does he. What sort of  Prophet is he ?’

 

‘They said this because  they didn’t  know the secret of Man and they had different expectations about prophets’ physical structure. So if Prophets are not in human form which form will they be? Will they be in the form of camels or elephants? Is there anything which is greater than Man among all creatures?’

 

Prophethood and sainthood are the works of heart. They are in the heart. Because earth and heaven can’t contain God. In a Hadith Qudsi God says,

 

‘My earth and my heaven contain me not, but the heart of My faithful servant contains Me.’

 

We should define  the believer whose heart can contain God. This true believer is the Perfect Man. Because he has a high faith. This means; God manifests himself in the heart of the one whose faith is perfect. So what is manifestation?  In Sufi terminology  manifestation  refers to borning. It is the inspiration of the heart. Bektashis call this ‘ The Birth of Father ’. God manifests himself and speaks through the believer . We should underline that the aim is the love of God.

           

Isn’t the holy Qur’an manifestation of God? Was there a printing press in the heaven? Was it published there? And did Gabriel get it from the heaven  and deliver it to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)?No. The Holy Qur’an was manifested to Prophet Muhammad’s heart. Manifestation occured through revelation.

 

Gabriel is a Messenger in this happening. So we should define Gabriel. What is it like? It is like mind . If so? Doesn’t mind solve  problems? Think of a mind with which one attains enlightenment. This is the mind of  prophets and saints.  Saints (ahlullah) called this  Foresight’ or ‘ Common Sense ’ . This sort of mind thinks of creation , the beginnings and the end.  This sort of  people are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an as ‘Pure Hearted ’ .

 

‘Except him who comes to Allah with a heart free ( from evil )’ (The Poets, Verse 89 )

                                                                                                         

 

That’s why the ones who looked for   prophethood and sainthood in physical structure failed. Because they looked for  prophethood and sainthood in the wrong place. The words  ‘Human Being ( Insan )’ and ‘Man ( Adam )’ are different. Human being is the name of our physical structure. For example, if you blow a balloon up, tie it with a string and let it go, it goes up. Air is hidden in it. If we call the air in the balloon  Man, then the balloon itself is a human being.

 

Man carries the secret of God. He has the Divine Essence within himself. He is not only granted his essence but also he is granted his actions, names, marks and all his attributes. All of them come together in Man. All  these attributes belong to God. They all assemble in Man , in his physical body. Prophethood and sainthood are not in this physical structure. It is in the heart of this physical body. Heart exists for spirituality. If there isn’t  spirituality in the heart , it isn’t called heart.

 

‘What is heart ? It is an organ  that  pumps blood through the body. It is only a piece of flesh. Rabbits also have that sort of heart. ’

 

For this reason  the wise, the lovers of God and   saints said these words. Heart is also the main subject of Divans (collections of poetry).

 

O my God who strolls in the city of my heart

O my God who looks through the throne of tongue’s palace

 

In Niyazi Misri’s Divan  heart is expressed as follows,

 

O my heart , let’s  find the way to God

Be  an expert in sorrow and practise the heartfelt sigh

Find  the sun and moon in the city of heart

If you are a Perfect Man, then see the face of God

Wherever you look,  see the beautiful face of God

 

The fifth stage is ‘ Radiyya ’ ( Satisfied Nafs ) . In this stage the disciple recites the name ‘ Hayy ’( O Living ) heartily and with  all his cells trembling . Reciting it even trembles someone from head to foot. This is like  throwing a stone into still water . It makes it active. From now on it becomes eternal in other words it becomes immortal. Although the body dies one day, the soul is immortal. This truth is finely expressed in  the words of a Perfect Man,

 

I asked the eternal life to a Grand Shaykh

When he said die before you die , I understood

 

The disciple started to learn the  secret of  Mutu ( death )  in the fourth stage and then he  became immortal. His mortal part is his body . It doesn’t even decay many centuries. Earth treats it as a guest.

 

‘Likewise the clothes and swords of sultans having been kept in the museums for years, the earth keeps the body of a saint. Because his body becomes Light and it becomes ‘Ismi Azam ’(the name ofthe most High).

 

The dead bodies of  saints are elastic. They  don’t  fall in pieces or decay. If it is asked why it is like that, the answer is; ‘ they  become immortal  by  reciting the name ‘ Hayy ’( O Living )  . The noble body ( vucud-u sharif ) becomes earth  many years later and it returns to its origin.

 

At this stage Farz  and  Sunnah  unite. Farz is divine ordinance and Sunnah is  practise of Muhammad. In this stage the disciple see both the same. He gives as much  importance to Sunnah as  Farz . He performs Sunnah as Farz. Because for him both of them become the same. One of them is his essence and the other is his attribute. They become One. I can only explain this subject that much. The wise   understand the rest of it.

 

At this stage the disciple perceives God’s reasons as well. How many? So many? What is important is to see and understand his reasons. Because there is hidden cause in every work of God. We can perceive this or not. We may accept or refuse it but the disciple who attains the fifth stage doesn’t see anything unreasonable. Everything is a manifestation of the divine will. He never interferes  with anything or says anything about it. He meets everything with pleasure. Because in this stage the disciple has no longer  a body of his own.

 

‘Everything is under the control of God. Without God’s will , neither a leaf moves nor someone says a letter or do something to someone.’

 

In the fifth stage the disciple is aware that everything is God’s will  so he never talks against  anything . He examines the events and tries to see their reasons. He becomes aware that there are thousands  even hundred  thousand reasons behind one reason and he starts to perceive them. In his Nutk-i Sharif about seven stages, Hazrat Muhyiddin-i Arabi  emphasize this truth by saying ,

 

There you see thousands of reasons

 

Then there is only one thing left to do for  the disciple in the fifth stage and that is viewing.

 

At this stage the disciple  has foresight and  he watches through the window of his heart. As long as he sees, perceives and experiences it, the pleasure, happiness, love, enthusiasm and manifestation  in him give good smells like morning wind.

 

We shall also summorize the meaning of the fifth stage through the fine words of Hazrat Muhyiddin-i Arabi,

 

The fifth stage is  the station of life

Farz and Sunnah  unite there

There you see thousand reasons

Then God inspires your heart

 

In the sixth stage the disciple recites the name ‘ Qayyum ’( the Eternal )  .‘ O Qayyum , O Qayyum, ..... ’ In this stage he becomes aware of the secret of  Saints. Because he is a Saint as well. The disciple attains to saintship at the end of  the fourth stage so he has already been a Saint in the sixth stage. Since the saints move towards  perfection(=takamul)  as well and  since the pleasure and joy  of it is limitless,  the disciple feels pleasure within pleasure and joy within joy.

 

The perfect men didn’t generally reveal divine secrets. Hazrat Gaibi Sun’ullah from Kutahya expresses this truth  as follows,

 

They didn’t divulge the secret of oneness

The secret of God was always hidden from public

 

On this subject there are fine words of the wise, ‘ Giving the trust to  its real owner is being loyal to the owner. Giving the trust to immature is betrayal of trust.’

 

The lines which Hazrat Muhjiddin-i Arabi said about the sixth stage are as follows,

 

Come and see the reality  of the sixth stage

Learn the secret of saints

Dive into the lake of water and life

Then God inspires your heart

 

For this reason neither my time nor my power is enough to tell the secret of saints. This is quite  a difficult work. This is divine secret. On this subject there is a line of a Perfect Man,

 

‘If the secret of God is divulged, the whole world shakes.’

 

If the secret of God can be expressed quite so openly in words, the whole world shakes. At this stage Hazrat Muhammad(pbuh) has a hadith,

 

If I tell you all the secrets of God, you deny me.’

 

For this reason God sanctifies  their secrets and for the saints  who are the heirs of the prophets,  he says, ‘They are my friends, they are my brides’.

 

Hazrat Muhyiddin-i Arabi expresses the seventh  stage through these fine words,

 

The seventh is ‘Qahhar ’ ,  Wahid ul-Qahhar  (the All-Vanquishing)

The veil is lifted , there is  no other

The beloved manifested himself in Me

Then God inspires your heart

 

In the seventh stage the name ‘Qahhar ’ ( the Subduer ) is inspired to the disciple. As we informed before, the name ‘Qahhar ’ ( the Subduer )  belongs to God’s  essence. The disciple’s being in the seventh stage is said to him but he doesn’t recite the name ‘Qahhar’.

 

The seventy thousand veils between God and the servant are lifted. The light of oneness ( tawhid ) burns all veils. Hazrat Haji Bayram-i Wali expresses this truth as follows,

 

My bairam is now, my bairam is now

Now is the bairam of me and the beloved

Thanks God, Thanks God

My heart celebrated the Bairam with God

 

Bairam means joy and  communion with God ( vuslat ). The disciple reaches real pleasure, satisfaction , delight and spritual joy. He gets rid of  veils.

 

This can be limitedly expressed in words. Because words are not enough to tell the divine secret. Hazrat Mawlana wrote Fihi Ma Fihi, Divan-i Kabir and many volumes to tell ‘the secret of Man’. At the end he understood that no matter how many books  he wrote, he couldn’t  express the secret of Man completely so  he decided to keep silent and  said the rest of it is ‘ Sama and Raks ’.

 

Things which were written and said by hundreds of Perfect Men on this subject are still less than the things which couldn’t be  written or said.

 

Allah will give us  al-tawfiq (guidance) to the right path.’

 

In his  last lines , Hazrat Muhjiddin-i Arabi says,

 

Come and see Muhjiddin-i Arabi now

His sigh and cry increased day by day

If you see the great God clearly

Then God inspires your heart

 

The interpretation of the Nutku Sharif  was  expressed before. God knows the truth.

 

It is seen that Hodja Hafiz Mehmet Effendi explains his spiritual views about the zhikr in Khalwatiyya Order under the light of verses, hadiths, the Nutk-i Sharif  of Hazrat Muhjiddin-i Arabi , the words of saints ( ahlullah ) and the words which are transmitted  from the teachings of his master, Hodja Mustafa Effendi ( k.s. ) . However we would like to look back on the whole Nutk-i Sharif of Hazrat Muhjiddin-i Arabi which was given above seperately in  each stage   and which expresses the seven stages beautifully and clearly .

 

First take  initiation from a Murshid

Then save yourself from Ammara ( Carnal soul )

Go on, recite  Tawhid ( La ilaha illallah )

Then God inspires your heart

 

In the second stage God’s name is recited

Sins are replaced by good deeds

The attributes of God are  perceived  in this stage

Then God inspires your heart

 

In the third stage he recites ‘ Huvallah’

He warbles continuously like a poor nightingale

Find God inside  your own body

Then God inspires your heart

 

Attain the fourth stage

Find the mystery of ‘ Anal Haqq ’  in your heart

Die in this stage before you die

Then God inspires your heart

 

The fifth stage is  the station of life

Farz and Sunnah  unite there

There you see thousand reasons

Then God inspires your heart

 

Come and see the reality  of the sixth stage

Learn the secret of saints

Dive into the lake of water and life

Then God inspires your heart

 

The seventh is ‘Qahhar ’ ,  Wahid ul-Qahhar  (the All-Vanquishing)

The veil is lifted , there is  no other

The beloved manifested himself in Me

Then God inspires your heart

 

Come and see Muhjiddin-i Arabi now

His sigh and cry increased day by day

If you see the great God clearly

Then God inspires your heart

 

Hodja Hafiz Mehmet Effendi  said  the number of stages ( Asmas ) which were given to the disciple with regard to his ability were  increased to seven because of the will of Hazrat Pir. Besides, he said there were lots of reasons its becoming seven and he went on his teaching as follows,

 

The number of Asmas ( stages of purification) were increased to seven because ‘Fatiha’, ‘The opening’( the first chapter of Qur’an ),  consists of seven verses with ‘Besmele’( In the name of God) and  seven indicates and expresses lots of beauties in spritual world. Another reason is there are two ears, two eyes, two nostrils and a  mouth , in total there are seven holes  in the face of Man. It is also said that there are seven main colours. It is known that there are ‘ Substitutes ’ (abdal) known as ‘ Sevens ’ in the universe. They are also called ‘Abdal-i Ilahi’ . Both the sky and the earth consists of seven layers . Hazrat Mawlana’s opening seven holes to reed is  the result of this as well.

 

Hazrat Mawlana wants to express himself through the nay with seven holes. Because the sound of nay more closely approximates the sound of the human voice than any other instrument. It is only a reed but it is emptied and seven finger holes are added to it. Through this example  Hazrat Mawlana  wants to express  saints and says,

 

‘Like Nay (reed flute),  the soul of the disciple is emptied of ego. He attains purity, he annihilates Nafs and he becomes a servant whom God is pleased with . For this reason likewise the one who blows from flute is flutist, God speaks through the Perfect Man who is emptied like flute.

‘Nay  tells the secret of the flutist. Perfect Man tells the secret of God which is hidden  in Man.’

 

Let’s put an end to this  subject with the words of Hazrat Mawlana,  ‘Whoever wants to talk to  God, should  talk to saints.’

 

Under the light of information we gained, we can shortly say ; Zhikr in Khalwatiyya Order is called ‘ Darb-i Asma ’ or ‘ Darb-i Zhikr ’  ( Persian word “Darb  means “Strike” ). During the circle's gathering for zhikr, under the guidance of Sufi Master  turning  ( dawran )  is occurred  either standing or half sitting up position . In other  words it is called ‘ Sama of Khalwatiyya’.