The Wall of Existence

Without emancipation from the passions of this earthly body,

It is impossible to prostrate before the One who offers us the elixir of immortality,

and to drink from that spiritual ocean till one’s thirst has been quenched.

Rumi

There was a wall at the shore of an ocean. Because the wall was too high, it was impossible for people to reach the water. There was a man standing on the wall, who was suffering from thirst. Ironically, he was unable to reach the water by the very wall on which he was standing. In fact, in his misery he resembled a fish out of water struggling to return home.

He suddenly threw a brick from the wall into the ocean. When the brick struck the surface, the ensuing sound soothed him like the elixir itself. His enthusiasm grew with the harmonious sound of the water. Ultimately, impassioned by its sound in his state of thirst, he began to throw bricks one by one into the water because of the delight the sound brought him.

The water asked:

– O dervish! Why are you in such a hurry to throw bricks into me?

The dervish, suffering from thirst, replied:

– O water! I succeed in extracting two forms of benefit from throwing the bricks and this is why I persist in it.

The first benefit: Hearing the voice of the water is music to the ear of the thirsty.

It is as the sound of Israfil’s (a.s) trumpet to the dead calling all beings back to life.

The sound of the water is as the fertile spring rains in April when the gardens and the pastures burst forth into renewed life in all of its beauty through the tears of the sky.

Again, this sound is an invitation to give charity to the needy and the strangers who suffer from poverty.

Likewise, this sound is as the breath of Allah, the most Compassionate (nafas al-Rahmani), that reached the Prophet (pbuh)from Yemen.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said about Uways al-Qarani: “I hear the breath of Allah, the most Compassionate (nafas ar-Rahmani) from Yemen. ”

Again, this sound is as the smell of the Prophet’s intercession in the divine presence on behalf of the sinful ones.

This sound is like the beautiful and kind fragrance of Yusuf (i. e.Joseph) (a.s) reaching out to the soul of the weakened Ya’qub (i. e.Jacob) (a.s).

This sound is like the morning breeze of divine help that resonates from the minarets of the Green Dome in Medina the enlightened city (i. e.Kubba-i Hadra which houses the grave of the Prophet (pbuh)) that reflects on the true lovers.

Again, it is like the gentle, refreshing wind of tranquility from Layla, which reached the miserable, exhausted, and abandoned Majnun.

Once more, this sound is like a warm lap open to the orphan and the destitute.

Finally, the second benefit I draw from throwing the bricks into you is that with each brick I remove from the wall the height of it falls and as a result I am proportionately that much closer to you.

THE MATHNAWI:

O sane one! Surely, removing bricks from a tall wall reduces its height.

The decrease in the height of the wall brings it closer to the level of the water. Thus, separation of the bricks from the wall brings about union.

Prostration before Allah is through taking apart those bricks that are cemented to each other and this necessitates closeness to Him. It is said in the Qur’an: “Prostrate and draw near!”[1]

The wall of existence defeats our prostration so long as it remains high.

Without emancipation from the passions of this earthly body, it is impossible to prostrate before the One who offers us the elixir of immortality, and to drink from that spiritual ocean till one’s thirst has been quenched.

The more thirsty one feels, the more quickly will one tear the bricks from the wall.

Whoever loves the sound of water more will take down bigger pieces from the wall of existence that is preventing us from reaching the water.

The lover of the sound of the water will become more and more enthused by it until he will hear no other voice.

He is to be saluted, who sees each day as a treasure, makes the best use of his time and tries to fulfill his duties and to quickly pay back his debt.

***

Sheikh Sadi Shirazi defined a human being as “a few drops of water with thousands of anxieties…”

The wall that blocks our way to the ocean symbolizes in the story the egoistic desires and the endless worldly passions, particularly selfishness.

The ocean symbolizes divine knowledge and divine love. Those whose hearts are familiar with divine love are in a state of constant longing for the ocean. Each and every sound and breath that come from the ocean of knowledge shower them with endless bliss and prepare them for the journey to Allah.

For those who taste divine love, this world is a mirror of wisdom before the spiritual intellect. Since human beings are honored by virtue of the rank of their soul rather than by virtue of the condition of their body, perfection in worship can only be attained through a deep understanding of the soul. The human quality that is most praised in the Qur’an is this one.

It may easily be predicted that a day away from divine love and spiritual pleasures, spent solely for entertainment and for the craziness of a beastly life, will not bring about a blissful night. It is also only to be expected that such a day will not bring about a delightful morning. Insanity and futility before the world’s rich scenes and events, which are full of divine lessons, and the consequences of this state eventually being borne out in the unknown pains of death, is a pity for human honor and sanctity! The rosy colors of this world fade in the Hereafter when worldly laughter becomes cries in the Hellfire.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

– Never sit with the dead people!

The companions of the Prophet (pbuh) asked:

– O Messenger of Allah! Who are the dead people?

The Prophet (pbuh) replied:

– The dead are those who are lost in this world.

If one mingles with the heedless people who are the dead of this world, one drinks a deadly poison without being aware of it. The spiritual consequence of this influence is to deaden the heart.

The only solution is to remain in the company of those who are alive with spirituality. If one is forced to be separate from them for a reason, the remedy is to read the Qur’an with heart by contemplating on it with increasing depth.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Those who want to converse with the Almighty Allah should read the Qur’an!”

Those who follow the straight path, described in the Qur’an, should adopt the moral teachings of the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). They should also increase their familiarity with the stories of those previous prophets mentioned in the Qur’an. From this form of spirituality, will rains of blessing and wisdom nourish their hearts.

***

Narrative has it that Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“I went to the door of the Prophet and knocked on it.He responded:

– Who is he? I answered:

– I am.

The Prophet did not sound too happy with my usage of “I. ”The word “I” usually connotes pride and arrogance. ”

The great master Rumi, quddisa sirruh, tells this story as follows:

“The lover, with a heart in flames, knocked on the door of the beloved. Yet, when he said “I” in response to the question “Who are you?” the beloved said:

– Turn back! The time for you to enter inside has not yet come! At this table of spiritual blessings there is no room for those with immature souls!

The miserable lover turned back from the door. He spent a year wandering in torment, during which time he burned with flames of separation and with longing for the beloved.

Eventually, the fires of love ripened the lover. He returned to the house of the beloved.

He knocked on the door with great care and with precise etiquette because he was extremely worried that unkind words might flow from his mouth.

The beloved asked:

– Who is at the door?

He replied:

– O the one who appropriated my heart! It is you at your door!

The beloved answered:

– Since you are like me, now you may enter inside. O the one whose existence consists of me!Enter inside! Two “I”s would not have fit in one house.

He added:

– O the one who overcame his ego in a year! Enter inside! You are no longer like the crude bush that is the opposite of the roses in the garden! You are now the king of the roses! You are the one who has abandoned apparent dualism and has become me.”

Similarly, Rumi, quddisa sirruh, said:

Whoever says “I” or “We” at the door of the beloved remains in the valley of “no” (that is refusal by the beloved). They will never be accepted at the door of the friend.

Imagine that even a thread with split fibers cannot enter a needle’s eye. All the fibers must be united and must become one for the thread to enter the needle’s eye and fulfill its function. It is possible for a lover to succeed in passing through the eye of the needle of unity only through becoming like a unified thread, only after being burned in the fire of separation.

It is indeed difficult for one to become crystal clear and transparent by spiritual refinement and self-cleansing from egoism to the extent that one becomes like a unified, thin thread that can pass through the eye of the needle of unity. Nevertheless, it is necessary to attain to this spiritual station in order to be showered with divine blessings.

“Lo! they who deny Our revelations and scorn them, for them the gates of heaven will not be opened, nor will they enter the Garden until the camel goeth through the needle’s eye.Thus do We requite the guilty”(‘Araf, 40).

This means that those who run after false pride, arrogance, and egoism will not deserve to realize paradisiacal unity with Allah unless they abandon their transient false selves, associated selfishness, and become pure souls in the path of Allah. The gates of heaven will remain closed for them until they learn the rules of Islamic law and the Sufi path under the guidance of a truly qualified master and thus cleanse their hearts of egoism, which is a quality under the influence of Satan.

The beastly side of a human being can only be reformed through love, humility and negation of self, that is by reaching to a state of nothingness. Only then can one successfully pass through the eye of the needle of trial through endurance.

Yunus Emre, the great Sufi master and poet, explains that egoism is not allowed in the path to Allah.

For, to say “I”

Is not a correct custom for overcoming the barrier.

Looking down at us, the servants of the dervish lodge,

Is not the path to Allah.

On the other hand, the servant should not be deceived by thinking that he spiritually arrived at the radiating light in his heart through his own efforts; instead, he should remain vigilantly aware of the reality that this was a divine gift for which he should be grateful. Otherwise, it would be profoundly destructive for him to become proud of such a divine blessing and be deceived by his ego into believing that such an achievement was through his own efforts. The destiny of those who act proudly and egoistically after receiving benefit from the light of a saint or a prophet is to regress back into darkness. Such an outcome prevents a person from becoming a true servant of Allah and follower of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Islamic history offers abundant examples of people who have fallen into this trap, such as the story of Qarun.[1]

Consequently, in order to be protected from falling into this spiritual pitfall, the focus should be on the One who provides the spiritual bounties rather than on the bounties themselves. Rumi, quddisa sirruh, draws attention to this issue in the following verses:

“One has to leave behind many resorts and caravanserais (i.e. spiritual stations) in order to be able to reach his true home.”

Do not attribute the radiance to the iron when it is heated in the fire, because it is the fire that gives it a temporary light and heat.

If through a window you see a home full of light, do not attribute the light to either the window or the home but rather to the sun that is the source of illumination.

The sun tells those who are proud of their brightness: “O senseless, arrogant ones! Wait, you will see the truth when I disappear from the horizon behind this mountain or sea. ”

In the same way, when a body appears beautiful and tender you should know that the real power belongs to the soul that is hidden within it.

Those who understand this truth and abandon their egoism, in other words those who gain freedom from the claws of the ego and die before physical death, find as a reward a new life in their Beloved. In this new life, Allah becomes the eye with which they see, the ear with which they hear, the foot with which they walk, and the hand with which they hold. At this station the servant lives in a great state of union and he sees nothing other than Allah. Yunus Emre has beautifully recorded his experience after union with Allah in the following:

I have found the life of life,
Let my life be plundered!
I no longer care about bankruptcy,
Let my store be plundered!

I have abandoned my ego,
Unveiled my eye,
Reached my Beloved,
Let my fears be plundered!

Yunus, your words are sweet,
You have eaten honey and sugar,
I have found the honey of honey,
Let my beehive be plundered!

***

One of the highest spiritual stations one can attain to is the station of witnessing the manifestations of Allah alone and ignoring all other things. The servant who is at this level is completely absolved in Allah. At this level, one deeply experiences the following truth as expressed by a great Sufi master:

Allah is so manifest that He becomes invisible due to His excessive manifestation. This is similar to the sun that becomes invisible to normal eyes when its beams are too strong for them to see.

This is the final stage of the state of witnessing Allah (mushahada). It is the state of being a loving witness. In other words, it is a state in which the heart is cleansed of animal qualities and of being enslaved by them. One arrives at a point where he is with his Lord even when he is socially with others in a group; he is also with everyone even when he is alone with his Lord.

The following event illustrates how it is to be with Allah while one is outwardly within society.

The great master Muhammad Parisa passes through Baghdad on his way to pilgrimage in Mecca. In the market, he sees a young man with an illuminated face who deals with gold. Since his store is crowded, the young man appears always busy. The great Sufi master feels sorry that he is so lost in mundane affairs and thinks that the young man has been captured by the world at an age that for the duration of one’s life is ideal period for devout worship. He then looks with the eye of his heart and amazingly witnesses that the heart of this young man is always with Allah. This state is called “unity within diversity.” It is when one feels Allah’s presence and one remains alone with Him even when one is outwardly in a crowd.

As to being with everyone while one is with his Lord, this is the state of the prophets and the close friends of Allah. This is an attribute of living hearts; it is a sign of sharing the distress of one’s community.

A concrete example of this state is provided during the ascension of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) into the Heavens (miraj). He drew near to his Lord “at a distance of two bows’ length or (even) nearer,” (Najm, 53) which is beyond our comprehension. The Prophet (pbuh) thought about his community (ummah) even at that time and prayed as follows: “O my Lord! I have come to your presence with the shortcomings of my community and their sins. O my Lord! I ask you to forgive my parents and to forgive my community!”

Those who perceive a lesson in these incidents strive to be with Allah in all circumstances. In this state, the meaning of the divine hadith (i.e. hadith qudsi) which states that “I become his sight with which he sees and his hearing with which he hears” becomes manifest. This is the state, which is mentioned, in the following verse: “And thou (Muhammad) threwest not when thou didst throw, but Allah threw” 

(Anfal, 17). The most important attribute of this state is that it is the state of Muhammad (pbuh). The great saints of this community (ummah) are granted a portion of this state to the degree of their love for the Prophet (pbuh). Even if they cannot fully attain to this station, their consciousness grows ultimately to the degree of their sincerity.

However, those who fully attain this level say, “I am not myself. This breath is from him.”

For this reason, when they say “I,” its usage is metaphorical for them because they have been dispossessed of their selves. Esrar Dede put it very well:

What I call I, I; what I name I is all You.

What I call my soul and my body are all You.

Another poet has explained in the following poem how the ego functions as but a veil for a person and how one must save oneself from it:

This is how I have found on this path
That my self is a veil to me.
I have studied, understood and realized
That my self is a veil to me.

***

The way a seed of wheat eventually enters the body of a living being and becomes a part of that living being;

The way kohl (antimony), which after being smashed and turned into powder is put on the eye; it ceases to be a stone; instead, it increases the eyesight;

The way a river reaches the ocean and ceases to be a river and becomes part of the sea;

In the same way, perfection and spiritual knowledge emerge in one’s soul as one receives the teaching, care and blessing of a friend of Allah. Such an individual’s heart, which used to be dead in its approach to the rest of creation and life’s events, is enlivened.

One day, the king of Telemsan, Sultan Yahya, went out with his entourage to have a walk in the city. The people, who were fascinated by his glory, stood up with respect, applauded and shouted: “Long live our Sultan!” Yet, the Sultan saw someone with an illuminated face who stood outside the crowd. He asked the people around him out of curiosity about this enlightened stranger. They said:

– Our Sultan! He is the famous sheikh from Tunis. He lives in a cave as an ascetic.

The Sultan became extremely curious about the sheikh and rode his horse toward him. When he arrived before the sheikh, he asked him a question that had preoccupied his mind for a long time:

– Is it permissible for me to offer my prayers while dressed in this silk?

The sheikh from Tunis did not want to answer this question and recommended that he ask the scholars in his palace. Nevertheless, the Sultan insisted with such persistence that he had to give his opinion:

– Imagine a dog. It finds a dead animal and fills its stomach with its meat. Its inside and its outside become so filthy. Nonetheless, it tries to lift one leg up while urinating for the purpose of keeping itself clean!

The Sultan screamed:

– What do you mean?

The sheikh replied:

– I want to say that your stomach and body are loaded with heavy unlawful weight and the violation of others’ rights. In spite of this, you are querying me about the permissibility of prayer when dressed in silk!

These deep words touched the heart of the Sultan. Consequently, he immediately took off his silk clothes and threw them away. Then he threw away his sword and loudly proclaimed to the people around him:

– O Muslims! Forgive me and find another sultan for yourselves!

He became a loyal disciple and follower of the Tunisian sheikh.

Sultan Yahya reached to such a high spiritual station that when people would request prayer from the Tunisian sheikh, he would tell them:

– Request Sultan Yahya to pray for you because even I may not have done what he did if I had been in his position…If the other sultans in this world knew the treasure of happiness he has attained, they would also sacrifice all that they have to receive it.

***

The friends of Allah educate their students by taking into consideration their weaknesses, inclinations and worldly circumstances. Therefore, one should not conclude from the above story that ‘in Islam, it is not good to occupy administrative office.’ The point made in the above story relates solely to the state of Sultan Yahya. Since Sultan Yahya had violated the rights of other people and had nurtured his body with unlawful food, his spiritual training and the cleansing of his heart took a different course. Otherwise, a very wide range of examples may be found in the life styles of the friends of Allah. For instance, we can see an opposite example in the relationship Fatih Sultan Mahmad Han, the conqueror of Istanbul, had with both Akshemseddin and Abu’l-Vefa. The great master Akshemseddin moved to Goynuk, a town in Central Anatolia, before Istanbul was conquered. He was concerned that Fatih Sultan Mahmad would neglect the work he needed to do as a sultan because of the spiritual pleasure he was experiencing in attending the sheikh’s lessons. Another great master, Abu’l-Vefa, who independently acted according to the same inspiration, sent the following message to Fatih Sultan Mahmad who had insisted on taking an appointment from him:

“Our Sultan Fatih has a sensitive and ecstatic heart. If he enters into our world and shares deeply in the spiritual pleasures we have, he will never want to return to his duties as a statesman! Nevertheless, the state and the Islamic community as a whole are entrusted to him. If he surrenders his duties and someone else with comparable qualifications does not replace him, then the state and the community will suffer. In such a circumstance, Allah would hold both of us accountable!

The spiritual atmosphere here would take over his soul; consequently, his material wealth would flow here… The money that would better be spent on the widows, orphans, strangers and the needy would end up in our hands. Love of this world would penetrate into the hearts of our disciples and bring about disorder in our ranks.

We offer our prayers and our love for our Sultan from here. His heart is within our heart. The mode of our relationship with him will be this way since the benefit of the community requires it so!”

The spiritual education of Aziz Mahmud Hudayi was also striking.

Aziz Mahmud Hudayi used to serve as a judge. Under instructions from his master, Muhammad Uftade, he abandoned all of his worldly ties and positions. This was necessary because the method of education that his master was going to implement required it so. In the end, his consciousness would grow to a level that would allow him to educate the sultans of the world. Yet, the great master Hudayi who had been trained using methods of abstention trained the sultans according to the alternative method, while they were sitting on their thrones immersed in worldly glory. He taught them to eliminate all mundane attractions from their hearts. Because of this education, Sultan Ahmed I entered such a deep state of identification with him that even their poetry would have been impossible to distinguish if they had not included their pen names on it.

In short, the methods of spiritual training employed by the special servants of Allah, whether it is through abundance and wealth or abstention and poverty, should be closely examined and understood. The methods always vary according to the spiritual qualities of the student. For instance, Qarun did not understand this point and followed his ego in spite of the repeated warnings Prophet Musa (a.s) made and the end of his life was filled with remorse. His end is a warning full of lessons for all sane and intelligent people. Therefore, during spiritual training the best course of action to follow in the multitude of trials experienced is, to the depth of one’s ability, unquestioning submission to Allah. This is only possible through a sincere love for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and wholeheartedly following a perfect guide.

In this regard, the great master Rumi has said: “How happy are those individuals who are purified of their base desires through finding a friendship in the heart of a perfect guide.” In our conscience, this is the warning that we must cultivate forms of love and affection that will find their place rightfully in eternity rather than in the material world alone. Unless the love of the holy Qur’an nourishes our dry hearts as the April rains nourish the soil, we will never attain to the emerald green of a Muhammad type of season. The gardens of the heart await the rains of righteous deeds as the soil in love awaits the spring rains. Out of these rains, with the blessing of Allah, grow buds of love and compassion and merciful service to His creation. The human being thus becomes a condensed summary of the entirety of the universe and realizes his function as the greatest form of creation. He becomes the eye which sees and the ear which hears of the Lord. From his hand, his tongue and his heart all of humanity benefits.

The following story from the Mathnawi about the Caliph Umar illustrates this truth very well:

“A Byzantine ambassador comes to Medina the Radiant (Medine-i Munawwara) for a political meeting. He asks about the palace of Caliph Umar. The people with whom he speaks tell him:

– Even though the name of the Caliph is known to the entirety of the world, he does not have a palace that belongs to this world. His heart is a shining palace. The only worldly property he has is a small hut that resembles the houses of the poor, destitute ones. Yet, because of the illness in your eye, you will not be able to see his spiritual palace.

The curiosity and shock of the Byzantine ambassador increases after hearing these words. He leaves his horse and the gifts he has been carrying and begins searching for the Great Umar al-Faruq. He asks everyone about the whereabouts of the Caliph. Because of his astonishment, he says to himself:

– This means that there is such a king like this in the world. He is hidden from everyone’s sight like the soul.

Continuing his search to find him, a bedouin woman tells him:

– This is the Caliph you are looking for, sleeping under the date tree! While everyone else sleeps on a bed, he does the opposite and sleeps on the sand! Go there and see the divine shadow (zil al-ilahi) under the date tree!

When the ambassador sees Umar in sleep, awe and admiration prevail over his soul. Awe and love are opposite feelings, yet, the ambassador witnesses with amazement how these two feelings were united in his soul. He says to himself:

– I am someone who has seen emperors and who has gained their appreciation! Although awe never took over me while I was in their presence, the glory and love I feel for this man have taken over my mind.

This Caliph sleeps on the ground without guards protecting him. And I thrill before him with my entire body! What is this? How can I make sense of this? Perhaps, this awe is from Allah. Perhaps, it is not from this man clothed in a coarse wool cloth.

While the Byzantine ambassador is experiencing this spiritual turmoil, Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, wakes up from his sleep. The ambassador greets him with great respect. The Caliph returns his greeting. Then he accepts the ambassador 

into his internal palace and gives him tranquility. The shattered heart of the ambassador is regenerated. He talks to him with refined, deep and enlightening words. The ambassador observes his spiritual state.

The ambassador who came to the Great Caliph Umar as a foreigner becomes his lover. He looses himself because of the overwhelming pleasure he takes from this conversation. He forgets that he is an ambassador; he also forgets the message he had to relay to him.

Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, continues his conversation with great enthusiasm after seeing the ambassador’s positive response. He explains to him the states of the soul and the stations on the spiritual path. He discusses time beyond time, the levels of the great friends of Allah, and the unlimited flights of the bird of the soul (i. e.Zumrud u Anka) coming to this world.

Eventually the sun of true faith radiates in the heart of the ambassador and he joins the caravan of happiness by embracing Islam after bearing witness that there is no allah but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger.”

***

The great master Rumi, quddisa sirruh, said: “The teacher was qualified and the student was open and willing to learn the truth.

To be sure, when a guide perceives a talented student, he readily sows the seed of faith in the unity of Allah in the pure land of his heart.”

A pious person can be identified from the light in his face. From his face radiates a light of peace and tranquility.

A corrupt person can also be identified from the signs in his face. What emanates from his face spreads darkness and despair.

The glance of a spiritual master attracts hearts like a magnet if they have the ability to grow toward divine truth and wisdom. The power of their glance derives from the spiritual chain to which they are attached that extends back to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was so pure and refined that his entire body consisted of divine light. As a result, his shadow never fell on the ground.

Suleyman Celebi has expressed this truth in a couplet in a beautiful manner:

His body was light from top to bottom

Light is manifest; light has no shadow.

The spiritual architect of Pakistan, Muhammad Iqbal, on one occasion visited some pilgrims who had just returned from Medina. During the course of conversation, he expressed the following:

“You have visited Medina! What kind of gifts have you purchased from the otherworldly market of Medina for your souls? The material gifts you brought back such as prayer beads, hats and rugs will all fade and will wear out. What did you bring back of the other gifts of Medina that never fade and that will forever give life to the hearts?

Are there among your gifts the loyalty and submission of Abu Bakr, the justice of Umar, the faith, shyness and generosity of Osman, and the dynamism and struggle of Ali? Can we give vibrancy from the happy times of the Prophet(pbuh) to the present Muslim world that is suffering from so many pains?

Iqbal was a great Islamic poet and thinker, who felt pity for the misery of the Muslim world, and lived with the pain and sorrow of not being able to revive the spirit of Islam.

In a hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) says: “This world and the Hereafter are like the two wives of a person. The more you make one happy, the more you make the other angry…”

The more the call to the worldly attractions is rooted in one’s heart, the more alien he becomes to the voice of the Hereafter. Conversely, if the call to the attractions of the Hereafter is rooted in the heart, the voice of worldly pleasures becomes alien to him.

The great master Rumi, quddisa sirruh, has said:

If you accept one of these voices, you will not even hear the other! The lover becomes deaf and blind to the things that fall in opposition to his love.

Yet, hesitation is a prison for the soul for it prevents you from ever taking a firm direction.

Worldly love draws one to one direction while love for the otherworldly draws one to another. Each one says, “My path is the true path.”

Such hesitation is a trap in the path to Allah. Salute the one whose foot never slips and he who protects himself from this kind of swinging.

O the one who is unaware of manners and etiquette! If you want to save yourself from hesitation, look for a virtuous guide for yourself! If you do not want to wander around with a perplexed mind, take the path of a friend of Allah, like the path of a gazelle in a forest, which will take you to indescribable beauties! Otherwise, you might run away from a rose garden, thinking at a distance that it is fire and therefore be deprived of its beauty; you might run after the mirages you see in the desert of this world, yet the mirages that you think are the elixir are rather nothing but the hot sand which will never pass through your throat.

If you do not want to fall into this predicament, do not block the ear of the heart with the cotton of heedlessness! Listen to the words of the friends of Allah and become a Kitmir[1] in the path of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).

The caravan of love, which will continue until the Last Day, will be nourished and sustained by those tears of the heart arising out of love for the Prophet  (pbuh) . Yunus Emre, who had a tender heart, expressed this in an excellent manner:

Let the lovers be burned
With your love, O Messenger of Allah!
Let those who drink the wine of love
Be quenched, O Messenger of Allah!

To those who love you,
Give your intercession.
To the bodies of the believers,
You are life, O Messenger of Allah!

I am in love with this beautiful face,
I am the nightingale in that rose garden,
Let the ones who have yet to love you, be burned
In the fire, O Messenger of Allah!

A great blessing awaits those who grow closer to the level of ‘perfection in religion’ (i. e.ihsan) by taking a share from the exemplary personality and spiritual world of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)!

[1].      The name of the dog of the Companions of the Cave.

[1].      For the story of Qarun, see the Qur’an, Qasas 76-83.

[1].      The Qur’an, Alaq 19.

Osman Nuri Topbas from the book of  “Tears of the Heart”