Suhba  “2”:

“My love has become the Burâk[1] for me”


Leaving me to the flames of forlornness[2]

And making my body a barrier in the way to the gallows of the beloved’s locks[3],

What ‘tis love has rendered me, come and see.

It has ultimately turned me into a dervish;

What it has in mind, I do not know.

 Words are so meaningful, though.

“What it has in mind, I do not know.” Is it possible that he does not know it?

Who throws him into the flames of forlornness? ALLAH does…

Or, who makes his body a barrier in the way to the gallows of the beloved’s locks?

Again, ALLAH does…

What does burning in the flames of forlornness mean?

It is the descent of our soul from heaven, the departure from Allah.

What does “the gallows of the beloved’s locks” signify?

It is love for the Awliya, Allah’s beloved servants and friends.

So, didn’t he know about the deal in all this – why He did it that way, why he was thrown into the flames of loneliness and why he became a barrier in the road to the gallows of the beloved’s locks? 

There are deeds stemming from the Jalal of Allah the Almighty as well as those that stem from His Jamaal. In order for His Jalal and Jamaal to be known, those who know His Jalal but deserve hell (Jahannam) need to be sorted out. The hell is the embodiment of His Jalal, while heaven (Jannah) is that of His Jamaal. Allah the Almighty did not create them in vain. Heaven does have its own possessions, assets, and services as does Hell. 

Where will the sorting out take place?

In this world. So, what is this forlornness for?

This loneliness means that they have descended from Allah and are now bereft of Allah.

Making my body a barrier in the way to the gallows of the beloved’s locks

points to a murid’s attachment to a murshid.

That is because attachment to a murshid or love of murshid means attachment to Allah and, ultimately, the love for Allah.

So, how will our salvation from this loneliness and the state of forlornness be granted upon us?

By loving the Awliya of Allah, the beloved companions of Allah. Thus, he will save you from this isolation and forlornness. Nobody else can save you…    

How so? Because as the soul has descended from Allah by the means of an instrument, it will be returned to Allah by the means of an instrument. In one of the ayahs, Allah the Almighty says, “… seek the way of approach unto Him;” it means “You have descended from Allah and seek the means of ascending back to Him.”[4]

Hence, the verse reads;

Leaving me to the flames of forlornness; what do the flames of forlornness signify?  

The departure of the souls and descent to this world – the departure from Allah.

And making my body a barrier in the way to the gallows of the beloved’s locks.

Here, the beloved’s locks signify the beauty.

The barrier refers to the process of being bound and enslavement… You have enslaved me with Thy beauty.

But it is not this beauty… what sort of beauty enslaves a person?

The beauty radiated by the Awliya of Allah. The Awliya reflects the divine beauty of Allah, the Sheikhs possess the divine radiance.

His face is the Seb’û’l Mesani[5]

His words convey the speech of Messiah

What do these lines mean? On your face – the face of the Murshid – are written the verses of Al-Fatiha.

Your language and your words are truthful – haqq. In other words, your words are Allah's speech and words.

We have believed and concurred. Does Allah Almighty not reveal that to us in a Hadith Qudsi?

His speaking tongue is Ours…

Who is this? A Wali of Allah. It is also revealed that:

“We have concealed the Awliya (the wali servants of Ours) under our green dome, and no one but we know who they are.[6].” And another hadith qudsi goes further:

“His tongue that speaks is Ours, his eye that sees is Ours, his ear that hears is Ours, and his hand that reaches is Ours. Even his feet that walk are Ours, as his brain that ponders is Ours.[7]

And making my body a barrier in the way to the gallows of the beloved’s locks means:

Those who believe the Wali of Allah and have seen his spiritual face and his spiritual beauty become attached to the Wali of Allah.

What it has in mind, I do not know. Why did you push me into this separation? This beauty is yours. You are responsible for this separation. You made me descend and you set me apart from you.

In the Qur’an, Allah declares, “… When I breathed into him of My Spirit…”[8] This means “We have created Adam and breathed into him of our own Spirit.”

Yet, what is the message in the Kalaam-ul Kibar?[9]

How beautiful Allah the Almighty has created Al-Insan Al-Kamil

And set “perfection” to become what is indicated in “When I breathed into him of My Spirit.”[10] 

Who did He create very beautiful?

Al-Insan Al-Kamil – the one who has reached perfection and experienced all stages of the ascent.

So, how is it that a man of such highness reaches perfection? How does he come into possession of such beauty and where does this happen?

The souls descending from such a holy position get sorted out here and ascend back to that high position. 

Yet, only those who can earn that blessing manage to ascend. So, how can one achieve this blessing?

Only by means of Sharia, Tariq, Haqiqa, and Mârifa;

Should one experience all these, one excels. When he excels, he ascends back to that holy position. Otherwise, he stays imperfect and never ascends back to that position. So read the verses:

I have come to this world to leave it behind one day,

To excel in erudition[11] and magnanimity.

Why has Allah the Almighty declared, “some are noble, some are low-down.”?  

Nobility here refers to the level of highness exceeding that of the heavens and of the angels. Our souls have descended from a higher place than those of the angels, anyway. Why has Allah created angels free of shortcomings (defects)? They are free of defects. So, why have they been created free of defects?

Does any one of the ayahs refer to the angels? Does Allah ever say, “We have created the angels and breathed into them of Our own Spirit?” There is no such ayah.

Allah the Almighty informs us about everything related to Him in the Qur’an – about His might, omnipotence, secrets, and wisdom. Why did He let us know all this via His Lover Mohammed (SAW)?

So, is there any reference to the angels in the Qur’an pointing to this? Yet, it should not be misunderstood here; angels are free of flaws and shortcomings. 

What do shortcomings (defect) refer to? We are driven to believe that a defect is the sin that we commit, the haram (illicit) food that we eat, the lies that we tell and all the mistakes that we make. No, it is not that… 

Our shortcomings or weaknesses are our need for sleep, food, drinks, rest and the ailments we suffer. We get old. These are our flaws, which angels lack.

Allah the Almighty says, “We have created Adam and breathed into him of our own Spirit.”

Therefore, human spirit has come from a higher place than that of angels.

Allah the Almighty created angels from Nur-al Siffat.[12]

He created our spirit from His Dhat; hence, we have come from a higher place. At face value, Gabriel was the messenger between Allah and our Holy Prophet. He was simply delivering the revelations. Yet, how far could Gabriel go during the Miraj[13] incident? And where did our Prophet go?

Gabriel stopped at one point and He could go no further. However, our Prophet kept going… What did Gabriel say? “Behold! Messenger of Allah, here I shall stop and this is as far as I can go. I can go no further. I am not allowed to take one more step; otherwise, I will vanish.” And our Prophet proceeded.

So, how does the spirit that came from Allah go back to Him?

With the help of a Sheikh, by his means. This is what is implied in the following kalaam:

Leaving me to the flames of forlornness

And making my body a barrier in the way to the gallows of the beloved’s locks 

Why did you let me fall from this high place?

Why did you insert a means (between you and me) to go back to that high place?

He wouldn’t know about his shortcomings…

What ‘tis love has rendered me, come and see,

It has ultimately turned me into a dervish

A dervish who got rid of everything and broke free of the chains of things…

Here goes another one:

For long I have suffered from the destitute of separation

And no inquisitions are left in my heart.

My love has become the Burâk for me.

It is not his dikhr (zikhr – repeating the names of Allah), prayers, contemplations (tafakkur), or good deeds.

Sofus remained in Jannah, while lovers reached the beloved.

Who is sofu?

It has three meanings. One, he is the one who worships a lot. Another meaning is being purified – Makam-al Safiyyah.

A sofu cannot reach purity, but a lover does. Why can’t a sofu become pure?

A sofu owns up to his good deeds, a lover does not. In other words, a lover is the one who does not dwell upon his good deeds. He is free of them.

Yet, his good deeds are ornamentation for a sofu. His good deeds are like his outfit. And his deeds blur his vision, blocking his sight. On the other hand, the lover has no deeds; consequently, he is free of that blockage.

Who is lover then?

The one who has matured with love for Allah.

The one who burns in love for Allah.

The one who has ripened with love for Allah.

Could something be served uncooked? Would it be good enough to eat?

Thus, Mawlânâ Jalal ad-Din Rumi said,

I was raw, burned and then cooked.

When did he say it and why?

Why did he not say it before he met with Shams-el Tabriz? He said it after he met him.

Even though he was wise and possessed a high level of perfection (kamaal), he had a raw spot. And then he met Shams, by virtue of whom a love for Allah possessed him. This love for Allah burnt him, cooked him, and salvaged him from crudity.

For long I have suffered from the destitute of separation

And no inquisitions are left in my heart.

My love has become the Burâk for me.

What ‘tis love has rendered me, come and see,

It has ultimately turned me into a dervish

What is Burâk?

Burâk was the means of transportation by which our Beloved Prophet ascended to meet with Allah during Miraj. Yet, that was peculiar to our Prophet. He rose in person, with all His flesh and blood, by riding Burâk.

Miraj is true (haqiqah). Believing and attesting it are a prerequisite for becoming a Muslim. Allah also mentions (in the Qur’an) the Prophet’s trip to Masjid-al Aqsa. From there, He rose up to the heavens. Gabriel arrived and took him with Burâk, yet, only up to a certain point. Gabriel stayed and the Prophet was alone from then on. Gabriel’s trip was only as far as the seventh heaven. The most Gabriel could do was to show all the blessings over the heavens. However, he had to be left behind with all other objects there. Our Prophet proceeded.

For this reason, Allah called upon Him, “Qaba Qawsain aw Adnah.” It means, “My Friend, You are so close to me now that the distance between You and Me is no more than the distance between the two eyebrows, even closer”.

Lovers are those who are in love with Allah. Beloved is the one who is loved and lover is the one who is in love.

So, what is the Miraj for lovers?

Love for Allah, love for the Prophet, and love for the Wali of Allah. Because the Messenger of Allah is the means by whom we come to love Allah and the Wali of Allah is the means by whom we come to love the Messenger of Allah.

This is also a command issued by Allah. Allah the Almighty says, “My Companion, the one who loves Thee is the one who loves Me and the one who does not love Thee cannot love Me.”[14] 

Mohammed became of muhabbah

So what becomes of muhabbah without Mohammed?

Muhabbah is the love for Allah. Our Prophet Mohammed became of the love for Allah, He was made from this love for Allah, in other words.

There can be no love for Allah in the one who does not recognize and love the Prophet. The Muhabbah cannot cherish in him.

So, Allah declares, “My Companion, the one who loves Thee is the one who loves Me and the one who does not love Thee does not love Me.”

Furthermore, it is declared that

The one who knows about Thee will know about Me

The one who does not know about Thee will not know about Me

The one who finds Thee will find Me

The one who cannot find Thee will not find Me

The one who sees Thee will see Me

The one who cannot see Thee will not see Me

My servant! love Me, love the ones that I hold dear, and endear Me and them to my servants

Who is this servant? The Wali of Allah.

Therefore, it is the love for Allah that bestows the Miraj on men.

It is the love for Allah that frees men of their earthly shortcomings.

It is the love for Allah that renders men pure, mature and well-cooked.

It is the love for Allah that displays all virtues of good ethics and drives away all ill-manners from men.

It is the love for Allah that changes the way the four elements are configured in our make-up.[15]

Men manage to transfer themselves from the dominion of bestial drives to humanly feelings, free themselves of the dominion of bestial drives by means of dhikr, tafakkur and worship.

Yet, one cannot transfer himself from humanly feelings to angelic feelings by means of dhikr, tafakkur and worship.

This destination cannot be reached through dhikr, tafakkur, or worship,

Make your loyalty to your Sheikh a permanent one and seek for His consent.

Fall in love by making your way into His heart,

“Nullify thyself” is what is meant by the distinction between “lâ” and “illâ”[16] 

Hubb-ul Al-Allah (the love for Allah) is mentioned. So, it means that someone who is not attached to a Wali of Allah cannot perform his or her prayers for the sake of earning the love for Allah. His nafs will always interfere with his ibadah (prayers).

Yet, someone attached to a Wali of Allah will never be prone to the tricks of the nafs. He or she prays and performs good deeds just for the love for Allah.  

Hence, that is what the kalaam indicates. Yet, how opposing these words sound to the ears of those who cannot comprehend them… Which kalaam, though?

“Hasana-t-ul abrar, seyyia-t-ul muqarrabin”

What is hasana? Good deeds.

What is abrar? Those who perform good deeds.

What is seyyia? Sin.

What is muqarrabin? Those who believe all their good deeds are indeed sins.

The muqarrabin are the servants of Allah. And so are the abrar. The abrar prays, and he does it to earn benediction.

The muqarrabin avoids such prayers, recognizing them as sin. Please notice this contradiction and how misleading it can be. Indeed, it is not so.

The abrar engages in deeds, yet, he owns them, seizes them for himself.

The muqarrabin, though, does the same practice but does not possess them. Why?

The abrar says he has accomplished his duties, fulfilled his service, earned the prize and deserved Jannah, the Heaven.

This is not the case with the muqarrabin. They believe they have not been able to fulfill their service. They believe they have not been able to salvage themselves from the rage of Allah. They are indeed able to perform their duties and service; however, they believe they haven’t. They feel such remorse and penitence. They consider themselves inferior, faulty and sinful, and they believe they have not been able to fulfill anything.

This kind of service is what Allah consents to. Hence, Allah inquired when the Prophet ascended to the skies during the incident of Miraj.

“My beloved, what gift have you brought to me?”

“Almighty, you need nothing, nor are you short of anything… You are rich and your treasures are full. I am the one who is needy. It is me who is dependent on you. I have come to you as a poor soul writhing in deprivation.”

Then Allah the Almighty replied, “You have brought me something very invaluable and justifiable.”

So, they call on to us, “Hasenetü'l-ebrar, seyyietü'l-mukarrebîn.”

The muqarrabin abstains from what the abrar takes as good deeds.

But is it the case that the abrar prayed and the muqarrabin did not? Is it the case that the abrar fasted during the month of Ramadan and the muqarrabin did not? The prayers, charities… Did the muqarrabin not do any of these?

The abrar says he has contributed with his charities and deserved reward. The muqarrabin says he has not been able to and sighs in penitence and remorse.

It is only love that lets them be so. It is love that saves them from the servitude of possessing their deeds and the servitude of being. Without love, one cannot avoid the burden of the possession of deeds. 

They have the will power and they do it.

For what purpose are they doing it?

They are doing it for a purpose, a goal. It is will of Allah the Almighty, which is true. Yet, the muqarrabin regrets not having done it righteously. Thus, the ultimate benefit of the Tariqat is the state of fana, renunciation of all worldly claims.

For long have I suffered from the destitute of separation

And no inquisitions are left in my heart.

Yes, indeed, what we think of being separated is this:

Allah the Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an, “Qalu inna lillahi wa inna ilai-hi rajiun.” “We have descended from Allah and to Allah we will return[17].”

Yet, is it only our descend to this world that is indicated in being separated?

No, it is not. However, as a result of our descend, we came into existence, and we came to know that we exist. In fact, we existed even earlier than that but we did not know it.

Since when do we exist? Since the creation of Ilm-i Azali, the Eternal Wisdom. Allah the Almighty created the souls and called onto them, “Alastu bi Rabbukum,” meaning, “Am I not your Creator[18]?”

To whom? Not to the soulless bodies.

We do not know when Allah the Almighty created the souls.

Where did these souls remain? They came a long way, treading the whole universe.

Treading the universe, I ended up in this world.

I came to this world. It is also stated:

I came to this place as a remnant of the Pen[19],

Becoming a cloud or rain, I came into existence.

When the soul was separated from the Pen, its journey started and it came to see the whole universe until its arrival in this world. [So, this indicates a departure, a separation from the Pen that wrote the destiny]. Allah the Almighty created the soul of the Prophet Mohammed first. Allah created everything, every soul from the radiance of the soul of Mohammed (PUV). It was also our Prophet’s wisdom that was created first. And then, his radiance and his soul. Then comes the creation of Qalem, the Pen.

Therefore, the list goes in this order: The Highest Heaven, The Dais, The Sheet, The Pen[20]. Allah the Almighty created the Pen and looked at it with His Jalal Power, and the Pen split in fear.

For The Pen split by the rage of His Jalal;

One found the Eternal Bless and the other found destitute.

Due to Allah’s overwhelming excellence, the Pen split.

One wrote the Heavens and the fruits of Jannah, the Heaven.

One wrote the dense creation of all existence.

It means that one of the pieces wrote valuable things, places and beings that came out of Allah’s Jamaal, the Eternal Bless. The other wrote the multitude of everything that came out of His Jalal, the Eternal Rage.

Upon departure from The Pen, I came to see,

Becoming a cloud or rain, I came into existence

 From plants and animals I came to be a human.

So many places had this man traveled until he came here. Whatever is laid out here we can comprehend. And there are also places so incomprehensible, so unimaginable. These places are not mentioned here, though. So many stages have been covered until our arrival here.

Allah knows how our soul was created but we do not. Where did these souls remain? Whence have they come?

For long have I suffered from the destitute of separation

“Long,” it says here. Everyone on this planet has a life span. Yet, this cannot be considered long. No numerical indicator has been mentioned. Allah the Almighty created his soul at The Eternal Wisdom, about which we know nothing.

For long have I suffered from the destitute of separation

And no inquisitions are left in my heart.

My love has become the Burak for me.

My love has become my Burak, my ride. Hence, I salvaged myself from the destitute of separation and no inquisition has been left in me.

What ‘tis love has rendered me, come and see.

It has ultimately turned me into a dervish;

Nevertheless, one must stick to his practices, dhikr, tafakkur, prayer, good deeds[21]. Love has its own degrees, too. 

What, then, is the degree of love?

There is no end to the degree of love. Love is the act of loving.

Whence did love come to us?

It came to us by descending from Allah.

How can one reach there?

By means of love…

The Tariqats start with the nafs, the worldly self, and the heart. Two ways of advancement: prayers and love. One reaches love at the end of an advancement through practicing prayers. A Sufi that has fallen in love never returns to the way in which prayers are the means. Why should he? He practices his duties, the prayers, yet he attaches no value to them.

It is said, “we have the ultimate gain, which is only achieved in the final stage in other sufist schools, bestowed in the beginning.”

In other schools, seclusion, asceticism, setting on a journey and all similar deeds are done to be able to find love in the end. Yet, in our school, one is bestowed with love in the beginning. One is simply made to reach love at the outset.

The degree of love comes from Allah the Almighty.

Allah demonstrates His love to his servant. One is given love as an endowment. Yet, there is always a gate for every purpose.

Allah creates one’s needs, food and everything. Allah created an angel called Qaasim-ul Arzaq to deliver man’s needs.

It is Allah who claims the lives of people. An angel called the Angel of Death does it for Allah.

The Angel of Death cannot take the lives of those who are in love with Allah. The angel confronts them but cannot take their lives.

The lover says, “I am in love with Allah and show me The Sheet of Jalal, the Eternal Sheet of Destiny, with my name written on it and I will let you take my soul.”

I witnessed it myself in someone suffering from an illness. As he was dying, when the moment came for him to give out his last breath and his eyes fixed on a spot on the wall, the Sheet appeared like some illuminating electrical circuit. He was someone with lots of love and tears were flooding down his cheeks.

It is indicated in the verses,

The flesh and juice in me down to the soil and the flame and breeze to the air,

I gave my soul to the beloved as all else in between vanished.

Which means, I let the soil and water in my body go down to the soil and the fire and air up to the air.

Life remained and I gave it away to the beloved. Life is gone, flesh is gone and all else disappeared. What is left for the Angel of Death to take? I am non-existent anyway… The Angel of Death claims the lives of those who are alive.

This is what is said in the verses of the holy men and they all find support in the Qur’an and the Hadith. When people die the element of fire also leaves the body. There is also the air. It also leaves the body as the last breath is given out. The water and the flesh disintegrate into the soil. “Qullu shey’in yarji-u ila aslihin” unfolds itself. “The essence of everything goes back to where they belong.” All these four elements return to their origin.

Whence did this soul come?

It came from Allah and it will return to Allah.

What is left of it? Dead and will turn to dust.

Yet, there are two kinds of death: Allah demands, “Mutu Qabla ente mutu[22],” meaning “Die before death comes to you.” If one dies before death comes, one is salvaged from the burden of being. Such a person still possesses a body. He moves around. However, you make him move as you make a tree or a rock move.

The flesh and juice in me down to the soil and the flame      and breeze to the air,

I gave my soul to the beloved as all else in between vanished.

My mystery lies in the skies, “Rahman alal Arsh-istiva[23]

I need no Angel of Death to take away my soul.

“My mystery lies in the skies” corresponds to the soul given to you.

Whence did this soul come? From Allah Almighty.

With the secret knowledge of “Die before death comes to you,” the soul has gone, too.

Therefore, you need no Death of Angel to be ripped of your soul. 

[1] The heavenly horse - or the means of teleportation - used by Prophet Muhammad during His ascend to the presence of Allah.

[2] Descent from Allah and the state of being bereft of Allah are likened to an agony of the heart set on fire.

[3] In Sufi’s world of love, the beloved’s locks are likened to the gallows in which the lover is entrapped and is doomed to perish. To reach that state and to die for the sake of the beloved are said to give an inexplicable zest.

[4]The Koran, Al-Maeda 5:35.

[5] The sura of Al-Fatiha.

[6] Eşrefoğlu Rumi Müzekkin Nufüs p.309

7  Muhyi’d Din-i Nevevi Trc. (Diyanet İ.B.Y) 38

[8] The Koran, Sad 38:72.

[9] Kalaam-ul Kibar refers to the poetic verses produced by distinguished sufîs, say, the Awliya of Allah Almighty or the Ulama (the men of thought), indicating a point in wise and splendid way.

[10] The Latin transcription of the phrase, “Nefahtu fîhi min ruhî,” is used in the original text. 

[11] The word “ilm” is used in the original text, which denotes self-awareness and awareness of one’s wordly weaknesses and, hence, realization of Allah’s perfection.

[12] Allah is said to have Nur-al Asma (Names), Nur-al Siffat and Nur-al Zat (Himself). Nur-al Asma is the attraction radiated by the names (of objects, persons etc.). Nur-al Siffat refers to the attraction radiated by the objects or persons, namely all those created. Nur-al Zat, on the other hand, is inexplicable for it refers to Allah Himself.

[13] The Miraj incident refers to the divine trip that the Prophet took and rose up to meet with Allah.

[14] Ali’Imran 3:31; If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will forgive you and and forgive your faults, and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful

[15] The four elements (air, water, soil, and fire) are believed to be the physical being of human beings. All bad habits and ill-manners are the results of excessive indulgence in worldly pleasures characterized by what worldly drives each one of the elements represents. Only the love of Allah instilled by the Wali of Allah can turn these elements into maturity and render the individual Al-Insan Al-Kamil.

[16]One can only reach Allah and the Divine salvation by self-nullification, or in other words, by giving up standing in Allah’s way into their heart. Allah is the ultimate and only possessor of the heart and only when a complete possession of the heart by Allah is reached can eternal satisfaction be earned. In this respect, “lâ” stands for nothingness and “illâ” stands for absolute existence.

[17] Baqara 2:156

[18] Araf 7:172

[19] The Pen is indicated as Qalem in Sufi Terminology, which in fact indicates the Creation as if it was written by a Divine Pen. The incident also refers to the creation of the Propohet Mohammed, the mother of all souls. So, the whole event indicates a seperation as souls were embodied and left in this world away from home.

[20] The Highest Heavens are defined as inexplicably vast template of radiance at the bottom of which there is an illuminating Dais that covers the whole of the universe. The Pen wrote evrything on The Sheet, those in the past and in the future, the good or bad, upon Allah’s demand. So, the destiny is all set, however, they say Allah reviews everything written and makes additions or subtractions from the Eternal Destiny as He wishes.   

[21]Dhikr is the practice of reciting one of the names of Allah as prescribed by the Murshid. Tafakkur is the act of conceiving of one’s position within the whole of creation in order to understand how little and helpless one is. Prayers are the daily practices as dictated in Islam. Finally, the good deeds are all the actions of one in social life which are considered good and admissible. 

[22] Omer Dagistani “Fetvalar” s. 149.

[23] Taha 20:5. Rahman, Allah The Compassionate, rests on the Arsh, The Highest Heavens.