Suhba  “5”:

“Not Every Tariqa has this ritual

of(spiritual) orientation”

Hello, welcome to you all, you have brought love, peace, grace and joy.  May Allah increase your love and light.

May you all have a good and graceful morning.

The ritual that we are about to observe is a great one that has been practiced by our masters. May God enables you benefit from its fruits and grace and revive your souls by means of its light and grace. Many thanks, thousands of thanks and endless thanks to our God.  We thank our Lord for his blessings upon us.

Allah has offered us a great blessing. Look, he has bestowed so many gifts upon us. Thanks to Allah for this great ritual So that, you have come here from remote places, had a night journey, and spent the night without sleeping. You’ve spent a great effort to make it here and spent money to attend. 

Thanks to Allah, May Allah enable us reach our ends, and attain the fruits of our faith, love and passion. May Allah make us relish the fruits of our piety and determination. Therefore, may Allah enable us to practice this ritual over and over again. May Allah provide us with time to realize this wish so that we can do it.

Of course, someone who wishes Haqq (one of Allah’s beautiful names which means righteous and truthful)… Wishing Haqq means we wish our soul to journey back to Allah, from whom the soul originally came. This is what wishing Haqq means.  Allah Almighty says “My servant, you ask for, I shall give you what you want ” (talebena vecedena) we have wished it and we have attained it This is what we want. Human beings have souls, bodies and selves. However, our souls have one and only wish; they came from Allah and want to go back to Him. All other desires are false and deceptive. Look at this saying which points out this:

This bird of flesh is after worldly wishes and lust

Human selves are always full of worldly appetites … Or self means body, this human body is always after this world and wishes to have the pleasures of this world. So it is always busy with this world, occupied with this world. The body wishes the world and strives for it. Let me have this, let me have that. Let me live this way or that way. Such are the wishes of the body. However, the soul has only one desire; it came from Allah and wants to go back to Allah. This is what is meant by “Talebena Vecedenawe have wished it and we have attained it. Yes, we cannot comprehend the real meaning of it; He promises to respond, says: Demand!.. He created the idolaters and disbelievers as worldly people. Therefore, he gives them what they ask for in this world. That is why idolaters and disbelievers are healthier than us and their material wealth is more than ours. It is because Allah created them as worldly people Allah is the creator of all beings and worlds, he is not only the creator of believers, He also created disbelievers as the people of this world, so he gives them all what they ask for in this world, so that they have no right to ask for more… Therefore, the devil (Curse be upon him) says;

—O Lord, give me time until the resurrection day and give me an opportunity and permission so that I can avenge my predicament on Adam and Adam’s descendants. I was driven off your glorious temple and I was cursed by you all because of him. So I wish this from you.

Allah Almighty gave him the opportunity. He gave the devil time and permission until the judgment day. The devil said;

—Give me time until the judgment day and then give me the biggest punishment on the doomsday. This was his wish from Allah. He made a deal with Allah. And Allah Almighty accepted his wish. Therefore, those who are worldly people are the people of fire, the servant of the devil and the soldiers of the devil. May Allah save us from this.

Then, those who obey the wishes of their selves and go after worldly appetites only become the slaves and servants of the devil. Others who do not obey their selves and oppose the wishes of their flesh become the servants of Allah. That’s why it is said:

This bird in the cage of flesh is after worldly wishes and lust

My bird of life screams in the cage of dust

What is the bird of flesh? It means our body, but what does “bird of life” mean? It means our soul.

And our soul “screams in the cage of dust.” Yes, if people love this world, care about this world and get busy with this world then they get their souls imprisoned, their souls feel captivated in a dungeon. What power may a person have if he has been put in a dark deep ditch? What he or she is able to do? What skills can he have? He can realize all his potential and abilities when he gets released from that darkness and dungeon. He can practice his trade, fulfill his desires and do his religious services outside of this dungeon. Therefore, the soul has only one wish. If the body realizes its wishes, then the soul cannot attain its wish. 

Allah Almighty created people in three different groups; people of the world, people of the afterworld and the people of presence.  In fact, Allah Almighty ordains; “If Muslims hadn’t emulated idolaters, disbelievers, we would have made the ceilings of their houses golden  ...and their floors silver.” This is a verse from Quran. Therefore we should not love the world or go after worldly wishes. Besides, we should not emulate the infidels and disbelievers if Allah has created us as Muslims. It is because they are people of the world and people of the world are people of fire. Look, there are two sayings and what a wonderful sayings they are one of them is this,

He gives time to his servants, but never does he neglect them

May Allah forgive us, Allah is the most merciful, and Allah Almighty has the attribute of mercy. This attribute of his shall be realized and witnessed in the next world. He shall reward those who have obeyed him in accordance with their obedience, and shall punish those who defy and oppose him. That’s what’s meant by “He gives time to his servants…”

Why did people come to this world?

In order to earn their blessing in the next world. However, they love this world and strive for this world and get busy with this world   instead of going after the grace of hereafter. These are losers, they cannot earn the bliss of the next world and they lose. As a matter of fact Allah Almighty created man in different groups; people of the world, people of hereafter. And he banned all benefits of hereafter from those who are the people of the world.

 If a man wishes this world, struggles for it and he doesn’t mind what is legitimate or illegitimate(haram or halal), or doesn’t mind what is right or wrong, and he has no religious service, sensitivity and he is not pious but defying rules of the religion ; then from what group this man would be?  He is the man of this world and a man of hell (fire) no matter what nationality he is, even though he calls himself a Muslim, that’s that.

 Islam is not just a religion of words, but a religion of actions.

Look what is faith?

Faith is declaration and approval.

Declaration means to say “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger”. In fact Islam has five pillars, doesn’t it?

These pillars are Sawm (fasting), Salah (daily 5 time prayers), Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), Zakat (giving of alms), and Shahadah (profession of faith by saying “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger”). However, it is not enough to utter it, His heart must believe and approve it.

If his heart doesn’t approve it, what does that mean? Then he just deceives himself. Can Allah be fooled? Allah can never be fooled. Why; It is because Allah almighty says; “We see through the hearts, we do not care about the nobility, size, beauty or the wealth of humans, we just care about what is inside their hearts.”  Hadith Kuds

Allah also ordains: “We evaluate the doings of our servant in accordance with the intention in his heart” İhya-yı Ulumiddin V.8  p.260

Therefore it is said;

He gives time to his servants but never neglects them.

Allah created humans and provided with the gift of a mind, this gift of a mind has been created from the lights of his “one thousand and one beautiful names.” That’s why humans are able to invent so many devices; this makes humans the most honorable and the most distinguished of the created. 

However, the gift of mind has two types: Mind   of sustenance and mind of acquiescence (submission). It also applies to humans; such things as inventing something new, making money fall into this category. Studying a lot, inventing devices, building the world into a better shape are all similar. These can be done via mind of sustenance. However, the afterlife can be gained only through mind of acquiescence (submission). Allah almighty created two types of minds in every human. Today there are some who realize existence of Allah Almighty using their logic among non-believers. It is because Allah Almighty can be realized through mind and righteousness. Yes, there are those who find Allah by means of their minds, for instance they make many inventions. They are looking for something with different motives; eventually they happen to find the real deity, divinity. There have been many such people throughout the history and there will be ...

So there are two types of minds; Mind of sustenance and mind of acquiescence (submission)

Mind of sustenance is the mind of the self (body) and is about this world. However, the mind of acquiescence (submission) is the mind of the soul and it is about the hereafter.

For a Muslim, faith means declaration and the acceptance (of the heart). Declaration means saying one’s belief explicitly and acceptance means the acknowledgement of this belief in the heart. 

If someone utters his faith verbally, and has the acceptance of this belief in the heart, then he observes his faith. If one just says his belief and has no acceptance of this belief in the heart, then he won’t practice this faith.  

Then, does this mean that their faith is only in their words or these people have no faith in their hearts? They have faith in their hearts but their faith is very weak, they may not practice their faith. The weakness in their hearts doesn’t let them practice their belief.

By means of mind of sustenance, people deal with the worldly matters, they achieve worldly objectives. On the other hand, by means of mind of acquiescence (submission), people deal with the matters of the next world and achieve objectives of the next world. If Allah Almighty has created two types of minds in humans, therefore he asks people to work for both this world and the next world.

What about a person working for this world but not for the next world? Can this person be considered to be obeying Allah’s commandments? No!..,

What about the one who works only for the hereafter and neglect this world?  He doesn’t obey Allah’s commandments either. It is because knowledge of sustenance comes first.

However, if a person has enough fortune, wealth inherited from his parents or his family, or he has had a golden opportunity provided by Allah Almighty in business and has made a fortune to support himself and his dependents abundantly for the rest of their lives, then only such a person may devote himself to working only for the hereafter and performing religious practices.

On the other hand, a person who has to work to support himself and his dependents cannot devote himself to working only for hereafter and performing religious practices.  If he does, this is not acceptable because Allah Almighty ordains that humans should work for both this world and hereafter.

 In this context, worldly people work only for this world, these people lose the next world. They don’t follow Allah’s orders as they don’t work for the next world. Therefore it is said;

He gives time to his servants but never neglects them.

What about disbelievers and those working only for this world? Allah Almighty has provided them with some time, an opportunity and determination.  However, Allah has furnished man with a mind which he created from the light of his “one thousand and one names” and Allah also blessed man with will, a limited will. Man has been given a mind so that he can distinguish the good from the evil; that is, one’s mind is for him to know what’s good or bad for himself while getting around, eating or dressing. One has also been gifted with will by Allah so that one can save him/her self from the harmful and can attain the useful.

So, Allah has given us our minds and will.

This means people attain everything by means of their minds and willpowers; they gain both this world and the next world using their minds and will powers. If one uses his mind and willpower to gain this world, then he is a worldly person. If one uses his mind and willpower to gain the next world, then he is a man of the next world. Allah Almighty ordains us to work for both this world and the next world.

Allah Almighty has bestowed a mind and a will upon everyone so that he can see what is good and what’s bad via his mind and he can practice what is good and avoid what is bad using his mind.

I want you to pay attention to this! Human being avoids what is harmful and bad in materialistic matters, In fact, Allah hasn’t ordered us to. But can people get away from any loss coming from Allah no matter what they do to avoid it? No, they cannot, because the loss from Allah is not visible and can be seen only after its arrival.

 However, people know spiritual losses but they don’t stay away from them. Allah has created us as believers, but don’t believers know that they are in a big loss when they don’t practice their daily prayers and when they don’t fast. Or aren’t they aware of their losses when they don’t give elms or charity  ; they are following illegitimate path in making money but not the right ,halal, path; or they are cheating in their daily actions; do they not know?

Someone does what is forbidden, eats (haram) illegitimate food, gambles, lies, and does many other forbidden things. Doesn’t he/she know that these are sinful if a person is a Muslim, born in a Muslim country wouldn’t he/she know all about these? Of course he would. But he/she still keeps doing these sinful acts. However, he can’t see the harm in doing so, therefore he commits these sins.

Besides, he can’t get away from losses in daily life which he cannot foresee that it’s coming and he can’t avoid it. He experiences its consequences in this world. However, he doesn’t experience the consequences of a spiritual loss here even though he commits such sins on purpose. 

When will he see these losses?

Allah Almighty says “Human beings are asleep they shall wake up when they die” Firstly Allah ordains “Humans are in a loss” What kind of loss is this? This loss is the loss of those who don’t practice as ordained by Allah Almighty. Allah doesn’t consider worldly loss as a loss, he gives us worldly losses as a test for us. If we endure such losses from Allah, these will turn into our gains in the afterworld. Why does Allah ordain “we test our servants with fear and decrease in their lives and assets.” Bakara 2:155

So what? It is the decrease in one’s material possessions. How do one’s possessions decrease? Great losses and damages come to a person, and he loses some of his assets. What else? Allah Almighty says “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return"Bakara 2:156  Allah means you shall come back to us if you are patient with these, then you will be rewarded greatly by me. Then loss is not a real loss will turn out to be a great gain.  So it is clear that the loss implied by Allah is the spiritual loss.

Spiritual loss happens if one doesn’t obey Allah’s orders, has no religious service or is rebellious.  This loss is not clearly visible. One happens to see this loss after death. Thanks to his grace upon us, Allah almighty hasn’t made us from those who are in such loss. 

However, we have another situation in this regard.

Our prophet (Peace Be upon Him) says “Everyone, whose consecutive two days are equal, is in a loss”

So, are we missing here?  We want to earn more for this world. However, if Allah has made us from believers and if we believe in the afterlife then we should care more about the afterlife and the next world.  This world is transient,

Be patient my heart, the turmoil of this world will pass

Persevere with this, my heart! This temporary era will end. 

These things are temporary; wealth and poverty, health and sickness.

Then what is not transient or for us?

It is our faith and prayers, because that is the only thing that we will take with us. We cannot take wealth and poverty, health and sickness with us.

What shall we take with us? We will take only our faith.

How can we secure our faith? We can keep our faith by means of our doings. This is how our prophet (Peace Be upon Him) ordains “What preserves and nurtures faith is practice.”

What is a faith without practice like?

It is like the light of a candle, it goes out with a blow of hand. Even a drop of rain causes it to go out. But a faith with practice is like a lantern. It is protected in a glass cover; its light can’t be blown out by a blow of wind, a drop of rain or anything else.

As we said here at the beginning of our discourse;

He gives time to his servants, but never does he neglect them

To Whom? Those who disobey Allah, those who lead a life without observing the wishes of Allah. Those have been allowed time by Allah. Allah has provided people with a mind and willpower so that people can use them to distinguish what is god from what is evil, and they have a gain and keep themselves away from losses. What kind of loss is this? It is a spiritual loss which results from the lack of practice of Allah’s orders. If a person gets in such a loss, then Allah will not overlook this. 

He gives time to his servants, but never does he neglect them

Allah Almighty is not going to neglect him and his doings.  He will be held responsible for everything he has done in terms of whatever he has eaten, wherever he has gone or every doing of his which is not in line with Quran and our Prophet’s preaching and conduct.

Allah Almighty will hold them responsible for such doings and judge them and punish them accordingly. This is for disbelievers and those who go against his orders.

He gives time to his servants, but never does he neglect them

But there is something else for us, what is it? Allah almighty tells about it to us “If Muslims didn’t yearn for it, I would have made the roofs of disbelievers golden and their floors silver” What does it mean for us?

He has given all the disbelievers what they wished for, why should he not give yours?

We wish to have what worldly people have; why we envy them?   .  If we want to have those things then they will keep us from our religious duties and practices because we will go after worldly things. We can’t perform our services for the afterlife.

So, what is there for us? Allah Almighty ordains us “Work for both this world and the next world” This is Allah’s demand from us. We should do accordingly.

Our religious practices shouldn’t keep us away from working for this world. Neither should our trade, nor our job keep us away from our religious duties. This is how a sound Muslim should be. This is the most acceptable servant of Allah’s and that’s the way of been acceptable ummah (followers of profit Muhammad pbuh). This has been expressed by our prophet as such “Work for this world as if you are going to die tomorrow, work for the next world as if you are never going to die.” “Work for this world as much as you are to stay here, work for the next world as much as you are to stay there.”  But this Hadith is a little obscure. We can understand it better like this; when we compare the life in this world with the life in the next world, if we work one hour for this world and twenty-three hours for the hereafter, that would be so much for this world and so little for hereafter. Isn’t that right? “Work for this world as much as you are to stay here, work for the next world as much as you are to stay there.”

However, we should appreciate Allah’s grace upon us because twenty-four hours in a day have been divided into three for a Muslim. “Work eight hours to meet your worldly needs, do your religious duties and prayers for eight hours and have you rest for eight hours” There is such a commandment.  If a Muslim performs his prayers and other religious duties for eight hours, then it is sure within the limits Allah has designated. It is also the same for him to work for the worldly needs for eight hours. This will also be accepted as a religious service by Allah. It is because working for the worldly needs has a priority to be able to perform religious services. Body knowledge comes first than religious knowledge.

Thanks to Allah that he has given us so many blessings in our time; he has gifted us with our tariqa. There are many who don’t know about tariqa, or some others who misconceive tariqa. These people assume as if tariqa were outside of Islam, Quran and the doings of our prophet (pbuh). They think tariqas are like that because they have been told and taught like that. Why is it so?

If there is no (true religious) knowledge in the world

People will go astray and become wild 

For half a century, there has been no religious education; religious scholars haven’t been able to teach people for half a century. Because of lack of the religious education, people have been away from doing religious services, which eventually has led to a weakness in their faith. Because of this weakness in their faith people have turned into worldly ones and have become more involved with the worldly things. They have started going after this world.

Thanks to Allah, we have been made from Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamā‘a, which means those who follow the words and actions or example of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and stick to such a communal spirit.   Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has a Hadith “The community of my followers is to split into seventy-three parties; only one party will reach redemption, other seventy-two ones are to end up in the fire of hell”

Who are those in the party to be redeemed?

If something has been said by our prophet (pbuh), then there is no doubt in that word. Whatever he has prophesized has come true and will continue to come true when its time comes. He has prophesized that his followers are to split into seventy-three parties; only one party will reach redemption, other seventy-two ones are to end up in the fire of hell. The party that will reach redemption means; they will be saved from hellfire and will go to Heaven.

 Seventy-two parties are the parties of hell. If we are to exemplify this in numbers, only one out of every seventy-three followers of Prophet Muhammad  who say “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger” is to go to Heaven, other seventy-two followers are to end up in Hell. As the total number goes up, the numbers of followers in both groups increase respectively.

Then his companions asked him:

Oh! Messenger of Allah, which one is the party of redemption?

He replied “Those who follow my example and my companions’ footsteps are the party of redemption. Those who stick to the Holy Book and my Sunnah are the party of redemption. Those who go astray from my sunnah and my companions’ way cannot be the parties of heaven; they are the party of Hell”.

But what is said in the words of our exalted masters;

My exalted (honorable) Sheik has made me wear the crown

This crown is a crown of Dhikr (remembrance). In the history of tariqas, no sheik has crowned a follower physically.   This is a virtual crown of Dhikr

My exalted (honorable) Sheik has made me wear the crown

Vedduha is his face Velleyli is his hair

Look, notice that “Wedduha” means the time when the sun has the most shining, brightest and the strongest state. When is it? It is the forenoon, the time of the bright sun, the sun rises in the morning, before the noon, between the rise and the noon. That’s what Wedduha means.

My exalted Sheik has made me wear the crown

“Wedduha is his face”,” Velleyli is his hair”

Those who wish to join the part y of the redeemed

Should visit our masters

What is this?

Notice that there is Sharia of Muhammad and Tariqa of Muhammad. Those who have been accepted into the community of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have believed in and have lived both of these two.

Sharia of Muhammad is the outer part of his being Allah’s messenger.

Tariqa of Muhammad is the inner part of his spirituality.

Look now, what is the physical proof of his being Allah’s messenger? Its proof is the Holy Book, the Quran.

Where did it come from? It is a heavenly book, sent via with an angel, from Allah.

To whom was it sent? It was sent to our exalted (HONORABLE) prophet (pbuh). This shows his being Allah’s messenger and it is completely obvious.

However, he has also his spirituality and his spirituality is hidden. Therefore not everybody knew it, only those who knew it knew it, others didn’t know it.  His spirituality means the direct communication, discourse between him and Allah without any mediators like angels, letters or voices. Isn’t it so? Look, our prophet said he talked ninety-thousand words with Allah in his Miraj (ascent). Ninety thousand words!

Prophet Moses talked “one thousand and one” words with Allah at different times. It is because According to Quran (the Torah) Old Testament was given to Prophet Moses at eight different times. That is, the revelation of the Old Testament was completed in eight different times, it was sent in eight pieces. Is it clear, dear folks? Prophet Moses was traveling to Mount Sinai. The revelation of the Quran to Our Prophet was completed within twenty-three years. However, Prophet Moses spoke onethousandone words with Allah in different times. At least, he went to Mount Sinai for eight different times to receive Old Testament (Torah) completely.  On the other hand, our prophet spoke ninety-thousand words with Allah only in his Miraj (ascent). As expressed by our exalted masters, thirty thousand words out of these ninety-thousand words have been publicized by some exalted Sufis. Another thirty-thousand words have been entrusted with those who are qualified for that. Who are those qualified?

It is like this; our prophet enunciates “Whatever My God has put in my chest; I have transferred it into the chest of my cave friend, Abu Bakr. Our prophet reserved the last thirty-thousand words for himself, he has never told them to anybody.

That’s why there is a mystery that religious scholars have, and it cannot be known by everyone. Allah Almighty ordains similarly “Is he then who knows that what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth like him who is blind? Only those possessed of understanding will mind” Ra’d 13:19  

Is this knowledge only found in the books? There is such knowledge but there is also some knowledge which can’t be found in books, which is called inner (spiritual knowledge). So it is obvious that secret sciences are above the book sciences.  So there is some knowledge and only scholars know that, and those who are not scholars don’t know it. However, there is such a secret hidden within the Awliya of Allah (Saints of Allah) that scholars don’t know it. Even if they knew it, they wouldn’t defy it. For instance there have been many scholars in the world in different times such as Exalted Imam Rabbani, Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, Exalted Imam Gazali, Necmeddin Kubra and Abdurrahman-ı Cami. These are all well known for their great written works within the circles of religious studies. These were great religious scholars, why did they join a tariqa, a Sufi order? Yunus Emre points it out like this;

Many set out to look for a sheikh

Those found remedy for their sufferings

You even read white from the dark, thousands

It is impossible without finding a perfect sheik.

This is what he is saying; many people went on journeys to find a sheik in order to solve their problems. Those who looked for a sheik found one eventually. It is because Allah Almighty ordains “Wish from me, so that I shall give it to you” This is a wish, a demand, an attempt or an effort for a seeker to make.

Even if you have studied how to distinguish the white from the black for thousands of times

That is, even if you have a life span of one thousand years, study religious sciences in schools for one thousand years, graduated from all faculties, or you have gone so far as to become a professor or to get so many Ph. D. degrees, you still  need a sheik, master.

Therefore, endless thanks to Allah, as he bestowed upon us such bliss in this time. Dear folks, it is impossible without a tariqa. As we mentioned before, a Quran verse says; “Qalu inna lillahi ve inna ileyhi raciun” What does Allah Almighty say? "To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return" Bakara 2:156 We came from Allah and we will return to him. How did these people come from Allah? What came from Allah is the human spirit, what will return to Allah is this spirit. Human body was created by Allah, but this body was made from dirt.  Allah Almighty ordains “When I have formed Adam fully, I breathed into him of my spirit” Sad 38:72

As can be understood from this verse, it is the spirit, which came from Allah. So it is the spirit which will go back to Allah. Human body was made from earth by Allah Almighty, and the body will go back to earth again.

So humans have two types of journeys. This is true for all humans no matter if they are believers or nonbelievers; poor or rich; sophisticated or uneducated; healthy or sick, young or old they all have two types of journeys. One is the journey of the body; the other is the journey of the spirit.

The journey of the body starts with the birth into this world and ends with the death and its burial. The journey of the body is for every human. It doesn’t matter if he is young or old, poor or rich, a believer or disbeliever. We all experience this type of journey. However, every human has a spirit apart from his body. Where did this spirit come from? And where will it return to? Let’s think about it; the following two verses of the exalted explain it:

From where does your journey start?

What about your destination?

One who doesn’t realize his departure and his destination

Just happens to be an animal.

This is one of them.

So, where did you come from? You came from Allah.

What came from Allah? The soul came from Allah.

Where will you return? You will return to Allah.

However, you are aware of neither your arrival nor your return.

If you want to know about the arrival and the return of your soul’s journey; then, you should have Sharia, Tariqa, Haqiqa (Truth) and Mârifa (Gnosis).

People can go to Allah by Sharia but they cannot reach Allah. Sharia makes one know about Allah, but Tariqa makes one reach Allah.

Know that Sharia is to know Allah’s bans and orders, Oh! my heart

Tariqa is to get on the path to Haqq (Allah)

As expressed here, Human soul goes back to Allah by means of Tariqa. Tariqa is a path to Allah. The one who goes on this journey is the one who knows the guide, Sheik. That is why it is said; 

From where does your journey start?

What about your destination?

One who doesn’t realize his departure and his destination

Just happens to be an animal.

Here, first of all, one who doesn’t have Sharia or doesn’t accept the Quran and the Sunnah (exemplary behaviors and doings of the prophet) or doesn’t have any idea about his origin and his final destination. He’s just like animals. What is he like?  He eats, goes around, and enjoys himself, what else does he do? He does the same as animals. What distinguishes a human from an animal? It is the Quran and the Sunnah (exemplary behaviors and doings of the prophet). The Quran and the Sunnah have been sent to humanity. The Sunnah means the model life of our prophet (pbuh). One who doesn’t have these (the Quran and the Sunnah) in his life will remain as an animal.

From where does your journey start?

What about your destination?

One who doesn’t realize his departure and his destination

Just happens to be an animal.

In addition to this, it is also expressed:

I came to the world in order to leave

And to attain knowledge and peace

And to rejoice life with love

So, why should I need anything else?

So, what is there for us?

These are all for us, humans, but they can’t realize this fact. They can’t understand their origin, and where they are going to go at the end. They remain in the state of an animal and live like an animal does.

However, we are Muslims, we believe in Allah, thanks to Him.

Where did we come from? Our soul who came from Allah shall return to him.

Why did this soul come from Allah?

There is Allah’s address to all spirits “Elestu bi rabbikum”Araf 7:172 which means. “Aren’t I your God?” and we replied “Yes” and “we shall be your servants”

Allah Almighty also ordains “Halagal cinne vel insane illa li ya'budün” Zariyat 51:56 which means “I have created humans and jinns so that they worship me, and know me as their god”

Allah also ordains “Küntü kenzin mahviyyen” which means “We were a hidden treasure and we wanted to be obvious, therefore I created humans and jinns” Hadith Kuds

So, this means Sharia informs one about Allah Almighty, Tariqa enables one reach Allah. Only through a tariqa may one reach Allah, whose existence is understood through Sharia. What is known about should be looked for.  Can one reach what is known without looking for that?

That exists, but where?

 “Where I am known to be”, this shouldn’t be misunderstood, and what does Allah ordain? He ordains “I may not be attributed to any location, I may not be accommodated within any place.”

“Amentü billahi” means I believe in Allah. What is it like to believe in Allah? How will people believe in Allah?

They will believe in the existence of Allah, and in the oneness of Allah. Allah is free from all shortcomings. Everything which is known or unknown or comes to the mind is   just a creature, and has been created by Allah. Allah doesn’t resemble what he has created; Allah is free from all places or locations. Nothing can contain him. So where is Allah? Is he down on the earth or up in the sky, heaven? Allah doesn’t fit in any place or locality. However, he is ever present everywhere.

This is how one should believe in Allah. Therefore Allah has bestowed Sharia, Tariqa, Haqiqa (truth) and Mârifa (gnosis) upon us. This is how it is expressed in a saying one of our exalted masters;

Those who have a sheik have a very easy path to take

Whose is this? Our exalted master Niyazi Mısri. Yes in a glorious saying of his, he states;

I came to the world in order to leave

And to attain knowledge and peace

And to rejoice life with love

So, we have come to this world because we are required to attain knowledge by which we can reach peace, serenity and were also bound to go. The aim of knowledge is to know Allah and to serve him.

By peace or serenity, what is meant is for one to get finer and nicer. Whoever serves Allah becomes more beautiful and better. What is this beauty? This beauty firstly means to get rid of animal qualities,, the animal-like nature. Whoever has been freed from animal attributes has also been saved from fire.

Here the expression “And to rejoice life with love” belongs to Tariqa, our Sufi way. In other words only Sufis and people of tariqa know the true meaning of this phrase. This is their grace or blessing. Only Sufis attain and realize the grace of this blessing. That is why it is said;

You need a Sheik to lead and make you know Haqq truly

Those with a sheik have a very easy path to take

Those without a sheik end up doubtful and sad

Look, there is faith and doubt (agnosticism), what are these?

Faith means to judge or to say there is Allah (God), what about doubt?

What is agnosticism? It means to be skeptical of the being of Allah, so it is said;

You need a Sheik to lead and make you know Haq (Allah) truly

Scholars know (Allah) informatively. Pious practicing believers know (Allah) intuitively, by feeling his being. This is also Allah’s ruling “my servants get closer to me by extra pious practices in addition to essential ones.”

Those who know Allah truly are the ones with a sheik to lead and guide them. One without a sheik to lead can never know Allah in the true sense. Why? It is because his own being stops him from knowing Allah in the true sense. However much one knows about Allah informatively and how closer one gets to Allah through extra pious practices; one cannot lift the veil between oneself and Allah because one cannot get rid of one’s own efforts. Who is going to lift up this veil? It is the sheik, Sufi master.  This is expressed in one of Salih Baba's Poems.

Pîr-i Sâmî has abundant blessings.

One day, He will bless Salih, too

And will do my funeral prayer.

O, my sheik, my sheik, you are my sultan

You are the cure to all my troubles.

Here, “And he will do my funeral prayer” doesn’t mean his sheik will carry out his funeral service placing him on an altar. It doesn’t mean this. Another wise saying our exalted masters helps explain this, what kind of funeral it is.

Since I was enraptured by the hand of my exalted sheik    

I have been blessed with "Mûtu kable en temûtû"

If a sheik holds the hand of a disciple, then that disciple is blessed with the grace “Mutu gable ente mutu” A Hadith

What does “Mutu gable ente mutu” mean? It is Allah’s ordinance to his servants which means “die before your death” What does “die before your death” mean? It means to be free from one’s own Self

Who saves you from the boundaries of your self?  It is the sheik. One’s own knowledge, doings, and efforts are all the veils, barriers which keep him or her apart from Allah Almighty.

If this were not so, Mawlana Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī could have made himself reach the divine truth of Allah. Why, then, did Shams-e-Tabrīzī enable him reach the truth of Allah? How did he do it? It is written in the books, in fact it was made into many films. Mawlana Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī, who was very dear and lovely to people because of his high knowledge, was made by Shams to fall from grace in the public eye. Mevlana was made to arouse hate in the public. What did people say about Mawlana? They said that Mawlana had got out of the religion.

His sheik Shams  made him do such things that it caused him to fall from favor in the eyes of the people and made him stop from being proud of his sophistication and  knowledge. How could something like this be possible? That is; you are favored by the people because of your wisdom, knowledge and skills, can you behave in a way contrary to this good reputation? If you behave contrary to your good fame, then you will be disgraced in the public eye. People will criticize you, maybe denounce you. This is how it will be.

Let us talk a little about orientation (teveccuh), and then we can carry out this practice of ours. At the beginning of this discourse we said we had come here for this orientation ritual.

Come to the orientation, Sufi disciples

The circle of the All-Compassionate has been formed

The gates of garden of Rıdvan have been opened

Look, this is a saying of our exalted masters, it says “Get together for the orientation practice.”  “The circle of the All-Compassionate” is the circle of Allah, the circle of those who supplicate Allah. If those who supplicate Allah for his grace come together and remember Allah, then that place turns into a garden of heaven.

The gates of garden of Rıdvan have been opened

What garden? The garden of Heaven and what is Rıdvan it is those in charge of Heaven.  Then, this place of orientation practice turns into a garden of heaven and those in charge of Heaven also get present here.  But who are those in charge of Heaven?

There is another saying our exalted masters for this. Look at what it says,

Two shades of the Holy Throne 

Are Hasan and Huseyin

The beauties of that Heaven 

Are Hasan and Huseyin

Here, really we have such a Hadith of our prophet, he (pbuh) ordains “Allah almighty adorns his Holy Throne with the lights of Hasan and Huseyin, and will embellish the Heaven with the lights of our masters, Hasan and Huseyin.” Tirmizî Menâkıb 3778

Yes, we always have this practice of orientation; of course, there are some newcomers, or ones who don’t know what it is because we have been here for ten days. A lot of new people have joined our tariqa.  If these are here they don’t know about this orientation. This will be their first time. If we are to calculate the total number of newly-joined ones, maybe it comes to about one hundered people. It is because at least ten new people have joined our tariqa every evening over our ten-day stay here. Even thirty people joined in some evenings. Therefore, it means they don’t know about our practice of orientation and we need to tell them about it.

Now, our practice of orientation is a big one. There is no such practice as this one. Not Every Tariqa has this ritual of (spiritual) orientation. Therefore we need to be thankful and pleased as our tariqa has it. Be assured that orientation is a very big practice. There are very big blessings and graces for the ones who participate in this ritual. Look at what is said;

When each disciple has been orientated

Our dead hearts become alive

What is meant by this? What is a dead heart?

A deceased heart is a heart which has forgotten Allah and it is dead.

Allah has created us as Muslims; we have practices, services. We do our daily prayers, we supplicate Allah. But even while we are having such practices, our hearts are not settled down. There are many things which come to our hearts, we discard them, and they come again.     On the other hand, in other times when we are eating, drinking, buying or selling, walking around; we forget about Allah.

However, what does Allah Almighty ordain “Ve gıyamen ve guuden ve ala cunubihim”, “remember me while you are standing, lying, working, eating, drinking.” Al-i İmran  3:191 Allah Almighty also ordains “Fezkurullahe zikren kesira” Ahzab 33:41 These are Quran verses about remembrance (Dhikr) of Allah. What does he ordain? “Remember me a lot”; A lot, he says, he doesn’t give an exact number. We can’t achieve this. As we cannot do it, our hearts cannot become alive by all means. 

Which one is a live heart, then? A live heart is the one which never forgets Allah while eating, drinking, speaking, trading, and walking around or even while being in numerous troubles, or sleeping. This is the live heart. How are we going to have it, attain it?

 “When each disciple has been orientated

Our dead hearts become alive “

Now, pay attention, this is the greatest grace and blessing in a practice of orientation. Apart from this, there are some other gifts, we have despicable, bad features, harmful characteristics. Where are these? They are in our inner nature, inside us. Out of all these harmful characteristics, the worst is picked up and taken out of our lives by our beloved Sheik. If someone sick goes to a doctor and he is diagnosed  with five or six different diseases, then the doctor cannot cure all his diseases at once, and he starts  with the most harmful one of these five or six diseases. The doctor says;

—This is the most harmful one to you, firstly let’s fix this.

The doctor starts his job with an operation or medication depending on the condition in hand.  If you don’t struggle with what comes to your heart and discard these undesired things from your heart, then your heart turns into a pond of water, where everything coming in accumulates. Nothing goes out or flows out of that pond. These make this pond dirty. It gets mosses, corrupted and rusted. This is the example given by our exalted masters, and it really is a good one and a suitable one. Such are the hearts of people.

Then, you shall have your struggle here in our practice of orientation.

You will try to have peace in your heart

You will throw away what comes to your heart. Throw away every thought, your troubles, debts, in other words, you will dispose of whatever comes to your heart except for Allah.

You will keep your heart busy with Allah.

You will put the image of your sheik in front of you in, your imagination and keep your heart busy with the Dhikr of Allah. This is how we have our Dhikr and spiritual bonding with our sheik. Our Dhikr is so great that it is just as ordained by Allah Almighty “have your Dhikr in your heart.” Allah also ordains “have your dihkr secretly”. Hidden, secret Dhikr is the one which is in the heart.

You don’t need your tongue to move when you have Dhikr of Allah and recite his glorious names. Isn’t it so in our daily (Dhikr) practice? We shut our mouth, place our upper teeth on top of each other and squeeze, we lean our tongue against our upper gum and our tongue makes no move. We just have our heart and fingers moving while doing our daily Dhikr.

How long are we going to do so? Until the practice of orientation ends. When does the ritual of orientation start and when does it finish?

Of course, this practice of orientation has a peculiar sitting state just as in the last part of daily time prayers. You will be positioned, seated in rows accordingly by those in charge. After being seated, one of our friends will chant “Estagfurullah” which means “I ask Allah for his forgiveness”. This call of “Estagfurullah” marks the beginning of the orientation practice.  When we hear the call of “Estagfurullah”, we shut our eyes. Be careful we are making this warning time and time again; I also made this warning for many times in the orientation in Aksaray, however, I saw some with their eyes open in the rows. This is forbidden, it stops the coming love and light. It prevents the arrival of divine love and light and causes it to go back. This is because it is absolutely forbidden to open eyes during the ritual of orientation. That’s why he is doing harm to himself and everybody in the congregation here.  He violates all the rights of the congregation. It is because it prevents the blessing to be gifted. That’s why you should be aware of that. Again I kindly ask you to keep your eyes shut. I think it was persons form other tariqas. I think they were the ones who did not give any importance to my words, despite my repeated warnings they opened their eyes. While performing our orientation ritual in Aksaray, I happened to see three persons whose eyes were open. Now, if there are people from other tariqas here, they may participate in our ritual, however, they should observe our rules. What’s important is that once they have closed their eyes, they need to keep their eyes closed until the end of the ritual. Also they shouldn’t perform their own dhikr. For instance one of these may get enraptured and want to do their own dhikr, if their dihkr is hidden and silent, they can do that but if their dhikr is explicit and loud, then they cannot do it because it hinders our ritual of orientation.  He shouldn’t perform his dhikr loudly. If there is such a person, he should obey our rules or leave here now. Also, our newly-joined disciples should also not open their eyes. It is strictly forbidden to open eyes. If you open your eyes   you will not only lose your share of the blessings and the divine love which will come here but you will also cause all those congregated here to lose their shares form that. There is also rapture which leads those enraptured to chant loudly. Someone has just chanted “Allah” out loud. He will do the same again. Others shall chant “hey, Hay”. This is done involuntarily, unwillingly.

If some who get enraptured scream words like “Allah” voluntarily, this is one of the greatest sins, deadly ones. Look, keep this in your mind, people who get enraptured should try to control and hold themselves from doing like that as much as possible. Rapture is right and by Allah. He tries to stop himself from enchanting but eventually he bursts, explodes like a gun. But this is the last resort. If he can refrain himself from this, it is much better for him. This is a state, he should get over it. 

Don’t boil over and spill over, dervish

Be patient and reach excellence through heat

Look this verse explains this, it tells about those with rapture, it advises them not to boil over and spill over because of their ecstasy. A person who gets enraptured is like food being cooked on the fire or like the boiling water which spills over. It kicks off the cover of its container and spills over and decreases. This is not considered something good or a favorable skill. However, if this person stands this strain and adapts to it, it will be very useful for him. That’s why it is said;

Don’t boil over and spill over, dervish

Be patient and reach excellence through heat

This is how a person with ecstasy and rapture is .however, this happens to one of you or another from this community. Out of ecstasy, he chants “Allah” or bursts into tears silently or flutteringly, or he moves back and forth as if in a fit. All these are out of ecstasy or rapture caused by divine blessings. You can’t open your eyes to see who these people are. It is strictly forbidden. Beware of this; I have been repeating this over and over again.

Yes, before the start of our orientation, you will be seated in the seating manner required by this ritual and the ritual will start with the call of “Estagfurullah”. I ask Allah for his forgiveness 

When you hear this call, you shall close your eyes and say “Estagfurullah” twenty-five times in such a low voice as to be heard by only yourselves. You will use your fingers to do the counting. You have nothing else to do after you have said   “Estagfurullah” twenty-five times, the only thing you will do is your bonding with our sheik in your imagination.  You will visualize our exalted sheik in front of you with the stick of Sharia and he pokes it into us and makes us throw away anything but Allah coming to our hearts and says “why do you have anything else in your heart?”You shall keep your heart busy with Allah. You will never forget Allah. The sight of your Sheik will always be in front of you on your mind. Apart from this, you shall not open your eyes until the very end of our ritual. When does our ritual of orientation end? It starts with Estagfurullah”, you will close your eyes and say “Estagfurullah” twenty-five times. After that, this humble sinful servant will carry out the orientation. There are some duties for this servant to perform. We will perform two raka'ats of salat. After this salat, we will say Estagfurullah” three times openly.  You shall not say these. And then we will say some prayers both openly and secretly. After these, we will rise to start doing the rest of the orientation. During the orientation ritual, we walk among the rows of seated disciples and recite verses from our exalted masters and we pat on the backs of our disciples. We are telling this for the new ones, the old ones already know about it.  Their backs are patted. When a verse from our masters is told to you and you are patted on the back, you should imagine and say to yourself;

—Our exalted Sheik Musa Dede is performing this orientation. He is moving among the rows of disciples. Now it is my turn, he has come to me. He is reciting a verse from our exalted masters, and he is patting on my back.

You should do so because this is the way of our Tariqa, and its rule and its pillar. Therefore it is said by Salih Baba as follows:

The Sheik’s breath is the kindling red sparkle

It burns out everything rusty in the palace of heart

He is also accompanied by our exalted Master Pir-i Tagi

This is how the ways of our Tariqa have been established by our masters and this is how it goes on.  Such is this, be assured of that.

While we are performing our ritual of Hatma (A collective service of disciples where they perform certain verses and prayers), we chant the names and attributes of our masters in the chain of our tariqa, we will also chant their names and attributes during our orientation ritual, but how? We will chant the names and attributes of our masters starting from the first ones to Mawlana Halid silently, but we chant the names and attributes of the ones after him loudly. Don’t you think that we aren’t chanting the names of all our masters in the chain; the chain of our masters is chanted fully just as in a Hatma. This chain is a chain of golden links, when their names are chanted they all honor our ritual with their spiritual presence. When they come here, they don’t come empty-handed. They come here with presents, gifts.

The Sheik makes you drink a glass of wine of love

And turns you into a Sultan from a slave

Yes it also says;

Informs you about the lands of Divine Truth 

Blesses you with many gifts, the sheik 

How do they give these blessings? These graces and blessings are the light and spiritual love given to us through our Hatma and Orientation rituals. As we are nourished with love and light we happen to make progress. As this love and light come to us, there is a progress and refinement in our souls. These are the gifts bestowed upon us by our masters in the chain.  Where do we have these graces? In Hatmas and orientations. A Hatma is a smaller version of an orientation. Don’t keep away from Hatmas. Look we perform Hatmas here. The ritual of Hatma is performed in every neighborhood. You should join the Hatma in your neighborhood.

The Sheik’s breath is the kindling red sparkle

It burns out everything rusty in the palace of heart

He is also accompanied by our exalted Master Pir-i Tagi

They always lead us to our grace

Who got you here? Who is the agent in this case? It is our exalted Sheik Dede Pasha. Without him, we couldn’t have known each other and have come here. If he is the one who has brought us here, then we are all spiritually his children. All light and love given to us are their gifts and graces.

How is that so? Our tariqa resembles the military. There are inspections in the military by commanders, for example a regimental commander inspects the regiment, and a division commander inspects the division. Nevertheless, our sheik is neither a regimental commander nor a division commander. He is a field marshal or a highest-ranking general and we are the troops of the marshal or general, he will inspect us. He will come to inspect us during this orientation practice. He will give his presents to whomever he likes.

The beloved one always watches you

If he sees you unaware, he will keep away from you

They also ask this from us, our exalted sheik wants us to have a restful, serene heart.

Attain peace through a serene heart

While our exalted master, my grandfather Shah Mohammad Beshir (may Allah bless his secret) was performing a ritual of orientation, he said:

—What a pity, what a pity!

Why did he say so? He looked at the heart person and he saw that person’s heart was full of opposition and corruption. How could he orient his heart spiritually? It was not possible. What is this like? A lord wants to bestow gifts upon the needy and tell them:

—Bring your bowls empty and clean.

Those with clean vessels and bowls can get their gifts and return to their homes. For instance, you are suffering from hunger very much and your lord says:

In order to get rid of your hunger, bring your bowls clean and empty, I will give you food, take it and get rid of your hunger.

The ones with clean bowls can get their food, and other others with dirty bowls won’t get anything. What does this clean bowl mean in this metaphor? It means we should throw away anything else from our hearts but Allah, all other thoughts. We will keep our hearts busy only with the love for Allah’s messenger, the love for Allah and the love for our Sheik. It is only then we can have a clean and empty bowl. They, Allah and our exalted masters, have gathered us here, and they have announced that they will bestow spiritual gifts upon us. This verse expresses this fact;

The sheik informs you about the lands of Divine Truth 

And blesses you with many spiritual gifts

Well, therefore you shall watch your hearts until the end of the orientation. When does the orientation end?  At the start of the orientation, you will hear the call of “Estagfurullah” and you will shut your eyes. Then there will pass a period of 10 to 15 minutes for us to perform the salat of orientation, there are some prayers to recite and then we will start with the orientation part in which we go among the rows of disciples and pat their backs with a verse from our exalted masters being recited. Here, when we are through with each one of the disciples, the orientation will be over. What is done, then? One of our scholars or hafizes will recite a Quran verse. This marks the completion of the orientation.  

Only then, you may open your eyes. Remember you may not open your eyes before that. You shouldn’t strain your knees. Sit in a position you will feel comfortable. For example, you have a pain in your knee, and then you can change your sitting position. Speaking of sitting positions there are various positions, you may bend one of your knees sit placing your weight on that side or the other side. There is one exception; you may not extend your legs towards Qiblah (Kaaba), it is not suitable or permissible. However, if there is a disabled person, he may sit in a corner and he can extend his impaired leg. There is no restriction for the disabled and the ones with such other excuses. 

Now, we will start with the orientation. Be careful, I am warning you not to open your eyes. If you do, you will prevent the graces and blessing to be bestowed upon the entire congregation here. While trying to attain a blessing, you may end up with a sin. Beware of this.