Posts Tagged ‘Fethullah’

True Success


Question: The educational activities by the movement of volunteers yield very good examples of success, as happened in the Science Olympiads. Can we say that a success of the desired level has also been achieved regarding the spirit of devotedness and human virtues? If there are any shortcomings, what can be their possible reasons?

Answer: There are so many factors—we know and we don’t—behind the activities and works that are seen as success and thus appreciated. For example, factors such as systematic working, presenting a good performance, determination, perseverance, and acting with a spirit of consultation and collective consciousness are all related to the outer aspect of the issue. In addition to these outer aspects, there are also points related to a person’s inner world that makes it impossible to make a certain judgment about others in this respect. For example, we cannot know whether individuals hold the secret intention of bringing their own person to the fore, whether they carry on their service with considerations of personal benefit, and how deep their relationship with God is. We are responsible both for taking objective facts as criteria and having a positive opinion of others. For this reason, we assume the builders of an existing success to be sincere, and concerning the matters we cannot be sure about, we come to our senses with the Prophet’s admonition “Did you cleave his heart open?” Thus we avoid making presumptions about others’ inner worlds. These issues related to one’s inner world are completely between God and the individual, and are out of our sphere of judging. If we have any worries, we open our hands and pray as

  اَللّٰهُمَّ يَا مُحَوِّلَ الْحَوْلِ وَالْأَحْوَالِ حَوِّلْ حَالَنَا إِلَى أَحْسَنِ الْحَالِ

 (O my God, You are the One who puts His creatures from one state into another with different manifestations of His Divine Names and exalted Attributes! Put us into the best condition with Your grace, help, and benevolence!).

In addition, when we consider the performance presented by the volunteers of education and its continuity, we see that these tasks are not easy to achieve, and they take serious forbearance and patience in the face of time. For this reason, it is so hard to believe such things can ever be realized with considerations of showing off or personal gain. Particularly, when we consider the troubles encountered by people who serve out of their native countries, it will be understood that the services carried out require a serious degree of conviction and devotedness. Therefore, in addition to judging by the outward dimension and thus having a positive opinion, when the issue is seen with respect to the difficulty of the tasks carried out, it is a duty that befalls on us to think that the people who support these services on the path of knowledge and wisdom are sincere.

Trustworthy Bearers of Responsibility

For example, they wish to form islands of peace in different parts of the world and to build bridges of tolerance and dialogue between different mentalities and cultures by expressing the virtues and merits they possess with the silent language of their heart and state. People build some breakwaters against certain geological phenomena and try to prevent a disaster in one place by passing the effects off to another area, in an effort to save the people there. In the same way, the devoted souls are realizing activities of education and dialogue for the sake of building breakwaters between different societies and cultures by preventing clashes to be generated by bias and ignorance, and by preventing the spread of such negativities, which might grow worse with a mob psychology. So people devoted to such a cause must be very well equipped in spiritual terms, so that they can bear such a heavy responsibility. Their faith and reliance on God must be very strong so that they can keep conscious in the face of every event and always know that all kinds of success are from God, while some occasional adversities stem from personal faults. Obviously, it is not correct for individuals to judge others this way, but the main idea is to be self-critical. As it is understood from the explicit statements in the Qur’an and Sunnah, people should know that they personally cause all kinds of spiritual or material adversities they face.

The Essence of the Matter Is Purity of Intention

As people’s visible, material mistakes cause certain things to go wrong, there are other factors that cause the person to be punished by Divine destiny and face some adversities, such as lacking purity of intention, pursuing carnal desires, and giving priority to personal plans. Besides causes of occasional adversities, the question of whether a certain task will be achieved or not works in a similar way; the metaphysical dimension is no less important than the physical one in effecting a certain outcome. Our inability to see the metaphysical dimension does not change the reality of its importance. What we can see is only limited to the realm of apparent causes. For example, sowing a seed in a field is an act carried out within the physical realm. However, some other factors we cannot see play a role in allowing that seed to germinate and flourish as a plant. Even if we see water and sunlight, we cannot see the seed’s faculty of flourishing. And we cannot even see air, which exists within the realm of physical causes as one of the agents that plays a role in the seed’s growth. In the same way, events that take place in individual and social life not only have dimensions related to the physical realm but also metaphysical ones. For example, factors as determination, resolution, sticking with a sense of permanence, sincerity, faithfulness, standing upright, pursuing a lofty ideal, respecting the will and works of God… these are such spiritual causes that probably each one of them, alone, are more powerful factors than material causes. For example, we never know how God grants favors when the time comes to a man who has cherished good thoughts since his childhood and pursued great ideals. Those lofty ideals and dreams can serve as a prayer, as an invitation for Divine Providence to make them come true. It is possible to take it vice versa, too. That is, evil feelings, dark intentions, acts based on hypocritical considerations, jealousy and the like are important causes that give way to certain negative outcomes. For example, the Prophet warned people against envy (hasad), and stated that it devours a person’s good deeds, as fire devours firewood. Then this inability to stand what others enjoy is such curse that it devours the good deeds you do. If somebody builds a school as a reaction against certain people they do not like, just for the sake of preventing them, then this ill feeling may one day cause the school to burn down, either in the material or spiritual sense. God Almighty punishes them for those negative feelings within. However, it is not possible for people taken by the whirlpool of envy to understand such spiritual causes. Therefore we can say that spiritual causes play a no less important role than material ones regarding God’s granting success. As Bediüzzaman puts it, “Those who attribute everything’s existence to matter limit their intellectual capacity to what they can see, yet eyes cannot see what is spiritual.” However, along with eyesight, there are certain things rather related to having insight, or seeing through the eye of the heart. This spiritual sense of seeing depends on perception and discernment, inner sensation and intuition, faith and the inner faculty sensing God directly as well as Divine inspirations. One should not ignore the existence of these things. Even though some people do not recognize them, there are such people that recognize spiritual factors very well, understand their tongue, and can virtually hold them, the way a normal person holds physical objects.

For attaining true and lasting success, ones devoted to serving God need to know very well the material and spiritual causes that lead to God’s granting success and be aware where the limits of those causes begin and end. In other words, the devoted ones try to serve in different places, develop projects for opening institutions like schools and universities, and with all of these they share the inspirations of their soul with the hearts that welcome them; at the same time, they need their spiritual state to be fully prepared. Not shaking in the face of some adversities, not giving up the struggle, and standing upright in the face of storms—by God’s grace, depends on appreciating the value of spiritual means.

Retaining the Spiritual State

The chivalrous ones of deep spirituality, who defy their self a few times a day and are so virtuous as not to forgive even the sins that just pass their minds, must constantly seek to raise their level, together with their companions, through continuous rehabilitations, and thus bring permanence to their desired spiritual state. Not only attaining such a state, but also retaining it, is very important. Sometimes, one attains such spiritual positions that he or she sees, feels, and perceives existence very differently; that person begins to live with a complete consciousness of the omnipresence of God (ihsan) and awareness of being seen by Him. However, what really matters is to keep up this feeling and consciousness, because sometimes intervals in this state take away very important attainments. So many gains might pour into even just a moment’s void. It is necessary to attain a desirable spiritual state; on the other hand, whatever one’s position is, it is necessary to keep that state in the same level.

In conclusion, even if you do your best and become very strong with respect to material causes—to the point of monitoring space with your satellites, it still makes up only one side of the issue in terms of gaining God’s good pleasure. You should know that what really makes you strong is your trust in the infinite power of God Almighty and always keeping a sound relationship with Him. I think the devoted souls must always remind one another of this truth and weave their lives in accordance with this truth.

This text is the translation of “Gerçek Başarı ve Kıvamın Korunması.”

Chastity for God’s Sake


Unlike the rank and file, guides should think twice before they say something for the sake of their followers. Failure to do so might cause quite a commotion, which is hardly ever made up for.
As a poet puts it, “Spear wounds can be healed, but the wounds of a sharp tongue cannot!”
I wish people could act with no benefit to themselves; or, they laid down their lives but asked for nothing in return.
In fact, this is the path of Prophets who spent their lives for their cause but asked for nothing in reciprocation. Some kings like Prophet Solomon and Prophet David, led very humble, contented, decent and chaste lives. God still gave them kingdoms which they used for the cause of the true religion of their times. However, their kingdom did not corrupt them, make them egoists, or make them change their humble way of living. They were always chaste, sinless, loyal to God, wise and, committed to communicating their message. They were always faithful to their Prophetic qualities as they lived. Hence, those who follow the path of Prophets should also be representing these Prophetic qualities.
It is possible for those who do not follow the path of Prophets to stray to the path of Satan.
In particular, for the members of an eminent group devoted to follow the path of Prophets, even the smallest indecency they exhibit, a seemingly minor unchastity, or a minor unfaithfulness, might turn out to put the entire community under suspicion.
The prayer of a saintly figure says: “God! Please do not put my comrades to shame because of me. As well, do not put me or my comrades to shame because of one of us.” It would be a breach of the rights of the entire community.
We should not put a foot wrong, lead chaste lives, be honest to goodness, fend off hypocrisy, be loyal, zero in on communicating God’s message, call attention to God, constantly work for the cause of spreading the word of our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, all over the earth and dream of achieving it, and look for ways to make the Prophet’s message heard even in the poles.
The sole requirement of success on that path is to lead a decent and chaste life.
To neglect worldliness and not have a soft spot for it.
To complete one’s lifetime keeping their hands off anything that is carnal.
Not to swerve towards hypocrisy…
To refrain from deceiving others…
To stop showing off…

Ramadan and Softening Hearts


Question: Every year, the month of Ramadan comes like a heavenly serenity and assurance felt in the spirits; it softens believers’ hearts, virtually melts them, and gives them an otherworldly hue. What are your suggestions to make the most of this blessed month with respect to our individual and societal life?

Answer: The month of Ramadan appears on our horizons with its charming beauties with fasting, the Prayers of Tarawih, the fast-breaking dinners, and the pre-dawn meals. Ramadan brings about a heavenly atmosphere of its own. Even at times when different tensions follow one another, violence and aggression become excessive, contradiction is seen as virtue, and ice-cold winds blow between the masses, Ramadan makes its influence by reconditioning souls, fostering sound hearts, feelings, and thoughts, along with abating every kind of hardness and harshness. Muslims already show serious respect toward this month, when peace and gentleness perceptibly prevail. For this reason, in spite of different adversities, if we give our willpower its due and manage to open our heart to this very special and distinguished segment of time with heartfelt trust in its blessings, and thus become oriented to it with sincere belief, awe and respect, then it will cuddle us and shower us with blessings. Anger, violence, and rages will cease, and an atmosphere of peace and reconciliation will prevail.

Not Variety of Dishes, but Richness of Guests

In order to put these ideas into practice, believers—a Muslim family residing in an apartment for instance—should invite their neighbors to a fast-breaking dinner, no matter what their philosophy of life is, preferably by letting them know of the dinner a few days in advance. They can present a very good example of kindness and hospitality. They can even say, “You have shown kindness to accept our invitation and bothered to come here. Please also accept this small present for your kindness.” If possible, the hosts should give presents to their guests’ children and make those innocent ones happy. Similarly, Muslims who teach at schools and universities or work at other establishments can contribute to societal peace by opening their table to everyone, without discriminating between different sections of society.

We should make use of this blessed month in such a fruitful way, to the degree of not having any fast-breaking dinners without guests. These dinners should be enriched with abundance and diversity of guests, rather than richness of dishes. As it is known, the Messenger of God stated,

“A meal for two suffices for three, and a meal for three suffices for four.”1 For this reason, there is no reason to worry about a multitude of guests in Ramadan, the month of abundance. Acting this way is an important means of diplomacy to eliminate the huge rifts between different sections of the society and of overcoming prejudices. So many problems that cannot be tackled with power or security forces can be solved by this means. If you sincerely open your heart to everyone, conquer the hearts of others with human virtues, and reserve in your heart a seat for all—and thus lean on the power of hearts—it will put a stop to unending grudges, hatreds, rages, bloodsheds, and killings. Indeed, in no time in the history of humanity has it ever been possible to resolve problems and cure troubles through threats. On the contrary, threats only serve to inflame grudges and intensify people’s inclination for destruction.

As it is expressed in a Turkish proverb, “One little cup of coffee is not to be forgotten for forty years.” Therefore, the sentimental value of a dinner invitation will similarly continue no less than forty years, insha’Allah. Thus, this act of kindness to effect very beautiful consequences should be carried out—perhaps the secret of the blessed Ramadan’s abundance lies in them. Namely, as we can attain otherworldly rewards by fasting and observing the Tarawih Prayers, we can also gain different blessings by gaining people’s hearts.

The Heavenly Call That Echoes in Hearts

The believers striving to serve humanity in all corners of the world can try to give Ramadan its due as a very important means of gaining hearts. Remember that the sacrificial meat collected for Eid al-Adha is taken to poor people in different corners of the world, from Africa to Asia; this is an indication of the benevolence and generosity of the people of Anatolia, and sacrificial meat is now a means of conquering hearts. For those who receive this meat, they feel that there still exists a people to inspire them trust. In the same way, it is possible to open the doors of fast-breaking and pre-dawn meals to all as a Ramadan campaign, and thus seeking the good pleasure of God by gaining so many hearts. This is especially evident when the guests who accept such invitations in different countries are so impressed by these activities that when you listen to their feelings, you better understand the significance of the issue. For example, they find the call to Prayer made right before fast-breaking so original and lovely. So it is necessary to take this opportunity in the best way to let others meet the beauties and richness of Muslim culture. Perhaps these activities will only build a positive opinion of Islam in their sight; even this much should definitely not be underestimated, I think. Who knows, though, maybe the guests who feel everything freshly will awaken to the beauties of Islam in a different way and then rocket to the horizons of their own spiritual perfection. In this respect, not just inviting them to dinner once in the month of Ramadan, but even spreading a table for them a few times a day is worth for the sake of having such positive changes.

Unfortunately, people of our time have been deprived of the beauties of Islam. They have not witnessed attitudes and behaviors that become true Muslims. So our most important duty is to show them the genuine Islam within our family structure, relationships between family members, invitations, and gentleness. If some see Muslims as monsters today, eliminating this image depends upon building good relations with them. Thus, whatever position Muslims are in, they should act with reason, logic, judgment, and consultation, and try to realize this issue in an agreeable way.

No Deed Can Make up for the One in Ramadan

The acts of worship that God Almighty holds us responsible for will assume a different nature depending on the way we offer them, and they will bear witness for us on the Day of Judgment. If we can give this month of forgiveness its due, it will bear witness in our favor and perhaps admit us to the highest level of Paradise through the gate of Rayyan. For this reason, we must respectfully observe the acts of worship that God has decreed for us, hold them in reverence, and strive to fulfill them in the best way.

In addition, a believer will know in the Afterlife which good, righteous deeds in the world brought the blessings he or she enjoys there; this will double the delight of those blessings. In the face of such benevolence, people will likely say: “Praise be to my Lord! First he honored me with good, righteous deeds, now he honors me with their reward.” There, believers will recognize the rewards of their good, righteous deeds committed with all their limbs.2 In the same way, they will experience the otherworldly meanings of their hunger, of their efforts at the Tarawih Prayers, their excitement for waking up for the pre-dawn meal, and their generous treatment of others, and feel due delight.

Some acts of worship owe their depth to fulfilling their outer forms and conditions. This is true for worship offered in Ramadan, a month when deeds gain a different value, when people gain proximity to God very differently. No other fasting can be compared to the one in Ramadan. No other twenty-unit Prayer to be offered in other nights can replace the Tarawih. The same holds true for the rewards for the pre-dawn meals or waiting patiently before breaking the fast. In short, no deeds can substitute those done in Ramadan. It is for this reason that believers who feel this truth deeply in their consciences feel serious grief when this blessed month is gone, longing for it until the next Ramadan comes. We do not know; perhaps this yearning gains them an extra blessing of another Ramadan’s worth.

1. Sahih al-Bukhari, At’imah, 11; Sahih Muslim, Ashriba, 179
2. This is due to the fact that the believers protect their tongue, ears, eyes, feet, and all other limbs from every kind of evil, in addition to abstaining from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from dawn until sunset. (ed.)

This text is the translation of “Ramazan ve Yumuşayan Kalbler.”

Warning People against Wrongs without Giving an Alluring Account of Them


Question: It is stated that an elaborate account of wrongs may pollute people’s minds with temptations. On the other hand, we need to make warnings against wrongs in order to avert people from them. How can we strike a balance here?

Answer: It needs to be known that warning that something is evil and giving an alluringly, detailed account of it are different. In order to avert people from attitudes and behaviors that harm the individual and the society and make them feel disgusted by such things, it is naturally necessary to warn people about them. However, such warning should not be too elaborate of an account of the wrong in such a way as to form a clear picture in their minds. A clear picture of certain actions might make some feel tempted toward them. For this reason, in order not to make the opposite of the intended effect, it is better to refer to wrongs concisely, tell about their harms, and then about their negative consequences in this world and the next. For example, while warning a man who immerses himself in sins, it is possible to remind him that he will lose his receptivity of spiritual blessings, not feel delight in devotions, blunt his insight, become unable to activate the latent fine faculties of his heart, or even become totally unaware of them. Such a person will be condemned to a mechanical practice of religion, will know God solely in theory, and will fail to feel the awe of standing in His presence. In short, it is wiser to draw attention to the bad consequences of a sin than giving a detailed account of it.

The Destructive Impact of Negative Connotations

As it is known, Satan takes advantage of certain negative feelings in human nature very astutely, and it is very important not to awaken and trigger them. Too detailed accounts of wrongs might serve as impulses to activate latent negative feelings, which provides a good opportunity to Satan for leading people astray.

We usually associate the issue in question with lusts of the flesh, but narrowing it down is misleading. The points we have made here are true for any wrong people might feel tempted to commit. Let us assume that you are trying to describe how evil hypocrisy is. If you present it in a way to be perceived as an artistic ability, you might unintentionally evoke fondness toward that vice. Accordingly, about all attitude and behaviors within the frame of wrongs, you must adopt a deterrent style and tell how dreadful a punishment the transgressors will face on the Day of Judgment.

Even the issue of associating partners with God requires much sensitivity in this respect. For example, there is no point in repeating the names of certain things asserted as deities instead of God; we may not mention their names at all if necessary. We should refer to such things concisely and lay emphasis on the fact that one might lose an eternal life of bliss and face an eternal life in Hell instead.

The same applies to issues such as rebelling against one’s parents, bearing false witness, theft, slander, and backbiting; we need to build a feeling of resistance toward them in people.

Actually, this method is the way of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. In order to tell what a great gain it is to keep away from disasters of the tongue and extramarital relations, he stated: “Assure me (of the parts) between the jaws and legs, I will assure that you will enter Paradise.”1 As it is seen, the matter is presented in a very discreet and concise way, and the reward to be attained on the condition of behaving oneself is drawn attention to.

Also, it needs to be known that the minds of those who are exposed to too detailed accounts of wrongs may remain adulterated for days, or even weeks. Certain negative things can busy their minds even during worship. For this reason, one must be strong and resolved at taking a stance against such negativities from the very beginning. On the other hand, they should continuously strive to fill their minds with good and beautiful things. So much so that, whenever they open a file in their cortex, they should always meet good words, good thoughts, and good scenes. If anything pollutes their eyes, ears, and minds, or anything negative occurs to their heart involuntarily, they should run to the nearest prayer rug and seek refuge in prayer as a fount of purification, without giving sins an opportunity to survive.

A Pure Mind and a Good End

Particularly in our time, pollution of minds is a serious problem, not only when we go out for shopping or other reasons, but also while we sit at home, the safest haven for believers. In time, accumulation of negative descriptions and sights pollutes a person’s memory and cortex. They occupy that person’s mind and trigger certain negative feelings in human nature. Such pictures pressurize their world of feelings and thoughts, and assert their own desires. When they find the opportunity, they paralyze willpower and lead people to sins that will ruin their eternal afterlife.

In fact, such negative mental pictures accumulate in the subconscious and even begin to pollute dreams. Believers should always be oriented to be pure, even in their dreams. When Muslims follow the example of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and recite his prayers before going to bed, they seek refuge in God and say, “My God, the Trustworthy One! Here I entrust my feelings and thoughts to You. Please do not let them be polluted so that I will not wake up with some impure feelings!” With such considerations, we entrust the horizons of our night to His protection. Believers’ acting sensitively towards this issue bears great importance with respect to their afterlife. It should be known that all of their intentions, prayers, and efforts in this respect are recorded as good, righteous deeds for them. Sometimes such an effort for protecting their imagination from pollution and not letting subconscious impurities pressurize their feelings can be more important than offering a hundred units of Prayer. However, wandering confidently and graciously in pure realms, even in one’s dreams, depends upon giving the willpower its due by adopting a seriously resolved stance.

Keeping away from means that might lead to sin and from thinking of wrongs signify a person’s degree of safety from sins. The Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, showed the importance of keeping away from wrongs by praying, “My God, distance me from my errors, as You distanced East from West.”2 Those who sail close to the wind might not find an opportunity to get back to the shore. For this reason, believers must constantly try to keep their minds, thoughts, and feelings pure; they must be alert against the traps of the carnal soul and Satan.

1. Sahih al-Bukhari, Riqaq, 23
2. Sahih al-Bukhari, Dawat, 44

This text is the translation of “Kötülüklerden Sakındırma ve Bâtılı Tasvir.”

Essentials for Fruitful Criticism


Question: What do we need to be careful about while making constructive criticism, which is an important means of seeking the better at everything, so that it will be effective and fruitful? What are the essential points to be observed both by those who make and receive criticism?

Answer: Criticism means criticizing a statement or behavior, revealing its negative and positive sides, and making a comparison between what is and what should be; it is one of the important scholarly essentials that facilitates progress toward the ideal. In this respect, it has been employed since the early generations of Muslims. For example, in the methodology of Hadith, a given report would be evaluated with a critical approach in terms of its text and the reliability of its chain of narrators. Indeed, criticism took its place in the methodology of Islamic disciplines from the beginning, in order to unearth the truth at issues such as finding the right meaning to be derived from Divine commandments and interpreting them correctly. This scholarly discipline of criticism served as a sound filter against alien elements incompatible with Islam. As the discipline of munazara (comparing and discussing ideas) also developed, the new interpretations that emerged as a consequence of fruitful discussions were also put to criticism, tested with established criteria, and sparkles of truth were attained in the end.

Particularly at questioning the reliability of the chain of narrators in the field of Hadith, there was a serious accumulation of literature. Numerous volumes of work sought to help authenticate whether statements reported as Hadith genuinely belonged to the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. But even while making judgment and evaluation at such an important issue, scholars showed the utmost sensitivity at refraining from excessive remarks. For example, Shu’ba ibn Hajjaj, one of the important Hadith scholars of the classic period who systemized the subject of criticism (naqd) for the first time, once used an interesting term while referring to the critical evaluation of narrators. Addressing a fellow scholar, he said, “Come, let us make some backbiting on the path of God,” drawing attention to both the necessity of doing this vital task and that it must solely be done for the sake of God.

The method of criticism was successfully employed particularly during the first five centuries of the Islamic calendar in the fields of both religious and positive sciences, for the sake of reaching the most appropriate. Therefore, this scholarly method can be employed in our time as well, given that fairness, respect, and mindfulness are maintained. At this point, let’s refer to the manners and method of criticism briefly.

Adopting a Fair Attitude and Soft Style

The issue criticized must be presented in a very sound style and utmost care must be shown at using a polite manner of speaking. That is, the criticism is not meant to evoke a negative response, but to be easily welcomed. When you present your alternative thoughts and plausible approaches for solving certain matters, you will be shown respect if you do it in agreeable politeness. For example, suppose that you are stating your opinion on a certain subject and the person you are addressing thinks the opposite. If you say, “This is what I knew about the matter, but I see that it has a different side as well,” that person will likely come to you after a while and confess that your opinion had been more appropriate. And this time, you will respond by thanking that person for being so fair. In this respect, one should know how to—to some degree—dismiss one’s ego, experience, and knowledge for the sake of upholding righteousness. In other words, if you expect the reasonable to be met reasonably, you should even evaluate others’ not-that-reasonable thoughts within their own reasonability, adopt a welcoming attitude toward them, and form an atmosphere of sincerity where people can be welcoming toward truths.

Making General Statements without Targeting the Person

History has witnessed that, in whatever field, those who do not show respect to others’ thoughts and who continuously dismiss others as worthless, ruin so many worthy things without even noticing it. For this reason, whatever is the nature of the element before us, we should adopt the principle of treating them all with a certain degree of respect. This is a very appropriate means of making people before us accept the truths that we present. Otherwise, no matter how great the projects that we offer, statements slammed on others’ heads will not be welcomed. When criticism is not expressed politely, it will inevitably be received negatively, even if the matter that we criticize is an obvious mistake of someone that conflicts with the decisive and established teachings of religion. For example, you might witness that your friend has gazed at a forbidden sight. If you jerk into telling his embarrassing mistake to his face in a direct way and reproach him, he may respond by trying to justify some devilish considerations—God forbid! In particular, if the individual in front of you is not ready for a criticism of his attitudes and behaviors, then every criticism of yours will evoke reactionary behavior and disrespect against truths, or even make that person hostile against his own values. Even if such people understand what they hear is true, they will do their best to devise new arguments to get the better of the person before them, owing to the trauma of receiving that criticism like a mighty blow on their head; they will be continuously imagining the best way to answer the criticisms directed toward them, even when they retire to their bed at night.

Thus, matters need to be told indirectly, without taking individual persons as targets.Indeed, when the Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, witnessed a person’s wrong, he did not directly criticize that person. Instead, he gathered people together and spoke about that act in general, which allowed the doer to hear the lesson. On one occasion, for example, a man who had been commissioned to collect taxes said, “This amount is the tax I have collected and these were given to me as presents.” Upon hearing this, the Prophet addressed his followers from the pulpit and made a general statement about when he commissions a person to carry out a certain commandment of God and that person states that a part of what he collected belongs to the state and the rest is a present to him. To show how mistaken this idea was, the Prophet asked whether those gifts would have been presented had he sat in his parents’ home.1

The issue of who makes the criticism is also very important. If something needs to be told to someone, one should not be too eager to do that personally, but rather leave the issue to another person whom the one to receive criticism loves very much. In such a situation, even criticism from a beloved friend will be taken as a compliment. If it seems likely that a criticism you need to make will receive a reactionary response, you should leave it to someone else because what really matters is not who voices the truth but whether the truth meets with a heartfelt acceptance.

At this point it is useful to relate a relevant parable of the two grandsons of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. Although this parable about Hasan and Husayn does not take place in the reliable sources of Hadith, it conveys important lessons.

Accordingly, the two boys came to make ablutions somewhere and they saw a man who splashed water all around but did not wash his limbs properly as required for a valid ablution. These two young talents of keen insight sought a way to show him the way without humiliating him. With this intention, they asked the man to tell them which one of them made ablutions correctly. They made ablutions exactly as they had learned from their blessed father Ali ibn Abi Talib, may God be pleased with him. When they were done, they asked which one of them did it better. With the ease of being free from humiliation, the man calmly replied that they both did it so well and that his own way was wrong. Therefore, it is important to reiterate that the style we use at correcting wrongs bears great importance in terms of acceptance.

Educating Individuals to Accept Criticism

Additionally, making people able to accept criticism and evoking a righteous feeling of respect in them constitute a separate dimension of the issue. The Companions, who had attained an ideal level of righteousness, could comfortably warn one another about any wrong that they had committed without causing any negative reaction at all. For example, during a sermon, Umar ibn al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him, reminded people that it was necessary to keep bridal dues (mahr) within affordable limits and told them not to ask for too high amounts. What he suggested was a reasonable solution to prevent possible abuses. Even today, an understanding attitude of this issue will definitely fulfill an important function at solving a social problem. While Umar was drawing attention to this fact, an old woman spoke up and asked the caliph, “O Umar, is there a Qur’anic verse or hadith on this issue that you know and we do not? The Qur’an commands, ‘But if you still decide to dispense with a wife and marry another, and you have given the former (even so much as amounts to) a treasure, do not take back anything thereof’ (an-Nisa 4:20), thus not setting a limit to the amount of bridal dues.” In spite of being the caliph governing a great state that challenged the two superpowers of the time, Umar said aloud to himself, “O Umar, you do not know your religion even as much as an old woman.”2 This degree of righteousness caused Umar to be referred as “al-waqqaf inda’l haqq” (one who halts when he meets the truth). That is, when he faces a righteous argument, he stops like a car that suddenly comes to a halt while moving downslope. It is necessary to effect this feeling in people. For this reason, we should make a deal with a certain friend and authorize him or her to comfortably criticize any wrong that arises in our personal attitudes and behaviors. 

In conclusion, a person who intends to criticize, or rather to correct certain matters, must first understand the issue well and make a serious effort in terms of making the correct remark. Secondly, the other person’s feelings must be taken into consideration and fathom whether that other person is ready to welcome what we are about to say. If a negative reaction seems likely, one should not think, “I definitely want to be the one who expresses this truth,” but instead leave the criticism to another person whose remarks will be more influential. Considering the circumstances of our time, when arrogance has become so prevailing and people cannot tolerate even a little criticism, these principles have gained a greater importance. As for those who receive criticism, they should uphold righteousness above everything else and respond to criticisms with gratitude instead of reacting negatively. Bediüzzaman advises us: if someone warns us about a scorpion on our back (in other words, one who warns us about our wrongs), we should only express gratitude, which is an indication of maturity. 

1. Sahih al-Bukhari, Ayman, 3
2. Al-Bayhaqi, As-Sunanu’l-Kubra, 7/233

This text is the translation of “Faydalı Tenkidin Esasları.”


The Carnal Soul, Satan, and Those Who Straddle the Fence


Question: The Qur’an relates the example of an unfortunate man whom God made well-informed of His signs and Revelations, but the man cast them aside, and Satan overtook him. He then became of those who went astray, following his carnal desires and Satan (al-A’raf 7:175). What are the reasons that cause one to go astray so gravely while trying to walk on the righteous path?

Answer: The foremost reason for such deviations is forgetting the fact that this life is a testing ground and everything, at every moment, is a component of that test. Those who go astray forget this fact and fall for the deceptions of the carnal soul and Satan. Indeed, man is always faced with both the internal mechanism of the carnal soul and Satan who can never be known when, where and how he will approach and play new tricks on him. These two archenemies usually approach us with a friendly face and try to misguide us by making right seem wrong and vice versa. One needs to always be alert against these tricks. Otherwise, a momentary heedlessness can take one to deceptions that are difficult or even impossible to overcome. In terms of their appeal to our carnal soul and physicality, you can see the temptations of this world as tools of illusion used by Satan, the relentless deceiver. At unexpected moments he makes certain things seem unpredictably very inviting. However, those things that are seemingly pleasant may have disastrous consequences as pointed out in the verse (which means): “It may well be that you dislike a thing but it is good for you, and it may well be that you like a thing but it is bad for you. God knows, and you do not know” (al-Baqarah 2:216). In other words, poisonous honey that you initially enjoy might soon trouble your stomach severely. In the same way, there are certain things people face that they seem bitter and bothersome outwardly, but by putting up with their trouble you can take wing to felicity. For example, Satan wants to make a river in front of your home appear to you as a deep and sinister torrent. However, when you evaluate the issue with sound reason, common sense, and a pure heart and thus gain insight into the issue, this helps to purify you. You see that the river that you feared does not even reach your ankle and furthermore has a purifying quality. As Satan tries to get you into negativities by his illusion, he tries to avert you from doing good by his positive-illusion on the other hand. As the Qur’an states, he is the one that deceives and embellishes; he decks the ugly sins to be appealing. 

The Watcher

Satan, the archenemy of humanity, relentlessly watches for our weak moments, figuring out the best time to attack. He takes advantage of weaknesses such as lust, fear, comfort, love for position, or seeking benefit, and topples a person over when he finds the chance.

The Qur’an describes Satan’s grudge against humanity: “Now that You have allowed me to rebel and go astray, I will surely lie in wait for them on Your Straight Path (to lure them from it). Then I will come upon them from before them and from behind them, and from their right and from their left. And You will not find most of them thankful” (al-A’raf 7:16–17). Other verses also describe this unappeasable enemy (translated as): “Then (I swear) by Your Glory, I will certainly cause them all to rebel and go astray” (as-Sa’d 38:82). Taking into consideration these and other verses in the Qur’an, we can say that what lies behind all of people’s misguidance, transgressions, rebellion against God, and heedless indulgences are the goadings and whisperings of Satan.

Who Suffices with What Is in Hand Is a Deceived One

Undoubtedly, what befalls us in the face of such a relentless enemy is not standing somewhere in the middle but adopting a resolved stance and verifying all the values one believes in with reasoning, judgment, and following the established principles in the Qur’an and Sunnah. That is, one needs to have sound faith and due reliance on God in order to be saved from Satan’s evil: “Surely he has no power over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord” (an-Nahl 16:99). It is not possible to be saved from Satan and his traps for those who may content themselves only with the acculturation they received from the environment in which they grew up without deepening their faith through reflection and investigation or trying to internalize the values they believe in.

The Situation of a Person Straddling the Fence

As mentioned in the question, the Qur’an gives the example of a person who does not adopt a clear position with respect to faith and following Divine commands: “Tell them (based on Our Revelation) the story of him whom We made well-informed of Our signs and Revelations, but he cast them off, and Satan overtook him, and he became of those (followers of Satan) who rebel (against God’s way) and go astray” (al-A’raf 7:175).

The Qur’an relates this story to teach us a lesson. That man witnessed manifest signs and had evident works of wonders—to guide him to truth, which would make him see and hear correctly, which would guide his heart to wisdom, but he ignored all this and left everything behind. So it seems this poor man, in spite of being granted certain blessings, failed to define a clear position and take a sound stance; he could not save himself straddling the fence. In other words, although he lived in a suitable environment for practicing faith, he failed to ingrain in himself the truths he had learned from the culture he was raised in. That poor man did not show any personal effort to verify what he inherited, did not ponder it, nor try to rebuild the world of his feelings, thoughts, and beliefs by giving his willpower its due; ultimately, he became a loser. According to the statements of some interpreters of the Qur’an, his knowing the Ism al-Azam (greatest Divine Name) and Divine secrets did not do him any good; he did not make them an integral part of his character or nature, and thus they did not belong to him. In this respect, if people do not restore the thoughts they inherit from their ancestry and have an unshakable faith by verifying and internalizing every piece of the information they possess, then Satan can cast doubts and hesitations into them, polluting their hearts and minds. 

Talk of the Beloved All the Time

The verse continues by stating, “If We had willed (to impede the way he chose by his free will), We could indeed have lifted him (towards the heaven of perfections enabled by faith) through those signs and Revelations, but (by his own free choice) he clung to the earth and followed his desires” (al-A’raf 7:176). That is, he was taken by comfort, physicality, fame, imitation, praises, fancies, and desires, and thus forgot that the bestowals he enjoyed essentially belong to God. When he became oblivious of this fact, God left him to oblivion. The verse then states (translated as): “So (in his being surrendered to greed), his likeness is that of a dog: if you move to drive it away, it pants with its tongue lolling out (still hoping to be fed more), or if you leave it, it pants with its tongue lolling out” (al-A’raf 7:176). And a few verses later, the situation of such people is described as: “They are like cattle (following only their instincts)—rather, even more astray” (al-A’raf 7:179). Due to their carnal, animalistic desires, they fall down to a status lower than the lowliest creatures.

Humanity is indeed honored with the best pattern of creation, as candidates for exaltedness. Although human essence is potentially even superior to angels, their downfall does not take them to ground zero but to a deep pit much lower than that. That is, a man who has become a slave to his desires and fancies, he cannot even keep the level of an ordinary man but falls to a level below animals. While describing the situation of such a person—owing to the gravity of the matter—the style of the Word of God changes here significantly and the conduct of the person in question is likened to animal behavior. To conclude, if a person is not walking determinedly, not improving his abilities to comply with the needs of walking on this righteous path, and lacking the resolution for constant self-renewal, if he is not upholding the truth of the Prophetic statement, “Renew your faith by La ilaha illa’llah,”1 it is always possible for him to be stopped by one of these obstacles. In order to overcome all of these obstacles and reach their target, individuals must concentrate their powers on retaining their faith; they should build insurmountable walls around it and continuously feed their heart and spirit with good, righteous deeds and attending religious talks.

1. Al-Hakim at-Tirmidhi, Nawadiru’l-Usul, 2/204

This text is the translation of “Nefis, Şeytan ve A’raftakiler.”

Regardless of Others, We Should Not Be Involved in Backbiting, Defamation, Conflicts or Sedition


Figuratively speaking, there are times when you cannot stand on your feet without leaning against something, such as during Prayers. Sometimes, you cannot prostrate or stand back up after prostration without getting help from your hands. You accept this as a law of creation, and believe that as you get older, you are bound to have such needs. Still, it is not always possible to fully understand things like that before you actually experience them. Muslims can use such states to their advantage by regarding them as Divine tests, which will add to their relationship with God, and by thanking God for these tests, since they are only related to worldly matters. As Bediüzzaman cites, some scholars say:

“Al-hamdu lil’lahi ala kulli hal, siwa’l-kufri wa’d-dalal” (All praise be to God for every state except for infidelity and deviation); or “Al-hamdu lil’lahi ala kulli hal, siwa ahwali’l-kufri wa’d-dalal” (All praise be to God for all states except the states of infidelity or deviation).

If God has granted you the maturity to say these, it means He has granted you the key to stand against the most despairing situations; this key is another “wave length” of the Divine manifestation of His Mercy. For every age group, this Mercy has its own meaning: for youth, for maturity, and even for childhood. Although God always grants us things to be happy with, we do not always cherish them. In fact, we are surrounded by His favors; however, since it is left to people whether or not to regard events as His favors, choosing to cherish them is important. Therefore, whoever employs their logic and reasoning in this direction, they may be granted much more than what is normally expected out of such an act of cherishing. The more sincere the intention is, the higher the grant.

Also, metaphorically speaking, there may be times when you have an even temper which you hardly ever lose. But when things seem to go wrong, and you feel like you are losing your temper, you should be aware that such times are opportunities that you can exhibit your chivalrous qualities in the eyes of God by handling such difficult situations with tenderness. For instance, when you see a person, a thinker, or an opinion that is totally opposite of you and your viewpoint, instead of losing your temper and thinking negative things about them, you should choose to think altruistically. You should say “Astaghfiru’llah Ya Rabbi” (O God, I ask for Your forgiveness), and pray to Him saying “God! Please set right my feelings and thoughts, my mood and also that person’s mood.” 

This attitude should be promoted and encouraged, especially nowadays. Otherwise, it brings about a vicious circle of negative actions inducing one another. Just like faults in the earth’s crust, tensions in a society, between groups of people, or between nations, cause earthquakes. Depending on several factors, you may just have an earthquake, or suffer a tsunami after one another; you may well see its effects in the world’s atmosphere and weather conditions; some insects or other life forms may disappear. There may be such similarities between the laws of creation and social dynamics. 

Once there is a quake in a society, people start blaming each other for the sake of pinning the blame on others. If they have no basis for such claims, this is slander. Slander is two levels closer to the Hell than backbiting; where our noble Prophet identifies backbiting as “More violent than adultery.” Adultery is licentiousness; it is depravity and bohemianism, for which Islamic law has imposed severe punishments and taken extraordinary precautions against. Some types of backbiting are even more violent than adultery since they make vicious statements about someone when that person is not present, even if you tell the truth. Something as simple as criticizing somebody’s clothes is considered backbiting in Islam; or making a comment about how someone trimmed their mustache is also backbiting. In this accord, making vicious statements about someone for their opinions, beliefs, attitudes, lifestyles, and so forth, are considered as violent backbiting. Finally, doing so about a group of people, or a leader who represents a group of people, is not equal to backbiting one person, but equal to backbiting several people. This means, unless such a backbiter asks for, and is granted, forgiveness by each individual in that group, the backbiter cannot enter the gate of Paradise.

Please be reminded that the comments above are not my personal opinions, but an Islamic rule. Again, such a backbiter is doomed even if he delivers Islam from annihilation. May God protect us from it. As mentioned before, backbiting and slander are like the aftershocks of such an earthquake; because, once this vicious circle starts, it is difficult for a true Muslim to not get involved. Fending off this cycle means such a person is considered a person of stature and high standing by the Guardian Angels and in the eyes of God.

It is crucial to put up with some inconveniences even though they seem unbearable. This way you do not get dragged into their violence, negativity, backbiting, and slander; hence, the blame is not shared. If you fight fire with fire, you help the conflict, the chaos, the backbiting, the slander, to escalate. This acts like a chain reaction, and may result in a more serious outcome, including murder and assassination.

Expecting a collective agreement on holding this vicious cycle back may be too optimistic. That is: not every individual or broadcasting institute may agree to not circulate rumors, to not avoid provocative news, or to not increase social tension. However, those who could agree should be talked into using a tender language and attitude, and to wear their good heart on their sleeves. This may help fix the problems and the violence for our part. If one action of yours breeds chaos, it would escalate incrementally in the actions of others. If you add to it once, others would do the same in a greater magnitude and amount. Regardless of your initial intention, things might turn against you. May God protect us from it.

Mildness and agreement are crucial. We can find examples of these behaviors in the Messiah or our noble Prophet, both of whom are interrelated, and exemplified the principle of turning the other cheek. I should add that some Muslim scholars have not validated the principal of turning the other cheek, probably due to its possible abuse during wars. However, it is definitely an important one, especially in times of conflict, like the End Times where disorder and corruption, backbiting and slander, tactlessness prevail and lead to pillages, murders and assassinations. In such a period of time, when bestiality is represented by humans, we need mildness and agreement the most. What we need is “to be without hands against those who strike you, and without speech and complaint against those who curse you.”

We have such great figures in our culture like Khoja Ahmad Yasawi, who said “You should be numb,” meaning numb against negativities like the present ones. Another one is Yunus Emre, who uttered the principle I have just rephrased above. He also says “A dervish should be uncomplaining. Being a dervish does not only mean to bear habiliments or a headdress; once you negotiate, you will not need either of them.” Moreover, we have Jalalu’d-Din ar-Rumi, who we shortly call Mawlana. He was inclusive towards everyone, and tolerated all faiths. He said “One of my feet is on the center of Islam and the other, like a leg of a compass, is in the realm of 72 nations.” 

These are easier said than done. What matters, especially for those whose role is to guide others, is not only implementing them in our lives by putting them into practice, but also demonstrating that they are realizable. Instead of only achieving such virtues at an individual level, they need to be implemented at the public level, regardless of the difficulties and challenges. This can only be done through leading a social life. 

What the speaker means with the line “One of the feet being on the center of the religion” is to avoid any contradiction with the principles of Islam; and by “the other foot like a leg of a compass” is that we must tolerate and admit all faiths. It should be considered natural for someone to show a more comprehensive inclusiveness towards people of their own faith and to embrace them more eagerly. Still, channels should be kept open with those who are neutral, or rather, in between. God honored them by granting them humanity; regardless of their faith, they are human, and deserve humane conduct. 

This way, disorder can be minimized and confined, if not resolved totally.

In addition, if you can act as a role model, even in a small way, you will serve as an example to be imitated. People all around the world will take your example, and want to employ it as a nucleus of their desired society. Once you can realize your utopia, it will be admired worldwide and you will see similar formations. This is possible for all of us as long as we act with determination, persistence, and purity of intention, by relating everything to God.

Like I said, it is easier said than done to refer to the morality of Yunus Emre, Khoja Ahmad Yasawi, Haji Bektash Veli, Jalalu’d-Din ar-Rumi, or other great figures such as Messiah or of the Pride of Humankind, peace and blessings be upon him. It is essential that such morality be implemented and internalized. It can be achieved by living a life in spite of one’s own self, by ignoring one’s own self, despite every external factor. We need self-sacrificing generosity, the devotion of ourselves to the lives of others in complete forgetfulness of all concerns of our own, the spirit of devotion, and commitment to humanity, Muslims, our nation, and our lofty ideals. God will grant peace and restoration through such people only.

People of these virtues would be charmed by anyone. 

I personally believe Abu Bakr was poisoned just like the other three caliphs; hence, they are all martyrs. Umar had such perspicacity that he could warn Sariyah, his commander in chief, to back up towards a mountain while they were about a hundred miles away, and while Umar was giving a sermon at his podium and Sariyah was in the battlefield. It does not sound reasonable for Umar to have seen Sariyah but not Abu-Lu’lu’ah, who assassinated him. It was his tender-mindedness that let him lead Prayers unguarded. 

Likewise, noble Ali, whose vision could embrace centuries ahead of him, who put forward answers to the questions of centuries ahead of his time, could not have overlooked Ibn Muljam, his assassin. I am very confident that he had seen him; yet, he did not choose to show harshness.

When his enemies appeared at his doorway, Uthman ibn Affan said he did not want to be a Muslim who kills other Muslims—just like Abdul Hamid II did—at the cost of his own life. Another example is Saladin, who is falsely blamed by his Fatimid wife for unfaithfulness. He turns his back to her and says, “If it is true, you can stab me in my back,” which makes her see she is wrong.

In sum, those who have committed to act as role models and guides should have the same spirit as all of the examples above. They should sacrifice their lives to save their nation from disorder, and they should say, like Murad I, “You can take my life and martyr me, but do not touch the integrity of my nation.”

Violence yields and rebounds upon itself; so do anger and hatred. Once perpetrated, hatred leads to counter-hatred, and this wounds an entire nation. Had violence, harshness, and violence proven any good, the 30-year-old problems in southeastern Turkey would have already been resolved. They cannot solve such problems. Some people should consecrate themselves to the lives of their community in complete sacrifice of all concerns of their own—so that not only can problems be solved, but also to prove, before history and collective conscience, the rightness of their way.

Finally, “Be killed but do not kill. Get hurt but do not twist a finger. Be disgraced but do not put anyone to shame.” This looks like the only way to heal our excessively disintegrated community. 

May God bestow sagacity and understanding on us. May God set our and their hearts right.

This text is the translation of “329. Nağme: Bari Biz Gıybet, İftira, Kavga ve Fitnelere Geçit Vermeyelim!

Different Kinds of Tests the Devoted Souls Go Through


Question: There are so many different factors that put people to the test. What are the most dangerous of such factors, particularly for the devoted souls of today?

Answer: Divine Justice puts people to various kinds of tests throughout their lives. As an acid test separates gold from stone and dust, God Almighty, Who already knows our real worth, makes people see it for themselves. By these tests, He makes us see what we can endure until when, what kind of an attitude we adopt before misfortunes, and whether we will be steadfast or complain, which implies covert criticism of Divine Destiny. Worldly tests batter people, apply different filters to them, and put them into melting pots. The saintly dervish Yunus Emre voiced this truth as follows:

This road is long,
Many ranges along…
Not even a gate,
Deep waters ahead.

Difficulty of the Test is Proportional with the Ideals Targeted

God Almighty states that He will test people in different ways and then He gives glad tidings for those who endure:

We will certainly test you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth, and lives, and fruits (earnings); but give glad tidings to the persevering and patient” (al-Baqarah 2:155).

Accordingly, as worship increases a person’s spiritual rank, tests and trials of this life—considered as negative form of worship—purify one from sins if patience is not given up; they take the individual to the highest levels. In addition to enduring consecutive tests patiently, what befalls a believer is taking those tests as opportunities to face oneself, ponder upon one’s deeds by calling one’s self to account, and evaluate one’s own performance.

Given that difficulties increase in accordance with the greatness of the consequent reward, then intensity of tests increases proportionally with the value of the ideals sought. For example, becoming a martyr while serving humanity and ascending to a different level of life is an important attainment. However, having this honor depends on serving in the way of God and taking due pains; there must be utter self-sacrifice. It is for this reason that people devoted to a lofty ideal who try to fulfill its requirements must bear any trouble or misfortune that befalls them. They must show due patience and continue their life in spite of themselves.

You can remember the statements of Bediüzzaman concerning the issue: “In my life of more than eighty years, I did not enjoy anything as worldly pleasures; my life always passed in battlegrounds, prison houses, and different places of exile and suffering. There is no torment I haven’t been subjected to. I was brought to court-martials and treated like a murderer. I was sent from one exile to another like a vagabond. I was banned from communicating with people for months in the prisons of my country. I was poisoned many times over. I underwent various kinds of insult. There were times when I had gladly preferred death to life. If my religion had not prevented me from suicide, this Said would have become dust long ago.” Because the tests he went through were so hard, God Almighty took him to the peak of human progress. You never know, maybe due to the troubles he went through enduringly, by the grace of God, he was rendered a guide for those who remain behind.

And There Are People Who Remain Halfway

The life of this world is a chain of tests from beginning to end, but these are not only comprised of troubles and misfortunes. Material and spiritual achievements and bestowals serve as a means of testing as well. People will pass such stages and stations in their lives that some places will make them dizzy; some positions and titles—God forbid—will make them slip, and some germs on the places they pass will infect their spiritual life. In short, individuals will pass through tests sometimes by ease and comfort, and sometimes by glory, fame, status, and applause. Imam al-Ghazali gives the following example about the tests people face in this world: A man sets off determined to go to a beautiful Garden of Paradise, having heard much about the beauties of his destination. However, he sees an inviting place with babbling rivers, singing birds, and pleasant tree shades, all of which seems so inviting. The man forgets about his destination and decides to settle there. He builds a hut for himself and begins to live there.

Actually, this parable summarizes the life of this world in a striking and pithy fashion. You may picture different versions of the factors that make one forget the true destination. One may be held by many different factors along the way in addition to comfort. However, it is not possible to attain Paradise and good pleasure of God without leaving those places behind.

Greed for Fortune

One of the most important examples of the tests one faces in life is the desire for money and worldly possessions. It can even be said that it is the greatest weakness for most people. The Messenger of God refers to this fact in one of his sayings. Accordingly, if the son of Adam possesses one valley of gold, he would like to have two. And nothing fills his (greedy) mouth but soil. However, God accepts the repentance of the one who repents.1

Thus, asking for more with an insatiable greed, trying to possess bigger companies and firms, and the desire for taking control of everything are the weaknesses of most. Indeed, such a competition for personal interests and benefits underlies so many fights and clashes in society.

When Muhyiddin ibn Arabi was under pressure in Damascus, he stamped his foot on the ground and said, “The deity you worship is under my feet.” Some take these words as a denial of faith. However, he had the opinion that the love of money had seized the hearts of the people he addressed to the degree of worshipping it. As for their deity being under his feet, it turned out centuries later that he had indeed referred to a great treasure of gold buried under the very spot where he stood.

Unfortunately, so many people are virtually dying for it. They begin with, “Let me have a house,” and continue with, “Let me have one for my son and one for my daughter” and “There should also be a villa for my grandchild…” You can see so many worldly ones living with these considerations. You may even meet people who set forth to serve humanity for the sake of God but then begin to run after such desires as if they worship money, to the extent that some of those people do not suffice with the payment that they receive, and with the intention of earning more, they abandon services of vital importance for people and faith. Thus, they stray from the path of righteousness to the path of worldliness.

Lusts of the Flesh

Lustful passions constitute one of the most difficult tests in our contemporary age. It has always been a difficult test all throughout history, but it has assumed a much more dangerous form today.

Rumi tells a story about weakness of lust in his Mathnawi. Satan speaks with God Almighty, or rather he uses an insolent language towards his Lord. The Qur’an and the sayings of God’s Messenger relate insolent expressions Satan used demagogically. However, Rumi’s parable is different: Satan complains to God that He made him disgraced and suffer deprivation. And then he asks some things he can use for deviating and tempting people. God Almighty grants him factors like wealth, status, and fame. But Satan does not feel happy with any of them. In the end, God gives him the chance to use men and women against one another; Satan feels greatly pleased and begins dancing out of joy.

Even though this parable is not mentioned in essential sources of religion, what really matters here is the truth that it conveys. Particularly for certain character types, lust is the greatest factor of testing in this world. We can take it into consideration together with the following hadith: “The Hell is surrounded with lust. And Paradise is surrounded with difficulties and things unpleasant to the carnal soul.2 There are long roads, many stopovers, forbidding waters, and other obstacles on the path to Paradise, while things pleasing to the carnal soul, such as indulging in food and drinking, lying lazily, and running after carnal desires, are on the way to Hell. A person who gives in to these will keep sinking gradually toward the lowliest levels unawares.

Love of Fame

Running after respect, status, authority, and expecting appreciation are among the tests most people lose. Bediüzzaman refers to “love of fame, post and position” among the six routes of (Satan’s) assault in his “Twenty-ninth Letter” and to fame as “poisonous honey” in his Al-Mathnawi Al-Nuri. They are among the greatest weaknesses of some, and it should never be forgotten that one who has become a fool for fame will do anything for this sake. May God save us from falling into these deadly pitfalls and make us pass to the next world with a visa of faith and consciousness of ihsan (perfect goodness; living carefully as if one were able to see God, or at least living with a consciousness of being seen by Him).

1. Sahih al-Bukhari, Riqaq, 10
2. Sahih al-Bukhari, Riqaq, 8

This text is the translation of “İmtihan Çeşitleri

The Protests of Taksim Gezi Park and the Root of the Problems


Since we do not use the way of the Prophets, their inheritors, saints and sincere friends of God, we are unable to handle problems. We are committing so many wrongdoings just to eliminate one wrongdoing. We cause various kinds of wrongdoings and injustice to happen. We only add fire to the flames of grudge and hatred. We cause things to grow out of control. And today you see the examples in the streets. There are worse examples, perhaps. In the books of hadith referring to chaotic events of the future (Kitab al-Fitan wa’l-Malahim), the Prophet foretells worse events. The current turmoil can then be seen only as a sampling of those larger chaotic events; accordingly, people will kill one another but none of them will know why these killings are taking place. There will be repeated damage to people and properties, but none of them will have any reasonable, licit and lawful basis. Things will happen helter-skelter. Predictions of God’s Messenger relate such events in detail; thus, these current events seem to be micro-scale samples.

If we take these events lightly, we will resemble the forty fools: they took each other by the hand so that they could get down to the bottom of a cliff, but of course they all fell down together. Thirty nine of them died and only one survived with serious injuries and broken bones. When people asked him what happened, he answered that they would nearly get into trouble, treating the situation much too lightly. This is how the insensitive people disregardful of the consequences usually view this issue.

And on the other side, some people say, “Why are they engaging in violence and causing harm? Why are they breaking the glasses of innocent people’s windows? They throw Molotov cocktails into houses, dorms, schools, universities, and even into banks!” Illogical and inhuman behavior prevails. Yet, if you make sweeping overgeneralizations by saying: “This has nothing to do with the issue of standing up for some rights,” then this means turning a blind eye to the innocent demands of the innocent people among them. We neglected these people first of all. These generations are a fruit of our neglect. Secondly, they may have some acceptable demands. They can express themselves saying, “The park needs to be preserved, and trees should not be uprooted. Ecosystem should be protected, and so on.” That said, the crowd may not, however, keep the balance while trying to protect a park they enjoy. As opposed to their very aim, they can damage the environment themselves, upset the general harmony and leave nothing behind for an ecosystem. Therefore, insensitivity on one issue, or failure to understand it, may lead to excessive behavior in some people while it may lead to a different form of apathy in others. May God protect!

On the other hand, some people both at home and abroad try to take advantage of our weaknesses and abuse innocent people’s innocent demands (by provoking the masses). As some creatures are all ears for hearing sounds, such abusers are all ears for opportunities to abuse. The media throughout the world are against Turkey now; they are unfortunately acting as if the apocalypse has started. Significantly worse disasters happen in Syria, but the media does not care at all. Similar things happen in Iraq, but once again, the media is silent. They do not even care about suicide attackers in different parts of the world. Turkey, however, is in a critical position to become a balancing factor in the region. It has made certain kinds of progress.

On the one hand, there are those innocent demands. On the other hand, there is the abuse of those demands by certain circles within the country, or the use of those demands as a counter move by certain ideologies. Others from abroad take full advantage of the events for their ulterior motives. Our negligence and inability to see the well-planned strategies of abuse by others has resulted in the current conflicts.

In fact, the Messenger of God told about this picture. He said it would happen after the general public was alienated from their spiritual heritage. For this reason, we need to revise our point of view.

 “Who is to blame for this unrest? Those who overlooked the protests by labeling it as ‘this and that’? Or should we blame those who are involved in the violence? Or should we blame the system overall?” Does the problem lie with our failure to raise and develop good generations? Or to not have guided them as we should? If so, then the system needs to be revised. We need to revise our own thoughts again. If we do this – if we face ourselves honestly, and openly self-criticize – we can be saved from greater concerns. If we do not face ourselves now, we will be facing issues we cannot tackle later, may God protect us. We need to revise our moral education systems. Whose children are those youth who act so unreasonably on the streets? They pursue no righteous cause; if they did, they would gather somewhere, express their feelings in a civilized way, and then leave. Some would receive their message, and they could gather to repeat it for those who did not understand. They could become organized in a way. Given that people make their choice through elections, they could work seriously towards that avenue. They could try to convince people by telling them about their positions and complaints. They vote for what they like. If they do not like the choice, they can wait patiently for the next election and choose a different one.

It seems we have damaged ourselves. The matter lies with the grass roots. Since the ground has lost its fertility, and the atmosphere has become corrupt, we witness such illegitimate events, and certain generations who represent these events. Until the time we tackle our human failings, the problems will remain unsolved. We need to see what we did. We failed to revise the system. “How is it possible for us to raise a generation that will honestly self-supervise? How can we raise a humane generation that will not respond to destruction with more destruction but instead with construction?” This is the real question, and we failed to think about it.

The Qur’an says, “…Your responsibility is your selves (so consider how you are faring along your own way). Those who go astray can do you no harm if you yourselves are rightly guided (and so follow your right way without deviation)…” (al-Maedah 5:105). That is, your unity and unswerving course on the righteous path will mitigate even the most negative factors. We failed to look at ourselves. We did not check whether we were on the righteous path. We failed to raise generations who were conscious of right and wrong. We watched without concern, dismissing them as “just a small bunch.” And they began to run amok, attacking here and there. What they really need is to be treated with sympathy and compassion. They are trampling human values under their feet; they are trampling their own values. Even though it seems too late for today’s generation, there should be systems to develop them beneficently for tomorrow. What can we do to develop them? What can we do to remind them that God created them in the best pattern and bring them into line with humane ways? How can we prevent them from harming people and human values? How can we remind them not to harm their country so that they do not let others abuse this against their own country and make all of us face certain plans impossible to overcome?

If you display some weakness, others usually plan to take advantage of it. While you are already in such a weak state, they shatter you into pieces, as they did it with the Ottoman State. The most critical factor right now is our own weakness, our internal conflicts. Even if we cannot change the situation today, community leaders, scientists, psychologists, and educators should come together to generate relevant projects. What can we do to bring the generations who failed to pursue a humane course into line with humanity? How can we convince them of the value in serving their own country, of developing it into a great country by God’s grace? 

One should not ignore or underestimate what goes on, just as one should not take fire or war lightly. As Imruu’l-Qays, one of the poets of the pre-Islamic Arabia, rightly said, “There are two things that you can start but cannot stop, even when you really wish to: One is fire and the other is war.” We have seen both, indeed. You can take this statement both literally and figuratively. Actually, the current events that we are going through are not much different than fire. And there is the issue of war. As is well-known, because of a few adventurers, who did not really know how to govern a state, unnecessarily firing at Russian ships on the Black Sea engaged the Ottoman State in World War I. A great state was thus brought to ruin. It is an essential of our culture to talk about previous generations with respect, but I cannot manage to forgive those who caused the destruction of a state, which had served as an important factor of balance among world powers. Let them account for what they did in Divine court; but I am not saying, “Let them enter Hell.” They will be called to account before the Divine court. That state was so important. A profane play by Voltaire, disrespectful toward the Prophet, was performed in Europe. It was the time of Sultan Abdulhamid II. The Ottomans were known as the “sick man of Europe” when the sultan gave an ultimatum, saying that he would declare war on them as the caliph of the believers and make the Muslim India march on them. Even during a period of such decline, like a wounded lion roaring, he made everybody in the forest straighten. Those few adventurers, however, brought that state to ruin and this is the truth that lies behind our wretched condition today. They joined the war but were unable to stop it when they wished. It took away everything, like a flood. Fire and war, they stop only when they will! For this reason, if you are able to put out a fire while it is small, do it right there. Otherwise, by the time it covers an entire field, it is too late. For this reason, even when faced with the smallest fire, we need to call all the fire brigadiers to help by shouting, “Get your equipment and come, there’s fire!” 

If centers of learning are bombed, innocent ones are being killed, people are stopped with gas bombs, and if some turn a blind eye to all this by failing to see the underlying reasons, then the fire grows—God forbid! 

I do not think that the character of the nation has been corrupted to that degree; not even bad ones are that bad. However, others who do not wish to let you grow into a factor of balance can take advantage of this. Turkey is a ball of problems, and those who surround it can take advantage of these problems. Even one of them can make everything into a mess. There is a covert agreement among them to not let you advance even one step further. You may console yourselves with an apparent “spring” here and there, when in reality, you are faced with the ice cold winds of fall. 

We therefore need to be alert and act intelligently. We need to see the smallest problems as consequential, and we need to handle them in a smart way. If you are facing an invasion of ants, do not dismiss it. They reach into your pots of butter and honey, and pollute them with toxins; do not dismiss it. Taking problems lightly stems from light thinking, light reasoning, and light judgment. It is very important to see everything clearly, as they are. Then it becomes possible to generate well-placed projects and plans. 

The souls devoted to building a new revival must be very cautious at this issue, very cautious. What is in our hands is a trust we inherited from the previous generations. If we face a betrayal or murder concerning our own personal life, we may be indifferent to that if we wish. But a betrayal concerning rights of the public—we can also call them God’s rights—cannot be ignored. God judges the responsible ones gravely. If we do not put a barrier against events that will result in a betrayal against an entire nation—may God protect—the issue grows so much that our neglect becomes a betrayal of the trust. However, we have to protect the trust against all odds, just as we protect our life and honor, until we hand it to the trustworthy generations to come. Let’s fulfill our responsibility, and put our trust in God, and then see what God will decree for us. God Almighty makes even the oppressors say, one day, “God has preferred you above us,” like his repentant brothers once said to Prophet Joseph. 

We need to recite prayers against malevolence. You can divide sections of a prayer book, such as Al-Qulub ad-Dari‘ah, between friends, and thus complete reciting its prayers and litanies collectively. You can also read the names of the Ashab al-Badr; the blessed souls of those Companions are no different than heavenly spiritual beings. It has been tried on different occasions; such prayers became an invitation for Divine Providence, and seemingly unsolvable matters are solved by God’s grace. 

There is really not much people like us can do; maybe I have been talking in vain. Until the moment we straighten ourselves… I heard a story from Osman Tarı, a former member of the parliament. There was a scholarly person known as Tahir Efendi among the members of the first parliament of Turkish Republic. As others gave enthusiastic talks, he preferred to keep silent in a corner. One day, his supporters insisted he also talk; they said that others were taking pride in their representatives’ talks, and they also expected the same. Tahir Efendi was a person who made short but concise remarks. He answered thus: “Dear congregation, know that you are the electors and I am the elected. We are destined for the house of elected ones (Parliament). The act you did is called intihab—election. “Intihab” comes from the word nuhbah, which means “cream.” Do not forget that the cream will be of the same nature with the substance used. The cream that gathers on top is the same with the substance in its base. Accordingly, yoghurt, milk, or lime will have a cream of the same kind with them.” 

Upon hearing this anecdote, I said that what Tahir Efendi had expressed was indeed a very good paraphrasing of the hadith, “You are governed however you are.” 

The issue needs to be dealt with at the grassroots level by restoring a morally wrecked generation. As Bediüzzaman puts it, our duty is to repair a fort that has been wrecked for centuries. For centuries, it was damaged from different directions. We need to grasp our responsibility, and begin cultivating the new generations. We need to let them embrace the values of their own spiritual heritage; they need to be taught such thinking and manners. Otherwise, these transgressions will continue. And continuing to respond to them in a reactionary fashion only makes us into bullies. The issue needs to be dealt with from the bottom-up. What is our problem? How can it be settled? The matter needs to be solved in compliance with the path of the Prophet. The Messenger of God, for whose sake God split the moon in two in an instant,1 strived so diligently during his entire twenty-three year period of Messengership to educate his people in patience. Had he prayed for it, God would immediately turn their hearts into angelic ones, as a miracle. But he was a teacher to guide people. What are the ways for a good upbringing, how much effort is required, how much brainstorming is needed? The Messenger of God showed it by suffering personally. This is what it takes; it is beyond human power to change it. God’s creational laws do not change. However, most people don’t know this; they are deaf and blind to it. This is the way to follow. As the famous poet Necip Fazıl puts it, “The rest are trivial matters.” What needs to be said to the miserable, crawling generations of long years is, as the poet says, “You have crept much with your face down; it is high time you stood upright!”

1. The manifest miracle of the moon split upon the gesture of the Noble Prophet is mentioned in the following verse of the Qur’anic chapter of al-Qamar (The Moon), which derives its name from the word “al-qamar” (the moon) in its first verse: “…and the moon has split” (al-Qamar 54:1). (Ed.)

Asking Forgiveness-2


Question: What are your recommendations concerning the manners of istighfar, which is a means of purification for believers?

Answer: While beginning to make istighfar, one should first remember the greatness of God Almighty and make due glorification. There are many statements of the noble Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, related to this issue reported by the Companions. By these reports, we should begin to ask God’s forgiveness as follows:

اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ كَبِيرًا وَالْحَمْدُ لِلهِ كَثِيرًا فَسُبْحَانَ اللهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا لَا إِلٰـهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ نَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَهَزَمَ الْأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ

(God is great infinitely, praise be to God abundantly, and glory be to God night and day incessantly. There is no deity but God, He is One. He has supported His servant, and He alone defeated the enemy troops. He has no partners.)

After expressing the greatness of God with these words, invoking blessings on the Beloved Messenger of God is very important in terms of the acceptance of the istighfar. Salawat, or invoking peace and blessings on the Prophet, is an ever-accepted supplication. Words of salawat are a very important means for establishing a connection with the Pride of Humanity. Turning to God by having the Prophet, who ever-turned to his Lord with his prayers, as an intercessor will be a special means for being honored with proximity to God. Also, it is possible to ask forgiveness for all Muslims before beginning istighfar, as we do before the Prayer of Need (Salatu’l-Hajah). As it is included among the prayers of the saints known as Abdal,1 it is possible to habitually recite the following litany in one’s recitations of the dawn and dusk:

اَللّٰهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِأُمَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ اَللّٰهُمَّ ارْحَمْ أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ

(My God, forgive the followers of Muhammad! My God, have mercy on the followers of Muhammad!)

Thus you will have made a good wish for all Muslims. In addition, all of these serve as a prelude for making an istighfar to be accepted by God. You can even hold the humble consideration of seeing yourself as one the most blameworthy one among all Muslims, adding yourself to the prayer and say: “My God, forgive me and the followers of Muhammad! My God, have mercy on me and the followers of Muhammad!”

Seeking Forgiveness through the Most Beautiful Words

After such an initiation, a believer should turn to God with the petition of forgiveness of his or her sins with the following blessed words of the Qur’an in the form of prayer:

لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

(“There is no deity but You, All-Glorified are You [in that You are absolutely above having any defect]. Surely I have been one of the wrongdoers [who have wronged themselves].”) (al-Anbiya 21:87)

أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

(“Truly, affliction has visited me [so that I can no longer worship You as I must]; and You are the Most Merciful of the merciful.”) (al-Anbiya 21:83)

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

(“O my Lord, forgive me and have mercy on me [always treat me with Your forgiveness and mercy], for You are the Best of the merciful.”) (al-Muminun 23:118)

رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي

(“My Lord! Indeed I have wronged myself, so forgive me.”) (al-Qasas 28:16)

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ

(“O our Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and all the believers, on the Day on which the Reckoning will be established.”) (Ibrahim 14:41)

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسْرَافَنَا فِي أَمْرِنَا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

(“Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and any wasteful act we may have done in our duty, and set our feet firm, and help us to victory over the disbelieving people.”) (Al Imran 3:147)

In addition to the prayers mentioned in the Qur’an, there are very beautiful words of prayer that can be recited for making istighfar. For example, the great Companion Abu Bakr asked the Messenger of God to teach him a supplication he could recite during the Daily Prayers. The noble Prophet taught him the following one:

اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنّـِي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي ظُلْمًا كَثِيرًا وَلَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَغْفِرَةً مِنْ عِنْدِكَ وَارْحَمْنِي إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ (My God I surely did much wrongdoing to my own soul, and You are the only one to forgive sins. Grant me a special forgiveness from Your side, and have mercy on me. You surely are the Forgiving, the Merciful.)2

It is most appropriate to recite this prayer, which can be recited during the Daily Prayers at the prostration position and after the final sitting (tahiyyat right before giving the salam to both sides), as an important means to seek God’s forgiveness.

Another prayer, famously known as “Sayyidu’l Istighfar,” (the master of istighfars) is a very important one in this respect:

اَللّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ

(“O God, You are my Lord, there is no deity but You. You have created me, and I am Your servant. I try my best to keep my covenant with You. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge Your favors upon me and I acknowledge my sins. So, forgive me, for truly no one forgives sins except You.)”

The Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, stated that whoever recites this prayer at daytime with true belief in its reward and excellence and passes away before the evening, that person will be one of the dwellers of Paradise. And whoever recites this prayer after nightfall with true belief in its reward and excellence and passes away before the morning, that person will also be one of the dwellers of Paradise.3

Keep Imploring until You Really Feel Purified!

It is also possible to prostrate oneself and keep reciting the following prayer until really feeling contentment and being purified:

يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيثُ أَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ وَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ

(O the Living, O the Self-Subsistent, for the sake of Your mercy I beg for help. Rectify for all my states and leave me not to myself even for the blinking of an eye!)

Some narrators of this prayer made the following addition, “…not even for shorter than that,” which means, “Leave me not to myself even for a moment shorter than the blinking of an eye!”

Another prayer of the Prophet that he recited upon waking up can be expressed as the voice of the heart:

سُبْحَانَكَ اللّٰهُمَّ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِذَنْبِي وَأَسْأَلُكَ رَحْمَتَكَ، اَللّٰهُمَّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا وَلَا تُزِغْ قَلْبِي بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنِي وَهَبْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ

(Glorified are You, O God! I seek Your forgiveness for my sins, and I ask You for Your mercy. O God! Increase my knowledge, and let not my heart stray after You have guided me, and grant me Your mercy, for truly You are the One Who bestows.)4

Additionally, everybody should take their own mistakes, faults, and sins into consideration and say: astaghfirullah/subhan Allah, thousands of times every day. It is reported that the famous Companion Abu Hurayra said subhan Allah 12,000 times a day. When others expressed that it seemed too much, he replied that he was saying it in proportion with his sins.5 I do not think that blessed Companion had a sin. Abu Hurayra came from Daws6 and joined the scholarly group of Ashab al-Suffa (People of the Bench), who stayed near the beloved Prophet for a long time. He reported the Prophet’s sayings more than any other Companion and was a great source of reference after the Messenger of God himself; I would call him the Lion of Daws. However, with respect to his high level of piety Abu Hurayra saw it as a necessity. When we consider our own life, tainted with sins, even making istighfar 30,000 times a day is not too much.

It is also possible to recite the istighfars of great spiritual guides as included in the compilation, Imploring Hearts (Al-Qulub ad-Daria). For example, Hasan al-Basri was a person of dizzying spiritual depth who severely criticized his soul. If possible, one can read his recitation that he distributed over the days of the week in the same way. After beginning his words by invoking peace and blessings on the Prophet, Hasan al-Basri mentions that he committed so many sins, and then he similarly ends with peace and blessings upon the Prophet. Actually, the prevalent ethos of his time and his personal character would not allow for sins anyway; it was impossible for him to have such sins mentioned in the prayer, one who spent his days and nights worshipping and who was dedicated to striving on the righteous path. Still, it seems that he asked forgiveness even for things that passed his imagination. As we are not better than him in terms of our religious life, we are in no better position in terms of sins. Therefore, it will be too little even if we repeated his nightly recitations twice every night.

When one concludes the words of imploration overflowing from the heart to the tongue, it is better to invoke peace and blessings on the Prophet (salawat) again, given that a prayer between two acceptable prayers will be accepted as well; thus, enveloping our petition for forgiveness between salawat will make it more likely to be accepted.

Let me mention one final point: every word uttered for the sake of seeking God’s forgiveness must be pronounced consciously. As words spoken heedlessly show disrespect to God Almighty, they can also be taken as a lie. For this reason, every word uttered should be coming from the bottom of one’s heart, and they should leave a trace when they pass. So much so that when one opens up to God with this consciousness and ask forgiveness, he or she must be uneasy with the shame of their sins, shiver with remorse, and the heart should virtually come to the verge of stopping.

1. The term Abdal (plural for badal) is usually translated as “Substitutes.” The term is used to describe the “men of the Unseen” who have certain degrees of knowledge of God, who are supported by God, and who, with their refined hearts and purified souls, are open to certain Divine mysteries. These Substitutes are the pure, honest saints who help people with their affairs without being seen and who function as veils in the reflection of Divine Acts. When one of the Substitutes dies, he is replaced by another saintly person. (Ed.)
2. Sahih al-Bukhari, Da’awat, 17; Sahih Muslim, Dhikr, 48
3. Sahih al-Bukhari, Da’awat, 2
4. Sahih al-Bukhari, Da’awat, 7–8; Sahih Muslim, Dhikr, 59
5. Ibn Abi Shayba, Al-Musannaf, 5/345
6. Daws was one of the tribes of Arabia living in the south of Mecca.

This text is the translation of “İstiğfar-2

Asking Forgiveness-1


Question: In this contemporary age when sins have spread like an epidemic, what does istighfar (asking forgiveness) promise for believers? Would you talk about particular segments of time that may be preferable for seeking God’s forgiveness?

Answer: Every child is born with the pure primordial nature, as stated by the Messenger of God.1 The essential idea in man’s responsibilities in this world is preserving this original nature until the time of death. All of the good acts that can lead one to eternal bliss are apt to protect this original nature, whereas all of the forbidden acts that might lead one to destruction are apt to corrupt it. While believers should build up sound sets and barriers against destructive sins on the one hand, they should constantly seek ways of preserving their original nature in untainted form. Every sin committed is a deformation with respect to human nature. Restoring one’s original nature after such deformation is only possible through istighfar—asking the forgiveness of God Almighty. Sometimes a heart contaminated by sins may come to the point of inability to fulfill its function.2 Thus, freedom from sins, which take one nearer to unbelief, and clearing up the stains sins leave on the heart are only possible through seeking God’s forgiveness and protection from sins.3

Preventive Medicine

Indeed, believers must adopt a resolved stance from the very beginning and not step toward even the pettiest kind of sins. They need to strive for an auspicious atmosphere to keep them clean from sins and avoid dangerous grounds, just like one escapes from (the venomous bites of) snakes and scorpions. Such resolution and alertness can be achieved only by those with a believing heart and profound conscience that feel as if he or she is falling into Hell with every sin. If one does not feel disgusted at a sin, then it is possible to judge that that person’s heart has already lost its vitality. A heart that does not feel upset and react against one’s wrongdoings or a heart that does not cause the person to lose sleep in remorse resembles a dead body. For this reason, a true believer’s heart reacts against sin. And the foremost reaction to be shown is istighfar—seeking God’s forgiveness and protection from wrongdoings.

As a believer says “Astaghfirullah” (I seek the forgiveness of God), he or she actually says—with the immense meaning of the Arabic present tense (mudhari)—that I seek Your forgiveness all the time as I am now asking and will always ask forgiveness from You. In this way the repentant one renders the wish for forgiveness of a past sin as a petition that includes an entire future. In fact, the All-Forgiving God may accept a single repentance and demand for forgiveness as forgiving of all sins of that person. However, what befalls on us is not sufficing with a single petition but continuing to ask forgiveness for a lifetime and bearing the remorse within. One must think how shameful it is to have committed the sin despite being shown the right guidance, what an insolence it is to dismiss a promise like Paradise and indulge in sin, always feel due shame within, and thus constantly make istighfar, to the degree of asking forgiveness ten thousand times for a single sin. Sometimes one should be unsatisfied even with that much, and say “alfu-alfi (a million times) Astaghfirullah,” trying to feel it within a million times over.

The Elixir That Cuts Out the Root of Inclination toward Evil

As istighfar restores the damaged human nature, it cuts out the root of inclination toward evil as well. A person who continuously purifies oneself by istighfar eliminates a ground of sins at the same time and no virus to invite others remains in the heart. In addition, God Almighty may curtail the feelings of inclination toward evil in a person who makes istighfar continually. In the Qur’an, God Almighty gives the glad tidings about the repentant ones who do good, righteous deeds that He will efface their sins and record righteous deeds in their place (al-Furqan 25:70). As He erases the record of deeds from sins, He can fill those gaps with beautiful things out of His infinite mercy. It is a different manifestation of the fact that His mercy surpasses His wrath.4

Bediüzzaman interprets this verse with a different approach and states that a person’s abilities for evil can transform into ability for goodness, as a consequence of repentance and asking forgiveness. Accordingly, when a person shows loyalty to God by turning to Him repentantly, He may respond as, “Now that you have turned to Me, I will change your potential for evil into potential for goodness.”

Important Time Segments for Istighfar

It is a tradition of the Prophet, upon whom be peace and blessings, to ask forgiveness three times right after performing the obligatory (fard) Prayers.5 The following two points can explain the wisdom of asking God’s forgiveness right after carrying out this act of worship—which is most lovable to God—with the prostrations during which the worshipper is expected to ascend to the nearest proximity to his or her Lord: firstly, people’s inability to maintain full concentration at the Prayer, failing to sense standing in the Divine presence but still roaming through their own world and running after their own pursuits. Such attitude constitutes a kind of disrespect toward God, especially during the Prayer, which is, indeed, the believer’s ascent to the proximity of God. If one is immersed in personal considerations instead of seeking the meanings the Prophet felt during his Ascension, that person needs to make istighfar for such a light hearted attitude.

Secondly, as the Prayer signifies a (lofty spiritual) state in which requests from God are more likely to be accepted, supplications made right after the Prayers have a different value. Therefore, the Messenger of God recommended using this opportunity and asking forgiveness three times. In this respect, the five prescribed Prayers are important grounds and opportunities for seeking God’s forgiveness and protection from sins.

A Qur’anic verse points out an important segment of time for making istighfar: “They used to sleep but little by night (almost never missing the Tahajjud Prayer). And in the hour of early dawn (sahar), they would implore God’s forgiveness” (adh-Dhariyat 51:17–18). This verse expresses appreciation for the believers who get up during the final hours of the night and make istighfar, who open up to God imploringly, and who prostrate and nearly forget to rise back up from the prostration position; it announces this appreciation to all dwellers of heavens, spiritual beings, and to all believers. As certain praiseworthy qualities of believers are related by the Qur’an or the Prophet, others who do not yet have those desirable qualities are encouraged to acquire them. Therefore, it is extremely important to rise during the final hours of the night when others are sound asleep and offer servitude to God by two units of Tahajjud Prayer, at the least.

Also, there are times when the heart is softened, when one feels the weight of sins on the conscience and overflows with emotion… they must be taken as great opportunities for istighfar. We can call them times for breezes of proximity to God. Additionally, turning to God repentantly right after one commits a mistake or sin will mean taking the opportunity of “the first moment of realization that one has stepped into mistake and sin,” for such moments are among the time periods when istighfar is most acceptable. Sins resemble whirlpools and they pull the individual into them like an addiction. It is difficult to rid oneself of sins after a person is immersed in them. If somebody in such a situation does not give the willpower its due and make resolved efforts to be freed from swamp of evils, that sinner may begin to wish for the non-existence of the Divine commandments that forbid those evils, and this wish might lead to one’s ultimate spiritual downfall by losing faith completely. This has been the general pattern for those who fall. This is why it is so important to step back from sin immediately, fearing to come to a point of no return.

Let me conclude with one final point. Even though the times we mentioned above are important opportunities for istighfar, it is not necessary to allocate a special time for seeking God’s forgiveness and protection from sins; indeed, limiting istighfar to those segments of time is wrong. One can and should ask forgiveness from God at any time during night and day, taking every moment of life as an opportunity for it. Whenever possible, one can draw to a corner, sit on bent knees, or prostrate oneself, and turn to God repentantly and ask forgiveness. One can open up to God through istighfar while walking somewhere, driving, or waiting for someone; one should make use of every available moment in this respect. Death can come any time, and meeting death with lips mumbling istighfar is a very important means in terms of walking to the realms beyond in a purified state.

1. Sahih al-Bukhari, Janaiz, 80, 9
2. This does not refer to the marvelous blessing of the physical heart in the chest that pumps blood throughout human body, but to its spiritual counterpart. (Ed.)

3. Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Tafsir al-Surah, (83) 1
4. Sahih al-Bukhari, Tawhid, 22
5. Sahih Muslim, Masajid, 135

This text is the translation of “İstiğfar

Ego… Ego… Ego… and Heroes of Self-Suppression


If, by accident, a stone stubs a golden bowl,
the stone does not gain value,
nor does the bowl become less valuable.

What is important is for us, with regard to our inward relationship with God, is to be like the gold in a bowl.

The Qur’anic Commentary class this morning was about the beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Thousands of peace and blessings be upon him, millions of peace and blessings, billions of peace and blessings be upon him.

The Pride of Humankind, despite being stoned so much, was never away from his duty of Messengership. He arrived at the lofty horizon of his spirit when he passed away, since there was no more room for improvement in this world; he was promoted to the Highest Rank of Humanity, he was promoted to the company of God, glorified and exalted be He.

We live in particularly troublesome times.

On the one hand, egotism is too powerful; every individual has an ego the size of an iceberg. They would not even allow others to say “You have an eyebrow above your eye” as a Turkish proverb says.

Each sound they utter has the word “I” all over it: “I,” “I,” “I.” When they recite the Qur’an, they spell “I,” when talking about their service, they spell “I,” when they give a talk, they spell “I,” and when they perform the Prayers, they spell “I.”

On another hand, since all institutions of education and upbringing, have collapsed, we have become a nation that has suffered the absence of upbringing and manners.

Mehmed Akif, may God’s comprehensive mercy be upon him, says:

Modesty has been ruined,
shamelessness is all around,
What ugly faces that thin veil
proves to have disguised!
There is no fidelity, no loyalty to one’s promises,
not a hint of the word “trust.”
Trustworthiness is a meaningless word,
lying is prevalent.
Lies are favored, betrayal required,
and right is out of sight.
How dreadful, my Lord,
how shocking a revolution it is!
There is no religion, no faith left;
religion has been destroyed,
and faith razed to the ground.

The Great Prophets, the reputable saints, the respected scholars of purity, and the ones nearest to Him should be taken as guideposts to evaluate our own Muslimness, and the validity of our own objectives.

Selfishness, selfishness, selfishness.

Conceit, conceit, conceit.

Egotism, egotism, egotism.

Trust me when I say, people who have followers like these, can never raise the statue of their souls. They first need to purify their carnal souls; which means, they need a purification of their elementary, passionate nature.

Bediüzzaman prescribes the rationale of self-purification as “Do not be proud of your services to God’s religion.” Our noble Prophet says: “Inna’llaha layuayyidu hadha’d-din bi yadi’r-rajuli’l-fajir,” meaning “God may as well sustain Islam through a shameless dissolute man.” Since you are not refined, that is, since you have not refined and developed your soul in purity, you should consider the possibility that you are that shameless dissolute person.

When you examine the present state of the world you will see that every corner suffer from this grunting sound.

The Muslims of the present time have suppressed these virtues, in favor of their egos.

Why do we not take an oath? Let us all take an oath for God’s sake, that we will express sincere gratitude to anyone who points out our mistakes and viciousness, in accordance with the Qur’an and the Prophetic tradition and the main highway of the Righteous Predecessors; that we will say “That is very kind of you to alert us to the scorpion or snake that was about to hurt me.”

Bediuzzaman always dreamed of a new generation, one that is incorrupt, one that is not defective, one that is intact, one that has not indulged in sins, and one who is self-critical.

Muhammed Lütfi Efendi says:

I do not have any knowledge, or good deeds,
nor do I have the vim for deeds or worship.
I am drowned in defiance, and full of sin.
I have my heart in my mouth
about my fate in the Day of Judgment.

This is the way great people think.

Another example is Mehmet Niyazi Misri, who says:

I had concluded no trade;
the capital of life was all wasted away.
I found the road only to find the caravan had moved on while I had been unaware.
Lamenting, I too set off, all alone, a stranger;
With eyes weeping, heart in anguish,
mind bewildered and unaware.

This guidance comes from the owner of a heart and conscience. The architects of the future will be the heroes of this understanding, this philosophy, and this way of thinking; not grandstanders, or ill characters revealing conceit. They have integrity, they are courageous, they are vigorous and in a strong relationship with God.

God willing, your generation and the next one, the new generation will become a means for goodness, and will realize Bediüzzaman’s cause; hence, you will please him, please the Pride of Humankind, and of course, first and foremost and above all, you will win the pleasure of God.

When you go to the other world, I hope He says “I am pleased with you,” personally, and to your face. This is something for which we shall sacrifice our souls, our worldly and bodily pleasures, our freedom in this world. We shall sacrifice all.

The Periods of Insanity and the Murders Committed for the Sake of Religion


In his latest talk, Fethullah Gülen pointed out that humanity virtually goes through periods of delirium after certain intervals, and he referred to the possible causes and underlying reasons for the cases of madness in those periods. No matter the perpetrators or the reasons, Gülen stated that every suicide attack is a multi-dimensional murder. He made particular emphasis on the following points:

  • God Almighty decrees: “And it has never been the way of your Lord to destroy the townships unjustly while their people were righteous, dedicated to continuous self-reform, and setting things right in society” (Hud 11:117). Such people are referred to with the Arabic noun “muslihun.” Such a noun-sentence in Arabic denotes having the stated quality as an established character, and that the people mentioned do such things continuously. Then the muslihun refers to the altruistic souls who are continuously concerned about the miserable condition of humanity, and plan to elevate others to peaks of humanity, who generate projects for that goal, and put them into practice. They are devoted souls who virtually have no other concerns other than that. God will not destroy a land as far as such people reside there. Reading this verse, it is possible to say, “As far as there is a group of people who take the Qur’anic teaching to heart, and wish to serve humanity, who take this as the ideal of their lives, and strive on this path, men and women alike, then God will not send heavenly or earthly calamities to that land.” Nevertheless, it is narrated that after the earthquakes in Izmir and Erzincan, Bediüzzaman expressed his opinion that either nobody served there as their faith required, or they were very few in number and inefficient.
  • Answering about the reasons for the troubles in their time, sheikh Najmaddin al-Kubra1 said: “The reason for them is our failure to keep up our line. For disunity and love of the world, God sent wrongdoers as retribution upon us. After we serve our time, God will give wrongdoers their just deserts.”
  • When Muslims deserve to be punished, God Almighty uses wrongdoers to teach them a lesson: the oppressor is the sword of God. Firstly, He uses it for retribution. And then He gives the oppressors their retribution.
  • The means for reaching a lawful and righteous end must also be lawful and righteous. For people who adopt an Islamic course of life, it is a right to have an ideal at every issue, and it is a necessity that the means of obtaining that right be lawful. As the good pleasure of and reunion with God cannot be attained without sincerity, serving Islam and directing Muslims to their true path can absolutely not be realized through devilish means. Others might act brutally; but Muslims cannot, and must not, abandon upright conduct.
  • A murder is especially dangerous if it is considered “holy,” and is committed under the assertion of religious reasons. If the perpetrator is not under the influence of psycho-active drugs, then it is not possible for the murderer to be saved in the next world. Even if suicide bombers commit their act in the name of religion and meet death by making the proclamation of faith, the attackers themselves fall headfirst into the Hell. Because, what needs to be done during peace and warfare are clearly defined by certain laws and disciplines in Islam. Just as nobody is authorized to declare war on his own, or make a decision to kill a person during peace, nobody is authorized to kill children women, or the elderly during warfare. For this reason, from whatever perspective they are viewed, it is absolutely impossible for suicide attacks or similar terrorist acts to be compatible with Islam.
  • When Usama ibn Zayd, one of the blessed Companions of the Prophet, was about to kill somebody during battle, the man proclaimed faith. Still, Usama ibn Zayd thought that the man did not say it sincerely but for fearing the sword and killed him anyway. It was unthinkable for such a great Companion to act emotionally and kill a person out of hatred. It seems that he did not know the main idea of the issue at that point. In that period, the Messenger of God taught everything freshly, and the Companions practiced the teaching right away. How could they know without the Prophet telling them?
  • When the Messenger of God learned what happened, he reprimanded Usama by asking if he cleft that man’s heart open to see whether there was faith (asking how could one be sure the man did not have faith). That brave commander, who was the son of Zayd ibn Haritha, wished he had newly accepted Islam so that he could avoid that severe reprimand by the Messenger of God.
  • This age is an era of conflict and antagonism. During such a period, people of sound mind and faith in God must balance the delirious currents of extremism with their love and logic. They should be saying, “How is it possible for us to abate this violent anger and restore a peaceful balance?” and make relevant efforts to achieve that goal.
1. Rumi’s father Bahauddin Walad was among the disciples of Najmuddin al-Kubra.

A Time to Listen to Our Soul: The Three Months


Question: What are your suggestions for feeling the elation of the three months of Rajab, Sha‘ban, and Ramadan deep within us and making the most of their spiritual atmosphere?

Answer: First, we need to state that the three months are the most important blessed segments of time when believers can attain greatest proximity to God Almighty, become eligible for His immense mercy, and journey through the horizons of the heart and spirit by abandoning sins. Every year believers need a process of heavenly rehabilitation to purify the carnal self, discipline the spirit, and purify the heart. These months are a very important means to realize such rehabilitation.

Obviously, a person’s being able to rid oneself of carnal burdens, ascend to a certain horizon, and maintain a certain level of spirituality requires a serious devotion of remembrance and reflection. However, while doing this, one needs to keep the heart and spirit receptive to religion and spirituality. That is, as people try to grasp matters related to faith and the Qur’an with their mental powers and discussion, they should also try to benefit, sip-by-sip, from the showering of Divine blessings and light.

The One Who Cherishes the Divine Will Be Cherished

So many people have praised those special segments of time and have drawn attention to the various beauties of these blessed months in accordance with their viewpoint and horizons. Analyzing these invaluable works, word-by-word, through reading circles and internalizing their meaning are very important in terms of understanding and sensing the spiritual blessings these months can make one gain. In order to benefit properly from what is written about the three months, it is necessary to leave aside a causal manner of reading and delve into the depths of the issue. Otherwise, if such feeling and way of thinking are not developed, it will not be possible to thoroughly benefit from the sources about the three months.

In addition, for feeling the particular beauties of these three months and their delights that are reflected on human heart, it is necessary first to appreciate them as “the months full of surprising Divine gifts and favors” and then seriously try to make the most of their nights and days in devotions, without wasting a second. For example, those who do not determinedly wake up in the middle of the night for the supererogatory Prayer of tahajjud and turn to God in devotion, sipping the blessings of the night, cannot profoundly feel the spiritual beauties told about these months, taste them, or feel their delight. If somebody does not seriously maintain a state of metaphysical vigilance and become immersed in devotions with a consciousness of servitude, they cannot sense or feel the meanings these months convey, even if the blessings keep pouring down in abundance. They might even evaluate others’ statements about these segments of time according to their limited horizons and see those experiences as mere fantasy.

Benefiting from the abundant blessings of these days depends first on having belief in them and cherishing them. Attentiveness is reciprocal. If you are not attentive to the spirit and meaning found in these months, they will not open their doors to you, and the most enthusiastic statements about these months will remain faint in your sight. Even the touching expressions of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali or statements of Imam al-Ghazali that move hearts with enthusiasm do not make sense to you, as the impact of a statement does not only depend on its real worth but also on the listeners’ mental and spiritual receptiveness to the issue, together with their viewpoint and intention.

In this respect, one must own the issue to the degree of being permeated by the hue of the sacred months; only then will they be able to hear and feel what those blessed months whisper into the human soul. If believers do not rid themselves from superficiality as well as their mundane routines and try to gain insight into these months’ truths, they will not heed even the most exquisite words expressed about these sacred months as they would go in one ear and out the other without any effect. Those who prefer acting lightheartedly, who do not exert an effort for self-renewal at a season of such abundant blessings, and who fail to act seriously can hardly benefit from these months.

Gatherings Becoming for These Heavenly Segments of Time

Another aspect of the issue is related to the societal spirit and general acceptance of the society. In fact, feeling the true depth and immensity of the blessed months is an attainment peculiar to those who have deepened with respect to the horizons of their heart and spirit. It is a reality that Muslims have begun to grow aware of the value of these months, are attending to mosques, and are becoming oriented to God Almighty. Taking this valuable opportunity, it is possible to help people learn certain truths and feel these in their souls by different events and activities. In the same way it is possible to hold spiritual gatherings to appeal to the believers of this contemporary age during the blessed nights of Raghaib, Mi‘raj, Bara‘ah, and Qadr, with the condition of being true to the spirit of the religion. This will mean seizing the opportunity of making people closer to God and feeling the essence of religion within. It is also possible to make different gatherings more meaningful through reading circles or religious talks. Thus the expectations of believers will have been answered correctly.

I would like to draw attention to one more important thing that I have realized about these programs: all of such activities should be meant for helping people to become one more step closer to God Almighty with respect to their world of thoughts and feelings. If such events and activities do not take believers to their own identity and guide them toward finding themselves, then they are nothing but a waste of time. Instead of voicing Divine truths and evoking love for the Prophet, make God bless him and grant him abundant peace, making people enjoy themselves by appealing to their fancies and desires only serves to waste one’s time, and even can lead to transgression. Every means that does not take one closer to God Almighty and His Messenger is a delusion. It is not the job of devoted souls to make people have fun.

In addition, it is necessary to be aware that people of the modern age have a general inclination towards entertainment in terms of their lifestyles. For this reason, their positive response might be deceptive. By looking at their pleased manner, you may think you did a good job. What really matters, however, is whether what you did was right according to the criteria of the Qur’an and Sunnah, rather than catching their interest. In this respect, even if there is no large-scale attendance to a program, one should always seek the right conduct. In other words, what really matters is whether the program stands for anything meaningful in terms of hearts and spiritual life.

At such fruitful periods, when the heavens are filled with blessed light and the earth is adorned with heavenly tables, we should always guide people toward deepening their heart and spiritual life; we should always pursue sublime goals in everything we do. So much so that we should convey a new meaning and spirit into the hearts of people at every time, and let them set sail toward the horizons, always asking for more and more at spiritual journeying.

In order to realize all this, either traditional hymns, prayers, and eulogies in praise of the Prophet or new ones can be recited. But no matter what happens, with every gathering and activity, we must always try to evoke a yearning for eternal bliss in people and eventually help them awaken to the very spirit of religion.

This text is the translation of “Ruhumuzu Dinleme Zamanı: Üç Aylar

The Time of Corruption and the Nucleus of a Society


If we comprehended Islam deeply, and exhibited the sincere sound of our conscience, you would see signs of ardent longing in the people of the Muslim world who jam-pack mosques.

I always feel troubled about whether we are being misrepresentative. Are we misleading other people by our misrepresentation, which they interpret as being a Muslim? What if we never spoke but kept silent and let the wisdom of silence take over? These were the thoughts keeping me busy just before I came to the room.

In this accord, I myself faced a dilemma of whether to come here or not. Both considerations weighed equally… yet I decided to come albeit reluctantly.

Oscar Wilde says, “Of all the things that were done to me, I have done the most harm to myself.”

I wish there was a group of people to serve as role models in this time of corruption.

I wish the people of the world could see true integrity, profound belief, unblemished Muslimness, transcendent ikhlas (sincerity), exalted ihsan (God-consciousness), amazing marifah (knowledge of God), and such a love of God and zeal and ecstasy that it would blow their minds. I wish they could see awesomeness at its every level.

If this comes to pass, you will see similar formations in the world, at various magnitudes. You will see individuals, families and actions paralleling your example, at various magnitudes.

They will admire that you have solved the problem of mankind as the Earth has been introduced to problems by mankind, who is the leading instigator of problems.

That is why, unless you solve the problem of mankind, you cannot solve the problems regarding the family, education, the house of worship, politics, the government, or the like.

Of course I do not mean any -isms, -ists, or the like, because all of these associations are rejected terms in my understanding.

In this time of corruption being a Muslim straight as an arrow is demanding; however, those who manage to be like that are heroes who can overcome any other difficulty in life. May God make you one of them.

In Order Not to Feel Remorse When It Is Too Late


Question: It is stated in the Qur’an that wrongdoers will feel remorse on the Day of Judgment: “On that Day, the wrongdoer will bite at his hands, saying (with remorse), ‘Oh, would that I had taken a way in the company of the Messenger. Oh, woe is me! Would that I had not taken so-and-so for a friend!’” (al-Furqan 25:27–28). What kind of mistakes is this remorse related to? What are the points to be careful about in this world, in order not to feel remorse in the next one?

Answer: The verse begins by referring to “that day,” a dreadful one, and then describes how a wrongdoer will bite at his hands in remorse on such a day of grimace and grief. “Biting at one’s fingers” is an idiom in Arabic and it describes a state of remorse in deep feelings of woe, grief, and yearning.

Then the wrongdoer will express his deep regret for not having followed the way of the Prophet: “Oh, would that I had taken a way in the company of the Messenger.” His regret, however, is not limited with that; he will further express his remorse by saying, “Oh, woe is me! Would that I had not taken so-and-so for a friend!” That is, “I wish I had not fallen in with such and such wrongdoers and unbelievers and sided with them. I wish I had not followed in the footsteps of evildoers and transgressors and thus taken the wrong way!” However, saying “I wish” in the next world will not help at all. On the contrary, it will double the remorse. In other words, as it will only mean wasting one’s breath, it will only add to the suffering. Just as those words can be uttered in the Hereafter, they might be uttered when the dying person’s soul comes up to the throat as he is about to leave this world for the intermediate life of the grave, the first step toward the eternal afterlife. No matter when they are uttered it is definite, however, that these words express deep remorse by somebody who blatantly wasted the great chances that they had.

The Greatest Kind of Regret

Even though there are many sins and wrongs that will burn people within and make them say “How I wish” with a deep sorrow, the foremost of them is unbelief, because the entire universe proclaims God—letter by letter, word by word, phrase by phrase… When somebody leaves aside all biases, gives a fair ear to creation, and tries to read this universe like a book of wisdom, they will discover that everything in the universe points to the Almighty Creator. Owing to this evident truth, the great scholar Imam Maturidi stated that even the peoples who did not have a Messenger from God to guide them are responsible for knowing Him. In fact, even if such people cannot know God Almighty in detail with His Attributes and Names within the framework of a Divine teaching, they can come to the conclusion that this splendid universe has a Creator. Umar ibn al-Khattab’s uncle Zayd voiced this thought before the advent of Islam: “I know that there is a Creator, but I do not know what am I supposed to do. If only I knew what He wishes me to do, so that I could exert myself to carry it out.”1 In short, the greatest “I wish…” to make one seized with remorse is to give one’s last breath as being devoid of faith.

Forsaking faith after having found guidance is another grave sin to make one grimly say “I wish…” in the next world. There is a thin veil between belief and unbelief and there is always the risk of finding oneself on the other side with the slightest move. For this reason, we believers ask from God for guidance to the Straight Path forty times in total through the five Prayers we offer every day. And then by stating “to the path of those whom You have favored,” we wish to be on the path of the rightly guided ones. As stated in another verse (an-Nisa 4:69), those whom God has favored are the Prophets, truthful (siddiq) ones, martyrs, and righteous (salih) ones. This is the wish we repeat forty times a day. Right after that, we seek refuge in His greatness and mercy and ask for being saved from deviating “to the path of those who have incurred His wrath and of those who are astray.” It is nothing but a delusion to be confident for having found right guidance and to see oneself immune to a possible fall or deception by Satan. Nobody has a guarantee to keep on the righteous path until they give their last breath. People who feel confident at this issue put their own faith in danger. A man who does not worry about his end is a man to be worried about his end. For this reason, one must shake with the fear of straying to unbelief after having found guidance and be constantly vigilant about it. A believer should constantly implore God not to leave him or her alone with his or her carnal soul and seek refuge in Him against whisperings and goading of devils. Faith is an invaluable treasure that makes one eligible for Paradise, gains the good pleasure of God, and lets one witness Divine Beauty. There are jinn and human devils lying in wait to steal it. What befalls believers is to treasure their faith, protect it against attacks, and being constantly alert in this respect.

The Weaknesses That Can Make One Sink into the Ground

Being taken by human and Satanic intrigues (Hücumat-ı Sitte, or “The Six Assaults”) Bediüzzaman mentions at the end of “The Twenty-ninth Letter” might also make one stray from the Straight Path and say “How I wish…” grimly in the other world. Actually each one of the human weaknesses he explains is powerful enough for a believer’s spiritual downfall. Namely, as love of status or fame is such a virus, fear is no less powerful. The same goes for greed, racism, egotism, laziness, and love of comfort. Given that each one has the potential to bring a believer down, having all of these does not make one just fall, but rather makes one sink deep into the ground. Even a person within the circle of faith is under the constant risk of being overtaken by them. For instance, love of fame can easily mar the essence of the good deeds a person does in the name of serving faith. Another person can present distinguished works and secretly wish to become famous, which eventually makes him sink deep into the ground. In addition, giving in to such negative feelings invites other types of negativities as well. For example, if love of fame seizes a person, you cannot know what further sins it will cause that person to commit. All of these are possible dangers within a circle of faith, and they will cause grim remorse in the next world. One who lays personal claim on the success granted by God, as a result of failing to adopt the principles of sincerity2 as guidelines, will say, “I wish I had not fouled up all of those good deeds for the sake of worldly appreciation and applause; I wish I had not set sail to the void for the sake of nothing! I wish I had not be taken by deadly currents…” They will agonize in useless woes and laments of perpetual remorse. Grimly, their wail will be to no avail; on the contrary, it will only double the suffering of their misfortune.

Shields to Protect from Feelings of Remorse in Vain

For this reason, believers should act sensibly in this world. On the one hand, they should count being saved from unbelief as the greatest favor of God; on the other hand, they should shun from the alleys that may cost them their faith. As Bediüzzaman stressed, there is a pathway to unbelief in every kind of sin. The Messenger of God stated that every sin leaves a dark spot on the heart, which can cover the entire heart in time3 (unless removed through repentance). Every dark spot forming on the heart is an invitation to another one. In the Qur’an, God Almighty refers to the hearts contaminated and darkened with evil: “…By no means! But what they themselves have earned has rusted upon their hearts (and prevents them from perceiving the truth)” (al-Mutaffifin 83:14). If people do not remove sins darkening the heart through repentance and asking forgiveness, God Almighty will seal up their hearts: “God has set a seal upon their hearts…” (al-Baqarah 2:7) and “…a seal has been set upon their hearts” (at-Tawbah 9:87). These hearts become unable to receive anything from the pure message descended from heavens, and they end up continually saying “How I wish…” in the next world. In order not to fall into the grip of useless remorse, what needs to be done here is trying to carry out the responsibilities of servanthood to God without any flaws, in a balance of fear and hope. Realizing this depends on a heart in awe of God. The Messenger of God referred to a certain man and stated that if his heart had been in awe of God, so would have been his body parts.4 Awe of God in a believer’s heart will be reflected in the behaviors of that person; in time, even the body parts of that believer begin to shake with the awe of God—so much so that this shaking can be perceived by some in the iris of their eyes. On the one hand, a believer doubles up on feeling the greatness of God; on the other hand, if he or she trusts the immensity of His mercy and leads a life of such sensitivity and balance, this will be a means of deliverance from woes and regrets in the next world.

At the same time, people can prevent the negative factors to ruin their afterlife by attending circles of religious talks—or “sohbet-i Canan” (talk of the Beloved). As Süleyman Çelebi stated:

“Constantly say God’s Name with every breath

It is with God’s Name everything becomes complete.”

Another Sufi poet (Yahya of Taşlıca) voices the same truth thus:

“I wish my love was shared by all people of the world

If only all of our words could be talk of the Beloved.”

If we make mention of Him everywhere we go and make our gatherings blessed with His name, and make our time gain a depth uncontainable by dimensions, then we put a stop to so many negativities that might make us feel regret in the other world.

Saying “I Wish…” in the Sense of Asking Forgiveness

Question: Can there be useful examples of “I wish…” as opposed to useless ones? What should be our criteria?

Answer: As there are useless kinds of “I wish…” to be uttered in the next world, there are positive kinds of “I wish…” that are acceptable, and even laudable, in Islam. Those uttered by our master Abu Bakr are of this type. As it is known, he once said, “I wish I had asked the Messenger of God about the meaning of the verse referring to one who dies leaving behind no lineal heirs, so that I would not leave the issue to the judgment of scholars.” He voiced the same regret about the judgment concerning the share of a grandmother’s inheritance, as it is not openly stated in the Qur’an. He also expressed similar regrets about some political decisions he had to make. In my opinion, such phrases of “I wish…” are uttered as a consequence of deeply felt suffering and a feeling of self-criticism, which stem from comprehending religion correctly and rendering it the spirit of one’s life. They took Abu Bakr the Truthful to a great spiritual level beyond our comprehension. Imagine that the Pride of Humanity confirmed Abu Bakr’s worth by stating that if Abu Bakr’s faith were to be weighed against the faith of all people, his faith would weigh heavier.5 He was the greatest truthful one who realized through God’s grace—within two years and ten months (of his caliphate)—what others could not achieve in one and a half centuries. He did not simply overpower different lands as tyrants did, but poured the inspirations of his soul into them. Every place he went or turned his eyes came to life with the teachings of the Prophet. Indeed, he was the one who prepared the ground for the great conquests and breakthroughs realized during the next caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab. Therefore, his statements of “I wish…” added to the worth of that great figure, whose worth was already greater than the totality of all people.

In the same way, there are positive kinds of “I wish,” for every believer to elevate their ranks. For example, “I wish I had made better use of my youthful days in terms of worship! I wish I could spare two hours for a hundred units of Prayer every night! I wish I could save myself from carnal desires! I wish I could thoroughly restrain my hands, feet, sight, and hearing even while carnal desires boiled over at youth. I wish I had not turned my gaze anywhere else and not beheld anything else except for what is oriented toward seeking the good pleasure of God…” Even though one did not fulfill certain things previously, such statements of remorse, which express a resolution to take positive action to make up for what one has missed so far, actually lead to a person’s spiritual progress. If left to the other side, it will mean nothing but anguish and misery, whereas those we make here can be considered as istighfar (asking forgiveness). We say, “Astaghfirullah,” at remembering such things; we then feel ashamed of saying it only once and say, “Alfu-alfi Astaghfirullah,” (I ask forgiveness for a million times) and continuously seek refuge in God with a spirit of heartfelt penitence and remorse (tawba-inaba-awba).6 So when believers knock the door of Divine mercy with all of these “Astaghfirullahs”, God will hopefully not leave their petitions unanswered and will treat them with His immense mercy and grace.

1. Sahih al-Bukhari, Manaqib, 24
2. Nursi, Bediüzzaman Said, The Gleams, The Twenty-first Gleam,  New Jersey: Tughra Books, 2008
3. Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Tafsir al-Surah (83) 1
4. Al-Hakim at-Tirmidhi, Nawadir al-Usul, 2/172
5. Bayhaqi, Shuab al-Iman, 1/69
6. For a detailed explanation of these concepts of Tawba, Inaba, and Awba, see Fethullah Gülen, The Emerald Hills of the Heart, Vol. 1.

This text is the translation of “Faydasız ve Faydalı ‘Keşke’ler

A Builder of Spirituality: Muhammed Lütfi Efendi, the Imam of Alvar


Question: Could you share your feelings about the Imam of Alvar (d. 1956), the saintly guide, with respect to his messages for society and his influence on you?

Answer: Actually, describing that great person properly is beyond the abilities of a humble servant like me. For this reason, I should confess from the very beginning that I do not possess a capacity of discernment to have deep insight into his life, world of thought, or his horizons of heart and spirituality. In addition, when that great personality passed away, I was only 16 years old. Although I spent some time near that pure wellspring, a young man at that age obviously cannot benefit from that great figure with an immense horizon in the real sense of the word. For this reason, it needs to be known that the points I am going to tell will be limited by my narrow comprehension, lack of ability, and childish consideration.

A Lustrous and Fruitful Home

The family of the Imam of Alvar was like a blessed source of spirituality. His father Hüseyin Efendi and brother Vehbi Efendi were very great personalities. I did not see his father Hüseyin Kındığı Efendi, but even one particular event I previously narrated to you will suffice to give an idea about the virtues of that blessed person:

One day, the Imam of Alvar and his father Hüseyin Kındığı Efendi, who are from the lineage of the Prophet, traveled to the city of Bitlis in order to become disciples of Sheikh Kufrawi. As he probably discovered their potential immediately, Sheikh Kufrawi showed special care to them and gave them importance. Without any processes of spiritual journeying or Sufi retreats, the sheikh authorized both of them as spiritual guides, as the true worth of jewels is appreciated by masters of the field. So Sheikh Kufrawi was such a master who recognized the worthy jewels before him, and confirmed that they were eligible to guide people. In the face of this unexpected development, the disciples who had been near to the Sheikh until then expressed their protests at night and began to ask the two newcomers questions to see whether they were really eligible to guide others. In the meantime, the door burst open and the Sheikh came in; he addressed them as follows: “You disciples! Hüseyin and Muhammed Lütfi Efendis did not need me. What brought them here is their very perfection.” If a person has nothing to do with spiritual maturity, what difference does it make, even if he owns a treasure equivalent of the Korah (a.k.a. Qarun)!

His brother Vehbi Efendi was also a sea of wisdom. He was predominantly a quiet person, but even his quietness had an influence that would cause different undulations in our souls. Both of my parents had deep respect and loyalty to them. Sometimes those great persons would come and stay in my grandfather’s guesthouse. My grandfather had a deep respect for them as well. Vehbi Efendi was older than the Imam of Alvar and passed away when I was about five years old. I think the Imam wrote the lines meaning, “I drifted apart from beautiful ones, now I woe with this longing…” after his brother passed.

The Touching Melodies That Light up Fever in Souls

The Imam of Alvar was a person with a deep inner world, a man of God overflowing with love and enthusiasm. His state at circles of remembrance was a living example of this richness of heart. Both the Naqshbandi and Qadiri orders inspired him, and it was possible to witness both types of remembrance in the Mosque. There used to be a crowded circle in the mosque. In Sufi tradition, the head of the circle goes to the contributors to teach them to say the words of remembrance. Since that blessed person was very old in those days, he would not go through the circle but sit somewhere, like the prime one among prayer beads and behold those in the circle from there. Anyway, a short while later those in the circle would become enraptured and unable to realize their surroundings. There would be some people who choked with tears and some even fainted. Despite his serious health problems, the Imam of Alvar would sit with folded legs (as in the Prayer) on the sheikh’s mat for two to three hours. Religious poems, eulogies in praise of the Prophet as well as litanies would be recited from his work, Khulasatu’l-Haqaiq (Summary of Truths), with a rhythm of a simple frame drum (daire). There was a hafız—memorizer of the Qur’an—with a very beautiful voice in the village. He was the one who beat the frame drum. At that moment, the Imam of Alvar would be oriented to God Almighty with his entire being. Sometimes he would be entranced with the sublime atmosphere generated by the hymns, effect a similar mood in those around him, and would kindle in hearts the fire of love for the Divine. When a few people lost themselves in ecstasy, or someone became enthusiastic with tearful eyes, this would pass to the other participants and form an atmosphere of love and enthusiasm in everyone. Such powerful atmospheres that even though I witnessed these in my childhood, I can say that I am still under their effect.

That blessed man was a devoted lover of the Prophet at the same time. When somebody who returned from Medina remarked near him, “I saw so many creatures with mange,” he reacted right away: “Stop that! Do not talk like this even of the dogs of Medina. For the sake of the Prophet, I am ready to be sacrificed for the mange of Medina!” He would say such things from the bottom of his heart, with his entire being, to such a degree that he was virtually melted in the spirituality of the Prophet, and passing into a state of fana fi’r Rasul (becoming immersed in the love of the Prophet to the degree of forgetting oneself). This deep love for the Prophet is reflected in his following poem:

O the Sacred Witness, O the Sun embellishing the universe
Your clothes are melodious, your eyebrows are lovely
A strand of your hair is dearer than the entire world
Your hair disseminates a pure fragrance to both worlds

Such eulogies in praise of the Prophet would often be recited in his presence; he and all the people there would burst into ecstasy. Sometimes he lamented in such a way and his voice rose to such a high pitch while reciting the following stanza that the place where he was would resonate with awe of God and everybody in the circle would shake:

This heart is so fond of you, O beloved: why?
Your beauty is shining like the bright day: why?
Your eyebrow is like the “two bow-length’s nearness to God”
Your face brings to our minds the chapter of Ar-Rahman (The All-Merciful): why?

He Appreciated Everybody Virtuous

He was a master of verbal expression. He voiced the inspirations of his soul in different metric styles. However, in addition to being an authority on verbal expression, he would never be disturbed by sayings and poems of other great figures recited in his presence; he would even encourage that. For example, I heard Ketencizade’s following poem in praise of his master Sheikh Kufrawi being recited in the presence of the Imam of Alvar:

My dear master, spiritual guide, shining light,
My remembrance of God is the illumination in both worlds
All of my disciples agree with the hopeful prayers
Help us, O noble Spiritual Pole, the greatest Spiritual Helper, the king of all time
Never neglect these servants, O our dearest Sultan.

Normally, a feeling of envy could easily arise, but the Imam of Alvar trampled such negative feelings under his feet. He would salute any truthful words no matter whom they belonged to. I memorized many poems, including the following ones he would frequently recite:

Does one who seeks the Beloved struggle for his own life?
And can another who seeks his own life be in quest of the Beloved?
We have entered the path of love; we are lovesick,
O my heart, are you ready for this? (By Seyyid Nigari)

I found he had left his home already
The beloved Prophet passed away, leaving his headquarters empty
The bottles of love were broken, and the drinks spilt
The cupbearers left the scene.


On which mountain can I find that doe?
In what desert should I look for the eyes of that gazelle?
Just like a gazelle that lost her fawn,
wandering indecisively from desert to desert. (By Zihni of Bayburt)

As well as,

Growing tired of my life, doesn’t my beloved get tired of the torments?
Heavens burned from my sigh; doesn’t the candle of my will burn?
My beloved gives the cure to every patient;
why not me; am I not a patient?
My soul burns at the night of separation; my crying eyes shed tears of blood
My cries wake people; doesn´t my bad fortune wake up, too?
To your rose-like cheek, bloody water falls from my eyes
My beloved, this is the season of roses; do the rivers not blur?
I was keeping my grief secret; they say “Make it known to the beloved”
If I say this, I don´t know whether the unfaithful would believe or not
I was not interested in you, you made my mind perish
Wouldn’t that careless person reprimanding me be ashamed when he sees you?
Fuzuli is madly in love, and is always shameful in the eyes of folk
Ask what kind of love this is, isn’t he sick of it? (By Fuzuli)

I can even say that he would see these words no different than the fruits of his own mind and appreciate all of them. I think this is an important criterion in terms of giving an idea about his horizons, world of thoughts and feelings, maturity, and greatness.

Salih Özcan, a student of Bediüzzaman, related a memory about the Imam of Alvar, which I find very meaningful in terms of reflecting his maturity and level of thankful contentment. Brother Salih came to Erzurum in early 1950s and visited the Imam of Alvar. He told the Imam about the famous scholar Bediüzzaman and his works on faith. Brother Salih told the imam that they were disciples of Bediüzzaman and were trying to guide youths of the time with the works of their guide. On hearing that the Imam of Alvar responded: “I wish my eyes could see, so that I could join you as well.” Real virtue is being able to appreciate others’ virtues and being respectful toward them.

The Words Ringing in My Ears

I also would like to relate a few unforgettable memories of my own about that person I deeply feel the honor to have met. Here is one of them:

I was about fourteen or fifteen years old. I had a good friend whom I truly liked. One day he said, “There were such centers of spiritual teaching in Istanbul that they take someone to the top level of spiritual journeying within six months and make them eligible to preach.” My friend convinced me with these words. I packed my belongings without asking the teacher who was responsible for me and the great imam, and then left for the train station with that friend of mine. I would learn later that in the meantime another friend of ours, who was the grandson of Vehbi Efendi, warned my relatives about my intention to leave. When I extended my hand to the ticket booth to get my ticket, somebody suddenly caught me by the wrist. It was my father’s cousin and he took me back right away. The next day, my teacher told me that the imam wished to see me. I went to his presence shaking with fear. I had never seen him so angry before. He said, “I swear to God, if you had left, you would be perished!” These words he uttered are still ringing in my ears. For years I wondered, “Was my attempt really that bad that I would be perished if I had left?” and could not understand why he had said so. But in time, I started to somewhat understand his reaction. Possibly, he worried that a teenager could easily melt in an immense sea like Istanbul. Besides, leaving his blessed atmosphere without permission could mean losing. In addition, if that guide envisioned a certain duty for you to carry out in the future, you could not be where you should be by leaving for another destination. Therefore, I better understand now the intensity of his reaction and say, “Fortunately he did so and protected me under his spiritual shelter.” After making that warning, he made different complimentary remarks considering that I would be brokenhearted. I felt like an excited child whose pockets were filled with candies and decided to stay at that madrasa against all odds. Perfected guides’ treatment of others is different. That great figure fathomed the character of people before him well and treated them accordingly.

Here is another memory: We had newly started studying (the reference book known commonly as) Molla Jami and I went to him with some of my friends. A group of 5 to 10 rich people of Erzurum was sitting with him. He told them: “Now I am going to ask questions to my student. If he answers correctly, you will give him (this much amount of) money.” He asked from the parts I knew best, so I answered everything. Those rich men then gave me the amount that he had told them to give me. I think the total amount was two hundred liras. Considering the currency of those days, it was enough to send a man to pilgrimage to Mecca. He could not see how much I had due to the cataracts in his eyes. He asked how much money there was and I told him. Then he said, “This amount is too much for you. Let me give it to Demirci Osman Efendi so that he spends it for the needs of the students of the madrasa.”

While we studied in Erzurum, we were really poor and we sometimes could not find basic foods to eat, like bread and cheese, for a few days. My father gave me modest pocket money from what he earned as an imam, but it was too little to support a student. Most days, we had no money to buy bread. On such a day when we were starving, we went to the Sufi lodge, three or four students together. The Imam’s grandson Tayyib Efendi was also with us. There was a shed beside the Sufi lodge used for storing food. Through the spaces of the wooden wall, we saw watermelons inside. The Imam was praying inside. After a while, the door opened and he said, “Come in boys, let me slice a watermelon for you.” As we witnessed in very different examples, he was an immense figure of deep spirituality, understanding of others’ wishes and what passes through their minds, whose heart could sense beyond the physical reality.

In short, although I failed to fully benefit from him, I am so thankful to my Lord for the blessing of having known him.

I remember the day he passed away. My late father had come to Erzurum and we were resting in the house of my father’s aunt. All of a sudden I heard some distant voice saying, “The Imam of Alvar passed away!” I immediately broke into a run toward the madrasa of the Kurşunlu Mosque. When I arrived there, I saw my friends crying. From there, I went to the Imam’s house, which was in the neighborhood known as Mumcu. Sadık Efendi, who was the mufti of Erzurum, and the great scholar Sakıp Efendi had also come and personally washed his blessed body, not leaving this honor to anybody else. After the washing in a winter day, the body was taken to the village of Alvar and buried there. All the people attended the burial in spite of the severe winter cold. May God Almighty resurrect that great guide together with His Beloved Prophet and grant him eternal bliss in the highest Paradise of Firdaws, amin!

This text is the translation of Bir Gönül Mimarı: Alvarlı Efe Hazretleri

Respect for the Sacred


Question: What is the right stance and attitude that become believers in the face of insults and disrespect against religion and sacred values?

Answer: When insults and disrespect are directed toward a certain individual, it is a very important virtue in Islam to show patience without reacting, take such “stones” into his or her atmosphere of tolerance and let them disappear, like meteors hurled into the atmosphere of the earth. However, there are such rights as the rights of God, the Prophet, and the Qur’an that, since they are not personal issues to be shown personal tolerance, individual believers are not authorized to forgive insult and disrespect toward these. True believers cannot overlook them, show forbearance, or remain unresponsive. However, as they do in everything else, they must always act in a way that becomes a believer. Their actions should reflect a believer’s character; they should show their reaction in a civilized fashion, take their style as their honor, and never consent to lower this down.

Those Who Expect Respect Need to Be Respectful First

Unfortunately, we witness very different forms of extreme behaviors in our time. Every day so many events triggered by grudge, hatred, and animosity are taking place. There are various unbecoming remarks and behaviors coming from different sides. Sometimes, an unfortunate event occurs somewhere; even before the doers are identified, somebody remarks—with a horrible grudge and hatred—that it is necessary to do away with all Muslims. Then another one makes a different insult. At another place you see people trying to provoke others by hanging posters. In all this confusion, one point is being missed: if somebody makes an insult against the Prophets, angels, God Almighty and His Divine Names, he also is insulting all of the people who cherish these values. We can even say that an insult related to certain issues, such as resurrection after death and the otherworldly bliss, disturbs not only Muslims but also followers of other religions as well, because with respect to their essence, such matters of belief are also accepted by people who follow other faiths. For this reason, when you add the followers of other faiths with a belief in the Hereafter to the nearly 1.5 billion Muslims, the total number will amount to 4 or 5 billion people; you can picture the actual scale of the insolence. Therefore, such a person should expect the same scale of a responsive insult toward himself or herself. If someone does not mind stabbing a dagger into the sacred values of 4 or 5 billion people, he or she should not be disturbed by the needle that stings in return. No matter who you are, whenever you insult another person, you trigger a relevant response, whereas showing respect toward that person will elicit respect toward you.

In fact, it is definitely not acceptable for a person to comment on a field in which he or she has no knowledge. For example, if a man who never studied philosophy severely criticizes a certain school of philosophy, he will both expose himself to ridicule and commit disrespect toward those scholarly methods. In the same way, if a man who has nothing to do with music starts making remarks about musical keys like an authority, he becomes an object of ridicule. The same is true for journalism and other fields of expertise. Still, so many people can become experts in such fields after a certain deal of effort and relevant study.

When you view the situation today, however, some people who have no serious knowledge about Islam—a faith that has realized significant transformations and breakthroughs in world history and, at the same time, conduced to a dizzying renaissance that had continued for about five centuries in a vast territory—are making insulting remarks about the faith and its followers, and then call it, “freedom of thought and expression.” We are living at a time when there are fields of expertise. When someone makes offhanded remarks about a subject without having any expertise whatsoever, it is sheer disrespect toward that field, to oneself, to sound reason, commonsense, and conscientiousness. If someone who commits such disrespect receives certain responses from some inflamed people, they should not complain about it, since they personally presented improper behavior at the beginning. As the scale of the insult covers as many as 4 or 5 billions of people, it is always possible that some people in such a large population will act upon their emotions.

If Your Home Is Made of Crystal…

The devoted believers, on the other hand, are always supposed to be very sensitive about their words, attitudes, and behaviors; they need to consider how the words they utter will be responded to and carefully refrain from sudden outbursts of emotion. It should never be forgotten that words uttered in an angry mood are always prone to abuse. And others’ feelings need to be taken into consideration before speaking. If your home is made of crystal, you should not hurl anything harmful toward others people’s houses. Otherwise, you indirectly cause damage to your own building. This fact is pointed out in the Qur’an as follows: “And do not (O believers) revile the things or beings that they have, apart from God, deified and invoke, lest (if you do so) they attempt to revile God out of spite and in ignorance” (al-An’am 6:108). If you begin to insult others’ deities, they will do the same for what is sacred to you. Indeed, there is no command or recommendation in Islamic sources to insult the idols and deities others worship. Believers always voice the truth and proclaim the Oneness and Unity of God: this is a different issue. But believers have no responsibility to revile things that bear no value in their sight. In this respect, I wish we could always speak, write, and act in accordance with the criteria of the Qur’an and Sunnah, because certain attitudes and behaviors that have their root in emotional reactions may cause grave effects with respect to our values. As it will be remembered, the Holy Qur’an was insulted recently. Right after that churches were attacked and buildings were destroyed in another place. Certainly, it is an outrageous behavior to insult the Qur’an. But destroying buildings and places of worship in reaction to such insolence is another type of extremism. Therefore, before resorting to offensive attitudes and behaviors, individuals—whoever they are—need to consider well what the likely results will be, and speak and act accordingly. Those who are subjected to insults should keep their reaction within acceptable limits; they should prefer correcting ugliness through scholarly and legal means, never sacrificing their refined character and adopting mistaken manners. The response toward such an attack should be a civilized one, later regrets will be of no use.

How I wish an international agreement on respecting the sacred could be maintained! I tried to make my voice heard to certain authorities, but I suppose that I failed to express myself properly. Freedom of thought and expression in our time is an issue that has much emphasis placed on it. Unfortunately, as insulting faith, religion, and sacred values are seen as a form of freedom of expression and thought in some circles, similar ugly remarks and comments concerning other fields are not acceptable; on the contrary, they are considered hate crimes. Actually, a real believer, who should be a representative of assurance and trust, must never speak against others for no reason; they should never intend to behave in an offensive and insulting way. However, declaring some acts free in certain fields and forbidding them in some other fields is an obvious double standard; it is a contradiction.

In short, there is serious need for making respect for the sacred a thought owned by the entire humanity and for evoking this feeling in everyone. It is high time international institutions, joined by all nations, settle this issue with clear-cut lines that do not allow further speculation. Certain disciplines to serve as decisive criteria must be decreed. How I wish the whole of humanity could agree on this issue! How I wish everyone knew his or her limits. Because, if the principle of respecting others’ sacred values—an important component of peaceful coexistence—is not observed, conflicts arising from such incidents of disrespect will make their presence felt as much more horrible and greater problems in today’s globalized and shrunken world.

This text is the translation of “Kutsala Saygı

290. Nağme: Gül Günlerinin Bedeli


Kıymetli Arkadaşlar,

Geçtiğimiz hafta mescidimizde, Cuma hutbesi olarak, muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi’nin 1997 senesinde yazdığı “Kaosun Ötesindeki Dünya başlıklı makale okunmuştu. Baştan sona insanı derin düşüncelere sevk eden makale/hutbe şu cümlelerle sona ermişti:

“Kim bilir bize bu koskoca mirası bırakanlar, ne kadar ağlayıp inlediler? Bugün evirip-çevirip istifâde ettiğimiz değerleri elde etmek için ne cenderelerden geçti ve ne ölümlerle yaka paça oldular? Şimdilerde har vurup harman savurduğumuz millî ve dinî değerlerimiz, kim bilir onlara neye mâl oldu? Rahmeti Sonsuz’dan niyaz ederiz ki, gerçek bedeli dünyalarla ölçülemeyecek kadar büyük olan o ulu günlerin hakikî fiyatlarını bizden talep etmesin!..”

Aziz Hocamıza bu ifadeleri hangi hissiyâtla yazdığını ve “o ulu günlerin hakikî fiyatları” sözünden neler anlaşılması lazım geldiğini sorduk. Aldığımız cevabı 17:54 dakikalık ses ve görüntü dosyaları halinde sunuyoruz.

Dualarınıza vesile olması istirhamıyla…



289. Nağme: IZDIRAP


*Milletçe kaybettiğimiz değerlerden biri de haşyettir; haşyet hissimizi yitirdik.

*Izdırap ile ızdırar (çaresizlik, sebeplerin bütün bütün tükenmesi) ikizdir.

*Topyekün mü’minlerin ve âlem-i İslam’ın başındaki belaların bir muzdar vicdanıyla algılanacağı ve inananların ızdırapla iki büklüm çare arayacağı âna kadar inananların yeryüzünde huzurun mimarı olmaları imkansızdır.

*Mü’minler, kendi şahsî ve ailevî hayatlarıyla alakalı musibetler karşısındaki duyarlılıklarını, bütün inananları ilgilendiren mevzularda da ortaya koymazlarsa; kendileri ızdırar halindeyken hissettikleri çaresizlikle “Rabbim!..” dedikleri gibi, müslümanların umumunu alakadar eden meselelerde de “Allahım, bahtına düştüm!” diyerek inlemezlerse, en azından bir davaya gönül vermiş kimseler böyle yapmazlarsa, Allah inananları yeryüzünün denge unsuru ve dünyanın huzur kaynağı kılmaz. İçtimaî problemler toplumun umumunun ızdırar haliyle Cenâb-ı Hakk’a teveccüh etmesiyle çözülebilir.

*İnsanlığın İftihar Tablosu (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) Efendimiz, insanları ebedî hüsrandan kurtarma davasına o kadar gönülden bağlanmıştı ki, Kur’ân-ı Kerim, O’nun bu konudaki ızdıraplarını, “Neredeyse sen, onlar bu söze (Kur’an’a) inanmıyorlar diye üzüntünden kendini helâk edeceksin” (Kehf, 18/6) ve “Onlar iman etmiyorlar diye neredeyse üzüntüden kendini yiyip tüketeceksin” (Şuara, 26/3) ifadeleriyle dile getirmektedir. Allah Rasûlü’nün zaman zaman Hira Sultanlığı’nda kutsal halvete çekilmesi de o derin ızdırapları sebebiyledir.

*Hazreti Rûh-u Seyyidi’l-Enâm’ın (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) Hira Sultanlığı’ndaki ibadete bağlı yalnızlığı “kutsal halvet” şeklinde yorumlanmış ve hadislerde “tehannüs” unvanıyla yad edilmiştir. Evet, Peygamber Efendimiz (aleyhissalatü vesselam) kendisine peygamberlik verilmezden önce de ibadet ediyordu; fakat ne şekilde ibadet ettiğine dair bir rivayet yoktur. İhtimal, Üstad Bediüzzaman’ın dediği gibi, Hazreti İbrahim (aleyhisselam)’ın bakiye-i diniyesi ile amel ediyordu.

*Kadınların sultanı olan Hazreti Hatice annemiz, Peygamber Efendimiz’in ızdıraplarını paylaşmış; sonra da o meselenin göklerdeki sultanlığa denk bir sultanlığa ulaştığını göremeden âhirete yürümüştür ki bu da onun hasbîliğinin ayrı bir derinliğidir.

*Geçmişlerimiz de ızdırap ve ızdırarı derinden yaşamışlardır. Osmanlılar “Attan inmeyesüz!” düşüncesiyle cepheden cepheye koşmuşlar; Murad Hüdavendigar, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, Kanunî Sultan Süleyman gibi padişahlar hep birer ızdırap kahramanı olmuşlardır.

*Bazıları “Bu kadar ızdırap ve gözyaşı da niye?” diyebilirler. Merhum Yaşar Hoca kürsüde hıçkıra hıçkıra ağlayınca onun ızdıraplarını anlayamayan birisi “Bu adam niye pis pis ağlıyor?” demişti. Onun gibilere denecek şey şudur: Acaba sen niye öyle pis pis sükût içinde duruyorsun; utanmıyor musun? Kalbinde zerre kadar ızdırap olsa, “neredeydik, nereye düştük?” mülahazasının ızdırabı olsa, o çaresizliğin vicdanda yaşanan ızdırarı olsa, sen de öyle yapacaksın.. en azından ona ses katacaksın!..

*Kendime dertli diyemem ama dertsiz dersem yalan söylemiş olurum.

Kıymetli arkadaşlar,

Kaydettiğimiz bu cümleler muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi’nin günün nağmesi olarak paylaşacağımız sohbetinin satırbaşları. 19:25 dakikalık hasbihali ses ve görüntü dosyaları halinde arz ediyoruz.


288. Nağme: Hayırlı Vâris mi, Zavallı Mirasyedi mi?


Sevgili Dostlar,

Muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi, bir münasebetle manevî emanetlerden bahsedince,

“Maddî mirasların sorumsuz yiyicileri olabiliyor; aynı mirasyedilik manevî miraslar için de söz konusu mudur? Mirasyedi olmamanın esasları nelerdir?”

diye sorduk. Aldığımız cevapta kıymetli Hocamız şu hususlara değiniyor:

*Müsbet yanları itibarıyla mevcut şartların oluşumunda Bediüzzaman Hazretleri, Esat Efendi Hazretleri, Süleyman Efendi Hazretleri gibi Hak dostlarının ve hatta idari sahada fikir ve gayretleriyle senelerdir çalışıp duran insanların büyük payları vardır.

*Dünyanın yüz elli ülkesinde açtığınız okullarda Rasûl-ü Ekrem (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) başta olmak üzere Ashâb-ı Kirâm ve evliya-yı izâm efendilerimizin hakkı vardır.

*Kur’an, geçmişlerimize dua etmemizi tavsiye buyurarak bizde onları hayırla yâd etme duygusunu uyarır. Bu cümleden olarak bir ayet-i kerimede şöyle denilir: “Onlardan sonra gelenler (başta muhacirler olarak, kıyamete kadar gelecek mü’minler), ‘Ey kerim Rabbimiz! Bizi ve bizden önceki mü’min kardeşlerimizi affeyle! İçimizde mü’minlere karşı hiçbir kin ve gıll u gış bırakma! Duamızı kabul buyur ya Rabbenâ, çünkü Sen raufsun, rahîmsin!’ derler.” (Haşr, 59/10) Bu ayette öğretilen dua sizden başlar Ashâb-ı Kirâm ve Rasûl-ü Ekrem Efendimiz’e kadar herkese varıp ulaşır.

*Bir dönemde Hakk’a teveccühler isimsiz müsemma şeklindeydi. Nakşî, Halidî, Kadirî, Şazilî, Bekrî, Cerrahî diye isimler bilinmiyordu. Fakat onların yaptıkları şeylerin hepsi vardı. Her yerde gürül gürül Allah anılıyordu. O, her sinede muallâ yerini koruyordu. Gönüller adeta O’nun tecelligâhı idi. Bir dönem geldi kalb ve ruh hayatına isim katan insanlar oldu ve zamanla meşrepler o insanların adlarıyla anılmaya başlandı. O halis insanlar sayesinde, müsemma kapı ardında kalmadı. O müsemma vicdanlarda derinlemesine duyuldu ve isim müsemma birliği oldu. Onlar bir derken, biri bin etmesini biliyorlardı. Onların dilinden çıkan bir “Sübhanallah, Elhamdülillah, Allahuekber” kelimeleri binlere tekabül ediyor, gönüller itminana eriyordu. O dönemde isim müsemma at başı gidiyordu. Ne var ki bir gün de geldi, (istisnaları vardır) bazıları itibarıyla “müsemmasız isim” devri başladı. El elden üzüldü yar elden gitti, o menhelü’l-azbi’l-mevrud da kurumaya durdu. Öz ve ruh gitti, mesele artık nesep/veraset yoluna girdi. İşte, mesele sadece isimlere emanet götürülürse, o zaman da bir mirasyedilik söz konusu olur. Zavallı bir mirasyedi olmaktan kurtulup hayırlı bir vâris olarak yaşamak isim ile müsemmayı beraber götürmeye ve hatta isimsiz müsemma şeklinde ömür sürmeye bağlıdır.

Bu güzel sohbeti 09:21 dakikalık ses ve görüntü dosyaları halinde arz ediyoruz.

287. Nağme: Hakk’ın Makbullerine Ağlamak Düşmüş!..


Kıymetli arkadaşlar,

Muhterem Hocamız sohbete başlarken çok hüzünlüydü; önce ızdırap ve ızdırar münasebetinden bahsetti; dünyanın, İslam coğrafyasının ve ülkemizin problemlerine değinip adeta iki büklüm oldu.

Bir bayram sabahı aziz Hocamız gurbet hicranını yudum yudum tadarken şöyle demişti:

“Ne zaman yalnızlığım ve gurbetim aklıma gelse, Barla dağları çeker beni kendine. Orada bir garip görürüm hayâlen. Yalnız bir adamın silueti belirir zihnimde. Garibâne dağlarda, ağaçların hüzünlü hışırtıları arasında, tek başına, sessiz, kimsesiz iki-üç ay dolaşan, yirmi günde bir, sadece bir-iki misafirden başkasını göremeyen, ara sıra hasbihal ettiği dağcılara bile bazen haftalarca hasret kalan dava adamının sesleri uğuldar kulağımda:

‘Yâ Rab, garibem, bîkesem, zaîfem, nâtüvânem, alîlem, âcizem, ihtiyarem,

Bî-ihtiyarem, el-aman-gûyem, afv-cûyem, meded-hâhem, zidergâhet İlâhî!’

İşte bu ses, bu yanık nağme bütün yalnızlıklarımı unutturur bana ve kendi nefsime döner, ‘Ey Fetih, sen garip değilsin; seninle ağlayıp seninle gülen bu kardeşlerin varken sen gurbette sayılmazsın. Eğer garip görmek istiyorsan Barla dağlarındaki şu yalnız adama bak!’ derim.”

Hocaefendi, dert ve ızdırapla inleyince bir kere daha Barla Muğteribi’ni hatırlatıp “ümit için bir çıkış” arama telaşıyla, Eşref Edip’in Hazreti Üstad ile röportaj yaparken, “Yüz binlerce imanlı talebeleriniz size âtî için ümit ve tesellî vermiyor mu?” diye sorduğunu hatırlattık; aslında bir manada biz de Hocamıza aynı soruyu sorduk.

İşte 8 dakikalık bugünün nağmesinde muhterem Hocaefendi’nin mezkur soru üzerine söylediklerini, hususiyle şu konuları bulacaksınız:

*Hazreti Pir, Eşref Edip’e şöyle diyor: “Evet, büsbütün ümitsiz değilim. (…) Bana, ‘Sen şuna buna niçin sataştın?’ diyorlar. Farkında değilim. Karşımda müthiş bir yangın var. Alevleri göklere yükseliyor. İçinde evlâdım yanıyor, imanım tutuşmuş yanıyor. O yangını söndürmeye, imanımı kurtarmaya koşuyorum. Yolda biri beni kösteklemek istemiş de ayağım ona çarpmış; ne ehemmiyeti var? O müthiş yangın karşısında bu küçük hâdise bir kıymet ifade eder mi? Dar düşünceler, dar görüşler!”

*Ketencizâde hazretleri, “Yansam da ocak gibi gayra eylemem izhar / Yakma beni ateşlere ey çarh-ı cefakâr!” diyor. Ben onu biraz değiştiriyor ve diyorum ki “Yakma beni nar-ı ağyâre ey çarh-ı cefakâr!” Senin ateşine yanayım cayır cayır ama başka sevdaların ateşiyle yanmayayım.

*Hazreti Pir gibi büyükler ızdırap ve çile ile kıvrım kıvrım yaşamışlar ama asla şikayet etmemişler. Hazreti Üstad şunları söylüyor:

“Madem ki, nur-u hakikat, imana muhtaç gönüllerde tesirini yapıyor; bir Said değil, bin Said feda olsun. Yirmi sekiz sene çektiğim eza ve cefalar, maruz kaldığım işkenceler, katlandığım musibetler helâl olsun. Bana zulmedenlere, beni kasaba kasaba dolaştıranlara, hakaret edenlere, türlü türlü ittihamlarla mahkûm etmek isteyenlere, zindanlarda bana yer hazırlayanlara hakkımı helâl ettim. Âdil kadere de derim ki: Ben senin bu şefkatli tokatlarına müstehak idim.”

“Sonra, ben cemiyetin iman selâmeti yolunda âhiretimi de feda ettim. Gözümde ne Cennet sevdası var, ne Cehennem korkusu. (…) Milletimizin imanını selâmette görürsem, Cehennemin alevleri içinde yanmaya razıyım. Çünkü vücudum yanarken, gönlüm gül-gülistan olur.”

*Necip Fazıl, Yol onun, varlık onun, gerisi hep angarya / Yüzüstü çok süründün, ayağa kalk, Sakarya!..” demiş. Sakarya milleti temsil ediyor; zira, bir dönemde elimizde sadece o kalmış!..

*“Ârifin gönlün Hudâ gam-gîn eder, şâd eylemez / Bende-i makbûlünü mevlâsı âzâd eylemez.” (Nâbî)

*“Cahil geziyor zevrak-ı ikbal-i safada / Arif yüzüyor merkez-i girdab-ı belada.” (Ziya Paşa)

286. Nağme: Gece Uzun Olsa da Güneş Doğacak, Işık Gelip Karanlığı Boğacak!..


Sevgili dostlar,

Muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hoacefendi, en son çay faslına, hiciv edebiyatının temsilcilerinden olan Şair Eşref’in şu sözleriyle başladı:

“Cihâna geldiğim günden beri pek çok cefâ gördüm,
Ezildim bâr-ı gam altında, bin türlü ezâ gördüm.
Değil bigânelerden, âşinâlardan belâ gördüm,
Vücudum âlem-i sıhhatte bir bîmâra dönmüştür.”

Daha sonra kıymetli Hocamız, günün nağmesi olarak paylaşacağımız bu 18:20 dakikalık sohbetinde şu mevzular üzerinde durdu:

*Olumsuz şeylerin resmedilmesi, yitirdiğimiz değerlerin mahrumiyetini yaşadığımızı ve kuyu dibinde bulunduğumuzu anlatma açısından önemlidir. Evet, kayıplarımızı gösterme adına yaraya neşter vurulmalıdır ama neşter saplanıp öylece bırakılmamalıdır.

*İnsanlardaki ümit ve reca duygusu sürekli tetiklenmeli; kayaların sırtında bile bir kısım rüşeymlerin meydana gelebileceği mülahazası uyarılmalıdır.

*Bir taraftan realiteler gösterilmeli, diğer yandan ümit duygusu coşturulmalı. Merhum Mehmet Akif, bir taraftan,

“Müslümanlık nerede, bizden geçmiş insanlık bile;
Âlem aldatmaksa maksat, aldanan yok nafile!
Kaç hakiki Müslüman gördümse, hep makberdedir,
Müslümanlık, bilmem amma, galiba göklerdedir!”
der, mevcut şartları ortaya koyar. Diğer taraftan da şu sözlerle ye’se kapılmamak gerektiğini ifade edip ümit salıklar:
“Ye’s öyle bataktır ki; düşersen boğulursun.
Ümîde sarıl sımsıkı, seyret ne olursun!
Azmiyle, ümidiyle yaşar hep yaşayanlar;
Me’yûs olan rûhunu, vicdânını bağlar
‘İş bitti… Sebâtın sonu yoktur!’ deme, yılma.
Ey millet-i merhûme, sakın ye’se kapılma.”

*Şair Eşref’in şu sözü de bir yönüyle yeis diğer bir yönüyle de recanın sesi soluğu gibidir:

“Bozulmuştur düzelmez gelse de Mehdî;
Bu mülkün emr-i ıslahı Cenâb-ı Hakk’a kalmıştır.”

*Yeryüzünün umumî bunalımlarına inzimam eden içteki krizler, Sultan 3. Mustafa’yı ızdırapla inlemeye mecbur etmiş:

“Yıkılıpdur bu cihan sanma ki bizde düzele,
Devleti çarh-ı denî verdi kamu müptezele,
Şimdi ebvâb-ı saadette gezen hep hezele,
İşimiz kaldı heman merhamet-i lemyezele!..”

(Bütün cihan yıkılırken, bizim ülkemizin düzeleceğini mi zannediyorsun? Ne yazık ki, talihsizlikler çarkı, ülkenin kaderini haysiyetsizlerin ellerine düşürdü. Baksana, milletin bel bağladığı ve hak aradığı dairelerin kapılarında bile şaklabanlar gezmekte. Hal böyle olunca, kalmış kurtuluş ümidimiz sadece Rahmeti Sonsuz’un merhametine!..)

*Mehmet Akif’in

“Virânelerin yasçısı baykuşlara döndüm,
Gördüm de hazânında bu cennet gibi yurdu.
Gül devrini bilseydim onun bülbülü olurdum;
Yâ Rab, beni evvel getireydin ne olurdu?”

sözleri bir açıdan önemli bir hasret ve hicranı ifade ediyor. Fakat, bulunduğumuz dönemleri birer gül devrine çevirme vazifesiyle karşı karşıya bulunduğumuz da unutulmamalı!..

*İşini Allah’a havale eden ve O’nu vekil edinen, her türlü zorluğun üstesinden gelebilir: Cenab-ı Hak buyuruyor ki:

وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا

“Sadece Allah’a dayanıp güven! Vekil olarak Allah yeter.” (Ahzâb, 33/3)

*Kavminin kendisinden yüz çevirmesi karşısında Seyyidinâ Hazreti İbrahim ve ona inananlar Allah’a dayanmışlardı. Onlar öncelikle,

إِنَّا بُرَآَءُ مِنْكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ

“Sizden ve Allah’ı bırakıp tapageldiğiniz şeylerden biz fersah fersah uzağız.” (Mümtehine Sûresi, 60/4) diyerek, kâfirlere karşı dimdik bir duruş sergilemiş ve âdeta bütün tehditlere meydan okumuşlardı. Aynı zamanda onlar, bu ifadeleriyle, Allah’tan başka tapılan şeylerin bir kıymet-i harbiyelerinin olmadığını, kendilerine atfedilen değeri hak etmediklerini ve herhangi bir teveccühe de asla layık olmadıklarını ilan etmişlerdi. Daha sonra ise nur-u tevhid içinde sırr-ı ehadiyetin tecellisini talep suretiyle şöyle demişlerdi:

رَبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

“Ey Yüce Rabbimiz, biz yalnız Sana güvenip Sana dayandık. Bütün ruh-u cânımızla Sana yöneldik ve sonunda Senin huzuruna varacağız. Ey Ulu Rabbimiz, bizi kâfirlerin imtihanına (baskı, zulüm ve işkencelerine) mâruz bırakma, affet bizi; şüphesiz Sen Azîz ve Hakîm’sin.” (Mümtehine Sûresi, 60/4-5)

* İslam’ın gurbetini ve ümmetin garipliğini vicdanında duyan muzdarip şair Mehmet Akif, “Pek Hazin Bir Mevlid Gecesi”nde şu yanık nağmeleriyle Cenâb-ı Hakk’ın dergahına yönelmiş; karanlığı göstermekle beraber bir ışık kaynağına da dikkat çekmiştir:

“Yıllar geçiyor ki, yâ Muhammed,
Aylar bize hep Muharrem oldu!
Akşam ne güneşli bir geceydi…
Eyvah, o da leyl-i mâtem oldu!
Âlem bugün üç yüz elli milyon
Mazlûma yaman bir âlem oldu:
Çiğnendi harîm-i pâki şer’in;
Nâmûsa yabancı mahrem oldu!
Beyninde öten çanın sesinden
Binlerce minâre ebkem oldu
Allah için, ey Nebiyy-i ma’sum,
İslâm’ı bırakma böyle bîkes,
Ümmeti bırakma böyle mazlum.”

*Kırık Muzrap’tan bir dörtlük:

Nasıl olsa bir gün güneş doğacak;
Çevreye yeniden nûrlar yağacak;
Dağ-dere, ova-oba bucak bucak,
Işık gelip karanlığı boğacak…

*Bize düşen vazife; her şeyden önce kendimize bakıp kendimizi düzeltmeye çalışmamızdır. Nitekim, Kur’an-ı Kerim’de şöyle buyrulmaktadır.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ لاَ يَضُرُّكُمْ مَنْ ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعاً فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

“Ey iman edenler! Siz kendinizi düzeltmeye bakın! Siz doğru yolda olduktan sonra sapanlar size zarar veremez. Hepiniz dönüp dolaşıp Allah’ın huzurunda toplanacaksınız. O da yaptıklarınızı size bir bir bildirecek, karşılığını verecektir.” (Mâide sûresi, 5/105)

285. Nağme: Değer Yetimliği, Üslup Hatası ve Dil Yarası


Kıymetli arkadaşlar,

Daha iki üç saat önceki sohbetinde muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi şu hususları anlattı:

*Hayatın her devresi kendi hususiyetlerine göre çok iyi değerlendirilmelidir. Ne var ki, bugün yuva, sokak, mektep ve mabedin bu konuda fertlere gereken rehberliği yapabildiği söylenemez.

*Günümüzde insanları çok kınamamak, gurbetlerine ve yalnızlıklarına bakıp onlara acımak lazım. Değer anneden, değer babadan mahrum edildikleri için yetimliklerine bakıp acımak lazım. Biz topyekün değerler mahrumu, değerler yetimi bir toplum haline getirilmişiz.. şefkat etmek lazım.

*Bugün diller mızrak gibi kullanılıyor. Öyle ki, her yanda söz düelloları, sanki herkes herkesle kavgalı.

*Dil yarası kılıç yarasından daha acıdır. Nitekim, bir Arap atasözünde “Cerâhâtü’s-sinan lehe’t-tiyam / Lâ yeltâmü mâ ceraha’l-lisan” yani Kılıç yarası geçer ama dil yarası geçmez! denilmiştir.

*Gönüllere girmenin sırlı anahtarı tatlı söz ve mülayim tavırdır.

*Cenâb-ı Hak, Hazreti Musa ve Hazreti Harun’a hitaben, “Ona tatlı, yumuşak bir tarzda hitab edin. Olur ki aklını başına alıp düşünür, öğüt dinler yahut hiç değilse biraz çekinir.” (Tâ Hâ, 20/44) buyurarak her şeyden önce peygamberâne bir üslubu nazara vermiş; muhatap, Firavun gibi kalb ve kafası imana kapalı bir insan bile olsa, yine de hak ve hakikati “kavl-i leyyin” ile anlatmak gerektiğine işaret etmiştir.

*Gâfir de denilen Mü’min Sûresi’nde Hazreti Mûsâ’nın tebliğine iman edip imanını uzun süre gizlemiş olan üst düzey devlet yetkilisi (bazı rivayetlerde genelkurmay başkanı) olan mümin anlatılmaktadır. Bu zat, “Sizler Mûsâ’nın dürüst olduğunu tesbit etmekle beraber yalancılıkla itham ediyorsunuz. Bu iki zıt vasıf bir arada bulunamaz. Şu halde insanlara bile yalan söylemeyen bir kimse, Allah’ın elçisi olmadığı halde hiç Allah adına yalan uydurur mu? ‘O, beni size elçi olarak gönderip şöyle şöyle dedi’ diyerek en müthiş, en tehlikeli yalanı söyler mi?” diyerek Hazreti Mûsâ’yı savunmuştu. Demek ki Hazreti Mûsâ o güzel üslubuyla Firavun’un en yakınındaki insanlara bile tesir etmişti.

*Bir yerde meseleleri müzakere edecekseniz, aklınızın salim olduğu bir anda not tutmalısınız ve o meclise hazırlıklı gitmelisiniz ki orada irticalinin esnekliğine maruz kalmayasınız ve hislerinizin güdümüne takılmayasınız.

*Bari Müslümanlar arasında böyle olmasaydı ama maalesef her şey kıran kırana gidiyor.

18:17 dakikalık bu sohbeti sabahki derste çektiğimiz fotoğraflarla beraber arz ediyoruz.

Dualarınıza vesile olması istirhamıyla…

Muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi ders arasında, ezberlediği sûreyi kendisine okumak isteyen küçük misafirimiz Selim Çalış kardeşimizi dinledi:

Muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi ders arasında, ezberlediği sûreyi kendisine okumak isteyen küçük misafirimiz Selim Çalış kardeşimizi dinlediMuhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi ders arasında, ezberlediği sûreyi kendisine okumak isteyen küçük misafirimiz Selim Çalış kardeşimizi dinledi

Muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi ders arasında, ezberlediği sûreyi kendisine okumak isteyen küçük misafirimiz Halime Okur kardeşimizi dinledi.

Muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi ders arasında, ezberlediği sûreyi kendisine okumak isteyen küçük misafirimiz Halime Okur kardeşimizi dinledi.Muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi ders arasında, ezberlediği sûreyi kendisine okumak isteyen küçük misafirimiz Halime Okur kardeşimizi dinledi.

Mustafa Fehmi Okur kardeşimiz de muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi’nin duasını almaya gelmişti; muradına erdi:

Mustafa Fehmi Okur kardeşimiz de muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi’nin duasını almaya gelmişti; muradına erdiMustafa Fehmi Okur kardeşimiz de muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi’nin duasını almaya gelmişti; muradına erdi

Balance and Moderation


Question: In almost every area of life today, serious deviations of thought are seen and extremism is credited. What are the points to be careful about for those who wish to avoid extremism?

Answer: Being balanced and maintaining moderation is very important for being able to practice religion in the way God Almighty meant and to make it become the spirit of our lives. For when balance is lost, one strays to one of the two extreme levels—excessiveness or apathy (insufficiency). As these two extremes evoke one another in a reactive pattern, they give way to a vicious cycle. In fact, freedom from the two extremes is through adherence to the Practice of the Pride of Humanity, who always counseled moderation to his community.

The Middle Way

The Qur’anic concept of the Sirat al-Mustaqim (Straight Path) has usually been defined with reference to following the “middle way,” or moderation, at the three main human faculties of desire, aggression, and reasoning.1 However, it is possible to evaluate other factors, such as rivalry, envy, intention, and viewpoint, within the same perspective. Indeed, it is possible to talk about following a middle way for every feeling and thought inherently found in human nature.

For example, if we take “viewpoint” (nazar) in terms of gaining insight into phenomena and evaluating them, being an optimist represents the upper extreme, whereas a pessimist represents the lower extreme, and a truthful one represents the middle way. As the first two only tend to see the good or bad side in everything, a truthful person tries to evaluate everything realistically. Nevertheless, (as seeing things and phenomena happening around one through the eye of wisdom make the person think, and thereby act, positively) Bediüzzaman expressed in his Seeds of Truth, “Those who see positively, think positively; those who think positively take delight in life.” In addition, even with respect to things that do not seem very pleasant, it is better to hold positive considerations as far as it is possible to do so. But this does not mean overlooking the reality and living in a world of fantasy. What needs to be done is to see things as they are without escaping realities or giving into hopelessness, which means having the “middle way,” or a “balanced viewpoint.”

Actually, when the middle way is taken and moderation is maintained, even the human carnal soul, which seems to be evil, can serve as a positive factor for spiritual progress. Even Satan, who leads people astray with his temptations and deceptions, can be a means for spiritual progress as a factor that makes people turn toward God (as far as the wisdom of his creation and his position is correctly understood). On the other hand—may God forbid—if Satan is assumed as a separate power who is able to exert force, it will lead people to deviation, like the situation of those who think that light and darkness have a force and power on their own. Those who hold this belief think that light and darkness are individual powers, that light brings no harm, but the representatives of darkness have to be pleased. Hence, they commit undreamed-of evils with this deviant consideration. Satanists who act with this philosophy try to please Satan so that they can be saved from its evil. Imagining a powerless creature who has no weapon but deceit and beguilement—God forbid—as a being that possesses a part of the power and force that belongs to the Creator, is the upper extreme, to the degree of insanity. On the other hand, dismissing its deceit and beguilement and turning a blind eye to its goading and whisperings, and thus ignoring the warnings in the Qur’an and Sunnah, is the lower extreme. Satan is a clear enemy of man; if someone does not give his willpower its due and becomes heedless, he risks losing eternal bliss through the hand of his relentless and faithless archenemy.

Victims of Success

As it is very important to strike a balance at the negative factors that can lead one to destruction, it is also very important for people to strike a balance with respect to their feelings concerning the achievements that they are blessed with. That is, it is also necessary to watch one’s step concerning the deeds of the heart and body realized in the name of faith, worship, and morality by not straying from the middle way. For example, believers must do their best and seek perfection in observing all their acts of worship such as the daily Prayers, alms, pilgrimage, fasting, supplicating to God, and reflecting on His works. As decreed in the Qur’an, “Work, and God will see your work, and so will His Messenger and the true believers” (at-Tawbah 9:105), all the righteous  works must be realized in the best way with a consciousness of presenting them to God, His Messenger, and believers. In short, believers must not feel content with what they do but should seek perfection in all of their acts of worship. However, even if they attain a nearly perfect performance, they should never become insolent by laying claim on the consequent success; it is God Almighty who creates success. If being superficial, slothful, and heedless at worship is the lower extreme, then the upper extreme is having insolent pride in one’s acts of worship and laying a claim on the blessing which is granted by God after the servant’s meticulous efforts. Because, even though the worshipper exerts oneself and seeks perfection, laying claim on the consequent success leads to ruin through arrogant sanctimony.

Therefore what becomes a person who attains success are modesty, humbleness, and humility. One must always say, “It is not deserved of a servant like me; how has this kind favor been granted to me?” As believers should try to do their best, they should also know to tan their carnal soul by beating it up, as tanners once did for tanning hides. In addition, they should never forget that the achievements and success they are granted might, indeed, be tests for them, which may lead to their ruin if personal pride is felt.

Imagine that some false prophets—such as Aswad al-Ansi and Musaylima the Liar—appeared even at a period when the true light illuminated everywhere. Those poor people became victim to certain gifts they saw in themselves and perished in the claws of pride and egotism.

An Inflation of the “Divinely-guided” Saviors, in an Age of Arrogance

Surely such cases of deviation and misguidance are not limited to a particular period in history. Almost every period witnesses such events. Today, as well, you can see some people who can talk or write impressively or have taken a few steps on the spiritual path, who lose their balance and seek to become an idol and display due arrogance. When they display themselves and when a circle of naïve ones begins to form around them, they start seeing themselves like a bright star immediately. For this reason, there is an inflation of Mahdis—the so-called “Divinely-guided” people, today. Even a humble servant like myself knows five or six such “saviors” who have appeared in Muslim community. Three of them even tried to contact me—in fact, one of them came here recently. He said he was twenty-two years old. He then told me, “I thought that I was from the lineage of the Prophet’s grandson Husayn, but after extensive research I learned that I was also from the lineage of the Prophet’s other grandson Hasan.” I tried to remind him of some points about humbleness and modesty. I tried to tell him that the sign of worthlessness in worthless ones is their assuming greatness, virtually standing on their toes to look greater than they really are; and the sign of worth in truly worthy ones is their humbly curved stature, in order to look lesser than they really are. After I spoke to him, I thought that he was convinced. To my surprise, the last thing he said before leaving was: “All right sir, but what can I do if I have [been divinely chosen and appointed and thereby] not been given a right to choose at this issue?” However, there is no spiritual rank or title in Islam—including the imamates of the Sunni schools of thought (Hanafi, Shafii, Maliki, and Hanbali) or being the Mahdi—that puts one under obligation of proclaiming it to others, except for Prophethood.2 However, it is very difficult to tell anything to those who are obsessed with such a thought. May God guide all of the egotist and arrogant ones obsessed with a claim of being Mahdi to the Straight Path.

Let me add one final point here. It should never be overlooked that people with similar claims might surface even in an auspicious circle that is based on an understanding of humbleness, modesty, sincerity, and making no claims whatsoever. Since such people base their arrogance on their affiliation with a certain group, it can be much more difficult to bring them to their senses. For example, one of them might say, “Until recently, I had been a disciple of such and such guide, who was supported by a thousand angels or spirit beings. But now, nine hundred of them have left him and come to support me.” As different examples are seen in every period, people can become a slave to their carnal soul and Satan through various delusions.

Thus it should not be forgotten that even at the time when the seeds sown have begun to flourish and gardens are filled with roses, an invasion of thorns is always possible. Believers should always be vigilant on the path on which they walk. There will always appear some people to misguide naïve ones. As thorns can exist near roses, ravens might begin to crow near nightingales. Thus, those who have not heard the nightingale, who are not accustomed to its beautiful singing, can be enthralled by the crowing of the raven. For this reason, believers must be alert against such deceptions and constantly maintain vigilance with a good insight—like that of the Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar, may God be pleased with them—and act sensibly.

1. The Sirat al-Mustaqim is the “middle way” having nothing to do with any extremes. It is the middle way, considering human psychology and the realities of life and creation. In educating people, it disciplines and ennobles the faculty of “reasoning,” saving it from the extremes of demagogy, cunning and stupidity, and so leads to sound knowledge and wisdom. The disciplining and ennobling of the faculty of “aggression” and impulse of defense saves that faculty from wrongdoing, oppression and cowardice, and leads to justice and valor. The faculty of “desire” is saved through discipline from dissipation and hedonism and grows into chastity. (Ed.)

2. The Prophets who were Divinely chosen and appointed with the mission of Prophethood were required to declare their Prophethood and convey the Revelations they received to their people. (Ed.)

This text is the translation of “Denge ve İtidal

284. Nağme: Nefsini Bilen Rabbini Bilir!..


*İnsan, benliğine takıldığı ölçüde şeytana yakın, Allah’tan da uzaktır. “Ben” diyene Allah’a giden yolda kapılar hiçbir zaman açılmaz.

*Gösteriş meftunu insanlar düşünce ve beyanlarındaki boşluğu gürültüyle doldurmaya çalışırlar. Hâlbuki yalan ve gösteriş gürültülüdür; hakikat ve samimiyet sessizdir. Yıldırımlar gök gürültüsünden evvel hedeflerine varırlar; ses duyulduğunda onlar çoktan varacakları yere ulaşmışlardır.

*İnsanın kendine âit hususiyetleri tanıması ve nefsini keşfetmesi, vâhid-i kıyasî olarak, Zât-ı Uluhiyyeti tanıma adına oldukça önemlidir. Nitekim hadîs diye rivayet edilen bir sözde “Nefsini bilen, Rabbini de bilir” denilmiştir.

*Kudsî hadis olarak rivayet edilen bir mübarek söz şöyledir:

“Ey insanoğlu, nefsini bilen Beni bilir; Beni bilen Beni arar; Beni arayan mutlaka Beni bulur ve Beni bulan bütün arzularına ve dahasına nâil olur; nâil olur ve Benden başkasını Bana tercih etmez. Ey insanoğlu, mütevazi ol ki, Beni bilesin.. açlığa alış ki, Beni göresin.. ibadetinde hâlis ol ki Bana eresin.”

Kıymetli arkadaşlar,

Bugünkü nağmede muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi’nin yukarıda işaret ettiğimiz konuları anlattığı en son çay fasıllarından birini paylaşıyoruz. 10:49 dakikalık bu hasbihali ses ve görüntü dosyaları halinde arz ediyoruz.

Dualarınıza vesile olması istirhamıyla…

283. Nağme: İnsan Kazanmak, Dostları Korumak ve Düşen Kardeşe El Uzatmak


Sevgili arkadaşlar,

Muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi, günün sohbeti olarak paylaşacağımız 18:52 dakikalık çok yeni hasbihalinde şu hususları anlatıyor:

*Hikmetin Lisan-ı Fasihi (aleyhi elfü elfi salâtin ve selâm) Efendimiz, “Din nasihattir.” buyurmuştur. Nasihat; hayırhahlık demektir; bir kimseye doğru yolu göstermek, yapması ve yapmaması gereken şeylere dikkatini çekmek ve onun hakkında hep hayır dileğinde bulunmak manalarına gelmektedir. Nasihat, insanları Allah’a, Rasûl-ü Ekrem’e ve Din-i Mübîn’e yönlendirmektir; onları, dünya ve ahiret hayatları hesabına faydalarına olacak işlere sevketmektir.

*Rasûl-ü Ekrem (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) Efendimiz “Senin elinle bir kişinin hidayete ermesi, yeryüzünde bulunan ve güneşin üzerine doğduğu her şeyden, -başka bir rivayette- vadi dolusu koyun ve develerden daha hayırlıdır.”buyurarak, hidayete vesileliğin ne derece ehemmiyetli olduğunu anlatmıştır.

*Hazreti İmam Gazalî, İhyâ’sında bazı mevzuları mühlikât (helak eden, felakete sürükleyen hususlar) ve münciyât (kurtaran, felaha götüren ameller) başlıkları altında serdediyor. Mühlikât olarak sayılan çeşit çeşit zaaflardan birisine takılarak kayma tehlikesiyle karşı karşıya kalan insanların önünde setler oluşturmak ve onların kayıp gitmelerine mani olmak da çok önemli bir vazifedir.

*Üstad Hazretleri Ondördüncü Nota, Üçüncü Remiz’de insan mâhiyetine konan mânevî cihâzât ve latîfelerin farklılığından; bazılarının dünyayı yutsa doymayacağından, bazılarının ise bir zerreyi dahi kendinde barındıramayacağından bahsediyor. Bazı latîfelerin, tüy kadar bir ağırlığa, yani gaflet ve dalâletten gelen küçük bir hâlete dayanamayacağını ifade ediyor ve “Mâdem öyledir, hazer et, dikkatle bas, batmaktan kork. Bir lokma, bir kelime, bir dâne, bir lem’a, bir işaret ve bir öpmekle batma!” diyor.

*Diğer taraftan, Rasûl-ü Ekrem (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) Efendimiz, “Kardeşini güler yüzle karşılamaktan ibâret de olsa hiçbir iyiliği hor görme!” buyurmuştur. Evet, Allah’ın rızası gözetilerek yapılan en küçük iş dahi dergah-ı ilahîde çok kıymetlidir. Bir zerre ihlaslı amel, Cenâb-ı Hak nezdinde tonlarla ifade edilemeyecek bir ağırlığa ve değere ulaşır. Öyleyse, hiçbir iyilik küçük görülmemelidir. Hangi amelin ötede nasıl bir kıymete ulaşacağı burada bilinemediğine göre, insan her güzel işe kıymet vermeli ve önüne çıkan her hayırlı fırsatı öteler hesabına değerlendirme gayreti içinde olmalıdır.

*Rehber-i Ekmel (aleyhissalatü vesselam) Efendimiz buyururlar ki: “Benim misalimle sizin misaliniz, şu temsile benzer: Bir adam ateş yakar. Alevler etrafı aydınlatınca pervaneler (gece kelebekleri) ve aydınlığı seven bir kısım hayvancıklar bu ateşe kendilerini atmaya başlarlar. Adamcağız onları kurtarmaya çalışır; fakat hayvanlar galebe çalarak çoklukla ateşe atılırlar. Ben (tıpkı o adam gibi) ateşe düşmemeniz için eteklerinizden çekiyorum, ancak siz ateşe ateşe koşuyorsunuz.”

*Hasılı, Peygamber mesleğinin gereği; evvela, insanlara hidayet yollarını gösterip onları kazanmak; sâniyen, sürekli hayırhahlık yapıp zaaflarına yenilmemeleri için onları desteklemek, kayıp gitmelerine mani olmak; salisen, şayet kaymışlarsa, o zaman da katiyen “Oh oldu!..” dememek, gerekirse bir itfaiyeci gibi alevlerin içine atlamak ve kardeşlik mülahazasıyla düşeni kurtarmaya çalışmak, en azından onun yeniden doğrulması için dua dua Allah’a yalvarmaktır.

282. Nağme: Hazreti Ahmed Muhammed Mahmud (s.a.v.) ve Hammâdun Ümmeti


Kıymetli arkadaşlar,

Muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi, “…Ve Gaybın Son Habercisi” başlıklı makalesinde şöyle diyor:

“O, taayyün-ü evvel’den Ahmed unvanıyla insanlık ufkunun muhaciri; Mekke’den Muhammed namıyla Medine şehrinin misafiri; berzahtan Mahmud namıyla livâü’l-hamdin mihmandarı ve bütün esmâ-yı şerifesiyle Cennet ve Cemalullah’ın perdedarı, ruhânî âlemlerin feyz kaynağı ve cismâniyet âleminin de asıl cevheriydi.”

Bu paragrafta,

*Taayyün-ü evvel’den Ahmed unvanıyla insanlık ufkunun muhaciri

*Mekke’den Muhammed namıyla Medine şehrinin misafiri

*Berzahtan Mahmud namıyla livâü’l-hamdin mihmandarı

*Bütün esmâ-yı şerifesiyle Cennet ve Cemalullah’ın perdedarı

denilerek Hazreti Ruh-u Seyyidi’l-enâm (aleyhissalatü vesselam) Efendimiz’in farklı isimlerinin farklı âlem ve mevkıflere baktığı ifade ediliyor.

İşte, yine Kutlu Doğum Haftası’nı vesile yaparak muhterem Hocaefendi’ye bu paragrafı, o isimleri ve ilgili halleri sorduk.

Aziz Hocamız sorumuza cevap verirken özetle şu hususlar üzerinde durdu:

Efendimiz’in mübarek üç ismi olan “Ahmed”, “Muhammed” ve “Mahmud” kelimeleri “hamd” kökünden gelmektedir. Bilindiği gibi ilk iki isim Kur’ân’da zikredilirken, “Mahmud” kelimesi Efendimiz’in ismi olarak Kur’ân’da yer almaz.

Ahmed ism-i şerifi, taayyün-ü evvel hakikatiyle irtibatlıdır. Çünkü O; varlığın özü, usâresi, kâinatın mebdei, hilkat ağacının çekirdeğidir. Evet, “Allah’ın en evvel var ettiği, benim nurumdur.” beyan-ı nebevîsinin de işaret buyurduğu gibi O’nun taayyünü bütün varlığın ilki ve öncüsüdür. İlm-i ilâhide ilk icmali belirlenen, ortaya çıkan hakikat O’nun nurudur. İşte ziyası vücudundan evvel dillere destan olan Efendiler Efendisi’nin dünyayı teşriflerinden önceki unvanı Ahmed’dir (aleyhissalâtü vesselâmü milelardi vessemâ) ve bu hakikat de hakikat-ı Ahmediye’dir. Bu sebeple O, Kur’ân’da da geçtiği üzere, Hazreti İsa (aleyhisselam) tarafından, “Ahmed” ismiyle müjdelenmiştir.

Muhammed nam-ı celili, yerde gökte herkesin kendisine saygı duyduğu, medh u senada bulunduğu zat mânâsında, Rasûl-i Ekrem’in (sallallâhu aleyhi ve sellem) peygamberliği, mesaj ve misyonuyla alâkalı ismidir. Başka bir ifadeyle Allah Rasûlü’nün (aleyhissalâtü vesselam) “Muhammed” ismiyle insanlık âlemine nüzulüdür ki, bu bizim adımıza şereflerin en büyüğü, O’nun adına bir tenezzüldür.

Mahmud unvan-ı kerimi ise, yerde-gökte övülüp methedilen, sena edilen zât demektir. Bu azim unvan, Peygamber Efendimiz’in ismi olarak Kur’ân’da yer almasa da, ezan sonrası okuduğumuz duada geçtiği üzere Sünnet-i Sahiha’yla sâbit bir ism-i mübarektir. Makam-ı Mahmud, mutlak mânâda İnsanlığın İftihar Tablosu’na has, hamîdiyet ve mahmûdiyetin bir araya getirildiği ulvî bir makamdır. Şöyle ki O (sallallâhu aleyhi ve sellem) Cenâb-ı Hakk’a karşı yerine getirdiği hamdiyle hâmid, gökte ve yerde övülüp medhedilmesiyle de mahmuddur. Evet O, hamd u şükürle kullukta bulunmuş, kulluk yaptıkça Cenâb-ı Hak tarafından övülmüş, övüldükçe mütemadiyen kulluk yapmış, Allah O’nu medih, O da Allah’a hamd etmiş ve neticede övülme ve övgüye mazhar olma makamına ulaşmıştır.

Peygamber Efendimiz (aleyhissalatü vesselam) bir hadis-i şeriflerinde, ahirette kendisine Livau’l-hamd’in verileceğini ifade etmiştir. Livau’l-hamd’e; hamd bayrağı, hamd sancağı denilebileceği gibi, hamd alemi de denilebilir. Çünkü alem, bir alamet ve emâre demektir ki, bayrak ve sancaktan daha öte bir mânâ ifade eder.

Dünyada Hazreti Ahmed ü Mahmud u Muhammed’in (aleyhi ekmelüttehâyâ vetteslimât) rehberliğinde olan ümmet-i Muhammed, hayatlarını hamdle geçirdiklerinden dolayı, ahirette de Livau’l-hamd’le şerefyâb olacaklardır. Çünkü insan hangi yolda yürürse, varacağı istikamet de ona göre bir yer olacaktır. Bundan dolayı hep hamd etrafında dönüp duran, hamd güzergâhında yürüyen, sürekli hamd gören, hamd konuşan, hamd soluklayan, hamdle oturup kalkan kimselerin varacakları yer de Livau’l-hamd’dir.

Ayrıca, Peygamber Efendimiz (sallallâhu aleyhi ve sellem), nazarları hamd makamına çevirerek ümmetine, “hammâdûn”dan (durmadan, sürekli hamd edenler) olmayı hedef göstermiştir. “Hammâd” kipi mübalağa sigasıdır. Yani şuur ve derinliğine inmeden, ara sıra “hamd”i hatırlayan ve sadece lafzî olarak “elhamdülillah” deyip geçen kimseler için bu siga kullanılmaz. Hammâdûn ümmeti öyle hamde kilitlenmiş insanlardır ki, Efendimiz’in (aleyhissalatü vesselam) dualarında da geçtiği üzere onlar yatıp kalkarken hep “elhamdülillah” der, oturur kalkar Allah’a hamd eder, hamdle nefes alır verir ve ömürlerini derin bir şuur ve idrak içinde hamd atkısı üzerinde örgülerler. Neticede, yaşadıkları gibi ölür, öldükleri gibi haşrolur ve ötede de Makam-ı Mahmud Sahibi’nin (aleyhissalatü vesselam) vesayetinde, Hamd Sancağı’nın gölgesinde toplanırlar.

İşte 19:03 dakikalık ses ve görüntü dosyaları halinde sunacağımız bugünkü nağmemizde muhterem Hocamız hülasa ettiğimiz hakikatleri anlatıyor.

Dualarınıza vesile olması istirhamıyla arz ediyoruz.

281. Nağme: En Önemli Mesele ve Sohbetlerin Yörüngesi


Kıymetli arkadaşlar,

Bugünün hasbihalinde muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi, “Sözün yörüngesine oturması sohbet-i Cânân’la olur.” diyerek, değişik vesilelerle yaptığımız hemen her toplantıda, sohbette, beraberlikte gündemimizin ilk maddesini Rabbimizle münasebetlerimizin teşkil etmesi lazım geldiğini anlatıyor. Muhterem Hocamız özellikle şu hususlar üzerinde duruyor:

Dünyanın sosyal ve ekonomik problemlerini çözme gibi bir hâdise için bile bir araya gelmiş bulunsak, öncelikli meselemiz “sohbet-i Cânan” olmalı. Evet, böyle bir hedefe doğru yürürken bile, “Acaba Allah’la münasebetimiz olması gereken seviyede mi? O mevzuda ulaşmamız gereken derinliğe ulaşabildik mi? O’nu görüyor gibi bir hâlimiz var mı? Hiç olmazsa görülüyor olma mülâhazasıyla tir tir titriyor muyuz?” gibi mülâhazaları esas almalı, diğer vazife ve sorumluluklarımızı ise o esasa göre bir sıraya koymalıyız.

Dünyaya çeki düzen verme gibi bir hâdise dahi, bizim Allah’la, Efendimiz’le, Kur’ân’la münasebetimiz yanında tâli derecede bir öneme sahipse, günümüzdeki siyasî ve aktüel mevzuların, hele hele magazinvârî meselelerin bizim için ne mânâ ifade ettiği/etmesi gerektiği açıktır. Bu açıdan hangi meseleye, nerede, ne ölçüde yer vereceğimizi ta başta çok iyi belirlememiz gerekiyor. Bu sebeple oturup kalktığımız her yerde Hazreti Mevlâna’nın ifadesiyle hep “sohbet-i Cânan” demeli, evvela Allah’a imanımızı bir kere daha yenilemeli, ilâhî mârifet ve muhabbetle bir kez daha dolma yollarını araştırmalıyız. Bardağın taşacak derecede dolmasına “lebriz” denir. İşte gönül bardağı dolup taşacak şekilde o meseleyi köpürtmeli, mârifet ve muhabbetle dolup dolup boşalmalı, daha sonra diğer konulara geçmeliyiz.

Evet, bir araya geldiğimizde asıl maksat ve hedefimiz, iman ve imanda derinleşme mevzuları olmalı; bu istikamette gerekli cehd ve gayreti ortaya konduktan sonra, “Hazır bir araya gelmişken şurada şöyle bir mevzuu daha vardı, bu arada onu da görüşüp karara bağlayalım.” demeliyiz; neyi, nereye koymamız gerekiyorsa ona göre davranmalı ve programlarımızı bu eksen etrafında örgülemeliyiz.

Üç paragrafla özetlemeye çalıştığımız 14:25 dakikalık bu hasbihalde En Önemli Mesele ve Sohbetlerin Yörüngesi konusuyla alakalı daha pek çok önemli esas ve açıklama bulacaksınız.


280. Nağme: Hadiseler Karşısında Peygamber Efendimiz ve “Kutsal Teessür”


Allah Rasûlü (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) ve mü’minler karşısında teker teker tutunamayacaklarını anlayan kavim ve kabileler, Hicret’in 5. senesinde bir araya gelip tek vücut olmaya ve bu defa bütün güçlerini bir merkezde toplayıp Medine’ye öyle hücum etmeye karar vermişlerdi.

Rasûl-ü Ekrem (aleyhissalatü vesselam) Efendimiz, durumdan haberdar olunca, ashabını toplamış, harp tekniği hakkında onlarla istişare etmiş, değişik teklifler arasında Hz. Selman-ı Farisî’nin fikri Peygamber Efendimiz’in düşüncesine muvafık gelince düşmanın taarruz etmesinin muhtemel olduğu yerlere hendekler kazılmasına ve böylece müdafaa harbi yapılmasına karar verilmişti.

Rehber-i Ekmel Efendimiz, yanındaki 3000 insanla beraber hendek kazmaya başlamıştı. Kişi başına bir arşın hendek kazılacaktı. Onları, onar onar gruplara ayırmış ve böylece yine meseleye bir yarış havası vermişti. Derinlik, atıyla oraya düşen bir insanın, bir daha çıkamayacağı şekilde ayarlanacaktı. Genişlik ise, en mahir süvarinin dahi geçemeyeceği ölçüde planlanmıştı. Böylece şehre girişi mümkün kılan çok uzun bir alan hendeklerle çevrilecekti.

Hendek kazılırken İnsanlığın İftihar Tablosu Efendimiz de ashabıyla beraber çalışıyor; hatta onların kuvve-i mâneviyelerini takviye için

اَللّٰهُمَّ لاَ عَيْشَ إِلاَّ عَيْشُ اْلآخِرَةِ    فَاغْفِرْ لِلْأَنْصَارِ وَالْمُهَاجِرَةِ

“Allahım, ahiret hayatından başka hayat yok. Sen ensar ve muhacirîne mağfiret eyle.” duasını tekrar tekrar seslendiriyor ve sahabe O’nun bu sözleriyle coşuyor:

اَللّٰهُمَّ لَوْلاَ أَنْتَ مَا اهْتَدَيْنَا    وَلاَ تَصَدَّقْـنَا وَلاَ صَلَّيْنَا

فَأَنْزِلَنْ سَكِينَةً عَلَيْنَا    وَثَبِّتِ اْلأَقْدَامَ إِنْ لاَقَيْنَا

“Allahım, Sen nasip etmeseydin biz hidayete eremezdik, namaz kılamaz, zekât veremezdik. Sen üzerimize sekîneni indir ve düşmanla karşılaşırsak bizim ayaklarımızı kaydırma.” diyerek mukabele ediyorlardı.

Bir aralık büyükçe bir kaya çıkmıştı karşılarına; Ashab-ı Kiram’dan güçlü kuvvetli insanlar bile o kayayı parçalayamamışlardı. Onlar, en küçük dertlerini dahi Allah Rasûlü’ne söylerlerdi; bu büyük kayayı da O’na haber verdiler. İnsanlığın İftihar Tablosu, manivelası elinde geldi ve onunla taşı parçalamaya başladı. O, manivelasını indirdikçe taştan kıvılcımlar fışkırıyor.. ve sanki aynı esnada Allah Rasûlü’nde de vahiy ve ilham kıvılcımları çakıyordu. Her vuruşta bir müjde veriyordu: “Bana şu anda Bizans’ın anahtarları verildi. İran’ın anahtarlarının bana verildiğini müşâhede ediyorum… Bana Yemen’in anahtarları verildi; şu anda bulunduğum yerden San’â’nın kapılarını görüyorum.”

Hazreti Sâdık u Masdûk Efendimiz, asla parçalanmaz gibi görülen büyük devletlerin fethini müjdelediği o esnada karşısındaki 24.000 kişilik tam donanımlı düşman ordusuna karşı sadece 3.000 Müslümanla müdafaa harbine hazırlanıyordu. Fakat, dünyevi ölçüler açısından insanı dehşete düşürmesi beklenen o anki şartlar Peygamber Efendimiz’i tesiri altına alamadığı gibi, mü’minlerin de ancak imanlarını artırıyordu.

Bir ay kadar süren muhasarada şartlar, hep kâfirlerin aleyhine işlemişti. Kış bastırmak üzereydi. Mekke insanı, Medine’nin kışına dayanamazdı. Zaten kış için de hiçbir hazırlıkları yoktu. Günlerden beri esip duran rüzgâr, rüzgâr olmaktan çıkmış, çadırları söküp götürecek şiddette bir kasırga hâlini almıştı. Zaten 24.000 insana bakmak da çok zordu. Müşriklerin daha fazla dayanmaları mümkün değildi. Nitekim bir müddet sonra Ebû Süfyan, istemeye istemeye ric’at emri vermişti. Rasûl-ü Ekrem Efendimiz, muharebenin sonunda “Artık bundan böyle, biz onların üzerine gideceğiz, onlar gelemeyecekler.” buyurmuştu.

Kıymetli arkadaşlar,

İçinde bulunduğumuz Kutlu Doğum haftası münasebetiyle son günlerde muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi’ye hep İnsanlığın İftihar Tablosu (aleyhi ekmelüttehaya vetteslimât) Efendimiz’e dair meseleleri soruyoruz. Bu defa da kıymetli Hocamıza “Peygamber Efendimiz hadiselerden bizim etkilendiğimiz şekilde etkilenmemiş, aksine o her zaman hadiselere yön vermiştir.” tesbitini, bu cümlenin nasıl okunması gerektiğini sorduk.

Muhterem Hocaefendi, öncelikle şu hususu hatırlattı:

Mahbûb-u Âlem (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) Efendimiz, insanları ebedî hüsrandan kurtarma davasına o kadar gönülden bağlanmıştı ki, Kur’ân-ı Kerim, O’nun bu konudaki ızdıraplarını, “Neredeyse sen, onlar bu söze (Kur’an’a) inanmıyorlar diye üzüntünden kendini helâk edeceksin” (Kehf, 18/6) ve “Onlar iman etmiyorlar diye neredeyse üzüntüden kendini yiyip tüketeceksin” (Şuara, 26/3) ifadeleriyle dile getirmektedir. Aslında, bu ilahî hitaplar, Allah Rasûlü’nün duyarlılığını, insanlığın kurtuluşu hakkındaki hassasiyetini, O’ndaki ölesiye yaşatma arzusunu ve kurtarma cehdini nazara vermektedir. Bu itibarla, mezkûr ayet-i kerimeleri Peygamber Efendimiz’in heyecanlarını ta’dil eden ve O’nu îkaz için inen birer ilahî kelam şeklinde anlamak eksik, hatta yanlış olur. Evet,bu beyanlarda ta’dil ve tembih söz konusu olduğu kadar, ciddi bir takdir ve iltifat da vardır.

Bu önemli hakikati nazara vererek Peygamber Efendimiz’in bu şekildeki etkilenmelerine “kutsal teessür” denebileceğini belirten kıymetli Hocamız, daha sonra yukarıda özetlediğimiz Hendek Mücahedesi’ne işaret etti. Allah Rasûlü’nün öyle müthiş bir hadise ve çok olumsuz şartlar karşısında bile asla tereddüte düşmediğini ve yaptığı hamlelerle yine hadiselere yön verdiğini anlattı.

“Kutsal teessür” dediği etkilenmeye Hazreti Bediüzzaman’ın hayatından ve onun “müsbet hareket” düsturundan da misal veren Hocaefendi meseleyi günümüze getirerek adanmış ruhların hareket çizgisinin nasıl olması lazım geldiğini ifade etti.

19:42 dakikalık sohbeti ses ve görüntü dosyaları halinde arz ediyoruz.


279. Nağme: Efendiler Efendisi’ne Salât u Selâm


Sevgili dostlar,

Bugün tefsir dersinde Ahzab Sûresi’ni tamamladık. Müzakeresini yaptığımız ayetler arasında

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَآمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيماً

“Allah ve O’nun melekleri Peygamber’e hep salât ederler. Ey mü’minler, siz de Ona salât (ve dua) edin ve samimiyetle selam verin.” (Ahzab, 33/56) ilahî beyanı da vardı. Bu ayetin tam da Kutlu Doğum haftası olarak değerlendirilen günlerin başına denk düşmesi çok güzel bir tevafuk oldu. Bu vesileyle bir kere daha salât ü selam üzerinde durduk; muhterem Hocamızın mezkûr ayetle alakalı yorumlarını dinledik.

16:30 dakikalık bölümünü paylaşacağımız bu nağmede özellikle şu mevzular üzerinde duruluyor:

Bildiğiniz gibi, “salât”, tebrik, dua, istiğfar, rahmet gibi anlamlara gelmektedir. Salât kelimesinin çoğulu “salavât” gelir. Zikrettiğimiz âyet-i kerimeye göre, Peygamberimize salât ve selam getirerek, en azından “Allâhümme salli alâ Muhammed – Allâhım rahmet ve bereketin Efendimiz Hazreti Muhammed’in üzerine olsun!” diyerek hürmet arz etmek her Müslüman’ın yapması gerekli olan bir görevdir.

Bir hadis-i şerifte anlatılır ki: Peygamber Efendimiz (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) bir keresinde minbere çıkıyordu. Merdivenden yukarı çıkarken birinci basamakta “amin!” dedi. İkinci basamakta yine “amin!” dedi. Üçüncü basamakta bir kere daha “amin!” dedi. Hutbeden sonra, sahabe efendilerimiz “Bu sefer Sen’den daha önce duymadığımız bir şeyi duyduk yâ Rasûlallah! Eskiden böyle yapmıyordunuz, şimdi minbere çıkarken üç defa “amin” dediniz. Bunun hikmeti nedir?” diye sordular. Peygamber Efendimiz (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) şöyle buyurdular: “Cebrâil aleyhisselam geldi ve ‘Anne-babasının ihtiyarlığında onların yanında olmuş ama anne-baba hakkını gözetmemiş, onlara iyi bakarak mağfireti yakalama gibi bir fırsatı değerlendirememiş kimseye yazıklar olsun, burnu yere sürtülsün onun!’ dedi, ben de ‘amin!’ dedim. Cebrâil, ‘Yâ Rasûlallah, bir yerde adın anıldığı halde, Sana salât ü selâm getirmeyen de rahmetten uzak olsun, burnu yere sürtülsün!’ dedi, ben de ‘amin’ dedim. Ve son basamakta Cebrâil, ‘Ramazana yetişmiş, Ramazanı idrak etmiş olduğu halde Allah’ın mağfiretini kazanamamış, afv ü mağfiret bulamamış kimseye de yazıklar olsun, rahmetten uzak olsun o!’ dedi, ben de ‘amin’ dedim.” Bu hadiste geçen “rağime enfuhû” ifadesi bir idyumdur, dilin kendi yapısına has bir deyimdir ve Türkçe’de onu net ve tam olarak karşılayacak bir kelime yoktur. Belki, “burnu yere sürtülsün (sürtüldü), canı çıkası, kahrolası” gibi manalara gelmektedir.

Bununla beraber, Sâdık u Masdûk Efendimiz’in ismi her işitildiğinde veya anıldığında salât getirilip getirilmeyeceği hususunda; bazı âlimler, “Bir yerde, Hazreti Peygamber’in adı ne kadar anılırsa anılsın bir defa salât edilmesi yeterlidir” derken, âlimlerin çoğunluğu, “Efendimiz’in adı her anıldığında salât u selam getirilmesi gereklidir” demiştir. Bazıları, insanın, ömründe bir kere salât u selam getirmesinin vâcib olduğunu söylerken, İmam Şâfi gibi kimseler de nâm-ı celil-i Muhammedî (aleyhissalatü vesselam) ne zaman anılırsa anılsın hemen salât u selamla O’na senâda bulunmak gerektiği kanaatindedirler. Nitekim, hadis ilmiyle uğraşanlar, Hazreti Peygamberimizin hadislerini rivayet ederken, Onun adı ne kadar çok anılırsa anılsın, her anılışında, “sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem” diyerek hürmet ve vefalarını ifade etmişlerdir.

Hâsılı, salavâtın mânâsı rahmettir. Allah Teala, Efendimiz’e bizzat salât etmiş, meleklerinin de Peygamberimize salât ve selâm ettiklerini bildirmiş ve bize de onu bir vazife olarak tahmil buyurmuştur. Bizim salâtımız, Üstadın ifadesiyle, “Ya Rab! Yanımızda elçiniz ve dergâhınızda elçimiz olan reisimize merhamet et ki, bize sirayet etsin.” manasına bir duadır. Bununla beraber salât u selamın ayrı bir hususiyeti daha vardır. Salât u selam makbul bir duadır; yapılan diğer duaların başında ve sonunda salât u selam okununca, iki makbul dua arasında istenilen şeyler de makbul olur. Onun için hem duanın başında, hem de sonunda salât u selam okumak lazımdır.

Allahümme salli ve sellim ala seyyidinâ Muhammedin ve ala âlihî ve ashâbihî ecmaîne biadedi ilmike ve ma’lûmâtike (Allahım, Efendimiz Hazreti Muhammed’e, O’nun aile fertlerine ve ashabına ilmin ve malûmâtın adedince salât ve selam eyle.)

Muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi bugünkü derste bir kelimenin farklı manaları için lügate bakarken:

Muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi bugünkü derste bir kelimenin farklı manaları için lügate bakarken

Problems Settled within the Individual and Reforming the Society


Question: You stated that a person who has not been able to settle the problems within his or her own self is not able to solve the problems related to their environment and the society. Would you explain the relationship between reforming oneself (nafs) and reforming the society.

Answer: With respect to its dictionary meaning, the word “nafs” refers to the essence of something or the thing itself. As a religious term, nafs, or the “carnal soul,” refers to the essence and center of the potentially harmful feelings like grudge, hatred, lust, wrath, and the like, all of which are placed in human nature for certain wisdom; it is the title for the mechanism that is prone to whisperings and goading of Satan and which functions as a center for him. But it needs to be known that this mechanism has a potential for transformation and progress at the same time; it is the most important means for a person’s ascending to spiritual realms. However, its being able to fulfill this desirable mission depends on its being disciplined and purified under the guidance and control of heavenly disciplines, like taming a wild horse before it becomes suitable to ride. Otherwise, if the nafs, or carnal soul, is left to its own devices, it will continuously run after its fanciful inclinations and desires, become a slave to animal desires and physical pleasures and go after the evil. In the end, it will cause a person to fall headfirst into eternal ruin.

The Child Who Did Not Give up Sucking Milk

In his famous eulogy, Imam Al-Busiri describes the situation of an undisciplined carnal soul as follows: “The carnal soul resembles a suckling infant. If you do not cease breastfeeding when the time comes, its appetite strengthens and it asks for more. If you can once exert your willpower to cease breastfeeding, then it just stops.”

If the carnal soul is made to cease its appetite for breastfeeding by using significant and convincing arguments at the right time, it will then be possible to keep its insatiable appetite under control. But—may God forbid—if the carnal self is left prone to bohemianism and gains strength under the influence of negative thoughts and feelings, it becomes disobedient, spiraling out of control; it begins to continually impose its own desires, fancies, and caprices on the individual, which results in screens between the truth and the individual; a kind of spiritual eclipse occurs. For this reason, a person captivated by the nafs, or carnal soul, and burdened heavily with its problems cannot set a good example for others and guide them to goodness. The duty that then befalls the person is to first solve his or her problems within. This can be realized by giving the willpower its due and calling a halt to the endless desires and wishes of the carnal self, making it suffice with the delights within the lawful sphere and not allowing it to step toward transgression. Thus, it will have been saved from the state of “ammara”—a soul which continually commands to commit evil, and rise to the level of “lawwama”—one that continuously makes self-criticism and questions whether the behaviors are right. Furthermore, it can even ascend to the horizons of “mutmainna”—the soul with a clear and satisfied conscience that is content with respect to its relationship with its Creator. In addition, just as people seek refuge in God against so many harmful things and factors, they must, night and day, seek refuge in Him against their own selfhood and evil-commanding soul, which serve as a center for Satan in human nature. Otherwise, as the carnal soul will not give up generating problems, the individual will not be able to avoid being heavily laden with the many problems of the carnal soul.

The Greatest Striving on the Way of God

While returning from a military campaign, the Messenger of God warned his Companions that they were returning from the lesser jihad, or striving on the way of God, to the greatest one.1 His use of the term “greatest” is noteworthy, for it indicates the significance of the issue. Furthermore, this intimidating statement was made on the way back from an absolutely critical, great battle for Muslims, and thus it gives us a perspective of comparison between struggling against the carnal soul and engaging in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. In addition, it is very meaningful that it was uttered at a time when people felt the delight of victory. Sometimes, a very important remark can be made without taking people’s mood into consideration (and thus being unable to raise their awareness for that remark). Therefore, it does not have an impact on hearts at the desired level. When seen from this perspective, the timing of this blessed saying is very important in terms of saving Muslims from the dizziness of victory. With this remark, God’s Messenger, upon whom be peace and blessings, aimed to keep clear of the possible negative thoughts that may emerge among the victorious military of the Companions while returning back to Medina as the conquering army.

Indeed, we always hold a good opinion of the Companions of the Prophet, in compliance with the meaning of the Qur’anic prayer: “O Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers (and sisters) in Religion who have preceded us in faith, and let not our hearts entertain any ill-feeling against any of the believers. O Our Lord! You are All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate (especially towards Your believing servants)” (al-Hashr 59:10). On the other hand, as the Pride of Humanity was responsible for their spiritual purification and training, he may have taken their souls into consideration, and he may have intended with his warnings to prevent certain negative feelings from the beginning, even before they emerge. As a matter of fact, on the way to Hunayn, it may have occurred to some that their crowded army was an invincible one. Afterwards, they experienced a temporary defeat, but by the extraordinary efforts of the Pride of Humanity, peace and blessings be upon him, the temporary defeat was transformed into a victory again. This example is also closely related to our subject. People may go through much hardship while striving on the way of God, sometimes at the expense of serious losses. And as a consequence, God Almighty might grant them material or spiritual victories. Right at such a moment of victory, it is very important to keep under control certain negative feelings (of arrogance) that may arise in a person. In his treatise on sincerity, Bediüzzaman raises very important arguments against such tendencies of the carnal soul: “O my ostentatious carnal soul! Do not be proud of your services to God’s religion. As stated in a Prophetic Tradition, God may strengthen this religion by means of a dissolute person. You are not pure, so regard yourself as that dissolute person.” Let alone ordinary people, even saintly figures may not keep up their humbleness in the face of such achievements and triumphs.

Indeed, somebody who does not turn towards his or her own carnal soul for the sake of its taming and gaining of moral virtues loses so much in terms of happiness in both this world and the next. What makes people truly human is not their body but their carnal soul, or their very selves. The noble Prophet once said, “God does not look at your bodies and your physical appearances, but He looks at your hearts and deeds (that stem from the heart).”2 If one truly possesses a feeling of reverence and respect in his or her heart, this will be reflected in all of that person’s attitude and behaviors. Another time, the Prophet referred to a certain heedless man and stated that if his heart were in awe of God, so would be his body parts.3 For this reason, it is very important for a person to turn first toward his or her own human essence, engage in a struggle with the carnal self, and settle the problems within. It is for this significance of the issue that the Messenger of God referred to it as the “greatest struggle.”

Blessings That Become a Curse

As the carnal soul can tempt someone into committing sins, sometimes it can cause a person to fall by the way of blessings showering upon that person. As an example, the Qur’an relates the story of Qarun: “Qarun (Korah) was one of Moses’ people, but he betrayed and oppressed them” (al-Qasas 28:78). He was led astray by the wealth and means God Almighty had granted him, because he had not believed in God in the way that he should have, and failed to settle the problem with his carnal soul. Even though he seemed to have belief, he failed to transform his belief into certainty in faith, never ascending to a horizon of heartfelt acceptance. That is, he did not transform mere information into knowledge of God with practice, nor gain certainty based on or arising from that knowledge, and he had nothing to do with attaining certainty based on being able to see the truth. Therefore, there came a time when he said: “All this has been given to me only by virtue of a certain knowledge that I have” (al-Qasas 28:76). Although Korah had spent time with Prophet Moses and lived among his people, he was tempted by worldly means and was among the losers.

Similarly, as-Samiri (the Samaritan), who was from the people of Prophet Moses, was a person who had certain merits of speech and craftsmanship. However, he also abused the gifts God had granted to him by making an image of golden calf to worship, thereby bringing about his own ruin. As stated in the Qur’an, “(Moses) said: “Be gone, then! (The sentence) upon you is that in this present life, you say ‘Touch me not!’ (to warn people against proximity to you)…” (Ta-Ha 20:97). As-Samiri lived in abject misery until the end of his life.

So it seems that when the problem is not settled within the individual, even God’s blessings may become curses for people. In other words, things seeming like blessings can transform into retribution unawares: skills, power, opportunity to rule, appreciation of people, and gaining status can all be considered in this respect. When a person gains such means without taming his nafs, he will stray from the path of the Messenger of God to that of the pharaohs without even being aware of it.

I would like to elucidate the issue further with a narration from the time of Prophet Moses, peace be upon him. Actually, certain parables may be questionable whether they really took place or not, but what really matters with parables is the meaning that they convey and the lesson we learn from it. Accordingly, on the way to Mount Sinai Moses sees that somebody has buried himself in sand because he had no clothes to wear. This man asks Moses to pray to God so that he has worldly goods. As Moses petitions God Almighty about it, he learns that the man’s present state is better for him. After that, Moses conveys this message to the man, but the man still insists on his wish. Finally, God Almighty commands Moses to help that man. Moses provides him some support and after a while the man has enough money to buy a sheep. In time the man owns flocks of sheep through geometrical increase. One day, when Prophet Moses is traveling to Mount Sinai again, he sees a crowd of people. He decides to get closer to see what is happening.  He is told: “There used to be a very poor man. In time, God granted him abundant means. But richness did him no good. He started to drink. One day he got drunk, engaged in a fight, and killed someone. Now the man is going to be executed in retaliation.”

In conclusion, as it is seen in history and many examples in our time, a person who does not settle his or her problems within can often make material and spiritual bestowals into means of their own ruin. In fact, if a blessing makes one forget God Almighty and causes that person to become a heedless one, then that seeming blessing is a “curse in disguise.” Even if what distances a person from God is a great victory, it should be known that it is a calamity sent by God—it makes one suffer the greatest loss, where it is fairly possible to win (i.e. one could have been among the righteous if he had truly tamed his carnal self). So the way to protect oneself from all of these dangers is never giving up the struggle against the nafs, or the carnal soul, and being constantly alert against its tricks and traps.

1. Bayhaqi, Zuhd, 1/165
2. Sahih Muslim, Birr, 34; Sunan ibn Majah, Zuhd, 9
3. Hakim at-Tirmidhi, Nawadir al-Usul, 2/172

This text is the translation of “Nefiste Çözülen Problemler ve Toplumun Islahı

Bamteli’nde Bu Hafta (15-21 Nisan 2013)


Kıymetli arkadaşlar,

Şu anda “Kutlu Doğum ve İnsan Onurubaşlıklı bu haftanın Bamteli’ni hazırlamaya çalışıyoruz. Bütününü yayınlayıncaya kadar bir özet videoyu nazarlarınıza arz ediyoruz.

Bir fikir vermesi için paylaşacağımız bu tanıtım videosundan 5-6 saat sonra da -inşaallah- hem bu sohbetin tamamını hem de Kırık Testi de dahil diğer dosyalarımızı hazırlamış ve sunmuş olacağız.

Dualarınız istirhamıyla…

278. Nağme: Her Şey Sen’den, Sen Ganîsin!..


Kıymetli dostlar,

Günün nağmesi olarak 16:05 dakikalık ses ve görüntü dosyaları halinde arz edeceğimiz yeni çay faslında muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi şu hususları anlatıyor:

*Her şeyi irade, meşîet, kudret ve ilim açısından Cenâb-ı Hakk’a verme ve aklen, kalben, ruhen, hissen, fikren her yönüyle tam tevhide ulaşma neticesinde “Sübbûh” deme ve “sübhaneke” diye zikretme meleklerin şiârıdır. Çünkü onlar bütün bu hakikatleri şeksiz, şüphesiz görmekte ve sürekli tesbîhle bu müşahedelerini dillendirmektedirler. “Sübhansın ya Rab! Senin bize bildirdiğinden başka ne bilebiliriz ki? Her şeyi hakkıyla bilen, her şeyi hikmetle yapan Sensin” (Bakara, 2/32) sözü bu tesbîhlerinin ayrı bir terennümü ve ifadesidir.

*Hazreti Musa (ala nebiyyina ve aleyhisselam), Firavun’un karşısına çıkacağı zaman “Ya Rabbî, genişlet göğsümü, kolaylaştır işimi, çözüver şu dilimin bağını. Ta ki anlasınlar sözümü!” (Tâhâ, 20/25-28) demiştir. Bu dilek, onun talep mevkiinde bulunduğunu ve o kapıya yoldaki bir insan edasıyla teveccüh ettiğini göstermektedir. Hazreti Musa’da bir istek halinde ortaya çıkan bu husus, Peygamber Efendimiz’e Allah’ın bir lütfu olarak, “Biz senin kalbine inşirah vermedik mi?” (İnşirah, 94/1) âyetiyle mevhibe ve minnet ufkunda tecelli etmiştir. Diğer bir ifadeyle, Hazreti Musa’nın Rabbinden istediği inşirah-ı sadr, Rasûl-ü Ekrem Efendimiz’e bir nimet olarak verilmiş ve böylece O’nun şükran duyguları coşturulmuştur.

*Allah Rasûlü (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) Efendimiz her noktada doygunluğa erişmiş bir insan olmasına rağmen, Cenâb-ı Hak, mazhariyetlerini yeterli görmemesi için O’na,

فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ وَلَا تَعْجَلْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يُقْضَى إِلَيْكَ وَحْيُهُ وَقُلْ رَبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا

“Gerçek hükümdar Allah, yücedir. Sana O’nun vahyi tamamlanmazdan önce Kur’an’ı (okumakta) acele etme ve ‘Rabbim, benim ilmimi artır’ de.” (Tâhâ, 20/114) buyuruyor. İnsanlığın İftihar Tablosu (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) Efendimiz de her sabah ve akşam şöyle dua ediyor:

اَللَّهُمَّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا وَلاَ تُزِغْ قَلْبِي بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنِي وَهَبْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً، إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ

“Allahım, ilmimi artır ve bana hidayet verdikten sonra kalbimi kaydırma; katından bana rahmet lütfet; şüphesiz ki Sen, çok lütufkârsın!”

*İlim ve marifete hiç doymamalı. İlim kadehinden içtikçe “Ey sâkî aşkın oduna yandıkça yandım, bir su ver / Parmağım aşkın balına bandıkça bandım, bir su ver! (Gedâî) ya da

أَلاَ يَا أَيُّهَا السَّاقِي أَدِرْ كَأْسًا وَنَاوِلْهَا

“Ey sâkî! Hele kâseni başımızın üzerinde döndür de bir kadeh şarap daha sun.” (Hâfız) demeli.

*“Biz gücümüz, kuvvetimiz, ilmimiz ve tecrübemizle bu işleri başarıyoruz” düşüncesi Kârunca bir düşüncedir. “Ben kendi ilmimle ve kendi iktidarımla kazandım” iddiası ancak Kârun’un ve onun torunlarının telaffuz ettikleri müşrikçe bir kuruntudur. Din ve millet yolunda hizmete gönül vermiş insanlar, Kârun gibi düşünüp Kârunca konuşacaklarına, gurur ve enaniyeti bırakmalı; aczinin, fakrının ve ihtiyaçlarının farkında olan kullar gibi tazarru ve duâ lisanıyla Cenâb-ı Hakk’a yönelmelidirler.

*Seyyidinâ Hz. İbrahim ve ona inananlar Allah’a tevekküllerini şöyle dile getirmişlerdir:

رَبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

“Ey Yüce Rabbimiz, biz yalnız Sana güvenip Sana dayandık. Bütün ruh-u cânımızla Sana yöneldik ve sonunda Senin huzuruna varacağız. Ey Ulu Rabbimiz, bizi kâfirlerin imtihanına (baskı, zulüm ve işkencelerine) mâruz bırakma, affet bizi; Şüphesiz Sen Azîz ve Hakîm’sin.” (Mümtehine Sûresi, 60/4-5)

*Üstad hazretleri, “İman tevhidi, tevhid teslimi, teslim tevekkülü, tevekkül saadet-i dâreyni iktiza eder.” buyurmuştur. Sofilerin yaklaşımına göre, bu yolun sonunda “tefviz” ve “sika” karargahları vardır. Kalbin Zümrüt Tepeleri’nde genişçe üzerinde durulduğu gibi, Allah’a güven ve itimat ile başlayıp, kalben her türlü beşerî güç ve kuvvetten teberri etme kuşağında sürdürülen ve neticede her şeyi Kudreti Sonsuz’a havale edip vicdânen tam bir itmi’nana ulaşma ile sona eren rûhanî yolculuğun başlangıcına “tevekkül”, az ötesine “teslim”, iki adım ilerisine “tefviz” ve son durağına da “sika” denilegelmiştir. Her şeyi bütün bütün Allah’a havale edip, yine her şeyi O’ndan bekleme makamı sayılan “tefviz”in hulâsası, İbrahim Hakkı Hazretleri’nin “Tefviznâme”sinde şöyle seslendirilmektedir:

“Hak şerleri hayreyler / Sen sanma ki gayreyler / Ârif ânı seyr eyler /

Mevlâ görelim neyler / Neylerse güzel eyler.

Sen Hakk’a tevekkül ol / Tefviz et ve rahat bul / Sabreyle ve râzı ol /

Mevlâ görelim neyler / Neylerse güzel eyler.”

*Alvarlı Efe Hazretleri, sürekli “Allah bizi insan eyleye!..” diye dua ederdi. Aklınıza “İnsan değil miyiz ki?” sorusu gelebilir; fakat, potansiyel insan olma başkadır, kişinin bütün istidat ve kabiliyetleriyle Allah’a kurbet kesbedip insan-ı kâmil ufkuna ulaşması daha başkadır.

277. Nağme: Ne “Mazi” Ne de “İstikbal” Masal, Onlarla Derinlik Kazanır “Hal”


Kıymetli arkadaşlar,

Öteden beri hemen herkes, içinde bulunduğu zamandan şikâyet etmiş ve daha iyi günlerin özlemiyle inlemiş durmuştur. Cismaniyet ve bedenî hazları itibariyle kendini bohemliğe salmış, Bir geçmiş gün için beyhude feryad etme / Bir gelecek günü boşuna yad etme / Geçmiş gelecek masal hep / Eğlenmene bak, ömrünü berbad etme diyen bir kısım bön kimseler istisna edilecek olursa, çoğu kimse ya geçmişe vurgun veya geleceğe tutkundur. Umumiyet itibariyle genç ve serâzât gönüller daha ziyade hülyâlarında kurdukları bir gelecekte, yaşını-başını almış dünün olgun insanları da hep geçmişte yaşarlar.

Aslında geçmişin ayrı bir manası, geleceğin ayrı bir kıymeti, hâlin de ayrı bir değer ve ifâdesi vardır. Zamanı, en kıymetli dilimi itibariyle hayallerimizde kurduğumuz geleceğin sırça saraylarında veya geçmişin semâvileşen parlak sahifeleri arasında aradığımız sürece, onun, mutlaka değerlendirilmesi gerekli olan altın dilimini görmezlikten gelmiş; düne ve yarına göz yumup, sadece bugünle bütünleşip, bugünle teselli olduğumuz zaman da çok önemli iki hayatî kaynağı kaybetmiş oluruz.

Geçmiş, hem bugünümüze hem de yarınlarımıza kaynak olabilecek bereketli bir menba, bugün ise, geleceğin fide ve fidanlarını yetiştiren mübârek bir meşcerelik ve milli bir sermaye iken, mâziyi romantik duygu ve düşüncelere açılmış bir arşiv gibi görüp değerlendirmek, bugünü de serâzâd gönüllerin şehrâyin zamanı sayıp hezeyanlar içinde geçirmek, kazanma kuşağında kaybetmekten başka bir şey değildir.

Kendisine, “Sen hep maziden bahsediyorsun; sürekli Osmanlı çeşmelerini, camilerini dile getiriyorsun; sen bir harâbîsin, harâbâtîsin.” diyenlere karşı Yahya Kemal, “Ne harâbîyim ne harâbâtîyim / Kökü mazide olan âtîyim.” diye cevap vermiştir. Evet, parlak bir gelecek için dünü bilip ondan ibret almak ve bugünü de tam değerlendirmek iktiza etmektedir.

Dünü bugünle, bugünü de yarınla bir arada mütâlaa edebilen ruh insanlarının varlık ve hâdiselere bakışları çok farklıdır. Onların canlı ve sımsıcak dünyâlarında, her şey bir başka lezzet, bir başka halâvetle doğar ve zaman üstü bir çizgide cereyan eder. Geçmiş zaman, bin bir modeliyle geleceğin rengârenk kostümlerini hazırlar. Gelecek, ihya edilmeyi bekleyen bir arâzi gibi, yüksek mefkûre ve hülyâ derinliğinde hâdiselere bağrını açar bekler. İçinde bulunduğumuz zaman ise, bir mekik gibi bu iki kutup arasında gelir-gider ve kendi dilimini örer.

Bu arada, insan maruz kaldığı bir kısım mazeretler ve aşamayacağı bazı engellerden dolayı istediklerini tam yapamayabilir ve arzu ettiği işi eksiksiz olarak gerçekleştiremeyebilir. Şayet başlangıçtaki niyet halis ise, ameldeki boşlukları da işte o temiz niyetler doldurur. Nitekim, yatsı namazını eda edip sabah namazına kalkma niyetiyle yatan bir insanın uykudaki nefeslerinin bile zikir/sadaka olacağını Hazreti Sâdık u Masdûk Efendimiz bildirmektedir. Ayrıca, ortalama yetmiş senelik bir ömürle ebedî hayatın kazanılması da yine niyetin boşlukları doldurmasıyla mümkün olmaktadır.

Bu cümleden olarak, günümüzde, dünyanın değişik yerlerinde, hayatın değişik birimlerinde vazife yapan öyle insanlar vardır ki, bunlar, tepeden tırnağa pür heyecandırlar. Onlar, her gün heyecanla oturup heyecanla kalkmakta, kendilerine düşen vazifeyi yerine getirmeye her an âmâdebulunmaktadırlar. İşte böylelerinin niyetleri, azim, gayret ve kararlılıkları öbür tarafta öyle sürprizler şeklinde karşılarına çıkar ki, çokları Allah’ın onlara lütfettiği nimetler karşısında imrenmekten kendilerini alamazlar. Bu itibarla da niyet ve himmetler her zaman âli tutulmalı; elden gelen gayretler ortaya konulmalı ve sonra muhtemel boşlukların niyetlerle doldurulacağı konusunda ilahî rahmete itimad edilmelidir.

İşte, 16:44 dakikalık bugünkü “nağme”de muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi, (kendi ifadeleriyle) özetlemeye çalıştığımız konuyu misalleri ve detaylarıyla anlatıyor.


276. Nağme: Şeytan Çağı ve İftirak Tuzağı


Sevgili dostlar,

Hadis-i şeriflerde, “şeytan çağı” şeklinde tercüme edebileceğimiz “karnü’ş-şeytan” tabiri geçmektedir. “Karn” çağ, asır, yüz yıl demek olduğu gibi, boynuz ve kuvvet manalarına da gelmektedir.

Nitekim İnsanlığın İftihar Tablosu (aleyhi ekmelüttehaya), bir hadis-i şeriflerinde: “Güneş doğarken de batarken de namaz kılmayın. Çünkü güneş şeytanın iki boynuzu arasından doğar, iki boynuzu arasından batar.” buyururken “karnü’ş-şeytan” kelimesini kullanmıştır ki hadisçilere göre burada karn ile kastedilen “şeytanın iki boynuzu, başının iki tarafı”dır. Bu hadiste, şeytanın güneşin doğduğu yer hizasında dikildiğine ve böylece güneşe tapanların güneş için yaptıkları secdenin adeta şeytan için yapılmış olduğuna işaret edilmektedir.

Karn kelimesinin çağ manasına kullanıldığı hadisler arasında da şöyle bir rivayet mevcuttur: Bir gün Allah Rasûlü (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) şu şekilde dua etmiştir: “Allah’ım! Şam’ı ve Yemen’i mübarek kıl!” Orada bulunanlardan biri “Ey Allah’ın Rasûlü! Necid’i de…” deyince Sâdık u Masduk Efendimiz yine “Allah’ım! Şam’ı ve Yemen’i mübarek kıl!” duasını tekrar etmiştir. O şahıs bir kere daha “Ey Allah’ın Rasûlü! Necid’i de…” deyince, Peygamber Efendimiz (aleyhissalatü vesselam) “Orada (Necid) depremler ve fitneler görülecektir. Ve karnü’ş-şeytan oradan ortaya çıkacaktır!” diye cevap vermiştir.

İşte bugün paylaşacağımız yeni çay faslında muhterem Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi özetlediğimiz hadis-i şeriflere dikkat çekerek sözlerine başladı. Rasûl-ü Ekrem (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) ile yeni bir bahara giren dünyadan çok rahatsız olan şeytanın daha Saadet Asrı’nda olanca gücü ile hücuma geçtiğini; sonraki devirlerde de Müslümanlar ne zaman birlik ve beraberlik içinde dünyaya yön verecek hale gelmişlerse, yine İblis’in o asrı bir şeytan çağı haline getirebilmek için bütün avenesiyle mücadele ettiğini anlattı. Tarih boyunca “şeytan çağı” olmaya namzet devirlerden misaller verdi.

Muhterem Hocaefendi son dönemde belli sahalarda belini doğrultmaya başlayan Müslümanların bugün de şeytanın büyük saldırılarına maruz kaldığını, mevcut ihtilaf ve iftirakların, haset ve yanlış yorumlanan tenafüslerin arkasında şeytanın tasallutu bulunduğunu ifade etti.

19:16 dakikalık ses ve görüntü dosyaları halinde arz edeceğimiz bu hasbihalde kıymetli Hocamız bir nevi “uhuvvet çağrısı”nda bulunarak, kim ne yaparsa yapsın, aklı başında müminlerin şeytanın oyununa gelmemeleri ve kardeşliği muhafaza etmek için her türlü fedakarlığa katlanmaları gerektiğini vurguladı.

Dualarınıza vesile olması istirhamıyla…