It doesn’t matter how much of a sinner a person is, Allah says in the Quran: “Do not cut your hope from Me. My rahmet, My compassion, is wide.” It includes everything. That is why we have to believe in His goodness and beauty, and we are going to learn that this goodness and beauty works inside of ourselves. Then wherever we go we will live with huzur, peace and tranquility.
The trouble with people today is that there’s no huzur, but there is comfort. They have villas. They have palaces at the side of the sea. They have yachts to sail on the water. They have their comfort. They sit in a cool air-conditioned room in the summer, and in the winter they sit in their nice heated places. They have money in their pockets. But where is the huzur? If you ask them, they will say that they are at peace. But there’s no huzur; there’s only comfort.
Comfort is one thing; huzur is another. Huzur is a fire burning with the ashk, the Divine love, of Allah. Inside of that fire is the love of human beings. There is service towards human beings. There is humbleness. There is no arrogance. When humbleness, service and love live in the heart, even the name of that heart changes and becomes gönül. That’s when huzur comes. And then with that huzur, if you want, go and sit on top of a fire. Nothing will happen. Now, for example, we sat here with huzur. The ground is wet. It’s not really comfortable. But we sat. We don’t want to get up and leave. You were going and you came back and sat. Maybe you had something to do. Why didn’t you go? Why did you sit here instead? That means that there was huzur here. You abandoned your comfort. You came and sat down here. And so huzur is the love of human beings and the ashk of Allah that sits in the heart…
The matchstick is made of wood, and the head of it is iman. You are not aware of that. What happens? You strike it on its opposite. Then it begins to burn, and when it burns it becomes ashk. It becomes the ashk of Allah. Burning up, there’s no woodness left, only ashes. All people, like the match, have their faith, but because they don’t strike it on the mirror of knowledge, they can’t get that fire. If you strike the earth with the head of that match it won’t burn. You have to strike it on the mirror of knowledge that is its opposite, and when you strike it there, it burns.
Every person has this ashk. It’s inside iman. What suits the human being best is sincerity, seriousness, correctness. As long as we have these, then we will never lose. And to what will we not lose? We won’t lose to the negativities inside of ourselves. You know that negative energy is represented by Shaitan, Satan. Positive energy is represented by Rahman, compassion, and Rahim, beneficence, by the existence of Allah. If you look at this side, Shaitan is giving negative energy. If you look at the other side, Rahman is giving positive energy. Between these two energies the human being is confused, standing between two opposites. The human being is learning the knowledge so that he can bring these opposites together and find the beauty of Allah. In the sohbet a little while ago we quoted a great Sufi saint, Hazreti Juneydi Baghdadi, who said, “I have found Allah in the place where opposites unite.”
Let me give an example. Man and woman. Physically they are opposites. But when they become one, what happens? A being comes into existence. The beauty of Allah comes. A child is born and grows and is testament to the existence of Allah in this world as a human being. When the opposites join together in this way, then the beauty of Allah is seen. Earlier we gave the example of electricity. One wire is negative and the other is positive. If they are not connected together, then they can cross and blow a fuse, start a fire. But when the negative and positive are connected together, then the light burns. In Turkish this is called ishik, in Tasawwuf it is called ashk, in Farsi it is called zia, and in Arabic it is called nur.
You have understood huzur and comfort now, right? Look, you have huzur and that attracts like a magnet. A little while ago we were talking about how the electricity in magnets attracts minerals. It doesn’t attract wood. Sometimes people are like wood and not attracted, but those who are like minerals are attracted. They do not come for me because my eye is beautiful or my brow is beautiful or my face is beautiful. It’s not my words but the Beautiful One who is inside of me. Say that that One gets up and leaves and I just fall down here. What happens then? You’ll pick me up and bury me in the graveyard. You won’t sit at my bedside waiting for me to speak.
What people are looking for today, what they have lost, is humanity. And what is this humanity? Peace. Love. Respect. Serv-ice to one another. People have lost this, and now they are looking for it. Where is the humanity to be found? In the instructions that Allah has sent us by way of the prophets. This first started with the prophet Ibrahim, Abraham. Ibrahim saw this existence of Allah and knew that it worked in the human being. Then he surrendered to the one Allah. And this surrender is Islam. It comes from the Arabic verb salamat. He said, “Oh, my God, I have surrendered myself to you. I am the first of those to submit, the first of the Muslim.” So Allah then named all the people who followed after Ibrahim Muslims. The road that shows the goodness and beauty of humanity, the road that gathers together all of the religions, is Islam. It is the road of Ibrahim. That’s why Allah says in the Quran that Ibrahim was on the path that was cleansed. And He says that he is not of those who live duality. Because people are looking for this goodness and beauty in the world, they examine the Quran and they look at how humanity has been lost and they discover how they can find it again. That’s why Islam is growing in the world today. Islam is not just the religion of the Muslim. It is a religion that speaks to all people. The Quran is not a book that just connects Muslims. It’s like the sun that speaks to all people. It’s like the sun. People research this and when they find this goodness and beauty, they go onto the road of humanity.
In the same way that people search for bread and water, because they have been created as beautiful, they have to search for this goodness and beauty. By searching they are going to find it, because everything attracts its own kind. I gave the example of the magnet. What is it? It’s metal and it attracts metal. If you put the magnet up to wood it won’t attract it. Because Allah allows His goodness and beauty to live in the human being, this goodness is also searching for goodness. And where do you find this goodness, this beauty? They see that the place to find this is on the road of surrender to Allah. The prophet Ibrahim was the first who surrendered. In the Quran there are many words written about Ibrahim. The religion of humanity is the religion of Islam. People are understanding this and turning in this direction today.
The foundation of Islam is good ahlak, behavior and conduct. The Prophet Muhammed said,”I have come here to complete the good ahlak.” When you find this good ahlak, all religions are going to unite, and only the Existence of the one Allah is going to be left. And that is the love and respect of human beings. That means that Islam is a system of service to humanity. That’s why it’s growing in the world from day to day. Everywhere it is the same. People are thirsty and hungry, and they are looking for this. We have to find this and live it with good ahlak. This is a very wide subject. If you want to learn it well, you’re going to have to do some research. And you have to serve Tasawwuf. It is not some-thing that can be learned with one or two words. It is unlimited knowledge.
Audience: When you say that people are searching for it because of the loss of humanity, what caused this loss of humanity? Baba: People deviated from the path of the Prophet. Audience: I find it strange that you call it humanity when it seems that the qualities that you’re talking about in humanity, like peace, are actually those which come from Allah. Baba: What is it that reflects this divinity? It’s the human being who does this. In the sohbet a little while ago we mentioned that the human being is the halife, the representative, of Allah in this world. Allah said, “Be,” and He created, and left everything in the hands of the human beings. He gave us a mind. He gave us thoughts. Look around you. Everything that you see here was arranged and made by human beings. Allah says, “We have created ships to take you over oceans. We have created palaces for you to live in.” Who made these? Is Allah a carpenter? Did He come down here and build these buildings?
In the Quran, Allah doesn’t say “I.” He doesn’t say, “I did it.” He says, “We did it.” Think of this. Then you’ll understand what the human being is, because He says so Himself: “I am the secret of the human being, and humanity is My secret.” Because people don’t know this, they are confused. Instead of going down this road, they’re going down that road. And because Allah loves these people, He sent recipes through the prophets so that they will walk on the sirat ul mustakim, the straight path. The prophets were human beings, weren’t they? Whose mouths did these laws of Allah come out of? They didn’t fall down from the sky. They came out of the mouths of human beings. That is the manifestation of Allah working through the human being.
Let me explain this to you with a story. The human being is the halife, the shadow of Allah on the world. Tasawwuf compares a human being to a tree. Now think of this tree. The sun has come from behind and the shadow of the tree is on the ground. Now the shadow is looking up and between the branches of the tree he can see the sun. But he is having difficulty seeing it. He says to the tree, “Get out from in between. Get out from in between so I can see the sun with comfort.” And the tree says, “If I move away, you’ll disappear.” So if you kill off people. . . now there’s a knife that can kill people, and bad ahlak can kill people. When humanity is dead, then it is the same as that tree having been torn down. Where’s the shadow? That’s why we have to allow humanity to live. And how do we allow humanity to live? Through human beings. Then the Divine power will be visible, and the Divine beauties and goodnesses will be visible. These cannot be separated from each other.
Hu, Dost! This is my way of saying thank you for all of the gifts that my teacher, Sherif Baba, has given all of us.
I love the Ahl-ul Beyt, but I am not Shi'a, at least not in the usual sense. I love the Alevi way, but I am a mainstream practicing Muslim (or, at least, trying to be one). I love Mevlana, but I'm not a Mevlevi. I love some teachers who may or may not be very shari'ah adherent, but can open hearts. Several that I love most are practicing Muslims, but not all of their students are. I've even seen one or two Salafis who are dripping with the Nur of Allah. As a Bektashi Baba once said, if we find something useful, we embrace it. I'm a liberal, but practicing Muslim, and I believe that anyone who is showing us Compassion and Mercy is showing us the way of Islam.
May we all become beautiful human beings, insha'Allah! ;)
This is really putting up some things I put together for myself about my shaykh and our path-- a friend suggested that it might be helpful for some other people as well. I thought while I was at it, I might as well add some music links along the way. Because this began for my own personal use, I have no idea where some of these pictures and quotes came from, so I apologize for putting them up without citation. I make no claim that all of this is my own. I'm simply trying to share a beautiful vision of God and humanity that I have learned about from Sherif Baba and also some inspirations from the Alevi/Bektashi tradition of Turkey, with whom Rifa'i Marufi shares many principles. Let me make it clear that I am not myself a Bektashi, though I love their path. My connection is to the Rifa'i. I hope you enjoy this offering and that these things will inspire you as much as they have inspired me.