M. Fethullah Gulen
Continued from the previous issue.
Such a saintly figure, Zayn al-Abidin always lowered his head humbly at the doorstep of Divine beneficence, the eye of his heart watchful at that ajar door while he expects that his care will be responded with care, he voices another petition while the rhythm of his heart beats with the name of God. He presents such compositions of loyalty and integrity to the Almighty that those closest to him listen with ears filled with admiration:
“O my Sustainer! Various imaginings of doubts (note that these groans are actually an expression of his level of humility) keep roiling within me. They befog the heavenly purity of Your perfectly wholesome bestowals. Please eliminate the fog and smoke of doubts and my considerations unbecoming for a servant, which are obstacles in the path of closeness to You! Let my heart overflow with the feeling of begging and imploring You! Let my heart always be truly revived with the discernment and consciousness of feeling close to You!”
He shakes like a leaf even with just one percent probability of experiencing a lapse; all faculties of his brain are full of this meaning, as was expressed by one humble servant:
“My head laid down on the doorstep of Your Mercy,
Being turned to You makes me enraptured;
Though a sinful one I may be,
With a tainted face, I am at Your command.”
With tunes of faithfulness, Zayn al-Abidin opens up to the Creator and waits for an edict of salvation, as he had been doing so until that day.
He does not suffice with knocking on the door of Divine mercy and intercession with these groans of obedience and submission, but he yearns for perfect faith and righteous deeds. He goes on to crown his woes with horizons of sincerity by seeking God’s good pleasure:
"O My Compassionate Sustainer! Make us among those who seek to make You well pleased and who keep endeavoring for this sake! Bestow the honor of devoted worship in Your sublime presence, which is a means of Your cozy graces—on these powerless servants of Yours, who have their eyes constantly on Your door and their hands on that doorknob, cherishing thoughts—of what they regard as the greatest grace—of gaining Your good pleasure, with zealous love and heartfelt dreams... those whom You honored with different conferrals in Your presence; those whom You blessed with attainments beyond imagination; those whom You allow to feel You, out of Your grace and generosity. Make us from among those distinguished servants whose love and attachment You crowned with superb zeal, and whose consciences You blessed with Self-disclosure; make us from among Your distinguished servants whose hearts You directed to Yourself with a different magnetism of love and ardor every moment. O the Beneficent One who does not let his loyal servants down, who do not get enough of turning to Yourself, seeking Your good pleasure! Include this servant of Yours among the fortunate ones whose prayers are highly acceptable!”
O you, a luminous soul who is so dear, and whose face is always turned towards that sublime circle! You constantly asked God for the same blessings and consistently made these prayers internally all the time. Your voice, and of others like you, has moved through time and reached even our era. As an expression of sharing your sighs through the tongue of their conscience, those with hearts thirsty for hearing such melodies voiced similar prayers, with their hands on the same doorknob:
“Bestow Your graces, O my Sovereign, do not deprive the needy and destitute from Your graces;
Does it befit the All-Munificent one to stop sending graces to His servants?” (M. Lutfi Efendi)
This is how they opened up to God, to the One who never turned down those who appealed to Him with love and attachment; He never let them suffer separation.
The blessed imam deepens his imploration at this issue further and groans with the prayer of:
“O My Compassionate Sustainer! Please be my comforter! Please eliminate the desolation of being without You in my soul. Forgive me for having lapses and having staggered while on my journey through life. Please cover my wrongdoings with Your Divine Name, “the All-Covering” (al-Sattar). By taking this servant of Yours in sanctuaries of protection, bless him with Your special reassurance please!”
By saying so, he cherishes expectations of Divine succor, Providence, guardianship, and grace, and holds on tight to that sound rope... thus he soars toward transcending physical space with the wings of reliance, submission, and commitment to Him.
Still, he finds himself unsatisfied even after spending every opportunity to surge upwards to the Infinite, he turns to the sanctum of love and sets about begging for love from the True Beloved. Not sufficing with what he attained, he says “more!” and flaps his wings onward, thus ascending to the horizons beyond the beyond. On the way to the peak he aims to reach, there remains no Divine attribute and signs he does not refer to with genuine humbleness like a beggar, he dyes his petitions with the hue of the Divine Names. Without any childish attitudes, he constantly follows the examples of Prophet Jacob and Jonah, and whispers with sincerity “I only disclose my anguish and sorrow to God” (Yusuf 12:86) and keeps waiting at the door of the Resolver of Troubles in a concerned and pitiable condition. He continues to pray and present the finest compositions of supplication to the Almighty one.
From time to time, he fills with the feeling of hope for God’s grace and mercy; then, with the joyful zeal of gratitude he says in the words of Yunus Emre,
“What comes to me from You is good:
Be they robes or a shroud,
Be it a fresh rose, or a thorn;
Graces and sufferings, all are welcome.”
With a feeling of expectation imbued with contentedness, he reveres each blessed inspiration as special treatment from his Sustainer. He welcomes all of these words and occurrences he regards as Divine presents with a concentric feeling of joy.
This was the way that those that were imbued with the hue of the “blessed circle” had always felt and existed; with a never-subsiding sense of excitement, determination, and perseverance. Their dizzying heavenliness, and the attitude in the pattern of their hearts and spirits, made angels envious and drove devils huge distances away. Rumi, the prince of those intoxicated with love of God, expresses so well this different side of these bright personages ever directed at the blessed circle: “There are times when angels admire us; and there are times when even devils hate our crudeness.”
Concerning our time, it is very difficult to make a remark about the presence of people that make dwellers of the heavens envious while it is a reality that the abundance of people that make the Devil dance with joy outnumbers any other era.
I suffice with this much and pray that the All-Compassionate One will save our contemporaries that have been led astray by Satan, and that He lets them experience spiritual revivals by allowing them to walk in the footsteps of the “masters of the heart” who are directed to the Circle.