Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Love Did Not Leave Anything of Me

By Mehmet Seker - Today's Zaman - Istanbul, Turkey
Monday, December 17, 2007

Human beings are equipped in the best possible way, both materially and spiritually.

The human being is potentially able to achieve the level of “the best of creation,” which is dependent on his ability to use and develop his endowment of spiritual attributes.

Those who can escape from the material world and escalate toward the higher ranks of the heart and soul will experience this world in a different way and they will become conscious of the secrets of creation.

When they look, they will see things that others cannot; and everywhere they look, they will see the manifestations of the Beautiful Names of God.

Without doubt, they would never trade such moments filled with the indescribable flavors of spiritualism for anything. Instead, they will spend all the bounties given to them for the sake of God with the sole intention of reaching Him.

Those who have achieved such nearness to God are always careful in their relations with the Beloved and thus extremely cautious to retain their sensitivity and maintain this level. These people are nothing more or less, in effect, than Friends of the Truth.

Mevlana Muhammed Jelaluddin Rumi is one of these Friends -- one of the perfect representatives of the many Sufi devotees whose way of life is to love and be of service to people, to become a perfect human being and thus to have the good pleasure of God.

Rumi’s path of love within Sufism’s inclusiveness has always attracted people from all cultures and backgrounds and this is certainly the major reason for Rumi’s appeal in both the East and the West.

The theoretical aspect of this path is Sufism, while the practical aspect is Dervishood. Rumi led the theoretical path, as a leader in his time and all times to come after him; in addition, his mature dervishood, taken from this world and decorated with angelic qualities, set a good example of devotion to God through the passion and love with which he inspired millions.

During his lifetime, there were many people of other faiths around Rumi, listening to him and respecting him for what he was teaching. Thus, Rumi emerged in a period in which disorders, conflicts and exploitation lay heavy on the peoples of the world.

Throughout this period, Rumi proved himself to be both a powerful personality and an eminent scholar. For not only did he talk about compassion and tolerance, but he actually produced an exemplary atmosphere where these values were upheld, thereby opening the door to dialogue through his message.

Today, we are experiencing rather similar turmoil, unrest and conflicts everywhere. Yet instead of raising the awareness of the need for understanding, religious devotions are simply being manipulated in the so-called “clash of civilizations.” Therefore, at this time in history, it is most imperative that we find the time to come together, to talk and try to understand one another, to find a common ground and shared references.

Once again, then, we need this most outstanding poet, a revered mystic renowned for his understanding and wide embrace, to shed light on the relation of human beings to their Creator as well as their interrelations with others.

The world has never been without representatives of love and peace. Rumi was and is one of the perfect representatives of such a complete human being and one of the greatest teachers of universal love and peace.

Rumi has always been a major figure in the Middle East and Western Asia, where he has had an exalted and comprehensive impact among a wide variety of people.

The great Islamic scholar and poet, Muhammad Iqbal, became fascinated with Rumi’s view of discovering the Divine Entrustment in one’s self. Embracing Rumi’s understanding of the perfect human being and seeing Rumi as a spiritual guide for himself, Iqbal states:

I received a share of his light and warmth. My night has become day due to his star … In Rumi, there is sorrow, a burning that is not strange to us. His union talks of going beyond the separations. One feels the beauty of love in his reed and receives a share, a blessing from the Greatness of God.”

Yet Rumi is not merely a Mevlana (”our master”) -- one of the titles assigned to him and widely used among Muslims -- whose scope is limited to one part of the world. Rather, he is the master of people from both the East and the West.

In fact, Westerners have increasingly been amazed that his presence seems so alive eight centuries after his death. In a tribute to Rumi, Andrew Harvey puts forward that Rumi, the remote star shining in the West, will help lead the West out of its materialist manifestation of ego-over-everything.

Thus, Harvey sees Rumi as “an essential guide to the new mystical renaissance that is struggling to be born today … and the spiritual inspiration for the 21st century.”

(...)

Music is defined by Rumi in the following couplet:

"Music is the nutrition of the souls of the servants of the Lord,
Since in music there is the hope of reaching God".

Therefore, music, when combined with meditation and contemplation, is seen as being a faster way to reaching God.

On the other hand, music brings out physical movement, as it addresses bodily impulses and desires. At first, these motions were restricted to the swinging of the body while seated.

However, with time, people started to accompany the musical harmony with swaying and larger movements and this gradually evolved into the sema. In this way, contemplation became the union of the soul, sound, and motion, as both the heart and body achieved a state of meditation, overcoming all physical and intellectual interference.

Thus, the sema symbolizes the escalation of the human spirit: the servant’s turning of his face toward the Truth; being exalted with Divine love; abandoning personal identity and the self to become lost in God; and finally returning to servanthood, mature and purified.

The semazen, the whirling dervish, with the sikka (the traditional “hat”) on his head and with the tannura (a shroud-like gown) on his body, is born into the truth as he symbolically removes his jacket at the onset of the dance and begins his revolutions -- thus, his evolution -- on the path of profound contemplation.

During the sema, his arms are wide open, with his right hand turned toward the sky as if praying, ready to receive honor from the Divine One, and his left hand turned down, transferring the bounties that come from the Lord to those who are willing to receive them.

As the semazen whirls from right to left, circling with the full devotion of his heart, he embraces all the nations of the world, and all of creation, with utmost love and respect.

Ultimately humanity was created to love and to be loved. According to Rumi, all types of love are bridges to divine love and, believing this completely, Rumi spent his whole life dedicated to God Almighty.

Not only did he try to reach the Lord himself, he earnestly strove to help others to do the same. In the end, he was a traveler on the journey of love, describing this love as one that “did not leave anything of me, nor on me.”

And through these travels of the soul, he allowed his feelings and emotions to be heard by countless others, leaving a powerful trail of inspiration that would long outlast his own life and come to nurture millions of souls.

1 comment:

darvish said...

Eid Mubarak to you all, dear Brothers and Sisters who work so hard to bring us the Sufi news :) It is a blessing to us, and May Allah reward you for all your efforts.

Ya Haqq!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Love Did Not Leave Anything of Me
By Mehmet Seker - Today's Zaman - Istanbul, Turkey
Monday, December 17, 2007

Human beings are equipped in the best possible way, both materially and spiritually.

The human being is potentially able to achieve the level of “the best of creation,” which is dependent on his ability to use and develop his endowment of spiritual attributes.

Those who can escape from the material world and escalate toward the higher ranks of the heart and soul will experience this world in a different way and they will become conscious of the secrets of creation.

When they look, they will see things that others cannot; and everywhere they look, they will see the manifestations of the Beautiful Names of God.

Without doubt, they would never trade such moments filled with the indescribable flavors of spiritualism for anything. Instead, they will spend all the bounties given to them for the sake of God with the sole intention of reaching Him.

Those who have achieved such nearness to God are always careful in their relations with the Beloved and thus extremely cautious to retain their sensitivity and maintain this level. These people are nothing more or less, in effect, than Friends of the Truth.

Mevlana Muhammed Jelaluddin Rumi is one of these Friends -- one of the perfect representatives of the many Sufi devotees whose way of life is to love and be of service to people, to become a perfect human being and thus to have the good pleasure of God.

Rumi’s path of love within Sufism’s inclusiveness has always attracted people from all cultures and backgrounds and this is certainly the major reason for Rumi’s appeal in both the East and the West.

The theoretical aspect of this path is Sufism, while the practical aspect is Dervishood. Rumi led the theoretical path, as a leader in his time and all times to come after him; in addition, his mature dervishood, taken from this world and decorated with angelic qualities, set a good example of devotion to God through the passion and love with which he inspired millions.

During his lifetime, there were many people of other faiths around Rumi, listening to him and respecting him for what he was teaching. Thus, Rumi emerged in a period in which disorders, conflicts and exploitation lay heavy on the peoples of the world.

Throughout this period, Rumi proved himself to be both a powerful personality and an eminent scholar. For not only did he talk about compassion and tolerance, but he actually produced an exemplary atmosphere where these values were upheld, thereby opening the door to dialogue through his message.

Today, we are experiencing rather similar turmoil, unrest and conflicts everywhere. Yet instead of raising the awareness of the need for understanding, religious devotions are simply being manipulated in the so-called “clash of civilizations.” Therefore, at this time in history, it is most imperative that we find the time to come together, to talk and try to understand one another, to find a common ground and shared references.

Once again, then, we need this most outstanding poet, a revered mystic renowned for his understanding and wide embrace, to shed light on the relation of human beings to their Creator as well as their interrelations with others.

The world has never been without representatives of love and peace. Rumi was and is one of the perfect representatives of such a complete human being and one of the greatest teachers of universal love and peace.

Rumi has always been a major figure in the Middle East and Western Asia, where he has had an exalted and comprehensive impact among a wide variety of people.

The great Islamic scholar and poet, Muhammad Iqbal, became fascinated with Rumi’s view of discovering the Divine Entrustment in one’s self. Embracing Rumi’s understanding of the perfect human being and seeing Rumi as a spiritual guide for himself, Iqbal states:

I received a share of his light and warmth. My night has become day due to his star … In Rumi, there is sorrow, a burning that is not strange to us. His union talks of going beyond the separations. One feels the beauty of love in his reed and receives a share, a blessing from the Greatness of God.”

Yet Rumi is not merely a Mevlana (”our master”) -- one of the titles assigned to him and widely used among Muslims -- whose scope is limited to one part of the world. Rather, he is the master of people from both the East and the West.

In fact, Westerners have increasingly been amazed that his presence seems so alive eight centuries after his death. In a tribute to Rumi, Andrew Harvey puts forward that Rumi, the remote star shining in the West, will help lead the West out of its materialist manifestation of ego-over-everything.

Thus, Harvey sees Rumi as “an essential guide to the new mystical renaissance that is struggling to be born today … and the spiritual inspiration for the 21st century.”

(...)

Music is defined by Rumi in the following couplet:

"Music is the nutrition of the souls of the servants of the Lord,
Since in music there is the hope of reaching God".

Therefore, music, when combined with meditation and contemplation, is seen as being a faster way to reaching God.

On the other hand, music brings out physical movement, as it addresses bodily impulses and desires. At first, these motions were restricted to the swinging of the body while seated.

However, with time, people started to accompany the musical harmony with swaying and larger movements and this gradually evolved into the sema. In this way, contemplation became the union of the soul, sound, and motion, as both the heart and body achieved a state of meditation, overcoming all physical and intellectual interference.

Thus, the sema symbolizes the escalation of the human spirit: the servant’s turning of his face toward the Truth; being exalted with Divine love; abandoning personal identity and the self to become lost in God; and finally returning to servanthood, mature and purified.

The semazen, the whirling dervish, with the sikka (the traditional “hat”) on his head and with the tannura (a shroud-like gown) on his body, is born into the truth as he symbolically removes his jacket at the onset of the dance and begins his revolutions -- thus, his evolution -- on the path of profound contemplation.

During the sema, his arms are wide open, with his right hand turned toward the sky as if praying, ready to receive honor from the Divine One, and his left hand turned down, transferring the bounties that come from the Lord to those who are willing to receive them.

As the semazen whirls from right to left, circling with the full devotion of his heart, he embraces all the nations of the world, and all of creation, with utmost love and respect.

Ultimately humanity was created to love and to be loved. According to Rumi, all types of love are bridges to divine love and, believing this completely, Rumi spent his whole life dedicated to God Almighty.

Not only did he try to reach the Lord himself, he earnestly strove to help others to do the same. In the end, he was a traveler on the journey of love, describing this love as one that “did not leave anything of me, nor on me.”

And through these travels of the soul, he allowed his feelings and emotions to be heard by countless others, leaving a powerful trail of inspiration that would long outlast his own life and come to nurture millions of souls.

1 comment:

darvish said...

Eid Mubarak to you all, dear Brothers and Sisters who work so hard to bring us the Sufi news :) It is a blessing to us, and May Allah reward you for all your efforts.

Ya Haqq!