The sultan of hearts

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Endeavor for Renewal

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The sultan of hearts

Question: Bediüzzaman states in his work Al-Mathnawi an-Nuri that the vast and supreme sultanate of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was not only an outward one. He has an inward sultanate in a wider and deeper sense because he attracted and summoned all hearts and minds toward himself.[1] Could you explain the “inward sultanate” of the Final Prophet?

Answer: The noble Prophet established a system to take a place in the world’s balance of powers upon the orders, commission, and message of God Almighty. This system answered individual, familial, economic, and administrative concerns. It answered all needs of people, as a consequence of his outward sultanate. On the other hand, there are the spiritual essences and depths upon which this outward sultanate was built upon: God Almighty sent His Messenger, who has risen to the station in which everything is seen as annihilated in the Divine Being, equipped with the necessary potentials for his mission. Through his hands, God Almighty established on earth a system beyond dreams, one sought in utopias.

A manifestation of the Divine Name Al-Batin (The Inward)

Outward deeds realized by our noble Prophet, the Perfect Guide, are manifestations of the Divine Name “Az-Zahir.” Another Divine Name is “Al-Batin” (The Inward).[2] The system established by the Pride of Humanity on earth was one to make angels in heavens envious. As a manifestation of the Name Al-Batin, this system has its spiritual essences and depths. Keeping the system upright and fresh depends on a sound observation of the essentials of faith and Islam, along with a consciousness of ihsan—a constant consciousness of God’s omnipresence. A legal or administrative system that neglects these essentials, that ignores the spiritual side of people and solely takes them at their physical dimension cannot succeed. It cannot put a stop to crimes, such as stealing, that upset the peace of a society and answer people’s needs.

It is not possible for people to find true peace in a system which has no place for faith in God, angels, and resurrection after death. Faith evokes different things in the hearts and minds of different groups—in children who have fragile and sensitive natures, in young people who have stormy energies of feeling and passion, in patients suffering from different diseases, and in the elderly who are nearing the end of their worldly journey. Faith enables us to control our feelings like greed, grudge, and hatred. Thanks to faith, we walk on the path to eternity without giving in to despair in the face of death and the transience of things. Thus, making the essentials of faith and the perfect God-consciousness the pervading spirit in our lives constitutes the inward dimension of the blessed teaching of the noble Prophet. As we tried to point out at the beginning, this sultanate of the Pride of Humanity is based on Divine support. For various reasons—some of which we know and some we do not—God Almighty turned hearts toward him and He willed the beloved Prophet’s charm to be a continuous one.

The transcendent attachment of the leading Companions—such as Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali, may God be pleased with them all—to the noble Prophet, and believers’ continued loyalty to that blessed person in spite of ruthless attacks and destruction, could only be possible by God’s support and believers continued faith in him. Even in such a corrupt era, most Muslims attach their hearts to the Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, at a young age.

Beloved one of hearts

I would like to relate a childhood memory of mine. When I was about 7 years old, my father said one day, “If you recite the Surah al-Ikhlas a thousand times on Thursday, you will see the noble Prophet in your dream.” I cannot describe my considerations and feelings exactly, but I remember that I recited the Surah al-Ikhlas a thousand times until the morning with the hope of seeing the blessed face of the noble Prophet. If it did not happen, the next day, and then the next… I continued to recite the Surah al-Ikhlas. If some people still experience such an excitement in spite of their being raised in a spiritually poor environment and failing to recognize him with his true depths and to appreciate his works, the reason is nothing but his sultanate’s continuity up to our day. God Almighty rendered him the beloved one of hearts and made his followers love him in a way that can be comparable to no other human being. In this respect, the prince of both worlds is not only the beloved one of God but also of God’s servants. Aware or not, people feel seriously attracted toward him. Even the possible distortion of image in people’s minds and hearts, owing to unbecoming claims fabricated by humans and jinn devils, fails to block the flood of love for him and believers feel earnestly attached to him without caring about any of these, because the matchless one of all times presented a perfect example of faith and good deeds, and led his entire life in perfect God-consciousness. In return, God Almighty implanted love for him in the hearts of dwellers of heavens and earth. There is no equivalent of that sultanate on earth. So it needs to be known that this happened thanks to the special support of God Almighty.

The sultanates established by ones devoid of Divine support are doomed to disappear with their persons. Indeed, it was the case with those of Caesars, Napoleon, Hitler and the like. As for the sultanates of the hypocrites that appeared within the Islamic world, even though they continued for a while, they were also extinguished like a candle in the end. However, the blessed light of the pride of this universe has been illuminating everything like a projector and will continue to do so. By God’s grace and help, no opposing wind will manage to extinguish the love felt for him.

[1] Nursi, Al-Mathnawi Al-Nuri, p. 21
[2] In fact, the Divine Names Al-Awwal, Al-Akhir, Az-Zahir, Al-Batin are in a way like a sum of all Divine Names. In other words, all of the Divine Names are related to these two.