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Lessons, The Forlorn Ones and Fear

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Videos on Fethullah Gülen

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In our discussions that took place; ten, fifteen, twenty or thirty years ago, we mentioned the following:

Yunus Emre says:

"This road is long
It has many stations
With no through roads
It leads to deep waters"

You too will come face to face with serious disloyalty on this path.

Let those miserable individuals who have indulged in heedlessness do whatever they wish, those of truthful spirit must stand firm and realise that these storms are temporary.

Throughout history, the suffering people of this path have always been exposed to similar challenges.

As the great Alvarlı Efe says:

"In this tavern of suffering
Who have you seen satisfied?
In this house of sorrows and tribulations
Who has found refuge from calamity!?
This is a ruthless cycle
It swallows whatever the eyes can see
Neither slave nor king
No individual lasts
So many lives, elegant and peaceful
So many rosy-faced sultans,
So many khans like Khusraw
Have been immersed in this sea!
True skill is in drawing a lesson
True skill is servanthood to The Truth
True skill is finding true knowledge
Heedlessness has taken over this realm."

Khusraw is mentioned here because of his popularity in Iran; the verse is then tied into servanthood, spiritual knowledge and drawing a lesson:

True skill is in drawing a lesson

True skill is servanthood to The Truth

True skill is finding true knowledge

Heedlessness has taken over this realm.

The way to renounce that heedlessness is to be on the path of “righteousness” and “justice”.

Some may try to stand against those who have raised a banner in spreading the truth, and may temporarily be successful in their destructive behavior.

But one day, the collective conscience of humankind will confront these people and say, “This is genocide, this is disrespect toward humanity, this is a sin in proportion to unbelief, one that God will not forgive”.

We have already begun to witness this, in some places, such thoughts and voices have begun to take shape.

In the face of witnessing such adversities, the people of sound conscience have slowly begun to express their feelings.

Emotions turn into behavior; faces begin to sour; those who know no limit, those who veer off track, feel the need to get back in line, but only if their conscience and sense of humanity remains.

Therefore one should not panic in the face of this temporary state of weariness and hopelessness.

There is no traveler on the path of the Truth who has not faced such adversities.

If anybody was to be free from facing such misfortune, it would have been the Pride of Humanity, peace and blessings be upon him, it would have been Prophet Noah or Prophet Abraham, peace be upon both of them.

They all faced different forms of suffering; with regards to Prophet Noah, peace be upon him, in the traditions it is mentioned that they tied him to a rope and dragged him about.

Another was thrown into a pit of fire, God Almighty says:

“O fire!
Be cool and peaceful for Abraham!”

God forbid! Another is so immaculate that he is thousands of miles, no millions of miles away from what I am trying to say, but they follow him like a bandit; the young man from Nazareth (Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him).

You look somewhere else, once again they tagged along behind another and said “We should destroy them with all their belongings; the men should be destroyed so that they don’t create a problem, women should be left and abused”.

Yes, today, they are harassing women, this is worse and more violent than what happened in the past; they are jailed together with their babies.

Thus, these acts are more vile and shameful than what Amenophis did.

These atrocious and dishonourable actions are nothing more than the manifestations of vile and shameful consciences.

However,

True skill is in drawing a lesson

True skill is servanthood to The Truth

True skill is finding true knowledge

Heedlessness has taken over this realm.

Let them live in their own heedlessness; with our belief that these storms are temporary we should remain resolute and steadfast in our places.

If the outcome of today’s suffering will be the privilege of being the given the glad tidings of “Greetings to my brothers and sisters”, it means that those being oppressed are the victorious and the oppressors, while on the cusp of victory, are losing everything.

The Prophets, the Companions of the noble Prophet and the righteous predecessors, may God’s peace and blessings be upon them, were as mighty as the angels. However, God, may He be glorified and exalted, in a way, was also pressuring them and illustrating that:

Leaders should be role models to their communities.

I will test my loved ones in this manner, purify them this way and prepare them for the Hereafter.

These are the requirements needed for the itinerary that will allow us to cross the Bridge easily, make the right side of our scales heavier, then find the doors of Paradise wide open, walk through Rayyan (one of the gates of Paradise) and be honoured with witnessing the Divine Countenance.

If you look at God’s way of dealing with His creation, you will realise that this practice does not change.

“No change can there be in God's creation.

This is the upright, ever-true Religion” (Ar-Rum, 30:30).

This is the Sunnatullah (the laws of creation) that has always been; this is the command of God about people who shouldered the burden of His religion, or it can be said these people always faced these types of obstacles and always suffered as a result of their commitment to the faith.

So, If these sufferings result in beautiful and invaluable blessings, you become the winner.

People who scream “I won!” without realising the truth, face loss upon loss while seemingly on the road to victory; they manage to create a traffic jam on a highway, get stuck on the road and fall behind.

They get stuck on the road face-down.

However, in your case, your faces being face-down indicates nearness to God and signifies a kind of prostration.

Through your sufferings with your head-down, you will always reach the closest position and state to God, by God’s permission and grace.

For this reason, you will be honored with victory upon victory.

We should be thankful!

Why?

Because existence itself is a great blessing.

Not only are we honoured to be created as humans, but we have been blessed to be created as part of the community of the noble Spirit of the Master of Humankind, peace as blessings be upon him. While also having the opportunity to either become one of his Companions or at least walk on the same path that his Companions did.

Being able to walk the path of the Companions without blinking an eye, while resisting the temptations of the material world.

Just as the Companions walked to Badr, walked to Uhud and stood tall at the Battle of the Trench.

Then there were those whose worldly belongings were all on the back of an animal, who went from one battlefront to another, who on the back of a horse or mule, travelled from the Arabian Peninsula to the walls of Constantinople, striving to receive the good tidings of the noble Prophet.

With our Prophet’s spiritual power and strategies, and God’s will and support, those Companions, may God be pleased with them, brought order to the world.

In a way, God has given, a handful of people like you, the opportunity to spread to many corners of the earth.

With the path of education, God grants you the ability to able to fight poverty, overcome conflict, bring people together and help them embrace one another.

Therefore, the Pride of Humanity, peace and blessings be upon him, refers to the Companions of his time as “My friends”.

The Companions were his life-long friends and whatever hardship they faced, they endured together, as one.

But when sending his greetings to you, he sends it with compliments and says: “Greetings to my brothers and sisters”!

Although fourteen hundred years have passed

May our lives be sacrificed for his precious words

“Greetings to my brothers and sisters!” he says.

The Companions pause for a moment.

They were his closest friends, his friends in times of joy, agony and hardship.

Poet Nabi (1641-1712) described such people as:

“The person who is speaking at the mosque is not an ordinary man. He is a Man of Pure Light, interpreting the verse of The Light to those who circled around him, like stars around full moon.”

He is like the “Luminous Moon”, radiating his shine all around him.

God’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, declared:

“My Companions are like stars; whichever you follow, you will find the right guidance.” They are like stars.

They are like the stars that revolve around the Sun, traversing on a path around the Milky Way.

It is as though he wishes to say, “I belong in the center”.

May our souls be sacrificed for both He Who makes him belong there and he who belongs there.

Yes, his Companions, may God be pleased with them, ask based on their closeness to him:

“O Messenger of God!

Are we not your brothers?”

He says:

“You are my friends, my brothers and sisters will come afterwards.” These words are embellished with the phrase “Glad tidings to the forlorn ones!”

They will come at a time when some people without any discretion between men and women arrest innocent people, when little children are taken away from their mothers or newborn babies will be locked up with their mothers, when seditious people cause corruption on such a large scale that they legitimise their corruption without any embarrassment, such a time.

At a time like this, in spite of all the corruption, oppression, traps, deceptions, betrayal; the people who still try to endorse good and repair the damages caused by these people in this world; they are the ones who deserve the title of “my brothers and sisters”.

Those who repair the damage caused by corruption, who correct deformities, who try to return everything to its original state—with the will of God—they are the fortunate ones who earn the title of “my brothers and sisters”.

Who wouldn’t want to become one of these people?

Do you realise the honour to be bestowed upon you?

Do they realise what they are going to be liable for?

Some people are doing such things, will be liable for such things that they are not aware of, things that force them to slither while on a straight road.

Those who suffer from the spiritual diseases such as jealousy are carrying out systemic annihilation and destruction, and therefore ruin both their worldly and heavenly futures.

Let me also say this, in parentheses:

They are scared that their illegitimately acquired possessions will one day be taken away from them, they fear their guile, deceit, fraud and scheming in acquiring their wealth will be exposed, and their fear causes them to commit all kinds of evil.

With Machiavellian mindsets they consider all illegitimate things legitimate and utilise all of the suggestions of Satan in order to reach their objectives and by doing this they lose at a time while on the path to victory

Whereas if they only utilised all of their opportunities in the way of the Holy Qur’an, the way of our noble Prophet, and the way outlined by the reasoning and the consensus of the righteous predecessors, if only they could truly evaluate and perceive the truth, they could be victorious as well.

They have everything, all of the opportunities and facilities. They have the wealth of the public in their hands.

Yet they use it for the purpose of causing mischief and corruption, they strive to engage those who will sell you out, they want to close the doors of all of the institutions that you were blessed with in the last 20-30 years.

They are in the pursuit of closing doors.

All they say is “Do not interact with these people, close the doors in their faces and stay away from them because they are nothing but terrorists”.

Another note:

May God curse the terrorist!

May God also curse those who label people who are not terrorists as terrorists!

Yes, we have generally refrained from engaging in anathema and saying “Amen” to curses.

However, events are taking place in such a horrifying and revolting way that without even realising, things that should not be said end up being uttered.

They have not been able to do even a tenth of all that you have achieved, the things God has blessed you with, despite their extensive resources.

By God, they have not! I swear to God that they have not! I swear to God All-Mighty that they have not!

Let us put aside doing positive things, instead they used all their power and resources to destroy all the good that had been done in the past.

And maybe even at that, they have only been able to bring about harm to one tenth of it.

Even at the cost of endless self-inflicted torment, even at the cost of their own integrity and reputation being trampled underfoot.

They have made the people of the world exclaim:

“The things being done in that country are an absolute injustice to humanity, in one way a genocide, and an effort to destroy a community!”

Have no doubt! In the future these voices will become a choir across the globe, loud enough to make your ears ring, causing tremor and panic in their hearts, by the will and beneficence of God.

From the Tawhid Nama (Expositions on God's Unity):

“O God!

Bless us with such an honor that there be nothing left that others can do or provide for us; make us contented with only You!”

We are content!

We did not kiss anyone else’s feet, we did not beg, nor did we ask of anything from anyone.

They lied and said, “What have they asked for which we did not provide?!”

We did not ask for anything, neither did they give anything.

It was God; it was walking on the path of the noble Messenger; and it was following the way of the Companions that gave us all that we have.

If anything was given, it was God that gave it.

They wish to take ownership of what God has given.

God forbid, as though they are associating themselves as partners to God.

Without realising they have drowned themselves in disbelief by associating partners to God.

The truth is they are in such a frustrated, confused state that they are not even aware that they have fallen into polytheism.

The words of one who has placed fear in fear itself is as follows:

“Let us also be sacrificed for a Divine Truth that hundreds of millions of heads have already been sacrificed for!”

In Bediüzzaman’s The Six Assaults (from ‘The Twenty-ninth Letter’) the six assaults of Satan on humanity are described.

One of these is the fear of punishment, which Satan can make use of to influence worldly people.

I believe that this brave stance to any questions that came from the Anglican Church played an important role in demonstrating Bediüzzaman’s fearless nature.

Another similar expression comes from his Denizli tribunal:

“Let us also be sacrificed for a Divine Truth that hundreds of millions of heads have already been sacrificed for!

Even if you set fire to our world, we who have sacrificed ourselves for the truths of the Qur’an will not lay down before heresy; by God’s will and help, we will not abandon our sacred duty!”

In saying this, with five or ten people around him, he challenged the whole of society around him; just as in Les Miserables when an innocent man calls out a bandit who is following his every footstep.

But they say, “We will put you here, and shut you up!

No, even here people have taken notice of you; let us exile you to a place where no one will recognize you.

Let’s deport you, restrict you; place you within certain boundaries and limits, let’s crush your influence!

Let’s impede the spread of the light you wish to spread!” they say.

They say all this, but in a way, “They seek (with renewed plans and stratagems) to extinguish God's light (His favor of Islam, as if by the breath issuing) from their mouths.

whereas God refuses but to complete His light,

however hateful this may be to the unbelievers!” (At-Tawba, 9:32). “Even if the transgressors see this as hideous and dislike it, if the hypocrites dislike it, if the tyrants dislike it, if the politicians dislike it!”

Yes, since this is an attribute of the unbelievers, the situation is bound by attributes.

In the verse, only those at the peak are referred to, however, all those carrying this attribute may be the subject of the verse.

Anyone wishing to extinguish that light is also included in the meaning of the verse.

You, with your candle are trying to light others’ candles.

You melt that candle in your hand on that path.

In accordance with the philosophy of the noble Rumi, “The candle which lights other candles, which aims to bring others to the light, will not lose any of its light!”

With this mindset, you strive, from one place to another without stopping, gasping for breath you run like a steed.

However there are those that try to extinguish that light.

And so, the words of Bediüzzaman indicate how he fearlessly challenged similar evildoers in his own time.

In reality a person who is a servant of God and who ties his fear to God, will not be afraid of anything else.

"What elevates morality is neither knowledge nor conscience,

Fear of God is the real source of all virtue and excellence.

Suppose fear of God was removed from the hearts,

Neither knowledge nor conscience would preserve its impact.

Life, has now become animalistic; no, it is even lower than that", says Mehmet Akif, may his station be Paradise!

Neither “knowledge”, nor “conscience”; virtue and excellence, is from fear of God.

If you like, you may say from “awe of God”.

The Qur’an says, “Of all His servants, only those who possess true knowledge stand in awe of God” (Al-Fatir, 35:28).

You will recall the reflections and memories of In‘amullah in relation to this issue:

When he read this verse in front of a great philosopher of the time, Sir James Jeans, he replied, “Does the noble Muhammad say this?

If these are his words, he is a true Prophet!”

Those who truly know only fear God and towards Him have the sense of fear, the sense of awe!

Whoever isn’t overflowing with the awe of God will be troubled with fifty kinds of fear; the only way to be saved from slavery to thousands of idols is service to God.

If a person fears God, he is freed from various kinds of fear.

However humankind turns to the All-Just God with sensations such as “awe” and “fear” but they are afraid of scorpions, afraid of snakes, afraid of foxes, afraid of rabbits, afraid of losing things they have obtained, afraid of their path being crossed, afraid of losing sovereignty, afraid of their fleets sinking, afraid of their villas collapsing; afraid of everything!

They are afraid of fifty, even hundreds of things!

And they become servants of what they are afraid of.

They become servants to thousands of things.

There is only one way of pulling away from being a servant to thousands of things:

As one of the greatest Qur’an interpreters of the era said, that road passes through servanthood to God:

The way to get rid of being servants to all kind of things passes through servanthood to God!

Once you become a servant to God, you are freed of being bound to fifty other things.

That is what he says, "in the shadow of the Qur’an”.

In this respect, if a person gets attached to the All-Just God with his entire being, and lives in “awe” and “fear”, if he trembles at His “woes and threats”, if he enters spiritual alertness he, in a way, smiles before His “promises and glad tidings”.

If he can say, “If suffering comes from Divine Majesty,

Or loyalty from Divine Beauty,

Both are a delight to the soul,

Your mercy is a blessing; Your wrath is a blessing”.

“Since the day I’ve come in this world, I’ve seen a lot of torment,

I was oppressed under the burden of grief, I’ve seen hardship.

Forget those I don’t know, I’ve seen evil from the familiar.

My body has fallen ill”, even if he is in such a state, he says the following and praises: “Thank God; the All-Just God, in a sense, has put me through these challenges to distinguish the wheat from the chaff”.

He says “Just as a goldsmith puts gold and silver through a process to separate it from residue and sediment, God puts us through the same process!”

People who think like this, are in favour of everything that comes their way; they are neither scared nor do they tremble.

Otherwise there are so many things they would fear or tremble of, in no way would they be able to stop the trembling.

Just like how the worldly people tremble.

It seems to me that they lose sleep due to fear!

If I did not plead on behalf of the oppressed and those who suffer when I raise my hands for prayer or put my head down for prostration, but only pray for my own troubles, it would be disloyalty!

Yes, perhaps we too have lost sleep over the distress caused by their oppression and cruelty.

Well, we would need to show some kind of distress!

For if you see a woman who has just been placed into a cell, caressing, kissing and embracing her child in tears, and this scene does not leave you saddened and pained, it can be said that you have lost much of your humanity.

Indeed you will be saddened!

“I say I will not tire of torment and will perceive it as the apple of my eye, but

It is the body, after all, and it tires from torment”, says Mullah Izzet.

You are dealt blows; “I won’t be shaken!”

How could that be?

Even in this large building, when three or four of you suddenly start walking at a fast pace, the steel constructions begin to shake.

Indeed, you too would be shaken to some degree.

However, you shall not be taken by panic nor fall into despair.

For “despair hinders all forms of attainment!”

Once it blocks your path, in the words of Akif, you will fall into such a swamp that you will be unable to clamber out, God forbid.

Despair is such a swamp that if you fall in, you will drown.

Cling on to hope, ever so tightly, and behold what you will become!

Those who live on, live through their hope and determination.

Those in despair bind their soul, their conscience.

Let’s finish it with a prayer again:

O my God!

Give us victory in the soonest time, O God!

... a boundless victory for the name of the perspicuous religion of Islam and in the name of spreading our historical and cultural values to the globe, which should not be underestimated!

Give us victory for our Hizmet, our movement, our community, our establishments, universities, assets, possessions; give us a surprise outlet and dissipation of grief as You state, “I have prepared for My righteous servants such blessings that no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, nor has their image crossed the heart of any person”.

As a surprise, O God, grant us support and manifest victory in the soonest time!

I supplicate to Him; I say this before requesting healing for myself from God Almighty.

Firstly, I mention the troubles of the community and then my own troubles.

I begin with the troubles of the community of Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him

For, It would be disloyal to those who have burdened themselves with the load of the Hizmet, to those who are walking on a true path, who are facing persecution and tyranny at the hands of those trying to destroy us, to ask for aid for myself before them!