Distorted Quotations and the Virus of Sinful Suspicion


May God not leave us without guidance. Otherwise, we would never know what is right and what is wrong, or what is good and what is bad. We would think we are progressing; nonetheless, we would, in fact, be regressing. This is called losing in the zone of winning, which means to seem to advance, but you are only left jaded at the end of the day.

A Muslim should think well whenever it is reasonable. You should consider the person in question, and his way of life as a whole. In addition, the environment, the views and beliefs, the philosophy of life, and even the devotion of the people must be taken into consideration before jumping at unwarranted conclusions.

Those who have a negative viewpoint will always misinterpret others views and arrive at unfair conclusions. Doing this, they not only oppress themselves, but also those whom they criticize. We must inspect, test, and verify. The first action must be avoiding misinterpretation, and the next, verifying the accuracy of whatever was reported.

Chastity for God’s Sake


Unlike the rank and file, guides should think twice before they say something for the sake of their followers. Failure to do so might cause quite a commotion, which is hardly ever made up for.
As a poet puts it, “Spear wounds can be healed, but the wounds of a sharp tongue cannot!”
I wish people could act with no benefit to themselves; or, they laid down their lives but asked for nothing in return.
In fact, this is the path of Prophets who spent their lives for their cause but asked for nothing in reciprocation. Some kings like Prophet Solomon and Prophet David, led very humble, contented, decent and chaste lives. God still gave them kingdoms which they used for the cause of the true religion of their times. However, their kingdom did not corrupt them, make them egoists, or make them change their humble way of living. They were always chaste, sinless, loyal to God, wise and, committed to communicating their message. They were always faithful to their Prophetic qualities as they lived. Hence, those who follow the path of Prophets should also be representing these Prophetic qualities.
It is possible for those who do not follow the path of Prophets to stray to the path of Satan.
In particular, for the members of an eminent group devoted to follow the path of Prophets, even the smallest indecency they exhibit, a seemingly minor unchastity, or a minor unfaithfulness, might turn out to put the entire community under suspicion.
The prayer of a saintly figure says: “God! Please do not put my comrades to shame because of me. As well, do not put me or my comrades to shame because of one of us.” It would be a breach of the rights of the entire community.
We should not put a foot wrong, lead chaste lives, be honest to goodness, fend off hypocrisy, be loyal, zero in on communicating God’s message, call attention to God, constantly work for the cause of spreading the word of our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, all over the earth and dream of achieving it, and look for ways to make the Prophet’s message heard even in the poles.
The sole requirement of success on that path is to lead a decent and chaste life.
To neglect worldliness and not have a soft spot for it.
To complete one’s lifetime keeping their hands off anything that is carnal.
Not to swerve towards hypocrisy…
To refrain from deceiving others…
To stop showing off…

Ego… Ego… Ego… and Heroes of Self-Suppression


If, by accident, a stone stubs a golden bowl,
the stone does not gain value,
nor does the bowl become less valuable.

What is important is for us, with regard to our inward relationship with God, is to be like the gold in a bowl.

The Qur’anic Commentary class this morning was about the beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Thousands of peace and blessings be upon him, millions of peace and blessings, billions of peace and blessings be upon him.

The Pride of Humankind, despite being stoned so much, was never away from his duty of Messengership. He arrived at the lofty horizon of his spirit when he passed away, since there was no more room for improvement in this world; he was promoted to the Highest Rank of Humanity, he was promoted to the company of God, glorified and exalted be He.

We live in particularly troublesome times.

On the one hand, egotism is too powerful; every individual has an ego the size of an iceberg. They would not even allow others to say “You have an eyebrow above your eye” as a Turkish proverb says.

Each sound they utter has the word “I” all over it: “I,” “I,” “I.” When they recite the Qur’an, they spell “I,” when talking about their service, they spell “I,” when they give a talk, they spell “I,” and when they perform the Prayers, they spell “I.”

On another hand, since all institutions of education and upbringing, have collapsed, we have become a nation that has suffered the absence of upbringing and manners.

Mehmed Akif, may God’s comprehensive mercy be upon him, says:

Modesty has been ruined,
shamelessness is all around,
What ugly faces that thin veil
proves to have disguised!
There is no fidelity, no loyalty to one’s promises,
not a hint of the word “trust.”
Trustworthiness is a meaningless word,
lying is prevalent.
Lies are favored, betrayal required,
and right is out of sight.
How dreadful, my Lord,
how shocking a revolution it is!
There is no religion, no faith left;
religion has been destroyed,
and faith razed to the ground.

The Great Prophets, the reputable saints, the respected scholars of purity, and the ones nearest to Him should be taken as guideposts to evaluate our own Muslimness, and the validity of our own objectives.

Selfishness, selfishness, selfishness.

Conceit, conceit, conceit.

Egotism, egotism, egotism.

Trust me when I say, people who have followers like these, can never raise the statue of their souls. They first need to purify their carnal souls; which means, they need a purification of their elementary, passionate nature.

Bediüzzaman prescribes the rationale of self-purification as “Do not be proud of your services to God’s religion.” Our noble Prophet says: “Inna’llaha layuayyidu hadha’d-din bi yadi’r-rajuli’l-fajir,” meaning “God may as well sustain Islam through a shameless dissolute man.” Since you are not refined, that is, since you have not refined and developed your soul in purity, you should consider the possibility that you are that shameless dissolute person.

When you examine the present state of the world you will see that every corner suffer from this grunting sound.

The Muslims of the present time have suppressed these virtues, in favor of their egos.

Why do we not take an oath? Let us all take an oath for God’s sake, that we will express sincere gratitude to anyone who points out our mistakes and viciousness, in accordance with the Qur’an and the Prophetic tradition and the main highway of the Righteous Predecessors; that we will say “That is very kind of you to alert us to the scorpion or snake that was about to hurt me.”

Bediuzzaman always dreamed of a new generation, one that is incorrupt, one that is not defective, one that is intact, one that has not indulged in sins, and one who is self-critical.

Muhammed Lütfi Efendi says:

I do not have any knowledge, or good deeds,
nor do I have the vim for deeds or worship.
I am drowned in defiance, and full of sin.
I have my heart in my mouth
about my fate in the Day of Judgment.

This is the way great people think.

Another example is Mehmet Niyazi Misri, who says:

I had concluded no trade;
the capital of life was all wasted away.
I found the road only to find the caravan had moved on while I had been unaware.
Lamenting, I too set off, all alone, a stranger;
With eyes weeping, heart in anguish,
mind bewildered and unaware.

This guidance comes from the owner of a heart and conscience. The architects of the future will be the heroes of this understanding, this philosophy, and this way of thinking; not grandstanders, or ill characters revealing conceit. They have integrity, they are courageous, they are vigorous and in a strong relationship with God.

God willing, your generation and the next one, the new generation will become a means for goodness, and will realize Bediüzzaman’s cause; hence, you will please him, please the Pride of Humankind, and of course, first and foremost and above all, you will win the pleasure of God.

When you go to the other world, I hope He says “I am pleased with you,” personally, and to your face. This is something for which we shall sacrifice our souls, our worldly and bodily pleasures, our freedom in this world. We shall sacrifice all.

The Time of Corruption and the Nucleus of a Society


If we comprehended Islam deeply, and exhibited the sincere sound of our conscience, you would see signs of ardent longing in the people of the Muslim world who jam-pack mosques.

I always feel troubled about whether we are being misrepresentative. Are we misleading other people by our misrepresentation, which they interpret as being a Muslim? What if we never spoke but kept silent and let the wisdom of silence take over? These were the thoughts keeping me busy just before I came to the room.

In this accord, I myself faced a dilemma of whether to come here or not. Both considerations weighed equally… yet I decided to come albeit reluctantly.

Oscar Wilde says, “Of all the things that were done to me, I have done the most harm to myself.”

I wish there was a group of people to serve as role models in this time of corruption.

I wish the people of the world could see true integrity, profound belief, unblemished Muslimness, transcendent ikhlas (sincerity), exalted ihsan (God-consciousness), amazing marifah (knowledge of God), and such a love of God and zeal and ecstasy that it would blow their minds. I wish they could see awesomeness at its every level.

If this comes to pass, you will see similar formations in the world, at various magnitudes. You will see individuals, families and actions paralleling your example, at various magnitudes.

They will admire that you have solved the problem of mankind as the Earth has been introduced to problems by mankind, who is the leading instigator of problems.

That is why, unless you solve the problem of mankind, you cannot solve the problems regarding the family, education, the house of worship, politics, the government, or the like.

Of course I do not mean any -isms, -ists, or the like, because all of these associations are rejected terms in my understanding.

In this time of corruption being a Muslim straight as an arrow is demanding; however, those who manage to be like that are heroes who can overcome any other difficulty in life. May God make you one of them.

The Elixir of Truthfulness and the Safe Route of Honesty


Question-1: Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, in his book Münazarat (The Discussions), answered the question, “What do we need the most?” by saying sidq (truthfulness), and repeated it three times. And he promotes truthfulness both as an individual virtue, and also as the elixir of social advancement. Then he supports his statement, saying “Unbelief is a lie, while belief is truth. Is this not proof enough that our survival is possible through belief, truthfulness, and solidarity?” What do these bring to your mind?

When Bediüzzaman contrasts the situation of our beloved Prophet and of Abu Jahl, he identifies Abu Jahl’s as kizb (falsehood), and our Prophet’s as truthfulness. The rank, or rather, station of truthfulness stands much higher than the station of iman (belief in God), than that of ihsan (God-consciousness), than that of ashk (love of God), and than that of marifah (knowledge of God). It is unconditional loyalty, and to be sincere and altruistic to sacrifice personally important, luminous and vital things for that cause.

When he defines falsehood, he says that falsehood is one’s speaking on the contrary of what they actually believe, and making statements to the contrary of what they feel and have witnessed. It is, for instance, saying “I have not seen anyone,” despite seeing all of you here. It is also, in some way, telling a lie to one’s self.

Secondly, although there is an external reality, stating its opposite is falsehood. Another example of falsehood is denying the laws of God’s creation, although these Creative Commands confirm God with their existence. Like Recaizade says, “The entire universe is a great book of God; whichever letter you study, its meaning will spell His Name.” Bediüzzaman focuses on this too. On the one hand, in “Ayat al-Kubra” (The Great Sign), he asks, “Isn’t there more?” and talks about the hero who has aimed for the highest of the high, about the hero of “Isn’t there more?”

On the one hand, it is our character; the promise of security, and the promises of trustworthiness and trust. Hence, stating what we see, hear and feel without altering the truth is truthfulness. On the other hand, reading the laws of creation properly, reading the Divine messages properly, and comprehending them, and reading them in accordance with their true essence and confirming them by saying ‘Yes, it is true’ is also truthfulness, and a statement of trustworthiness.

This has its own levels. For commoners like us; honesty has a very basic significance. For noble Abu Bakr, however, it is fully represented. For the Pride of Humanity, we do not possess the tools to measure his truthfulness. We do not have any measurement system or criteria for his truthfulness. Any humanly tool would collapse if used to measure it.

In one of his poems, Yavuz Sultan Selim says:

The concerns of dispute and disunity,
Unsettle me even when I am in my grave.
The best defense against enemy is unity,
If the nation does not unite, it greatly saddens me.

Solidarity is also a Qur’anic command, which appears twice in the chapter Al-Maedah (Wa ta’awanu alal-birri wa’t-taqwa wa la ta’awanu alal-ithmi wa’l-udwan) Help one another in virtue and goodness, and righteousness and piety.

Bediüzzaman also says, “Concord and alliance lead to Divine guidance and assistance.”

In the Islamic world, it was hypocrites that pushed Muslims away from Islam. All of the tyrants and troublemakers of the Islamic world have been hypocrites. Bediüzzaman says that hypocrisy is worse than infidelity; hypocrites will suffer the lowest level of inferno, which means they are much lower than even Abu Jahl.

Hypocrites have led the entire Islamic world to degeneration. That is why the Islamic world has been exposed to continuous deformation. 

Question-2: In the various verses of the Qur’an, it is said that a Muslim’s path from this world to the other world should be entered by truthfulness, exited by truthfulness, remembered for truthfulness, stepped and acted truthfully, and settled with truthfulness. The path should constantly revolve around truthfulness. What do these expressions mean with regards to the path, the provisions, and the destination of a Muslim?

We use the term route frequently, as in a route of safety, by which we refer to acting carefully, against the groups of heretics, of unbelievers, of envy and of rivalry. In this way you can advance smoothly. The route of safety, in this sense, should always be maintained.

The Qur’an says: “Adkhilni mudkhala sidqin wa akhrijni mukhraja sidqin,” so if I am to enter somewhere, I should enter as the representative of the truth, and when I exit, I should exit by leaving a mark or image of truthfulness, only the truth.

In fact, truthfulness is a meaning inside you, a sense in your heart. Those who have it inside say “We are content with Allah as our Lord, Islam as our religion, and Muhammad as our Messenger. Being content with Allah is the ultimate truth, the summit of one’s servanthood. It is called the “Station of Contentedness” about everything God wills, and hence the ultimate truth. Affirmation, contentedness and acceptance that Islam is the true religion is one of the utmost truths. Also affirming the Prophethood of our Prophet is another ultimate truth.

It is essential that we tell the truth meticulously. That is why some scholars of Hadith have objected to narrating hadiths through meaning. Nevertheless, since not everyone is capable of memorizing hadiths perfectly they have narrated hadiths through meaning, which has brought about the variations in the wordings of hadiths. However, they were also linguistically knowledgeable, they have not sacrificed the entire utterance; they have used synonyms or words with close meanings which, like I said, brought about the variations.