Question: What factors allow someone to be open to spirituality and the metaphysical realms?
Answer: As some people see materialistic considerations as everything, they lead a life closed to metaphysics. Although character plays a certain role at these people’s remaining closed to spirituality, the point that really needs to be considered is their making no serious effort in this respect, not giving their willpower its due. Even if they say they also believe, people immersed in materialism, whose reasoning is reduced to their eyesight, condemn themselves to a severe narrowness in terms of their thoughts and opinions. For example, they do not believe in the miraculous happenings we term as wonder (karama), whose number amounts to thousands, reported in different centuries by trustworthy people with no probability of lying. Some even go as far as not wishing to accept miracles. Even though they become obliged to accept them owing to the soundness of the narrations, they try to make explanations based on material causes. People who limit their world of thoughts with materialism over time blunt their ability and capacity to understand the metaphysical aspect of phenomena. As a consequence, they cannot see beyond apparent things and occurrences, cannot grasp the wisdom contained in seemingly negative happenings, and as they are not imparted the “inner meaning of happenings” (ta’wil al-ahadith), they cannot understand the different meanings in unfolding events.
Transcendental Reality Beyond Occurrences and the Tongue of Wisdom
Actually, occurrences hold different meanings for people with respect to the way they take place, as if each of them were a manifest sign. However, in order to be able to see that, it is first necessary to see occurrences through latifa ar-Rabbaniya—the spiritual intellect—and to have the ability to synthesize. In other words, a person should read not only religious affairs but also other phenomena and occurrences, such as a book, trying to catch the connection among occurrences with a holistic perspective, and trying to see the cause and effect relationship among them. As Recaizade Mahmud Ekrem states, “The entire universe is a great book of God, whichever letter you study, its meaning will point to God.”
Even if some occurrences seem to be a coincidence and it is remarked that their chance of realization is one out of hundred, when other relevant occurrences are considered, it will be seen that the calculations of probability begin to fall as low as one out of a thousand, a million, or a billion… If individuals live by “sieving life,” if they evaluate the occurrences that come to their mind, catch their eye, and strike their feelings and senses with a holistic perspective, they will then be able to draw very deep meanings from them and from the connections among them. In the same way, with every occurrence they will see, by personally witnessing it, that there is no place for blind chance in this universe, even in the slightest degree. If they consider occurrences as separate entities, however, as some philosophers do, they will fail to see that every letter in this universe indicates and points to the truth of faith in God.
In this respect, in order to open up to spirituality, a person must give his or her willpower its due, sieve occurrences well, and believe from the beginning that nothing is meaningless—so much so that one must know that even a glass that falls from our hand and breaks has a meaning with respect to the “inner meaning of happenings.” Let this not be misunderstood: this perspective does not mean thinking too positively or too negatively in the face of occurrences and becoming spoiled with one and hopeless with another. On the contrary, it means comprehending that there is a certain meaning every occurrence tries to convey with its own tongue.
The Mysterious Key to Opening to Metaphysical Realms: Supplication
Secondly, a person needs to deepen his theoretical knowledge through worship and obedience in order to be able to see that metaphysical dimension of existence. Doubtlessly, supplication is the foremost among the most important acts of worship, because it is the title for sincere devotion to God. Since supplication is an act of worship that transcends causality, it is the most important ladder making the person reach meta-causality horizons.
So what is the most important and greatest demand a person should ask from God when supplicating?
For example, in our morning and evening recitations we express our wish to be saved from Hell and to attain Paradise. Keeping away from Hell and entering Paradise are essential matters for anyone. However, a person must have a demand of much further importance than these: that is the demand of knowing God correctly and never being heedless of Him.
This must be the highest target believers wish to attain in their prayers with a deep concentration and consciousness. When a man raises his hands in supplication, he must first ask for God’s forgiveness and good pleasure and be so insistent in this demand that he must feel a tingling in his hands with the blessings from God and virtually feel some spiritual effulgence showering down. When maintaining such a state of alertness from head to toe, one must pray: “My God increase me in faith, knowledge of You, love of You. Make me enraptured with yearning for You. Fill my inside with Your love. And make me a person crazy for Your path!”
And if you rise at night and ask for these a thousand times from God with a sincere heart… then see how God Almighty tears apart the veils of the physical realm, opens new metaphysical horizons for you, and awakens you to spiritual realms beyond time and space. It should not be forgotten that whoever pursues a certain goal and strives seriously towards it, what he or she seeks will be granted. Nobody cares about and gives anything to a beggar with hands behind the back and saying in an offhand attitude, “Are you giving or not?” In the same way, acceptance of a person’s prayers depends on his turning to God in utter devotion, putting his head down on His doorstep, knocking on His door insistently, and believing that his prayers will be answered.
Although supplication is so important for a believer, let me sadly express that the act of worship that is given least importance in our time among Muslims is supplication. Unfortunately it has long been a victim of formality and formats. Even the supplications in mosques are victimized to formality, caught in a web of familiarity and heedlessness.
It should not be inferred from these words, however, that the worship and supplications made by people filling mosques are not accepted. I would never dare say that. God Almighty counts even the pettiest good deed to the advantage of a person and gives a reward even for the slightest of them. But it should not be forgotten that a person bears a value in direct proportion with what he values. If you value a worldly property, a mansion or a villa, for instance, then you attach your value to it. If you value Paradise, your value is worth Paradise. But if you have attached your servanthood and desires to love of God and yearning for Him, since He is unlimited, you also reach an unlimited immensity.
If you glorify Him with your remembrances (tasbih, tahmid, and takbirs), and say, “O God praises be to You to the number of the particles in the universe!” and can feel this within, and shiver every time you remember Him, then Your place in God’s sight will be accordingly. As it is stated in a hadith, whatever God’s place is in your sight, thus will be your place in His sight. Ask yourself: How much value do you attach to Him? How much do you think of Him? How much time do you spend with Him? How often do you spell His name, and how much are you with Him? Each question is very important.
People Are Not Closed to Metaphysics; They Close Themselves to Metaphysics
God Almighty may bestow extra graces on a person without his making a strenuous effort. This is another thing. But the objective and essential criterion is a person’s giving his willpower its due. God Almighty states, “And that human has only that for which he labors…” (an-Najm 53:39). If we express it the other way around, a person does not gain anything but the reward of his working, giving his willpower its due, and running on the path of God.
Thus, a person who says, “I cannot open to metaphysical considerations. I do not know the World of Representations or Ideal Forms (Alam al-Mithal). I cannot see occurrences with a holistic perspective, make a connection between them and reach a synthesis… ”, first needs to see whether he really did what he should have done concerning this issue. I wonder whether that person—in addition to his scrupulous care at offering the obligatory acts of worship—rose up for the Tahajjud Prayer for forty consecutive nights, prostrated himself and asked for what needs to be asked for? A person’s not doing these indicates how much value he attaches to spirituality. This person’s horizons of spirituality will be accordingly. So even though it is true that some people are closed to spirituality, it isn’t God who condemned them to this closed state. On the contrary, they closed themselves to spirituality. To put it more correctly, as they do not do what needs to be done for the sake of opening to metaphysical realms and do not give their willpower its due in this respect, they remain closed to spirituality.
Even though it was not included in the question, I would like to point out one more fact about the issue: The continuation of this assembly of revival which has taken start and presently promises hope to the entire earth and placing it on its right ground will be realized by capable people who not only know sciences and religious disciplines but are also open to metaphysics. At this united point of physics and metaphysics, if we can raise heroes of willpower who will carry out the requirements of these realms, humanity will awaken to a new spring by means of those heroes of spirituality, who are friends of God and who prefer Him over everything else. If so, the face of the world will smile again and the entire earth will witness a new revival throughout.
This text is the translation of “Metafizik Âlemin Üveykleri ve Beklenen Diriliş.”