The Inner Self and the Outer Self
Oh the seeker who wishes to learn the chemistry of secrets and follow the path of the ones who have found salvation! If you wish to know yourself, know that the One who created you has created you with two sides. One is your outside and the other is your inside.: Your outside is visible, it is your form. Your inside is sometimes called your ego, sometimes your soul, sometimes your heart. Your truth is inside of you. Your outside, your eyes, your hands, your feet . . . . are the servants of your inside. Your heart is the center of it. It is not the piece of meat on the left side of your chest, because animals, even dead people have it. It is a piece of meat which is visible. Everything which is visible belongs to this world. The heart, the soul, which is the center of your inner being, is invisible, but to it, the beauty of the troth is visible. All the rest of your physical being is its servant. What Allah addresses, His obligations, His prohibitions, His rewards and His punishments are all to your inner self. But when the heart is addressed, when it obeys or it revolts, all the rest of you follows it. To know it is the key to knowing your Lord.
Try to learn it, find it and be with it. It is also created and made out of matter, but of fine matter, from the same material which the angels are made of. When the beloved of Allah, our master says: "I am made from the divine light of Allah and the believers generate from me." He means with the divine light, that material which your heart is made of.
Know that your heart has come from the invisible higher realms of the angels, close to your Lord and has descended to the ruins of this world to be tested and will soon return to its Lord.
And our guide says: "Be ready for that day. Soon you will be on your way. Prepare your sustenance for the Hereafter, for the trip is long. Remember death always. It will take all the sweet seeming tastes of this world from your senses. For every ascension there is a descent, and life ends in death and Here ends in the Hereafter. Turn your face away from this world which attempts to fool you with everything it presents to tempt you. Your intelligence is given to you not in order not to be fooled. Gather from here what will be necessary for you in the hereafter. You do not know what your name will be there. This is not your home. It is a passage full of trouble and pain. There is no peace in it. Your attachment to it is a key to everlasting disaster. Don’t you see that this world has turned its back on you, while death is looking in your face. Allah has given this world both to the ones whom He loves and to the ones whom He hates, while the felicity of the hereafter is only for the ones whom He loves. Don’t let the false jewels of this world tie you here and prevent you from the eternal paradise. Seek Allah’s pleasure in everything.
Enes Ibn Malik reports that a Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah and greeted him in the mosque. The Messenger of Allah asked him where he came from. The Bedouin said: "I come from far seeking answers to some questions." Our master told him to ask his questions.
"I wish to be an intelligent man, what should I do?" "Fear Allah."
"I wish to be a loyal servant to Allah and do what He wants me to do." "Read the Qur'an."
"I wish to be enlightened and have peace of heart." "Remember Death."
"I wish to be protected against enemies." "Trust in Allah."
"I wish to follow the Straight Path." "Do good to others for Allah’s sake."
"What should I do so that Allah does not abase me?" "Do not respond to the desires of your flesh."
"I wish to have a long life." "Praise and thank Allah."
"I wish for prosperity."
"Be in a state of ablution at all times." "How can I save myself from the hellfire?"
" Protect your eyes and your tongue and your hands and what is below your waist line against evil."
"How can I cleanse myself from my sins?"
"Shed tears for what you have done and repent by undoing what you have done wrong."
"I wish to be a respectable person."
"Then, don’t ask for anything from anybody." "I wish to be honorable."
"Then don’t divulge the wrong doings of anybody."
"What should I do to protect myself from the tortures of the grave?" "Recite the Surah Mulk."
"What should one do to be rich?" "Read the Surah Muzammil."
"How should I calm my fear of the day of last judgment?." "Remember Allah before you eat anything and before you sleep."
"What should I do to feel the presence of Allah when I make my prayers?" "Give the utmost care in taking your ablutions and in being clean and pure."
Allah’s beloved, whom He gave us as our Master, Guide and Teacher, declares:
"I was a Prophet when Adam was between earth and water." "1 am only a man like you and I need to eat just like you."
"I was ordered to tell you only what you can understand." "I was sent to teach you the best of character."
"Allah is my witness that I am known in this world and in the heavens as the trustworthy one."
"The untruth is farthest from me and I from it. "The untruth will never be from me, neither I from it."
"Allah sent me as his mercy upon the universe. I can not cause pain to anyone." "My nights and days are passed with my Lord. He is the one who feeds me." "My Lord, Himself, educated me in the best way."
"I am the most courageous of men."
"No one has suffered as much as I have."
"I am the answer of my forefather the prophet Abraham and fulfillment of the good news given by my brother Jesus and the realization of my mothers dream,"
"I have a time with Allah that neither any of the prophets which He sent nor any of the books which He revealed. neither angels can come between us."
"All the other prophets were sent to their nations. Only I was sent to the whole of humanity."
"Whoever sees me in their dreams let him know that whom he saw was truly I, because the devil cannot assume my form. And whoever saw me will see me on the day of last judgement and will enter paradise."
"My presence amongst you was a blessing when I was alive. I will continue being a blessing upon you after my death."
"On the day of last judgement I am the Master of all Adam’s children but I am not proud of it. The banner of mercy is in my hand and all the prophets are under my banner, but I am not proud of it. I am the first one who will intercede for the humankind and my intercession is accepted, but I am not proud."
The one who has been given the best character and was sent to us to teach us the best morals says. "The traces of my character will continue amongst my people until the day of last judgement. The only justification for honor and pride for any people is their morals. In their work, in their achievements, in their customs, in their actual state, true success is only realized by excellent morals, especially if that character is enhanced by justice."
He tells us that:
Men are like the teeth of a comb, perfectly equal. All the believers are like one single human being.
We are all the children of Adam. And Adam was created from the humble earth.
Enough of being proud of your fathers and forefathers and the achievements of your tribes and nations. If you continue with this arrogance, your Lord will consider you worse than an insect
We are all the creatures of one God. Let us be brothers and sisters. Do not be hostile to each other; do not turn your backs on each other. Do not be envious of what the others have. Do not seek vengeance.
Allah loves all His creation, but the one who is loved most by Allah is the one who helps others.
We deserve the ones who rule us. The ones who rule us represent who we are.
When Allah hears the screams and the moaning of the ones tyrannized by other men, he sends his lions to annihilate them and nothing and nobody can save them.
Men should either know or seek knowledge otherwise there is no good in them. Learn what you need to learn. But as long as you do not act in accordance with your knowledge, there is no benefit in it.
We should pray that the Lord enrich us in knowledge, beautify us with intelligence and gentleness of character and honor us by enabling us to choose
the right over the wrong and preventing us from doing harm to others.
Three follow a funeral: one’s family, one’s property and one’s deeds. The first two return to the world after one is buried. Only his deeds are left with the deceased.
Hadrat Abdul Kadiri Gaylani k.s. says, "My son, first educate yourself, put yourself on the straight path, then to the others. You know that you yourself, are in need, how can you satisfy the needs of others. Your eyes can see only the distance one step away, while you are trying to lead the blind.
Your whole goal is to eat and to drink and to have fun. It is fine, except these are not goals they are but means to help you to reach your Lord. Your goal must be that which ~you need most our Creator. Seek Him. Everything has a price. The price of the here after is paid with your life in:. this world. The price of finding your creator is , you, your self. It is only when you take this world out of your heart that your heart will be able to receive the truth. Think of every day as if it were your last. If your are truly able to do that, it is sufficient for you.
Come let us leave these desires of the flesh which really do not become us. What if we suffer~a little, we re ret a little, but if we get close to Him, we will forget all our troubles. Instead and running here and there, driven by the desires of our flesh, let us try to lead ourselves to the path to truth. All we have to do is follow our guide whom Allah has sent as His mercy upon the universe.
If the patient ones suffer a little in this world, Allah certainly sees it. If you hold on to patience for one moment, He will reward you for years. Don’t you see all those heroes which are honored all through their lives have received that honor with a moment’s patience and trust in Allah, facing death.
What is necessary for you is to love and fear Allah and to fear none other than Him and to do all you intend to do for His sake and in His name. ‘Tins can not be done erratically as you usually do things, nor by talking about it. No one believes the ones who talk but do not do anything. Even if you do not do the things which you tell people that on wish to do, do you re eat these intentions to yourself when there is no one to hear Do you really feel the wish to do them~ If you do, perhaps that is sufficient for you. Is it proper for you to pretend to be in unison with your Lord on the street and to be running yourself as partner to Him in your home? Isn’t that hypocrisy, isn’t that a sign of a dirty heart? Such a pitiful state. All these pure claims produced by such a dirty heart. Your tongue praises your Lord while your heart is in opposition to Him.
No promise to man and no prayer to Allah is acceptable if it smells of insincerity. The path of the Master of the worlds, may Allah’s peace and blessings by upon him, is nothing but sincerity.
When you say "La ilahe ilallah," "There is no God but Allah," you are making a very serious claim, a world shaking statement. A statement like this needs proof, witnesses. The witnesses which will prove your claim are two. One is to accept to suffer and to show patience. The second is to face all adversities, hostilities, trouble and pain which such a statement bring upon one, and the sincerity in your patience and your efforts
To obtain the approval and pleasure of your Lord, neither prayer nor deeds to show to others give any benefit~: neither wishes and hopes for greater achievements than your are capable of. Nothing could be obtained by the efforts of someone who’s exterior and interior are not one and the same, specially when your lie becomes known. What a disaster it will cause. If you have any of these faults, repent now and don’t break your repentance. What is important more than repentance is not to break one’s promise of not doing that for which one has sought repentance.
Do not dispute the truth, do not negate it because it is other than what you claim. How often you accuse the truth because men do not appreciate and agree with you or you loose what you had. Why don’t you look for the fault in yourself? You want every thing the way you wish it to be. Whose is the decision, whose is the power, whose is the knowledge, whose is the compassion? His or yours? Do not forget that you and every- thing else are His creatures. In everything which happens, it is His will which prevails. So, stop being arrogant. When you are arrogant towards His servants, you are arrogant towards Him. What were you but a drop of dirty water, a clot of blood and what will you be but a dead weight thrown into a hole. Make humbleness a rule of your existence. Don’t be a slave of your ambitions. When you gather the wealth of this world, do not behave like someone who is gathering wood in a dark night. You are so much like him, not knowing what will come to your hand, a poisonous snake instead of wood. Be heedful. You have to know what you are going to hold in your hand before you pick it up. Do not beg from men for the goods of this world. It does not befit you. What if nothing is given to you after you have abased yourself. Isn’t it better to look for your sustenance which is destined only for you, for no one could give that which is not destined for you. Haven’t you heard our Master say: "The worst trouble for you is to wish for and seek that which is not destined for you.
. Oh the one who claims that he knows,. where is your proof ? The proof of the ones who know is the tears which they shed, the tears of the fear and love of Allah, the tears of repentance for one’s faults, the tears of having failed in the battle with your ego. . . I don’t see any of this in you, with all the knowledge which you claim you have, you spend your time seeking recognition, fame, wealth" eating and drinking and having fun. Gather the thousand pieces which you are, use the mind which you claim you have. What ever will come from this world to you will come to you in spite of yourself. Don’t trouble yourself. Relax. Don’t expect, thus you will free yourself from the pain of expectation. You will free yourself from the heavy weight of ambition. If you don’t realize this, if you don’t do what I say, all you will get from that knowledge which you claim to have and from all your efforts is fatigue, trouble and pain and,. on the day of last judge- ment, a very long and hard accounting to give. What good is knowledge to you if there is no truth in it. Knowledge of anything else but the truth is nothing but trouble. So you learned. You also make your prayers and fast in Ramadan and appear as a Muslim, but your intention is to be seen, to be praised. Let us say that the people are really fooled and they think the world of you. What good will it do you at the moment of death? There will be in a deep chasm. They will be on the top and you will be in the bottom. what you have gathered during your miserable life will be left with them. Its accounting and the punishment will be left with you.
Woe to you. You hope for Paradise while all you do is pulling you to the fire. You pass your time with things which passes with time. You think they will stay with you, but they slip out of your hands as soon as you hold them. The One who created you gave this life of a moment as a trust to you, and He told you how to spend your time. But you spend it running after the desires of your flesh. Your youth, your health, your knowledge, your riches are only lent to you. You were supposed to use them the way the One who intrusted them to you asked you to use them. Who fed you in your mother’s womb? How helpless you were. Who brought you up and made you the way you are. You think it is you, your efforts your knowledge, your money, your mother your father, your teacher, your employer made you what you are today. But where are your mother your father, your teacher, all those upon whom you depend. Of they are here today, they will be gone tomorrow or they will abandon you, they will shut their doors to your face. When you will scream for help, no one will come. Whomever you depend on except Allah, whomever you love and fear except Allah is your god and you are running partners to the only One who created you, fed you, loved and cared for you however you are. Don’t do what He asked you not to do. Don’t do anything else but what He asked you to do. In everything you do you need two witnesses. One is Allah’s words in the Qur'an al Kerim and the other is the Sunnah of Resulallah. But you ignore these two witnesses. Instead you count on your two witnesses. One is your ego and the other is your weak mind. They are your enemies and will push you into the Hell-Fire
Oh the one whose inner self is all rotten, soon you will die. You will be shown what you have done and you will regret, but it will be too late. Your tongue spoke well. It fooled others and you. You neither understood what you said nor others did under- stand. No word of truth entered your heart, nor did you do good to others. What would have saved you would have been if your heart would have spoken even a few words of sincerity. Oh the one who has made himself and the others into insurmountable walls between himself and the ones who truly were on the Path to their Lord. Shed tears. Sometimes you shed tears for the misfortune of others. I: you lament for them, lament a thousand times for yourself.
If you want to help others, and correct their errors, you can’t do it by yourself, you can only do it with your faith. Faults, errors, sin, can only be overcome by Faith. If you have enough Faith, then your Lord will be your helper. He is the friend of the ones whose Faith can erase the uglinesses. But if you attempt to do that by yourself, for the glory of it, you will but destroy yourself and be no help to others.
Don’t ever attribute any success to yourself, or feel able and powerful. That will give you courage to attempt things which will kill you, away from the eye the care, the com- passion and the help of the One who has created you. Nor should you ever feel that what you say should be heard and accepted by the ones around you. How can you build on air. First you have to dig the foundations all the way to your heart then build a palace with your good deeds and sincerity to invite the people in.
But look at yourself. Your Islam which you wear like clothes is torn and dirty. Your heart is ignorant. Your existence is nothing but trouble and stress. But you put on the airs of a king, holding a book in your hand whose pages are black. While you have no care or love, you imagine that you care and love. Your beloved is only the phantom of this world. Right under your foot is the grave. The hereafter is a step away. Be aware. Now. There is no time.
Oh Lord, include us amongst those who have been born in Truth and lived in Truth and died to Truth, who gave but not took, who have been forgiven because they have forgiven, and who have been reborn in a life everlasting.
Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti, March 26, 1996