The Inner Meanings and Gifts of Fasting (1419)

Blessings to the light of our Lord, the doctor of hearts, the intercessor of sinners, the mercy of Allah upon the universe, our Master Muhammad; and blessings to his enlightened family and companions and all his saints, including our Master Hadrat Nureddin Jerrahi. May Allah's blessings be upon all of them. May Allah's peace, blessings, mercy, compassion and love be upon the people of Muhammad, and upon my children in Americas.

Allah Most High says:

O you who believe, fasting is prescribed to you, as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn patience. (Surah Baqarah, 183)

When you read or hear "O you who believe" (ya ayyuha-lladhina) be aware, because what follows are Allah's words to you. Whoever you are, and whatever state you are in, you must obey what Allah asks of you directly. In that word ya -- "O" -- is a holy sound coming from beyond the hidden realm; it is your name being called. And the ayyuha is a sign that the Almighty is addressing you, with whom He is familiar, with whom He has met and talked in the Universe of Souls. And when He addresses you with the greatest praise as mu'min - "you who believe" -- He is calling unto His beloved with whom He shares the secret, known both to Him and to you. It is as if Allah Most High calls unto you, saying, "O My pure and beloved servant, who keeps his heart and his essence cleansed and ready only for Me, and with whom I share My secrets and who shares his secrets with Me."

In "fasting is prescribed for you" the word as-siyam, fasting, means a state of denial, withdrawal from things which one is used to: eating, drinking, lovemaking, and above all, from sinning. "As it was prescribed to those before you" means that fasting applies to all believers before from Adam {as} who, when he was sent from Paradise to this world, turned black from the harsh rays of the sun, to which he was unaccustomed. Gabriel {as} asked him if he would like to be relieved of this state, caused by the effects of the material world, and regain the whiteness of his holy body. To accomplish this, he had to fast the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth of the lunar month. On the thirteenth, one third of his body became white; on the fourteenth, two thirds of his body became white, and on the fifteenth, his whole body regained its purity. The thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of the Arabic months are called ayyam-I bayd -- the white days -- because of this.

Our Master, the Beloved of Allah {sas), told Hadrat `Ali {ra} that Gabriel {as} had brought him from Allah the great gift of fasting those three days every month, and that he would be rewarded by ten thousand years of fasting for the first day, thirty thousand years for the second day, and a hundred thousand for the third day. When Hadrat `Ali {ra} asked if that gift was only for him, the Messenger of Allah said, "O `Ali, this gift is for you and for those believers who will follow your path and your example," thus indicating to us the Sufis who follow the tariqah `Aliyyah.

Our beloved Prophet {sas} says,

"O my people, the holy month of Ramadan, which contains a night which has more good in it than one thousand nights, is close. Allah Most High made fasting during the day an obligation and made the worship in its night voluntary for us. When someone abides with one prescribed obligation during this month, it is as if he has fulfilled seventy obligations outside of this holy month.

"The holy Ramadan is the month of patience. Patience is half of faith. The reward of patience is Paradise. During this month, worries leave the believers; their sustenance increases. The ones who feed the believers who fast are forgiven their sins, and are saved from the Fire, even if they are poor and cannot offer more than a date or a glass of milk, or a glass of water.

"The beginning of Ramadan is the manifestation of Allah's mercy; the middle is His forgiveness; the end is safety from Hellfire.

"Do four things during Ramadan: Remember Allah and recite the holy phrase la ilaha illaLLah as often as you can; remember yourself and repent for your sins as much as you can, and recite astaghfiru Llah; ask from Allah His Paradise, and take refuge in Allah from His Hellfire.

"Whoever feeds someone who is fasting during Ramadan will be refreshed from the fountain of Kawthar on the Day of Judgment, and throughout eternity he will not thirst."

In another hadith, our beloved Prophet {sas} says,

"All the doors of Heaven and Paradise open on the first night of Ramadan, and stay open until the last night.

"For each prostration of the Muslims who pray during the nights of Ramadan, Allah registers seventeen hundred rewards. For each one who prays He builds a palace out of red ruby in Paradise. That house has a thousand bejeweled doors, and there is a pair of golden wings hanging above each door.

"When you fast on the first day of Ramadan, Allah forgives all the sins you may commit until the last day of Ramadan, and still forgives other past sins equal to those. For each day of fasting, seventy thousand angels will pray for your forgiveness from morning until night.

"Allah will give you a tree in Paradise for each prostration in your prayers, such an immense tree that if you travelled a hundred years on horseback, you would not pass out of its shade."

The Messenger of Allah {sas} says that on the first night of Ramadan Allah looks upon His deserving servants; when Allah's sight falls on His servant, that person will be saved from eternal punishment. Every single day in Ramadan, millions are released from Hell.

Paradise is decorated every year in honor of the month of Ramadan. On the first night of Ramadan, under the throne of Allah, a gentle wind, called Masira, blows. The leaves and branches of the trees, the grass and the flowers of Paradise rustle with this wind, producing the most wonderful music. All the huris dress up and stand up on high podiums of Paradise and say, "Where are those who wish to have us? Where are those who will ask Allah for us?"

The inhabitants of Paradise ask Ridwan, the Keeper of Paradise, "What night is this that all Heaven is celebrating?" Ridwan answers, "Tonight is the first night of Ramadan, when all the gates of Paradise are open to those who fast among the people of Muhammad {sas}." Then Allah Most High asks Ridwan to open all the gates of Paradise, and Malik to shut all the doors of Hell. And Allah sends Gabriel {as} to the world to gather and chain all the devils and imprison them deep under the seas so they do not bother the fasts of the Muslims.

Every night during Ramadan, Allah Most High calls thrice to the believers: "Ask for something from Me so that I may give to you. Repent, so that I may readily forgive you. Wish for My Mercy so that I will cover you with My Mercy!"

Every single time of break-fast, Allah forgives a thousand times a thousand sinners all over the world, and relieves them from Hellfire. Every Friday and every Friday night, at every hour, Allah saves a thousand times a thousand sinners from the tortures of Hell. On the last day of Ramadan, Allah forgives as many sinners as He has forgiven all during the month among the sinners who fasted.

On the Night of Power, by the will of Allah, Gabriel {as}, leading an army of angels and holding a green flag, descends upon the earth. He erects the flag on top of the Ka`bah and opens his six hundred wings, which cover the East and the West. Then Gabriel {as} orders his angels to go and commune with the Muslims. The angels pass among the believers who are devout, who are fasting, who are praying, and who are busy in zikrullah. They bless them, hug and kiss them, and give them support so that their prayers are accepted.

At sunrise, Gabriel calls them back. The angels ask Gabriel {as} what Allah is going to do to satisfy the believers among the people of Muhammad {sas}. Gabriel{as} answers that Allah has seen them and has sent His Mercy and His forgiveness upon all of them -- except for four kinds of people amongst them.

The Messenger of Allah {sas} has identified these four groups who are not worthy of Allah's Mercy on the Night of Power:

-- the drunkards who continue to drink; -- those who are unloving, disrespectful and disobedient to their parents; -- those who cut themselves off and do not visit or care about their relations and friends; -- those who dare to change Allah's religion, and separate themselves from the religion and orthodoxy.

On the eve of the Feast of Ramadan, through the night and on into morning, Allah sends His angels to all corners of the world. They stand on each road, as criers of Allah announce in a voice that is heard by the ears of all creation except men and jinn, "O people of Muhammad {sas} come to your Lord, Who is All-merciful and All-generous!" When the believers leave their homes early in the morning to go to the mosques, the angels hear Allah say, "Be My witnesses, I have given My forgiveness and My love and pleasure as reward for their fasting and praying during the month of Ramadan!" And Allah addresses the believers, saying, "O My beloved servants, ask from Me this morning all that you wish. I promise on My Might and My Glory that I will hide your errors and your wrongs, and will not embarrass you before each other as long as you believe and preserve My codes and wishes. Return to your homes forgiven and cleansed, as you have pleased Me and I am pleased with you." The angels hear this and give each other with great joy the good news of the rewards to the believers....


The Messenger of Allah {sas} gives the good news: "Each good deed my followers do is increased ten- to seven- hundred-fold, and the reward follows accordingly. Only the reward for fasting is not calculated in this manner. Allah says, "My servant fasts for Me, he denies the pleasures of his flesh, he stops eating and drinking; fasting is a shield against sin, so Mine is the unlimited reward for him; I am his reward.

"There are two joys for My servant who fasts: one is the time of break-fast, and the other is when he will see his Lord."

Ramadan has five letters in Arabic. The letter R stands for ridwan, Allah's satisfaction; the letter M stands for mahabbah, Allah's love; the letter D stands for diman, Allah's protection and security; the letter A stands for ulfa, Allah's friendship; the letter N stands for nur, the holy Light, the essence, the cause of creation. Ramadan is our intercessor. May Allah Almighty guide you well in it, bless you with it, and make you live that Night of Power which is worth "more than a thousand months" -- equal to a long life of 83 years and four months....


Our Master the Prophet {sas} says, "Everything has a beginning and the beginning of worship is fasting." For fasting is only for Allah's sake and it is secret and private. It is sincerity put into action. That is why Allah Most High says:

The worship of fasting is between Me and My servant. When My servant does a good deed for My sake from which others benefit, I reward him tenfold. But when he fasts for My sake I am the judge of the extent of the rewards which I will pour upon him.

Let us ask ourselves what is the value of an act of worship, even if it is the beginning of worship, for someone who has made his religion a farce, for someone who cannot say:

And I call not myself sinless. (I do not claim that I am in control of my ego.) Surely (man's) self is wont to command evil... (Yusuf 53)

and is in the hand of his all-commanding ego, how sincerely can he fast or pray or serve Allah? Our egos make clowns of us and a farce of our religion.

...those who take their religion for a farce and idle sport...(if they) offer every compensation it will not be accepted...(An`am 70)

Who are the ones who call themselves Muslims and dervishes but who "take their religion for a farce and idle sport?" They are the ones:

  1. Who cannot save their worship from the distortion of their imaginations.
  2. Who are attached to self-satisfying traditions as if they were the principles of the religion.
  3. Who gather in congregations not to listen to the truth, but to listen to noise.
  4. Who spend their energy to impress others while ignoring their own spiritual needs.
  5. Who prefer to secular company of women, youth, and pleasant friends, who love to listen to others talk about them, and who seek the truth in the material cause of things.

These failings are due to five other failings:

  1. The source of their imagination is their private heresies, and the cause of these is that they do not know the Sunnah, or they know it and do not follow it, thinking that they know better.
  2. They prefer social traditions to the principles of the religion because they are lax and because they listen to and are impressed by anything they hear. They leave the ones who are on the path of truth for the ones who swim in the ways of the world.
  3. They prefer the noise of jokes and laughter to the truth because they follow what pleases their egos.
  4. They prefer to please others rather than their souls, for they have turned their backs to the truth and their faces to the lies of this world.
  5. They seek the truth in material causes because they blame these causes, for they do not wish to see the manifestation of the truth, but they want their own idea of truth to be accepted as truth.

They are in that disastrous state initially because:

  1. They prefer to be ignorant rather than knowing.
  2. They take their ugliness as beauty and are proud of it.
  3. They do not know the value of time and they are lazy.
  4. They make a show of their deeds while they do not do a thing. They appear to be working and demand recognition and payment for it while they do not work.
  5. They are in a hurry to achieve goals which they have set for themselves without setting themselves conditions nor abiding with any rules.

While they think they fool everyone, often including themselves, everyone knows them except themselves. For their ugly character is apparent:

  1. All their members, their minds, their tongue, their hands, their legs and what is between them is left free, without any control, to sin.
  2. They worship as if on pedestals, lauding their prayers hypocritically.
  3. They are stingy.
  4. They have neither the compassion nor the ability to forgive.
  5. They have neither respect nor consideration for the believers.

We must come out of the darkness of heedlessness to see if we have the traces of these maleficent traits. There are seventy veils of heedlessness that we must identify and lift.

  1. Arrogance of one's false spiritual state.
  2. Hypocrisy of appearing as one is not.
  3. Pride of one's false evaluation of oneself.
  4. Envy of that which is not one's due.
  5. Stinginess in wishing to keep all that Allah has given you.
  6. Vengeance, assuming oneself as judge and executioner.
  7. Infidelity, refusal of truth.
  8. Heresy, exchanging truth for falsehood.
  9. Thanklessness, the inability to value things.
  10. Being a complainer, thus being dissatisfied with one's lot.
  11. Hopelessness, a refusal to believe in Allah's mercy.
  12. Cynicism, being certain only of Allah's punishment.
  13. Tyranny or being a sympathizer with tyrants; belittling and abusing others.
  14. Destructive criticism, especially of the faithful and those on the straight path.
  15. Attachment to the world and detaching oneself from the truth.
  16. The desire to be a leader.
  17. The desire to be praised.
  18. The fear of being abased.
  19. The need of amusement.
  20. Insincere imitation.
  21. Abasing oneself to obtain worldly benefit.
  22. Enjoying the suffering of one whom one takes as an enemy.
  23. Being a coward.
  24. Being negative.
  25. Obtaining what one desires through injustice.
  26. Being untrustworthy, not keeping one's word.
  27. Being superstitious.
  28. Thinking ill of other people.
  29. Love of and attachment to one's property.
  30. Spending all one's efforts for the world and the worldly.
  31. Being over-ambitious.
  32. Being irresponsible.
  33. Being a busybody.
  34. Making light of everything.
  35. Delaying what must be done.
  36. Being shameless and without conscience.
  37. Not knowing the value of time.
  38. Despairing in worldly failures and in loss of position or property.
  39. Backbiting.
  40. Stubbornness.
  41. Egoism.
  42. Show-offishness.
  43. Cheating.
  44. Rudeness.
  45. Lustfulness.
  46. Lack of respect for others.
  47. Refusal to accept any fault.
  48. Fear of poverty.
  49. Disbelief in faith.
  50. Being a defeatist.
  51. Taking pleasure in belittling others.
  52. Refusal to take anything seriously.
  53. Being a flatterer of the rich and powerful.
  54. Disdain for the meek.
  55. Pride in one's history.
  56. Bravado.
  57. Belittling everything that is not you and yours.
  58. Being nonsensical.
  59. Talking too much and never listening.
  60. Forgetting one's faults and being preoccupied with the faults of others.
  61. The absence of the fear of Allah in one's heart.
  62. Curing one's dissatisfaction by feeding one's ego.
  63. Not assisting in the protection of what is due to Allah and to this creation.
  64. Being two-faced.
  65. Being dishonest in business.
  66. Being a schemer.
  67. Taking pleasure in other people's misfortune.
  68. Not accepting the punishment for one's wrongdoings.
  69. Forgetting Allah.
  70. Being heedless of all these admonitions.

And blessed are those who after having suffered the tests of this life and this world, prove themselves worthy to be Allah's servants, the people of Muhammad {sas}, who are able:

  1. To follow Allah's orders in the Holy Qur'an, the Prophet's traditions in the Sunnah, and the instructions of their shaykh even if the result does not appear to be what was hoped for.
  2. To avoid and to forbid oneself from doing the things which our religion renders unlawful and are forbidden by our Prophet and disadvised by our shaykh, even if the result of this abstention may appear to us to be disastrous.
  3. To respect and do what is necessary to be respected by those true believers whether present or absent, whether alive or gone to their Lord.
  4. To be just by following the justice of the Holy Qur'an and the traditions of the Prophet and the teachings of their shaykhs and protecting the rights of all mankind and the whole of the creation visible and invisible.
  5. To stay away from and avoid dealing with all and everything -- including what we call logical, social, economic, political, and other life conditions -- which may prevent one from such a submission to one's Lord.

And blessed are the saved who:

  1. Gather knowledge in order to know, to follow, and to act upon Allah's orders and to try to continually increase this knowledge.
  2. Seek true spiritual teachers, to enter and keep their company, to acquire wisdom.
  3. Save themselves from what is unlawful and sinful and abandon all that is doubtful.
  4. Organize their time around the precise time of prayer, worship, and remembrance of Allah so that these spiritual preoccupations extend over their whole life.
  5. In order to eliminate errors and in order to eliminate false plans based on ambition and imagination, leave egoism and egotism to abase the desires of their flesh and to be exceedingly humble.

If one learns the way of Allah and acts upon that knowledge, Allah increases his knowledge. If one spends effort to do what is lawful and not to do what is unlawful, Allah protects him from all that is bad. The one who abandons that which is doubtful is led by Allah to the straight path. The one who serves for Allah's sake receives Allah's secrets.

* * *

There are three joys of fasting during Ramadan: the time of fast-break, the 'Id at the end of Ramadan, and the greater celebration and feast when the faithful enter Paradise. May Allah Most High accord you all the joys and rewards of shahr-I Ramadan.

On this occasion, when we have passed a month of intensive worship, exercising patience, resisting the desires of the flesh and ego, increasing prayers and meditation, fasting during the day and praying at night, all of which are obligations ordained by the religion, we may ask ourselves once again what is the difference between the ahl-I Shari`ah, the Muslim who fasted during the day and prayed during the night just as we did, and the ahl-I Tariqah, the dervish that we call ourselves.

We believe that the religion of Islam is like a three-story building. The foundation of this building is Shari`ah, the first floor Tariqah, the second floor Haqiqah, the third floor Ma`rifah. There cannot be a building without a foundation, but there can be a foundation without a building, though it does not fulfill its purpose.

The Shari`ah is an invitation to come from disbelief and the imagining of partners for Allah to belief, unification, and the oneness of Allah.

The ahl-I Tariqah is ahl-I Shari`ah in the sense that he has answered that call. He is aware of multiplicity within and without himself and wishes to experience the true unity to which he bears witness in words.

Haqiqah is the object of the Sufi's yearning. For if we stay in this world of visible things, of multiplicity, which appears to be full of contradictions and meaningless voids, we will be lost -- lost in the darkness of non-reality, imagination, lies, trying only to find relief in the opium of worldly riches, fame, arrogance, and amusement.

The ones who are fortunate see that the darkness of ignorance and lies can only be eliminated by one light: the Nur Muhammadi, the source of wisdom, the example of perfection. That light and example teaches not in numbers and exact sciences, nor by the rules and minds of men, but by the causal mind, the first creation of Allah. It teaches by the names taught to Adam, by divine inspiration and revelations, by the soul eternal, by sincere feelings and thoughts of the heart, by the reality seen by the eye of the heart, by the Truth.

Ma`rifah is the purpose of religion. It is the satisfaction of the yearning, the fire of love which the coal of Shari`ah lights in the heart. It is knowing Allah, finding the Beloved. It is the fruit of the effects of Haqiqah.

The Sufi is the one who is aware of these stages, who believes that they can be attained, and who learns. He learns step by step through a knowledge which comes from the City of Knowledge (as the Beloved of Allah called himself), and from the gate of knowledge, Hadrat `Ali {ra}; and through a chain of beloveds and friends of Allah, saints and teachers, the inheritors of those of whom the Messenger of Allah {sas} said, "My Companions are like stars by which the seafarer finds his way; follow them and you will find the Truth."

Thus Sufism is nothing but the practice of Islam with the understanding of its purpose, which is Ma`rifah. The Sufi, with this understanding, takes pleasure in the performance of religious requirements, knowing the meaning and the truth of the practice of religion. The result of this effort is the attainment of the inner secrets of the Holy Qur'an, reached not through interpretations made by logic or through philosophic similitudes and comparisons, but through inspiration.

As an example and as a Ramadan gift, let us look at Surat al-Duha and its interpretations by the ahl-I Tariqah.


wad-duha wal-layli idha saja ma wadda`uka rabbuka wa ma qala wa lal-akhiratu khayrun laka min al-ula. wa la-sawfa yu`tika rabbuka fa-tarda. a-lam yajiduka yatiman fa-awa wa wajadaka dallan fa-hada wa wajadaka `a'ilan fa-aghna. fa-ammal-yatima fa-la taqhar wa ammas-sa'ila fa-la tanhar wa amma bi-ni`mati rabbika fa-haddith.

By the brightness of the day And the night when it is still, Thy Lord has not forsaken thee nor is He displeased. And surely the latter state is better for thee than the former. Did He not find thee an orphan and give (thee) shelter And find thee groping, so He showed the way; And find thee in want, so He enriched thee? Therefore the orphan oppress not And him who asks, chide not And the favor of thy Lord proclaim.

The words of the Qur'an revealed to the Messenger of Allah {sas} are in Arabic, but the meaning of the Holy Qur'an is in the language of Allah. When this surah is translated literally, these English words appear. That is reading the Qur'an from the surface, even if it is accompanied by absolute belief in what one has read. In this particular case, is the absolute belief in the superficial understanding of the surface meaning of this wonderful surah beneficial?

The occasion of the revelation of this verse was the time when there was a long pause in the revelations and the enemies of Islam insulted and ridiculed the Beloved of Allah, saying, "Muhammad's Allah is cross with Muhammad: he does not talk about revelations anymore!" Astaghfirullah. This hurt the gentle heart of the Beloved of Allah, upon which this surah was sent to soothe and give solace.

Allah Most High vows upon the brightness of the day and the descent of night. What is the meaning of the word duha? Some say that it is the time of the morning when the Prophet {sas} was born. Then what is the meaning of "the night"? Is it the night following the day, or dark after light, or ignorance after knowledge, or blindness after seeing? Or is it simply the passing of time upon which Allah vows that his (the Prophet's) Lord has not left him nor is He cross with him, and that his latter days will be better than his former? Does it mean that the Hereafter is better for him than the life of this world? Allah Most High promises that He will continue to bestow His gifts upon him until he is fully pleased (one presumes in this world because what follows relates to this world).

Up to here the language is soothing, loving, and consoling. But what comes after it, read on the surface, may appear strange. How could Allah, repairing the broken heart of His Beloved whom He tells that He can never abandon and will give everything, say, "You were an orphan, so I found you a home: you were groping, so I brought you to Islam; you were poor, so I gave you a rich wife. Do not be mean to the orphans and the orphan child of your wife. While you keep company with the rich, do not send the poor away when they ask for something, and do not forget all I have given you: you must tell others what you have received"?

If taken in this manner it appears to add insult to injury. Even a polite man who has given something to someone and then says, "I did this for you and that for you so you had better behave this way and that way" would be considered impolite!

How could Allah, the Rahman, the Rahim, the Ra'uf, the Karim, the Latif, the Wadud, who said wa kafa bi-Llahi shahidan Muhammadun rasulu Llah to His Beloved, say this? How could He say, "Do not tyrannize the orphan; do not hurt the poor" to the one about whom He says wa ma arsalnaka illa rahmatan lil-`alamin -- "I have not sent you save as a mercy to the worlds"?

People who are affected by the temptations of the accursed one find doors to enter and so cause mischief with statements like, "the wars waged by Islam were really for the benefit of war booty," and so forth. Yet the Prophet {sas} was saying, "O Lord, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing," while his enemies tried to kill him, and when he was victorious over them he forgave them all.

So how could such a heart take pleasure from words of Allah Most High if they were given like this, even though the faithful bow their heads in acceptance of it?

It is something of a mystery, a secret in one's understanding of the Qur'an, that one hears what one is destined to hear. As Allah Himself says faqra'u ma tayassara min al-qur'an -- take what is meant for you from the Qur'an. Even that ayat is interpreted by the ones who read on the surface as, "read whatever is easy for you from the Qur'an." The Sufis do not measure the words of Allah with the yardstick of the mind, but rather with the inspiration which is the manifestation of their love for the Beloved of Allah and Allah Most High.

By the brightness of the day And the night when it is still.

is given this meaning by the Sufis: "I vow upon the day and upon the night, that scissors which cuts the life of all beings, the instrument of divine destiny," or, "I vow on the bright light of the pure heart, that light which is the sun of the truth of Muhammad which enlightened the darkness, the black veil of ignorance and unconsciousness which covered the world," or "the divine light manifested in the soul versus the darkness of the flesh."

Thy Lord has not forsaken thee nor is He displeased.

is given the meaning: My Beloved, what appears in you, your words, your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, are not yours but Mine, and what is within you is Mine, passing through you to the ones who have faith in you."

And surely the latter state is better for thee than the former.

is given the meaning: "Every manifestation that appears in you is better than the last; it is added to it, making it, therefore, greater and higher than the previous one, bringing you closer to Allah. The former is your essential potential, the latter is the manifestation of Our perfection within your potential."

And soon will thy Lord give thee so that thou wilt be well pleased.

is given the meaning, "Within all the universes and on the Day of Judgment, yours is the wish that I have considered. We have named you as "the praised one." We have given you the banner of praise. We have prepared for you the place of mercy on the Day of Judgment. Your Lord has given to you the pleasure of His Lordship on that day when all the will of men will be taken away. The Hereafter is the heart of the worlds of eternal life. We have given that heart to you. We have made your heart the treasury of all divine secrets."

Did He not find thee an orphan and give thee shelter?

is given the meaning: "We found your potential for perfection to be solitary, like an orphan. We have made a place for it, we have given you a place in al-maqam al-mahmud.

And find thee groping, so He showed the way?

is given the meaning: "You were in awe in the vastness of My Love and Compassion. We sent you word explaining all, giving you the key of divine power."

And find thee in want so He enriched thee.

is given the meaning: "We found you in want: in accordance with your destiny you never had an individual identity of the I and me and mine. We enriched you by giving you in its place an eternal dwelling with Allah."

Therefore the orphans oppress not

is given the meaning: "Your ego and the desires of your flesh are left orphans in you; they have no relation to you. Do not tyrannize over them, for they are your dependents. Treat them well, for they have rights over you."

And he who asks, chide not

is given the meaning: "Often you leave your being behind when you come to Me and your heart asks you where you were and you wish not to answer it. Your heart has a right over you, so answer it." (Indeed, the Beloved of Allah did not have only one ascension. Every revelation, each prayer was a meeting with Allah Most High. When he was with Him he was not of this world. Yet his duties with us had not ended. He was ordered back to be with us, to be like us. It is when he wished to come back to the world that he would ask Hadrat `A'ishah, kallimini ya Humayrah -- "Talk to me, O `A'ishah!")

And the favor of thy Lord proclaim.

is given the meaning: "I said wa tarahum yanzuruna ilayka wa hum la yubsirun. My Beloved, they look at you but they do not see you. They do not see the glory of Messengership, nor the gift of Prophethood, nor the love that I have for you. They think that mountains could not carry My trust, so how could Muhammad {sas} carry it? They do not know that if all the universe is a living being, you are like its heart. You are its heart. As life-giving blood courses through the heart, divine knowledge spreads in the universe through you. Therefore do not hide the attributes of the Truth that come to you when you are selfless and have become eternal in Me."


This is neither the only nor the truest interpretation. But it is an example and a warning to those who think that the literal translation or the surface meaning of the Qur'an is the only one.

May Allah forgive our sins of misunderstanding for the sake of the blessed shahr-I Ramadan. O Lord, give us the strength of the Shari`ah and the joy of the Tariqah and the secret of the Haqiqah and the selflessness of the Ma`rifah, for the sake of all and everything, and may the Truth show us the reality of things and the reality and the unreality of ourselves. We repent of our having tyrannized ourselves. O Lord, do not make our selves our master, and replace the love for this world in our hearts with love for You, and cure our hearts, ya Tabib al-Qulub, ya Latif, ya Wadud. Amin, bi-hurmati sayyid al-mursalin Ta Ha wa Ya Sin.

Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti