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What is Islam?

The book by J. W. Lovegrove (Habibullah)

WHAT IS ISLAM?

The nature made by Allah, in which He has made men ; there is no altering of Allah’s creation—that is the right religion.—QuR-AN, xxx. 30.

” ISLAM ” is the name given by Allah to that religion which was preached by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (on whom be eternal peace), who appeared in Arabia some thirteen hundred years ago, and it is the last of the great religions of the world. The name ” Islam” Was not invented by those who professed it. , This name is expressly given to this religion in the Holy Qur-an itself. It says : “Surely the (true) religion with Allah is Islam” (iii. 18) ; and in another place : “This day• I have perfected for you your religion, and completed my favour on you, and chosen for you Islam as a religion” (v. 3).

The word “Islam” is very significant ; it literally means “Peace” as ” Peace” is the dominant idea in the whole system. It also means submission. The third meaning is the way to peace ; and the teachings given under the name of Islam disclose all such ways as are sure to create peace in the world, if adhered to in daily life.

The follower of Islam is called a Muslim, which means peaceful, and submissive. He who has not made peace with God and his fellow-beings cannot be a Muslim.

To make peace with God is to submit to His Will and obey His Commandments. To make peace with man is to do good to others.

“The best of God’s obedient elect are those who, when seen, remind of God ; and the worst of people are those who carry tales about, to do mischief and separate friends, and seek for the defects of the righteous” (Sayings of the Prophet).

“A Muslim is he,” says the Prophet, “from whose hand no harm goes to another.” The whole idea has been covered by the following verse in the Qur-an :

Yea ! who ever submits himself entirely to Allah, and he is the doer of good to others, he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for him, nor shall he grieve (xi. 112).

OBJECTS OF RELIGION

Every child comes to this world without sin in its nature. He and his God, being at peace with each other, he does not stand in need of being reconciled to an angered Deity ; and therefore needs no inter­cession or atonement. He has been given the highest capability and his progress is potentially unlimited— so we read in the Qur-an :

Certainly we created man in the best make. Then we render him the lowest of the low. Except those who believe and do good, so they shall have a reward never to be cut off (xcv. 4, 5, 6).

The object of religion is to help its followers to work out what is noble and good in their nature. Religion therefore is not only the sum total of belief, but doctrines and tenets which should be translated into action.

A faith without action is a dead letter in Islam and carries no merit in the eyes of Allah.

We have wonderful potentialities reposed in our nature by the hand of God, so the Qur-an teaches ; and the best adoration or thanksgiving to God is to work them out to the benefit of our fellow-beings. We say prayers and glorify God, but if these actions of worship are not attended with any edifying of our­selves, they are of no value in Islam. Creed is of no consequence if unaccompanied by deed. Unless we actualize our asset in nature we are not glorifying Him, because we do not accomplish the grand object of our Creator.

Muhammad says :

  1. The Lord does not regard a prayer in which the heart does not accompany the body.
  2. He whom prayer preventeth not from wrongdoing and evil, increaseth in naught save in remoteness from the Lord.
  3. Adore God as you would if you saw Him ; for if you see Him not, He sees you.
  4. Pray to God morning and evening and employ the day in your avocations. Prayer brings the Faithful into Com­munion with his Cherisher.

“A man’s true wealth hereafter is the good he does in this world to his fellow-men. When he dies, people will say : What property has he left behind him ?

But the angels who examine him will ask : What good deeds hast thou sent before thee ? ” (Muhammad).

 

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Tek İlahî Din İSLÂM’dır

Tek Ä°DEAL YOL da.
Ä°slâm, Allah’ın yarattığı insanoÄŸluna ilk insan ve ilk peygamber Adem aleyhisselam’dan son peygamber Muhammed aleyhisselam’a ve bunların arasında gelmiÅŸ geçmiÅŸ bütün peygamberlere gönderdiÄŸi ve kıyamete kadar gelecek bütün insanlar için geçerli olan yegane ve tek dinin adıdır. “Ä°slâmiyyet”, son tevhîd dini olan, peygamberimize indirilen “Ä°slâm Dini”ni ifade eder. Allah’ın Ä°slâm’dan baÅŸka gönderdiÄŸi ve kabul ettiÄŸi baÅŸka bir din yoktur. Ama insanların kendi uydurdukları dinleri ile, kendilerine gönderilen peygamberlerinin aslı Ä°slâm olan dinlerini bozmuÅŸ olanların bozuk dinleri var ki, bu dinler artık ilâhî olmaktan çıkmış, insanların uydurdukları din halini almış, adına da yahudilik ve hıristiyanlık denmiÅŸtir. Yahudilik ve hırsitiyanlık bu halleriyle Allah’ın gönderdiÄŸi din deÄŸildirler. Bu nedenle de Ä°slâm son olarak peygamberimize gelmeden önce, kendilerine peygamberleri vasıtasıyla kitap gönderilmiÅŸ olanlara “ehl-i kitap”, yani  kendilerine Allah tarafından peygamberleri vasıtası ile vahiy indirilmiÅŸ, kitap veya sahife verilmiÅŸ kimselere denilmektedir. Adem aleyhisselam’dan sonra peygamberimize kadar kendilerine kitap veya sahife verilenler de  bu terkibin içine girmiÅŸ olsa da, Kur’an dışındaki ilahî kitaplarda yer almayan bu “ehl-i kitap” tabiriyle sadece yahudi ve hıristiyanlar kastedilmektedir. Kur’an’da geçen bu tabir bazen sadece yahudileri içine alır, bazen sadece hıristiyanları, bazen de her ikisini muhatap alır. Mezhep imamları, hakkında hüküm bulunmayan diÄŸer din mensuplarını da hüküm bakımından ehl-i kitap kapsamanında deÄŸerlendirmiÅŸlerdir.[1] Kur’an’ın bütünü ise, inanç bakımından hangi konumda olursa olsun, indiÄŸi günden itibaren gelmiÅŸ ve kıyamete kadar gelecek bütün insanlığı ve cinleri muhatap alır.
İslâm genel anlamda, Allah’a ve O’ndan gelenlere iman edip kayıtsız şartsız teslim olmaktır. Müslüman ise yüce Allah’ın gönderdiğine ve Resûlü Muhammed’in (sas.) bildirdiğine içtenlikle inanıp teslim olandır. Bütün ilâhî dinler, tevhid ve Allah’a teslimiyet itibariyle aslında İslâm ise de, hepsinin aslî özelliği değişikliğe uğramıştır ve gerçekliği kalmamıştır. Bundan dolayı Hz. Muhammed’in (sas.) getirdiği İslâm, Allahu Teâlâ’nın gönderdiği en son tevhid dinidir. İslâm/iyet, yalnız Allah ile kul arasında bir olay olmayıp sosyal ve hukukî esaslarıyla hem dünya hem de âhiret saadetini temin eden ve kaynağını Kur’an’dan alan ilâhî bir dindir. İslâmiyet, içine aldığı iman, ibadet, ahlâk, muâmelât ve ceza hükümleriyle bir bütündür. İslâm’ın esasları, tamamen Allah tarafından konulmuştur.
Kur’an bütün insanlığı muhatap alır, Kur’an ile insanlığın tek dini İslâm tamamlanmış, hayat tarzı olarak Allah bizim için İslâm’ı seçmiş ve İslâm ilahî din olarak son halini almış5/3, diğer peygamberler bir kavme veya bir beldeye gönderilirken, bir çok peygamber sadece İsrailoğullarına gönderilmişken, peygamberimiz bütün alemlere bir rahmet,21/107 bütün insanlığa şahit,48/8 müjdeci ve  apaçık22/49 uyarıcı bir peygamber34/28 olarak gönderilmiştir. Böylece diğer bütün peygamber ve kitapların geçerlilik süresi dolmuş, aslı ilâhî olsun olmasın bütün dinlerin hükmü kalmamıştır.
“Şüphe yok ki Allah katında hak din İslâm’dır. Ancak kitap verilen yahudi ve hıristiyanlar, kendilerine ilim geldikten sonra, aralarındaki ihtiras yüzünden ayrılığa düştüler.3/19 Ey Muhammed! Buna rağmen din işlerinde kimler seninle tartışmaya girişirlerse de ki: “Ben, bana uyanlarla birlikte kendimi Allah’a teslim ettim.” Kendilerine kitap verilenlerle, ümmîlere, yani kitabı olmayanlara/müşriklere de ki: “Siz de İslâm’ı kabul ettiniz mi?” Eğer hakka teslim olup İslâm’a girerlerse, muhakkak doğru yolu bulmuş olurlar. Yok eğer yüz çevirirlerse, artık senin üzerine düşen ancak duyurmaktır.3/20 Allah kendisinden başka hiçbir ilâhın olmadığına şehadet etmiş bildirmiştir. Melekler ve adaletli ilim sahipleri de dosdoğru bu gerçeğe iman ve ikrar ile şehadet ettiler: O’ndan başka ilâh yoktur.3/18 Onlar Allah’ın seçtiği İslâm dininden başkasını mı arıyorlar? Halbuki göklerde ve yerdekilerin hepsi ister istemez O’na teslim olmuşlardır ve ancak O’na döndürülüp götürüleceklerdir.3/83
Kur’an/İslâm geldikten sonra önceki din/kitap ve İslâm dışı ve karşıtı olarak çıkan bütün ideolojilerin hiçbir geçerliliği kalmamıştır. Çünkü İslâm’dan önceki dinler/kitaplar, birer kavme gelmiştir. Bunlardan elde bulunan Tevrat ve İncil de, hem sonraki asırlarda hatırlarda kalanlardan yazılmış hem de tahrif edilmiştir. Yahudi ve hıristiyanlar, Allah’a oğul isnad ederek şirke/küfre düşmüşler (5/17-18, 72-73; 9/30), yahudiler millî ilâh, hıristiyanlar da üçlü ilâh kabul etmişlerdir. Bundan dolayı da İbrâhimî, yani tevhide inacına dayalı din özelliğini kaybetmişlerdir. Yüce Allah cihanşümûl olarak bütün insanlara tevhid esası üzerine son olarak İslâm dinini/İslâmiyeti ve Kur’an’ı göndermiştir ki aslını aynen korumaktadır. Hıristiyanların, “Dinlerin kaynağı birdir; hangisi olsa Allah’a götürür.” şeklindeki diyalog çağrısında dinleri eşitmiş gibi göstererek, İslâm’ın özelliklerinden ve bilgisinden yoksun genç nesli hıristiyanlaştırmak veya hıristiyanca düşünmelerini sağlama çalışmaları vardır. Din bir tanedir, o da ilk ve son din İslâm’dır. Ancak İslâm’ı tebliğ için hıristiyan, yahudi hatta ateistle, yani her insanla diyalog kurulur.
De ki: “Allah’a, bize indirilen Kur’ân-ı Kerîm’e, İbrahim’e, İsmail’e, İshak’a, Yakub’a ve torunlarına indirilene; Musa’ya, İsa’ya ve peygamberlere Rableri tarafından verilenlere inandık. Onlardan hiçbirinin arasında Peygamber olmaları bakımından ayırım yapmayız, hepsi de haktır. Biz yalnız O’na teslim olanlarız.”3/84 Kim artık son  hak din İslâm’dan başka İlâhî veya beşerî  bir din arar onları önemserse asla ondan kabul edilmeyecek ve o, âhirette de hüsrana büyük zarara uğrayanlardan olacaktır.3/85
Âyet-i kerîmedeki İslâm’dan maksat, en son gönderilen, 3/84. âyette geçtiği üzere, önceki ilâhî dinlerin esaslarını kabul eden, aynı zamanda dünya ve âhiret için gereken esasları bildiren, yani hem ibadetlerin, hem sosyal hayatın gereken prensiplerini gösteren sosyal ve evrensel ilâhî bir din ve ilâhî bir hukuk sistemidir. Mahiyeti bozulmuş veya insan ürünü değildir. Buna rağmen bundan başka bir din aranması Allahu Teâlâ yanında geçersizdir. Ancak Allah’ın dinini beğenmeyenler kendilerine uygun gelen bir sınıf (grup ve millet) dini icat etmeye veya İslâm’ı kendilerine uydurmaya çalışırlar; müslüman ancak İslâm’a göre müslüman olur. Bundan dolayı müslümanlar başka bir din/sistem, ideoloji aramaya yönelmezler. Aksi halde Allah’ın onaylamadığı, reddettiği bir şeyi onaylamış ve onu beğenmiş olurlar. Ancak bütün dinlerin üstünde olan İslâm’ı tebliğ için veya dünya işlerine ait meselelerde diğer dinlere mensup insanlar arasında diyalog yani konuşma, anlaşma ve tebliğ olabilir.
İman edip Resûl’ün hak olduğuna şahitlik ettikten ve kendilerine kitaplarında apaçık deliller geldikten sonra küfre sapan bir kavmi, Allah nasıl hidayete eriştirir ve muvaffak kılar?! Allah zalimler topluluğunu hidayete erdirmez.3/89
Allah, bu Kitab’ı sana, hak ve hakikatin ta kendisi ile dolu ve kendinden evvelkilerin asıllarını tasdik edici olarak indirdi. Bundan önce, insanları doğru yola götürmek için Tevrat’ı ve İncil’i indirmişti ve nihayet Furkân’ı, hak ile batılı ayırt eden Kur’an’ı da indirdi.3/3-4
Allah, İsrâiloğulları’ndan sağlam bir söz almıştı.5/12 Verdikleri kat‘î sözlerini bozmaları sebebiyle onları lanetledi ve kalplerini kaskatı yaptı. Onlar Tevrat’ta gerek Resûl-i Ekrem’e, gerek diğer ahkâma ait kelimeleri, yerlerinden kaldırıp değiştirdiler.4/46 Onlar uyarıldıkları şeylerden nasiplenmeyi de unuttular, terkettiler, hevâlarına tâbi oldular.5/13 Yine Allah, “Biz hıristiyanız.” diyenlerden de peygamberleri aracılığı ile bildirilenlere uymaları için sağlam söz almıştı; onlar da uyarıldıkları şeylerden nasiplenmeyi unutup bıraktılar5/14, böylece ahitlerini ve yaşantılarını bozdular. Her iki grup da kitaplarını tahrif edip kitaplarında müjdelenen son peygamberi de reddettiler. Dinlerini fantazi haline getirdiler.
Bütün bu anlatılanladan sonra, nasıl olur da hala İslâm’ın dışındaki herhangi bir dine “ilâhî” din denebilir? Eğer deniyorsa bunda bir art niyet ve ihanet kokusu sezilmez mi? İbrahim aleyhisselam yahudi ve hristiyan olmadığı halde3/67 nasıl olurda İslâm ve İslâm’ın kendilerine gönderilen şeklini bozarak icad ettikleri insan yapımı yahudilik ve hıristanlığa “İbrahimî dinler” denebilir?
Ey iman edenler! Eğer Kitab verilen hıristiyan ve yahudilerden herhangi bir gruba uyarsanız, onların İslâm’a aykırı hallerini ve yaşayış şekillerini, plan ve programlarını benimseyip kendinizi onlara benzeme ve beğendirme tavrına ve yarışına girerseniz, iyi bilin ki onlar, sizi ve neslinizi imanınızdan ve mânevî değerlerinizden koparıp, birbirinize hasım yapar, sonra küfre/kâfirliğe döndürürler.3/100 Siz, onların batıl ve hükmü kalkmış dinlerine uyuncaya kadar yahudi ve hıristiyanlar sizden asla hoşnut olmayacaktır. Resûlüm! Onlara de ki: “Allah’ın hidayeti olan İslâm doğru yolun ta kendisidir.”2/120
Peygamberimiz Rabbinden kendisine indirileni elçilik görevi gereği tamamen tebliğ etti, bildirdi. Hıristiyan ve yahudilere: “Ey Ehl-i Kitab! Tevrat’ı, İncil’i ve Rabbinizden sizlere de indirilen Kur’an’a inanıp hükümlerini uygulayıncaya kadar din namına doğru hiçbir temel üzerinde değilsiniz.” dedi.5/67-68 Allah, bütün dinlerin üzerinde olduğunu göstermek için, Resûlü’nü, hem hidayet rehberi Kur’an ile hem de son hak din İslâm ile göndermiştir. Buna şâhit olarak da Allah yeter. Muhammed Allah’ın Resûlü’dür. Onunla beraber olan mü’minler, kâfirlere/İslâm karşıtlığı yapanlara karşı çok şiddetli, kendi aralarında ise çok şefkatlidirler.48/28-29
Selam hidayete, doÄŸruya, doÄŸru yola, Ä°DEAL YOL’a tabi olanlara…[2]
Mahmud Salih
27/4/2012

[1] Remzi Kaya, DÄ°A, “Ehl-i Kitap“, Ä°stanbul 1994, 10/517.
[2] Bu yazının hazırlanmasında, Hasan Tahsin Feyizli, Feyzü’l-Furkân Açıklamalı Kur’an Meali’nden ve açıklamalarından istifade edilmiştir. 2. Baskı, Server İletişim 2011.
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Being kind to neighbours

‘A’isha reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

Jibril (Gabriel) may Allah bless him and grant him peace, kept on recommending that I treat neighbours well until I thought that he would order me to treat them as my heirs.

[Adab al-Mufrad, Bukhari, Hadith 101]

*

Abu Shurayh al-Khuza’i reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should be good to his neighbours. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should be generous to his guest. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should be say what is good or be silent.

[Adab al-Mufrad, Bukhari, Hadith 102]

*

Mujahid reported that a sheep was slaughtered for ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr. He asked his slave, ‘Have you given any to our Jewish neighbour? Have you given any to our Jewish neighbour? I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘Jibril kept on recommending that I treat my neighbours well until I thought that he would order me to treat them as my heirs.’”

[Adab al-Mufrad, Bukhari, Hadith 105]

*

Ibn ‘Abbas told Ibn az-Zubayr, “I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say:

‘A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbour is hungry.'”

[Adab al-Mufrad, Bukhari, Hadith 112]

*

‘Amr ibn Mu’adh al-Ashhali reported that his grandmother said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

‘Believing women! Do not let any of you women disdain her female neighbour’s gift, even if it is only a burnt sheep’s hoof.'”

[Adab al-Mufrad, Bukhari, Hadith 122]

 

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Anahtar Kelimeler: Mürşid-i Kâmil

Harun Veli

Sevmek çok güzel, çok tatlı, çok faydalı bir duygudur; dermansızı ihya kılar, huzursuzu, müsterih ve bahtiyar eder; insana iksir gibi, vitamin gibi yarar, muazzam bir gayret ve şevk verir, içini enerji doldurur, zor şartlara sabır ve tahammül ettirir, azmi artırır gayeye varmada sebatkâr eyler; hayatta her işinde üstün başarılı olmasını sağlar.

Hele sevgi, güzellerin en güzeli, her türlü kemal ve cemalin sahibi, her cins güzelliÄŸin mucidi ve cümle güzelliklerin hâlıkı, âlemlerin Rabbı Allahu Teâlâ hazretlerine karşı olursa…

Hayattaki en büyük kazanç ve başarı mârifetullaha ve mahabbetullaha erebilmek ve böylece de Allahu Teâlâ hazretlerinin sevgisini ve rızasını kazanabilmektir. En büyük insan, Allah’ı en çok seven ve O’nun tarafından en çok sevilen insandır.[1]

MürÅŸid-i kâmiller, Peygamber-i zîşânımız Muhammed-i Mustafâ (sallallahu aleyhi ve âlihî ve selleme teslîmen kesîrâ) hazretlerinin gerçek vârisleri, Ãœmmet’in mübarek baÅŸkanları ve mânevî sultanlarıdır; müritlere de onların anne ve babalarından daha yakın ve daha müşfiktirler. Anne ve babalar insanı dünyada korur ve büyütür; mürÅŸid-i kâmiller ise onlara iman hakikatlerini öğreterek, ebedî saadet yollarını göstererek, nefislerini ıslah ettirip felaha erdirir, iki cihanda aziz ve bahtiyar, ber-murâd u berhudâr olmalarını saÄŸlarlar; kötü huylar ve hallerden temizleyip, insân-ı kâmil, ârif-i vâsıl, âşık-ı sâdık eyler; böylece topluma da çok iyi niyetli, çok mükemmel yetiÅŸmiÅŸ insanlar kazandırarak, milletin maddeten ve mânen ilerlemesine, yücelmesine, güçlenip kuvvetlenmesine sebep olurlar. Onlar ilim ve irfan kaynakları, mârifet ve hakikat hazineleridir. Onların kadr ü kıymetini bilen kazanır, iki cihanda kârlı çıkar, felah bulur, kurtulur… Onların kıymetini görmeyen, kadrini takdir edemeyen mahrum kalır, hâib ü hâsır, müflis ü mutazarrır, piÅŸmân u perişân olur.

Böyle, evliyâullah ve salihîni sevmek, dinin ve imanın gereğidir, Allah ve Resûlullah aşkının devamı, ferve sonucudur. Bu ince sırra binaen o tevazu sultanı, hüsn-i huluk şâhı, kemâlât timsali, iman ve ahlâkın nadide misali Muhammed-i Mustafâ (sallallahu aleyhi ve âlihî ve sellem) Efendimiz sahih bir hadîs-i şerîfinde;

“Nefsim elinde olan Rabbime yemin ederim ki siz, beni babanızdan, evladınızdan ve bütün diğer sevdiğiniz insanlardan daha da çok sevmedikçe gerçek mü’min olamazsınız!”[2] buyurmuştur.

Evet, Peygamberimiz’i ve onun vârisleri olan evliyâullahı sevmek gerektiÄŸinden biz de ÅŸeyhimizi çok seviyoruz, hasreti kalbimizi günden güne daha çok yakıyor. Onun aziz hatırasına ne yapsak azdır diye düşünüyoruz. Ä°nÅŸaallah Türkiye’yi, Asya’yı, Avrupa’yı, Afrika’yı, Amerika’yı, Avustralya’yı hatta dünyayı, fezayı Kotku dergâhlarıyla, ilim ve irfan merkezleriyle dolduracağız; camiler, okullar, yurtlar, kolejler açacağız; parklar, bahçeler, korular tesis edeceÄŸiz; çeÅŸmeler, köprüler, yollar yaptıracağız, kütüphaneler kuracağız, kitaplar yayınlayacağız, yeni yeni radyo televizyon müesseseleri açacağız. Hep Allah rızası için Resûlullah Efendimiz’in aÅŸkıyla, evliyâullah hürmetiyle, ümmete hizmet duygusuyla… Ta ki herkes ilmin, irfanın, Åžerî’at-ı garrânın, yüce Kur’an’ın, pak tasavvufun, güzel ahlâkın, maddî ve mânevî kemâlâtın deÄŸerini, önemini gözden kaçırmasın, gafil ve cahil kalmasın, dünyada ve âhirette meyus ve mahrum olmasın diye…[3]

Hocamız’ı seven, tekkemize sadık ve vefakâr bir mürit olarak yapabileceğimiz en güzel işlerden biri de kendimizi mânevî yönden düzene sokmaktır; zikirleri muntazam yapmak, haramlardan ve günahlardan şiddet ve dikkatle kaçınmak; ibadât ve taat, hayrât ve hasenâtımızı halisâne yapmak hem bizzat kendimize fayda verir, hem de kazandığımız sevapların bir misli aynen Hocamız’a gider, onun defterine de yazılır; çünkü bizler o mübarek Hocamız’ın bendeleri, mürit ve talebeleriyiz, âdeta onun sadaka-i câriyesi durumundayız.[4]

Allah (celle celâlüh) hazretlerinin sevgisi ve rızası, O’na isyan ederek, günah işleyerek kazanılamaz. Efendimiz, rehberimiz, serverimiz, nûmûne-i imtisâlimiz Hz. Muhammed (sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem) Allah’ın en sevgili kulu ve en yüce peygamberi olduğundan, bizim de Allah’ın sevgilisi olabilmek için ona, o mübarek Resûl’e, en güzel şekilde ittiba ve iktida etmemiz, yegâne salah ve felah yoludur, başka çıkar yol yoktur.

O çok zahidâne, çok dervişâne bir hayat sürmüştür, çok fazla ibadet ve taat kılmıştır, çok takvalı hareket etmiştir, çok müeddep ve çok mükemmeldir, çok yüksek ahlâk sahibidir. Ümmeti onu örnek aldığı için mutasavvıf olmuştur. Çünkü o dervişlerin şahı, müttakîlerin önderi, zahitlerin serveri, edep ve ahlâk menbaı, ariflerin sultanı, âşıkların cananıdır. Tarikatler, onun tarîkât-ı Muhammediyye’sinin devamı ve dallarıdır; şeyhler ve mürşid-i kâmiller, onun baktığı gülzârın gülleridir; ulemâ-yı muhakkikîn o yüce peygamberin mânevî vârisleridir, meşâyih-i vâsılîn onun irşad makamının memurlarıdır.

Kul Resûlullah’a uydu, kullukta ilerledi mi Mevla onu kerâmetlere erdirir; onun, gören gözü, işiten kulağı, söyleyen dili, tutan eli, yürüyen ayağı olur; ona yardım eder, duasını kabul buyurur, işini rast getirir, türlü türlü maddî, mânevî nimetlere, ikramlara, makamlara erdirir. Ondan acayip, harikulade haller zuhura gelir, cümle halk bu işlere şaşar kalır. O mübarek şahıs, o asırda zamanın evliyâsı, kutbu, gavsı olur; Resûlullah’ın (sas.) vâris-i hakikîsi ve halîfe-i mânevîsi, ümmetin önderi, mü’minlerin serveri ve rehberi olur. Halkın ona ittibası ve itaati lâzım gelir, ittiba etmeyen “cahiliye ölümü” ile ölür; bu cihana âmâ gelip âmâ gider.[5]

Alimler, “Nur saçan kandillerdir.”; çünkü Kur’ân-ı Kerîm’den ve Hz. Peygamber’den aldıkları feyizle çevrelerini aydınlatır, karanlığı, küfrü, şirki, cahilliği, gafilliği, şaşkınlığı, sapıklığı, çarpıklığı, bozukluğu izale eder; halka, imanı, İslâm’ı, hakkı, hayrı, doğruyu, iyiyi, güzeli, sahihi, sağlamı gösterir ve öğretirler.

“Peygamberlerin halifeleridirler.”; o halde tüm ümmetin ve halkın onlara itaat ve ittiba etmeleri, tâbi olmaları vazgeçilmez şarttır. Tarih boyunca da ümmet-i Muhammed’in müttakîleri, salihleri, samimileri, gerçek din alimlerine tâbi olmuş, onlara biat ve intisap etmiş, onların emrinde çalışmış, onların gösterdiği yolda yürümüş, böylece dünya ve âhiret saadetine nail olmuştur. Ümmetin gerçek halifeleri, o mübarek ulemâ-i ârifîn ve meşâyih-i vâsılîndir, zalim ve despot siyasîler değil!

Nice imanlı ve insaflı, aklı başında mü’minler, devlet adamları, emirler, vezirler, hatta padişahlar gelip onlara bağlanmış, ellerini öpmüş, dualarını talep etmiş, buyruklarını tutmuş; onları kendilerine rehber edinmiş, kendilerini onların emrinde ve hizmetinde bilmiştir. Mesela, Sultan Ahmed’in, Azîz Mahmûd-i Hüdâî’ye intisap edip bağlılık sözü vermiş olduğu, hatta saltanatı bile terk etmeyi istediği, fakat şeyhinin ona, bu hizmete devam etmesini emreylemesi üzerine padişahlığa devam ettiği meşhurdur.[6]

 


[1] Mahmud Esad COŞAN, Başmakaleler 2, Aralık 1992, Zaferin Sırrı, http://www.iskenderpasa.com/4A860D78-FDAE-4C5C-B0A8-BE593C17C2B9.aspx , erişim, 24/06/2011.

[2] Buhari, İman 7; Müslim, İman 70.
[3] Mahmud Esad COŞAN, Başmakaleler 2, Ocak 1995, Sadık İhvanımızın Halis Hizmetleri, http://www.iskenderpasa.com/752F06C0-0FF3-46EC-AC34-A9D1EAEBE600.aspx erişim 24/06/2011.

[4] Mahmud Esad COŞAN, Başmakaleler 2, Kasım 1994, Mübarek Hocamız Mehmed Zahid Kotku (ks.) Hazretleri İçin Yapılan Güzel Çalışmalar, http://www.iskenderpasa.com/BFB4C3EA-6A17-45BC-B1CC-FA1AFB1D5D75.aspx 24/06/2011
[5] Mahmud Esad COÅžAN, BaÅŸmakaleler 1, Åžubat 1997, Tasavvuf ve Tarikatin Hakikati, http://www.iskenderpasa.com/6EDF7EE5-67DC-4611-A020-9BEC1D26F11C.aspx eriÅŸim 24/06/2011.
[6] Mahmud Esad COŞAN, Başmakaleler 1, Ocak 1990, Din Alimlerinin Tartışılmaz Değeri ve Üstünlüğü, http://www.iskenderpasa.com/D777C53B-73BD-4C7C-96C8-2C445DC9CA84.aspx erişim 24/06/2011.
eriÅŸim

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Tüm Yazılar Türkçe

Hakikati Arayan Adam

SELMAN-I FARÄ°SÄ° *

Kaynak: Sahabe Hayatından Tablolar, Dr. Abdurrahman Re’fet el Bâşa, terc. Dr. Taceddin Uzun, İslam Dergisinin Hediyesi, Baskı yılı bilinmiyor, c.1 s.87-92

Not: Parantez içindeki italik kısımlar, konunun, “kritik ve analitik düşünme” yaklaşımıyla okunması için eklenmiÅŸtir.

Bu hikâyemiz, hakikat peÅŸinde koÅŸup, Allah’ı arayan kimsen hikâyesidir… Selman-ı Farisi’nin hikâyesidir… Bize hikâyesini anlatması için sözü Selman’a bırakalım… Çünkü bu hikâyeyi en iyi ve en doÄŸru ÅŸekilde anlatacak odur.

Selman şöyle anlatmıştı:

—İsfehan’ın Ceyhan köyünden İranlı bir genç idim. Babam bu köyün ağası ve sözü en çok geçen kişisi idi.

Ben doğduğum günden itibaren, babamın dünyada en çok sevdiği kimseydim.

Gün geçtikçe, babamın bana olan sevgisi artıyordu, benim üzerime titriyor ve beni adeta kız gibi eve kapatıyordu.

Mecusiliğe o kadar kendimi vermiştim ki, taptığımız ateşin bakıcısı olmuştum. Gece gündüz

Hiç sönmeyen ateşin yakılma işi bana verilmişti.

Babamın büyük bir çiftliği vardı. Devamlı onunla meşgul olur, gelirini toplardı.

Bir defasında köye gidemedi ve bana şöyle dedi:

—’’Oğlum! Görüyorsun çiftliği ihmal ettim. Bari sen git de oranın işiyle ilgilen.’’

Çiftliğe gitmek amacıyla yola çıktım. Yolda bir kiliseye rastladım. Orada ibadet eden Hıristiyanların seslerini duydum ve bu dikkatimi çekti. (Merak)

****

Babamın uzun süre beni başkalarıyla görüştürmemesi sebebiyle ne Hıristiyanlar ne de diğer dinlere inananlar hakkında bir bilgim vardı. (Bilmediğini bilmek)

Sesleri duyunca ne yaptıklarını seyretmek için oraya girdim. Onları iyice anlayıp dinleyince, (ikna olmak) dua ve ibadetleri hoşuma gitti ve dinlerine girmeyi arzu ettim.(daha iyiyi kabul) Kendi kendime şöyle dedim:

—‘‘Bu din bizimkinden daha iyi’’. (kıyas) Oradan ayrıldığımda güneş batmıştı. Tabii babamın çiftliğine de gitmemiştim. Onlara:

—‘‘Bu dinin asıl yurdu neresidir? (esas kaynaktan öğrenme) Diye sordum. Onlar:

—‘‘Suriye’dedir.’’ Diye cevap verdiler. Akşam olunca eve döndüm. Babam ne yaptığımı sordu:

—‘‘Babacığım! Ben kiliselerinde ibadet eden bazı insanlarla karşılaştım. Onların dinleri hoşuma gitti. Yanlarında güneş batıncaya kadar kaldım.’’ dedim. Babam yaptığımdan korkup dedi ki:

—‘‘Yavrum! Bu din iyi değildir. Senin ve atalarının dini ondan daha iyidir.’’ Bende:

—‘‘Hayır, onların dini bizim dinimizden daha iyi’’ dedim. (daha iyiyi bulunca kötüyü red) Babam söylediklerimden ve dinimden döneceğimden beni eve hapsetti ve ayaklarımı bağladı.

****

Bir fırsatını bulunca Hıristiyanlara şöyle bir haber gönderdim:

—‘‘Size, Suriye’ye gitmek isteyen bir kafile geldiğinde bana haber veriniz’’

Az bir süre sonra, onlara Suriye’ye gitmek üzere yola çıkmış bir kervan uğrayınca, bana haber verdiler, bir yolunu bulup ayaklarımın bağını çözdüm. Gizlice onlarla birlikte yola çıktım ve nihayet Suriye’ye geldik. Suriye’ye varınca. Bilgi bakımından bu dinin mensuplarından en kuvvetlisi kimdir diye sordum: (esas kaynağa yönelme, söylentiye itibar etmeme)

—‘‘Kilisenin idarecisi başpapazdır’’ dediler. Onun yanına gittim.

—‘‘Ben Hıristiyan olmayı arzu ediyorum, senin yanında kalmayı, sana hizmet etmeyi, senden bilgi edinmeyi ve burada ibadet etmeyi istiyorum.’’ Dedim. (bilgi öğrenme, öğrendiğini yaşama) O da:

—‘‘Yanımda kal’’ dedi. Ben de onun yanında kaldım ve ona hizmet etmeye başladım. Bir müddet sonra, adamın kötü birisi olduğunu anladım.(gözlem)

Adam dindaşlarına sadaka vermelerini istiyor ve onları sevap kazanmaya teşvik ediyordu. Ama o Allah rızası için verilen sadakaları alıp kendisi için saklıyordu. Fakir ve yoksullara hiçbir şey vermiyordu. Tam yedi küp altın biriktirmişti. Gördüklerim hiç hoşuma gitmemişti. Adam bir müddet sonra öldü. Hıristiyanlar onu defnetmek için toplandılar. Onlar dedim ki.

—‘‘Dostunuz kötü bir kişiydi. Sizin sadaka vermenizi ister ve sizi sevap kazanmaya teşvik ederdi. Fakat ona sadakaları getirdiğinizde kendisi için ayırıp saklar, yoksullar hiçbir şey vermezdi.’’(körü körüne bağlılık değil, gözlemleme ve sonuç)

—‘‘Bunu nereden anladın?’’ dediler. Ben de:

—‘‘Verdiklerinizi sakladığı yeri size gösterebilirim.’’ Dedim.(zan değil, delillere dayanma) Onlar:

—‘‘Haydi, orayı göster.’’ Dediler. Onların verdiklerini sakladığı yeri gösterdim. Oradan altın ve gümüş dolu yedi küp çıkardılar.

—‘‘Biz de bu adamı gömmeyiz.’’ Dediler ardından da çarmıha gerip taşladılar.(doğruluk, halis niyet; doğruluk olmasa ve niyet bozuk olsa idi altın ve gümüşlerin üzerine kendisi konardı)

Kısa zaman sonra, onun yerine başka birini tayin ettiler. Ben de ona tabi oldum. Dünyada ondan daha dindar, ahirete ondan daha düşkün, gece gündüz ondan daha çok ibadet eden hiç kimse görmemiş ve onu çok sevmiştim. (gözlem) Uzun zaman onun yanında kaldım. Ölüm döşeğine düşünce, ona dedim ki:

—‘‘Ey Falanca! Beni kime bırakacaksın? Ne yapmamı emrediyorsun?’’ (doğruyu arama ) Bana:

—‘‘Oğlum benim gibi sadece Musul’da oturan birisini biliyorum. O dinini değiştirmemiştir ve ahlakını bozmamıştır. Sen ona git’’ dedi.

O da ölünce Musul’daki kişiye gittim(halis niyet doğruyu arama). Ona başımdan geçenleri anlatıp şöyle dedim:

—‘‘Falan şahıs ölürken bana, senin yanına gelmemi tavsiye etti ve senin hakk üzerinde olduğunu söyledi.’’ O da:

—‘‘Peki, yanımda kal’’ dedi. Ben de onun yanında kaldım. Onun iyi bir kimse olduğunu anladım ama çok geçmedi o da öldü. Ölüm yatağına düştüğünde:

—Ey Falanca! İşte Allah’ın emri sana geldi. Sen benim durumumu biliyorsun. Beni kime bırakıyorsun ne yapmamı emrediyorsun?’’ dedim. O da:

—‘‘Oğlum. Bizim gibi Nusaybin’de oturan falan şahsı biliyorum. Onun yanına git.’’ Dedi. O da toprağa verilince, Nusaybin’deki şahsın yanına gittim.(halis niyet doğruyu arama) Başımdan geçenleri ve bundan önceki kişinin tavsiyesini ona anlattım. Bana:

—‘‘Peki, burada kal.’’ Dedi. Ben de onun yanına yerleştim. Onun da Suriyeli ve Musullu zatlar iyi birisi olduğunu gördüm. Çok geçmedi o da öldü.

Ölmeden önce:

—‘‘Oğlum, bizim gibi Ammuriye’deki falan şahsı biliyorum.’’ Dedi. Onun da yanına gittim ve başımdan geçenleri ona da anlattım. O da:

—‘’Peki. Yanımda kal.’’ Dedi. Öncekiler gibi doğru yolda olan bu şahsın yanında kaldım. Orada birkaç inek ve küçük bir davar sürüsü edindim.

Çok geçmeden öncekilerin başına gelen onun da başına geldi. Ölmek üzereyken dedim ki:

—‘‘Benim durumumu biliyorsun, bana kimi tavsiye edersin, ne yapmamı emredersin?’’ O da bana şunları söyledi:

—‘‘Oğlum! Yeryüzünde bizim inandığımıza bağlı bir insanın kaldığını zannetmiyorum. Fakat Arabistan’da bir peygamberin çıkacağı zaman yaklaşmıştır. O İbrahim’in diniyle gönderilecek, sonra kendi yurdundan iki siyah dağ arasında hurmaları bulunan bir yere hicret edecek. Onun gizli olmayan Peygamberlik alametleri vardır. Hediye kabul eder, sadaka kabul etmez. İki omzunun arasında peygamberlik mührü vardır. (bilgi)Eğer bu ülkeye gidebilirsen git.’’ Nihayet ecel onu da aldı. Ondan sonra Kelb kabilesinden bazı tacirler Ammuriye’ye uğrayıncaya kadar orada kaldım. Onarla:

—‘‘Eğer beni de Arabistan’a götürürseniz şu ineklerimi ve şu küçük davar sürümü size veririm.’’ (halis niyet, dünya malını hakikat için terk) dedim. Onlar da:

—‘‘Tamam, seni götürelim.’’ Dediler. Onlara ineklerimle davarlarımı verdim beni de yanlarına aldılar. Vadi’l-Kura (Medine ile Şam arasında bir vadi) denilen bir yere geldiklerinde sözlerinden dönüp beni Yahudilerden birine sattılar. Böylece o Yahudinin hizmetine geçmiş oldum.(zorluklara tahammül, sabır, katlanma, azim, kararlılık)

Bir müddet sonra, Kureyza oğullarından olan amcaoğlu onun ziyaretine geldi ve beni satın alıp Yesrib’e götürdü. Ammuriye’deki zatın dediği hurma ağaçlarını gördüm. Anlattığı özellikleriyle Medine’yi tanıdım.(bilgiyi kullanma) Onun yanında kaldım.

O günlerde Peygamber (sav) Mekke’de kavmini İslam’a davet ediyordu. Fakat ben köle olarak bir sürü işte çalıştırıldığımdan O’nun adını duymamıştım.

Kısa bir süre sonra Rasulullah (sav) Yesrib’e hicret etti. Ben hurma ağacını tepesinde efendimin emrettiği işleri yapıyor, efendim de ağacın altında oturuyorken ansızın yanına amcasının oğlu geldi ve:

—‘‘Allah Evs’le Hazrec’i kahretsin! Onlar şu anda, peygamber olduğunu iddia eden ve bugün Mekke’den gelen bir adam için Kuba’da toplanıyorlar.’’ Bu sözleri duyar duymaz ve öyle sarsıldım ki, efendimin üstüne düşmekten korktum. Hemen hurma ağacından indim ve o adama şöyle dedim:

—‘‘Ne diyorsun? Verdiğin haberi tekrar etsene…’’ efendim kızıp beni sille tokat dövmeye başladı.(Hakikate ulaşmada duyulan heyecan, zevk ve telaş)

—‘‘Bundan sana ne? Haydi, işine bak.’’ dedi.

****

Akşam olunca topladığım hurmalardan biraz aldım. Rasulullah’ın kaldığı yere götürdüm. Huzuruna girip şöyle dedim:

—‘‘Ben Sen’in dürüst bir kimse olduğunu duydum. Senin muhtaç ve göçmen arkadaşların var. Bendeki şu hurmalar sadakadır. Bu sadakaya en layık sizi gördüm.’’ Sonra hurmaları ona yaklaştırdım. Ashabına:

—‘‘Sizler yiyim’’ dedi, ama kendisi elini uzatıp bir lokma bile yemedi. İçimden dedim ki:

—‘‘Bu bir..’’ (bilgiyi kullanma, tahkik) Yanından ayrılıp, yine hurma toplamaya başladım. Rasulullah (sav) Kuba’dan Medine’ye gelince yanına gidip şöyle dedim:

—‘‘Ben senin sadaka yemediğini gördüm. Şu hediyedir. Sana ikram ediyorum.’’ Rasulullah (sav) bu defa yedi ve ashabına da yemelerini emretti.

—‘‘Bu ikincisi…’’ dedim. (bilgiyi kullanma, tahkik) Bakiü’l-Garkad’dayken (Medine’de bir yer. Mezarlık yapılmıştır.) Rasulullah (sav) ‘a geldim. Oraya ashabından birini gömüyordu. Baktım ki oturuyor. Üzerinde iki kat elbise vardı. Selam verdim. Ammuriye’deki zatın söylediği peygamberlik mührünü belki görürüm diye sırtına bakarak etrafında dolaşmaya başladım. Rasulullah (sav) kendisinin sırtına baktığımı görünce ne istediğimi anladı ve sırtından elbisesini attı. Ben de sırtına bakıp mührü gördüm ve tanıdım. Hem öperek hem de ağlayarak üzerine kapandım. (bilgiyi kullanma, tahkik ve doğruya teslimiyet) Rasulullah (sav) dedi ki:

—‘‘Sen nerden biliyorsun?’’ Başımdan geçenleri anlattım. Hoşuna gitti ve ashabının da duymasını istedi. Onlara da anlattım. Şaşırdılar ve memnun oldular.

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English

What is Islam

Bismillâhir rahmânir rahîm.

Dear Guests, Brothers and Sisters! May the peace, grace and blessings of Almighty Allah be with you in this life and in the hereafter. May endless peace and prayers be with His chosen servant Muhammad Mustafa.

I would like to talk on an important topic: Islam–a perfect belief, its characteristics and orders, and the responsibilities on Muslims.

The most important topic of all is religion because other topics would only matter in this life, in a limited way. For example, some topics would be limited to the nature or health. On the other hand the religion is concerned with life in this world and in the hereafter.

The Earth is a small object in the endless space. There is a colossal difference between the Earth and the entire space. Likewise, the length of this life is so insignificant when compared to the length of the life in the hereafter. For this reason, a matter which is concerned with the life in the hereafter is the most important matter of all.

This is a matter that concerns all mankind and all societies. In every society, a system of belief has been formed as described by the history of religions. There have been religions that can be classified in various ways. There are the heavenly religions as well as invented religions. When the beliefs are studied, one can see that mankind put their beliefs on many different objects that sound quite strange for the man of Twentieth Century. For instance, people in ancient Egypt and India worshipped the cow, which sounds quite droll for us. In ancient Persia, some people worshipped Sun; some people in Japan still worship it, too. Despite their advancement in technology, they still believe that the Japanese Emperor is the son of Sun. It puzzles one whether he should laugh at them or feel sorry for them. It is amazing in the name of knowledge, science, technology and the Twentieth Century.

I had seen it on television that there are people who worship the cobra snake. They have a shrine with statues of cobras at the gate. These people collect cobras from the fields and worship them despite the fact that thousands of people die of cobra bites.

There were people among Hittites and in India who worshipped sexual organs. There are also people who idolize their heroes, worship nature, trees, mountains or stars. In brief, there is a system of belief in every society.

The character and the quality of the belief are very important. The presence of a belief does not suffice; it has to be of a high quality. For instance, the man of the Twentieth Century praises the intelligence and logic. The intelligence is respected by all, yet there are as many intelligence and logic as the number of people which lead each person to different actions some of which are not acceptable at all. That is why our elderly described the good intelligence and logic as “aql-i selim–the sound intelligence” (common sense).

Not all intelligence and logic are acceptable. As Nasruddin Khawaja put it, “I invented eating yogurt with onion, but I did not like it myself, either.” A person could come up with an idea, yet not all ideas would be acceptable or well received.

There is also dhawk (sense of taste, pleasure, appreciation) of each person. We say “The dhawks and colors are not to be discussed,” but there is the dhawk-i selim–good taste. The appreciation of an artist would be definitely much different from the appreciation of an elementary school student or of a novice.

There is his–perception and sense which differs person to person. And of course there is the good common sense.

Likewise, there are beliefs of many kinds, and the quality of the belief is important.
As we study the history of religions and inquire about the beliefs of nations such as the Americans, the British, the Europeans and the Japanese, who are well advanced in the science and technology, we see unfortunately that they are not as much logical in that aspect. Some elements in their belief are not acceptable at all.

When I was in the military service, one of the generals called me to his office. He treated me as an associate professor of theology not as a second lieutenant under his command. Respectfully he asked me: “Professor, I am wondering why the Turks accepted Islam?”

From the tone of his voice, I understood that he was quite upset about Islam. As though he was saying: “I wish we were Christians. We observe in Europe and in the United States that they drink wine, they have hardly any limits on the relationships between men and women. Why did our ancestors accept Islam? Couldn’t they accept another religion?”

I responded: “Our ancestors accepted Islam not because of the geographical or social conditions that brought them face to face with Islam but with their choice after studying all the beliefs that were present at their time.”

They knew about Tibet and Dalai Lama. They were familiar with Brahmanism and Buddhism. They were rulers in China and knew their beliefs well. Their ancestors believed in Shamanism, and they met Christianity in the North of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. We have ancient texts such as Codecus Comanicus to prove such contacts. Some tribes accepted the Christianity; there are reports that the Gagauz are descendants of the Turks who accepted Christianity. The Caspian Turks met with Jews and accepted Judaism. Having seen all of these beliefs, the Turks, as the rulers of the land, accepted Islam. They did so because Islam was in harmony with life. They realized that Islam had the best principles about governing a country and for the interpersonal relationships in the society. They saw that Islam made the family and individual healthy and strong physically and spiritually.

Because he was a military officer, I pointed to a military aspect of Islam: “You cannot find a better religion from the military point of view. In Islam being a soldier is a blessed and holy occupation. Being on the guard duty is a form of worship. Islam instills the ideal of giving up one’s own life for protecting the peace and harmony behind the borders of the country. You cannot find such values in other religions.”

The regiment commander who was present there said: “General, I have been to Rome as a military attaché and I observed them. They have contradictions and refutable elements in their beliefs.” The general must have been quite impressed with my response, for he has been sending me cards on holidays. Well that was the truth about Islam.

Our forefathers did not find themselves in the middle of Islam like a leaf blown by the wind. They were not drifted to Islam by the unfolding social events of their times. They did not say, “Well, this is our kismet; let’s become Muslims.” Instead, they investigated, studied, and compared the religions and decided to practice Islam. As they deepen their search, their ties to Islam got stronger.

They ruled sections of India. They noticed nearly four hundred sects of Muslims there and tried to unite them. They also ruled Iran and tried to resolve the disagreement between the Shia and the Sunni. They upheld the knowledge and practiced what they knew. They loved Islam so much that they served the mankind for the sake of Allah. Despite the oppositions, they held tight to the principles of Islam.

Islam provides the necessary essentials for the eternal bliss; that is why it is beneficial to be a practicing Muslim. Islam protects our individual health by ordering bodily cleanliness, such as taking a bath everyday or once a week, clipping the nails, brushing the teeth, and other details. Islam considers the family sacred, elevates the ranks of parents, and states that obeying the parents is very rewarding in the hereafter.

Islam is beneficial for the happiness of the family, the happiness of the individual, and the happiness and the order in the society. We do not uphold Islam with a materialist approach just for these benefits only; we are not the traders of the hereafter. We upheld Islam just because it is an order from Almighty Allah. A materialist approach may state, “the religion is beneficial to the society and it provides physical and spiritual health for the individual, so it must be supported.” We get all of these as the byproducts.

We are religious people because we comprehend the existence and unity of Allah with our judgment and conscience. We upheld His orders because they are from Him. There are countless benefits resulting from obeying these orders. Yet, we would keep His orders even if it would mean material loss for us. Our spirituality is elevated to a level that we obey Allah (fil makrahi wal manshati) in what is pleasing and in what is not so pleasing to our nafs. We give not only our property or belongings but also our lives when necessary. This has been demonstrated throughout the history.

At our time, traveling restrictions have been relaxed, and communication systems have been expanded. We face many different cultures of people in various parts of the world. Everyday we use our judgment and make comparisons. We compare our society and life style with those of Europeans and Americans. We hear the criticism of non-Muslims; we witness the attacks of anti-Islamic forces. All of this strengthens our faith just as the iron hammered on an anvil becoming steel.

As we seek knowledge through reading, we become believers. As we read more, we become more religious. As a western man of thought put it, “the man of the west distances himself from religion because he finds discrepancies and contradictions.” Yet we Muslims become more attached to Islam as we seek more information. We used to see practicing Muslim scientists, professors and other knowledgeable people and get real happy for their being religious. I believe it would make the youth happy to see such personages, too. Alhamdulillah!

Islam, our religion, did not start with our beloved Prophet Muhammad; in fact, it goes back to the first man, Hadrat Adam. It is stated in the Qur’an that the prophets before Prophet Muhammad followed Islam:

(An-nabiyyun-al-ladhîna eslemû) “… the prophets who had entered Islam ….” Prophet Abraham, Prophet Noah, Prophet Moses and all were Muslims, too. That means that the truth has been the same since Hadrat Adam: Believing in Allah alone, submitting to His will alone, and trusting in Him alone.

In fact, “Islam” means submission to the Will of Allah and accepting his orders. It means worshipping Allah alone and not associating anything with Him. This is what the previous prophets did.

Prophet Noah said:

(Rabbi innî da’awtu qawmî laylan wa nahârâ) Oh My Lord, I have invited my people to the right path by day and by night; I have told them not to worship idols. (Falam yazidhum du’âî illâ firârâ) Yet my invitation has only increased them in flight. They stayed away from me. (Wa ennî kullemâ da’awtuhum litaghfiralahum ja’alû esâbi’ahum fî âdhânihim) And whenever I called them to tell the truth, they put their fingers in their ears.”

We also know that Prophet Abraham told his people: “Why do you worship the idols that you make with your own hands? By Allah, I shall assuredly outwit your idols.” In fact he destroyed the idols people worshipped (Qur’an 21:51-57).

Prophet Moses, too, invited people to the truth. He opposed the Pharaoh when he said: “I am the only Lord for you! The land of Egypt and the river of Nile belong to Me. You shall worship Me alone, for I am your Lord.” Prophet Moses invited the Pharaoh to the truth and fought with him. Prophet Moses also chastised some of his people who started worshipping a statue of a calve. After returning from the Mount Sinai, he saw that some people, in continuance of the practices they had in Egypt, made a golden statue of a calve to worship. He grabbed the beard and head of his brother Hadrat Aaron:

(Yabna umma lâ ta’khuz bilihyatî wa lâ bira’sî) “O son of my mother! Take me not by the beard or by the head. I warned them, but they did not listen to me!” In other words, Prophet Moses and his brother Hadrat Aaron invited people to the truth, believing in the existence and the unity of Allah.

It is also stated in the Qur’an that Prophet Jesus will say [on the day of Judgement]: “My Lord! You would know if I had done something other that what You ordered me to. I told them whatever You ordered me. I told them (u’budullàhe rabbî wa rabbekum) ‘Worship Allah who is my Lord and your Lord.’ My Lord, I never said “worship me and my mother.’” (Qur’an 5: 116-117)

That means Islam is the truth originated with the first man. The Qur’an is the essence of all previous revelations to the prophets:

(Fîhâ kutubun qayyimah) “It contains the message of the previous books.”

(Inne hâdhâ lafis suhufil ûlâ; suhufi ibrâhime wa mûsâ) “The truth described here is surely in the ancient scrolls, the scrolls of Prophet Abraham and Prophet Moses.” Some suras have information about this fact.

This indicates that Islam is the religion of mankind; it was like that then and it is like that now. It is the religion to unite the mankind because it acknowledges all of the prophets. Islam certifies the prophethood of them. If Islam did not acknowledge them, everybody would have doubts about them. Prophet Muhammad is the last of the prophets, the seal of the prophets; he had authenticated the previous prophets. Just like a notary public authenticating a document or a statement, he authenticated that Hadrat Jesus was a prophet of Allah and that Hadrat Abraham was a prophet of Allah.

Christians are not aware of this fact. They do not know that Muslims accept the prophets whom are accepted by Christians. This fact is not conveyed to them.

It is clear that Islam unifies the prophets, and the Glorious Qur’an contains the truth of all heavenly religions. Whatever is needed for the mankind, it is included in the Qur’an.

The teachings of Islam reached us without alteration. The life of the Prophet, his words, his actions, his private life, his family life, his social life, his political life, his expeditions, and everything else about him was recorded with painstaking attention of scientific methods. A western scholar acknowledged this fact: “There is no other person whose life has been established in such detail.” The life and the message of Prophet Muhammad is here for us to follow.

The Qur’an has been preserved as it was revealed. There are initial copies of the Qur’an in various museums. For instance there is one copy in the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul which bears the signature of Hadrat Ali. Professor Ahmed Bey of the College of Literature of the University of Istanbul, who was internationally renowned for his research, used to say that the copy had the inscription “Aliyyubnu abû tâlib.”

Arabic grammar rules require that the inscription should have been “Aliyyibni abî tâlib” in the muzàfun ileyh form. This looks as though it is against the grammar rules: the majrur inflection is not used. Professor Ahmed Bey says: “This is the proof that the signature is authentic and the copy of the Qur’an is original because the grammar rule at that time was like that. Because the archaic grammar rule is kept, the signature is not a work of forgery.” It is possible to study the paper and the ink and determine the time period the copy belonged to. Nevertheless, the proof of the signature is sufficient.

The Qur’an is in our hands intact; there are books about the life of the Prophet in detail. We acknowledge all of the prophets. We are not like Christians because they deny a prophet of Allah. Alhamdulillah, we accept them all. When we say their names, we add “alayhis-salâm” which means “peace be with him.” We love them so much that we name our children after them. There are many Muslims with names such as Mûsâ (Moses), Îsâ (Jesus), Ya’qub (Jacob), Yusuf (Joseph), Eyyub (Job), and Shu’ayb. These are the prophets mentioned in the Bible.

There are also prophecies in the previous scriptures about the occurrence of Prophet Muhammad. Almighty Allah revealed in these scrolls: “There will be a prophet with such and such characteristics.” In various passages, our beloved Prophet, Muhammad Mustafâ, was described. This fact is stated in the Qur’an, in Surah Sâf, Surah Fath and in other surahs. In addition to the Qur’an, there are verses in the Torah and Gospel pointing to the Prophet Muhammad. Some Christian clergy point to these verses. When we were in the College of Literature, Professor Muhammad Hamidullah brought these verses to the class and explained them.

There is also a paper by Zeki Velidi who discusses the scrolls that were found in a cave in Qumrad by the Dead Sea. These scrolls had been hidden in the cave to save them from the Romans. Some of these scrolls have been taken to the United States while others were kept in Jordan and Vatican. Scholars have studied these texts. There were passages in them supporting the statements in the Qur’an.

Some Christian and Jewish scholars accepted Islam because they knew about the occurrence of Prophet Muhammad from the passages in the Torah and Gospel. They were expecting a prophet, and when Prophet Muhammad was commissioned as a prophet, they accepted him. An example from the time of the Prophet is Hadrat Salman the Persian (Salman-i Fârisî). He was born to(in) an Iranian family; he traveled many countries to receive instruction from Christian scholars. Finally he went to the Arabian Peninsula to meet the Prophet. Another example is Abdullah ibn-i Selâm who was a Jewish scholar. He accepted Islam because of the statements in the Torah. These examples are the proofs that there were passages in the old scriptures about Prophet Muhammad.

There is a book titled Islam, My Choice that was published by Begum Aisha Foundation in Pakistan. In that book there are some pictures of some pages from the Hindu scriptures indicating the occurrence of Prophet Muhammad.

There are also passages in ancient Iranian religious text about Prophet Muhammad. The texts of religions that existed before Prophet Muhammad had passages about his occurrence. These facts are pointed in the Qur’an:

(Wa idh qàla ‘isabni maryama yâ banî isrâîla innî rasûlullahi ilaykum musaddiqan limâ bayna yadayya minat-tawrâti wa mubash-shiran birasûlin ya’ti min ba’dismuhû ahmad) “So Jesus son of Mary said, ‘Children of Israel, I am indeed the messenger of God to you, confirming the Torah that is before me and giving good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.” (Qur’an 61:6)

In fact there is a verse in the Gospel [of St. John 14:16 “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever”] that Professor Hamidullah had explained to us. Many priests accepted Islam because they believed that the person mentioned in the Gospel was Prophet Muhammad. In the text, the word Ahmad was translated as Paraclete “The Comforter.” Since there is no original text of Gospel but the translations, we do not have the original word. Nevertheless, many priests interpreted it as Prophet Muhammad and accepted Islam.

A well-known example of such priests is Anselmo Turmedo who is from the Majorca island of Spain. He received instruction from the famous priests of his time in Spain, France and Italy. While he was at the service of a renowned scholar in a monastery in France, he learned that the word Paraclete referred to Prophet Muhammad. He went to Tunisia and accepted Islam. He assumed the name Abdullah at-Tarjumân. He wrote a book on the verses of the Gospel that pointed to the occurrence of Prophet Muhammad. His book has been translated into Turkish.

Another Example of such priests is Ibrahim-i Muteferrika (d. 1754) who brought the printing press to Ottomans. During my academic research, I studied Ibrahim-i Muteferrika and his book Risâle-i Islâmiye. We used to hear that this book was about the creed of Islam. Since I was the chair of the religious literature department, I decided to study this book and publish it.

Ibrahim-i Muteferrika was from Kolojvar, Romania. He was a well-educated priest, fluent in Greek and Latin. He says, “I read the ancient texts and the books banned by the ungenerous teachers of the church.” He calls the teachers “ungenerous” because they hid the truth. He states that he found information in the Christian literature that points to the occurrence of Prophet Muhammad. That is why he accepted Islam.

The book Risâle-i Islâmiye is not a book about the creed of Islam; this fact has been hidden from people by the researchers. We wonder who had the first research on this book. It turns out that it was a Catholic priest who conducted the first scientific research on this book. This explains why the true nature of this book is hidden from people. The book Risâle-i Islâmiye is not a book about Islam, it is about the verses of Bible that led him to accept Islam. The researcher priest wanted this fact to be hidden from people.

Ibrahim-i Mutererrika describes his own life in that book. He gives the verses that led him to Islam. He gives the verses in Latin, too.

Muteferrika was a high rank in the Ottoman palace for the technical personnel who is also skilled in art. It required specialization in various fields. Ibrahim-i Muteferrika used to work in the palace, elevated to the rank of Muteferrika and above. He has done impressive services with indelible effects in life. May he rest in peace and his abode be Paradise. Having studied his book, I came to the conclusion that he was a sincere Muslim in the service of Islam and Muslims.

As I said, Risâle-i Islâmiye is a book pointing to the verses that led a priest become Muslim. I published the book for the benefit of people and for other priests to see.

Another example of such personage is Abdul’ahad Dâwud. Few days ago we had an educational activity and I mentioned about him to the audience. His name was Abdulmesih when he was a Christian. Abdulmesih means “a slave of Messiah (Jesus).” This would be a name used by those who accept Jesus as God. This researcher took up the name Abdul’ahad which means “a servant of The One, Unique (Allah).” You must remember the words of Bilâl-i Habeshî “Ahad… Ahad…” Allah is the One, the Unique; there is none resembling Him.

This researcher has studies on Bible. He had been to England, Rome, Iran and other places. He completed two doctoral degrees. He taught in Universities in Iran. He was fluent in Turkish, Persian, Arabic, English, Italian, Greek, and Syriac language. He was very well informed.
I have asked a friend to study the life of Abdul’ahad Dâwud. What happened to his works? Where is his grave? We would not like to see his works to be locked-up in some cabinets or bookshelves. A scientist who accepted Islam and pointed to the discrepancies in the Christian creed and practices should not be left unknown. There may be some who would like to have his works overlooked. But we must be grateful for him and help everybody get to now him. May Allah bless his soul.

There are well educated personage among you; I am a professor at the university; there are other professor friends in the audience. Having studied with the modern methodology, we uphold Islam with love. Having studied and having answered to some criticism, we believe in Islam wholeheartedly. Every criticism brings us closer to Islam, strengthens our bonds. Islam is such a religion.

I would like to brief on some of the attractive elements of Islam that are superior to other beliefs.
The most important element in Islam is the creed (aqîda). The creed has to be firm and free of flaws. It is the foundation of all, so it must be grasped correctly. When the creed is correct, Almighty Allah may overlook the shortcomings of a person, for He is the Most Forgiving, the most Merciful. Those who lack the correct belief are deprived of His forgiveness:

(Innallàhe lâ yaghfiru an yushraka bihî wa yaghfiru mâ dûna dhâlika liman yashâ’) [Allah does not forgive anyone for associating something with Him, while He does forgive whomever He wishes to for anything besides that…](Qur’an 4:48) Almighty Allah does not forgive those who do not acknowledge His existence and unity. He may forgive the offenses and overlook the shortcomings of His servants who have the correct faith. We have to understand that the creed is the most important element in Islam.

The disbelief (kufr) is an unforgivable offense, so it is the association of partners to Allah (shirk). The kufr is the total lack of belief and denial of Allah. The shirk is the wrong belief, corrupted belief, attributing godly powers to creatures. Neither of these offenses is acceptable.

The man has to acknowledge Allah correctly. That is his primary responsibility in this life. He has to acknowledge his Creator, one Who provides him with daily sustenance, health, intelligence and with endless blessings correctly. Almighty Allah does not forgive faults in that aspect. This is the main teaching of Islam; it has been the main struggle of prophets since the time of Hadrat Adam.
Man has to acknowledge the truth and not worship the idols that he makes with his own hands. He should not worship the sun, the moon or the stars that there are so many of them in the sky. Nor should he worship the animals that we slaughter and barbecue their meat. He has to find the truth and abandon all the nonsense.

There is also the hidden form of shirk such as worshipping Satan or the desires:

(Wa lâ ta’budush-shaytàn) [Hadrat Abraham told his father:] “Do not serve or worship Satan!” (Qur’an 19:44)

(Efera-ayta menittekhadhe ilâhahû hewâhû. . .) “Have you seen someone who has taken his passion as his god?. . .” (Qur’an 45:23)

Sometimes people disobey Allah and abandon their worship. Some obey Satan and follow him. Some follow the desires of the nafs as though they worship their caprices and passions. Islam banns servitude and worshipping to anything other than Allah. The existence and the unity of Allah must be acknowledged as the main principle.

What we have said here complies with the intelligence and logic; it does not contradict the science and knowledge of the present century.

The appearance of the deeds is not much significant, but the essence of them is. The intention and the sincerity are the prerequisites for the deeds. You could observe two persons doing the same deed, yet only the deed of one could be acceptable because the other person may have something else in his mind. The appearance would be the same for both, yet only one could be rewarded while the other deserves punishment.

Islam is a religion that upholds the sincerity. It does not approve the disguise; it recommends inner purity and sincerity. There is a hadith about this:

(Ad-dînu en-nasîhatu) “The religion, Islam, is nasîhatu,” said the Prophet SAS. The word nasihat means “recommendation, advice” in Turkish. That is why the words of the Prophet are interpreted as “Islam is based on recommendation of good things, preaching.” This is not the meaning of the hadith. Here the word nasîhatu means sincerity and purity. So, the meaning is “Islam is based on purity and sincerity.”

The other day I read a book that stated that the human communication is comprised of words (10%), gestures and mimics (30%) and the state of the person (60%). The major part of the communication takes places through the state of the person. The book was about the communication through the state of the person. A person can communicate without saying a word! What is important is the sincerity of the person in his state.

(Ad-dînu nasîhatu) “The religion is sincerity.” The following words shed ligt on the matter: (Qa`lû: Limen yâ rasûlallah?) “The companions asked, ‘towards whom, O Messenger of Allah?’” The prophet continued: (Lillâhi) “Towards Allah.” If the meaning were “recommendation or advice,” who could give an advice to Allah? Could a servant give a recommendation to Allah? Of course not. The Prophet continued: (Wa lirasûlihî) “Towards His Messenger, (wa likitâbihî) towards His Qur’an, (wa li-e-immetil muslimîn) towards the administrators of the Muslims, (wa âmmetihim) and towards all of them.”

How beautiful are these words! The religion, Islam, is based on the sincerity. We have to tell people about this. The religion is not merely sop and dry rituals or appearance! It is the sincerity and purity towards Almighty Allah, His Messenger, His Qur’an, the administrators of the Muslims and towards all of the Muslims. That is how the Prophet summarized Islam.

The orders and the prohibitions of Islam are not based on caprices: “I want it that way, so you should do it! You have no choice but do it!” The orders of Islam are not based on such approaches. There are five main purposes in the orders and prohibitions of Islam:

1. Protecting the belief: staying away from shirk and kufr.
2. Protecting the spirit and spirituality
3. Protecting the intelligence and reasoning: This is the reason the intoxicants are banned in Islam, for they take away the faculty of reasoning.
4. Protecting the property. A person may not inflict damage on the property! There is a strange advertisement in the restaurants these days: “Brake a plate and pay 5 thousand Turkish Liras.” [That has been said to be a practice in Greece.] Breaking a plate to get rid of the stress! This is not allowed in Islam. You cannot inflict damage on property!

Why is it so? It is because the property is respected in Islam, too. One may not say “I can breake my own plate.” The property is respected and must be protected. It is one of the principles of Majallah:

(Lâ darara wa lâ dirâr fil Islam) “The infliction of damage on property is not allowed in Islam.”
“Suppose that I am angry at one of the neighbors. Can I set his harvest on fire?” That would be a major offense.

“What if that person had done the same thing to me before? Could I punish him with by inflicting the same type of damage?” The answer for such a question would be “NO!” (Lâ darara wa lâ dirâr) You cannot inflict damage on the property nor can you respond with a similar damage. You can go to the judge and ask for compensation. You may not damage the property because property is respected in Islam.

I heard a child slammed a burnt light bulb on the wall to get a kick out of the sound, yet his teacher gave him a punishment. Those who were present objected: “The light bulb was already burnt.” The teacher responded: “It is not right to destroy something that is already built. It could have been used for some purpose.”

In fact, I remember that one of my professors took me to a khawaja. It was a small place like a green grocer’s store in Altûnîzade, Istanbul. The khawaja was Hafiz Yusuf. He had thick glasses whose number was not 5 nor 7, but perhaps 10. He was an old person with a small body. My professor hugged him and asked me to kiss the hand of the khawaja. May Allah bless their souls.
I kissed the hand of the khawaja. He was an interesting person. He had his bed in the corner of the room, and a small chest of drawers. He had made a teapot and a kettle out of two light bulbs! He would boil water in the larger one and brew tea in the smaller one. He was quite interesting and a great scholar. There have been books written about him.

Islam protects the belief, the spirit, the intelligence, and property.

5. Islam protects the integrity of the human generations. That is why the adultery is banned and the marriage is required. A responsible person is needed for such protection, so the marriage is a must. That is why the abortion is considered as murder. A child in the womb of the mother is a person; it is counted as a person in the matters of inheritance.

As we see, the orders and prohibitions of Islam are meant for the protection of what is needed for the mankind. It is for the benefit of the mankind. It is stated in the Qur’an:

(Qul innallâha lâ ya’muru bil fah-shâ) “O Prophet! Tell people that Allah does not order them anything evil.” There is goodness in all orders of Allah.

“Why did He order war?” There is time that it is required.

“Then, why is the divorce allowed?” The divorce is allowed because it is like a safety valve in marriage. If the marriage does not work well, in the absence of divorce, people could commit suicide or murder. Sometimes the husband and the wife come to a point that they cannot maintain their togetherness any more. Then the divorce becomes a solution, a blessing from Allah. Just like sometimes death comes as a blessing, the divorce can be a blessing.

Almighty Allah does not order anything bad. There is benefit in everything He orders. That is why Islam is beautiful and beneficial for all.

Islam is not a utopian religion in the sky above the clouds. It is not concerned with matters related to the hereafter only. Islam is not solely the formal prayer or fasting in Ramadhan or the Pilgrimage to Mecca. Islam is a way of life. Islam is living a life in accordance with a system of belief. Such a system is concerned with every moment of life of each person. Islam is the environment a person lives in. It is not a button to be attached on the collar of a jacket or a shirt to be put on and taken off.

The concept of worship is amazingly inclusive. For instance, getting married is an act of worship. The intimacy between the husband and the wife is also an act of worship. Silence is a form of worship. Having a good intention is considered as a form of worship even if it is not actualized. Islam does not separate this life from the hereafter, the individual from the society, the material life from the spirituality. It keeps everything hand in hand.

A person in Taksim part of Istanbul complained to the police about his neighbour: “These people appear in their windows naked. That affects the peace in our family. I would like to file a complaint.” The Police responded: “I am sorry, I cannot do anything about it. Inside of a house or an apartment is off limits for us.”

Well, Islam has no such limits. It goes inside a house, inside a heart, too. It is concerned with thought in mind and intentions in heart. If it were not concerned with everything, it would not be a complete system, nor could it establish order. This is a superiority about Islam.

Here is another example: A person earns rewards while he works as a merchant:

(Al kâsibu habîbullah) “One who earns a living through trading is a beloved servant of Allah,” said the Prophet. There is another hadith about it:

(At-tâjirus-sadûqul amînu ma’an-nabiyyîna was siddîqîna wash-shuhadâ-i yawmal qiyâmah) “A trustworthy merchant will be among the prophets, the trustworthy, and the martyrs on the Day of Resurrection.” A person may be a merchant, bringing goods, selling them and making money out of it, yet he earns rewards by being trustworthy and for bringing the needed goods for people. Hence, trading is a rewarding business, a form of worship.

The government administration is, too, a form of worship. It is stated that the most virtuous of people in the sight of Allah is a righteous head of state. Being a righteous and just ruler in the government administration is a form of worship.

There are two people whose eyes are saved from the hell fire:

1. One who shed tears for Allah in secluded areas,
2. One who watch the borders to protect Muslims from the assault of enemies.

While we were in the military service, some people avoided the guard duty. We would step forward and ask to substitute for them because we knew that it was rewarding and that it was a form of worship.

When we received the call for the military service, we took off right away without waiting for the lunch. We wanted to be in the service longer and start earning rewards right away.

Why is it so? When it is carried out with good intentions, serving in the military, serving in the government administration, trading, silence, contemplation, and even talking can be a form of worship because Islam equals life, the way one lives this life. It is the totality of how one lives a life.
In Islam, whatever you do is either a rewarding deed or an offense, either you will be rewarded for that or punished. The study of Fiqh (Jurisprudence) is described as “the study of what is beneficial and what is punishable for the individual.” One needs to know Fiqh.

Another characteristic of Islam is that it is not exclusively for a race or for a limited time period. For instance, the Judaism is exclusively limited to one race; Islam is not like that. Islam is for the entire mankind and for all time. Our beloved Prophet was sent for

(Kâffeten linnâsi bashîran wa nazîrâ) the entire mankind as one who brings the good news and as a warner about the truth and the consequences of deviating from the truth. He was sent not only for the mankind but also for the invisible creatures, djinnes. It is reported in the Qur’an that a group of djinns came to the Prophet and declared their shahada.

Our beloved Prophet is not only forTurkey; in fact, he is for England, America and Japan, too. He is for all countries and all nations. It is because they live in the era of Prophet Muhammad. If they believe in him, they will become Muslims. If they do not, they will be disbelievers.

One has to believe Prophet Moses, Prophet Jesus, too; however, it would not be sufficient because our time is the era of Prophet Muhammad and all people are the ummah of Prophet Muhammad. Those who accept him as the Messenger of Allah and follow his path are Ummat-i Ijâbat, the other ones are Ummat-i Da’wat. Islam is for the entire mankind.

Islam has the most beautiful principles that have been sought by all. Here is one example:

The Prophet said: (Innallàhe jamîlun yuhibbul jamâl) “Almighty Allah is beautiful; He loves beauty.” Almighty Allah created the beauty and He loves anything that is beautiful. That is why a Muslim must have a sense of beauty, and he must appreciate beauty. He must have sense of aesthetics and must do anything he does beautifully.

Islam gives man a sense and spirit of beauty and art. That is how Yunus is Yunus. That is how Rumi transcended ages and borders of countries. That is why the year 1991 was declared as the year of Yunus by UNESCO.

Yunus appreciated the beauty. He acknowledged the beauty of the flower. As we carry out some restoration work in Eyup section of Istanbul, we want to reveal the original beauty of the works. For instance, the tekke of Shaikh Murad Effendi had a piece of land approximately 17,000 square meters with a collection of rare flowers. Gazelles would roam in the flowerbeds. Can you imagine how nice it had been? There is also Selami Mustafa Effendi tekke that was famous with its roses. Then, the Prophet says:

(Innallàha yuhibbu idhâ’amila ahadakum-ul ‘amala an yutqinahû) “Verily, Allah loves it when you do anything in the perfect way.” Almighty Allah showers his mercy on such a person. This is a promotion for the Muslim to seek high quality in everything. In Islam there is the sense of beauty and an order to do things excellently. A Muslim artisan must produce the sharpest sword, the most beautiful china, the most elegant mosque that will become a monument to last centuries. The product must not deteriorate or discolor in time; its beauty must be permanent. There is the thought of making anything the most beautiful, with the highest quality in Islam.

There is also the undeniable fact that the physical and spiritual cleanliness is essential in Islam. We know that Europeans avoid taking baths and wipe their body with cotton to preserve the effect of baptism water. We know that the Versay Palace has no rest rooms. On the other hand, Muslims would build a public bath next to a house of worship that they just had built. They built madrasas, kitchens to provide for the poor with food, public baths with hot and cold water that is available free of charge.

Baron de Busbek, a diplomat from Netherlands to Ottomans in the Sixteenth Century, was amazed to see Muslims taking so much bath: “These people are going to catch cold because they keep taking a bath like fish in water.” He thought it was strange for Muslims to take baths often.
We wash our body five times a day. The Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II would take a bath every morning. With the limited means of the past, people would take baths as often as they could. Those who could not take a bath every day would go to public baths at least once a week to get a good scrub. Women would take their bundle of clean clothes and go to the public bath in groups. Man and children would do the same. There had to be at least once a week physical cleaning.
They would not allow the dirt accumulate on the body to become a thick film, like a shield or the skin of the turtle. Islam does not allow that. It orders physical and spiritual cleanliness.
Clipping the nails, trimming the mustache, shaving the armpits, and all other kinds of cleaning, including the cleanliness in where one lives, are ordered by Islam. For instance, if your clothes were not clean, your formal prayer would be invalid. Cleanliness from hadeth (canonical impurity) and cleanliness from najasat (physical impurity) are two of the requirements of the formal prayer. The prayer a Muslim offers five times a day will not be acceptable without cleanliness. The cleanliness is such a strong requirement in Islam, not a mere advice.

In fact none of the orders of Islam is a mere talk. One of the important characteristics of Islam is that each order is attached to a practical solution. For instance there is the order of not forgetting Allah:

(Walâ takûnû kalladhîna nesullàh) “Do not be like those who are unaware of Allah” (Qur’an 59:19). This order is supported by the formal prayer five times a day.

“Excuse me Sir. Wouldn’t it be sufficient if it were only one time a day?”

No, it would not. You would forget Allah. That is why it has to be five times a day. Then there is the dhikr to remember Allah often.

(Innemal-mu’minûna ikhwatun) “All believers are brothers” (Qur’an 49:10). How do we become brothers in practice? Well you meet once a year for the Hajj. The healthy and wealthy Muslims get together for Hajj. It is a natural selection among the Muslims. They have the opportunity to raise issues and talk about them. Also, daily prayers in congregation in the mosque are another way of getting together. Meeting for the Friday prayer, too, is a practical way.

Islam orders to be clean. There is the wudu’; there is the ghusl for that. Islam upholds the cleanliness, and the cleanliness is half the religion.

The Europeans were not as clean in the past. They are clean today because of Islam. The changes in Europe were the results of exposure to Islam. The renaissance started after the Europeans met Muslims. The reforms took place after Islam. Objections and criticism to the church started by those who got to know Islam. The scientific advancements took place after Islam was studied. Dr. Sigrid Hunke describes how Islam affected the western civilization in his book.

Islam pays utmost attention to knowledge, scholarship and scholars. The true caliphs, the successors of the messengers of Allah, are not the rulers of the Muslim countries but the scholars are.

(Al’ulamâ-u warathatul anbiyâ-i wa khulafâ-ir rusûl) “The scholars are the successors of the prophets and inheritors of the messengers.” It is because good things are accomplished with knowledge. When we need to have something done, we go to an expert, to a specialist. That is why the true leaders in the society are the scholars.

Another characteristic of Islam is establishing justice:

(Al ‘adlu asâsul mulk) Here mulk does not mean a house, an apartment, a piece of land or other property [as it would in Turkish], but it means sovereignty and dominion. Islam states: “Justice is the foundation of sovereignty and government administration.”

One has to be just for all. The system has to be fair for all without exception even if it involves a decree against the president of the country. In fact, the first Ottoman judge of Istanbul, Khidhir Chelebi–whose grave is located by the boulevard next to the IMC shopping center–found the Ottoman ruler Fatih Sultan Mehmed guilty in a case involving a Greek architect. The judge issued a verdict that the Greek architect was right and the Ottoman Ruler, The Conqueror, was wrong. The judge issued such a verdict without having any fear of mistreatment afterwards. In Islam, the judge fears Allah only and carries out what Allah orders. Islam requires justice

(… walaw alâ anfusakum awil wâlidayni wal aqrabîn) “… even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your relatives” (Qur’an 4:135). That is why a Muslim can be a witness against himself admitting his offense: “Yes, I did it. It is my fault. I should be penalized for that.” This is Islam.

There was a famous judge, Qadi Shurayh in the history. Two persons appeared in his court. One had a non-Muslim attire while the other one looked like a Muslim. He wished that the Muslim was right and the non-Muslim was wrong. He listened to the presentations of the case and realized that the non-Muslim was right and the Muslim was wrong. He issued the verdict that way. Yet, for the rest of his life he wept and repented for having such a thought in his heart.

This is the understanding of justice in Islam. That is why Islam is an universal belief to be respected and loved by all nations in the world.

Another characteristic of Islam is that love and respect are essential. Muslims love Muslims.

(… ashid-dâ-u ‘alel kuffâri ruhamâ-u baynahum) “… they are hard against the unbelievers [in defense] and merciful one to another.” (Qur’an 48:29) Muslims are merciful, affectionate and patient towards the neighbours and friends, and all.

Today I read some examples of the mercy. In one example, Hadrat Abûbakr-i Siddîq begs: “I was wrong; please forgive me.” He was one of the ashara-i-mubash-shara (ten people who were informed by the prophet that they will be in Paradise in the hereafter). He had such a love and affection. Relationship between a Muslim and another Muslim is based on love and sincerity.
An Arab traveler, Ibn-i Batûta, went to Denizli. He spoke Arabic but did not know Turkish. It was in the Thirteenth Century when the Asia minor was opened to Turkish Muslims and new regional administrations were established. Muslims had very high spirits in the region. He arrived in Denizli with a caravan that carried the goods and gifts that he had purchased throughout his travel. When he entered the town, an armed and strong man grabbed the bridle of the horse and said something to Ibn-i Batûta. As he tried to communicate, another strong and armed man came there and grabbed the other end of the bridle. The two strong and armed men started arguing. Ibn-i Batûta was quite scared: he was afraid that the two men would take his life or his belongings.

After a short while it is understood that the first man tried to tell him: “Sir, you look like you are not from here. Please be my guest.” The second man interfered: “Shame on you! This is our neighbourhood. He is our guest. How dare you try to steal a guest from my neighbourhood!” The first man explained, “Well I saw him first, so he is my guest.” The traveler was taken as a “guest from God,” loved and served.

The love and affection was not limited to people only; it was extended towards the animals, birds, and storks. There were foundations to pay for the damages that occurred inadvertently by the servants in a house. There were also foundations to treat the storks with wounds. It is a love for people, and it extends to the environment and all creatures. That is Islam.

Lady Mary Wortley Montague (1689-1762) was the wife of the British Extraordinary Ambassador to the Turkish court. [In 1716 Wortley Montague was appointed ambassador to Turkey). His family’s long and dangerous journey over the Continent in dead of winter was considered something of an achievement at the time. Lady Mary enjoyed it all, and kept up a constant correspondence with friends in England, writing in a style that eventually established her permanent epistolary reputation. Constantinople was full of wonders that Lady Mary, unlike so many European wives, set out to explore and understand. She mastered the language, investigated mosques, and visited with the women of the harem, whom she came to admire.] She got to know Ottomans. She had written letters that were published later. In one of the letters, she described the family life:

“Dear Sister! Before coming to Istanbul, I had the imagination that the harem of a house during the Ottomans’ time was something like a prison or a dungeon. To my surprise, the harem is a pleasant, colorful and enjoyable place.

“Each house, including the palace, had a section called harem. I had thought that women in harem would be like slaves in a cage, oppressed in a prison. It is not like that at all. In fact, the ladies are well educated and well mannered.”

Lady Montague met Fatma Sultan and was quite impressed by her. She praised her: “My Lady, you are very pretty. You are so pretty that if you were in England, may men would be around you just like moths encircling a lamp.” Fatma Sultan was upheld by the remarks. It would have been quite improper if a Muslim woman had stated the remarks. Calmly she responded: “I would not think they would appreciate the beauty; if they did, they would not let you leave England.” Lady Montague was amazed to receive such a reply from a Muslim woman.

The are other examples that a person may be a poet and contribute to the charitable causes. For instance, I admire Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan. She left so many works for the benefit of mankind.

Islam is a religion of love and respect; it encourages serving people including unbelievers. In fact, serving is not limited to people only. One of the companions of Prophet Muhammad came to him and said: “O Messenger of Allah! I draw water from a well with great difficulty; the rope hurts my hands. As we give water to our camels, some sick, old and abandoned camels come to drink from the water. We let them drink from the water. Do we get any rewards for that?”

The water is a precious commodity in Arabia. It is drawn from a well and poured in a contained for the animals to drink.

The Prophet responded: “Yes, you earn rewards by providing them with water because they are living creatures and they feel thirsty, too.”

Islam pays attention to the society, congregation, togetherness, and love. Almighty Allah gives rewards for them. For instance, a prayer performed in congregation is rewarded twenty-seven times more than when it is performed individually. There is mercy in unity and togetherness. The division incurs wrath of Allah. The division, separating oneself from the rest, indifference, and isolation are prohibited in Islam. Creation of chaos and disturbance is not allowed. On the other hand, love and affection, unity and togetherness, and being a part of the society are essential. It is stated that a believer who is among people, serving them, and bearing the difficulties in serving them is superior to a believer who is after his comfort away from the society. It is also stated that the best person is he who is the most beneficial to the mankind. That is why Islam is a treasury that societies look for and cannot find.

Islam banns creating chaos, mischief, and clashes in the society; it bans anything that disturbs the peace and love, including gossiping and foul language. A Muslim cannot draw a gun towards another Muslim. A Muslim may not injure another Muslim. It is banned.

The Prophet said: “There will be a time full of mischief.” The companions asked: “What shall we do then?” The Prophet responded: “Stay at home and do not take part in it.” The companions asked, “What if it comes to our house?” The Prophet said, “Be like the better son of Prophet Adam.”

Which son of Prophet Adam was better? It is the one whose worship had been accepted and got killed by his brother. The Prophet says, “Do not be like the murderer; do not fight with believers.”

This is the training of Islam; these are the Islamic manners. Unfortunately some people practice differently because they have shortcomings.

Islam upholds brotherhood and friendship, and it is a form of worship. On this Imam Ghazali writes: “The best of the worship which is in a form of tradition or a custom is establishing friendship. He classifies the worship into two categories:
1. Ritual worship such as daily prayers, fasting, performing the pilgrimage, and paying zakah.
2. Customary worship.

The best of the customary worship is love for Allah and friendship for Allah. Visiting somebody just for the sake of Allah has great rewards. If two people visit one another just for Allah, they will incur the love of Allah.

Our administrators should try to establish and revive Islam in our lives instead of trying to have people forget about Islam. That would lead to brotherhood, love and affection.
We have no problem with races or colors of the skin. We do not approve such differentiation often emphasized by the Americans.

Mankind is a single brotherhood; they all are the children of Hadrat Adam. In belief, they all are equals before Almighty Allah. What is best is to compete in the service to mankind. The best of people is the one who is the most useful to mankind.

This is how our religion is.

We live in a time that events unfold pretty fast. Almighty Allah provides us with new means, new opportunities and new responsibilities. New front have been opened for us. For instance, Russia says: “Turkey is one of our greatest friends.” Muslims nations in Russia say, “Turkey is our elder brother.” They all expect support from us. Alhamdulillah, we have established leading governments throughout the history, and established peace, justice and order on land. All is the result of our strong faith.

Suleyman the Magnificent sent a message to the king of France: “I heard that you have imprisoned the king of such place [unfairly]. Release him at once.” It was carried out right away. Another Ottoman ruler sent a message: “I heard that your people practice something called dance where man and women are in close contact in public… Stop that at once!” It was stopped.

The rulers tried to prevent the injustice and take a stance against the oppressors.

Alhamdulillah, we are Muslims, born to Muslim parents. That is a great blessing and we must appreciate this blessing.

The cure for the diseases of the Twentieth Century is in Islam. The principles of Islam will be the strong foundations of the centuries to come.

We have so many ideas, expertise, accumulation of knowledge and much more, which are from Islam, to share with all people in the world. May Almighty Allah bless us with the appreciation of Islam and with the vision of its beauties. May He let us become perfect Muslims. May He give us the opportunities to serve the mankind in the best way. May He make us the most beneficial to mankind. May He receive each and every one of you as a perfect servant, loved and honored by His Beauty in His Paradise.

May Almighty Allah be pleased with you.

As-salamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah!

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Prof. Dr. Mahmud Esad COSAN (rha)
February 2, 1992— Bakirköy/ISTANBUL