Obeidience and the Sincere Lover – Some words from Shaikh Muzaffer Ozal’s The Unveiling of Love

But spiritual affection is for God‘s sake, which is why this kind this kind of affection is called love of God’s sake. Those whose affection is for God, Exalted is He, must be ready and prepared for every kind of misfortune. In reality, what appeared, what appears as a misfortune is a very great blessing. The friends of God, Exalted is He, will grieve  and lament at those time when misfortune has befallen them, misfortune for them is pure joy. It should not be forgotten that the severest affliction have been reserved for the Prophets, the saints who are the heirs of the Prophets, and those of similar rank in the presence of God. If someone claims to love God, Exalted is He, yet in the face of any misfortune complains of his Lord to other servants and bemoans that misfortune, he lies in the making of such a claim. Have you read, have you not heard? The Prophet Job, on him be peace, for all the misfortunes that befell him, his property, and his children, made no complaint and never bemoaned his lot. As a reward for this, God, the Lord of Majesty and Perfection, graciously conferred upon him the rank of Penitent Servant. Besides enduring so many misfortunes for so long, he would seek refuge from God’s Majesty with His Beauty. That is, he would shelter from God with God, drawing the Divine Mercy upon himself with the prayer:

“O lord! A misfortune has befallen me. You are the Most Merciful of the merciful.”

One who is sincere in his love for his beloved will be obedient to his loved one. The Mark of the sincerity affectionate is not to offend his loved on. The sign of affection is not to complain of the loved one to anybody, to put up with the loved one’s whim and lovingly to carry out the request of the beloved.

This is indeed what the Prophet Job, on him be peace, did. He complained of his Lord to no one. Seeking refuge with his Lord’s Beauty from his majesty, he sheltered from his Lord with his Lord. What other door is there to shelter in? To shelter with God from God is not to complain of God, exhalted is He. it si rather to demonstrate and prove to men the true place of refuge. The sincerely affectionate one who claims to love God will never disobey Him and will recoil from offending Him. The lover lovingly obeys his loved one. The true sign of the sincerely affectionate is his following his beloved obeying his loved one , and carefully avoiding things unwanted and disliked by his loved one. Those who fulfill these conditions have displayed, proclaimed and proved their affection. This is genuine affection. Anyone who cannot tolerate his loved one’s whims, cannot bear  the loved one’s cruelties, and shows laziness and slackness in the service of the beloved, can definitely and absolutely never be called a sincerely affectionate lover.

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The venerable Shibli, may his soul be sanctified, was once overtaken by a mystical state and was locked up in a lunatic asylum. Imagining that they love him, many people went to the asylum to visit him.

“Who are you?”

“We are some of those who love you,” they replied.

Shibli began gathering stones from the ground and throwing them at his visitors, whereupon they started to scatter, saying “Alas! The venerable Sheikh has really gone mad.”

But he called out to them: “Did I hear you say that you loved me? You could not even bear my throwing a stone at you, and you began to run away. What became of the sincere love  that you had for me? If you had really loved me, you would have put up with this little quirk of mine and would have endured patiently any troubles I might have caused you. 

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Muzaffer Ozak (1916 – February 12, 1985) was one of the head sheikhs of the Halveti-Jerrahi order of Dervishes, a traditional muslim Sufi order (tarika) from Istanbul (Turkey). In western countries he is well known because of his visits to Europe and the United States of America where he celebrated public dhikrs (Remembrance of God; in Turkish “zikrullah”) with his dervishes. He is also well known in Turkey for his “ilahis,” religious Sufi hymns. The Halveti-Jerrahi Sufi Order is named for him. Ozak also ran a bookstore in the Sahaflar Çarşısı in Istanbul.

 

 

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