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The reward for patience
23 Aralık 2009 12:14

Lessons from the stories in the Masnavi

The reward for patience 

 

Story of the disciple of Shaykh (Abú) Hasan Kharraqání, May God sanctify his spirit!

A dervish went from the town of Tálaqán because of the fame of Abu ’l- Husayn of Kháraqán.

He traversed the mountains and the long valley to visit the Shaykh who was endowed with sincerity and fervent supplication.

Although the afflictions and injuries which he suffered on the road are deserving (of mention), I will abridge (the story).

When the young man reached the end of his journey, he asked to be directed to the house of that (spiritual) king.

As soon as he knocked at his door with a hundred reverences, the (Shaykh's) wife put forth her head from the door of the house,

Saying, “What do you want? Tell (me), kind sir.” He replied, “I have come with the intention of paying a visit (to the Shaykh).”

The wife gave a (loud) laugh. “Ha, ha,” she exclaimed, “look at your beard, look at this undertaking of a journey and (all) this trouble!

Was there nothing for you to do in the place (where you come from), that you should idly set out upon this expedition?

Did you feel a craving to indulge in foolish sight-seeing, or were you overcome by disgust with your home?

Or, perchance, the Devil laid on you a two-forked barnacle and let loose upon you the temptation to travel.”

She uttered unseemly and foul and silly words: I cannot relate all of them.

The disciple was thrown into a painful state of dejection by her parables and countless mockeries. [Masnavi VI: 2044-2055]

 

Afterwards he began to inquire of every one and sought the Shaykh for a long while in every quarter.

Then (at last) somebody said to him, “That Qutb (Pivot) of the world has gone to fetch faggots from the hilly country.”

The disciple, whose thoughts were (like) Dhu ’l-faqár (a sharp sword), ran quickly to the forest in eager desire for the Shaykh.

(But) the Devil was introducing to the (young) man's mind an evil suggestion, in order that the (spiritual) Moon might be concealed by dust,

Namely, “Why should this Shaykh of the (true) religion keep in his house a woman like this as his mate and companion?

Whence (this) familiarity between opposite and opposite? Whence (comes it that) a nasnás (anthropoid ape) is (associated) with the Imám of mankind?”  [Masnavi VI: 2115-2120]

 

He was (absorbed) in this (perplexity) when suddenly the renowned Shaykh appeared before him, riding on a lion.

The roaring lion carried his faggots, while that blessed one sat on the top of them.

Because of the honour (in which God held him) his whip was a fierce serpent: he had grasped the serpent in his hand, like an ass-goad.

Know for certain that likewise every Shaykh that exists is riding on a furious lion. [Masnavi VI: 2126-2129]

 

 (Then) the master of (mystical) sciences recited to him in detail all that had befallen him (the disciple) on his journey until now.

Afterwards that man of sweet discourse opened his mouth (to speak) on the difficult matter of his wife's disbelief,

Saying, “My long-suffering is not from (the motive of) sensual desire; that (suspicion) is a vain fancy of your carnal soul: do not take that standpoint.

Unless my patience had endured the burden of (supporting) my wife, how should the fierce lion have endured the labour of (carrying) me? [Masnavi VI: 2135-2138]

 

Explanation:

There are quarrelsome and ill mannered people in every period. They can be either man or woman. In this story from the Masnavi the bad role is played by the woman. Marriage is a union built between a man and a woman. It is intended that both sides will understand each other and have a happy life together. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned. Be it the wife or the husband, one side of the partnership might be particularly ill-mannered or almost unbearable. It is incumbent upon the other spouse to have great patience and to show their maturity as well as they can, otherwise the nest will fall apart and if there are children then they will suffer.

It is a known fact that the crime rate is higher among children with broken families. It is wrong to consider a divorce at the first conflict in a marriage. An increase in divorce rates will weaken the structure of the society. In one of the blessed hadith of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), he tells us: “Among lawful things divorce is most hated by Allah. (Abu Dawud)” –“The most disliked thing by the God though Halal is? Divorce.”

Of course each person has their own threshold of endurance, but those are able to endure all of the difficulties in their marriages for the sakes of their families will find their efforts to be spiritually lucrative. Hazret-i Mevlana tells us at the end of the story:

 

If I have made my discourse low for your sake, (it is) in order that you may put up with an ill-natured companion,

And smilingly and cheerfully bear the burden of distress, because patience is the key to relief from pain.

When you put up with the vileness of these vile folk you will attain unto the light of the (Prophetic) sunnas (ways and practices);

For the prophets have often suffered affliction from the vile: often have they writhed in anguish on account of such snakes. [Masnavi VI: 2147-2150]

           

The example of the sheikh riding a lion in the story can also be found in several other manâqib al-Awliya'.[1] This notion is considered to be an example of “keramat”[2] which is the miracle produced by Allah’s will by the wal?[3]. The keramat is a merit that can sometimes be bestowed upon a wal?. However, the awliya’ themselves pay little heed to this fact. It is often said that “the virtuous thing is not the keramat but rather istiqamah[4] ”. This means that doing extraordinary things is not virtuous but just to be a real man and to live as a mature Muslim is virtuous.

The sheikh that was mentioned earlier in the story (Abú) Hasan Kharraqání was a great saint of Khurásán who passed away in 1033. He was full of love and kindness for all of humanity. He says:

All the way from Turkestan to Damascus, if a thorn pricks somebody’s finger it pricks my finger.  Likewise in all the land from Turkestan to Syria, if a stone hits someone’s foot, I feel the pain of it. If there is sorrow in a heart, that heart belongs to me (that heart is mine).”

The famous Turkish traveler and writer Evliya Celebi (1611-1682), when he was telling the story of the rebuilding (renovation) of the castle of Kars province by Lala Mustafa Pasha, mentions a dream that one of the soldiers had which he then told the the Pasha. The soldier said, “In my dream I saw an old man who said he was Shaykh (Abú) Hasan Kharraqání.  He pointed to where I had set my foot and said that his grave was there and told me to dig in that spot.” So, they dug in that place and found a four-cornered porphyritic marble slab on which was inscribed, “Menem ?ehid ü said Harakani (I am the martyr Kharraqání)”. When the soldiers moved the marble slab aside with takb?r and taw??d, the grave was then exposed. It was seen that the bandage on his wounded upper arm and his dervish coat somehow had not deteriorated, and the wound on the right side of his body was still bleeding. The soldiers (again with takb?r) re-sealed the grave. Afterwards, a tekke and a mosque were built inside the castle in the name of Shaykh (Abú) Hasan Kharraqání by Lala Mustafa Pasha.

This event which was told to us by Evliya Celebi has gained wide currency around Kars and has brought about a belief that Kharraqání was martyred during the conquering of Kars. They have also formed an association in his name in Kars, and a mausoleum in his name is still be visited by people.

 

Prof. Dr. Mehmet DEM?RC?

medeci42@yahoo.com
 

 

Glossary


[1] Manaqib: Hagiographical/biographical genre recounting the merits and miraculous deeds of holy persons. Texts dealing with manaqib typically include hierarchies of saints and their territories and patronage. Discussions of Prophet Muhammad 's (pbuh) virtues and miracles are particularly prominent. (Oxford Islamic Studies)

[2] keramat (????? also ??????) : Keramat are extraordinary things performed by Awliyaa' who are not prophets but are common Muslims who have reached a high rank of piety through proper knowledge of and practice of Islam, and most importantly through the constant zikr/remembrance of Allah. Allah creates the Karamaat in support to the Waliyy. Keramats only occur by the will of Allah and the said 'wali' is not in control of them. ["Saints and miracles" of: Reynold A. Nicholson, The Mystics of Islam. 2002.]

[3] Wal? (Arabic ???, plural Awliy?' ??????) : walî (A [derived from WaLiYa, "to lling in T, evliya): in sufism, this means means a friend of God, a sufi saint. "Truly, for the friends of God [awliyâ'u 'llâh] there is no fear (in this world or the next), nor shall they be near to"]; lit., "protector," guardian"; spelling in T, veli) (of God); plural, awliyâ (spegrieve." (Qur'ân 10:62). (Mevlevi Terms and Definitions- Ibrahim Gamard)

[4] Istiqamah is an important concept of Islam. It has several meanings. It means to be straight, to follow the straight path, to remain firm on one’s principles and not to give up under difficulties or challenges. Some scholars say that it also means to be sincere and do good things in public as well in private life. Some others say that it means to be straight in words as well in deeds. Living Islam anywhere at anytime requires istiqamah. Those who live with istiqamah Allah has promised them great reward and blessings in this world and in the hereafter.

Sufiyan al-Thaqafi reported, “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me about Islam in one word that I would not ask anyone other than you (according to Abu Mu’awiyah he said, “anyone after you”).’ The Prophet -peace be upon him- said, ‘Say I believe in Allah and then stand steadfast. (Musnad Ahmad 14869) [Al-Istiqamah: Being Straight and Steadfast By Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi

Translated by Semazen.net

 

 

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