Prof. Dr. M. Es’ad Cosan
(May Allah have mercy on him)
Islam is the religion of happiness. It provides bliss both this world and hereafter for the individual, and contains rewarding decrees that guarantees the peace of the society. In this respect, embracing this willingly and practicing with sensitivity bears great importance. Indeed, as an individual and a society, we deeply feel the misery of being deprived of its vast belief and commands full of wisdom, and clearly see the devastation this causes. The late Mehmed Âkif, our great poet who predicted this reality years ago, said:
It is neither the lore what gives the nobleness to the morality, nor conscience;
The sense of virtue in humans arises from the fear of Allah
If the fear of Yezdan would abandon the hearts
Neither the influence of love would remain, nor the conscience
Life would become bestial after this… No, it would be even viler.
Then neither the nation would survive, nor the nationality, or independence. 1
In which case, transforming individuals into good people and mature Muslims is also a national obligation.
Then where should we start to improve the sense of conscience, directing individuals to virtuous actions?
As the poet indicates, being a good Muslim and beneficial human being is primarily based on searching, finding, becoming familiar and loving Allah. This love is a unique source of power, an endless source of happiness. Religious leaders we know and love rose to those levels with this love and aspiration. In view of this Mevlânâ said;
"Whoever does not have this fire, let him be destroyed."2
To love you is my religion, my faith
Oh our Lord! Don’t set me apart from this faith.
A fish is alive only in water,
Oh Lord! Don’t distance it from its ocean. 3
The Divan of Yunus chants this love from beginning to end. Our religious literature is full of these poems of divine love.
This sublime love is an exclusive favor of Allah. In which case, it must be requested from Him alone. Repenting is the first step to be worthy of Him. Repentance means returning to the right path from the wrong path. In other words, human beings must abandon their sins, each of which are spiritual venoms, purify themselves both internally and externally, and ask Allah for forgiveness and help. Obviously, while doing unfavorable things; while in a state of filth and shame, it is impossible for the servant to love or be loved in return; he must be purified, adorned and correct himself.
The second step is to contemplate, to observe the environment as a lesson and example. A person should consider how and why he came into the world; the purpose and objective of life; death, and life beyond death, the nature and functionality of his own existence, the events and existences surrounding him; and he should attempt to perceive connections between events. The Qur'an persistently encourages us to do this. Because this act of deep contemplation will lead the servants to the founder and manager of the unique order of nature, to the eternally knowledgeable and powerful Creator; this will make them familiar with Him, and enhance their admiration for Him even further.
When one observes carefully, he realizes that his existence; the power, the talents and the blessings he possesses are the work of Allah’s grace and favor, and he comprehends the mysterious harmony amidst the complexity that revolves around him. In fact, with his many experiences he comprehends that he will be rewarded with a divine favor in return for every good deed he does, and his evil actions are punished with divine justice. He discovers the wisdom in the mysterious functioning of the universe. These insights and observations excite him immensely. He commits himself to the divine will, just as a person who can swim places his trust in the sea and surrenders himself to its waves. Indeed, Yunus said:
I hear your words
If I cannot see your face
I would give my soul
To see your face. 4
This love is then spreads to all beings for His sake. It becomes an eternal pleasure and extensive indulgence. This is why Yunus says;
I found the most beautiful garden
Let my garden be plundered,
I found the most delicious honey
Let my hive be plundered. 5
Continuation of this love also depends on the conditions in the first stage; it depends on the condition of obedience and submission. Obedience and submission are also the natural result and necessity of this love. Because lovers will try to please the beloved, obey the orders and bans of his beloved; he will not oppose it, and will not rebel against it.
Commands and prohibitions constitute the judicial part of religion. Allah the almighty sent them to us through Prophet Muhammad. Regarding our beloved Prophet, the Qur’an says; "He does not speak on the basis of his own enjoyment and desire, his words are nothing more than revelations sent by Allah" 6 and in surah Al-Baqarah it clearly orders those who love Allah to follow the Prophet Muhammad.
In which case, without obeying to the Messenger of God, without his guidance, there is no possibility of recognizing Allah and discovering the means of obtaining His mercy. Indeed, we see that people who forgot the guidance of the messengers of truth sent throughout history; whenever they attempted to organize their religious and spiritual lives according to their own narrow views they fell into error. Primitive religions, worshipping objects, trees, stones, the moon, sun, star, idols; polytheism, practicing shirk, all emerged because of this. But despite His vast mercy and eternal forgiveness, associating partners and worshipping anything other than Him was revealed in the Quran as the greatest offence and sin that would never be forgiven by Allah.
Therefore, to attain the eternal love of Allah we must acknowledge the guidance of the last messenger Prophet Muhammad; become closely acquainted with his life, learn his commands and Sunnah and comply with his recommendations.
Loving the Messenger of Allah is a necessity and continuation of loving Allah. In one hadith he said, “None of you will have faith until he loves me more than his mother, father and the whole of mankind“. 7
How can we not love him? Almighty Allah created Prophet Muhammad as the most distinguished of people and prophets, and adorned him with superior and unique qualities. Many Western, Eastern, old and new researchers and philosophers including the famous philosopher Volter, Prince Bismark, poet Goethe acknowledge this fact. It is impossible to know him and not love him, and not have great admiration for his character, his extraordinary morals and manners.
So we must try to spread this love into our hearts and into the environment. We must ignite the hearts with this love and direct them to good deeds and virtues. We must make our nation prosperous, and our country flourish by joining together. This is the spiritual foundation of peace and brotherhood.
* Leading articles 4, İdeal Yol, Istanbul: Server İletişim, 2016, pp. 22-25.
1 Mehmed Âkif Ersoy, Safahat, p. 271.
2 This is the second line of Mesnevi’s ninth paragraph. The whole paragraph is as follows: “Bu neyin sesi ateştir, hava değil; kimde bu ateş yoksa yok olsun.”
3 Eşrefoğlu Rûmî Dîvânı, p. 374.
4 Yûnus Emre Dîvânı, II, 96.
5 Yûnus Emre Dîvânı, II, 356.
6 53/Najm, 3-4.
7 For this hadith narrated by Anas b. Mâlik radıyallâhu anh see. Bukhari, “Iman”, 7; Muslim, “Iman”, 70; Nasai, “Iman”, 19, hadith no: 5013-5014; Ibni Majah, “İftitâh”, 9, hadith no: 67; Ahmed b. Hanbal, III, 177, 275, 278, hadith no: 12837, 13939, 13991; Darim,, “Riqak”, 29, hadith no: 2741.
“İslâm Sevgi Dinidir”
Prof. Dr. M. Es'ad Coşan (Rh.a.)