Knowing One’s Self and Divine Pleasure

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim

The truthful one has said, “Know your self and you will know your Lord.”
So the way to truth is through self-knowledge.
This is the dervish path.
Self knowledge is Divine knowledge. When we know our self we know our Lord.
Divine knowledge is self-knowledge. When we approach our Lord we increase knowledge of our self.
How wonderful that the two are placed in the same breath. Which ever way we turn there is the Essential Face of Allah. His turning is our turning and our turning is His turning. His Light is our light. Our light is His Light.

Our miraculous path to self-knowledge begins with our hand-taking, our initiation and immersion into the silsilla of Truth, experienced as mystic nectar streaming through the hearts of the friends of Allah forming the heart to heart current. This current of divine Life opens our hearts so that we can see and feel and know that we are with the Beloved One, we are part of the Beloved One. This is the cause of the blissful state of the dervish who has taken hand. The hand-taking is pure Grace of Allah freely bestowed. The hand-taking is the fulfilled Promise of Allah to the soul, that it will be called back to its Beloved Source after its earthly embodiment. The hand-taking is the bestowal of Paradise before Paradise. The hand-taking is the beginning of the mystic journey in Allah.

With the beginning of the mystic journey we need to know how to orient ourselves. We know that we are in Allah, but where do we go, how do we move? The essential orientation, the light house of the dervish, is the pleasure of the Beloved. Our journey becomes the seeking of His pleasure. For His Pleasure is ultimately our own pleasure and our eternal happiness.

Allah’s pleasure is reached if it is our sincere intention to do so. Therefore we must clarify our intention and make it firm - seeking Allah’s Pleasure becomes the axis and meaning of our life.

Allah’s Pleasure is manifold. It is in the saving of the life of an ant. It is in stopping for a homeless person in the street.
It is in transforming one’s anger into peace. It is in restraining one’s limited self.

It is in coming together in love. It is in kind behavior toward the family of Allah, all creatures, not abusing them for one’s own profit. It is in protecting the life of the trees. It is in growing food with love and care and sharing that food with others. It is in uttering the sacred words Bismillahirrahmanirrahim once before taking food into one’s mouth.

It is in reciting the Name of Allah in the heart and on the tongue. It is in joining the powerful circle of Zikrullah. It is in forming the lines of salat. It is in loving and revering the friends of Allah, and in offering prayers of praise to the beloved Prophet of Allah, to his noble family and to all of the Prophets and Prophet Mothers.

It is in praying for others. It is in offering good counsel. It is in creating families of love. It is in speaking kind words to soothe a heart. It is in making gifts to each other.

It is turning to Allah to ask for help when one is sad or distressed. It is in placing one’s forehead on the earth in gratitude and awe. It is in giving constant thanks. It is in asking for forgiveness. It is in making peace and spreading peace.

It is in covering oneself with the veil of quietude and entering states of deep contemplation. It is in rising early before the sun to pray for forgiveness for oneself and others. It is in praying in the night. It is in reading the Quran and pondering its meanings. It is in understanding Allah’s Signs that are in ourselves and spread throughout the universes. It is in studying the life of the beloved of Allah, sas, and striving to follow his example. It is in reading the Wirds of our Pirs. It is in reading the words of the Friends and embodying their way.

Allah’s pleasure is woven into creation like golden threads into a tapestry. Every weave has divine pleasure in it if we know how to see it and approach it. And we see it when we are in the moment of the heart. For Allah’s Pleasure, as our own pleasure, can only be sensed when we are in the moment, in the present, in the heart. We cannot truly feel Divine pleasure when we are only in the mind, thinking of the future, when we are planning or predicting or criticizing and judging. We should use the beautiful gift of our mind but we must be rooted in the heart for the wonderful powers of the mind to be fruitful.

What is the living power in all of these singular moments of Divine Pleasure? It is Love. By taking hand and following Love and adopting the Adab of Love, the gracious manners and intelligence of Love, we are following the Beloved and finding His pleasure, Her pleasure. As dervishes, we are in the great Caravan of Love. And Love is our religion. Wherever it goes, there we follow.

ONE whirling as He and us, or She and us if you prefer, as the Generous One says, “Call on Me with whichever of My Beautiful Names you prefer.”

O dervishes, call on Him, call on Her. Your call is answered and will be answered with the most generous response.

Pray to the Beloved. Seek the Beloved, seek His divine pleasure, Her divine pleasure.

“What could make you deny or refuse the infinite gifts of your Lord and Lover?”

Paradise and the Dune beyond Paradise are Allah’s great Pleasure and Bliss.

May we seek and find His great Pleasure, Her great Pleasure together, eternally!

Fariha Fatima

The Quran, and of course all of the sacred Revelations, illumine for us what is the Divine Pleasure. The life, actions and words of the Prophet of Allah, may he be showered in sublime peace, and of course all of the Prophets and Mother- Prophets, may they all be showered in divine peace, reveal to us what is pleasing to Allah and what is not pleasing to Allah. The mystic saints, Effendi, Nur, Ibn Arabi, Mevlana, and the hundred thousand mystic saints, guide us to know what is pleasing and not pleasing to Allah, and their lives inspire us to follow the way of Divine Pleasure. The living shaykh guides us to know and inspires us to orient our conscience to what is pleasing to Allah.

The noble Moses asked his Lord three times which action, of all that he could offer of devotion and charity, was most pleasing to his Beloved. Three times his Beloved responded, “Reciting La ilahe ilallah in all states and times.”

This means not only reciting it verbally but also living it.
Being conscience in every moment that Allah is the One Reality and loving that Reality with our whole heart and being. Having loving reverence and devotion to the Prophet of Allah Muhammad, peace be upon his magnificent soul, and living his teachings, embodying his way to the best of our ability. Finding love and reverence for the Family of Allah and the Community of the compassionate Prophet – which is all humanity and all beings.

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