The heart of a Muslim is one that is shaped by Islam. It is a heart that is pure, untainted and transparent, as if to say, “Look mankind! There is nothing in here that can harm you!” This kind of a heart is the most beautiful gift one can possibly take to Allah the Almighty, simply because it is “…a polished mirror which reflects the beautiful names of Allah.”
The book, distilled from the heart of the honourable Osman Nuri Topbas and which draws from observations based on contemplation and the Islamic tradition of wisdom that can be referred to as “the Muslims’ treasure chest”, comprises measures pertaining to the desired state of a Muslim’s heart. Much like a digital archive that opens up to hundreds of sub-folders, each of these measures contain meanings that could well become books in their own right.
It is the only worldview, contemplative horizon, and order of life that will suffice for the needs of all humanity until the end of time, without the need for any other ideology, religion, or worldview.
Magnificent Islamic principles are necessary for the peace and happiness of all humanity. Seeking happiness in this world and the afterlife according to other worldviews is analogous to the situation of a poor beggar unaware that he is sitting on a treasure who is hungry and helpless and extends his hand to others.
Muhammad Bahauddin Shah-i Naqshiband (May Allah sanctify his secret) was a great friend of Allah, who inherited the light of guidance from the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), through luminous hearts in a golden chain. His connection to Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) is not only spiritual but also genealogical, since he was also a descendent coming from the pure lineage of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
As you know, we have begun to present to you our writings about the friends of Allah published in Altinoluk, in which we tried to annotate and explain their wise words, in a series comprising a separate booklet for each friend of Allah. This humble work, in which we compiled our writings about Shah-i Naqshiband, is a continuation of that series.
Moreover, in this booklet we deemed it necessary to include issues such as the nature of Sufism, the principles of the Khwajagan path, and the need for friends of Allah and Sufi masters. We have excerpted the sections on these issues from our previous work entitled the Golden Chain.
The Mathnawi is a poetic embodiment of Rumi s inner world reflected in couplets and is a book of rich blessing filled with great gifts of fortune. Through the mercy of Allah, Rumi penetrated to the very depth of the human soul and thus was able to witness its unveiled inner workings. Through the sheer radiance of that vision, the text penetrates the secrets of creation that unfolded before his inner eye.
Musa Effendi, may Allah sanctify his secret, states: «Many are content with performing their prescribed daily prayer and fasting, supposing themselves to have fulfilled their religious obligations, while this is not enough. Showing mercy towards the creation of Allah Almighty alongside obedience to His commandments is required, and this can only be achieved through self-sacrifice and sincere service. The matters to which every sound-minded Muslim must pay heed after observing the compulsory and shunning the prohibited is their service to and their being of benefit to Islam, their society and all creation, as these are complementary to the religiously mandatory and components of the elevated Sunna of Allah’s Messenger...» In this book Sheikh Osman Nuri Topbaş effendi has detailed with small sentences 101 essentials points of sincere and effective services in the path of worshipping Allah.
A result of a some diligent work, rather than presenting the life of Prophet Muhammad blessings and peace be upon him, the book instead brings to the fore his exemplary character; and searching for an answer to the question of how a perfect Muslim ought to be, seeks to present the characteristics of an ideal Muslim. In the words of the Quran, he is the uswat ul-hasanah, the quintessential example. His sublime morals reflect onto the beauty of his spirit and appearance. His deeds of worship, manners, propriety, courage and compassion all mirror his characteristic of being the quintessential example; so too his social relations and his conduct towards orphans, the elderly, women and the underprivileged. Offering the magnificent character of Prophet Muhammad blessings and peace be upon him- in a bouquet, the exceptional work by Osman Nuri Topbaş is set to tie afresh our bond to the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him.
He Ney (flute) that is mentioned is Rûmî s stories in fact represents the perfect man (Insan-i Kâmil). The stages a reed goes through from the reed bed to becoming a ney portrays the maturation of a human being, a representation of the steps of purifying the nafs (lower self) and refining the heart. In the same way that the ney is severed from the reed bed and this separation causes it to lament in pain, the perfect man, who has come from the realm of souls and enters a body made out of clay, known as the cage made of flesh, yearns for the original realm. Through this yearning a human being goes through ascetic discipline (riyâda), meditation (murâqaba), reflection (tafakkur), Divine love and tribulations until he reaches maturity and finds perfection.
The most important things that give one s life a meaning are taqwâ (piety) and sincerity. Taqwâ is to curb one s fleshly desires and to strengthen the spiritual potential through prayers to God and doing good deeds for humanity. Hence taqwâ is required in every field of life, in our belief, worship, in our dealings with others, even in our every breath.
Islam: Spirit and Form, which throws light on the basic principles of Islam from the spiritual perspective, is a reference book in all regards. The book talks about the three important steps that take a human being to the presence of the Divine. Islam, the first of these steps, is to surrender. The second is submission, the state of mind that finds its true meaning once crowned with faith or iman.
The greatest fruit of the blessing of faith is to look at creation with the eyes of the Creator and to approach all creatures with love. This elevates the life of a human being to higher levels and causes him or her to enter a world of forgiveness, mercy and love. One can then spread love and mercy to all creation. Mercy is a fire that is never extinguished in the heart of a Muslim. In this world, it is the distinguishing essence of being human which leads us through the heart to union with our Lord…. A believer is always on the first line of every struggle which bestows peace to the hearts of others.
Such a mercy he was that his compassion and beneficence surrounded all humanity, even all creation. Such a mercy he was that he was granted to all souls and minds as a fountain of life, love and wisdom, knowledge, and learning adorned with endless blessing. Such a mercy he was that the Quran, a guide to the true path, was endowed through him. Such a mercy he was that he became unique among messengers in that he was the dearest to Allah and was granted with the spiritual night journey to heavens. Such a mercy he was that without him, all worlds would turn to a desolate desert. Such a mercy he was that the origin of creation emerged with his glorious being. All previous messengers came to know his glorious and blessed being. Such a mercy he was that all beauties bear reflections from him. No flower blossoms without having a piece from his light. None would exist without him.
Islam is a divine cast that shapes a person’s faith and practice but it also moulds his morals and social interactions.
A Muslim who therefor allows Islam to enter in his heart and soul and so in his life has values principles and direction. The thought of embracing the cold and callous commercial ways of capitalism does not even cross his mind. Capitalism urges him to recognize no other standard than his own self-interests.
What marks Islam out is the line it draws between Halal (legitimate) and Haram (prohibited).
This book based on a conversation between Altınoluk revue and the Cheikh Osman Nuri Topbaş, aims to warn against the most common mistakes made in today’s commercial life and advise a right way out.