some friends from Konya: Isat, Ozcan, Fatma, Muharrem Effendi.
New Year Greetings from the Zahuri Sufi Web Site for 2010.
In the New Year that we are about to enter we have hopes for better things to come. The
page of 2010 is blank. Of course we cannot simply wish away the difficulties that we have
inherited from the last year but we can and should make a resolve to make the New Year
better in as many ways as possible.
To make our lives better and richer we need not only wishful thinking and hope; we need
resolution, determination, a purpose and a goal. In many ways our life is a story and as
Zahurmian once expressed it, we should seek to ensure that Love is implicit if not explicit
in every sentence.
It may seem to you that we are but helpless pawns in the game of life that goes on around
us - but it need not be so, if we first understand that we have inside ourself the potential
for evolving into something altogether better. That person we are capable of becoming has
the power to affect people that come into contact with that person.
To enrich the lives of others, not just financially but spiritually and morally is real charity
but we can only give what we have to give - so first we must enrich our selves.
This requires both labour and inspiration. First we must take stock of our own patterns of
thought. When something does not appear to go our way do we become negative, thinking
and expecting the worse in order to protect ourselves against disappointment. Do we
inwardly shout and scream like some deranged person.
.If we do, it so often happens that our thoughts become self fulfilling. If we expect the best
and it does not happen we have at least enjoyed the thought, but it may be what we wanted
was not actually the best for us. Making our thoughts positive should also imply that what
we hope for is in itself worthy and good. Thoughts go from us like a prayer we should aim
to make them sweet-scented and acceptable.
Where do our thoughts go? They go to the only place large enough that the Divinity
Himself can make his residence there. That is to our heart. People think of the heart as an
organ in the body or as the source of emotions. It is so much more.
In a sense the whole physical and spiritual universe is found within the heart. We may
experience strong emotions of an affectionate nature towards someone and think this is
love but at best it is only a stepping stone to real Love. We should aspire to reaching the
very throne in our heart so that there we may find the Love that passes all recognition and
understanding. We should become its willing slave and aspire to becoming its willing
servant and then to becoming its true friend and then to becoming the lover of Love until
we lose any identity or separation so that we know only Love as our true nature.
If we can make this journey and reach this destination we will then know with certainty
that it was by the love of Love itself that such a journey became possible. We also know
we can only become Love by losing ourself in Love.
But how does this change the world we live in?
Because love is the purification of our lower nature and the world we live in is our lower
nature made manifest.
Our outward actions may not seem very different to the casual eye but we affect things
around us in ways that cannot be so perceived. Qualities such as patience, contentment,
inner joy, wisdom, generosity, humility, and tolerance become manifest. Making us the
truly sane person in mad world. We conquer ourselves by submitting to the open Secret
that lies within us and that transcends 'within' and 'without'.
We begin our journey to this desired abode with self discipline. We inhabit an unruly
kingdom of thugs, cheats, liars, miscreants and mischief makers or worse. Our inner
kingdom requires being put into order so that the commands we make of ourselves are
carried out with promptness and efficiency. When we have restored good order in our
thoughts and impulses then we can begin to make progress. Our inward change, changes
the things around us.
These thoughts of Love are inspired by my recent annual visit to the Festival or ''Urs of
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi in Konya, Turkey. If you know even a little of him you will not
be surprised. The holy Qur'an says that God can make another kind of person to replace
recalcitrant man - people who God will love and they will love him. It is difficult not to
come to the conclusion that in the case of Mevlana and other great friends of God such as
Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti of Ajmer that we see the fulfilment of this.
They rise above the meanness of mind that characterises so many religious zealots and the
lack of discipline and real caring evidenced by libertarians. There are many admirers of
the technical poetic qualities of Mevlana Rumi - he has been translated frequently and is
rightly much admired for these qualities. But his words are only the foam on the ocean - it
requires that we open our hearts and minds to the implications behind the literal meanings
so that we can become immersed in the ocean.
It is not just the 'spiritual' qualities that are so important it is the 'factuality' of the person
that is so important. I visited the Kabah some years ago and people asked me what was
your impression when you first saw the Kabah. I wasn't sure what to answer but on
reflection it was surprise at the 'factuality' of the building, if I may coin such a phrase. It
was something that existed in the mind as glorious and great but there it actually was. An
existent fact - but in some way not just a fact - so to speak, but the Fact.
That is the dimension of the saints such as Mevlana Rumi that constantly surprises. After
all the fine words one cannot help but utter about him there is behind that the fact of him. A
real man breathing, eating, and walking the earth. Just as the holy Qur'an says of the
This is the substantive proof of the Reality of the Divine. Its power to transform a man into
a Prophet or Saint - a real man (or woman) like you and I but so much more. Try to keep
this in mind when beginning the journey to the heart of your own heart. God has power
over every thing.
I have written previously of the various events that go on during the ''Urs of Mevlana so I
will not repeat them here except to offer my sincere gratitude to Mevlana for his
hospitality that transcends words, to remember the many other saintly people of Konya
such as Hazrat Ateshbazvelli, Hekim Effendi, Sareuddin Konevi, Tavus Baba, and Jamel
Ali Dede and of course Nuri Baba. Also to the various people who showed me so much
kindness and humanity such as Ali Baba, the disciples of Nuri Baba, and good hearted
people such as Fatma and her mother who entertained me in the shop at the Dergah of Ali
Baba, and of course Muharrem who so kindly invited me for a meal and shared his
experiences of visiting Ajmer Sharif.
We are a single community, perhaps separated by language and culture but united by the
transcendent power of love that flows from soul of Mevlana Rumi and the saints whose
blessings were abundant and ever surprising. May ar-Rehman keep us all in His Grace
and Mercy and pardon and hide our mistakes and make them good.
It remains only to wish you and yours a bright and prosperous New Year.
Jamiluddin Morris Zahuri
December 27th 2009.
Jamil outside of the Shrine of Mevlana Rumi (courtesy Fatma Buyker)