The Path to Insight
The murid should obey all religious customs and show respect for secular laws as well. The Bektashi Way emphasizes adab from the beginning of life until its end. Adab prevents the murid from putting his fellow man to shame and it teaches him to be patient and forgiving. Adab will control anger and the murid will then abandon everything to the grace of God, as the Qur’an says, “Those who remain patient and are forgiving, they shall be compensated.” Once man begins to see the spiritual sun shining in his heart, he begins to follow adab.
Adab endows the murid with inner strength so he can restrain himself from doing injury to others. He will be free of envy, conceit, and above all, temptation. He will see the Divine in all and will feel great contentment. He will not set eyes on the faults in others, but rather he will seek to remove his own first. Without proper adab no candidate for the Bektashi Way can reach the stage of perfection.
To Bektashism, self-centeredness is the weak point of man. Selfishness impedes man in his progression on the road to excellence. One obsessed with self-indulgence cannot move a single step forward. He will always remain in darkness and will never see the light. Self-centeredness turns him blind and he can never truly become a human. One Bektashi mystic wrote, “Whoever sees only himself, cannot possibly see God.”
Egoism to man is like honey to a bear. It diverts man away from that which is spiritual and leads him toward darkness and arrogance. Therefore, it is imperative to subdue it and strip it away from the heart. As the Turkish poet Hatiboglu writes:
I have shattered all of my inner self, Not a sliver of it remains inside of me.
Sister Iqbal Bajia writes:
Let us let the ego vanish from the depth of our soul.
Let the heart be rid of it, so that God can find a place.
Jami, in his book Nafahat ul-'Uns wrote:
“One day as Shaykh Sa’duddin was out riding, his horse stopped before crossing a shallow pond and would not budge an inch. Shaykh Sa’duddin comprehended the situation and told his men to throw some dirt into the water. The horse then crossed the pond with ease. Sa’duddin then explained to his followers: ‘The horse would not cross the pond because the horse saw his own face on it. Once he could not see himself, the horse crossed the pond. This is the same with man. If he sees only himself he cannot proceed toward the road of perfection.’”
A man cannot lift the screens which cover his eyes, unless he clears his heart of egoism. The believer must reject his temporal existence in order to achieve his total goal. The great poet Isma’ il Hakki wrote:
Lover of God! If you wish to find the hidden treasure, Destroy the castle of egoism.
Only then will you be able to reach your goal.
Our dear lqbal Bajia wrote this poem after she was initiated into the Bektashi Way:
In the Shari’ah it is said: ‘This is mine and that is yours.’
They are kept separate from one another.
In Tarikat it is said: “It is mine and yours,”
Whereas in Haqiqah it is neither yours I nor mine.
They belong to Him, the Truth,
Because there we will go
And leave everything.
Only He will remain.
The believer should reject the words mine and yours.
Only then can he be enriched with the love of God.
The poet Oglu writes:
Scorch me with the fire of love!
Let me drink the wine of God!
Erase all that is egocentric in me,
And do not leave a single mark of it.
Nothing must remain in me;
Let my soul blend with Your beauty!
Once the mountain of the self (nafs) disintegrates, humans can begin to see far away. In conjunction with this it would be beneficial to relate the story of Moses and the mountain. Once, Prophet Moses journeyed to Mount Tur to converse with God. Moses said, “I can hear Your voice, yet I cannot see You.” God replied, “You will not see Me, but gaze upon that mountain! If it stands still in its place, then you will see Me.” (Surah al-A’raf, 7:143)
Then the Power of God made the mountain crumble. Moses was overwhelmed with awe and fainted. When he regained consciousness he cried out, “Glory to You! I turn to You repentant and I am the first of the believers.”
God's responds to Moses has been interpreted in different ways. The Sufis maintain that the mountain symbolizes the ego (nafs).
Moses could not possibly see God without first removing from within the mountain of the ego. Once a human being dissolves his or her own base desires out of the love of God's Beauty, the ego will evaporate, and soon the splendor of Divine Light will shine within. This brilliance exists intrinsically in the heart; but it is self-centeredness that prevents it from shining.
Moses asked for forgiveness, and God appointed a guide, a murshid, Sayyidina Khidhr to lead Moses along the Road of Insight.