THE LANGUAGE OF STATE IN MAWLÂNÂ JALAL AL-D?N AL-RUM?
In this essay, I will try examine language forms, in particular to meaning and power of the language of state (lisân-? hâl), the reasons for speaking this language, the value and the benefits of this language in reference to Mawlânâ. First, I will give a brief introduction of Mawlânâ"s view of language of state in general.
1. An Outline of The Language of State in Mawlânâ"s Thought
Mawlânâ Jalal Al-Din Al-Rumi is a great personality known both in the East and West. Apart from being a great scholar, thinker, sufist, educator, linguistic expert and poet, he was also a man of heart and a guide of love. The power of his imagination, emotional enthusiasm, the power of his description of nature, his knowledge, subtlety and sincerity are some of his evident characteristics.
He always emphasized sincerity, simplicity, and love and aimed to transform this love into a morality and creativity. Love is, for him, the best remedy for every problem. His philosophy thus plays crucial role in understanding and interpreting the human nature, life and existence as he put them into a warm, intimate and sincere relationship with God. While doing a presentation of human soul, he discusses the role of the love and peace among people.
At the heart of Mawlânâ"s mystic understanding is ecstatic love of God. Love, affection, whirling dance (performed by the Mawlavi dervishes) seclusion for devotion, ecstasy, rapture are various kinds of mystical attitudes. Mawlânâ, who is enraptured and enthusiastic in his Mathnawî, Dîwân-? Kabîr, Rubâîs, is much more mystical than most other sufist. If we compare the sufism of that period, we will come across with the metaphysics of ?bn "Arabî, the theory of knowledge of Konawî, the love and affection of Mawlânâ. Naturally, love and affection are the basic sources of Mawlânâ"s philosophy. For this, he couldn"t put his intense emotion and sensitiveness into the music and poetry as he was dissatisfied even with the power of sound and words. So that he could not stop himself saying:
“I shall hit and smash the letter, the sound and the word to each other, and then, I shall speak to you without them.”
Even in his 26.000 couplet of Mathnawî he was anxious for inability to satisfy himself in expressing his emotions.
“Mathnawî becomes sea when it is rescued from letter, sound and word. Then, for the one who articulates the word, or listens to the word, the word become one soul altogether.”
He considered the language like a dam in the sea of meaning or like a plate which puts boundaries to the ocean-like vast meanings. Here, the important thing is that the individuals understand the soul, the beloved ( in Islamic mysticism “canan” is God), suffering, and meaning, and thuscatch the unity in the same situation.
“Knowledge is the way of living for the hearts.”
says Mawlânâ and continues his speech in such a sensitivity which overflows linguistic patterns and thus goes beyond life perception:
“Learn the language of the dumps, learn the language of the soul from the ones who have secrets but can not express them with the tongue.”
In his understanding, the aim of the real enthusiasts is to pass beyond the limits of time. Those who pass this line, start using a different language with a distinct taste in a different sense of existence. In this level of existence the anxiety ceases; and one is rescued from the anxiety of dimension, longing-union, summer-winter, bitter-sweet come to a state of smooth surface. In this place where love, affection, senses of intense tasting and hearing dominate, pleasure of state make any word unnecessary. For, the intervention of the word means the curtaining of this colorful place. And no sufis wants an interference between this tasteful, peaceful field of existence and himself. If he wants this, he is a person with no love, ecstasy, profundity; and such a person cannot be a sufi.
While Mawlânâ was getting enthusiastic within his vast spiritual world, had he not got a social responsibility, probably he wouldn"t have spoken much. As he wanted to use mysticism as a means of inculcating morality, he needed the words. In spite of this, he is rather frequently complains of the insufficiency of “the latter language”. Although he has a powerful art, he can play skillfully with words in a very easy way, he agrees that the language and words can neither explain God nor His love properly. Therefore, Mawlânâ dwelled on the necessity of speaking sometimes without letter, tongue, lip but with “language of state” or “language of heart”. He implores God for the spiritual mystical meanings in his heart to be conveyed without words which gives him a spiritual language different from the one he speaks.
So once the place and significance of the language of state has been clear it is true to have a brief look at the other kinds of language which Mawlânâ indicates in order to see the place of this language among others.
2. Varieties of Language in Mawlânâ
It is possible to divide the language that Mawlânâ uses or the ways he expresses himself into parts with respect to its expression, its source, its content and to its effect.
a- Expression: Mawlânâ expresses himself indirectly-directly, explicitly-implicitly, with signs, tidy-untidy and coincidental, straight-bent and crooked; short-long; with sound, with tune, with word, silent-without word and with the language of state.
In addition to these, in Mawlânâ"s poetic Dîwân, we come across with expression techniques which are without alif (the first letter of the Arabic alphabet)-lâm (name of letter in Arabic alphabet), without prolongation (Arabic grammar the sign overe a; a pronouncing the letter a by extending its usual phonetic value.), without dot-comma (unrelated)-unsuspicious, by jamming in between, secretly, with arrow-bow and without tongue which are the most important ones. In spite of these, he notices that so many diverse narrations techniques don"t satisfy the soul.
This is expressed through innumerable ways but you remain silent, since the natures become the enemies of everything that is much.
b- Source: From this point of view, the word is divided into two parts which are human and divine or word of reason and the word of God"s revelation. Words that are within the first group are restricted and incomplete. On the contrary, the ones they are within the second group are unrestricted, infinite and perfect. The essential source of the word, for Mawlânâ, is God. “God is eternal in the past and the future, He is such a Speaker that his words are sacred exempt and from the tunes of the words, the movements of the dialects, and from the envelope and letter records in which the readers put their words while reading.” The exalted and blessed God speaks without feeling the need for mouth, lip, palate but these partial minds" groundless fears don"t reach Him, they can not comprehend and thus understand Him. Only prophets come from the word without letter to the word with letters.
Mawlânâ"s basic source of inspiration is God. Even though this inspiration can sometimes cut off, it may begin to flow to again. In gaining this inspiration, sufist"s struggle has an active role.
Several couplets are still left but the source is disappeared, if we rouse to action, if we jump, that source gets activitated again and begins to flow.
Mawlânâ states that divine symbols can not be understood easily; the one who has tied the knot will be able to untie it the one who has sad the epigrams, the secrets, will reveal them. In brief, in order to understand divine word it is appropriate to apply to divine word. In order to be able to understand divine word, it is necessary for man to open his heart to the spiritual language, i.e. the language of immortality.
c- Content: From this point of view, in Mawlânâ, we come across with two types of words: One is true, good and nice; and the other is false, bad and futile. True word gives comfort, confidence and joy to the heart, whereas the false word causes suspicions trouble in the hearts.
In Mawlânâ"s dialectic and progressive understanding, good and bad, true and false are in a state of fighting with each other in the nature. For him, the smell of the word informs whether it is true or false. But to be aware of this, it is necessary for man to think sound, to ponder well in the mind, to analyze the word and the states of the speakers.
Bad words emanate from the bad persons. He compares the ones who say bad words to the vulture. In fact, the vulture"s mouth smells bad! The speaker"s wickedness and his word can be understood from his face, eyes and the color of his face. Therefore, via the body language, one can get information about the speaker"s personality, sincerity and honesty.
Mawlânâ intensely opposes to saying words that have futile or meaningless contents. According to him, love is a secret which is uncovered in this word heretofore; to reveal this secret is only “futile word”. Also, for him, the ones who are interested in and who repeat others words like parrots are the ones who say futile things with no understanding.
d- The psychological effect: Safe word, familiar word, words which relief, develop and constrict the heart, etc, fall in this group.
According to Mawlânâ, the sufists" words comes from safety and prosperity. One of the reasons for this is that their words come from the prophets and holy men (velîs). The spirits who hear their acquaintances" word, feel themselves in security and get free from fear. Since, from the acquaintances" word, the hope and scent of prosperity come to the spirit. The beloved"s word which shows honor, gives taste, overwhelms with joy. it is sweet, exciting, hearty and sincere.
After introducing kinds of language in this way, now it is time to dwell upon our basic subject, that is the language of state.
3. The Possibility of The Language of State
The language of state is larger meaning than body language in meaning. Language of state is the expression of the individual" love, ecstasy, suffering of the things he feels in his inner world, the things he cannot express in any ordinary way. But through his appearance, attitude and behavior. A logician takes the speech, namely, the word as a basis. Logic cannot become a part of the activity where there is no word. And in reading language of state, logic only makes some indefinite inferences by means of premises, signs or clues. The mystical field, as known, overflows the limits of logic. In state language, vision, intuition and hearings play role rather than logic. The sufist has no need to any language or traditional art. Because, as Nasr indicates, he and his life, is itself a (state) language, a work of art. By the way of to listening the spiritual music, he is always in a spiritual state and language. Moreover, he always sees the existence as a speaking in agreement with harmony and beauty. All the world is an external realm of the expression.
In as much as the mature sufist"s sea of meaning cannot be contained by the river of the devotee who has started out the mystical journeys, and thus is just accustomed to this path, the sufist speaks to his level. Thus, the sufist nourishes him with the milk of his word and knowledge step by step until the devotee no longer needs help. But, there are certain truths which cannot be expressed by words. Than, the sufist who is in the position of spiritual guide, will express the things he wants to say with his state and behaviors. Because, words are insufficient in expressing the sufist"s intention, love and ecstasy. Basically, in the basis of Mawlânâ"s use of symbols, his occasional usage of paradoxical expressions and thus the importance he attaches to the language of state lies the insufficiency of the language in expressing his intention.
Thus, especially in the poems of Dîwân by Mawlânâ, one sees him expressing himself with signs, with allusions, without alif-lâm or prolongation, or dot-comma, free (unrelated)-unsuspicious, by jamming in between, secretly, with arrow-bow, and most importantly without tongue.
For Mawlânâ, expression without letter, sound, word is nor just possible and but it is the most effective form of expression.
Be silent oh heart, actually the one who wishes, wants, becomes silent; the ones" willingness that they really want is expressed with their actual state.
It doesn"t matter whether the sufist knows or doesn"t know the word, the letter; there is another door to express the affliction of love.
I closed my mouth; we will say the remaining part of the “ghazel” (the lyric poem), when we close our mouths.
Mawlânâ says that as man speaks in his dream without tongue, so does he while awake. Just as the species of fruits can be read from the leaves of tree, many states can be drawn from the silence of man. According to him, the heart"s word is silence. The spirit which doesn"t come to the tongue, can not be expressed by tongue.
Mawlânâ indicates that in God said hundreds of words without sound letter assembly of unity. He wants to express that the most beautiful poem is not the one that pours out of the lips but the one that is felt in the heart. Indeed, he has indicated that it is necessary to read a poem with a language beyond word and letter. The Dîwân-? Kabîr, in which he often tries to express the love in sounds rather than to explaining it, is a monument which shows the impossibility of it expression. Probably love"s whole power and beauty is in its inalterability and in its incomprehensibility.
According to Mawlânâ, the sufist speaks both with his tongue and language of state by being silent.
We haven"t got any ears but we are ears from our heads to our feet. Our mouths don"t speak, we haven"t got mouths but we are words all over (with language of state).
Mawlânâ was an expert in both languages. Eflâkî communicates that Hussain al-Tirmidhi said to Mawlânâ: “In religion and certain fields of knowledge you have passed your father considerably , but your father"s knowledge both of "speech/word" and of "language of state" was complete. From now on, I want you had better begin to study the language of state. This is the knowledge of prophets and holy people, which they call “?lm-? ledünn (knowledge of the secrets of God)”. “He gave him the knowledge from us (min ledünna” (Kehf, 18/65) underlines the existence of this kind of knowledge. Mawlânâ obeyed whatever he told and brought him person to his own madrasah (=muslim theological school) and continued to this service for nine years.” Kushayri refers to that the person, (=kul) who is the beloved of God, makes his inner world pure blessed, prosperous, the signs and traces of this are reflected in his face and this is called speech without speaking. This is speaking not with words but with language of state.
We shall consider the function of experiments in learning. The things which cannot be explained otherwise, can easily be comprehended by experiments. This situation is called the “language of state”. At this point, we should remember such an actual event: A disciple what in the order of a sheikh takes his friend whom he loves to join the dervish convent to which he belongs, to make him listen from his sheikh. His emotions and thoughts which he feels difficulties in expressing. But that day the sheikh doesn"t talk, rather prefers silence. The disciple feels embarrassed for his friend, later he explains this to his sheikh in a way. The sheikh"s answer is short but remarkable. “The one who doesn"t understand something from our state, can not understand anything from our language.” This form of speech, as we have indicated above, is the most effective way of speaking. Of course, some of these couplets are paradoxical, since the possibility of explaining without letter, sound, word is expressed in the language of state.
Keep silence, if they say to you that there is no speech letter, sound, say that: “It is a lie!
Keep silence, since you too have a word that is woven with words, sounds, letters… Be silent… Besides the words that are said with the tongue there are other words that enliven/delight greatly.
Our mouths don"t speak, we have no lips but are speeches entirely.
I remained silent, I closed my mouth but I speak without words this night.
I speak when I remain silent! We are speaking when we are silent like a soul.
I close my lips, I tell you hundreds of witty remarks, even, I whisper these witty remarks to your heart"s flirtatious, coquettish ear; I tell you whatever exists within me as a secret.
Mawlânâ"s view of the language of state as a nice, powerful and effective way of expression, means that he considers it as a possible way of expression.
These couplets which we have chosen from Mawlânâ indicate both the ways one can speak the language of state without sound, word and the possibility of such a language. In the couplets, the eye, tear, cheek, face, secret world; birds from the natural word, the rose garden, cypress, moon, sun, plant of iris (sesame), narcissus, sea and even mote can speak the language of state. If one pays attention, here, both man"s many organs and many other living creatures in the nature speak the language of state.
We are also the ones who say, speak in stead of remaining silent. We are like a pair of scales.
I remain silent but I get enthusiastic for you. I am like the Aden Sea.
Oh my friend, look at my cheeks if you can read, you will then see and read the characteristics of love from my face.
When you get angry, your eyes tell my eyes a word secretly, that word belongs to my secret fire.
Your eye makes a bet, asks questions and gives answers, without gossip, sound-word, that relates to the lesson of love with my eye in each breath.
Be silent and say nothing and the fear shall say. When the heart catches fire it smells like the agalloch tree.
God said, “their intentions appear on their faces”. Because the face says, reveals the secret within the inner world.
Everyone remained silent but the secret word is speaking without tongue… It is goes on reading sermon (khutba) in the world with no gossip tunes.
Watch the birds" wings and their feet around the roof. These tell you God"s supreme power.
But, at any moment like a growing up, beautiful, embellished rose garden thank to the water.
The cypresses, the greens always express their thanks to the water and the spring"s justice without a tongue and lips.
They remain silent but speak fluently without words.
Our moon has risen without words each and the tongue has found its speaking-ability with our powers.
Oh sun, rise behind the mount, the cloud, an each look tell the state without sounds-words.
Although it has many languages if the iris does not tell my situation to her, you tell my secrets like the narcissus with no tongue, but eyes.
Be stark naked and dive into the sea; learn to speak like the sea"s sound.
Each mote is full of wail and lamentation; what should it do, it has no got a tongue.
The mote"s tongue is its playing; the mote has no other tongues.
To be able to well-understand, it is be necessary for us to closely see the reasons that had caused Mawlânâ to speak this language as a sufist.
4. The Reasons for Speaking The Language of State
a- The basic reason for the sufist applies to speaking the language of state is that the linguistic possibilities are restricted and insufficient for the sufist to express what comes into his heart. In this connection, Sheikh Shihabuddin Sukhrawardî says that: “For the people of state, not "language of word (kâl)" but "language of state (hâl) is necessary. Since, only the "word" without "state", the heart"s problems cannot be solved.” These too confirm the main idea.
No, I shall not say, I shall say it through remaining silent; simply, it (eternal love) doesn"t fit into expression.
Listen from the heart the witty remarks without words and thus understand the things which even don"t fit with the comprehension.
b- In the eyes of a sufist, the insignificance and insufficiency of words, the fear that its opportunities are restricted, its being risky even harmful and also being open to misunderstanding are among the several reasons for the sufist applying to the state of language of state.
In the eyes of Mawlânâ the important thing is not the word but love. According to him the word/speech is an unimportant drum. The role of the drum is to have the love heard. And to get it heard is unimportant for others and others things. Moreover, the word resembles a child"s toy, the fluttering wing of the fly, the small bell in the donkey"s neck. Moreover, the word/speech is a futile struggle resembling beating the laundry in the river coast in futile. The word/speech is only a meaningless chatter, an useless nagging to the mill of meaning, whereas the mill doesn"t revolve with noggin but with water.
Word is not valuable and sufficient, particularly in the field of meaning. Not the things in the tongue but that are within the heart are valuable. Since, word is an imagination, one shouldn"t be obsessed by it.
As seen in these couplets, Mawlânâ discusses the insignificance of the verbal expression.
I told you thousands of times, I said to be silent, don"t expect any help from the word it is no use.
Don"t fall into the water of words too much; don"t bring water from this source (from the word of the in animates); there the satin is seen but on this side it is an ordinary Yemen cloth.
One serious reason for the insignificance and worthlessness of the words is the worthlessness of the speaker who evaluates the word.
Inferior persons despise everyone who speaks.
Even though his word is holy and worthy, they decrease that it"s degree.
In Mawlânâ"s reference to the language of state the insufficiency of the word has an important role as much as its unimportance. From his expressions, “Oh the one who stays rotten between the letter and sound…” , “The language can not express this !”, at first sight, we understand that he doesn"t consider the word sufficient at all. According to Mawlânâ, the word is crust, foot and tie. Therefore, it is insufficient for the purpose. The language becomes even much more insufficient in expressing the love and beloved.
I want to have a mouth as wide as the skies so that I praise the beautiful one whom even the angels envy.
Even had I got such a mouth or a mouth hundred times larger than this one still wailing-lamentation would not fit it.
The word is not only insufficient for the purpose, but also harmful. Mawlânâ therefore, is not a defender of the word.
Be silent, because the tongue is damage all over, why do you run towards the tongue?
The damages of the word are thus mentioned: The word hurts, the beloved and destroys the love. It distracts human being and detains from doing his work; it affects the point of view and opinion and disperses the thoughts. Furtermore, it causes doubts and strangeness and destroys the purity of the meaning. Therefore, word is dishonored. It conceals the essence, the face and the reality and prevents observing the beauty, it is like dust which covers the reality. Thus, this dust, covers the secret of love. The word gives suffering, trouble, and headache to human beings it decodes the secrets, it exposes the shame, it flies like the wind, like the straw and goes leaving the heart annoyed.
The word/speech despises the human being, makes him tired and prevents him from making progress. Moreover, it also causes him to sleep; it makes him to recover from stupor and it also spoils his pleasure, just as it makes him sleepy. In the end, the word/speech causes the divine help to cease.
c- Another reason which causes Mawlânâ to refer to the language of state is that it poses danger. For him, the word presents danger in these ways:
ca- The word is a trap. Therefore, it is necessary to escape from the word to a place which is in sixty parasangs greater in distance.
cb- It increases the fire and spreads it too far.
cc- It bites like a snake.
cd- It sometimes puts someone into a trouble.
ce- It becomes a means for one to become haughty.
cf- It prevents unity, it is discriminative.
cg- It causes quarrels and stubbornness.
ch- The danger in the word even causes to war. The word causes this damage, because it is the means of exposing the secrets or inciting the hostility.
Words always bring fight to man, the word makes Ali fight Omer like Rafh?z? at each moment.
Oh, the ability of saying word, oh the fighter capacity; I am tired of word now, be silent!
Things, here said about the damages the word, also are reasons for silence. So, one of the reasons for silence is the struggle to protect the damages of words.
d- Also, another reason which Mawlânâ wants to refer to state language is the restrictedness of the opportunities of language and inability of the human beings to express themselves. He is tired of the word and also he is sad of the restrictions of words and their inability in expressing his purpose. “My word is not in my hand, hence I become sad and hurt. Since, I want to preach to my friends, and the word doesn"t submit to me, I become very sad for this.” As a sufist Mawlânâ often indicates that he faced great difficulties in expressing his state. He indicates this via the forms he expresses himself. And from these expressions one can imagine, how rich and full of secret are the experiences that he has lived.
“This word has no end…”, “There is no end to this word…”, “The end of this word doesn"t come…”, “This word neither has an end, nor comes to an end…”, “There is no possibility for saying this unity which doesn"t fit into word by the word, so that is it.”, “this word doesn"t fit into the limit and …”, “Here, don"t speak any more, shut your mouth!”, “…I cannot tell those words!”, “…The tongue has no power-strength..!”, “If there were no obstacles the pen had faced (the things that I have difficulties in expressing) hadn"t appeared…”, “What cannot be written down by the pen, can not be said by tongue…”, “The end of this kind of expressing doesn"t come … (even though he is helped with its equal amount !)”, “…Once the pen comes to this point, it is broken!”
It can be said that Mawlânâ prefers the use of the language of state, since he thinks that the language falls into a weakness in expressing the soul, the heart, the word of future and secret, the beloved, God and the love. The state led by the enumerated series and the pleasure it gives can not be easily expressed. Since, tongue/language can express the appearance, so it can not express what is limited. As the sufist desires to go beyond the limits; the language with limited opportunities will insufficient to express himself.
Language is unable to express what is beyond this; language"s work-deed always tells what is apparent.
But, the apparent form, a figure like the rose"s leaf, melts and dissolves like the water.
“…The full explanation of this is unlimited and God"s deeds and His ways are also unlimited. What is unlimited cannot be explained. For, explanation or annunciation is limited. Also what is unlimited does not fit into what is limited. But clever people are able to understand from this little thing (the sufist"s state), indeed most of it. And the unwary people can hardly understand anything from the most of things. Since, “for a clever person, a sign is enough. And for the unwary one there is no use of explanation.”
As the thought goes beyond the words, human life is unable to put each of its thoughts into a form of language.
There are so many thoughts like seas where wisdom is like a fish swimming in these thoughts; in thinking the word is alive but once expressed it is dead.
No, thought is almost like a net, the sea is beyond this net; this net can contain nothing but the fishes that are limited any way.
“Imagination that the world is wider than the world of thought. For, all the thoughts are born from imaginations. And the image world is limited with regard to the world which creates the image world. From this word only so much can be understood, or else, it is impossible for the reality or the meaning to be determined by words and sentences.”
Enough, as long as it is completed, its lackness appears (the word cannot be completed); remain silent so that that lively beautiful one should not say it"s enough now.
I am so much filled with this doomsday that I can not say a word, and also it is not possible to express the thoughts in my heart.
Meaning does not fit to by measurement. Therefore, meanings can not be told with wild words as they are incompletely expressed by them. According to Mawlânâ, the struggle for fitting the meaning into poem can only mean wasting it. In the poem, meaning is like the sling, where it is impossible to hit every thing that is wanted. Basically, what is wanted to be said goes beyond the word too. “… The benefit of the word is that it leads or encourages you to want; otherwise the wanted thing doesn"t occur with the word. If so, why should there be a necessity for such an effort to destroy oneself.” So, everybody would gain their wishes with the words. However, the sufist"s rich and vast experience doesn"t fit in the word. For, the realm that he tries to express, is beyond this physical realm which is a different place because of its qualities and functionings. Mawlânâ thus confesses this:
If I tell this until the doomsday, it will not finish… Hundreds of doomsday would came and pass, still this subject (expressing the field of spirituality and mystical experience) is would be incompleted.
Mawlânâ points out that the weakness of language for meaning is like a child"s being powerless and insufficient. He expresses it in this way:
It is enough, be silent and escape from understanding the letter, how long will you go on to suck meaning by the letters?
It is the children"s deed who have got no teeth to suck (the meaning with the letters), if you are a hero bite the loaf of bread!
Take this poem and tear it out just like the old poem; the meaning doesn"t fit in the letter any way.
This meaning does not come to the speech, this word does not arrive to the end; the waves become tired, the foams calm down, yet the seas are everlasting.
As the language is so much weak and thus insufficient for the meaning, the sufist is supposed to keep silence on this issue.
(So) shut your mouth…, don"t try to say a thing that can not be said with the words!
We have indicated that the language falls into weakness in conveying ecstasy and the other mystical states to another one. Mawlânâ continues many times to say that state and seclusion can be understood via experience.
The love, the loneliness which flakes away, cracks altogether, doesn"t fit into expression, if you want to understand love, let me come and take you to its presence.
Be silent, had it been possible to talk about the heart"s condition, even the mountain would have started to blow like the ocean.
Now, my situation does not fit in the word. As a matter of fact, what I say is not my condition.
The sufist feels weakness to express the pleasure he tastes. According to Mawlânâ: “… In expressing the pleasure, if each mote was in the word, it would have come to the word, it would have said.” The one who tastes this pleasure knows it; those who are outside of it can neither comprehend it exactly nor they can express it. In order to understand, it is necessary to suffer, to be ground in the meaning grinder.”
The sufist"s state, the pleasure he tastes and the thoughts he entertains after this can not be put into words.
Do you know why the sea gets rough and foamy? Listen to it from me, because I am a seaman, I am in the sea.
As the ground becomes narrow, it wants a larger place for itself and at the and the water rises to the sky.
e- Another reason for Mawlânâ"s emphasizing of the language of state is his belief that speaking with the language of state or remaining silent is more important and valuable than speaking with the tongue.
Being silent is in a way speaking the language of state. Therefore, we shouldn"t take it as an absolute silence without any message. From the sufist viewpoint, being silent is no shame, by contrast, it is a source of pride. In Mawlânâ"s own terms, there are hundreds of tongues, hundreds of expressions in remaining silent. The following example is remarkable at this point: “When Othman became the caliphate he climbed to the pulpit. The people were waiting for “what he would say”. He kept silent and only looked at the people and thus he create such a state and ecstasy that they could not leave; they forgot each other. Where they ? So far, from hundreds of litanies, sermons and orations they had not felt such a state. This time, many benefits occurred to them, many secrets had been explored for them and all these had occurred with out any act or sermon. Up to the end of the meeting, Othman looked at them without saying anything. As he wanted to get down from the pulpit: “Your having an active belief is more valuable than having a belief that says much” he said. In a sense this is true. For, the aim of speaking is to be useful, to effect the heart, to change the immoral and to show the subtleties. But Othman, without speaking, produced all these effects upon them much more effectively than the many times he had spoken and they got benefits without any word than they got with words.”
Many silent persons are more powerful and effective than those who speak.
The nightingale asks the falcon the reason for his silence. The falcon says: “You never look at my silence, when the king goes hunting, despite of my silence, I am equivalent to hundreds of uncourageous persons.”
Mawlânâ frequently mentions the importance of being silent and praises it. He indicates that he is only the slave of those who are silent. For him, there are hundreds of languages, hundred of expressions in silence. Also being silent is better than drinking honey sherbet.
The sufist who has gone beyond the letters and has grasped wants to be silent with the pleasure he tastes or the taste he is within.
What has this tongue tasted that it desires and becomes silent with the pleasure it has tasted?
Mawlânâ, especially in his Dîwân, quite frequently (even at the end of each stanza) in his poems recommends remaining silent as he is well-aware of the fact that being silent and speaking the language of state gains him many things. For him, these are the benefits of being silent:
Silence is like food, health; it is nicer and better. Silence is a mean of being matured, being full and being developed and also it increases ones honor. Speaking is of the childhood and being silent is of the manhood, courage and maturity. The one who speaks little is good minded. Silence leads one to maturity and perfection whereas the word is the cause of decrease.
The advantages of silence never exist in word. Silence is more enjoyable, more meaningful and more useful. Therefore, according to Mawlânâ, silence is the order of the mind; it is no shame but pride.
Silence is richness; it teaches one secrets. By means of silence, one gets hundreds of languages and rich possibilities. According to Mawlânâ, whoever shuts his mouth and keeps his secret, will learn the secret of future. The one who says little has profound thoughts. Where speaking crust increases, the inner word ceases to exist. Silence is a means to belief in God and His mercy. Essentially belief and submission are silent acceptances. Mawlânâ expresses this in this way:
The believer understands, becomes aware of, so said Mustafa the Prophet. Now shut your mouth, we found the true way without a word.
You have spent the day with cheating and the night came; at least be silent now. Because the one who leaves words will attain eternal words.
“Remain silent and listen” ("Arâf, 7/204), accept this order rather carefully, so that you win the lover (God)"s prize and attain His mercy.
You should sell the extra word in order to buy the forgiving position and money
In this way, God praises you and even the sky shall envy your position.
Silence opens the possibility for observation and the reality to come out. By means of silence, the understanding becomes correct after this, one can more comfortably get access to the reality. According to the Rûmî, secret things are better expressed through silence. By contrast, the word would hide the secret things.
Silence is power and it protects from danger. It brings security and it is a way of salvation. Once the damages of the word are kept in mind, the benefits of silence can more easily be granted. Thus, given the benefits silence provides, Mawlânâ calls not for the word but for soul-essence, meaning, the lover, the observation of divine grace and beauty. In short, he invites one to join the mystical state and experience.
5. The Conditions for the Language of State"s being Effective
The language of state can be effective and thus convey the supposed only if the user of this language does have enough love, suffering, struggle, knowledge and practice. The great man of Tirmidhi said: “Sayyid Burhan al-Dîn articulates the words concerning the investigation in a rather beautiful way, and that is due to his readings of the sheikh"s writings and secrets.” When he was asked: “Although you too read why don"t you say such words?”, he answered: “He has love, trouble, struggle, knowledge and deed.”
For the language of state to be influential, it is necessary for one to have a convincing and confident manner and also a sufficient background.
If the word is accompanied by experience and not practiced by the speaker in the first place, there appears an inconsistency between word and essence, and this would destroy one"s inner and external consistency. And once this consistency disappears, the speaker"s confidence too disappears. We see Mawlânâ here talking very severely.
Despite of God"s name in your tongue, if you have disbelief in your soul, there exists a filthy smell!
Don"t mention about scent, the smell of onion comes from your mouth and it discloses your secret!
You say that you always eat honey of rose but it is the smell of garlic that comes from your breath says that oh, don"t speak nonsensically.
Don"t apply to trick when you are among those who can see and when the touchstone is in the public, don"t attempt to tell the word, oh liar!
It is more important to live rather than to say many words or listen to them. The “feverishness” and “drunkenness” at this couplet, signifies experience and enjoying a state.
Oh ear, your lot is to become red… that is feverishness, that is drunkenness! But ear says: “I want more than this , I am ambitious!”
Oh the unclean, don"t lie in the cave dishonestly; show whatever you have. “Standup (Inshirah, 97/7), be genuine (Hûd, 11/112) ”
If you don"t express your shame be silent at least; don"t kill yourself with tricks in a show.
It is more valuable for one to keep the word for himself and thus to practice it in his own life. We see that Mawlânâ blames the those don"t act in this way and those who bargain the word to the others like the those who trade the female slave. “That trader gets pleasure by selling the female slave and for this he gets her. He doesn"t have the courage and humanity to buy her for himself! Hunt your prey like a hunting dog and gain your wine. Don"t be like the barking dogs which plunge into my skirt!
As we have indicated above, for the speaker, the unity of the word-action are extremely important. “One day the famous Hafiz asked "such the readers of the Quran that the Quran damns them", what is the meaning of this hadith? Mawlânâ replied: “Most of the Quran"s verses encourage the orders and prohibitions, the education of internal and external. For example, one reads the verse of Quran the “Perform your prayer and give your alms” (Nisâ, 4/77) and neither prays nor gives his alms. Another reads the verse, “God certainly orders you justice, to make good deeds” (Nahl, 26/90), but doesn"t avoid tyranny. The person who is stingy parsimonious doesn"t protect himself from the things that God forbids. Certainly, the holy Quran damns these people with the language of “state”, considers them as the damned and in the doomsday he becomes the leading enemy of them. Again he (Mawlânâ) stated:
There will come a day when the word will be the enemy of its listener. I call you as “the water of eternity (or the water of life)”, you behave as if you don"t hear me. But, the people who enter in to the road of Quran and who listen to God"s order without diverging from the straight path are the recipients of this secret: “Quran has mercy on him.”
In order to the language of state carefully, Mawlânâ Jalâl al-Dîn emphasizes it is necessary not only to say the words but also to practice them and in doing this, the word-essence should be unite.
God said, “Oh Moses, pray to me with a mouth, with which you didn"t commit any guilt; you didn"t say anything bad.”
When Moses said, “I don"t have such a mouth”, God replied, “pray, call with somebody else"s mouth.”
And you should behave in such a way that the mouth should continue to pray you days-nights.
Oh the one who refreshes his lust and desires secretly! Refresh your faith but this can not be with the tongue only.
But if your word is unreliable but your essence is right, the unreliability of your word is acceptable to God.
Mawlânâ condemns those who don"t speak sincerely about belief and experience. For their reliability will break down and they won"t be able to be influential in their attitudes/states. “So, our preaches and the scholars who are outwardly see themselves as the holy men (wali) and are proud of claiming that they also have a remark from these the prophets and the experts, “They say the things that don"t exist in their heart with their tongues (Âl-I Imrân, 3/167). In themselves they don"t have anything from these people"s states and positions but only they imagine that they exist.”
6. Reading of the State
Just like those who love can understand the situation of the lover, the people of state (ehl-i hâl), so are able to understand the situation of people of state. Those who are undeveloped, illiterate, unwary, unrefined, imitating, formalistic can never understand the language of state.
We said that those who are people of state will understand the language of state the most. And a man of state is in a position of repentance, patience, resignation and acceptance. The work of a man of state is not only expressed with the tongue. He also tries to express his purpose, the secrets and meanings of the inner world with the language of the soul and heart.
I closed my mouth and opened my secret mouth; I was saved from the love of gossip, and I said the word with a glass of wine.
Both the words of the purified persons and their bodies/appearances become the soul with no indication or record.
The souls flow to the master who shapes them, and but this flow is in the mouths of clever people and in the hearts of the lovers.
The heart is like the sky, and the language is like the earth… There is a road with many stations to arrive from the earth to the sky.
The heart is like the cloud, the breasts are the roof. And this tongue is like a groove where the rain flows.
The rain water flows from the heart to the breasts, but if one"s inner world is dirty, his words also don"t have any reality.
Those who understand the language of state and body at best is the lover. Since, he is the one who reads the state in the best way and who effects the heart at the most.
… You take the heart without saying word.
Oh heart, you say all kinds of words; I shut my mouth, you should speak, since you have the eternal words.
In the appearance I am silent, but you know that there are words that are bloody within my heart which drinks blood.
Look at my face carefully when I remain silent then you see your trace completely.
Although the man of state tries to express his intention, the secrets and the inner meanings, he wants to keep them partly of and he is not inclined to decipher them.
…Oath upon God, there are such words to be said in this heart, but there is no possibility to articulate them.
7. The Value and Advantages of the Language of State
There is a value or an advantage of speaking the language of state. For Mawlânâ, the essential language is the one that expresses itself without a tongue, although this seems to be somehow paradoxical. The verbal language is not so valuable.
According to Rûmî, it is possible for the language of silence to fill the whole world with sound. Moreover, things that are said via silence are better, more effective and less harmful and. Thus Mawlânâ points out:
Listen to his words without ear, speak to him without tongue, because it is impossible for the word not to be a lie from time to time and thus not to injure humanbeings.
The word is waving but it is better to express it not with the lip but with the soul, the heart.
Oh…! Be silent, talk to them by remaining silent, for being silent articulates secret things better.
“The clever may forget while speaking. As for the lover, even thousands of signs are not enough. The lover speaks not for understanding but for pleasure”
If you don"t be stubborn in speaking with tongue and let yourself be totally heart, then you become like a mirror saying words in silence.
There are thousands of loyalties in love, there is the pleasure of speaking beautifully in remaining silent with love.
Remain silent! The tongue unnecessarily becomes a servant letters, but once the heart starts speaking without letters, it goes back to the homeland as a king.
Oh earth, “What do you think? Why are you so silent? You are in deep thoughts” I said. It replied: “Don"t look at my silence; I have got gardens, vineyards within myself.
Oh! You should learn to speak without a tongue, for when you pass over, you will have neither lips nor teeth.
Oh the holy ones! Be silent! Understand the secret in remaining silent…
It is now time to Mawlânâ carries on to praise the language of state:
There shall be hundreds of prayers and greetings for the Universal Intellect which speaks through silence.
Watch the light of those who remain silent; those who die in the presence of heart and sacrifice themselves from head to foot all over.
Mawlânâ not only praise speaking with the language of state, but also encourages people to speak this language and he is somehow angry to those who don"t appreciate the value of the language of state.
Remain silent and if you can articulate the meanings without letters; do it. The heart thus becomes dominant in the field of the words.
Be silent to enable the heart to speak with no tongue or lips. I am ashamed of these words when I hear the words of the heart.
Speak without the letter so that the enemy should not think that this is human-word, the word written in the books.
I repent of the letter and to the ones who are willing. Open another flag of explanation with letters full of meanings and then become dominant.
The sun gives news; says words without breath and letters. Leave saying “ebced, hevvez, hutti” (like a child who just tries to read) and shut your mouth!
Oh heart, always remain blind and speak without letters; talk about the poor entity, the poor quality of the word, without tongue.
Oh you who scatters letters, remains silent! Don"t translate to the public! Where is your state and where are your words of the language of state?
Leave the word and letter; accept a decoration like water, enter from one form to another form because both the letter and the sound are from the world; and the world is already a bridge.
Be silent! Why should you plunge into speaking so much? Why should we need the word once the state comes?
Be a person of state and say the word, in the way I do. Don"t be fond of word, keep silence!
Shut your mouth, because the cries of my heart arrived at the sky with no tongue and lip.
The expression of this takes a long time. Come and let us cut it short. We let us pierce this prison and arrive at the place where those forms exist; where those realities are in love.
One asked, “What does falling in love mean?”, I said: “Don"t ask the meaning of this, for when you become like me you shall understand.”
I shall beat and cut the letter, the sound and the word into parts and I shall speak to you without them.
Whether you are an Iranian, a Rum or a Turk, learn the language of dumb people.
Listen from the heart the witty remarks with no word and thus understand the things which don"t fit the understanding.
Your master is love, when you arrive there, if he speaks to you with the language of state, do what he says to you.
Come and let us speak each other with heart, let us communicate with each other hidden from eyes and ears.
Let us laugh like the rose garden without lip and teeth and let us meet each other like the thought with no tongue and lips.
Like the First Cause (Akl-? Evvel), we shall say the world"s secret up to the end when, our mouths closed.
Those who know word, they look at the mouth, we shall speak outside their tents.
No one speaks to himself with his voice quite manifest; if all of us were one we would also speak that way (without sound-word).
The hand and foot know the heart"s movement, we shall speak through remaining silent; our hearts shaking.
They will also ask you not to ask the question to us; ask it to the sea, not with the tongue- lips, but with the language of state.
How the leaf, the tree give this news, how do they say this word with no letter and word, also you shall listen and hear without ears.
Be silent, since you also have the word which is not knitted the word, the sound, the letter, speak with it.
Oh, the unique one that threatens man, that is enough; you said much. Be silent to attract those who want you just like a magnet, without tongue-lips.
Remain silent, since the things that will be said could not already have been said; it is inevitable to tell your secret with soul.
Be silent and speak with the language of the soul, because the whole self which goes on speaking tells you that is it not enough.
Be silent and leave the letter and the word! Speak without letters-words; like the angel"s speech above the sky.
Tell the secrets of this minutely, with no veil, letter, oh the one who is wedded to the letter, to the sound, who got on well with the letter and the sound.
The besting for you is to be silent, so that he himself speaks to you without tongue-lips.
I closed my mouth, the beautiful one who has got candy lips, you speak without means, and news.
We think that in the essence of Mawlânâ"s invitation to the language of state, consists in his attaching great significance to the practice or religious experience. For him, leaving the word and thus appealing to the action and expressing oneself with the language of state is much more important.
Having these in mind, Mawlânâ Jalâl al-Dîn criticizes those who don"t appeal to this kind of expression.
The things that the ears can hear are just my words, but nobody hears thunderous cries which come out of my soul.
Until when will you continue to compose lyric poems that are closed in a form, a letter? Hear another lyric poem that comes from the soul with no form and letter.
Oh the one who expresses the soul, until when will you say such words with the tongue? Until when will you beat the drum of expression (you will make mere clamor)? Come without breath, without words.
In Mawlânâ Jalal al-Dîn al-Rûmî, who apparently had an intense mystical experience and a powerful expression, one can find different kinds of expression. Among these styles, he attaches a distinct significance to the language of state. For him, this is the most effective way of expressing. After all, in his view, the face, eye, color, standing, looking, walking of man; the mountain, the sea, the moon, the flowers, the plants, the rest of all the motes in the nature speak language of state. Here, the most interesting thing is the fact that it is inevitable to use the language of state.
The main reason for his applying to this language is perhaps the richness of his religious experience. The mystical intuition can hardly be expressed in letter forms. In other words, a (ordinary) spoken language is insufficient for reflecting the love and ecstasy of the sufi. Although he is rather powerful in expressing himself, he nevertheless faces difficulties in expressing his religious and mystical experience. This is partly because of the fact that religious experience is somehow unlimited whereas the language (expression) is limited.
Thus one can think that, according to Mawlânâ, the word is unimportant and even harmful, hence speaking with language of state is more important and useful. This seems to explain the status of some paradoxical expressions in his thought.
Like many other sufists Mawlânâ highlights the importance of silence. For a sufist, innumerable benefits are gained via silence. His call for silence is, to be sure, the call for speaking the language of state.
If the language of state is to be influential Mawlânâ thinks that it is necessary to be simple, sincere and consistent in practice. For him, only a lover can understand the state of the lover. Only the man of state can read and understand the condition of the man of state. Again, it is more important to enter the atmosphere and enjoy this state than expressing the religious and moral experience. This also gives a clue for understanding the famous sufi saying: “Mysticism is not the knowledge of word, but the knowledge of state”.
In conclusion, I hope that Mawlânâ"s view of the language of state will contribute to the philosophical discussion for the possibility of the religious and mystical language. Our discussion also highlights the fact that following a strict role in justifying religious and mystical expressions is not appropriate in as much as it is subjective and thus somehow unshareable. However this and similar difficulties like the one the sufist faces in expressing his experience should not be taken as evidence against the reality of such an experience.
Mawlânâ Jalâl al-Dîn Al-Rûmî, Dîwân-? Kabîr, (Trs. and Ed.) Abdulbâki Gölp?narl?, (Kültür Bakanl??? Yay?nlar?), Ankara, 1992, volume, I, page, 8, couplet, 16; II, p. 89, c. 729; p. 304, c. 2497; p. 367, c. 3059; p. 94, c. 770; p. 111, c. 913, p. 164, c. 1315; IV, p. 66, c.537; p. 414, c. 4005; V, p. 378, c. 4951; VI, p. 204, c. 1997; p. 255, c. 2551; VI, p. 209, c. 2641; VII, p. 320, c. 4112; p. 604, c. 8024; Mathnawî, (Trs.) Veled ?zbudak (M.E.B. Yay?nlar?), ?stanbul, l99l, v. II, p. 11, cc. 139-138; III, pp. 104-105, cc. 1298-1302; p. 306, c. 3749.
Dîwân, II, p. 61, c. 502; III, p. 311, c. 3026; p. 398, c. 3842; p. 402, c. 3883; IV, p. 304, c. 2939; V, p. 145, c. 1680; p. 289, c. 3429; p. 452, c. 6177; p. 90, c. 1026, p. 338, c. 4174; p. 98, c. 1121; VI, p. 27, c. 232; Mathnawî, IV, p. 222, c. 2768; p. 222, c. 2768; V, p. 98, c. 1188; Fîh, p. 118, 296; Mektuplar, p. 108, Latter: LXXI .