Ömer Tu?rul ?nançer's speech from the Sheb-i Arus on the 733rd anniversary of Hazreti Mevlana Celâleddin-i Rumi's (May Allah sanctify his spiritual secret), passing from this world into the realms beyond.
Dear friends of Hazrat Mawlana, welcome to Konya. As you know, there is a saying, “Your home is not where you were born, but where you are full”. But this saying usually is only perceived to refer to our earthly, physical bodies (which after only sixty, seventy or perhaps eighty years are doomed to perish) becoming full. However, as a society people are disregarding the presence of a soul that is everlasting and does not end with our physical death but will instead be born into a different universe. We also don’t question what “feeds” the soul, and where this “food” comes from. Therefore when we say “where we are full” instead of “where we were born”, we should also keep in mind the places where we find food for our souls. Konya, because of Hazrat Mawlana (k.s), is an exceptional place where we find this. Hazrat Mawlana’s birth place is believed by today’s political geographical borders to have been within Afghanistan in the city of Balkh. Some of the Tajiks also see him as a fellow citizen of their country, and claim he was born in the village of Wakhsh, which was under the rule of the Balkh monarchy and today is found within the borders of Tajikistan. Likewise, our Iranian friends, because Hazrat Mawlana spoke and wrote in Farsi, claim that he is theirs. However, what did Hazrat Mawlana said: “After I die, do not seek for me in my tomb in the earth but rather seek me out within the hearts of the arifs (wise-man).” And thus, all of you having come to Konya to honor Hazrat Mawlana 733 years after his passing from this world into the realms beyond, shows us that his saying still lives within the hearts of all of you. Guided by the light of Hazrat Mawlana and with our adherence to the will of our beloved prophet (pbuh) who is the true source of the light, we all know that, our lifes in the womb died with our births into this world, and when die in this world, we will be born again into the afterlife. (ahiret). In the words of the great poet and Islamic scholar Yunus Emre “Death is for animals, lovers don’t die.” We all believe that after we are born into the realms beyond, we will be judged. And we are going to be asked who is our God, who is our prophet, what is our book, who are our brothers, where is our qiblah, but we are not going to be questioned as to whether we are Shqiptarë, Bosniak (Bosnian) or Italian, as it is the will of our creator that in this life we live as a part of a nation. And of course it is a great honor to us that such a great Islamic scholar as Hazrat Mawlana is from our nation. In one of his rubais Hazrat Mawlana indicates this point. When I read the original Farsi version first, some of you may say, “Why is this necessary? We don’t understand Farsi?”, but please let us not say it like that, because in the manners of tasawwuf there is a belief that repeating the exact saying which first came from a wali’s mouth or was written by him brings a special influence upon one’s ability to learn and better understand the saying. And it will help to save us from making judgments and provisions on interpretations. In this rubai Hazrat Mawlana says:
Don’t take me for a stranger; I am from this district
I am searching for my own house in your lane.
I am not an enemy, even if I appear like an enemy;
Although I speak Hindi, my origin is Turkish.*
I paraphrase, “I am a poor dervish who took to the roads to seek my true self. My face doesn’t look like your face.” Because Hazrat Mawlana was a descendant of Central Asia with slanted eyes, somewhat drawn cheeks, a thin beard and yellowish skin, so he didn’t have the same physical appearance as the Anatolian people. Again I paraphrase, “Yes, my face doesn’t look like your face, but though it looks like that of a Mongolian, don’t ever think that I am a Mongolian. Although the language that I speak is not the same language you speak, my origin is Turk.” Once these words have been said by him, there is no reason to further discuss or ague about where he is originally from. Also in an ayat-e karima from the Holy Quran (which Hazrat Mawlana also explains in his another ghazal) Allah says, “I don’t look at your nationality, your race, or your family, I care about your actions and in short, in one word, I look at your taqwa.(if you have taqwa)” 'Inna 'Akramakum `Inda All?hi 'Atq?kum: the most karim of you in the sight of Allah is he who has the most taqwa" (49:13). So, the noble ones are the ones who abide by the rules and orders, avoiding disobedience, and striving to stay away from doubtful matters. Do not think that this is only a chain of commands and inhibitions that must be followed (paying one’s dues and avoiding wrongdoings), because regarding the caravan of lovers that Hazrat Mawlana leads Hazrat Allah explains in the Quran: “Ashaddu ?ubb?an Lill?hi” [2:165} “those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah.”** The lovers and mumins love Allah intensely, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what they call “Ashk”. Ashk olsun! [ishq-at bâd]***
Translated by Semazen net.
* The Quatrains of Rumi-Ibrahim Gamard and Rawan Farhadi, page 450
** Yusuf Ali translation
** *`ishq-at bâd (A-P; in T, ashk olsun): lit., "May there be love for you". A common saying between Mevlevis, used in a variety of situations, such as meaning "You are welcome," and as permission given to resume eating. The reply of a welcomed guest is "Eyvallah" ["So be it"], followed by the right hand placed on the heart (if equal in rank or superior) or kissing the ground (if of lower rank). (Mevlevi terms and definitions. Ibrahim Gamard)