Reciting - Chanting

“KIRAAT (Reciting) – TİLAVET (Chanting)”: The meanings of these two Arabic words are both “reading”, but the word “kıraat” also means “explaining, informing, communicating and transmitting”.

It is often said that the first command of Allah is “İkra-Recite (read)” (Alak, 1) and we must read. This is true. Nevertheless, what did our Lord tell the Prophet to read? Was there a written book, a notebook or a tablet of inscription in front of our Prophet? Moreover, the Koran had not been revealed yet. “İkra- Read-recite-” was the first command-order- of Allah. Our Prophet was also known to have been illiterate; then, the meaning of “ikra-recite” here is “O Muhammad! Tell your Prophecy, recite, explain what I have revealed to you, what I will reveal to you and what I taught you in the name of your Lord, tell them, recite and transmit them that the Koran has come!”

Our Prophet had known the Koran by heart. You know, in the mosques, they tell the person who knows the Koran by heart (hafız) to “recite” a bit of the Koran and “ikra-recite” refers to this meaning. “İkra” means “recite”. Allah commands in the Koran to all the believers –whether they are literate or illiterate- to recite the Koran from the easy chapters for them: “Recite the Koran as many verses as you are able” (Muzammil, 20).

He tells them to recite the Koran. What the believers would read besides it is the books concerning physical science and technology or the books about Jurisprudence and Canonical Laws and History. Our Prophet ordered us to learn the science of Technology. (1)The physical and canonical knowledge can be learnt through reading but nobody can acquire the knowledge of “Reality” which we call as “Divine Wisdom” through reading.

Reality can be learnt by the knowledge of Wisdom and this is called “Ledunni”. Reality and Divine knowledge, called as the Knowledge of Metaphysics, is possible with the divine light and the knowledge that comes from the presence of Allah and this knowledge may come to an illiterate or literate person. It comes to whoever Allah wants. For example, Allah bestowed knowledge from His presence on Hızır, who was not a Prophet and who was called as “My slave” by Allah. Then, Allah may communicate with any of His slaves, apart from the Prophecy and He is able to do this- He is Almighty and nobody can prevent this and say that Allah does not do such a thing because He says for Himself: “Fe’alün lima yurid - He accomplishes what He will and He is the Executer of His own will”. (Hud, 107 – Buruj, 16).

Allah has already explained that people do not have the same ability to read and to learn the Koran saying “Recite the Koran as many verses as you are able”. (Muzammil, 20) He also said that the interpretation, explanation and the declaration of the Koran belonged to Himself. (2) The command “ikra-recite” means “explain-report-tell” and do this in the name of Allah.“İkra, bismi Rabbikellezi halak-Recite in the name of your Lord.” (Alaq, 1)

For, nobody is able to speak in the name of Allah in reality. Prophets speak in the name of Allah. The verse means:“Now that you are My Prophet, recite, tell and explain that you are My Apostle and you get divine messages and I am in contact with you”. “Recite in the name of your Lord” means “the words does not belong to you, they belong to your Lord Allah”.

The real scholar is Allah. The Prophecy involves forming Sharia-canonical laws. The Prophethood had been completed. Nobody can establish a divine order and nobody is able to add or take out a new thing to the divine order, except innovation-independent interpretation (ijtihat). Since our Prophet permitted innovation, it is included into the Sunnat (the practice and the customs of the Prophet). However, the mujtahid (the interpreter of the Islamic law), who is not a Prophet, may be right or wrong but the Prophet is never mistaken because He is always in contact with Allah and Allah informs him immediately about whatever is needed. “Hatemen Nebiyyin - Muhammad is the last Prophet.” (Ahzab, 40) and“Ekmeltü leküm dineküm - I completed your religion”. (Maide, 3)

According to these verses, the religion has been completed but the Sainthood-Sanctity and the Spirituality of Muhammad are still continuing because physical bodies die but spirit-decree does not die. Spirit is from the Decree of Allah. Another meaning of “decree” is “a state of Allah”. The state is the quality of the possessor of the state. Attribution means “quality” so the spirit, decree, the Word of Allah, the Command of Allah are the attributions of Allah. The attribution of Allah is also infinite, constant and eternal just like the Person of Allah. The person without an attribution and the attribution without the person cannot be possible. Thus, Prophecy -to establish a divine order- has ended but the function of guiding, intercession and faith is still continuing. “He is in a glory every instant (A mighty task engages him).” (Rahman, 29).

The task of Allah has not ended, it continues until the doomsday. If it did not continue, faith, guidance and intercession would be completed and they would belong to only the Companions and to those who had seen the Prophet. Our Prophet had already explained that faith, spiritual guidance and intercession would continue by saying, “The scholars and scientists of my People are just like the Prophets of the Children of Israel.” (Tassavvufi Yorumlarıyla Kırk Hadis, Sadreddin Konevi, trans. by Harun Ünal, Preface p. 7) A real scholar knows both physical and spiritual knowledge. Nobody can be like the Prophets of the Children of Israel, who are Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, John, Zachariah and Jesus, by knowing only the exterior knowledge because when a person is like a Prophet, it means that he is almost the same as a prophet. Those who know both the exterior and interior knowledge are the Friends of Allah.

A real scholar feels frightened from Allah. He has the fear of God and this fear is in his heart. It is not external or mere piety. It is confirmed with the Koran and Sunnat that the Sanctity and the Heritage of our Prophet is continuing and the Spirits of the Friends of God -the righteous- are in the presence of Allah. Spirit -decree- does not die but the physical body dies. In addition to this, all the scholars of Sufism; “Hasan al Ashary”, who is the religious leader (imam) of the People of Sunnat, and “Muhammad Ghazzali”, who is also accepted as the religious leader of the People of Sunnat, have already explained and proved that the Sanctity of Muhammad is still continuing. Spiritual guidance, intercession and faith are continuing by the Friends of Allah, the heirs of Hz. Ali and Hz. Abubaqir, who has the attribution of guidance, with the will of Allah and the approval of the Spirit of Muhammad. Faith, spiritual guidance, and wisdom have not ended because our Lord Allah is Just and Merciful (very Compassionate).

These people are the respected personalities such as Yunus, Mawlana, Ahmed Yesevi, Hadji Baktash, Hadji Bairam Wali, the Muslim saints of Anatolia, and those who were grown up in India, İran and Arabia like Sayyid Abdulqadir Gilani, Sayyid Ahmad er Rufai, Sayyid Ahmad el Bedevi, Sayyid İbrahim-i Dusuki, Muhammad Bahaeddin, İmam Rabbani, Sheikh Hasan-ı Shazili, Muiniddin-i Chesdi (He is a Friend of God from İndia), Cunayd-i Baghdadi, Sırri Saqati, Maruf-u Karhi, Beyazid-i Bistami, Hasan al Basri, Jafar-i Sadıq, the Twelve İmams, Yusuf Hamadani, Aslan Baba from Turkistan, Halil Ata, Naqshibandi and similar Personalities. They are the Friends of God (Awliya) and the Spiritual Heirs of the Prophet. Those are the Yunusses-the Perfect Men.

We emphasize again that one cannot be a Yunus just by reading his or their poems or writings without seeing them. The Companions of the Prophet had seen the Prophet and as for this, people should see these Yunusses, who are like the Prophets of the Children of Israel and who has the knowledge of Wisdom and they should see and perceive the exalted, superior attributions and divinity-spirituality- in them and love them.


19th October 2004