The Sufism Doctrine, Nakshbandi Creed In Turkey And The Phases It Went Through


As it is known, every scholar has interpreted religion according to himself, from his point of view. The problem is to choose the most proper one for the essence of religion. Religious interpretation of the Sufis is the most appropriate for Islam because Sufism is the teaching of the essence of religion. It is not interested in the exterior aspects, rules and canonical laws, shortly in details. Sufism tries to teach Allah, Nature, Man and the realities of them. The beauty, order and wisdom in nature are the reflections of Allah on the nature. Nature is the work of Allah and Man is the greatest work of Him, because he is consisted of a body and Spirit (Mind). He is the most superior of all the worlds because he is the synthesis of the inner and outer worlds. Sufis try to live this knowledge, order, wisdom and beauties in nature and see the physical and spiritual beauties in human and learn the divine realities of them.

“He who knows himself (his essence) knows God.”

Briefly, Sufism is the Knowledge of Allah, Wisdom and Love. Sufis know that Allah is the essence of Man (Human) and nature. This is infinite knowledge and wisdom. To know the Absolute Existence is to fall in love with this Absolute Beauty. Sufism does not deal with the Canonical Law and Jurisprudence. It does not care about the Catechism except enough knowledge for performing the worship. Shariat (Law) and Tariqat (Way) are not his aims or objectives and they are not the essential but only the details, symbols and ways.

“A Sufi looks for Allah, who has encompassed both the Earth and the Heavens and who is the infinite knowledge, beauty and energy, in human and in his heart.”

Again, a Sufi would like to learn wisdom (True Knowledge) and divine reality through deep contemplation and to love the Divine Beauty (the Absolute Beauty) through the beauties of human and nature, that is to say, he tries to acquire real love by metaphorical love.

The result of this is good moral qualities and honesty, which means to consider the benefits of the society more than his own benefits and to be realistic and sincere by abstaining completely from hypocrisy. It is to struggle against his own carnal self and desires but not of the others’, leaving all kinds of fights, arguments, temptations, corruption and intrigue. It is to be merciful, generous and be pleased with the little in this life and also to oppose violence and terror.

A real Sufi is against formal (disguise) Islam. He does not pay any importance to Madrasa, Tekke (convent) and Mascid (places of worship). He finds reality in himself and seeks Allah in his heart. His place of worship is his heart because the real tekke and mascid (mosque) is the Heart. The most important thing for the heart is the Remembrance (Ziqr) and the Love of Allah (the Remembrance of the heart and the love of the heart). This is not an external remembrance or physical love.

It is deep contemplation (thinking), remembrance (to remember Allah and never forget Him) and more importantly, to love God, the Perfect Man (Adam), who is the great and mysterious work of Him, his children and nature.

It is to become mature while being immature and to reach divine perfection. All the Sufis have explained it in this way. This humble servant (fakir) has already explained Sufism in details in the books we have written so far, such as: “Varlık (Existence), İslâm’ da Mezhepler ve Yükseliş (The Religious Sects in Islam and Ascending)”, “Muhammed-İsa-Adem (Muhammad-Jesus-Adam)” and in others. Yunus Emre and Sayyid Ahmed er Rufai Hz. also summarized Sufism, which is a divine sea, as follows:

Yunus: “Shariat and Tariqat is a way for the one who reaches them.

Marifat (Divine Wisdom) and Hakiqat (Divine Reality) are in the heart.”

And Sayyid Ahmed er Rufai Hz. said:

“The heart of a Sufi is lighted with love,

His spiritual heart is broad (comforted).

With the Divine Light of Gnosis”

(His bosom is not depressive)

We believe in these two precepts and try to find them.

See what the Sufi Poet Neyzen Tevfik said about this subject:

“Sufism stands up to ignorance in Islam

Forget about Rafizi, Alawi, Sunni, all of them

Take offence at all of them,

Mecca, Medina, Karbala, Jerusalem

Their meaning in appearance is ornamentation

I do not care for Masjid, Madrasa, Monastery, and Church, Vatican…”

(*) Poet Neyzen Tevfik meant to say that the striking appearance of these rituals is ornamentation. However, he indicates that he is respectful to the real meanings of these places.

March 10th, 2000 Alanya

KAZIM YARDIMCI (1936-Adıyaman)

Sources: “Yunus Divanı”, “Onların Alemi” by Sayyid Ahmed er Rufai, 25th hadith

The aim of the Sufi is to get rid of nafs-i ammarah (the nafs that command evil), to complete the inner purity and to reach God by means of this. This has been the aim of all the Sufis. As I explained in the “Sufism is the Essence -Kernel- of Religion” above, Sufis are not concerned with other things rather than the Knowledge of Canonical Jurisprudence (Catechism Knowledge) to perform their worship because the Knowledge of Islamic Canonical Jurisprudence are involved in the duty content of a mujtahid. Sufism deals with the Science of Wisdom and Divine Knowledge and they are the spiritual divine, realities.

Although it was like this and accepted by all the Sufis in this way and Nakshbandi Creed was but Sufism itself, why did Nakshbandis go away from Sufism, which was their own profession, and start to be involved in politics by giving priority to upholding the Religious Laws that did not concern them?

What is the reason of it and when did this tendency of Nakshbandi Sufis happen? Neither Muhammad Nakshbandi Hazretleri, who was a fervent Sufi, nor any of the Nakshi sheikhs before or after him was neither the upholders in Canonical Jurisprudence and nor was interested in politics. They regarded such things as “the vanities of life (to be busy with other things besides God- all else besides God)” for themselves and for their aspirants as all the Sufis did.

This simple and pure Sufism and divine spiritualism lasted until Imam Rabbani (Ahmet Faruki Serhindi Hazretleri).

Then, why did Ahmed Serhindi (Imam Rabbani) tend to politics? In other words, why did he have a kind of struggle with politicians and the government administrators slightly?

Imam Rabbani Hazretleri was from India and he spoke Urdu Language. His book called “Mektubat” was written in Urdu language. Its original copy written in Urdu is lost and many falsifications have been made in translations. Therefore, a number of contradictions that do not suit that person and his spiritual Divine Knowledge are often seen in them.

Imam Rabbani Hazretleri was one of the great Sufis and Wise men. This is accepted by all the Sufis. None of the other Sufi Masters in the Path of Hz. Ali had dealt with either Shariat or politics. For example, Qadiris, Rifais, Khalwatis, Cerrahis, Gülshenis, Mawlawis etc.

However, Imam Rabbani Hazretleri and his descendants that succeeded him have always been in conflict with politics and government officials. Even now, his descendants, Rabbanis and their aspirants are involved in politics.

While none of the Sufis had dealt with such things, why did this happen?

The reason why is:

During Imam Rabbani’s time, India, Paqistan, Afghanistan and their regions were under the sovereignty of Turcoman Harizam Shahs and it lasted until the British occupied India. Harizam Shahs were also Shii Jafaris. However, Rabbani was the Sufi Master (Pir) of Sunni Nakshbandis. This is the first reason!

Secondly, during his own time, Jafari Ulamas had forbidden to recite the names of the first three Caliphs “Hz. Abubaqir, Hz. Omar and Hz. Osman” at the mosques, by the command of Harizam Shahs. This situation disturbed Imam Rabbani very much because he was belonging to the mystical path of Hz. Abubaqir spiritually same as all the Yesevis, Nakshbandis and Parsavis.

Or else, his main profession was the Science of Sufism, Inner Purification and the Purity of the heart (to purify the heart from all else besides God) and Spiritual Journey (to meet Allah spiritually by journeying in the holy path of Allah). The essential profession and purpose of Rabbani Hazretleri was the same as of all the Sufis.

Thus, Rabbani Hazretleri got angry with Shii Harizam Shahs as I mentioned above and showed a contrary attitude against them and brought the opinion “In Islam, there is no sovereignty, kingdom, sultanate and royalty.” In Islamic Canonical Jurisprudence there is no law concerning heir apparent to the Throne of Father (succession). He used the hadiths “The Caliphate will last for 30 years after me (The period of the Four Caliphs) and then a rapacious, tyrant king will take over” against Harizam Shahs and developed this idea in India and its surrounding. His descendants also continued it. However, other Nakshi Sheikhs who succeeded him dealt with only Sufism and helping their aspirants in their spiritual journey towards God. For example, Abdullahi Dehlevi, an Indian Nakshi Sheikh, was totally a mystical Sufi. They were not occupied with politics and the Science of Canonical Jurisprudence.

However, although his caliph Halid Ziyaeddin had been a great mystical Friend of God, the same attitude of Imam Rabbani was seen in him. He struggled secretly depending on the opinion “In Islam, there is no kingdom sovereignty and sultanate”.

This person somehow had chosen his caliphs among the Madrasa Theologians who were religious authorities over people in their places though there was no principle like this in Sufism. All his caliphs in the North of Syria, Northern Iraq, West of Iran and in our Eastern and Southeast Regions were from Madrasa Theologians. It is said that he had a caliph called as Ahmed Ziyaeddin (from Gümüşhane) and another caliph, whose name I cannot remember, in Maraş.

He had also some other caliphs such as Hafız Selim from Urfa, Küçük Muhammed Efendi from Adıyaman and Beyzade Ali Efendi, the caliph of Hafız Efendi, in Elazığ. Almost all of them, except those, were of Kırmanc origin. They were also great Sufis because Halid Ziyaeddin was a Sufi Scholar who attained the Truth. He himself was also of Madrasa origin and from Baba Kurdis from Northern Iraq. He was Kırmanc. His real name was “Halidi Kurdi Hazretleri” same as the name of Saidi Nursi Efendi was “Saidi Kurdi”. His title or nickname comes from his surname. His surname in his identity card was taken from the village “Nurs” where he was born. (*) (See Note 2)

In addition to this, Halid Ziyaeddin lived during the first years of the reigns of Ottoman Rulers Selim III, Mahmut II and Abdulmecit and opened his Tekke in Damascus. As it is known, those Ottoman Kings were the reformists who tended to West. They were the innovators such as “Nizamı Cedid (New System inaugurated by Selim III)” and like others. It was impossible for a Nakshi Pir, who was a keen supporter of Canonical Jurisprudence, not to feel allergy for these movements at that time. For this reason, Khalidis in Istanbul were taken under prosecution.

There is also a saying, which is said to have been belonged to Halid Ziyaeddin: “The Politics of Initiation”. It is understood from the saying that he dealt with the politics of his time.

Afterwards, Abdulhamid II had called especially the Nakshi sheikhs near him and protected them in order to establish a unity during his reign and to be powerful against the supporters of Ittihati Terakki (Committee of Union and Progress).

Therefore, the historical reason of Nakshis’ thinking and intending to promote in the political and governmental ranks lies on the realities I have explained.

It had been the same since Imam Rabbani Hazretleri. Nakshis have been involved in politics. This did not exist before Rabbani Hazretleri. I have already explained the fair reasons of Rabbani and the manners Halid Ziyaeddin showed continuing this attitude. However, the purpose of these two great Personalities was actually to abolish the sovereignty, kingdom, royalty and sultanate. Fortunately, sovereignty, royalty, sultanate and hereditary systems were thrown into the dustbin of history in 1923.

The real aim of the two mystical persons mentioned above was the Republican System, which is the government of people and the freedom of each individual, of each Muslim. Or else, Imam Rabbani and Halid Ziyaeddin had not done any politics about the application of Canonical Jurisprudence of that time because there were not any juridical problems at his time. These two personalities were directly emphasizing that the state system of that time was wrong, in other words, in Islam, there was no sovereignty, kingdom and sultanate systems. They said that the Sultanate was not the system of the Four Caliphs and the Four Caliphs were elected by people but the Umayyad brought the Sultanate system by abolishing the previous system. They used to struggle openly and secretly in the circumstances of that time. What these two personalities want was the republican system and this came true in 1923, and fortunately, Sultanate and false Caliphate systems were abolished. What all the Islam Scholars and these two persons depended and based on was the following important hadiths of our Master the Prophet (A.S.):

“El hilafetu badi selasune seneten. Summe caele melikul adud- the Caliphate will last 30 years after me; then a monster, a rapacious king, a tyrant will take over.” (Sacred Hadith from Said Bin Cumhan, Abu Davud, Thirmizi, Nesei Tac Tercüme, vol.3, p. 79 Bekir Sadak, İstanbul 1973. see also Sahihi Buhari and Tecridi Sarih Trans. Diy. İşl. Bşk. Publ.)

In this situation, both Imam Rabbani and Halid Ziyaeddin achieved their goals. The movements happened after them are sourced of not knowing the real purpose. If they knew, they would turn to their real profession “the Absolute Sufism” because a Sufi fights against only to his own self (his carnal desires). The other worldly affairs never concern Sufis. As a Sufi, who is a follower of the Sufism Order of Junayd al Baghdadi, I offer and submit this to the attention of Sufi, Nakshi aspirants who do not deal with the worldly affairs and politics.

Note 1: Hafız Selim Efendi from Urfa and Küçük Mehmet Efendi from Adıyaman whose names I mentioned above are the grandfathers of my mother. Küçük Mehmet Efendi is a Hashimid as an origin. The tomb of Hafız Efendi is at the entrance of Urfa Tabakhane Mosque and the tomb of Küçük Muhammed Efendi is next to Adıyaman Stadium and it is visited by people. He is also the grandfather of Mahmut Bilgiç, who served as a member of the Grand National Assembly twice and is presently the Deputy Leader of Doğru Yol Party. Mahmut Bilgiç is my mother’s uncle’s son. He is a good person but he has plunged into politics.

Why did I write this note? I wrote it so that the Nakshi aspirants would not regard us as strangers. However, we are not Nakshi aspirants. We are Junaydi Alawis who belong to the Sufi path of Hz. Ali. In Sufism, Junaydism is Alawism but not Bakrism. There are two divine doors in Sufism: Alawism - those who follow the door of Hz. Ali-, and Bakrism –those who follow the divine door of Hz. AbuBakir.

My mother’s father Selim Bilgiç, who was a Nakshi, used to recite a Persian poem or I might have heard it from somebody else. I want the Nakshis to take a lesson from this and give up the idea to earn the world and politics and to deal with only Sufism. These two lines are as follows:

“Der tariki Nakşibendi lazımamet çan terk TERKİ DÜNYA

Terki Ukba, Terki Hesti, TERKİ TERK. „

Its Turkish meaning is: “One should renounce four things in this Naqshi path: Firstly RENOUNCING THE WORLD, after that RENOUNCING the next world and afterwards RENOUNCING WHAT HE HAS RENOUNCED, not being proud of what he has renounced.” As far as today, it is seen that they have not renounced the world yet. Then, how will they renounce the other three things that should be left? According to their path, they should have renounced the world and the worldly affairs first of all.

I wrote these lines however, I could not help my heart not writing the following lines of Kaygusuz Abdal and Yahya Kemal:

“When a rich person speaks, they say “yes”.

When a poor person speaks, they call him “mad”

They call the present SHEIKHS as a “WALI (SAINT)”

Our mad are increasing day by day.” (by Kaygusuz Abdal)

My Brothers! “Wali” means THE FRIEND OF ALLAH and the Friend of God is the person who turned his face to God and his back to the world-to worldly affairs. He should be lover of Allah like Yunus Emre. As far as we know, the sheikhs of present time have turned their faces to the world (to firms, holding companies, wealth and to the governmental ranks). This is perfectly obvious!

“I wandered Istanbul visiting dervish convents,

I looked for a vigilant, prudent spiritual teacher,

There is a course cloak and post, but no brave “MAN” in the field,

There is no sign of the divine men of Khorasan…”

(by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı)

I would like to mention my paternal side, by the way. The ancestors of my father came to Kilis and Antep from Syria and Humus. They lived in Antep for centuries. My grandfather Mansur YARDIMCI moved to Adıyaman and settled here in 1870’s. He used to speak with Antep-Turkish accent. As for my father Mustafa Yardımcı: He was a secret! He used to say “O Hazrat Rufai!” all the time. He was in an excessive mystical state. He was a Rufai Saint (holy person). He was colorless and unqualified. He used to get angry at formalism very much. He said whatever existed was in the heart. When he died, we found a poem in his wallet and I had it inscribed on his gravestone:

“He manifests and comes one by one

Leaves one by one and remains ONE

There is no doubt, no suspicion


Now, they are asking us: What qualities should a Sufi have in this era?

My answer is, at present, to keep the traditional and degenerated tekke alive is over, so what should be done is to perform and to maintain Sufism in respect of divine knowledge, wisdom and culture (Mystical Thought or Philosophy). We are acting in this direction. The important point is the essence-the content. What is desired cannot be attained by formalism or by outside appearance.

Those who are passing by my father’s tomb are reading the lines found in his pocket. Some of them stop for minutes and plunge into divine thoughts.


24 March 2007


NOTE 2: The religious understanding and interpretation of Saidi Nursi Efendi was sourced from Shafii and Nakshi culture (Knowledge). At Eskişehir Court, when the judge asked him: “Are you a follower of a Tariqat?” His answer: “I am, perhaps, a follower of Hakikat (Reality)” was a clever defense of him. He acquitted at the court due to this answer.

He said in his book called “Hakikat Nurları”:

“Tariqat is a ladder, Hakikat (the truth) is a roof to it. The aim must be the surface of the roof”. It is understood very clearly from this saying of him that he accepted the duty of Tariqat because you cannot climb a roof without a ladder.”

In the same book, the following judgment of him is also a very clear:

“An ordinary and cordial aspirant does not lose his hope from the Personalities he accepted as His Masters (Qutb). As long as he does not lose his hope, he does not go astray. He may commit sins or immoral actions but does not become a disbeliever. However, at present, it is doubtful for even a scholar, who makes a thoroughly research, to protect his faith.”

How much more mysticism would he present in addition to these? He regarded an ignorant, ordinary aspirant superior to a theologian. He was a Sufi and a follower of the Tariqat obviously depending on these words. The main source of Saidi Nursi Efendi was Shafii and Nakshbandi Creeds.

What is more, Saidi Nursi Efendi was an extreme opponent of sovereignty, sultanate and kingdom. He supported freedom, the Constitutional Government (Meşrutiyet) and Republic.

He was a member of the Committee of Union and Progress. (For further information see: “Talat Pasha Hatıratı (Memoirs)” certified by notary public and published in Tercüman Newspaper owned by Nazlı Ilıcak. See also 8th article “A REAL OPINION ABOUT SAİD-İ NURSİ” written in our website:

He also supported the National Struggle Movement. We are respectful to his scientific freedom though we do not agree with most of his interpretations.

However, we are neither Nakshibandi nor Nurcu. We are devoted to our master Hz. Sahi Walayat Hz. Ali (k.v.), who is the head of Ahl al Bayt, the Saint of Allah, the brother of our Prophet (A.S.), the Door of Divine Knowledge and the Imam of Divine Guidance by means of the great Sufi Junayd al Bagdadi. We made an oath of allegiance to him. We are in the path of his Divine Guidance. Glory be to Allah! We are Muslims and Thank Allah! We are Alawis.

However, we are not Beqtashis either. But, we love Beqtashis very much too as they are also devoted to our Master Hz. Ali. They are our closest friends concerning their devotion to Hz. Ali and Ahl al Bayt. All the Muslims are our brothers of religion. We do not make any distinction between them. May Allah be pleased with all of them!

And our confession (declaration) is the CONFESSION of Sheikh Galip, the writer of “Hüsn-ü Aşk”, a great man of literature, poet, the head of Galatasaray Mawlavi Order, the Sufi Master of Mawlawis:

“We die for our confession, we are strongly devoted to our oath.

We are the servants of Shahi Walayat, at the same time, Alawis.”

(The writer of the above lines is Mawlawi Sheikh, the Poet Sheikh Galip)

(See the book called “Şeyh Galip Hayatı, Sanatı, Şiirleri” prepared by Prof. Abdulbaki Gölpınarlı, Varlık Yayınları, Sayı (issue) 162, March, 1953)

MY LAST WORD: We must altogether hold Turkish Republic and Republican system tightly and protect it as our soul! For, May Allah protect it! If anything happens to it, we start to cry beating our hands on our knees and we become slaves.

The most important point is even if democracy sometimes goes, it comes back; but if REPUBLIC ever goes, it never comes back again. Sincere piety is not possible in a place where there is no democracy, republic and freedom.

We, again, become the slaves of the Kings, Emperors, Sultans and PRINCES (the Noble Class’s), which is the heir apparent system. Let all of say “LONG LIVE REPUBLIC LONG LIVE DEMOCRACY (FREEDOM)!

24 March 2007