Thursday, October 21, 2010

Khidr, friends of God and ilm ladunni

and say: "O my Sustainer
cause me to grow in knowledge."
- The Quran 20:114

and then behold,
it will be for Us
to make its meaning clear.
- The Quran 75:19

Esoteric Knowledge (ilm ladunni: literally, means "knowledge from Our side" - hidden or inner knowledge of things conferred by God), with the permission and order of God Almighty, fills the whole earth and the heavens. I cannot explain this here. However, we may be content to give a few ciphers.

According to legend, after gathering his entire army, Alexander the Great, with a sign from the Esoteric, started looking for the Elixir of Life in order to achieve immortality. After a considerable amount of exploration, two soldiers set out from the camp one day to continue the search, with the understanding that they would return and report if they happened to find the Elixir. Around noon they arrived at a river. In order to have lunch, they took out some dried fishes and proceeded to eat. When they threw the remaining skeleton of a fish into the river, an amazing thing happened. The skeleton regained life, took on flesh and appeared to them in the form of a living fish.

The one known as Khidr peeled a fish, ate its meat and, holding the skeleton from its tail, immersed it in the water. The fish immediately reconstituted, regained life and started squirming in his hand. To his friend, Elias (Elijah), he said: “We have found the Elixir.” They drank from the water, and also watered their horses. Their human attributes disappeared, and sublime, divine attributes came over them.

This is the story. Now for the truth: This water was a flowing water, a river. Whoever drank from this water should have become like Khidr and Elias. However, since their goal was the Elixir, only these two ascended, only they could ascend by this water.

The story goes on: The two friends returned to the army of Alexander the Great, but they did not tell Alexander about their discovery. Instead, they requested permission to leave the army and go back. Alexander did not grant their request, since he did not want his army to break ranks. In spite of their leader‟s ban, however, Khidr and Elias left the army and started off. Alexander sent his army after them, and ordered their capture. However, during a close pursuit, both of them were suddenly lost from sight. Did the earth swallow them up, or were they raised to the sky? All the attempts of Alexander‟s men to find them met with failure. So they went back, and reported to Alexander the Great. Alexander then said: “I overexerted myself and my army in order to achieve immortality, yet the Elixir fell to their lot. Mine was only a rebellion against the will of God.”

This brings us to Moses and Khidr (see the Koran, 18:60-65).

Moses, with the permission of God Almighty, attained a very high level in his knowledge of the Outward and Inward sciences. In spite of this, God declared: “Moses, you must learn Esoteric Knowledge.” Moses asked: “My Lord, is esoteric knowledge beyond the Outward and Inward sciences you have given me?” God answered: “O Moses, esoteric knowledge is superior to all the other sciences. The time has now come for you to discover this. Go to the place where the two seas meet (to a designated pier on the banks of Red Sea). There, you will see a man of such-and-such a description. Tell him: "I have come to learn esoteric knowledge from you." The man described by God was none other than Khidr.

So Moses went and found Khidr, who answered to the description. After greeting him, he told him about the above order. Khidr said: “I was waiting for you here on God's orders.” They became companions, and soon boarded a ship.

Then Khdir performed certain acts shrouded in mystery to teach wisdom to Moses, but Moses was not capable of receive fully at that time. So Moses grew impatient, tried to use his own limited comprehension and misunderstood completely what Khidr was performing.

So finally when Khidr explain why he did what he did and while parting said, "our companionship is at an end. We must now depart."

Khidr gave his hand to Moses, and they shook hands. Moses began to weep and wail: “If you leave me here now, where am I going to go? I don't know my way back. Please don't leave me.”

Khidr said: “Don't worry. If you are wise, we will be together all the time. Give your hand to me and shut your eyes tight. Open them when I say so.”

Moses gave him his hand. Khidr said “close your eyes” and “open them,” in immediate succession. Moses looked around; he was in front of his house. This, with the permission, grant and favor of God, is referred to as “the folding of space” (tayy al-makan).

With the permission of God and the approval of His Messenger, a number of saints from the School of Mohammed have become friends with Khidr. Moreover, they still continue to do so. I would like to give you an example.

This is Sidi Ahmet Kayhan speaking about his master Hadji Ahmet Effendi:

During the Second World War, I used to live in a village known as Mako (its new name is Aktarlar). On the 20th of June, I wished to visit my Master, Hadji Ahmet Effendi. The distance between us was about five hours. Half the way I needed to walk was uphill; the remaining half was downhill. By the time I reached the hilltop, I was tired. I wanted to catch my breath, and sank to my knees. Looking downward, I saw two persons, a man and a woman, cutting grass for animals and petting each other from time to time. I could not take my eyes off them.

Suddenly, I heard my Master's voice: “Strangers at play. What is that to you?” I got up right away, and continued on my way without a backwards glance. However, when I left home my wish had been: “Today, on the hill, let me see Khidr on my way.”

When I passed the peak and started descending, I came across a familiar couple, a husband and wife. We said hello, chatted for a while, and departed. I said to myself: “These can‟t be Khidr. Khidr travels alone and lives alone.” And I did not meet anyone else until I reached the blissful residence of my Master. I went directly to the guest room. He was sitting alone. I greeted him and kissed his blessed hand.

After exchanging a few words, he said: “Hamid Effendi from your town has been waiting here for two days. (I knew this man.) He was very insistent, saying: "I will not go anywhere if you don‟t show me Khidr." He just would not leave. I told him to get out half an hour before you came in, and shut the door on him. And now you've come. I felt pity for the poor man.

He was coming in, going out, and asking for Khidr, all the while that he was sitting right next to Khidr.” If you were in my place, what would you make of this conversation?

But I, poor Ahmet Kayhan that I am, understood nothing. It did not even occur to me that I should at least have kissed his hand again.

You, my brothers and sisters, don't be heedless and careless like I was. Try to love and understand all the people you see and admire. I hope these words of mine will not sound strange to you: He who is a saint, he who is a Friend of God (wali), is with Khidr every instant.

- Hadji Ahmet Kayhan, radhiAllahu anhu

Adopted from The Meaning of the Four Books | Written by R. Sunarman, the book is based on the teachings of Grand Master of Sufism, Ahmet Kayhan, may God be pleased with him. Perhaps not widely known, yet this is a very important work not only in history of Sufism but in the scheme of world faith traditions because this book explains the truth of major four Divinely Inspired books: Torah as revealed to Moses, the Psalms to David, the Gospel to Jesus and the Quran as revealed to Mohammed.

“Perhaps it will not be apparent to many... that what we have here is the Mother Lode of authentic Sufism.” - from the Preface

In its English translator of this book (original in Turkish), Henry Bayran mentions: "With simplicity, clarity and wisdom, this anthology covers the major aspects of Sufism. At the same time, it comprises a fresh and refreshing vision of the Islamic religion. The author opens a window onto the teachings of Master Ahmet Kayhan, who guides us through a copious garden in which everyone will find what he needs - or at least, something akin to it. On each visit to this market-place, you will discover something new and exciting. In addition, it provides a rare glimpse of Islam as it should really be lived. For anyone interested in spiritual growth, religion, or mysticism, this book is a must."

> Click on this link to download the book: The Meaning of the Four Books in full as PDF.

# Further:
. Ahmet Kayhan | Tribute to a Grand Master of Sufism
. On Haci Ahmet Kayhan Dede
. Hazrat Khizer (as)
. Legend of Khidr and Elijah
. Al Khidr: the Green Man
. Allegory of Musa and Khidr Pin It Now!