THE STAFF of MOSES by Sultan Veled (K.S)
Translated from the book called “Maarif” of 13th century muslim saint(Auliyah), Sultan Veled(K.S).He explains some of the mysteries behind the miracles of the staff of Musa(Prophet Moses PBUH) to us.
People may think that miracles are only extra ordinary(unnatural) incidents which are shown to people so that they can believe in God and his prophets. Well this is partially true, because there are more benefits in miracles than that, for the ones who can see. However, everything has an outside(Zaheer) and inside(Baatin-inner meaning).
When somebody gives us a gift in a package sealed by a fancy gift paper and ribbon around it, first thing we do is to say thanks to the person then open the ribbons and the gift paper to reveal the gift inside the packaging. Miracles of the prophets are like that too. They don’t happen to just persuade people by showing some sort of “HocusPocus” job. We need to open the ribbons and the gift paper around the miracles to understand the meanings and messages beyond these miracles. Allah gives these miracles to his prophets and hides millions of inner meanings within them for the people who can see. But the people who look at the gift packaging will not see these messages. They are the people who can not differentiate the miracle from a magic.
Qur’an 54/2 “But if they see a Sign, they turn away, and say, “This is (but) transient magic.”
Ayats(Verses) of Qur’an are like that too, “Qur’an” is not a history book explaining what happened in past. It makes the person think about things that happen and relates this to his life and gives millions of messages to people reading it. Every prophet’s name, every miracle shown and every incident mentioned in Qur’an is linked to deep explanations and meanings which are connected to the relationship between Human and God .
The people who can see these messages are the ones who understand the real meanings of miracles. And they are those who can hear and see the verses of the Qur’an. Sultan Veled (K.S) is one of these people who we call Insan-i Kamil( Perfect-Enlightened Human being).
Translated text from Sultan Veled’s book of Maarif looks at the verses of Qur’an below, from a window which will shed light on many things e.g.
- cause and effect mechanism and the hand of Allah(Al-Qayyum) behind the cause and effect mechanism in the Universe
- outside world which we witness is only a feeling of our five senses and it is shown to us in the way that Allah wishes.
20:17″And what is that in the right hand, O Moses?”
20:18He said: This is my staff whereon I lean, and wherewith I bear down branches for my sheep, and wherein I find other uses.
20:19(Allah) said, “Throw it, O Moses!”
20:20 So he cast it down, and lo! it was a serpent, gliding.
20:21(Allah) said, “Seize it, and fear not: We shall return it at once to its former condition“..
20:22”Now draw thy hand close to thy side: It shall come forth white (and shining), without harm (or stain),- as another Sign,-
20:23″In order that We may show thee (two) of our Greater Signs.
20:24″Go thou to Pharaoh, for he has indeed transgressed all bounds.”
Translated text from Sultan Veled (Kadesallahu Sirrahu-May Allah bless his secret):
‘Ya Musa(Moses) this staff(scepter) appears to you as staff but it is not a staff. There are more wisdom and benefits in that you know not. Leave it from your hand and see what it is.’ When Musa threw the staff with the command of Allah, it was seen that the staff turned in to dragon and started to attack him. When Musa was getting ready to escape, God said ” Oh Musa! Why do you get afraid of it and escape from it, when you are with me? Who could show courage to damage you without my permittion and authority? Now then , you throw your self on to it and grab it from it’s neck!’ When Musa attacked the dragon and grabbed it from it’s neck, it turned in to a staff again. After that, God said to Musa: ‘ Ya Musa! I showed this to you so that you will not say ‘What I see is this and that(reality of it is this)’, Whenever you see something as mountain, desert, water, air, shore and sea . I show everything to man as I wish to show.
For instance,not all the existent creation can live with water only. We have made of water, everything living . I commanded to water and made it an opponent against the disbelievers. I destroyed them all with the flood. Not all can live with air only either. If the breath of wind is blocked, they all die. When I command the wind, from which they take their strength and life that are their yeast,nourisher and support, the wind gives illness against comfort or melting against fondle.It becomes a tooth ache and constrict them in such an extent that it brings all the beatiful things out of their nostrils(a turkish expression, stating that conditions will get more tough for the person.e.g. making the life hell for someone). As well as this, it becomes a back pain and the stiff neck.
I am showing all of these one by one, so that they will understand all of them from this one, so that they will know that all their body parts from head to toe, are my servants and obey me. They carry out my command. They survive with my commands along their life span, which I had defined for them. They(people) think that their parts are their friend and helper. Be patient, when the appointed hour of death comes, they will see how they are all my properties and How they will fight against them(disbelievers). Let Every beloved one be a snake, and every rose be a thorn and every benovelent be for blood. Everyone of them will stick and attack them. They will become the witness to all things that they have done.
Qur’an [24/24]: “On the day when their tongues and their hands and their feet shall bear witness against them as to what they did.”
Everyone finds his grief and blessing in accordance with what they deserve. Baker shows kindness with bread. Like this, a merchant’s kindness and fondle is to give capital. His grief and fury also has a degree. A major’s kindness and generosity is in direct proportion with his power, and his grief is also like that. But a king’s kindness is much more than them. His kindness becomes a title(giving title), level, flag, leadership, command, priminister position and atlas. His grief is like that as well. Commanders loose their head because of his grief. Dining Table of kingdom of God is limitless and does not have a boundary . His kindness and grief becomes accordingly. His grief and punishment is limitless just as his kindness and grace.
There is no doubt that the ones who belong to paradise will stay there forever. And the ones who belong to Hell will also stay there.”…and warn (them) of the Day of Assembly, of which there is no doubt: (when) some will be in the Garden, and some in the Blazing Fire. Qur’an [42/07].
“Oh Musa! Intelligent person should understand, what conditions the organs in comfort will also be, by looking at the pain he has from this organ. God almighty, made this particular one as an example so that they will see and understand the rest by using this as a threshold , so that they will not trust them, so that they will not recognize their help and friendship as a shelter other than Allah’s presence, so that they will not extend their poor hands to anything except the merit of Allah, and they will see the tools as a cover and excuse, and only accept God as an active one(Note:This means there is God behind the cause and effect mechanism. If someone is using his hand for something, his hand is obeying him and working because God commands the hand to obey the human being. “Extending hand to the merit of Allah” means expecting the help and support only from Allah and knowing the other things only a secondary cause which will work only by command of Allah. Nothing would work without His will and command.)
As you can see Oh Musa, understand from the staff which is a part of the earth, the rest of the parts of the earth. Show patience and wait, Qur’an [99/1-3]”When the earth is shaken with her (violent) shaking, And the earth throws up her burdens (from within), And man cries (distressed): ‘What is the matter with her?“-the earth which is lying and extending under the feet of people starts acting(moving) like a camel on the day of judgement.
When It throws the burdens, loved and beloved one out upside down, and ejects the deads out of their graves, When heavens split away from each other, mountains are thrown like a soft wool and fly everywhere. When The sun, moon and stars fall down, it is known that they are not as they seem to be. No matter how your staff has changed and become a dragon, everything like this changes. All universe is like a soft candle in the palm of my power. I make it(turn it in to) a staff sometimes and sometimes dragon. I make it sometimes serpent, sometimes beloved, sometimes rose, sometimes thorn.
OH SON OF ADAM! IT IS LOOKING SO STRANGE TO YOU, ISN’T IT? YOU ARE WEAK AND WRETCHED. I GAVE YOU A HAND WHICH CAN BE SOMETIMES KISSED, WHICH MAKE YOU TASTE SUGAR SOMETIMES, WHICH MAKES YOU SOMETIMES TASTE POISON, LIKEWISE WHICH GIVES YOU COMFORT AND SORROW. SOMETIMES YOU SWEAR BY MEANS OF IT OR SOMETIMES PRAISE WITH IT ,JUST AS THE SOUND WITHIN THE TOUNGE. YOU SOMETIMES GIVE CHEER OR SOMETIMES SORROW TO THE PEOPLE BY MEANS OF IT(SOUND WITHIN THE TOUNGE). YOU USE IT IN THE WAY YOU WISH. WHILE YOU ARE A SERVANT(SLAVE),YOU ARE ABLE TO CREATE BITTERNESS AND SWEETNESS, SORROW AND CHEERNESS BY USING THE RHYME IN THAT TOUNGE AND SHOW THIS ONE THING(RHYME) IN THE WAY THAT YOU WISH TO SHOW. ALTHOUGH I AM GOD, DON’T I HAVE POWER TO TURN THE STAFF TO A DRAGON AND DRAGON TO THE STAFF, WILL WE NOT TURN THE HEAVENS WHICH ARE SHELTERING AND FEEDING THEM IN TO ENEMY AGAINST THEM??? IN FACT, IN THE END THIS WORLD IS GOING TO BE THEIR HELL AND SWALLOW THEM……..
If a sultan(king) sends one of his majors to punish somebody, even if the person is his(major’s) friend, the major throws himself on to that person like a snake and injures him with the teeth of his grief. Even if the major is related to that person, who he is sent to punish, or the closest person to this person, he hurts him as he goes by the command of his king. Such as this, KNOW THAT THE PARTICLES OF THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH ARE MY MAJORS! Can’t you see? When I gave command to my fire major(commanding to fire); ‘protect Abraham‘, fire became rose and rose garden. When I commanded to the water of humiliation(water which causes the humiliation of someone) to humiliate and prison the Pharoh and his followers, the water has swallowed them like a dragon and made them sink.The wind carrying the throne of Sulaiman (Solomon), has been a calamity and torment to the people of Ad, and the earth has swallowed Quaroun. I am showing the particles to you, which will be strangers after being the helper, and enemy after being relations.
I am showing some parts of the universe(Alam) on the massive body of the universe, so that they can see this on the rest. When the appointed time(dooms day) comes, and gathering shows it’s face, I am going to show the parts of the universe to them one more time. On that day all the hidden secrets are revealed( link to Qur’an 86:9).The name of the staff was “staff” in the sight of Musa. In secret , the name of the staff was “Dragon” in the level of God. Such as this, the earth, the heaven and it’s smallest particles, each one has a name like that within Us. But, in secret, what is the name of each one within the sight of God? Showing the staff as dragon is a sign from the dooms day(Qiyamah). It is a bouquet of roses and a sample from the garden. It is such as showing a branch from the woodland and forest. The aim of this, is to have an understanding of the states in the dooms day. For instance, illnesses within the body and sorrows are like a small leaf from the gardens of nothingness and death. They need to understand from this, the state of the universe of death, and say “I can see bigger ones coming by looking at these small ones“.
YA MUSA! Just as the dragon, big flood, the wind destroying the People of Ad, the eartquake, the plague and the scarcity, which are the traces of Dooms day, the Apocalypse will follow doubtlessly from the small samples of it. Because these illnesses are the messengers of the death then the death will follow them.These strange things are the messengers of the apocalypse, and the dooms day shall arrive in the end.
A staff with it’s plain look took the shape of a dragon, then swallowed and destroyed the pharaoh and his soldiers who had covered the earth and took it’s revenge from them. If the staff like a drop, becomes that horrifying, how should the sea of being that is heaven and earth be?
OH SON OF ADAM! YOU HAVE BEEN THE ENTERTAINMENT OF SATAN, AND DIVED HEEDLESSLY IN TO THE SLEEP OF HEEDLESSNESS, AND YOU ARE IN AN INTERCOURSE WITH AN OLD WOMAN,” THE WORLD” WHO, IS CRUEL, DECEITFUL, A SELLER SELLING BARLEY BY SHOWING WHEAT TO YOU, DARK FACED, POWDERED FACED AND SHOWING IT’S SELF PURE TO YOU, AND YOU ARE IN JOY AND PEACE THERE LIKE THE PEOPLE OF PARADISE. WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR EYES AND WAKE UP FROM THE SLEEP OF THIS HEEDLESSNESS, YOU WILL SEE THAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY IN HELL. IN THIS WAY, WHEN YOU EAT THE GRAIN, YOU FALL IN TO THE TRAP LIKE THE BIRD EATING A GRAIN FALLS INTO. AULIYAH(Walee of Allah: they are called “ friends of Allah”in Tasawwuf as well. A person who purified himself(nafs) and become a real servant to Allah.They fullfilled the aim of the kudthi hadithsaying, “the man who knows himself, knows his Rab”. Allah opens his secrets to them.) HAVE COME FROM THE UNIVERSE OF DIVINE LIGHTS(NOOR) TO THIS CRUEL WORLD, IN ORDER TO PULL YOU AWAY AND SAVE YOU FROM THE FIRE FROM WHICH THERE IS NO SAFETY. IF YOU SEPARATE YOUR SELF FROM THIS WORLD, AND STAY AS STRANGER TO IT, YOU WILL BE OUT OF THE FIRE AND SAVED.
Do not be arrogant(conceited) to the question of “WHAT IS THE SIGN OF YOUR FAITH?” and give the answer by saying “to draw your self from the house of the self deceit and to incline towards the world which is the house of happiness”.When you become a stranger in this world(being stranger to world), become acquainted with God and the men of God, and turn your state from evil to good, There is no doubt that you become one of the people of Abdâlan(eg. auliyah)”.
For instance, Musa was thinking that the dragon was the staff, and He was leaning on it and thinking that it is a support for him. In reality, it was the opposite. If help and beneficence of Allah had not been a companion for Musa, the dragon would have eaten him. The dragon turned to it’s old form in the hand of Musa by the command of Allah. His miracle has been witness for him in his mission and prophethood, and destroyed all, and taken revenge from all who had been enemy to his religion (deen ). Like wise, those people consisting infidel(kafeer) and Muslims also know this world(Alam) as their own house and castles, their shelters, supports and most secure friends; but when the veil(curtain) of heedlessness is removed, they see the hell and understand well from this that the world, which was coming in their sight as a paradise(Jannah) is actually a hell and, the moon faced young girl is actually a hot tempered old woman.
They remain in an infinite trap like a foolish bird. But, in the house of world, those who see it’s ugliness and live in it with timidity as a stranger(foreigner), they obey to their Lord by becoming the servant(Abd) of Allah with their heart, day and night. They would have no shelter and support but the help(Inayat) and support(Fazl) of Allah. They would be friend and enemy to people for the sake of Allah. They eat in order to do “zikr of Allah”(to remember Allah) with the strength gained from food.They suffer to the hunger for Allah also, because,both the love and enmity are for Allah. Fullness and the saturation of Nafs(Ego) is such a bandit that it gives power to Nafs(evil commanding spirit,”ego”), and makes the Nafs victorious against the obedient mind, and it prevents the person from being obedient and servant to Allah.
For instance, the sultans(kings) have a lot of servants and slaves. They neither become friend nor enemy to the public by saying they are bonded to the sultan, but when the sultan gets angry at someone, the slaves also get angry at this person and pull their swords at him, and attempt to take his life. On the contrary, If the sultan becomes happy with somebody and love him, the slaves also become a servant to him, kiss his hands and feet[*] and give their hearts to him. These are metaphorical slaves. Because that sultan has not created them, and not given them heart,mind, intelligence, eye and ear.
[*] kissing hands and feet is a methaphorical phrase used to state showing kindness to someone.
The kingship and servanthood has been amongst them just by only this name, and the cause of food has also been in a metaphoric way. They need to surrender(submit) to Him with love and obedience, so that they will become a tool in His(Sultan’s) hands like arrow, bow and sword. Because When they see Him, there will be no will and self-control within them.The others also become like Him. When they see friendship they become friend, when they see enmity they become enemy. When those are like this, look at those real slaves(abd), how do they need to be like?
Like the dragon turning in to the staff in the hand of Musa, and like the fire becoming rose to Ibrahim(Prophet Abraham), tomorrow when the veil is removed, it will be known that the hell is exactly this world. As well as this, Allah does not burn them and scare them. Perhaps it becomes a paradise for them, because those sorts of slaves are full with Sultan(King), they act towards everything from His side. Hell is the slave of Sultan(King) and something which was made(created) by Him.
A slave can do nothing but showing humbleness, servanthood and obedience in the presence of his Sultan(King).
hundred thousands of earth and heavens like this become narrow…
What is it that you call the staff? That staff is a sun by which the world(alam) is brighten up from it. Nowhere in the world(alam) remains dark due to it’s light (noor). In it’s presence, ugliness is separated from beauty, disliked from liked, disloved from loved, genuine from counterfeit, lion from dog. Maybe, it is a heavenly scale landed on the earth.It has lifted the Sky to the heights and set up the proportion(sign to Qur’an 55:06).
No matter how high the sky is, the scale is higher than it. ………..……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
(2-3 lines missing due to difficulties with translation to English )
In this way, Ya Musa! You knew the benefit of the staff to such an extent that, “that extent“, was much more than it’s quantity in the knowledge of destiny, and it was fortunate and blessed like the night of power (Lay lat ul Qadr). As We are the one doing the work, We do know the benefit of every thing. We showed to you a piece from that, as much as your work can take a place. In this way, your requirements are satisfied and you would not be completely fateless(Without Naseep) from Our hand. ‘
Translated to English by B.Sert in April, 2007, from a Turkish Translation of the book , “Maarif” of Sultan Veled. Maarif was translated to Turkish by Meliha U. Anbarcioglu in 1949.
About Sultan Behâeddîn Veled [ Kaddesallahu Sırrahu]:
Son of Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn (Rumi) Muhammad Balkhī, who is the writer of famous Masnawi, a great mutasawwuf, muslim poet and scholar. Sultan Veled was born in Karaman in Turkey in Hijri 623( 1226 AD) and died in Konya in Turkey in hijri 712(1312 AD). He was highly educated in Islam by his father in his father’s environment. He dedicated his life in path of Allah, and his 90 year life span is full of “deen-religion”, “ilm-knowledge” and “love of Allah”. Mawlavi Order (Tariqat) and it’s formal traditions were established by Sultan Veled, after his father’s death. Some of his valuable books are…