Archives 89 – Irada / Devotion

89-IRADA-SLIDERby H. Talat Halman

The Space Where Sufism Happens. The disciple must become a lover of the Master’s sainthood, so that he can depart from the power of his own longing, and the desirer (murid, i.e. the disciple) can become the one desired (murad, the Master). — Gharib

This viewpoint is illustrated by the two most celebrated Master-disciple relationships in the Sufi tradition, which are those between the Prophet Muhammad and Ali, and between Shams and Rumi, respectively. Ali was the foremost disciple of Muhammad, and in that sense can be considered the first dervish. His much celebrated qualities of courage, eloquence, and generosity are traditionally understood as reflecting the transmission of the Prophet’s good behavior (akhlaq), which was acquired through discipleship, or “focusing on the Master as the object of aspiration.” When Rumi summed up his life with the proverb, “I was raw, I was cooked, I was burned,” this has usually been understood to mean that he was “cooked” by his first two teachers, his father Baha ad-Din Walad and the latter’s deputy Burhan ad-Din, but he was burned away completely in the fire of love as disciple of Shams-i Tabrizi, to whom he attributed his own poetry. Buy the current issue to read the entire article.

Photo © Ionut Caras

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