In tasawwuf, it is strongly emphasized that one should ignore and abandon worldly things. What do you think how we should interpret the world?

One of the most significant principles of tasawwuf is abandoning the world. It is quite certain that this abundance should not be in terms of work but hearth. Human beings who have both materialistic and spiritual sides should not be hooked on materialism, for materialism can solely be a slave to spirituality. A person ought to earn money, yet he should not be absorbed in money. He should spend this money for the sake of Islam. Mawlana says, If water leaks into a ship, the ship will most probably sink. In contrast, if the water stands beneath the ship, the ship will go on floating on the water.

The earth has a force, which cause objects to attract one another, namely gravity. Those who cannot get rid of this attraction are unlikely to realize the realities. They will always be engrossed in transitory things. They will be captured in lowness and shabbiness. Yet, the world is the place where we get ready for the other world. In other words, this world is the Home (this world) of the Hereafter (the other world). This world can be regarded as a commercial field and guesthouse for the other world.

In a verse, Karun and his tribe were warned as, But seek, by means of what God has granted you, the abode of the Hereafter (by spending in alms and other good causes), without forgetting your share (which God has appointed) in this world. Do good to others as God has done good to you (out of His pure grace). Do not seek corruption and mischief in the land, for God does not love those who cause corruption and make mischief." (Al-Qasas Surah, 28:77)

Late Hamdi Yazır says that about ones gifts and endowments bestowed by God: Even though some would like to consider things in this world as fair rızq (gifts and endowments; livelihood) and legitimate enjoyments, they are the transitory world itself. The real livelihood of this world is the one that will help us to be placed in heaven. If it is not so, our livelihood in this world is merely a shroud.

A group of Sufis (Muslim mystics) is on the wavelength that solely sustenance and clothing are enough to survive, in terms of abandoning worldly things. This is not a fundamental notion in tasawwuf. The actual thing is that, in this world, we should pray to God, as this world is the Home of the Hereafter. In addition, we should interpret the all-existing things as the rites of devout people by observing them in a critical way.

This world is considered as What is the life of this world but amusement and play? But verily the Home in the Hereafter, - that is life indeed, if they but knew. in the suwar of Al-Ankabut (The Spider, 64) and Al-Hadid (The Iron, 20). Mawlana interprets this aspect of the world in that way: While little children are playing some games, they pretend to build some stores and do shopping there. However, the shopping and the stores provide no advantage except for spending time. When it is night, the little children who opened the stores close their stores and go back to their homes since they get hungry. Actually, this world is like the stores of little children. In this comparison, night refers to death.

In another aphorism, the world is resembled to a sort of sleep or dream. Human beings are sound asleep, and they will wake up when they die. The things in this world, such as wealth, positions etc, have no value because they are transitory things. Nonetheless, if these opportunities are used for the sake of Gods mercy and compassion, then they can put on significance. Otherwise, they will have no differences from the wealth and positions in the sleep or dream, namely this world.

Human beings have affection against this world in their nature. Mawlana compares this affection to the connection between unripe fruits and the trees they grow on. When these fruits ripen, the connection between the fruits and the trees gets weak and some time later, they fall down from the trees. Thus, wise devout people are not scared of dying; in contrast, they like dying.

The Prophet Joseph who became the leader of Egypt after quite a hard life declares his wish to die by the words below:

"My Lord! You have indeed granted me some important part of the rule and imparted to me some knowledge of the inner meaning of all happenings (including dreams). O You, Originator of the heavens and the earth each with particular features! You are my Owner and Guardian in this world and in the Hereafter. Take my soul to You a Muslim, and join me with the righteous. (Yusuf Surah, 12:101)

People should try to be devout and not to be a slave to worldly things. The more you promote and attract reverence, the more appealing the world seem to you, and the more complicated it gets for people to overcome the dominance of this world. The incident below exemplifies this issue pretty well:

A sovereign asks to a leading devout person, Tell me whatever you wish! The devout person replies: What can I wish from you (?!), for my two despicable slaves have dominated you and they became the masters of you. The sovereign asks in a perplexed voice, Who are those? The leading devout person responses: The first one is wrath, and the other one is lust!

This world is the gift for human beings to obtain eternal happiness. The 24 hours of a day are more valuable than 24 pieces of gold. Nonetheless, it is quite certain that the majority of humans do not care about the value and importance of their lives, and they waste their lives. In that respect, we should never forget the advice of Shirazi below:

Sit by a stream and watch and ponder how life goes by!


1. Mahir İz, Tasawwuf, p. 42
2. Mevlana, I, 76
3. Aclûnî, Keşful- Hafa, I, 412
4. Nursî, Words, p 188
5. Müslim, Zühd, 1, Tirmizi, Zühd, 16, İbnu Mace, Zühd, 3
6. Nursî, Lemalar, s 46
7. Hamdi Yazır, Hak Dini Kuran Dili, V, 3755
8. Ahmed b. Hanbel, Müsned, V1, 226
9. Aclunî, 1, 412.
10. Mevlânâ, VIII, 796-797.
11. Aclunî, II, 312. It is claimed that this utterance belongs to Hazreti(saint; a term of respect denoting the attribute of sainthood) Ali.

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