A HEART-BASED SUFI MINDFULNESS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE EMPLOYING SELF-JOURNEYING
By, Faruk Arslan, PhD Candidate, MSW Wilfrid Laurier University, email@example.com
Recommended Citation Arslan, Faruk, "A HEART-BASED SUFI MINDFULNESS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE EMPLOYING SELF-JOURNEYING" (2014). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive).Paper 1634.
TEN-WEEK LONG SUFI THERAPY
I offer ten-week long a specific model of Sufi therapy that intended for specific type of
people, in which the processes mediating against depression, anxiety and stress. It is not
universal model for everyone; target population is some Muslim immigrants, refugees and
Canadians. I suggest that Sufi therapy can change negative to positive thinking patterns
(Nurbakhsh, 1992; Gülen, 2006; Nursi, 2007), and is designed to achieve these aims with the
Emergent Spiritual Practice. This Sufi model demonstrates how the Sufi path benefits therapeutic
practice in social work for a therapist to a client. A method of practice, special prayers and this
discipline can be formulated and tailored for each client after a therapist makes a Sufi assessment
based on client’s needs. Increased use of Fethullah Gülen’s model of mindfulness is relevant to
the prevention of the relapse/recurrence of depression stress and depression. I focus instead on
the holistic Sufi therapy healing model, because it is important for newcomers to a country to
adapt to the structures and order of that country‘s social, economic, political and cultural
landscape. This new model may have significant impact on the struggles of some Muslim
multicultural communities, thereby also having an effect on mental health intervention, and on
reshaping current healing techniques.
I suggest that depression, anxiety and stress can be healed by self-acceptance and keeping
the focus always on what is good for patients. After an initial individual orientation session, the
Sufi therapy program must be delivered by an instructor, or a guide as a therapist or social
worker, in ten weekly sessions at the beginner level, involving two hour group-training sessions
with up to 10-12 depressed patients. During that period, the program includes daily homework
exercises, prayers, and meditation as dhikr. Homework invariably includes some form of guided
(taped) or unguided awareness exercises directed at increasing moment-by-moment non
judgmental awareness of bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings, together with exercises
designed to integrate application of awareness skills into daily life for self-control, self
purification and self-realization. The therapist works with the individual's spiritual beliefs and
practices such as meditation, prayer, etc., but at no point attempts to instill his own beliefs or any
beliefs not held by the patient into the therapeutic process. The therapy spans ten sessions, each
session lasting 120 minutes, conducted once a week. The therapist can see patient individually
separately from the group thearpy and tailure his\her intervention based on their needs.
Session One: Remembrance of God
Harmonizing your seven souls and learning seven main categories is not an easy process;
the Sufi therapy begins with developing a deep inner peace by calming and brightening your
mind so that everything is within you, and all you need to do is to uncover it. The battle with our
negative ego is an inner struggle; we have to fight on the spiritual path. A good human being is
one who remembers God no matter what happens. The world is designed to make us forget, our
job is to remember (Frager, 1999, p.131). Conscience is one of the proofs for God’s existence
The therapist must explain that one of the great Sufi practices is that of remembrance of
God. Remembrance is the repetition or invocation of a mystical formula or divine name which
allows the patient to practice, and which leads to sincerity of intention, awareness, and
concentration. Remembrance provides a temporary inner state (hal) and a stable inner station
(makam) in which invocation and mindfulness have become constant. A Sufi’s tongue, heart and
soul must attain to the state of constant inner prayer ((Frager, 1999, p.160).
Each prayer, I recite 99 times Al-hamdu li-llah (All praise be to God) is a Qur’anic
sentence meaning, according to Arabic syntax and semantics, that every praise that has been or
ever will be uttered by any being to anyone else is, in reality, for and deserved by the Necessarily
Existent Being: God. (Nursi, 2007, p. 385). I also recite 99 times, “HasbunAllahi Wani'mal
wakeel” Allah (alone) is sufficient for us (Qur'an 3:173). By leaving your affairs to Allah, by
depending upon Him, by trusting in His promise, by being pleased with His decree, by thinking
favourably of Him, and by waiting patiently for His help, you reap some of the greater fruits of
faith and display the more prominent characteristics of the believer. When you incorporate these
qualities into your character, you will be at peace concerning the future, because you will depend
on your Lord for everything. As a result, you will find care, help, protection, and victory.
When Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) was placed in the fire, he said, "Allah (Alone) is
sufficient for us, and he is the best disposer of affairs (for us)." Thereupon, Allah made the fire to
be cool, safe, and peaceful for Prophet Abraham. No person by himself is capable of fighting
against the current of misfortune, nor can he fend off the blows of disaster when they strike. This
is because man was created weak and fragile. However, when in times of difficulty, the believer
places his dependency and trust with his Lord; he knows that all difficulties can be overcome.
"And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed" (Qur'an 5:23). The verse: God is the
All-Provider, the Possessor of Strength, the Steadfast (51:58) is so strong and firm a proof that
all vegetation, animals, and babies announce it (Nursi, 2007, p. 404). The Qur’an constantly
urges people to reason and investigate, as seen in such verses as: Will you not use your reason?
Will they not ponder? Will they not reflect? It gives people of reasoning and knowledge a very
high and important position. Each week, the therapist provides a special homework to patients,
follow up them next week in which are including reading, dhikr, prayers and concepts, Table 7.
Table 7- Homework for Session One
Reading Sufi Dhikr Reflection Self-Criticism Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua Sufi Technique Sufi Technique One Sufi Technique Two Sufi Technique Three Sufi Technique Four Prayers Morning Afternoon X2 Evening Night Concepts Remembrance Self-Journeying Sincerity Purity
Session Two: Protection
This session starts to teach the memorization of one important short prayer for a life time:
“Bismillahillazi la yadurru ma’asmihi syai’un fil ardi walaa fissama’ii, Wa huwassami ul
‘alim.” The translation is “In the name of Allah, by whose name nothing is harmed! Neither on
earth nor in the heavens and He is the all-Seeing, the all-Knowing.” According to Hadith,
Prophet Mohammad said whoever recites this prayer (dua) three times in the evening and the
morning: “He\she will not suffer affliction until the morning and if anyone says this in the
morning, he/she will not suffer sudden affliction until the evening” (Abu Dawud, Sahih 5069).
There is another hadith that also suggests reciting this prayer whenever you use any
transportation three or seven times, in order to seek protection from Allah.
Gülen provided this prayer to me personally in a handwritten note in December 1991 in
Istanbul, and I have been reciting it on a daily basis for over twenty three years myself. I do not
recommend any prayers to my patients if I do not use them myself. I have been following several
verses from Qur’an as the nearness of the mystery to those who do not know it is like God's
nearness to His servant, as proclaimed in His words, “We are nearer to Him than you, but you do
not see”(Qur’an 56:83) and His words, “We are nearer to Him than His jugular vein” (Qur’an
50:16) Despite this nearness, the servant does not perceive or know anything; no one can know
what is within himself until it is revealed to him moment by moment.
Gülen always talks about the changes and alterations at the levels of nature, divine law,
social life and personal life, and sees all of these changes as the reflection of the tablet of
effacement and confirmation. At the level of nature, ecosystems, species, and the face of the
earth, all the worlds are subject to changes and alterations. The mind is always fed through the
channels of consciousness, and it has an important source of information: the power of
perceptiveness. This power is there when people sense, feel, or perceive the things around them
(Gülen, 2000, p. 202). Homework, see Table 8.
Table 8- Homework for Session Two
Reading The Soul Spiritual Heart The spirit The Self Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Five Sufi Technique Six Sufi Technique Seven Sufi Technique Eight Prayers Morning Afternoon X2 Evening Night Concepts Protection Freedom
Session Three: Forgiveness
If you are going through very difficult things in your life right, a way to cope is found
through special prayers, and the only way is turn to Allah. Gülen’s advice to me was from a
prophetic supplication as follows: The Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
said, “The supplication of my brother Dhun Nun (Yunus, peace be upon him), who called on
Allah while in the whale’s belly: ‘There is no deity but You. Glory be to You! Verily, I have
been among the wrongdoers’ (Quran 21:87). No Muslim person says it, for any situation
whatsoever, except that Allah Most High answers his call.” [Tirmidhi] In Arabic is “La ilaha illa Anta, Subhanaka, inni kuntu mina z-zalimin.” I recommend memorizing the Arabic version
and saying this prayer seven times in a day.
As a Sufi, when I am hurt, insulted or face injustice, I have three options in dealing with
these feelings: I can forgive, ignore and forget. Some individuals may choose to hate, harbour
grudge and rancour, and live to seek revenge. Both choices are hard. But their results are
opposite. Hatred, bitterness and hostility intoxicate your body (Hallowel, 2004). Negative
feelings can throw you into frustration, stress, anxiety, depression; they can weaken your system
and make your nerves tense. Anger, rancour and revenge are debilitating sentiments that poison
the soul and add nothing but pain. Harbouring animosity and bitterness consumes a tremendous
amount of valuable energy. Sufi therapy uses forgiveness as a tool that transcends the soul and
frees you from your destructive negative energy.
Forgiveness heals you not only emotionally, but also physically and mentally (Ayad,
2008, p. 331). It is worth it to get rid of the burden of anger, hatred and in order to receive
support. Forgiveness is a prevailing feature of Sufi therapy, one that promotes a person’s positive
emotions, reduces anxiety and stress and readjusts hormonal balance, blood pressure and heart
rate. As a matter of fact, lots of people refuse to forgive, thinking it a sign of weakness; they
think that by forgiving they are surrendering to their offenders. On the contrary, by forgiving you
cease to be the victim of hatred and anger, and you triumph over your own evil. Sufis believe
that whosoever is patient and forgives, indeed is of the steadfast heart of things. Whoever
worries too much sickens their own body. A Sufi keeps imploring until he or she reaches to the
highest rank where the self is really purified. God deposited within human beings knowledge of
all things, and then blocked them from perceiving them; this is one of the divine mysteries that
reason denies totally and thinks impossible (Harvey & Hanut, 1999, p. 35). The best test of faith
lies in showing forbearance and forgiveness.
I sought forgiveness through the most beautiful words during my erbain period. I recited
several prayers from the Sufi tradition such as: “My God, Surely I have been one of the
wrongdoers, have mercy on me,” “Forgive all believers; you are the Most Merciful of the
merciful,” “O my Lord! I try my best to keep my covenant with You,” “I seek refuge in You
from the evil of what I have done,” “ I acknowledge Your favors upon me, acknowledge my
sins,” “So, forgive me, for truly no one forgives sins except You, ” “I beg for help. Rectify all
my states and leave me not to myself. Even for a moment shorter than the blinking of an eye! I
am helpless. Increase my knowledge let not my heart stray after You have guided me.”
Homework, see Table 9.
Table 9- Homework for Session Three
Reading Humility Suffering Sorrow Confidence Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Nine Sufi Technique Ten Sufi Technique Eleven Sufi Technique Twelve Prayers Morning Afternoon X2 Evening Night Concepts Forgiveness Freedom
Session Four: Purity of Intention
The Prophet Mohammad said: Have compassion. God shows compassion to those who
show compassion to others. Show mercy to those on earth, so that God in heaven may show
mercy to you (Hadith). Every soul fears death, but must come to the end. Cherishing ambitions
strengthens the desire to live. Time obliterates the ambitions of humans. The soul multiplies
ambitions, but death brings an end. A Sufi needs to purify his\her life intentions and goals, by
seeking the abode of the Hereafter in what God has given you. Forget not your portion of the
world, avoid traps in the world’s journeying that conceal much destruction. The enjoyment of
this world is short; the Hereafter is eternal for those who obey God's commands, filled with His
fear. The soul weeps in desire for the world even though salvation lies in renouncing it. There is
no such abode after death, therefore renounce it before. The first step is the will and intent to
avoid what has been forbidden and what is deviant, engaging only in what is allowed. The
second is care even with what is allowed. A Sufi shows no pull toward worldly attractions, and
prefers to serve God over every other thing. The carnal self is our the real enemy. Humility is the
opposite of arrogance, haughtiness and pride. A Sufi must know him or herself to be ordinary,
others good, the self bad. I encourage patients in therapy to write poems, paint or play music to
find their expression as part of the Art therapy model and homework is given to patients every
week. Reading about each concept will lead them to think, and provide a reflective basis for their
perception of the depression or problems. Prayer: The Prophet Jacob said in Qur’an:
He said, "I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that
which you do not know. (Qur’an; Yusuf, 86). In Arabic: “Kâle innemâ eşkû bessî ve huznî
ilallâhi ve a’lemu inallâhi mâ lâ ta’lemûn(ta’lemûne)”
Homework, see Table 10.
Table 10 - Homework for Session Four
Reading Commitment Expansion Decision Resolution Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Thirteen Sufi Technique Fourteen Sufi Technique Fifteen Sufi Technique Sixteen Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night Concepts Sincere Intention Endeavor
Session Five: Patience
Patience is almost half of the therapy target, as is showing no rebellion against misfortune
in life. Accepting one’s entire destiny without complaint is better done peacefully, even though
these events are filled deep with distress and with terror. Having pleased acceptance of all God's
treatment is the first rule of the Sufi therapy. Observe patience when you are tormented by rage.
Forgive one who harms you. These two qualities will, in due course, help you and God will give
you protection. You will find your depressive events agreeable or disagreeable: you are only role
players in the Divine drama. Everybody must play well on the stage of this world. You have no
right or authority to interfere with the quality of whatever happens to an individual, only God can
decide. The first degree is free will and belief in His Unity. The second degree must be acquired,
a continuation of the first. The basis of the third degree leads to nearness to God. A Divine gift is
not a station attained by will or by effort. Patients will be encouraged to think about God in the
way that I wrote in my poem, as follows,
Make me feel Your ever-present company near me and do not let things cause me to fall distant from You.
Narrated from A’ishah radi Allahu anha, “When the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam
saw something that pleased him, he would say: Alhamdulillahil lathee bi ni’matihi tatimmus
saalihaat, and when he saw something that displeased him, he would say: Alhamdulillah ‘alaa
kuli haal. (Narrated in Sunan Ibn Maajah, classified as Saheeh according to Shaykh Albaani
rahimahullah in Silsilatus Saheehah hadeeth 265). Alhamdulillahil lathee bi ni’matihi tatimmus
saalihaat means: All praise and thanks are only for Allah, the One who, by His blessing and
favor, perfected goodness/good works are accomplished. Alhamdulillah ‘alaa kuli
haal means: All praise and thanks are only for Allah in all circumstances. Prophet Noah has two
special prayers for patience as, “Do not give up and do not be downhearted. You shall be
uppermost if you are believers” (Qur’an, Surah Al ‘Imran, 139). Prophet Noah lived for 950
years among his people (Qur’an 29 14). He became very discouraged when not many people
would listen to him. He then received a message from Allah, “None of your people will believe
except those who have believed already: So don’t worry about the wrongdoers any more. Build a
ship under our guidance. Those who are in sin will soon be destroyed. He called upon his Lord:
"I am overwhelmed, so help me!" (Qur’an, Surat al-Qamar: 10) as this his second special prayer.
In Arabic: “Fe deâ rabbehû ennî maglûbun fentasır”
Homework, see Table 11.
Table11- Homework for Session Five
Reading Will The Willing One The Willed One Certainty Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Seventeen Sufi Technique Eighteen Sufi Technique Nineteen Sufi Technique Twenty Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night Concepts Patience Love
Divine Love Wisdom
Session Six: Truthfulness
The concept of truthfulness reveals that there are two sides and two choices: the Willing
and the Willed One. Will is living a spiritual life, overcoming carnal desires, and resisting animal
appetites. The Willled one always prefers obeying God's wish and pleasure over their own will,
in complete submission to His Will. A willing disciple never relies on their power alone, but is
absolutely submitted to the Will of the All-Powerful who holds all of creation in His Grasp, His
pleasure. The one who has willed has become a favorite of God. Will is the first station on the
path towards God. The first harbor for a Sufi setting sail for eternity is journeying toward purity
of intent with the force of the inner desire to embark on this voyage. Your willpower is only a
shadow of the One who does whatever He wills in whatever way He chooses. You are just a
shadow dependent on the original. Any created will is dependent on the Creator. It is difficult to
distinguish between a shadow and the original.
Sufi do not be grieved, God is in them. At the start, loyalty, faithfulness, and resolution
are important. Solemnity, self-possession, and mannerliness come later. Who has erred in the
beginning cannot advance to reach God. Who has erred in the end is reproved, their will fed by
God. Prayer is one of famuous Prophet Mohammad’s words: “None of you are believers until
you love for fellow human what you love for yourself” (Hadith). [Who say], "Our Lord, let not
our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are
the Bestower (Qur’an, Ali Imran, 8). In Arabic: “Rabbenâ lâ tuziğ kulûbenâ ba’de iz hedeytenâ
veheb lenâ min ledunke rahmeh(rahmeten), inneke entel vehhâb(vehhâbu).
Homework, see Table 12.
Table 12 - Homework for Session Six
Reading Modesty Austerity Piety Asceticism Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Twenty Nine Sufi Technique Thirty Sufi Technique Thirty One Sufi Technique Thirty Two Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night Concepts Truthfulness Resignation
Session Seven: Thankfulness
Thankfulness is the other half of the therapy target and reveals that the real richness is the
richness of the heart. Your heart is a God-treasure and a credit card that is valid everywhere;
such mysterious capital is neither poor nor powerless. Poverty is your pride, showing neediness
unto God. A Sufi looks upon poverty as the real core and meaning of existence. Do not despise
poverty, it is the essence, all else form. Poverty is the mirror reflecting the independence of
others. It is a remedy for all diseases of vanity and conceit. Increasing awareness of poverty
engenders high degrees of dignity. Such awareness before the Absolutely Wealthy One is
richness itself, feeling in your conscience God is the sole source of power and wealth. His help
sought, it is to Him that you turn, needing nothing. It is His is power, by which we are powerful.
We are well-known by His Name or His fame. We go beyond peaks and continue our way. We
overcome all difficulties with ease. We possess nothing worldly, but are rich, dignified and
respectable due to His Dignity. We follow the way of contemplation, so whatever exists is a
source of knowledge of God.
The Sufi way of poverty severs relations with all and thankfulness is a result. Poverty is
the goal, a most manifest sign of God’s love. The Almighty has placed poverty in the hearts of
His friends. Poverty is a key of light to open the heart’s eye to the treasure. Poverty is the door to
riches, this key is for the richest. You pass through this door in your conscience to the infinite
treasuries. The Owner of All is clear; poverty is identical with wealth. Wealth is no more than
the perfection of poverty. Prayer: “Search for God among poor, because it is the poor who render
help and provide food” (Hadith).
My Poem about thankfulness is as follows,
The duty of thankfulness holds great emotion. Using my helplessness and destitution. Very few people live in true full awareness Feeling deep need to be grateful and thankful. Our weakness prevents us meeting our needs. Everyone has the need to be thankful, Whatever our level of spiritual heights or desires, Since thanking you is a blessing itself. O Lord. How can I be thankful to You? Unable to thank You as thanking requires. Deepen my belief, love, gratitude towards. My net of sight filled with your fine gifts. If you are thankful He adds more unto you. It is a half with respect to this inclusivity. Patience two halves of life that is thankful. O God! Include us among those whom You love. Make me sincere, and bring me near to You. O God. Help me mention You, thank You. I worship You in the best possible way.
Prayer: Surah Al Anbiya verse 83, it is the dua that Prophet Ayyub made when he was sick:
“Waayyooba ith nada rabbahu annee massaniya alddurru waanta arhamu alrrahimeena”
Translation: "And Ayyub, when he called to his Lord, (saying): "Indeed adversity has afflicted me, and You are the Most Merciful of those who are merciful" (Qur’an, Anbiya, 83).
Homework, see Table 13.
Table 13- Homework for Session Seven
Reading Universal Person Insight Discerment Serenity Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Twenty Five Sufi Technique Twenty Six Sufi Technique Twenty Seven Sufi Technique Twenty Eight Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night Concepts Thankfulness Perfect Goodness
Session Eight: Passion
People are lonely and live in boredom with their place in the world and the surrounding
conditions. They feel discomfort as if in prison or captivity. Why is it that you stay in such a
sorrowful mood? Why is there sadness in your blessed inner world? Self-possession will lead
you to passion in which is intense love, more than desire for Paradise, more intense than the
lover's love for the beloved. You’ve exhausted your power to endure such love. Your heart
beating above all is God's pleasure with you. Burning endurance to ashes with desire of union in
words refers to worrying much if the beloved is loved by others. Who is my lover, who casts me
in worry and distress? In this session, group members will bring their artistic talents to
conceptualize what being trustworthy means. Prayer: Mohammad said, “Say the word of ‘La
hawla wala kuwwata illa billahi’l aliyyil azim’ because it is a treasures of Jannat (heaven)”
(Hadith-i Sharifm Sunan-i Tirmidi). Translation: there is no power no strength but from Allah as
is very effective means of beseeching Allah’s help and it has a lot of power in it.
My poetic expression is as follows,
A Sufi must feel that I am afraid someone else is in love with my beloved. The fire is so great that I see none other than Him. I did not know myself as I see myself now, I wonder whether He is me or I am Him? There is no longer any possibility of rescue or escape. Nothing more than meeting is with the Truly Beloved One. The lover is at the same time as a lover and the beloved. A willed one is at the same time as being one who wills. O Sufi! You’re at the same time as one who is sought. My heart is in love and desire; my soul is on fire why are these tears coming from my eyes, O Dear One! Losing my patience is coming to the end of my endurance. O my Beloved! I have no strength to bear all that occurs.
Prayer: Now, if they turn away from you, (O Prophet) say: "Allah is all-sufficient for me. There
is no god but Him. In Him I have put my trust. He is the Rabb of the Mighty Throne." (Qur’an,
Taubah, 129). In Arabic: “Fe in tevellev fe kul hasbiyallâh(hasbiyallâhu), lâ ilâhe illâ hûve,
aleyhi tevekkeltu ve huve rabbul arşil azîm(azîmi).”
Homework, see Table 14.
Table 14- Homework for Session eight
Reading Individuality Verification Striving Life and Time Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Twenty One Sufi Technique Twenty Two Sufi Technique Twenty Three Sufi Technique Twenty Four Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night Concepts Passion Love
Divine Love Wisdom
Session Nine: Trustworthiness
A spiritual faculty is deposited in the heart as Divine trust, as spirit for the body, will
power, feelings and mind. Each of the pillars of conscience has a function and goal. Feelings of
love of God mean having a vision of God's Face. Lordship manifests in the heart: the seekers feel
its manifestation in a deeper manner, till the point where Divine Names are everything, and
where witnessing opens Divine secrets, the secrets of manifestation. A Sufi must have a clear
relationship with the world of the spirit. God knows best what’s in your inner world, your heart.
The secret of being lies in a pure bosom of faithfulness and loyalty. The secret is rising when
God prepares a heart to hold these qualities. The people of truth whose eyes do not see any save
for God, always pursue His good pleasure, resist the carnal self and reach to the Pure Soul.
Making every effort of submission, preventing worldly desire, our eyes and the universe are fed
with the pure water of secrets. Faithful souls try to hide their rank with God from others, and
keep the Divine gifts granted them concealed from others. They guard their chastity, though each
is a star in the heavens. They have no expectations in this world, appearing as if just fireflies.
These heroes do not spend even a moment without Him and use every event, thought and
consideration to mention Him. They are self-annihilated in His company, living unaware of
Whatever good is done for others, and rendered God's way, conceal it. Hide your good
deeds, not only from others, but even from your own self. Even if you sometimes feel pride in
yourself, seek escape. Spend your life amidst ecstasy in His perfect help and care, unknown
among people, remaining hidden, enclosed by secrets. Prayer: “Wish for other men what you
would wish for yourself and you will become an obedient subject of God” (Hadith). As known
as Prophet Shu'ayb prayer’s in Qur’an as follow:
“Indeed we shall have forged a lie against Allah If we go back to your religion after Allah
has delivered us from It, and it befits us not that we should go back to it, except if Allah our Lord
please: Our Lord comprehends all things in His knowledge; in Allah do we trust: Our Lord!
decide between us and our people with truth; and Thou art the best of deciders” (Qur’an, A’raf,
89). In Arabic: “Kadiftereynâ alallâhi keziben in udnâ fî milletikum ba’de iz necceynallâhu
minhâ, ve mâ yekûnu lenâ en neûde fîhâ illâ en yeşâallahu rabbunâ, vesia rabbunâ kulle şey’in
ilmen, alallâhi tevekkelnâ, rabbeneftah beynenâ ve beyne kavminâ bil hakkı ve ente hayrul
Homework, see Table 15.
Table 15- Homework for Session Nine
Reading Unity Multiplicity Silent Intoxication Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Thirty Three Sufi Technique Thirty Four Sufi Technique Thirty Five Sufi Technique Thirty Six Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night Concepts Trustworthiness Journeying in
Journeying from Journeying with
Session Ten: Presentation
Presentation refers to explaining to others what you have learned and are open to, how
you are innately charged with discovering Divine secrets. Developing Sufi Observation and
Seeing with insight, the eye of the heart makes you happy. The eye is the shadow and
manifestation. This is a great Divine gift, the Divine Light and bright mirrors reflecting absolute
Oneness. Beyond all concepts of modality, without eyes respect the observation of the Truth
Himself. The Divine Being is as an object of observation. A Sufi feels the Divine Names and
Attributes in such a disclosure—there are degrees of observation. Needing a vigorous heart with
keen sight and hearing, these senses are highly sensitive, for receptiveness is based on the heart’s
capacity, belief, hearing and certainty. Walking with a deep yearning to where there’s no
existence, where the currency of speech is not valid or demanded. Whoever attempts to knock on
the door at that station will receive the answer, “You are not able to see Me!”
The third degree is everything annihilated in God. The existence of the universe no
longer felt, the One manifest. The Divine lights are in the time when hearts overflow with
rejoicing and take His lightning-like manifestation for Being Himself. This point leads you to
confusing the original with the shadow. Take an observation from the conscience and the heart in
a state. Observing True Being Himself is a shadow that yields no more confusion. Two eyes see
two worlds—this and the next—filled with the Friend!
The time comes when the Divine gifts invade the inner world with Divine quality. The
Truth appears when you’re nearest to Him. Gifts come with fear, sorrow or rejoicing. If the gifts
come with an air of fear and sorrow, a Sufi comes to embody fear and sorrow. If they come with
exhilaration and rejoicing, there’s peace without loss of self-possession. I was consciously
expressing resignation with such words in my poem: “Your favor is welcome, and so too Your
resentment.” Acting in peace and contentment, attain confidence in the valleys of reliance,
surrender and commitment. The travelers are punished according to their rank. Your heart has
lost some degrees in its relation to ranks of perfect godliness and nearness to God. For a purified
saintly scholar is free from both time and state. The true heroes of time always take the present
day into account and try to use it the best possible way. One who does not taste, does not know
or perceive. As time serves like rain pouring down from the heavens, as a fertile field bursting
with vegetation, you think of the past. Increase your devotion with prayer: “Should I not become
a thankful servant?” My expression about ending the journey is in the following reflection,
The absolute Owner of Time shows everything annihilated in Him. His Names and Attributes manifesting, Himself in different forms. See a drop as if it were an ocean, a particle of light as if the sun. Nothing as if everything, uttering such words as: I am the true One. His being, there is nothing that exists, that truly exists, save God.
This absorption is the final state of the spiritual journey. It refers to all feeling, seeing,
consciousness of the Truth and the heart cutting off relations with all save God. Thirst for the
Divine Being is flying round His Face. Everything is a shadow of the light of the Existence of
Truth. For a Sufi, it is shadows of the shadow of His Existence’s light, related to the absorption
within absorption, and to seeing the rays of holy absorption. This is the rank of nearness to God:
do supererogatory prayers. The greatest capital in being favored by God is absorption. He is the
First, and the Last, the Outward, and the Inward. A Sufi becomes a polished mirror that reflects
manifestations, observes deeply and clearly with inner external senses. This is the farthest point
you must be to travel in God. My poetic reflection captured the moment my heart experienced
Now rotate around yourselves like the North Star. You are turning around your axis in your heart, while being in your body among people, worshipping alone. Absorption can never mean the unity of being, the unity of God. The universe or God's being cannot be coincident with the universe. The One Who is the Eternal is eternal, different from mortals. Humans have both pure, transparent aspect and one that is tangible, dense. O Heart, being acts according to its own standard of measure. Worship your Lord until that certain event, death comes to you. Meeting with God based on experience at your own.
Muhyiddin Ibn al-`Arabi, said: "If anyone is in need of something, let him/her read surah “al
Fatiha" forty times after evening prayer and two raka`ats of optional prayer.”.Prophet
Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), said: "Surah al-Fatiha” is open for appealing to
believers in Allah, with their wishes. Who reads “surah al-Fatiha” over clean water 70 times for
7 days, and then, after blowing on it, drinks it, God, by His mercy, bestows knowledge and
wisdom, cleans his heart from pervasive thoughts, and grants him such an exceptional memory
and ability to grasp everything on the fly, that he never forgets anything even if he heard it once”
(Hadith). This is shown in one of Gülen’s books. Sirr (secret) or “Discussion of al-Fatiha”
(Fatiha Uzerine Mulahazalar) is Gülen’s only work solely dedicated to surah interpretation, and
in it Gülen focuses on the miracle aspects of Quran and examines this from different points of
view. He says poetry was central to the way of life at the place and time the Quran was revealed.
The mystical and magical expressions of Quran sounded like neither the poems nor hadith of the
time; however it astounded everyone with its poetic originality. Sufism has a certain place in his
interpretation method. It is also seen that Gülen makes some references to canon law of verses
(Tuncer, 2006). Gülen speaks of the secret of Fatiha and the special properties inherent in this
surah, as a prophetic healing tradition.
Prayer is surah “al-Fatiha" forty times in a day recommended for everyone.
In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful. Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds. The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning. You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help. Guide us on the straight path, the path of those who have received your grace; not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray. Amen” (Qur'an 1:1-7)
In Arabic: “Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem. Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Maaliki yaumid Deen. Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een Ihdinas siraatal mustaqee. Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim. Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim waladaaleen. Aameen”
Table 16 shows final Homework.
Table 16- Homework for Session Ten
Reading Observation Poverty Richness Manifestation Meditation 13 Names Dhikr 6 Names Dhikr Special Dua Memorize Dua Sufi Technique Sufi Technique Thirty Seven Sufi Technique Thirty Eight Sufi Technique Thirty Nine Sufi Technique Forty Prayers Morning AfternoonX2 Evening Night Concepts Presentation Disclosure
In summary, I was not trying to be a positivist or an objectivist as in the traditional way.
The greatest impediment to the study of transcendence experiences is the subjective nature of
this experience and moving from “transcendent sincerity” to transpersonal theory using Fethullah
Gülen’s perspective. My transcendent experience was unique and my discoveries were based on
my observations. Discovering the Divine mysteries will be disclosed in the Divine truths. I was
able to swim safely the ocean of spiritual initiation and journeying, and found a useful Sufi
mindfulness therapy model through Fethullah Gülen’s writings. At the beginning of this journey,
as a Sufi, I may know some truths; however, I was not able experience them yet. Therefore, I am
not able to grasp the inner realities of the truths that I know intellectually, because experiencing
is very different from knowing. For instance, belief, love, and spiritual taste are practical
concepts; and their realities cannot be known until they become a dimension of the Sufi’s very
nature. When they are experienced and practiced by the heart of the Sufi, the Sufi’s attitude
predominates over his knowledge, and that knowledge begins to become immersed in the
attitude; then it melts and finally perishes. This is called the immersion of knowledge in the
attitude of the Sufi, since a Sufi never claims knowledge but claims he/she is zero and knows
nothing. I provide a new research methodology from Fethullah Gülen’s methods and techniques
which is one of important contributions for this research.
From the starting point of Fethullah Gülen’s spirituality, this Sufi therapy is designed to
teach patients in remission from major depression ten Sufi concepts of categories and forty rules
of Sufi teachings in order that they might become more aware of, and relate differently to their
thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. The program teaches skills that allow individuals to
disengage from habitual (“automatic”) cognitive routines, in particular depression-related
ruminative thought patterns, as a way of reducing future risk of relapse and recurrence of
depression, anxiety and stress. It is the invention of a new Sufi model targeting greater
connection with the spirit, the mind and the heart, and connecting all of these for the unity and
discovery of seven levels of souls in the self.
This finding is consistent with Sufi therapy: increased use of Fethullah Gülen’s model of
mindfulness is relevant to the prevention of the relapse/recurrence of depression stress and
depression, as it allows early detection of relapse-related patterns of negative thinking, feelings,
and body sensations and provides 10-week phase of Sufi therapy. This paradigm conceptualizes
the healthy person as an individual who can pilot his or her own existential fate in the here-and
now, and who has far greater self-regulatory control over his or her own body, mind, soul and
heart than heretofore imagined. Concomitant with this new paradigm is an attempt to develop
and improve techniques by which people can self-observe their behavior, change it (if desired),
and then continually modify and monitor it according to their spiritual needs.
The Sufi spiritual practice and therapy composes a perfect individual in the crucible of
striving, and such a striving is based on controlling carnal desires and impulses. The Self needs
to possess an operative mechanism of conscience in Spiritual Psychology. According to people
of the heart, doing what is right requires use of the will-power that has been endowed in order to
struggle against the carnal self and seek ways to defeat it. A Sufi strives in God's way, in the
way that striving for His sake requires, consisting in struggles against Satan, and against
impulses of the carnal self, with all his/her inner senses, consciousness, perception, and heart.
In summary, I gleaned healing principles, techniques and invented a new therapy
approach from my immersion in Gülen’s Sufi spiritual practice model, and demonstrated how
this Sufi path might benefit therapeutic practice in social work for some Muslim populations as a
Spiritual Guideline. It is not a universal model suitable for everyone; I acknowledge that it may
not even work for some Muslim populations. I provide a spiritual practice guideline for social
workers and psychotherapists working within a culture of Sufi spiritual practice, and promote a
wisdom-based individual culture based on Fethullah Gülen’s methods, teachings and my own
interpretations of Sufism. I explained and analyzed how I was transformed during the study and
how I am going to help others with this Sufi therapy. It is a heart-based healing method for some
Muslim individuals at the beginner level and is a therapy model that fills in gaps between some
existing spiritual practice in Sufism and scientific methods.
As part of further research, this particular mindfulness spiritual practice and guideline can
be moved and shifted to the next stage of developing possible intermediate and advance levels.
The intermediate level of Sufi therapy focusing on how to manifest God in personalities is work
best conducted at PhD level, and will add 10 more weeks of therapy sessions. I have not tested
this therapy model as group therapy yet, I simply tested it at an individual level through my self
journeying. It might be biased to implement such a model for all Muslim population. However, it
does fit the needs of Hizmet Movement followers. Individuals may need specific sessions to
follow up this therapy model, and the therapist or social worker must tailor the therapy to each
client to meet their spiritual practice needs.
In conclusion, the heart plays an essential role in self-purification, self-awareness, and
self-criticism, understanding others and how to use the self. However, none of the scholars
mentioned above have studied Gülen’s Sufism writings, poems and his positive thinking
pathways in order to address solutions in social work and spiritual practice for some Muslim
populations in need of an alternative heart-based psychotherapy.