Beauty and Light: Mystical Discourses by a Contemporary Female Sufi Master
…How our souls are attracted to our particular lives and trials in order to be purified before our return to God.
One should not say, “I didn’t get to choose these parents,” or “I didn’t ask for these qualities,” or “why did I come into this world?” This is because each individual knows his name from the time of pre-eternity. And a person’s name longs to perfect itself and to be reunited with God. So it tries to acquire a physical body. To this end, it chooses its own family and path. Eventually, the human being comes to this world.
We should try to reach true peace while we are in this world. Peace means being in the presence of God. A person who is in the presence of God is at peace in each moment
…All kinds of affliction bring out our inner beauties.
The spiritual disposition with which you are born will enable you, through your efforts, to attain that maturity. Even before you have a need for water, a spiritual teacher guides you to the water. This is what is most crucial. God grants His creatures what is required and desired by their abilities. He assigns to them the appropriate name as their destiny; human form, spirit, abilities, and attitude are written in the sperm of humans. People are bound to exist in their own form and spirit. They will necessarily have the abilities that they have, but they are free in their actions. So, while decree is predetermined, our destiny is determined by our actions. People say, “Your destiny is in your hands” without reflecting on what this means. Destiny is the fulfillment of decree. And the way our destiny is lived out is in our hands.
Let’s say it is in a person’s destiny to become a beautiful person. But trial and difficulty is also written for that person for the sake of their perfection. If they endure the trials and show contentment, that destiny will make them beautiful. If on the other hand they get stuck in a state where with each difficulty and affliction they question, “Why has this happened to me?” then trial and difficulty will not work to perfect them. Instead, they will remain “unripe.” This is why we must learn to be content with everything that happens to us. The things that happen to us change our inner structure. They transform us into diamonds when we are just carbon and coal. If instead of transforming into diamonds we insist on staying as coal and say, “No, I will not suffer any pain in this world!” then we will remain at the level of coal. But if we are content with suffering, and if we treat pain not as pain but as a sign that the Beloved is with us, and if when difficulties arise we are able to say, “Praise be to God, this is from my beloved; He has considered me worthy of this, and He has loved me,” then difficulties will become delights that transform us into diamonds. To be clear, I am not suggesting that we ask for hardship. I am talking about hardship that is already present and destined to occur.
Click here for Foreword by Omid Safi and Sufi Charismatic Authority in the Contemporary World: Introducing Cemalnur Sargut by Tehseen Thaver
Cemalnur Sargut, one of the Turkish leaders of the Rifa’i Sufi order, occupies a special place in the intellectual and social landscape of contemporary Islam. This is so for multiple reasons. As a female Sufi teacher who commands a loyal and active worldwide following, especially in Turkey, Sargut’s career as a scholar and Sufi leader represents an important case study in the dynamics of contemporary global Sufism. This volume represents the first text in English translation that brings together some of her major discourses and teachings as presented to her students through the genre of oral discourses. More Specifically, the discourses that form the core of this book were collected through oral interviews with Cemalnur conducted by her students as part of a weekly program aired on a national Turkish radio station. The original Turkish transcription on which this English translation is based is titled Dinle (Listen), and was published in 2012 by Nefes press.