Edep Ya Hu! (Decency O Allah!)

Edep Ya Hu! (Decency O Allah!)

It has always drawn my attention… There is a signboard at the entrances of Sufism education institutions, or somewhere visible, written “Edep Ya Hu!”, meaning “O Allah (swt), render us with decency!” In some signboards, this phrase is written in Arabic scripts in Islamic calligraphy. What does “edep” (decency) mean? Why do sufis attach particular importance to decency? Why so much emphasis is put on decency?

Yes, “edep” (decency or manners) mean a lot for a person… “Decency ” is a term that defines all divine virtues that makes a man a mature human being. Decency purify the human soul from bad behaviors that are even worse than the animal behaviors. Decency is the beauty of behavior and the harmony of the “heart and behavior” of the perfect human being. It is the exaltedness of morality. It is the status of the human being who has achieved the fifth dimension passing through divine training.

Edep (decency) is a condition of personality that emerges by a human being’s passing through Allah (swt)’s training, by his acquiring morality from Him and His distinguished messengers. The difference between people with and without decency is the difference between a mature person and a raw and rough person. Decency transforms an unkind, greedy, miser, selfish, hard and rude, impatient and untrustworthy person who is always in a hurry and anxious for continuously pursuing the desires of his ego, to a resigned, mature, caring, generous, just, benevolent, patient, mild-mannered, earnest, frank and pleasant person who is not in a hurry and anxious in his jobs. In short, a person with edep is the “real human being”. That person is Allah (swt)’s caliph on earth.

# Decency begin with obedience

Dear Readers, decency begin with obedience. Obedience is a state of compliance and surrender. Obedience is being subject to others’ wishes, acting according to their desires and orders, surrendering and being subject to them.

I am sure that as soon as you have read those lines a reaction has emerged in you. I am sure that you have started to experience in your souls the spiritual difficulties that will be faced by acting according to others’ wishes and orders. Imagining the things that annoy people in the real world will also be annoying when imagined. In fact, the most difficult thing to stand for a human being with a personality is to be subject to other human beings. Because having a personality means, in one sense, to have opinion and will, to act according to one’s own desires and to be one’s own master. On the other hand, when you are dependent to others you may feel humiliated, low and injured in personality. Therefore, many raw people get ill-tempered when they cannot do what they want but have to act according to others’ wishes. I stated it in one of my previous articles that a good person and a bad person can be distinguished when that person’s wishes are not fulfilled. Many people are quite fine as long as you carry out their wishes, but once you disobey, they immediately take offence, go cross with you, they start to look at you with an evil eye. They can even develop a grudge against you; they hate you and use abusive language. The reason for all these is injury of personality and forbidding or limitation of being one’s own master.

Dear Readers; this injury of personality, forbidding and limiting ones independence constitutes the essence of the nafs (ego) training. The nafs-training is an education of personality. More clearly, eliminating the human personality that entices a person to do everything he wants and to be his own master, that cause him do all those unsuitable deeds, and replacing it with a divine personality that is subject to Allah (swt)’s will. Only after that a person can become a mature person.

# A self-ordained person is a raw human being

A self-ordained person whose demands were not limited in any way in childhood period and whose whole wants were always fulfilled is a raw human being. They try to make everything that they want. They always want their desires and demands to be satisfied. They never think of others. They begin to maturate only when their wishes are restricted or when they are forced to obey others’ desires and wills. In our country (Turkey), a person is not considered to be mature even after they graduated from university if they haven’t completed their military service and haven’t got married yet. In fact, maturing effects of these two institutions, military and marriage, on people cannot be denied. The most important reason is that people naturally learn to be subject to others’ wishes in these institutions.

Therefore, the basis of a good child training is teaching the child decency, this is to say, refraining from acting according to one’s own desires but taking into consideration other people’s needs, to teach the child sharing with others and acting according to wishes of others from time to time.

# Vanishing

Dear readers,

An intellectual person has thoughts, wishes and wills different from the others. A person has a unique “personality” by achieving these differences. However, this situation leads a person to be independent from the others; subject to his servile desires and wishes make him has trouble. Such a selfish personality will be a misfortune both for the person and for the society, he lives in, if he does not go through a divine training and acquire divine virtues. Look around yourself and try to remember incidents that occur. Many sad events that shake societies are all deeds of such selfish personalities. A human being can only save himself, at fifth dimension, by leaving his selfish personality and reach salvation by acquiring the new selfless personality proposed by Allah (swt). A human being voluntarily resigning from his opinion and will, and rendering his human personality become ineffective on his behavior is called the one in “Fena” (vanishing) position in Sufism. This is a spiritual vanishing.

“Fena” (vanishing) is resigning from one’s own desires and wishes, in other words, from one’s own personality (ego). After a person resigns from his own desires, assumes the personality of the person whomever he is subject to; he unites his own personality with that person’s personality because, the person is not acting according to his own personality and desires but according to the wishes of the person, he is subject to. In tasawwuf education, this is called “Fena” (nonexistence) stage.

# Three levels of “Fena” stage

“Fena” position has three levels before a status of full maturity is achieved:

In the first level person has to obey the wishes of the Murshid-I Kamil to whom he is dependent and surrendered. This is called “Fena fish-Sheyh” situation, meaning vanishing in Murshid-I Kamil. Dervish Yunus has expressed this state, as “We became servants at Taptuk’s door… ” At this stage, a person tries to carry out all demands of the Sufi thinker.

Secondly, the person has to be subject to wishes of Rasulullah, which is called “Fena fir-Rasul” (vanishing in the Rasulullah). In this stage, a person considers the way Rasulullah had lived and his deeds as an example and tries to abide by his wishes exactly and try not to depart even one millimeter from wants of Rasulullah.

Thirdly, a person has to surrender to proposals, wishes and orders of Allah (swt), and that stage is called “Fena fillah”, meaning vanishing in Allah (swt). A person in this position tries to learn Allah (swt)’s all proposals, wishes, orders and prohibitions in every detail and be subject to Allah (swt) and tries not to depart even one millimeter from wishes of Allah (swt). A person at this stage wants everything, says everything and does everything for the sake of Allah (swt).

# Complete Surrender

Therefore, behavior of the person who is in a state of complete surrender to Allah (swt) becomes completely in accordance with the way Allah (swt) wishes. After this level all desires emanating from that humble servant becomes Allah (swt)’s desire, all looks of him becomes a look with Allah (swt)’s divine light, all deeds of him become a behavior that comply with the morality of the Allah (swt) and his messengers. In other words, the virtues of almighty Allah begin to emerge in that humble servant. Allah (swt) becomes that servant’s seeing eye, hearing ears. Almighty Allah has expressed this state in a sacred hadith as follows:

“Among the things that bring My servant close to Me, the ones I love best are the things that I have made fard. When My servant does the supererogatory ibadat, he gets very close to Me so much so that I love him very much. When I love him, I become his hearing ear, seeing eye, holding hand and walking foot. I give him whatever he wishes. When he invokes Me for help, I rescue him at once.”. (Bukhari, Rikak, 38) [1]

Dear readers, a person gifted with this mercy of Allah (swt) is now reached the peak in decency and maturity. Obviously, such a state can be reached after a very tough self-training with the help of Allah (swt) and not everyone can be endowed with it. Let Allah (swt) make us one of the perfectly mature person whose life will be ended in this status. Let Allah (swt) gift us the faith safety in our last breaths.

Be entrusted to Allah.