About the Prophets, As Eyes of God / Tanrı’nın Gözleri Olan Peygamberler Hakkında

“…the Deus absconditus, the ‘hidden Treasure’, aspiring to reveal himself, to be known. However, this very relation gives rise to a dramatic situation in which the divine Being and the being in which and through which he reveals himself are simultaneously implicated, for God cannot look at another than himself, nor be seen by an other than him self. The Awliya, the ‘initiate’, graduated in the different spiritual degrees, are precisely the eyes at which God looks. Through them our world remains a world at which God ‘ looks’, and  this is the meaning of the mysterious affirmation that if they were not, if there ceased to be the pole (the hidden Imam) who is the keystone of the invisible heavens which they all combine to form, our world would collapse in final catastrophe. It is rather difficult certainly to find in our language two terms that faithfully render the meaning of the words Walayat and Awliya. The idea of ‘initiation’, that of a sodality of ‘initiates’, invisible and permanent from cycle to cycle of prophecy, by substitution of one another individuality, seems best fitted to awaken their resonance. The theme is  especially important in Shi’ite imamology; and it is also Shi’ite Sufism that offers the best possibility of a study in depth. And these terms suggest another connection. Literally the word Awliya means ‘Friends’: The Persian expression Awliya-e Khoda means the ‘Friends of God’. The very same term was applied to themselves in the fourteenth century by an entire family of Spirituals in the West. All inhabit the same heights inaccessible to those who are unaware of their orientation, like the ‘ Friend of God’ in Oberland, the ‘High Country’, where Goethe’s inner vision will nevertheless know how to find these heights, in a great poem which remains unfinished: Die Geheimnisse (the Secrets).

‘Aurora’ engraving from Jacob Boehme’s 1682 edition of the ‘ Morgenrote im Ausgang’ or ‘ Aurora’

There are many traditions referring to this people of ‘initiates’ unknown to the very men whom they exist to protect. Ruzbehan developed these traditions in the prologue to his great work on the ‘Paradoxes of the mystics’. They are generally said to be 360 in number, corresponding to the 360 divine Names, the 360 days and nights of the year, the 360 degrees of the sphere measuring the day-night cycle. All the variations of this number have symbolic meanings. To pick one of the simplest forms, we will quote the following: ‘ God (writes Ruzbehan), possesses on earth three hundred eyes or persons whose heart is consonant with the heart of Adam; forty whose heart is consonant with the heart of Moses; seven whose heart is consonant with the heart of Abraham; five whose heart is consonant with the heart of Gabriel; three whose heart is consonant with the heart of Michael; one (the pole) whose heart is consonant with the heart of Seraphiel.’ The sum of 356 is raised to 360 by four figures of prophets who according to Islamic esotericism meditating on the Qur’anic revelation, have the common characteristic of having been carried off alive from death: Enoch (that is to say Idris, identified with Hermes), Khezr, Elijah and Christ.”

From Chapter 3, part 2, ‘Vision of the Pole in Ruzbehan of Shiraz’,

In ‘ The Man of Light’ by Henry Corbin.

Omega publications, 1994.

About Henry Corbin:


More here:


Goethe’s ‘Die Geheimnisse’ to be found here:


About Ruzbehan of Shiraz:


This entry was posted in Spiritüel Ustalar / Spiritual Masters and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to About the Prophets, As Eyes of God / Tanrı’nın Gözleri Olan Peygamberler Hakkında

  1. 'Azim Looker says:

    Hu Brothers and Sisters,
    Very nice Nicholas and Nalan, and “The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism” and “Creative Imagination in Ibn ‘Arabi” (republished as “Alone with the Alone”) by Henri Corbin are favourite books of mine…even if I am sometimes appalled at Corbin’s camouflaging of essential truths by excessive verbiage and endless asides/ displays of learning.
    What I want to say is that “Man is to God as the eye-pupil is to the eye” (ie, that through which seeing is effected; through us the Cosmos and The Ghayb, The Unseen, sees Itself ), Ibn ‘Arabi, Fusus al Hikam, Chapter on Adam, has a general truth, not restricted to the Awliya, ‘the Saints’. It is the Reality of Man…not something to be ‘achieved’ as much as understood and experienced to be what is in fact already happening. Seer and Seen are lost in Being…”Seeing is Being”. I am a little unhappy with the grafting of the idea of ‘initiates’ onto the term Saints/ Friends of God (Walayat and Awliya are both directly derived from ‘Wali’, Veli in Turkish, ‘saint, friend of God’). A saint is to me someone who reached Closeness…and this in turn means is free of hierarchies of ‘Masters’ and ‘initiates’ … someone who became ‘themselves’, an ‘individuated individual’; “He who knows himself certainly knows God”. “My servant, if you desire to enter into My intimacy, do not pay attention to the Mulk (the phenomenal world of witnessing), the Melekut (the world of Angels), or the Jebberut (the world of compulsion of the Divine)” Hadith Qudsi. Gilani: “Whoever is satisfied with one of these (the Hadaras, planes of Being), they are expelled from the company; – at the level of God – it is thus. I mean to say that they have lost the right of Closeness to the Divine Ipseity. Their degrees (of ascension) are stopped. But they had desired Closeness; they cannot reach that Universe in this state. Because they did not desire the thing that was essential…They had only one wing”. Admission into the Divine Presence is not at the behest of any master or initiation but that of Reality itself…the Presence far beyond the hadaras where even angels may not enter. This is the presence of “Or less’ or ‘Or nearer’ (Aw Adna), where only man, made in His Image and breathed into of His Spirit, – the Result, the Effect, the Cause, the Subject, the Object, the Prime Motive and the Only Reason, the Reality of Realities, that for Whom there would have been no universes, the Cause of all Mercy and Compassion upon the universes, that which is in accordance with an Extremely Great Nature!…may enter.
    If there is a question as to the existence in a strong sense of “an inner circle of Humanity”, a guiding hierarchy of ‘initiates’, we are talking in the sense of a hierarchical ascension through ‘walking to God’- a fantasy and something that misleads many good people. We cannot ‘walk to God’…but He can take us. Better to understand that there IS no initiate; there is no one to be ‘initiated’, and there never was. The greatest sin is ‘Shirk’, polytheism…to posit our existence with/ besides The Real is a sin without parallel. There is no ‘hierarchy’ of Saints in the crude sense. All this is a symbol of us, our own reality. Initiates are lost in Him, Saints are drowned in His ocean…

  2. 'Azim Looker says:

    If my post re Henri Corbin seems a bit negative…Corbin can be obsessive and eccentric, with a strong Shia bias. There are some people who amazingly believe even Ibn ‘Arabi to have been secretly Shia; its incredible to what extent peoples’ preconceptions colour their ‘studies’, the complete failure to ‘hear the others song’, to ‘die in the other’ or to reach an objective consciousness. There is no etymological justification whatsoever for translating “wali/veli; walayat/veliyat and awliya/evliya as ‘initiates’; this is an obsession of Henri Corbin’s. And a most unfortunate one to, because the term is not neutral, but brings with it an entire baggage train of ‘masters’, ‘initiates’, ‘hierarchies’; when what is being actually spoken of is simply a person standing naked in the Presence of God. The introduction of hierarchies ACTUALLY OPPOSES the naked simplicity of this mi’raj to Sainthood, to becoming God’s Friend, Awliya/ Evliya. In this instant of unveiling where are ‘masters’, ‘initiates’, ‘hierarchies’? They don’t exist. And this is very much the point of what I have written…I have seen so many ‘Masters’…and every single one that was really a ‘spiritual director’, ‘murshid/murshit’ has refused to be addressed as ‘Master’ or by any title. In Turkey a certain Bektashi ‘Celebi’ in Hacibektas has the title ‘Murshit’ on his business card, reducing my Alevi-Bektashi friends to hysterical laughter; how can a person fall to be so shamelessly crude? Much the same can be said of ‘initiates’…will any real initiate (of the Real) ever claim to be so? The pretentious titles of Orders and Tariqats are less than meaningful…”may God preserve us from a path that goes no further than imitation and pretence” (Ismael Hakki Bursevi, Seyh of the Celveti; in his rendering of the Kernel of the Kernel of Seyh al Akbar Muhyiddin ibn ‘Arabi). What matters in the Real World are not humanly created organisations and Orders and hierarchies, but THE Tariqat/ Order (A Mevlevi Seyh told me in Konya many years ago; “There is only one tariqat”…and he didn’t mean Mevlevi or from this or that religious background; he simply meant “The Friends of The Real”). All this structure of Corbins making, is supported by the second paragraphs selectivity (I suspect a descent from Suhrawardi’s ‘illuminist’ school, which blended Sufi and European traditions but in so doing caused confusion; European tradition tends towards a view of ‘creation’ in levels of descent from the Divine; Islamic mysticism at its highest levels will flatly deny that there has ever been a separate ‘creation’ at all. Ibn ‘Arabi simply says, “there is no creation from nothing”. The Sura Ihlas (Purity) asserts that “Nothing descended from Him, or extended from Him”. Nothing ever left Him). Essentially Sufism will always go against understandings based on “hierarchies of Being” because like Vedanta or Zen it proceeds from “The people of Haqiqa to the people of Haqiqa”. “There are no stages in realisation or liberation”. “Know that you are the Self and nothing exists but the Self”. “There is no such thing as higher or lower in Being”. “If ego and the world created by it goes, the reality remains. That is all”. All the rest of the attractive, interesting, knowledgable, wise-acreing of so many for our own sanity should be exposed to Occam’s Razor…take the simple, clearly expressed explanation. Reject the rest.

  3. Tanrı’nın Gözleri Olan Peygamberler Hakkında

    “… Deus absconditus, ‘gizli Hazine’ keşfedilmek istiyor, bilinmeye hevesli … Ancak bu istek dramatik bir duruma neden oluyor. Çünkü kutsal olan O ve keşfedilmesi için ihtiyaç duyduğu varlık, birbiriyle aynı anda ilişki içerisindedir. Tanrı, ne kendi gözüyle başkasına bakabiliyor, ne de kendisinin dışında bir başkası tarafından görülebiliyor. İnisiye olan ve farklı ruhani basamaklardan geçen Evliya, Tanrı’nın baktığı gözlerin ta kendisidir. Onların sayesinde dünyamız Tanrı’nın ‘baktığı’ yer olmaya devam ediyor. Böylece şu gizemli olumlamanın da anlamı ortaya çıkmış oluyor: Onlar olmasaydı, birleşerek oluşturdukları, görünmez cennetlerin temeli olan kutup (gizli imam) olmasaydı, dünyamız bir felakete maruz kalacaktı.

    Dilimizde ‘Walayat’ (ermişlik) ve ‘Awliya’ (evliya) kelimelerinin birebir karşılığını bulmak zordur (Ç.N.: Fransızca ve İngilizce dili kastediliyor). Görünmez olan ve bir peygamberlik döneminden diğerine sürekli olarak aktarılan, birbirinin yerini alabilen, ‘inisiye’ olmuş kişilerin birliğinden oluşan ‘inisiyasyon’ fikri, titreşimlerini en iyi şekilde uyandıran bir araç gibi gözüküyor. Özellikle Şii İmamolojisi’nde önem taşıyan konu, aynı zamanda Şii Tasavvufu’nda da derinlemesine irdenebiliyor. Söz konusu tanımlar farklı bir bağlantı sunuyor. Edebi anlamda ‘Awliya’ (evliya) kelimesi ‘arkadaşlar’ anlamına geliyor: Farsça’da ‘Awliya-e Khoda’ ifadesinin karşılığı ‘Allah’ın Dostları’dır. 14.yüzyılda aynı terim Batı’daki Ruhaniler ailesinin tümü için kullanılıyordu. Hepsi, nereye yöneldiğinin farkında olmayan kişilerin hiçbir zaman ulaşamayacağı yüksekliklere sahiptir, örneğin Oberland’taki ‘Tanrı’nın Arkadaşı’ gibi (Oberland = Almanca,’Yüksek Ülke’). Buna rağmen ‘Die Geheimnisse’ (Sırlar) başlığını taşıyan, ancak tamamlanmamış olarak kalan o muhteşem şiirde, Goethe’nin iç vizyonu bu yüksekliklerin nasıl bulunabileceğini bilecektir.

    Birçok gelenek ‘inisiye’ olmuş kişilere aftıfta bulunuyor. Yine de onlar korumak için var oldukları kişiler tarafından bilinmiyor. Ruzbihan bu gelenekleri büyük eseri ‘Mistiklerin Çelişkisi’nin önsözünde ele almıştır. Nasıl ki 360 kutsal isim, yılda 360 gün ve gece, gündüz ve gece döngüsünü ölçümleyen gök kubbesinin 360 derecesi var ise, onların da sayısı 360’dır. Bu sayının tüm varyasyonları sembolik anlamlar taşır. En basitinden birini seçerek şu alıntıya yer verelim: ‘(Ruzbihan’a göre) Tanrı, yeryüzünde 300 göze veya insana sahiptir. Bu insanların kalbi Adem’inkine yakındır. 40 kişinin kalbi ise Musa’nınkine, 7’sinin kalbi İbrahim’inkine, 5 kişinin kalbi Cebrail’inkine, 3 kişininki Mikail’inkine; bir kişinin (kutup) kalbi ise İsrafil’in kalbine yakındır.

    Toplamda elde edilen 356 sayısı, 4 peygamberin eklenmesiyle 360’a çıkar. Kuran’ın ezoterik yorumlamasına göre bu 4 peygamberin – Hz.İdris, Hz.Hızır, Hz. İlyas ve Hz. İsa – ortak özelliği ölümden dönmüş, dirilmiş olmalarıdır.”

  4. Pingback: Halil Cibran – “Nebi – Vermek” / Khalil Gibran – “The Prophet – Giving” |

  5. Pingback: The Tree of Oneness |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s