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No man can be God, of course, and yet I can well understand their difficulty in groping for a label. What is amazing is that someone like the Master, who should ordinarily belong to the Age of the Prophets, could be found and encountered in the second half of the 20th century. The Master impressed a Canadian journalist so much that he said to the Master: "Let me publicize you.

The Teachings of a Perfect Master: An Islamic Saint for the Third Millennium by Henry Bayman

To the Jews, let me go and say: 'If you're looking for Moses, here he is. He could have become world-famous, had he so wished. He observed Salat, performed Hajj and asked everyone to refrain from illicit gain and illicit sex as conditions for spiritual progress. He was far beyond drawing distinctions in the ordinary manner. For him there were only human beings, and to all he counseled the same teaching: God exists, and God is One. Abide by the Divine Law.

Work for the establishment of peace on earth, love one another, and devote yourself to serving your fellow- wo men. Feel compassion for all creatures, for even a fly.

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And that, he disclosed to me, was the difference that made the difference. Next, multiply the sum by a thousandfold. Kahyan recalls St. Pleasantries would be exchanged over a cup of tea.

And finally, you would come to realize that here was the most lovable, the most adorable, absolutely the most wonderful person on earth. The long and short of it is, the Master was squarely at the center of the highest expression of traditional Islamic Sufism, in the line of the Samini Branch of the Naqshbandi Order. Yet at the same time, there was no one more modern or more open-minded than he. I must again stress that this is not simply my personal opinion. Rather, I am quoting from a follower, this time a modern-minded lady.

And though he was a devout Moslem, he embraced people of all religions. In no other person have I seen the two so seamlessly fused. His preferred term was Muhammdenhood, i. Our electricity comes from him, from that great power station in Ankara. In other words, what are we to call that condition where the nonordinary becomes ordinary? Others will call it highly doubtful. I call it the perfect flowering of Mohammedan sainthood. The focus should be, not on the miraculous, but on the ethical. If you love someone, you cannot violate that person's rights.

And that's what the Divine Law is all about. It gives you the guidelines of how to behave as you would if you loved that person. The convents had been disbanded in by the newly-formed Turkish Republic, but with the Master I learned that there was no need of them. It went with him to the grave. He was not rich, so the reason was not economic. He was not a politician, so the reason was not political. Yet he knew things no one else knew, saw things no one else saw. Just as a single white elephant is enough to prove that not all elephants are gray, the existence of a human being like Effendi forces us to stop the presses and rewrite the books.

A saint, a wali is with Khizr every moment. Kahyan similarly quotes a saying that there is a secret in man that makes him so valuable that if one knew one would prostrate before it. Perhaps not everyone can achieve it to an equal degree, just as not everyone can win the Olympic medal.

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But everyone can do something better than where they're at. If we've spent our lives in suspended animation to this day, at least from now on let us try to wake up. The saint breaks the shell of the cocoon called ego to make the birth of Man possible. Eyes that have not seen God or what, in human form, reminds us of God saint have not seen anything. In response to Camus, one may note that the saint recalls — or makes one experience — God by his very presence and constitutes the mirror of God. Saints are the windows that offer lesser mortals a peep into the otherworld.

To those who fear encountering saints Chesterton remarked that every age has needed the saint that contradicts it most and he is not what the people want, but rather what the people need. Eliot said of Weil explicitly: "We must expose ourselves to the personality of a woman of genius, of a kind of genius akin to that of a saint.

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Suffice it to say that if he was human, we are all subhuman; and if we are human, then he was superhuman. Since the overwhelming majority determines the name of the species, we must call him by the latter term.

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Some of the definitions of the saint are worth recalling. Only God 'makes' saints. Chesterton said that the saint is the person who exaggerates those values which the world has forgotten. What makes one a saint? It was this that the saints and heroes did; this and nothing more. Weil identified with the workers — and thought that one year spent in factory work transformed her — and would eat less and less because others were going hungry and did not heat the room because she could not bear to be comfortable while her Nazi occupied compatriots in France in were suffering.

A hard climb indeed for those interested in sainthood. Similarly, for Christ and all the prophets, there are only two kinds of people: saints, who know they are sinners; and sinners, who think they are saints. Which are you?

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There is often an anxiety to judge saints by the scriptural letter or particular theology of particular religions. A new type of sanctity Post Script: The so- called modern day Sufis in Kashmir are often superstitious and obsessed by their own list of rituals — going to shrines, celebrating anniversaries of Pirs, conducting music sessions or holding sessions of sermons in so- called conferences — and, unlike great classical figures, are not deeply interested in academic, intellectual and religious pursuits or activism of various sorts.

Most of that time was spent in the presence of the peerless Sufi teacher Mr. Ahmet Kayhan. Out of that association has emerged our closest glimpse yet of the famous and hitherto mysterious Oral Tradition of Sufism. The author, combining the rigor of an anthropologist with the devotion of a disciple, has brought us a book that faithfully lays bare the entire range of teachings of the man who may come to be recognized as the Sufi Saint of the Age.

It may well serve as the gold standard in Islamic and Sufi studies for years to come.

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I was doing some soul searching and really needed some guidance when I found this book on Amazon. I can't describe what a treasure Henry Bayman gifted us with compiling this book in English.

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  • To say it's a tough task translating the pearls of wisdom from the lips of the Sufi Master Ahmet Kayhan would be an understatement. Henry Bayman has done his work justice, and kept his translation as pure and close to his words as possible. It's my feeling that the author's time and true connection with Ahmet Dede is what allowed him to convey his teachings in such an unadulterated way. To me this book is a little like "The Little Prince".

    Everyone will find a piece of themselves in it. It will help you explore your true self and expand.