2019 Vancouver Seminar

2019 Seattle Seminar

From Darkness to Light

Principles of Sufism



Sufic Haqqu




Sherif Baba




Al-Vâli: the Governor

Allah Vâli, Allah Hu. 

The esma of Vâli is one of the 99 attributes of the Creator Allah. The esma of Vâli allows us to know that Allah the Creator is the governor and ruler of all He has created. Now, insha’Allah, we are going to do the tefekkür, the contemplative meditation, of this esma. Let me remind you again of how tefekkür works. We roll our tongue and put it against the roof of our mouth and laying our head over our heart, thinking of nothing, we allow the esma to establish itself into our thoughts and into our mind. We sit in this way, quietly, for a short period, literally as if we were listening to our own selves inside, and of its own accord the esma establishes its dominance. Thoughts should not enter into tefekkür so that the tefekkür is not disrupted. So, without thinking of anything, as if we were listening to ourselves, let us be inside ourselves. Let’s say it again: 

Allah Vâli, Allah Hu.

The Creator Allah, with Its attribute of Vâli, is showing that It manages and administrates all of Its creation. This comes about from Its creative power. It is not like the governors that we know here in the world. The existence within works with the unity of the 99 Attributes. Allah Who knows all is Alim, Allah Who has news of all things is Habir, Allah Who hears all is Sami, Allah Who sees all is Basir, Allah Who creates everything is Khaliq, the One Who gives the rizk, the allotment for everything, is Rezzak, and along with His other esmas this attribute of Vâli is an attribute that gathers in all the other attributes. The attribute of Vâli of Allah is ready and watching for every judgment. When He gives His judgment, nothing changes. When our governors here in the world see something, receive news of something, they act accordingly and to see if they are right or wrong they take it to court. Many witnesses will be brought and listened to and this news, correct or incorrect, will be examined and filtered through the minds of people, and then judgment will be given; but Allah is not in this way, in the attribute of Vâli, the Creator Allah. 

Before anything was created everything existed within His being. And because everything exists within His own being, Allah knows everything. He knows the existence of every thought that passes through you and He manages it. In His judgment He gives us management and because of our submission, our surrender to Him, this management will find beauty and goodness. So when we do not show submission this judgment will turn to its opposite and will harm us. So in the attribute of Vâli there is also submission because within this is also written the goodness and beauty that we have that can be brought forth. That means the attribute that is called kader, fate, is also within this. We do not know this, even the Prophets do not know this, even the angels do not know this, only because He created it can He know it Himself. In Tasawwuf, in Sufism, this is called mukadarat. In colloquial Turkish it is called the writing on your forehead. They say, “This is written on my forehead,” this is what was written for me. Because we do not know what this is, the only thing that we can do is to show submission. Then the writing will play upon us with beauty and goodness. The share that we get from this attribute of Vâli is to be the vâli, governor, of our own nafs, our own souls.

Inside of us there are such cities, there are such crowds, we need to administrate and manage them. But because we do not know them, submission will help. We are going to wait for help from the attribute of Vâli and then perform our administrative management in a beautiful way. Don’t forget that we are always responsible. Allah did not create anything coincidentally and a human being is not one who wanders around blind, deaf and dumb. Allah created everything with reason and order so there are no coincidences. Everything that happens to you, everything that you see, has all been created with a hikmet, a wisdom, and it has all come about through the arrangement of a manager. And in this life that we are living, by knowing the attribute of Vâli, by thinking about it, we should live correctly so we can make everyone happy with our administrating and so that we can, ourselves, with this happiness, gain our victory. If the opposite of this happens, then we will see harm and we will suffer.

I am going to tell a story, something that actually happened a thousand years ago. One of the Abbasid rulers, a famous Sultan whose name is known in history, had a brother called Behluldanah, a very beautiful dervish, one full of hikmet; in every action he would create an image of Allah. But because people did not understand him, they would look at him as one who was Mejnun, or crazy. One day Behluldanah came to the palace. He went to the Sultan’s throne room, and when he saw that there was no one there, he sat on the throne and put on the clothing of the Sultan, dressed himself up to be the sultan. Sitting there, he started to pass judgment, to rule; as a governor he started to give out rulings. The vizirs, the counsellors who work in the palace, came to him and saw that it was not the Sultan who was in the room but Behluldanah, who was sitting there giving rulings to himself as if he were putting on a play of the Sultan. So they grabbed him and beating him they threw him out of the gates of the palace, and Behluldanah sat there and began to cry. He waited until the Sultan himself came and saw him there. He cried.

The Sultan came and looked at him and he said, “Ya Behlul, why are you crying? But should a person cry?” He said, “I am not crying for me, I am crying for you.” And the Sultan said, “Why?” At that moment the vizir came. The Sultan said, “What did you do to him that he is crying?” The vizir said, “He sat on your throne and was pretending to be the Sultan and he was giving rulings and passing judgment all by himself and so we beat him and threw him out. That’s why he is crying.” Behlul said, “No.” He said, “I am not crying for the beating that I received; I am crying for you.” The Sultan said, “What does this mean?” And he said, “I sat there for ten minutes and I got such a beating, and you have been sitting there for years governing, passing rulings, and I wonder how much of a beating you are going to get, and this is what I am crying about.”

So we have to know the attribute of Vâli of Allah very well. We have to be our own vâlis, our own governors, and we have to live in peace with our nefs, our souls, and also live among people in peace. If we play the role of the governor and the attribute of Vâli well, then we will serve each other beautifully and pass ruling. 

Allah Vâli, Allah Hu.