Al-Ahad- The One,
Allah, All-Embracing One
Proclaims the tender Intercessor who wept all night for the forgiveness of his spiritual community: Never turn away from one another or undercut one another, even to the slightest degree.
Spiritual community is one of the greatest of divine gifts. Hazreti Pir Nureddin Jerrahi said that his dervishes were like wine grapes crushed together, mingling all their qualities and becoming one mystic body. The union of such souls transcends space and time. Beyond our conscious awareness we are communing, harmonizing, counseling and helping each other. We are unveiling, ascending, praying and praising Allah together. As one mystical body, we are whirling within the heart of Allah, pouring, pouring Allah’s love. We are companions of Truth.
Adab, commonly translated as moral character and refined behavior, is the state of perfect awareness, love, and gracious sensitivity which is innate to our soul. The highest level of adab is the knowledge that we have no independent existence apart from the One Reality. Perfect adab is constant awareness of Allah. From this awareness flows all beautiful behavior. On our path as dervishes we learn to govern the other aspects of our humanity with the light of adab so that we become complete human beings, pleasing to Allah the Beloved. The principles of adab are rooted in the divine humanity of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. He is the owner of perfect spiritual states and beautiful manners. His outward behavior and inner character is our model and goal. He has revealed that the essence of religion is the perfection of moral character, and that he was sent to complete it.
In tariqat, we learn adab in the presence of the shaykh, through our full attentiveness to the teaching and our joyful service. We practice adab in the community of lovers, offering to each other the natural radiance of the human soul unobstructed by limited psychological and emotional prisms. We learn to still our mind and empty our hearts of all but Allah in the holy battle with the limited self.
The adab we bear toward others is our adab toward Allah. The dervish must be very careful not to break a heart because this heart is Allah’s heart. By allowing each other to be, we allow living Truth to reveal Itself.
Mature adab never hardens into fixed rules or the correction of others.
Ibn al-Arabi, Shaykh al-Akbar, may Allah sanctify his secret, says the following on adab:
A good rule to remember is that if a thing is done to bring salvation, truth, comfort and peace to others, to oneself, and to as many people as possible, protecting them, eliminating pain and hardship, it is good behavior—on condition that it is not done for personal benefit, but for Allah’s sake.