All translations were done by me, from Turkish into English, unless otherwise noted.
el-Hak. ‘the Truth.’ “el-Hak means ‘the existent.’ el-Hak is that presence in the face of which or following which, falsity cannot regroup itself… After all, what sort of guidance is there, apart from the Living Truth?” Sadreddin Konevi, from ‘Esma-i Hüsna Şerhi’
el Bais. (bah’ ihs) God, the Revivifier. “el Bais, in the general sense, means the sender of possibilities from non-existence into existence, from existence asleep or awake into the grave, from the grave to the gathering and arising for judgment. “el Bais, in the special sense, refers to the One who sends messengers to the people of faith. “One should also know that, when Almighty God sends possibilities from non-existence into existence, it is for the purpose of exalting the essence of creation that He makes humanity vice-regent of the earth.” Sadreddin Konevi, ibid
“On the Day of Resurrection, it is He who revivifies the dead, plucks them from their tombs and brings to light what is hidden in their hearts. It is He who gives life to a human being for the sake of eternalness: sometimes, by cutting that being’s ties to form, He causes it to be considered ‘dead;’ sometimes, by restoring it to form, He causes it to be considered ‘revivified.’ He is the absolute master of potency, power and might. His manner of creating is eternal; it is He who bestows acts of creation beyond the grasp of reason. As it is decreed: “Later, with another creation, we build it again,” (Muminun Sura, v. 14), it is He who gives life to the dead by raising them from the dead – and misbelief is the biggest death. It is He who, by means of His prophets and His books, invites His servants to peace and calls them to behold His Grace; and He is the sole master of life. “Bear witness that: He who gave life to these bones the first time will restore them to life. And He knows every kind of creative act.” (Quran, Ya Sin Sura v. 79)” compiled by Cahit Benovenli et al from several Sufi traditions, in ‘Allah ve Resululunun Guzel Isimleri’
“The Prophet has said of this world, which is substantial in appearance, that it is the sleeper’s dream.” Jalaluddin Rumi, ‘The Mathnawi,’ Book III, translated from the Persian by R. A. Nicholson
“It is through Conscience that we can come close to the day of Judgment in ourselves. God comes so close to man through his conscience that this is able to be something direct for each of us.” John G. Bennett, from ‘The Way to Be Free’
“It is We Who revive the dead, We who register what deeds they committed, what traces they left behind. All these things have we tallied in a Manifest Record.” Quran, S. 36:12, translated by Tarif Khalidi
The following translations were done by me, Marnie Tunay, from the Turkish compendium of Sufi literature compiled by disciples of Ahmet Kayan Dede, in particular by Cahit and Gül Benövenli, Kayhan Berişler and Ersin Balcı: “Allah ve Resulünün Güzel Isimleri,’ ‘The Beautiful Names of God and of his Prophet, published in Ankara, 1996, by Sim Yayınları, Cahit’s company. Before he died and I left Turkey, Cahit read my transla-tion of the Prophet Muhammed’s name ‘Gavs,’ and he said he liked it very much. Cahit had set me the task of translating something from the book as a condition for obtaining my own copy, and the ‘Gavs’ translation scored me the book. I think Cahit would be very pleased to know I am working on more translations from his book. R.I.P. Cahit.
GAVS: Diver “The matchless pearl in the sea of felicity is he. In the laws of, on the road to God, in the knowledge, the cognizance of God, the faultless one is he. He is called by many names. ‘Sheikh,’ ‘chief,’ ‘right guide,’ rightly guided,’ they say. ‘Learned, ‘adult,’ mature in conduct,’ they say. ‘Imam,’ Caliph, ‘pole,’ ‘pole of poles,’ ‘master of the age,’ they say. ‘World-displaying goblet,’ ‘universe-displaying mirror,’ ‘the greatest elixir,’ they qualify by saying. ‘Reviver of the dead,’ ‘lord of the water of Life,’ they say.
All existence becomes particles of his existence; the whole of existence is in a single individuality and the heart of all existence is that single heart; a world without heart does not exist. That heart, the world’s unique praise of God, keeps the world from falling.
Nothing in the material and spiritual realms stays hidden from his eye: he knows and sees the results and the causes. The entirety of existence, its appearance and its reality, is under his watch. The phenomena of the world revolve around his joy. Gavs: from putting the world on the road to God; from breaking people’s evil habits and customs and sowing in their place the beautiful and the good; from inviting mankind to God; from making known His greatness and His unity; from opening the road of humanity; from making known the pricelessness and the eternalness of the hereafter; from explaining the fickleness, finiteness and worthlessness of the material world – he doesn’t hold back for even a moment. For the sake of Truth he serves people without a pause.
He has no special strength or power in himself for himself, no special wish for himself. He is always truly with God. In the Sultan’s palace, he is in unflagging servitude. And yet he is entirely free: human foibles and ‘needs’ can’t fetter him; he is spirit and he is the spirit of the spirit of existence. He is the fortress of existence. He is the being before whom the angels prostrate. It is he who is known by the word ‘human.’ Honour and faithfulness are within him. This Prophet is our Master and he has been called by the name ‘Gavs.'”
Rabb. Lord Our exalted Lord is He who creates, who brings existence out of non-existence, who gives knowledge and instruction, who animates and re-animates, who causes the distancing and the nearing.
Humanity, nobly created, as it was, and entrusted with the eminent role of embodying the whole of the levels of existence, has convoked all of creation.
And the One who takes us to God and who puts us on the right path is the Lord who made that humanity.
He is the One who, with reciprocal qualities like kindness/subjugation and mercy/maj-esty, becomes manifest. Of a surety, he is what is worshipped, what is served. And our Lord is the Divine Essence, who intentionally convokes the entirety of His attributes. Such attributes as: ‘the All-Knowing,’ ‘the All-Hearing,’ ‘the All-Seeing,’ the ‘Ever-Self-existent,’ ‘the Sovereign’ and ‘the All-Compeller,’ circumscribe the pith of the quality of ‘Lordship.’ Just as in the name ‘Seeker,’ there is a desire for something that is in the process of becoming ‘intention,’ so, too, there is a name for the [spiritual] level that is conditioned by the names that are given to the desires of created beings. Like the requirement of the Lord for the servant, there is with this name a connection between God and those among His servants who are sound of spirit and who support civility. The servant regards this connection with respect, that he/she may be guarded from falling into the blasphemy of self-worship. Of a surety, God crushes those who assert a claim to Lordship.
Yusuf [Joseph] spoke thus: “O my fellow prisoners! Those acts of yours and everyone else’s, that ascribe to a good many other ‘gods’ such friendship and qualities as accord with the fancies of your own souls, and that worship those assorted ‘gods’ with their contrary commands and their impotence – are those good acts? Would it not be more more beneficial to serve the One who commands with sole and absolute authority, who is strong and irresistible, who subjugates everyone and whose force is such that noth-ing can be an obstacle to his works and nothing can get out of the way of his works, and who is master of the power of disposal – would it not be more auspicious to serve Him, the Lord of the worlds?” “Owner of majesty, sovereignty and honour: exalted is the name, ‘Lord.'” (Rahman surah, verse 78)
El Bais: (bah’ ihs) God, the Revivifier On the Day of Resurrection, it is He who revivifies the dead, plucks them from their tombs and brings to light what is hidden in their hearts. It is He who gives life to a human being for the sake of eternalness: sometimes, by sometimes, by cutting that being’s ties to form, He causes it to be considered ‘dead;’ sometimes, by restoring it to form, He causes it to be considered ‘revivified.’ He is the absolute master of potency, power and might. His manner of creating is eternal; it is He who bestows acts of creation beyond the grasp of reason. As it is decreed: “Later, with another creation, we build it again,” (Muminun Sura, v. 14), it is He who gives life to the dead by raising them from the dead – and misbelief is the biggest death. It is He who, by means of His prophets and His books, invites His servants to peace and calls them to behold His Grace; and He is the sole master of life. “Bear witness that: He who gave life to these bones the first time will restore them to life. And He knows every kind of creative act.” (Ya Sin Sura v. 79)
El Azim: the owner of unconditioned greatness He is the owner of exaltedness and greatness beyond the reach of eye and reason – transcendent and measureless. And yet, He knows His own greatness. His greatness is the attribute of the essence of divinity. ‘Azim’ is the Name of the One whose Throne embodies the quality of ‘greatness.’ Only a heart which, like that throne, finds every existent being, can wholly praise God and affirm His perfection. “All is His, in the heavens and on the earth. He is ‘Ali’ [the owner of exaltedness]. He is ‘Azim’ [the owner of great-ness].” (al Shura surah, verse 4)
El Aliyy [a’ly’a]: the owner of unconditioned eminence Unconditioned eminence is exclusive to God, the creator of all existences, levels of being and causes. God is holy – comparisons, deficiencies of quantities and qualities cannot defile Him. In the same way that the most debased grade is that of the rotting corpse, the purest grade: the totality of all ideals and virtues – is His alone. In explication of this exalted rank and station which is solely His, the noble Quran affirms that: “He, the Most-Gracious, reposes on the Throne.” (Ta-Ha sura, c.5); and “Everything will perish except His Face, His Essence.” (Kasas [Qasas] sura, c. 88) Human reason cannot apprehend the exalted rank and station of the Divine Essence – and yet, God manifests Himself in a human being, just as He manifests Himself in His Names and His attributes. “Ultimately, authority belongs to God, the exalted, the great.” (Mumin Sura, c. 23)
Es Semi [‘i’ as in ‘eat’]: the One Who Hears The words spilling from lips, the thoughts passing through minds, the ideas falling into hearts, the leaf being blown in the wind, the names of one ant – that is to say, the living and the non-living, flea and animal – the One who hears the voice of everything is He. He is the One who gives an equal hearing to the infinite numbers of voices in every second. He knows everything before He hears it and after He hears it. He gives a reply to everything, according to its capability and to the form of its fate. The exalted Truth has entrusted the sense of hearing to His servant, so that the servant may hear the word of God. To His servant He reveals the coming-into-being of names, qualities and deeds, in order that, in the Name of God Most-Gracious and by means of the Quran, His servant may learn civility, and to discern truth from error.