From the Seventh Discourse—page 137-139

in Irshad: Wisdom of a Sufi Master, by Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak Al-Jerrahi, trans. Muhtar Holland. An Ashki Book of Amity House, Warwick: 1988.






After his expulsion from Paradise, the venerable Adam spent many years weeping over a single lapse, until he was finally pardoned.  Allāh showed him three lights, and told him to ask them their identities.  The venerable Adam asked the first light: “Whom do I have the honor of addressing?  Your name, if you please?”  The first light replied: “I am reason.”

“What are you position and function?  Why have you been ennobled?”

“My station is the human head.  I distinguish good and evil.  All kinds of skills are manifested in those who have me inside their skulls.  Words flow from their tongues like the Water of Life.  I am the means by which the way to Paradise, the beauty of Truth and Divine approval are attained.”

The venerable Adam expressed the prayer that Allāh might always honor the Light of Reason, then he turned to the second light and asked: “Where is your station, O honored Light?  What is your function; will you tell me your name?”

The second light gave this reply: “My name is Modesty.  I reside in the human eye.  The eye in which I reside sees nothing but Allāh.  Even the angels are bashful before those possessed of modesty.  The eye in which I reside is a discriminating eye.”  As the venerable Uthmān of the Double Light* said:


That eye in which there’s no discernment bred

Is like a foe within its owner’s head.


The venerable Adam said: “May Allāh honor you also.  How blessed and fortunate are those of our children who possess you!”  Then he turned to the third light saying: “What a splendid light you are, what a noble jewel.  What are your name and function, and where is your station?”

The third light replied: “My name is Compassion.  My station is in the human heart.  I reside in believing hearts.  Hearts that I have entered are light through and through.  Therefore the owner of a heart in which I reside achieves felicity in the world and deliverance in the Hereafter.”

According to another account, the Lord of Majesty showed the venerable Adam the three lights and commanded him to take one of them.  The venerable Adam chose the Light of Reason, preferring it over the Lights of Faith and Modesty.  But the Light of Faith objected saying: “Reason and I go together, we are inextricably linked.”  Then the Light of Modesty added: “And I am inseparable from Faith.”  Adam, on him be peace, was then told to look to his left, where he saw three horrible darknesses.  The were indescribably foul and horrifying.  The venerable Adam was commanded to ask these three darknesses their names, places and functions.  To the first of them he said: “How foul you are.  What is your name, where is your place, what are your functions?  The darkness replied: “My name is Arrogance.  My function is to make men suffer the wrath of the Lord.  My situation is the human head.  If I am present in someone’s head he becomes far removed from the Truth.”

The venerable Adam said: “Do not lie, O Arrogance! In the human head there is such a jewel, such a light, as Reason.” “Indeed there is,” said that darkness, “but when Reason goes, I take up residence in that head and control that body.”

The venerable Adam then questioned the second darkness: “What is your name, where is your place, what is your function?”  The second darkness replied: “My name is Greed.  My situation is in the human eye.  Any human being in whose eye I reside resigns from humanity and becomes like an animal.  Goodbye to religion, faith, knowledge and wisdom, honor, virtue and conscience.”

The Prophet Adam, on him be peace, said: “Hush! Do not lie.  There is Modesty in the human eye.”  “Indeed there is,” said the darkness, “but when Modesty goes, I enter and with me comes trouble.”

The venerable Elect of Allāh then obeyed the command to address the third darkness: “What a foul creature you are.  What is your name, where is your place, what is your function?”  The darkness replied: “My name is Envy.  My situation is the heart.  As for my function, if I settle in a heart neither religion, nor faith, nor truth remain therein.  I burn my host in the fire.  Those who carry me within them are lower than animals, worse than devils; they are doomed to perdition.”

The Prophet Adam said: “Hush, do not lie, Compassion resides in the heart.”  “True, O Adam,” said the third darkness, “I do not co-exist with Compassion but when Compassion leaves, I take its place.”

Love of status is also fatally pernicious.  There have been thousands with insatiable ambitions like those who martyred Imam Husayn at Karbalā’ for the sake of the governorship of Tabaristān.  They have now gone to the Fire, leaving fowls to roost and spiders to weave their webs in their seats of power.

As for those with a love of wealth, like Qārūn,* the earth swallows them and their possessions.  Their beloved property is divided among their heirs and they are doomed to torment.

Gluttony is an insatiable appetite for food.  Gluttons who ate and grew fat, now lie in the earth to fatten snakes and worms.

As for sensual lust, five minutes of pleasure have incalculable lifelong consequences in terms of degradation, abasement, stigmatization, social ostracism and banishment from the Presence of Allāh.  Should you be smitten with an infatuation like Zulaykha’s, then even though you be a king you will suffer degradation.  But if you resist your passion steadfastly like Joseph, on him be peace, then even though you be a slave you will become a king.

The blessed Prophet said: “He who repents for a sin becomes like one who is sinless.”

We are weak creatures.  Allāh is Strong.  We are mortal, He is Everlasting.  What could we do if He were suddenly to extinguish the light of our eyes?  Should He take away our reason, then whoever we might be they would take us off to the mental hospital.  What could we do if our hands withered or our feet were paralyzed?  What doctor could help us unless Allāh granted His Healing?  It is time we took notice.  Every day friends of ours pass into the Hereafter.  Our turn will come too.  There is no servant and no sin that Allāh, Lord of Majesty, will not pardon.  He is the Lord of Generosity.  If ever Satan were to prostrate himself at Adam’s tomb, saying: “Mercy, O Lord!” even he would be pardoned.  We are the descendents of Adam and members of the Community of the venerable Messenger.  Our standing is high in the sight of Allāh.  If we pardon, we shall find pardon and forgiveness.  Paradise has been prepared for us.  The literal meaning of the Verse we cited at the beginning of this discourse is this.  Allāh invites us to His pardon and forgiveness.  He announces that He has made Paradise ready for us.  Many as our sins may be, they cannot exceed the mercy of our Lord.





  • So called because of his double link of kinship with the blessed Prophet.