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  • Negligence. Unawareness. Unconsciousness. Forgetfulness. Indifference. Being ignorant of the truth. Being away from the Divine Presence.
  • “The word ‘ghaflah’ (heedlessness) conveys meanings like being absent-minded, careless, failing to see what goes around, not knowing the true nature of phenomena, and failing to see and feel as one should. To put it differently, as a religious term, heedlessness means failing to thoroughly discern what one is supposed to do in the journey of this life, and living oblivious of, and unconcerned about, one’s end.”1)
  • “The time for maghrib (sunset) reminds us of many creatures’ decline at the end of autumn and also of our own death. It thus forewarns us of the world’s destruction at the Resurrection’s beginning, teaches us how to understand the manifestation of God’s Majesty, and wakes us from a deep sleep of neglect.”2)
  • “The wholesale death of spring and summer creatures during autumn is not an annihilation, but a dismissal after the duty’s completion, an emptying that makes way for new creatures to come next spring and assume their functions. It is a Divine warning to rouse conscious beings from their forgetfulness, to shake them out of the torpor that causes them to neglect their duty to give thanks.”3)
  • “… sorrows and anxieties plague the misguided and heedless, marring their pleasure and diluting it with pain. If this pleasure is illicit, it becomes like poisonous honey. Given this, we are far lower than animals when it comes to life’s enjoyments. In fact, the lives of misguided, heedless people consists only of the day in which they find themselves, as is the case with their entire existence and world. According to their misguided belief, that which is past no longer exists. But their intellect, which connects them to the past and the future, produces only darkness, and their lack of belief in eternal life makes the future non-existent for them. It is this non-existence that makes separations eternal and continually darkens their lives.”4)
  • “A devil like you deprives people of sound judgment and leads them to denial. You use heedlessness, deviation, sophistry, obstinacy, demagogy, arrogant superiority, conceit, seduction, and custom to cause people to see falsehood as truth and the inconceivable as conceivable. Thus you have led many people (human in appearance but perhaps not in essence) into unbelief, which requires accepting many inconceivable things.”5)
  • “Satan first casts a doubt into the heart. If the heart does not admit it, he offers a blasphemy and causes the mind to recall some unclean memories and pictures, some ugly scenes that resemble blasphemy. This causes the heart to despair. People experiencing such thoughts think that they are acting wrongfully toward their Lord and so feel great agitation and anxiety. He feels a great halo and excitement. To free themselves, they flee from the Divine Presence and want to plunge into heedlessness and forgetfulness.”6)
  • “O soul! If you want endless accomplishments with regard to your afterlife during your short life here, if you want to see each minute of your life as fruitful as a whole life, and if you want to transform your ordinary deeds into acts of worship and your heedlessness into constant awareness of being in God’s Presence, follow the Prophet’s exalted Sunna.”7)
  • “O unfortunate heedless one who supposes yourself to be free to feel ingratitude! If you do not want to recognize an All-Munificent One of Majesty, Who makes Himself known to you and wills to be loved by you in such innumerable tongues, then these tongues should be silenced. But since they cannot be silenced, you should listen to them. Just closing your ears will not make you indifferent to them or able to escape from them, for the universe does not stop speaking and creatures are not silenced. As testifiers to Divine Unity cannot be silenced, they will condemn you.”8)
  • “… people vary in guidance and misguidance, and heedlessness has many degrees. Everyone cannot perceive completely this truth in all its degrees. For heedlessness numbs the senses. Especially in the present age, it has numbed the senses to such an extent that the ‘civilized’ are insensible to this acute pain. However, increased sensitivity owing to developments in the sciences, and the warnings of tens of thousands of deaths every day may yet tear this veil of heedlessness asunder.”9)
  • “The Qur’an melts the world through its rays, smashes its illusory eternity with reminders of death and eternal punishment, and removes the heedlessness caused by naturalism with its admonitions.”11)
  • “Know, O friend, that indifference to the True Owner, the All-Glorified and Majestic, causes people to claim absolute independence and ownership of their self.”12)
  • “… racism is a combination of heedlessness, ignorance, misguidance, ostentation, and wrongdoing that support and strengthen one another. Racists make a fetish of their race. We seek refuge with God from such deviation. As for the zeal for Islam, it is a bright light coming from belief.”13)
  • “Know, O friend, that human beings have a very strange nature: Through heedlessness, they confuse the functions of their physical senses and organs, and of their intellectual and spiritual faculties. They are like those who, because of the nearness between their eyes and hands, try to grasp whatever they can see. Unaware of the difference between what is Divine and what is human, [as they see both side by side, even mixed, in their being and in the outer world], they try, in their vanity, to interfere with God’s control of the universe, even though they can do nothing by themselves.”14)
  • “… the belief of those who know the real meaning of Divine Unity involves attributing whatever they see and experience to the All-Glorified One. They see His stamp and notice His seal on everything. Such acknowledgment gives peace of mind and heart and prevents heedlessness.”15)
  • “As for istidraj (doing extraordinary things), … some things from the Unseen may appear to heedless or misguided people.”16)
  • “Do not ask: ‘How could those who discovered such scientific realities as lightning’s and steam’s properties not understand the Qur’an’s mysteries of truth and lights?’ They cannot understand them because their minds are restricted to their eyes, and eyes cannot see what the heart and spirit see, especially when the heart has died due to heedless absorption in naturalism.”17)
  • Heedlessness … leads to immersion in the world and turning away from God.”18)
  • “Any state which is not based on knowledge is tantamount to heresy and misguidance, while knowledge which has not become a state is ignorance and heedlessness.”19)
  • Dhikr is a form of worship which lets a person gain closeness to God in the fastest way and is one of the most influential winds that disperses dark clouds of heedlessness (ghaflah).”20)
  • “There are different types of heedlessness. Just as it is heedlessness not to think about the inevitable fate, not to prepare for the Hereafter, it is also heedlessness to act carelessly and absentmindedly in fulfilling duties and responsibilities. The statement of our noble Prophet, the Most Truthful and Confirmed One, ‘God does not accept the prayer of a person who does not know what he is saying, who is praying heedlessly and carelessly!’ also emphasizes this truth.”21)

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M. Fethullah Gülen, Yenilenme Cehdi (Kırık Testi-12), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2013, p. 144.
Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, The Words, New Jersey: The Light, 2013, p. 59.
Ibid., pp. 92–93.
Ibid., pp. 161–162.
Ibid., p. 203.
Ibid., p. 288.
Ibid., p. 382.
Ibid., p. 683.
Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, The Gleams, New Jersey: Tughra Books, 2013, p. 167.
Ibid., p. 399.
Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Al-Mathnawi Al-Nuri, New Jersey: The Light, 2007, p. 39.
Ibid., p. 87.
Ibid., p. 160.
Ibid., p. 181.
Ibid., p. 294.
Ibid., p. 322.
Ibid., p. 354.
M. Fethullah Gülen, İstikamet Çizgisi (Kırık Testi-17), New Jersey: Süreyya Yayınları, 2020, p. 15.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Emerald Hills of the Heart: Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism (vol. 2), New Jersey: Tughra Books, 2011, p. 81.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Miraç Enginlikli İbadet: Namaz, New Jersey: Süreyya Yayınları, 2018, p. 136.
M. Fethullah Gülen, “Gaflet”
heedlessness.txt · Last modified: 2022/08/23 11:14 by Editor