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Nullifying One’s Self

  • “God is so beautiful! By nullifying ourselves several times a day, we emphasize that absolute excellence belongs only to Him. Yes, instead of saying, ‘I, I, I’ before God Almighty, one should declare that essential greatness belongs to Him and smallness to us, by means of the knowledge of God.”1)
  • “Humility, humbleness, and meekness are of essential importance in Islamic practice. According to Islam, one ascends the levels of humanity as much as one comprehends his own helplessness and neediness. This is exactly what we mean by ‘nullifying ourselves.’ As a matter of fact, are not all of us servants of God? Would it be right to be offended by the privilege of being God’s servants? The prominent ones considered servanthood to The Ultimate Truth and Ever-Constant as the highest rank. The ‘servant Prophethood’2) displayed by God’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, is an eminent example to us! In conclusion, those who see themselves in various posts other than the mission God has assigned are, in my opinion, people who have not precisely grasped the fundamentals of Islam and are psychologically unwell.”3)
  • “There seems to be a practice amongst the workers of thought—they actually are the kind of people who, amongst themselves, willingly get rid of considerations of posts, positions, and ranks such as manager, supervisor, chief, etc. Any individual bearing this positive understanding ought to consider his or her self as a simple individual, as required by the principle ‘be a man among the men.’ If one were to apply a numerical evaluation to himself/herself, then he/she should be considered ‘zero’ which awaits a number to be added to its left side to gain worth. No superiority is to be mentioned among the members of a group of ‘zeros.’ In fact, to add, subtract, multiply or divide them with each other will in no way differentiate them. Zero gains worth and its value rises suddenly by tens, hundreds, thousands, or millions only when numbers are added to its left side. With this consideration, we admit not seeking posts or offices is the most brilliant attitude. Walking on a flat platform is safe, but marching on summits is cumbersome. Indeed, the risky result after a probable fall from a summit gives birth to a much more serious outcome than the one that occurs after stumbling and falling on a flat road.”4)
  • “People come closer to God to the extent that they nullify themselves. On the contrary, when they attribute something to themselves, even a little, they turn away from God. Nullifying one’s self before the Infinite One is crucial. For there are no two infinite ones. The Unique One cannot be more than one. Yes, being zero before the Infinite One is the grand purpose for people.”5)
  • “A dervish is also regarded as being the threshold to a door. This does not mean that dervishes humiliate themselves before people; rather, it means that they are humble and meek before God, they nullify themselves frequently, and attribute to Him whatever they may possess that is worthy of appreciation.”6)
  • “Human beings should consider themselves ‘sifir’ (zero, as pronounced in Arabic, it is the same in Turkish, but written as ‘sıfır’). Because the low vowel ‘I’ (uh) somewhat conveys an impression of strength. The sincere believers shouldn’t even pay that much regard to themselves.”7)
  • “People should not say, ‘I am matured, I have attained, I have arrived, I have seen,’ after reaching a rank, degree or level, and they should move on. Continuity, starting all over again every day, is the immutable basis of this path. Of course, the levels they have taken before will certainly contribute to their new journey; but the important thing is to reach the self-purification by considering the self not pure. It is to reach the horizon of comprehending the worthlessness of zero and the value of infinity by nullifying the self. For, people cannot open themselves to infinity without nullifying themselves. Those who are open to infinity are those who have nullified themselves and realized that they are nothing before The Ultimate Truth and Ever-Constant. Therefore, they reach the horizon of humility, humbleness, and meekness towards believers much more quickly.”8)
  • “A person should think like this: ‘All praise be to God, with the condition of not considering my carnal soul purified, I have reached a feeling of purification on this subject. So I should constantly do this. By nullifying the self, I understood the worthlessness of zero. The worthlessness of zero has taken me to the horizon of comprehending the value of eternity. In this case, I should maintain this state and perspective.’ Yes, people cannot open themselves to infinity without nullifying themselves. Whenever they attribute any gifts or talents that God has bestowed them to themselves, they will fall from a very high tower to a very deep well. It is not possible for a person who has this kind of mindset to advance.”9)
  • “Nobody has the right to mar the brilliant face of Islam. In this respect, it is important to refrain from states and attitudes that might cause Islam and Muslims to be misunderstood and criticized, while trying to nullify the self and to keep a low profile.”10)
  • “A person, who determines well his position and relation with his Creator and nullifies himself, understands that bestowals coming from God Almighty are far beyond what he deserves.”11)
  • “… a person trying to walk on the path of the great guides can say, ‘My God, it is beyond my power to give this path its due, but I have set forth for this sake. I see that all of the Prophets and saints were able to swim in this sea. Even though I cannot swim, I am resolved to follow their example.’ Having made this intention, jumping into the sea will be an invitation for Divine providence. God Almighty does not let down those who turn to Him so sincerely and saves them from drowning. And then He opens new horizons before them, making an atom into a sun, and making nothing into everything for those servants of His… given that we nullify ourselves with this consideration, given that we rid ourselves of arrogant claims. As it is known, zero has no value on its own. But if somebody puts a figure near it, then it suddenly gains tenfold in value.”12)
  • “Our noble Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, stated, ‘There are many people whose hair look messy, wear old clothes, are not entrusted, and dismissed from door to door that if they take oath on God’s Name on any issue, God does not make them liar on their oaths.’13) You may consider them miserable. However, they are very precious in the sight of God. Although they look like ruined buildings on the outside, they are actually full of treasure. God makes such people, who seem weak and devastated, perform very important missions and transcendent duties. For, they have a serious purity of heart. They turn to God wholeheartedly. They nullify themselves, and draw a cross over themselves. This is like an important call to the grace and mercy of God Almighty, and He makes them successful.”14)
  • “The Infinite One is unique. There are no relative infinite ones with Him. If we are to give value to people and value them in the face of the Absolute Infinity, their share is zero. The relationship between God and man is a relationship of the Infinite and zero. However, a person is such a zero that when the first letter (‘alif’) of the Divine Name ‘Allah’ is placed on the left side of that zero, it suddenly becomes 10. (The numerical value of alif is one). With every zero you put later, its value will increase. A person does not have a personal value on his own, but if he relies on God, he becomes priceless. First of all, everyone should determine their own position correctly.”15)

See Also

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M. Fethullah Gülen, Fasıldan Fasıla-4, İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, pp. 48–49.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-Musnad, 2/231; An-Nasai, As-Sunanu’l-Kubra, 4/171.
Ibid., p. 49.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Fikir Atlası (Fasıldan Fasıla-5), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, pp. 23–24.
Ibid., p. 161.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Kalbin Zümrüt Tepeleri, İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2008, p. 436.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Kırık Testi-1), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 181.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Sohbet-i Cânan (Kırık Testi-2), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 140.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Gurbet Ufukları (Kırık Testi-3), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 125.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Ölümsüzlük İksiri, (Kırık Testi-7), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 231.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Yaşatma İdeali (Kırık Testi-11), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2012, p. 126.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Yenilenme Cehdi (Kırık Testi-12), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2013, pp. 171–172.
Muslim, Jannah, 46–48; Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 124.
M. Fethullah Gülen, “Zor Zamanlarda Hizmet”
nullifying_ones_self.txt · Last modified: 2022/06/23 23:58 by Editor