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Spiritual Chivalry

  • Futuwwa, defined as youth and chivalry, is really a composite of such virtues as generosity, munificence, modesty, chastity, trustworthiness, loyalty, mercifulness, knowledge, humility, and piety. It is a station on the path to God as well as a dimension of sainthood, and also signifies that altruism and helping others have become one’s second nature. It is an important, indispensable dimension of good conduct and a significant aspect of humanity.”1)
  • “The signs of a fata (young, chivalrous one) are that the individual, created with the potential to accept Divine Unity and Islam, is totally convinced of the Divine Unity; this urges him or her to live according to the requirements of this conviction; that, without being captivated by carnal or bodily desires, he or she lives a pure, spiritual life; and that he or she always seeks to please God in his or her deeds, thoughts, and feelings. One who cannot be saved from the temptations of the carnal self, Satan, appetites, love of the world, or attachment to the worldly life cannot climb upward to the peak of futuwwa.”2)
  • “When chivalry (futuwwa) is used as a Sufi term, it brings to mind bold and vigorous young people with sincere faith. No matter how chivalry is understood in its historical context, in its true meaning chivalry is the name of taking no deity but God and making every kind of self-sacrifice for the sake of religious feelings, thoughts and practices—it means taking a stance against false beliefs, understandings and behaviors. It is the name of being in close connection with God, everywhere and all the time, and speaking up for Him.”3)
  • “The word futuwwa, or chivalry, is derived from the word fata, which means young man. It denotes to have sound faith, treat others kindly, devote oneself to living for others, undertake duties for serving humanity without any considerations of primacy, make sacrifices for the sake of sacred values, persevere in the face of crazing flow of time and show active patience, stand up to every kind of evil by taking conditions of the time into consideration and without being unreasonable or illogical, and not panic or shake when confronted with troubles and torments life brings.”4)
  • “The Prophets’ carrying out their mission in the best possible way, complying with the requirement of causes and keeping up acting sensibly, taking perfectly strategic action in every condition, and seeing consequent success as God’s grace in spite of everything constitute an important profundity of their chivalry. Being fervently dutiful at the beginning and enjoying the gratification of having completed one’s duty in the end is a significant indication of the spirit of chivalry.”5)
  • “One of the most important aspects of chivalry is keeping up a spirit of devotion. Namely, being devoted to one’s sublime cause and pushing aside all other considerations.”6)
  • “In addition to devotion, another very important aspect of chivalry is keeping up an unwavering course. In the face of all adversities one must be able to stand upright and say, as a Sufi poet did, ‘I may be suffering from misfortunes, or enjoying Your grace; They’re equally pleasant to my soul; Your grace and wrath are both welcome.’ What I mean by standing upright is not panicking, not toppling over, and not abandoning one’s duty against all odds.”7)
  • “Chivalry necessitates forgetting one to be wiser, older, more experienced, etc… When compliments for one’s experience or mental powers turn into a consideration of primacy and domineering behavior toward others, it is nothing but a blatant transgression of one’s limits.”8)
  • “There is a saying by Ali ibn Abi Talib telling us to live among others as one of them. As the Companions got to know the Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, better and realized what the dues of being near him is, they behaved so respectably with most refined manners toward him. In my humble opinion, this is a very important depth of true chivalry and a very important discipline.”9)

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M. Fethullah Gülen, Emerald Hills of the Heart: Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism vol. 1, New Jersey: Tughra Books, 2011, p. 83.
Ibid., p. 85.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Yitirilmiş Cennete Doğru (Çağ ve Nesil-3), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 54.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Journey to Noble Ideals, New Jersey: Tughra Books, 2014, p. 15.
Ibid., p. 16.
6) , 7)
Ibid., p. 17.
Ibid., pp. 18–19.
Ibid., p. 19.
spiritual_chivalry.txt · Last modified: 2022/07/14 21:19 by Editor