The 11 Principles of the Naqshbandi Order (3)
3) The inner journey (Safar dar watan)
It means “to travel towards your homeland”. In Persian and Arabic Safar means “journey”. In the tradition we call everyone sàfari, “travelers”, as the common destination of our journey through life is to return home. It is not an evolution toward something but a return to our origin. This is why the Sufi Way is also called “The Way of return”.
We need to look within ourselves, to turn towards the origin of all things.
When we sleep where we go? Nowhere, we do not exist anymore, we fall asleep inside of nowhere. We can not say exactly where we have been during the sleep.
This is why the dervish when he wakes up as first thing he says: “Alahmdulillahil ladhi ahyana ba’da ma amatana wa’ ilayhin nushur” (Praise is to Allah Who gives life after he has caused us to die and to Him is the return).
In the deep ocean of nothingness all life originates and we have to become familiar with it because we will have to face it at the time of death.
In our journey we say “everything disappears”, la ilaha, but we add ill’Allah, “except God” and His Beauty.
The journey that our soul has to face is not solitary; it consists of a caravan in which the different specific qualities of each one blend. This is the joy of the journey home.
In the caravan takes part who knows how to find the traces on the sand, who has a nose for finding water, who knows how to cook and so on. Then there are those who can not do anything but they are happy. Their vocation is to drink tea and be joyful and loving no matter what happens. These are the dervishes. For this loving loving joy of them they are beloved.
It will not be our merits, our talents, not even the belief, to let us in the Garden. It will be the amount of joy and love that we emanated in life.
Burhanuddin Herrmann, “IL SUFISMO, Mistica, Spiritualità e Pratica”, 2° edition, Milano 2015