Lead Article

  • Issue 97 / January - February 2014



    Holy Days

    M. Fethullah Gulen

    On holy days, we reflect on the joyous past and the beautiful future yet to come.

    When the sun rises over our land,
    only then will it be our holy day...
    Alvarli Efe

    Holy days are days of joy and pleasure, especially for those who perceive their true meaning. On holy days, people seem to be more serene and peaceful. They are aware that they have gained the forgiveness of their Sublime Creator, attained redemption, and once more, have experienced the feelings of both the past and the future.

    Every holy day is reflected in people's hearts, and in the whole land, as a source of delight and rejoicing. These feelings peak when they remind us of the sweet memories of the past. From these memories of previous holy days, joy flows in our souls and sometimes inspires us to reach glorious delights and pleasures that may outshine previous ones.

    In every holy day, we bring together and embrace both the past and the future side by side in our imaginations, kiss both the hands of our magnificent ancestors and the foreheads of our bright-eyed, future grandchildren and taste eternal bliss. Although pessimistic and daunted souls cannot comprehend much from the past, with all its glory and dazzling colors, or the future, with all its ebullience and enthusiasm, every holy day becomes just like a rainbow over our heads, and bestows upon us such bright and festive ceremonies.

    Certainly, there is no other felicity that can be equal to the happiness we experience when we watch the panorama of our past and the most striking scenes of the future side by side!

    In feelings, thoughts, and heart, the human soul is connected with the past and the future just as much as with the present, and can be deeply moved by the delights and pleasures of all times. From such a broad viewpoint, it can surely perceive holy days, with their many different dimensions.

    A holy day that is perceived with this meaning is very different from the one that is described by the day laborers who are stuck in the moment. Their dull and colorless holy days, which are completely detached from the past and the future, can only be described as the few days that are allocated for handing out some candies to children, but can never be considered a holy day in the true sense of the word.

    To me, every holy day comes with its festive nights full of dazzling colors, shining sweet and impressive images of our history into my heart. In the coming and going of holy days, I watch in my imagination the future's happy generations, who are both mentally and spiritually enlightened, attaining a pure and delicate heart, and embracing each other as they become one with their souls. These scenes enrapture me. At such moments, individuals at full rest in their hearts, whose minds are full with science and technical knowledge, and whose conscience are full of deep faith in their Exalted Creator and love of their Lord and all beings, appear before my eyes. My heart becomes overwhelmed with the spiritual pleasures that they carry, and I experience unique minutes of blissfulness. In that atmosphere – when I imagine the elderly as individuals who are highly esteemed and humanely honored, the youth as chaste and forbearing of their extreme sensations and refraining from wrongdoings, the children as bright and cheerful as sunflowers in the shower of light from above, and the women as the main constructors of this magical scene – I feel delighted to the bone.

    At such times, the whole administration is temperately, moderately, and prudently carried out by the most sensitive, responsive, and professional people, while peace, law, and order appear before my eyes like the finest patterns of a canvas or embroidery. In this scenario of the future, ordinary people are side by side with the highest administrators and intellectuals, all acting in a great harmony. Justice vigorously reaches every little corner of the land, while the enfeebled and daunted evil sulks in its dark pit. In that new world, neither the heedless yells of the atrocious are heard, nor the moaning of the oppressed...

    On holy days, I visualize schools, each of which operates like a laboratory that tries to solve and reveal all the mysteries of the universe. And in those schools, I see uplifted teachers who elevate their pupils to mysteries that extend beyond the heavens, outstanding teachers whose faces are shining, whose actions are all conducted with deep sincerity, and who are straightforward in their thinking...

    On such days, I sometimes feel as if I am hearing the drums of victory from the borders of our civilization! The clatter of victorious armies comes to my ears; armies of those who forsook all their personal pleasures and desires to confront dangers of all kinds so that they could ensure a balance of power among states, and stability in the world...

    Every holy day emerges in my soul with such dazzling colors, prayers, and hymns. With all its inspirations and reminders, they mesmerize my heart. I feel purified and cleansed, completely refreshed and renewed. With all these feelings, I cannot help saying to myself, "I wish everyday would be a holy day!"

    For some people, all these feelings are just a fantasy, but for others, they are a sublime ideal where thousands of examples are witnessed in the past, and an explanation of the eternal signs of reality which appear on our horizon...

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