because I serve the Qur’an, purely for worldly aims and despite being friends. The three other signs denote earnest and constant friends who in order to find favour with the worldly1 and achieve some worldly goal, and so that they could feel confident, temporarily failed to display the manly stance demanded by friendship. However, regretably, all those three friends were punished in ways that were the opposite of what they had intended.]
The first four, who were seemingly friends but later displayed enmity:
The First: Employing various means, a District Officer begged me for a copy of the Tenth Word. I gave him one. But then, in order to be promoted, he spurned my friendship and turned hostile to me. This took the form of complaining to the Governor and informing on me. But as a mark of favour for service of the Qur’an, he was not promoted, but dismissed.
The Second: Another District Officer assumed a competitive and hostile stance towards me although he was a friend, for the sake of his superiors and to attract the attention of the worldly, but he received a blow contrary to his intentions. He was sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment owing to some unforeseen matter. Later he asked for prayers from a servant of the Qur’an. Perhaps he will be saved, God willing, since prayers were offered for him.
The Third: A teacher appeared to be a friend and I looked on him as one. Then he moved to Barla to settle there and he chose to adopt a hostile stance. But he received a blow contrary to his intentions: he was posted away from teaching to serve in the army. He was sent away from Barla.
The Fourth: There was a teacher, who because he seemed to me to be both a hafiz2 and pious, I was sincerely friendly towards him in the hope that he would show friendship to me by serving the Qur’an. Then, in order to curry favour with the worldly, he behaved very coldly towards us and was frightened, because of one single thing an official had said. He too received a blow contrary to his intentions: he was severely reprimanded by the inspector, and dismissed.
These four men received those blows because of their animosity. However, the following three friends did not display the manly attitude that serious friendship demands, and so received not blows, but warnings contrary to their intentions, which were admonitions of a sort.
The First: A respected person who was a most important, serious, and true student of mine used to write out the Words continually and dissemi
“The worldly” (ehl-i dünya): those people whose view is restricted to the life of this world, and who disregard the hereafter, or those who sell religion for this world. (Tr.)
Hafız: a person who has memorized the whole Qur’an. (Tr.)