vice become lax, they receive a compassionate slap. So coming to their senses, they take up their work again. Incidents of this sort number more than a hundred. Out of only twenty, thirteen or fourteen received compassionate slaps, while six or seven received restraining slaps.
This concerns this unfortunate Said: whenever I have flagged in my duties, and saying, “What is it to me?,” have become preoccupied with my own private affairs, I have received a slap. I have formed the opinion that I received it due to my neglect. Because whatever my purpose was that deceived me and spurred me on, I received a slap that was the reverse of it. Then studying the compassionate slaps that my sincere friends have received, they were always the opposite of whatever their aim was – if they were neglectful – so that we have come to the conclusion that such incidents were wonders proceeding from service of the Qur’an.
For example, as long as this unfortunate Said was busy teaching the truths of the Qur’an in Van at the time of the Shaykh Said events,1 the suspicious government did not and could not interfere with me. Then when I said “What is it to me?,” and thinking of myself withdrew into a ruined cave on Mount Erek in order to save my life in the hereafter, they arrested me for no reason and sent me into exile. I was brought to Burdur.
There, again as long as I was serving the Qur’an… at that time all the exiles were watched very closely and I was supposed to report to the police in person every evening, but I and my sincere students held ourselves to be exceptions. The Governor there complained to Fevzi Pasha2 when he visited but Fevzi Pasha replied: “Don’t interfere with him! Treat him with respect!” What made him say that was the sacred nature of service of the Qur’an. Yet whenever I was overcome by the idea of saving myself and thought only of my life in the hereafter and there was a temporary slackening in my serving the Qur’an, I received a slap contrary to my intentions. That is to say, I was sent from one place of exile to another. I was sent to Isparta.
In Isparta I took up my duties again. After twenty days, a number of cowardly people said by way of a warning: “Perhaps the government won’t look kindly on this situation. It would be better if you go a bit cautiously.”
Shaykh Said of Palu was the Naqshbandi shaikh who led the famous uprising in eastern Turkey against the Ankara government in early 1925. He was captured and sentenced to death in Diyarbakır, 29th June 1925. (Tr.)
This refers to Marshal Fevzi Çakmak, Chief of General Staff of the Turkish army. (Tr.)