St George and Al Khidr

St George and Al kidhr

Note on Al khidr: His original name seems to have been al-Khadir (“the green one”), which over time in many places became al-Khidr or Khidr or Hizr. In the modern Middle East the spelling is Khodor is often used as a person’s name. We shall use the shortened form, Khidr.

Prayer of Intercession to Saint George:

Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George; favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit.

Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end.

 

look here Celebrations of St George’s Say all over the world  

and the Patronages of Saint George all over the world

 

 

At first sight there seems to be little connection between Elijah, George and Khidr, apart from the fact that in the Middle East they are frequently associated with the same place by different religious traditions. Is it then a simple case of overlapping traditions, Jewish, Christian and Muslim, all of whom focus on the Holy Land as part of their own heritage and take Abraham as their forefather?

Certainly there is a view which suggests that Khidr is to Muslims what Elijah is to Jews, in respect of them both acting as initiator to the true believer, and which in itself is testimony to attempts to find common ground between the three traditions.

Note: Elijah in Judaism

Elijah’s chair

“Chair of Elijah” used during the brit milah (circumcision) ceremony. The Hebrew inscription reads “This is the chair of Elijah, remembered for Good.”

At Jewish circumcision ceremonies, a chair is set aside for the use of the prophet Elijah. Elijah is said to be a witness at all circumcisions when the sign of the covenant is placed upon the body of the child. This custom stems from the incident at Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19): Elijah had arrived at Mount Horeb after the demonstration of God’s presence and power on Mount Carmel. (1 Kings 18) God asks Elijah to explain his arrival, and Elijah replies: “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10). According to Rabbinic tradition, Elijah’s words were patently untrue (1 Kings 18:4 and 1 Kings 19:18), and since Elijah accused Israel of failing to uphold the covenant, God would require Elijah to be present at every covenant of circumcision.[58][59]

Elijah’s cup

In the Talmudic literature, Elijah would visit rabbis to help solve particularly difficult legal problems. Malachi had cited Elijah as the harbinger of the eschaton. Thus, when confronted with reconciling impossibly conflicting laws or rituals, the rabbis would set aside any decision “until Elijah comes.”[60]

One such decision was whether the Passover Seder required four or five cups of wine. Each serving of wine corresponds to one of the “four expressions of redemption” in the Book of Exodus:

I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an out-stretched arm and with great acts of judgment, and I will take you for my people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (Exodus 6:6–7).

The next verse, “And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.” (Exodus 6:8) was not fulfilled until the generation following the Passover story, and the rabbis could not decide whether this verse counted as part of the Passover celebration (thus deserving of another serving of wine). Thus, a cup was left for the arrival of Elijah.

In practice the fifth cup has come to be seen as a celebration of future redemption. Today, a place is reserved at the seder table and a cup of wine is placed there for Elijah. During the seder, the door of the house is opened and Elijah is invited in. Traditionally, the cup is viewed as Elijah’s and is used for no other purpose.[61][62]

Havdalah

Havdalah is the ceremony that concludes the Sabbath Day (Saturday evening in Jewish tradition). As part of the concluding hymn, an appeal is made to God that Elijah will come during the following week. “Elijah the Prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah from Gilead. Let him come quickly, in our day with the messiah, the son of David.”[61]

The sacred sites associated with Elijah, George and Khidr over centuries seem to have accumulated worship in various forms, so that one sits quite literally on top of or next to another. The sites often exhibit similar attributes: for instance, the presence of water and greenness, suggesting fertility in a barren land; or perhaps a cave, which represents a meeting-place of two worlds, the manifest and the hidden (and on occasion both elements are present, as at Banyas).

Then there is the ancient theme of the spiritual side of man being dominant over the material, as suggested in the stories by the holy rider on a chariot or horse (or in the case of Khidr, a fish).

This is a clear picture of the divinised human, who comes to deliver mankind:

Elijah is zealous for God and the destroyer of false prophets,

while St George is the conqueror of animality in the form of the dragon;

Khidr’s role is rather less vividly martial – he brings real self-knowledge, delivering the individual from the false and base nature of the soul.

In all three cases one can remark the polarity of the monotheist or true believer and the pagan or ignorant: Elijah and the prophets of Baal, St George and the emperor Diocletian, for example  and perhaps most strikingly in this respect, Khidr who points out the interior meaning of this opposition and is thus the educator of Moses.

However, we should note significant differences in their status, which in part reflect the religious context in which they appear: Elijah is a prophet, in a long line of prophecy; St George is a saint, martyred for his faith in the tradition of Christianity; Khidr, however, is almost a nobody – he is neither saint nor prophet, but an ordinary person graced with immortality and initiatic significance. While the first two are usually portrayed as mounted, Khidr has his feet upon the ground (or just above it in some stories) or walks on water; as we shall see, he has a most particular role to play in mystical teaching. Read More

  • Khidr – the Green One – is very important in Sufism : St George and Al kidhr

The sufi master of the Golden Chain, the Sultan al-Awliya Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani(, has confirmed that Saint George is Sayyidina Al-Khidr,  The word “confirmed” is appropriate, since this identification has been widely made for a long time. According to HRH Prince Charles, for example: “We forget too easily that the veneration of the Virgin is shared in the Middle East to this day by Christians and Muslims alike; that the mysterious prophet of the Muslims, Al-Khidir, was identified with…the Christian St George…”

Perhaps most obviously, St. George’s Day in the Ottoman Empire was better known as Hidrellez, a name deriving in part from the title al-Khidr or “the Green.” If it is objected that Hidrellez falls on the 6th of May rather than the 23rd of April, that is, St. George’s Day in those regions of Western Europe still holding to this tradition, let it not be forgotten that the 6th of May is simply St. George’s Day in the Eastern liturgical calendar.

  • St George and Hidirellez Turkey

St. George is also honored by  Muslims as his figure has become a composite character mixing elements from Biblical, Quranic and folkloric sources, at times being identified with prophet Al-Khidr.

Hıdırellez or Hıdrellez (Turkish: Hıdırellez or Hıdrellez, Azerbaijani: Xıdır İlyas or Xıdır Nəbi, Crimean Tatar: Hıdırlez, Romani language: Ederlezi) is celebrated as the day on which the Prophets Hızır (Al-Khidr) and Ilyas (Elijah) met on Earth.

Rahma rain / Mercy rain on the day of festival is considered holy

 

Hıdırellez is regarded as one of the most important seasonal bayrams (festivals) in both Turkey and countries above mentioned. Called Day of Hızır (Ruz-ı Hızır) in Turkey, Hıdırellez is celebrated as the day on which the prophets Hızır (Al-Khdir) and İlyas (Elijah) met on Earth. The words Hızır and İlyas fused to create the present term. Known as Aid al-Khidr it is also one of the most important social celebrations in Syria. Hıdırellez Day falls on May 6 in the Gregorian calendar and April 23 in the Julian calendar. In other countries the day has mostly been connected with pagan and Saint George cults.

The word Hıdırellez, born out as a compound form of Hızır and İlyas, they are regarded as two different persons. In respect to religious sources, there are several references on İlyas; However, there is no slight mention about Hızır. The perception of seeing Hızır and İlyas as identical arises from the fact that İlyas stands as an obscure figure within the context of Tasavvuf (Sufism) and popular piety when compared to Hızır and there are numerous legends on Hızır, whereas little is known about İlyas and furthermore, there are many great maqams of Hızır, yet there are only few maqams for İlyas. Ali the Fourth Caliph is associated with Hızır within Alevi-Bektaşi belief system.

St. George is the figure corresponding to Hızır in Christianity. Besides being associated with St. George, Hızır is also identified with İlyas Horasani, St. Theodore and St. Sergios. St. George believed to be identical with Hızır, is believed to be similar to some Muslim saints; St. George is identified with Torbalı Sultan and Cafer Baba in Thessaly, Karaca Ahmet Sultan in Skopje, which is a mounting evidence how St. George and Hızır have influenced St. George’s Day and Hıdrellez Day ceremonies.

Further information: Hıdırellez

 

 

 

 

  • Hizir-Elijah cult and Hidrellez tradition in Anatolia

Hidrellez is one of the spring festivals which is celebrated in Turkish world. Formerly this day was called Ruz-i Hizir, but today it is also called Hizir-Elijah day. The name of Hidirellez, was born out as a compound form of Hizir and Elijah among the people. They are regarded as two different people. In respect to religious sources, there are several references on ̄lyas. However, there is no slight mention about Hizir. The cult of Hidir-Elijah, which is a folk belief in Anatolia and the Spring festival Hidrellez and was consequently emitted, has pre-Islamic extension. Hidrellez refers to the junction day of the Hidir and Elijah. There are enough resources available about hidir belief but, there is no written source about Hidrellez. Hidrellez is synonymous with spring holidays departing from belief in Hidir and is further enriched with Christian influence in Anatolia. Christian community has Saint Nicholas and Saint Georges like Hidir beliefs Turkish folk. These folk beliefs’ common feature is both of them are mystical. Hidir has been called the highest authority in the Turkish Islamic Sufism. The most enthusiastic celebrations of Hidirellez is done in Hatay region. There are many maqams given named hidirlik in this region. Muslim and non-Muslim population lived together for centuries in Hatay. It is a city of tolerance.

  • Who was the Hızır in Hıdırellez?

May 5 and 6 is known as Hıdırellez, a festival that marks the start of spring and summer in parts of the Middle East and in particular among Turkish-speaking communities.

The night of May 5 and day of May 6 are known as Hıdırellez or Hızırellez, a festival that marks the start of spring and summer in parts of the Middle East and in particular among Turkish-speaking communities. (One has to wonder at the number of festivals that mark the coming of spring.) The word Hıdırellez is supposed to have come from a combination of Hızır (Khidr) and İlyas (Elijah).

Who were these two men and how are they connected?

Khidr and Elijah

Khidr and Elijah praying

Although Khidr is not mentioned in the Quran, Muslim exegetes identify him as the “servant of God” mentioned in Q 18:65. The story of Moses and Khidr is widespread in Muslim and Jewish stories of the medieval period.

Khidr is also associated with immortality and fertility. These are also attributes given to Elijah who is mentioned in the Quran. It is also reported that Elijah and Khidr meet every uear during the month of Ramadan in Jerusalem, that they perform the Pilgrimage together every year, and that they drink from Zamzam enough to keep them until the next year. It is also said that they meet in Arafat each year.

Khidr (which means Green Man in Arabic) has been tied to early Middle Eastern legends of spring, the renewal of warm weather among the Mesopotamians and the Egyptians, the reflowering of plants and the growth of new crops. Similar beliefs and celebrations were to be found among the various peoples of Anatolia and Central Asia. But the origin of Khidr or Hızır is obscure. His name is not mentioned in the Bible or in the Quran. There’s no real explanation as to why this person is called the Green Man (Khidr) although some say it was because the Prophet Muhammad wore a green cloak while others attribute it to his role in the greening of the earth in spring time.

One of the Islamic traditions, however, says that the Prophet Moses went to Ethiopia to acquire knowledge and, while there, he met a man named Khadir (Hızır). In the story, the two men have a fish which they intend to eat; however, they forget it and it gets away. (This is why Hızır is portrayed with a fish.) It’s possible that this was Hızır. The latter is supposed to have then tested Moses by insisting that he not ask the reason why he performed three acts. But Moses was unable to understand the meaning of the actions and impatiently asked why each time, at which point the man refused to teach Moses because of his impatience (Quran, 18: 60-82). Read more here

  • The Strange Life of Al-Khidr, the Legendary Immortal Prophet, Mystic, Trickster and Sea Spirit. Read more here

See also St George Day all over gthe World

As for the history of this holy person, how are we to understand the life of one who has drunk of the Water of Life, and how are we explain his activities when these could not even be understood by Sayyidina Musa, without explanation? The Christian history of the martyrdom of Saint George is related in Islamic sources also, as the history of Jirjis. According to the latter, Jirjis is granted martyrdom repeatedly, only to be restored to life, in keeping, perhaps, with the qualities of one who has tasted the Water of Life.

It is of further interest to note that in Christian accounts, the event with the dragon involves a miraculous appearance of the saint subsequent to, and not preceding, his martyrdom. In other words, it concerns a mysterious glimpse of a saint who lives beyond the limitations of history but who sometimes enters it in various guises, and such are all his appearances from the time of Musa onwards, including, of course, his involvement in the expeditions of Iskandar Dhul-Qarnayn .

  • Saint George (Khidr) Slays the Dragon and Becomes a Saint

Sultan al Awliya  Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani 2 September 2009 Lefke, Cyprus

In the holiest month, Ramadan. Blessed month. And through this blessed month I am trying to reach something from spirituality. Through spirituality I am asking to reach the level of holy ones, that holy ones they are blessed ones. Blessed ones and O people! If you are not going to reach blessings from heavens through your whole life, what is the benefit of your existence here?

What does it mean? It means nothing nothing! Why? Why you are not asking “Am I in existence to be nothing? To be like a dust?” It is big blame, O people! if I am not asking that question, “For what I am in existence? What is the main aim of my being in existence? For what I have been granted eyes, ears, tongue, hands, feet and a perfect figure? Yes, man just created on a perfect figure. No any other created as a man. The creation of man it is perfect.

But if you are not thinking Who granted to you who is figure, designer, for you, for what granted that to you , you must think on it. Designer of man on same womb, designing some babies as a man. Designing some babies as a baby girl or baby boy. As He likes. You are not putting your will there to say “I must be figure of man.” Or “I must be figure of lady.” Or no one can say, “I must be red color or white color or ? color or green color.

“O Shaykh we are never hearing of green color man!”

“Yes, we must be. You are not looking east and west. Say to top people that you must do and you must look and find green men also.

Yes there is green men, it is true. there is green man. Only one, but he is not also, his face green, but that is then Christians saying St. George, but we are saying Khidr (as) . Green man, chevalier St. George. Always in his hand he is killing a dragon. Very good. It is very very and a  important symbol that they are making a figure on a horse through his hand a spear and killing a dragon. So many people they are taking only looking to that figure, but really that figure asking to teach people.

O people! That one who is a famous personality through creation, through his hand with a spear killing a giant gigantic dragon.

O people! Look what does it mean? It means that St. George going to be a saint because he killed that dragon that it is  representing our egos. Killing and going to bury the same. O people! ! Enough to carry your feelings that belongs all of them to your dragon. Leave that feelings and kill that one then everyone going to be a St. George, a blessed one in the Divine Presence. And that Green Man is only one. And asking to teach people “O people! Til your most terrible enemy, the dragon is killed…but you are not taking any care of it.

As everyone knows that every prophet they were sitting on earth, not on thrones. There are some exceptions, doesn’t matter, but mostly whole prophets sitting on earth with poor people, weak people, native people, and aseer, (slaves) slave people. They were sitting with those people and that not taking honor from them but giving honor because they are trying to give something to our Lord’s creatures. They tried to make people best ones, not the worst ones. Who is working for their egoes and no other aim for them is except their dragons? Therefore don’t try to be “First Lady”or “Number One” in America, in Turkey, in England, in Russia.

Who is first one? Who is best one? Don’t think that every first one going to be best one. Everybody thinking first one. First one they claim but it is not important. Important is that one who is claiming to be best one. Are you best one? Give answer to me. To be “First One” if making you best one, bravo. If not then it is a very dangerous situation to be “First Lady”or “Number One” through nations. No. Only if you are asking our honor in Divinely Presence. Yes, you may claim, “I am first one on earth” but on heavens do you think your name written under tables of best ones? Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Holy Quran what there are saying? What are they teaching people? Teaching them to be best ones or worst ones? Say! Popes say! Archbishops say! Patriarchs say! Presidents say! Philosophers say! Hindus say! Buddhists you may say! The Lord of heavens asking from you to be first ones or best ones? That is the main source of troubles on earth.

  • Kill   Your   Dragon

…. Here in England, in London, I am looking  at St. John’s Wood.  I want to say something about t Saint George. There is a statue nearby to central mosque. People running around and coming but they are not taking wisdom. What is that? What Saint George doing? What he mean to say? He is killing a dragon, showing people “O people, all of you must be killer of dragons.”

  •  Everyone has a dragon.

…  Same dragon attacking on Adam. Same dragon just attacked on Noah. Same dragon was attacking on Moses. Same dragon attacking on Abraham. Same dragon attacking on Jacob. Same dragon attacking on Solomon and David and on Zakariya… Same dragon attacking to Jesus Christ. And same dragon attacking also on the Seal of Prophets. And same dragon’s attacking on believers.

Everyone has a dragon. And that is Saint George showing – “O people, you must kill it. If you are not killing it, no rest, no peace, no mercy, no justice, no love, no respect to you. Kill it, O mankind.Calling through that statue. But people running around, looking what is that?

Yes. And we are feeding that dragon. Instead to kill it, we are feeding it. … Every morning we are awakening and making like this “O my Lord, what you are asking? You’re asking smoking? Ready. Asking wine? Ready. Asking something else? It’s ready. I am under your command. Everyday I am your slave.” – People saying to their dragons. Feeding, very carefully saying “I am your obedient worshipper. I never leaving you. I am never getting disobedient to you. I am not rebellion or rebellious to you. Always you are finding me obedient one.” Yes. Why no peace on earth? Because you are feeding dragons. You are looking after it so carefully. Never listening the Lord’s command. No one going to be obedient to the Lord of heavens and earth.

Why people attacking on Prophets? Do you think that they are bad people? If they are not accepting now, good ones, they are fighting. But what about for Prophets? What was their sins? No sins for Prophets. Prophets, they are innocent people. They are pure people, clean people, perfect people. Why common people attacking them, trying to kill them? And they killed thousands of thousands of Prophets. Murdering martyrs, thousands of Prophets. And they killed, martyred so many saints. Why? They were bad people? They were devils, or people they were devils?

Yes. We must look once again to ourselves. What we are doing? For what we are working? For the Lord, for the sake of Lord? To make Him pleased or to make our egos, our dragons pleased? You say to yourself. Don’t say to me. When you are alone nighttime, you may say to yourself “Oh I am… Just I worked for my Lord today”. If you are saying this, you are very happy person, very lucky. But you must be true.

First, you must be true to yourself before becoming true to others. But it is so difficult to be true even for yourself. Because that dragon should prevent you to say truth. Yes. Ask yourself. When people sleeping, and you’re alone – “O James, or John or Ahmad or Abdullah. Are you here, Abdullah? Our name’s Abdullah, the servant of the Lord. But you must ask do you think that you’re really servant of your Lord. Tell me, to whom you served today?” Yes. Be sincere. Everyone must be sincere or this world going to be destroyed. Because devils taking chance from insincere people, taking courage, taking power and trying to make people insincere. Yes. Therefore, I don’t think that any religion say something else… Because their source is heavens, from heavens coming every religion to establish through the conscience of mankind the love and respect towards their Lord.

If anyone knowing another thing, may say. That is, up today I learnt, as a summary. From whole books, from whole religions I have that summary that every Prophet coming with divinely messages to make people more in love and in respect for their Lord . That is our mission. And that is most precious mission and that is most acceptable mission in Divine Presence. You can’t find more than this respected job for mankind. Most respected job in Divine Presence [is] to call people in love and in respect to their Lord . And we are finding hindrance, biggest veil for reaching to that station. Our egos too jealous, too jealous. Asking every respect to himself, asking every love to himself, asking every obedience to himself, asking everything for himself, not for anyone else, either for the Lord of heavens and earth or for others.

… Therefore, whole religions, whole religions taking methods for protecting people, protecting followers from their egos. One of the most important protection for believers is fasting. Without fasting, no one can be able to control that dragon and to protect himself from that dragon. You should find same fasting through every religion from old religions, beginning from Adam. He fast first 30 days without eating and drinking. Because he ate from prohibited wheat in paradise, from prohibited tree. When he ate, he has been sent on earth. And till that, going from him he was fasting 30 days without eating anything. But the Lord  giving permission to his children to fast from morning up to night, up to evening. And it was through Moses’ holy book, through Jesus Christ’s holy book, and through David’s psalms, through Abraham’s orders and through Noah’s heavenly orders.

Every Prophet just came with fasting. But we did it, we changed. Christians doing 50 days. It was before correct fasting. It is now – there are only a few people keeping even that order for Christianity. Even they can’t carry to be patient not to eat what prevented for them through that period. They are doing as fasting – not to eat fat or meat or such things. Even for that, now they are not keeping that order. And it was before fasting. And in our days anyone who asking a protection from their dragons, from their terrible egos, they must practice fasting. Yes. It is not something to be hungry, to be thirsty. People may say “What is the benefit from being hungry or thirsty?” But whole power on itis  “to be able“, when your ego rushing to eat, you are saying that “There is 5 minutes more, be patient.” And it was attacking, and we are saying “There is 1 minute more. You must be patient.” That is training for ego and to protect yourself and to be able to cut it...

When we are going to be enough powerful to catch that dragon, we have a method for cutting it. Because a small one can’t catch a sheep and cut it, slaughter. No. Must be enough power to keep and to cut. And don’t think that only that fasting you may be enough powerful to slaughter your dragon. No. We have another methods. When you are going to be prepared for that purpose, we have 40 days. 40-days seclusions in Islam also, that every Prophet they did it. As it is mentioned through Holy Qur’an, 40 days for Moses before going to mount Sinai. And the Seal of Prophets, he was using that seclusion before his prophecy on the mountain of Nur. Jabali Nur, mount of lights. And don’t think that you can be able when you are living with people to cut it. No. You must take it out of communities. Whole saints, they were cutting it – out of communities, countryside, through deserts, through lonely mountains. That is the reason Christians, they are using monasteries on silent deserts, on mountains. But now it is also lost. Whom they were in monasteries, they are not going to be there to feed their egos. No, but to cut it.

And finally, we are asking forgiveness from Allah Almighty and asking good understanding. Everyone through their religions, through their beliefs, and every religion coming on same point to give more love, more respect to Allah Almighty. But in front of you, your ego preventing. Take it away. Kill it. And open, then you should find your Lord in front of you, in you, with you, around you.

Astaghfirullah. Astaghfirullah. Astaghfirullah. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. Wa shukrulillah. Walhamdulillahi Rabbi l-alameen. Wa salatu wa salamu ‘ala rasulina Ziyadatan li sharafi Nabi, sallAllahu alaihi wa salam… Fatiha.

To learn more see Sufi Path of love website

Some students have witnessed the medieval iconography of the Green Man with the Sultan al-Awliya, and not only in Britain, but even in Cyprus.  Green Man “visit” to the Celts, whose lands are at the outer reaches of Europe; See The Green Man, St George and the Dragon Power of Nature

After all, al-Khidr  is the teacher of the Afrad or Solitaries, that is, saints “outside” the community of believers. Especially relevant in this context is the medieval poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,

  • The story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

it describes how Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, accepts a challenge from a mysterious “Green Knight” who challenges any knight to strike him with his axe if he will take a return blow in a year and a day. Gawain accepts and beheads him with his blow, at which the Green Knight stands up, picks up his head and reminds Gawain of the appointed time. In his struggles to keep his bargain, Gawain demonstrates chivalry and loyalty until his honour is called into question by a test involving Lady Bertilak, the lady of the Green Knight’s castle.

Poet Simon Armitage goes on the trail of one of the jewels in the crown of British poetry, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, written about 600 years ago by an unknown author. The poem has got just about everything – it is an action-packed adventure, a ghost story, a steamy romance, a morality tale and the world’s first eco-poem. Armitage follows in the footsteps of the poem’s hero, Gawain, through some of Britain’s most beautiful and mystical landscapes and reveals why an absurd tale of a knight beheading a green giant is as relevant and compelling today as when it was written.

Read Also :The Poem as Green Girdle: Commercium in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

There is a connection between the Order of the Garter and the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (late 14th century).

The motto is inscribed, as hony soyt qui mal pence, at the end of the text in the sole surviving manuscript in the British Library, albeit in a later hand.

In the poem, a girdle, very similar in its erotic undertones to the garter, plays a prominent role. A rough equivalent of the Order’s motto has been identified in Gawain’s exclamation corsed worth cowarddyse and couetyse boþe (“cursed be both cowardice and coveting”, v. 2374).[13] While the author of that poem remains disputed, there seems to be a connection between two of the top candidates and the Order of the Garter, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, and Enguerrand de Coucy, seventh Sire de Coucy. De Coucy was married to King Edward III’s daughter, Isabella, and was given admittance to the Order of the Garter on their wedding day.”[14]

look also at Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Coomaraswamy

Please also look at : The Golden Bough:

The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion (retitled The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion in its second edition) is a wide-ranging, comparative study of mythology and religion, written by the Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer. The Golden Bough was first published in two volumes in 1890; in three volumes in 1900; and in twelve volumes in the third edition, published 1906–15. It has also been published in several different one-volume abridgments. The influence of The Golden Bough on contemporary European literature and thought was substantial.

Read here: George Frazer– The golden bough

  • Books of Spiritual Chivalry

Since the “Green Knight” must be recognized as yet another “mysterious glimpse” of al-Khidr; some reasons for this are given in the introduction to The Royal Book of Spiritual Chivalry. (Futuwwat-nama-yi sultani)

ON FUTUWWAH:
Futuwwah is the way of the fata. In Arabic, fata literally means a handsome, brave youth. After the enlightenment of Islam, following the use of the word in the Holy Koran, fata (plural: fityan) came to mean the ideal, noble, and perfect man whose hospitality and generosity would extend until he had nothing left for himself; a man who would give all, including his life, for the sake of his friends. According to the Sufis, Futuwwah is a code of honorable conduct that follows the example of the prophets, saints, sages, and the intimate friends and lovers of Allah.

The traditional example of generosity is the prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, who readily accepted the command to sacrifice his son for Allah’s sake. He is also a
model of hospitality who shared his meals with guests all his life and never ate alone. The prophet Joseph, peace be upon him, is an example of mercy, for he pardoned his brothers, who tried to kill him, and a model of honor, for he resisted the advances of a married woman, Zulaykha, who was feminine beauty personified. The principles of character of the four divinely guided caliphs, the successors of the Prophet
Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, also served as guides to Futuwwah; the loyalty of Abu Bakr, the justice of ‘Umar, the reserve and modesty of ‘Uthman, and the bravery of ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with them all.
The all-encompassing symbol of the way of Futuwwah is the divinely guided life and character of the final prophet, Muhammad Mustafa, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, whose perfection is the goal of Sufism. The Sufi aims to abandon all improper behavior and to acquire and exercise, always and under all circumstances, the best behavior proper to human beings; for God created man “for Himself” as His “supreme creation,” “in the fairest form.” As He declares in His Holy Koran, “We have indeed honored the children of Adam.”

  • Erasmus The Manual of a Christian Knight [1501]

Desiderius Erasmus was a Catholic priest and theologian who clearly had Christ in mind when he penned it in 1501. Although it is over 500 years old, I hope you will appreciate the relevance today of these 22 rules in Erasmus’ Manual of a Christian Knight.

The mortal world a field is of battle
Which is the cause that strife doth never fail
Against man, by warring of the flesh
With the devil, that always fighteth fresh
The spirit to oppress by false envy;
The which conflict is continually
During his life, and like to lose the field.
But he be armed with weapon and shield
Such as behoveth to a christian knight,
Where God each one, by his Christ chooseth right
Sole captain, and his standard to bear.
Who knoweth it not, then this will teach him here
In his brevyer, poynarde, or manual
The love shewing of high Emanuell.
In giving us such harness of war
Erasmus is the only furbisher
Scouring the harness, cankered and adust
Which negligence had so sore fret with rust
Then champion receive as thine by right
The manual of the true christian knight.
Desiderius Erasmus

Here some of the 22 rules:

Read here The Manual of a Christian Knight (Enchiridion)

  • The legacy of John Bunyan,

Well then sinner, what sayest thou? Where is thy heart? Wilt thou run? Art thou resolved to strip? Get into the way; run apace and hold out to the end; and the Lord give thee a prosperous journey. Farewell,” John Bunyan

John Bunyan (1628-88) was arguably one of the most influential writers in human history. Consider the fact that after the undoubted supremacy in circulation of the English Bible, Bunyan’s classic allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, has commonly ranked second. This has led it to be called “the second best book in all the world.”

Even secular critics have agreed that this uneducated mender of pots and pans was a writer of uncommon genius. Raised during the turbulent seventeenth century in England, following conversion from an unsavory past, Bunyan began to preach and receive a welcome hearing. His first venture at writing at this time was a vigorous response to Quaker doctrine. Staunchly nonconformist, he was imprisoned for 12 years in the Bedford County jail for refusing to remain silent. See more here

The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come

First Part

The entire book is presented as a dream sequence narrated by an omniscient narrator. The allegory’s protagonist, Christian, is an everyman character, and the plot centres on his journey from his hometown, the “City of Destruction” (“this world”), to the “Celestial City” (“that which is to come”: Heaven) atop Mount Zion. Christian is weighed down by a great burden—the knowledge of his sin—which he believed came from his reading “the book in his hand” (the Bible). This burden, which would cause him to sink into Hell, is so unbearable that Christian must seek deliverance. He meets Evangelist as he is walking out in the fields, who directs him to the “Wicket Gate” for deliverance. Since Christian cannot see the “Wicket Gate” in the distance, Evangelist directs him to go to a “shining light,” which Christian thinks he sees. Christian leaves his home, his wife, and children to save himself: he cannot persuade them to accompany him. Obstinate and Pliable go after Christian to bring him back, but Christian refuses. Obstinate returns disgusted, but Pliable is persuaded to go with Christian, hoping to take advantage of the Paradise that Christian claims lies at the end of his journey. Pliable’s journey with Christian is cut short when the two of them fall into the Slough of Despond, a boggy mire-like swamp where pilgrims’ doubts, fears, temptations, lusts, shames, guilts, and sins of their present condition of being a sinner are used to sink them into the mud of the swamp. It is there in that bog where Pliable abandons Christian after getting himself out. After struggling to the other side of the slough, Christian is pulled out by Help, who has heard his cries and tells him the swamp is made out of the decadence, scum, and filth of sin, but the ground is good at the narrow Wicket Gate.  Read more here.

Second Part

The Second Part of The Pilgrim’s Progress presents the pilgrimage of Christian’s wife, Christiana; their sons; and the maiden, Mercy. They visit the same stopping places that Christian visited, with the addition of Gaius’ Inn between the Valley of the Shadow of Death and Vanity Fair, but they take a longer time in order to accommodate marriage and childbirth for the four sons and their wives. The hero of the story is Greatheart, a servant of the Interpreter, who is the pilgrims’ guide to the Celestial City. He kills four giants called Giant Grim, Giant Maul, Giant Slay-Good, and Giant Despair and participates in the slaying of a monster called Legion that terrorizes the city of Vanity Fair. The passage of years in this second pilgrimage better allegorizes the journey of the Christian life. By using heroines, Bunyan, in the Second Part, illustrates the idea that women, as well as men, can be brave pilgrims. Read more here.

The Holy War

The Holy War Made by King Shaddai Upon Diabolus, to Regain the Metropolis of the World, Or, The Losing and Taking Again of the Town of Mansoul is a 1682 novel by John Bunyan. This novel, written in the form of an allegory, tells the story of the town “Mansoul” (Man’s soul). Though this town is perfect and bears the image of Shaddai (Almighty), it is deceived to rebel and throw off his gracious rule, replacing it instead with the rule of Diabolus. Though Mansoul has rejected the Kingship of Shaddai, he sends his son Emmanuel to reclaim it.

In the city there were three esteemed men, who, by admitting Diabolus to the city, lost their previous authority. The eyes of “Understanding”, the mayor, are hidden from the light. “Conscience”, the recorder, has become a madman, at times sinning, and at other times condemning the sin of the city. But worst of all is “Lord Willbewill,” whose desire has been completely changed from serving his true Lord, to serving Diabolus. With the fall of these three, for Mansoul to turn back to Shaddai of their own will, is impossible. Salvation can come only by the victory of Emmanuel. The entire story is a masterpiece of Christian literature, describing vividly the process of the fall, conversion, fellowship with Emmanuel, and many more intricate doctrines. Read more here

THE SAINTS’ KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST’S LOVE

This treatise is admirably adapted to warn the thoughtless—break the stony heart— convince the wavering—cherish the young inquirer—strengthen the saint in his pilgrimage, and arm him for the good fight of faith—and comfort the dejected, doubting, despairing Christian. It abounds with ardent sympathy for the broken-hearted, a cordial suited to every wounded conscience; while, at the same time, it thunders in awful judgment upon the impenitent and the hypocritical professor: wonders of grace to God belong, for all these blessings form but a small part of the unsearchable riches.  Read more here.

  • The iconography of dragon slaying

The iconography of dragon slaying. To begin with, one must observe that in this Christian iconography, the dragon is not dead but is rather being transfixed by the weapon of the saint. The young Knight is the ideal, noble, and perfect man whose hospitality and generosity would extend until he had nothing left for himself; a man who would give all, including his life, for the sake of his friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lady, representing his Soul, is looking at him and keep a leach in her handand attached to the dragon, but  is not affected by the dragon of the ego. When the Knight succeeds they shall be reunite again on the path of Love and Wisdom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The medieval poem, the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, mentioned above ends with a mysterious motto in old French: “Honi soit qui mal y pense (Shame be to him who thinks evil of it).” This is, however, the motto of the Order of the Garter, the most venerable order of chivalry in the world – and where now is chivalry in the lands of Islam? – whose patron is Saint George. Even Ottoman Sultans became Garter Knights. As the Garter Knight Prince Charles Philip Arthur George has reminded us, there is a sanctity that reconciles Muslim and Christian allegiances. This sanctity is embodied in the Green Man, and in his fellow watad Jesus, peace be upon them, and in others. Shame be to those who think evil of it.

  •  The Resurrection of Christ, the Standard Bearer and St. George’s Cross.

The resurrection of Easter coincides with the Anniversary of St Georges ( 23th of April) and in many countries connected to it. One of the most common symbols in artwork of the Resurrection is the flag that Christ is waving. Just take a look at this picture of Christ springing out of the tomb.

And there are many more examples of this symbol showing up in religious art! There are a lot of pictures in which Christ is holding a flag that has either a white background and a red cross) or a flag that has a red background and a white cross. And this is consistently the case throughout all of Western Europe from the period of the 12th century onwards.

The standard was a distinct flag that was waved during battle. An unarmed soldier, known as a standard bearer, would hold up this flag for the entire length of the battle and wave it around. You might think that this position would be given to those who were normally cannon fodder, so to speak, since this person would be unarmed, but no! Usually, this position was given to persons of honor and these people were heavily guarded, since this position was so extremely important. Furthermore, to drop the standard was seen as a cowardly and potentially treasonous act. So, only the best were chosen for this job.

When the standard was first unfurled, it was a signal to begin the battle. But the flag continued to be important throughout the battle! The flag was also an inspirational sign. As long as your standard was still waving, you had hope.

As you can imagine, it was a popular image for many Christians! After all, He had just defeated death! Yet, His disciples were all scattered and scared in the frenzy of this last victorious battle. So, Christ is commonly depicted as waving this standard to signal victory and to inspire and regroup the troops using a symbolism that many in this time period easily recognized.

While this symbolism might fly over our heads in this modern age, the message still remains the same! Christ has still destroyed death. And, as we go forth in our lives, we should always turn to Christ to both regroup and to be inspired. For His Way is the path to life eternal!

Which leads to the question: why the Flag of St George ?

This flag became popular around the 12th century because of two reasons: the popularity of St. George and the popularity of the Crusades.

St. George lived sometime in the third century and died in 303. Though historical records of him in particular are scarce, legend states that he was born in a Christian family with Greek parents somewhere in what is now Palestine. As a young nobleman in the Roman empire, he joined the Roman army, as was typical in his class. He thrived under the military and quickly advanced in rank… until 303.

At that time, the Roman emperor, Diocletian, issued an edict stating that all Christians in the army were required to give sacrifices to the Roman gods and would be degraded if they professed their Christianity — and possibly killed. Then a high-ranking official, St. George realized that he would probably be killed soon, so he gave everything he owned away and then confronted Diocletian himself. There, in the presence of Diocletian, St. George declared that he was a Christian. Which is even more bolder when you consider that the emperors believed themselves gods and, that by declaring his Christianity, St. George was essentially calling out Diocletian of being a mere mortal!

Not wanting to lose a good military leader, Diocletian did his best to convert St. George into Paganism of Rome, to no avail. Finally, he sent St. George to the dungeon, declaring that St. George would be killed in the morning. But then, Diocletian did something sneaky… he sent a woman into St. George’s cell in order to seduce him and thus get St. George to renounce his faith. No good! St. George ended up converting the woman instead! He was executed shortly after.

St. George was venerated as a Christian martyr and seen as a patron of the military after that. However, it was only when the legend of him slaying the dragon was written somewhere in the 12th century that his popularity skyrocketed in the medieval era, filled with popular romances about knights. In those days, where medieval heraldry was the norm, it was popular to give saints their own heraldry.

And so… St. George’s cross was born! Since St. George was a saint who stood up for Christ, they commonly depicted his heraldry as a red cross on a white, though it was also commonly portrayed the opposite way (white on red) too! Take a look at this manuscript illumination of St. George killing the dragon…

Around this time, another thing came about: the Crusades. While in the modern day, the Crusades is seen as terrible, the Crusades were actually remarkably popular at its time! Before the Crusades, you were stuck in a caste system and couldn’t really advance out of your position, even if you wanted to escape the drudgery of peasantry and live the romantic lifestyle of a knight instead. As soon as the Crusades happened, this all changed, and anyone could go out as a knight and escape their peasant situation, if they wanted. As can be expected, many people did!

The Crusades also united Europe as a whole. Before then, Europe was populated by a bunch of vassal states. With the Crusades, they truly became Christendom and connected with each other.

In our Times we need to unite in the Holy War as meant by John Bunyan, not to go for a war outside of us, but inside of us, to make war with our ego, in  Islam and sufism it is call  Jihad al Akbar, the greater jihad, meaning the inner struggle against the ego. see the seven levels of beings

  • The warrior saint Sari Saltiq

Al-Khidr plays a critical role in the slaying of a seven-headed dragon by the warrior saint Sari Saltiq – may Allah sanctify his secret – in the Ottoman epic.

Sari Saltik: A Bektashi Story

There was in Dobruja a seven-headed dragon, to which the two daughters of the King were allotted as food. Sari Saltik (who had been sent to the region by Hajji Bektash himself) agreed to deliver the girls if their father would embrace Islam. He went to the column to which they were tied as victims for the dragon, accompanied by his seventy Dervishes, who were beating drums and swinging the banner. He untied the Princesses, and then waited with his wooden sword, expecting the dragon himself, as the seventy Dervishes beat their drums.

When the dragon approached, Sari Saltik addressed it with the verse of the Qur’an that begins, “Greeting on Noah in both worlds.” He then cut off three of the dragon’s heads, so that it fled with the remaining four. Sari Saltik followed him up to his cave, at the entrance of which he cut off the remaining heads with his wooden sword, and followed the dragon into his den. The beheaded dragon began to struggle with Sari Saltik and to press him against the rock, which gave way under his hands and feet — their marks can still be seen there. The dragon, having exhausted his strength, fell to the ground dead, and Sari Saltik, with his bloody breast and wooden sword, now led the two girls to their father the king.

But the man who had shown Saltik Sultan the road to the column had picked up the tongues and ears of the three heads cut off, and had hurried before Sari Saltik to lay them before the king, boasting that he himself had killed the dragon. Now, though the daughters asserted the contrary, yet the impostor persisted in his boast, so Sari Saltik proposed as a proof, to be boiled with the man in a cauldron. Though the pretender did not like this kind of trial, yet by order of the king he was obliged to undergo it. Sari Saltik was tied up by his Dervishes, and the impostor by his companions, and both were put into a cauldron heated by an immense fire.

Hajji Bektash was at that moment at Kirshehri in Anatolia, and was suddenly overcome. He swept with a handkerchief a dripping rock, saying, “My Saltik Muhammad is now in great anxiety, may Allah help him!” Ever since that day salt water has dripped from that rock, and from thence the salt called Hajji Bektash is produced.

Built around 1520, the Blagaj Tekke monument attracts many tourists

On his travels around eastern Europe, the BBC’s Nick Thorpe describes his three separate encounters with Sari Saltuq, a 13th Century legendary Turkish dervish.
I first came across Sari Saltuq in Bosnia – at the source of the Buna River – at Blagaj, where the river flows blue and fully-formed straight out of a sheer cliff. To say “came across” him requires some explanation. I sat quietly at his graveside. Green felt covered the raised coffin. I was inside an ancient tekke, a place of worship traditionally used by Sufi Muslim dervishes.
Zijo, the wild man who slept among the graves when the Croats were shelling Blagaj during the war, told me how he put a dish of water by the head of the tomb each night and how it was often gone, drained to the bottom, by morning. The rooms next door were for praying, talking, and drinking tea and coffee. There was even a sort of bathroom where you could shower, once upon a time, but only when it was raining, as the water flowed through star-shaped holes carved in the stone of the domed roof.
‘Flying carpet’
I came across Sari Saltuq next in Babadag, in the Dobrugea region of Romania, close to the Black Sea Coast. Legend has it that Saltuq, a Muslim holy man and worker of miracles – sometimes synonymous with Saint Nicholas in the Christian tradition – arrived here by flying carpet in the mid-14th Century. On the edge of Babadag is a graceful mosque – a surprise in Christian Orthodox Romania. Outside it is a hexagonal turbe, or tomb, of pink and yellow stone. And once again the green, raised coffin, with a dervish mitre at the top end: Sari Saltuq’s grave.

Slow journey

The city of Kruje sits alongside a panoramic mountainside location I ran into him again in Albania last week, beneath the head of the mountain over Kruje. The name Kruje comes from the Albanian word for water source. Up ahead I thought we were driving into the clouds at first, but no… those really were mountains. Kruje is a small, handsome town, hanging like a necklace beneath the chin of Sari Saltuq’s mountain.

Saltuq’s bravery
Kruje is a Bektashi town, and Sari Saltuq was a Bektashi saint. The Bektashis are one of the most remarkable of the dervish orders in Islam, closely associated with the Jannisary fighters who brought Islam to the Balkans in the Middle Ages.
But while the Janissaries wielded tempered steel, the Bektashis are famous for their wooden swords and their kindness to Christians. Sari Saltuq, himself, chopped off the seven heads of the dragon that used to live in a cave on the top of the mountain at Kruje. The dragon had an unpleasant habit of eating young local girls and the king was so relieved to be rid of the dragon that he offered him his daughter’s hand in marriage.
Sari Saltuq, already an old man, nobly declined, asking nothing more than permission to live in the cave. Happily installed, with a magnificent view of Albania’s Adriatic Coast, his followers brought him food each day up the mountain until he was warned that jealous local men were plotting his assassination. Infuriated by their ungratefulness, he leapt down the mountain and across to the island of Corfu in just three steps.

‘Fleet-footed traveller’
Our progress downhill was more laborious, but the bus stopped for a few minutes to inspect the shrine of his footstep in the marbled rock, just below the town.
Slightly larger than my own, the footprint is deep and polished by the touch and veneration of several hundred years of visitors.

 

 

a map shows Sari saltuq graves troughout Balkans, one mistake altough it has also atleast one grave in Bulgaria, Kaliakra

 

 

 

Look also Khidr in Alevism and Bektashism

and Al Khidr and Ritualising asceticism and Symbolizing mortification

  • Khwaja al-Khidr in the Indian milieu

Here the saint always appears upon a fish, and it was Coomaraswamy who rightly associated this vehicle in its Indian context with the Makara, or sea-dragon.see Khwaja Khidir and the Fountain of Life in the Tradition of Persian and Mughal Art

What is more, the fish (Nun) is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an (68: 1), and Tabari for his part explains that this is the fish that supports the earth in Islamic cosmology: “The fish moved and became agitated. As a result, the earth quaked, whereupon He firmly anchored the mountains on it, and it was stable.” This role of the mountains in balancing the instability of the world has been designated in the Holy Qur’an by a specific term: {And the mountains: stakes} (78, 7). Now, “stakes” (awtad, singular watad) has in turn been applied to an exalted group of four in Islamic esoterism, and al-Khidr – peace be upon him – is among them. It may even be observed that the saint’s staff in this iconography depicts a kind of “stake,” and is therefore equivalent to the weapon of Saint George which fixes or “stabilizes” the dragon.

  • Saint George and the dragon – Cult, culture and foundation of the city.

Following the insights of René Girard, which describes the violent origins of human culture, I propose to analyze through the traditional image of St. George, the foundation of the “enclosed city”, model of the Mediterranean city during the Middle Ages, with particular reference sacrificial origins of living space.

The term “enclosed city” refers, specifically, the priority establishment of the Mediterranean city in the sacral area Christian. We recall, among other things, that the cult, the culture of the people who grow and the civilization of who builds the city limits are linked from the common reference to the cult, and not just etymologically.

Worship, cult and culture are, in fact, even the mythical-ritual moments of a single human being on earth, in its anthropological, historical and institutional and political-symbolic.

The continuity between the ancient world, medieval and modern can be analyzed and understood through the cults, the stories and legends of the patron saints and the rituals related to the different moments of the organization of the medieval city space, and their persistence politico-religious in the modern city. Read more here

Please read also:

Al-Khidr- The Green One

Al Khidr : The Spiritual “greenness”

AL-KHIDR: Keeping the Company of Those Who See

Al Khidr, the Mountain of the Prophets of Anne Catherine Emmerich

Al Khidr and Prayer

and Sheikh Nazim Adil Al-Haqqani visist to Khidr-gama or Kataragama – Sri lanka.

Kataragama temple:

Invoking Kataragama as the center of  the faith of the Hindus, Buddhits, Christians, Jewish and Muslims see Also the website   Kataragama.com

 

  • Prayer for intercession of Al  Khidr (Alaihi Salaam)

Bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem
Bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem Bismillahi al Amaan al
Amaan
Ya Hanaan al Amaan al Amaan
Ya Manaan al Amaan al Amaan
Ya da Yaan al Amaan al Amaan
Ya subhan al Amaan al Amaan
Ya burhaan al Amaan al Amaan
Min fitna tiz zAmaani wa jafaa
Il ikhwani wa shar rish shaitan
Wa zulmis sultan be fadhlika
Ya Raheem Ya Rahman
Ya zul Jalaali wal ikraam
Wa sall Allahu ala khairi khaliqi
hi Muhammadin wa alihi wa as haabi hi ajmaeen bi
Rahmatika
Ya Arham ar Rahimeen

Wa sall Allahu ala Khairi
Khaliqi Hi Muhammadin
wa alihi wa as Haabi
hi Ajmaeen bi Rahmatika
Ya Arham Ar Rahimeen

Dua Kumayl

Kumayl Ibn Ziyad Nakha’i was a confidant amongst the companions of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as.) and this sublime Du’a was first heard from the beautiful, though anguished, voice of Imam Ali. According to Allama Majlisi (on whom be Allah’s Mercy) Kumayl had attended an assembly in the Mosque at Basra which was addressed by Imam Ali in the course of which the night of the 15th of Shaban was mentioned. Imam Ali said-“Whosoever keeps awake in devoutness on this night and recites the Du’a of Prophet Khizr, undoubtedly that person’s supplication will be responded to and granted. When the assembly at the Mosque had dispersed, Kumayl called at the house where Imam Ali was staying, and requested him to acquaint him with Prophet Khizr’s “Du’a”. Imam Ali asked Kumayl to sit down, record and memorise the “Du’a” which Imam Ali dictated to Kumayl. Imam Ali then advised Kumayl to recite this Duaa every Thursday night, or once a month or at least once in every year so that,.. “Allah may protect thee from the evils of the enemies and the plots contrived by impostors. O’ Kumayl! in consideration of thy companionship and understanding, I grant thee this honor of entrusting this “Du’a” to thee.”

  • THE ELIATIC FUNCTION IN THE ISLAMIC TRADITION: KHIDR AND THE MAHDI

by ZACHARY MARKWITH

The present article is an in depth examination of the role of Khidr (or  KhiZr, KheZr) and the Mahdi in the Islamic tradition, focusing on their significance as spiritual guides, transmitters of sacred knowledge and on their importance in the preparation for the end of time. The author uses the concept of the ‘Eliatic function’ presented by Leo Schaya as a guiding principle for this study, and begins the article with an explanation of this concept. On the basis of this, he then discusses the traditional Islamic understanding firstly of Khidr and then of the Mahdi. Throughout the analysis the author presents quotations from the Qur’an and Hadith along with the interpretations of classical and contemporary commentators, focusing in particular on Shi’ism and Sufism. Here the article

  • Ibn ʻArabi’s messianic secret: From “the mahdi” to the imamate of every soul

Know, o (true) listener, that the people of God, when the Real One (al-Haqq) draws them toward Himself … , He places in their hearts something calling them to seek their (true) happiness. So they seek after that and inquire about it (until) they find in their hearts a certain tenderness and humility and striving for peace and release (salàma) from the state of ordinary people (al-nas) with their (normal condition of) mutual envy, greed, hostility and opposition. Then when they have completed the perfection of their moral qualities or have nearly done so, they find in their nafs something calling them toward solitary retreat and withdrawal from ordinary people. So some of them take to wandering (siyaha) and frequenting the (wild) mountains and plains, while others do their wandering between the towns and cities – moving from one to another as soon as they’ve come to know and get used to the people of a particular place -, while still others isolate themselves in a room in their own homes, staying there alone and cut off from people. All of that is so that they can be alone and at ease with the Real One (al-Haqq) who has called them to Him – not in order to find any particular being or miraculous event, whether sensible or in their innermost selves. Thus all of those we have mentioned continue like that until they are suddenly illuminated by something from God that comes between them and their nafs – which for some of them occurs in their nafs; for others in their imagination; and for others from outside themselves. Then they are suddenly filled with longing from that occurrence and immediately seek the company of (other human) creatures …. Now there comes to them through that occurrence (wàrid) a (divine) “addressing” and informing them of their state or of what (God) is calling them to, as with …. Then they are given comfort and solace (uns) wherever they are ….  Read more here