Remembering Çanakkale (Dardanelles)
March 19, 2009 § 4 Comments
Today we should remember those Muslims who fought hard to save and protect the Ottoman Sultan in March 1915. Just a few months before my very own grandfather was born, thousands of miles away there was a battle on famous straight separating Europe and Asia in an area known as Çanakkale.
We are going to spend this time remembering them. Asking that Allah Almighty accept their noble efforts to defend the Khalifa of Islam and reward them accordingly.
I have an account of our grandshaykh Maulana Shaykh Nazim mentioning the time of fighting in Çanakkale saying,
“Our grandshaykh once related to me an incident from the First World War, when he was in the Dardanelles fighting for the Ottoman Khalifa. An Armenian sergant who was employed in the service of the Ottoman Empire, addressed a fellow sergeant, a Muslim saying: “Are you Muslim?” “Of course I am,” he answered. “Is it enough to declare that you are Muslim? I can also say that. Now, is there any difference between you and me?” The Muslim sergeant said, “I believe in the unity of God, in His prophets, His books, His angels, the Judgement Day and the rule of destiny.” The Armenian sergeant replied: “I may state my belief in all that you have stated. Now, what is the difference between us?”
Our grandshaykh used to comment about the difficulties between Armenian people and Muslims, saying what a shame it was and what a tragic turn of events, caused by the actions of evil men. Chrisitians were living with Muslims side by side, and they knew Islam as we know it, only that they were keeping their faith through Christianity.
Then our grandshaykh came and said to the Armenian sergeant: “Oh my friend, are you sincerely seeking an answer to your question? If so, then I may explain the difference between lip service and reality. When a person states his belief in God, His prophets, His revelations, His angels, the Judgement Day and destiny with real sincerity of heart, nothing will block the penetration of his vision to the heart of all things. If he looks down at earth he will not be prevented from seeing what lies beneath it. If he looks up at the heavens, the distance should not hinder him from seeing the seven heavens. He who sees with the light of faith should, when he turns to the East, see all the way to the Far East, and likewise in any direction. When he turns toward Mecca in his prayers he should see the house of God before his very eyes. Then the Armenian sergeant said: “Yes, that is the faith I am seeking,” and he kissed Grandshaykh’s hands, and completed his faith by adding sincere intention to his verbal affirmation of faith. If a person is granted real faith – neither distance nor darkness nor huge mountains can block his view – his light penetrates.”