Giritli Ali Baba's Approach to the Concept of Dawriyyah (Cyclical Existence)

by A. Yilmaz Soyyer


The concept of dawriyyah is essentially when a “being” is descends to earth at first as jamâd (inanimate object), then plant, animal, human being and finally as Insan-i Kamil. Giritli starts to describe this by explaining the nature of the soul. The soul is from Allah and exists through the command “Kun,” i.e. be. The soul pass first from the Arsh and the Kursi (the divine throne and footstool), through the seven heavens and arrives in the dimension of the four material elements.  The four elements are contained within a sphere (âlam) which is under the heavenly moon (ay feleği). After that, the soul beings to pass through the mawalid ul-thalatha (the three “births”) which are plant, animal and human.  

According to Giritli 
dawr is an act of creation. Allah had created Adam 40,000 years before he sent him to this earth (i.e. one day has the equivalence of one year). The command of “Kun fa yakun” apparently stretched on for 40,000 years. If an individual has istidat he or she can see this process that at first with an order of “kun” human pass from the âlam-i ijmal to the âlam-i tafsil and then can see with the order of “fa yakun” humanity pass from âlam-i tafsil to âlam-i ijmal again. At last he can see human arrive back at the Arsh as the Ahsan ul-Taqwim (Best of Forms).


In this process of descent and ascent human beings go from Ahlaq-i Zamîma (moral degeneration) to Ahlâq-i Hamîda (moral praiseworthiness). He abandons distrust, suizan, and gains good opinion, hüsnüzan. Having gone through this whole process, according to Giritli, an individual will reach the stage of Insan-i Kamil.  The cycle (dawr) is peculiar to the human soul. Angels do not go through such a process although they would wish so.   It related through one poem:

On the Night of Mi’raj, Ahmad beheld an angel and asked,

“How long hast thou existed?”  

The angel replied, “There is a star that rises only every 1,001 years.

I have seen it rise hundred times a hundred times.”

The Prophet then asked, “What is it you desire from the Exalted?”

The angel replied, “He has a excellent house bedecked and ornamented.

For this house all the stars rotate around the spheres of heaven.

My longing is for this place, my ultimate aspiration.

I desire to enter this house and attain my goal.

To see and hear this house is my one desire.

It is a house in the shape of Man in which the Merciful is concealed.

The generations must come and be a guest.

So much for a thousand years, you go and come back in yearning of this house

Alas! You forgot your own origin (aslını) when you entered the house.

In this house, gaze at your soul and see that Reality is seen in you from you.

Don’t attach to the lowly world), only God is absolute.

In this house you arrive on your Mi’raj.

You can drink wine that renders you drunk!”

Giritli is saying that Man is the house of God. The utmost goal of Man is to become one in Perfect Unity.



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