Giritli Ali Baba's Outlook on Istidat

by A. Yilmaz Soyyer


An individual cannot absorb knowledge or master an art if he hasn’t talent. However he can learn anything if he has within his reach a distinguished master.  A man who has talent can lead others along the path of guidance (hidayat). If a dervish is an ecstatic (majdhūb) he can’t become a murshid. Giritli give an example for this situation.

Bu kadar nasîbi aşk-i hakîkiden ey gönül

Şol sâlik ki mürşidi nâkıs ukûl ola


O heart! His lot of real love is this much

Because his murshid deficient reason

According to Giritli every individual has aptitude and ability (istidat) which is not dependent on disposition (khilkat), effulgence (tajalli) and characteristics (mazhariyet). God’s names and attributes are brought into the open through the manifestation of humanity and influence them. According Giritli, human propensities –such as generosity, subtlety, excellence as well as tyranny – exist only through God’s names and attributes.  He quotes the Qur’anic verse, “Whatever good happens to you, is from God; but whatever evil happens to you, is from yourselves…”  While all ultimately originates from none other than God, Ali Baba states that “to accept this verse is from good manners (adab)” since it is not fitting for man to associate evil with God.

Giritli asserts that a person must not travel this path saying, “I will find my goal and arrive at it.” He must not run after imaginations and illusions. He must try to comprehend signs and symbols revealed by the Prophets (
anbiya’) and Saints (awliya). However if he has true aptitude as well as submission (taslimiyyat) he can find his true nature and come to know the self. Such a person can comprehend that his soul is from God. For these individuals, writes Giritli, their attributes are the Sifat ur-Rahman and his temperament is that of the ashan ul- takwim, the best of creation.

According to Ali Baba a lover (
āshiq) must see Haqq (reality) with Allah. A lover must first give his devotion to Allah, then at last he will recive blessing via Allah’s names of azizlâtifjamîl rather than being involved in trifiling love (cüzî ashk) where he would suppose himself to be a lover. He is not a real lover of God. If a person loves  Allah he does not give his love away at a whim to anyone.   

According to Giritli if a person see other than Allah in all things and people this is a form of 
shirk. A lover of God or lover to people is ultimately loving Haqq .  A Hadith Qudsi states, “I was a secret treasure, I had wished that I was known”. The hadith must be understood to mean: “Haqq loved you and wanted to create you.”



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