Sibgetullah Arwasi : An Awliya from Bitlis

He is one of the most important scholars of late Ottoman era and he is one of the students of Taha-i Hakkari. He passed away in the year of 1870 and his tomb is located in Gayda village of Hizan district in Bitlis.

With the influence of his father he started studying tafsir, hadith, and fiqh at early age and tried follow “sunnah” path as closely as possible since his early youth. His interested in tasawwuf was deepened when he started to serve as a student for Seyyid Muhyiddîn Efendy in the nearby city of Van. He engulfed himself to the concepts of riyazah and mujahada, which are two instruments for Taqwa, both related with Islamic tasawwuf. These two can be summed as “doing against your wills and wishes to tame your soul”.

After his teacher Seyyid Muhyiddin Efendy passed away, he became a student for Taha-i Hakkari, where he claims to find his real home and benefit from his teacher as if to find abundance of water after wandering in deserts for a long time. He reached the level of “Kemal”, the maturity during his courses with Taha-i Hakkari.

It is very common for “Sufis” to define themselves through the very “informal, inner education” they receive from their masters. Their teachers become like a landmark in their journey of time, indicating milestones of sheer importance.

After Taha-i Hakkari’s pass, he returned to his hometown to inform the public about every detail of Islamic studies.

He was very fond of “tafakkur” and he is rumored to sit down always facing Mecca, whenever he could. He spent most of his nights awake and standing up, praying.

It is narrated that himself and his students formed a special form of relationship, while communicating less verbally and more in thoughts, as if a silent, mutual understanding was common between himself and his students. Perhaps, the silent aurora around him provoked many inner reflections among his students rather than just “linguistic education”

However, Sibgetullah Arwasi was also very keen on “Sila-i Raheem”, which is to establish a firm bond between close and distant family members and relatives. He visited them whenever they needed something or sometimes just to engage in friendly conversation with then, since Prophet Muhammad(saw) stressed the importance of “family and relatives bond” very often.

Sometimes his students couldn’t interpret his silence during his “conversational meetings” and he replied them as “Those who don’t know how to benefit from our silence, wouldn’t know how to benefit from our words”.

Once, one of his students asked him, “Which holds more value? Divine Love or Ikhlas, the sincerity towards Allah(j.j)?

He replied, “They are both like bread and butter, water and meal. Without one, the way of tasawwuf will never be complete.”




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