An Exploration of Sacred Parenting and Education


In Mevlevi Tradition on April 8, 2012 at 9:59 am

Once a boy asked his father “Dad what is a dervish”? Father replied “let me show you”. He took a sheep and sacrificed it. He put the body in a bag and gave it to his son. He said “take this to Uncle Abdallah. Tell him there’s been an accident and we need to get rid of this body”. So the son took bag to Uncle Abdallah’s house, knocked on the door and said “my father sent you this bag. There’s been an accident and we need to get rid of this body”. Uncle Abdallah handed the boy some money and said “take it to so and so – he will arrange a burial”. So the boy went back to his father and explained what had happened. His father said ‘Now take the bag to a man called Asad. He’s an old friend of mine – we had an argument and haven’t been talking for a number of years. So boy went to uncle Asad’s house knocked on the door and said the same thing. Asad took the bag from him and said “get out of here, I don’t want to see you around here again”. The boy went back and told this to his father. His father said “this my son is a dervish”.

One of the first stories told to me by my Dede. A friend called last night and felt like meeting up. He was willing to drive for a few hours just be together. With him I experience a mutual respect and mirroring. When we meet there is a sobriety under which lies a deep love, respect and acknowledgment for each other. Another friend who exuberates a lot of joy and enthusiasm on meeting by wanting to hug again and again, turns his back at the slightest upset. It reminds me of the friendships the Prophet pbuh had with his companions. It was more then just knowing each other for social reasons and self serving purposes. They were willing to go all the way for each other. The relationship of friendship modeled by the Prophet pbuh and Abu Bakr brings my heart to its knees every time I reflect on it. It was while they were in the cave on their way to Medinah, hiding from those out to kill them, that it was mentioned in the Qur’an: “He said to his friend, grieve not for verily Allah is with us.” [9: 40] and also, “What do you think of two when God is their Third?” [57: 5].

When the Divine is at the center of a relationship, I feel it gives space for our hearts to open and extend ourselves beyond ourselves. One of God’s names is al-Wali, The Friend. Maybe we’re just mirroring that Divine quality in such a relationship. True friends, for me, are rare. They are invaluable. They’re given to us by Life at just the right time. They’re the ones who will continue to remember us after we will pass into the Unseen or we will remember them should they go first. Companionship with such friends makes this journey of life an invaluable experience.

  1. Ah, to recognise such a friend is a true gift. In order to find that friend is to be one yourself 🙂

  2. There are so many points to touch on in your post above! A summarisation of your beautiful topic on friendship…

    True friendship transcends personal likes or dislikes. A friend willingly go beyond their comfort zones to meet the needs of others either through their simple presence or an offering of kind gestures with no demands that their affections be returned.

    Thank you.

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