Woman: A Source Of Mercy
Woman was created a magnificent example of affection with respect to her inner faculties; affection is a part of her temperament and nature by creation. A woman of this pure nature—if not spoiled by mistaken interference—always thinks of affection, speaks of affection, sits and stands in affection, watches those around her in affection throughout her life, and offers glassfuls of affections to everybody. At the same time she suffers for them from within, due to her refinement and sincerity. She cares for everybody—her parents, siblings, friends, and all relatives—and, when the time comes, for her spouse and children. As she shares pleasure, delight, and joy, she blooms like a rose with sweet smiles for those around her. Upon seeing their grief and sorrow, she grows pale, withers, and groans with pain.
She wants to see beautiful things, and to be surrounded by beauty. However, she sometimes finds what she expects and sometimes does not. Sometimes the wind keeps blowing so harshly around her and shakes everything close to her heart. Then her heart cannot settle wherever she goes, she is constantly on pins and needles, and she breathes through tears from within. And at other times the beauties in her range of vision make her as joyful as a child and she fills those around her with cheer.
A woman who has found her match with respect to depth of soul and who has quenched her thirst with her children is no different than the women of Paradise, and the home structured around such a person is no different than the gardens of Paradise. And it is no wonder that her children, who grow up savoring affection in the shelter of this paradise, will be no different than heavenly beings. Indeed those who are fortunate enough to be raised in such an atmosphere of affection will live in a state of otherworldly joy as if they have been exalted to the heavens, inspiring high spirits all around through their smiles.
In such a home, even if they seem separate in the body, the soul that governs everybody and everything is one. And this soul, which always wells up from the woman and embraces the entire home, makes its presence felt like a spell or a spirit, and virtually guides them in certain directions. A blessed woman who has not restricted the potential of her heart and is open to spirituality is like the North Star in the family solar system; she retains her position and spins around herself, and all the other members of the family shape their stances around her, and march towards their aims in devotion to her. In fact, everybody else’s relation with the home is temporary, limited and relative. But a woman, whether she has other jobs or not, always stands up straight in the heart of her home and nourishes our feelings with affection, mercy, and love.
A woman who is totally oriented towards eternity in her thoughts and feelings, inspires our spirits with emotions that no other master or teacher can make us feel; she adorns our hearts with the most splendid inscription of the most wonderful meanings never to fade in time or be erased by anybody. Then, with the spiritual background she provides us, she presents to us priceless potential riches for our later life. In the presence of this perfect woman (insan al-kamila), we constantly sense the mercy, affection, and poetry of the worlds beyond pouring into our souls, and we always breathe with the joy of other worldliness deep inside.
To us, woman, particularly as a mother, is as deep as the heavens and is a blend of feelings and affections filling her heart like the numerous stars of the skies. She is always content with her share, whether it is bitter or sweet, at peace with her joys and sorrows, intimate with joy and concern, and closed to grudge and hatred. She, in a constant effort to revive and restore, is the purest core of humanity’s vicegerency of God, and the essence of human subtlety. Especially, a fortunate woman who has opened the doors of her heart to eternity through her belief and notion of infinity, holds such a brilliant position beyond imagination, such a magical point—which can be described as the unified realm of the physical and spiritual or body and soul—that the greatest titles or posts we could give her would look like flickering candles before her real merits, which shine like suns; such titles, which are based on superficial and unfair assumptions about her place, position, and qualities, overshadow her genuine worth.
Woman, in our world of thought and atlas of values is the most significant color of the phenomenon of creation, the most fruitful and magical component of humanity, a faultless projection of the beauties of paradise in homes, and the most reliable blessing for humanity’s existence and continuity. Prior to her creation, Prophet Adam was alone, the ecosystem was devoid of spirit, man was doomed to extinction; the home was merely a den, no different than a tree hollow, and man’s existence was confined to his own lifetime. With her, a second pole was formed, and the two poles became connected. Existence became enlivened with a new and different voice and vision; creation entered into the phase of completion, and the lone human turned into a species and became one of the most important elements of the universe. Thanks to her coming her spouse earned merits beyond all other values.
Although women, physiologically and psychologically, have a different nature and characteristics from men, that does not denote any superiority of man over woman or vice versa. We can think of woman and man as Nitrogen and Oxygen in the air; they are both vital in terms of their special roles and functions, and need one another to the same degree. Making comparisons between men and women is as absurd as contrasting the substances in the air, saying things like, “Nitrogen is more valuable,” or, “Oxygen is more beneficial.” In fact, man and woman are identical in terms of their creation and their mission in the world, and are like two different faces of the whole in mutual need of one another.
Indeed, God has created woman as partner to man, and not as anything else. Adam could not be without Eve, and Eve could not be without Adam. This very first couple, were entrusted with the important duty of being mirror and interpreter, both in the name of their Creator and on the part of the creation. They were like two bodies and a single soul and represented two different faces of one truth. In time, rough understandings and crude thinking have upset this balance; with that, both the harmony of the family and the social order were upset too.
As a matter of fact, as Ibn Farid put it, the beauty of woman and that of man was each a glimmer of the beauty of the Creator, the Most Beautiful. These two marvels of creation accepted each other as they were and supported one another, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder. This raised them to another level of beauty higher than the one they were already at. Approaches and ways outside the framework of their creation make them ugly and rough. Beauty and elegance are most meaningful with spiritual (as opposed to material) qualities, and a woman is regarded as a multi-dimensional mirror of the beauty of the manifestation of the divine. This potential might turn into a means of mischief if she dims herself with the darkest hues of human nature and narrows down her scope of duty of being a mirror by binding everything to physicality.
As long as woman is conscious of her inner depth and remains within the limits of her nature, she becomes such a bright mirror reflecting the beauties of the essence of the creation that those who look at her from a decent perspective and perceive her correctly free themselves from the darkness of physicality at once. And they ascend to the horizons of enjoyment of the divine beauties and sing in their hearts
Sun of the beauty of the pretty faces set down in the end;
I am the lover of the Everlasting Beauty and say, “I love not those that set.”
By M. Fethullah Gulen
 A part of the verse (6:76) from the Qur’an, in which the story of Prophet Abraham is narrated: “I love not those that set.”