What is a Sohbet?
Shaykh Nazim al Haqqani explains the meaning of sohbet.
The English language is often inadequate hen it comes to describing spiritual states of mind.
Sohbet, in Sufism, is a spiritual transaction between teacher and student which relies on ancient oral storytelling traditions and practices.
Mystical knowledge and Devotional Love is transmitted during Sohbet in such a way that it attempts to circumvent the knots of the rational mind and connect the hearts of the seekers.
Sohbet can be understood as a spiritual dialogue, a cleansing of the soul and a meeting of the hearts.
From the metaphysical to the very physical, Sohbets help us reflect on the events of our everyday lives and guide us in our search for a sense of unity and security.
The Sufis say: “There are three ways to relate to the Divine: One is Prayer, a step up from that is Meditation, and a step up from that is Sohbet.”
What Sufi mystics mean by sohbet is difficult to translate in English. Simply put, it means conversation of ‘a totally different nature’. It is conversation between friends of spirit and heart, it is a deep listening and transmission of heart as well.
Everything in the created cosmos is also in ceaseless conversation, in endless symbiosis and those with attuned ears of the inner heart are able to listen to them.
True sohbets are so powerful that it can bring a much deeper realization in short space of time, than years of prayers or meditation alone.
On meditation being a step up from prayer, Prophet Muhammad said, “One hour’s meditation on the work of the Creator is better than seventy years of The prayer.”
The Sufi path values sohbet and thus listening deeply and directly from a sufi master / enlightened one is emphasized on the path. Sohbet carry the powerful seed of what Far Eastern spirituality calls ‘Satori’ or sudden enlightenment.
– Shaykh Nazim al Haqqani ق
The top photo is Shaykh Abdul Salam Shamsi, the oldest living student of Shaykh Abdullah Faiz Daghestani, who preceded Shaykh Nazim al Haqqani, who preceded Shaykh Mehmet Adil ar Rabbani