An excerpt from The Teachings of a Perfect Master (2012)
There is a well-known poem attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi (though it cannot be traced to him). This poem was translated by me into Turkish before 1980, and then Master Kayhan and another master worked on it to produce an enhanced Sufic version.
This the Master would distribute to all visitors, saying that it was composed entirely of verses from the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet. Of a special prayer of the Prophet, he remarked ‘This is democracy’ more than once, and of St. Francis’ poem, he said the same thing many times.
The Master thought that this poem captured an essential aspect of religion, whether it be Christianity, Islam, or any other. He regarded it as the essence of democracy. In this he was fully in agreement with one of Francis’ most astute biographers, G. K. Chesterton, who called Francis ‘the world’s one quite sincere democrat’ and a ‘very genuine democrat.’ One might say that the Master’s uncanny discernment pierced through to the very heart of Francis’ thought as expressed in this poem.
The Master always used sources from within the Islamic tradition. This poem and Edouard Schuré’s text on Hermeticism were the only exceptions to this rule, so his use of them is evidence of the high regard in which he held both. (p. 23)Having posted the poem “Put your Trust in God” by Ibrahim Hakki of Erzurum, I could not fail to post this one as well.
My God, grant that we may sow peace wherever we go.
Let us be reconcilers and unifiers, not sowers of dissent.
Allow us to disseminate love where there is hate,
forgiveness where there is injury,
faith where there is doubt,
hope where there is despair,
light where there is darkness,
and joy where there is sorrow.
Help us to be not of those who see the failings of others,
but of those who hide them;
not of those who seek consolation,
but those who console;
not of those who wish to be understood,
but those who understand;
not of those who crave to be loved,
but those who love.
Grant that we may become like the rain,
which bestows life without discrimination wherever it flows;
like the sun, which enlightens all beings everywhere without distinction;
like the earth which, though everything steps on it,
withholds nothing and bestows its fruits on everyone;
like the night, which hides all shames from view.
Grant us the destiny to join the ranks of
those who give rather than receive,
those who are forgiven because they forgive,
those who are born in Truth, live in Truth, die in Truth;
and those who are born again in eternal life.
The revelation that came to Muhammad is reflected to us. It’s all Verse. It started with the Quran, it’s the Quran right to the end. Revelation. This is democracy, this is ethics. The Glorious Quran is democracy. What manifests from this writing is the Quran and the Traditions. There are meanings of Verses in it, the rest are all Sayings.
This is democracy! (pp. 73-75)