Author(s): Bekir KÖLE

The metaphorical/figurative expression method which is used in the main sources of Islam, the Quran and the Sunnah, is also widely used in Sufism which is highlighted with its internal structure and one of inward Islamic sciences. Sufis had the opportunity to more effectively transfer abstract concepts especially part of divine truth and wisdom with this method. Also in this way, they have provided to reach their messages to wider audiences. One of the metaphors used in Sufi thought is the ship for the purpose as mentioned. The ship has been used often as a symbol of redemption and salvation. The name of Mawlana as a Sufi stands out as he give quite place to such metaphors in his works. In his Masnawî, he compares the walis/saints who have a significant impact in the development of an individual's spiritual to the ark and he compares the damaging public chat to the deluge. Again Mawlana compares the world to the sea and the human to the ship. The ship needs to water/the sea to swim. If the ship has holes, it sinks into the water. If not it easily floats on the water. Also the water makes the ship swim if it is under the ship, if it is in/enters the ship it makes the ship sink. Similarly, the people do not get harmed from worldy goods which do not occupy their hearts. Otherwise, they allow the earth make their inner world sink. Mawlana, elsewhere compares all the bodies of people to the ships which are floating in the sea together. However,he indicates that some people are blind and vessels bump into each other. When Mawlana describes the making holes to the ship of Khidr in the Quran, he says it appers damaging the ship but in fact he expresses it is stability a thousand times and he evaluates the ship as a metaphor here. Mawlana in many similar examples reveals the dangerous points when the human will face in the process of spiritual evolution by using metaphors in a concrete form. Therefore, Mawlana’s messages that he wants to give to mankind in Masnawî has been dealt by the metaphor of the ship in this article.


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