Some of them have lost their God-given sense of shame (haya un nafs) in the milieu where they were brought up. Some of them missed any edification by their parents, and lost their sense of shame based on their faith (haya ud din) by being caught up in the rusty gears of politics.
Those were the ones not edified in “the school of right conduct” (mekteb-i edep) and who could not enter “the fortress of the heart.” (1)
Perhaps they were not even aware of the existence of such a fortress.
Since the humanness of a human being is relative to one’s sense of shame, without having a share in a sense of shame, they were deprived of humanness.
Long gone is the shame, long gone is the guilt.
To attest to Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) saying “if you feel no shame then do as you wish,” they did their worst and dried up all liveliness as if proving that shame (hayâ) and life (hayat) share much in common.

An unblushing face, tearless eyes are their only assets

“Knows neither the east nor the west, as uncouth as one can get,
An ublushing face, tearless eyes are their only assets.”

As Akif says, they were engaging in atrocities with daring and audacious faces. They were “ignorant and unjust,” and their ignorance and injustice bred their shamelessness. Chasing trivialities, they were far from creating value, and hence, they attempted to defeat others by degrading them to their own standards.
As indicated in the ayah, “When the hypocrites come to you, [O Muhammad], they say, ‘We testify that you are the Messenger of Allah.’ And Allah knows that you are His Messenger, and Allah testifies that the hypocrites are liars.” (2) They tell a truth engulfed in a lie.
Rumi wrote, “One who is deprived of good manners is not truly human / For the difference between humans and animals lies in mannerliness / Open your eyes and see that the Qur’an, the Word of God, is a book of sheer mannerliness.” If Rumi lived in this age, sharing the destiny of all exemplary human beings (insān al-Kāmil), he would also have been perceived as a threat, would have been discredited and defamed, asked to be kept in a dungeon, and it would be no surprise that his followers would be afflicted with great distress.

They were so out of their wits
They were so out of their wits that, there has never been a problem like consistency.
They were so out of their wits that, they did not see any harm in befriending their like.
Pitting wits against each other, they seemed quite content.
As for them, they were the best. While the world laughed at them, they belittled the world.
Dark they became with the dark, foul they grew with the foul, bigots they became with bigots, corrupted they became with the corrupt.
Offices and positions were given to robber barons, outlaws, brigands, and bandits.
They have managed to wipe away all sense of shame from the masses through corrupt politics.
They no longer had to hide themselves. They revealed their subconscious to be an overflowing cesspool. No wonder they were so repressed for years, no wonder how much they were filled with zeal and passion. How their minds were a pile of stinking garbage!
“This house is the house of Azer the Idolmaker / Should you count, there is an idol for every breath,” (3) says the poet, drawing our attention to the household where the Prophet Abraham was raised.
In this Age of Sufyan, every breath gets its share of, not one, but a thousand idols; arrogance and brazenness flow from the palace to the streets.

The assimilation of society
And finally, they succeeded. They have spread the virus they carried to a whole society and wafted the masses into a collective delirium.
The outrage pulled all its partisans into an equal shamelessness.
Nobody was ashamed of another, since they saw themselves through each other’s mirror.
There was a call “not to leave anyone behind” who still had some sort of shame.
Justice was such justice; security was such security; the academy was such an academy.
Not only did they wear the same checkered jacket, enjoying the liberty of shamelessness, they committed the same crimes.
Graves were dug up to take out the dead; they imprisoned babies with their mothers right after they had given birth; they harassed children; and they talked about reviving the economy by building new prisons.
Now, hypocrisy was the norm.

They memorized the Qur’an only to forget
The social structure of the Abbasid period gave birth to the avaricious and the tfaili (people who live off others). This societal disease is humorously portrayed by the poet Bunân the Glutton:
“I memorized the Qur’an from the beginning to the end, and then I forgot all of it except a few words that remained with me.” When asked “What are those few words?” Bunân had a ready answer: “Bring us our meal.”(4)
I think the AKP government will be remembered for its class of “the shameless and the hypocrites.”
These are the members of a deep-rooted faction who memorized the Qur’an and then forgot the parts that didn’t serve their purpose; a faction that “exchanged Allah’s ayat for a small price.”
After they are gone, all that remains will be a deep sense of shamefulness.
A legacy of shame brought on the rest of the society and its history by the shameless.
“The embarrassment of the long-gone sense of shame.”

[1] Alluding to Shaikh Galib’s imagery in Beauty and Love (Husn u Ask)
[2] 63:1
[3] Sabah Kara, Doğu Ağıtları
[4] 18:62

(September 15, 2017)

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