Question : We heard Shaykh Effendi call the television a shaytaan box. I am a television addict and do not think I can survive without watching television, but at the same time I am trying my best to obey his order. What should I do?
One person one time came to Sheykh Effendi and said, ‘Sheykh, I want to stop smoking but I cannot. I cannot stop myself.’
Sheykh Effendi says, ‘Really?’
Sheykh ask, ‘how many cigarettes you smoke one day?’
‘How many you smoke?’
‘I smoke almost close to forty.’
‘From now on you are going to smoke eighty cigarettes a day. And the next day you are going to smoke ninety cigarettes and the next day you are going to smoke a hundred cigarettes a day. That’s what you are going to do. See if you are still addicted to it or not.’
Of course this is for believers and people with understanding, people with intelligence. This is not for people who are calculating and doing this and saying, Ahh…! Because Tarikat is not for that.
Did that man then the next day smoke eighty cigarettes?
Only the most foolish ones, only the most minded ones that is crooked, they are going to do that. The idea is you still have not found the dirtiness of this dunya huh?
Then prepare yourself for the time where they are going to take your head and they are going to bash it against the wall of this dunya. Then that time you are going to get sick of it. Until you get sick of it, then continue. But whatever that you are going to continue, you have to pay for it. Nothing is free. If you think everything is free, you think you can do whatever you want because you feel like it and you cannot stop yourself then go into a Mac Donald, get a cup of coffee and then leave without paying. Say, ‘I feel like it. I cannot help myself. I love coffee.’ You just walk out without paying anything. They are going to bring the police to you. They are going to handcuff you, they are going to bring you to the police station for one cup of coffee.
Now Allah swt has given us everything, and He has blessed you with following Sheykh Effendi and He has blessed you with proximity, like this or like that, with the Jama’at. Proximity, nearness to the jama’at, doesn’t just mean physically you are near. Nowadays, everyone knows how to pick up the phone. Everyone knows how to twitter each other. Everyone knows how to message, text each other. You are doing that with all your sheytan friends but you are not doing it with people from the Dergah. Very few, I can count, maybe on my finger, how many people they are texting, ‘selamAleykum, send my selams to all the Ikhwans and Hoja Effendi.’
I doubt it.
If you are, you are going to find support now reaching to you. Because yes, that box, it is a sheytan box.
And if you are following SahibulSaif and if you are not trying, if you are not stepping on your ego, then you are not going to get too much benefit. Then maybe we are going to say that you should go to other jama’at.
Other Jama’at they’ll say, ‘don’t worry about it. This is crazy. Watch as much T.V as you want.’
Maybe you like that. But it is not. That is still a Sheytan box.
What can you do?
First, you have to believe. You have to believe that that is a sheytan box. Are you believing in that?
No you are not.
You have to believe that it is. You have to look and you have to find reasons why it is sheytan. This is sheytan, this is sheytan and this is sheytan. What is that that’s interesting on TV anyway, that you are watching? American Idol?
If it’s not American singing show, it’s dancing show. Isn’t it? Dancing with the moon, they say. If it’s not that, what else? Other reality, fake reality show. It’s all complete sewer!
You like that?
Be my guest. Watch 24hrs. Strap yourself to that. Better, make yourself a box, put your head in a box, and only in front of you is the television. Don’t eat, don’t sleep, don’t drink. Just watch the television. Then maybe that will get you out of the system.
What is that that is good?
This is when you use your free will. People use their free will to become disobedient. People use their free will to become arrogant and stubborn. That’s the time they’ll say, ‘No, I’m Me.’
But they don’t use their free will to step on their ego. They don’t use their free will to fight against the sheytan and their desires. They don’t use their will to fight against to this world. When it comes to all the enemies, ‘I have no will. I submit.’ Full submission. But when it comes to the Laws of Allah, then you put your will saying, ‘I have difficulty here, difficulty there, difficulty here….’
You have to believe that that is poison.
Number two, you have to know that when you take the television out, what are you going to fill your life with?
So many communities, you know the highly Orthodox Jews? The Orthodox Jews, they make television haram to their community. Not only television, radio too. And Their kids, by the time they are teenagers, they have finished everything up till college level, majority of them. So you take out the television, you have to fill it in with something. If you are not filling it in with Allah and His Prophet and the teachings of your Sheykh, that is just empty time, then what are you going to do?
You are going to be empty.
So insyaAllah ar-Rahman, may it be easy for you.
It’s pretty simple. Very simple. Exert your free will. What they say here to drugs?
Just say, ‘No.’
‘Yeah but its difficult….’
You don’t want to do it. First be honest, do you want to do it or you don’t want to do it? Then you are going to find groups of people who can help you. But if you go hang out with a group of people who are just TV addicts too, then what are you going to do?
So, it’s time we should wake up. Because when you die, in the grave, there’s no television. What are you going to do that time?
Once you watch that television, you stop thinking. There’s a reason why they call it programming. Programming you. If you understand the evil that is coming from the television, don’t even go to Tasawuff or Tarikat or spiritual understanding of the evil of television, even the people who has no religion they understand the evil of that television and if you are intelligent, you are going to understand, you are going to say NO, and you are going to put your will in it, you are going to ask your Sheykh for advice, for consultation, for himmet, for Medet, you are going to find a community, you are going to substitute your time spent in front of that idiot box.
It’s call idiot box, because it makes people into idiots. That, like I said before, the Orthodox Jews, they don’t do it, very rooted family in America too, high born family, they don’t even allow their children also to be watching the television. Because the mind, it makes it to turn into a mush.
So, as you like again. If you want to turn into a mush, go ahead but it’s not too good.
Hoja Lokman Efendi, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
June 13, 2013