Let us renew our Shahadat saying, Ashadu an-la illaha il Allah, ve Ashadu anna Muhammadan Abdu ve Rasuluhu Salallahu Ta’ala Alayhi ve ala Alihi ve Sahbihi ve Sallim.
With the Shahadat we have entered again into a new faith. We enter again into a new life. We enter into a new mercy of Allah swt, that He has given to everyone, that He has given to every single person of this ummat. Not to chosen people, not to chosen nations, not to the blacks, not to the yellows, not to the browns. To everyone. Not only to the Christians or Jews or Muslims. To everyone.
He has given this mercy to everyone. When they recite the Shahadat, they enter into a new life that will bring them beyond this fake life, into a real life. And we are thanking our Lord, Allah swt, for giving us that Shahadat, for giving us the nikmat of that Shahadat and the Sharaf, the honour of that Shahadat.
That is the Shahadat of the Prophets that He has given to this ummat. That every time when you feel tired, every time you feel unclean, every time fear comes into your heart, every time you feel depress, say the Shahadat and believe in the Shahadat, that you have one Allah, you have one Prophet, and we believe in them, and live according to that Shahadat. That time, you will feel the strength coming to you. The strength of the faith that will help you to overcome this world and bring you into the next world, into the next Hereafter life, into the everlasting eternity, in safety and in the company of those ones who loves Allah and His Prophet (asws). So we have this.
21st century Muslims, 21st century Mureeds, we must wake up. 21st century muslims thinking that they are so advance, thinking that with all these technology, which is not advance technology by the way, what kind of advance technology, what kind of civilisation is turning this world into a hell? That’s not civilisation. That’s not technology. That’s not advancement. That’s barbarism! That is oppression, and that is cruelty.
But let’s say, because of this material advancement, let’s just say that for the sake of argument, with all this material advancement, with all these technology, with all these education, learning how to read and how to write, with all these huge numbers, with all the resources, with all the money, with all the military, with all the backing of different regimes, whether those supporting America or those supporting Russia, 21st century muslims are finding themselves sinking lower and lower. Why is that?
Sinking lower and lower into that sinkhole from individual to community, to nations, why is this happening if we are advancing? If we have everything, why is this happening?
The one who says that it is not happening, must be the most ignorant, and the most thick headed and stubborn one. This ummat is not advancing forward. It is sinking into sinkholes, disappearing. Why is that?
Because the foundation is missing, that is why, because there is no foundation. There is no firm foothold. There is nothing that you are standing on, that we are standing on, that the 21st century Muslims, they are standing on that is firm and solid. That’s why, the earth is disappearing too. Turning into sinkholes and we are sinking in it. Say otherwise.
Say otherwise that Muslims are advancing. Spiritually, ahh.
And what is that foundation? Enough to say that what we began with the sohbet is the foundation. To say the Shahadat, it is the most important foundation. Ask yourself that. I’m asking myself, how many times a day we are renewing that Shahadat?
Not by tongue, not just by saying that, which even if you do, it’s good. It’s not a bad thing. If you take your tasbih and you say, ‘let me do today 100 times Shahadat.’ It’s still good. Just by the tongue, it’s still good, but I’m challenging people, how many times you are doing it, really? You are taking your tasbih and making 100 times Shahadat? Just to say the Shahadat?
If you are not doing that by the tongue, Allahu Alam if you are doing it by the heart. You think Shahadat is like what we say, today’s Christians they are saying, ‘Jesus saves you, you accept him one time, Jesus saves you and your life is supposed to be saved, your ahirat is supposed to be saved.’ One time?
Islam is a religion of maturity, responsibility. You have to be accountable for it. You are given something, yes, we are given the nikmat and the sharaf of the Shahadat, and our Iman, what are you doing with it? It’s given to us. Don’t think that we found this faith, we by ourselves, we found this faith, even if you come into Islam, don’t think that because of your researching and reading and talking you found this faith. Allah is the turner of hearts.
Don’t say that, ‘oh of course, of course, Allah is turning the heart.’ If it is of course, you must be saying that in the first place, ‘it is Allah who turns my heart to Him.’ And those who inherit the faith from their parents, do we have something to be proud of?
So many inherit the faith and some they inherit Tarikat. But you never sit down to look at the faith, and to look at the Tarikat. ‘What is it that I have? Am I making it to become better? Am I just leaving it alone? Or am I making it to become worse?’
21st century Muslims, not caring, saying Shahadat but not sitting down to examine, to understand what that Shahadat is. Because majority, majority I’m speaking, majority they are not believing in Zikr. Do you understand what that means? Majority of the Mesjids in America, they are not believing and allowing the Zikr of Allah in their Mesjids. They are the most tyrant of people. Allah has forbidden tyranny to Himself. Allah swt is saying, ‘and I forbid tyranny amongst My creatures. And who is more tyrant than that one who forbids the remembrance of Allah in His Mesjids.’ That is Ayatul Karima. Of course in these days, people get very impressed if we speak in Arabic and quotes from Ayat and Hadiths in pure Arabic, quoting from the books and volumes and these and that.
We are not that. We are not scholars. We are following Sheykh. We don’t do things to impress people. We are doing it to express what we learn and to try to make people to understand. If we are doing it just to impress people, we’ll just be impressed by what they call it, ‘bells and whistles.’ What kind of faith is that going to be?
Bells and whistles faith!
That’s what it is going to be. Show! But majority, they are forbidding the Zikr of Allah. If you are not sitting down to remember your Lord, to understand what ni’mat He has given you, to come closer to Him, to look at your Shahadat today, sit down today to look at your Shahadat, if you are not doing that, what kind of Muslim are you? How close are we then to Allah?
It doesn’t matter that time if you say that you are a Seyyid or a Sherif. It doesn’t matter if that time you say that your father is a Sheykh or a Wali. It doesn’t matter that time if you are an Arab or an Ajam. It doesn’t matter that time whether you say that, ‘my parents were Muslims’ or ‘I found Islam.’ If you are not examining your faith, if you are not examining where you are standing, what you are standing on, very easy these days they remove that ground, sinkholes appear, and you fall, because there is no firm foothold. And if you are really being sincere, you are going to sit down, and here, I’m speaking to people who are in Tarikat, I am speaking to Mureeds, then you are going to sit down, and you are going to understand that your faith is resting on the faith of your Sheykh.
That your faith is resting on your connections to those ones who are connected to Allah. It cannot be otherwise.
So think who is your Sheykh then, who is your Lord then. Whatever you are being busy with, you may answer that yourself. Whatever that you are concern with, you’ll find that. That time, you cannot be insincere. Although you say with your tongue the Shahadat, but in your heart you are being busy with other than Allah and His Prophet, other than those who brings you to Allah and His Prophet, then that time that is the Illah that you have inside of your heart that you have to get rid of.
Take care of the foundation. These are not the days to be busy with other than the foundation. The more you are going to be busy with other things, the less attention you are paying to the foundation, it may look like it’s very strong, but if you are not testing it, if you are not stepping on your foundation and trying to shake your foundation, and testing your foundation, one day, like I said, it’s just going to disappear. Like so many areas in the world right now, sinkholes appear and towns are disappearing into it.
May Allah not make us to disappear. Rest on the faith of those who are close to Allah, on your Sheykh. Keep them close. You forget them, be careful. May Allah not make us to forget them.
These words, first they are for me and for those who wants to listen. Those who are saying, ‘this doesn’t fit to me’, it doesn’t fit to you, then leave it. It’s okay. I will take it. It is a reminder first to me and for those who are listening, InsyaAllah ar-Rahman. We may speak until next year about this Shahadat. We may speak until next year about what we are witnessing.
What are we witnessing? Isn’t that what Shahadat is. I bear witness. You bear witness that there is one Allah.
InsyaAllah may we bear witness that there is only one Allah, that this words will become an experience, a reality for us, ‘La ilaha illallah.’ Get rid of other Illahs except for Allah. That time we may witness Allah.
Wa minAllahu Taufiq
Sohbet by Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
February 20, 2014