Question : Should we give more importance to working in the kitchen to prepare iftar for the people fasting or to sit and read Quran? Which form of worship, reciting Quran, nawafil prayers or making zikr will make us invoke the mercy of Allah and help to be forgiven?
It depends on who you are. If you are a man, you are a husband and you are a father, what are you doing in the kitchen cooking so much? Why the women they are not doing it? Women should be doing it. If you are a woman, then people are coming to break their fast and to have Iftar, shouldn’t you be making and preparing this instead of sitting and making zikr and reading Quran?
If you’ve already cooked, then you can make zikr and read Quran. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean now every night Iftar, you have to make a banquet, you have to prepare ten, twenty dishes to eat. You are cooking something, prepare something and sit and worship. It’s okay. It’s good. That time, especially for the women, so many other things that you do, it is a worship. Whatever that you do in the house for the sake of your husband especially, for the sake of your guest, to serve, that is a worship. The amount of worship that you do as a worship will not equal to the amount of blessings you get when you are doing a service.
We have nothing to say to this. We have accept it hundred percent because we belong to Tarikat. And this Osmanli Naksibendi Tarikat, we understand the importance of Hizmet. And Hizmet, Awliya Allah they are saying, is higher than ibadat. Because Hizmet becomes an ibadat too if you are doing it for the sake of Allah. But if you are sitting down and you are just reading Quran, masha’Allah, like a wali, and your husband is there and he is hungry, he’s bringing guest and you say, ‘no, I have to sit and I have to read Quran.’ It’s not too smart.
So many men, they know how to cook, of course they are going to help little bit here and there, yeah. But we are talking about main priority, main responsibility why it’s given to who? Why it’s given to you?
So for the mercy of Allah and to be forgiven, you may do anything that you want. You may read Quran, you may make zikr, you may offer nafilah ibadat, make a combination, it’s okay but what are we concentrating on always? One hour of meditation, it is better than seventy years of worship. Sohbets allow you to meditate. Sohbets make you to meditate. Listening to sohbet, you start making tafakkur, you start making a fikr, you start thinking and you start analyzing your life, you start putting two and two together. Tarikatanu Sohbet, that’s why the sohbet, it is the highest form of worship. Yes. Because now you are listening and you are thinking, you are putting two and two together. Not like a robot of course, or not sleeping. Then that time, Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, ‘one hour of meditation, it is better than seventy years of worship.’
If you think meditation is to sit and to imagine colors and Angels coming to you and your Sheykh, as a cartoon, coming and being one with you, I have no words to say to that. You can do whatever you want. But that is not our way taught to us by our Sheykh, taught to us by Sultanul Awliya, coming down fourteen hundred years. So, one hour of meditation is better than seventy years of worship. Yes.
No, we do everything else. We do the zikr, we do the nafilah ibadat, we read the Quran. But sit down and understand where you are? Where you want to go? What did we do for the sake of Allah today? What stop us from achieving that? How we let our ego to fool us today, how we are asking Allah for the next day for our ego not to fool us. And that is the time Allah swt will bless us and make it easy for us. Yes, and to listen to sohbet. Don’t forget that. Maybe you are making zikr, hours, but you are in ghaflet (heedlessness). But maybe, you are turning on Sheykh Effendi’s sohbet for five minutes, and it’s making you to really remember Allah and His prophet and what you have to do, and that is worth more than the hours of the ghaflet zikr of course. SelamAleykum.
Sheykh Lokman Effendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Sheykh Abd Kerim al-Kibrisi
Osmanli Dergahi (New York)
August 1, 2013