Question: What am I supposed to focus on while making zikr and salawat?
A Sohbet means association. Now, when you are making a zikr, if it is a loud zikr, this is for everyone, if it is a loud zikr, you are going to be in association with the one who is performing the zikr, who is leading the zikr. Do not enter and push into visions and unusual things. It comes to you, it comes. Because the purpose of zikr is to remember Allah. The purpose of zikr is not to see unusual things, then that test, you would have failed. You understand? Allah is going to say, ‘you are remembering Me and you are being busy with this other ones?’
Maybe some things are opening up and you are pushing it away. Maybe some things is given to you and you say, ‘I’m giving it to my Sheykh. This is not for me. Everything is for him.’ That time they will raise your station higher and higher. That time, yes, Allah will remember you. But, you are not remembering Him because you are being busy with other things.
Salawat is easier, because in salawatul Sharif (asws), we may for example, focus on being in the presence of the Rauza e-Sharif. You may do that. But the zikr, like what we said, when it is a loud zikr or silent zikir with someone who is leading, be in the association of the one who is leading the zikr. Don’t be busy with other things. The one who is leading you will lead you. You don’t go off on your own. Get on the Jumbo jet and sit tightly. Obey the pilot. listen to him. He will take you somewhere. Don’t try to be the pilot. Don’t go up to the cockpit and try to take the steering saying, ‘I’m going to go here, I’m going to go there.’ Don’t take out your safety belt and opening the window because you see something unusual outside and you want to jump. All this will be very dangerous for you. You may be on the jumbo jet and you see something flying and say (to you), ‘come with us. Fly with us. You can fly with us.’ What are you going to do? If you fly with them, you are going to damage yourself and to others. But if you say, ‘No, my pilot is taking me somewhere. I trust him.’ That time, you will be in safety and you will rise up to different station. And if you don’t see anything, and you are still continuing making your zikr, silent or loud, doesn’t matter, and you are keeping the association, the focus, on the one who is leading, our Sheykh, then that time, he is just keeping certain things for you, when you are ready to see it.
Because so many they have come and they say, we see this and we see that. So we say, ok, very good, and? we see their lives don’t become better. They become worse. Next time we see their ego shooting up.
So what if you see? Is that our purpose, especially as Naksibendi?
We are here to learn submission. If they come and they offer you something, we say, ‘I cannot accept it without my Sheykh’s permission.’ And if they give it to you, you give it to your Sheykh. You don’t keep it for yourself. Because everything that is given to you comes with certain responsibilities, comes with certain trust. And it is very intelligent if you say, ‘let my Sheykh to carry this, not me.’ That time the Sheykh’s says, ‘giving him the blessings and the rewards without the responsibilities.’
But the ego says, ‘Oh, I want. I can do this, I can see this, I can…’ so if you concentrate and focus on your Sheykh, that time he will bring you to where he is. You don’t have to try to get the jumbo jet off the runaway. He is there and he is going. If you are not seeing or feeling anything but still you are focusing on him, that’s good. it’s better. That means also you are trusting and submitting in him.
All these zikir and salawat must make you to become a better person. If it’s making you to become more proud and more arrogant because you think you are somewhere, then it’s not coming from Haqq. It’s coming from Batil. This much is enough.
Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
September 27, 2014