Question: How can we celebrate the birth of our Prophet (asws) because it’s the birth of our Prophet (asws), not because of the food and enjoyment ?
Come to the Dergah and see how we celebrate the birth of our Prophet (asws). Yes, I have not witness too many or experience too many of Maulids, that they are having a Maulid because of the food and the enjoyment. Alhamdulillah, with our Sheykh’s blessing, we are conducting the Maulid here properly.
It is not about the food and the enjoyment. It is about the food, if you are inviting poor people to come to give, because that is a sunnah; that you have to feed. If you are sitting there and you are enjoying, and reliving and re-experiencing the birth of the Holy Prophet (asws), that’s okay. The Maulid is not a time for you to be sad or for you to be so serious or for you to be dead. I’ve been to some, that’s what it is, the Maulid becomes that because there is no sohbet. You are coming in, you are singing some Naats, everyone is looking down like this (Hoja putting his head down), singing, singing and so sad, then they rush to eat the food, isn’t it? They rush to eat the food. Rushing. Getting very upset, (saying to themselves), ‘this one is still singing a long Naat, food has arrived! I can smell the biryani already calling me. What is this person going to say? Men to go first or women to go first? Haa, this one is trying to boost the women so he’s going to say to the women to go first…..’ what kind of Maulid is that? But people have different style. You can continue with your style. I’m not going to interfere too much. It’s not our style.
You celebrate the Maulid of the Prophet (asws) everyday. Not one time a year. Everyday. You must praise the Prophet everyday. Because Allah and His angels, They praise the Prophet. It is in the Quran. Can we put a time and a place to Allah? So you think Allah’s praises has a beginning and an end, when He says, ‘Allah and His angels shower blessings on that Prophet.’ And He is continuing in that ayat, ‘O you who believe…’ He didn’t say, Muslims. He didn’t say, Man. He says, ‘O you who believe…’ If you really believe, then you are going to praise him. You are going to hold him high.
The way that we are doing it, ahh, we make zikr, yes, we may read some Maulid, we may even do some Naats, but it’s not going to be balance. Important thing, there has to be a sohbet. If there’s no association, there’s no real life there. Everyone just coming doing whatever they want, and then leaving. When there’s authority and when there is sohbet, when there is a Sheykh that is there, then you know how to conduct it with good edep.
Edep, very important. I have seen people who comes for Maulid, they don’t even care how they look. But if you say (to them) that you have been invited to go to the mayor’s office, because the mayor wants to have breakfast with you, they buy new suit. But suddenly when it comes to Islam, they say, ‘no, no. just modest..’ meaning they don’t dress up for the Prophet. I have seen people coming to make the Ziyaret of the beard of the Holy Prophet (asws), coming in jeans and T-shirt. Why is that? Would you visit your President in jeans and T-shirt? Definitely Holy Prophet is higher than the President. And there are ways that Allah says, ‘dress like this I will love you more.’ This is part of the edep. How are you going to learn edep if you are not going to be around the people of edep. If you read, it’s just going to come through your right ear and go out through your left. That’s all.
So, come and witness a little bit, InsyaAllah. It’s okay. I’m hearing sometimes they have very big maulid, mega maulid they are having where everyone is having stadiums filled with praising the Prophet. It is good, but we need to go one step further than that. And then what happens? You go and you sing Naat, then what happens? Is your life still going to continue the same way? You shouldn’t. What are you taking then, from that maulid? What are you taking from the praises? What are you taking from the Seerah, the history of the Prophet (asws)? Are you taking it into your life? Are you trying to change? are the Sheykhs or the Imam really making that connection with what is happening now collectively or individually with what has happened then 1400 years ago so it shines a light to our existence, our lives, and how to change our lives according to how Allah wants it? or it becomes a ritual too whereby people coming listen to people sing, eating and then going back home.
Anything can become a ritual when you are not filling it with the spirit, when you are not questioning yourself, ‘why am I doing this? What am I getting out of this?’ And checking yourself again. Why we need to check ourselves again? Because Allah order us to say, ‘Ihdinas Sirat Al Mustaqim.’ Isn’t it? Guide us to the straight path. We are already muslims. People may say, ‘you are already in the straight path.’ But why in surahtul Fatiha that we are saying, if you had put all the sunnats and everything, ‘Ihdinas Sirat al Mustaqim.’? We have to say that forty times. Because we go on the sirat that is straight, we fall off a little bit, we need to be guided back to the straight path, we fall off a little bit, we need to go back again. This is our condition. So, we need to be reminded.
May Allah forgive me and bless you. Fatiha.
Hoja Lokman Effendi Hz, Khalifah of SahibulSaif Sheykh Abd Kerim Effendi QS, Osmanli Dergahı NY
November 21, 2014