Question: How do I know if I’m being sincere and not making a show?
When you sit down and ask, ‘who am I doing it for?’ If you are doing it for Allah’s sake and you don’t care what other people think, then you are being sincere. If you are doing something for Allah’s sake but you are still worried what other people are doing, what other people are thinking, you are not being 100% sincere. If you are doing something for Allah’s sake and you don’t care what people think or they say, if you are doing something it doesn’t matter if there is a person or one thousand people around you, or you are alone.
Most importantly, this path of sincerity, don’t trust your own feelings or ideas. Because this path of being sincere had been laid out for over thousand years by the Prophet and by his inheritors. So look to see how they conduct sincerity. You understand?
Don’t go your own way. Maybe to you, you are sincere, but you are looking only one direction. Maybe if you start looking around, you will say, ‘Oh, this might be a problem.’ For example, it is good to make the Zikr, and Sheykh Effendi says, in our way, always have a tasbih in your hand. You are talking, you are spending time, you stop making zikr, you talk to people. Then you are reminded you have a tasbih in your hand, you start making the zikir again. Then you stop, you are making salawats, you stop, you talk, it continues now. What is your intention to make the zikr?
If you say, ‘Oh, what if people say, people think I’m being a show off. I don’t want them to think I’m being a show off. Let me keep this (tasbih).’ Then clearly, you are not doing it for Allah’s sake. Clearly you are more worried what people are thinking. That’s the time you are not being sincere. ‘What if people start to hate me and think that oh, I am holding this and people are going to think that I am showing off.’
Who cares! Look to yourself. Are you showing off?
‘No I’m not. But I don’t want to do that.’
Who cares what you want? That time step on your ego and you take that (tasbih) out. People give you a wrong eyes, whatever, that time do something, if your ego doesn’t like it , you are being sincere. If your ego likes it, you are doing it for your ego. You are not being sincere that time. You understand?
Just like some people, they want to make zikr but they say, ‘I don’t like. Public is going to look at me like this, or like this.’ Then we’ll say, ‘you know what, keep the tasbih.’ Cos that time you still want to hide, like a dirty dark secret, your remembrance to your Lord. But if you are taking out your tasbih and you find out that you only taking it out when there are other people around you, but privately you don’t take it out, then that time think twice. Understand? We are not telling people then also, don’t take out your tasbih. No. it’s okay. Take it out. InsyaAllah.
Sit down and be simple. Say, who you are pleasing? If you have a Sheykh, he will show you how to be sincere. Sincerity also is an ocean. It is not the shore. It is an ocean.
Salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
Hoja Lokman Effendi Hz, Khalifah of SahibulSaif Sheykh Abd Kerim Effendi QS, Osmanli Dergahı NY