Question: I’m a humble murid about to go on Umrah soon. What would you advise me to do?
Get on the plane and go. And go with the intention that you are not going to return. Go with the intention that you are going there to die. Don’t make any plans.
You are supposed to do that for your Hajj. But so many I’m watching, they already make plans what to do after they come back from Hajj. Go there as a guest of Allah. Don’t go there as a guest of a Five Star hotel. Or the guest of this pirate regimes, or the guest of capitalism, because it has become like that, Mecca and Medina, isn’t it? It’s worse than Times Square.
It’s worse than Times Square. Times Square is supposed to be Times Square. There’s nothing wrong with Times Square because Times Square doesn’t try to be something else. It is supposed to be the centre of capitalism; buying and selling, looking around, flashing lights, so many Ilahs around. But Kaba is suffering right now. The Kaba is very very very much in pain right now. Just as it was in pain when the Holy Prophet (asws) before he was born. And it rejoiced when the Prophet was born because it says, ‘now, I’m going to be clean again.’
Now the Kaba is very dirty. It is surrounded by every kind of dirtiness. Surrounded by a dirty regime. Surrounded by dirty capitalism. Surrounded by different ilahs that are around the people who go there. One minute they are looking at the Kaba, next minute they change their Qibla, and they look, ‘Oh, shopping here, eating here, nice hotel there.’ And the Kaba is suffering right now and praying to Allah to hasten the coming of Hz Mahdi (as), the grandson of the Holy Prophet (asws) who is going to come and to clean it up again. Worse than the first jahiliyyah.
So, go to the umrah as a guest of Allah. Don’t go there as a guest of consumerism. Don’t go there expecting luxuries. The Umrah and the Hajj is supposed to be a rehearsal for the death that’s why you are wearing the Ihram. It’s your shroud, your funeral shroud. You are assembling together like that, it is a reminder and a rehearsal for the assembling during the Judgment Day in the field of Mahsyar. And what are you doing there anyway? What are you going to pray for there, anyway?
How many are really going there not asking anything from Allah, dunya, just asking from Allah for forgiveness and to become closer to Him and His beloved ones? Or how many are going there in the name of Islam, they are falling into superstition too. Going there, praying for dunya. That Allah swt is saying, ‘I don’t give value to a dunya, as much value as I give to a wing of a mosquito.’ A mosquito has four wings, Allah does not give value of this whole world with everything in it, as much as He gives value to one wing of a mosquito. And so called Muslims, believers, are going there, opening their hands in front of the Kaba asking for the dunya. As if the Muslims are living in the worst of times in the matters of dunya right now. We are living in the best of times in the matter of dunya right now. I’m not talking about political oppression here and there, I’m talking about how much the ummat has of this dunya. Never we had that much wealth, and in reality, we are supposed to get more too. But those sheytans, they are holding our rights of oil and everything and not giving too. It’s supposed to be shared to the whole ummat. But they are keeping it, and being buddies with those other ones. So now, what is the reasons that we are going there?
Let me tell you a story. Sheykh Effendi himself said this. One time, he went to the Hajj, He went to the Hajj several times, and he was sitting in front of the Kaba, because just to look at the Kaba too, it is a worship. Just to look at the Kaba. That’s why Muslims, they have pictures of the Kaba in the house because just to look at it is considered a worship. Just to look at ayats, you get blessings and it’s considered worship. You don’t have to know how to read it too so much, because there is light there, it’s going to give it to you. And you have respect. So many they know how to read the Quran, they don’t have respect. They don’t have respect, especially these Arabs, again I’m hitting the Arabs. You see them in the Haramain, the feet pointing to the Kaba, opening the Quran and reading or lying down and reading Quran e-Kerim, the words of Allah swt. What do you think? That is a magazine? Foolish ones!
Everyone going back to their Jahil identity. That’s what happen when you left the Ottomans, you go back to your Jahiliyyah identity. They spent millions to preserve their jahiliyyah archaeology and heritage, but they are destroying whatever Holy Prophet, Sahaba- e-Kiram and AwliyaAllah, they brought. They found one wall that belongs to a king before the Prophet came, that he is a musyrik. They got very excited, they keep everything. But they are destroying everything that the Prophet came and built. They burnt the date trees that himself, he planted. This is not the work of human, of course. This is the work of sheytan.
So, Sheykh Effendi was sitting in front of the Kaba, and he was looking, and Sheykh Effendi is saying: to look at the Kaba, it is worship. To look at the shape of the Kubah, to look at Medina e-Sherif, it is a worship.
‘Oh, you cannot say it is a worship, this is shirk.’
Who do you think is looking there? Who is looking? Who?
Allah. Isn’t Allah always looking at His Holy Prophet (asws)? So, if we look to where Allah is looking, that is a Shirk? Only sheytan is saying that.
Then what about those ones, the Kaba is a stone, what about those ones that become beloved to Allah. What about looking at them now? The Kaba is a stone, what about that Hz Insan, what about that Insan e-Kamil, that perfect man, that he has sacrificed everything and he has lost in the Ocean of his Prophet and his Lord, that Allah is looking at him. What happens when we look at them now? And people are wondering why we have pictures of our Sheykh. This shows you have foolishness. Unintelligence only, that you should be lost in your foolishness. Don’t come around those ones that are trying to believe.
Sheykh Effendi was sitting and making zikr, and he brought a few people with him. They were not his murids, they were murids of other Sheykhs. They were making a zikr. Then he looked at this man, this man is crying and Sheykh Effendi was very impressed, he was very moved. He was like, ‘subhanaAllah. What kind of love he has for his Lord now?’ He’s asking, ‘I wish I have that kind of love,’ he’s saying. Something came to his heart and he said, after the man has finished worshiping and crying so much, he’s saying, and the irony, the funny thing about this, that one’s name is the servant of the One who Provides, the servant of the Provider. Sheykh Effendi asked him and he says ‘Sheykh, I was asking Allah to help me.’
Sheykh said, ‘huh?’
‘because I don’t have too much time.’
‘because I have a lot of responsibility to my Lord.’
‘I have three children and I only have three million. What about my wife? I need to earn another million for her. So that’s why I ask Allah, that I can make another million to give to her.’
It’s like going to the presence of a King, and the King says, ‘take anything from my Kingdom. Take anything that you see.’ And that one is saying, ‘I want twenty pieces of silver.’ Even if you say, I want the whole Palace, even if you say, I want your throne, you still fail. If he says what do you want? This is a story that really happens. The Sultan was explaining why his favourite is his favourite. All the other wazir they are jealous of him. And that one when the question was put, that one did not say, I want gold, or women, or land, or nothing. He grabbed the Sultan’s hand. And he says, ‘I want you.’ Because with the Sultan comes everything.
We want Allah. We want our Sheykh. Ask for that and be sincere. Because that comes with some work too. That comes with some hardship too. Huh, we talk today about love. Love is something, being emotional is something else. Love is something, being emotional is something else. Don’t confuse between the two things. Especially in these days, everyone is talking about love. Every movie is about love, every song is about love, especially Bollywood, everyone talking about Pyar, Pyar, heart. Talking about love. Hollywood is talking about love. Bollywood is talking about love. Songs talking about love. Books talking about love. Everyone talking about love, that if an Alien comes into this world, he’ll think, ‘SubhanaAllah (of course it is going to say SubhanaAllah) this is a planet of love.’ But if he enters only five minutes, he knows this is a planet of Hell! It’s the opposite of the love. We have turned this planet into a living hell.
So we are talking about that, always remember now, in Islam, love comes with hardship. If you are not prepared for hardship, don’t ask for that love. If you ask for that love and hardship comes to you don’t complain, that love may be taken away and all you are going to get, is hardship. There’s going to be burden that you have to carry and it’s going to be specific to you. Maybe you can give everything that you own to the one that you love. Say, you belong to this Tarikat and you say that you love Sheykh Effendi and you say, ‘take everything. Take my car, take my house, take my credit cards.’ It’s showing also what is of value to 21st century Muslims. The most valuable things to them is car, credit cards, houses, isn’t it? In the old days, they don’t say, ‘may my car be sacrificed to you. May my job, may my house, da, da, da.’ They say, ‘may my father and mother. May my children.’
Say you want to sacrifice everything too, and you sacrifice everything. But maybe that’s easy for you. But they are going to test you on your weakest point. Maybe you can give everything, but you cannot spend it if someone says to you, ‘Donkey!’ Maybe you can give everything, but your blood will boil if you give selams to someone and that someone just turned his face. You can give everything but you have such jealousy in your heart that you cannot control it. They are going to test you through those weak points. It’s the weak point that is going to destroy us. It’s not the strong points. Sheytan is going to go to the weak point.
This (Dergah) is the place where the weak points are going to be exposed, if you haven’t realised it. They are going to expose it. They are going to open it up. Some say, ‘Oh, please. Please be gentle. Be nice.’ Believe me, we have been. But when someone is dying, there’s no more gentleness. When the ship is about to go down, you don’t say, ‘BsimillahirRahmanirRahim, SelamAleykum. Brothers and Sisters, Alhamdulillah, InsyaAllah ar-Rahman, we are all now going to go into the life boat. And by the grace of Allah, we will find safety.’ No! we don’t even give selams at that time. You’ll say, ‘Get Out!’ Isn’t it? That fits into the situation.If you are so concern with the form, this is what’s going to happen. Meanwhile the ship is sinking.
But you will understand our style. Sheykh Effendi’s style. InsyaAllah. May Allah bless him and raise his station. May he always lead us and keep us. InsyaAllah. May our work be accepted to him. We are feeling shy and shame to sit where he is sitting. Feeling shy and shame to speak the words that he is speaking. But what can we do.
Last few months before Sheykh Effendi was veiled, he used to send me to Passaic. Passaic is the Zikr place in New Jersey that we go to every Friday. For a long time Sheykh Effendi didn’t bring me to Passaic. Years maybe. Friday nights. Then last few months, he used to send me. He said, ‘go. I don’t know if I’m going to come.’ Or, ‘I’m not coming. Go.’ I would go. I would sit on the floor. I would speak. He says, ‘go, make Zikr, whatever.’
So I will speak. Make some sohbet. Make some zikr. Ask medet from him and speak. Nine out of ten times, he would come. He would, I’m not going to say sneak in, a Sheykh doesn’t sneak in. He puts ‘invisibility cloak’ like that, when I’m speaking or something, then quietly he will signal a couple of people, very quietly. Because when the Sheykh enters, the air changes. The feeling changes. If your heart is open, you are going to know. That means your heart is working.
So then, after a certain while, I know that he would come, so I’m always prepared. I’m always speaking and looking around and sensing everything and everyone. Because if somebody moves a different way, I know, ‘oh, Sheykh Effendi is here.’ So he will put invisibility on everyone too. He used too, so that everyone is like relax. He would come in. And it (at Passaic) is divided between the men and the women part. This is women, this is men. Men facing Sheykh Effendi and women facing Sheykh Effendi, so they are not facing each other, they are not looking. Sheykh Effendi would come and sit in the women’s area. He will sit down and listen to my sohbet.
When I know that he is there for certain, and to tell you the truth, so many times I know that he is there, I would not talk. I’ll be speaking for one hour maybe but I know that he’s there because I sense it, and I say, ‘insyaAllah, may we be good ones. Astarghfirullah. Wa minaAllahu Taufiq. Fatiha.’ Because it is so difficult. It’s very difficult. How you are going to speak when your Sheykh is there? Even when he tells you, ‘speak,’ how are you going to?
I remember the first time he told me to speak, that was at the Prayer Vigil and literally I had to fight with myself. I have to put everything down and I said, ‘I don’t care. I’m just going to speak.’ You have to have that kind of courage to speak. But this was different. This was when he surprised me. Then when I speak, sometimes I speak and I don’t want to say anything that he hasn’t said. But sometimes he makes me to open certain things up. I don’t want to do that too.
One time, I give waaz, I picked one sohbet from Sheykh Maulana that is a little bit heavy. Later on, after the Jumma, somebody asked a question, ‘what did Sheykh Maulana say this, this and this.’ It’s a high spiritual sohbet. And Sheykh Effendi says, ‘who is saying that?’ And he said, ‘we heard it in the waaz.’ He didn’t even look at me. He says, ‘huh! mashaAllah, such spiritual sohbet people are giving these days.’ I could sit there and say, ‘what do you mean? It’s not my fault, it’s Sheykh Maulana’s words.’ I just kept quiet and it’s true. Astarghfirullah.
So he will sneak, not sneak in, he will come quietly and he will sit. But sometimes, I completely would not know that he is there. I would speak then after everything is over, because he is still with the women then they would tell me Sheykh Effendi was here. He was here the whole time. That’s the time when my courage drop. I was like, ‘what did I do? Argh.’ I’m saying that because he is listening to us now. And sometimes I have to pretend that he is not listening, to be able to speak. If I know that he’s listening, I won’t be able to speak. Then every word that comes out of my mouth, to me I’m saying it is a lie, it is untrue, it is not Haqq. Based on me. So, may he guide us. InsyaAllah. That much is enough. SelamAleykum.
Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
January 2, 2015