Allah swt is saying, ‘O Believers, believe.’ Somebody was asking about why Allah swt created the winter time and what is it about the winter time that Allah swt has given.
Winter time, Alhamdulillah, syukur Alhamdulillah, the changing of the four seasons makes man, a believer, a thinking man, a thinking believer to discover so many things about his Lord, about himself. And Sheykh Effendi said, in the winter time, Allah swt puts a shroud; everything is covered in snow. Everything is white. Everything is put in a coffin and the whole world now, it looks as if it’s dead. And from that death, Allah then, with His power, raise everything back into life again.
With the passing of the four seasons, you understand, you must understand this world, it is not real, it is not permanent, because it always changes. Your life always changes. It is not going to be winter forever. It will change to spring. It is not going to be spring forever, it will change to the summer time. You are enjoying yourself in the summer time, it will change to fall. It will change. Things must change. Things will always change. In the changing, we understand how much closer we have to become to our Lord. Because without changing, we can never come close. Impossible. And in the winter time, the kind of Rahmat that falls to the believers is different. Completely different from the spring or the summer time.
The death comes in the winter time. It looks, everything is white. Everything is wrapped up in white, ready for death. Ready for burial, for the funeral. And from that death, Allah gives life. In the springtime, everything becomes green again with life. Everything becomes green. And in the calendar of Islam, the twelve months that follows the moon, it doesn’t follow the sun. The four seasons follow the sun, doesn’t follow the moon. Now you have the sun and the moon, it’s a balance.
Now with the moon that you are following, you live your life; you worship, you fast, you give zakat, you go to the Hajj, everything protecting the Shahadat but you live your life now, twenty years, thirty years, forty years, you will discover that Ramazan now moves. Maybe ten years ago, Ramazan was in the summer, but ten years later, it’s the winter. So the Ramazan then moves from the summer, to fall, to the winter. Then it’s going to move to the spring. And it’s going to move back to the summer. And you get the blessings and the secrets of fasting in these different times. The Rahmat that falls when you are fasting in the winter time is different when you are fasting in the summer time. You taste. There is a taste there.
And the winter time, you must, it must pull you closer. Because winter time is not so much to go out and to be busy with malayani. Summer time, everyone goes out in shorts. I used to live in Harlem, uhh, summer time there, nobody sleeps until three, four o’clock because it’s so hot sometimes. Everyone is there, half naked. Not only in Harlem, in everywhere else. I like to live there. I live there for over ten years. But winter time, you see all these brave people that like to show, suddenly you see them all covered up. Women who don’t wear hijab or head covering, suddenly they cover their head. They wear hat, they wear gloves. Very modest. I like it. Everyone is so quiet, Halim and Salim, because it’s too cold now. You know they don’t like cold too much. So cold. I like that.
So there is a different feeling there in the winter time. Winter time a man pulls back. He spends more time pulling himself back because the hours of the night, they are very long. What are you going to be busy with then in the winter time?
What Sheykh Effendi usually have, winter time, he gives sohbet, he has fasil, and we listened to so many Ilahis. He would sing the poems of the Saints, and different things coming. And every winter time when it snows, I’m always reminded of something that happened to Sheykh Effendi, years ago. That reminds me and it gives me hope and it gives me faith and it makes me to come closer to my Sheykh. And I’m trying to make it into a sunnah, every year, every winter time, I try to make it.
Sheykh Effendi Hazretleri, he is a very unusual man. He is like a giant among men. He is not only a Sultan, he is a Sultan over all Sultan. He has lived a life that one thousand men maybe they have lived. I’m not joking, the life experiences that he has. Forget about his spiritual experience, where spiritually, there’s only hundred and twenty four thousand Awliya Allah over seven billion. Seven billion. What percentage is that? It’s a very small percentage. He is a very unusual person. He is one of the most beloved Awliya Allah, friends that Allah swt has ever created, from the time of Adam (as) until Judgement Day. And Allah makes His friend to go through so much, to discover Him, through so many things. He has lived life that so many people, either they dream of or they read about or they see in movies. He has lived those lives. Because that is also the sunnat of the Prophets; they have to live and they have to experience a lot so that they can speak to the people according to their level.
There’s a difference between Saints and Scholars. Scholars have no experience. They don’t have life experience because they are always wrapped up with their faces in their books, whole day, whole night, years. They don’t really have life experience. Exception here and there. If you are busy living life, you won’t have time to study. Correct? If you are busy studying, you won’t have time living your life. That’s how it is.
But Sheykh Effendi, he was a Ghazi (warrior) before the age of twenty. He was sent here to represent Sheykh Maulana right away after that at the age of nineteen years old, to be his Khalifah, to pull people to Tarikat and to Islam. He has given Syahadat to thousands of people. Quietly. Not to make show, big show. Quietly. And he has life experience. He was working as a diplomat in the diplomatic office. He has worked as a restaurateur. He has worked as a truck driver. He has worked almost every work. And with every work comes a different experience, different people, different feeling, different secrets. And he sits and he thinks and he observed and he absorbed.
More you observe, Allah is saying, “think. You have to think. Why are you not thinking?” More you observe, that tafakkur, more you understand your Lord. And that is coming back to your question about winter time. The more man sits and think, ‘why my Lord is doing this?’ connecting yourself to that, and thinking, so many things will open up to you that time. You don’t have to read nothing because you are connecting to the Source and you are thinking. If you are reading and you are not thinking, you will not understand nothing. If you are observing and you are not thinking, you are not going to see anything. That’s why Allah is saying, ‘you must think. Why you are not thinking?’ This is for men of understanding.
So you must observe whatever work that you are going through. It will teach you about your Lord, it will teach you about yourself. The smallest occupation will teach you about your Lord. It will teach you about yourself. It will teach you about creation. Don’t look down on any occupation. And especially for young people, young men, young people, Sheykh Effendi is always saying, ‘be active. Be active. Run and work. Don’t sit.’ Because all of that knowledge of that working in this dunya is going to help you understanding your Lord and understanding creation.
So Sheykh Effendi, he worked. He had millions of dollars in his hand. One night, he lost everything, and He says, ‘Allah Kerim, He gives and He takes.’ He didn’t lose it like that through his own doing, of course. He trust it to someone and that someone just betrayed his trust. And Allah swt makes His friend to go through this too. So, one day, Sheykh Effendi he came to the point, at that time he had children, he had a family, where he’s been out of work for some time.
When he has money, of course Sheykh Effendi is given the name Abdul Kerim Hazretleri, he is very generous. Whatever he has, he gives. He doesn’t count. People coming, he gives. He just gives, he gives, he gives. Of course, when he is in trouble, nobody is there to help him. Nobody is there to say, ‘Oh, I took this loan from you, I’m seeing that you are in trouble right now, I’m going to give to you because I am in a good position.’ No. Nobody does that. That’s how Awliya Allah, their hearts are broken again and again and again.
So, he was out of work for some time and it was winter time just like this. And the only job he could find was to shovel snow with his own hands. And the person that has agreed to hire him, he was not liking Sheykh Effendi at all, not liking Islam or Tarikat and he was being very cruel to Sheykh Effendi because now Sheykh Effendi is in a position where he is in need of help. So, for a couple of dollars, understand this, Sheykh Effendi was doing this to feed his family. For a couple of dollars he was shovelling snow. And the whole night it was snowing and he shovelled and he shovelled and he shovelled. Whole night he was shovelling. Anyway, Sheykh Effendi does everything properly. I remember the first time I shovel snow here, and Sheykh Effendi taught me. He said, ‘is this how you shovel? Just like this? Just don’t shovel like Americans. When you shovel, you are going to make perfect lines. You are going to make a shape. You are going to make sure that everything is even. Doesn’t matter the snow is going to fall, you are not just going to be sloppy just shoveling. So you shovel everything nicely.’
And then when that man came back and he saw the work that Sheykh Effendi was doing. He started cursing at Sheykh Effendi, saying, ‘this is how you are working, da, da, da..?’ He gave him a really bad time. And something else then happened at that time. He gave Sheykh Effendi the money, but in a very insulting way. And it was cold. He was alone. He didn’t have gas that time. He didn’t have money to buy gas to put in his car. For years he didn’t have money to buy gas to come for zikr to 39th street. He never ask no one for anything. For years he had a car that had a big hole in the floor of the car. In the winter time when he’s driving, all the snow was coming in, freezing his legs.
O Murids, what he has left behind is a luxury. And are you taking care of it? Take care of it. Take care of what he has left you. Take care of what he has left each other. He has left each other for you to take care of too.
So, when the man did that to him, it was hurting him so much. The man left. And then Sheykh Effendi, he said: for the first time in my life, I addressed Allah directly. And I said, ‘ya Rabbi, what great wrong have I done that I’m going through this? What great wrong have I done to You or to others that I’m going through this?’ And he started crying. Then a voice came, very strong, to him. And it says, “O, if you want, look. Take. If you want us to pay you, take what is around you.’
And he looked down, and he picked up the snow that was in front of him. It wasn’t a snow anymore. It has turned into diamonds. And he looked everywhere, it was twinkling, it was shining, it was diamonds.
And the voice is saying, ‘if you want payment, take all of these.”
Immediately, he went to sejdah. He went to sejdah and he started saying, ‘Astarghfirullah, Astarghfirullah, Astarghfirullah. Astarghfirullah.”
He says, ‘Ya Rabbi, Astarghfirullah.’
He said, he went to sejdah for such a time that the area around him, all of that started to turn to water. He said astarghfirullah, he lift up his head, he looked, it was still diamonds. He put his head down again, still saying, ‘astarghfirullah, astarghfirullah,’ he looked up, it was still diamonds.
He says, ‘astarghfirullah, astarghfirullah. Ya Rabbi, I’m not looking for this ya Rabbi. I’m not looking for this dunya Ya Rabbi.’
Untill when he lift up his head again and it turned to snow one more time. This is real. I always remember that. Puts us back into perspective. And that is one of the miracles of the winter time for me, that it has ever happened to our Sheykh and he is sharing that. That every winter, I’m trying to remember that, and every winter, trying to feel what it feels like what my Sheykh is doing, putting his head down to the snow. How many of you has made Sejdah in the snow?
I’m not even making Sejdah in the snow to worship or anything, just an imitation of my Sheykh to see how it feels like. Something.
Alhamdulillah, may Allah raise his station high. I am very sad of course that he is not here with us. But one thing I’m very happy that he doesn’t have the headache of this world anymore. He doesn’t have the pain in his fingers anymore. He doesn’t have the pain in his body. His heart is not hurting anymore. There are no more people who can touch him and hurt him anymore. That he had to endure for years, from the close ones, close ones who betrayed him. Close ones that left him. May Allah never make us to leave this way. May Allah never make us to betray him or this way. InsyaAllah. May Allah keep us strong. May Allah protect our faith and our beyat to him. May Allah bring more sincere people to our way. Because the whole world needs to hear and need to take from our Sheykh.
Sohbet after Zikr by Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
January 8, 2015