Question: How do we keep hope ?
Let me tell you something; we used to have a plaque, written on a piece of wood hanging in the old Dergah by the doorway. It is connected to this question. Those who have seen those days, and I think almost everyone has seen those days, do you remember what that plaque says? You remember? (Hoja asked the murids)
That plaque is saying, ‘I was complaining all my life because I have no shoes, until I met a man who has no feet.’
That word is enough for the one who believes. Which is why in Islam when it comes to dunya possessions, what you have in this dunya, you always compare yourself to someone who does not have it. You compare yourself to those ones who are poor. It is the way of this dunya that they always want to compare you, what you have, to someone who is richer; Lifestyle of Rich and Famous. So you are always looking at the rich and famous and comparing your life and saying, ‘now I must run to become like them.’ This is wrong. It’s upside down now.
Islam is saying, Compare yourself, what you have, to those who don’t have. That time you will have peace in your heart. That time, you will have more intelligence and more faith. That time you will have more hope and more understanding.
When do you compare yourself? You compare yourself to someone who has more when it comes to Taqwa, when it comes to running to do good things. You don’t compare yourself to someone who has less Taqwa or someone who is cruel or someone who is bad and to say, ‘oh, I’m such a Saint because I am doing this, and so and so is not doing that.’ No, you compare yourself with someone who is higher than you in that matter. You always compare yourself, ‘look at this one, this one although he has so many bad characteristics, he has this one good characteristic and I don’t have that. Shame on me.’ Say that. So that time, every stranger that you meet, you are going to find the secrets that he has and you are going to understand you don’t have that secrets and you are asking Allah to give you that secret, and you are feeling very thankful, and you are feeling very shame of yourself. Who knows it’s going to be given to you because you are always checking yourself. You are not putting yourself high.
Akhir Zaman, they say, when it comes to being good or bad, always compare yourself to a criminal. ‘Oh, at least I don’t kill.’ They are saying that. ‘I’m not a killer. I’m a good person. I don’t kill, I don’t lie, I don’t cheat.’ This is upside down.
How are you going to keep hope? Are you meditating everyday on the favors of your Lord? You will have hope, you’ll be real. Are you meditating everyday how Allah has removed those favors from so many people in this world, that you don’t have to picture yourself in India, or in Africa. It’s happening here in this world, in this country, in your own city. Are you walking around? are you taking lessons from your life? Or you are just turning on television hoping television is going to give lessons to your life.
Are you walking around to see if someone is like this, this one has less, this is a bum in the street, it could be me. And there are so many who have less, but they have more Iman. So many non-Muslims, they become Muslims not because some Alim comes and debate with them, not because they give free Quran to them, knocking on their door, giving them brochures and arguing with them. But they see the manners, the akhlak, the edep of Muslims and their heart just melt with them.
I just saw one, this woman saying, “I came to a very poor house and this woman in the day of Ramazan, she’s inviting me for Iftar and she stood up and she greeted me and she made me to come inside the house as if she owns the Taj Mahal. With so much honor, with so much nobility. But this woman live in a hut. And she says, ‘please sit. We have iftar prepared for you.'” And she said, “what we have, just a couple of dates, some dried bread, but this person is so happy,” and this non-believer, at that time said, “I felt angry that she who had nothing, and she is still fasting.” She said, I felt angry at Islam, why this religion is making even poor people to fast. She has nothing. And so this woman asked this poor lady saying, “why do you fast?” and this lady looked at her and say, “so that I know how poor people they feel.” That time she started crying and her heart melted. And she says, if Islam is teaching her that, I want that Islam. That one, you think Allah swt, is not listening? That one has more faith than maybe so many millions of muslims who are living in luxury.
So now, it is the state of the heart. That is taqwa. It is not going up and down, 24hrs non-stop. It is not going to the Hajj, back and forth, every weekend, like a vacation time. Anytime you are free, you want to go to umrah. It is not going to all this mehfils non-stop but every time you are going there, you go like a donkey and you come back like a donkey because you are still judgmental, you are still angry, you are still upset, you are still jealous, you are still arrogant, backbiting and slandering non-stop. It is the person who is patience with their Lord, who is happy in their patience with their Lord, and is understanding the favors of their Lord that has been given to them, and turning around to help others. You lose hope, you don’t have hope, get up from your chair, get up from your bed and help those who don’t have hope. See that time how quickly you are going to get cured. Help those who need your help. Don’t sit just with your sheytan and with your ego and to let it to trick you and to let you to come out from faith because you start complaining to your Lord. Get up and help those who are in need of help. That’s the time you will start kicking out the sheytan and you will start thinking. Intelligence and faith will come into your heart that time and you will understand.
There is a blessings in the old ways, in the old traditions, in the old countries. You come out and you see poverty right outside of your door. You come out and you see cripples and handicap people.
You come out and you see the real life, that majority of the people in this world is going through. You are not living just in a bubble; in a bubble country, in a bubble state, in a bubble community. Once you live in that kind of bubble community and you are not understanding the favors of your Lord, you turn to start to attack yourself. That’s why you see all those weird kind of crimes happening in first world countries, weird kind of crimes that is not happening among the people who have no education, but is happening with people with education. What kind of weird crimes?
All of that spiritual disease just hits the heart, hits the head, the kid who has everything in this world, he has everything not even thousands of kids they have, he has, he takes out a gun and start shooting everyone and himself.
In the old days, you come out, everywhere now you start remembering your Lord. Understanding, teaching. There was time and there was freedom back then. Because you can think. These days, you cannot. You don’t have time to think. That sheytan box, television and now that sheytan box internet in your hand, you don’t even have time to think because you are always being busy with Malayani, seeing something interesting, seeing something funny that is teaching you nothing. And ninety percent of the time, people are on it, for pornography! So how that time, you are going to have mercy in your heart? How that time, you are going to have hope in your heart? Because you become psychotic now.
So, we are asking Allah to forgive us. To make us to turn around and to become better ones. We are asking our Lord to keep us in Jama’at. Keep us in a community. Because only in a community will you understand how other people are living. If you live by yourself, you will become a selfish individual that time. But when you live in a community, you start taking care of each other, you start to come out from yourself. Then you start to understand whatever small problem that you are going through, is huge in your mind, but you look and you compare, like the man who is complaining all his life because he has no shoe, he stopped complaining when he saw men who has no feet.
This world, like this or like that, is going to end. We are going to go into the grave with only one piece of cloth. Nothing else, except for our intentions and our actions. So concentrate on that. InsyaAllah. These are words, first for myself to take lessons from and for those who are listening. Those of you who are not listening, who are listening and they don’t accept, it’s okay. Leave it there. I have need for it. If you take it, you will win dunya and ahirat. These are some of the teachings of our Sheykh SahibulSaif Sheykh Abd Kerim al-Kibrisi al-Rabbani. May Allah raise his station higher and higher. May he always guide us beyond the mountain of Qaf, to keep us always on the Siratul Mustaqim. Amin.
WaminaAllahu Taufiq. Alfatiha.
Sohbet by Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
December 19, 2014