Auzubillahi minash sheytanir rajim. The meaning of it is, we are running away from Sheytan, Satan and sheytanic thinking and the sheytanic people and the sheytan that is inside of us too. Say, Auzubillahi minash sheytanir rajim, and we are running to Allah, we are running away from sheytan and we are running to the protection of Allah. That’s what we must begin.
How many times do we say that every day? People nowadays, don’t believe in sheytanic people. Very advanced 21st century people. Now we are saying BismillahirRahmanirRahim, in the name of Allah, the most Merciful and most Compassionate. And that Mercy and the Compassion that is given to the Holy Prophet (asws), so those who are following in his footsteps, in his lifestyle, they will have mercy and compassion in their heart. Definitely. Of course.
Mercy and compassion. Very important. But in these days, there’s so much talk about mercy and compassion, it is as if the whole world is drowning in mercy and compassion, the way that so many people are talking about it, and love. But we are seeing every day this world is drowning more in confusion, more in oppression, more in cruelty. So someone is lying somewhere. Speaking love and compassion, but behind, they are the ones that are negotiating to have the most cruel, the most oppressive things to happen to nations.
Now, this is what you get when you raise a generation of no brain people, generations of people who only take the truth from that sheytan box, the television. Now they become complete slaves. Whatever that sheytan television is saying, they believe. Whatever that internet is saying, they believe. Anyone can make up anything and put there and they will believe because it’s coming from television. It used to be, if you see it in writing, then you say, ‘ah, it’s written somewhere, it must be true.’ Isn’t it? Now if you say, if you see it on the news then it must be true.
So more and more people, the human beings, they are running away from being humans, and they are becoming animals; no brains, no thinking, no compassion, nothing. Just like animals, they are move only by their stomachs. Like the donkey, the donkey it’s only braying, making a lot of noise for two reasons: when it’s hungry, and when it want to get married. Other than that, it’s silent. Man has become like that too.
So now, 21st century man has completely lost their compass. Because they decided to follow their ego, and the people that they put in power are the people who is promising them the ego. Whatever their ego wants he says, ‘I will give it to you. I will give it to you.’ They are not the ones fighting for the truth. They are not fighting to put a balance back into this world. Hypocrite. We are led by hypocrite. But majority of the people have become a hypocrite too. Knowing the truth but turning their face away. Everyone has a choice. Now we have to turn back to ourselves. First, before turning back, if you want to improve, if you want to become better, you are going in the wrong direction and you want to become better, first you have to know that you are going on the wrong direction. You have to believe in it. If you don’t believe you are in the wrong direction, why you should change? Anybody can tell you anything and you are not going to believe because you are saying, ‘I’m going on the right direction.’
So first, the person has to wake up, to understand he is going on the wrong direction. If he knows he is going on the wrong direction, then he is going to ask for help, help will come. Help will come. But first step, he admits.
Coming to your question now: Tauba. How do you translate Tauba? Asking for forigiveness. Asking Allah swt for forgiveness. Saying, ‘tauba ya Rabbi. Astaghfirullah al-adzim wa atubu ilaik.Tauba astarghfirullah.’ To say, we understand and we know what we are doing is wrong and we are asking for forgiveness. Because so many people, they know they are wrong but they don’t ask for forgiveness. They know they are wrong and they say, ‘so What! Let me do something else.’ Do you understand?
To ask for forgiveness, you have to know that you are wrong. Damage has been done. Now you must run to try and fix it as much as you can. Not to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ American style. You do so much damage, you just turn around and say, ‘I’m sorry.’ Just those word and you expect the whole world now to give you a hug, just because you say you are sorry? What about all the damage that you have done? Who is paying the bill now? Eh, at least they are saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ But you have to mean it.
How is that in Islam? One of the conditions of tauba, one of conditions of tauba according to Hz Ali is what?
A man asked him a question, ‘what is tauba and what comes before tauba?’ What comes before tauba? Tauba is knowing that you are going on the wrong direction, and you are promising, and you are saying that it is wrong, and you are asking for forgiveness. To ask for astarghfirullah, to say, ‘Astaghfirullah al-adzim wa atubu ilaik,’ saying, ‘forgive me Ya Rabbi. O my Lord, forgive me.’ What is the condition there, before you ask for forgiveness? Because if you ask for forgiveness in ghaflat, in heedless, without meaning it, just saying it, it’s the same as saying it is what, asking for forgiveness and not really understanding it not really meaning it, you are not being sincere. You are not being sincere.
So now, you want to ask Allah swt for forgiveness, and what is the condition before asking for forgiveness?
It is promising that you are not going to do it again. That is the condition before you say, ‘tauba.’ You understand? So, of course, the actual words to that is what is the wajib and what is the wajib before the wajib. What is the obligation and what is the obligation before the obligation. So now if the person just say, ‘forgive me,’ but inside his heart he wants to do it, then that astarghfirullah, that asking Allah for forgiveness, it is just a lip service. It is saying it in complete heedlessness because you don’t mean it. And because you say that in heedlessness, you need to ask for forgiveness. Which is why Sheykh Effendi is saying, quoting from Hz Rabiat-ul Adawiya, saying, ‘ for every astarghfirullah that we make, we have to say another astarghfirullah. Because we are saying it in heedlessness.’
So what are we talking about here? This we are not talking about the do’s and the don’ts. We are talking about high spirituality. We are asking why the Do, and why the Don’t? just to say astarghfirullah, now we ask why we say astarghfirullah? Why we have to mean it? What are the conditions that you meant it. So this is spirituality. Not just to say. Not just to do, fulfilling the Letter of the law. Like what so many people, they are believing in that religion of Christianity, saying, they are fulfilling the Letter of the Law. Everything you are doing properly but there is no spirit. You are saying, ‘astarghfirullah,’ it is fulfilling the Letter of the Law, saying, ‘if you do something wrong, you must ask for forgiveness.’ But really? Are you really asking for forgiveness? Are you really understanding the damage that you did? Are you understanding that this is the damage that you did to yourself? Are you promising that you are not going to do it again?
Now, if you measure that, against our asking for forgiveness, you know how high or how low our faith is. Maybe the first step, is to say, ‘I’m saying astarghfirullah, for my astarghfirullah because I’m weak and I don’t know if I’m able to do it the way that you want me to do it. But I’m asking for forgiveness.’ The person who understand this, at least he’s awake. He is awake to his own self. He is awake to his own weakness. He is awake to his own tricks and traps. He is awake to his own sheytan. That time when you say, ‘Auzu billahi minash sheytanir rajim Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim,’ you are running away from sheytan, the accursed to the shade of Allah. You mean it, in a much deeper way. And when you sit and you think and you understand more, then you will mean it in a bigger way. You will mean it in a deeper way. You will continually, just that one sentence will have very endless meaning to it.
May Allah accept our tauba. May Allah accept our forgiveness. But as believers, we are asking may Allah swt make us strong to be able to stop all the wrong actions and the wrong thinking. Because in these days, there are so much wrong everywhere, we don’t know where to turn. So much wrong. This side is wrong, this side is wrong, this side is wrong. Everywhere is wrong. Pull yourself back from all of that. Don’t get yourself involve. Now it is between two Sheykh, And Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, choose the lesser Sheykh. Between two evils, now it’s between two evil, it’s not between good and evil. It’s between evil and evil. Pick the lesser evil. This has such a deep meaning at every level. From individual level, to global level. May Allah protect us. And make us to understand. Make us to wake up.
The Zikr, the remembrance that we just did, renewing our faith, reciting verses, ayats, surahs, chapters of the Quran, calling out the name of Allah, calling out the names of Allah with its different quality and attribute, disconnecting ourselves from everything, trying to connect ourselves, trying to remember our Allah, that gives us more energy to our spirit. Because our spirit is always with Allah, but inside of us is our ego. It is not angel on the right side, devil on the left side and you are in the middle and they are fighting, No. that’s cartoon morality, cartoon spirituality, Disney world kind of spirituality.
No. Allah is not doing things like that, to put people into a kindergarten idea of religion. That is kindergarten religion. The religion Islam, it is very mature, it is responsible. When you are responsible, when you get mature, no one you can blame. You can’t blame anyone yet. You can’t blame anyone anymore. You cannot say, ‘I did this crime because when I was young, I was abused like this, like this and like this.’ To this we say, ‘okay. We accept that. But you still have to pay.’ How a man can say, ‘because I was treated like this, so now I grow up to do like this. So I’m not guilty. I’m innocent.’ No more blaming others. Islam is saying, ‘look to yourself.’ Look to yourself because Allah has put every answer. Now that’s the other thing. How now, with a kindergarten version of religion, it can answer to the sleekness of your ego and you sheytan. Understand?
So Islam is teaching, now you are responsible. Don’t blame the devil, don’t blame the angles, don’t blame anyone because Allah has put inside of you your spirit that is always in submission to His will. But He has put the ego next to your spirit now. The ego that is next to your spirit. We are acting through the power of our spirit but if you let the ego to interfere, then we are acting through the power of the ego, the spirit that time becomes more hidden, more choke. It becomes choke. That’s why people praying 24hrs, very religious, but they can do the most cruel things. Why? Because they are listening to their ego, not to their sprit.
May Allah make us to be always under the feet of our Sheykh to listen and to take advice from him. InsyaAllah.
Sohbet after Zikir by Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
January 22, 2015