Question: What Is Sacrifice?
Sacrifice, it is to give up something that means something to you. Sacrifice is to give up something that means everything to you. When you come to a certain station, you’ll realise also that whatever has been given to you, it is not from you. It is not yours. And the sacrifice, it is not a sacrifice. It is a returning. Returning that which has been given to you.
Life is given to us. We didn’t earn this life, did we? Will has been given to us, the Iradat. We didn’t earn it. And the believer, the servant will return whatever the Master has given him. He doesn’t keep it and he doesn’t say, ‘this belongs to me,’ or ‘this is from me.’ This is from my Master and I’m just returning it, returning everything that He has given me. Although He has given it to me, I return it. Until I become nothing. Until I return myself to Him.
Death is not a sacrifice. Death is a return. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un – we came from Allah and Allah is our return. How can we now sacrifice something that doesn’t belong to us? How can we sacrifice something that doesn’t belong to us? We are not there yet. For us, we think that everything that we see, that we like, we must take and it belongs to us. But the Sheykh slowly teaches us not to get attach to things. Not to fall in love with this dunya. Not to fall in love with these things. Not to fall in love with your ideas. Not to fall in love with your families so much. Not to fall in love, attach anything that Allah has given to you, because Allah has given to you and whatever Allah gives, He can take back. And Allah has given us this life and we want to return it to Him. To return to Him.
So now, that’s why, some people when they make sadaqah or zakat or sacrifice, when they give, that action of generosity, that action of giving, it is an action of Allah. Because Allah is Kerim. And a believer, when he starts giving, there’s nothing else that can replace that because now, it becomes so natural to him. He says, ‘this is not from me. This is just coming, passing from one hand to another hand.’ Just like the Mevlevis when they are whirling, they are taking the Barakat and they are giving it. They are just realising, understanding, believing, experiencing, that we are just a vessel, a medium. Things must come and go.
InsyaAllah ar-Rahman, first, the only important thing that we need to sacrifice, where we are concern, is our ego. Sacrifice our ego. Everything else will come into it. Everything else is going to be involved in that; from our possessions to our thinking, to everything that we have that we give, is going to be involved in that. Because once you sacrifice your ego, then you understand everything is coming from Allah and is returning to Allah. And we are here only as what? Caretakers.
We are here only as caretakers. It is given to our hands, we have to take care of it. We cannot destroy it, we cannot waste it. Because this is going to go to another person. If everyone has this mentality, then immediately you understand and you feel for people. Because you don’t have possession. You are not possessive. You don’t want and you control your desires. And you say, ‘whatever is coming into my mouth, it’s coming, this food is coming into my mouth, and usually it’s from another person’s mouth.’ Especially here in the West. So we need to make more istighfar. And we need to make more Syukur. Because the lifestyle that we are experiencing here, is taking away, one American, say, is taking away the lifestyle of ten people living elsewhere in the world. I’m not exaggerating. It’s actually more than that. Because to sustain the life, to pay for the life of one American, we are included in that, ten people have to work all their lives to give us that. Now we cannot say we want to deny everything and live poor. No. it’s coming to us. We give. We have to give. We have to be generous. And we have to give more Syukur. We have to give more Syukur and we have to say more Astaghfirullah al-azim wa atubu ilaih. Because sometimes, things are given to us, and the food is there in front of us, we have to eat it. That is a sunnat. Doesn’t matter if that food is a one dollar plate or more than that.
InsyaAllah, may it be accepted. May everything that is belonging to Allah return back to Allah. And we mentioned in the Khutbah, to Allah belongs all that is in Heavens and all that is on earth. So how can we say we own anything. Understand?
This is a trust (Hoja pointed to the body). This is a trust, this is a trust. Whether you believe or you don’t believe this, when you die, you are going to leave everything behind. Someone else is going to use it. Someone else is going to take it. What are you going to do? You are going to be buried with them like the Firauns? Don’t worry, someone is going to come to dig it up and to take it too. They are even going to take your cloth from you. They’ll say, ‘what are you doing? You are dead and you have all these things? No. this is for the living.’ And they are going to take everything.
So, we make the intention, InsyaAllah, that whatever we own, we don’t own, whatever we own, it’s just something that is entrusted to us. May Allah make it easy for us. Make us to understand these things. And make us to wake up and make us to live these days, these final days, with faith.
Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
19 Safar 1436, Dec 12 2014