Question: How can we empty our cup to the best that we can to make sure that it is not filled. How do you come to a sohbet with an empty cup?
You come empty. I know if people come empty. Because they are listening like this (Hoja sat up straight looking attentive). Even if they hear a thousand times the sohbet by Sheykh Effendi and they are listening, their eyes are open, they are listening. I know when they are full and they close it, when sohbet is happening, they are like this (Hoja nodded his head, looking sleepy).
Simple, simple explanation. Simple explanation. Are people really listening to sohbets or not? Because there is something there for you. Directly for you. Something that you went through in the week, this weekly sohbet is given, you are going through a difficult situation, a tight situation, or a question, or an issue. It is in the sohbet. You have to look for it. You listen and you have to figure things out. We listen to Sheykh Effendi giving sohbet. We don’t just listen. We listen, and we heard this before, ‘why is Sheykh Effendi using this words instead of this word?’ You go through it. Things are put into the cup and you look at it. You are not passive. You are very active.
Sohbet doesn’t make you passive. People are thinking sohbet is just being passive. Submission is being passive. Sameena wa’atana– we hear we obey, is being passive. There is nothing that is so active as sacrificing everything and submitting. It requires the most active thing. To be passive is to let your ego and sheytan to take control. That is passive. We are living in this world, it is not a spiritual world. To step on your ego and to close the door to sheytan is the most active thing that you can ever do. The most difficult thing. And Tasawwuf is call what? The Jihaddul Akhbar. It is the biggest struggle. You understand?
So how are people active when listen to sohbet? Are they active or no?
The Sohbet is not just for you, it’s for others too. Maybe there is something there that because somebody ask you, your friends, so many people now have friends. Hundreds of friends. SubhanaAllah. I look at their facebook account, I’m watching, thousands of friends they have. You are going to be responsible for that too in the Ahir Zaman. On Judgement day, it’s even going to be worst because Allah is going to say, ‘you have so many friends, which one of My words of Haqq, which one of the words of Haqq of My Prophet, of the Awliya Allah, My friends, did you try to give?’ Especially if we are living in non-Muslim country and we have a lot of friends out there, how much are we giving? How much are we thinking of them? How much are we praying?
It doesn’t mean now everyone is going to give da’wah. You understand? But it is very active. So people have friends, but if there is a question there for the people that are around you, that you are going to find the answers in the sohbets, so you have to be active. How the Sahaba e-Kiram, they listen to the sohbet? They were so still but it wasn’t dead still. They were still but they were as still as, you know when you are pulling the arrow. The arrow has to be completely still for a split second before you can release it. If it’s moving, you cannot shoot. Pull it back, you know. If it’s moving, you cannot let go. It has to be completely still but it’s still for a reason.
That is exactly how the Sahaba e-Kiram were described as. They were always ready like arrows being pulled. One word from the Prophet (asws), they fly and they do. But they don’t fly and they do just because they are saying…(for example) Sheykh Effendi is saying, ‘now take that,’ and everyone rushing, flying to take it. If you are saying, ‘open the door,’ ten people jumping up to open. Eh, very good, at least you are awake. But now, instead of opening the door, you are going to take the door out and you don’t know what to do. That means that you have to think and you have to understand what your Sheykh is speaking about. Not at that moment. Before. If you are understanding, if you are going behind, if you are behind his words, behind his sohbets, you are trying to understand, he will give you the understanding. And that time you are not going to go at it with ghaflat either. Blindly. You understand. You will know what he means. That time he doesn’t have to say so much, you will know what he means and what he wants. That time, he doesn’t have to say at all. He can just indicate and you know because you are on the same page, because you are paying attention to him, like this. You are not just sitting and being in ghaflat. You understand?
That time, yes, then that time, the heart starts to work. That time he may not even signal. You connect yourself to your Sheykh and you know. And you know, what you are supposed to do. Because then, that time, you are going to say, ‘I’m going to enter into this place not as myself, to just sit back and enjoy. I’m going to enter into this place to serve my Sheykh.’ You understand? To serve. To make things better for him. Now you are going to enter, you are going to do, you are going to think, you are going to say, according to your Sheykh’s eyes, according to his tongue, according to his ears, according to his hands. Then once you start doing that, you are going to be in rabita with your Sheykh. You are going to be muraqaba with your Sheykh.
Yes, people are talking about so much nonsense. They are not even taking from the most basic, number one level. They are not taking from that. But they are jumping and they are destroying everything. Easy, people talking about Fana Fillah. You don’t even understand that. You cannot even be on the same page, on the same communications with your Sheykh. At that time, how are you going to know?
So, those are the things then that we need to do. How are you going to do it? How are you going to get it? You are going to get it during the sohbet. You are going to get it during the sohbet, you are going to get it during your meals, when you are eating, sharing the table, the Sofra with the Sheykh. Then you are going to watch. Then that time, you want to eat but you have to watch, you have to think about everything. Then you’ll be able to do your work properly. Cos our Tarikat is based on sohbet.
Be empty, but you must know what you need to take out. You understand? You are sitting down, okay, ‘what is Sheykh Effendi going to speak about today? Oh he’s telling this. Ah, I heard this before.’ You shut off? No. you say, you’ve heard it before, your heart filled with wrong things maybe, ‘oh, I heard this.’ Throw it out. Say, ‘maybe I’ve never hear this before.’ Something else that he is showing. Definitely it is. If you think he is saying the same thing over and over again doesn’t mean anything, then why are we making zikr. Why are we repeating the names Allah, Allah, Allah, millions of times if by repeating it doesn’t mean anything? Why are we repeating our prayers? Why are we repeating anything? Why are we repeating eating, drinking, going into the bathroom? Do it one time.
‘Oh, this food I ate before.’ Nobody says that, right? Breakfast? ‘Oh, yesterday I had breakfast. I don’t need breakfast.’ Same thing. Nobody thinks. Oh, when it comes to association, the ego behaves in a different ways. So start thinking. At least to think that way, something will open for you. You will come out from the ghaflat. Things will start working for you. It will be easier for you, for your zikr, for your prayers, for anything. Because at least you are taking that one step in this ahir zaman. You are trying to do something. But you are just being stubborn and lazy, and in ghaflat, then nothing is going to change. You can be sitting there listening to sohbet for twenty years, you are not going to take two steps. And there are so many people who are like that.
So, the khutbah, what is the khutbah about today? Let’s see who is sleeping and who is awake? The ayat is, ‘O you who believe.’ Believe and the description of the believers and looking to see whether we fit into that description or not. And the examples, extreme examples given about the battle of Badr, when they believe and they make an oath to the Prophet asws, and what did they say?
‘We believe in you. We will follow you. Even if you lead us to the sea, we will follow you.’ Did they say, ‘if we follow you, we will get Jannat?’ Did they say that? Did they say, ‘we will follow you because our dunya is going to be easy,’ or ‘our ahirat is going to be easy.’ Did they say, ‘we will follow you and we are going to get reward, we are going to get blessings’? Did they say, ‘we will follow you because we know that we are going to be victorious’?
They didn’t. They are not asking for anything. They are saying, ‘we believe in you. You stand for Haqq. Lead us to truth. Even if you lead us to the sea we will follow you.’ So, the lesson there, to check our faith. For that, check our faith. Why we have faith for?
Why we have faith? For what reason? If we think that we have faith because we deserve Jannat, we deserve a good life here and Hereafter, think again. Why you have faith? Believe is faith isn’t it? So what do we believe in? What did the Sahaba e-Kiram they believe in? Prophet (asws). So we should believe in the Prophet. Everything is given up for him. Not for us to get something in return. The Martyrs of Canakkale, they didn’t say, ‘we are going to be martyred and we are going to get high stations.’ They did not go into the Battle for that. They did not think of the rewards or the blessings. They go there to defend the Khilafat, to the defend the Prophet. Khilafat means the maqam of the Prophet (asws). Isn’t that what it means? Because the Khalifah is representing the Prophet (asws). So they were there and so many of them, yes, they went to their death just believing. They did not say, ‘we are going to enter, we are going to stand up for truth because we know that we are going to get Jannat or rewards.’
So, we need to look, what is our faith, why we have faith, why now, following the Prophet we have to find someone who is following the Prophet. We found them, SahibulSaif. So we need to check now. If you don’t do these, you don’t do it at least some times in a week, your coming and going, your up and down praying and your fasting, it will become dry, it will become robotic, it will not have any sweetness in it. Everyone who first takes beyat and if they are strong, they find so much sweetness in it because they are looking at it, because it is new. But you know what? Your beyat is always new. Because you religion is always new. Because Prophet (asws) always say, ‘renew your Religion.’
So if you are caught in a situation where you think, ‘Oh, everything is just becoming a habit. Everything is becoming old. Everything is just repeating itself.’ Something must be wrong with you. Not with the Prophet. Not with Allah. Because you are not renewing your religion. You are not looking at it as if it is new. It is not as if it is new. IT IS NEW. You are not looking at the sohbet like it is new. You are saying, this is old. It is the same.
So wake up with the expectation that it is a new day and Allah has favored us again with Islam and Iman and be thankful. And Prophet (asws) says, ‘if you cannot cry,’ meaning cry for the sake of Allah, ‘force yourself to cry.’ If you don’t feel that you want to do something good for the sake of Allah, force yourself to do that good thing. These days people are thinking, to do something good, they cannot force, because there’s no force in religion. ‘There’s no compulsion, I’m not going to force.’ And they let their ego to run loose but their ego is going to do things and it is forcing the spirit down, stepping on the spirit, killing the spirit. So which one are we forcing now? So, you are not feeling it, feel it. Force yourself to. it’s going to come, InsyaAllah. This much is enough.
WaminaAllahu Taufiq. AlFatiha.
Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) *OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York, 2014