Question: I do my prayers and zikr, but I still feel that my faith is not strong. What steps can I take to strengthen my faith even more?
Are you a murid? If you are not a murid, I’m going to say to you: Pray more and make more zikr and ask Allah to bring you more faith. If you are a murid, I’m going to say to you: You are still sleeping? What’s the matter with you?
If you are a murid and your faith is not strong, it’s because you are not taking and putting it in your life the most important thing according to our Tarikat. Our Tarikat is based on prayers and zikr? Our Tarikat is based on Sohbets, on association, listening to association, understanding it, putting it in your life, then associating with good ones, associating with the Jama’at, associating with your Sheykh. Once you start having that sohbets, slowly you will start changing. That means you are not putting sohbets in your life. You are just saying, ‘I do my prayers and zikr.’ Are you listening? Are you putting it in your life? Are you consulting? Are you putting your life according to how Sheykh Effendi is teaching us how to live this life? That is all in sohbet. It is not in prayer and zikr. So that is how you are going to strengthen your faith.
What we can say? We can say so many things. There is a saying, and it says, ‘be careful when you meet a friend of Allah. Because he will take your faith away.’ If you have some intelligence and some spirituality, you know what I’m saying. But if you have no intelligence, you’ll say, ‘Ah, what is that mean?’ you are going to start to argue with me. If you are still stuck with the arguing stage, then still you are stuck somewhere, stay there until you come to an understanding stage. Not argument. No more argument.
When you see a friend of Allah, when you meet a friend of Allah, be careful because he will take away your faith. Because whatever faith you had before, it is no good. It is false. It is dirty. If you want to be a murid, if you really want to be a servant of Allah, learning how to become a servant of Allah from His servants, from His friends, then they are going to say, ‘for you to have faith,’ (Hoja holds a glass of water) that faith is like the water, ‘for you to have faith, first you have to clean the cup.’ But in this Naksibendi way, in the way of our Sheykh, they say even the cup that you have is no good. Take it and throw to garbage. We are going to give you a new cup. You are going to cry. You are going to hurt. Because it means that your foundation is going to be taken out, it’s going to be thrown away.
How many of us here, right now, physically in this room (at the Osmanli Dergah) can say that we are here, right now, still holding on to the cup that we had from our previous life? Everyone that is here, we threw away that cup, isn’t it? And we say, we want a new cup. We are not even making it. We say, ‘you make it for us. We just submit.’ Sheykh Effendi makes a cup. As much as we let him, that much that cup is going to be good. What is that cup? That cup is our heart. Then he will fill it up.
So, you want faith, good faith, strong faith. What kind of faith you want? The faith of 21st century Muslim’s faith? You want the faith of part time muslim? You want the faith of part time murid? You want the faith of tourist murid? You want the faith of a murid? You want the faith of a servant? You want the faith of a friend of Allah? So many different kinds of faith. It is endless. The levels of faith, it is endless. Decide which one. Then go to that one who has that key and he will open it to you. But definitely if you think that your faith is just going to be increased by making prayers and doing zikr, we can make a robot that can make prayer 24hrs. We can turn on the player to play zikr. They gain nothing. Because our way is based on association. Our way must make the murid to think, to understand. Our way is making the murid to know himself. And to know yourself, you must know your nafs. It is not to know the spirit that is from the breath of our Lord. It is to know what is choking the breath of our Lord from being performed. You understand? And that is the nafs.
So once you start breaking away these chains that chokes you, then you can breathe properly. If you still just going to concentrate on that Holy Breath and entering into illusion and delusion world about that Holy Breath, you are not understanding that there are so many chains around you, choking you, poisoning you and that breath that is coming out, it doesn’t become Holy anymore. This much I can say. WaminAllahu Taufiq. Al-Fatiha.
Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
14 Jamadilakhir 1436H
April 3, 2015