Question: Why we become hopeless in Tarikat and how do we get over it?
That is a stage that everybody must go through. That is one of the levels, one of the stages that everyone must go through, the feeling where there is no hope at all. That’s why Tarikat is also not something which is so simple. High school was difficult but college was more difficult. University, post-graduate is more difficult, isn’t it?
Tarikat, Tarikatul Aliyah, this is the most difficult Tarikat. Difficult in terms of what? It’s not difficult in terms of zikr that you have to do, or the ibadat that you have to do, or the riadah, the exercises that you have to do. It is difficult to your ego. That’s what makes it difficult. To the ego. But Allah has made the spirit more powerful than the ego. And when you have given a beyat, Allah has given you then help. Every help is there. Your Sheykh, to all the Saints, to all the Prophets, to all the Angels, Allah is sending in help. Why you enter into a hopelessness? That is a question a person must ask.
When a person enters into a state in Tarikat, question yourself. Don’t enter into that state and drown in it and to be lost. Question yourself: ‘Why am I like this? Why I’m feeling hopeless?’ And to say, ‘oh, I don’t know,’ that’s not good enough. ‘Why I’m feeling hopeless? Why I’m feeling sad? Why?’ In Tarikat, to ask ‘why’, it is forbidden except to ask why to yourself. To question yourself, and be sincere, be honest, be brutal to yourself. Be honest, ‘why I’m feeling sad?’ I don’t know. You know. You are feeling it, then you know. Then say it. Speak it. Find words, find the reasons. When you pull yourself out and you look at it carefully that time, already help is there. Because you are not in it. You are not drowning in it. You are not in the water anymore. You pulled yourself out.
So why a person is feeling hopelessness?
Like I said, this is one of the levels, this is one of the stages. We have to take away everything. You have to understand what it means to have everything taken away from you. You have to understand how weak you are. But you cannot be hopeless. Everything will be taken away from you, except the rope of Allah. That is our Sheykh. So you cannot rely on yourself, you cannot rely on your thinking, you cannot rely on your actions, you cannot rely on anything. You can only rely on Allah, and Allah is represented through His Prophet, and His Prophet is represented through our Sheykh. But so many people they feel hopeless, if they really dig a little bit inside, the reasons are not that complicated. If they are really sincere about it, the reasons are not complicated. For majority of the time, it’s just about dunya. It’s just about the ego. “I’m feeling sad, I’m feeling hopeless,” Why? Why are you feeling sad? Why are you feeling hopeless? What would make you feel not hopeless and not sad? Then you will come to very uncomfortable questions and very uncomfortable answers.
Once you give yourself questions that are very uncomfortable, and once you find answers that are very uncomfortable, you are getting somewhere now. “I’m feeling sad because I’m trapped here” Huh! so you’re free outside, and you’re trapped here. Why are you feeling trapped here? “I cannot do what I want, I cannot have what I want.” Huh! so you’re still there, you are still stuck with what you want, you are still declaring your existence, you are still declaring your own desires. What do you want out there? What is going to make you happy? “If I have a normal life.” Oh, normal life. What is normal life?
Every question you are going to ask there, the answers were already in Sohbets from decades ago. It’s there. But in that moment when we are drowning, we cannot remember anything. Because we are panicked, you understand? Now you have to remember. How are we going to remember? You pull yourself out first. “Oh, I don’t think I’m doing everything, anything correctly. I’m doing everything wrong. I cannot” So what is it that you want? You want someone to say “Oh baby, it’s ok, don’t worry about it.” So many people that’s all they need, to tell you the truth, in one way or another. So many it’s not to find a solution to their problems. Even when they come for consultation, it is not to find a solution to their problems. But it’s just so that the Sheykh can say, ‘don’t worry. It’s okay. I’ll pray for you.’ You understand?
So they still have the problem and in future they are going to do it again. That time they are going to come again, to ask for the Sheykh, now the Sheykh becomes like a what? Like a father confessor now: ‘Don’t worry, do couple of things, you’ll be okay.’ Because the intention it is wrong. It is completely different from the intention of a person who says, ‘I have this habit. I cannot break out of it. What do I do?’ Once the person does that, the Sheykh can direct, easily. Even if the person is committing that, this way and that way, intention is good, he’s not tricking himself. He’s not trying to trick others.
So, majority of the time, it’s about this dunya. You are worrying, ‘I can’t pay my bills.’ ‘People are bothering me.’ ‘I don’t know when to…’ and a lot of the solution to these problems too, it’s not really spirituality. It is having the correct intention, and not to be in ghaflat and to enter into that problem in the first place. It’s to have a clear head and a clear heart. You understand?
‘I don’t know why, everything I’m doing is wrong and nothing seems to be opening up.’ If you are having good intention and nothing is opening up, don’t force it. If you are having good intention and nothing is opening up and you are supposed to do it, then check yourself one thousand times. This went wrong. Why? Another thing went wrong. Why I did that? Could I prevented it? The intelligent being, the intelligent murid, the intelligent person, human being is going to say, ‘yes. I could have prevented it. Very easy. I could have prevented it. I’m not going to say, no, no, I don’t know what happened.’ Because so many people, they get into trouble and they blame everyone but themselves. First one they are going to blame is others. Never themselves. But if you are blaming yourself and you are looking it like this, the problem: ‘I should have done that,’ you are going to prepare yourself for that. You will not fall into that same mistake over and over again. And if you do, you know how to get the way out. Then you know, you have a way but you chose not to. Then that is a problem. Not because there is no way but you chose the wrong direction. So it’s all about you again. You understand? And so many of this problems, instead of looking at it clearly and taking the more difficult road that is going to solve it, they take the easy road that is going to make it even worse.
I tell you something. Somebody came to me saying, ‘oh, please pray for me.’
I say, ‘insyaAllah. What’s happening?’
‘I don’t know why I love my son so much. I love my daughter so much. I love my grandson…’ doesn’t matter. This one is saying, ‘I love this one so much. My daughter, I give everything that she wants. I love my son so much. I give everything that he wants. Nothing. I don’t even make him to want anything. Ever since he was a kid, he loves me so much, I love him so much. Everyday before going to sleep even until before he got married, he will come to me, give me a hug. Kiss me on the cheek and say, goodnight my mother, and I say, goodnight my son. I pray for you. We love each other so much. Now this one just got married and he doesn’t love me anymore. He listens to the wife now.’
We know this story eh. So many times it happened.
‘He is listening to his wife now. It looks like something took over him. He changed completely now. Before he used to hug me and kiss me, now he doesn’t do that. He listens to his wife hundred percent. Now he wants to kick me out of his house. I think, she puts black magic on him. That’s why he’s behaving like this. Please pray that this is going to end.’
I’m looking at that one and said, ‘are you serious, lady? You really cannot see this?’ A lot of people, they cannot see it. Because to understand first that blame comes from you, it is a skill. You understand? It’s a skill. It is a skill. To first say, ‘ah, this went wrong because I did something.’ And to go back, ‘I did it because of this and this.’ I should not have done that. If you are always doing it when you are young, if that is within your culture of your culture or your family, then you grow up having that, you are not going to be stressed out and you know when things happened, why they happened. Because if you are a believer, you are not going to be fooled. Isn’t it? You know what is happening. But that one who does not have that skill, always he’s going to say, ‘it’s other people. It’s not me.’
‘You know I’m a good lady. I’m a good person. I read Quran everyday. I pray so much. I pray Tahajjud every night. I make zikr. I give sadaqah. You know I do everything.’ I’m looking and I say, ‘so what do you want?’ and of course I cannot say that to the person, it’s going to break the person’s heart. I said, ‘what do you want now? You’re blaming Allah now? Saying, ‘I did this much, why you are not giving me this much?’ a lot of people, their relationship to Allah is also like that. ‘I pray this much, You must give me this much. Why are You not giving it to me? I pray to You.’ Even if their words are so sweet and so nice, that is their intention. Eh, subhanaAllah. Allah now becomes a businessman, a trader.
So this lady is saying that. So I said, ‘you want me to say something that is true but you are not going to accept it, or you want me to say something that is nice and you will accept it?’ I always give people a choice.
She said, ‘no, no, no, no, no. Tell me the truth please.’
I said, ‘are you sure?’
‘Yes. Yes. Yes.’
I said, ‘lady, it’s your fault. You spoiled the kid. You never teach him how to become a man. Even when he’s grown up, you are so close to him, thinking that is the way Islamically a mother should be to a kid. That is wrong.’
‘I never. I give him everything.’
‘That is the problem. You always give him everthing. You spoiled him. And you know what? You cannot give him everything. There is one thing that he needs that you cannot give as a mother. That’s why he got married. But because you are the one that he knows most, that he knows best and that he loves, he’s just going to find someone who is exactly like you but with some, some, with extra. And someone like you is a person that is just going to control him. That’s all. So this is what happened.’
‘I don’t know why you know…’ Usually when I come to that point, they don’t hear and they go repeating their problems again and again to me thinking maybe I don’t understand what the problem is. ‘No, no, no. when he was really young I was loving him so much…’ You are not listening to me? ‘No, I was really loving him. I give him everything. I don’t know why. It must be black magic.’
So, there are those who are like that, and they are murids too. And I said, ‘be patient. Don’t worry. This is Ahir Zaman. Instead of looking to your son…because people these days, they worship so many things. Some worshiping to their parents. Some worshipping to their sons and daughters. Some worshipping to each other. Worship Allah. Don’t look to your son no more. Look to Allah. That relationship there, fix it. Don’t think Allah is Santa Claus. Don’t think that Allah is just a business partner to you. Fix your relationship to Him. He is your son, he is Allah’s creature. Prophets they went through this problem. Holy People they went through this problem. Let it go. That is not the most important thing.’
Do I know the person is not going to believe me? Do I know the person is not going to change? Of course I did. But it’s my responsibility to say. Is the person changing? No. Before I know it, the person went to see one ‘jin’ Hoja to get some tahweez, to give money so to put another spell on the son, so that the son can love her more. People they are doing it, they think I don’t know. Then they are coming, they don’t tell me nothing of course, and they say, ‘oh I’m going to do this…’
‘Ah, very good. mashaAllah. Oh, you are doing it? mashaAllah.’
‘I love you so much, I’m following you. I’m doing zikr, I’m doing this..’
‘Do it. Do it. mashaAllah. Very good.’ What can I do?
So, these are skills. Skills of self discovery. Skills to discover yourself. To be truthful to yourself. Not to be delusional. And majority of the people in this world, they don’t want those skills. They say, ‘we rather be in delusion. We survived so far. Why suddenly we are going to become honest?’ I don’t expect that, especially people after they achieve a certain age, they cannot change. As much as they think that they want to, they cannot. No matter what they say and they declare, the actions will speak louder than the words. Am I still praying for that one? Of course I am. We are still praying for them. But now, how effective do you think my prayers are going to be?
‘Oh, but then if you are a real one, the prayer is going to change you.’
Who’s saying that? Who’s saying that: if you are really powerful it’s going to penetrate and you can help someone. Who’s saying that? Your ego? Definitely. Holy Prophet (asws) went through thousands of time to Abu Jahil. Did it help Abu Jahil? Habibullah went, openly bringing him, praying for him, Allah knows how many millions of times. Abu Lahab, did he change them? No. How it’s going to change them? If they themselves change. If they change themselves, then that change will come to them. If they open the door and say, ‘we accept.’ Then the change would come. Otherwise, no.
So, Saints can be praying for you, people can be praying for you, but if you are putting a veil there, if you are putting a barricade, they cannot penetrate until you remove that barricade yourself. Can they destroy that barricade? Yes, they have that power to do it. But, Allah is saying, ‘there is no forcing, there is compulsion in religion.’ A muslim cannot even enter in to a room, into a house of another muslim without asking for permission. The Prophet entering into a house has to ask for permission, and if there is no permission, he cannot enter. Does that mean that we don’t have the power to take the door down, to enter? Of course we do. But there is no permission. You cannot force yourself.
So spirituality works that way too. May Allah wake us up to make us to understand these things. Be around ones who have hope. Be around ones who had gone through that. So many people they have gone through that. And sometimes you will understand through talking. Sometimes you are going to understand through just going through it. Then you come to a point that will make you to understand. And whatever your experiences are, it is not just to help you. You are experiencing for others that they are going to come behind you.
WaminaAllahu Taufiq Al-Fatiha.
Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
27 Jamadilakhir 1436H
April 17, 2015