We are running to be under the shade of the Rahmat of Allah, under the shade of our Sheykh, SahibulSaif Sheykh Abdul Kerim al-Kibrisi al-Rabbani. We are asking him to send us something that is going to be useful and benefitting to us here and hereafter. The knowledge of the Awliya Allah, they are fresh and they are alive. Their words are fresh and they are alive. We believe and we connect, we will get freshness through their sohbet, we will get life through their sohbet. Because they are taking fresh things every single moment from the Divine Presence and giving it to those who are asking, those who are responding, those who answer to their invitation. They are doing the will of Allah. They are the will of Allah, and Allah’s will is also known through them because these are the ones who are closest to their Lord, Allah swt.
These days of leading up to the Holy night of Bera’at, as murids, as those ones who are following SahibulSaif, we should be more aware and awake and looking at our life from last year until this year and we have to focus and concentrate, looking at the hizmet, the service that we have done for the sake of our Sheykh. That way, you can judge and you can gauge. Understand? You can judge and you can gauge and you can take accounting, what is it that you have done, what needs to be improved, what was lacking. So yes, in these days and night we should sit down and think.
I was thinking, from the khutbah, we were speaking from the endless knowledge of Hazreti Hasan al-Basri, a King size wali that was a Tabi’in. That he lived during the time of Hz Ali (kw). At the time when there were so many other Sahabis that were alive, so many other Saints that were living at that time, so many holy people, but also so many people of fitnah. At the time of confusion, at the time when they claim they speak from authority or Divine presence but they are not. And in that time, Hz Ali (kw) is saying, ‘no one can speak about religion, no one can speak about religion including spirituality especially, except for Hasan al-Basri.’ One other person maybe. So he is standing, now it is very great. Hasan al-Basri he was a King size wali, he was also an alim. We are not even going to go into so much. Now, we have one King size wali who was also an alim, and we have another one, Habib al–Ajami, he was a King size wali, King size saint but he was not a scholar. And how his knowledge is superior to him. And Hasan al-Basri is saying what in the khutbah? Anyone remember? The days leading up to Nisfu Shaban, the days leading up to Bera’at, Leylatul Bera’at, Shab e-Barat, he was seen wondering about looking like he had been buried and he was dug up again. And they asked him the reason for this. He said, ‘my faith is worse than a sailor who had been shipwrecked.’ He said, ‘because I am certain of my sins, of the wrong things that I have done, I am certain of that. But I’m not certain, and because of that I tremble, about my good deeds and good actions whether they have been accepted or not.’
Now, if a murid, if a mukmin, enters into this night with that kind of taqwa, with that kind of sincerity, with that kind of belief, and that time it will be easy for rahmat to fall. Because he’s asking for mercy. He’s not asking for rewards. You understand? He’s asking for mercy.
If Sheykh Effendi were to come back, I don’t know about you, but for me, I will tremble. So many people will be very happy when he comes back, running to kiss him and to hug him. Yes, I’m happy but I’m very scared. Because I’m not certain of the service that I have put, whether that is going to be accepted or not. I’m speaking sincerely. I’ve always felt that way. If he’s gone for one week or two weeks or two month or eight month, when he comes back, I feel like I’ve done nothing. And he has every right to be upset with me, or to punish me. Of course he never. Every little things that we did, he seems to be very surprised and happy with.
So, when we are in that state, if we put ourselves in that state, and sincerely putting ourselves in that understanding, we must also know in these days and nights which are Holy, our sincerity and our intentions, it will be tested. You can think that you are such a sincere one. You can think that you are such a patient one. You can think that you are such a person who reflects and understands. But how are you going to know the true value of gold? It has to be tested. How are you going to know the true value of your real intention? It has to be tested.
So many people go about with tasbih in their hands, trying to be so patient and holy, but when something happens to them, somebody says something to them, somebody did something to them, small, immediately they blow up. What happened? You were so saintly before, but this person just say one word to you, you got really upset. This person did something small to you, it’s unforgiveable. We become angry and stubborn, jealous and arrogant. So that time, where is our sincerity? Where is our patience now? Don’t think that this Holy days and nights they are going to come without any testing. Correct? Anything, if you want to know your station, if you want to know your value, then watch out for this holy days and night for things to happen that you will know by yourself where you stand. No one needs to tell you nothing. Maybe you are planning for everything to happen correctly, it doesn’t happen
In this Holy days and nights especially, I remember, so many weird thing starts happening with people. Then they are testing. What does that mean now when you are being tested? You must understand what that test is. Why it’s coming. So now, the certainty of our sins is one part of it.
You are asking a question (Sheykh is asking a murid at the Osmanli Dergahi) You are thinking about Leylatul Bera’at and what you’ve done from last Bera’at until now. Yes, so many people they are not even certain of their sins. They don’t sit down to think about what wrong they have done. Sincerely. ‘Certain of their sins’ meaning something that you’ve done, you know that it is wrong. You’ve messed up. You did damage. Then you must run to try to fix it. You must run to try to fix it. That time, that tauba becomes sincere. You did so much damage, you are going to sit down and you are just going to say, ‘astarghfirullah.’ Yes Allah, He says, ‘I forgive. I’m Rahman and Rahim. I can forgive you. I will forgive you.’ We said in the khutbah also that ayat describing the infinite quality of the mercy of Allah. It is not Allah that we should be worried about so much. It is each other. Whether you are going to forgive each other or not. Person is so arrogant and is so stubborn, person is so angry, he forgets about every good that you have done to him, he takes one bad thing and he judges you according to that dunya and ahiret. Isn’t it? We’ve met people like that?
Don’t meet people like that. Look at yourself. When that anger shoots you and it overtakes, that time you are trembling, your heart is beating fast, if you have a gun in your hand, definitely you are going to shoot someone. Isn’t it? Someone says something you don’t like, in this holy days and night. So one part is to be certain of your sins. How certain are you of your sins?
It’s like the story of this old woman who spent whole night in sejdah asking for Allah’s forgiveness. Then when she was in sejdah, this little kid comes and start playing and making some noise, immediately she goes up from sejdah and she starts cursing at that little kid, and cursing at the parents that let that little kid to disturb her worship to Allah.Subhana’Allah. How sincere you think that one is? That one is not thinking, ‘this is coming from my Lord, in his house,’ isn’t it? the masjid is the house of Allah isn’t it? In his house, something is happening. ‘The owner is sending it. I must sit and I must think, I mustn’t just react like that.’ You don’t have authority, you don’t have any power. You don’t have any permission to correct. Don’t. You know, you go to someone’s house, you see maybe certain things happening you don’t understand right or wrong, do you tell the person how to live? Do you? Do you go to someone’s house and you say, ‘oh your dishes is so much, why don’t you go and clean them. Why is this happening? Why is this happening?’ No. You just smile. It is like that woman, asking for tauba, asking for forgiveness, and Allah is testing her just with a little bit. Not with a grown man, not with a grown woman, not with food, not with this, not with hunger. Just a little kid who doesn’t know right and wrong and he’s just playing around like all little kids are, and she got really upset and starts cursing at that little kid. How much value do you think then that tauba has in the presence of Allah swt.
So, to be certain of our wrong actions, you must sit and you must think. Because majority of the people, they are not certain of their wrong actions. Wrong actions they say, ‘yeah but it’s because of this..but it’s because of that…’ even those ones who say, ‘yes..yes…yes.. I understand. It’s my mistake. But..,’ especially in this country they like to teach you that word, ‘But. However,’ always a sleek route out not to take all that responsibility and accountability to yourself.
Yes, it is a night to be accountable. We must account, to be certain of your wrong actions. Sit. ‘this is wrong I did. Why I did that?’ Not just to say, this is wrong, astarghfirullah, astarghfirullah, astarghfirullah…If you are building something and you make a wrong action and you see it’s crooked, what do you have to do? You have to fix it. How are you going to fix it? You have to see what are the mistakes you did, correct? Before you fix it, you have to see what are the mistakes. ‘oh, this one I calculate it wrong. What an idiot I am. I calculate it wrong. And instead of putting it here, I’m putting it this other way.’ So you have to know what needs to be fixed. Not just to say, ‘I made mistake,’ but, ‘where did I make that mistake? Exactly where?’
Yes, wrong things that you did, you are going to say, ‘why I said those words? What was going on in my head and in my heart that I can say those words. That I can do those things. That I can say that to that person. That I can do that kind of actions. What was happening?’ Oh you don’t like to look. Look at it. ‘I don’t like to look at it.’ Look at it. If you don’t look at it now and watch it, they are going to let the whole of creation to watch it on Judgement Day. Then when you see it, and you will feel shame from it. Then you are certain. Then that time you are going to run to fix it. How are you going to run to fix it? Yes, Sheykh Effendi said, coming to your question, every wrong things that we do, must be punished. Don’t run away from that. That’s why it is a big secret in Tarikat to understand that whatever little hardship that you get here and there and believe me, we still have little hardship that we are going through compared to millions of others out there. The little hardship, we must accept. And we must say, ‘Ya Rabbi, this headache that I’m getting, may it be a punishment for the wrong actions and deed that I’ve done.’ It’s just a headache. But we are connecting it and we are saying, ‘Ya Rabbi, if you are punishing me, if this is the bill that I have to pay, if this is the bill that I have to pay for the wrong actions that I have done, I accept it Ya Rabbi.
Somebody comes to you and say something to you. You don’t like, your heart is feeling upset, say to yourself, say to your ego, ‘you deserve it.’ Because you’ve done this things before to others. You’ve done other things. So you are accepting that punishment. You understand? That is one of the meaning there. You are accepting that punishment. Now, you are going to go to try to fix that matter, you are going to go out of your way to try to fix that matter. That is accepting the consequences of that action, not running away from the consequences. Accepting. I broke something. Not just to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ First step, yes, to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ So many they don’t even take the first step to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ So many they do something they pretend they never did it or they hide it. Later it’s found out and they said, ‘oh yeah. It happened.’ Then later, maybe, they say, ‘okay, I’m sorry.’ It doesn’t mean anything.
In these days of Bera’at, we have to know what our words when we say, ‘I’m sorry Ya Rabbi.’ What that sorry means. You understand? Because that word doesn’t have too much meaning, especially in this country. ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry.’ What does it mean now? You did a damage, are you trying to fix it? And are you trying to not only fix it but to make it better? If you don’t, the bill will increase. And Allah is giving us Holy nights and days, especially the days of Bera’at, to pay the bills without any interest. Astarghfirullah. It is nothing. Very small bill. If you say, ‘ah, I did this wrong and I’m not punished for it,’ just say, ‘Ya Rabbi. Let me just sit here. My ego doesn’t want to sit here. My ego wants to go to sleep. I’m a very weak creature Ya Rabbi. Let me just sit for five minutes, ten minutes, to punish myself a little bit. Let me go out and give some charity to people,’ but not charity that you have extra money and you just give. Something that is going to hurt you a little bit. Something that is going to take effort from you to try to fix the matter. Then that time, it will become very easy. You are cleaning yourself very well. And Allah is saying, ‘look at my little creature now. For My sake, to make Me happy, he is punishing himself.’
Does Allah need the punishment? Of course Allah doesn’t need. But we need it, to show that, ‘Ya Rabbi, we understand now. We understand. And these are the things that we are doing to make us to show to you that we understand.’ Sincerely.
If you have a little kid and that little kid does something wrong and he is so sorry, and he tries to fix the matter, sometimes you come back maybe you see this little kid trying to fix this, maybe he broke this chair, and he is so sorry and he is fixing it and he is saving money to buy you another chair maybe, where your heart is going to be? You are going to be very upset with him? Immediately your heart go soft. Why? Because that one he is admitting his weakness, and that weakness is showing that he is loving you. He is understanding you and loving you and taking care of what you feel. Maybe it is a mistake. Maybe it’s an honest mistake. But he doesn’t care, there is damage and he is trying to fix it. And he is going out of his way. When you witness something like that, your heart turns to compassion right away.
We are more weak than that little creature, in front of Allah swt. So this is why, holy days and nights, why I’m yelling and screaming at people, ‘come to the Dergah, come to the Dergah early. Do something. Clean yourself up.’ We will see. It’s not to come last minute and to stay up all night and to worship like that. That means you don’t understand the certainty of your wrong actions and you are not trying to fix it. It’s not just by saying, ‘astarghfirullah,’ pulling a tasbih, that you are fixing it. This goes beyond that.
Then there’s the other part, the uncertainty of our good actions. We just concentrating now on the certainty of our wrong actions. How about the uncertainty of our good actions? Majority they are very certain they did something good. Anything good that they do, they say, ‘yes I did.’ But Hz Hasan al-Basri is saying, ‘the uncertainty of my good actions.’ You are not certain whether your actions are going to be accepted or not. You don’t feel good when you don’t know. You are always anxious. You are worried. But because you are so worried trying to please Allah, Allah will send the Sakinah, the pleasure to your heart, the contentment to your heart that after you worry, you will come to the stage where you say, ‘ya Rabbi, this is all I can do. Please forgive me.’ And the contentment will reach to you because you are not being proud to say that ‘I did this.’ You know by yourself that there’s so many things that could be fixed, could be better, and you are doing it worrying whether Allah is going to like it or not. You know, when you are admitting that kind of weakness, then Allah will love you more.
Insya’Allah, in these days and nights, we take some of this words and we try to put it and be sincere about it and to come to our Lord, in His presence with an open heart, with our open book to say, ‘Ya Rabbi, please help me. This is what is written in my book. I’m reading it Ya Rabbi. I’m reading my life. I’m not hiding. I cannot hide anything from youYa Rabbi. But you are Sattar ul-uyyub, you are the coverer of shameful actions. You areGhaffar al-zunnub, you are the Ghaffar, the forgiver of sins. You are the coverer of Uyyub, aib, shameful actions. You are the Fatah al-Qulub, the opener of hearts.’ Now that time, when you have done all that, then that dua make sense. It hits. It’s sincere. You are not just reciting dua. We recite that everyday isn’t it? Ya Sattar ul-uyyub, ya Fatah al-Qulub, ya Ghaffar al-Zunnub, we recite that. But you are just reciting. But now, when you start doing all that spiritual exercises, then you know what Fatah a-Qulub is, what coverer of your shameful actions is. Allah is the One who covers. And what the forgiver of sins is. You understand that. That you understand. That becomes very sincere.
Open your heart and open your book and say to Allah, ‘Ya Rabbi, You are the only One who can cover this. I’m asking for Your mercy.’ Yes, that time, that kind of call, that is what Allah is asking, on that night of Bera’at: ‘who is there asking for forgiveness. I will forgive.’ Not just you are doing everything wrong, you don’t understand what you did, it’s become such a habit, you don’t wake up to it, but night of Bera’at you just pull a tasbih and say, ‘astarghfirullah, astarghfirullah, astarghfirullah…’ in ghaflet. Your astarghfirullah inghaflet, now it becomes a wrong action. You understand? You saying astarghfirullah now that astarghfirullah becomes a mistake, a guna. That is what Hz Rabiatul Adawiyah is saying, ‘if you say your astarghfirullah in ghaflet, you have to say astarghfirullah because of that astarghfirullah.’ You have to say another astarghfirullah because thatastarghfirullah that you did is in ghaflet. Meaning when you say astarghfirullah, instead of getting blessings, it is like a wrong, a bad deed, a wrong action that you did and you have to say astarghfirullah for that.
This is how we are going to improve. It is not through memorising so many ayats, so manyduas, so many salawats and just to sit and just to recite like that, like a parrot. That means there is no connection there. There is no feeling. There is no understanding. And you are taking the easy way thinking that this is a short cut. Then what happens after bera’at? You learn nothing. After bera’at, we are supposed to become better, to know, isn’t it? But you don’t know, you just continue like you did the last year. Do you think you are going to become better? You are not understanding the mistake. You are not understanding how to fix it, you are not running to fix it. You are not looking at your good actions and to say, ‘it is wrong over here, let me try to fix this.’ You are not looking at another good actions that you did that it is lacking here, ‘I need to fix this.’ You are not making any tafakkur. That time, even if you worship seventy years, you are not going to get nothing. One hour of meditation, it is better than seventy years of worship.
InsyaAllah ar-Rahman, may Allah give us more intelligence and faith to enter into this Holy days and nights, with this kind of understanding. To ask for forgiveness, to understand the wrongs that we have done, to be certain of them and to look at the good actions that we have done and to understand how weak they are and how to run to fix it. For the sake of the Holy Prophet (asws), Sultanul Awliya, SahibulSaif. Al-Fatiha. Ameen. SelamAleykum warahmatullahi Wabarakatu.
Sohbet after Jumma by Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
11 Shaban 1436H
May 30, 2015