Step on your ego and prepare for Ramazan


Ramazan - Hoja

Medet ya SahibulSaif. Syukur Alhamdulillah, we are continuously thanking our Lord Allah swt for giving us another blessed day. Today is a Friday. It is more Holy than the two Bayrams and the two Eids combine, isn’t it? And today is the day of one of the Holiest night in Islam. But if you look around and you see how many believers, how many Muslims are taking these days seriously? We will be hard pressed to find too many people doing that. Alhamdulillah, we see some people making the effort. Allah is just looking for that. He is saying, ‘if you take one step to Me, I will take ten steps to you.’ Of course it’s a work day, but those, especially those of you who are making it little bit more harder on yourself to come here and to celebrate fully, completely, Allah will look at you differently from those who say, ‘I will only come near to You ya Rabbi, if it is convenient for me.’

This is a very Holy time. We should not be wasting it. And the night of Bera’at has passed and insya’Allah ar-Rahman, may our Bera’at be clean. Now our records are all sealed. Never it can be changed. It cannot be opened until judgement Day. May whatever our records be, may it be good and clean and pure. With the blessings and with the help of our Sheykh, insya’Allah.

So, this is something that we should be taking seriously, we should be watching out for. Otherwise, the small problems of the dunya is going to eat us alive, that we have everything but the small things that the ego says, ‘it’s not pleasing me,’ we get very miserable about. Like what Sheykh Effendi says: the man who is not pleasing Allah, he will be upset with everything, he will even be upset with the clothes that he’s wearing. He starts pulling on the clothes. And he’ll be upset with everything that it’s not going his way. Insya’Allah, may Allah make us to have more control of our anger this year. Because these things also we are putting it on ourselves. Of course the world is there as an enemy, we cannot complain and ask Allah, ‘why is this world an enemy? Why are you putting sheytan on me? Why is my ego like this?’ That is still a very low level understanding of you and your Lord. ‘Why are you doing this to me?’ Small little kids saying that, but once you get older then you realise that it is not Allah, it is you.

Power is given to you, and Allah  swt is saying, ‘Know that everything good that happens to you, it is from Me. And everything that is bad that is happening to you is coming from your ego.’ The one who is an adult, if he does something wrong, up till how much can he blame his mother? That she didn’t raise him right when he’s seven years old, or his father, or his….does it have an influence? Yes, but is our ego or sheytan putting a gun to our head, telling us to do something, forcing us? No. It’s just persuading, waswasa, persuading. And it is persuasion that is a very powerful tool too, because sheytan is the most intelligent one, on the left side. Of course the Angel and the Prophet they are more intelligent than that. But sheytan is very sleek. Don’t look down on him. He can use the power of persuasion for you to make you to do things that otherwise you are not going to. And he has helped from the inside, that is your ego. He has an ally from the outside too, it’s the dunya. And he has help also from the inside, which is what? The desire.


So now, how much more careful we have to be? How much more awake we have to be? How much more subtle that the waswasa and the ego is working inside of us that we must wake up to not let these enemies to bring us down?

We finished, last night, maybe some of us we worship a little bit extra. Maybe we fill up our treasure box a little bit. To know that sheytan and our ego never leaves us free. They are working and awake 24 hrs. They are never in ghaflet. You think they are going to look at the treasures that we have collected and they are going to leave us alone? Today or tomorrow, especially like I said, Holy days and nights, especially Ramazan is entering, they are going to work even harder to say, ‘now, I must prepare everything so that they enter to Ramazan empty and they will leave Ramazan empty.’

The person who is in ghaflet is the person who is so drowned and drunk. The person who is awake and more awake is a person who is able to step outside of himself and the situation and look. So the more that you are drunk and drown in the situation that is around you, the more ghaflet you are going to be. The more that you are going to remove yourself from yourself and the situation and holding on to your Sheykh because your Sheykh is looking from the outside too. That time you’ll have the tools and the weapons to fight against your ego and against sheytan and other people’s ego and sheytan too. Like I said, sheytan is outside, he has help inside and all around. He’s going to try to take out all these treasures now, for you to spend it. For you to finish it. Now we have to be careful in these days, especially before Ramazan, to watch. This is part of the training in Tarikat. Just as Sheytan does not rest to bring you down, we must not rest to control our ego, even if it’s a little bit.

We are not saying, 24 hrs, hundred thousand percent we are just going to full throttle everything. No. just a little bit. When you are eating, just to say, ‘BismillahirRahmanirRahim,’ with every mouthful, if you can. Don’t enter into talks, especially in the Dergah, into discussions so much that they are going to pull you away into the dunya. That’s why, in the Dergah, the food table, that is a surgeon’s table. They say it’s the table of a doctor. And when we are eating with Sheykh Effendi, we watch him. Now and again, yeah, we may talk, but we keep looking. We keep looking. And he is watching. He is watching everyone’s manners, from how you pick up to how you chew to how you speak, he knows your progress. He knows what you need. He knows what you have not been working on. So a little bit, when you are eating, say, ‘BismillahirRahmanirRahim.’ Make it a habit. That time, what are you fighting against then that time? Against your animal self. Because the animal self wants to eat. The spirit doesn’t want to eat. Spirit doesn’t need to eat. But the animal self wants to jump into the food and wants to just be in a drunk situation, like what they are teaching us in the system: Eat and drink, walk around and eating and drinking and be drunk.

HojaEffendi (2)

Allah is Razzaq. One of the prayer we prayed for last night is Rizq, Ya Razzaq, to provide for us provision that is going to be a blessing. And when we are eating, Allah is providing the rizq to us directly and we are taking that. How much are we remembering our Lord? Check yourself. From the beginning till the end. If you start saying, ‘BismillahirRahmanirRahim,’ but the Bismillah also becomes a routine, like a robotic action. Then stop yourself. Then say, Syukr Alhamdulillah. Then start thinking, ‘I’m eating this. How blessed I am. I’m eating this, so many they don’t have the opportunity. I’m eating this. I remember the Holy Prophet (asws) and the Sahaba e-Kiram.’ So you start building your faith, stepping on your ego and your animal self, in a situation where most people say that has nothing to do with worship. But it is also attacking it from the back. If you are able to do that properly, where your whole body now is screaming for you to just jump, especially when Ramazan is going to enter and a lot of people, what is the use of a daytime you are stepping on your ego, you are not eating, then once the night time enters, then you dive into your food and you keep eating and drinking until Fajr.

I went somewhere one time, so many things that are question mark there, we look and we learn. Of course they are not perfect but we are learning what others they are doing. It’s a Maulid event. People are there, you know with all these gatherings they have a programme and they have to please the jamaat because the masjid is based on the jamaat, it’s not based on the Imam. Isn’t it? If the jamaat votes you, then you become in power. If they vote you out, then you are out of it. So everything the jamaat says, you have to run. It doesn’t matter now whether it’s something that is wise or it’s not wise to do.

So they have their programme, and their programme saying: this time we are going to eat, this time we are going to sing naat, of course all these mehfils it’s all about naats. But what happens after the naats? You forget about it? You are saying, ‘oh, I’m going to sacrifice everything,’ but when the food comes you jump to the food. It happens you know. I know people, they are talking, talking, talking, Aashiq Al Rasul, Aashiq Al Rasul, big alims, the food is coming, people are bringing trays, he keeps looking at the food, talking about Aashiq Al Rasul. It happens. Am I saying that man is evil? No. What am I saying? The man has to be aware when his animal self is pulling him away. And he has to put a stop. If he is not training himself, that time when it comes he’s going to fail. If he’s trained, food enters, he knows, ‘this is food. I must not look. Something is happening. This is a test. Allah is looking at me.’

So in that situation, there was naats and we had to speak a couple of words. Let’s say, one o’clock we are supposed to stop to pray and then eat afterwards, but it got delayed a little bit. Instead of one o’clock, now one o’clock the man is looking at his watch, he’s asking me to speak, I’m speaking a little bit, I’m deliberately slowing everything down. I said, ‘any question?’ Somebody stood up and ask a very Tarikat kind of question, which is a very good question. I can spend one hour talking about this. But he is feeling very nervous. People are feeling very nervous. They start putting out all the food. Then I said, ‘you know what, let me answer later. Because the food is here, I don’t want to stop people. Because when it  comes to things like that, they jumped to the Prophet’s hadiths saying, ‘when the food is served, you have to stop everything. You have to stop everything and you have to serve.’ Why do you have to serve the food? Don’t serve the food. Something is going on. Which is more important now? Eating or worshipping? Obviously it’s worshipping, right? So why are you serving the food when people are worshipping? Maybe you should not serve the food to tempt people.

For that kind of hadiths, they jumped and they are very religious. But thousands of other hadiths that talks about how you have to step on your ego, they just ignore. So where is this? A Double standard.  You see, in our Tarikat it’s pretty simple. It’s simple. Above everything, if it’s hard on your ego, ego doesn’t like it, do it. The ego likes it, put a question mark or stop, or understand, or try to stop.

Religious way, same thing too. You are worshipping, somebody is reciting Quran very loudly next to you. You feel distracted. That’s another sickness also. You are not supposed to read Quran so much loudly in the masjid to distract other people too. Everyone worship. Everyone has their own orbit. You cannot spin in other people’s orbit. You are going to crush into each other. What is more difficult now? Easy thing is for me to say, ‘this idiot. Let me just go somewhere else.’ Harder thing for you is to say, ‘hmm, my ego doesn’t like it. But it’s testing now my concentration to Allah. Let me do it. Let me at least do it a little bit. Later I may walk away.’ To test yourself. Not to take the easy way out.

So the man got very nervous when somebody else asked me a question about Tarikat and I said I can speak for half an hour. He got really nervous and I said, ‘you know what? Let me speak to you privately because now the food is served.’ And he’s so happy. He said, ‘yes, Alhamdulillah, we have very wise brother here. Masha’Allah. We love him. Because he understands us, you know….’ Then I’m listening, because tafakkur is self-reflection, it’s meditation, it is observation, because Allah swt is saying to us continuously in the Quran, ‘think, think, think. Why don’t you think.’ These are signs for people of intelligence. These are signs for people who think. The more that you think and you reflect, the more you are making zikr. because zikr is to make you think. Not just to make you say, ‘Allah, Allah, Allah..’

I’m listening to him and  he is saying, ‘masha’Allah, thank you brother. Very enlightening talk. Insya’Allah we will…..’ you know, they say all those words. And he says, ‘Alhamdulillah, we have the food here. Please brother, we have the food here. Please don’t rush with the food. You know, because we have to first to serve the woman, and serve our guest. Because we are fasting and we should keep our nafs in check and not to be rushing at the food. Because everyone just don’t rush, and be very careful and be very nice and be very courteous and serve others first.’ And I’m thinking, still you are interrupting a worship for the food. You are telling people not to rush to the food, but you are rushing to serve them the food. You understand? And I think, ‘it’s okay.’ I didn’t say anything. Not necessary, but that is not our style.

Yes, there are certain things in Tarikat that we are going to do that’s going to  raise a lot of question marks. You break your fast, we break our fast here with water and dates. That’s good. A lot of Pakistanis are still here. Masha’Allah, that is first test. The test during Ramazan, if you come and you break your fast, only with water and dates. Not pakoras, not samosas, not idli. You have passed. And we pray first and then we sit down to eat. It’s good for everything. It is  sunnat. Sheykh Effendi, when we break our fast, he used to make us sit for one hour, giving sohbet. You remember those days? (Sheykh is asking a murid). One hour giving sohbet. Sometimes he will give sohbet before maghrib and when maghrib enters, he will continue. What? You are going to put up your hand and say, ‘excuse me, Prophet (asws) says…’

So all these things it’s going to teach us to step on our ego. So, we should take these days to put a little bit of control so that when we enter into the Ramazan, we are going to be more prepared for it. And be very aware of your enemies. Be very aware of them. Be aware of the sheytans inside and outside. Be aware of your ego and another people’s ego. You see yourself taking out of control a little bit, push it back. ‘It’s difficult, of course it’s going to be difficult but the blessings is going to come with that and it will make you to survive. It will make you to not only survive, rise to better stations. If you let go, it feels good. but the heaviness is going to pull you down. So that’s as much as we can say. InsyaAllah ar-Rahman, may we enter into the month of Ramazan clean and together, insyaAllah. Fatiha.

Hoja and murids

After Zikir Sohbet by Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
16 Shaban 1435H
June 13, 2014

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