Auzubillah himinash shaitan-nir-rajeem
Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatu. Welcome to you. BismillahirRahmanirRahim. If you think you are going to sit down to listen to a scholar, well, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Because I’m not a scholar. I’m not an academic. I’m just a simple man who lives on a farm, in Upstate New York, in a place call the Osmanli Dergahi. We are following the Naksibendi Tarikat and I’ve been studying under my Sheykh for a few years.
Ours is a way, Tarikat means way, Shariat means way. And our way is a way that has been handed down for fourteen hundred years, since the time of Hazreti Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra), who received some knowledge from the Holy Prophet (asws), to teach those who want to learn. Not to teach those who don’t want to learn. So, that being said, if there are those who don’t want to learn, we are not going to force you. Because what we are asking for right now, is the blessings of Allah swt, through His Holy Beloved one, Sayidinna Maulana Muhammad Rasulullah Alaihi Salatu Wa salam, Rahmatul lil Alamin. For whose reason, we are gathered here, celebrating the maulid, his birth, or his physical appearances here in this world. And I’m sorry, I came a little bit late, otherwise I would have sat there listening to the scholars who spoke here before, to learn something. But like I said, I’m not a scholar. I’m a simple person. I’m not claiming to know anything. I learn something from our Sheykh and when the permission and the way is open for us to come and to visit, we come and we visit.
Ours is the first one, as long as I know, as much as I know, that is making a Grand Tour, a Cross Country, from the East Coast, insya’Allah we are going all the way to the West Coast, celebrating the Maulid of the Holy Prophet (asws) and bringing the Sakal e-Sharif. The Mu’in Mubarak. Hoping for the mercy of Allah swt to be bestowed to us. Hoping, insyaAllah, this nation and this continent, the believers will wake up. Believers, not just Muslims or Jews or Christians. Believers. Because there are believers and there are unbelievers in every group and in every religion. And there are true sincere ones, and there are munafiqs in every religion and in every group. May Allah safe us from being a hypocrite.
So, we came here from the mountains of the Catskill, where right now as we are speaking, it’s probably about 7 degrees and there’s snow everywhere. And we are coming here, Alhamdulillah, in Arizona, and the temperature is seventy degrees. And just as we pulled up, the rain started falling, little bit. I’m sure some of you, if you are aware, you have seen, rain being rahmat. And the rahmat follows the Rahmatul-lil Alameen wherever he travels. And we are here to show our love for the Holy Prophet (asws) and our highest respect. Because Allah loves him. Because the Prophets they love him. Because the Angels they love him. And Allah and the Angels continuously send Salawat and darood e-sharef upon the Holy Prophet (asws). Not once. Holy Quran is speaking, and when Allah does something, it is from eternity, pre-eternity, to post eternity. And the friends of Allah, they say, ‘you cannot imitate Allah in whatever that you do because He is a Creator and we are creature, except for one thing, and that is giving the Salawats on the Holy Prophet (asws). Giving their darood.’ This is not an alternative vision, or concept, or belief in Islam. This has been the backbone of Islam for fourteen hundred years, and even before. Because every Prophet, from Adam (as) to Nuh (as) to Ibrahim (as), that through our Holy traditions, spiritual traditions, they say that there are 124,000 Prophets that came and every Prophet was told of the coming of the Prophet of the last days. Adam (as) was informed of the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (asws), so was Nuh (as) and Ibrahim (as), so was Musa (as) and definitely Isa (as) foretold it in his Books.
The blessings that come from being one member of the community of the ummat, and the ummat of the Prophet (asws), it is not limited to Muslims. The ummat of the Prophet (asws) is anyone who was born from the time of the Prophet until Judgment day. That includes Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhist, everyone, belonging to that ummat. Whether they believe or they don’t believe, whether they accept the invitation of Islam or they don’t accept, that is another story, but they belong to him. And we are bless, because Allah swt has chosen us to be in the ummat of the chosen Prophet. It was an honour that even the Prophets they were willing to give up their Prophethood just to become a regular member of the ummat of the Holy Prophet (asws) like you and me. Because they understood.
Every Prophet was foretold the coming of the last one, of the Khatame Nabi. And the love and the respect, let alone creation that Allah has for the Holy Prophet (asws), who can guess Allah love’s for him, that Allah swt said in a hadiths e-Qudsi, ‘Lau laqa. Lau laqa – If it were not for you. If it were not for you, I would not have created the universe.’ This is central to our beliefs, because our faith rest on two conditions. BismillahirRahmanirRahim, Ashhadu alla ilaha illallah, but it does not end there. It continues with wa ashaduana Muhamadan Abduhu wa Rasulluhu (asws). And for fourteen hundred years, since the physical appearance of the Prophet (asws) which he physically appeared here fourteen hundred years ago, but Prophet (asws) also said, ‘ I was a Prophet when Adam (as) was between water and clay.’ So, we cannot speak too much about the reality of the Prophet (asws) because the foundation is not laid, for some. And for some we are putting them into very dangerous position where they’ll start denying and they say, ‘he’s just a man.’ Of course he is a man. But just as marble is a stone and diamonds are stones, but they are complete different now.
For fourteen hundred years, the trouble has never been about La ilaha ilallah. Because even the musyriks at that time, someway, somehow, they say, ‘yes we believe in Allah,’ didn’t they? But they say, ‘we also want to believe in the Banatullah, in the daughters of Allah. In the other ones, in the other idols.’ Yes. May Allah protect us from that. We will get into hidden idols a little bit later. But the problem has always been, the issue has always been about Muhammadur Rasulullah (asws), from that time until now. And as Muslims, our faith is not complete if we only say, ‘La ilaha ilallah.’ Because now, in order to know Allah swt, we have to know the Prophet (asws). In order to love Allah swt, we have to love the Prophet (asws). Where are we getting this from? This is not an idea, or a concept, or a philosophy. This is ayat of Allah swt, ayatul Kerima, Allah swt said, “Say to them Ya Muhammad (asws), if they love Allah, they must love you and obey you for Allah to love them.” So there is a condition now, in reaching to Allah swt, because yes, Allah swt is close to us, He is closer to us than our jugular veins, but at the same time, it is undeniable that there is a protocol in reaching to Allah swt. And there is a protocol where Divine Revelation is given to mankind. If Allah had wanted, He would not have send a single Prophet. If Allah had wanted, He would not have sent Rahmatul lil Alamin. He would have just given Quran to each and to everyone of us, to our hearts. But He did not. He send that Prophet (asws). None of the Sahabis, after accepting Islam, would push the Prophet aside. None of them in their lifetime, say, ‘I know because Allah told me so,’ or ‘Quran is saying this.’ Because they were always looking at the Holy Prophet (asws) and says, ‘you are our Prophet. You are our guide.’
So Holy Prophet (asws) came as a mercy to complete the religion of Islam that did not just begin 1400 years ago. Because Allah swt said, ‘ Innaddina Indallahil Islam – The religion accepted with Allah (Inna’Allah) is Islam.’ It is a religion that is from pre-eternity to post eternity. And the Quran e-Kerim came down to the heart of the Prophet (asws). It did not come down as a Book. Jibreel (as) did not come down with a Book, opening it and saying to the Prophet, ‘read,’ when the first revelation, ‘Iqra.’ He said,’read.’ It was not a book. It was read what is in our heart, what was in his heart. Iqra. And read only with the name of Allah. Read with the name of Allah, the Allah that created you.
So now when we speak about knowledge, there is zahir knowledge and there is batin knowledge. There is external knowledge and there is internal knowledge. There is knowledge that is contained in the physical book, which can be altered, it can be changed, it can be destroyed, it can be gotten rid of. People tried, at any rate. Now, we are seeing there are different versions of Quran, translation of the Quran of course, that is creeping up here and there. Same thing with the Hadiths. We see different majlis of different alims in different countries, is sitting down and saying, ‘well this hadiths, it doesn’t fit to this modern time because it is against, say, animal rights,’ although it was Prophet (asws) who brought animal rights to this world. One woman who did so much wrong, because she gave some water to a dying cat from thirst, she is admitted to Paradise. They say, there are other hadiths, they say this doesn’t fit, they throw it out. Other Hadiths, they are saying, ‘this hadiths they are misogynistic, doesn’t fit to this time, we throw them out.’ ‘These are the hadiths it doesn’t conform to our political Ideology. Or our social morays at this time, let’s throw it out.’ Physical knowledge. But Islam, is revelation. And Islam, it is a living religion. Islam cannot be contained in a physical book. There is spiritual knowledge. And spiritual knowledge it is passed from heart to heart. No one can patent it. No one can copyright it. And no one can destroy it. And the holder of the Zahir knowledge, they are important, of course, but it is always the batin that gives life to the body. Not the Zahir.
So, in this spiritual sight of Islam, this is what we are referring to as Tarikat, way, following those ones who were trained, and taught and those ones who were trained and taught, and those ones who were trained and taught, reaching out to ta direct lineage, to the Holy Prophet (asws), and just as everyone goes through great school, some decide to drop out. Most go through high school. Some decide to drop out, then they will go to college, then post-graduate, then higher. There is also, yes, there is stratification in Islam. There is stratification in spirituality. Because Allah swt said, ‘above every knower, there is a knower.’ We cannot compare our faith with the faith of those ones who live a hundred years ago, before the fitnah of technology . We cannot compare ourselves to that faith. We cannot compare our faith to those ones who were living under Shariat and Khilafat. We cannot compare our faith to those ones who lived in the time of say, Hasanul Basri, or the time of the Sahaba e-Kiram. This is edep. This is manners. This is knowing where man is, knowing where you are circling, where you are making the, you know as the Mevlavis, they whirl knowing where their orbit is, and they don’t crush into each other. That is ma’rifat enough. But in this time of extreme fitnah, we are led and taught to believe that we can know everything and interfere into everything and be expert of everything. No man in his right mind is going to say, just because he is interested in law, and he happens to read the constitution, that he’s a lawyer. But we’ve come to the situation now when we see a person knowing a couple of ayats or knowing a couple of hadiths and they are making takfir on each other, and making fatwas. May Allah keep us away from ignorance.
Holy Prophet (asws), he was asked, ‘Ya Rasulullah, what is your favourite name?’ because Prophet (asws) had thousands of names. Not one. Hz ibn Arabi collected over a thousand names, in the Dalail e-Sharif, over two hundred names. Whatever titles, whatever praises you want to put on him, put. It’s also a miracle in Islam that over fourteen hundred years, no matter how much the muslims love the Prophet (asws) and raise him to higher station, they never worship him. Never. He became Muhammadur Rasulullah, he’s always Muhammadur Rasulullah. Never he became an Illah, that is a miracle. But the jealous ones, they say, ‘no, why should you be respecting him so much.’ The jealous ones say, ‘no. why should you be making the inner sejdah to him? Sejdah, sujud is only for Allah. Prostration is only for Allah. Only Allah.’ That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Because wrong minded people also saying, ‘sheytan did not make sejdah to Adam (as) because he was extremely strong in his tauhid, that he made sejdah only to Allah and not to His creation.’ And they start praising sheytan and saying that he is even willing to give up from his faith and his love of Allah, just so that he holds on to Tauhid properly. I don’t know about that. 1400 years, we are ahle Sunnah wal jamaat, Alhamdulillah. And we are following the traditions of 1400 years strongly. But now, when Holy Prophet (asws) was asked, ‘which one ya Rasulullah is your favourite name?’ He said, ‘Abdullah.’
Abdullah. He is Habibullah. He is Sahibul Taj, he is Sahibul Qalba Qawlsayn, whatever title that you have, like the poet of the sub-continent, sometimes it’s because of the Aashiq al-Rasul, it hits them so much and they get a little bit crazy, they said, ‘other than Allah, you are the greatest. Allah is the greatest. But other than Allah, amongst the creations, you are.’ Of course he is. And now, it has come to the point where the name of the Holy Prophet (asws), yes, in our tradition, especially in the Osmanli Naksibendi tradition, whenever the Prophet (asws) is mentioned, we put our hand to our heart. Same reason why we stand up when the Salawatul Sharef is given. This is respect.
One time, it’s not for me, we are standing up for the Prophet. One time, Sheykh Maulana Nazim, our GrandSheykh, may Allah raise his station, he had to speak at the unity conference and it’s one of the conference that actually calls for unity. Calling people of different groups of Islam saying, basically, ‘lets stop all our fighting. And sit together.’ When he entered and the murids out of love, stood up, out of love, and there are other ones who are there and they don’t like Tasawuf so much, they don’t understand, they are a little bit different that way, let’s say. They don’t like the Sheikh to be walking, he’s a seventy year old man, coming up, some of them standing up. And they start to speak to each other, they said, ‘why are they doing that? This is haram. This is this, this is that,’ very simple. Again our Sheykh, he’s an Awliya, he’s not a scholar. So he gave an answer that fits to that. He says, ‘my sons and my daughters. You are upset with me and them because they stood up when I enter. Let me tell you a story: One time, they were carrying the jenazah of a dead Jew in front of the Prophet (asws). And the Prophet (asws) stood up.’ He says, ‘my sons and my daughters, don’t you think I’m a little better than a dead Jew?’ He smiled and said, ‘ah, it’s okay. As you like.’ This is the way of tarikat. As you like. As you like. But to stand up for the honour of the Prophet (asws), to put our hands there (on the chest), they asked us so many times, ‘why do you do that?’ We are saying this is in imitation of the companions of the Prophet (asws), because whenever the name was mentioned, ‘Nabi, Rasulullah (asws)’ their hearts would start to beat and shake because of that love. And they would have a seizure, it will start jumping they will have to hold on to their chest, to calm it. It’s not a story, this is real.
This is the love that Uwais al-Qarani had that because of his love of the Holy Prophet (asws), in the battle of Uhud, when the teeth of the Prophet (asws) was made syahid and he heard the teeth of his beloved were lost, he took out all his teeth. He said, ‘how can my beloved’s mouth be hurt and I have the teeth in mine?’ Love makes you to do crazy things. In these, today’s context, they are going to say, ‘he’s a crazy man. Why is he doing this? Isn’t this extreme?’ If you have love, you will do extreme things. 33 teeth that he strung up altogether that made the tasbih. His love for the Prophet (asws) was so much, was so great that when the Prophet (asws) passed , Prophet gave, before he passed he said, ‘take this jubbah give it to Ali and Umar (Hz). Go to the land of Yemen, find Uwais al-Qarani, give this to him and tell him to pray for my nation, especially the nation living in the west.’ And that was the Jubbah, the Hirqa e-Sharif that the Prophet (asws) wore when he was having his nazar, and he was sweating. His jubbah was then passed to Hz Ali and Hz Umar, and they travelled there.
Hz Uwais al-Qarani has never met the Prophet (asws), not even once, physically. Once he travelled, but because he listened to his mother, his mother said, ‘go, if you don’t see the Prophet (asws), come back.’ He went. He didn’t take the bus. He didn’t take the car, like we did. He walked. Because he was a very humble, simple man who looks after camels, so many times, for free. Society looked down on him. So when Hz Ali and Hz Umar (ra) they travelled to Yemen and they saw where he was, and they asked, and they pointed to where he is and they saw an old man under a tree that was sleeping. They approached him. And Uwais al-Qarani (hz) said, ‘Ya Ali, give me my emanet.’ Hz Ali was shocked. Hz Umar was shocked. They presented the Hirqa e-Sharif to him. He took it, he kissed it, put it on top of his head and he went straight to sejdah and he prayed, and he prayed, and he prayed, for the ummat. Yes, because Holy Prophet (asws), other than the love of Allah, he loves his ummat. His first word after he was born was, ‘Ashaduala ilaha ilallah , inni Rasulullah, Ummati, Ummati.’ His last words before he passed was, ‘ummati, ummati.’ His first words when he will be raised on Judgement Day is, ‘Ummati, ummati.’ Who is Ummat? You and me. Who are we that he is loving us so much?
He prayed. And Hz Umar, being Hz Umar, very strong and hot blooded saying, ‘Ya Uwais, enough already. We are waiting for such a long time.’ Uwais al-Qarani then stood up and say, ‘Ya Umar, if you had been more patient, I would have been able to grant syafa’at to the entire ummat of the Prophet (asws), to save them from Hellfire. I saved two thirds.’
Then he turned to Hz Umar and said, ‘Ya Umar, how many times have you seen the Prophet (asws)?’
Hz Umar said, ‘what do you mean? I see him everyday.’
Then he turned to Hz Ali and said, ‘Ya Ali, how many times have you seen the Prophet?’
Hz Ali then understood. It’s not seeing with this eyes. He said, ‘Ya Uwais, once.’
Then Uwais al-Qarani turned to Hz Umar and said, ‘Ya Umar, the way that you see the Prophet is the way that Abu Jahil is seeing the Prophet (physically with this eyes).’
Then he said, ‘Ya Ali, tell me, when did you see the Prophet(asws)?’
Hz Ali then narrated: On the day that we conquered Mecca, and we went to Ka’aba e-Sharif to destroy the idols, to take down the idols, and there was one that was huge inside the Ka’aba. There was one that was so huge we had difficulty to bring it down. I said to the Prophet (asws), ‘Ya Rasulullah, step on my shoulders, we can bring it down.’ He says, ‘Ya Ali, you cannot carry the burden of my Prophethood. You will be crushed. You climb on my shoulder.’ And the minute that Hz Ali started to climb to the shoulders of the Prophet (asws), and he saw, when he faced the Prophet, he saw, what did he see? He saw above his belly button, the world, the Paradises up till Sidratul Muntaha and from his head beyond continuing, he could not even describe. And when he looked down from the belly button, from the naval of the Prophet (asws), the seven earth and the hells and beyond. He looked to the right, he looked to the left now, what did he see? He saw with the spiritual eye, the reality of the Prophet (asws), then he saw what contains in the Prophet and what the Prophet (asws) contains. He said that to Uwais al-Qarani. Then Uwais al-Qarani said to Hz Ali (kw), ‘yes Ali, you saw him once. I see him at every moment.’
His love was so great that Allah swt will test his Habibullah on the day of Judgement. He will create forty Uwais al-Qaranis, identical. And He says to His beloved, He will say to His beloved, ‘You gave your jubbah to him. Find which one is that one who loved you.’
Alhamdulillah, Prophet (asws), whose name is so precious to us that we put our hands to our heart. Now so many different reports we are seeing, the name has become so cheap. Recently I read an article, in a country, let’s just say, Saudi Arabia. That name has become synonymous to, for example over here when we say, ‘amigo,’ derogatory. They call anyone who sweeps the street, who picks up trash, they don’t know his name, the person may not even be a muslim, and they can’t be bothered to call him even, ‘brother,’ these days, you know what they call him? Muhammad. They said, ‘Muhammad! Where are you? Come here.’ Astarhgfirullahal Azim wa atubu ilaih. May Allah forgive us. May Allah make us to be Abdullah. Just to be a simple servant to Allah swt. Because this is what we are aiming for. This is what our Tarikat is teaching us, to be a simple servant of Allah swt. To be Abdullah, just as His beloved was, an Abdullah.
And in our way, because we are concentrating on spirituality, it is not the zahir knowledge that we are concentrating on, in our way, the Mashaykhs, the Shuyukhs, they are concentrating on the enemies, the enemies of man. Not America, it’s not an enemy. Not China. Not Russia. No. The enemy of man first, our nafs. Then sheytan, Hawa and dunya. These are the four enemies that if we are concentrating on them and recognising what is our hawa, what are the desires, what is the pull of this dunya that Allah swt has said in so many ayats in the Holy Quran. This world it is just a game to you. It is just an illusion to you. Sheytan which is an open enemy and our nafs that is the enemy inside of us. And in our way, we are concentrating on the nafs, and to understand that, that inside of the nafs that Allah swt has put into every men and women, it’s the same you and me, rich or poor, young or old, the nafs is there. And the nafs has characteristics that it inherits from sheytan. And now we are speaking beyond knowledge. Because sheytan had knowledge. Sheytan had knowledge that he was able to teach the Angels what they did not know. But Sheytan did not have knowledge of himself. Our Sheykh is concentrating on this. Because this is the reason of our creations.
We have been created to know Allah and to worship Allah. Nothing else. But in order to know Allah, in order to worship Allah, for us to worship Allah, we have to know Him first. How can you worship that which you do not know? But to know Allah swt, the Holy Prophet (asws) had said, ‘he who knows himself, knows his Lord.’ So it comes back again, full circle. So to know us, to know ourselves, the Mashaykhs and the Shuyukhs now concentrating, in order to know yourself, understand what is the characteristics that you inherit, that Allah has put that is positive and negative. And the characteristics that we inherit from sheytan: anger, arrogance, stubbornness and envy. And these four characteristics, it doesn’t matter if you are young or you are old, you are rich or you’re poor, you have knowledge or you don’t have knowledge, it is in you. And unless you can get rid of these characteristics, even if you are worshipping twenty four hours, if you cannot get rid of that jealousy and the arrogance that is inside of you, Jannat is forbidden to us. Who is saying this? Holy Prophet (asws).
So now, the enemy within. This is what we are concentrating on. It may take some, their whole life to understand. Some, it may take a little shorter, but, like I said before, right in the beginning, I’m not giving a lecture, I’m not a scholar, what we are hoping to have here, it is a sohbet. It is an association. Because our Tarikat, our way, is founded on association. It’s based on association. Tarikatuna sohbet fil khayri min Jamiya. And our Pir, Şah-ı Nakşibend said that, and he said that because he says, ‘only Prophets they give advice.’ We are not Prophet. We don’t give advice. We give sohbet. An association. And goodness comes from association. And the association is the association of the Prophet (asws). And from the association of the Prophet (asws), those ones who were animals and had animals characteristics, who were burying their daughters and their children, they became Sahabis.
May Allah forgive us and accept our Tawba and our worship. We are not claiming anything. We are looking, we are searching and we are learning. If there is something there, that is of benefit to you, understand that it’s coming from my Sheykh, from the Prophet, ultimately from Allah swt. You like it, take. If you don’t like it, it’s okay. Leave it. I’ll take it. As you like. Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatu.
Sohbet At The Islamic Center Of The North East Valey In Scottsdale, Arizona, by Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
1 Rabiulakhir 1435H
February 1, 2014