Question: I have made many mistakes throughout my life and I’m struggling not to make anymore. How can I utilize and ask for forgiveness in this Holy month of Ramazan?
How you are going to ask for forgiveness? Sit down somewhere, take out a tasbih and say astarghfirullah. Pull that tasbih but don’t do it in ghaflet. Every time you pull a tasbih, say, ‘astarghfirullah for this action that I did.’ Remember that action. Remember what kind of damage it is doing to you and to others. Say,’because of this word I’ve spoken, it is wrong.’ Be sincere. Count the wrong things that you have done and understand the damage that it is doing, sincerely ask for forgiveness and say, ‘ I want to change.’ That time the ‘astarghfirullah’ will not be considered a sin. Astarghfirullah’will be something that is real.
Even if you just pull, say fifty astarghfirullah, but you are sitting down and you say, ‘I did this. I say astarghfirullah I should not have. This one I should not have.’ Then sit and think, ‘I don’t want to fall into this mistake again, Ya Rabbi. I don’t want to repeat this. I ask You so many times but I’m still repeating it. I’m asking for your help Ya Rabbi, I don’t know why.’ Then think. You know why you are repeating it. I’m repeating it because I’m too lazy Ya Rabbi. I’m repeating it because I’m too impatient. I’m repeating it because I’m very spoiled. I’m repeating it, I understand now but when the situation comes, I forget about everything. Because I’m so arrogant. Because I’m not thinking at that time. I’m letting my anger to overtake me.
So once you start digging in deeper and deeper, then you understand not only the action, when that action happened, why it happened, since when. And ask that that situation if it happens again, you are caught to do something that you usually take the left road to make that mistake, now another road is opening up for you, now you have the sohbet and you have the medet, now to take the road that is correct. Not the road that is wrong. Not to be controlled when you come to that fork there, then your ego is saying, ‘turn left,’ you’ve always turned left, to have the power to say, ‘wait a minute. I’m going to be patient. I’m going to sit for a few seconds and not repeat the same mistakes because the same thing that I’m doing.
When you are sincere like that, then the help will come. The medet is going to come. Guidance is going to come. Wisdom is going to come. Intelligence is going to come, you are going to rise to higher stations, you are going to understand better things, more things then that time. But if you are surrounding yourself with people or with things that is going to push you to make the wrong choice, and you are alone, then most likely you are going to make that wrong choice. Like what Hz Ali, Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, ‘the man’s religion is the religion of his friends.’ Your religion is the religion of the people that you hang out with. Your deen, your lifestyle, your thoughts, your ideology, meaning whoever that you hang out with, that is you. Like the say in English, what, ‘birds of a feather they flock together.’ So who you surround yourself with, you want to become part of that group.
So if you say, ‘no, no. I want to be good but I’m surrounded by bad people,’ we say, because you like to be around bad people. Pull yourself out from that. Be around people that is light-minded like you, fighting against to the ego, you will find better ways, better help coming to you that time. But if you say, ‘I understand all this, I ask for forgiveness, but I want to surround myself with all the wrong people, doing the wrong things again,’ then we say you are just going to see-saw. You are just going to swing from one to the other, until you pass.
When are you going to make a choice now? The man, the intelligent man, the believer is the one who has power to make a choice according to his spirit, and to say, ‘this is it.’ The man, the intelligent man is not the one who says, ‘I’m making a choice with my ego and this is it.’ You don’t have to have intelligence to make a choice with your ego or to make the sheytanic choice. But you have to have the will of Allah to make the choice to be in the will of Allah. The will of Allah, meaning the will that Allah has given to us, that He has not given to Angels or to animals. WaminAlahu Taufiq. Al-Fatiha. Amin.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
16 Ramazan 1436H
July 3, 2015