Question: I understand I am not good at all. I really want to be a good person, where do I begin?
BismillahirRahmanirRahim. Somebody wrote this, asking us this question. You are saying, you understand that you are not good and you want to be good, so you want to begin. We are saying, you have already begun. You already begin. You already make that step. You’ve already made an intention. Because the intention is very very very important. In Islam, it is the most important. The intention, the niat. If you make a good action but the intention is bad, whole action is bad. If you make a good intention but your action is not coming out hundred percent, you will be blessed and rewarded for that intention that you’ve made. So if you intend to be good, you’ve already made that first step and it’s a very good step.
Make your intention sincere. Don’t make your intention to be just, what they say, lip service. Make it sincere. You want to be good. It’s showing that you are sincere. If you are not sincere, you are not going to have this question and this question is not going to be addressed here. Because this is the way of the friends of Allah. We go, everything by permission. So, this is a very good start. You have started and you are continuing and you are asking us where to begin and we may take you somewhere. If you like.
Ask yourself, you want to be good, and why you want to be good? Be sincere, why you want to be good? And you want to be good for whose sake? If some people, they want to be good because they want to please their parents or their spouses or their children or this world. No. Make the intention that you want to be good for the sake of Allah, so that Allah is please with you. Then when you make that intention sincere like that, Allah will push you towards someone. He will send someone to you, that says, ‘good, now that you have the intention, we may tell you what to do a little bit here and there, as you like.’ Because our way also is not a school and we are not forcing people. You have to come with full intelligence and you have to come with full maturity. You have to know that the fact that you are asking that question is you understand that you are responsible, you are accountable, you are mature, you are responsible. You are not just doing something and say, I’m not responsible. That one is responsible. Or Sheytan is responsible. Or in today’s world, they say Allah is responsible. No. you’re saying, ‘I am responsible.’
So you sit down and you say, ‘I am responsible. I am not good.’ What makes you to say that? I am not good because I do this and I do this and I do this and I do this. Ok. So now, you understand, you do all those thing. You have to change for the sake of Allah. Yes. Now slowly. Slowly, and the best way to do it is just to be with people who are close to Allah. It’s an order from Allah swt. Allah is saying, ‘Be with the Saliheen. Be with the righteous ones.’ Because when you are together with the righteous ones, you start to take on their characteristics. You start to take on their color. You start to take on their smell. You start to take on their manners. You start to take on their intelligence. You start to leave all your bad habits. You start to leave all those things that you are stuck with. You start to understand better. How much you want to be fast in that progress, is entirely up to you.
The one who is sitting next to someone who is making a perfume, maybe he has a bad smell but because he is sitting next to a perfumer, the smell may come to him. Sit next to the righteous people, be with them, be in brotherhood with them, learn from them. Don’t be arrogant or proud. Learn. Be humble. Treat them nicely, then that time, it is very easy and simple for you to become like them.
Because Allah swt is not telling us, to put that burden on us saying, ‘be righteous.’ He didn’t say, ‘be Saliheen.’ He is saying, ‘be with the Saliheen. Be with the righteous.’ And for fourteen hundred years, those who want to be good, those muslims, believers who want to become good, they don’t run to books to become good. Books is not going to change them. They run to people who are good, to learn. Later, supplementary here and there, that’s something else, but they run. Because the companions of the Prophet and some of them they were committing so many wrong things and evil things and forbidden things, but once they were in contact to the Prophet (asws), without reading books, without doing anything, just because they are in proximity with that Holy presence, then with the Holy presence of the other high level sahabis, they start to change. Their behavior starts to change. They start to understand.
So you have already begun and you are on your way. Now, this is a long journey that we are going to take and you have to be patient. It took you years for those bad habits to formulate, to become something that you are doing everytime. It’s going to take some time now for all those bad habits to fall off. We are not looking for a quick fix. It doesn’t work. But as much as you are in association with the ahle zikr, with those who are remembering Allah, with those who are not running after this world, with those who are reminding you of Allah, with those who are reminding you of your ego, as much as you are with them, you are on the way to becoming a good one. insya’Allah. That is our hope.
Am I saying I’m a good one? No. None of our brothers we say we are good ones. But we are with our Sheykh. And he is a good one. He taught us, he is still teaching us how to be sincere and how to look inside at our hearts and to clean ourselves. So, when you are cleaning something, you are not concern about cleanliness, in reality. You are concern about dirt. Isn’t it? When you are cleaning something, you are looking out for what? For clean or for something dirty? You are looking for dirty. This is what we are doing. We are polishing and polishing. A little speck there maybe to other people, ‘oh, why are you torturing yourself? Don’t be so hard on yourself. But because you are polishing, you are not just cleaning, you are polishing. Every single, even a thumbprint there you say, ‘you see it’s a smudge. I have to clean it because I know how it’s supposed to be.’
So we are concentrating on that. And when you are able to do that, your spirit is going to be freer. This world will have less of a pull to you. Some people, maybe the world is not appealing to them so much, but they have an arrogance that is inside of them. That needs to be fixed. Some people they don’t have arrogance, but they are very stubborn. They don’t like the dunya, they don’t go for fancy stuff but they are very stubborn. That stubborn has to be fixed. Some they are not arrogant, they are not stubborn, but they get very very very angry and they cannot control it. That has to be fixed. So we look for these diseases of the spirit and once you start getting rid of it, may we become someone that our Lord is pleased with.
We are not sitting here and say, ‘I want to be a good one, I want to be a good one. I want to be a Saint.’ Astarghfirullah. No we are sitting here to say, we hope that Allah will accept us and that He is pleased with us. And this whole exercise is to make us to become please with Allah. Don’t think it is easy. It is not. WaminaAllahu Taufiq. Al-Fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
19 Zul-Qadah, 1436H
September 3, 2015