Question: How do you know if you are not being tricked by the ego, thinking you are running in the way of Allah but in reality you are running after your nafs or your dunya?
People are here running away from this dunya to come on top of the mountain. You are not coming to the top of the mountain to run into the dunya. So the question is asking: how do you know if you are not being tricked by the ego when you are running after, thinking you are running in the way of Allah and the ego is not tricking you, but in reality you are running after your nafs or your dunya.
Yeah, that is ego. That is when people who are insisting and it’s showing right away, ‘No I’m right.’ When someone is trying to say something, ‘I am right. You are wrong. You don’t have to say right or wrong. You don’t even have to say anything.’ From that we know, you are right, what you are saying, you are agreeing or you are not agreeing, you are obeying or you are not, you are submitting or you are not, or you are just in the way of Allah, you are just running after your ego, running after your stubbornness. So you are asking me, how do we know, how do we check ourselves? And I’m saying, here let me speak specifically about the murids here, then everyone is going to take lesson from that.
We are running away from the fitna of the ahir zaman to come up here to the top of the mountain, to follow the Prophetic advice, to live simple, to practice our religion, to remember Allah and to be in the footsteps of our Sheykh. Isn’t that our intention? Every one of us? If you think that you are going to run on top of the mountain here to run after the dunya, you are in the wrong place. But Allah is also making it easy for us, dunya wise, because our intention is correct, when we are up here, He makes it very easy for us the dunya to be running after us. We don’t have to run after it. It is open. It is easy. It comes. Anything that we are asking for, because we are not asking for this dunya, we are asking for ahiret, and what we are asking for are things in this dunya to make it easy for us to worship better, to become better murids, Allah opens it, through the intercession of our Prophet, through the intercession of our Sheykh. So the intention has to be correct. But how do you know? You have that intention one year ago, ten years ago. You look at your work now, you are saying you are running after this ahiret, and you are here at the top of the mountain, how do you know you are still running after ahiret? This is connected to some khutba that we gave some weeks ago or months ago. About what? About sincerity. About what? About hypocrisy.
About hypocrisy, isn’t it? And what is that? What is that saying from the Holy ones? ‘No one understands hypocrisy or fears hypocrisy except for the sincere ones. Only the sincere ones they are going to see themselves as hypocrites.’ So how do you know if you are going to be in the Siratul Mustaqim or not, how do you know? If you don’t question yourself, you won’t know. If you are not questioning your days, if you are not questioning your work, not only question to say that, ‘am I doing this for Allah’s sake or not,’ but to look and to see what are the things that you are doing, to look and to say that, ‘no, my work it is still not enough,’ and to look sincerely to find what is it that I’m doing that is not enough? What am I saying today that it doesn’t fit to what our Sheykh is saying or doing? What are the things that I’m doing that doesn’t fit to the words that I am saying, that I’m repeating from my Sheykh. What do you do? You fight with yourself. You fight with yourself. You are saying, ‘I did this.’ And you say, ‘how do you know that you did this properly? How do you know that this is acceptable?’
You don’t question yourself, I can see so many. If you question yourself, then that time when others question, you don’t get defensive. Because you are doing it everyday. If everyday you are looking at your ego and you are saying, ‘O my ego, you are the biggest donkey.’ You say to yourself, ‘I’m the biggest donkey.’ You say to yourself, ‘I’m a munafiq.’ You say to yourself, ‘I’m worse than sheytan.’ And not just saying as an exercise, you are saying because I did this, and I did this. Because I didn’t do this and I didn’t do this. Ya Rabbi, I admit, I understand and I’m asking for forgiveness, that time when you are doing that, when somebody tells you, ‘eh donkey,’ you think you are going to get upset? Whether that person is saying the truth or not saying the truth about you. You think you are going to get very upset? You are not. You are going to say, ‘that is what I’m calling myself everyday anyway. This person, especially in the Dergah, is being sent by our Sheykh to say something, to remind me of something, let me take it.’ But no. Men fighting. Women fighting with each other. Everyone is saying, ‘no. you are the donkey. Me, I’m the best one. I know. You don’t know.’
Fighting. Small thing we give, to work together for each other’s benefit, fighting over small things. Never agreeing, never putting down your ego. So if you don’t question yourself, you will not know. If you question yourself, you will know the answer. Because you start questioning and you say, ‘I did all these work. And these kinds of things that I did, these few things that I did, it is not complete, it is not too good. I’m going to run to try to fix it.’ ‘I worship today. I must make intention to put more sincerity into it. I must make more intention to put more sincerity, to put more feeling, to put more passion into it.’ Every jumma we are saying, the day it is an honorable day, the day it is the most Holy day, it’s reminding, am I really treating it like that or not? You are questioning yourself. You are taking it and you question, you are fighting with yourself. Then that time when you are fighting with yourself and you are beating yourself down because of that, you will know the answer whether you are really running after this dunya or not. You will know the answer by yourself whether you are being tricked by your ego or not.
How can you trick your ego? When everyday you are looking and you say, ‘O my ego, you are tricking me again today.’ How can your ego trick you? You may say that. then if someone says, this, this and this, it is lacking in your work, in however way that he is going to say it, maybe he is saying it nicely with a smile, maybe he is going to scream at you. You are going to take the spirit of what he is saying. Not the form. Everyone is just hung up on the form. You are going to take the spirit and you are going to say, ‘that’s right.’ That time you are not going to get tricked. Because you are watching yourself. You are going through it very carefully. Because now, you are watching, you are watching, maybe you overlook it. Maybe you don’t see it. But because you are always watching and if someone else says, when the Sheykh says, when the sohbet says, when the ayat that is saying, and it hits you and you say, ‘this is for me,’ and you take it very easily, your heart can open. And your heart can say, this is referring to me. Anything that is lacking there in your own examination of yourself, in your own tafakkur, in your on meditation, everything else, the signs will be showing to you and immediately it’s going to be complete then that time. Especially for a murid. It is not a very good position, it is not a very honorable position if you are a murid and you are just being left alone, and no one is touching you, no one is saying anything, you are not saying. That you are just left alone. And you are just like that.
InsyaAllah, we need to become better. Because the signs are showing that our Sheykh is going to come back soon. And what we don’t want is for him to see us and say, ‘you haven’t change. You haven’t taken one step since I left.’ We may build things, we may expand, we may have this and that, but how have we change? How have we expanded? Have we built on ourselves? How are you going to watch that? What is the quality? What is the scale that you are going to put to yourself? What is the scale that you are going to measure since Sheykh Effendi left. Have I work on myself? Have I work on my ego? Look at the service that you are doing and look at the response of people who are having some authority to the work that you are doing and how you are going to be responding to that.
May Allah make it easy for us. These are confusing times. Don’t get confused. Because things are very clear in the Dergah. It’s either you are going to accept it or you don’t accept it. Either your ego is going to take or it’s not going to take. It’s not a matter of understanding. So many of these things, you understand it better than me. If you are not able to understand it, that means you don’t have it in you. What I’m saying, everybody understands, that means you have it in you. You know this already. We know this already. La ilaha ilallah, it is not a Kalimah, it is not an ayat that is taught to us. We already know it. Because every child is born a Muslim. Ayatul Kerima is saying. The Prophets they came to remind us. The Quran e-kerim begins with so many ayats saying, ‘don’t you remember?’ we should remember, insyaAllah. May Allah forgive me, Fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
8 Safar 1437
November 20, 2015.