Question: What is Islam’s view of sin? I feel shame and pain from poor choices I have made in my life. I believe the Creator is calling me now. Can I be forgiven while I am still attracted to sin?
The Creator is still calling us. Yeah. It’s not that Creator is calling me, now. The Creator has been calling you since the day that you were born. Never the Creator is not calling you. When you are walking, when you are sitting, when you are sleeping, when you are doing good, when you are doing bad, your Creator is always calling you. Calling you to Himself.
Now you wake up a little bit to answer, to answer back to your Creator “Labbaik Allah. Here I am at your service”. That is a very Holy call. That, you are not just supposed to make during the Haj time just to say “Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik La sharika labbaik”. You are supposed to have that in your life. The believer must have that. To say “Here I am at your service Oh my Lord. Here I am at your service”. Try doing that. When you are waking up try doing that every day to say sincerely to your Lord, “Here I am Ya Rabbi at your service”. Do that sincerely for forty days, the skies will open to you. Because you must understand now, once you say “Here I am now at Your service.” Oh… I cannot be sincerely saying that because I am doing so many wrong things still. I am doing so many things that still in Gaflat. But I want that call to be sincere. Now I must do something. Wrong things that I am doing, I must run to do something right. I must run to remove all those wrong things.”
Now, in this way, in the way of spirituality, in this way of Tariqat, we don’t like to use the word sin. We don’t to use the word haraam so much or bidat, innovation or shirk, all those words, because we are not scholars, Ewliya Allah they are concentrating on the mercy of Allah to wake us up from our ghaflat, our heedlessness. It is not mercy so that we can be more and more drunk, No. We are not also saying “It’s alright. Everything is OK. Don’t worry about it”. We must worry. We must worry every day. Whether sincerely we are saying to our Lord “Here I am O my Lord”. Or sincerely we are saying to our Lord “You are my Lord and I am your servant”. So we don’t like to use the word sin. We say you do wrong things. They are wrong things out there; that is not beloved by Allah. And every wrong thing that Allah (swt) says “This is wrong, O My creatures stay away from it”: there is some harm in it for you, not for Allah.
Allah doesn’t need our love. Allah does not need our obedience. Allah does not need our servanthood. Praising Allah is not going to make Him more majestic; if the whole world drops to sajda and praising Allah, is not going to raise his station; if the whole world now decides to turn away from Allah, Allah does not fall from that station of being Subhana wata’ala jala alah. Everything is for us. It is for us. It is for our sake. Now there are wrong things you are doing, we are doing wrong things. Yes. Continuously we are doing wrong things. It is a good sign that you are saying “Yes it is a wrong thing and I am still attracted to that wrong thing”. You are not being disobedient, you are not being stubborn to say “So what? I don’t care” or trying to find a way to say “You know, that wrong is actually right”: making your own interpretation and understanding of what is right and wrong instead of what Allah has brought through His Prophets and through His friends. Because, so many people, they are doing that. They are taking the Book of Allah, they taking the Quran, they taking the Hadiths, and they interpreting according to their ego; what their ego wants, what they think is right and wrong. They are going to interpret according to that, not according to fourteen hundred years of scholarship and spirituality.
Understand now, in Islam there are two angels assigned to you, Kiramaan and Katibeen, the two secretaries, the two clerks, recording everything down. Angel on the right and the angel on the left. The angel on the right records all your good actions. Angel on the left records all your bad actions. The angel on the right is in charge of the angel on the left. You do something wrong, the angel on the left is going to ask the angel on the right, saying “Do I have permission to record this wrong thing that this person has done”.
The angel says “Wait. Wait until he asks forgiveness or not. Sincerely, he asks forgiveness, if he asks, don’t record it. If he doesn’t ask, record it.’
‘How much punishment should I give?’
‘Whatever that it is, that is the punishment. That’s it. Don’t multiply’.
But whatever good that you do, the angel on the right, he does not have to ask anyone. And according again to your sincerity, whatever good that you are doing can be multiplied from seven, seventy, seventy thousand times.
Islam maintains your privacy. Islam maintains the secret connection that you have to Allah (swt). In other religions, may be they say “Even if you think about doing something wrong, you have the sin of that”. That is wrong. That is not in Islam. Because now, whatever that inclines to wrong it is not our spirit, it is our ego. Whatever you think that you want to do, but you didn’t do it. No record is going to be made. That is secret between you and Allah (swt). You may have intentions but did not do anything according to those intentions. But you ask for forgiveness, nothing is going to be recorded. I know in some other faith, traditions, even if you think about doing something wrong it is the same as doing that wrong thing and you must be punished for it. SubhanAllah, what a religion of love that is. But in Islam that’s why you begin with Bismillah hir-Rahman nir-Rahim, In the name of Allah the most merciful the most compassionate.
In Islam, if you think of a good action that you want to do, if you make intention, just an intention to do good that would be recorded as if you have done that action. And according to the sincerity that can be multiplied too. You haven’t even done it yet, it is recorded as something that is a good action.
Now, you doing wrong things, we ask for Tauba, forgiveness, asking Allah to forgive you that you are weak, your nafs is strong. Not blaming Allah that “why you give me this nafs” but being humble and saying “You know what You are doing. You are my Lord. You are my Creator. You have given it to me. Now my responsibility is to fight against to my ego and I know that more I fight against to my ego more my spirit will raise higher, more power and more spirit I will have”. And if you are sincerely saying Tauba, Allah (swt) will forgive you. And not only that, all the wrong things that you have done He will turn that into good actions and He will reward you for it.
This is not an excuse for anyone in Islam also to say “well I can do anything wrong I just ask for forgiveness and everything is…”. No no no. Now the manners come. You know that you have done something wrong and you still attracted to that wrong thing, continuously you must fight. Don’t blame anyone don’t blame your lord. Just say ‘Astagh fir-Allah’, ‘Astagh fir-Allah al-Azeem wa atub ilaih. Shifa Olsun InsAllah.’ And you cannot be stubborn you cannot be arrogant; you feel attracted say Astaghfirullah, fight. Which is why, to fight against to your nafs this is called the greatest struggle. It is not a small struggle, the medium, big struggle; it is the greatest struggle. You are inclined to doing wrong things, different people they are different inclinations. You must fight against it. You must distract. You must fight. You must move away. You must do whatever you can to remove yourself from the tyranny of your ego. It will be difficult for some time. Later it will be easy. Later it will become easier. You may go up and down but if you are surrounding yourself by those ones who are doing the same thing fighting against to their ego, you will find support. If you are surrounding yourself by people who are doing those wrong things and you are the only one who is fighting it and all those wrong things that people who are doing it don’t consider them to be wrong; that is a very silly thing to be surrounded by. You don’t surround yourself by people that are sick, to get well. You must move away. From some time you may even be in seclusion. You may even be in rehab where you cut connection with everyone. You must not like that wrong action. You must ask Allah (swt) for help He will send it to you. What we were saying in the Khutba today? Maybe there is a test that is for you. And what is the Khutba saying? You remember that part? The sign that someone has a strong faith, it is when the test given to him is also very difficult. If your faith is very little, your test is going to be very light.
Another Hadiths e-Shareef, Holy Prophet (asws) saying “If Allah does not love His servants, He will not even give that servant a toothache”. That’s why we are saying so many bad people they have no suffering in their lives. That is a sign that Allah’s love is not reaching to them. Don’t say Allah pulls away His love. No. His love is not reaching to them because they put up that barricade that has become so difficult to penetrate. Their heart is suffocated and it has become dead. Surround yourselves by good ones, by those who remember Allah, by those who are fighting. Have a guide. That time you will be able to navigate through this greatest struggle easier. If you don’t have a guide, like what we said yesterday, “A journey of one year is going to take you hundred years”. Because this is the greatest struggle and you need the greatest of the help. May Allah make it easier. Fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
13 Rajab 1437
May 2, 2015.