Question: What is imprisoned? What is freed?
Say for example a murid enters into Tarikat, and he thinks that the sky is the limit, he can do anything that he wants, it’s a very dangerous situation because you enter into Tarikat to curb your desires and your limits, to make yourself not more free, to make yourself more to be imprisoned. You like that? So many people will not like that. They say, ‘what? Sufism is freedom.’ No. It’s to make yourself to be more imprison. Because if you realize that this dunya is a prison before, yes, that time you will enter into Tarikat and you will become free. Because you are not looking to this world. But so many they are entering into Tarikat, they are looking to this world. So now the Sheykh has to make that one to understand the world is your enemy, and the world now for a believer, it is a prison. Isn’t that the Hadiths e-Sherif?
The world is a prison. You don’t feel that the world is a prison? The world is still, like they say, ‘the world is my oyster.’ I don’t know why they say oyster. Maybe they make pearl from that. Well, you know what, read the news. Really? The world is an oyster?
The world is not only a prison, the world it is a hell. The world is a hell. Just because it’s not touching you, it doesn’t mean that it’s not. Just because you are not hungry today, it doesn’t mean that millions are going to bed tonight with their stomachs empty, and some may not wake up tomorrow. A believer feels everything. Because a believer is looking to his Prophet (asws) and the Prophet (asws) feels everything. Because the believer is one body. If someone feels pain, he has to feel the pain too. If one part is in pain, the whole body is in pain. So now, with that kind of understanding, that this world is a prison, your body is a prison, it’s a prison. It is imprisoning your spirit. Because now we are imprisoned by our five senses. We are not free. So the question is, what is imprisoned and what is free? This dunya it is free for who? For the ahle dunya. Not for the ahle ahirat. And the ahirat is going to be a prison for the ahle dunya. But for the ahle ahirat, the ahirat is going to be completely free. You are going to run and fly to your station continuously. That time there is no limit. Every day, continuously you are going to experience, you are going to understand. That time there is no limit.
To understand that limitlessness, you have to understand what is your limit now. What is your limit now, as a believer? What is your limit now, for instance you are twenty five years old, thirty years old, thirty five years old, what is your limit? What is your limit now, in society, in your family, amongst your friends? In Tarikat, what is your limit? First, do you have responsibility? And that responsibility, is it responsibility to Allah and His Prophet or is it your responsibility? You may say, ‘I work.’ Working is for you and your family. It’s not really for Allah. You may say, ‘I pray.’ Even your prayer it is for you. It is not for Allah. Allah is not in need of prayer. If you say, what is this? Then we are going to tell you this is the conversation between Musa Kalimullah and Allah swt. So now, what is it that you are doing? What is your responsibility? If you start understanding, coming to that station to understand: now my responsibility is towards Allah and His Prophet (asws), and to run in this way, and to serve the inheritor of the Prophet (asws), and to put my whole life in that service, just as the Sahabi e-kiram, that time they will increase your responsibility. And more responsibility you have, less limits you are going to have. Because the nearer you are coming to Allah swt, the more He is going to dress you with the Lordly dressing. Correct?
The more you are putting yourself through the limits, limiting who? Limiting your ego, the more free your spirit is going to be. You are putting a limit to your ego because Allah says so. You are just following an order. You are not doing it sincerely. You are just following an order. You are still beloved to Allah. But when you start to come to that station where you say, ‘my Lord is not a businessman, I’m not conducting a business with my Lord. That I’m telling Him I work for You, You must give me payment, this much.’
Once you come to the understanding that Allah swt is not like Santa Claus, that Allah swt is not just someone you run to when you are in need of something, when you are not in need of it, you forget Him, then Allah swt is not someone that you just do something to get, or you do something because you are afraid you are going to get something bad, when you start to approach your Lord because He is Allah swt, He is deserving of worship, although we can never worship Him as He deserves to be worshiped, but He is Allah and He deserves to be worshiped, and you are not looking for anything, you are just looking that He is pleased with you, that He is calling you His servant, that time you become a Sultan. And the Sultan does not have limits. Because He is the possessor of authority. And that one he is going to be given Lordly qualities. Because sincerely now, he is not looking to see that Allah is giving him an order and he is doing it, sincerely he is saying, ‘He deserves to be worship. I’m going to do now what my heart is saying.’ Allah is sitting there. Not sitting, sitting there, but the heart it is the throne of Allah. He is going to follow his heart more. He is not going to follow his desires. Then that time Allah swt will dress us with the dressing of Rabbaniyat. More power will be given to you. If I say something right now, complete the hadiths, a lot of people are just going to get very upset and they are going to say, ‘what is this person teaching? Shirk stuff!’ So we won’t say it.
So to come to that station, first you have to know your limits. What is our limit? Depends on what you want to be. You want to be Sultan? Or you want to be a servant? You want to be a servant? Is your power limitless or is it very limited? Very limited. Not only it’s limited, but you don’t have an identity. You are what your master says you are. You wear what your master gives you. You eat what he gives you. Even these words that I’m speaking now, to the American experience, they are going to say this is very bad, this is wrong. Because immediately they are going to go back to their, you know if someone has been scarred by fire, when he is young maybe he plays with the fire and the fire burnt him a little bit, his whole life he may have a fear of the fire, even if the fire is uses to cook his food. He is going to say, ‘no, no, no. fire is bad.’ Even if the fire is going to be used to cure him, the laser it is a fire, you know. That’s not the fault of the fire now. It’s the people who are stuck in that because of their experience. And this is exactly what, who was it who ask? The Sultan of the Saints, the King sized wali, Ibrahim ibni Adham. He was worshipping to his Lord, he is the Sultan of the Saints. Because he is the Sultan, Ibrahim ibni Adham he is the sultan of this world, and he became Sultan of the after world as well. Very few are like that. And he asked his servant, ‘what is your name?’
And the servant says, ‘whatever name you give me.’
‘What do you like to eat?’
‘Whatever you give me.’
‘Where would you like to sleep?’
‘Anywhere you put me.’
Then he turned and he said to his servant, ‘what is it that you desire?’
And the servant says, ‘what does a servant have to do with desire? A servant has nothing to do with desire.’ And at that time, Ibrahim ibni Adham, he fainted at that answer. He says (to himself), ‘Ya Ibrahim, the servant of yours, he is a true servant. Because you don’t have that kind of relationship with your Lord.’
You understand? So now you have a responsibility, some responsibility is given to you. So many they don’t have responsibility. I’m looking, so many murids they don’t have responsibility. They are just coming and going as tourist. Year after year. Year after year. Empty. We give. Of course, we give. Don’t start screaming ‘Jholi bhar do, Joli bhar do,’ all the time. We give. Everytime you see, we give. Yes, we give. But, what is it that you want? If you want candy, that’s all you are going to leave with. If you want jewels now, hmm, how we say, the price is different. Price, it is different. And we are not asking for any admission price or sadaqah price, or zakat price, or we don’t put our Sheykh’s picture anywhere to say, ‘please give donation.’ None of that. The price is that you approach as a servant. The servant must say, ‘La ilaha ialallah.’ The servant must say, ‘not even I exist.’ Now, of course that is a very high station. Huh, we cannot reach to that station. But at least we are going to say, what is my role? What is my responsibility? What am I carrying in this way?
Everyone loves Dergah. But what am I doing? So many is saying, ‘what can I do? what can I do?’ That’s why, so many times I don’t want to say what you can do. Because if I answer to that, if everyone is also listening, you are also responsible. And if you are responsible to do something and you don’t do it, no good. Then you are going to be empty. Definitely. Which means you are going to lose a lot. Which means you are going to regret a lot. Which means, in the Day of Judgement, the angels they are going to look at you and say, ‘Shame on you! All that while you are sitting in the presence of one of the greatest Awliya and this is all you’ve got? Candy from him? Didn’t you try to do something?’ You are trying so hard for yourself, for your families, for your children, for your grandchildren, but, you are claiming you love Sheykh as the Sahabis they love the Prophet, but what is it that you are sacrificing? What is it that you are giving?
Then once you understand all this, you are not going to overshoot your limit then. Then you’ll understand, ‘Right now, yes, I’m useless. I’m not doing anything.’ So that is your limit. You are limited by that. ‘What can I do? I cannot do so much. I can do a little bit now.’ Then you are going to do. And if you are sincere, there’s thousands of things for you to do. From the small to the big. But people are busy. Because everyone has a life. But the more involve you are in the life of your Sheykh, then that time the more involve you are going to be in his afterlife. If you are not going to be involve in his life here, you are not going to be very involve in his afterlife. You can even go to the same Paradise, but you are going to be very far away from him. Because you are far away from him in this life. You are not doing, you are not connecting. And the ones who is connecting, they will run to do. Of course. Because everyone is trying to reach to Mohabbat first. It is not mohabbat that must come first. What comes first? Hizmet comes first. And after hizmet, it’s still not mohabbat. After hizmet is what? Rahmat. From rahmat, barakat. From barakat to mohabbat. You have to go step by step.
But everyone is running to say, ‘I love you. I love you. I love you so much….’ Where is the barakat? Where is the rahmat? Where is the hizmet? None. Not there. So it’s talk. Okay. That’s okay also. It’s not too good. It’s wasting. But it’s still okay. But you are going to regret it. And in the ahirat, to be burnt by the fire is something, to be burnt by the cold fire it is something, but to be burnt by the fire of regret, that fire that is from inside of you, so many are praying, let me be in that fire but don’t fill me with the regret because it cannot be put out.
So now you know yourself a little bit. You know how much you are imprison, you know how much you are free. You know how much you are in control by your ego and your sheytan and by the dunya. And you know how much you are in control by your Sheykh. Look at yourself. If you know how much you are in control then, you will know you are not going to overstep your limit. You are not going to order people around. You are not going to think you are somewhere. One minute I’m nowhere, one minute I’m somewhere, one minute I’m down, one minute I’m up. No. you are going to know where you are. Because that is your limit. And that is intelligence. Man who does not know his limit is the most dangerous and is the most foolish person, those who are not intelligent. They are not intelligent and they are very foolish and they are very dangerous. And they can be controlled by the evil ones very easily. That time it will corrupt everything around you. But if you know yourself, you cannot be controlled by evil ones. You want to be controlled by good ones. You understand?
It’s not just coming with age, say a person gets older he understands, but what it means that a person gets older? I see so many people who are old but they learn nothing. I see so many people who are old but they are just repeating the same thing that they learn when they are thirty years old. They just look old. But they don’t have the wisdom. And they don’t have the experience. They are stuck now. Stuck. How do you get stuck? You get stuck because you don’t ask, you don’t question, you don’t look around and you don’t think. That’s why you get stuck. You get stuck because you are drunk and you are happy with where you are. Whether it’s causing you pain or it’s causing you pleasure, you are happy. Because some people, they say, ‘I like this pain. I don’t want to come out from this pain. I make this pain to myself, and don’t you dare remove it from me. Because this pain makes me feel alive. This pain makes me feel that I’m someone. This pain makes me feel that I am very important. Because everyone else is an oppressor and I’m the victim.’ So you are not taking responsibility. If you don’t take responsibility, you will be stuck there, and it is going to be very painful and hurtful for you because you are supposed to go to different stations, and if you don’t reach those station here of understanding your Lord, they are going to make sure that you understand it there in your grave.
May Allah make us to understand, and to think. Insya’Allah. If you still think that you are something, you cannot know your Lord. You cannot know your Lord. You have to empty your glass. You have to empty yourself. You have to say, ‘La’ to whatever that is existing. To whatever that you think is existing. For the man, who does he think exist? What is the most important thing that exist for a man? What? I’m not talking about muslims. Everyone. Whatever is belonging to him. Himself. He is the most important thing. Himself. Because his life, whatever that he is experiencing, he is experiencing, correct? No one else is experiencing him and he is not experiencing anyone else. No matter how much we think, and we are sympathizing, whatever, but you go to sleep alone. And you wake up alone. You die alone. So it is himself that is the most important thing that exist and Islam is saying, that which exist in yourself, that is not real. To you it is the most real thing. Everything else that he sees around him may be fooling him but for himself, what he feels, what he thinks, what he sees, himself that is the most real thing. And Islam is saying, say, ‘La,’ to that ilah that you have created, that is yourself. Because whose existence does man believe first? The man first believes in his own existence. I’m talking about majority of the people. Everyone. Anything that is in front of you, whether it is living or it’s not living, it may go, it may pass, it’s not real. But himself, it is real. He believes that he is real. Which is why you can read all these things that happens in the world, but you just turn the page, because you are not experiencing it. It’s not real. Correct? If you don’t experience it, it’s not real. Once you start experiencing it, it becomes real.
So the person with age is a person who experiences life. Experiencing every level. Thinking and understanding and experiencing and he is not stuck. Because he is always reflecting and thinking. That is a wise person. And the more he thinks, the more he is going to understand that he is limited. The more he is going to think that there is so much more to himself. When you are growing up, you know couple of things, you think you know everything. Correct? You just learn a couple of things, you think you know everything, you have the answer to everything. More as you grow older, when you are studying the life, more you realize what you know is just a drop in the ocean of what you don’t know. And people who are wise in understanding this, even if they are only concentrating on dunya stuff, say, this man is a film maker, everyone is saying he’s a master film maker. Everyone says he is the top. But right before he pass, he says,’whatever I know, I’m only scratching the surface.’ He’s not being humble. He is humbled. He is not being humble just to put himself down. When he realized how huge it is, now he understands how small he is. He’s put into that position now.
So if you are not being more humble, understanding as you get older, then that time you are stuck, you are already dead. You are dead. At sixty years old, but you die when you are sixteen. Because you are still living that same lifestyle, that same thinking, the same desires, the same wants, from sixteen until sixty. Majority they are like that. But the man who is looking beyond, he is never going to be stuck. He says, ‘this is passing. Sixteen is passing. Twenty five is passing.’ What are you looking for? Ahirat. ‘I’m looking for ahirat. That this world, I’m just passing through.’ You are not going to get stuck.
May Allah make us to have more understanding and to have more strength and faith to be able to put this understanding into our lives, insya’Allah. Not to be fooled by this dunya. Wa min Allahu taufiq, bihurmatil habib. Fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
29 Rabi al-Awwal 1437
January 9, 2016.