TEXT OF INTERVIEW WITH SHEYKH EFFENDI HAZLETERI ON MPL TV
Reporter: Right after prayers, we start our association with Sheykh Abdul Kerim. Since he has a colorful personality, he tells us of his life with parts. Yes, viewers of Bab-i Alem, we are in New York. And we are at the Osmanli Dergahi in New York. As we introduced to you before, this is a beautiful Ottoman Dergah, and we are with Abdul Kerim Hazretleri. They accepted and invited us. We are with him to get his views about Islam insya’Allah. Let us start by saying BismillahirRahmanirRahim. We are calling it Osmanli Dergahi. We are saying that Sheykh Nazim Kibrisi Hazretleri is paying great attention to the Ottomans. Can we get your views about the Ottomans?
Sheykh: Auzu Billahi Minasheytanir Rajim, BismillahirRahmanirRahim. We are Ottomans and we are honored. We take pride in our ancestors. However, a sour truth has to be told that we are incapable of reading the history our ancestors lived. They put us in such a state that we cannot read that history. That is why we are finding it enough to only love them with our hearts. Otherwise, we have not been able to understand, in a full manner, anything they have achieved. The Ottomans are a world empire. An empire of Islam. We love the Ottomans because they loved Allah and His Prophet, Allah and His beloved ones, and gave up their lives in that way. In the way of Truth. We, as their granchildren, in this 21st century, as people who grew up in the 21st century, we were raised under different regimes, but our hearts and souls are with them. Not even a bit the life that they have lived considering that we believe they did not live life for their own selves. They lived for Islam, for Allah, for the Prophet, for humanity’s salvation, to invite people to the Turth. They lived according to the orders of our Master (aleyhis salatu wasallam). Because they made his orders their priority, we also love them.
We cannot talk much because most of our open archives are closed. Different hands are taking them out. By way of the soul we are connected to them. We love them. That is why in this country too, when they were making their laws, they investigated the Ottomans well. This country took many laws. That is why the Lord of the World opened up thier way. They are in their peaking phase, but there is a hadith the Holy Prophet recited that everything that rises, an unchanging ”
Reporter: We are now in America, and we know that many religious leaders live in America. I wonder what the reason for this is?
The reason for this is very clear. You see our Dergah. You see our flag outside. We have our flag open. We have our Dergah open. The title of the place is ours. We have it in our hands. And the government has given us freedom: live your religion as you like. You live it the way you believe, and this is Ottomanism. This is what the Ottomans did. Whether they be Bulgarian, Armenian, Greek, Jewish, or a variety of different groups, they have given them freedom to live their religion. Well, America is at the moment the one leading ahead. There are some different pressures in Europe. But it was different in America. Slowly, they are also starting to change. We are feeling and knowing this. Racism is starting to go up a little. They will change insya’Allah. They will turn back towards the Truth.
In my opinion, one of the reasons for many of these leaders leaving their countires, not just Turkey, but from the Arab world or different countries and coming here is this. To be able to live their religion in a free manner as people believe, as ordered by their Allah and Prophet. But when we speak personally, we are Allah’s (ajiz) servant. Yet, we did not come here with this intention. We did not have the intention to leave Cyprus to come and live our religion in America. We were living our religion in Cyrpus as well. The laws, as you know, in Cyprus are not forbidding Tarikats and Sheykh, becasue British laws are still in effect. That is why we were comfortable. Foreign pressure and people’s pressure were plenty, but we were still living our religion with our Sheykh. It is another miracle (keramet) of our Sheykh, that he is the Sultanul Awliya, I remember well, we were little children. Every day Sheykh Efendi (Sheykh Nazim) Hazretleri was giving a sohbet after Fajr prayers in the Lalamus Pasha Jami at Magosa. After Zuhr prayer, after Asr prayer, he would give sohbets four or five times a day. In front of him were a number of people countable by fingers. Sheykh Efendi Hazretleri was not known much in Turkey nor in Europe. He arrived from Sham-e Sharif (Syria) and was staying there, in our city of Magosa. My father, rahmatullahi aleyh, and another five to ten people around him, Sheykh Efendi (Sheykh Nazim) Hazretleri was giving them sohbet. We were little kids then. We would go with our father to see our Sheykh as soon as he arrived there. We would never stop following Sheykh Efendi Hazretleri. One day over there, I remember as if yesterday, my father was sitting in front of Sheykh Efendi Hazretleri like this. He said to him, I have another brother who passed away to the hereafter at age 19. He is beside me, my younger brother, and the three of us are sitting together. The older folk are sitting up front and we children are sitting in the back. Sheykh Efendi Hazretleri told my late father, “With this son of yours we will enter a continent. He will become a means. We will enter a continent. And the day will come in that continent when we will say La Ilaha Illallah in those roads.” And he, Sheykh (Sheykh Nazmi) Efendi Hazretleri, pointed his finger at me. At the time, if I’m not mistaken, I was probably around seven years old.
Reporter: So you were still little?
Yes, that much. He said, “This son of yours will open a door. A door will open through him.” Out of ordinary circumstances developed. We arrived from Sham-e Sharif (Syria) and suddenly a fire fell inside of me to leave the country. But at the time for me to leave the country would have been to England. We have many uncles, aunts, and relatives. We could have left immediately. And my late father said I could not leave without completing my military duty at the time. I quit school and everything else. I entered states of a depleted soul. “Then,” I said, “I should enroll in the military.” As soon as I finished 16 and turned 17. Because as soon as we departed from Sham-e Sharif, I believe it was the end of August. The GrandSheykh departed from this world in October. On November 12th, November 11 is my birthday, I enrolled in the military.
I went to the commander. They knew my late father. My father was a senior English police officer there. I enrolled. He said, “Son, you are too young. We cannot accept you.” I said, “I am young. But look, I am built.” We were better built then. He refused. I remembered that “Gench Osman” Young Osman who poked the comb in his mustache. “Commander,” I said, “I have such a soul that I will do the same.” He stared. He liked it. He said, “Let me talk to your father first.” “Don’t talk to him. Enroll me,” thinking, “I don’t know if my father will allow me or not.” They spoke. My father said to them, “Take him. Take him.” He enrolled me in the military Alhamdulillah. We went in and out the military. We went to war. At the time I had just turned 17. November 11 is my birthday. November 12 is the day I enrolled in the military. I turned 17. They prepared us for that there. We went to war and came out. We battled in Magosa Alhamdulillah. We have a veterans.
Reporter: Medal of honor.
Yes. We got injured in a couple of places. Some events happened. However, while all this was going on, we felt the presence of Sheykh Efendi (Sheykh Nazim) next to us at all times. We knew him to be next to us, Sheykh Efendi Hazretleri.
Reporter: If you have been to Cyprus, there is Kutub Osman Efendi. Have you visited him?
Yes. Namik Kemal high school is located there. We were attending it. I was sitting by his tomb every day. In front of the tomb. We got released from military service and they held us for two and a half years there. All of a sudden, I got a feeling of leaving the country inside of me. A state came upon me. Some unusual situations occured. We found our selves on our way to America. My late father came and said to Sheykh Nazim Efendi , “It is a swamp there. It can swallow him efendim.” He said, “Do not worry. Nothing will happen to him. Do you remember that sohbet from that day? He is walking towards his destiny now.” I am listening from afar. “They will not leave this one alone,” he said, “two great persons are going with him.” One of them is that one at the makam (Sheykh pointed to the makam of Gransheykh Abdullah Daghestani at the Osmanli Dergahi NY) . If you have felt it…
He is always next to me. Daghestani Hazretleri. His spirituality has always been next to us. That is why we were able to stand strong as a Muslim here. Otherwise, the different states inside of me would have made me jumbled up in this country. But Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi’s chain is strong. He put his chain on our neck and held on. Yes.
In 1996, actually after I arrived here, Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi made a dua for me. “Go now,” he said, “There is one thing you have to do there. Make those people like you. However you choose to make them like you. That is your duty. Provided that you make them like you. Provided that you make them like you.” We were a young child then, 19 years old. We did not know much. We thought, is Sheykh(Nazim) Efendi counting on us? He is telling us to be likable. Anyway, we left and came over here. We watched. In short, we did everything. I noticed people are in depression. There are non that are smiling in the country (America). Sheykh (Nazmi) Efendi sometimes says, “This one does not smile.” But nobody smiles here. We said, “Allah Allah,” in bewilderment.
I chatted and talked with the one I came across. I thought to myself, “How can I introduce Sheykh Efendi?” At that time, Sheykh Efendi had casette tapes in English. I was making little money. I would sit and copy the tapes. They were very expensive at the time. I would buy, fill, and give them as a gift to people. I would print Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri’s nice pictures on small size kodak. When I met a person with radiance I would ask, “Would you like to see the most beautiful person in the world?”
He would say, “I would.”
Here, look. I would say.
“Oh, how beautiful.”
Take it. It’s yours. Very strange incidents happened to them afterwards of course. Many incidents happened to us.
We decided to arrange a conference at Los Angeles in 1996. So that speakers from around the world would come and we could somehow introduce Islam to these people this way. And in 1996, we did this. Many people were also invited from Turkey. Many religious leaders. Amongst them, even Erbakan Hoja was invited, but only Iskender Efendi came to speak there. Now, in 1996, that hotel was reserved for three days. All of those great persons, scholars spoke. Around evening time, Sunday, Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri says, “Get permission from the municipality. Since there are 5000 people in this hotel. With turbans and jubbas. All colorful. Women, ladies, and girls assorted. From different people and different races. Let us walk haphazardly towards the city hall – what do you call it in Turkey? City hall. “Let us show ourselves a little,” said Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi. Immediately, affairs are easy here, with a couple of phone calls. It works, you see. They don’t need to go here and there. We will walk from here to there. They even sent the police. To protect us. Ultimately.
Reporter: To protect you?
Yes. We got out. I never forget. I am walking on the right side of Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi. Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi is walking on the left side. Some are in cars ahead. We are at the forefront. Behind us, a torrent of people is coming. With turbans, jubbas, banners, various. Sheykh Efendi started, ‘La Ilaha Illallah, La Ilaha Illallah.’ As he was saying that, the followers started too. Los Angeles streets were saying it. At that moment, it is coming to my heart. Sheykh Efendi is saying, “With this son of yours we will enter a continent. We will say ‘La Ilaha Illallah’ on the streets.” As soon as that came to my heart, I said, “Oh Lord, what a great lover servant of yours you introduced us to, you made us love.” The moment I looked like that to Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri, he stared me in the eye meaningfully and said, “How is it,” he said, “did you rememeber those days?”
He knew that day, Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri. “I remembered efendim,” I said. He said, “Many thanks, after 40 years, our Lord made us live these days, He made us live those words.” That’s it. “We will walk.” We did.
Reporter: None of their words are meaningless.
They are not meaningless.
Reporter: You have also made the Indians recite the Shahadat. Could you tell us about that?
Yes. Well, what can we do. We are a little compulsory. We make the man recite the Shahadat in a tight situation. That’s what the Hazret said, “Make them like you. Do whatever it takes.” In the Indian’s case, we entered through another vain, with the himmet of Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi. They are a forlorn people. They are an ostracized people. Naturally, different states occured. They have just been on PBS recently. In 1973, the FBI surrounded them to finish them. They truly revolted against the government. The laws took away a lot of their rights. They said, “We either die or get our rights.” Out of necessity, the government complied and gave them some of their rights in that region. They were let free. That is why they are a forlorn people. And we go over to the Washington region. Let us make a show of bodies. They are attacking Islam so much. There is no hiding in front of them. We go there with our brothers, may Allah be pleased with them. They do not leave us alone. We go there, and they also come. At the time, in the first year he stayed away from me. I got close to him but he stayed away. The second year, he searched more. They saw, researching on the computer that, “He was also quieted down like me. He is not a spy or spook.” They call me a spy or a spook. But wherever I turn, the FBI’s cameras are on my neck watching me. I said to them, “Why are you sitting on the mountains in the cold? To watch me? Come, sit, put the camers here and watch whatever I say. Look what else I would say then.
That Indian liked us. He watched. His body guards did not let me near him that year. The second year, as I was coming, there is a 100% change in the man. “I was waiting for you,” he said. He came and embraced me. Allah Allah, I was bewildered. What happened to this one? Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi’s keramet. But I told Sheykh Efendi. Such and such. “Penetrate them my son. You have permission and ijazat. They are a forlorn people. Most of them will turn to the Truth. They will be serving the Truth. You are an uninhibited man. You are fearless. You are a lone gun. Penetrate them.” I went there. Arizona is their actual place. The saved region. I entered from one place to another. Met with their elders. They chatted with me. I went there alone. To put them at ease. Later, they liked us. He said the Shahadat with another one of Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi’s keramets and his himmet. Why not say the Shahadat. He said it Alhamdulillah. And one of us suddenly came and put the turban on his head. He wore the Jubba. He sat down. What a zikir he joined, that blessed one. We are making zikir of “YaHu, YaHu.” It fits them. They go around the fire, YaHu, YaHu. In reality, they are also making the same zikir.
Of course. Spirituality is strong in them. When I entered there, I saw many high, great persons amongst them. I met with one of them. The one whose being watched. They are watching. Who is coming and going to him. He is a keeper of secret. They are also awaiting the Mahdi (as). They are also awaiting the Mahdi, the Indians. They are waiting without knowing. He is the saviour. They are waiting for him. They know him as the savior. He is the savior. They are saying he will save humanity and they are waiting for him. That is why, Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri is probably showing them something. He likes us. We like them too. They are forlorn people. So ultimately, they will all turn to Islam. To the Truth. This humanity will either turn to the Truth, or it will be perished. Truth will prevail once more. All the people on this world, this globe, will say Allah one time. Now, we have entered those days insya’Allah.
Reporter: Those days are very close then?
Those days are close. Hazreti Mehdi’s appearance, Hazreti Isa’s descent are very close. All of humanity in reality is waiting for that: a salvation. Insya’Allah it is very close.
Well, it does not happen with our wanting it now. Apparently, they have a time. Now, these persons, the Awliyaullah, they all have the power to change certain things. However, they all pulled back. All the persons that have spiritual power are standing back. They are not appearing ahead anymore. Becasue it has to be pitch dark for the stars to show. If one of those lights shows up, he will correct it immediately. But he is not correcting it. At the time of Clinton, some incidents started geting better. This Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri came here upon an invitation. They were having an election day. They organized a breakfast, calling it interfaith. We also went. I said, “Efendim, what’s going on. They are correcting things.” “No, son,” he said, “he cannot win again. If we let him, he will fix many things.” That is why it has to get worse so that the one we are waiting for arrives. Otherwise, he will not appear. Everywhere will be corrupt. Absolutely corrupt.
Reporter: Spiritually, is there a place that is not corrupt spiritually? What is left? People are finished. Maybe (excluding) a couple here and there. There are billions of people, and these billions are in depression. All of them, correct?
Very. Everybody is searching. Everybody is looking for happiness. They are all looking for happiness: the poor, the rich, the wealthy. Whomever, his status high or low. None. There is no comfort, no peace. And this is for this 21st century’s, let us say, wild people from the Lord of the Worlds. Such that, what was Sheytan’s first crime commited in the Divine Presence? Disobediance. The biggest sin commited by Sheytan: disobediance. He is worshipping and doing everything. What did he do to the Lord of the Worlds? He told him to prostrate to Hazreti Adam. “I will not,” he said. He became disobedient. He did not obey Allah’s word. He said, “I only prostrate to you.” An order came to him, “If you prostrate to me, you will also prostrate to my word.” “I will not,” he said, “I am superior to him.” He got arrogant. All people of this 21st century have this, excluding a couple. They are wrapped in arrogance. Muslims are even more lost. Isn’t that so? That is why. What was Hazreti Adam’s crime? When we look, he has the same fault. And he was told not to do, he did. Isn’t that so? He was told not to approach the forbidden fruit. That is also disobedience. The disobedient person is therefore getting dirty. Paradise is a clean place. Immediately, Allah swt said, “You are disobedient. Get out of Paradise. All of you get out of Paradise. Go down to the lowest of the low, get cleansed and come back.”
Here, what is the biggest fault of this 21st century people? They are disobedient. The child does not obey his ancestor. His ancestor does not accept an authority. Nobody accepts authority anymore. Finished. They say they are devoted to the Sheykh. But their devotion is with a string – A cotton string. A cotton string. As soon as they Sheykh says something that conflicts with their ego, immediately they leave the Sheykh too. Then they also make up weird things for their Sheykh. This is the situation of these people. That is why, because these people became disobedient, the Lord of the Worlds is letting us know, “I do not put upon you a heavy punishment. You are weak servants. Since you are disobedient to Me, I am taking away peace from you.”
Who has peace? Allah’s saints have peace. However, Allah’s saints are getting restless today because they look at the people around them, they are running after wrong things. They are getting upset on their behalf. They are also becoming restless. Yes. Therefore, 21st century: there is no peace. Peace has been taken away. Go and ask the priest, ask the rabbi, ask the scholar, ask the Diyanet (Religious Affairs), whoever you want to ask. If the man says, “I have peace,” there is either something missing or an excess. What is the excess? Apparently, he became Allah’s saint. “My peace is not complete.” I cannot be. Why? Becasue the ones I love have become restless. The people I love have become disobedient to Allah. They have become rebellious to His Prophet. How do I find peace? Isn’t that so?
Reporter: We have been roaming around since morning. You are residing in a beautiful place. It is very natural all around. Very green. And we really got peace here.
Yes. That is a sign of the spiritual vision of our grand seniors. They are watching us. Our grand ones. Especially, Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri, may Allah sanctify his secret. Grand Sheykh Sheykh Sherafuddin Daghestani. Their eyes are over us insya’Allah. That is why we are able to stand. Otherwise, it is not possible to stay up. It is not possible.
Reporter: We also noticed that peace in the brothers here. They are very comfortable, peaceful, happy. Very well, are there others who come around to see this peace?
There are many who come. These people are restless. The police are restless. They are all restless. Some of them, of course, act with aggressive actions. What do we call it in Turkish? It is not Turkish but we use it. What do we call it in Turkish? Angry. They try to reflect their anger on us. And we try to smile in accordance with our Sheykh’s orders. Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi says, “This one doesn’t smile much. But what can you do? You have to try and smile.” That is why we try to smile to them. We great them. They return the greeting. Slowly, it has been years since we entered here. This area is in fact very racist. Nobody from different races came up here until now. Most people who live here, you can see their ancestors are buried here. They arrived 200-300 years ago. They did not let strangers enter here. And through a different way, by not changing these people’s names, we bought these places. Without changing these Muslim people’s original names. Now, we entered. When I first arrived, they watched. When I went to the market they growl, “No.” They are really growling. They are not selling anything. They leave the counter and run inside. “Don’t worry,” I say. Because Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri has a dua for me. He said, “Oh son, may you go to jungles where no axe has gone before. You will inshallah turn people with animal characteristics to people with human characteristics.” He made such a dua. That is why when I came in, he was growling. In addition, those days September 11 events had just occurred. It’s boiling up everywhere. And we came in front of these racists, appearing like this. They went absolutely mad. They made various plans. They would come here and fire a rocket. They would kill us. Since we went in and out of the military at an early age, because we grew up under Greek pressure in Cyprus, that fear left us some Alhamdulillah. We were able to stand with our Sheykh’s himmet. Slowly, we were able to accept ourselves to these people.
That real unity will not form until Hazreti Mehdi arrives. Because today’s scholars, in some way or another, let us say most of them, are holding their own egos up front. “What I say must happen,” they say. So there is no face-to-face trading. It is happening within the same Tarikat. Leaders within the same Tarikat are opposing each other now. In addition, this is a good thing. We are watching. This is a sign. It is close. That is why opposition occurs. Everybody hoisted their own flags and are running ahead. But it is not working. This is not work we are capable of. Hazreti Mahdi will do the work. When will Hazreti Mahdi do his work? He will when he says, “Allahu Akbar,” making the takbir and he starts his work. And we will join him. There is no other choice. We either join him, or we get cut off and go away. To Dajjal’s side. May Allah protect us. We are comfortable. Why are we comfortable? Because we have connected with him by heart. It does not matter much whether we reach to him or not. We have connected by heart to him. We have connected by heart and have accepted him. What is the most important phenomenon for us at the moment? To be connected to whom? To our Sheykh. We have held on to his rope. That is why we lived fourty years of our life with this world and the hereafter connected. After age 40, we did not leave wordly matters. Lest people misunderstand. We are still connected fully with worldly activities. We are working with animals. We are planting and sowing. We are supporting our living. We are living our own way here. Without need for anyone. Eventually, we try not to be in need of anyone. In fact, a person is in need of another. We try not to be in need of the wrong people.
Reporter: Now, the view from outside is very different. All people say is Tarikat leaders are in America. They are in luxury. They have piled up the money. They are living in rich and large lodges and palaces. There is such a thinking amongst people. We came and saw that you are really taking care of animals. You have sheep. You have horses. You are planting your own. And you are supporting your livelihood only through these.
Well, our brothers know. You can speak to anyone of them. None of them could even get near a sheep, let alone other animals. Some of them were afraid of sheep. My brothers were afraid of sheep. Becasue we were raised in a village since childhood, as I said with our Sheykh’s himmet, we learned these things. We did everything of worldly matters. These things benefited us. In some way or another, we are teaching them that life is earned through your efforts. The life that you earn with your efforts is real life. This is the real halal. As we mentioned, our Sheykh is our guide. Our Sheykh is Sultanul Awliya (The King of Saints). From the four corners of the world, sultans, kings, padishahs, prime ministers are there. There are public and hidden. It is full of them. Sheykh Efendi Hazretleri does not take anything to eat from others’ goods and possessions. Never have Tarikat Sheykhs lived alone in prosperity. Becasue that is not the Prophet’s sunnat. Tarikat Sheykhs are living in accordance with the Prophet’s sunnat. Isn’t that so? However, there are certain top stations where prestige is needed. For example, there are Yahudis, Zionists, Christians, and various other groups. Sometimes they invite us to different places. We have brothers with fine cars. Then we take that car. Because we will go with Islam’s grace there. Because the Lord of the Worlds says to the Muslim, “When I provide you with a blessing, I would like to see it on you.” Shah-e Nakshibend is especially letting us know, “May my brothers eat the best, wear the best, live the best.” This is not forbidden. However, none of the real Sheykh have lived in riches and left their brothers in poverty. The table of real Sheykhs is always on the floor. He usually eats with his brothers. In addition, we are admirers of the Great Khan Abdul Hamid. He is the crown of our head. The Great Khan Abdul Hamid never stayed in the palace and ate with great people. He went down to the kitchen and sat and ate with his chef, with his workers, and with his guards.
Reporter: At the same time, you are a descendant of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. Is that correct? There is this thing of conquest in your genes.
That is not something we should be proud of. It makes us happy. Our Lord loved us and made us from such ancestors and such a lineage. A little blood reached us. Many thanks. But have we lived up to that? We have not. Inshallah, we are trying to be. That is our intention. To at least hand over our soul in that way. Fatih Sultan Mehmet Khan, Great Khan, Jennet Mekan, when he was my age he destroyed two of their empires, of their erroneous systems. He raised Islam. He became the commander that our Prophet mentioned. What works did he not accomplish? Yet, when he was my age, he departed from this world. Well, now at this age, we are trying to build a place made of odds and ends here.
Reporter: In a place like America, to all of America.
Well, that is what makes us happy. Our village is the Village of Alifodes in Cyprus. Our ancestors in the village, he is saying, all of them were saintly people. In that village, the real Ottomans never got corupt, says Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri. And our ancestor, our grandfather Ali, one of our grandfathers, he was dealing with animals. Just like here, there was a village on the top of a mountain. A Greek owned the village. They agreed at the time. See, you deal with garden work, I deal with animals. Let me go up and you come down. In summary, they exchanged villages. When they exchanged villages, now there is no water at the top, there are animals. There is usually one who opposes those elders from their brothers or sons. That grandfather of ours, his eye of the heart is open, he is one of the Awliya, says Sheykh Efendi, he had a brother who was totally opposed to him. “We got fooled by you, we came up. We have to go down for the animals. Things got harder.”
“Be patient. Be patient. Be patient,” he would say to him.
One day he is sitting in the middle of town. He would roam around with a little hatchet that grandfather of ours. He was nagging, “We want water. We want water.”
“Enough already. Here is so much water that you cannot drink and finish,” he said and hit over the rock. The rock cracked and a flood of water gushed out. That water is still running today. Sheykh (Nazim)Efendi is telling us about that water, “Oh son, that water is blessed. It is cool in the summer and hot in the winter.” It came out with the support of the Awliya. As soon as it came out, they built a pool there. The people of the village, the Greeks turned an enemy to him. This is a nice place now. Let us take control of it. Let us bully him so he leaves and runs away. They came to that granfather, the priests and all gathered. “We will not let you live here without building a church. This is an old Greek village. It has to have a church.” He said, “Very well, I’ll build it and you can come see it.” He gathered his children and built a room there, like us. He built it from mud bricks. Colored it white. Put a Mihrab and all. “Call them,” he said, “let them see.” They came and said, “Are you joking with us? You built a mosque here. We want a church. We will destroy it.” “Let it stay today,” he said, “tomorrow you can destroy it. Come and we will destroy it together.” They are not understanding anything. But “Allah Allah” in bewilderment. They left. That night, he says, a light desended on that spot from the sky. All of Cyprus, the people saw that over the masjid. The Greeks were smart back then. They had smart priests. “This one is a saint of Allah. If we bother him we will face hardship.” That is why they came and gave him beyat. Later, whenever they had any work, they would come and get the dua and go. We lived with those dreams for years. The Greeks named that village Alifodes. Alifodes: Ali is our grandfather’s name. Fodes in Greek means light, radiance. It means Ali’s Light. The village name – Alifodes.
Reporter: very nice.
It is there. Sheyh (Nazim) Efendi was telling us, saying, “Son, when I was coming to your village you were not even born yet. I would come in the late 1940s. On the weekends, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday we were there. Definately,” says Shekh Efendi. None of the villagers had a liking for cafes nor wrong talks. Everybody was busy with their worship, obediance, fields, and animals. They would converse, make zikir and live with association. This is the way we have known Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri. We did not know him. He founds us you see. Before being born. Before coming to our mother.
I used to see this place in vision. May Allah forgive our claiming the I. We were in Sham-e Sharif with Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri. We visited the Hazret. I saw a vision. I told him. The Hazret said, “Son, there is a sign there. We have to open a place. That is a sign from Grand Sheykh to you.” I described it.
“Send your men,” he said, “Let them look here and there, at places you know.”
We sent. I never came around these areas. I lived in this country for years. I never drove to these regions. For years we searched for a place. To open a dergah in New York. Allah shut it. When we were searching with Sheykh Hisham Efendi, we couldn’t find anything here. We opened it all the way in Michigan. In summary, we are here with the permission and order of Sheykh (Nazim) Efendi Hazretleri. We told our brothers by telephone to look around here, places close to Pennsylvania, mountainous regions. They came. If Allah wants to put something in front of someone it is easy. This place is for sale. There are a couple of other places for sale. There was another place, more beautiful, larger, for sale. The prices were the same. I said, there is something behind this. Take pictures and send them to me. They took the pictures. I suddenly noticed where the makam is, there is a light descending down there from the sky. I said, ‘Allah Allah,’ in bewilderment. I brought it to Sheykh Efendi. Is this it? This is it. That is a light descending from the sky. It is a sign. He made the cameras catch it to show it to us. “Pay attention to this place,” he said. In the way of Truth inshaAllah, we will still see much more. Sheykh Efendi Hazretleri said, “A force of the Osmanli will emerge again from there.”
Reporter: Now, at nights you have the zikir. On Saturday night, you will apparently have the general zikir.
Our lifestyle here is based on constant worship. We perform the five daily prayers here. For Fajr prayer, sometimes there are more of our brothers on the top of the mountain than many mosques in Istanbul. At least 20 people attend the Fajr prayer here. There wasn’t even a single Muslim on the top of this mountain. We were alone. We came first. This region, just like our Grandfather’s, which are connected – they made him build it there and us here. There wasn’t a single Muslim in this region within a diameter of 200 miles. There was no mention of Islam. Now, we pray the five daily prayers Alhamdulillah. Every night we have our Tasbih zikir. The real Nakshibendi zikir. On Thursday nights we have the loud zikir. We have the Juma Khutba. Once a month, so that people from other states can join, we have our general zikir. We go to them as well. In summary, we are living our life trying to and intending to be a real servant to Allah. We are working on that. We are trying to live in accordance with the Prophet’s saying, “In the end of times, leave the cities and move to the mountains.”
Reporter: Very well. How do you see the future of America from now on?
America does not have much of a future any more. America went through a rise, beyond this it will go through a fall. Since they do not have a solid base, people here will slowly turn back to their origin. And whomever has the Truth in their heart, a love of Truth, the genuine defenders of Truth, they will eventually turn to Islam.
Reporter: So you are saying there will be a huge conversion to Islam in America?
The largest conversion to Islam, according to our belief, will be here. Because looking at the people here in general, compared to people in Europe, Middle East, and Far East. Perhaps Muslims might call them Unbelievers. They might be Unbelievers but they are not Tyrants.
Reporter: That was a very nice definition.
Every Tyrant is an Unbeliever. Allah says in the Kuran-e Karim that He does not like Tyrants.
That is why one cannot be a Tyrant and a Believer at the same time. Faith leaves the heart. Therefore, every Tyrant is an Unbeliever, but every Unbeliever is not a Tyrant. Since every Unbeliever is not a Tyrant, Allah might grant this Shahadat to him in the last breath. We don’t know that. Our duty is, can we become a means to this? Can we be of any benefit? Through our lifestyle, in the best way, through our actions, without compromising anything from ourselves, from our Islam, from our appearance and dress, are we able to introduce Islam in the best manner to these people? I have a beard. I wear a turban. They don’t have much of an opposition to these. It is a different look. They like it.
Reporter: I was going to ask that – appearance and dress. I am absolutely not opposing, but those who are in the opposing view, they get stuck with appearance and dress. The beard. The turban.
This opposing view is generally not from strangers but from Muslims. It’s from Muslims. Because he can’t do it himself, he talks against the Prophet’s sunnat. That’s why, let him deal with his own state. It is none of our concern.
Reporter: However, they are saying of our Holy Prophet, if he were living today…
Hasha, Estaghfirullah. In our Prophet’s time, did our Holy Prophet adapt to the lifestyle in Europe? So when you are saying that, most of the time, the stranger loses his respect towards you. He says to you: You are not living the way you believe. Why are you inviting me?
Reporter: Very ture.
He is saying: Your belief, Islamic belief, is not this. Your Prophet, Companions, and Ottomans were not like this, he is saying. Why are you like this? Who did you admire? Are your ancestors and your past the things you admire? Or is it Europe? “Europe shaved its beard. Let me shave it too.” If the Prophet shaved it, I will too. Aleyhis Salatu Wassalam. He did not shave it. Which one of Allah’s saints to this day shaved their beard? However, it might be mandatory on a man. That’s different. We are not dealing with them. We have nothing to say to them. However, if he is a free Imam, a free Sheykh, and he is violating all of these delibaretly and makes up a cover, then we will talk one-to-one with him. Again, I will not talk with him now.
Reporter: Let me ask a little from the Kuran. Our Sublime Lord is saying, “We have not created the Heavens, Earth, and what is between them for nothing.” Then what is the human’s purpose of creation?
The human’s purpose of creation is to know his/her Lord. To know your Lord. Before knowing your Lord, to know yourself. The person must know himself first. He has to know himself so that he can know his Lord. The person cannot know his Lord without knowing himself. His knowing himself is according to his own weak knowledge. Humanity, ever since Adam, our father, to our day, have invented new Allahs for themselves. They have made up gods according to their minds. Isn’t that so? Allah is always one. He is always the same. People have fallen in this situation becasue instead of trying to reach to those heights, they are trying to bring Allah down to their own weakness. See, let us know ourselves in order to know our Lord. How do we know ourselves? Can I get to know myself by sitting and making Rabita. It does not work. Then you need someone to get you to know yourself. Who is going to get you to know your religion? Our Holy Prophet (aleyhis salatu wassalam). The Sahabis did not claim to know the religion. They did not claim to know the Kuran. What did they say? They said, “We knew the Prophet.” “We loved the Prophet,” they said. “We had an affection for the Prophet,” they said. The love they had for the Prophet took them to Allah. Becasue the Prophet (aleyhis salatu wassalam) is a guide to take them to Allah. Now, this continued for centuries. Tasawwuf and Tarikat is coming from here. Such that our Holy Prophet’s words are Shariat, and his lifestyle is Tarikat. His life is Tarikat. His lifestyle. Just as the Sahaba-e Kiram were sitting around him, our Master would teach them religion. He would teach them their living. He would teach them their life.
Today, real dervishes are gathering around real sheykhs. What did the Prophet say about real sheykhs again in one of his Hadis-e Sharif, “These sheykhs amongst my nation are how the prophets were. Sheykhs amongst their brothers are like prophets. He shows them the way.”
Now, you asked about the purpose of creation, the human’s purpose of creation is to recognize his Lord. To know his Lord. To find a way from the World and again go to Paradise. Back. This World is not our place. We are tourists here. Live your tourism the way you like. Either waste it or put an order on yourself. You will live it as you like. That is why Allah gave us free will. With free will, we either win Paradise or Hell. Free will does not mean, “You cannot mingle in my business.” Today’s people have become like that. The scholars, the young, the old are saying, “You cannot interfere with me. You cannot.” Then why did Allah send the Prophet amongst us? What? Couldn’t Allah have sent a book in our hands from Heaven and told us to go in our way? He could have. But He also has a protocol. And the Lord of the Worlds is informing us, You will follow that? Whom? You will follow the Prophet. He is ordering us. It is an order. “Whatever he orders you obey. Whatever he forbids you leave.” So he gave him everything. Now, we look. Have we reached the Prophet? We are saying his words, correct? We are only mentioning his name. Who can claim today to tell of his form and outline? His form and outline is rising more every moment. It is changing more. Don’t come to me with the form your ancestor and grandfather wrote about. How is your connection with the Prophet? Are you connected? Can you see? Can you live? No. Well then, we need someone to introduce us to the Prophet. Before everything else, slowly, step by step. Here is our sheykh. We are watching our Sheykh. We see our Prophet there. With his lifestlye. With his works. We try to notice it there. The person must know himself, know his Lord. Before he knows his Lord, he needs someone to introduce himself to himself.
On the day of Promises, when the Lord of the Worlds created the souls, of course the prophets, all the saints, all of those who came, those who will come, all servants were there. Where were you on that day? Which row were you in? Who was around you? Do you recognize him? So, what is our duty? To get to know our Lord.
SelamAleykum wa Ratmatullahi wabarakatuh SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi el Rabbani (qs),
Khalifah of Sultan el-Awliya Shaykh Mawlana Muhammad Nazim Adil el-Hakkani
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York