How do you become aware of something? We were just talking about earlier, how to be observant and how to be aware of things. Because to be awake and to be aware, it is the opposite of what? To be in ghaflat. And the ghaflat, the heedlessness, it is a biggest enemy. This is something that Sheykh Effendi has been concentrating on for years. Eversince I’ve known him for years, ghaflat, ghaflat, ghaflat. Yes, especially in the Dergah here. He’s hitting. When he travels a little bit, he doesn’t talk too much about those kinds of things, because the training when you are in camp it is different. The training when you are visiting to give conference is different, training when you are going to someone’s house it is different. He may speak a little bit for them to understand but he cannot really train. So now, how do you become observant? How does a person become observant?
We are talking about earlier, couple of examples that we brought up from Sheykh Effendi’s time. Because of one event, one small thing that happened: when I was reaching out for candies and the whole bowl fell down. And I’m saying what? It’s not because I was in ghaflat and it was in the wrong position, I knew it was. And I said, this is how it’s going to be. There is a certain protocol. But when that protocol was not put there for a specific reason and intention, then the smallest thing can turn upside down. So, why are we being observant? Why are we being observant? What is the importance of being observant? Why is it important not to be in ghaflat?
Once you are aware, once you are not in ghaflat, you will start to know yourself more. Once you are aware, you are going to start to know Allah more. Once you are knowing yourself and you know Allah more, you are fulfilling the reason of your creation. This is why it is important not to be in ghaflat. What happens when you are in ghaflat? What happens? We will lose the direction. What happens if we lose the direction? You are going to end up in a very very bad situation, dunya and ahirat. Now this ghaflat, it has nothing to do with Shariat, or fiqh. It has nothing to do with the ilmu zahir. You may even say it has nothing to do with religion, to be observant and not to be in ghaflat. But it has everything to do with religion. Everything to do with spirituality. Everything to do with taqwa. Because, what is taqwa? What is taqwa? To be aware that Allah is looking at us.
How can a man be in ghaflat, to be fooled by his ego, to be fooled by dunya or sheytan, to be in ghaflat? Because a man is only fooled when he is in ghaflat. You understand? A man cannot be fooled if he is not in ghaflat. You don’t have enough knowledge, but you are not in ghaflat, Allah will send hidayah to you. Allah will send guidance to you. You are going to know, you are going to feel, something is going to be send, you are going to understand, this is not so good. You cannot explain why. Your instinct, your spiritual instinct is going to tell you whether something is acceptable or not. Man can have all the ilm in this world, knowing everything, but he’s not knowing himself too much. He’s not knowing how the ego can trick him, he is not knowing how sheytan can disguise himself and trick, he is not knowing how dunya can fool him. That time the man is the biggest fool. And all his ilm is not going to do him nothing. It’s not going to help.
We cannot be fooled. That is the bottom point. We cannot be fooled by sheytan, we cannot be fooled by our ego. This is the bottom point. And the Holy Prophet (asws) has said, ‘the one who fools and the one who gets fool is not from us.’ And in another Hadith e-Sharif he is saying, ‘beware from the vision of the believer. Because he looks with the nur of Allah.’ You think, when you look with the Nur of Allah, you can get fool? You cannot get fool. You will know. That time, that knowledge, you will not only understand it, you will understand also the wisdom behind that knowledge, you will also understand the intention behind that wisdom. You will also be able to understand the destiny that is behind everything and you are going to step back and let destiny to happen. Do you understand?
So how are we going to be training ourselves not to be in ghaflat? To train yourself not to be in ghaflat, it is not through reading Quran, it is not through making a zikr. This is where the Dergah is important. This is where if you have so many wrong habits, you have to be in a place where every wrong habits that you are going to have, there is going to be a reminder for you physically: ‘Stop that. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Don’t do that,’ because all these actions is going to bring you to a ghaflat. You are going to catch yourself, you are going to try to change. But these takes time. It’s not magic. There is no magic in Islam. This is through hard work. This is through struggling. This is through declaring Jihad on your nafs. Your nafs wants to just move around when you are sitting down, just for no reasons wants to move around. Just wants to move around. It’s a very simple, basic example. Because you are so use, you are not watching your ego, and just whenever you want to move, it moves. Any reasons? ‘No, I just want to move.’ You are controlled by your ego then that time.
So now, you are like that outside, coming to an association, where there is sohbet or a majlis, or a maulid, or something that requires you to be a little bit quiet, you cannot do it. Because that is becoming a habit. You are already hardwired by it. That time when you are praying, do you think khusyuk is going to come to you? You think concentration and focus is going to come? Because the reality is, whatever that is happening in your body, that something is happening, it is also happening in your mind, it is happening in your spirit. Tell me the person who is not moving around like this that his mind is very focus? No. He’s moving around because his mind is moving around. So his mind, his concentration, there is no discipline to it. So how are you now, if there is no discipline, there is no concentration, how are you going to say, La ilaha iallallah? How are you going to say, ‘la ilaha ilallah,’ ? How are you going to understand ‘La’ how are you going to understand ‘ilaha,’ how are you going to understand ‘ilallah’? You don’t have the discipline. You say ‘La,’ your mind is going to go somewhere else. ‘Ilaha,’ your mind is going to go to the left. ‘ilallah,’ your mind is going to go to the right, ‘muhammadur Rasulullah,’ it’s going to go to circle everywhere except for that kalimah. Then how are you going to have that concentration and the khusyuk when you are making a prayer? What about all the other five, just pillars of Islam?
These days, they are teaching everything, and this is, by the way, this is part of manners. This is part of manners. This is part of edep. Edep, it is the attitude. And the attitude must show in the mannerism, must show in the behavior. You are picking up the Quran e-Kerim and you want to read the Quran e-Kerim, there is no manners to it, there’s not going to be blessing. There may be coming a punishment to you. You are still reading Quran but there is not going to be a punishment. For example, you can read the Quran, but can you take the Quran now and read it in the bathroom? Hasha astaghfirullah. You cannot. Why is that? because the bathroom is dirty. You cannot say that time, ‘but my intention is clean. So why I have to be afraid of the surrounding if it’s dirty.’ Because the book of Quran itself is Pak. It is pure. You do not even place it below the belly button. You place it high. But in these days, people they are not following fourteen hundred years of tradition that shows us how to treat the Quran. They are making it up. Or they are following unbelievers how they treat their Holy books. I remember, one time when I was a kid, I was talking to this guy. He was saying something from the Bible. And he said, ‘wait, wait, wait.’ He went inside, he took out the Bible and he opened it, explained to me. Then he closed the Bible and he put it between his knees, holding it, while he’s doing something else. Now we don’t believe that that Bible is hundred percent. But still it is a Holy Book. And I’m saying, ‘you are treating your Bible like that? How can you?’
These days, Muslims, more they learn, more punishment is coming to them. Because there is no manners. The Quran e-Kerim, in the old days, you don’t print it. That’s a matter now, between the scholars to decide if it’s a bidaat or it’s not a bidaat. In the old days, the Quran e-Kerim is only written by hand, by Saintly people, by Holy People. People who are Holy. People who are good. And the Quran e-Kerim is held high. It is not so important now to be reading the Quran e-Kerim, to bring it down and to read it so much if you are understanding the meaning and you are putting it in your life. That’s much better than reading it without understanding the meaning and putting it in your life. The characteristics and the manners of their lives it is based on the Quran and the hadiths. Some people say, ‘we don’t believe in that, putting the Quran so high. You don’t bring it down, like Quran is unapproachable.’ You are not understanding the reason. Now Quran is very approachable, mashaAllah. Then what? Everyone is reading the Quran, then what? The world is becoming a better place? The Muslims is becoming better? There’s so much Quran, you are putting it on the floor. There’s so much Quran now that there is no power that comes when you just look and you take that book, because it is printed. Understand?
Now when it’s printed and there’s so much, there’s so many, you see in every masjids there’s hundreds, people are putting it everywhere, putting it on the floor. People are reading it on the floor. They are lying down and they are opening it and they are reading it. When we tell them this is no good, they look at us and say that, ‘don’t make a shirk. We worship only Allah.’ So this is the point now. Because every manner that we have, it is going to teach us how to approach Allah swt. The manners that you have to your parents, will teach you how to have the manners to have in front of a holy person. When you have the manners how to be in front of a holy person, it will teach you how to have the manners in front of the Prophets. And the manners in front of the Prophet is going to teach you how to have manners in front of Allah swt. Because in front of Allah swt, now the manners is not just controlling your body, but it’s controlling your tongue, controlling your eyes, controlling your ears, controlling your heart. You understand? So your heart doesn’t just go be very busy while you are standing, you are sitting, you are saying, ‘Allahu Akhbar,’ but your heart is circling around. Top speed everywhere, and you don’t mean the words that you say in prayer.
During the time of the Ottomans, oh, to even touch the Quran e-Kerim, not only you have to have a fresh wudhu, you have to wear nice clothes, you have to put perfume, you have to be in a room where it’s not busy, you can just concentrate. Because why? Because Allah is speaking to you. That time Allah is speaking to you. You light the incense, nice smelling so that all the wrong things they go, the angels they come. There are prayers that you say before, and you open it, now you have full closeness. You are entering into a different place, entering into a different thinking, entering into everything is different. And never you are going to turn the pages of the Quran like this (Sheykh shows the action of licking one finger and turning the pages).
Try to say in front of people now, this is the manners that you have to approach reading from the Quran. They will say, ‘you are crazy! Where in the Quran is saying that?’ So what do they have? They have small Quran that they are putting here (in the pocket). Worse, they are putting here, in the back pocket. I’ve seen people doing that. MashaAllah. So they are standing in the bus. Standing, standing like this (with the hand holding the handle for support), ‘Oh, I want to read Quran.’ They are going to take out the Quran, and open it. There’s so many wrong things happening (around him), people are busy, and they are reading Quran. What can you do in that kind of situation? Make zikr. Islam is providing answer for everything. You can make a zikr. You want to read Quran, you know some surah? You don’t know anything, just recite Fatiha. But you don’t take out the mushaf then that time, in that kind of situation to be reading. What are you going to get from it? Not too much. That’s why these days, majority of muslims knowing how to read but they lost all their manners with each other, with their Lord, with the creation, believers and unbelievers. So we are here to put our manners properly, insyaAllah. Not to fall into a ghaflat. Wamin Allahu Taufiq. Al Fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
3 Jamada al-Awwal 1437
February 12, 2016.