We are asking help and support from our Sheykh Sheykh Abdul Kerim al-Kibrisi al-Rabbani to give us permission to speak and to say something. We are asking him to send us something that is going to give us benefit, especially in this Holy month, because here at the Dergah, we don’t jump into the food to pack yourself up then later you are so heavy and you are so lazy and you don’t have energy for zikr or sohbet or praying, or anything.
You eat something, yes you are hungry and you are thirsty, how much can you eat? But the desire, desire is endless, isn’t it? When you are in that situation, that’s why I’m saying our brother Amir is here, he just came into Islam few weeks ago, he’s already fasting, Alhamdulillah. MashaAllah to him. This is a lesson for us. Please don’t think that we are fasting for years that we are any better. Because someone who just come and they just jump in to fast in summer time, it’s the longest fast in thirty-tree years – that’s a big secret there too. So many things are changing in the Paradises. Isa (as) is getting ready to come down, and he is jumping in and he is trying to fast. Are we paying him? No. Are we praising him? No, we are not we are not praising him. We are saying, whatever that he’s going through now, he’s doing it for himself. He is not doing it for us. In reality he is doing it for Allah’s sake. I spoke to him a little bit and he’s saying, he feels brighter, he feels lighter. It’s difficult, yes it is difficult. That’s true. To just jump into a fast like this, it is not so easy to do. And to just jump into a fast, from someone who is coming from different lifestyle, that’s a very big blessing and it’s very unusual and if that one is not supported by the Friend of Allah, it is going to be impossible to do.
So now, the month of fasting must make you to realize things. It must make you to wake up to things, about yourself, not about how much you are going to eat when the iftar enters. Like I said before, desire is endless, but how much can you eat? How much can you drink really? When are we going to hold on to that reality? When are we going to hold our horses a little bit and to say, ‘we actually don’t need so much.’ Yes we are hungry, we are thirsty, what can we drink? One gallon? Five gallons? Drink a little bit and its gone. All this whole fast, all this whole tiredness, all this whole battling going back and forth in your mind, ‘I’m so hungry, I’m so thirsty,’ or like what you are saying earlier, about all your bad habits, bad characteristics, bad desires, that you are going back and forth and fighting with yourself, in reality we just take a little piece of bone and we are satisfied. This is how the ego is. The ego is like a dog.
Like what Maulana Rumi is saying, ‘Ah, one day we will wake up and we will realize all the problems we are having in this dunya, and we will start laughing.’ The idea is, the friends of Allah they are teaching us, all these difficulties that we are going through, all these pulling of the gravity of the dunya, once you discover the secret of letting that go, once you discover the secret of holding to the rope of Allah, once you discover the secret of obeying and not being rebellious, then that’s the time you enter into that Ocean and there is peace. Like what Sheykh Effendi said, Sheykh Maulana is saying, ‘the river, they are making so much noise. It’s huge and it’s very filled with noise, it’s filled with energy, it’s filled with so much rebellion. But once it reaches to the Ocean, and the ocean what is it compared to the river, what is the river compared to the ocean? The Ocean is huge. It disappear.’ We understand that theoretically now, correct? No one in the right mind is going to say, ‘what the heck are you talking about? This is all wrong.’ We understand that in theory. Now we are practicing. That’s why we are in Tarikat. We are trying to practice what we believe. Little by little, step by step. What are we going to understand and learn in this Ramazan? All these, for example all these thirst and all these hunger, in reality just one little glass of water, some food in a bowl, and suddenly it gets really quiet. So why am I having all these, eh, so much struggle now? I should learn to trust a little bit more in Allah. And once you have that trust, you will start to see your problems, they are not huge, they are not overtaking you, they are not bigger than Allah. Allah’s mercy is more than that.
So in this month of mercy, run to Him. Run to Allah’s mercy. Find Allah’s mercy. Find Allah’s mercy even if it is in a glass of water. There’s a big secret to that. How many people right now they don’t have access to one glass of clean water to drink? How many muslims now that they are living in certain areas, they don’t have water? How many of them now, they are living, they are good people, they are servants to Allah and the sheytan is blocking their water from coming for them to drink? Yet, they have faith in their Lord. Don’t think Allah is not watching. So be thankful. Run to the mercy of Allah in every little thing that you have. Whichever of the favors of your Lord can you deny? In this month, we run, and we need to look. Once we find the Mercy of Allah, if you are people who listen to sohbet, if you are people who make a zikr, the one who receives mercy, he has to give mercy. The one who receives, he has to give. You understand? If you receive it, you were in a position where you need that mercy and you know how it feels like to be in need of that mercy and when mercy reaches to you, you are going to look to others with merciful eyes.
Now these are the teachings of Ramazan, not just to stay from hunger and from thirst, because in these days, especially living in the west, you don’t have too many opportunities to really feel for those who are hungry and thirsty. Because you go out, you don’t see anyone hungry and thirsty. More pictures that you see, more postings that you see, more your heart becomes hard and you don’t feel anything although there are more people suffering now in this world than it was before. At least, in certain countries, you go out and you see poor people, you see orphans, you see cripples, you see handicapped people, you see people who need that and they will soften your heart. But, when we live in this time, we need to look for mercy, if we cannot find it outside, look for it inside. Understand what we are going through. This is also the month of charity where you give, you have to be generous. The one who is merciful has to be generous.
Now, you had a question, it’s very honest. Some people are saying that if you have, you start to earn something and you start to feel that whatever that you have earned, it belongs to you and you feel a little bit heavy to let it go, you feel a little bit difficult to give it. It’s good if you recognize it. Allah swt is testing us with things that we don’t have, with things that we don’t have and with things that we have. The things that is coming to you, of course we are not going to lecture you to say where it’s coming from. It’s not coming from you. It’s coming from Allah. It’s coming from His Mercy. Which is why in Islam, it is a pillar of our faith. Do you understand what it means? A pillar of our faith? It means if you don’t have this, if you don’t have this pillar, no matter how big and how strong your house is or your building is, it’s going to come down. And this pillar is what? Charity. Zakat. It is charity. Let me not enter into charity and amongst the Muslims now. because in the first place, the Muslim nation’s leaders, those ones who are leading the nations in different areas, they are not giving charity. So how do you expect, those ones they are holding very tightly to their money, how do you expect those ones below them to be able to have charity?
Charity is also not, ‘okay I have so much money, I give but I’m going to make my toilet from pure gold.’ That is not charity. Because once you start to give charity, you start to understand what that value is. You understand the value not from a rich person’s point of view. You understand the value from a poor person’s point of view. Correct? Charity you give because you understand what that person is going through. Now if you understand what the person is going through, how can you be wasteful with your money? It has to pull you back.
So you earn something, which is why in our way, following the sunnat of the Holy Prophet (asws), make charity every day. Have a box in your house, before you step out, put something in there. Put something small in there. This charity is not for Allah. Don’t think that Allah needs it. It is for you. It is to clean your money, because especially living in this world, living in this system, living in this capitalist system, the money that we are getting, like this or like that, it is tainted. It is tainted. Where is it coming from? So we need to clean it. And cleaning it, it is good for us. It is good for the one who gives. It is not only going to help other people but it’s going to help you. Slowly, Islam is going to take you through this journey that is going to take the love of this world away from you.
Like I said before, Shahadat, Salat, Sawm Ramazan, Zakat and Hajj, these are the five pillars of Islam. To say the shahadat, to testify there is no Illah except for Allah and the Prophet (asws) he is our Prophet and we are accepting all 124,000 Prophets before, and all their Books, because Islam is the only religion that doesn’t stand up to insult the religion and the Prophets of other religion. We are not going to stand up to say that Isa (as) is wrong. Hasha. We are not going to stand up to say Musa (as) is wrong, or Ibrahim (as) is wrong. We accept 124,000 Prophets, every prophet that belongs to a nation Allah swt is saying, ‘We have sent a messenger to every nation.’ We accept. Because Islam is what they call the original. And what is Islam? Saying that there is One Lord. That’s all. And that Prophet who came is going to bring you to that Lord.
So now, Shahadat. Once you start saying the Shahadat, once you start believing in it, that is not enough. That is the core, that is the seed. Now it has to be protected. This is where the salat is. Your prayers. Because your prayers now, five times a day, you are going to pull yourself away from this world. Because this prayer has nothing to do with the world. It has nothing to do with the world. And this prayer, even the movement of this prayer, it is not from this world, it is from the Heavens. It is from the Paradises. Even the movements. And this five prayers, all 124,000 Prophets they are praying five times a day, but it’s only given to this nation as a nation. This is one of the gifts that Allah swt is giving to the nation of His most beloved one (asws).
You pray. Then what do you do? After you pray for five times a day, that everyone is continuously there are people praying to Allah swt, in every country, in every time, in every minute, in every second. But that’s different time. But for one month, every year, the whole believers are going to get together, all the Muslims they are going to get together for one whole month they are going to stop and they are going to fast together. This is something that has never been achieved before. And it’s continuing, unchanged, for fourteen hundred years. So but what does that mean now? You already say Shahadat, you prayed, when you pray you are making your Shahadat to become stronger, it is giving more life to your Shahadat, then what happens now? That Shahadat now becomes a prayer and the prayer now, the next one is what? It’s fasting, the prayer, for a few minutes you pull yourself back just to contemplate, just to remember your Lord, just to give thanks to Him. And you are making your body now, move in the position and in the actions of the Angels. And now in the month of Ramazan, we are going to imitate more the angels. Because the angels they don’t eat and they don’t drink. They don’t have any relations.
So, with the fasting now, Allah swt is making all the believers to come together, to raise their stations higher, and especially in the daytime, to deny again the dunya, again the animal characteristics and to move closer to the Angels. And night time, to pray. Not night time, to eat all night long. But you see, in the fourth pillar, suddenly zakat. It’s very unusual isn’t it? Because Shahadat, salat and sawm. Shahadat, your prayer and the fasting, has nothing to do with the dunya. But now, the fourth pillar, zakat, it deals directly with the dunya. Because Allah swt He knows His creatures. And He knows how we are going to be attached to this world. And what are our attachment? Especially for people who are going out and earning things for themselves, they feel very attached to whatever they earn. Whatever they earn they are going to say, ‘this is because of me. This is because I put in the work and I’m getting this.’ But you know what? So many people put in their work and they don’t get anything. There are millions of people who work very hard every single day, they don’t get anything or they get very little. And they are so many, maybe not so many they don’t do work at all and they get everything. And this wealth in Islam, that’s why it is forbidden in Islam to sit on your wealth, to hoard it. It has to go around. It has so many secrets and benefits from there.
So now Allah knows us. That through our good intentions, through our effort, we are seeing that we are earning something. Now Allah is saying ‘don’t forget Me. But I don’t want your zakat.’ Allah is not saying, ‘then you are going to get something and you are going to give it to Me.’ Allah is saying, ‘give it to those who needs it.’ Give it to those ones that the Prophet came specifically for. Who are those? The orphans, the widows. Those people, they have no voice and they have no rights. Did this finish? No it didn’t finish. It goes on and on. There are so many people who are like that.
So now when we understand what this is and the ego is saying, ‘no,’ that time more you say, ‘yes.’ Of course there are specific laws to zakat, to charity. There are laws to the zakat el-Fitr, and the fitr zakat in the month of Ramazan, fitrah means to be innocent, to be clean. To be freed from all your dirtiness. So this is an added zakat that you give in the month of Ramazan to make yourself to become more pure, cleaner. Then there’s zakat of your possessions. There’s a whole science to it but very easy our Sheykh is saying, ‘one in every forty parts.’ Simple. You get some money, one in every forty parts which is out of a hundred is two and a half. Say you earn a hundred dollars, it’s two and a half dollars. This is not your right. This is the right of the poor. Give it to them, this is their right and you are going to be clean. You eat that, you take that, that is going to be a fire. You understand? Not with that, with that amount.
When there is an Islamic society that doesn’t conform to capitalism the way that we understand today, that does not follow advertising, false advertising that we are following today, that time, just as it was in the time of Hazreti Omar, they were having so much gold and they were giving it to the poor people that there was no poor people left to give. And they gave it to the unbelievers. You think, the Muslims today became poorer then it was one hundred years ago, or one thousand years ago? But why are there still poor people? Because we lost Khilafat. Because we lost a lifestyle of Islam. Because we took the lifestyle of the unbelievers while still praying five times a day, saying Shahadat, da,da, da, da, but all these things, our Shahadat starts to suffer. Our salat start to suffer. Because the work and the environment is not giving you any time to pray. Correct? Your fasting will suffer because under a Khilafat, in the month of Ramazan, the whole empire now takes a little break, give Allah’s due. Do you think your zakat is not going to suffer? That time, your Hajj, oh, let’s not enter into it, the Hajj now becomes like the Hajj of first jahiliyyah. Becomes like the Hajj of the first jahiliyyah. There is now separation between rich and poor. Isn’t it? Isn’t the Hajj supposed to be no separation between rich and poor? That’s the reason why we wear the Ihram. The Ihram, the white cloth that you wear to the Hajj, to represent that is your funeral shroud, to say everyone in the presence of Allah it is the same. But now, there’s not only rich and poor, there’s so many levels of richness and poorness now. If you pay this much you get this much. You pay this much you get two star, three star, four star. You pay this much in Arafat, you only get one biryani. You pay this much you get two biryani,
So now, all of these principles, if there is no lifestyle of Islam, it will suffer. So then, you start to feel whatever that you have it belongs to you. If you grow up in a culture that says everything is coming from Allah, we are custodians, this is emanet, this is a trust that is given to us, just as this world is a trust that is given to us, it is not our right that we can just take advantage of it as much as we want. This is a trust. We will be questioned on the Day of Judgement what did we do to this earth, to this world? We will be questioned what did we do to the animal, to the air, to the water, to our children, to our possessions? We will be questioned. But in this system there’s no question. The question is, if it’s in front of you, ‘why aren’t you taking it?’ The question they are going to ask is, ‘please brother, just talk about Quran and Hadiths. Don’t talk about all these other things. This is not part of Islam.’ It is part of Islam.
I was just remembering today, Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, ‘when you take water from the river, from the stream, don’t waste it.’ He is saying when you take water from the stream, from the river, water is flowing, you are taking to drink, you are taking for your animals, you are taking for something, don’t waste it. Don’t take it and throw it everywhere. This is the kind of spirit that we use to have. We lost that now. Ramazan is supposed to make us to think and to consider. There should be times when people are speaking about this, but we have lost that a little bit too.
We should pull ourselves back. We should take lesson. Does it apply to us? Yes it applies. Take lesson. This lesson, it applies to us. Because in these days, people are more worried about what the other person is going to think, this other person is going to think, other people are going to think, but their last worry is about Allah and His Prophet. They say, ‘oh, Allah and His Prophet, they forgive, they don’t care. But I worry about what other people think’ No it is not. The Evliyaullah, they are very worried about Allah swt. Because they are in love with their Lord and with their Prophet and they don’t want to do anything that is going to make them to feel a little bit unhappy and a little bit upset. They are not, ‘oh, I love them I can do anything that I want.’ That is not what love is. Be concern about what Allah and His Prophet is thinking, what the Evliyaullah they are thinking. And if it is still warning coming to you, there is still hope there. When the warning is not coming to you, and they don’t care, they are covering it, get ready for the smack that is going to come.
None of us are here and we are claiming to be friends of Allah. Everything that we see that is in front of us that is wrong, we take that for ourselves. We don’t say, ‘no, no, no, that’s for him. That’s for him. It’s not for me.’ We take it for ourselves. To say this applies to me. That is a sign of a believer. A believer is not going to say, ‘oh he’s talking about this, this, it doesn’t apply to me at all. That time no benefit is going to reach to you. That time you can read the Quran e-Kerim and say, ‘these words don’t apply to me. Because I’m not this nation. I’m not from this nation. I’m not from this disobedient people that Allah is speaking. I’m a good one. That time sheytan has already sat on your shoulder, your ego is already sitting in your heart, while still being very nice, you think that you have achieved somewhere.
May Allah forgive us. Take it, yes, sometimes the ego is going to go crazy, it is the characteristic of the ego to get crazy. It’s not going to lie still, but this is the way. We are going to say. And whenever we say, we say something generally. And we always say, if it fits you, take it If it doesn’t fit you don’t take it. Leave it. Who takes it? I will take it. I say this words belong to me. They are for me. But if you say, ‘it doesn’t belong to me or it should not belong to me,’ it is up to you. But be very careful now. May Allah make us to be more careful in this month, insya’Allah ar-Rahman. You understand? So it is natural for the ego, to say this is mine and this is mine and this is mine. Start giving sadaqah. Once you start giving, something will change in you. Sheykh Effendi is saying, ‘once you start being generous, nothing in the world will be able to satisfy you. Nothing in the world is going to satisfy you. Because you felt what generosity means and you just want to give. May Allah make us to be come more generous insya’Allah ar-Rahman. waminAllahu Taufqi. Alfatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
11 Ramazan 1437
June 17, 2016.