What are we trying to learn? Everyone is saying, ‘I’m a student.’ What are you trying to learn? ‘I’m trying to learn. I’m trying to get more ilm.’ What are you trying to learn? Everyone is saying, ‘I’m a student. I’m a talib.’ Don’t say Taliban, they are going to get different idea that time. They are taking everything and they are turning it upside down in this ahir Zaman. ‘I’m here to learn,’ but what are we learning? What is this ilm that we are talking about? Different kinds of ilm. There are thousands, millions, billions kinds of ilm in this world. Everything you see that is the creation of Allah swt there is ilm in it.
Auzubillahi minashaitanir rajim. BismillahirRahmanirRahim. We are asking support, of course from our Sheykh to send us something to speak. This is not a memorized speech. This is not something that we prepared. This is something that our hearts must be opened and connected to those ones who are sitting in Divine Presence to send us something that is going to be of benefit for us, for this jamaat, for this time. Because the religion it is fresh, it is alive. It is not a museum religion. Spirituality is not a museum practice, it’s not a ritual. When you take away everything, what you are left with is just the remembrance of Allah. But what is the remembrance of Allah? Pulling your tasbih, saying ‘Allah’, that is the remembrance? That way, munafiq can do it, kafir can do it, a recording can also do it. Strip away everything. What is the remembrance of Allah? You remember what you know? No , you remember what you experience.
So what are we experiencing? Don’t say we experience Allah. Suddenly everyone became Prophet, they experience Allah. What are we sent down here to learn?
Everything that is in creation from the smallest atom to the biggest galaxy, there is ilm in it. But what is it that is in there for us? What is the ilm that is going to be beneficial to us out of this uncountable ilm, of uncountable alams. What is the ilm that is for us? This, in the ahir Zaman has become a ma’rifat, it’s a hidden knowledge. Because you take this (Sheykh shows a mobile phone) in your hand, it gives so much supposedly ilm, good ilm and bad ilm, how do you know which one is for us? How do you know which one is beneficial and what is not?
To understand that the knowledge that is not beneficial, it becomes a curse to us. Not just something non beneficial it becomes a curse, because the Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, ‘be busy with the knowledge that concerns you. If the knowledge it doesn’t concern you, that is call the ‘malayani’ –things that don’t concern you.’ And things that don’t concern us, Holy Prophet is saying, ‘if you want to see that one who is not loved by Allah then you’ll find him busy with Malayani, busy with things that do not concern him.’ Then in itself to find what knowledge that concern us that is for us, that in itself is a hidden knowledge. Because how do we know what concerns us and what doesn’t concern us?
Put everything away, let’s look in the matter of religion and what is this religion? So many people have so many different answers. Everyone is issuing fatwas these days. Let’s look at what the Prophet (asws) says, because the religion is from him, it’s not from anyone else. Some say, ‘we take it from Allah.’ If you take it from Allah, that time you are the Prophet. But our religion is saying, ‘Ashadu an-la ilaha il Allah, ve Ashadu anna Muhammadan Abduh ve Rasuluhu.’ That the knowledge of Allah is coming through the bulb of ilm, through the Prophet (asws). We learn our religion through him. And what did the Prophet (asws) speak to us about?
When Jibreel (as) came, he descended and he came in the appearance of a man. He will come in different appearances but when he comes in the appearance of a man, he is always wearing a jubbah, having a full beard, wearing a Sarik, Turban, he’s not having a goatee, he’s not having a shawl. He’s holding a cane. And he came and he started to quiz the Prophet (asws) asking him, ‘speak to me, tell me, what is Islam?’ That was Jibreel (as) which later the companions said, he was dress all in completely white, immaculate. And he did not have a speck of dirt on him. Which is very unusual. Those Sahabis they saw JIbreel (as), not today some Imams they are giving selams to Jibreel and to other Malaikat when they were praying Leylatul Qadr on the 27th, then later the Wahhabi, other Imam saying you cannot say such a thing like this. So he retracts it. This one was real.
And Jibreel (as) ask him,‘What is Islam? What is Iman?’ What is Islam, the religion? Five things. What is Iman? Faith. Because so many can have the religion but they are missing the faith. Who had religion and he missed his faith? Who is there as an example? Who is there as a giant in front of us, that the ahle Sunnah wal jamaah is saying that what he wrote is second to the Quran, that anyone who is against to his teachings is against to the Quran, against to Islam. Who is that one who is only afforded the title of Hujatul Islam? Imam al-Ghazali, may Allah sanctify his spirit, and sanctify his secrets, because he is a Saint. That one had his religion, correct? And he came from a lineage of Scholars and alims, not today internet scholars, real scholars and alims who did not even look at one haram in his life. He had religion and he was able to tackle any matter of religion, but in his own sayings, in his own writing, in his own admissions he says, ‘I don’t have faith.’ When did he realize that he had faith? Where did he learn his faith? Through his own words: when he sat with the people of zikr, and when he gave up everything that is a trapping of religion and he went with the people of zikr, the people of zauq, the people who taste, and he came back and he pen that work, the ahle sunnah scholar says those who are against that work is definitely a deviation. And that work is the Ihya Ulumuddin. And the Ihya, that was when he collected his faith and with that faith and with Islam he put things together and from that time until now until judgement Day, it shines a light to us.
And what is that light? It makes our religion beautiful. It makes our religion, our faith and our religion strong and it gives us taqwa. And what is that? That is the third part of the answer, third part of the question that Jibreel (as) asked the Holy Prophet (asws), ‘tell me what is Islam, tell me what is Iman, and tell me what is Ihsan’ It is to worship Allah as if you see Him and if you don’t see Him, to know that He sees you.
So to worship Allah as if you see Him, if you don’t see Him to know that He sees you, this is experience. This is when you start tasting your faith. How do you reach to that point? How do you reach to that point of tasting that faith? So we know that through that hadiths Islam is just one part of it, meaning the five pillars of Islam, and faith, Amantu billahi wa malaikatihi wa kutubihi wa rusulihi wal-yawmil-akhiri ….. continuing the six articles of faith, it is another part of it. But the completion of our religion, of deen, you have to have Ihsan where you start tasting. How does one do that, to start tasting? In these days, everyone starts to say that they taste. I hear so many people especially Sufi kind of people, Tasawwuf kind, ‘I close my eyes, all I see is Allah. I clear my thoughts and I’m only in Allah’s presence.’ We should not be speaking like that. Allah’s presence it is frightening. Allah’s presence that even the Holy Prophet (asws) did not want to meet his Lord alone, asking Jibreel (as), it’s not to say he did not want to, but he is saying to Jibreel (as), ‘are you going to leave me now? Are you going to leave your friend now after you have been my companion all these time?’ in the night of Mi’raj at Sidratul Muntaha. And Jibreel (as) said, ‘from this point ya Muhammad (asws), if I were to take one step forward, the Divine light will hit me and I will perish into non-existence because my creation, the way that I have been created, cannot come close to Divine Presence.’ Holy Prophet (asws), Evliyaullah is saying, he spent 4 x 40 000 years, light years, travelling from Sidratul Muntaha to Divine Presence. We should refrain from speaking like that. because people of other religion they speak like that, ‘god woke me up this morning.’ ‘Today I was having my coffee and I was speaking to god, then god said to me do this and this and this.’ Islam, Allah spoke one time to one Prophet. Let’s put the Prophet (asws) aside for now, to Hz Musa (as). And because Allah directly spoke to him, he is known as Kalimullah. You may say you feel closer to Allah, yes, that’s something else.
So what is this ilm that we have to learn? What is this ilm that is beyond knowing the shariat and the fiqh? What is this ilm beyond understanding say, the nuances of our faith? What is this ilm that brings ihsan and beauty and completion? This is when the end of their ways, the beginning of our ways. We don’t need to look at so many different places. We need to look at what Allah swt has said to us. Everything that we are coming up with that does not lean against the ayats and the sayings of the Prophet (asws), it’s just nothing but our own philosophy, our own ideology. Not necessary to look so seriously into it. What is the reason of our creation?
Allah swt has said, ‘we have not created the Inns and the Jinns except to know Us and to worship Us.’ This is the reason of our creation. We cannot worship Allah swt unless we know Him. Out of uncountable creatures that Allah swt has created, none has been created to know Him except for man. Man is the only one that has been created to know Him. Man is the only one that has been created to represent Him. Once you start understanding that this is the only knowledge that we must run towards to know our Lord, that time our soul will be at peace, salams will reach to us because we are fulfilling the reason of our creation. But the Holy Prophet (asws) has said, ‘the one who knows himself, he knows his lord.’ Then the key to knowing Allah (swt), is to know yourself. This doesn’t mean, like so many people are thinking, Allah is inside of us. No. One Holy breath is given to Adam (as) and we are animated because of that.
To know Allah swt, that is the highest knowledge. There is no other knowledge that is higher than that. But the way to know Allah swt, it is to know ourselves. And to know ourselves, this is what Turuqs, Tarikat, Tassawuf is concentrating on. To know yourself, you have to study yourself. To study yourself, you have to come out from yourself and you have to look, you have to have the mirror that is inside. It’s not inside of us. It is outside. The eyes that can carry everything in creation, to witness and to see, does not have the ability to see us, ourselves, even physically. You have to use your reflection. That reflection is Muhammadur Rasulullah (asws). That reflection it is through the inheritor that is following in the way of the Prophet (asws). That way, we measure where we are, if our Shahadat is true, where we are and how we are holding on to that Prophet (asws) in every way that we are living, in our thoughts, in our actions, in our intentions, that way we will know our Lord. It’s not just to say, ‘oh, you are going to carry some sunnats.’ No. It’s not just to say, ‘okay, now you are going to wear this, you are going to wear this, you are going to wear this, you are going to come closer.’ Given, that is very good, because to revive one sunnats especially in this time in the ahir Zaman your faith is like carrying live coals, and you know how difficult it is especially in these days, in these climates, in these country. And Allah swt is not going to look at it and not place any value on it. He does.
Understand in the days of the Prophet (asws), the Muslims too they had a very special identity that is different from the identity of the unbelievers at that time, correct? We are not wearing Arab clothes or Turkish clothes, we are wearing Muslim clothes. At that time, when everyone dress more or less the same especially in the same cultural way, Prophet (asws) says, ‘they tie the Turban like that, you tie your turban like this. They wear their clothes like that, you wear your clothes like this.’ Physically so that even when they walk everybody knows that these are the ones following Muhammad (asw). And they were persecuted because of that. But no, not just that physically that we are talking about, following the Prophet (asws), holding on to him. We are talking about the knowledge now that is the batin knowledge. The knowledge for you to know yourself. Not to know your spirit but it’s to know what blocks your spirit from returning back to Allah swt. This is the knowledge especially in the Naksibendi way that we are concentrating on. There’s seventy thousand veils that separates us from Allah swt for us to know and to understand, like what we said earlier, this world, this dunya is an enemy.
What are the enemies around us that pulls us away from Allah swt? Four: nafsu, sheytan, hawa, dunya. And concentrating on the nafs, to know ourselves that enemy that is batin that is inside of us that sabotages us that so many are not even acknowledging, not understanding. The Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, ‘the one who has one drop,’ I’m paraphrasing, ‘one drop or arrogance in his heart, or jealousy, he cannot enter into Paradise.’ We are not looking at fiqh, what we do or what we don’t do, we are not looking at what we know or what we believe, we are looking at the perfection of the religion now, what will destroy our fiqh, what will destroy our belief.
It’s not so much you are collecting new knowledge. It is about getting rid of knowledge about yourself that you should not keep. How many are concentrating on this evil that is call ‘anger’? How many are concentrating on this evil that is call ‘arrogance’? How many are concentrating on this evil that is call ‘stubbornness’? How many are concentrating on this evil that is call ‘envy’? How many schools are there out there that concentrates on this? There are countless schools out there everyday that talks about different kinds of ilm within the deen. But you’ll be very hard press to find any school or any organization or any institute or any jamaat that concentrate on this and following and trying to get rid of this evil that is inside of us, to make us at least to understand and to realize. Majority assume it’s not there or it’s very simple, just say ‘tauba’ and you’ll be forgiven, what is important is tajwid, what is important, it is to know the fardhu ain. I’m not knocking this down. Yes you should know all these things, but it is like a man who is guarding priceless treasure and he is building a fort around it and he is leaving his back door open. That is not intelligence and this is going to stop us from knowing our Lord swt.
There is a prayer that we make. There is a prayer that is coming from the Holy Prophet (asws) that in this way, murids are supposed to make it every night, salatul Najat. Before we make the dua, after we give salams, we say, ‘ya Rabbi, just as fire consumes wood, so envy consumes all my good deeds. It consumes all my good deeds. Help me to get rid of my envy.’ It makes a man now to understand himself, to take the mirror and to look at himself, and what separates him from his Lord, to cure the sickness that he has. This is important. Otherwise you can build the strongest fort, you can put the most priceless treasure but your back door is open, the enemy will come in and steal everything away without you understanding and you’ll be left with nothing.
InsyaAllah ar-Rahman, may we be those ones who are not going to be losers when we enter into the grave. May we be ones who are awake and aware, to keep our religion strong, to keep our Shahadat strong, not to make any hidden shirk and to take away all the Ilahs from our heart for the throne of Allah, that is our heart, to contain nothing but Allah. May Allah forgive me and bless you for the sake of the Holy Prophet (asws) and our Sheykh. Al-Fatiha. Amin. Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatu.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
10 Shawwal 1437
July 14, 2016.