Question: I was not a Muslim before but now I am trying to be a Muslim. I cannot keep my heart and mind still when I saw people who says they are Muslim but doing bad and cruel things to other creatures. Also some people are cruel to other human beings just because they are not Muslim. Why is this so?
BismillahirRahmanirRahim. In Islam, the Shahadat, the Prayers, the Fasting, the Zakat, the Hajj, meaning all the external actions that define you as a Muslim are actions that define you as a Muslim that can make you into a better person only if your heart is good. If your heart is not good, you can be saying the Shahadat 24 hours, you can be praying 24 hours, you can be fasting whole year around, you can be giving everything for Zakat, you can be living inside the Kaabah, if your heart is not good it means nothing. In fact all of that will make you to do very bad things because you think that you are on the right way. So everything now comes back to the heart.
The Shahadat is not a magic word that you say, suddenly everything is going to change. It is not like some other dogmas in some other religion saying, ‘Just accept. Accept that his blood redeem us and you are newly born,’ but you still find yourself doing the same old stuff over and over again. Nothing has really changed. So Islam is teaching us the responsibility now is in your hands. It is up to you. It is a very adult, a very mature religion. Now you have to change. And no one is going to change you except for you. If you don’t want to change yourself no one can change you. But if you want to change yourself, that time Allah is saying, ‘You take one step to Me, I will take ten steps to you. You come to Me walking, I will run to you.’ And Tarikat is teaching us that. Yes you are praying, you are fasting you are doing all these things, but now it’s time for you to clean your heart.
‘There is an organ in the body,’ Holy Prophet (asws) said, ‘if it is good the whole body is good, if it is bad the whole body is bad and that is the Heart.’ So now the key is how to purify that heart. You purify something by doing what? Getting rid of all the impurities. That’s how you make it pure. So Sufism, Tarikat, Tasawwuf is to concentrate on finding out and looking at all the impurities of your heart and getting rid of it. Wake up. Don’t sleep (Sheykh speaks to a murid). Because you are sleeping too much and we see all the impurities circling around. Sheytan is playing tricks with you. And we can see it in your face, you fall into a stupor. In the Sohbet you are somewhere else, the heart is somewhere else. So now Tarikat is concentrating on that, the most important organ and getting rid of all the impurities. And to do that you need a doctor of the heart, the Tabibul Qulub, that’s what the Sheykhs are. Because heart surgery it is a very delicate thing. You think man standing there with a knife and he cuts open and he does something. You try to do it to yourself, you will kill yourself. It is not that easy.
The person must wake up. The person must be in an environment where that is always prod to say, ‘wake up. Don’t do this.’ This is not something through just reading or thinking by yourself. You have to be in association. Because if fixing the small things, other big things start to work. Sometimes the whole machinery is stuck because of small mistake that is in the engine that is in the machine, you have to get rid of that. The rust, the machine is good, it is just rusty. Get rid of it. Wake up. So it has to do with the heart again. And there is no guarantee that just because you are praying, you are doing all these things, there is no guarantee that the heart is good. You understand? So now you have to go back to the beginning again. And in the Naqshbandi way, it is concentrating on that, it is concentrating on the ego, the ego that is the thickest veil between you and opening your way to find it back to your Lord Allah (swt).
So don’t be sad because what is causing people now to be cruel and to be bad, it is the ego, the biggest enemy. The ego that is friends with Sheytan. So if you are not concentrating on the ego, you are friends with Sheytan. That time like I said, you can be praying whole day whole night, but you are still friends with Sheytan and you are going to do what Sheytan is saying. Just like those ones who are supporting Yazid and they were hunting down and killing the Ahle ul Bayt in the battle of Karbala. And they were saying, ‘quickly we have to finish them off otherwise we are going to miss Zuhur.’ They were praying, they were fasting they were doing everything. So it is not these actions now. If your heart is still dirty go to clean it, find a doctor to clean it. Sit and yes sometimes he is going to be difficult definitely, sometimes it is going to be painful definitely. If it is not going to be difficult and painful, that doctor is just giving you candy and you may get even more sick. You understand.
InshaAllah. This cruelty, this evil is happening because of the ego. And the ego is the greatest enemy. The ego is the most evil creature that Allah (swt) has ever created. That our Sheykh, Grand Sheykh said, ‘if we are able to see our ego just for a split second, we will fall down and die. If we ever were to smell our ego for a split second, we will die.’ Because it is such an evil entity that Allah (swt) has created. But He has given us a Spirit that if we are able to put our Spirit on the top of our ego, the ego now because of so much power that it has, it will make you to rise to higher stations. It is not to destroy, to annihilate your ego, no. It is to make your ego to be able to push you up when you step on it. And for that you need to be in a system that is fourteen hundred years old and older than that, that is called Tarikat. And the one Tarikat that is concentrating on that is the Naksibendi Tarikat. We are following that Alhamdulillah in the Osmanli Naksibendi way through our SahibulSaif. We are continuing that. Selam Aleyum wa Rahmathullah.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
September 5, 2014