We have to understand that the most important, it is not amal, it is not ibadat. It is Iman. It is not work, good works, amal, it is not ibadat, it is not worship, it is Iman. It is the most important, faith. Faith is the most important. Do you understand? So many people is going to get very upset because I said this. This is the ahir Zaman, the end of time. Whatever, not only the Holy Prophet (asws) he had said, but all earlier Prophets they’ve also said what is going to happen in the end of time, it is coming, it is open. Whether it is in our tradition or not in our tradition. It is there.
Nobody can say this world every year it is getting better. Every year we are seeing, they solve one problem, ten problems come out. They solve ten problems, everyone is very happy, there is a new spring, then you have a hundred years of winter. It continues like that. And you have to be completely have your head in the sand to know that everyday this world is getting better, in every way. You may say, someone may say, it is not getting better spiritually but it is getting better physically. Physically? What is there in this world, physical, that we have not destroyed yet? The air? The skies? The sun? the earth? Medicines, we have destroyed, food, we have destroyed.
So faith, iman was the first thing the Holy Prophet (asws) brought in his time. The time was the first Jahilliyah, first age of ignorance, because everyone was ignorant at that time. They had wealth, they had money, they had people, they had intelligence, they had everything, but they don’t have faith. Wrong faith. They put their faith in gold, they put their faith in their intelligence. They put their faith in creation, not in the Creator, and when they look at the created, they say, ‘this is the Creator.’ They put their faith in the created and not the Creator.
Then they look at the Creator and they say, ‘no. we must make the Creator to be like the created. That way we can feel very comfortable worshipping.’ But the Prophet came with faith. He did not come telling people how to worship or what to do because with that faith, automatically, automatically, you’ll be able to do good deeds. Automatically, you are going to worship. But if you say, just for worshipping, you don’t care about your faith, just for worshipping, if you have worship but you don’t have proper faith, that worship is rotten. If you have works, good works, but you don’t have faith, your good works it is rotten too.
So Prophet came, alaihi salatu wa salam, in the first age of ignorance, first jahiliyah to make people to say what? La ilaha ilallah. Proper faith. And what is that proper faith? Saying there is nothing, there is no Ilah, there is no Lord except for the One Lord. There is no two or three or five, or your Lord and my Lord, Christian Lord, Jewish Lord, Hindu Lord or Muslim Lord, there is only One Creator. Wake up. There is only one mankind. Wake up. No Ilah. No other Lords except for that One Lord.
The only one, same message that 124,000 Prophets they came, not only the 70,000 Prophets of the Bani Israel, the thousands of other Prophets that came from the earlier, from the first man, from the first Prophet, Adam (as) to Seth (as), going down to Nuh (as) and every Prophet that we know and we don’t know. Same message. Because there’s same Lord. And that message has always been, ‘there is only One Lord.’ And that Prophet who brought that message is the Prophet bringing you to the Lord. Now what does that mean now? It’s not meaning there is two, three, four, so many Lords and we must destroy all of them and only Allah is going to be there. Do you understand? Because to say that there are many Lords and they all don’t count except for Allah, it is against to Tauhid. Do you understand?
If you have wrong understanding, you think that in order to say, ‘La ilaha ilallah,’ in order to have Tauhid, you first have to believe that there are many Gods but then you have to destroy that and have only one. No. So what is that Ilah? What is that Ilah that we are saying ‘La’, no, to? Our affirmation of faith begins with a negation. We negate it, we say no. We don’t say ‘yes’, we say no,‘La’, to the Ilah. So, what is that Ilah that we say ‘no’ to in order to have faith?
That Ilah that you have to say ‘no’ to is your own ego. That part of you who says, ‘I am me.’ That part of you that says, ‘I exist. No one else exists.’ Whether that ego is personal, or community, or one nation, racial, to say, ‘we are only ones, no one others,’ what is that Ilah, what are the false deities, lords that we are worshipping to? La ilaha ilallah comes from where? Comes from our thought? No. The thought, it is the servant of the heart. The thought is still belonging to the world of creation. The thought and the intelligence, it is angelic, yes, but it is still the world of creation. The angels were created. Jibrail (as), if you are using your intelligence, you may go up to that station, and that station is what? Sidratul Muntaha, the highest station, but that is not close to Allah. You understand? To get close to Allah, now, you have to leave your intelligence.
That is when faith comes in, that when the Prophet, on the night of his Miraj, he left Jibrail (as), he left everything, and he approached Allah from the Sidratul Muntaha into Divine Presence. And that Divine Presence, it is where we belong. It is not so easy, don’t think that with a couple of words, with a couple of thinkings, with a couple of philosophies, with a couple of eureka moments you are going to reach there. No. How you are going to reach there? You look to those who have already reached there.
Who have reached there? We have Prophets in front of us. Follow your Prophet properly, sincerely. So, faith, it is the most important thing. In these days, and what are these days? This is the Second Jahiliyya. Second age of ignorance of which the Prophet (asws) said this is worse than the first Jahiliyya. Worse, because back in the day, majority they don’t know how to read and write. And everybody today knows how to read and to write but they are the most ignorant and arrogant ones. With more education become more ignorant. Why is that? It’s not because we don’t have knowledge in front of us. We have so much information in front of us. You take this (smartphone) and you open it, and you can check anything that you want. So, what is that that we lack?
We lack the spirit, because the spirit is what, we spoke about earlier? The spirit is choked, by the ego, by selfishness, by our desires for this world. It’s choked by anger and arrogance, it’s choked in very open ways and very subtle ways that you have to be under the training of a master for you to first understand then to train. Our ego is worse than the animals in the zoo, or animals in the wild. Because animals in the wild they follow the Divine laws very carefully. They have a law out there. Don’t think that wild animals they don’t have a law. They know where they can go, they know where they cannot go. They know how much to speak, to cry, and how much to be quiet. Animal world knows the Divine law better than us.
There is a Divine law for us. And the Divine law, it is to curb our ego. But when there is a Divine law without the spiritual law, the ego can take over too. By worshipping so much you can reach to some high level but you are doing it only for your ego. You are not doing it for Allah. So many they can get knowledge not of this world, of the higher worlds, they are taking it and they use it for destructive purposes, correct? So now in these days, look to the first jahiliyah, what happened? Prophet (asws) he did not come straight away with all the laws and to just give it to them and to say, ‘now we have to practice the law.’ He did not, although it was given to him and he was doing it but he did not because he is a Prophet of mercy and understands his nation. He knows how much they can carry, how much they cannot carry. It took twenty three years for the Shariat, the Divine law to be completely revealed. Twenty three years. First, you have to clean this (the heart). After you clean the inside, you take away all the wrong things, then you can clean this.
You cannot hope to clean the glass if the inside is not empty of the wrong things. You cannot do that. The outside can be as clean as possible but until you empty it, and after you empty it, you still have to clean the container. Then, once that is done, it’s so easy for something to be put inside that is going to be really good and pure. That time, people are going to look at you and they are going to feel good and clean, just by looking at you and sitting in your presence or hearing you speak. This is just a sign of the Prophet, a sign of the friends of Allah, the inheritors of the Prophet.
So now, in these days, don’t run after knowing too much or doing so much either. Because this world is filled with people who are running to know so much. It’s filled with people who are doing so much. There are so many Muslims, whenever they have a free time, they hop on a plane and they go to Mecca. Correct? ‘What shall we do this year?’ ‘oh, we have vacation time. We went to Paris, we went to London, we went to Bahamas, let’s go to Mecca and Medina.’ ‘Yeah, let’s go.’ Wrong intention.
What do think you are going to get there? What are you going to get there? Because it is not something that you are going to get physically. You can be there physically, but if you did not empty yourself, they cannot fill anything to you. They cannot fill nothing. You can be inside the grave of the Prophet (asws), inside the Ka’abah, but if you are still filled with your ego, and what is the ego? The ego is the only thing in creation that is declaring itself Lord. Sheytan is not declaring itself Lord, Allah. He is not saying that he is the Creator. Nothing in this world is declaring itself Lord, challenging Allah swt, except for our nafs, our ego. And every Prophet, when they look at their followers, those who are high intelligence, able to understand, they speak. Majority they don’t understand. Because majority say, ‘what I feel, what I taste, all five senses, that is real.’ Correct? ‘I want to be a good Muslim, I must learn Arabic. Recite the Quran 24 hours. Go up and down.’ But your heart is dirty. Your heart is dirty. How are you going to clean that?
That is another science, and that is a science of purification. That reached to its full bloom with the Holy Prophet (asws), that Isa (as), the Prophet Jesus, he brought to his nation. That they were holding on to the law but they were not holding on to the spirituality. You have to have both. Only later, people who are the descendants of those ones who understood from long time ago what their Prophets were teaching, their descendants, they sit in the presence of other spiritual people, then they feel something familiar. Because it’s coming from way back then.
So now, we are talking about faith. Save your faith. Make your faith to become stronger. Tarikat, it is following the way of the Prophet (asws) through your Sheykh. Make your faith to your Sheykh, to your Prophet strong. Don’t shake. Don’t have any doubt. Because the time is going to come, he is going to say, this wall, this wall is black, ‘it is not black, it is white.’ Because that is one of the signs of the ahir Zaman. Everything is going to turn. Black is white and white is black. Dajjal, the anti-christ is going to show Paradise as Jahannam, as hell and hell as Paradise.
We are sitting here because this is the garden of Paradise. Because the Prophet (asws) says to his companions, ‘when you pass by the gardens of Paradise, don’t just go, stay for a little bit and sit.’ And his companions ask, fourteen hundred years ago, ‘what is the garden of Paradise Ya Rasulullah?’ and he said, ‘where you see them sitting and making zikr of Allah, remembering Allah. That is when the Angels are going to descend. Rank upon rank. All the way up to Sidratul Muntaha and they are praying for you.’ We cannot see, of course. Because we are still concentrating on what we can see. We are not concentrating on what our spirit can see. They are here. They are around us. Be in this circle. Once you are busy with that, your iman is going to get stronger. Your faith is going to get stronger. Hold on to your Sheykh. Because the dajjal is going to make everything to be upside down. We are sitting here because we believe this is the way to Paradise.
But there are so many people saying that this is not the way to Paradise, ‘you are just torturing yourself. Religion is torture. The law is torture. Not only yourself, but others. In fact it is hellish.’ You understand? We believe this is paradisial, they say this is hellish. It is already happening. Don’t look at enemies of Islam or this, no. Look at the Muslims themselves. That group that came out during the last days of the Ottoman empire, the Wahhabis that was supported by the enemies of Islam outside.That this group had always been there in the fourteen hundred years of Islam, but it has always been kept in check, until when the Islamic Khilafat, the Caliphate was weaker and the enemies of Islam than gave food start feeding this movement, and it became a huge monster. They say, ‘because with that monster the ummat can never be united again. The Muslim will never become a formidable world power.’ The Khilafat was a superpower for all of Islamic History until one hundred years ago.
So now you have a fitnah, you have a confusion inside that is going to split the ummat and they continue to feed that monster until today, this wahabis. But now the monster is biting them back because the first thing that this monster that they fed that they did was that they destroyed Mecca, they destroyed Medina, they destroyed Taif, the heartland of Islam, and they massacred thousands and thousands of Muslims. And they have been massacring thousands of Muslims from that time, hundred years ago, up till today. But that is good, because it splits the ummat, it puts confusion. But now the monster that they are feeding is biting back to them.
Have your faith. Sit down. Understand, ‘what takes my faith away?’ Have you asked yourself that question? So many people say, ‘I want more faith.’ First, I’m going to ask you, ‘what is your faith?’ Don’t give me textbook answers. What is your faith? Then if you can answer that, this is my faith, then you are going to ask yourself, ‘what makes my faith weak? What makes my faith which is holding on to Allah, holding on to the rope of Allah,’ and our rope is our Sheykh, ‘what makes my faith in my Sheykh weak?’ Okay, you are looking, saying, ‘it makes me weak.’ How does it make you weak? You know your connection with your Sheykh. ‘Today, not only I was busy with the world, but I was just enjoying myself. I didn’t remember my Sheykh at all.’ Correct? ‘I was going out doing this and this and this, and I’m not in sohbet, I’m not in association with my Sheykh. I forgot remembering my Sheykh, I’m not making a zikr.’ What else? Maybe it is this person, maybe it is another person, maybe it is your job that is making you to break this connection to have more faith. Then you are going to say, ‘how am I going to have more faith?’ You cannot now stop your job. This is not the point. Tarikat, it is not about stopping everything, go up to the top of a mountain, sit in a cave and make zikr. We cannot do that. There are people in the past that have done that, we are too weak to do that in these days. But there is a way in your homes, in your work, there is a way in your studies, there is a way to still be connected. Your body is doing things in this world, but your heart is connected to Allah. Hold on to your faith.
What makes your faith weak? Sit and understand. Once you understand the question, the answer is there. The answer is there. Because the One who puts the question to us is not you thinking of it. He puts the question. He also puts the answer to it. But you must know how to read. You must know how to read. You want to know an answer but if you don’t know how to read, I can give you a piece of paper and say, ‘this is it.’ You still won’t know. Correct? So, important for us to learn. Keep our faith. And what is it that we want? If you ask me, I must keep my faith as strong as possible in my Sheykh and not doubt it. He is going to bring me to the presence of the Prophet, they are going to bring me to the Presence of Allah swt. My faith in my Sheykh.
So now think of it. ‘What makes my faith in my Sheykh weak?’ Not just, ‘I’m not doing things that I’m supposed to do and I’m doing the things that I’m not supposed to do,’ But what else? ‘When I let my desire to overtake me. When I let this world to fool me. When I’m not being conscious of things.’ Build your faith. Nothing else is going to save you, do you understand? May Allah make our faith to be strong, insya’Allah. We need prayer, we need sohbet, we need to remind each other. In this way, when you are reminding each other, and whatever that you are doing is connected to that, that’s real remembrance. You can sit and we can make zikr, Allah, Allah, Allah, one hour, five hours, ten hours, twelve hours. But you are out there and you do something that is completely against to what Allah is saying, what good is that? Or, you said, ‘oh I love my Sheykh. I love my Sheykh. I love my Sheykh.’ Now for example, you know how important Jumma is, correct, now you are going to say, ‘I’m not going to attend Jumma because I want to go on a vacation.’ Good people. Making zikr all the time. But now your ego has tricked you. You are not making that connection, because if you are making that connection, if you have a connection, before you ask, you are going to ask yourself, ‘what would Sheykh Effendi say if I said this to him?’ meaning, what would Allah say. Do you think you don’t know the answer? You will always know the answer. So how can you?
Now new style, people are asking me, ‘can I have the permission to do this,’ which is not so good, or do this other action which is not so good. I say to you, ‘do whatever you want. I’m not going to force you.’ You are adults, you are intelligent, you know how to be very intelligent in this world trying to find from this world and to take from this world and build yourself a life. But when it comes to protocol, edep, manners, and certain things that you should be doing, suddenly everyone is so naive, ‘oh I didn’t know that. I didn’t know you are not supposed to do this.’ You know. You are just being slick. That’s just the ego that is fooling you.
We should wake up because whatever that we are doing in this world, we are going to be questioned for it. There is no free ride for anyone. We are going to be questioned for everything. You cannot now on the Judgement day in front of Divine Presence say, ‘I didn’t know.’ You know. We all know. Now that we know, we must do the right thing. InsyaAllah. Yes we are weak, of course we are weak. We are the weakest ones, we are no good for nothing. When you are weak, that’s the time when you ask for help. Al-Fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz,
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
1 Zul Qaida 1437
August 4, 2016.