The role models that we are showing our children, role models that are not grounded in our belief, in our values, in our culture, in reality, tell me what Superman has to do with reality? Or Spider-man, or lizard-man? What has that got to do with that? It just makes you to enter into a drunken station a little bit more. They say, ‘oh, it is just entertainment,’ some saying, ‘it is art.’
Well, you know, if the art is not going to reflect something that is greater than itself and for us to strive to become something that is greater, then that is not art. That is just another idol that you put. And if that art, you’re not making it to be just a servant of Allah, if you think that art is another illah, then one day, very quickly, it is going to bring you to a disaster. Don’t think art is so noble and so pure. Art has been used by good people, it’s been used by bad people, it’s been used by good regimes and bad regimes. So you cannot just say, ‘this is just entertainment for the kids.’ Just, just, just.
If everything is so just, if everything it is so innocent, it’s just something, then why people spend billions of dollars, decades, devising what our children are going to see? Spend so much time and money and energy and lives designing what our children are going to see, what they’re going to eat, what they’re going to wear, how they’re going to play, what they’re going to think, if it is so innocent and it is just casual, it has nothing to do with nothing, then I say they have completely fooled you then. They’re not busy with you. You’re already finished. You’re already on the road. They’re going to have to work for the next generation.
So, you’re going to teach your kids, to make them to understand and to realize, first, to have shukur of Allah, that whatever that you have now, don’t think the whole world is like that. Shukur means what? To know that you are not entitled to it, you understand? You are not entitled. What does entitled mean? It means that just because you want it, it doesn’t mean that you have to have it, it should belong to you. It’s not.
So, if you teach your children that now, entitlement, that they are entitled to this, entitled to that, they deserve this, they have to have this just because they want it, you’re turning them to become little tyrants. Very selfish, from young, ‘I want!’ give, ‘I want that!’ give, ‘I need that,’ give. Everything you give and you give, because so many, they are giving, but they are not teaching their children to share. The kid that shares, he’s not going to want too much anyway. The kid that shares, he will take from one hand and he will give to another. So, you’re going to teach your children shukur because shukur is meaning that this is given to us, it is a privilege.
Allah is blessing us with this. We, in reality we don’t deserve it, somebody else deserves it but Allah is blessing us with His Compassion and His Mercy, and He’s giving us, but with that Compassion, with that Mercy, with that Blessing, there is a responsibility, we cannot be irresponsible, we cannot be selfish, we cannot be a tyrant, we cannot be greedy, we must learn how to share.
Now, if you are teaching your children just how to take, we’re not teaching them how to give, what kind of individuals they are going to grow up? How are you going to teach them how to give? Not just to say, ‘give, give,’ you have to make them understand who does not have what they and why they don’t have what we have. We are having this it’s not so much because we are doing something. There are millions and billions of people who are doing something, doing everything, but they don’t get anything.
There is a blessing here, in this land, in this country, anything that is given to us, so your children, now, you don’t just teach them how to take, you must teach them how to give, but give not just because you’re telling them to give. They’re never going to understand. You are going to let them understand that there are people that don’t have, and they don’t have, they are suffering or they are burning, or they are covered in blood because of certain actions that irresponsible people and tyrant people in this world that they are doing. You’re going to teach them what they have and what they don’t have, you’re going to teach them about the state of this world now at their level.
You don’t have to give them a class in politics. You don’t have to give them a class in economics. You don’t have to give them a class teaching them the working of this world. That’s why I said earlier, if you live in a situation where it is a farm, it is so easy because now they understand that this nature, this world, it is good and bad. Things that are good happen, things that are bad happen, then they start thinking, they see, for example, little chick that they love, next day, they see the chick died. Or they love that little chick, next day they see the foxes come and they take it. So, now, it’s going to make them to think.
They’re not going to look at this world black and white; they’re not going to look at this world as a cartoon, they’re not going to look at this world as a game, a video game. They’re going to understand the complexity of this world growing up and erase it, and you’re going to say, ‘this is what the world is. Look, there are people just like you,’ not only going to speak now, not only to show pictures, it’s important to bring them to visit, that why living in a community is important.
If you don’t live in a community, or you live in just your own community, high class people with high class people, you make your children to grow up to be the worst selfish people. The most high-class people, they give their children the best education, what do they do? They send them to underdeveloped countries anyway, correct? To see how the people of these underdeveloped countries they are living, and to build projects to make them to become more human. Those are the highest top-level people, but we don’t have to do that. It is in our community. There are poor people everywhere. There are poor people even in your own families. Correct?
So, to have that community, it is important, now to come together. Not just community, you’re going to come once three months, once six months, once a year you’re going to come, no. The real world, people saying, ‘we have to unite.’ How you are going to unite? You don’t even speak to each other. How you going to unite? You don’t even think, you don’t help, you don’t see each other now, now we are here, we’re living in this Dergah, alhamdulilah, Sheykh Effendi has opened this up for us.
We’re supposed to come here every day, for what? For so many things, one of the things is to know each other, to care for each other, to look and to observe, ‘maybe this one, the face is something wrong. Are you okay?’ Maybe this one needs something. This is not going to say. You’re going to become now more sensitive, more awake and more aware. But you have to be aware. You cannot just come here like a robot. You cannot just come here like some people they’re coming here they put their face down, so dirty and so angry. But once they’re out of here, whoop, they’re looking everywhere, the eyes open big, capture everything. Now we have to, this is what the community is; you’re trying to understand.
So, you’re going to teach your children, yes, there is good in this world, and why this good happens. But there is also very bad things that is happening in this world and you need to explain, why these bad things happen. Why the bad thing happened for example, for you love the chick and the fox comes and he eats it. You cannot now just blame the fox. ‘So why is it doing that, Daddy?’ ‘Oh, the fox is bad.’ You are going to say, ‘because I did not cover the coop properly. We have to cover it. We have a responsibility.’ You’re going to say, ‘but it’s okay. Maybe the fox is female and she has kids that she needs to feed, needs to eat something.’ So, it is understanding what is right and what is wrong without judging, knowing the reasons why.
Then they’re going to grow up to be intelligent people, they know the reasons. It is not saying, ‘I’m better, this one is worse, I’m good, this one is bad,’ no. It’s understanding, ‘this one is behaving like this, this one is behaving like that because of this.’ Like I said earlier, you brought up the question, how many of us are even letting our children to see the image of the Syrian boy that his brother died and he is covered in blood and covered in ashes and soot and everything, we’re putting our kids away from that and we’re teaching them video games, how to kill Muslims. MashaAllah. The Muslims themselves they’re not showing their kids that.
At least you are going to show, ‘look, this is what’s happening to your brother halfway across the world. Allah is blessing us with everything. We cannot waste. We cannot be stubborn people. We cannot be ungrateful. We have to care. Look at that. He’s the same age as you.’ You understand? Yes. You don’t have to be beating them over the head with it. You don’t have to be didactic. No. Just say. Because so many times, they are given wrong information, wrong images, wrong brainwashing and we are hesitant to give them good brainwashing. There are good people and there are bad people. There are many people that support Islam although they are not Muslims, and there are many people who hate Islam. Don’t be shy. Say this is happening.
We are not going to look at these people who hate us and to hate them back. You teach your children that. Teach your children to pray for them, but we are not going to admire them. We’re not going to look at them, that they are our role models. Understand? They are given wrong information. Yes, yes. No. So many people saying, ‘oh, they don’t know any better, that they are given wrong information.’ Every wrong information that I’m seeing, especially now, that you’re also given right information, but they don’t want to believe. So now, when the stubbornness comes in, even if the truth is out there, they’re not going to accept.
And teach them that this is mankind. We are all the Ummat of the Prophet (asws). There’s no difference because we are all the ummat, but we have the Shahadat and we are happy and we are proud the Shahadat. Those who don’t have the Shahadat, we are praying for them but they are our friends, they are our neighbors, they are people and we have to respect them, the same way that they respect us.
If they don’t respect us, then we’re going to put a saff, we’re going to put a veil, we’re going to say, ‘they don’t respect us,’ we could block it, because our life is not concentrating, our life is not defined by our hatred for them, or their hatred for us because we have other things to do. So, the role model for the kids, it is important. Who are the people who behave like this? People who behave like this were the Prophets, the Friends of Allah, the inheritors of the righteous ones. Look to them. Give you children that kind of role model.
We have enough, in 1400 years; 1400 years of Islamic culture from east to west, north to south we have enough role models. And the Islamic culture is not one culture, it’s not Arab culture, it’s from the Balkans, all the way to western China, all the way to Far East Asia. It is from Russia all the way to North Africa to South Africa. So if we give our children wrong role models they’re going to grow up to become like them. And role models that we are seeing in front of us they are not teaching the values of Islam. We have to be careful, Insya’Allah, as much as people want to listen. Wa min Allahu Taufiq, Al Fatiha
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
30 Zul Qaida 1437
September 2, 2016.