Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alamin. Wasalatu wa salamu ala rasulina Muhammadin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmain nahmadulllahu ta’ala wa nastaghfiruhu wa nashadu an-lailaha ilallahu wahdahu la sharika lah wa nashadu anna sayyidina Muhammadin abduhu wa habibuhu wa rasuluhu salallahu alayhi wa ala alihi wa azwajihi wa ashabihi wa atbaihi.
Khulafail Rashidin mahdin min ba’di wuzerail immeti alal tahkik. Khususan minhum alal amidi khulafai rasulillahi ala tahqeeq. Umara il mu’mineen. Hazreti abu bakr wa umar wa uthman wa ali. Wa ala baqiyati wa sahabai wa tabieen, ridwanallahu ta’ala alayhim ajmain.Ya ayyuhal mu’minun al hadirun, ittaqullaha ta’ala wa ati’uh. Inna allaha ma allathina-ttaqaw wal-lathina hum muhsinun. Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alameen. Wa Salatu wa Salamu ala Ashrafil Ambiya’i wa Imam al-Mursaleen, Sayyidina wa Mawlana Muhammadin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmain.
All praises are due to Allah, Lord of the Universes. All praises are due to Allah Who is the First, the Last, the Manifest, the Hidden, the One Who has Might and Power over all things. All praises are due to Allah Who has sent His Beloved Messenger, Sayyidina Muhammad (asws), to show the Straight Path to mankind.
And may all peace and blessings be upon the Seal of the Prophethood, the Imam of the Messengers, the Intercessor of the Day of Judgment, the Master of the First and the Last, the Grandfather of Hasan and Huseyin, Sayyidina Muhammad (asws), and upon his noble family and blessed companions, especially upon the Four Khulafa-e-Rashideen, Hz. Abu Bakr el-Siddiq, Hz. Umar el-Faruq, Hz. Osman el-Ghani, Hz. Ali el-Murtaza, and all those who follow them until the Last Day.
Ya Ayyuhal Mu’minoon! O Believers! Welcome to you on this Holy Day of Jummah in the Holy Month of Zul Hijj. Welcome to those who have completed the Sacred Actions of the Hajj and the Kurban, and who have made an effort to walk in the footsteps of Hz. Ibrahim (as). May our intention for Hajj be accepted. May our Kurban be accepted. May our intention to walk in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet (asws), of Hz. Ibrahim, of Hz. Ismail, and of all the Holy Ones in that Golden Chain, be accepted. Amin, insya’Allah.
O Believers! The Way to Allah, it has been walked by those who came before us. And Allah (swt) has sent Guides to show us that Road. The Best of Guides is the Holy Prophet (asws). And he has left his inheritors, who are continuing his work and showing us the Way to Sirat al-Mustaqim. And so those Guides are showing us the same path that has been walked by all those who have reached to Allah.
Allah (swt) is saying in the Holy Quran, “BismillahirRahmanirRahim. This is the established way of Allah which has occurred before. And never will you find in the way of Allah any change.” Sadaqallahul Adzim (48:23)
And our work in this life is to find one of those Guides and follow those directions so that we may reach to our Destination here and Hereafter. And one of the defining characteristics of the Way of the Holy Prophet (asws), of his Companions, of the Friends of Allah, it is being in Jemaat, being in a community.The road to Allah (swt), as it is being taught to us by our Prophet, is traveled in a caravan. You don’t walk the road alone. Holy Prophet (asws) is saying in his Hadith Sherif, ‘if three people in a town or in the desert do not pray in Jemaat, then sheytan has overcome them. You must be in Jemaat, for the wolf eats the sheep that is by itself.’
And Hz. Umar (ra) was delivering Hutbe once and he said, ‘I am standing where the Holy Prophet (asws) used to stand, and he (asws) told us, ‘I leave to you my companions, and then those who follow them and then those who follow them, and then lying and cheating will spread, until a man will take oath and will not be asked to take oath, and will bear testimony and will not be asked to bear testimony. You must be with the Jemaat! And beware of division. A man must not be alone with a woman, for indeed a man is not alone with a woman except the third is sheytan. Sheytan is with the individual, and he is further from two people. Whoever wants the middle of Jannah, whoever wants the middle of Paradise, let him stick to the Jemaat, to the community. And whoever good pleases him and evil displeases him, that is a believer.
O Believers. The protection is with the Jemaat, because he is saying (asws), ‘the Hand of Allah is with the Jemaat.’
O Believers! The words of the Holy Prophet (asws), they are direct and they are clear. And these Hadith e-Sharif they are pointing to one thing: The believer must be in Jemaat to be in safety. Being in Jemaat, it is the Way to Allah and to the Protection of Allah (swt). But what is the Jemaat, what is the community, what is the group, what is the majority according to the definition given by Allah and His Prophet? Allah (swt) is saying in the Holy Quran: BismillahirRahmanirRahim. And let there be arising from you a nation inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful ones. Sadaqallahul adzim. (3:104)
So the Jemaat, the nation, as defined by Allah and His Prophet, it is those people who are united with each other in doing Emri bil Maruf and Nahi anil Munkar. They are united with each other in enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. The Jemaat, the community, it is those travelers who are travelling together on the Way of Allah.
And that is why the Message and the Mission of the Holy Prophet (asws), it shook the world. He did not come to say the Jemaat, the community, the Believers it is only the Arabs. The Jemaat, it is only the Quraysh, his tribe. The Jemaat, it is only members of his tribe or his clan. No. He came to break tribalism. He came to break nationalism. He came to break the tyranny of a system that was founded upon family connections, in the tyrannical exclusion of all others. He came to break the tyranny of a system that is based on colors, that is based on caste, that is based on physical affiliation, that is based on lineage. Holy Prophet (asws) said, ‘whoever says the Shahadat, whoever says ‘Ashaduala ilaha ilallah wa ashaduanna Muhammadan abduhu wa Rasululluhu,’ whoever does the work, they are part of the Jemaat. They are my companions. They are my brothers.’
That is why the Holy Prophet (asws) said about Hz. Bilal al-Habashi and Hz. Salman al-Farisi. Hz Bilal al-Habashi he was from Abyssinia, he was not an Arab. Although his background was a Prince, he was sold into slavery.But he found his freedom and he found his true maqam, his station, with the Holy Prophet (asws). He was not an Arab. And Hz Salman al-Farisi, again he was a Prince, but again he was sold into slavery and he went everywhere looking for spirituality, but he was a Persian. And the Holy Prophet (asws) said about Hz Bilal and Hz Salman, very well known companions of the Prophet, he said, ‘They are part of my family.’ So on the way to Allah, our tribe and our family it is not important. On the way of Allah, what is important is whether or not we are on the Mission, whether we are all working to reach the same Destination.
But 21st Century Muslims forgot about all this. 21st Century Muslims they have reverted to the ways of the ignorant Arabs, of the age of ignorance. Every nation claims that they are the only true believers, and that everyone else is less than them. The Arabs are saying, ‘Islam came to us. Everyone else is a second class Muslim because they are not Arabs. We belong to the race of the Prophet’. The Iranians, the Persians are saying, ‘we are the only real Muslims, because we are the lovers of Hz Ali, the rightful successor, the only one, the only successor of the Holy Prophet (asws),’ they are saying. Every nation is saying that ‘Islam is only for us, not for anybody else.’ And they are just sinking back into that dirty tribalism that the Holy Prophet (asws) came to break.
The Nation that held high the Jemaat of the Holy Prophet (asws) for over 800 years were the Ottomans. Under the Rule of the Osmanli Sultan, under the rule of the Ottoman Padishah, under the rule of the Khalifah, it did not matter what your race or what your ethnicity was. It did not matter if you were a Turk, or an Arab, or an Ethiopian, or an Indian, or a Malay, or a Circassian. If you were working for the Greatness of Islam, you are in the Jemaat. And the more that you are working for the Greatness of Islam, the higher your station is. It is based on hizmet, the service. It is not based on your color. It is not based on your language. The Ottomans went further than this. Anyone who is there to further the traditions of the Prophet (asws) and to further the Ottoman way, even if they were Jewish or Christians, they were given high ranks, and high honor and respect.
If you are loyal to the Sultan, if you kept your faith to the Inheritor of Rasulallah (asws), you were an Ottoman. It did not matter what your race, what your ethnicity, what your religion was. And that is what our Sheykh, Sahib el-Sayf Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi el-Rabbani (ks) came to revive. He came to wake up that Ottoman spirit in all of us. He came, just like the Holy Prophet (asws), to break tribalism and nationalism. He did not care where a person came from. He did not care what the person’s lineage was. Whoever was doing the Hizmet, the service, that person was valuable in his eyes. And he established this Dergah, he established this Jemaat to be like the Jemaat of the Holy Prophet (asws). He established this Jemaat to be an Ottoman Jemaat.
And if we look at the Community he established, from East to West, we see that it is unique because it has every kind of person. The person with the blackest skin and the person with the whitest skin sit next to each other, not only once a year in front of the Ka’aba, not only once in a lifetime during the Hajj. The people who speak totally different languages, whose nations maybe never interacted with each other in history, they are hugging each other as brothers. But their commonality is that when the time comes to remember their Lord, the name of Allah rises to their lips with the passion planted in their hearts by their Sheykh.
And when the time comes for doing the service, doing the Hizmet, regardless of their color, their nation, their language, they roll up their sleeves and they do the work. As much as we can. That is the Way of Sahib el-Saif. As he is saying in his Sohbet, Hundreds of thousands of millions of people came, they became slaves and they died as slaves. How many of them do you know? Leave the slaves. How many kings do you know from the time of the Holy Prophet (asws) up till now who have come and gone? They ruled the world. How many of their names do you know? Leave the kings. The time that you are living in now, and that you are voting, how many presidents do you know? Gone. Their names are taken off and thrown into the garbage. But slaves, Bilal-e Habashi (ra), special one, who left such a name that when you mention his name you have to stand up for it. What gave value to him? He was just another slave like the other ones. He kept valuable what Allah gave him, he held it tightly and he didn’t change it for anything. He didn’t change it for this world and he didn’t change it for hereafter. He kept his faith.
O Believers! Let us keep that faith. O Believers! O Murids! Do not make fitnah. Do not make divisions in this Jemaat. Because making fitnah, it is a disaster for you in this life and in the next life. As Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, Fitnah, confusion, it is sleeping, and the one who wakes it up is cursed. So do not fight with each other. Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, ‘it is not lawful for a Muslim to abandon his Muslim brother beyond three days; and whosoever does so for more than three days, and then dies, will certainly enter into the Hellfire.’
And in another Hadith he is saying (asws), ‘he who forsakes his brother for a year is like one who sheds his blood. And if we fight with our brothers, then Allah (swt) is going to hold His Mercy back from us.’ Holy Prophet (asws) said, ‘people’s deeds are presented before Allah on Mondays and Thursdays, and then every servant of Allah is granted forgiveness of minor sins if he does not associate anything with Allah in worship. But the person in whose heart there is bitterness against his brother, that one will not be forgiven. About those people it is said, two times, ‘hold these two until they fix it with each other.’
O Believers! We should not fight. If you are fighting, fix it. We do not have time to fight. We have a Mission. We have to continue our Sheykh’s mission. And here, there is no time to fight. Our energy, our passion, our time, it has to be used for the service. Our enrgy, our passion and our time has to be used to fight only against our ego, only against our sheytan and hawa and this dunya, because that is what gives us value in the sight of our Sheykh, of our Prophet, of our Lord. And if we keep that high and valuable, then, insha’AllahurRahman, our name, insyaAllah, will be kept valuable just like the name of Hz. Bilal al-Habashi (ra) was kept valuable. We are very weak ones. We are very dirty ones. But we are asking for the Mercy and the forgiveness of Allah. We have these intentions, and in these days of Zul Hijj, we are asking our Lord to count us to be the Bilals to our Sheykh. InsyaAllah. Amin.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
14 Zul Hijja 1437
September 16, 2016.