Question: When we live in a community, sometimes people say, ‘let’s do it my way’ another person say, ‘you have to do it my way,’ and they start fighting. How can one resolve this problem?
This is a very good question. Because now, this is a community, this is not a commune. Commune, everyone assumes that everyone is equal. But a community, there’s always a community leader. There are four highways but there is always a minister of highway or transportation who is above everyone else, to say just because you are in a highway, it doesn’t mean that you can make your own rule. You can do your own thing and you start saying, ‘I want to do it this way, I want to do it this way,’ and everyone is right in doing it that way. No. Bottom line, this is a spiritual way, we are following the way of the Prophet (asws).
The Prophet (asws) has shown us not only how to worship but also how to live, how to be with our families, how to till the land, how to deal with people, how to eat. In all aspect of life. And this tradition they have been growing and been refined for fourteen hundred years. So it is not arbitrary. So maybe another community a person may have this opinion, the other one has this opinion, they start fighting. We have different opinions, it’s okay to have different opinions. Yes, you start fighting, you cannot. But in the Tarikat, it’s not so much your opinion. You are not here to express your opinion, you are here to understand if there is a way, because we’ve lived with our opinion for so long. We are here because our opinion don’t really work, we are going to try to see another person’s opinion, the opinion of the Prophet, the opinion of the Saints. So now, we got to rein back the what? The stubbornness that we have.
You are doing something, even if it is washing the glass, something very simple in the kitchen, you are going to wash it, there is a proper way of doing it and there is a sloppy way of doing it and there’s a dirty way of doing it and there’s a lazy way of doing it. Everyone is washing. Not everyone’s way of washing is right. Now, we’ve seen how our Sheykh used to wash and he will tell us how to do it properly. Now are we taking those principles? If you are taking those principles and you are doing it, it’s okay. If you are not taking these principles, who cares what we think. You said, ‘no, I’ve worked in the restaurant for forty years.’ Well, forty years you’ve washed it wrongly. Because we are here to learn another way. But it gets more, not complicated, it gets more sophisticated than that. Okay, maybe Sheykh Effendi is saying, ‘first you have to fill up a tub, you have to fill up with hot water, put all the dishes inside, you’re going to wash it…’ okay, there is a way of doing it. But what if the situation is, you don’t have a tub? Or you have no hot water? Now the person is saying, ‘I must have hot water.’ Then he’s going to take water and he’s going to boil the hot water. Another person comes in and he says, ‘just wash it.’ He says, ‘No, Sheykh Effendi says you have to have hot water.’ But you are boiling the water and we don’t have enough gas, we have so many dishes to clean, we cannot afford now to boil three hours, six hours, of boiling water all over again just to wash. Now, there is this thing that is call adjustment. Now who is going to adjust that, to see whether that which was done at that time during Sheykh Effendi’s time, that should always be the way or it should be adjusted? Who has now that permission and that authority, that knowledge to speak? That is not given to everyone too. That is given to the one who has been given that authority. Maybe the one who is in the kitchen serving for years, now he has the right and he has the authority to make that call. He says, ‘okay, although we usually wash it with hot water, there’s no hot water, what we are going to do is, we cannot be boiling so much, we are going to waste a lot of gas and stuff, only the oily dishes we are going to wash with hot water, the rest we can just wash it extra with soap and rinse it extra and it’s also okay.’
Now the person who is just so rigid and so stubborn, he’ll say, ‘no Sheykh Effendi says we have to have water. I’m going to do this. This is a hundred percent I’m obeying. You are not obeying. You are making innovation.’ So now, you have to use your intelligence. This is when your intelligence comes in. This is a very simple example. It applies to almost everything that you are doing. If you don’t have enough knowledge or the permission or the authority to adjust, then you should just follow. It’s much better. It’s safe. And it works. Insya’Allah.
Outside of this community, if you have other communities, it’s pretty much the same, if there is someone who is there that is holding some sort of authority or some leadership, ask for some help and the person says do this or do this, it’s up to you, you do it. But don’t fight with yourself. Just refer the matter to someone who can arbitrate. Don’t fight amongst yourself. You are not going to win anything. This one’s ego is going to say, ‘no it’s like this.’ Your ego is going to say, ‘no it’s like that.’ You are going to fight with each other. There is a block, there is a impasse there. This much is enough.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
12 Muharram 1437
October 13, 2016.