Tarikatuna Sohbet wal khayri min jami’at. This Tarikat, this way, it is based on association. Goodness comes from the association. The sohbet it gives you the power and the ammunition to fight against the sheytan and your ego, to fight against this dunya and our evil inclinations, our desires. If you are not taking sohbet and understanding it, then you won’t know how to fight them.
Now, our brother, Syahid, he is asking, he is feeling very fresh, very new. I ask him what’s new, he said everything is new – new clothes, new kufi, prayers. Alhamdulillah. That is good. And he has one question, he’s asking, ‘What is love?’ Everybody has something to say about this. When you look into this world, imagine you are an alien and you are coming to this earth planet for the first time, and you are looking to see what they are saying about themselves, not what they are doing, what they are saying. If you look at the popular culture, what they are saying, how they are describing themselves, what are their hopes, their dreams and their aspirations, you look, you listen to their songs, you look at their movies, you look at their books, you look at everything involve in the culture, and you say, ‘this is the planet of love.’ Because all the songs is talking about love. All the movies always talking about love. This must be a planet that is full of people who love each other and who make this into a beautiful place. Ironic isn’t it? It is the complete opposite.
So everyone has an idea of what is love. But very few they are speaking from the authority of the one who has created love. Love is not a concept. Love is not a feeling. Love is a creation and there is a Creator to it. That Creator of love is Allah. One of His name is al-Wadud. And everyone can say something but it doesn’t mean that it is right or it is true. Because the Creator has created something specific and people may even say that it is opposite of what it is but it doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t make it true. So Allah has created love. That is one of His names. So how are we going to know what Allah has created? Everyone seems to know something about what Allah is saying also. In these days, everyone has become a Prophet, speaking on behalf of their Lord. In the old days, nobody dares to speak on behalf of their Lord. Like, we are American citizens, can you speak on behalf of the President? You can dream to do that, but in very official circumstances, you cannot speak for the President. You are going to get arrested. You cannot even speak on behalf of the traffic police, or your boss, or even your friend. But we have lost touch with that reality and everyone seems to think that we are free, that everyone can represent their Lord. No.
Who speaks on behalf of their Lord to explain what is love? In all the billions and billions and billions of human beings that have been created, only 124 000 have been selected to speak on behalf of their Lord. And their inheritors. These are the Prophets. Do you understand? You have to get that right. Otherwise, anyone can speak about their Lord but it doesn’t mean that you are authorize to speak. These are the ones who have been authorized. We belong to that Prophet, the last Prophet, the most complete one, the Sultan of the messenger that the Khutba is always speaking, praising, giving names of praise to that Prophet (asws), that is in the tradition of 1400 years, that we are always praising the Prophet. Why is that? Because it is a tradition, it is a Divine tradition, it is an angelic tradition, to always shower praises to the Prophet (asws) because there’s an ayat in the Quran saying, ‘Allah and His angels shower blessings to the Prophet. O you who believe,’ He doesn’t say Muslims, He doesn’t say arabs, He doesn’t say Sufis. He says, ‘You who believe. Praise him as much as you..’ I’m putting in a very simple terms. So we are putting those praises on him. And the Holy Prophet (asws), he is the one representing his Lord, from the beginning to the end. We belong to that nation, to his nation, and now, he has been given the authority to speak about his Lord. He was asked the same question, like you did, slightly different. One of his companion say, ‘Ya Rasulullah, I love you.’ And the Prophet (asws) he said, ‘ then prepare yourself for hardship.’ Do you see how real it is? He didn’t say, ‘you love me, you are going to go to Paradise. You love me, everything is going to be great. You love me, you are going to be successful here and hereafter.’ He didn’t say that. He said, ‘then prepare yourself for hardship.’ And let’s talk a little bit about that. Why is that?
Who are the ones who love Allah most? You and me? Huh, out of billions and billions and billions of people, the ones who love Allah swt most is only 124 000, they are the Prophets. And the one who loves him most most, he is the Holy Prophet (asws). He love his Lord so much. You have look at the life of that Prophet? Is it filled with happiness in this world? It is filled with hardship. Why is his life filled with hardship? Why is it that I love my Lord, my Lord loves me, so why are you giving me hardship? Because now, when you love, you don’t look to yourself. You look to the one that you love. And the only reason that you exist is when you look into the eye of your beloved, and you see yourself there. And now, what is Allah wishing for us? That is what the Prophet is wishing for us. I’m coming to this point because why is the Prophet life hardship? Why is it so hard? Why the lives of the Evliyaullah and the believers, that they are hard? Yet at the same time, you look at them and they are the happiest of people. They are the most satisfied. They have satisfaction, sakina in their heart. But you look at their life, you say this is the life of hardship. I don’t want to be like this. So whose eyes are you seeing now? Are you seeing life according to their eyes, then for them, happiness in this world, love in this world is not what you get, it is what you give. And when you give yourself you are going to experience a new life, and when you give yourself you have nothing left. You have nothing left, you are not aiming for happiness. You’re aiming just to make that one that you love to be pleased.
So you’re saying ‘what is love?’ For today, for now, for this purpose, love it is to make that one that you love to be pleased with you. So whatever it is that it takes, now if you look at spirituality, what is the meaning of that? The meaning of that now, that we have, inside of us the ego and the spirit. Now we have a responsibility, we love to go back to the source of our life and in order to go back you have to cut those chains that bind you, that stop you from being free. What are those chains? That is your nafs, the sheytan, hawa and dunya, each holding on to one of you. You have to learn how to cut that. In the beginning you feel, because you’re so identified with your ego, you feel so much pain but the ego is not you. You feel so much hurt from this world that you have to give, but this world is not you. Your desires are not you. Sheytan is definitely not you. So you start to discover, who are you? What are you? Once you start eliminating all of those things, then you start understanding, ‘oh, I am from you,’ you’re going to see. What Maulana Rumi is saying, ‘one day, we’re all going to wake up,’ meaning we’re going to die and we’re going to come back to real life, ‘and we will sing and we will dance remembering what our worries were.’
One day, we’re going to understand that everything that we are worrying in this life and everything that is important, it is nothing. A lot of it is, first it is that pain because to separate yourself from your ego, from sheytan, from dunya and from your desires when you are so mixed up in it, it will be painful and those who understand it they have experienced it, they’re not going to talk so much about it. Definitely they’re not going to talk about unconditional love, because they know, it involves a price. It’s a heavy price. Because it’s not just words. Love, there’s a price for that. Because in Love, there is only one. There cannot be two. If there is two, you are going to fight. There must be only one, and the one has to be the one that you love. It’s not you. And slowly you are going to discover that. Slowly when you start losing this false self that you have, in reality everything it is passing from us. But what is around us, you say new clothes, new kufi, it is part of you but it is not you. It will pass. But it doesn’t meant that it is false. Because now, what is outside of you now, it’s going to be a reflection of what is inside. And if the reflection from the inside, if the inside it is true, then outside it is true. So it matters. Because whatever that is inside must show. And because it stands for truth, by itself it doesn’t mean anything. But because it stands for something that is true, it means something. The meaning, it is the most important thing.
So the love, now what kind of love do you want to feel? Do you want to feel the love of the songwriter who writes the song? Do you want to feel the love of the movie characters or books? Different kinds of love. Do you want to feel the love of those who love this world? Different love. Do you want to feel the love of the one who loves himself? Different love. Or do you want to feel the love of that one who loves his Lord, the Creator of Love? That’s different. That is more real. That is more true. Everything else is just a reflection of that, that they abuse it.
We are in this way of Sufism to try to taste the love that the companions had for the Prophet. Of course, we know that we are nowhere near them. All we want now is to taste the love that Murids have for their Sheykh. Then, when you get to be more real and honest to that, then we will move step by step because now, we don’t want selfish, egoistic love. We want love that is pure. We want love, to feel a little bit of what the Holy Prophet (asws) and the Sahabis, his companions, they feel and he told that companions, he said, ‘if you love me, then prepare yourself for hardship.’ Because now there must be no space in your heart to be in love with this world. That you have to reserve it for the Hereafter. Because Allah is also known as the jealous One. Only One. He does not admit two in your heart. Isn’t it true, if you love, you say, ‘I must be the only one.’ You are the only one. There cannot be two.
So Insya’Allah, these days, understand that I’m not really talking about love, I’m talking about pain and I’m talking about the responsibility of that love. Because for those who cannot love each other, there’s no way they are going to love Allah. Absolutely no way. Prophet (asws), one of the reasons why he is the greatest Prophet is because he loves his nation. He doesn’t curse his nation. All earlier prophets, one way or another they get very fed up with their nation. Nuh (as), he got really upset with his nation that he open his hands and he prayed that Allah punished them because he says that there is no redemption anymore for them. Musa (as), in despair he said to his Lord, ‘what am I to do with this proud and stiff neck people.’ But the Holy Prophet (asws), his nation and his nations are also the nations of all the earlier Prophets. Because all the Prophets, it is only their particular areas or ethnicity, their nations. But the Prophet, the last Prophet, Muhammad (asws), it is the entire world. So he also takes now all the earlier nations that were here, that is still here, he folds it into himself, into his jubba, and he never despair to Allah swt because of his nation. His love for his nation is more than of a mother to her baby.
So that is one sign that you are following in the footsteps of the Prophet, you are going to have love for each other. It doesn’t mean now you are going to have love for sheytan, for Sheytanic people, Sheytanic characteristics, for wrong. You cannot have love for wrong. The person does something wrong, you cannot love the action that the person is doing. You still love that person, the person is still deserving of love, but the action it is wrong. Don’t mix the two. And in these days, if anything there must be clearer understanding of what is right and wrong, because everything is just blurred. They say everything is okay. It is not okay. If everything is okay, I mean, which planet are you living? Nothing is okay in this world right now. Everything in this world is wrong now.
Insya’Allah, may we be strong ones to hold that love. Because it comes with some pain. But this is also not a choice. Because this is not just …for those who seek then they are going to do this, those who don’t they are going to live their lives okay and both of them they are going to end up the same point. It is never the same point. Because this understanding of this world, is either you are going to understand it when you are living in this world, if you don’t they are going to make you to understand when you are in the grave. If that is not enough, they are going to make you understand on the day of judgment. If that is not enough, then they are going to make you understand very well in the fire. That understanding, it is an obligation to everyone. Nobody can escape to say, ‘well, I don’t have to understand. You understand? You go through all this torment and heart break. I’m just going to live my life easy and simple and selfishly, and that’s it.’
No. Which is why in the way of the Evliya, in the way of Tasawwuf, Sufism, evliyaullah the friends of Allah is saying, the Prophet (asws) has said, ‘die before you die.’ All this that we are going through is understanding we are in the process of dying. What is that? To be removed, detached and to understand what is the reality of this world and what is the reality of our spirit. Because when you die that is the moment everything is open to you. You will understand that this is all a lie. You understand what is true. So before we reach to that point where the angel of death takes our life, and we understand how false this world is and what is truth, we are going through that everyday before that time, to try to die before we die. Slowly Insya’Allah. We are all very weak . May Allah forgive me. Wa minaAllahu Taufiq. Al-fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
16 Rabiul Awwal 1438
December 16, 2016