Whatever that you are doing, it must be to remember Allah. Whatever that you are doing, it must be connected to the work that you are doing as a Muslim, to do work that you are doing as a murid. There has to be a connection.
You want to have some downtime, just sit down and just joke around with people, it’s okay, of course you are going to do that. But don’t let it overtake you. Still remember Allah and His Prophet (asws). That’s why, hold the tasbih. I don’t see so many of you holding tasbih so much. You are talking, at least you are going to say, you talk malayani, but this tasbih is reminding you Allah, Allah, Allah, you are going to say. Then later you are going to talk about something, then you see (the tasbih) and you say Allah, Allah, Allah, you are going to come back to it. Until you come to the point where maybe you don’t need it so much, because there is a check there. Every time you are doing something, there is a check there. Are you understanding this?
(Question from a murid): Will doubts always exist and we will always have to fight them, or will a time come when we have totally conquered our doubts?
BismillahirRahmanirRahim. Insya’Allah we will come to the time when we don’t have no doubts anymore. But doubts about what? Doubts about what? So many people don’t doubt the world, correct? If I give you one hundred dollars, nobody ever says, ‘I doubt that it’s money.’ Everybody takes it. If I give you tea, I don’t see anyone tasting it and having doubt on it or saying, ‘I don’t know if this is tea or not.’ They accept everything. Everything that concerns us for our ego, we accept. From this world, we accept. There is no doubt. Why we are not easy to accept things of faith? Because we are surrounding ourselves with people of dunya, we are not surrounding ourselves with people of faith. If you surround yourselves in a Jama’at with people of faith, then you’re going to taste a little bit of what they are tasting. So doubts about what, you are going to say. For us, the most important thing is our faith. For other religions, they say, ‘don’t question so much. You’re not going to find the answers, maybe.’ Or, ‘it’s a mystery.’ For us, our affirmation of faith is first to refuse, to negate that faith. Belief in Allah and belief in the Prophet (asws) that is our faith, but to believe in Allah, we say, ‘La ilaha, illa Allah.’ We must remove all other objects of worship, all other deities other than Allah. This is what Tarikat must be concentrating on, the Kalimah. You must know what is it that you are saying ‘La’ to.
La Ilaha illa Allah. What are you saying ‘La’ to? Is it just words that you are saying? That especially with our Sheykh, he is concentrating on that. What is this thing, this Ilah? It’s not a statue, we no longer have that. What is this Ilah that we still have, that we’re still saying ‘La’ to? Ego. Ego is the only thing that Allah swt has created that is challenging Allah’s authority, saying, ‘I am an Ilah. You are an Ilah, You are Allah, I am also an Ilah.’ Not sheytan. When Allah is saying to the ego, ‘who am I and who are you?’ The ego says, ‘You are You and I am me.’ Do you understand? ‘You are Allah, You exist, I exist. You are You, I am me.’ Who’s ego? Everyone’s ego. If we are not understanding our ego and we are saying ‘La’ to that ego, very difficult for us to come to the point of ‘Illa Allah.’ It’s not just pulling a tasbih, saying until you get dizzy or you see something. You can know 104 books but you don’t know yourself, you’re still the most ignorant one. And the one who knows himself, he knows his Lord. This is Tarikat. This is spirituality.
So now, what are the doubts that you are going to have? Look, what are the doubts. People change. Day by day, we must change. Change into what? As a believer, our today must be better than yesterday. And our tomorrow has to be better than today. This is how a believer should live. This is what we must hold on to. This is what we are going to ask Allah swt, to speak, to make Taffakur, to see, ‘what is it that I have done today, ya Rabbi, for Your sake?’, sincerely. This is beyond zikr, beyond tilawat, this is beyond worship. This is Taffakur, to pull back and to think and to meditate. And one hour of meditation, it is better than 70 years of worship. If you’re with people who makes you to understand yourself, to question yourself, saying to you, ‘are you aware of this sheytan that is inside of you?’ not as a theory, not as a concept, but you. You know this action is showing your sheytan. Oh, murids don’t like that. Not in this association. When it is necessary, we have to say. Even me. We are the same. We have our egos. We have the sheytan, we have the desires. We have all those evil characteristics, but we also have the characteristics of the Holy Prophet (asws) as shown to us by our Sheykh. Now, if we are not looking and comparing and understanding and challenging our faith, because our Kalimah is a challenge of our faith. If we are not challenging it, we will always have doubts. If you are challenging it, then no one can put any doubts in you because you have answered it all to yourself already, asking yourself why.
In Tarikat, that is forbidden, to say ‘why’. It is forbidden for you to ask why. But that ‘why’, it is farz for you to ask yourself. Not to others, to ask yourself, ‘why did I do this? I woke up today to pray. Why did I pray?’ This will stop you from becoming heedless, because you know why you are doing when you are doing. Then you must change. You may have doubts. People coming, they may have doubts about, in fact, if you don’t have doubts, if you are not going to, that doubt is not going to be surfaced from you and if you don’t look at it, you’re not going to make too much progress because it’s just all hidden. Depending on how high you want to go, you’re going to question. You’re not going to sit there and come up with the answer all by yourself too. This is when you say, ‘I have these doubts, ya Rabbi, help me.’ Then help is going to come. If you’re holding on to your Sheykh, that help is going to come. You’re going to understand, the answer will be given to you. That will change. Depending on where you are, maybe you come, after some time you have doubts about Tarikat, doubts about Islam, doubts about your Sheykh. It is normal. Ask yourself, ‘these doubts that I have, do I want an answer, or do I not want an answer?’ because your sheytan and ego is going to say, ‘don’t consult with anyone. Keep it to yourself. Let your sheytan to go around and around and around, let him to make you to chase your own tail, not looking for it. Don’t speak to anyone because they don’t know you, because your experience is unique. No one understands you.’ That is ego.
Allah is saying, ‘be in Jama’at.’ Because now in a Jama’at, if you are part of a community certain things may happen. Maybe the answer is going to be given just by sitting with someone you don’t even maybe say anything to, but if he just smiles at you, he does something, he’s saying something, and some way, somehow it clicks to your situation, it gives an answer to your problem. You are not alone. Especially in Tarikat, we are seeing that happening over and over again. Yes, sheytan will play tricks on you. Your ego will play tricks on you, definitely. What are you going to do with that? And we usually see the signs; that one is just pulling back into himself, pulling back into himself, pulling back into himself, what they call it, Naksibendi humility, staring at the carpet, Masha’Allah, not looking at anyone, not talking to anyone, just want to be by himself. You are in sohbet with your ego, you’re not in sohbet with the Jama’at, with your Sheykh.
It is very easy. Come to the point where (you say), ‘Ya Rabbi, help me.’ You go to your Sheykh and say, ‘I have this. Please help me. Just pray for me.’ It’s very easy. Because then, when you do that, the backbone of sheytan is broken. He doesn’t have a hold on you. He’s not putting that thing (hook)on you and pulling you anymore. You are saying to Allah, you are saying to your Sheykh, the beloved ones, ‘help me.’ Are they going to refuse you? But if you don’t ask for help, how are they going to give it to you. If you don’t open the door, they have no permission to enter. That’s why we said before, speak, say something. If you have a question, ask. If there’s things you don’t understand, ask. If we have the answer, we will give. But if someone is just taking these things and having wrong thoughts about things and not opening it up, then it becomes very rotten inside of himself, and before you know it, it’s going to smell. And people are just going to start staying away from you because you are not being sincere.
May Allah save us from that. But these things happen to us all the time. Come out from yourself. You have a problem, you have a doubt, come out from yourself. Do you understand? Then, Insya’Allah, we come to the point where it doesn’t matter. You have doubt, you don’t have doubt, you have the work to do you are going to do it because you know the work is good. And Allah maybe is testing us. It’s very easy for someone to believe when they see a miracle. But what is the level of believe of that one who believes and he doesn’t see anything. You are praying and you feel something, what if you are praying and you don’t feel anything? Are you going to doubt the prayer? No. Doubt yourself. But you are saying, ‘Ya Rabbi, I don’t feel but I’m doing this because I believe in You and I love you. And it doesn’t matter. My ego hates it but I’m still going to do it.’ You think Allah is not going to love that one more than those ones who have no problems at all praying?
Hayr. May it be easy Insya’Allah. May Allah forgive me and bless you for the sake of the Holy Prophet (asws), Sultan Evliyaullah, SahibulSaif, Insya’Allah. Al-Fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
8 Rabiul Ahir 1438
January 6, 2017