Tariqatuna Sohbet wa Khayru fil Jamiat. This way, it is through association. Do you understand what that means? This way, it is through association. What is this way? This is the way of Islam. This is the way of Tarikat. It is only with association. If you don’t have association, you cannot carry the religion so well, so successfully. It is only with association.
We have one brother from Turkey. He is going through some difficulties. He is trying to control his Nafs. He is saying that it is very difficult for him to pray, and to read Quran, and to do all those kinds of things. The way of Islam, so many people in these days especially, they’re thinking, ‘If I want to become a good Muslim, the first thing I have to do is to pray more and to read Quran more.’ We are not telling people don’t pray and don’t read Quran, but we are saying, it’s like that man who is sick and he says, ‘what I have to do is that I have to eat more healthy food and I have to exercise more,’ but he is not understanding, before you do that, you have to take medicine to get rid of your sickness. Correct or no? So, when we are very far away from Allah, when we are very far away from Ibadat, when we are very far away from the Friends of Allah, and we are close to our ego, we’re close to sheytan, and these are the sicknesses, these are the diseases, more you are trying to run to Allah, but you are bringing your sheytan, you’re bringing your ego with you, the more they are going to pull you back. You are only now trying to go to Allah, but you have been with your ego and sheytan your whole life. You think the sheytan and your ego is going to say, ‘Goodbye Sir, so long. You are going to Allah so now we let go?’ No. It’s going to put up a fight. It’s going to say, ‘No, you are not going to leave us.’
So, how a person is going to have more control over his ego first? Like a person who is sick. First, don’t try to even diagnose your own sickness. These days, you have some symptoms and you go online and you try to find out what those symptoms are. Suddenly, before you know it, you are going to say that you have cancer, and that you’re going to die, you have this, and you have that; a thousand, million things. It is because you’re reading everything and you are not trained to understand it, and you think it all applies to you, but it doesn’t.
You are sick. The first thing you have to do, an intelligent person is going to do, is to find a doctor. That doctor is going to say, ‘Maybe you have a stomach pain (May Allah not test us with it), but you think you have cancer, stomach cancer, because it shows everything there when you’re reading. But, maybe it’s just because you ate too much spicy food the night before, or you have been eating too much spicy food for the past week, and something is bursting there because of that strong acid. The thing is, we are sick spiritually. At first, we have to find a doctor. You want to try to pray, of course you must pray, but is it going to be difficult? Yes, definitely. You are going to try to read the Quran. Reading the Quran just like that, like a robot back and forth, it has some blessings definitely. Just by looking at Ayatul Karima, even if you don’t understand it, it brings you light and it brings you blessing. But here, we are not asking for blessings. We’re asking to cure ourselves from sheytan and our ego, the biggest, greatest enemy. You cannot find the biggest, greatest enemy, you cannot fight them, using a water gun or using your belt. You cannot fight them like that. You need to bring out the “big guns.”
So, first you find a doctor. Then that doctor will understand you and he is going to say certain things to you to give you direction. Maybe you want to say, ‘I want to pray more, I want to do things.’ Maybe that doctor is going to say, ‘don’t concentrate on that so much. For right now, it can fill you up with certain boost, and you are going to go up and down a lot, but after a while you’re going to get very tired. Because after a while, you’re going to lose steam and you’re going to lose faith, thinking that the prayer is not going to help you so why pray?’ You try so much, and ‘Allah is not helping.’ Astaghfirullah. It is because you don’t understand the nature of your sickness. This is the point.
So, first, you have to understand your sickness. Don’t try to understand your sickness by your own self. If you understand the sickness by your own self, you would have cured yourself a long time ago, and that is not the protocol anyway.
The whole nation was sick and Allah (SWT) sent down the Holy Prophet (AS). People today, they are running after the Quran. They’re running after the Quran. They say, ‘Read more Quran, then you’re going to solve the problems that you have and the problems of this world.’ I’m not saying that the Quran is not a cure. But I’m saying that even that cure, if it is in the hands of ignorant people, he is going to use it only to damage himself and others who are around him. And the Quran, it is not a normal cure. It is an extra-ordinary cure. And people are taking the Quran now, and they are going in every different direction, thinking that the Quran does not have an owner too. And, if we say the Owner of the Quran, it is the Holy Prophet (AS), they are going to say, we are making a Shirk. But, you don’t even follow what the Prophet (AS) is speaking and explaining the Quran, because everyone is taking the Quran and understanding it from their own Nafs. Because, the Quran didn’t come down to us, it came down to the Holy Prophet (AS) and those who spoke on his behalf after he was veiled, and those who spoke on their behalf after those ones are veiled; continuing. So, there are always protectors of this way. You can take the way, you are not following the protectors, you don’t like them and you want to follow your own way, that is they time there is going to be conflict and chaos everywhere.
Never before in the history of Islam there are more Muslims now reading the Quran. Correct? Knowing Arabic, and reading, and memorizing maybe; never before. But, knowledge of Islam and knowledge of Ihsan, and knowledge of Iman, it is the lowest form, lowest level; never before we have seen. So, it is not through too much reading now, because if you read with the eyes of your ego, that’s not reading. You can go up and down, but you’re going up and down praying with your ego, that’s not going to give you too much benefit too.
So now you want to learn. You want to learn what? People who enter into spirituality, they want to become what? You want to go up and down to become a person who worships a lot? That’s different. So many they worship a lot too.
Once upon a time, Azazil, sheytan,he worshipped a lot too. What do you want to do? You want to learn and become an Alim? All the Alims of this world combines together, you cannot match yourself against sheytan too. Sheytan knows the knowledge of not one book, but all four books, all 104 books. He was there from the beginning. He was there before Adam (AS) was manifested. So, it not through that knowledge too.
What do you want to become what? You want to become what? You say, ‘I want to become religious to become what?’ Some people, they enter into religion, Tarikat too, and is only a continuation of their Nafs too. They become better, yes, but they just want to get a good job, have their children married, get married, do things. It is still Dunya. You still want the same things that people outside they also want. People outside, they want the same thing too. But, what makes this different? What makes you giving you Beyat or being in Tarikat different? We are doing this, because we want to become “Abdullah.” We want to become good servants to Allah. So, before we are going to worship too much, before we are going to do Zikr too much, before we are going to do all these things, because especially if you haven’t been doing it for a long time, you start praying a little bit, you start making Zikr a little bit, certain things may open. Your veils will lift up very quickly, you may witness. That time if the person’s ego is not trained, he starts to see himself as a Saint. He starts to see himself very high. His ego is going to trick him again in the way of Allah. So now, what do you want to become? You want to become Abdullah.
How do you become Abdullah? You are going to understand now, what is standing between you and your Lord. You’re going to understand: ‘Yes, my ego, my Nafs,’ But, a lot of people are saying, ‘I find it difficult to pray. I find it difficult to read Quran.’ The difficulty is not coming out because you are reading and you are praying. The difficulty is there before you read the Quran, before you prayed. Because you are being with your sheytans and your ego outside of worship, outside of prayer, so when it comes to prayer time, you are still bringing them with you. Do you understand? So we have to know now, what is out intention and what is our actions, everyday intentions, everyday actions What is it that we are doing? What is it that we are looking at? What is it that we are thinking? Who is it that we are hanging out with? All those things there, all those things that we are doing, is it for Allah or is it for our ego? Is it for our spirit or is it for sheytan? You cannot now be busy with your ego and sheytan outside, and inside you are going to put the Sejjadah there and to pray, and sheytan is just going to leave you. He is not. You have been carrying him. Yes, he is on your shoulders. You have been carrying him the whole time. Especially now in prayer time, that is when he’s going to really try to control you.
So, we must learn and we must see, what things that we are saying and what things that we are thinking; our intentions, our actions, that is pulling this sheytanic energy, that it is being in the Dunya. We cut off from those things and that time start praying, and you will see how your prayer, it is going to be so easy. And your prayer, it is going to be a prayer. Your prayer is not to stand up proudly, like so many Muslims saying, ‘Allahu Akbar!’ (with pride), but in reality they are saying, ‘Anahu Akbar, I am the greatest.’ That prayer now, you are going to come and say, ‘Ya Rabbi, I am not worth to be here. You pulled me out from that dirtiness and I’m trying to pray to You. I am very weak..’
When you are outside, you say, ‘Okay, this kind of person, I should not be hanging out with too much, because he has wrong characteristics, and I am going to be influenced with those wrong characteristics. These type of people, I am not going to talk to them, because they make me to just be in Malayani, to be talking things that has no benefit to me.’ Now, you are going to look at your intentions and your actions more carefully, and your’re going to be very selective. That’s the time you can keep yourself clean and strong. If you don’t watch yourselves outside of prayer and outside of Zikr, then don’t expect your prayer and your Zikr to be strong, to be doing it in the presence of Allah. Because you are not in His presence outside of that, how can you be at that time? It doesn’t come like magic. This religion is not based on magic.
So first, find a Guide. When you find a Guide, he will be able to guide you. For some people, he may say, ‘pray.’ For some people he may say, ‘don’t concentrate or put that too much on your shoulder. Try to pray, but be more sincere, because you didn’t pray for such a long time, when you try praying a little bit, and sheytan gets more upset with you, and you don’t know how to control it.’ Of course, five daily prayers, everyone has to pray, try to pray. It is between you and Allah. I cannot force you to do it. I cannot force you not to do it. It is between you and Allah. But for some people, they get some boost, and they keep praying and praying and praying, and after a while, they cannot carry it, because it comes with heaviness too. Then, they just drop it and they become more broken than before. So, we say, you need to balance it a little bit.
Our way is not the way of scholars. Our way is the way of Tarikat. Where in Tarikat, the Sheykhs, they are going to say, ‘sometimes we are going to pat you very nicely. Sometimes, if that doesn’t work, we’re going to smack you, very nicely.’ And, so many times as they say in Turkish, ‘One smack, it is better than one thousand words of advice.’ Turkish tarikat, no one can come near to Turkish Tarikats anyway. Because the whole point, it is for the person to become better, to have a good heart, to have good actions, good thinking. It is not to go up and down worshipping so much. So many, they are worshipping, and they are not good. Not to be just reading the Quran like that ( back and forth). So many reading the Quran, the Quran doesn’t go passed their throat. So we’re here to become good people.
May Allah make us to be those ones Insha’Allah. Ameen. May Allah forgive us all our wrong actions, all our wrong intentions, all our weaknesses. For the sake of the Prophet (AS), may Allah make us to stay in this way until we die. Ameen. Wa min Allah Tawfik, El-Fatiha. Selam Aleykum.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
22 Rabi al-Ahir 1438
January 20, 2017