Question: Since I entered Tarikat, instead of becoming a better person, I start to feel like I’m becoming worse, a weak and bad one. If someone makes a mistake in front of me, all the bad thoughts about that person rushes to my mind and heart. Although I know I have to be busy with myself, I cannot get rid of these bad thoughts and attacks of waswasa. I try hard to block these thoughts, not to affect my actions but sometimes I cannot succeed. How can I get rid of these thoughts?
This is very normal and a very common stage that you have to go through when you are in Tarikat. There are so many stages, so many levels you have to go through. One state is just to be very aware of everyone’s wrongdoings and wrong thinkings and you are not aware of yourself. And maybe another state you are going to enter where you are only going to be aware of yourself and the wrong things that you are doing and everyone else seems to be so perfect and so nice. You are going to go through, level by level, to understand yourself. You are in that position where all you see is nothing but the wrongness of other people. Allah swt is making you to see it, but everything that in reality that we are seeing it is nothing but a mirror of ourselves. Don’t look at the person. Don’t look at his wrongdoings. That is a mirror of yourself. That is showing you your wrongdoings and your wrong thinkings and your wrong actions. In Islam, in spirituality, in Tasawwuf, the Awliya Allah they are saying, ‘you are not a murid and you are not a believer until you know and you believe and you experience that your ego it is worse than sheytan. It is worse than Firaun, it is worse than Abu Jahil. It is worse than Namrud.’ So, in the position where you are judging everyone to be bad, you’re already in that station where you’re experiencing that you are Firaun. You are a tyrant. Do you understand?
Now you understand that you have a sickness. Stay with it a little bit. Ask for forgiveness. When you pray, go down to sejdah and say, ‘ya Rabbi, all these wrong things and waswasa that I get about everyone, it is all coming from me. It is me. And I am asking from You protection from the evil that is inside of me.’ Do that. Do that for forty days, sincerely, and tell me that your heart is not going to change. How are you going to become a good person if you are not understanding how bad you are? How are you going to become well if you don’t understand how sick you are? How are you going to get cured of you don’t understand the disease that you have? Impossible. And Tarikat, especially in this way, first they’re going to tell you how sick you are. They’re going to make sure that you know how sick you are. Not just an idea, not just you thinking, they’ll make sure that you experience your own sickness. Then you are going to be shocked and you say, ‘Astarghfirullah, I am like this. Why am I like this? I never felt this way before.’ Good, because it’s deep inside of you. The Sheykhs, they are going to pull it out. Then once it comes out, you will see it in front of your face, you’ll become strong enough that time, because it comes out, to cut it off, to throw it to garbage, InsyaAllah. So that no more it’s hiding inside of you like a virus, to attack you when you are weak. So next time when it comes again, you know, ‘oh, okay. It’s not going to be shocking me. I know this because I’ve felt it before. I know what to do now.’
So, yes, before you’re going to get better, you’re going to understand how much worse you are. Then you’ll be, InsyaAllah, in that state of submission when you say, ‘I cannot do anything. There’s nothing that I can. My prayer, my zikr, my everything, it is not working. Ya Rabbi, I’m only asking from you. Through the help of your Prophet, through the help of your friends, I’m only asking. You are my only help. I cannot do anything by myself.’ When you come to that level of submission, help will come to you. Yes, it’s a little bit tough. Welcome to Jihad ul-Akbar. You get rid of one another one will come. You get rid of another, another one will come. You keep on circling and changing. InsyaAllah, that time, you’ll become better. Selam Aleykum.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
19 Jamadial Awwal 1438
February 16, 2017