Question: How do you prepare for death properly?
Somebody here, as usual, very foolish person asking foolish question, today he’s asking a pretty solid question. So I don’t know whether I’m going to give him nice answer or foolish answer. You know that story, ‘the Boy who cried Wolf’? You know that story?
They don’t teach you stories, you don’t read stories, huh? The boy who cried wolves. Remember? Young boy he was a shepherd, top of the mountain, he got so bored being a shepherd, he sees all his village down there, one day he said I’m going to make life interesting, I’m going to come down and I’m going to say, ‘Wolf!’ So he did that. From the top of the mountain, with his sheep he started crying, ‘Wolf! Wolf!’ Everybody got scared, they put their things down, they run to catch the wolf. ‘Protect the boy, protect the kid!’ They came up there, all these aunties and uncles, imagine that, running up the mountain, like you, with the pitchfork, with the sphere, bow and arrow, coming up, panting. The boy, ‘Ha, ha, ha, ha! I fooled you. There’s no wolf. Ha, ha, ha!’
They said, ‘You idiot! Wait, wait, wait.’ So they went down. Some time passed, the boy again he did it because he was bored. He said, ‘Wolf!’ They came up. He said, ‘I fooled you again.’ Next time, there was a real wolf. So the boy said, ‘Wolf!’ Nobody came up.
They said, ‘Ah, he’s just fooling.’
‘No! It’s for real, wolf!’
And nobody came up. We take that story and we are going to say, the wolf ate the boy. Ok, we are going to put it like that. Better. So now, we get rid of the problem. So, first time they are asking me, not one, two times, so many questions they are asking me, foolish ones, now he’s asking a real problem, I don’t know whether I should take it seriously or not. Well, let’s answer, Insya’Allah ar-Rahman. Whatever that Sheykh Effendi is putting into us, what is necessary for now, for this time. BismillahirRahmanirRahim. He’s asking the question: How do you prepare for death properly?
What is the death for you? If you don’t know what it is, the destination, how can you prepare for the journey, correct? Say, if you want to go to New York City, and you are here in the Dergah, and you say, ‘now I know where I’m going to go. I must prepare. Either I’m going to take the bus, but not any bus, specific bus. Not any time, specific time. Not free. With payment, with money, and it’s going to take me this much time to reach there. Because I know how the journey is going to be, because I know what the destination that I want to go to.’ If you want to take the bus, it’s like that. If you want to take the car, there’s so many other things you have to prepare. Not like today’s people, they just jumped into the car and they drive. You have to make sure your oil is good, you have gas, you check everything. Don’t burn anything. Don’t just take off. You see there’s preparation. Because you know where you want to be and how you want to go. So what is death to us?
What is death to us? Don’t give me any Sufi answer. It is better to be just simple and sincere. Death, it is going to be a time when I’m going to be judged. Finish. I’m going to be judged by my intention, and I’m going to be judged by my action. That is death to me. So now, you know how to prepare for that. Correct? I don’t have to give you a whole list of things to do. Just according to that, you know how to prepare. Like they say in Turkish, once you see the minaret, you know that there is a town there. You don’t have to see the butcher, the baker, the school, everything there, the road. Just from a long distance, you see minaret, must be a town. So now, you’ll be able to go and travel properly.
So you are asking me, how do we prepare for death? What is death to you? Because for some people, they don’t really believe in death. They think, that is just a passing, just transition, just from one energy form to…eh, whatever. BS, in these days they are saying. Muslims are saying. I’m not talking about non-Muslims. Leave them.
A death, it is a preparation for a real journey. Real journey. This is still a fake, where we are living here, right now. It is illusion and delusion. This world. Once we enter into the real world, we don’t just enter through the door and suddenly you are there. You don’t enter through the gate of the city and suddenly you are sitting on the Sultan’s chair. You don’t. You have to go through so many steps. So now, the death it is a preparation for us. For what? Now, you are going to ask yourself, what am I living for? And what am I dying for? For what? And for who? So many they have a religion, but they are living for dunya. Just to satisfy the pleasures and to take the treasures of this dunya. They have religion. They pray, they fast, they do everything but their life is concentrating only on this dunya. There are those that are in this life, and they have the life of this dunya, but their concentration is on Ahirat. It’s on the meeting, the journey to Allah SWT.
Now, before we say, make it very simple you are going to be judged. It is going to be a judgement Day. You are going to be judged. First thing that you are going to be judged, when you are in the box and you are being carried, you are going to be asked so many questions., before you get to the grave. Inside the grave you are going to be asked so many questions. Don’t think, ‘I’m now going to ask from here and from there, all those questions I’m going to write the answers, I’m going to memorize, so when I die, I will remember.’ No, it doesn’t work like that. Question, Angel is going to ask in the grave, ‘Who is your Lord?’ What does Lord mean? Don’t think, ‘I know the Answer. Allah, of course.’ No, who is the one that you are serving and worshiping. So many people, that time, whatever that is in their heart, not on their tongue or in their mind, in their heart, it is going to come out. So many, they are going to say, ‘I am the highest Lord.’ Just like Firaun. Because they live and they serve only themselves.
So the Question, ‘who is your Lord?’ Don’t think that you are going to memorize, who is your Prophet? What is your Book? What is your Nation? And you are just going to memorize and you are just going to give. The very endless meanings to that, ‘Lord’ who do you serve? So many they serve themselves or they serve their ego, their desires, or they serve other people, or they serve this dunya. They are not serving Allah. So although you know the answer, although maybe you are praying five times a day, but you are living your life only to serve, say, this system. You are going to say, ‘this sytem is my Lord.’ You understand? They are going to ask, ‘which nation you belong to?’ Don’t think the nation is just the nation that you are born in for instance. Because the nation of Muhammad (asws), especially in this time of the ahir Zaman, all the evil transgressors, all the wrongdoings of the earlier nations of all the earlier Prophets, from Adam (as) all the way to Isa (as), all the wrong actions, disobedience of their nations, it is present right now, in this time, in this nation, and there are millions of people who are following those nations. Do you understand?
The nation of Lut (as), they are known for that wrong thing. Are there people in this nation that are following that nation? The nation of Ibrahim (as), those who are following Namrud, are there people who believe in that right now, belonging to our nation? That is saying, ‘we don’t want to believe in Prophet, we believe that we can rule ourselves. If there is a Lord, his kingdom is in the sky, and ours is on this land. Don’t interfere into us,’ they’re saying, ‘ this is how we live, this is how You live. You don’t interfere.’ Astahgfirullah. Just like Namrud said. Correct? Are there people in our nation doing it? Yes. The Transgressor of the Bani Israel, what they did to their Prophet, are there people now in this nation who are doing it? Yes. Count. This is the characteristics of the ahir Zaman. So I don’t want to open too much. We can talk endlessly about this, to understand now how we are going to prepare and how we are going to answer. But to put it very simply now, we are going to be judged. So before we are judged, judge yourself. Don’t judge other people. Judge yourself.
In Tarikat we are teaching, even if you see something wrong in front of you, especially in the Dergah, you don’t have the authority to speak, Don’t speak. Don’t say. This is not your classroom. If you have the authority to speak, then you are going to find the best way to speak, and that person is going to understand. To speak is one thing, but to make a person to understand is something else. Anyone can speak. But the ability to make the one that you are speaking to to understand what you are saying, it is not given to everyone. So you are going to judge yourself. How you are going to do that? Simple. Everyday before you go to sleep, sit down somewhere, five minutes, and judge yourself for that day. Run, in your mind, from the beginning, you woke up, why did you wake up? Because I was hungry. I want to eat breakfast. Why did you get up? I have to get up to pray Fajr. Very good, be happy. Then what did you do? ‘I did this.’ What did you think? What did you say? I said this. How did you behave? You start judging yourself for that day. Just take five minutes to do that. Run through your mind. ‘I did this, I did this, and I did that.’ Don’t think it is very easy. It is not. But if you can do that, that five minutes, it is better than years of worshiping. This is hadiths. Prophet (asws) is saying, ‘one hour of meditation it is better than seventy years of nafila ibadat. Seventy years of worship.’
What happens when you are judging yourself? You are going to say, ‘I did this right. Alhamdulillah. I did this wrong. Astaghfirullah. Let me try to fix it today, what I did from yesterday. I should not be doing this. I should not be saying those things. I should not behave in that way. May Allah forgive me. Next day, maybe you repeat it. Still you are going to say, ‘astaghfirullah,’ still because you are making the Tafakkur. You do it for forty days. Forty days you do it. Come to me and tell me nothing has change in your life. Forty days. Try doing it for seven days straight. What are you doing? You are judging yourself, that’s the time when you take account. That’s the time when the Angel of Death comes to you, your account, it is tallied. You understand? Your account now, you have some credit, you have some debit, you already made your account balance sheet properly, in front of your Lord. Good things that you did, you say, ‘Alhamdulillah, it is from You Ya Rabbi.’ Don’t take credit for it. Bad things that you’ve done, ‘it is from my nafs,’ and you say, ‘astaghfirullah. Forgive me, my intention is to do better next time,’ and fix yourself. That time, you are prepared. Simple, you are prepared. Because once you start doing this, then you start to understand, ‘why am I living today? What did I live for today? Did I live just because someone has put a robotic habit and ritual to me? I get up, I brush my teeth, I do this, I go to work, and this and that, I come back. Or did you live for the sake of Allah?
You can be doing the same actions: I get up, I brush my teeth, I go to work and I come back, but because you are remembering your Lord and you are doing it for your Lord, when you are getting up, first thing you are going to train yourself is to renew your Shahadat, because Allah has given you life. Which is why, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (asws), it protects us. It is a zikr. It keeps us to remember our Lord. The Sunnah it is not a ritual also. It makes us to remember. You remember your Lord when you get up. You remember your Lord when you enter into the bathroom, because you are going to enter with your left foot. Because that is Sunnah. You remember your Lord when you are cleaning and say, ‘astaghfirullah. Shukr.’ You are remembering your Lord when you are cleaning yourself. You are remembering your Lord when you are praying. You are remembering your Lord. You get up, you go and you take the subway, you get into your car, you take the bus, you go to work, for the sake of Allah you are doing this to earn a halal income for your family, you are remembering your Lord. And for those ones that Allah SWT says, they remember their Lord when they are sitting and they are standing, when they are lying down. They remember their Lord when they are alone, and they are with people. They remember their Lord when they are in the marketplace and when they are just quiet by themselves. Allah is mentioning us. When you do that, Allah will mention you. You understand? Don’t think we mentioning Allah means anything. When Allah mentions us, and Allah is saying, ‘if you mention me in private, I will mention you in private. If you mention me in a group of people, I will mention you with a higher, more exalted group of Angels. Remember Me and I will remember you.
So that’s how you are going to remember death. Everything that you are doing. Everytime you pray, say to yourself, what we did, Sheykh Effendi had said it, Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, ‘ Pray your prayer as if it is your last prayer.’ Just for you to remind yourself, when you are praying. Say you are going to pray five times a day, five times you are going to remember death. Remembrance of death should make you more alive. It shouldn’t make you to become more in ghaflat, more in heedlessness. It makes you more alive because you don’t want to be pulled into this wrong areas when you have already corrected yourself. And that’s the time, when you are doing this, and you are around us, small things that you do, we are going to jump on you. Because big things, you don’t do wrong. But this is small things. Because now we are talking about purification. Small things that you do and we say, what’s the matter? This is small thing. Especially when it’s something that you are repeating, we say, don’t. You are doing everything, you’re praying, you’re fasting, you’re making zikr and everything but the sheytan and the ego are going to now bring you down through this door. You lock all your window, you put all the fences and everything, but it’s through a small mouse hole maybe he enters. That we say, don’t. It’s small, but don’t look at it as small. Because through that small crack he may enter and he may open every door.
So we have to be more in awakening station Insya’Allah ar-Rahman. Understand? Ask for forgiveness, that time your relationship with people is going to be better too. You are going to say, ‘ah, I’m going to die. Why am I holding this anger to this person? Why am I holding this hatred to this person? Okay, this person is annoying,’ we are not saying now you have to go hugging them and being best friend. No. This person is annoying. He’s annoying. But why should that annoyance bother you? You understand? To make you to come down. To make you to have anger in your heart. To make you to be in darkness. To make you to be in a mood that is not going to be good. Why? You know this person is annoying, like you know that snake, it is dangerous, it is poisonous, your duty is not to hate that snake, your duty is not even to go around and start killing that snake, your duty is just to be careful from it, and your duty is to avoid it. That time, you can balance. You understand? That time you can get along with each other.
If you are going to be bothered by everything that rubs at you, if you are going to be bothered by everything that rubs at you, how are you going to get polished? And in the Dergah, the Sheykh is going to use everything and everyone around you to polish you. Don’t think it is only the sohbet that is going to polish me but other things that’s happening outside of this sohbet has nothing to do with the sohbet. It has everything to do with the sohbet. That is, If you have the intelligence, and Murids should have the intelligence. This is why you are in this way, because you have intelligence. You should use it, Insya’Allah. May Allah forgive me and bless you. Al-Fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
18 Jamadial Ahir 1438
March 17, 2017