Question: Sheykh Effendi mentioned the ayat that’s saying when people pass from this life, they are going to say, they want to go back to change, they want to go back and be better. And Allah swt says, ‘even if I send you back a thousand times you are still going to do the same thing over and over again.’ So my question is that, the fight against the ego, is that what we’re trying to do is to change that part of ourselves ?
That, it is mixed. You have regret. You have extreme regret, that you say ‘I want to change.’ The chance is given for you to change and you have that chance to change. Then what happens? You don’t change. Why you don’t change? The rebellion.
Yes, the rebelliousness, the stubbornness, but a lot of it has to do with what? You forget. You forget. Zikr is the opposite of forgetting, and Taffakur, it is to make us to remember, what are the things that we have done, to want to become better. Taffakur is not to sit down to think of the things that we have done good. That is not Taffakur. Taffakur is to sit and to understand where we have gone wrong or things that we are doing which are lacking. Which even if we are doing good, we say it is lacking. Say you didn’t really do anything wrong and you wake up for tahajjud. But the believer is going to go into Taffakur and say that even with tahajjud, it wasn’t that great, it wasn’t that good. And the believer, the Murid, does not really need Taffakur to think deeply, to say that it is all not that great. Because the Murid, the believer is never satisfied with the work, the good work that he did. If it’s something good, he says, ‘I can always do better. I can always put more sincerity into it. I can always put more time into it.’
That forgetfulness, forgetting what? Forgetting the Rahmat of Allah, forgetting the Mercy of Allah, forgetting the forgiveness of Allah. Where is that coming from? Obviously it’s coming from the ego. It’s forgetting. But what is causing us to forget? Now we are entering into understanding what makes us to remember. What makes us to remember? Is it in times of ease that mankind is disposed to remember their Lord? Or is it in times of trouble that mankind is disposed to remember Allah. We know the answer to that, correct? Allah swt is saying, Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, ‘if Allah does not love that servant, He doesn’t even give him toothache.’ This world is paradise? No. If you have ease of this world, what usually happens? You forget Allah. You forget yourself. You forget the people around you. You start remembering only you. You forget yourself meaning you forget how weak you are, that you are a creature.
Because you have it good, you think nothing can touch you. ‘It happened to other people, not to me. I am untouchable, I am special.’ It makes you think that you are an Ilah. You forget. When everything is done, because this world, it has always been described as an enemy to us, it is not a friend. And the job of the enemy is to do what? To destroy you. This is not also meaning so much that if you get all the luxury then you are going to forget or if you live just humbly you are not going to forget. This concerns, now, where your heart is. Some people, with the luxury they forget. Some people they don’t. Some people, when they have poverty they remember, some people when they have that, they forget Allah because all they are running after is just to get that dunya.
So this is more sophisticated now. It is where your intention is. Now, we are not looking at luxury or being poor. We’re looking at, whether you are poor or you are having luxury or anything in between, what is the reason now, for that? If that reason is only for yourself, to live in this world, then even if you pray five times a day, it is not for the sake of Allah. You understand? If you are doing it for the sake of Allah, you’re working and you are getting things or you are trying to work, but you don’t get too many things, but you are doing it for the sake of Allah, both equally blessed now. Because you’re remembering Allah. And in both situations, you are struggling. You are struggling because you’re saying ‘this is making me to forget about Allah, more I have to fight. This is making me to forget about Allah, more I have to fight.’ You remember what causes you to forget. You know. You don’t just live like a robot.
Okay, say I’m working. Say I’m working for my family. You here at the Dergah, you’re working for your family. Okay. You’re working very hard. But it is still for your family. Now say you are working hard, you’re helping the Dergah too, okay? You don’t have too too much time for your family, okay, but you don’t have too much time for Allah, to make zikr and to listen to sohbet. That’s also not good. Because what causes you to remember, now? What causes you to remember? That is a specialty; in every Tarikat they have a certain way that they remember Allah, correct? What is the way that we remember Allah in our Tarikat? Sohbet. So if you are not in sohbet, you’re not remembering Allah. You’re not getting reminded. No-one is there to remind you. Even if you’re making tasbih your heart may not be remembering but your lips are. Because it is not hitting the heart. You’re in sohbet, you think you are doing so good, but you notice, ‘Ohh, whatever I’m doing, it’s lacking this part. The sohbet is addressing that part.’ Then you are going to make progress.
The sohbet is going to make the person to come out from ghaflat. It’s going to remind you, whatever that is needed at that time. You are running, you are working for the sake of the Dergah, say, but you are not there listening to sohbet, how are you going to wake yourself up, what kind of service you are going to make that time? Everything else that we are doing, in reality, is just to keep ourselves to be busy. Correct? Yes, we are running to serve, service is good now. But it has to come from you, and whatever that you have, it has to be fully charged. You cannot be running on empty. If you are running on empty now, what are you going to produce? Nothing. That’s the whole problem, you see? Man doesn’t want to get fixed. That is the whole problem. To first understand that you have a problem, majority are not thinking that they have a problem. It’s so rare for a person to come up, Muslim, to say ‘I have a problem with my faith and I want to go to a doctor to get fixed.’ That out of those who have problems, very few they really want it fixed. So many, they’re just saying, ‘you know what? Just pray for me, man, that’s all. Just pray for me. Why you have to shout, scream, just pray for me, that’s all.’
That’s reality. They don’t want to get fixed. They don’t want to become better. They just want to continue their own way of life, but they just want to cover their bases, you know? That’s all. No. You cannot. You came to the wrong Tarikat to do that. If you think you’re coming to our Jamaat and you can continue your wrong lifestyle, think again. There are other Jamaats, you can go. They can make you to continue with that wrong lifestyle, say ‘don’t worry, our Sheykh will pray for you.’ Did we ever hear Sheykh Effendi saying that? ‘You can continue your wrong lifestyle, don’t worry, your Sheykh is…’ No. Your Sheykh is going to be the first one to take this (cane) and to hit it over your head for you to wake up. You see how quickly people forget?
So now remembering is one thing, to know not to forget is another. We listen to sohbet, this is what I mean, I don’t want to use too many words like this, this is what I mean. You listen to sohbet, you know. Most of these things, you know. In the beginning I don’t like to speak because, I said, what can I say that Sheykh Effendi didn’t say? And if Sheykh Effendi has said before and people are still not changing, what can I say? And then I say, all these things, people already know. Why I have to repeat it? Correct? But we need reminding. We need a reminder. From a person who has that authority. Because even if it is truth, but the person doesn’t have the authority, it’s not going to hit you. Say you are eating Pakistani food twenty-four hours, 365 days a year. This is so many of you. Okay? And, say, someone like me, I’m saying, ‘don’t eat that every day, it is no good.’ Did I ever say that or no? Yes or no? I said, don’t do that every day. It is no good for you. You’re going to get sick from it. You say ‘aha, aha, aha, aha,’ you continue. Why? Because I don’t have that authority as a doctor to say. But, this is for everyone, if something were to happen to you, and the doctor says, ‘you cannot continue like this, it’s going to get worse next time, especially watch your diet now.’ You think that one is going to tell the doctor, ’aah, you don’t know anything,’? No. He’s going to listen, why? Because the doctor has authority. Saying the same things, but the doctor has authority.
So now, how to use that remembrance. How not to forget. This is the point; we all know we’re not supposed to be angry, we all know we’re supposed to be more patient. We all know we cannot do this and we have to do that. We know this. Like Sheykh Effendi is saying, sohbet is giving you ammunition. Sohbet is not the time for you to shoot it, the ammunition, correct? When you are going to shoot? When the enemy is coming to attack you. Yet how many, in the moment when anger is overtaking you, men and women, that you are using the sohbet? Tell me. How many? Hah. Then you can answer by yourself what is making you to forget. What is making you to forget? You don’t want to remember. That’s all. Because you are overtaken by it and it feels good. Because now to remember that, it’s much harder. It’s more bitter to do. But just to let go and just to do it, it’s much easier. So ammunition is there, you don’t use it. When you’re supposed to use it, when your anger or your jealousy or your stubbornness or your arrogance that is coming, and we always say, hundreds and thousands of ways that it is presenting it to you, suddenly you don’t use. We say, what happened? We gave you the manual, we gave you the weapons, we give the ammunition. You know the enemy is coming. Why are you not using? ‘I don’t know.’ You don’t know? You just have to suffer the consequence, that’s all. You understand?
So yeah, Allah swt is saying, ‘even if I give you a thousand chances, you’re just going to forget. You’re going to go back to the same thing.’ One, because you don’t remember, you don’t try to remember that part, the wrong that you have done, and you don’t remember, when you’re faced with this situation, what kind of sohbet to use. A lot of the times, all we say is don’t rush. Don’t rush. Rushing is from sheytan. It’s overtaking you. Don’t rush. Anger or your stubbornness is overtaking you. We say, don’t rush, relax. Relax for a while, don’t make many decision. And you know this. How many times, when you just stop yourself from making a decision, in that situation, you save yourself. Correct? You save yourself. Because once now you just say, ‘okay, wait. Just hold on,’ you’re already putting, first, a defense there. Against your ego and against to sheytan. Once you put that, then you’re waiting for that support to come. Then you can make a decision properly.
Yes. Until we break that, we are going to be in big trouble. If we don’t break that forgetfulness, that ghaflat, that stubbornness, that rebelliousness, if we don’t break that properly, the test that is going to come to us, forget about the test of the grave, the test that is going to come, the fitnah of this world that is going to appear, the fitnah of dajjal that is going to appear, with the faith that we have, especially to our leader, is not going to carry us. It’s not going to carry us. Haven’t we seen so many Murids come and go? During Sheykh Effendi’s time, let’s not talk about our time, during Sheykh Effendi’s time. He did so much for them. Yet they come and they go as if nothing happened.
We have to train ourselves to remember. The sohbet is supposed to make you to remember. Yes, and sohbet, it is higher than zikr, because the sohbet is the zikr. When you’re just saying ‘Allah, Allah, Allah,’ like that, your heart may be somewhere else. But in the sohbet, it is more difficult for your heart to be somewhere else. It is more difficult. Either you’re going to fall, that’s why people that they are busy, with their hearts, with too many things, what do they do? What do they do? They fall asleep! That’s all. Because you’re not making the connection. If you’re making the connection to the sohbet you’re going to become, I’m not talking about, okay, we open heavy sohbet and it’s so much heaviness coming, no, no, no, please. Okay? Leave that aside. But the sohbet it is like you are giving me something and we’re looking at this thing and then we say, let’s look at it like this, let’s look at it like this, correct? And then I open it a little bit, look at it, look what is coming out, look what can happen. Oh, if you are interested, you’re interested. Then you see, ‘oh, SubhanAllah, it’s like this, it’s opening, I never see that part.’ You are interested, I’m opening something. If you are interested. If you’re not interested, that means your heart is not in that unraveling. It’s in something else. Okay, I understand people are working. Train yourself, breh. Because the bottom line is if it is something that interests your ego, everyone will be awake.
So we just have to try to make that change. It will come in time. I know some people they are like that but they are sincere, but it will come in time, you just cannot give in, that’s all. Once you give in, after a while it’s going to cloud your heart, after a while you say ‘why I have to listen?’ after a while you are just going to say ‘there is nothing here for me.’ We say we are saying Allah. There is nothing there? ‘No.’ Okay. As you like. We are not forcing anyone. Wa min Allahu Taufiq, al Fatiha. Amin. Selam Aleykum.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
23 Rajab 1438
April 20, 2017