Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alamin. Wasalatu wa salamu ala rasulina Muhammadin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmain nahmadulllahu ta’ala wa nastaghfiruhu wa nashadu an-lailaha ilallahu wahdahu la sharika lah wa nashadu anna sayyidina Muhammadin abduhu wa habibuhu wa rasuluhu salallahu alayhi wa ala alihi wa azwajihi wa ashabihi wa atbaihi.
Khulafail Rashidin mahdin min ba’di wuzerail immeti alal tahkik. Khususan minhum alal amidi khulafai rasulillahi ala tahqeeq. Umara il mu’mineen. Hazreti abu bakr wa umar wa uthman wa ali. Wa ala baqiyati wa sahabai wa tabieen, ridwanallahu ta’ala alayhimayyuhal mu’minun al hadirun, ittaqullaha ta’ala wa ati’uh. Inna allaha ma allathina-ttaqaw wal-lathina hum muhsinun. Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alameen. Wa Salatu wa Salamu ala Ashrafil Ambiya’i wa Imam al-Mursaleen, Sayyidina wa Mawlana Muhammadin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmain. Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alameen. Wa Salatu wa Salamu ala Ashrafil Ambiya’i wa Imam al-Mursaleen Sayyidina wa Mawlana Muhammadin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmain.
All praises are due to Allah, Lord of the Universes. Ya Allah, we ask You for Your pleasure and the pleasure of Your Habib, and constant well-being and a death on your Book, the Sunnah, and the Jamaat and that my Shahadat is achieved without any change. Forgive me for what I have committed by your favor, bounty and generosity, O Most Merciful of the Merciful! Amin. (Delail)
And may all peace and blessings be upon the Master of Creation, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS). Ya Rabbi, we ask that You bless our master Muhammad, Your Prophet in quantity as great as what You created from before the sky was set up, the earth laid out, the mountains anchored, the seas made to flow, the fountains to gush forth, the rivers poured forth, the sun made visible, the moon given light, the stars given light– when You were where You were and no one knows where You were except You alone with no partner to You. (Delail)
And may all peace and blessings be upon his noble family and blessed companions, especially upon the Four Khulafa-e-Rashideen, Hz. Abu Bakr el-Siddiq, Hz. Umar el-Faruq, Hz. Osman el-Ghani, and Hz. Ali el-Murtaza. And may peace and blessings be upon the Ottoman Sultans, and upon our Grandsheykhs of the Golden Chain. Amin.
Ya Ayyuhal Mu’minoon! O Believers! Welcome to you on this Holy Day of Jummah, the Second Jummah of the Holy Month of Shaban, Shahrun Nabi. O Believers! Run in the Way of Allah in this Month. In this Month is one of the holiest nights of the whole year. And insha’Allah ar-Rahman, we are about to reach to that night, the Night of Nisfu Shaban, Laylatul Beraat. A Night that Allah (SWT) has chosen to give Bani Adam a chance to fix what they have done in the whole year.
Hz. Abu Hurayra (RA) has reported, saying that the Holy Prophet (AS) said: Jibril (AS) came to me on the night of mid-Shaban and said to me, ‘Ya Muhammad (AS), raise your head to the paradises!’ I asked him ‘What night is this?’ He replied, ‘This is the night when Allah (SWT) opens three hundred of the gates of mercy, forgiving all who do not make shirk. The only exceptions are those who practice sorcery or divination, are addicted to wine, or persist in usury and illicit sex; these He does not forgive until they repent.’ At a quarter of the night, Jibril (AS) came down and said: ‘Ya Muhammad, raise your head!’ So I looked up to behold the gates of Paradise wide open. At the first gate an angel was calling: ‘Good news for those who make ruku’ this night!’ At the second gate an angel was calling: ‘Good news for those who make sejdah this night!’ At the third gate an angel was calling: ‘Good news for those who make dua this night!’ At the fourth gate an angel was calling: ‘Good news for those who make Zikr this night!’ At the fifth gate an angel was calling: ‘Good news for those who cry this night from fear of Allah!’ At the sixth gate an angel was calling: ‘Good news for those who submit this night!’ At the seventh gate an angel was calling: ‘Will anyone ask, that his request may be granted?’ At the eighth gate an angel was calling: ‘Will anyone seek forgiveness, that he may be forgiven?’
I said: ‘Ya Jibril, how long will these gates remain open?’ He replied: ‘From the beginning of the night until the break of dawn.’ Then he said: ‘Ya Muhammad (AS), tonight Allah has as many slaves freed from the Fire as the number of woolly hairs on the flocks and herds of Kalb.’ (Ghunya). And Hz. Ali (KW) is relating, saying, ‘When it is the 15th night of Shaban, stand in prayer in the night, and fast in the morning, and ask for forgiveness. Because on that night Allah calls, ‘Is there anyone who is asking for forgiveness so that I can forgive them, who is in distress that I may relieve his distress, is there anyone who needs provision that I may give it to him?’ And this continues till the morning.’ (Ibn Majah).
O Believers! Our Lord, Allah (SWT), is the Most Merciful. He is giving Himself the Name Arhamur-Rahimeen, The Most Merciful of those who show Mercy. Which one of us is not in need of Mercy? Which one of us is not in need of forgiveness? Which one of us is not in distress? Our Lord, Allah (SWT), has chosen the Night of Beraat to give us an opportunity to call out to Him and to relieve our pain, the pain that we have caused upon our own selves. He is saying in the Holy Quran, saying ‘BismillahirRahmanirRahim. Say, O My servants who have done zulm against themselves, do not despair from the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Verily, He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’ Sadaqallahul Adzim. (39:53). We must be in awe at the Mercy of Allah (SWT) toward us. We know who we are. We know what we have done. We know how much we are in need. And we know that we continue in our own arrogance. Yet Allah (SWT) loves to forgive. The Holy Prophet (AS) is saying, ‘Allah spreads out His Hand at night to accept the Tawba of those who sin during the day, and He spreads out His Hand during the day to accept the Tawba of those who sinned at night. And this will continue until the sun rises from the west.’ (Sahih Muslim).
Allah is not only forgiving us. He is keeping our honor. He is keeping our honor because He is hiding our faults and our sins from other people. In the earlier nations, when a man would sin, that sin would be written upon his face for everyone to see. And Allah (SWT) has shown his Name of Sattar, the One who covers, for this Ummat, the Ummat of His Beloved one. Holy Prophet (AS) is saying: ‘On the Day of Judgment, the believer will be brought close to his Lord until He will cover him with His screen, then He will make him confess his sins. He will ask him, ‘Do you admit, do you confess?’ That one will say, ‘Ya Rabbi, I confess.’ This will continue as long as Allah wills, then He will say, ‘I concealed your sins for you in the world, and I forgive you for them today.’ Then he will be given the scroll of his good deeds, or his record, in his right hand. But for the disbeliever or the hypocrite, his sins will be announced before the witnesses.’ If we live as believers, Allah will hide our sins and He will hide our mistakes. And He will forgive us on the Day of Judgment. May we live and may we die as believers.
But there is a group that Allah (SWT) says that He will not forgive. And that is the group that throws away the covering that Allah has provided them and they announce their mistakes openly. Those who reject Allah as al-Sattar and they show their evil to the world, encouraging that evil to spread. Holy Prophet (AS) is saying, ‘All of my Ummat, all of them, will be forgiven, except for those who open their own sins.’ And verily it is a kind of exposing sins that a man does wrong at night, and then in the morning, after Allah has covered his sin for him, he says, ‘Hey, So-and-So! I did such-and-such last night.’ And the night passes with his Lord covering him, and he wakes up casting aside the cover of Allah from himself. (Bukhari). Meaning that although he understands that Allah (SWT) has covered his sins, in the morning he opens it up to the whole world, making fun of the Sattar that Allah has placed on him and not caring for what he has done. Who are this people?
We are living in an age when all of humanity, they are exposing their sins to the whole world. Posting on Facebook. Posting on social media. This disease has infected not just the non-Muslims, but the Muslims too. Because social media has taken away the self-honor of the people. Nobody understands what privacy is. Nobody has any sense of privacy, nobody has any sense of shame. And Holy Prophet (AS) said, ‘If you have no hayaa’, if you have no shame, then do whatever you want.’ We are living in that age. And the disease starts with people posting the good things they do. Sharing everything for the whole world to see. And they are looking saying, ‘I got so many comments, I have so many likes.’ And then when they commit wrong things, they also post them. And everybody is just clicking, saying like, like. They like it. Oh, you took off your hijab? Like. You shaved your beard? Like. You start going to wrong places, bars and clubs? Like. You don’t believe in Holy Prophet (AS) anymore? Like. You start to say wrong things and insult the Friends of Allah? Like. Exposing the sins that Allah has hidden for them, removing the cover that Allah has provided. And this disease has overtaken the whole world.
And the Scholars of Islam, for 1400 years, they have very strictly forbidden talking about sins openly. Because talking about sins openly, it makes the wrong behavior to be normal. And when wrong behavior it becomes normal, the morals of the entire society, it changes. Isn’t that what we see today? In Muslim communities, drinking has been normalized. Dating has been normalized. Questioning the Quran and Hadith has been normalized. Speaking badly of the Scholars, of the Saints, even of the Prophets, it is normal. And when this happened, the entire structure, the structure that Allah (SWT) has built and kept for us to protect our faith, it breaks down. And honor is lost.
We must have honor. The believer lives with honor. And Allah preserves the honor of those who live for His Sake. He is saying in the Holy Quran, ‘BismillahirRahmanirRahim. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that one who has Taqwa.’ Sadaqallahul Adzim. (49:13). Our Sheykh, Sahib el-Sayf Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi el-Rabbani is giving us warning about this time, saying, ‘Allah (SWT) ordered to us saying, ‘Be servants.’ That’s the highest degree, highest station, the biggest honor. Looking for honor? That is honor, to be a servant to Allah.’ Then He is saying to us, to the Nation of Muhammad (AS), ‘We have created you a nation, a witness nation, you are going to be a witnessing nation on the Judgment Day and you are the nation that speaks the truth and forbids the wrong things.’ This is also what Allah has given to us.
But the situation that mankind, the Muslims have fallen into today, it’s nowhere near that because the Holy Prophet (AS) is saying, ‘Ahir Zaman is the worst time, the end of the times near the Judgment Day. My nation is going to lose their head. They are going to become headless. They are not going to order and do the Truth, the Hakk, Amri bil Maruf, they are going to stop it. And Nahi an al Munkar, they are going to stop, also, stopping the wrong things, wrong activities, wrong thinking, wrong ways and wrong actions.’ This is the time. But the Holy Prophet (AS) is saying, ‘When you will stop showing proper respect to your Holy ones, when adults stop showing proper care and love for their children and when my nation will stop Amri bil Maruf wa Nahi an al Munkar, when they stop that, those people, they are not from us.’ Holy Prophet (AS) is saying, ‘They are not from my nation.’
This is a warning. This is for you and for me. Our entire honor is just because we are coming from the nation of the Prophet (AS). We cannot lose that honor. This Night of Beraat, it is to fix the intention. It is to reconnect to that mission that Allah (SWT) has given us. To be from the Ummat-i-Muhammad. To share in the Work of the Prophet (AS). In the Night that is coming, leave everything. Leave the ego. We must sit down without our desire, without our sheytan, we must sit and we must calculate and ask ourselves, ‘what did I do? What direction am I heading? Where is this direction going to take me?’ As Sheykh Effendi is saying, ‘But you must be careful. Shaban has the night of Beraat, night of Calculation. That everything that you did from last year up till this year, it’s going to come for calculation and it’s going to be brought to the presence of the Lord Allah (SWT).’ ‘My destiny. I cannot change my destiny.’ Of course you can. You can change it this way. What the pen is writing, it’s not changing. What the pen is writing it is not changing, but the pen writes the way that you move, the way that you speak, the way that you do your actions. Pen is writing everything.
24 hours it’s writing. Right side, left side angels putting everything in accounting. And they are looking from last Shaban to this Shaban, night of Beraat last Shaban, 15th of Shaban and this Shaban, how this servant of Allah he was moving? He was trying to move towards to Allah or he’s trying to move for dunya? How much he was trying for the way of Allah? How much he was trying to the way of Dunya? Everything comes for calculation. And it’s coming to the presence of Allah (SWT). And Allah (SWT) is saying, ‘Don’t come to My Presence with shirk, and don’t come to My Presence with the rights of other people.’ O Believers, we must fix things between each other. We must stop fighting. These are Holy Months, and even in the time of Jahiliyya all fighting is forbidden. It is showing this nation has gone back to the Jahiliyya and worse. This is the second Jahiliyya, you see more zulm and more bloodshed and more oppression in these Holy Months than outside of these Months. We must make peace between each other. Holy Prophet (AS) is saying, ‘The Muslim is not allowed to abandon a Muslim brother more than three nights. If three days pass and he meets him, he should greet him. If he (the other believer) returns his greeting, then they share the reward; but if he does not return it, he alone will incur the sin.’ (Ahmad).
And in another Hadith Sherif it is saying: The doors of Paradise are opened every Monday and Thursday, and Allah forgives in these days every individual servant who is not a mushrik, except those whose are fighting with each other. Allah Says, ‘Delay those until they reestablish normal relationship with each other.’
O Believers! The Believers are brothers to each other. The Jemaat is brothers to each other. Those who are not from the Jemaat and those who are running to destroy the Jemaat that are not in reality brothers to each other. But those who are trying to continue the mission that our Lord, our Prophet and our Sheykh has us, we should keep the bonds of the Jemaat strong. Before the Beraat, fix things with each other. And in that Night we must ask ourselves, ‘have I kept my promise as a Murid to my Sheykh?’ Not to just say, ‘yes, I go to Zikr, I go to Sohbet and I go to Jummah. I did a good job,’ no. But to examine, we must judge ourselves and say, ‘did I live as a servant? Did I run in his way like the Sahabis ran for the Holy Prophet (AS)?’ The breath of life is given to us now. The chance is given to us now. If we waste this chance, we will cry in the Judgment Day a lot. And the fire of regret will burn us.
Our Sheykh is saying, ‘We are the last nation on the face of the earth.’ No more nation is coming after this. We reached completely in the end. We are the Ahir. Ahir of the Ahir Zaman. We are the last of the last of the nations. The Holy Prophet (AS) came in Ahir Zaman, in the end of the times. The Holy Prophet (AS) is saying, `Between me and the Judgment Day is time like between Asr and Maghrib prayer. The sun is going down.’ From the time that the Holy Prophet (AS) came, in Asr time, fourteen hundred years passed. We just reached to the end of the time. The sun is going to set. The day is going to finish. We are the last nation on the face of the earth. If you want to wake up then it’s more easy to wake up now, to open that blindness in the heart because millions today are not busy with that. Millions are busy with Dunya. And the Evliyaullah are looking for people that are making one sincere move, to open that veil for them. But they are not seeing that sincerity. They are not opening.
So they are in safety. We are not. They are not in need of us. We are in need of them. If you wake up to yourself, if you sit down and if you understand the seriousness then you shake yourself up, you’ll be coming back to yourself and you start shaking when you come to the prayers saying, ‘Ya Rabbi, I was in Ghaflat. Wake me up Ya Rabbi. Wake me up. Wake me up, Ya Rabbi.’ That’s why right after the prayers we are saying, ‘Astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah. Ya Rabbi, we are asking forgiveness from You that we have committed so many wrong things during the prayer time because we are heedless ones.’ Keep yourself busy with that. Put some sincerity into your life. Put some sincerity to yourselves. You will understand then. You can take these words any way you want, anywhere you want. It doesn’t change. That’s the reality. For you and for me. To everyone that is going to come and everyone who passed. The ones who are in the grave now, they are crying and begging for one breath of life to be given to them. But it’s too late. It will not be given to them. Their time is up. Make sure we will not be those ones that we cry for that breath of life. We are in an awakening station through these eyes now. The eyes are open, the heart is at sleep. Those whose hearts are open, their eyes are closed and the heart is always awake. As when the angels came to the Holy Prophet (AS), one was saying, ‘He is sleeping’, and the other one was saying, ‘No, he is resting. His heart is open, receiving.’ We are from that nation, we are from that Prophet (AS). If we wake up now, it will be good for us. If we don’t wake up, they will wake us up.
Ya Rabbi, we are asking You to bring us to awakening stations. We are asking You for Your Forgiveness. We are asking You for Your Mercy. For the sake of our Beloved One, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS). For the sake of our Sheykh, Sahib el-Sayf. Amin.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
9 Shaban 1438
May 5, 2017