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. All praises are due to Allah Who has created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. All praises are due to Allah Who created the sun, the moon, and the stars, and set them into their orbits. All praises are due to Allah Who created Adam (AS) with His Divine Hands. All praises are due to Allah Who sent Sayyidina Muhammad (AS) as the Master of the Children of Adam, as the Mercy to mankind.
And may all peace and blessings be upon the Master of the First and the Last, the Imam of the Two Qiblas, the Beloved of the Lord of the Two Easts and the Two Wests, the King of the Two Realms, the Grandfather of Hasan and Huseyin, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS).
And may 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 Grandsheykhs of the Golden Chain, and upon the Sultans of the House of Osman, and upon those who follow in their footsteps until the Last Day.
Ayyuhal Mu’minoon! O Believers! Welcome to you on this Holy Day of Jummah in the Holy Month of Shaban. This is a month that is beloved to Allah, because He (SWT) has tied this month to His Beloved, to the Holy Prophet (AS). This Month is Shahrun Nabi, the Month of the Prophet. And Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Geylani (KS) is explaining to us saying, ‘Allah chose the month of Shaban and made it the Prophet (AS)’s own month. So, just as the Prophet (AS) is the most excellent of Prophets, this month is the most excellent of months.’
O Believers! We are in these days. We must make Shukr, endless Shukr to Allah (SWT) for giving us the breath of life to run to Him in these days and nights. And Elhamdulillah, we just passed through Leylatul Bera’at, the Night of Nisfu Shaban, the Night of Accounting, the Night that Allah (SWT) is writing the destiny of His Creatures. We are asking our Lord to count us amongst those who honored the night and who were counted as servants in that night. In these days of Ahir Zaman, from the Mimbar the Imams are telling the people to run away from the blessings of Allah. They are saying, ‘don’t worship on the Night of Bera’at. Don’t do anything special. Just sleep and act normal.’ But honoring Bera’at is the tradition of the Holy Prophet (AS). And the believer, his Iman is defined by following the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (AS). To call yourself a believer, you must be walking in the way of the Sunnah. And honoring Bera’at, it is a Sunnah.
Our Mother, Hz. Aisha (RA) is narrating a Hadith, saying that on the Night of Bera’at she woke up and could not find the Holy Prophet (AS). So she reached out in the room and she said, “my hand made contact with his feet, as he was making sajdah. I remember that he was making this dua, ‘my body and my spirit are in Sajdah before you, and my heart is in Your safekeeping. I acknowledge Your favors, and to You I confess my mistakes. I have wronged myself, so forgive me; surely none forgives sins but You. I seek refuge with Your pardon from Your punishment, with Your mercy from Your vengeance, with Your approval from Your displeasure. I seek refuge with You from You. I do not tell Your praises, for You are as You have praised Yourself.’” She continued, ‘so he did not stop from worshiping, now standing and now sitting on his heels until morning came. Then his feet were put up, and as I massaged them I said ‘my father be your ransom and my mother too. Surely Allah has forgiven your former and your latter mistakes? Surely Allah has dealt with you? Is it not so?’ Is it not so? He replied (AS), ‘ya Aisha, shall I not therefore be a grateful servant? Do you know what happens during this night?’ ‘What happens?’ I asked, and he said ‘This is when all births are recorded for this year, and every death is registered. This is when Rizq is assigned to mankind, and their deeds and actions are gathered up.’ ‘O Messenger of Allah,’ said Aisha, ‘will no one enter Paradise except by Allah’s mercy?’ ‘No one will enter Paradise except by Allah’s mercy,’ he told me. ‘Not even you?’ I asked. ‘Not even I,’ he said (AS), ‘unless Allah wraps me with His mercy.’ Then he rubbed his hand over his head and his face.” (Ghunya)
O Believers! Our Holy Prophet (AS) is Masum. He is free from any mistake and any sin. He is the Beloved of Allah. Yet he is teaching us the importance of the Bera’at night. He is teaching us how we have to pray in that night. He is showing us that this is the Night to find the Mercy of Allah (SWT). We are begging Allah (SWT) for His Mercy. The Bera’at night teaches a man his helplessness before Allah (SWT). Our breath of life is in His control. The moment of our death is in His control. Our destination, whether it is Jannat or Jahannam, may it be Jannat, Insya’Allah, it is in His control. And yet out of His Mercy He says, ‘O my servants, if you ask, I will even change your destiny.’ Holy Prophet (AS) is saying, ‘Nothing can change the Divine decree except Dua.’ (Tirmidhi). Nothing can change the Divine Decree except for your supplication. So Allah (SWT) has chosen that night, the night that just passed as one of these chances to change the Destiny of man. And in that night, man must ask for his destiny to be turned back to servanthood. Because in reality, the order of the timing and the months that Allah (SWT) has set for the believers is to turn them back to servanthood. Rajab is for the believer to begin to come back to himself, to wake up from the ghaflet that he was in. Shaban is the time to maintain that awakening station and now to understand all the wrong things that we were engaged in, and to fix them. Not just to fix them, but to now get up and to keep moving. To start serving Allah (SWT), to start living like believers.
Ghaus-ul-Azam Sheykh Abdul Qadir Geylani (KS) is giving advice for this month, saying ‘instead of being in ghaflet during this month, every sincere believer must push himself in preparation for the coming month of Ramadan, using the days that remain to get clear of sins and repent of those committed in the past. One should beg to Allah (SWT) in the month of Shaban. One should appeal to Allah (SWT) through the owner of the month, Muhammad (AS), until the corruption of your heart is corrected, and the sickness of one’s inner being is cured.’ This must be done without delay and not put off until tomorrow, for the days are three: yesterday, which is a date in history; today, which is a time for action; and tomorrow, which is a hopeful expectation, for whether you will get there or not is beyond your knowledge. So yesterday is a warning, today is an opportunity, and tomorrow is a risk. In the same way, the months are three: Rajab, now past and gone beyond return; Ramadan is waiting in a future you may not live to see; and in between we have Shaban, so let us seize this opportunity for worshipful devotion.
O Believers! This is the thinking that we must get for our whole lives. This is the thinking that our Sheykh has put into our lives, that the days of this life and this world, they are only three. We made mistakes in the past, yes. We must ask forgiveness for them. And then we must get up and we must rise to action. We must rise to run in the Way of Allah. That is the characteristic of 1400 years of the believers. They never sat around. They were always active. From the Sultan, to the Vizier, to the learned people, to the normal people, to the porter, everyone was active and running in the way of Allah. One of the biggest diseases of this time is that the system is designed to make people to become inactive. The dunya makes you work for dunya very hard. But when it comes time to work for Allah, you become lazy and you become tired. The pleasure of life comes from working for Allah, because Allah (SWT) gave us this life. And the secret of gaining His Rida, His Contentment, His Happiness, His Approval, it is in spending that life in His sake.
That is why we see that even when the Sahaba-e-Kiram were in the hardest of conditions, they were still feeling the peace coming from Allah (SWT). He is saying (SWT), in the Holy Quran, in Surah al-Fath, ‘BismillahirRahmanirRahim. It is He Who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the Believers, that they may add faith to their faith; for to Allah belong the Forces of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is Full of Knowledge and Wisdom.’ Sadaqallahul Adzim (48:4).
When was this ayat revealed? When the believers were not able to enter Mecca to make pilgrimage, when they signed the treaty with the Quraysh and yet even in that hard condition, Allah (SWT) is raining His peace down on them. And that peace comes in submission, that peace comes in running to hizmet, because the hizmet, it is the proof of your submission. In the Battle of Khandaq, the Holy Prophet (AS) and his companions received news that Quraysh was coming with a huge army. They wanted to press their advantage from Uhud and to end Islam once and for all. Through the advice of Hz. Salman al-Farisi (RA), the believers began to dig a trench outside of Medina for protection and Holy Prophet (AS) was with them every day, digging that trench.
Put that scenario in front of your eyes. All the Sahabis, they were there, working. They were working very hard. They were digging that trench, helping each other, spending their energy in Allah’s Way. And with them is their Beloved One, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS). Even just imagining that, just to imagine that we feel the peace coming into our hearts. And the Holy Prophet (AS) was reciting poetry while they were digging, saying, ‘ya Allah, were it not for you, we would not have been guided, nor would we have given charity, nor prayed. So bestow on us tranquility, and when we meet the enemy, then make our feet firm, for indeed, the enemy is the one that attacked us; yet if they want to afflict us, we oppose their affliction.’ Because that peace, that pleasure of Allah (SWT) that is being described in this poem, that is described in Surah Fath, it comes when the believers, they are coming together in Jamaat under a Leader. Allah (SWT) is saying that Surah, ‘BismillahirRahmanirRahim. Certainly was Allah pleased with the believers when they gave beyat to you under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquility upon them, sakinah, and rewarded them with an imminent conquest.’ Sadaqallahul Adzim (48:18).
The peace that all of us are looking for in this life, it is only found in running in Allah’s Way. And Allah’s pleasure is with those who are running to Him under the beyat of the Holy Prophet (AS) and his inheritors. And we know this is true from being with our Sheykh, Sahib el-Sayf Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi el-Rabbani. We know the peace that comes into our heart when we are working for Allah’s Sake, and we are working with our brothers, and our Sheykh is with us. And for that peace, everything can be sacrificed.
So in this Shaban month, we must make intention to beg Allah for forgiveness. But once we stand up from the situation we have been in, then we must start running. We must start running in the Way of Allah, because that is the secret of why we have been sent to this world. We have been sent here to serve Allah, because serving Him makes us beloved to Him. He is saying in Hadith Qudsi, ‘Whosoever shows enmity, whosoever shows hatred to My Friend, to My Wali, I shall be at war with him. My servant doesn’t draw near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have commanded upon them, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with optional works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask something of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about seizing the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.’ (Bukhari).
O Believers! Run for the Service of Allah – Allah has declared that He will love us. O Believers! We should run to that honor. Our Sheykh, Sahib el-Sayf Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi el-Rabbani (KS) is saying, ‘so either you are a believer, and the believer’s aim is Akhirat, not Dunya. Or you are a Kafir, an unbeliever whose aim is Dunya. Or, you are a Munafiq that you make it look like your aim is Akhirat but your aim is Dunya. You are full of Dunya love. So you are a Munafiq. Three kinds.’
So one word of the Holy Prophet (AS) is enough, one word, to bring safety to the whole mankind. ‘Oh, Jaddud Imanukum. Renew your faith. Renew your faith.’ While you are renewing your faith, the love of Akhirat enters into your heart. The love of Allah enters in your heart. The love of the Prophet (AS) is entering in your heart. The love of Evliyaullah is entering into your heart. When those loves are in your heart, you will find comfort. Wherever you are, whatever you do, you will find comfort. In this Month of Shaban, we should run after that love and after that comfort. We are asking Allah (SWT) to forgive us and to accept our Tawba and we are asking Him to let us to be in that Jamaat, to be under that Beyat, that brings His Pleasure and Love, that brings that peace to our hearts. We are asking to be in the Association of His Friend in this life and next life. For the sake of SahibulSaif, insya’Allah. Amin.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
16 Shaban 1438
May 12, 2017