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 has created the sun, the moon, and the stars, and set them into their own orbits. All praises are due to Allah Who created Adam (AS), and then honored the Children of Adam. All praises are due to Allah Who sent His Most Beloved One, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS), as the Mercy to the Universes.
And may all peace and blessings be upon the Master of the Humans and Jinn, The Prophet of the Two Sanctuaries, The Imam of the Two Qiblas, Our Wasila in the Two Realms, The Sahib of Qaba Qawsayn, The Beloved of the Lord of the Two Easts and the Two Wests, The grandfather of al-Hasan and al-Husayn, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS), and 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 all those who follow them until the Last Day.
Ayyuhal Mu’minoon! O Believers! Welcome to you on this Holy Day of Jummah, the Second Jummah of the Holy Month of Ramazan. O Believers! Almost half of the Ramazan has finished. The days that we have been waiting and preparing for since Rajab and Shaban, they are passing away from us in front of our eyes. In this situation, we have to stop ourselves from falling into ghaflat, from falling into heedlessness, and make sure that we are awake and aware to take the blessings in these holy days.
We have reached to the second third of the Month of Ramazan, which are the days of forgiveness. The first ten days of Ramazan, which have passed, they were the days to seek the Rahmet of Allah (SWT). And now these days are the days to make Istighfar, to ask Allah (SWT) to forgive us. But what does it mean to ask Allah forgive us? What does forgiveness mean? What does it mean to turn to Allah (SWT) and make a sincere Tawba?
For a man to be forgiven, he must be sincere with that asking. The Ulema are saying that the conditions of Tawba are to leave the mistake, to feel regret over the mistake, and to make intention to never return to that mistake. Hz. Abdullah ibn Masud (RA) is relating that the Holy Prophet (AS) said, ‘Regret is part of repentance.’ Regret is one of the gifts that Allah (SWT) has granted inside the nature of His Servants. Because regret is what makes a man to wake up, and it puts a fire inside of him to know that what he did was wrong, and that he must change. As long as that regret is waking up inside of us after we have done a wrong thing, we will return to Allah (SWT).
As our Sheykh, Sahib el-Sayf Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi el-Rabbani (KS) is saying: The Holy Prophet (AS) is saying to us, “Faith and sin cannot stay in the same heart. When you are committing the wrongdoings, the wrong actions that are forbidden, faith comes out from your heart.” While you are committing that wrong thing, faith comes out from the heart and the faith circles around on top of your head. And you go and you do that wrong thing, meaning, things that are against to Islam, the faith is not in the heart. The faith is already out. Sheytan is overtaking the heart with the ego. You go and you do that. When you come to the realization that you did wrong and regret comes to your heart thinking, “I wish I didn’t do it”, then faith comes back into the heart. Otherwise, faith is out, out of the heart. Holy Prophet (AS) is saying, “If you die during that time, if the angel of death reaches to you, you will die as if you are in the Jahiliyya time.” You will die as a person who has no faith in the heart. Everything you did up till that time will come to zero. You will lose everything.
So that regret, it is a sign of a man’s faith. And as long as that regret is burning us up, then we may wake up and return to the Siratul Mustaqim, Straight Road. But we know by ourselves that it is possible to kill that regret. If a man insists on doing a wrong thing over and over again, and if he stops listening to that regret, if he stops feeling that regret and if he stops listening to that regret, he is going to kill it little by little. If he tells himself, ‘this is not a big deal,’ he is going to kill that faith. If he tells himself, ‘well, Allah is so forgiving He is just going to pardon me, the man is killing that faith inside his heart.’
Seyh Efendi is saying: When you are regretting from the wrong thing that you did, faith comes back into the heart. But the problem today is, people do things and they don’t even regret saying, “I am sorry”, at least to themselves and to their Lord. They say, “So what?” So what? It is a big what. It is a big problem. That time it shows that that faith is gone. There is no faith there. It’s only make belief. There is no faith there. So with that kind of faith man cannot find safety. It’s not possible. When a man reaches to that low level, then he comes to the point that Holy Prophet (AS) described in his Hadith Sherif saying, ‘If you have no shame, then do whatever you want.’ And that shame and regret is erased from the heart when a person tells himself, it’s okay. Whatever I did, it is okay. And we are living in a time that this has become normal. Every wrong action, every wrong thinking, it is acceptable, it is a sign of inclusivity. It is a sign of tolerance. It is a sign of compassion. It is a sign of faith. Muslims are no longer running to enjoin what is good and to forbid what is evil. They are stopping themselves to enjoin what is good, but they are rushing to tell everyone that it is okay to commit evil, it is okay to be complicit with it, it is okay to agree with it. As our Sheykh said, every wrong thing that all of the previous nations were doing, we are doing in this generation. But nobody says this is wrong anymore. Instead they say, we are all good. Everything is acceptable. They say, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful, and He is just going to look at my heart; therefore, I can do whatever I want. This is one of the biggest tricks of sheytan, to make man lose his faith.
We should not look at what our philosophy, we should not look at what our society is saying on this issue. Look to what our Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, look to what the friends of Allah is saying. Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi (KS), the one whom so many are falsely using his words to promote a wrong understanding of Tasawwuf, he is warning against this trap. He is saying: Beware! Don’t allow yourself to do what you know is wrong, relying on the thought, “Later I will repent and ask Allah’s forgiveness.” True repentance flashes inside and rains tears. Such lightning and clouds are needed. Without the lightning of the heart and the rain storms of the eyes, how shall the fire of Divine wrath be calmed? How shall the greenery grow and fountains of clear water pour forth? (Mathnavi).
So that is the reality of that regret which Allah (SWT) has placed into each and every one of our heart. We should strengthen that feeling, we should not deaden it. We should become more sensitive and soft to it. We should not be harsh and harden our hearts against it. We must strengthen that faith, so that we can avoid chasing after what is wrong. The other condition of Tawba, it is to resolve never to return to the mistake again. In order for a man to do that, he must remove himself from the situation and the condition that led him to the sin. Just as when a sick man presents himself to the doctor with an illness, the doctor may say, now everything in your life is infected. From your house, to your clothes, to your food, everything it needs to be changed. Everything is causing you to be more sick. You have to come out of that situation completely in order to become better. In order to come out of the mistakes that we are making, we have to take ourselves out from that situation that we are in that is leading us to the wrong path.
So to protect ourselves from being weak and ready to make mistakes, because we are all weak and we are ready to make mistakes, none of us should be proud to say that ‘I will never commit that mistake. There is a hadith e-Sharif of the Prophet (asws) mentioning that too. But we say, may Allah protect us from that mistake. But to protect ourselves from being weak and ready to make mistake, we have to become strong by being in the company of those who have a strong faith. Because by being in the company of those with real faith, we will see real faith awaken in our own hearts. Holy Prophet (AS) is saying: A person is upon the religion of his close friend, so be careful about who you take as a friend. (Tirmidhi).
Someone once asked him (AS), Which of our friends are best? He replied: One whose appearance reminds you of Allah, and whose speech increases you in knowledge, and whose actions remind you of the hereafter.
Is this Hadith e-Shariff describing anyone other than the Inheritors of Rasulallah (AS), the Evliyaullah? They are the ones who reflect the Light of the Holy Prophet (AS). They are the ones who are constantly speaking about Allah and His Prophet (AS), and are running to serve them. They are those ones who are constantly reminding you saying, ‘prepare for death, prepare for Ahiret.’ They are the best companions for us in this life and in the next. Then you will be able to reach to them because then you are not looking to gain something anymore. As our Sheykh is saying and he’s continuing, ‘when you are reaching to them that time, you are looking to give. Very few people now in the world are looking to give. Mankind is only looking to take, take and take. When you start learning how to give too, then different peace and different love starts coming to your heart because our Lord is continuously giving.’
O Believers! We have to run to find that friendship, to build that friendship, and maintain that friendship. Because that type of friendship, that type of companionship, it is described by Allah (SWT) in the Holy Quran. And He loves those who maintain those ties. He is saying in Surah al-Mai’da: BismillahirRahmanirRahim. Your (real) friends are (Allah, His Messenger, and the (fellowship of) believers,- those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship). As to those who turn (for friendship) to Allah, His Messenger, and the (fellowship of) believers,- it is the fellowship of Allah that must certainly be victorious. (5:55-56).
Insya’Allah ar-Rahman In this Month of Ramazan, let us run to that true friendship. Let us run to a friendship that is going to make us victorious in this life and the next. Let us run to the Friendship of those who love Allah, and Allah loves them, so that we may be with them in this life and next life. Amin.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
14 Ramazan 1438
June 9, 2017