Question: In your khutba you said to have manners and to know yourself, can you explain what that means.
Your nafs is part of yourself. If I say, for example, this is your house and it is filled with very valuable precious things, and you know the enemy is from outside, they want them, and your responsibility is not to give it to them. So you are busy now knowing the enemy is from outside, who they are, where they are going to come, how am I going to engage, how am I going to defend, correct? You know them, but you don’t know who is in your house that is an enemy from within. You understand?
You are commanded to know your house, but you don’t know your house, you don’t know who is here, you don’t know if the back door is open, you don’t know if the people that are around you they are going to be loyal to you or they are going to be traitors. Your nafs is like that enemy that is within us. Sheytan is out there. Sheytan cannot enter into you unless your nafs open the door. If you don’t understand this, you are going to keep on fighting sheytan outside, but the enemy is already inside and it’s opening the back door and they are already entering and you don’t understand. Because you don’t understand yourself.
The nafs, it is that part of you, that part of us that will always be in disobedient to Allah SWT. And if you are not able to control that, to understand that, that it may seem as if you are doing everything correctly but it is already guided by our nafs. And our nafs, it is guided by sheytan. Man may pray twenty-four hours, but if he doesn’t understand that when he is praying like that without sincerity, when he is praying like that to show off to other people, when he is praying like that in ghaflat, when he’s not understanding himself when he’s doing that, his prayers they don’t mean anything and it’s actually very dangerous. Because he doesn’t understand the enemy that is inside when he’s praying. And that enemy is going to say, ‘no, no, no. You are okay. You are good.’ You prayed a lot. You did all these things. Good.’ And your enemy is going to say that, your nafs is going to praise itself to say that. So if you don’t question, you don’t look and say ‘wait a minute, let me see, let me look at my action. What is it motivated by? What are the intentions?’ if you don’t separate that, then it’s going to be corrupted. And while doing good, you are in reality doing something that is already corrupted. You understand?
To know yourself, to know anything, what do you have to do? You have to examine, you have to look, you have to question. Correct? Now, sit down, examine and question yourself. Like what the khutba is saying, look into your heart, don’t look at the books. Look into your heart. This is what the Sheykhs are saying in our way, Tafakkur, Islamic meditation, to review, let’s say, to take accounting, let’s say, of yourself. It is very important. To have Tafakkur for one hour, Holy Prophet (as) is saying, is better than seventy years of worship. Just for one hour. Sheykh Effendi is saying, take five minutes to do it. which I dare any one of you that you are doing five minutes of Tafakkur every single day. Because if you try, you are seeing it, it is not that easy too. This is suddenly, everything’s like whoosh. Correct?
Now, think. Think. When you are doing something, think. And that time you are not letting the ego to be controlling you. You think and you do it according to the blueprint. What is the blueprint? What our Sheykh has put from the Holy Prophet (asws). We are here to learn manners, but not the manners that are of Pakistanis, not manners of Chinese people, not manners of Afghanis, we are here to follow the manners of the Prophet (asws). The most beautiful manners. And we learn the manners of the Prophet (asws) only through our Sheykh. His inheritor. You understand? Then that time you have that blueprint, then you are going to compare it against you. And the Sunnah is not just wearing, walking, sitting, eating, it’s more than that. I’m not looking down on sitting, wearing, eating too, because it comes, if you change your action, the action comes with a different understanding, different feeling too, and different effect. There’s a different feeling when you are sitting down and you are drinking water, BismillahirRahmanirRahim, in a sunnah way. I am talking just physically, I am not talking spiritually what blessings can come down. To say BismillahirRahmanirRahim, to drink, slowly, to drink three, not one gulp like that. There’s a different feeling that you get from going against to the sunnah and to be standing up, and to be drinking like this. And every sunnah that we are doing, it comes with a different feeling.
Here, you observe. If you don’t observe, and you don’t learn, you can be here one hundred years and you will not gain anything. If you are stubborn and you say ‘ I am not going to do that,’ then why are you here? There is a way of sitting. There is a way of listening. There is a way of eating. There is a way of dealing with each other. There is a way of thinking. And all that way is according to the Holy Prophet (asws), made easy for us by our Sheykh, from his Sheykh, from the Sheykh before that, from the Sheykh before that, reaching, forty Grandsheykhs from the Naksibendi order. Do you understand? So no need to read books. Read yourself, and read others. Don’t complain. Don’t give in to that. You want to complain, complain about yourself, don’t complain about others. These days, men are complaining more than women. Sitting around, saying, ‘did you hear what that one did? did you see what that one did? yeah, this is terrible.’ Sitting around and talking. In the Dergahs? What is your business? It’s like sick people, in a hospital, and one sick person and another sick person saying ‘you see how sick that one is? He’s terrible, he’s so sick.’ Breh, you are sick! Why are you busy with others? Be busy with taking that medicine, be busy with making yourself to become well. And thank Allah that you are not as sick as the other one. And say ‘ya Rabbi, I am sick, please help me.’
You see something, don’t complain. You don’t understand, it’s no good, turn your face. Because if given an inch to this kind of complaining, it’s never ending. You will see wrong in everything, with everyone. Ego loves that. Ego always says ‘I am the only one who is right, everyone is wrong.’ And pretty soon, he’s going to start questioning to the one in authority too. He’s going to start questioning the Sheykh, or the guide. Saying that, ‘why is he allowing all these things to happen, he’s wrong too!’ just like a sick person saying to the doctor, ‘why is he giving that one morphine?’ you know morphine? ‘morphine is wrong, why you giving him…’ start questioning. But not understanding. Maybe that one is in such severe pain, that at that time that’s all that he needs.
Once you start questioning the guide, it is never ending, it’s never finishing. Once the doubt enters. And you are not taking it out, questioning and understanding, first questioning yourself and trying to find the answer, it will just grow and grow and grow and grow and grow, you can be there ten years, twenty years ,thirty years, one day it’s just going to come out and it’s going to take over everything. That’s the time you will see nothing good, nothing, absolutely nothing good about the one that you have been following. That’s the time when you will say, ‘that one, that I used to follow, that one is complete shaitan.’ You’ve seen it happening. Over and over again. May Allah protect us from that.
We have to guard ourselves from that. Yes, you may have questions, things that you don’t understand. Like I said, what makes you think that everything, even if it is explained, you will understand? Electricity, let’s not talk about electricity. Telephones. How can you send messages from here to there? From the other part of the world? Through the air? Through nothing? Huh? Everyone believes in it, correct? Everyone practices it. If someone were to explain to you how the cellphone works, do you think you will understand? Because you don’t understand, does that mean that that is wrong? No. So not every question, not everything, needs to be understood at the time that you want it to be understood. There’s so many things you don’t even have to understand so much, just do it. Because it doesn’t concern you. Are you an apple engineer? A designer? No. What is your relationship with the phone? Oh, so I can text my mother. Be busy with that. Why you have to understand everything? Correct or no? Otherwise, the ego and shaitan is just going to trick you. And very soon they may make you to be complete enemy to that one. I’ve seen it happening, again and again.
So, be busy with things that concern us. Insya’Allah, may Allah forgive me and bless you, al-fatihah. Amin, selam Aleykum, this much is enough insya’Allah.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
20 Shawwal 1438
July 14, 2017