Question: Every now and then we often find ourselves doing wrong things because we don’t really consider our ego our enemy, we don’t recognize it and we keep it very dear to our heart. Why is this so?
When you are not awake and aware to yourself, it’s not that you are saying to your ego, knowing what your ego is and you are saying to your ego, ‘you are my friend.’ We are asking support from our Sheykh Insya’Allah, to say couple of words. Look, let’s be honest, before I came to Dergah, to Tarikat, to Sheykh Effendi, before you came, did we know how evil or how bad the ego is? We didn’t know. Or if we did, that’s a theory.
The ego is the biggest enemy. It is the enemy that is inside. Sheytan is the enemy outside, sheytan doesn’t have permission to enter, the ego is the enemy inside. Majority of Muslims, they are not believing in Tasawwuf. Those how believe in Tasawwuf take it only for a ride, to see visions, to talk to Saints, to make Heavenly connections, that kind of thing, but they are not looking at how to make the nafs from the nafsu amara to nafsu mutma’in. Majority they don’t know, although this is something that is established for fourteen hundred years. What is it? It is to clean ourselves. Why do we need to clean ourselves? If we don’t clean now, we are going to get clean up, Sheykh Effendi says, with Brillo in the grave. If that is not enough, on Judgement Day. If that is not enough, in the fire, to clean. But we have to be clean because our end is Jannat. We cannot enter into Jannat dirty. So we have to clean.
What is it that we have to clean? What is it that the Holy Prophet (asws) said, ‘there is a piece of meat inside of you, that if it is good the rest of your body is good, if it is bad the rest of your body is bad.’ He is putting his hand like this (fist) saying, ‘it is the heart.’ So we have to clean the heart, not physically, we have to clean the heart. What are the ways to clean the heart? To polish the heart? Zikr. But zikr is not just pulling a tasbih. Zikr is not just saying, ‘Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah….’ with your tongue, or zikr is not just, some saying, you stare into the calligraphy, the writing of Allah, you stare so much until you see something and you put it in your heart and that is zikr. Maybe that is their way, but in the way of the Naksibendi order, in the way of Hazreti Abu Bakr as-Siddique, now to remember Allah, to really remember Allah, to know Allah, we have to know what is not Allah that is in our heart, and to throw away everything that is not Allah that is in our heart. The number one thing that we have to understand that is not Allah that is in our heart, that we are very close to, it is the nafs. It is the nafsu Amara, the disobedient nafs. The nafs that say, ‘I exist, it is me, I am the most important thing. I don’t take any orders from no one. It is just me and my Lord,’ which the nafs is saying in reality, ‘You are You and I am Me. Allah is Allah and I am Me.’ Claiming existence.
So there is a way now to clean that. Why is that necessary to clean? Otherwise you saying La ilaha ilallah does not have any truth in it, if you are not understanding what is the ilah that you are saying La to, for Allah to be there. We did not even come to saying, we witness Allah yet. So when you do wrong things, there are so many reasons for doing wrong things, sometimes you are doing wrong things because you are in ghaflat. So many times you are in ghaflat. You know that you are in heedless station. You know. We know what is the ego. We know what is sheytan. We know what is a dunya. We know what is hawa. But if you are heedless to the tricks and traps of your ego, although you know, you are going to fall into the same trap.
At the Dergah, and we are following a guide, is to make you to be aware what this tricks and traps are. You may not be aware. You said, ‘really? It is me?’ yes it is you. That’s why this way is not open for everyone too. You said, ‘no, I’m not that bad. I don’t kill anyone, I don’t cheat. I’m good.’ You understand? ‘why are they concentrating as if I’m the most evil one in the world?’ Because that is the nature of the ego. If you are not understanding your ego is the worst creature, worse than sheytan, then how you are going to be able to put Allah in your heart, how are you going to be able to polish your heart?
So you keep on doing the wrong things, you are saying? Heedlessness makes a man who has so much knowledge to fall from the high station to the low station. And what Sheykh Effendi, Sheykh Abdul Kerim Hazretleri is teaching us, stressing, it is to understand how we become heedless, how we are in ghaflat. That’s the thing you have to sit down and you have to think, you have to observe yourself, you have to know. ‘why do I always fall into the same trap? Because I’m heedless. Because I want it.’ Okay, what else? ‘because I’m weak.’ Good, what else? Find out reasons, then slowly one by one ask for very specific help for that. You are not just saying give me the best of dunya, give me the best of Ahiret. Now you are knowing, ‘I’m weak in that Ya Rabbi. I cannot help myself ya Rabbi. Please help me.’ And you are asking for forgiveness and Allah is saying, ask Me for forgiveness. I will forgive you. Now not only that, you are asking for forgiveness, you are running to do something. You do something wrong, run. You have to fix it. Run to do something right. Surround yourself with a community that will not push you to do those things that pushes you to do something else. Now you are going to understand, my ego is so stubborn. Although I am in this kind of situation, it still wants that. Now you understand the problem. If you understand the problem, then you can fix it. If you don’t understand the problem, you cannot fix it. Never. You understand? That time, with prayer, that time with dua, that time running to fix, that time with service, you are declaring what? You are not declaring that you are a Saint, you are not declaring that you are a Saleh, you are not declaring that you are a strong one, you are not declaring that you are holy, you are declaring your weakness.
You are declaring your weakness. And Allah loves His servant to declare his weakness. Then when you see strength coming to you, don’t resist. Strength from other people, strength form sohbet, strength from friends, strength from prayers, that time don’t resist. Otherwise, you are going to enter into another problem. Insya’Allah, may Allah keep us in safety in this very confusing time. Hold on to your Sheykh strongly Insya’Allah. We’ll find the way. WaminaAllahu Taufik. Al-fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
26 Shawwal 1438
July 20, 2017