Shukur elhamdulilah. If man forgets how Allah has blessed him, he will become a tyrant to himself and to others. Nothing will please him and everything must please him. To remember the blessings of your lord it is a sign of a believer. When you’re going to remember? Not when the blessings are there in front of you, through the blessings are not there in front of you. To remember, what they say in this country? Fake it till you make it. Remember. How many times a day we sit and we remember Allah Allah Shukur Ya Rabbi Shukur that You give me the permission to breath easy. Shukur ya Rabbi that your eyes you given me, these eyes I can see, I can walk. Simple! Don’t try to make it so complicated. So intellectual. No need.
In reality when we get sick a little bit when discomforts happens, the believer, it immediately reminds them of Allah. How is it that you wake up in the morning, because of one pain here, one pain there, you cannot even get up from bed. How difficult is it Remember? Everyone went through that. How difficult it is just to go to the bathroom. What a blessing it is now, what a big blessing. How much you going to give that time for that kind of..
Once upon a time.. Now it just fits. There was a very big saint in the Ottoman times he’s called Laleli Baba. He was a big saint and he’s known as the father of the tulips, the one with the tulips. Because he was wearing a jubbah and he was putting one big tulip there (the Sheykh points on the left chest area), his clothes. And he has his shop which is right next to the mesjid, the big Mesjid in the capital city. Every time somebody goes to the Mesjid, he says ‘Welcome to you, welcome to you MashAllah.’ Everytime people leaves from the Mesjid, he says ‘Oh farewell to you MashAllah.’ ‘Welcome to you, farewell to you, welcome to you, farewell to you’
But people never see him enter into the Mesjid. So some people start talking back and forth, they say ‘Look at this man, he’s a hypocrite.’ They understand, in those times, if a man does not come into a Mesjid it’s a sign of hypocrisy. Oh, whole nation lost now, Mesjid? What do you mean come everyday? Once a week! I can choose which every Mesjid I want, I only come in like a thief and leave as a thief. In the old days it’s a sign of hypocrisy. If you’re not there, especially for what? Fajr prayer. This is not 1000 years ago, this is not 100 of years ago. Our grandfathers they were living this lifestyle for over a thousand years. They just lost it. Because Islam just became a religion, it’s not a lifestyle anymore. It’s just a religion, like Christians they have their own secular lifestyle and they just go to church if they want to. Becomes a religion. It is not a lifestyle.
Lifestyle comes with what? The Sunnah of RasulAllah (ASWS) that makes it a lifestyle. So, now the matter reached all the way to the Sultan, saying, there is a man living and he’s making fun of the religion. He’s welcoming people, saying goodbye to people but he never enters into the Mesjid. It reached all the way up to the ears of the Valide Sultan, what we say the mother of the Sultan, the Empress Dowager. Now she heard and she went to the Sultan, to the Khalifa. She’s saying, ‘My son, this matter, you have to solve it because this is making big confusion with the people in the city, there is a man who’s making fun of the religion. He doesn’t enter into the Mesjid, he’s saying hello and goodbye.’ And the Sultan says, ‘What you want me to do? I’m a Sultan, now you want me to go see this man who’s owning a shop next to the Mesjid and to lower my honour that way?’
And the mother is saying, as mothers do, always interfering into their sons’ work. Doesn’t matter if your son is 60 years old, your son is a Khalifa. They are always going to interfere. Doesn’t matter if your son is a sinner, or your son is a saint. Always they are going to interfere. This is given. Doesn’t mean the son have to listen 100% now.
So the Valide Sultan says, ‘nevermind, I’m going to go to investigate, I’m going to tell you what is happening.’ So she went. Now in the old days too, as it is like this or like that, in Turkey now, when they go out they put on a… at home they wear a hijab, regular. They go out they put another one, another headpiece over them. So when they come back from the store, they open that one, that first layer of the hijab. There’s a big secret to that also. Because all the different eyes and everything is not going to affect the women now. So, the Valide Sultan then went and she was wearing, not the charshaf, the burqa, completely covering. Only their eyes they are seeing out. That is the modesty, what you say? That is Tesettur. That is modesty that is covering because Tesettur doesn’t mean you cover and you show every body part, you understand? Tesettur means you cover and you don’t when you are sitting or you are standing you see the woman in front of you, because it’s covered, you don’t know that one is a 6 year old or 16 year old or 60 year old, you understand? It breaks up the shape of a person, of a women in public. The same way that when you wear the turban, the haydariye, the shalwar, men these days, they want to wear tight, showing everything. Looking from behind you don’t know how old the man is too. You don’t treat everyone according to the same level of respect.
Now, the Valide Sultan then went and from a distance she was watching and he was saying ‘Welcome sir, goodbye sir, welcome sir, goodbye sir’, people looking at him, very funny. And from a distance she is looking but time now is going to enter, it’s going to enter into Asr time. And she says to her people around her: ‘I have seen enough, let’s go, otherwise we are going to miss the Zuhr, go back to the palace’ she was going to go with her attendants and she heard this voice saying ‘Oh Valide Sultan, where are you going?’ She was shocked. Then she felt herself being pulled to him. Friends of Allah, they have that attraction. When they call, you cannot resist.
So she came, although she is all fully covered, he knows that she was the Valide Sultan. She went to him and he says ‘You are wondering, where I am praying. Don’t wonder anymore’ and grabbing her hand. Now to touch a women who is namahram, regular people, it is enough for their walis, their men to maybe cut your neck off. Imagine this is the Sultan, this is the Khalifa’s mother, that this Saint now, is holding on to her grabbing her skin hand, just like that but before you know it, everything is disappearing, she find herself in front of the Kaabah. He looked at her and he smiled and said ‘you’re wondering where I am praying when I don’t go to the Mesjid? This is where I am going. Let us pray quickly’ They prayed, before she knows it they went back. Where they were, she was shocked, she knew what kind of high level friend of Allah this is, she went back to the palace, went to see the Khalifa, the Sultan, and saying ‘Oh my son. Quickly! Find that friend of Allah, I was telling you about. Go to him and kiss his hand.’ He looked at her and says ‘mother, you went crazy? Before you say punish him, because he is a hypocrite, now you’re asking me to go and kiss his hand.’
Now, Laleli Baba. We come back now to the first point that we are making, how to give syukur and if you’re not being thankful to give shukur, then the smallest thing that is going to be inconvenient to you it can take away your faith. That same Sultan now, inviting him to the palace,’saying oh Holy one, come, and make zikir please and make sohbet to us so they gave us some sohbet and we will take from your wisdom and take the blessings.’ So Laleli Baba agreed, he went to the palace. The Sultan is then sitting there, all the Pashas, all the Vezir they are there, and started giving sohbet, and listening, look at each other and said, Ok, this is the great saint now. Before he left, the Sultan said ‘Thank you very much, we wish to reward you for this’
Laleli Baba said ‘No need’.
Before you go can you give some parting advice? And Laleli Baba looked at them and looked at him and says, ‘Advice I can give you?’ He says, ‘How much we have to thank Allah now, the best thing we can do is to eat and to go to the toilet. Easy.’ Imagine saying those words in front of the Khalifa. They looked at each other and they say ‘What kind of a language you going to use now in front of the Khalifa like that? Best shukur you can give to Allah is that you are eating and then you can go to the toilet.’
Laleli Baba looked and him and started smiling. ‘Oh Sultan, how you like that?’ Then he left. Sultan speaking to the Vezirs, saying, ‘This is not too good. He’s lacking in edep.’ Before you know it, the Sultan now, his stomach started to rumble. One day passed, he couldn’t even go to the bathroom. He’s eating and drinking, he stopped from everything his stomach is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. This is real, this is true story. Now he asked so many doctors to come to look at him. They couldn’t it figured out what. Gave all kind of medicine to eat, he cannot go. He cannot pass. They are all wondering what this is. Then one vezir come to him and says ‘Oh my Sultan, that one he locked you up. Go to him, ask him to come, he has the key. Tell him to open it for you. Everything is going to go, you are going to get more healthy.’ Sultan says ‘Quickly get him.’
They got Laleli Baba to come in and he’s looking around, the Sultan is sitting on the throne very uncomfortable, all the doctors are there, all the Pashas and Vezirs they are looking at him and then he started laughing. ‘Oh my Sultan’, he’s saying. ‘How much now what now you can give me for me to unlock you?’
And he says ‘Say anything! I will give it to you!’
He says, ‘are you sure?’
He says ‘Yes!’
He says ‘Alright. I’m asking for the throne’
The Sultan says ‘Quickly!’
Now the Pashas and Vezirs look at each other, they understand what that means. If they give the throne to him, because he’s saying ‘Let me to sit on it for awhile’, he’s going to be the Khalifa. Everyone now, by shariat, they have to respect him and they have to obey him.
The Vezir saying ‘My Sultan, this matter you have to take it into consideration’
The Sultan says ‘No! I need this remedy, this cure.’
And Laleli Baba is saying, ‘as you like, this is my price.’
Then he sits on that chair. Finally the Sultan says, ‘Whatever you are asking, I will give it to you.’
Laleli Baba says ‘Alright.’
Now, he recite something, before you know it, the Sultan and everything starts rumbling inside and he felt the need to go. Top speed he ran to the bathroom now Laleli Baba came to the throne, the Ottoman throne and he sat down. Now the Sultan, everything was out now. He found relief, then he started thinking, what have I done? What am I going to do now? I cannot stay here too long also. He went back, Laleli Baba was there. Laleli Baba looked and him and said ‘it is enough now, don’t worry Sultan, I’m not taking your throne. I’m seeing what kind of heaviness it is giving to you. You can have the throne back now. Because now everybody knows the price of your throne, the price of this kingdom, the price of everything you own know of this whole dunia is not worth one toilet. This is what it is. So yes, when you are on your throne, that is our throne. Don’t think you belong to any maqam. Don’t think you own any maqam, you are not anywhere. Not you, not me. When you’re sitting, that is your throne.’
To know that whatever we are eating we only want the best looking, the best smelling, the best tasting, taking hours to cook and we put it inside our bodies and we turn it to become the most disgusting thing. That you by yourself you don’t even want to look. This is the reality of our existence here in this world. If we are not able to transform that to become rose and musk, they have to work on us a little bit more in that grave.
Now sit, Sheykh Effendi is saying, sit and think, understand, that dirtiness that is coming out from you. Give shukur to Allah that way you don’t need anyone to tell you that you are this or you are that. You know by yourself. Anyone can tell you ‘you are nothing but you know…’ ‘Ya I know’ I see that everyday I think that everyday, and say how much dirtiness is coming out from you. That time anyone can say anything to you it doesn’t matter to you because you know yourself.
InshaAllah Allah gives u life, one day we going to visit him, Laleli Baba to pay respects to him. Wa minAllahu Taufiq. Al-Fatiha. Amin. Selam Aleykum.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Passaic Dergahi NY
9 RabiulAhir 1439
December 29, 2017