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 alayhim ajmain. Ya ayyuhal 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.
BismillahirRahmanirRahim. “All praises are due to Allah, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and to Him belongs all praise in the Hereafter. And He is the Wise, Aware of all things. He knows all that goes into the earth, and all that comes out from it, and all that comes down from the sky and all that goes up to it, and He is the Most Merciful, the Forgiving.” Sadaqallahul Azim (Surah Saba, 34:1-2).
And may all peace and blessings be upon the “Master of the Messengers, the Seal of the Prophets, the Intercessor of the sinners, the Friend of the strangers, the Mercy to the Universes,” (Salat al Taj). And may all 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 all those who follow them until the Last Day.
Ya Ayyuhal Mu’minoon! O Believers! Two-thirds of the Month of Allah, Rajab Shahrullah, have passed us. What have we planted in these days? The days of Rajab that have passed and have finished, they have gone into our record book- we cannot go back and change them, we cannot live those days again. These breaths that we took will not come back, the opportunities that we missed will not come back. Sayyidina Ali (KW) is saying: “Three things cannot come back- the arrow that flies out from the bow, the word that is spoken in a rush, and the missed opportunity.” But mankind is forgetful. The word insaan, it is coming from the same word in Arabic as “forgetting.” Allah (SWT) is talking about the nature of mankind in Surah al-Infitar, saying: BismillahirRahmanirRahim. “O mankind, who has made you careless concerning your Lord, the Generous. The One Who created you, then designed you, then balanced you- in whatever form He willed, He put you together.” Sadaqallahul Azim (82:6-8).
So Allah (SWT) is telling us, mankind becomes careless about Allah (SWT). We become careless and forgetful about Allah and the Rights of Allah. And that forgetfulness is a disaster in this world and a disaster in the next. Allah Jala wa’alla is saying in Surah al-Hashr, BismillahirRahmanirRahim “Do not be like those who forget Allah, so Allah makes them forget themselves- they are the rebellious.” (59:19). And Holy Prophet (AS) is saying: “The difference between someone who remembers his Lord and someone who does not is like the difference between the living and the dead.” (Bukhari). There are so many who look alive in this world today, but the reality is they are dead, walking above the ground. The heart is dead, the spirit is dead- they have forgotten themselves. The opposite of those people, the opposite of that state of forgetfulness, of ghalfat, it is being in a state of remembrance, being in the state of zikr. The only ones who are truly alive are the ones who are making Zikr, the Ehli Zikr. And Allah (SWT) is ordering us to be with them, saying in Surah al-Nahl, BismillahirRahmanirRahim “Ask the Ehli Zikr, the People of Remembrance, if you do not know.” Sadaqallahul Azim (16:43).
The people of Remembrance are the Friends of Allah. They are the ones who do not forget their Lord, and for that reason they are alive- because Allah (SWT) is remembering them in every instant. Being with them reminds you of Allah, reminds you of the Holy Prophet (AS) and reminds you of what your duty is in this life. They are the best of people. Holy Prophet (AS) said, “The best of you are those who, when they are seen, Allah is remembered.” (Ibn Majah). We are in need of these best of people. The whole world needs them, because they are the only ones who will guide us back to the Siratul Mustaqim. We need a guide because if we are left alone in the darkness of this dunya, we will never be able to return to our Lord. Following those guides, it is submitting to them. Because they know. We don’t know. The one who does not know, he must submit to the one who knows. The Guides, the Sheykhs, the Evliyaullah, they know how to fight the greatest enemy, the ego.
Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi el-Rabbani (KS), he is saying: “For sure, the man knows that, “the ego is pulling me to the wrong direction, and what my ego I wants, I must do otherwise.” And then the man looks, because the man does not know what is coming from the ego and what is coming from his Lord. So he looks to find somebody who is a guide to show and to say, “Do this, don’t do this. Turn this way and don’t turn that way. Walk that way and don’t walk this way.” Then you submit your will in that one’s hand and you already left one responsibility because you are in somebody’s hand and that one is working on you.”
21st century people, 21st century so-called Muslims, they hate to hear this. Because 21st century people believe that they are lords and they are not dependent on anyone. They don’t want to submit even to hear the idea that they should submit to someone. Sultan el-Evliya Sheykh Mevlana Muhammad Nazim Adil el-Hakkani (KS) is saying: “Muslims nowadays get an allergy when you speak to them about Sheykhs. They start to tremble. Their egos cannot accept it, because they have already made their own ego into their idol. They are so foolish and ignorant. They do not look at the life of the Prophet and his companions. If it was enough with a book alone, Allah Almighty could have sent papers down on people telling them how to administer their life. But that is not what Allah Almighty did. He sent His Book to His Prophet and His Prophet taught them of how to practice. All this means that it is not enough to read the Holy Quran. You cannot understand it. But new Muslims are denying all this. They are so ignorant and foolish. Allah Almighty sent the Archangel Jibril to His Praised one, to Sayidina Muhammad (AS). And the Angel said to him, “Ya, Muhammad (AS), look at me, I am making wudu.” He then stood in front of Muhammad and prayed two rakaats and the Prophet followed his example. If the Prophet hadn’t showed us, how would we have known how to pray? Had the explanations in the Holy Quran or in the Hadith, are they enough? Can anyone claim such a thing? If the companions had to follow someone, how can it be possible that we in our time should leave the Muslims without a trainer to teach them? These new-fashioned people are trying to take away the mazabs, the Imams of the Tarikat. They say, “Look at the Quran and find your way!” Oh, foolish person, it is as if you have a motorway and you will tell me not to go, but to open another way through the mountains.”
These are the teachings of Islam for 1400 years. The Sahaba-e-Kiram understood that they must submit themselves to Holy Prophet (AS) to learn the way to Allah. The Tabieen submitted themselves. All Evliya and Saliheen submitted themselves. We have now reached an age where nobody submits, and everybody thinks that they know best. That is the reason for the disaster that we are in today. Tarikat, training, submission, it is for every person at every level. That arrogance, it is the inheritance of sheytan. Because sheytan’s rebellion to Allah (SWT), in reality, it came from not accepting Adam (AS) as his Guide. Sheytan had worshiped for thousands of years, he had done work for Allah (SWT), he had taught some of the angels, even. And when a new creature, Adam (AS), was created, he was very angry that Allah (SWT) made him to do sajdah to Adam (AS).
As our Sheykh, Sahib el-Sayf, is explaining, saying: “Sheytan didn’t listen. When Allah gave him order, “Make sejdah to Adam”, means, “now listen to Adam. From now on listen to him.” He didn’t listen because he listened to his ego saying, ‘I’m better. So how can I listen to that one?’ If he would’ve listened then the secret that Allah subhana wa ta’ala has planted into Adam (AS) would complete Sheytan’s knowledge. But he didn’t. Because he didn’t listen. He became disobedient.” So many today want to reach directly to Allah. So many want to reach directly to Holy Prophet. So many want to reach directly to the Great Evliya who have passed. That is the same arrogance of sheytan appearing inside the people. You must submit and obey the one that Allah (SWT) has put in front of you.
Seyh Efendi is explaining this protocol of obedience, saying: “Allah is saying that to us. He is saying, “Hold on to the rope of Allah and do not separate.” The rope of Allah is not a rope coming from the sky that you are going to hold. First you have to know what the rope of Allah is. If you don’t know the rope then how are you going to hold onto that rope? In the army if a soldier is not learning how to listen and obey the one that has only one stripe then how is he going to obey the General? How is he going to be able to reach to the General? Even those who are going to become Generals in the future time have to be under the training of that one who has only one stripe. He is doing that. That is his job. When they come from the outside with all the wrong characteristics, his job is first to put them in training and to give them some discipline. When they are learning the discipline then slowly they may reach to their ranks. Otherwise, they are not reaching anywhere. Only illusions and delusions will be happening. And if that one is not able and capable to listen, to learn and to follow the orders of the one with one stripe or two stripes then he is not going to know how to act in the presence of the General. With one wrong move, one wrong move, that he is going to do in the presence of the General he may receive a very heavy punishment for that. Every army in this world that still has discipline to go according to this. Otherwise, no army can stand.”
Yes, the spirits are like an army. “The spirits are like conscripted soldiers,” the Holy Prophet (AS) says (Muslim). In this Jihadul Akbar, in this jihad against our Ego, that is the protocol. If the physical army breaks its protocol and breaks its ranks, it is going to fail. In the same way, if someone fighting the ego breaks the protocol of the spiritual discipline, he is going to fail. And that failure is not just for dunya- it is for ahiret as well.
Ghawth al-Azam is saying, Sheykh Abdul Qadir Geylani (KS): “Arrogance, hypocrisy, egoism, they are all arrows of Shaytan aimed at your hearts. One should develop a strategy to defend oneself from this attack. The correct strategies are explained and demonstrated by the Sheykhs. You should listen to their commands and act on them. They will guide you on the path of Allah since they have already traveled on that path. Ask their advice on matters relating to the nafs, desires and other weaknesses, because they have also suffered their effects and are well aware of the dangers and harms of evil desires. They have battled these over a long period of time and they can confront, they can control and they can defeat them.”
So spiritual discipline is not something that is just free and in the air. No. Spiritual discipline, learning to submit, it is the highest work. The Sufism of today that says, everything is about love, leave the law, leave the commands, just love, it has nothing to do with the real Tasawwuf of the Friends of Allah. The Tasawwuf of the Friends of Allah, it is to bring people to the level of complete finishing because of that love that is Ashq, and to be in that level of finishing themselves. They say “sami’na wa ata’na. We hear and we obey,” just like the Sahaba-e-Kiram. Sheykh Mevlana is saying: You will be trained. Your life should be based on organization and order. You cannot do whatever you want, the ones who do that are in the jungle. It is said, be like a soldier. Why? Military service breaks the ‘dryness’ of the ego. It is training. What does it teach? “As you command, my captain” – what nice manners. That us manners. That is the real Edep. And the one who is seeking, he must have that Edep with his guide. Grandsheykh Abdullah Daghestani (KS) is saying: “The murīd has to accept that his Shaykh is seventy degrees ahead of him in all respects. He has to believe that “if I know one thing, my Shaykh knows seventy times more.” If not he cannot receive any benefit. He makes no progress. If he doesn’t surrender, it is useless. It means it is useless.” Islam is surrender. Islam is submission. That surrender and submission, it will bring a man to a state of Islam, to a state of peace. And Allah (SWT) is talking about that station of peace, saying: BismillahirRahmanirRahim “O you soul at peace- return to your Lord, well pleased and pleasing to Him. Enter among My righteous servants- and enter into My Paradise.” Sadaqallahul Azim (89:27-30).
Our hope, our Maqsud, it is to hear that call from our Lord. Ya Rabbi, in this Holy Month of Rajab, we are asking Your Forgiveness and Your Mercy. We are asking You to keep us with the Guides, and to let us to submit to them and to follow them. We are asking You to keep us with those that they are pleased with You and You are pleased with them. We are asking for Your Pleasure. Amin.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergahi, New York
19 Rajab 1439
April 6, 2018