Question: Sheykh Effendi (QS) said that a Muslim, a believer who is stingy, he can be worshiping, but the stinginess will lead the sheytan to him, to fool him again. But someone who is a non-Muslim, who is generous, at the end of his road they will take him to safety. What is that generosity and what kind of stinginess is that?
Number one, Allah is describing Himself as the Generous. He is not describing Himself as the stingy one. So, it is not a Divine attribute, it is not a good attribute to be stingy. What is stingy?
Stingy is not sharing. Stingy doesn’t mean you are so rich and you have extra and you don’t give. That is not being stingy. You understand? Stingy is not able to share. Generous doesn’t mean that you are a millionaire and then you give a couple of bucks there and you’re being generous. That’s not generous. The person who is generous is the person who shares. He doesn’t look to see whether this is, calculating, one fortieth part. ‘Oh, I have to pay my zakat for this, oh, this is the…’ no, he is looking, it is part of him. Because it is part of the Divine nature, now, to give. And every believer, he must have that Divine nature. Every believer, he is eating and he’s going to say, ‘what about this one? Let me share with him.’ He has something, a blessing that is given to him, he says, ‘I’m not comfortable if I don’t share it.’ The believer understands that whatever he has it does not belong to him. There is a hak in there that belongs to others. And he must find, to give to others. Now this it is following who? Whose example? The Prophet (asws). The Sahabi-e-kiram. Especially, in our way, Hazreti Abu Bakr Siddiq, that he says ‘now everything that I have, I’m giving it to you. Everything that I have, all my wealth, and everything,’ not only his wealth, his everything. His life is given to the Prophet. and the Prophet (asws) is saying, ‘what did you leave for your wife and for your children?’ and he says, ‘I leave Allah and His Prophet.’ Meaning he has already sacrificed his wife and his children too for Allah and His Prophet.
He is not going to be attached, the believer, to this world. He is not going to be attached to things. Whatever that is given to him, he is going to take care of it. But he is not going to be attached. In the way of Tarikat, you view yourself, if you are not understanding this and starting to share things, the Sheykh may take that one thing from you, to clean you up, for you to understand your ego and to train your ego. He will take what you love and give it to someone that you hate. He’s going to give it to them. Not only something that is material. It can be something that is not material. You’re sharing your time with someone, someone is saying, ‘I have a problem.’ You are doing other things, you are busy, but you say, ‘never mind, put that aside. Let me try to help this one.’ That is sharing. You understand? That is giving, that is sharing. You are looking to everyone’s rights, you are looking, ‘this is the right of my family, this is the right of my wife, my children, this is the rights of my brothers, this is…’ You are looking at everyone’s rights. You’re not looking at your rights first. Man, by his egoistic nature, he says ‘first, I must please myself, then the people in my family. Then my friends.’ That is regular, common. Every group, every nationality, every country, every race is going to say that. ‘First yourself, and then your family, and then your friends, and then the people around you.’ Holy Prophet (asws), what is he teaching us? Fourteen hundred years of Islam, what did the Sahabis and the Tabi’ins and the Awliya and the Ulama they teach us? First yourself, and then your family, and then your friends, and then the people?
No. They say, ‘first, to help,’ not talking about Allah and His Prophet, ‘first, the ummat.’ That’s why you have zakat. It’s not your zakat, ‘oh zakat,’ like today, they’re saying, ‘well, I have zakat, but my brother needs money so… they say help your family first right? So I’m going to give zakat first to my family.’ Who’s saying that? Who’s saying that? Your brother doesn’t even fit to the category of what, there are eight categories of people that you have to give the zakat, and it’s very specific. Islam is also a science. Don’t you understand, so much science came from Islam? Islam is also a science. Algebra came from the Muslims who were so particular about how to divide the property, inheritance. It is a science, it is very exact. Islam is exact. It is not, ‘ah, it’s okay,’ here and there, just play around the laws of Allah. This is in human nature, ‘I have to pay zakat, but I’m in need of zakat, so I’m going to pay zakat to myself.’ So many thinking that way. Or, ‘my family, my friends,’ and then they are going to look to others. No. Prophet says, first, first who? Not even the powerful ones. First, the most oppressed ones in the society. You must help them. You must help them. Especially if you are living in Islamic societies. Over here we don’t live in an Islamic society. What we have is just the community. We help them. This is our responsibility. Help the community.
So, now when you start giving, when you start being generous, the one who is generous, Allah will be generous to you. Allah loves the generous kafir, unbeliever, more than the stingy believer. Because in reality also, iman, who gives iman? Allah gives iman. These days they are trying to say, ‘no, I give my own iman. I study and I get.’ No. Allah is the one who gives you the hidayat. Allah is the one who opened your heart, Allah is the one who turned your heart. When you say, ‘I am giving myself the faith,’ then you are making a shirik. So, the generosity now, it is a quality that is coming from Allah. That one is an unbeliever, but he has a Divine quality. Allah is the one who can give iman to anyone. He can give iman to that unbeliever and, if you cut yourself off, He can take the iman away from you too. But the one who is a believer and he has a bad characteristic, that never Allah or his Prophet or any Awliya they are having. Stinginess. It is the opposite of what Allah and His Prophet they are. It is opposite.
BismillahirRahmanirRahim, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful. In there it is the Most Generous. You have to be. Very soon, because, that stinginess that you have it will eat away at your faith. First you’re going to say, ‘why should I be giving that one? I am more in need of it than he is, he’s not worthy of that.’ You start judging. You start being arrogant. You start being stubborn. You start getting upset. Because you are judging. ‘Why I should be helping? Why is that? I am better, because I have iman.’
That kind of reasoning, slowly it will chip away; eat away at your faith. Very soon you’re going to say, ‘I’m the best.’ No matter how much you try to fool yourself by saying, ‘no, no, I’m the worst,’ but your action and your attitude is showing that. So how are you going to spare time, how are you going to be generous to people? Like I said, generosity is not just giving the money to be generous. Generous, to be patient is to be generous. To take your time to help someone is to be generous. To swallow your anger is to be generous. When someone is poking you and to just ‘ah, what can I do, I probably deserve it.’ A murid must think like that. ‘I probably did something and I deserve this. And, you know what? Even if I don’t deserve this right now, I did so many wrong things before that I deserve this too. And ya Rabbi, may this clean me up.’ If the believer understands this then there’s not going to be any fight. That is the time, Sheykh Effendi is saying, when someone is going to say something to you, say that you are a donkey, you’re going to go and you’re going to kiss his hand. You say, ‘it’s true.’
Generosity will bring you to the faith. Stinginess will bring you outside of faith. The month of Ramazan is the month of Generosity now. To be patient. Try to help. To yourself, don’t be too patient. To others, be very patient. Of course, these things I have to be very careful also, because in America so many people they suffer from anxiety. Because they get too stressed out, blaming themselves and da da da da, I say, cool it. Don’t worry. What you’re trying to do with this anxiety thing is you are trying to self-medicate and you don’t know how. Yes, we say, ‘sit and blame yourself,’ but they don’t know how to blame. They blame themselves in the wrong way. You understand? That is only going to cause them more anxiety, more stress. We say, stop that. You cannot even do that, get away from here. Now I’m going to tell you, this is what you’re going to do. Stop from all of that, come out from yourself and just do something, be busy with something. Because it’s not going to work. You see, we are designed to go through difficulties.
We are designed to go through difficulties. You’re not going through the difficulties of this life that is supposed to make you strong, to make you more human, to make you to understand, to make you to become more intelligent, then in your comfort and luxury it’s going to be difficult. In your comfort and your luxury it is going to be difficult. This body is not designed to be sitting. This body, if you sit for more than six hours a day, you will get sick. This body is designed to do hard labor. Eh, you don’t want to do hard labor, Allah is putting you now to do senseless work to be healthy. Same thing with us, ‘oh, now, to be healthy we have to go and we have to lift weights.’ Because we don’t live in a society where it’s part of our life now, to go to the river and to pick up a heavy bucket of water, to go wake up early in the morning, to do all these kinds of things that for thousands of years this is how man, mankind, has lived. People are judging, ‘oh, but life expectancy now it is longer, it is-‘ what kind of quality of life do you have? If you think quality of life is having a handful and internet service and pizza, that’s not life, that you don’t even know what is the color of the sun and the sky and the earth. What is this?
So this body is designed for something hard. And if you do that, you’ll feel more ease, you will feel more- eh, look at you Bosnians here. I’m saying it so many times. For thousands of years, maybe, the diet that you’re eating, it is for that climate, it is for that condition, it is for that kind of work. Now, you continue with that diet to live here in this kind of tropical weather, so many problems is going to happen, no? We see so many problems happening. So, we should go back a little bit to the wisdom of how our forefathers, the Awliya that is in our families, they are telling people how to live their life. That time you come closer to your own reality, InsyaAllah. Wa minallahu taufiq, Al Fatiha. Amin. Selam aleykum wa rahmatullah.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergahi, Florida
25 Shaban 1439
May 11, 2018