Question: To what extent are we responsible in regard with the money we give?
This has to do with Islamic spirit and lifestyle, it’s less to do with knowing Islamic law, Hadiths or Quran, you understand? Because this has to do with faith, this has to do with modesty, this has to do with shame, how can you be doing something like that if you know that your neighbors are starving? How can you? How can you, in Islam now, you don’t have to look for Quran or Hadiths, if you are cooking in your house and the smell comes out and your neighbor smells the cooking, isn’t it good manners now to share the food, right? Which is why in Islam also, when you’re eating you don’t eat in public. Because in Islam, when you are eating you invite people to eat with you. This is the tradition all the way from Hz Ibrahim (AS). Strangers, they come and they share your food.
Of course in today’s world, especially in America, you cannot really do it, but it doesn’t mean now you eat in public, too much pushing for like that. Now, forget about eating in public, people making videos that they’re eating. All they’re doing, I’m looking, this fat woman eating, one big crab she’s opening and she’s eating, one hour long. You understand? This is, you need to open a Quran or Hadiths book to understand that this is wrong? This is the Islamic spirit, because Prophet (AS) is saying, ‘I’ve come to perfect your manners,’ the good manners, Islam is having good manners. This, we open with this today. Islam is having good manners.
And the Holy Prophet (AS), one day a man came to him and said, ‘ya Rasulullah, teach me about Islam.’ Prophet looked at him and said, ‘Islam is having good manners.’ The man went to his left and repeated the question. Why he repeat the question? Because people coming to see the Prophet (AS) too for different reasons. Some they know he’s very powerful. Some they know that he has miraculous authority and they want to take. Some, as you know, after they meet him they declare themselves to be Prophets. So people have different ideas now, as people do coming to Sheykhs, they have different ideas. So many people it’s okay, it’s not wrong, you understand? Manners is not between right and wrong, it’s between what is more right and what is less right. Now this makes it very subtle, very beautiful, this raises the rank of a person to become higher than the Sultans. The Evliya Allah they are the Sultans of the heavens, the Sultans of this world is just Sultan of this world. Those are the ones that the angels they’re going to sit and learn from them.
So the man came to his left, and saying, ‘tell me what is Islam.’ He says, ‘Islam is good manners.’ He’s not satisfied, went to his front, went to his back, because this man was also very gruff and rough, different intentions. We lost those good manners, as Muslims today. We lost it. We are not, good manners also are being very awake and aware, being very sensitive, you understand? Aware that, okay, your neighbor is over there, he’s smelling your food, maybe they’re hungry. Even if they’re not hungry, it’s no good to just show people what you have, Islam, whatever good that you have you hide, you don’t show off. Kufr is the exact opposite.
Even now in Arab countries, you go to their house and you say, ‘oh, very nice glass,’ they say, ‘may I offer it to you?’ That is the spirit that is the manners. Now people are having ilm, book ilm, everyone is running to open new institute, new institute, new institute, new institute, but they’re not teaching manners. If they do it’s just one part of a one part of a one part. First we have to learn about aqidah, fourteen hundred years we didn’t finish learning about aqidah? Then we have to learn about this, we have to learn about that, we have to learn, then, Tasawwuf, a part of that, and then manners like that. You don’t have manners, nothing is going to be accepted from you, sheytan did not have manners in front of his Lord. He had knowledge that he was teaching the angels, but he lost his manners in front of his Lord and he says to his Lord, ‘no.’
Manners is being awake, aware, awake and aware, being very sensitive, understanding. That kind of understanding now, Prophets they have that Lutuf, and that understanding they teach through Tarikat. So, there was one riwayat, a Saint had a dream, it was during the Hajj time and he saw the recording angels, recording the people who have gone to the Hajj. As there are angels, recording angels in front of your houses, which is why every time that you enter into your house you have to give Salams, angels outside, angels inside. So there are angels outside also Masjids enter before the Imam enters, because once the Imam enters the angels close their books and they come and they sit and listen. Same thing if it opens up to be a Dergah, same thing in any Majlis, any gathering. We are not the only ones present.
And this is manners too, if you know you’re not the only one present, even when there’s nobody there, you’re not going to do foolish things, you understand? Like one of our Grandsheykhs, he never put his feet straight out, because understanding, this is his Maqam, we cannot be carrying this all the time, but this is his Maqam. He’s saying, because Prophet (AS) he is everywhere, so it is bad manners now to stretch your leg like that. So this, there is no law for it, but the law you put it based on your love, and when it is based on your Ashq and your love you look to see what makes your beloved one more happy. Not what you can get away with, but what makes your beloved one more happy with you. Now when you understand that, you’re taking the first steps towards Tarikats, towards spirituality and Tasawwuf.
So this Saint, seeing those angels, he had some authority to speak to them, wanting to know, how many people attended the Hajj for that year. Then that Saint asking that question, the angels, and this was a time of Khilafat, this was not this time of Jabbabirah, it’s not this time of Ahir Zaman where everything is confused, this was a time when there was Shariat, there was Khilafat and everyone was doing things properly without this technology. And the angels are saying, let’s say for instance, this year seventy, seven thousand people attended, let’s just put a number there. Then he asked, how many, how many of them their Hajj is accepted? And the angels checked and they said, ‘none.’ That Saint was shocked, he was fearing. Then they said, ‘wait, one. But he didn’t even go to the Hajj.’ One person, in that time, his Hajj was accepted and he didn’t even go to the Hajj.
So that Saint now woke up and it was his duty now to find out who is this beloved one of Allah? Don’t even think that you are beloved one, you’re a Saint, because Allah (SWT)’s love can reach anything anywhere. To a man, woman, child, don’t even look down to the unbelievers, because he can get belief very easily. If you see yourself better then that one, be careful. If you look at that one and say, ‘ya Rabbi shukr, because You could have not pulled me out from the mess and made me to become worse than that unbeliever,’ you’re safe. This is all manners, there is no ayat, there is no hadiths, but this is understanding what is the spirit of Islam.
So that Saint now went to look for that man and he found him. He was a what? He was a shoemaker. He was a shoemaker and he has been saving whatever little money that he’s making, for forty years, forty years, to go on the Hajj. When he had collected and he was ready to sell everything, he sold everything, and to go on the Hajj, it came to his knowledge that his neighbor fell into very, very bad times, the father passed away, the children now became completely orphans, the mother is not working, there’ nothing. There’s nothing helping them, sustaining them. He took the money and he gave it to them. Then he continued mending shoes. He says, ‘halal, halal olsun.’ And when the Saint saw that, he went to the man and he kissed his hand. He says, ‘I want to kiss the hand of the one person that Allah has accepted his Hajj.’ The man didn’t even go.
Because today people become selfish in so many ways, they become selfish not only with their food and their clothes or this or, they become selfish with their worship. They become selfish with their worship, you understand? As I’ve said, one woman on Laylatul-Qadir, she was worshipping whole night long, and sheytan is always there to trick. She was worshipping whole night long in a Masjid, and there are children like this running around a little bit. And she was making sujud for so long, and the child was just playing around her and then just tripped over her, she got up and she started cursing at the child, she says, ‘curse, laknat on you, you’re disturbing me and my worship.’ Sheytan was very happy, because everything is gone now, is finished.
So how are we going to learn this patience, understanding your arrogance, because according to the woman it’s right, ‘that kid is taking my Hakk,’ that is looking straight like this, you understand? And everyone, in their own head, any argument everyone thinks they’re right. No one, never I see, two people arguing, one person saying, ‘no, no, no, from the beginning I was wrong,’ everyone says, ‘no I am right,’ the other one says, ‘no I’m right,’ he said, ‘no, he’s wrong, he’s wrong, I’m right,’ both of them they’re right. But there are some things and some people they’re more right than others, there are some things and some people and some places they have more rights on you than others, and this is subtle, this is not something that is obvious, this has to do with your spirit. The spirit must know.
Prophet (AS), he didn’t just come to teach people how to say ‘La illaha illallah’ and to make zikr and to pray. He did, but what is that ‘La illaha illallah’, is it just a word that you’re saying? We got so many questions in the past few weeks asking about the meaning of ‘La illaha illallah’, I don’t know if you’ve been watching the broadcast or not. How you can say ‘La illaha illallah’ if you’re only looking to yourself? You’re saying ‘La’ to everything in existence including yourself, and only Allah. Only Allah is existing. But you don’t believe it, because if someone says, ‘that wealth, it doesn’t belong to you,’ ‘no it belongs to me.’ ‘Those children they don’t belong to you,’ ‘no they’re belonging to me. Everything that I have it belongs to me.’ But we know it belongs to Allah, our breaths belong to Allah. ‘La’, no, but that is a lifelong lesson that we have to learn step by step that nothing belongs to us. But it is there, it is an emanat, it is a trust, we have to take care, this glass let’s say I bought this, I work for it, I bought this halal, now I don’t have the right, in Islam, to take this glass and to break it. Because now this glass it is a trust. I cannot get attached to it, it is going to exist after I pass, but it doesn’t belong to me.
So people have become selfish, now they are worshipping but they’re worshipping for themselves. But, what, what is the reason of worshipping? Hah, what is the reason of worshipping? This is the problem. Because people worship for what? To go to paradise. People worship to go to paradise. And people worship not to go to hell, which is why Hz Rabiatul Adawiya is saying, ‘I want to burn the paradise and the hell.’ In Tarikat with our Sheykh, in this way, we learn now, we worship because Allah deserves to be worshipped. Whether He wants to put us to hell or to paradise, whether He wants to reward us or not reward us, it is His right. What, Allah is Santa Claus? You’re saying, ‘I’ve been a good boy this year so I need my-’ you may ask that but that is still a very low level, that is not knowing your Lord as a Lord. That’s not understanding Allah as Allahu Akbar. It is good to go to Umrah, but if we open up the subject of Umrah in this Ahir Zaman too we’re not going to end, because it becomes just like a vacation.
Why so many times people going to Umrah without going to the Hajj? Umrah is Sunnat, Hajj it is Farz. And people are going to the Umrah now, if you’re treating it just as a vacation or a ‘spiritual retreat’, going there and then feeling holy and then coming back, then you’re just using that too. It is supposed to be transformational, it transforms you. Let’s not get into the industry, the business of Umrah too. Business of Umrah, ha, that is wrong. Then places where you go, Mecca and Medina now, where is the holiness? It looks like a, either a hotel lobby or an airport or something from, they’re going to make it to something like science-fiction. Where is the holiness?
Everything that is holy, meaning you feel the instant connection that it has because it has existed from the time of the Prophet (AS) and earlier, they have destroyed or they cover up or they tell people, ‘don’t come near,’ correct? The Christians they love the Shroud of Turin, they’re saying, ‘this is the cloth that covers Isa (AS),’ even when they know that it is not the real thing, they go crazy for it, they say, ‘it doesn’t matter, it is our love.’ And the Muslims have collected over one thousand four hundred years, everything that is holy, and in one generation everything is destroyed. Now why are we going? We’re going because it is Farz to go. But if you’re going to go to a place where not too much holiness is there, and then it becomes very business-oriented, very commercial, then what are you going to take from it?
So Prophet (AS) he did not just come to make people, to teach Quran or to give Hadiths or, he’s teaching people how to take care of each other. Because Prophet (AS), other than Allah, who does he love most? The Ummat. Other than Allah he loves the Ummat most. When he was born, when he was just a child, when he just came out, he’s already saying, ‘Ashadu ana illaha illallah, inni Rasulullah,’ he’s already saying perfectly, and there’s only, in history, a handful of babies, right after they are born that they are able to speak, him and Isa (AS) and a few others. And he said that, the next word he said was, ‘Ummati, Ummati.’ ‘My nation, O my nation.’ He came, really, it’s not just for his uncles, he came for the orphans, he came for the widows, he came for the poor, this is something that is very, so many people are looking at Islam, especially the past over thousand years, they’re saying, ‘this is, what kind of a religion is this? You’re a slave and you sit next to your master in prayer?’ No religion is allowing you to do that. What kind of a religion is this, that to take care of the poor it becomes part of your religion? What kind of a religion is this that you have to go through what the poor are going through, your hunger and your thirst. What kind of religion is this that when you go to the Hajj it’s to understand, just like the poor, you have nothing, you only have one piece of cloth and that is the reality. What kind of religion is this that the Prophet (AS) said to Ibn Salama, ‘don’t you want to be poor like your Prophet?’
But at the same time Islam has raised civilizations that the world has never seen before. There is that balance. Where is that balance? That balance can only be achieved when there is Tasawwuf, there is spirituality. Without that balance you cannot, without that balance people are going to say, ‘no, I deserve it,’ like Muslims today they have, they get jealous from the Christians, they have prosperity gospel you know? So Muslims are having that too. Saying that, ‘I’m rich, Allah loves me.’ We cannot do anything, so many of us we cannot do anything, at least now you have to have a soft heart, at least. You cannot change things with your hands, change it with your mouth, with your tongue, you cannot do it at least change it in your heart. You are going to change things in your heart to help the poor, there is a way in Islam too, don’t learn things from outside of Islam, Prophet is saying, ‘what the right hand does the left hand must not know.’ Meaning, whatever good you do you hide. These days forget about whatever good you do you’re going to let the whole world know, whatever bad you do you let the whole world know too. This is wrong.
So, new style of course, I’m hearing this, they like that Hadiths a lot, okay, to help your spouse it is much better, then what about the Holy Prophet (AS)? So much wealth came to him too, correct or no? People always came and give him and there is also the right of the Ahlil Bayt, part of the Bayt ul Mal. What did he do? Do we ever hear any Hadiths or anything that he’s giving it to his wives? He’s giving it to his daughter, to his sons? If anything, there was an incident where his wives were feeling very uncomfortable, let’s put it very nicely, because he was not giving them enough. So how do you balance this, how do you measure this, how do you account for this? The wife of Hz Abu Bakr Siddiq, one time Hz Abu Bakr Siddiq was eating and the wife came and said, ‘this is some halwa I made,’ and the wife saying that to him and he’s saying, ‘where did you get money to make this?’ And she said, ‘I didn’t, but every month, whatever stipend that you give me, I save a little bit, little bit, little bit, I save so many months and now I just bought some butter, some flour, some sugar to make this for you.’ He finished it and he says, ‘from now on I’m cutting your stipend into half, because obviously you have more than you need.’ Do we even hear Hz Abu Bakr, Umar or Hz Osman now when it comes to the Bab, to the chapter of Sadaqah they concentrate on their family? No, it’s not. The Ummat, the Ummati.
So, of course the man is supposed to provide for the wife, of course man is supposed to provide for the wife and make sure that she’s not in need of anything, but everyone is making stuff up to say, ‘well, this is my charity, this is my Sadaqah, my Zakat for this year, I’m going to give it to you. This is my Zakat I’m going to give it to you.’ There is a system you know, how do you think Islam survived for one thousand four hundred years not only as a religious system but also as an economic system if everyone can just do whatever they want to do with the law because they read the Quran and Hadiths this way. So, we cannot say anything to anyone, we cannot stop them. I’m not even saying that it is wrong, it doesn’t fit us, okay? It doesn’t fit us.
You work, you earn, okay, it’s halal. You want to spend little bit here and there, that’s okay. But you know by yourself when it is too much. You know by yourself then, ‘whatever that I’m getting also now, I must share.’ So even if there is something that you have in front of you, then you say, ‘this I must share, because I cannot have it alone.’ Then that time things can be balanced a little bit, otherwise it is in the nature of man to first take care of himself, take care of his family, take care of his people, but the Prophet (AS) is showing there is no difference now between Arab and Ajam, this is how we became an empire. And so, what can we do? If they want to go they go. We are so disconnected, at the same time we have this phone and every day we’re seeing so many people who are worse off than us, but we have become desensitized, we no longer feel that, especially people living in America, because we don’t see it outside of our door, we don’t teach our children, first thing, teach your children not to waste. Don’t waste the food, to show respect to the food. First thing. Doesn’t matter how young they are, doesn’t matter if they throw it on the ground, you have to say every time, ‘no, don’t throw, this is food, astaghfirullah, come, take it, kiss it.’ They don’t know they’re going to learn now. Which is why, what they’re saying? The sofra it is a surgeons table for the Sheykh, he’s going to sit and watch everyone how they eat is how their level of spirituality is.
First teach your children that. Don’t waste, have to look at food that it is rizq, it is Razaq, from Ya Razaq. Then once they have that relationship, that food you don’t waste, it is holy, then you’re going to say, ‘look at that one, that one is like you but he doesn’t have this food.’ The whole business of religion it is to soften the heart. Then teach from a young age how to have, make your kids to share, to have a soft heart, because otherwise, living in this country also it’s very easy to get anything anytime that you want. Your heart becomes soft not when you have a lot, your heart becomes soft when you have little. May Allah forgive me insyaAllah, slowly, you should try. Al Fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergahi New York
19 Rabiulawwal, 1440
26 November, 2018