Holy Prophet (AS) is saying ‘religion, it is advice.’ The Prophets they give advice. The Sheykhs of the Naksibendi order they say, with edep, they say ‘Prophets they give advice. We are not Prophets. We give sohbet. We give sohbet, we don’t give advice.’
Today, everyone is giving advice, especially on the internet, making more, more and more confusion. No one is knowing what they have, no one is knowing what others have. No one is looking at the situation, no one is looking at the knowledge that they have, and, most importantly, the permission and the authority, whether to say or not. Because we have been told we must read everything. Isn’t that the first ayat of the Quran e-Kerim, ‘Read’? So we have to read everything, we have to collect everything, we go to school to collect as much knowledge as possible. There are different kinds of edep and there are different kinds of knowledge. There is a low-level kind of knowledge and there is a high knowledge. Which one are you looking for?
If you are looking for low-level knowledge, you may find. If you are higher-level knowledge, you will find. In both these areas, low and high, zahir or batin, secular or spiritual, there is always an isnad. There is always a chain of teachers that pass that knowledge to the next one, to the next one, to the next one, to the next one. What, you think only Prophets and the Tarikats they have isnad? Dajjal has an isnad too. Nothing is left to chance. They put everything properly. They plan. Allah is saying, they plan. Allah’s plan is better, of course, but they are planning. They are still thinking that there is a big chance that they are going to win, although all the signs are saying it is not, they are saying no, it is.
The sohbet, association like this, one person speaks, the knowledge has been given to him, authority has been given to him, and the order is saying ‘you speak.’ The edep of a sohbet is that you speak, no one is interrupting. Just like, you know, in school, when you are listening to a lecture in the university, they don’t entertain too much questions. That is tutorial, that is class. You have to sit and you have to listen. Then you have to learn how to listen. Knowledge, the knowledge is the end point. The beginning point is yourself. How are you preparing yourself to receive that knowledge? This is key, because if you are not clean, if you don’t believe that you are dirty, if you are not clean, then whatever knowledge that you put inside of you, even if it is clean, it will turn dirty. What is this? We are not talking physical dirty, it’s okay, like this or like that. You may wash it. But we are talking about spiritual sickness. We are talking about people who are aware of the dangers of the ego, the nafs that Allah SWT has created, that has that power to challenge Allah SWT. And Allah SWT has sent sheytan to us, in this dunya, with desires. These four enemies, not even the Angels they can carry this. They cannot carry this. They tried, they were thinking ‘why Allah is creating Mankind, who is just doing nothing but bloodshed?’ That is the knowledge according to them. That is the knowledge that Allah gave to them. But there is a Knower above every knower.
Today’s people think ‘I am the one who knows. I read couple of hadith, couple of ayats, couple of sohbets, I know.’ They start giving. It is very dangerous, because if there is no permission you are like that person, he is reading a couple of medical books, because you make so many trips to the pharmacy, you think you are a doctor and you start cutting people up, to operate on them. Disaster will happen.
So, read. But what is it that Allah SWT is saying to the Prophet (AS)? And Prophet (AS) says ‘I don’t know how to read.’ It’s not that reading. Hz Jibril (as) did not come to bring a book, to say to the Prophet ‘read!’. Now, he squeezed the Prophet. He squeezed really hard, to transmit that Divine Knowledge that is coming. And then he says ‘Read!’ Prophet says one more time ‘I don’t know how to read.’ One more squeeze, one more transmission. Third time transmission, and Prophet understood. And Hz Jibril (as) is saying ‘the words of your Lord. Read in the Name of your Lord. Don’t read in the name of your ego, don’t read in the name of your family, your ideology, your race, your nationality. Read in the Name of your Lord.’ Prophet came to destroy tribalism. Who is this Lord? What is this Lord? The Lord who created you. Because this is something that is very special. Because in the jahiliyyah times people don’t believe they are going to come back after the dead. Just like today, you know? Majority of people they say ‘we are not going to come back. We are not going to come back. We just live and we die, and then we turn to dust. That’s it.’ Same. This is the second jahiliyyah. Same. But everyone is going to return. Everything that Allah SWT has created He is going to raise back on the Day of Judgement to ask for questions. Even the sun, the moon, the Earth. The ram with one horn is going to ask for his rights from the ram with two horns, that they were fighting. That is a waiting station. Then you begin in that world, to return to your Lord. You start having another journey. That’s not the end, that’s the beginning of another journey.
Understanding, now, He created us from a clot of blood. What is blood in Islam? Najis. It is najis. It is what Imam Rabbani is saying to the Mogul Sultans, saying ‘don’t forget,’ he was giving sohbets to them, writing letters, warning them, the Sultans, ‘don’t forget that you are coming from dirtiness, through dirtiness, and you are going to be dirty. Never forget that.’ So, saying ‘stop thinking you are Lord. Don’t think you are Lord, you are living today, you are the only one who lives, and you are going to live forever. Billions, trillions came, more is going to come.’
So, the Prophet (AS), he came to teach all of mankind to read, read what is in your heart. This is the meaning, because your heart, it is a Throne of Allah. Read what is there. Is your Lord there, or are you there, or your desires, or your ego? To read, and this is a way, Allah is saying ‘We sent Shariat to everyone and the Tarikat to everyone.’ So for those ones that they are thinking a little, not Arab or Ajam, Muslim or non-Muslim, they are thinking, because Allah is describing this type of people in the Quran e-Kerim. He didn’t describe their race or their color. He says ‘these are men of understanding, because they think. They are putting two and two together.’ He says, now start thinking. Who are you, where you came from, where are you going to go? Who is that One Who created you? What does He want from you? He is asking you to return to Him. What does that return mean? In His Presence, nothing exists except Him. You cannot exist in His Presence. Only He exists.
The sohbet, even learning how to sit, and learning how to listen, of course we are taking all from the Evliyaullah and the Sahabi e-Kiram, through fourteen hundred years of the Naksibendi tradition. How were the Sahabis sitting, listening to their Sheykh, their Prophet? They were sitting so still, the unbelievers were describing, saying ‘a bird may come and hop on their head, and they are not going to move.’ Meaning, now, they are learning how to listen. Because the sohbet, it is a heavenly gathering. It is a Holy gathering. We are not gathering here to talk about our desires or to talk about this dunya. So it comes with Rahmat, and there is an edep to receive that Rahmat. So, slowly, what happens in the sohbet, when that channel is open, every cell in your body starts to change. Your thinking starts to change, your seeing, your senses, your psychology starts to change. As much as you are putting edep and you are opening yourself. If you don’t open yourself to that, if you are not having the proper edep, you can sit so still people are thinking ‘mashaAllah, he has good edep,’ but his heart is not there. It’s circling somewhere else. It doesn’t want to be there. You think we don’t know? You can be doing that, MashaAllah, you look like you have full edep, you can be sitting there for forty years, you are not going to take one step in Tarikat. Because now, to sit in that association, you are learning, first, how to disappear, how to disappear. You are learning how to die. You are learning not to declare your existence.
Every sohbet that is given, there is at least seven levels Don’t think the sohbet is just going to affect you by what we are speaking, logically. Other things are happening to people. Because it is not just a small gathering. There are others gathering as well, and they are looking at your sincerity. What is sincerity? That you want to change, you honestly want to change to become better. You are not just coming, like Sheykh Effendi said, to Tarikat because you have nothing better to do, because you’ve tried everything else and you’re bored with the world, and then you enter ‘let’s see how they can entertain me.’ Or entering into Tarikat to learn the worlds and the other worlds, but you have not even discovered the endless world of yourself as an Ummat of the Prophet (AS). when everything in existence is contained in him, you are following him, what do you think? Are you understanding?
Allah SWT is saying ‘Be with the Saliheen, be with the Righteous.’ He did not say ‘be righteous.’ He said ‘be with the Righteous.’ Because, with the sohbet, you become a Sahabi. Those ones who were burying their children, through constant sohbet with the Holy Prophet (AS), things start changing. Their hearts start turning. Of course, Allah is the Turner of Hearts. But you have to be awake, you have to be watching, you have to be paying attention, and you have to want to change. If you don’t want any of this, forty Prophets coming down from the Paradise will not change your mind. Nothing. There were people, they were once Sahabis and they dropped off. They they became worse. It’s not the fault of the Prophet (AS). Some became Christians. They left the religion completely. Some, in front of him they say ‘yes, we believe in you,’ later they declare themselves Prophets. Don’t think that we are better than them. Our ego has the same capacity. Everything that we are watching, it is a lesson for us.
You have to think. This is what it is, this is Taffakur. This is Taffakur, how ever you want to name it, Taffakur, Muraqaba, doesn’t matter. You are pulling yourself and you are looking at yourself, the way that you are going to be looked at on the Day of Judgment by the Angels, in front of all of creation. You are looking at yourself. Holy Prophet (AS) says ‘one hour of meditation, it is better than seventy years of worship.’ It is better than seventy years of worship. To have just one hour, to sit and to understand yourself. ‘What did I do? Where did I go? What did I say? Was this for the sake of Allah or not? Or was this for the sake of my ego? Did I pass through everything just in ghaflat, I woke up like a robot, and then I go to sleep like a robot?’ These are not characteristics of Mu’mins. You say ‘I want to change’? Then be around those, like Allah is saying, be with the Saliheen. It is up to you, too. You are with the Saliheen, with the Righteous, but you don’t want to change. You can be with them one hundred years, you will never change.
All, again, is according to you. You are the one who is going to open that. Then you start watching, you start observing, you start putting things together. You are saying ‘why is the Sheykh doing this like this? Why in this situation he says like this, why in this situation he says like that?’ You don’t just, blindly just accepting. Understand? You are thinking, not to rebel, but you are trying to understand the secret, why. Asking yourself, without asking him. So easy, to just say ‘why are you doing that? Why this?’ In Tarikat, ‘why’ is forbidden. You ask yourself that. So more you are thinking and coming together, being in the sohbet, your heart starts opening. You will know how to move, when to move, according to who. Especially in this way, the training is I knock you wall-to-wall if you don’t understand, because you should understand this already. Every one of us.
We are very weak ones, we are not claiming to be anything, but we are asking our Lord to keep us together with the strong ones, so that we will be strong, dunya and Ahiret. Don’t insist on your own ego. Don’t insist on your own ego. You are following a Sheykh, follow. Don’t put yourself in front. We cannot say more. People are going to misunderstand too. Wa minallahu taufiq, Al Fatiha. Amin. Selam Aleykum.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergahi New York
7 Rabiul Ahir, 1440
13 December, 2018