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 wallathina 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.
All praises are due to Allah. BismillahirRahmanirRahim “Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the Kingdom, and He is Able to do all things. He Who created life, and death, that He might test which of you is the best in conduct- and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving.” Sadaqallahul Azim (67:1-2).
May all peace and blessings be upon the Chosen Messenger of Allah, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS), the Prophet of Allah, the Beloved of Allah, the Most Honored One in Divine Presence. May peace and blessings be upon him, and upon his noble family and his blessed companions. He (AS) is saying about them, “The Most Merciful from my Ummah to my Ummah is Abu Bakr. And the most serious of them concerning the Commands of Allah is Umar. And the truest in modesty amongst them is Osman. And the best in judging is Ali. The Masters of the youth of Paradise are Hasan and Huseyin and the Master of the women of Paradise is Fatima. And Hamza is the lion of Allah and the lion of His Prophet.
O Allah, grant your forgiveness to Abbas and his children, an outward and inward forgiveness and leave no mistake unforgiven. Allah Allah! Fear Allah when it comes to my Sahabis. Do not make them targets after me! Whoever loves them he loves them because of his love for me; and whoever hates them hates them because of his hatred toward me. And the best of my Nation is my generation, then those who follow them, and those who follow them. The Sultan is the Shadow of Allah on Earth. Whoever honors the Sultan, Allah will honor him. And whoever hates the Sultan, Allah will hate him.”
Ya Ayyuhal Mu’minoon! O Believers! Allah (SWT) created this universe with laws and orders. And one of the Qanuns, one of the Laws that Allah (SWT) has set for existence, is that everything is going to die. As He (SWT) is saying in the Holy Quran, BismillahirRahmanirRahim “Kullu nafsin za’iqatul mawt– Every soul shall taste of death.” Sadaqallahul Azim (3:185).
Remembrance of death makes a man be aware of himself, and his reality, and his powerlessness before his Lord, Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) is Hayy and Qayyum- He is Alive, and He is Everlasting. Our existence is nothing before His. And our existence is going to come to an end when the Angel of Death comes to take our soul from our body. And once we are dead, our body is going to be placed inside the ground, and we will be covered with the earth from which we were created. We will still be able to hear. We will still be able to understand. We will still be aware of what is around us. But we will be dead. That is the nature of the existence of man. There is no escape from death. As Allah (SWT) is saying in the Holy Quran: BismillahirRahmanirRahim “Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!” Sadaqallahul Azim (4:78).
Remembering this death makes a man to gain value before his Lord, Allah (SWT). Because remembering death makes a man remember his servanthood, and it makes a man prepare for Akhiret. Hz. Ibn Umar (RA) is narrating that someone asked Holy Prophet (AS), “Ya Rasulallah, which of the believers is the best?” And he (AS) answered- “Those with the best Akhlaq, manners.” And the man asked,“which of the believers is the wisest?” And the Holy Prophet (AS) answered: “Those who remember death often and have prepared for it with good deeds- those are the wisest.” (Ibn Majah).
And Holy Prophet (AS) also once said to Hz. Ibn Umar, “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a traveler along a path.” And Hz. Ibn Umar used to say to the people, “If you make it to the evening, don’t wait for the morning. And if you make it to the morning, don’t wait for the evening. Take from your health for your sickness, and from your life for your death.” (Bukhari).
For the believer, the death, it is not a bad news. It is a good news. Our Mother Hz. Aisha (RA) is reporting that once Holy Prophet (AS) said: “Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet that person. And whoever hates to meet Allah, Allah hates to meet that person.” Hz. Aisha (RA) said to him, “Ya Rasulallah, all of us hate death and don’t like it.” And the Prophet (AS) replied, “It is not like this. Instead, when a believer is given good news of the Mercy of Allah, His Pleasure, and Paradise, he loves to meet Allah and Allah loves to meet him. When a disbeliever is given news of punishment at the hand of Allah and hardship to come from Him, he hates to meet Allah and Allah hates to meet him.” (Muslim).
The Sahaba-e-Kiram, the Inheritors of the Holy Prophet (AS), the best in creation after the Prophets, they were remembering death, and they were worrying about their deaths, although those were the ones who had been guaranteed Paradise. Hz. Umar al-Faruq (RA) had a ring that he would wear on his finger, that he would always look at it, saying, “Death is enough as an advisor to you, ya Umar.” (Ibn Asakir). And Hz. Osman, when he used to pass by the graves, he would cry and he would say, ‘Verily the grave is the first stage of the Akhiret. Whoever is saved from the grave, whatever comes afterward will be easy for him. If he is not saved from the grave, whatever comes after will be harder for him. I have never seen anything more frightening than the grave.” (Tirmizi).
Our Sheykh, Sahib el-Sayf Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi el-Rabbani (KS) is also reminding us about death all his life, saying: “Death is waiting for us. We didn’t taste the death yet. Everyone of us are going to. We cannot escape. No man is going to escape from it. There’s only one man who escaped from it until now for over two thousand years. Isa (AS). But he’s coming back to the world to die. One of the biggest reasons that he’s coming back to this world is to taste the death because he went up with his spirit and with his physical body together and he’s going to come back to this world to die, to give that spirit, and that body will go under the ground to be prepared for the Judgment Day. No man is going to escape from that. We cannot.
Yesterday we were inside our mother’s womb. Today we are standing on top of this ground. Tomorrow, we are going to be in it. So as much benefit you’re going to get from this Dunya, run to the Dunya. Holy Prophet (AS) is saying to us, ‘As much as you’re in need of this Dunya, run to this Dunya. As much as you’re in need of Akhirat, run to Akhirat.’ So an intelligent man must sit and think, ‘How much do I need this Dunya and how much I need the Akhirat?’ That is according to your faith.”
The Great Wali Hz. Hasan al-Basri (RA) used to be amazed by people who forgot about death, saying: ‘It is very shocking that there are people who have been ordered to prepare for the journey to Akhiret, and the announcement for their early departure has already been made, and yet they are just playing in this world.” (Tambihul Ghafileen). When we forget, that is what we are doing. We are playing in this world. We are getting tricked by this world. Allah (SWT) is warning us against this saying: BismillahirRahmanirRahim “And the life of this world is nothing but play and amusement. But much better for you is the house in the hereafter for the pious. Will you not then understand?” Sadqallahul Azim (6:32).
The opposite of remembering death is to think that you will live forever. But it is to think that you will live forever not in Akhiret, but to believe that you will live forever in this dunya. And falling in love with this dunya is the thing that has destroyed this Ummat. Sahib el-Sayf is saying: “The biggest thing that gets the heart spiritually sick, the main source, is the love of Dunya. When you have the love of this world so much in your heart, then that love of the world makes you to go crazy. I know so many who were good people in the beginning, they did good things, but later you see that the love of the world becomes so much that they turn to become bad. So many times you are asking yourself too, “When this person was poor he was a good man. Now he is rich but he is a bad man, he is a tyrant.” I don’t think you didn’t meet somebody like that. You met somebody in your life like that. That’s what happens, because the love of Dunya makes the person become a tyrant, arrogant, stubborn, selfish and everything.”
And in another sohbet, Sahibulsaif is explaining “What is the dunya?” And he is answering, “The dunya is everything that keeps you away from Allah.” For some, the dunya is the material things. For some, it is their politics. For some, it is their children. For some, it is their ideology. For some, it is their knowledge. Anything that keeps you away from Allah, that is your dunya. And if you become lost in that dunya, you will become a tyrant. You will become arrogant, stubborn, selfish and everything, because for some people, they may not run to earn millions in this world, but they have a different dunya in their heart. For some, they say ‘we are not running to look after our families,’ but they are running after an ideology that is opposed to what Allah and His Prophet they are bringing. For some, they are saying ‘we are not busy with politics,’ but their dunya, their hubbud dunya has become their family that is not in the way of Allah.
So Sheykh Effendi is continuing, “We must keep that heart clean, and the heart is the Throne of Allah. Allah is saying to us, ‘You want more peace in your heart? First put Me in there and look, all the peace is coming. If you put somebody else higher than Me in that heart, that one is not going to give you any peace. You are going to run to that one but that one is going to make you to become a slave’.” Our job is to run away from the love of this dunya. Our job is to look, to understand, what is this love in the dunya that we have? Because majority are not understanding that. Majority are saying “I am not running to eat and to drink and to gain the pleasures.” But they still have the sickness of the dunya in their hearts. And it’s not until that you meet a doctor of the hearts that you will understand what the sickness is. But majority, they are stubborn, and the majority, they are arrogant. The biggest way of getting rid of the love of dunya is the remembrance of death. So if we feel that we have love in our hearts for other than Allah, think of the end of that love. Think of the death of that which we love. That is one way to remember that Allah is the One Who is going to stand still and be permanent. This is why once, when the Holy Prophet (AS) saw some of the Sahabis laughing too much he came to them and said, “Remember more often the destroyer of pleasures- al-mawt, death.” (Tirmizi).
We are in the way of the Evliyaullah. We are in the way that teaches us death is a reality. We are in the way that teaches us that we have to understand what is our dunya, and what is the death from that dunya. We are in a way that must make us to understand, to die before we die. It must make us to look into our hearts, to see what is it that is in our hearts, the dunya that is other than Allah, other than the Prophet and other than the teachings of Allah and His Prophet, conveyed to us by our Sheykh.
The death is the first stage for us reaching towards our return to our Lord. Our hope is that our grave is a waiting station for Paradises. But as the Prophet (AS) is saying, how you live is how you are going to die, and how you die is how you are going to be brought back on Judgement Day. If we are living in our lives now, checking our love of the dunya, making that small kurban every day, of the pleasures of this dunya, to look deep into our hearts, what it is that is separating us from Allah, and understanding that death, then we are preparing that grave, and every day we are making that grave to become more beautiful, every day we are making that grave, not only to become a station of Paradise, but it makes us to become more eager to return to our Lord. If we are doing that, then our grave is not a place that we are going to fear. If we are not doing that, as we see millions and billions in this world, when we look at their lifestyle and their faces, they are a people who hate death. They are a people who run away from any remembrance of death. They are a people that, if they have power in their hands, they want to kill death.
May Allah make us to wake up to our own reality, that this world is the lowest of the low. May Allah make us to be in the waiting station of the Paradise, to come to a reality. May Allah make our hearts to turn away from this world, from anything that separates us from Him. May Allah make our death to come with real Shahadat, and we are asking that Allah (SWT) let us pass from this life clean and pure, and to let our death to be the door to be united with our Beloved. Amin.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifa of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah New York,
23 Zul Qaida 1440
July 26, 2019