Question: What are the signs that you are remembering, or have forgotten death?
What are the signs that you are remembering death and what are the signs that you have forgotten about death, for a mureed? For a mureed it is forbidden to forget about your death. How many times we are saying, you go to sleep remembering death, death is under your pillow and when you wake up to know that death is standing up right at you.
For a mureed, everything is going to remind you of death. You wake up from your bed to know, ‘Ya Rabbi, Thank You for giving me life.’ You are not remembering death? Ya, when you wake up in ghaflat, when you wake up like a robot, when you wake up with your desires and your nafs, running after this world, ‘I have to wake up because I have to use the toilet. I have to wake up because I have to eat. I have to wake up because I have my job.’ You are not waking up remembering your Shahadat, remembering your Lord. That is so difficult? It is not difficult. It is stubbornness, it is ghaflat, it is heedlessness. One thing that you can do, maybe this world is going to take over, you have your job to do and everything, you cannot consciously remember death, but that time everything will remind you of death. Especially if you are a doctor, Allah Allah, how can you not remember? Does it mean that you are going to remember, oh you sit down, you become depress? No it doesn’t mean that too. You understand, it can go.
Everybody keeps up with the news. The news is not reminding us of death? Everyday is reminding us of not one or two, thousands dying everyday. That is an open sign. It’s not a sign, it’s a book. What makes a man not to look at that and to remember death? What makes it? Something to think about. Are you looking at that and say, ‘estaghfirullah ya Rabbi, please don’t let me be tested by that. Don’t let me to pass like that.’ Are you taking that and you are remembering your Allah? Not to look at the death and say, ‘oh, I hope it doesn’t happen to me. Oh no, definitely it’s not going to happen to me.’ No, are you remembering, ‘Allah, Allah. Allah is powerful. It can happen to me. Estaghfirullah, please.’ You are thinking of that. You are seeing everything, the news is filled with that. You are going to sleep, before you go to sleep in this way, what do we do? We make two sejdah shukr. Not just to say shukr to Allah but saying, promising Allah, ‘if it is good for me, take my life before I wake up. If it is good for me, give my life back so that I can become a better servant.’ This is two book ends, capping the beginning of the day and the end of the day. Throughout the day itself, what is making a man not to remember death, not to remember that he is going to pass?
It is not as if people here they are sunk in the pleasures. They are not really sunk in pleasures. I’m looking at so many people, they are miserable. They are not happy with anything. We say, ah okay, you are not happy with sohbets, you are not happy with zikr, you are not happy with worship, at least be happy with something. No, I see so many people they are miserable. Sheytan tricked them ten times over. I say, at least if you are happy with something, especially if you are a believer, that happiness turns to shukr. But they are teaching, ‘no, no no, you cannot be happy with anything because that means that you are too in love with dunya.’ No, you have to give shukr. You must be happy. Whatever that rahmat that Allah has shown you, you must be happy and that happiness must come out. People in front of me they are very miserable, behind me they are so happy. Because they equate now to be religious means to be miserable, to be pious means miserable.
Who remembers death the most? Holy Prophet (AS) and he is the one who smiles the most. Smiling, why? Men not smiling, women these days are even worse, I look at them I want to throw up. And you are supposed to be the ones that Allah is saying they have created the women so that the men can find rest, not just the dunya, the ahiret too, to become Paradise. Paradise became Paradise when Hawa Anna was created. That’s why you find the old times, the old grandmothers, they are smiling. They just smile. You look at them, you want to smile. So we lost this.
You don’t have to go out of your way to remind yourself of death. It is all around us. Everybody reads the news, that is enough. Don’t look at the trees or don’t look at the seasons, no need to look at the passing of the sun going up and down. That’s too difficult for ahir zaman people. Too difficult. You have to spell everything out for them, if they want to read. Most, they don’t want to read. Why is that? Because you are not close to your Lord. You are not conversing with your Lord, you are not speaking to your Lord, you are not remembering Him. You don’t remember Him when good things are happening to you, you don’t remember Him when bad things are happening to you. People are running to memorize Quran but they don’t talk to their Lord. People are running to memorize duas, but every duas is a conversation between the Prophet and Allah. What is your conversation with your Lord? That time if you are sincere, you say, ‘okay, my conversation, my dua with my Lord, what am I always asking Him? Oh, it’s just asking,’ then you are going to say, ‘oh it’s always about this dunya. It’s always about this. I’m always complaining. How it is?’ and our Lord is doing everything to make us to be pleased and we are always complaining. If you are not complaining, you are going to be happy. You look at something, you are going to say, ‘SubhanaAllah. Thank You.’ You are going to find every reason now. Yes, in the fire you are going to find a reason to look at the garden. You understand. These days, of course if you are young, Sheykh Effendi would say, ‘it’s understandable people who are young not to remember death so much, it hasn’t become a reality.’ But he’s saying for years, ‘I’ve seen old people, both feet they are inside the grave and still they want birthday cakes with candles!’
Now we have to look, what can deaden our hearts. Because one thing in Islam now, among the Muslims, they take away the fear of Allah. They become like Christians. Everyone talking about love, love, love, love, love, love, there’s no more fear of Allah. ‘Fear, oh that’s extreme. Fear, oh that’s Wahabbi.’ Since when? Look at Prophet (AS), how he feared his Lord, you are going to say that he’s Wahabbi? Look at Hz Abu Bakr, Hz Osman, Hz Ali, Hz Umar, Hz Abu Bakr, these are the people that they would, estaghfirullah, they are not people, these are the most beloved ones of Allah that when they recite ayats describing the punishment of the grave when they are praying, they would pass out. They would faint from the fear of Allah. Okay, we cannot do that. Don’t try to pretend now. I’m going to see now someone praying, ‘ahhh…’ they’re passing out, ‘I fear Allah.’ No, no, no. It doesn’t work like that. There is a sincere fear and there is a fear that you put on. How do we fear Allah? How do we fear the punishment of Allah? Yes, it is real. How do we fear that we are going to make Allah to be upset with us, to be angry with us? This is another thing. Because they are pulling us away, saying, ‘don’t, don’t, don’t worry about that. Don’t judge. Allah is not going to judge you. He’s just going to forgive you.’ So you take away what? You take away the fear that you have from the Sultan, you take away the fear that you have from the Prophet (AS).
Yes, every time they talk about Prophet, ‘oh, love, love, love, love, love.’ Is this everything that the Holy companions of the Holy Prophet they feel to the Prophet (AS)? When he was washing them up, they couldn’t even look at his face. Do they open that hadiths? Only in Tarikat they would do, but only in certain Tarikat. Now, they just say, ‘Ashq, Ashq, Ashq, Ashq, Ashq.’ There were certain Sahabis, they don’t even know, if you ask them, Sheykh Effendi is saying, they couldn’t even describe how the Prophet (AS) look because they were so in fear of him and they look down. They never see him, they never look at him. You understand?
So you take away the fear of the Prophet (AS), his awe, his greatness, take it away, just like one of us. We become worse than the Wahabbis. ‘Just like one of us,’ those who are called ahle sunnat become worse than wahabbi. ‘Ah, he’s just like one of us,’ those who are calling themselves ahle Sufi. You take away the greatness of the Prophet. You take away the Khilafat, the greatness of the one who is representing the Prophet. You take away the greatness of the Evliyaullah and the Sheykhs, you take that away. A Sheykh is what? Ah, just play kawalli 24 hours or just smile and give candies and recite something and grant your duas like that. Just like Santa Clause. You take away the fear that people have with their parents. Everything in authority, there’s no more greatness now. We take away all of that, how are you going to have faith? How are you going to have faith and the belief that something is going to happen to you. And those who are running to have that fear, now because there’s no proper channel for that, one day they are going to go to one extreme, another day they are going to go to another extreme. One day they are going to fear Allah so much, they are going to be locked, they don’t know what to do with it, next day they are going to not have any fear in Allah, they are going to start cursing at Allah and His Prophet, correct or no?
Having a guide now, it’s important. These days especially, we need. These days especially, we need. Because in the old days, we have that respect, that shame, that fear at every level. You don’t dare to say anything against to your mother or against to your father. You don’t dare to say anything against to your own teacher. If your father, your mother, knows you said something against to your teacher, they will punish you first. They are taught to kiss their hands, to put your head down and to kiss, a different form of sejdah. But they say, ‘no, no, no. Don’t kiss. Don’t kiss the hands, it’s shirk, it’s bida’at.’ and I’m thinking, millions they lost this tradition. And I’m shocked and surprised because it is alive in certain part of the world it’s not alive. Now I’m shocked and surprised. We have a lot of people from Pakistan following us and we say, do you have this tradition kissing the hand? No. Your parent’s hands? No. Why? Okay, I can understand, I don’t understand, maybe I can say, some Pakistani, a lot actually they don’t like to have cats at home, they don’t like animals, I say, at least have cat breh. Cat is sunnat. You call yourself the second Medina and there’s no cats? ‘It’s not allowed to have three cats. Oh, no, no, no.’ Okay at least now kiss hands. Kiss your father’s, your mother’s hands, you have to kiss, your teacher’s hands you have to kiss, these three. Your Hoja’s hands you have to kiss. Then that is going to teach you to respect. They don’t have that too. It’s finished. Allah, Allah.
We have to know, Allah is still the Ruler. Don’t think this world has fallen into Jababirah for 100 years, this is going to stay like this. So ask yourself, if today I die, what’s going to happen to me? If angel of death, this is not academic exercise. You’re driving on the road, everyone fears, ‘oh no, no, no…don’t think of accident. Don’t.’ But sometimes it comes to you, what if, what if, what if… How are you going to use it? ‘May Allah protect me.’ Yes, but how are you going to use it? You may say that that is reminding you also. You see things happening, what if it happens? Now instead of using that as a fear, as an anxiety, as something that gives you depression, turn it around to say that…You reminding yourself to remind yourself of Allah. And then you say, ‘Ya Rabbi, please don’t make me to go through that. I cannot carry it. But if you are making me to go through that, make sure, please I’m asking You to give me faith to be able to carry that.’ That you turn it around. You make that anxiety to be a way to get closer to your Lord, for your Lord to give you more what? Satisfaction, peace. Although so many things are turning upside down, you have more peace, because you are not living in fear of what’s going to happen to you, you are living in fear of what Allah, how He is looking at you. You understand?
What do you love? Are you saying to yourself, ‘one day this love is going to be taken away from me. One day this love is going to change.’ This is not philosophy. This is reality. ‘Then how am I going to do that?’ Maybe first stage you are going to have fear. Second stage, you have different. It has to be different. It has to be different, it has to be different. Look at your pleasures now and say, ‘this is going to go too.’ So now you are balancing yourself. You are not going to get drunk in that. You are going to look with some suspicion of that too. Because to be drunk in that, it’s a very bad thing for believers, for mureeds. Then you realise, ‘oh, I cannot even take a break, really.’ That’s okay. Because this world, we are not here to take a break. This world is test. And if you’re saying, ‘oh, I go to holiday, I go to this, I cannot even take a break,’ then say shukr. Because Allah did not put you in a complete ghaflat, especially now that we are here. That, it’s okay, it’s normal, that is just a zakat for some ease that is happening to us. Then that time, difficulty comes to you, your heart is not going to lock up, you are not going to be fear, because you run immediately to your Allah and you know what to do. Yes, that time you are going to check your heart first. You are going to check your heart. ‘Why is my heart racing like this? Why is it out of control like this?’ We haven’t even move to Tafakkur, sitting down and saying, what is the most thing that you fear that’s going to happen to you? Sit and go through it. And then check yourself, ‘where is my faith now? Where is my faith? Where is my faith?’ and then step by step ask to fix it.
Our biggest fear as mureed is that our Sheykh is going to pass before we pass. That was our biggest fear and he did talk about it. And he says, this is reality, I still remember inside the small masjid when he was talking something and certain thing we say we don’t even want to think. But we must think. Because that is real. ‘Oh I don’t even want to think things like that is going to happen to my parents or my children or this.’ but things like that happens to other people all the time, their parents and their children. You are not taking that fear and say, ‘no, no, no, no, no, it’s not going to happen.’ You are taking that and you are asking your Allah and slowly that will make your faith to become strong. Then slowly it’s not going to affect you so much. Then you are going to say, ‘I’ve already prepared for this. I thought about this. I asked for help. Now when the situation comes I know what to do. I’m not going to be stuck.’ Wa minAllahu Taufik. May Allah forgive me and bless you insyaAllah. Bihurmatil Habib, Bihurmatil Fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergahi NY
23 Zul Qaida 1440
July 26, 2019