The zikr, the remembrance of Allah, remembrance. Allah is saying in the Quran, ‘remember Me and I will remember you.’ But there is an understanding there that the only way you can remember Allah is if Allah remembers you. The Sheykh’s, the Evliyaullah, the Saints they are saying, ‘understand that Allah’s remembrance of you is before you remember Him. And the fact that you remember Him is because He remembers you.’
In Islam we are saying there is a day in the time before time, the Day of Promises where Allah is saying, addressing to all the souls of mankind, all the souls, ‘am I not your Lord?’ and our spirits then all responded, ‘yes, You are and we promise to love You, to worship You, to follow, to remember You.’ This is before we are divided into races, ethnicity’s, colors, genders, before all of that. That is the Day of Promises, the day of Qalu Bala. ‘Am I not your Lord?’ That question did not stop in that time, it continues. Our Sheykh is saying our Lord is still asking that question, ‘am I not your Lord? Remember your promise.’ And for the believer, his whole life is an answer to that question that he was asked in the time before time,’ yes You are. Yes You are.’ It is a conversation. ‘Am I not your Lord?’ ‘Yes, You are. We remember, we promise, we love You, we ask from You, we worship You.’ That closeness, some religions they use the word communion, has never been broken. Allah in His greatness can forgive any sin. Because the spirit it is coming from Him. And He is asking, ‘am I not your Lord?’ And Ahli Tasawwuf in Tarikat, in Sufism, we make that to become very strong, very active to say, to remember Him, ‘yes, You are. Allah, Allah, Allah. La illaha ilah, La illaha ilah, astaghfirullah, subhanAllah, alhamdulillah.’
So, that question never stopped, our answers must never stop. And every worship that we do, the essence of that worship is the remembrance of our Lord. Your prayer, if you don’t remember your Lord in your prayer and it’s just going up and down, then it means nothing. The essence of that prayer, of a worship, of namaz, is the zikr, remembrance, zikrullah. You fast, the pillars of our faith, you fast, you fast to remember Allah in a different way now now. To remember Him through your body senses. ‘Yes, You are my Lord, thank You for providing.’ You give your wealth, zakat, to remember your Lord. Like today’s people, they say, ‘I work so I get money.’ No, who’s saying that? Who’s saying because you work you get money? There are millions of people, they work, they don’t get any money. What about that? And there are so many people who don’t work and they get money, what about that? So to know Ar-Razak, the Provider, the One who provides, the One who gives. So the believer, knowing that, ‘yes, You are the Lord,’ now with the zakat, with charity, to say, ‘it is not me, this doesn’t belong to me. Yes, I work, yes, through that work I get this, but still it doesn’t belong to me, this, through that money, through that provisions, through the material, now this has to be given to someone else, a part of it belongs to someone else, it doesn’t belong to me.’ In Islam whatever you earn, one-fortieth part doesn’t belong to you, it is the right of the orphans, the right of the old people, the right of those who have less money than you, it is not your right. It is not even the right of the government or the right of the state or- no, it is the right of the orphans, it is the right of people who are poor. It is their money, it’s not yours.
Now to go to the Hajj, it is another kind of zikr, another kind of remembrance because now you go to the Hajj, it is a remembrance that now, as we talked about earlier, the death. It is a door. It is not a state, it is a doorway. Nobody stays in death. They enter from one side, they go to another side. Now the pilgrimage to Mecca, to Medina, where you are just saying, the zikr that you do is ‘Labbayk Allah humma Labbayk,’ ‘here I am, oh my Lord, here I am,’ again, answering to that original question, ‘am I not your Lord?’ ‘yes You are, and here I am, I am returning to You. I came from You and I am returning to You.’ and in Islam one time in your life you have to make that transformative trip, the trip that is going to transform you because you are actually going through a rehearsal of death and Judgment Day in a ritual that is unchanged for one thousand four hundred years with everyone in the world at one time coming into one place. Everyone wearing white and saying, ‘here I am,’ a rehearsal of that Judgment Day, and that transforms you, because you have to prepare before the Hajj and if your Hajj is accepted, you come back completely cleaned. Not just to say, ‘oh, I did wrong things and it’s forgiven,’ but now you have a better understanding through that remembrance what this world is, what the death is, and what the hereafter is, because you must taste the hereafter there.
So the zikr, the remembrance, is the essence of all the worship we are doing. This is what we are doing. To say, ‘La illaha illallah,’ to say, ‘Allah,’ to call on the Holy Names of our Lord. To call on the one that He says, ‘if you love Allah, you must love this one and follow him,’ and that is the Prophet, for Allah to love you. A means. Because in reality nothing will satisfy us. Nothing. Nothing will satisfy our heart except for the remembrance of Allah. Because the heart is so vast that it can contain Allah, don’t think Wahhabi way that Allah is going to come, not like that, it is a throne of Allah. The Throne is the biggest thing in creation and everyone’s hearts is the Throne of Allah. So Tarikat and Tasawwuf and Sufism it is to empty that throne of any other Lord except our Lord, and zikr is one way to polish the heart and to remove, to say, ‘La illaha illallah,’ to say, ‘there is no ilah, there is no god except for god,’ You understand? To say, ‘there is no Lord except for that Lord.’ To begin your testimony, to begin your witnessing by saying no, not saying yes. By saying no. Because the reality is, as much as you try to understand, He is bigger than that. You can never know your Lord. And Allah is saying, whatever you imagine Him to be, He is beyond that. But man has been created, only man has been created to know Him. This is a specialty of mankind not even the angels can reach. This is a specialty of mankind that mankind, I’m not separating Jew, Christian, Muslim, believer, unbeliever, mankind in it’s potential that when Adam (AS) our father was created with all the souls and the seeds of human race inside him, Allah is giving an order to all the angels to prostrate in front of Adam. Prostrate to mankind. Because only mankind has been created to represent his Lord and to know his Lord. And the key to that, as the Prophet says, the one who knows himself knows his Lord. Comes back to ourselves again.
InsyaAllah, with understanding this, we will come out of being locked with the five senses. That is not real. Because it cannot be real, something that goes up and down, it cannot be real, something that changes. Then insyaAllah, with the zikr of Allah, slowly we start polishing our hearts. In the Naksibendi way, in the sohbet of the Friends of Allah we will rise above that also, polishing our hearts and understanding and feeling a little bit that our lives is a transition, passing, as a traveller is. That this world we are just passing. Like I said to the women, the whole problem is when people think that they’ve always been here and they will always be here. Like we said earlier, Iskandar he conquered the whole world, but when he died he’s saying, ‘make sure you parade my body, just one white sheet covering my body, my two hands sticking out to show that they are empty. That I bring nothing to my grave.’ Allah is not looking for what we are, but what we have inside the heart. Qalbun Salim, the Golden Heart.
So Tarikat must make us to understand what is our heart, to get rid of the things that cloud it, that makes it dirty, to turn it to become gold, insyaAllah. We are following the traditions of the Prophets and the Saints and this tradition to put it into our lifestyle. May it be accepted. We are asking for our Lords blessings and we’re asking for our Lord’s mercy and forgiveness, we are weak creatures, but insyaAllah with our sincerity He will accept. And we are happy and we are grateful, al Fatiha. Amin.
Shaykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifa of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah New York
4 Safar 1441
October 3, 2019