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 Sayidinna Mawlana Muhammadin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmain.
All praises are due to Allah Jalla wa’Ala, the Lord of the Universes: BismillahirRahmanirRahim, “O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared- and don’t die except in a state of Islam. And hold firmly, all together, to the Rope of Allah, and do not separate. And remember Allah’s favor upon you- how you were enemies and He made friendship between your hearts, so that you became as brothers by His Favor. And you were on the edge of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. In this way does Allah make His Signs clear to you, so that you might be guided. Let there arise out of you a nation inviting to goodness, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. They are the ones who are successful. Don’t be like those who are divided amongst themselves and fell into disputations after receiving Clear Signs- for them is an awful doom. On the Day when some faces will be lit up with white, and some faces will be in the gloom of black, it will be said to them: “Did you disbelieve after your faith? Then taste the punishment for rejecting Faith.” But for those whose faces will be lit with white, they will be in the Light of Allahs’ Mercy. They will dwell in it forever. These are the Signs of Allah. We recite them unto you in Truth. And Allah wills no injustice to any of His creatures.” (3:102-108). Sadaqallahuladzim.
May all peace and blessings be upon the Sultan of Creation, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS). “The Honorable Muhammad (AS) is the Intercessor of this World and the next. This world is the world of religion, and the next world is the world of gardens. He shows the way in this world, and in the next world, he shows his moonlike face. His dua was, “O My Lord, show my followers the right path- in truth, they don’t know.” With his blessed breath, the doors of the two worlds were opened. His prayer has been accepted in both worlds. No one like him has come to the world, and no one like him will come.” (Mesnevi Sherif).
O Believers! Allah created us for His Service. When a being is created for a Reason, it must fulfill that reason of Creation. If not, then he will never find satisfaction. Only in the Service of Allah, in the Remembrance of Allah, in the Fulfillment of our Reason of Creation, will we find peace. It is as Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi (KS) is saying, “There is one thing in this world that you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else, no problem – but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you have done nothing in your life. A King sent you to a country to do a job – if you do a hundred other jobs, but not His job, then what good is it? Human beings came to this world to do a specific job. That work is the purpose, and each person has a specific job. If you don’t do it, it’s like using a priceless Indian blade to slice rotten meat. It’s a golden bowl being used to cook potatoes. It’s a Damascene dagger being used as a nail on the wall to hang pots. You might say, “but look, the dagger is being used- it’s not just sitting there.” Do you hear how stupid that sounds? For a penny, an iron nail could be bought to do that job. You say, “But I’m spending my energy on high aims. I study Fiqh and Falsafa (philosophy) and Mantaq (logic) astronomy and medicine and the rest.” But why are you doing it? These are all just branches of yourself. Remember! Remember the deep root of your existence, the Presence of your Lord. Give your life to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don’t, you will be exactly like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into the kitchen wall as a peg to hold a ladle. You’ll be wasting valuable passion and foolishly ignoring your dignity and your purpose.”
These are the Words of Allah’s Friends, who are speaking from the Words of the Prophet, who are transmitting the Guidance of Allah to the world. And this guidance is saying, in essence, that nothing matters unless it is guiding you to your real purpose in life. Not knowledge, not work, not family, nothing. The only thing that matters is figuring out, what is the specific reason that Allah created me for, and how do I live that reason of creation in my life, and how do I die and return in the presence of my Creator having fulfilled that creation. If we don’t fulfill that reason of creation in this life, we will be forced to fulfill it in the next life.
Hz. Mevlana Rumi is saying in his sohbet, “Hellfire is (in reality) a place of worship, a masjid for the unbelievers where they remember Allah…The person in hellfire he was in ghaflat and unmindful of Allah while he was at ease (in the world). Now, in hell, he remembers Allah day and night. Allah created the universe, the heavens and the earth, the sun and moon and planets, as well as good and evil to remember Him, serve Him, and glorify Him. Since the only reason for all this is his Remembrance, and since the unbelievers don’t remember Him in ease, they go to Hell to make their zikr. Believers do not need pain- they are not in ghaflat of suffering during times of ease, but always have that suffering before them. A clever child only needs one smack, then he doesn’t forget again. A stupid child forgets and needs to be smacked again and again. A smart horse takes the whip once and never needs it again. A stupid horse, however, needs to be whipped every minute- it’s not worthy to carry people, so it carries dung.” (Fihi ma Fihi).
If we don’t fulfill our reason here, Allah will make us to fulfill it in another world. May Allah save us from that. When things are this serious, when the matter is this severe, then it is our duty to look at just one thing- what is going to make us learn why we are here? Sahib el-Sayf Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi el-Rabbani (KS) is saying: “Turn into a servant. Even if there was no hereafter life, and if Allah had created you and declared, “You are My servant,” then you are going to live on the face of the earth, and you are going to become a servant. There’s no other choice. Do you think you have a choice? Do you think you can say, “I have a free will, I can do what I want”? No- you are a human. A human must think before he does something, “is this damaging me and others or not? Is this pleasing Allah and His Holy Prophet or not?”
Man must think- this is why Allah (SWT) is asking in the Quran, again and again, “Why don’t you think?” Allah gave us this life now, and He is ordering us to think. He’s saying, “My Divine Hand is with a group of people, those people whose hearts are together.” Yes, they are together for Allah’s Sake, their hearts are together. Even if you aren’t beloved to Allah, maybe in that Jamaat there’s one who is Allah’s Beloved, and you will be blessed because of that one. Today everyone looks at themselves in the great giant mirror and says, “I am that one.” No, you’re not. The Real Ones don’t come to tell you, “I am that one.” They are humble servants. They know that if not for the blessing from Allah, they aren’t good for anything again.”
This is one teaching that is very difficult for 21st century man to put into their lives. It used to only be western culture, but now, it is all schools, all cultures, are teaching people- you are special. You are the best. You are unique. Have self- esteem. This kind of teaching, it takes away the natural humbleness and the modesty out of a man’s heart. And a man without humbleness, he cannot think and he cannot submit to a Beloved of Allah. And a man without humbleness, definitely he cannot be in a Jamaat. Because Jamaat teaches a man to walk in the footsteps of the Prophet and the Saints. And their manner is to put themselves last, and to put others first. In the Jamaat of Allah’s Beloveds, the dress-code is the robe of Edep. Whoever doesn’t wear that robec, they annot sit in that Jamaat.
What Edep? The kind that Holy Prophet (AS) described to Hz. Muaz ibn Jabal, saying: “I advise you to love and fear Allah, and to speak the truth, and to honor your mission, and to deliver your trust, and to reject betrayal. Guard your neighbor! Have mercy on the orphan! Be kind in your words! Be quick to give salam! Do good, moderate your expectations, stick to your faith, spend in the love of the Quran and the love of the Hereafter, and beware of the Judgment Day. Moderate your behavior. I forbid you from insulting a wise man, and I forbid you from contradicting the true words of a true man, and I forbid you from obeying a criminal, and I forbid you from disobeying a just Imam, and I forbid you from plundering property. I advise you to love and fear Allah at every stone or tree or turn, and to make tawba after every sin- the secret one with a secret one, and the public one with the public one.” (Ihya Ulumuddin). The words of the Prophet speaks the truth.
These manners are the inheritance of the beloved of Allah that are passed down in Jamaat. Because only by being with others, and living with others, and making yourself to be helpful and good to others, can you learn these manners. The Secret to the Edep of the Prophet is that it is learned in Sohbet- it cannot be learned any other way. Edep is the fruit that comes from the struggle of fighting against the ego. And a real fight against the ego comes by following a Leader in a Jamaat. Learning your bad characteristics is a sign that Allah loves you. Holy Prophet (AS) said, “when Allah wishes to favor a servant, He reveals his bad characteristics to him.” (Kanz al-Ummal). These days, murids get upset when the Sheykh shows the real characteristics to him.
Imam el-Ghazali (KS) is talking about the foolishness of the person who gets upset when his bad characteristics are pointed out, saying: “don’t get angry or sulk if someone points out a fault of yours, because bad characteristics are snakes and scorpions that will bite you in this life and the next. If someone showed you a snake in your clothes, accept his favor. If you get upset with him, it’s a sign of your weak belief in Akhiret. Benefitting from it shows the strength of your faith.” (Ihya Ulumuddin)
The person who points out your bad characteristics and makes you struggle against your ego, in reality, is bringing you to Allah’s Love and taking you out from Allah’s anger. Because Allah loves the person who fights his ego. Allah (SWT) spoke to Dawud (AS) and said, “Ya Dawud! Make yourself beloved to Me by your jihad (struggle) against your ego and forbidding it from what it wants. I will keep My Eye on you, and you will see the veils between Me and you lifted, and I will take care of you to give you the strength to receive My Rewards when I give them to you. I will not hold them back from you as long as you stick to My Obedience.” (Ihya Ulumuddin).
So stick to those who make you Beloved to Allah. This is a training. Tarikat is a training. This was the practice of Muslims for 1400 years. They understood that Allah (SWT) had created certain Servants who were His Beloveds. They didn’t try to compete with them- they ran to be with them. They ran to be in their company. They ran to be in their Sohbet. Yes, Islam is teaching that Allah (SWT) has special servants. Allah (SWT) is saying, in words narrated by Hujjatul Islam Imam al-Ghazali: “O people of the earth! Why are you running after the dunya’s delusions? Strive for My Honor and Companionship. Be close to Me, and I will make you happy and rush love to you. I have molded the clay of My Ashiks from the clay of My Khalil Ibrahim, and My Kaleem Musa, and My Habib, Muhammad (AS). I have created the hearts of those who long for Me from My Light, and refined them with My Majesty…I have servants from among My servants that Love Me and I love them, and long for Me and I long for them, and remember Me and I remember them, and they behold Me and I behold them. If you walk on their Way (Tarikat), if you walk on their path, I love you, and if you stray away from them, I hate you.” (Ihya Ulumuddin). These are Allah’s Words, reaching to us through the Saints. And Alhamdulillah, we are Osmanli Naksibendis. We are reaping the fruit of the Devlet-i-Aliyye and the Tarikat-i- Aliyye. And this Ottoman Naksibendi Way is teaching this attitude of running to be with Allah’s Friends, to accept their teachings, to fight against the ego, and to walk on the path of Edep. The entire Ottoman Culture is colored with this kind of spirituality. The Naksibendi Way is the Secret Road that makes its followers be dressed with these teachings.
Khwaja Ubaydullah al-Ahrar, one of our Grandsheykhs, made the Principle of this Secret Road clear when he said, “the Shade of the Shaykh is better than the zikrullah.” Why is he saying that? Because, whatever gives you benefit and makes you reach to your reason of creation, that is the most beneficial and essential knowledge to a man. And nothing makes a man to understand his reason of creation more than the shade, the Sohbet, of the Real Shaykh. Sultan el-Evliya, Sheykh Mevlana Muhammad Nazim adil al-Hakkani is expanding this teaching saying: “Insan needs carving. Otherwise he’s like wild wood. Even if it sits for 100 years it will remain timber. But in the hands of a Master Carpenter the timber is transformed into beautiful furniture. Advice will sharpen the timber of our ego. The Master’s job is to look if the wood is straight or crooked- if it’s crooked, he files it until it’s smooth. He continues to carve and file the murids until it is straight and soft.
Allah (SWT) says in Holy Quran, in Surah Hud, BismillahirRahmanirRahim,“Be Straight, as you have been ordered.” (11:112) Holy Prophet (AS) said, “Surah Hud made me turn grey.” Why? The Majesty of that Ayat made the blessed beard of Holy Prophet (AS) turn grey.
There is no empty work and there is no wasting and there is no nonsense in Islam. In Islam, the Tarikat has control and arrangement of everything that happens between the Awliya, the Sheykhs, and those who are following them from the dervishes and the murids. To be on the Way it is in Tarikat. Otherwise, you remain like timber, just lying down- it’s just wood. And the Carpenter carves the wood until it reaches the Sultan’s Palace. Ask the furniture in the Palace how much treatment it went through before it reached the Palace of the Sultan- how much it was trained, to be fit for being the furniture for the King. Mankind, therefore, is also continuously in need of training.
Allah says, BismillahirRahmanirRahim, “so remind, for indeed, reminders benefit the believers.” (51:55) Sharpen, carve, remind. Every remembrance is similar to shaping, softening, and straightening the wood. BismillahirRahmanirRahim, “Remind, for verily, reminding profits the believers.” (51:55).” Sadaqallahuladzim.
We should make endless Shukr that we are still gaining the benefits of these kinds of teachings. You can search the whole world, but you cannot find these kinds of teachings anymore. These are the teachings that Holy Prophet (AS) gave to Hz. Abu Bakr Siddique to his heart, and that have been passed heart to heart, coming to us. These teachings will make a man to be worthy to be in the Palace of the Sultan.
O Believers! Don’t forget the fight against to your ego. That fight is never finished. The ego has tricked so many people. And the ego will not leave you alone until the last breath. Wake up, and be on alert, and don’t sleep. You can build the strongest fortress of Faith- but if the door is open in the back, your enemy will come and stab you and kill you. Seyh Efendi never let us forget our ego. And listen to his reminder, he is saying: “wake up to yourselves. Allah (SWT) created you, and gave care to you. Don’t think you don’t have value- you have value. But your value only comes through obedience to your Lord. And through asking from Allah (SWT). And asking has to teach you how to run and how to learn and how to progress. You cannot be in the same heedless and headless station, in the same circle going around day and night 24 hour a day. You must wake up. You must remove that glaze that is glazing your eyes that’s making you to see yourself that you have reached to the top. Look down under your feet. Never look up. You’ll be alright then. The ego is your worst enemy. The ego will not rest until the last breath. It will not rest until the last breath. And the ego has so many tricks that if you fix it from one side then it’s going to come to you from the good side. If you are going to become disobedient to your Master, it’s going to cut your neck off right there. So, you cannot take care of your ego by yourself. Impossible.”
May we not waste our times insyaAllah. May we put these words in our life. May we not leave the fight against our ego. May we stay with the Ones Allah loves and serve them. May we not be selfish and egoistic. May we become generous and selfless. May Allah bring down zulm and cruelty. May we not be zalims. May we be saved from the traps of dajjal. May we be from the People of Mehdi (AS).
We are asking with Seyh Mevlana’s dua, saying: “Aman ya Rabbi! We make tawba to you, we are returning to you. Ya Allah! Do not leave us to our egos even for the blink of an eye. We are repenting to you and asking for Your forgiveness. Send us one who may correct our situation. O our Lord! Ya Karim! You are the Karim! For the Sake of Your Beloved al-Mustafa, for the Sake of every Nabi and every Wali.” Amin!
Shaykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
24 Rabi al-Ahir 1441H
December 20, 2019