QUESTION: I saw one of your pictures which struck me from your visit in Turkey in that picture a sweeper was placing his hand on the heart when you pass by him. In this time and age how can these people have this type of edep or manners, is this in there blood or did they learn this from someone?
That’s why they are very special people. We are not saying everyone, doesn’t matter, I don’t want to argue about all these kinds of things, I’m talking about where we went to. This kind of manners also you cannot find in so many muslim countries. You cannot. I came from a muslim country myself, surrounded by muslim countries when I was growing up, I can’t really. Why is that? What is it that the manners that they have? Are they born with it?
Everyone is born with something but it is also the surrounding that makes it to be. And they have both, they are born with it because of the traditions of hundreds of years, one thousand years, they are born with that and they are surrounded by that too. Over there, certain places that we went to, you have to go out of your way to really run after your ego. You have to go out of your way. Over here you cannot take two steps without seeing things that is disobedient to Allah, that is pulling your nafs, you syahwat and your desires and this and this, correct? Over there it’s not. Because the whole system is a little bit different. It’s trying to be like here of course but it’s going to take some time also and there is also the protection. I was thinking about this today, one of the things that they talk about, the Turkish nation, which by the way, the Turkish nation you cannot really even pinpoint what is Turkish because when you look in the streets in Turkey, in Istanbul anywhere, you see people who look completely Chinese they are Turkish, they look completely European they are Turkish, completely dark and this, everyone is. So that is what is call Osmanli. And of course everyone speaks their language, okay that’s fine. But I’m saying that there are also different, different types of people but there are something that is in common. So I’m not saying that, or just say that they are the best, they are the most superior. No, I’m taking lesson from it. We are taking lesson from it.
So I was thinking today because one of the things that they talk about, this Turkish people, they said they don’t read too much. They say they are not a nation of readers. They don’t read. And I am thinking, read what? The news that is filled with confusion? Which they do, they are reading and keeping, that politics and everything they are very concerned. So read what? Magazines? Fashion magazines? Stories? Novels? Fictions? Number one, when you are working fifteen hours a day, you don’t have too much time to read. You are struggling to pay your bills. You don’t have too much time to read. We are muslims and the most important thing to read is the Quran. If you have time, read the Quran, read some hadiths, make some zikr. Why we should just be following something that somebody says we should be doing? But when they have time, what do I see the people there that they are doing? They love to interact, they love to talk to each other, they love to share. They have sohbet, they have companionship, they have muhabbat. And what does that do? You know a child, when you are raising a child and the child doesn’t socialise, doesn’t know how to socialise until ten years, twenty years, it’s kind of weird right? What if the child knows how to socialise, like children mostly coming from big family? They socialise, they become more intelligent because they say, ‘I’m not just living for me, I’m also living and I’m understanding, this one is like this, this one is like this, this one and this one is like this,’ so they become more intelligent. You are understanding people’s mentality, their likes and dislikes from a very young age. They like doing that, straight and sincere not in a fake, nice sort of way, which, sad to say there are a lot of Muslims that are like that. Very sweet, very nice, fake nice coming, ‘ya habibi,’ but after you go, they just turn to be like this (hatred). You know what I mean?
They are curious, they talk, they say straight, they say. There’s a different quality. We need to learn. We need to pick up. This is a holy order from Allah SWT. ‘We have created you into different nation so that you learn from each other,’ and you grow up like that. You grow up like that. And they are still very strong muslim country. I went for maybe three jumma there. There’s so many masjids. Everywhere there’s a masjid, there’s a jami. Everywhere. So many, right? Jumma time it’s all packed. But we still see seventy percent of the men they are still outside not attending Jumma. And I’m thinking, if all the Jamis are packed and it’s only thirty percent going, imagine if seventy percent are going, imagine if ninety percent of the men are going, imagine if everyone goes. How strong it’s going to be. This jami it’s also needed, it’s still being used. It’s not turned into a museum. That means, it is still very alive and they don’t need to make new ones, to demolish the old ones to make new ones, because these ones have been there for hundreds of years, countless Alims and Ulamas and Evliyas and Sheykhs and Padishahs, they are there, blessings there. So you grow up like that. Because their idea of dunya is also very different.
We are very special living in America. We don’t understand how special we are, our relationship with dunya. Because so many countries don’t have that same kind of relationship. What are we being busy with? You turn on the television, this sale is happening, this new movie is coming out, this new food is coming out, this celebrity is busy with this, this politician is busy with this celebrity. You understand all these things, all these things they don’t concern the average people there. And if you say, ‘you must be concerned,’ they find it really stupid. ‘Why should we be concerned?’ Over here, fify, sixty, seventy years old people they still go to the movie to watch comic books superheros. It’s unthinkable over there. Of course there are some people who go there but generally it’s like unthinkable. I tell them this is what they do, they laughed, they said, ‘really?’ People who are, they have no life, because there is no sohbet, there is no muhabbat, here I’m talking about, there’s no sohbet, there’s no muhabbat, from families to friends to communities, there is none of that, fake kind of thing, so people then become very lonely, become very miserable and the only time when they can really have some sort of contact, and don’t look down to them too, is when they go to the mall and they talk to the checkout counter girl. They dress and they go, old people. That is very poor. You understand? Over there they are very hardworking. They work.
So that one, I like him because he’s at Eyyup Sultan, I saw him the first time. He’s a cleaner, what a blessed job it is. We are going there, we made friends with him, he’s very happy. Imagine how many people going there not even looking at people like that. But we are being taught otherwise. Correct or no? We are not going to the jami to look at the imam or this or that. We are looking to see at those ones that Allah and His Prophet and the Evliyaullah they love and the rest of society they look down on them. We are looking for those ones. Because those are the first ones that the Prophet came to. Those are the ones who supported the Prophet (AS). So there is the maturity. When I mean that they don’t read, what I mean also by that is that they don’t try to be like other people, to read a story and then pretend you are that person, pretend that you have those feelings, pretend that you have those understandings. They don’t. They just become themselves. They don’t try to look at fiction and try to make their lives to be like that. When we have that, then it’s still strong and that kind of edep is still considered normal. When you get into Islamic edep, it’s completely different. When you get to Tarikat edep, you cannot even come close. When you look at Tarikat edep, then you say this people must really be ahle jannat already. Of course there are so many things that are trying to work against it now, but they are trying. At least you still see it’s still there. It’s a lot of effort on the part of people who had the authority, they have the authority and the power to keep all these things also.
May Allah make it easy for them, insyaAllah. But that’s it, for over 500 years, they are colored by the color of tasawwuf, they are colored by the color of the Holy Prophet (AS) and his manners and they still keep that. It’s the only empire in the world that is an Empire of Tasawwuf. So people hold manners to be more important, so keep it. Allah forgive me and bless you, insyaAllah. Al-Fatiha.
Shaykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
6 Jamada al-Ahir 1441
January 31, 2020