Question: When you have been given certain responsibility, the job may look scary or difficult. Is this something which is natural, and how do you overcome it?
Don’t think it’s scary. Why? Why is it scary? You can use those words very easy, but why? Do you question your response? You must question why you feel that way. Don’t just say, ‘because I feel that way, it must be true.’ Who say every feelings we have, every response we have, is true, is trustworthy? It’s not. Obviously it’s not, otherwise he will not give it to you.
You just have to do the work, step by step. Nobody ever looks at the lamb, for example you roast lamb, you roast chicken, you roast turkey, nobody ever says, ‘scary, how am I going to eat all of that?’ No. What do you do? You take one bite. Then you take another bite. You don’t finish, you keep it till later, then you eat it again, correct? When you say, ‘oh it’s scary. I don’t think I’m going to be able to finish it.’ People talking like that, you say, ‘it doesn’t make sense. You are not behaving with reasons. You are not behaving with intelligence.’ So the work that they give us, if we look at the whole thing like that, then our ego will easily trick us.
Number one, whatever work they give us, it is an honor. Don’t ever think it’s scary. It is an honor. We must be honored to be able to do it. Whether it is to pour them a glass of water, to clean the toilet, to clean the barn or to clean our hearts, or to do something or to get something or to help, it is an honor that they are using us as a tool for Haqq, number one, that’s it. And the work that they give us, because it’s an honor, although we don’t really fit into that honor that they give us and they trust us with it, so that way it doesn’t matter what kind of work they give you, whether to clean the bathroom or to go sit on the throne, it doesn’t matter. Because you are looking at the same job with the same amount of passion that you are going to do, I mean we are speaking from experience, I’m not just throwing out, it doesn’t matter whether you are there or you are here, whether we are cleaning that chair in the bathroom or they tell you to sit on their chair, it doesn’t matter now. Now, same principle. What are you scared about? What are you going to be scared about? If they give it to you and you feel honored, obviously they believe that you can do the work. If you can do the work, you must be more happy to show them that you can do the work well. It is with that kind of spirit, cheerfulness, to do something and to be happy to do it and to know that you can do a good job, to be happy, to make them happy.
So, that you have to fight. That you have to fight against your ego and it’s going to say, ‘oh, who are you,’ or, people putting nazar on you. You need to fight that. You need to put fortress around it. You need to defend yourself and say, ‘I don’t care. This work he gave me, I like to do it, he thinks I can do it, I’m going to consult with him,’ and you do your work. Why are you going to feel scared? All the scariness and everything is just going to give you more excitement to do, give you most boost to do. You understand? It’s not something that is going to make you to become panic or whatever. You are not going to be. And you should be happy if it is something that they give you that is very clear for you to do. If it’s not clear then that’s the time when it’s not that easy. That’s the time when you have to be scared, because it’s not clear what they want you to do. It’s always that, when it’s not clear then it becomes scared. But we tell you clearly, this, this and this. And even when it’s not clear, it’s only your not understanding it properly. It will become clearer in time. You just have to trust them. That understanding is a different kind of understanding. It’s not the understanding of, ‘okay I have to understand everything now to be able to do it.’ It is an understanding that you trust them. That whatever it is, they’ll be able to give and support you, that you must know that the work that you are doing, it is through their help. If it works, if it’s successful, it is definitely because of them. If it doesn’t work, it’s not because they don’t give you medet, if it doesn’t work, if it fails, it’s not because they don’t support you enough, it’s because of your own stupidity, your own stubbornness, your own ego. When you look at it this way, then every failure that you have you say, ‘it’s my fault.’ You are fixing yourself. You are saying, ‘I could have done this or I could have done that.’ Then you’ll never going to blame anyone. Then the next job you do it and it becomes better and better. That time you are looking at your failure also not as something that is such a big deal that you want to jump off a building or something.
Because it is so simple, so many of the mistakes that we do in Tarikat, if only we sit for five more minutes think it through, only that we know that we become so impatient, just sit down and think it through, why you are not seeing it? Even if it is an accident, we say, why you are not seeing it? That road is clear for one hundred feet. Why you are not seeing it? It’s an accident. But why you are not seeing it? So we are trained enough to sense something, to know something, to see before it happens. So now you have to fight against all that negativity, you have to fight against other people doing this and that and you have to hold on to your Sheykh more stronger. InsyaAllah ar-Rahman. Then it will be easier. Then that time the credit you cannot claim too much and at the same time there’s a certain peace that comes with it also and it gives you more energy, more boost to do more. Even if you get tired doing it, you rest little bit then you come up again, you become very strong again. It knocks you down, and then you rest just a little bit and then you can come back. It’s not something that is going to destroy you.
So you must study your Sheykh. You must see how his attitude is. This is one thing people are not doing. They are not studying, they are not looking enough. You must see what their attitude is, you must see how they are picking themselves up, how when things are falling around them, they are still standing, they are doing this, they are doing that. When you take that, you learn, you take it, you put it in your life, then you will see some changes. insyaAllah. Otherwise, if it’s just according to us, especially today’s generation, with nothing they can crumble. With just worrying, they can crumble. You cannot crumble like that when you have real responsibilities, when by the age of eighteen, sixteen years old, you really have to go out and earn small amount of money so that you can help the house for instance, pay the rent. Then you don’t have time to overthink, you don’t have time to think because now you have to go and you have to do something. You say, ‘why am I feeling this way. I feel empty.’ Kid, eighteen years old, or nineteen, saying, ‘I feel empty.’ What is your life? ‘I don’t know, it’s emptiness.’ That’s right because you are not filling it with doing something that is constructive. You are only doing it, everything, for yourself, everything for your ego. This is what the society teachers you till the age of 18, 19, 20, 21, everything you do is for yourself, make sure you entertain yourself, you have fun, you must please yourself. But they realise, even at that age, pleasing yourself it has a certain limit, after that you feel really really bad. But you can’t say, if at that age you are helping other people, you are working hard helping other people, and you say, ‘I still feel empty.’ No, because then even if you feel empty, you are looking at them, they are smiling because you did something to help then it wakes you up a little bit. This is the point.
Today, people are not helping each other. They live very selfish, individualistic life. Very selfish, individualistic life. Living in a jamaat, very selfish, individualistic lives. They are not concern about what other people are going through. They are not helping other people. Forget about helping, they are not concern. I’m saying to you, ‘find out. Do you know what’s happening to this one and this one?’ No. So you are not concern. If you are not concern, how you can help? When you are not helping, especially when you are in the way of Tarikat, when you are not helping, it’s finished. You will feel empty, listen to sohbet or making zikr, you will, because you are not making any hizmet, you are not helping no one, you are only helping yourself. So your concerns are about yourself, your happiness is about yourself, your depression is about yourself, everything is just yourself. Instead of being angry because something is being done to some other person, instead of being happy because your family or other people or the ummat achieved something, so you become very small. Does it sound familiar? Especially in this society, corrupt society, they are teaching you. It’s very small. You are not concern, you don’t try to find out, you don’t look to each other’s heart to see. Huh, people coming together just to have fun anyway. It is not Islam, definitely not Tarikat, definitely not the way of our Sheykh. If anything, twenty-four hours, he is not sleeping, thinking and awake, ‘now how do I fix this one’s problem? This one has a problem, how do I do that? This one’s problem, how do I clean this up?’ They are concerned.
What are you concern about? Oh, your money, your job, oh whether your son or your daughter is going to get married. What else fills up your mind, then? It’s all dunya, anyway. ‘My wife said something…My husband said something…My job is something….oh my heart is shaky.’ Ya, because selfishness. I was going to say in the old days, it’s not even old days, these days also, there are still people that their neighbour’s concern is their concern too. They are concern if their neighbour is happy or sad, they have enough to eat or not, they are concerned. People today they are just concern about their own individual problems, very concern, very busy, twenty-four hours with their own problems. Twenty-four hours texting me with their own problems, and I’m saying, I’m thinking, ‘is this one helping anyone?’ No, he’s not even talking to anyone. Doesn’t even know how to talk, be concerned about anyone. Ya, that time, Sheykh Effendi says, you are going to fight with your clothes, your collar is not going to fit.
Living in this community is to try to make people to live together, to try to make people to feel for each other, to try to live as neighbors. Otherwise, why are we moving up here? If we are moving up here to live individual life, individualistic, selfish life, may as well move back to the city. Same. But this is the thing that we have to understand, we have to learn. But they teach us, very easy, very easy and very strongly, ‘no, no, no, just come here, pray, give selam, go back, shut your door and just be in your own small little world. That is enough for you. It’s not Islam. Definitely not tarikat. Definitely not. By force we are making people to come together. By force we are saying, do things together. By force. But I’m seeing, if you are not going to make improvement on this, if you are not going to develop on this, then why are we putting so much effort into it? There are others that they are more willing to respond to our work.
So, we have to wake up. We have to wake up a little bit. It’s easy for everyone to come when the Sheykh is there, when he’s not there, physically you are not there by heart you are not there. Then what are you doing? How can we continue? Something to think about. It’s not just here to show our numbers, just to show our children, just to say we do this, we do this. All that is so easy. You don’t have to be a believer to do that. You don’t have to. You can be a kafir to do that. So many of them they are doing well. But we are talking about the spirit. Spirit that you have to know, you have to care. But they are teaching us to be very selfish, anyway. Teaching us not to care, I can’t be bothered. None of my business. Correct or not? Oh, someone is going through something, ‘eh, I better not interfere.’ ‘Oh, this one is smiling again, Oh, okay. Now I’m going to go.’ Joke around, talk, because he’s smiling, he’s happy. Oh, something is going on, ‘ahh, leave him, leave him there. Until he’s okay.’ In the east, if everyone is just laughing and joking, you feel suspicious. Because it is fake. Laughing and joking is not going to last forever. It’s when you are in trouble and somebody helps you, that they don’t ignore you, they help you, you say, ‘this one is a friend, that I want to keep.’ But they teach over here, someone is in trouble, just leave them alone, let them sort it out and then when they come to themselves, and then we come back again, we have fun. Should not be. As much as we can, this is heart. But people get very tired in this country, anyway, very easily.The energy get sucked, pulled, very easily. You don’t have anymore spirit. But you must fight, you can’t just say, ‘oh yeah, it’s like that. It’s so heavy, I don’t know what happened. I just go out, I feel so heavy.’ Just give in like that. You never say that when you are going out whole night long, whole day long, jumping up and down and pleasing your nafs. You never say it’s heavy. Suddenly you are walking in the way of Tasawwuf, a little bit, ah it’s heavy.
So, the honor is when you have responsibility. It is the responsibility that gives you honor. It is not the name, it is not the title, it is not the chair, it’s not the lineage, it’s none of that. It is the responsibility. So look to see how responsible you are. That’s all. Look to see how responsible am I. sit down to say, ‘how responsible am I? What am I responsible for?’ Hmm, myself. Who else? Your father? Your mother? No. Your brother, sister? No. You are not married, okay. Who else? ‘I’m responsible to go feed the birds.’ That is something you want to put as your big responsibility? Ahh.. Okay, you are married, you have a family, ‘my responsibility is my family,’ that’s why in this society they say, ‘big responsibility is your family. That’s it!’ No, it is not. Your family is just one unit of a whole building block. It is a foundation. Islam is not really concentrating on family. It’s concentrating on neighbors and ummat. But you don’t even hear that these days.
So neighbors, yes, ummat. Neighbors, what? Forty houses east, forty houses west, forty houses north, forty houses south. Forty houses, that means everyone you consider neighbor and you have to know what is happening. So sit down and say, ‘am I concern about my neighbor?’ No, you are not. By force you are just coming, eating together, laughing, joking a little bit, and then go. Should not. You should change. You should change. And if there are few people doing that, then they can leave us in peace and say that, ‘you continue.’ At least some people looking out for other people. See who are you looking out for. My husband, my wife, my children, that’s it. Who else? Nothing else. No one else. ‘oh, my Sheykh.’ Please, he doesn’t need looking out for. But look to see who he’s looking out for. Look to see who he’s taking care of. That time reach over and try to help. That’s the time you may do something. Or else you’ll get stuck. You can get stuck too. ‘Oh this is my life. I want to get my life started.’ Do you think your life is just that? Starting a family, that’s it? That’s life? That is a life of a believer? Do you think the Sahabis they behave like this? Prophet (AS) behave like this? The Tabi’in behave like this? The great Empires in Islam they behave like this, that’s how they became an Empire? By saying, ‘I just get married, I have my own little family and that’s it, I’m happy’? the Dergah they start like that? Otherwise you can get stuck, thinking this is it. ‘ I go to the dergah, come for zikr once a week, sohbet once a week, I’m good.’ What is this? Who is saying you are good anyway? When you are looking, what are you taking? What are you giving? So many they are taking, very few they give.
We must be aware of things like that. InsyaAllah. Otherwise years will pass, you will be stuck and I’m seeing years passing, people are just stuck. Same. No improvement. May Allah not make us to be stuck. Wa minAllahu Taufik, al-Fatiha. SelamAleykum.
Shaykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
13 Jamada al-Ahir 1441
February 6, 2020