How do you choose who to be friends with in Tarikat?
In Tarikat, it teaches you to question everything. Why do you want to have friends? Why? Because it makes you feel good? There has to be a reason. If someone is coming up to you to ask about Tarikat, to ask about spirituality, then you may speak according to how much that person can understand, according to how much you can speak at that moment. But it shouldn’t bother you. If it’s someone from the past, you are not stuck in your past. You are moving in your future. We are living in the future. And they want to make you to be stuck in your past, maybe try it out but after a while you’ll feel sick. You’ll feel sick, it’s like, I’ve already moved and they are still like that. If they cannot accept, then there has to be just a limit of what it is. Ask yourself, then why you still be friends? Why is it important? Why is it necessary?
I’m not saying don’t be friends, I’m not saying be enemies, I’m not saying cut yourself off, I’m not saying any of that, I’m just saying, question yourself. Question. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t you see we are questioning our shahadat everday? We are questioning whether we really believe in Allah, we are questioning our Sunnat, we are questioning whether we are following our Sheykh or not, every action that we do we say, ‘is this sincere? Am I doing this by force? Am I doing this with stubbornness? Am I doing this with anger? Am I doing this sincerely or not?’ So now, same. Same. Someone from your past, someone that you know a long time ago, yeah you share some past okay, but why? Why is it important now?
Now you have become very precise, very sharp, meaning you want to live the way you believe. You have a belief and you want to live according to that, as much as you can. You are following people who say, ‘no, you must live the way that you believe,’ not living any other way, you believe something else and try to mix it up and everything. No, you become very precise. It is becoming like a vocation for example, a lifestyle. Before, you didn’t have that lifestyle. Before, you had friends who were not in that lifestyle. They may talk about that lifestyle a little bit here and there but they are not in that lifestyle. They are not in that lifestyle now. You may speak a little bit about that lifestyle now but they can’t really understand because they are not in the same lifestyle. So what do you do? Again you ask, why is it important? Maybe you can say, ‘I’m going to bring the person to Haqq,’ maybe. If you are saying that then that is very definite. It is very precise, again, ‘this much I can say. This much I cannot say. I’m not going to get so confuse if they don’t get us. I’m not going to get so sad if he doesn’t understand us, if our views don’t match, because I know where this person is and where I am and where, if he’s looking for Haqq, where he should be,’ correct or no? If you are not trying to bring the person to Haqq, you are just hanging out, just having fun, then question yourself, why is it necessary? Because we are in Tarikat. Whatever that we do, we have to know that it is not israf, it is not wasting. Everything must have a purpose. The purpose is to please Allah. If we say, ‘no, no,no, this is tarikat and zikr and sohbet, but this one I’m just joking and laughing around with people that they are not in the way, they don’t know what is Haqq and I have no purpose, I have no intention, I have not niat with them, just like this, then you have fallen back. They start to pull you back.
If you are doing business, it’s very clear the intention is business. It’s not to bring them to Haqq, it’s just business. Business, do business. Business means you have to make this much money in this much time. That is your niat. That’s it. Make that much money in that much time. Business is something else. There is a specific niat. I’m talking about people, random people in your past or right now that there is no niat, there is no intention, there is no business, no nothing. Then for what? For what? Why? Why waste your time? If you are trying to show them something, that is different. If they are trying to look for something, that is different. But you know this also, sometimes you play this game, ‘no no, no, this person will warm up,’ but we see, this person is not warming up, in fact this person is making me cold to my practice, to my belief. This person is pulling me into the dunya. This is the time when you have to question. You have to say, ‘okay, all this time I’m trying to pull this one to Haqq, to understanding, to Islam, how many times I make this one to pray and how many time he’s making me to do things that Allah doesn’t like? Then you can see the balance. If you are really trying to pull this one to Islam, then you can say, ‘okay, he’s doing this, this, this good thing that Allah likes.’ There is a proof. If you say, ‘no, no, I’m bringing him to Islam,’ but we always see you always hanging out singing, doing other things. Then we say no, no, no, you are fooling yourself. You are fooling yourself.
Look, following a Sheykh being in Tarikat means that you want to be with Saliheen, not random people. Not anyone. Saliheen. Because it is a Divine order. Be with the Saliheen. No matter how much we may love other people, our family, our friends or this or that, attachment not really love, attachment to them but they are not on the way of Haqq and they are pulling you to batil, to wrong things maybe, to evil things maybe, to things that are opposite, no matter how much that you are close to them, how much you are attach to them, there has to be a limit. Otherwise, you’ll be pulled into that. If you want that, go ahead. If you want that, go ahead. No one is forcing you. But if you don’t want that and if you want to make progress, then these are the things that pull you back.
We are in Tarikat because we are following Allah’s order, ‘Be with the Saliheen,’ because we want to believe in the Evliyaullah, we want to believe in the friends of the friends of Allah, we want to be friends with the friends of Allah. Not any other friends. This is also something. People are entering into tarikat, they have so much passion, after a while passion goes down, then when the work starts coming, just like a marriage, you know? First you have so much passion and then later passion goes out because you have to do work, you have to pay the bills, you start fighting, then they say, ‘oh, then marriage is not for me.’ No, it’s not that marriage is not for you, you just have a wrong idea of marriage, very juvenile, childish way of understanding what marriage is. Tarikat is similar to that. Now you have to work. Now you have to fight to keep it alive. Sometimes people go through, ‘okay, now you have to fight and you have to work, ahh, tarikat people they are boring. Outside people they are so nice. They are happy, they are smiling, they are talking, but tarikat people…’ you go through that phase too. Is this right? No, it’s not right. Because you just want to escape.
So, you want to hold on to the Evliyaullah? If that is your goal and you are checking your intention everyday and saying, ‘I want this,’ then hold on to them tightly. Especially in this way. It’s not easy way. It’s not the easiest way. Hold on to them tightly. You cannot trust so many thing but you have to trust them. So you want to be with the Saliheen, you want to hold on to the promise of Allah. If that is your reason, then hold on to it. If you are idiot and you are changing your mind and you are being flaky, ‘I want to hold but I want this, but I want that,’ then you are not being sincere, you are being a hypocrite. You are being a hypocrite. Like I said, this is your vocation, for example, a vocation of a person, meaning that he likes to do something and he’s good at it and his whole life is serving that, for example, to become a doctor, is a vocation. So many other work in the dunya, then you say the work becomes very important, my whole life has to serve that. It’s not just the work is one part of my life. My whole life has to serve that. Because I cannot just say, I just want to be a doctor but I don’t want to work like this, I don’t want to put in so much time, so much effort, I just want to spend a couple of hours a week to do that. You cannot do that. Then you make the decision. ‘this is my vocation, this is what I’m going to do.’ You go somewhere. You make a difference in your life and other people’s life when you do that. But you cannot say, ‘I’m going to be a doctor and this is my life. Everything is going to be like that but I’m also interested to do ten other things that requires same amount of time.’ You cannot do that. You choose one.
So, you have to question. I’m liking, why am I liking this? Is it for Allah’s sake? Really? Don’t just say, no, no, no, it’s for Allah’s sake. No. Say, really? Why? What is the proof it’s for Allah’s sake? What is the proof? What is there that is saying that it’s for Allah’s sake? That time, nobody can fool you so much. That time, even with outside people, for example business, you want to do business or you want to do some work, then that is the limit. That is the limit. Not more than that. That is the limit. It can be even your family, it can be people from the past. That is the limit. You go to the butcher to get a meat, you go to the pharmacy to get medicine. You don’t go to the butcher get meat and ask him also, ‘can you get me this medicine?’ and you definitely don’t go to the butcher to ask him advice on how to do open heart surgery. People know that. You go to people of the dunya, it’s this much, this much, this much. You go to the bread-maker to get bread. Why don’t you get meat from there? This person knows meat, cut meat before, has meat in his house, why don’t you go? Because he’s a bread-maker. He’s a baker. If you are in the way then you will know people who are like that. So that you get what is necessary and what is necessary now, it is to feed your iman, not to starve it, to make you to understand Allah and His Prophet, to make you to understand your Sheykh, everything now has a purpose. So that time you are not going to get too confused. Otherwise you still go through that phase, ‘I’m this and I’m this, I can be this and I can be this.’ After a while, you have to choose.
WaminAllahu Taufik. May Allah forgive me and bless you. Al-Fatiha.
Shaykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
13 Jamada al-Ahir 1441
February 7, 2020