QUESTION: What are we doing in our individual life which is putting a block in remembering death?
It’s difficult, because if you live in this way, which there is so many things that is given to us, there is a big blessing also, a lot. We cannot even talk like this in majority of Muslim countries, we cannot have a zikr in majority of Muslim countries. I would even say in any Muslim country, either you have to have a license or there will always be police or spies or this or they just tell you no or you’re always under their radar. Not unbelievers doing it to you, your own people doing it to you.
So there are a lot of things, Allah is showing certain favors also because this nation is not a tyrant nation to itself. It’s not. It’s not disallowing zikr, you understand, there’s no law, there’s no nothing that says that you cannot make zikr. In fact, the laws are there to protect you while you’re making zikr and Allah is saying, ‘who is more tyrant than that one who does not allow the zikr of Allah in the masjids of Allah?’ You understand? That’s why you see tyranny in all these places, and very, very rare places in the Muslim world that they allow and not only they allow, it’s normal, and they promote it. Turkey is one of them. That it is not a dirty secret or it’s not something they have to tolerate, ‘oh, these are Sufis. Eh, they’re wrong, but it’s okay, we tolerate them because we have to love everyone,’ understand? At the same time, this is a culture that does not remind you of ahiret. Does not. Meaning if you go to school, if you go to work, if you open up the television, social media, anything, it’s not a culture that’s going to point you, if you walk in the streets, if you listen to the sounds in the streets, it’s not a place where it’s going to remind you of Allah or God, you understand? So this is a culture that makes you to what? To forget. Especially when it is based on capitalism. It’s a system that wants you to forget. So what do you do? This is between two Shar, the way that we’re living now. Between evil and evil. Prophet (AS) is saying, ‘choose the lesser evil.’ This is the lesser evil. And it’s still so good compared to so many other places.
So now you have to make that personal struggle yourself. You cannot change it, but you have to struggle more now. Which is why Evliya Allah is saying, to be in the west, to be in America, to be in New York, for example, to be a believer, to be a Muslim, a good one, it is worth maybe a hundred or a thousand in so many Muslim countries. Because now if you’re in a Muslim country, like this or like that, you step out, five times a day you can hear the azan. Here you don’t hear any azan. None. You know what a big change it makes to a person to just hear the azan five times a day? Huge. You’re distracted or you’re thinking, immediately it wakes you up, it reminds you, no? So now you have to struggle more. Because you’re struggling more, you become stronger. Don’t give up. Then surround yourself, be more busy with things like this, ‘how do I do this, how do I make this spirit to be more present there for me, for my children,’ not just for you, for the future generation. Don’t just think, ‘oh, I fought with this one, this one behave like this to me,’ and all that kind of, you’re wasting your energy on all that foolishness, you understand?
Yeah, if you’re busy with that, Angel of Death comes, that’s what they will find in your heart at the moment that he takes your life. This one is busy with the husband, this one is busy with the wife, this one is busy with the children, this one is busy with eating, this one is busy with sleeping, this one is busy with wrong things. In that moment. That’s what your Lord is going to be. Because your Lord is the one that is in your heart, be careful what you put in your heart, it becomes a Lord. If you have things in your heart that is not so good, it’s always bothering you, it’s in your heart, take it out, you’re making it into a Lord. You’re worshiping it. Then that time when the Angel of Death says, ‘who is your Lord?’ You will say, ‘my lord? My lord is eating and drinking. My lord is fighting. My lord is below the belly button. My lord is ghaflat. My lord is weakness.’ That’s why sohbet is important, to throw all of that out. If you can, do it in namaz. You cannot, so many times in namaz, in salah, it is what? What is not so strong comes to your heart when you’re praying and it becomes ten times stronger. There are certain things that you do it makes you feel good, yes, you eat nice, good, delicious food, it makes you feel good. Then there are other things that you say, ‘it’s not about this any more,’ if you want to be healthy you have to start eating things that you don’t like, or you start eating things that have no taste, no smell, no nothing, but it gives you that energy that you need that you’re not getting from other food.
So people may, yes people may pray, of course, I’m talking about five daily prayers you cannot miss that, but people may pray, people may read, people may do other things, but it’s just like you are just eating nice things but maybe you have iron deficiency, then you cannot eat now, if you know that you have iron deficiency you cannot eat liver any more. You have to take now certain supplements that your ego doesn’t like, your senses they don’t like, otherwise everything will be off balance. This is what the sohbet is, but the sohbet of course is more delicious than that, if you let yourself go in the sohbet, oh. Because the sohbet is the sohbet of the Prophet (AS). you let yourself go, then you may find yourself in a circle that is not of this circle. Eh, people running away from sohbets, what can we do? Cannot run away forever. You can, but you cannot run away from the consequences of your actions. May Allah make it easy for us insyaAllah, al-Fatiha.
Shaykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
20 Jamada al-Ahir 1441
February 14, 2020