Question: How do we stop being lazy?
If from young you are not taught or you don’t feel or experience the results, the consequences of being lazy, everything is upbringing. Your parents, either they love you too much or they don’t care and they let you to be like that. Teachers, educators, everyone that is around you when they see something is wrong, they just let you to be like that, they’re not raising you, they’re busy with their lives, they’re not raising you. When they are raising you, they see, ‘okay, this kid is very good in this way, MashaAllah, this kid is not so good, we can try to do something, this kid is like this,’ as much as you can, in Islam it’s very fair, they say until they reach a certain age, it’s not even after that. Till they reach to the age of, number one is Baligh, which is maturity. Reason, they can reason by themselves. Once they can reason by themselves then you don’t say too much. You cannot, now it’s like, you know how the bamboo is growing straight and tall? You cannot bend it just like that. But they say, if you want to bend the bamboo, when it’s just coming out, when it’s a shoot, then you bend it. What, you’re going to change people that they have all these kinds of characteristics when they are not only mature, when they are twenty, thirty, forty years old? I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m saying it’s very difficult. You can still bend bamboo right, when it’s mature? How? You have to split it. You have to heat it up, you have to put fire to it and then you bend it, then you have to tie it. How difficult is that?
Meaning man after he reaches a certain age you cannot change them. They may say, but you cannot, little bit you’re seeing that. If they want to change, Tarikat is not for forcing people, we say we give sohbet, we don’t give advice because only Prophets give advice. We say, ‘like this and like this, up to you, you want to change, you change.’ That is maturity. So you have to start, you have to say, ‘this is good,’ when they are like this, ‘this is not so good,’ when they are like that. ‘No, no, they have to be mature enough so that they can understand and you have to say.’ You wait for your child to be mature before you tell them, ‘you must sleep at this hour,’? Hmm? You wait for your child to be mature, in their teens, then you say, ‘okay, you have to stop wearing diapers,’? What happened? Why don’t you talk to them, why don’t you reason with them? Why don’t you talk nicely, give them a whole big lecture? No you don’t, right? Because there are certain basic things that you know, that they have to pick up, certain skills. To be hardworking is a skill. But if the child is raised to be like that and they don’t have to answer for it, what do you expect them to be later on? Same way. They will find a way that is just going to be a situation where it’s comfortable to be like that until they die, or until they hit something that they say, ‘no, I cannot do it like this. Living in my parents basement I can, but once I come out I cannot.’
So don’t you see, even a punishment is a rahmat. But this punishment is not Allah punishing us, we are punishing ourselves. Even that is a mercy. And Allah is saying, ‘the sign that Allah does not love that servant is when He does not even give him a toothache.’ None, nothing. Why should a person be caring how his room looks if he’s been raised that every time he makes a mess his mother is going to clean up? So how are you going to teach now people or kids of people or adults that there are consequences to their actions? You can speak, you can say, but they’re not going to believe you until they go through it. Which is why Holy Prophet (AS) is saying, ‘the best knowledge is the knowledge that you experience.’ Not just something that you listen and you read and there’s someone reciting it to you and then you say nice words, nice singing, nice songs, nice- no. Until you experience, that is the best knowledge. Others are also knowledge, but it’s not the best knowledge.
So you have to experience. Let them experience when they’re growing up, don’t let them experience when they are in their thirties or forties, it’s too late. That time they might change also for the wrong reasons. So many people change, but they don’t change for the right reasons, they change for the wrong reasons. So many people might change also, but they change not for the sake of Allah, they change for the sake of their ego. So many people become good too, eh it’s good, they pray, they pray and they do this, but it’s not for the sake of Allah, it’s for their own sake so they don’t go to Jahannam. These are different levels. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, I’m saying people do that. Okay, you can start with that, but you cannot be stuck with that and die with that, but maybe you start with that. ‘I want to be good because I want to enter into Jannat,’ yes, but a believer always has to want to do more and more and more. He says, ‘oh, this is not good enough, Allah is giving me without asking anything back, He’s giving me without me even asking, why do I have to make a deal with Him, what, is He my business partner?’
Once upon a time, Nasruddin Hoja he was planting wheat. He planted it one year, wheat didn’t come out, just a few pieces coming out here and there, very miskin looking. He says, ‘what am I going to do?’ he says, ‘Ah! The best partner that I can have in this world is Allah.’ So he’s saying, ‘Allah, I make you to be my business partner. You help me to plant wheat and if it comes out, fifty percent is Yours, fifty percent is mine.’ Don’t laugh, everybody does this. Don’t laugh, because people look at their zakat and they don’t even say fifty percent, suddenly everyone becomes very shariat. So Nasruddin Hoja is saying, ‘fifty percent You, fifty percent me, half is Yours and half is mine. Okay? Deal.’ So he planted, Allah, Allah, the next year wheat came up so much, so beautiful, so green, so healthy, he started cutting it, he waited for it to dry, he hit it, all by himself, then he divided it into two big piles. So he says, ‘a deal is a deal, fifty percent is Yours, fifty percent is mine but… You don’t really need it, I need it, so what about twenty-five percent Yours, seventy-five percent mine?’ So he starts taking, putting it here. He says, ‘ah, I think this is good,’ he’s saying, ‘we renegotiate.’ Then he looked at the pile again and he’s like, ‘even twenty-five percent is too much for You, You’re not in need of anything. Now let me take a little bit more.’ So he started taking, when he started taking suddenly the weather changed and a storm came and it blew everything away. He got very scared. Then the thunder and lightning started, so he says, ‘okay, okay, okay, stop. You win okay? You take hundred percent, it’s okay, but do You still have to turn on Your flashlight and to look whether there’s anything left or not?’
Consequences. People still believe, there is a fear from Allah, knowing that things are coming from Allah. There is ritual in Islam but no faith that is coming from Allah, ‘ah, it’s because of this, it’s because of this. It’s because of nature, it’s because of my hard work, it’s because-’ don’t you know in real terms of believer, you cannot even say, ‘this medicine is curing me.’ You cannot say that, Allah is the curer, it’s not that. So everything that they’re doing it’s connected to Allah. Now, the only connection to Allah is going up and down like a robot five times a day, if we’re doing that, if we’re connected in namaz. Beyond that it’s nothing, no zikr, no nothing, nothing to wake up the heart. So there’s no connection, why should there be a connection? It’s like Allah doesn’t exist in life. Only namaz, Ramazan, little bit here, little bit there. ‘Only in Ka’aba He’s there, I feel really nice if I go there.’ Should not be like that. We’re not asking Allah to punish us, we cannot bear His punishment. We’re not asking Allah (SWT) to be a judge, we’re asking Him to be merciful. But we should not be spoiled. How is a kid spoiled? You give him what he wants. And what? When he’s surrounded by people who will give him what he wants. Correct? People situations. People make the situations anyway. So, even if he crashes his car, don’t worry, it’s okay, even if he does this, don’t worry, it’s okay, even if he does that, don’t worry, so it’s not really situations, it’s people who will change the situation.
Take him away from the jamaat that is spoiling him, he will change, he has to, because the mans religion is according to the religion of his friends. You understand? Has to. You have kids, you see how they change every day. By what? By their friends. ‘How did you pick this up?’ ‘From this one,’ ‘oh okay.’ I mean, people are lazy, all of you coming here don’t know this, don’t know that, but at least voluntarily, willingly, we pulled ourselves away from those situations and those people and the surroundings and everything that we can just get anything easily and we’re putting ourselves here, we’re holding on to Sheykh Effendi. Is he forcing us? No. Is he giving us anything? No. But because we’re looking for something, because we understand our heart a little bit, we want to be with him. So now there’s not too much chance, even if people continuing it, how long can you continue, how long can you keep it up, and you have to change, as Sheykh Effendi says, easy way or hard way. You have to change, easy way or hard way. Understand? Eh, look at this one, used to be mommy’s boy, go to school, learning very important subjects, let say, and now he comes and becomes a shepherd. He works so hard, I called him grasshopper today. He’s moving, I mean he’s still a little bit idiot, but at least he’s moving, he’s doing. It’s very good. Especially for children of immigrants, to do labor like this they say it is dishonorable, correct or no? Especially Pakistanis. ‘What? To do shepherd? We came out from that to become doctors and lawyers and engineers, don’t you know? You want my children to do that?’ But every Prophet was a shepherd.
It’s so difficult, so many of you, you know how it is, your parents see you doing some sort of a work, we’re doing work for what? It’s not for money, it’s not for this, it’s not for that, it’s for the sake of Allah, to clean yourself, to train, to become more responsible, to not be lazy. To understand that this is the works of the Prophets and the Saints, the Dervishes were doing that. All these things if we talk about Prophets and Saints and Dervishes and Awliyas and dergahs and tekiyahs and all these zawiyahs and things, the parents all, ‘oh, MashaAllah, MashaAllah,’ they like it, ‘Ashq-e-Rasul, Ashq-e-Rasul,’ but when we say, ‘now, you love him so much, try to walk in his footsteps, literally,’ they say, ‘oh, how you can make him to do that?’ We don’t make anyone to do anything, but they themselves look at it and they say, ‘this is wrong.’ It’s not. Some people say, ‘oh, it is not our class, we’re not in that class.’ What class? You think you’re sitting on the throne? The only throne that you sit on is there, in the toilet. That is your throne. You sit on the throne to know, ‘this is my throne,’ and look at what kind of dirtiness comes out from you. So, no need to be so proud like that.
So these are the things that especially growing up we expose it, we teach, what are we teaching? We’re teaching the birds to fly and the fish to swim. We’re not going to teach the birds how to swim or the fish how to fly. We’re not putting them through factory to produce something, everyone has to be the same, no. Everyone has a secret, everyone has a skill, everyone has a use. You only need a good leader who’s able to work everything properly. If your brain is not working you cannot even move your fingers, no? The brain is not moving, but if you’re not going to obey the brain you cannot move, the whole body cannot move, may Allah not test us with that. Tamam, this much is enough, wa minallahu taufiq, al fatiha.
Shaykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
27 Jamada al-Ahir 1441
February 21, 2020