Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillahi rabbil alamin wasalatu wa salamu ala rasulina muhammadin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmain nahmadulllahu ta’ala wa nastaghfiruhu wa nashadu an-lailaha ilallahu wahdahu la sharika lah wa nashadu anna sayyidina muhammadin abduhu wa habibuhu wa rasuluhu salallahu alayhi wa ala alihi wa azwajihi wa ashabihi wa atbaihi khulafail rashidin, mahdin min ba’di wuzerail immeti alal tahkik khususan minhum alal amidi khulafai rasulillahi ala tahqeeq umara il mu’mineen hazreti abu bakr wa umar wa uthman wa ali wa ala baqiyati wa sahabai wa tabieen ridwanallahu ta’ala alayhim ajmain.
Ya ayyuhal mu’minun al hadirun ittaqullaha ta’ala wa ati’uh inna allaha ma allathina-ttaqaw wallathina hum muhsinun. Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alameen. Wa Salatu wa Salamu ala Ashrafil Ambiya’i wa Imam al-Mursaleen Sayyidina wa Sayidinna Mawlana Muhammadin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmain.
All praises are due to Allah, Lord of the Universes. All praises are due to Allah Who says, BismillahirRahmanirRahim “Ramazan is the month in which we sent down the Kuran, as a Guide to mankind, and clear Signs of guidance, and the Criterion of right and wrong. So every one of you who is present during that month should spend it in fasting- but if anyone is sick, or on a journey, then the prescribed period should be made up days later. Allah desires for you ease- He does not desire hardship for you. And He desires that you should complete the prescribed period, and that you should glorify Allah for guiding you- and maybe you will be thankful. When my servants ask you (ya Muhammad) about Me- truly I am near them. I listen to the prayer of every asker who calls on Me. So let them hear My call, and let them trust in Me- so that they may walk in the right way.” Sadaqallahul Azim (2:183-184).
May peace and blessings be upon the Perfect Servant of Allah, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS), who is saying: “Whoever reads a single Salawat upon me will be blessed ten times by Allah, and whoever reads ten Salawat upon me will be blessed a hundred times by Allah. And Allah will also put an invisible engraving on that person’s forehead which will read: This slave is free from hypocrisy and the fire of hell. On Judgment Day, he will be with the martyrs.” (Hafiz al-Mundhiri).
Allahumma Salli ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammadin-in Nabiyyil Ummiyyi wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallim. May peace and blessings be upon our Beloved Prophet, and upon his noble family, and upon his blessed companions, especially upon the Four Khulafa-e-Rashideen, Hz. Abu Bakr el-Siddiq, Hz. Umar el-Faruq, Hz. Osman el-Ghani, and Hz. Ali el-Murtaza, and all those who follow them until the Last Day. May peace and blessings be upon the Masters of the Most Distinguished Naksibendi Order, the Guides to the Siddiki Way. May peace and blessings be upon the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, the Flagbearers of Hakk, and upon all those who follow and honor them until the Last Day.
Ya Ayyuhal Mu’minoon! O Believers! Welcome to you, Congratulations to you, Mubarek to you on the First Day of Ramazan. The Sultan of the Eleven Months has arrived. The comfort of the believers has arrived. The month of harvesting has arrived. We are making intention in this first Day of Ramazan to be from those who show this month its proper respect, who fill its days with hizmet, who fill its nights with ibadet, and who collect the Pleasure of Allah, His Prophet, and the Evliya during this month. Amin. We are starting this month with the hope from Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi (QS) who said, “The month of Ramazan has come, O moon-faced friend. Tie up your bags and hit the highway to Paradise.” Alhamdulillah. InsyaAllah ar-Rahman, we will start on this road altogether. This is a month that is celebrated in the heavens, when the angels are overjoyed because Allah (SWT) is extending his Mercy to the Ummat-i-Muhammed (AS).
The Holy Prophet (AS) said: Allah (SWT) is saying: The fast belongs to Me, and I provide its reward. When someone fasts, he is abstaining from his animal desire, his eating and his drinking, for My Sake. Fasting is a suit of armor. There are two occasions of joy waiting for someone who fasts- at the moment of iftar, and the joy at the moment of meeting his Lord.” And he (AS) is also saying, “On each and every day of Ramazan, by the iftar time, Allah (SWT) will already have saved a million of His Servants from hellfire, even if all of them had deserved hellfire. And when Jummah comes, Allah (SWT) will save one million of His Servants from hellfire in every single hour, even if all of them had deserved hellfire. As for the last day of Ramazan, on that day Allah will save a number equal to everyone who has been saved during the whole month.” (Ghunya al-Talibeen). May Allah (SWT) save us from the hellfire we have built for ourselves, and may He take our lives in a moment when we have reached to His Pleasure.
So this is a Month of Mercy. The Believer must be awake and aware to protect himself from running away from Allah’s Mercy. These are very strange days that have come to the earth, that have come to the Bani Adam. These days, strange days, are more strange because we have forgotten our history that has been filled with the tests and the punishments of Allah. So it has become very, very strange for us. But for the believer who looks, who sees, who understands, who studies the history and remembers the punishment of Allah and the Mercy of Allah, the test of Allah, then he understands that we are living in a day, that although it is strange, that it has come before, and he knows how to behave. But now, the strangeness is because the Muslims, from leaders to followers, from top to bottom, they have forgotten their history and they have come unprepared to this Ramazan and these days, to deal with this punishment of Allah (SWT). So the Masjids, which have been full for 1400 years, are now closed and empty. The Tarawih Namaz, the legacy of Hz. Umar, which lit up the nights for the Ummat for 1400 years, it has been taken away from so many. The Jamaat that has been a characteristic of Ramazan has been exchanged, for so many, with loneliness. So something has changed. The Tajalli, the manifestation, of this Ramazan, it has changed. It has changed because we have pulled this Tajalli to ourselves. Ramazan is Mubarak, but we, in this Ummat, we have not treated it with blessings and with Mubarak, and we have not become the Mubarak ones to welcome the Ramazan properly. So it has changed with it comes to us. When something changes so suddenly and so violently, the intelligent man must be awake. Intelligent man is not going to take the signs of his Lord lightly.
Sahib el-Sayf Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi el-Rabbani (KS), may Allah raise his station, is explaining the Delicate Nature of Allah (SWT), saying: “Two realities, they are not changing. The Lutf of Allah, He is looking at His servants with Rahmat and Mercy. And the Qahr of Allah that is vanishing, destroying. These two things are on everyone. Anyone who is looking for mercy and safety must run to that Prophet (AS) and must hold on to that Prophet (AS). Otherwise, today you know that mankind is not even having mercy to their own children. How are they going to have mercy to others, other nations, other tribes? How are they going to have mercy to the ones that they are fighting? How are they going to have mercy to the ones that they are hating? Impossible. Today, we are looking in the east and west, and the majority of the people are thinking, “Only me. Me, me.” Islam is saying, “You. First you and later me.” The other ways are saying, “First me.” Mankind never has enough for his own ego. He is always wanting more, more and more, never for somebody else but always looking at others too, “What does that one have? It must be for me too. I must find the way to get it.” They are pulling to that side and if it’s necessary they go out of their way to kill for that. For what? For these material things, this world. Mankind has lost, lost because they left the way that Allah (SWT) has sent to us, and the way is Islam which is shining, and the way to Islam is the Holy Prophet (AS).” And the Evliyaullah, they speak the truth.
The Evliyaullah, their speech is like the Kuran and the Hadith for our time. So understand Seyh Efendi’s speech. What is he saying? As long as a person is following the Way of the Holy Prophet (AS), as long as a person is thinking of others first, serving others, putting himself last, the Tajalli of Mercy comes to the world. When he is not a tyrant, when he doesn’t pass his limits, even when he is right, then the Tajalli of Mercy comes to the world. But when a man thinks only of himself, when a man only sees to fit this whole world into his mouth, when a man loses his own mercy, when a man desires everything in the world for himself, not sharing with others, and taking from others, then the Tajalli of Qahhar comes to the world. So what kind of man doesn’t get the Mercy of Allah? What kind of man pulls the Revenge of Allah? The Tyrant. The Zalim. The Zalim cannot receive Allah’s Mercy because he has set himself as a competition, as an idol, as an ilah with Allah. And Allah (SWT) He is One, He is Ahad- He does not accept those who declare their existence in His Presence. That is the nature of our ego- to be zalim. To declare its existence and to say that it is the only thing that exists, or deserves to exist. That ego that said, “You are You and I am me,” through fire and through cold, that ego is in us. And that ego was finally broken in the valley of hunger when it said, “You are the Lord, and I am just your servant.” In Ramazan, we must break that tyrant-ego within us. That ego is broken by hunger, but it is not just by hunger of eating and drinking. It is by hunger, starving the ego, pulling the ego back from what it wants to do.
Cruelty in the world, its root is the ego. Its root is individuals who have lost themselves and who imagine themselves to be lords, and have become tyrants, who have given the power of themselves to their ego. And when every ego rules, the world doesn’t have one Nimrud, it has 7 billion Nimruds. And when the ego rules, this world is not enough. And Nimrud doesn’t know how to build anything but fire. And mankind who is like Nimrud has been busy building that fire to burn themselves for the past few decades. And they will burn in that fire, unless we turn around and repent to our Lord. Ramazan comes for us to repent. Ramazan comes for us to run back to that Mercy. Ramazan comes for us to say, La ilaha illa anta Subhanaka innee kuntu minaz-zalimeen.
If we remain tyrant, then we will not find Allah’s Mercy. We will not find Rahmatalil Alameen’s Mercy. And the Evliyaullah, they have very harsh words for those who stay in the station of tyranny. Everyone is thinking Evliya they are gentle and they love everything and they are nice with everything. No, they are not. They love Allah and they love His Prophet, and they hate everything that hates Allah and His Prophet. Everyone knows how to say “Madad ya Ghaws al-Azam.” But that Ghaws al-Azam, his words they were very harsh. It is very similar to our Sheykh’s words. It is very similar to the washups that he is giving us that is cleaning ourselves. And Ghaws al-Azam, he hit the ego very hard. Like our Sheykh, he was bombarding the ego. He is saying in his Sohbet to those ones who keep the characteristics of zulm through Ramazan, he is saying: “The angels give Salams to all those who are worthy, angels give Salams to all those who are worthy, who are giving high respect to Ramazan. But they will not give that salam to those who are guilty of disobedience, because some of them are doing zulm, tyranny, and they do not deserve any Salam from the angels. How heavy is the crime of those who eat haram, who break families, who spread hateful gossip and slander, and those who eat the rights of orphans. Such people have no right to get Salam from the angels, and they won’t get any. What disaster is worse than this. How awful to live through a month of Mercy, Forgiveness, and freedom from hellfire, but find yourself shut out from sharing in the Salams from the angels of the Lord of the sinners and the righteous. What made you like this? Was it because you have stayed so far from Al-Rahman, because you became a tool of tyranny, because you became a willing helper of sheytan, and because you adopted the flashy style of those who walk on the path that leads to hellfire? O slave of your ego, of your desires, of your reactions, of your devil, of your dunya- you have no value in the sight of Allah and in the sight of His Saliheen. Disaster to you! What will you get from wagging your tongue without any work. You say you tell the truth, but you’re a liar. You are guilty of shirk when you say you make Tevhid. You are sick, but you believe you are healthy. You have a fake stone, but you call it a jewel. My duty with you is to make you stop lying and teach you how to be honest.” And the words of Ghawth al-Azam speak the truth.
The Greatest Helper, yes. Because he came to break the egos, he came to help mankind to break the egos, and to bring man back to obedience. That is how Mercy comes to us. Seyh Efendi is saying: “If it is not for the Prophet (AS) then no mercy is coming to us. Punishment will come down on us. The mercy has reached to us because of that Prophet (AS). Today mercy is reaching to us again because of those who hold on very tightly to the Prophet (AS) and who show proper respect to that Holy Prophet (AS). We cannot put our Sheykh aside and say, “I reached to Prophet (AS) and I reached to Allah.” You will not reach anywhere then because mercy now is coming to us through our Sheykh. Allah’s Help is reaching to us through our Sheykh’s hands.”
O Believers! Don’t let go of that hand. So many are alone during this Ramazan. But Alhamdulillah, Tarikatuna Sohbet wal Khayri fil Jam’iyyat. Our way is association, and the goodness is in the jamaat. This Way, the Way of the Sheykhs, it must break the tyranny that is inside of us. But it will only start if you yourself believe that you have that tyranny inside. For those who think they don’t have tyranny inside, for those who think that they are already Saliheen, for those who think they are already saints in this way, nothing is going to work. That way, the way of yourself, will only lead you to idolatry. You will start worshiping yourself. You will start seeing yourself higher than anything, higher than your Sheykh, you may even be fooled to say that you are higher than the Prophet (AS), as so many people who deny the wasila of the Holy Prophet (AS) today. They say ‘It’s only me and Allah.’ But our hope it to reach to Allah’s Mercy, to pull that Tajalli of Mercy, and that way, we must conquer the tyrant that is inside of us, and to become Servants of Allah. That way, we must hold on tightly to the Sheykh that is going to train us. You cannot do this job by yourself. You cannot do this job of training your ego and pulling the tyrant out by reading books, by reciting like a parrot. You have to hold on to a Friend of Allah and to a Guide.
O Believers! This is Ramazan. Run more in the Way of Allah. Make intention to struggle more in the Way of Allah. And the struggle of a believer is Beloved to Allah. Serve more in the Way of Allah. And you will never regret any moment spent in Allah’s Way- every moment spent for dunya, it will, in the end, benefit you with nothing.
We are ending with Pir Sultan Abdul Qadir Geylani’s dua for Ramazan, and he is saying: BismillahirRahmanirRahim. Selam Alayka, O Month of Fasting! Selam Alayka, O Month of Nighttime prayers! Selam Alayka, O Month of Iman! Selam Alayka, O Month of the Kuran! Selam Alayka, O Month of Lights!
Selam Alayka, O Month of Forgiveness and Pardon! Selam Alayka, O month of the steps leading to paradise, and safety from the steps leading to hell! Selam Alayka, O month of the Servants who make Tawba! Selam Alayka, O Month of the Arifeen! Selam Alayka, O Month of the Mujtahids! Selam Alayka, O Month of Security. You are a prison for disobedient sinners, and for the truly devout you are a place of comfort.
Peace be upon the lamps and lanterns that shine so bright! Peace be upon the sleepless eyes, and upon the streaming tears! Peace be upon the Mihrabs, and upon the tears that fall from the eyes. Peace be upon the sighs that arise from the hearts aflame with passion. Ya Allah! Count us from those whose fasting and prayers are accepted, and whose evil deeds You change into good deeds, and among those who You allow through Your Mercy to enter your Paradise, and those whose stations You have raised, Ya Arham ar-Rahimeen!”
Ya Rabbi, please bless our Sheykh, our means to reaching to the Mercy of Rahmatalil Alameen, and don’t separate us from his association, in this life and the next life. Amin!
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
1 Ramazan 1441
April 24, 2020