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 SWT Who says in Surah Ibrahim, BismillahirRahmanirRahim “Allah keeps firm those who believe, with the Firm Word, in the dunya life and in the Hereafter. But Allah will leave those who do wrong to stray- Allah does what He wills. Haven’t you seen those who traded the Favor of Allah for disbelief, and led their people into the home of ruin- into hell. They will burn in it- an evil place to stay. And they set up rivals to Allah that they may mislead men from His Way. Say, “enjoy yourself (while you can). But truly, your journey will be in the end in the Fire.” Speak to My servants who believe, that they should establish worship, and spend from that which We have given them, secretly and publicly, before a day comes when there will be no bargaining and no friendships. It is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth, and causes water to descend from the sky, and with it brings out fruits as food for you, and makes ships be of service to you, that they may sail through the sea by His Command. And He has made the rivers of service to you. And He has made the sun and the moon, continuous in orbit, and has made the night and the day of service to you. And He gives you all that you ask of Him. And if you would count the favors of Allah, you could never number them. But truly, man is most unjust and ungrateful.” Sadaqallahul Azim (14:27-34).
May all peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, the Prophet of Allah, the Beloved of Allah, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS). Holy Prophet (AS) said: “Whenever someone sends Salawat to me according to what is due to me, Allah ‘Azza wa Jalla creates from that Salawat an angel that has one wing in the east, and one wing in the west, and whose feet stand in the lowest part of the earth, and whose neck is bowed under the Arsh. And Allah Azza wa Jalla says to that angel, “Bless My servant as he blessed my Prophet,” and the angel will continue to bless the person until Judgment Day.” (Delail Khayrat).
Allahumma Salli ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammadinin Nabiyyil Ummiyi wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallim.
May peace and blessings be upon our Holy Prophet (AS), 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 Grandsheykhs of Naksibendi Way, the Inheritors of the Prophetic Secret. May peace and blessings be upon the Ottoman Sultans, the Protectors of the Shariat and the Upholders of Justice, and upon all those who honor them until the Last Day.
Ya Ayyuhal Mu’minoon! O Believers! Welcome to you on the Third Jummah of Ramazan Mubarek, in the middle point of the Month. Welcome to you as the call of Merhaba transforms into the call of Al-wadaa’. Welcome to you as we run to taste the sweetness of Ramazan before the guest leaves us for another year. Ya Rabbi! Let the second half of our Ramazan be better than our first half, and let the last breath of our lives be with Shahadat. Amin.
This Month is precious, and this Month only comes once a year. Allah (SWT) is calling out to His Servants during this month, telling them to return to His Mercy. Holy Prophet (AS) is saying, “On each and every day during Ramazan, at the dawn and at sunset, Allah will have countless servants saved from the punishment of Hellfire. In each of the seven heavens, there is an Angelic Announcer always ready. One of these is an angel whose crown is beneath the Arsh, and whose feet are planted on the lowest part of the lowest earth. He has one wing in the East, and one wing in the West. He has a crown of corals, pearls, and gems, and announces on behalf of his Lord: Is anyone ready to make tawba, so his tawba will be accepted? Is there anyone ready to make a plea, so that he might be answered? Is there anyone suffering zulm, so Allah may come to his help? Is there anyone seeking forgiveness, so Allah may forgive him? Is there anyone with a request to make, so that it may be granted?”” (Ghunya).
Ya Rabbi! We are Your weak servants and we are in need of You to accept our Tawba, to answer our pleas, to give us Your Help, to forgive us, and to answer our prayers. Please don’t make us separate from Your Mercy and Your Forgiveness and Your Saving during Ramazan. Do not separate us from those whom You Love, do not separate us from Your Prophet and do not separate us from our Sheykh. Amin.
O Believers! These are the days that we must transform ourselves. Rajab came, Shaban came, and now Ramazan is here. We have spent so many nights in Ibadet, maybe, insyaAllah. We have spent our days busy with fasting and cutting off our food and our drink. We have spent our time busy with fighting against our lower selves. What is the good of all this ibadet and action if, after the Eid Namaz, we return to our homes with all of our dirty characteristics and bad habits? Such a Ramazan is not a Ramazan at all. Such a Ramazan is the kind that Jibril (AS) cursed, and that the Holy Prophet (AS) said Amin to that curse.
To become clean, man must know what made him dirty. To ask forgiveness, man must know what he did wrong. To make tawba, man must know what he is turning away from. And the tawba comes with a special time too. Many nations made tawba, many individuals made tawba when it is already too late, when the punishment of Allah is raining. We must be careful from that. But 21st century mankind, especially 21st century Muslims, we have became too arrogant and too stubborn even to say, I am dirty. Even to say that I need to be cleaned. 21st century Muslims are saying ‘I did not do anything wrong. Everything about me is perfect.’ The world is burning around them yet they say, “there is no fire.” But this is the attitude of Firauns and Nimruds.
What causes man to be this blind to himself? What causes a man who has fallen into the swamp still to be stubborn to say, ‘I am clean and pure, and even if I am dirty, I will come out from this very easily. Someone will come and save me, as I like’? This is the nafs. This is the ego, the worst enemy. Holy Prophet (AS) said, “Your worst enemy is your nafs which lies between your sides.” (Ihya).
Ramazan is here to make us to see that ego for what it is, it is to understand what that ego is. It is to make us to fight that ego with the blessings that come with this Month. Our Master, Sahib el-Sayf Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi el-Rabbani (KS) is saying: “The job of 124,000 Prophets, from Adam (AS) until Holy Prophet (AS) was to tell people to leave the worshiping of their ego, to turn to Allah, and to clean themselves from the Nafs-i- Ammara. Everyone is running to satisfy their ego. Be careful! The end of that road is Jehennem. If you don’t clean yourself, if you don’t change from Nafs-i-Ammara to Nafs-i-Mutmain, fire is going to burn. These are the days of Ramazan. In Ramazan, people must pull themselves together to sit and think and ask- “Why am I doing these actions? Is this going to please Allah and His Prophet?” The biggest ghaflat of mankind today is that they don’t ask these questions. The biggest ghaflat of mankind today is that they don’t ask these questions. If fasting in Ramazan isn’t making you become a better servant, then you’re just like that animal that’s tied up in the corner not getting food., that you are still an animal.”
These words can only come from a Friend of Allah. Because the Evliyaullah, they have the vision of a believer, they see with the Nur of Allah, they see the danger that is ahead, and they come to warn us. And they warn with the Essence of the Kuran and the Hadith. So the whole purpose of Ramazan, of Islam, of Kuran, of the Sunnah, of everything, it is to change the ego that is inside of us from a rebellious ego to an ego that is at peace, that Allah is awarding peace to that ego. And during Ramazan we have to sit down to see, what kind of ego do I have right now? If we’re not asking that question and not sitting down to do that kind of thinking, then Ramazan cannot change us. Prophets cannot change us, no Holy Books can change us, unless we first understand that and try to change ourselves. Because Allah (SWT) is saying again and again in the Holy Kuran, that He has granted us intelligence, and He is shaking mankind, saying to mankind, “why aren’t you thinking! Don’t you think! Why don’t you think!”
This ‘Aql, this intelligence, this intelligence that came with the conscience, this intelligence that is supported by Holy Books, this intelligence that is supported by Prophets and the Friends of Allah, because the intelligence is not alone, this intelligence, if we don’t use it for Rahman, this intelligence, if we kick out all that has come to support it, if we don’t used it for Rahman, then it is going to be hijacked by sheytan. This intelligence must make us understand our actions and our intentions. This intelligence must make us to sit and to reflect, why am I doing these things? What is motivating me? Where did this come from? Is this good or bad? How do I fix it? This is why the Way of the Evliya, it is the way of the highest intelligence.
Seyh Efendi is saying: “You have to learn to analyze before you do things to understand- why are you doing it, and what’s your intention. Before you do anything you have to analyze, where is this action going to lead me? And when you correct yourself, everything around you will start to be correct.” People today became lazy from thinking. People today became too proud to think. People today, they become too arrogant to say that ‘I need to think.’ Instead of thinking, and understanding they just wander and repeat the same activities, the same words, the same actions, the same patterns, just like the animals who every day come out from the barn to graze. There is no meaning to their actions. They may be reading the Quran or making Tawaf, or going to Ziyaret, but when you are not thinking with Rahmani intelligence, and you are just thinking with your sheytanic and egoistic intelligence, all those Holy activities have no meaning, and those Holy activities will even serve sheytan. Allah (SWT) describes that kind of person saying, “Many are the jinn and men We have made for hell- they have hearts that they don’t understand with. They have eyes that they don’t see with. They have ears that they don’t hear with. They are cattle- no, they are worse! These are the Ghafiloon, these are the heedless.” Sadaqallahul Azim (7:179).
And know that if during Ramazan, you are not taking advantage of this month with all the blessings that is coming to understand this about yourself, then there is not too much hope that you are going to do anything, like this, in the other months. Because to know that during Ramazan that whatever wrong you see in yourself, it is from you. You cannot blame sheytan, he is in chains. Then you will understand how much of a sheytan you have become, then you will still understand how much sheytan has trained your ego, that he can go and leave, but you will continue the actions. This is a very serious reality in front of us. Seyh Efendi is saying: “Ramazan is the holiest, easiest month that you can take care of your ego- because the sheytans are chained. But I’m seeing that people’s egos are more wild still- you can’t say sheytans are coming to bother you. No. It’s not sheytan. It’s your ego. You became more slave to your ego that you don’t even need sheytan anymore.” The ego is our enemy. And like any enemy, its goal is our death and our destruction. But the death that the ego is seeking is worse than the death of this dunya- it is seeking the death of your spirit. It is seeking the death of your relationship with Allah and His Prophet and your Guide. It is seeking to turn you into fuel for the hellfire.
So to fight this ego, this is what this Ramazan is supposed to be. To fight this ego, it is the greatest struggle that man can engage in. To fight this ego, it is the greatest jihad. Rasulallah (AS) said, “The mujahid is the one who fights against his nafs in order to obey Allah.” (Tirmizi). The physical jihad, the physical battle, it may last one day, one month, one year, but it ends. But Believers, understand that your ego is an enemy that is never going to leave you alone until the Last breath. And the one who fights his ego until the last breath, he is a mujahid. And if he continues to fight his ego and he dies, he becomes a martyr. Seyh Efendi is saying: “That jihad must continue until you enter the grave. You cannot let it go. You cannot just say, Oh today I fixed myself, my ego is complete, I’m going to do as I like. You cannot do as you like. The more you are completing your ego the more you are going to see Allah’s Orders more detailed to you. You watch every word that you say that time, you watch every step you take. This is the reason of Tarikat.” Understand the lutuf of the Evliya’s words. Seyh Efendi is showing that the more we understand our ego, the more that we are going to understand our Purpose of Creation and the more we are going to understand what our Allah wants from us, and the more we are going to understand our Lord, and the more careful we are going to be. These are echoing the words of the Holy Prophet who said, “Man arafa nafsa-hu, fa-qad arafa Rabba-hu” He who knows himself knows his Lord. And Allah is subtle and Allah is aware.
So whoever is fighting his ego constantly, he is going to be subtle and he is going to be aware. He is going to understand that he is a Servant, and he is going to see the signs of his Lord everywhere, and he is going to see the signs of his servanthood in himself and with every step, and he is going to come closer to the Service of his Lord. And that is why we are here. That is why we are here. Allah (SWT) did not create us except to know Him and to worship Him. We are no good if we are living in this world and we are not serving the reason of our creation.
O Believers! In a battle, something is always at stake. That is what a battle is for. Either a city, or a country, or honor. What is at stake in this battle against our egos? What are we trying to fight to protect? It is our eternal life. Sahib el-Sayf is giving us just a taste to understand what eternal life is, saying: “If there were a billion worlds, if there were a billion worlds like this one, and each of those billion worlds was filled with grain, and there’s only one bird, and every one thousand years, that bird eats only one grain- that grain is going to end one day. For the eternal life there is no end. Wake up to yourself! As soon as you give your last breath you begin that eternal life. Either you are in Jannat or Jahannam- nothing else. If you are praising and supporting your ego, you cannot enter to Paradise. Fire needs to clean you.”
O Believers! These words, they should make us shake. These words, they should make us wake up from the ghaflat. These words should make us to understand- we don’t have a choice. We must submit ourselves to Allah, to His Prophet, to a Guide who is going to guide us to Allah and His Prophet, to show us the reality of our ego first and how to fix it in order to come to Allah and His Prophet, because you cannot go to Divine Presence when the ego is not fixed. It is impossible. Allah (SWT) gave us two eyes- they can see everything. These two eyes that we we have, we can see everything except our own face. Everyone can see you. Everyone can see your pride, your arrogance, your stubbornness, your jealousy, your envy- no matter how much you are trying to hide it, those with vision they know and they see. And when it is not open, they are still praying for you, for you to come back to the Mercy of Allah. But if you are blind and stubborn and arrogant, and you refuse that Mercy that is coming to you, then prepare yourself for the hellfire. That time, nothing can save you. We must not be blind to ourselves. We must find someone who will put up a mirror and say, “this is you.” That someone who will put up a mirror, they are the Prophets and they are the Sheykhs. They are the ones who will put up a mirror to us, to whole nations to say “this is you, this is the evil. Turn back, because this evil is not, in reality, you. Turn back to your own selves.” Seyh Efendi is saying: “This month should be easy for those people who are trying to control their ego. Allah is watching your actions. Holy Prophet (AS) is watching your actions. Evliyaullah are watching your actions. Angels are watching your actions. Everyone is watching except you. Do yourself a favor- watch your actions, watch your intentions. If you are believing in these words then you must be very scared in your heart. The grave is waiting- don’t think there’s safety when you enter the grave. Safety is now.”
O Believers! The safety is now. But if you are not running for safety now, if you are kicking away safety and Rahmat, then you will be punished here, and if you are in trouble here, there is a bigger trouble in the grave, and the hereafter is going to be a disaster. The time to find safety is now, and this is the Month of Safety. Run to it. The time to enter the Ship of Safety is now. Run to the Captains of Safety, the Evliyaullah and Sheykhs. Nuh (AS) did not get tired, that he called his people to safety for 950 years. For 950 years, the door of safety was open. But the moment that the door of the ship was closed and the first drop of burning rain descended from the sky, the time for safety was over. The time for punishment had come. And nobody who was out from the Ship of Safety, even Nuh (AS)’s son, nobody was saved from the Punishment of Allah. And those ones are sent to non-existence.
O Believers! The wind of punishment, it has started to circle this world. But our Lord is still reminding us, is still so Merciful that He has not yet closed the door of safety. The last calls are going out. It doesn’t matter who you are, or who we think we are. That grave is waiting for us. Whatever we did in this life, however we lived in this life, that is what we are going to find in the grave. It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter where you are from. Either you fix your ego in this life, or you will find a terrible fate in that grave, and your hereafter will be a disaster.
Seyh Efendi is telling the story of when Hz. Fatima (RA) was being buried. One Sahabi got very emotional and said to the grave: “O grave! Know who we are putting to you today. This is the most beloved daughter of Rasulallah (AS)! Let me tell you more. She is the most beloved wife of Ali (RA). Let me tell you more. She is the mother of Hasan and Huseyin, the Guides of Paradise. Be careful. Treat her properly.” And the grave, the grave answered back to that Sahabi, saying: “O you, you and all like you, watch your business. Don’t tell me what to do. Just as you take orders, I take orders from my Lord. Today is not the day when someone is going to be treated because of their identity, or who their father or their mother or their husband or their children are. Today is the day that whatever the person sent into the grave, that’s what they will find. You, worry for yourself. When you are coming in, that’s what’s going to happen to you too.”
That grave is also speaking to us. That grave is speaking to you and it is speaking to me. The only answer that we can give to that grave is to fight the jihad against to our egos. And even if we die without finishing that jihad, we will die as Shahids. We cannot be proud and we cannot be arrogant. Especially in Tarikat, we cannot be proud and arrogant. We cannot say, My Sheykh is going to save me, I can do whatever I want, but my Sheykh is going to save me. No, you cannot. It doesn’t work that way, it never worked that way. Sahib el-Sayf is saying: “You have no excuse. You have a Sheykh that is reminding you and himself 24 hours. If you are not fixing your ego, if you are not changing that ego from Nafs-i-Ammara to Nafs-i-Mutmain, then nobody is going to reach you in that grave.”
O Believers! O Murids! We know that we need help in that grave. We know whose help we need in that grave. We must run now to fight that ego, so that we don’t cry for eternity. We must fix that ego so that we can be in the Association of Hakk, in this life and next life. Ramazan makes it easier. We must not waste this Month.
These are the Days of Sheykh Mevlana’s Urs. We are asking our Lord with his blessed dua, saying: “O our Lord, may You dress us also from the barakah of this holy month. May You dress on us the jewels of this holy month for the honor of Your Habib. May we be from the accepted servants in Your Presence. May our heart be Nur and may our grave also be Nur. O our Lord, accept us – accept us for Your servants.” For the sake of our Holy Prophet (AS), for the sake of the Evliya, for the sake of Sahib el-Sayf. Amin.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
15 Ramazan 1441
May 8, 2020