Question: When something is opened up by the Sheykh to the murid to do something, to serve, how does a murid know that he is not running after the dunya and he is actually serving?
We give the example of someone that they have given him a job, he likes to plant potatoes let’s say, and he plants and he asks for the blessing and the blessings came. Of course its not coming from the Sheykh directly, it’s coming from the Prophet, it’s coming from Allah (SWT), this is the understanding, through the prayers and the hands of the Sheykh it came through that channel.
So that person his intention is to help, to serve, and he is a humble man, all he can do is plant potatoes but because of the prayer and because his intentions are good, it starts to accumulate. And if the murid is sincere now, he’s going to say, ‘now this accumulation that I have, Allah is being generous, now I have to use this more to run after the pleasure of Allah and run after the pleasure of my Prophet and my Sheykh,’ and he starts to, because he’s part of the community, he starts to serve the community. Now he says, ‘I have so much potatoes coming, so instead of keeping it all for myself I’m going to give this much, give everything,’ that time the Sheykh may say, ‘no need to give everything, you keep this, this one if you like, you give.’ Because the Sheykh doesn’t also say, ‘I pray for you, you must give,’ he doesn’t do that. But it is according to the honor of the murid now, because so many they are asking us for prayers for their dunya to open up, and we’re asking our Sheykh and we’re asking Allah if its good for it to open up. So many times we open up, and they say, ‘oh, thank you,’ of course sometimes they don’t even say thank you, but they feel that, this is for us, this is mine, because I asked for it, this is mine. And some of them they say thank you, they say thank you for giving me so much, and we just sit and we smile.
The Sheykh is not the one who is going to ask for anything, but the murid, now the murid must know that we are here to serve Allah and His Prophet, that whatever that he’s doing with his children, with his wealth, with everything, it is for the sake of Haqq. But if that one is not doing anything we don’t say also, and this is according to your spiritual station. Some people’s spiritual station is very low and they ask for the dunya, we give them the dunya too, so their station in dunya will be very high, but their spiritual station will be very low. And there will come a time that even when they wake up and they say, ‘we want to be generous,’ it’s already too late, just like Ibn Salamah.
So then that person who is planting the potatoes now, he starts thinking. ‘Okay, instead of doing this I can do more, I can plant more. Instead of just planting potatoes I can plant something else, then I can give this, I can do this,’ then his mind starts being busy, you understand? But what is his intention, what is the foundation of that? It is to serve Allah and His Prophet, directly. Not just as an idea, like so many Muslims today, they say, ‘oh, yeah, yeah, yeah,’ and then their hands trembling when they open their wallet to give in the way of Allah. Or they say, ‘oh, it must be strictly one-fortieth.’ But I never hear anyone asking Allah for more rizq and saying, ‘please only give me one-fortieth,’ they want everything, they want mountains of gold, but when they are giving in the way of Allah their hands are trembling and they are calculating each and every thing. You calculate, Allah will calculate too, be careful. So he starts thinking, he starts being busy. Is that allowed? Is that running after dunya, no. Because do you see him being busy and accumulating, collecting everything for himself? No, he is sharing. If he’s doing it for himself, and for himself doesn’t just mean that he is buying cars or gold or this or that, it doesn’t just mean that, some people they don’t like to spend money but they like to collect. Some people they don’t like to spend money, they’re collecting it, but they’re doing it for their own advantage, you understand? To make their position to be higher amongst the people. They’re not spending it, but they’re using that influence now, and they are not now sharing it and giving it to the one whose hands received and gave it to that one.
But the one who is working properly and he’s thriving, now he’s thinking, he’s taking what is his share, and the Sheykh always says, ‘no, take more,’ he says, ‘no, no, I just want this,’ but he’s always thinking, how can I do more, how can I do more, how can I do more, that one he is not being busy with dunya. He is in the dunya, he is in the dunya, his mind is in the dunya, but his heart is how to use this dunya for ahiret, do you understand? If he’s busy earning, saying, ‘I must collect this to buy more of this, to buy more of that,’ to serve his own self, his pleasure, his ego, his family, then that’s something that is not good. But like I said, even in Tarikat we’re not going to say anything, we’re just going to sit and smile, but not too much barakat. You may have that, but not too much barakat, because the barakat, the blessing comes when you share, when you give.
So that way it is different. So that’s one example. Person can be anything, planting potatoes, he can be a doctor, he can be a cook, he can be an engineer, he can be a shepherd, but he’s always being busy with the work, do you understand? He’s a shepherd, twenty-four hours he’s always thinking about sheep, sheep, sheep, sheep, maybe he’s not praying so much, maybe he’s not making zikr so much, he’s just concentrating on sheep, it’s okay, it’s good, because now that is a service that he’s doing. That is a service. And what some Awliya they are saying, the service, the hizmet, it is higher than the ibadat. Because worship, everyone can worship, they say the service it is higher than the worship because service, not everyone can do. Not everyone can be a doctor, not everyone can be a cook, not everyone can plant things, not everyone can be a shepherd, but everyone can worship, correct? And why are you doing all of this? It is not for yourself, it is not for your own ego, it is not to satisfy yourself, it is to serve the jamaat, to serve Haqq, then that time it becomes very blessed.
Prophet (AS), he is the one, the Prophet that he didn’t own anything, yet everything belongs to him, and the best companion, Hz Abu Bakr Siddiq, he owned everything and he gave it to the Prophet (AS), and in return he has Allah and His Prophet. But does he say he has Allah and His Prophet? No. He even gave Allah and His Prophet to his wife and to his family, to his children. When he gave everything and Prophet (AS) says, ‘what did you leave for your family, for your wife and for your children?’ he said, ‘I left Allah and His Prophet,’ so in reality he’s saying, ‘I don’t even have Allah and His Prophet,’ that is a very high level of fakir. To understand that you are not attached to these things, not only you’re not attached, you give. You understand the value, non-attachment doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have value, it’s knowing that it has value, but you’re giving it to someone else that needs it more.
So insyaAllah, may we have this kind of proper understanding to be able to serve Haqq. When you’re doing that, then that time Islam will rise, Islamic civilization will rise, because you’re not doing it for your own personal selfish benefit, you’re doing it for everyone, so everything now belongs to everyone too, and everyone has a role to play there. InsyaAllah, selam aleykum.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
22 Ramazan 1441
May 15, 2020