Question: Selfishness, for your own self. Selfish meaning for your own self. What is the intention of murids in the presence of the Sheykh? What is the intention of a murid? What is the intention of a Sahabi? What is the intention of the ummat of the Prophet? What is their intention? What is their intention?
Their intention is the intention of the Prophet. Their intention is the intention of their Sheykh. What is your Sheykh’s intention? The intention of his life is not just in prayer. Prophet (AS) he sat and he did all these things to get blessings? What was he spending his time and his life for? It was for the ummat. It was for the ummat.
You think Prophet (AS) needs to worship? Does he need to worship? Allah had created him in pre-eternity as His beloved. Do you think he needs to worship? What are all his worshipness for? So many of his duas, what are they for? For who? For himself? For his family? It’s for the ummat. As what all the angels that they are coming, holy nights after holy nights, that they are coming and they are praying, who is it for? For themselves? The angels are worshipping for themselves? They are worshipping for mankind. Only mankind has become so selfish and so ignorant and arrogant and stubborn, they still can’t see. You are worshipping for what? If anything, everything that you are doing, if it is not for the sake of Islam and for Haqq, if you are not following your Sheykh, if you are not understanding his intention, his mission, how many times have I said this? Then what is that for?
Yes, we worship, we ask for forgiveness, we pull the tasbih, but what is all that for? To make us to become better ones to be able to serve. So which means that if you are worshipping and you don’t become a better one, if you are worshipping and you become more ghaflat, more ignorant, more arrogant, more stubborn, leave that worship. This is what the Sheykh tells you. Of course people are now going to twist my words and say, ‘he’s saying not to pray, not to do anything.’ You want to think that way, think that way, then you become a donkey. You are still a donkey, I don’t talk to donkey. People who come to the Sheykh and say, ‘I’m like this,’ or ‘I’m like that, and I do so much studying.’ The Sheykh will say, leave the studying. It’s not helping you. In fact, it is backfiring on you. This one says, ‘I worship so much.’ Leave all that nightly worship. Now you, you have to do something else. You, you have to do something else, you have to do something else. It’s not that. How many more stories of Saints do we need to hear that they come from complete worship or complete books and knowledge and he meets a friend of Allah and the friend of Allah says, ‘leave all of that. Throw all of that.’ Hz Shams-eTebriz told Mevlana literally, ‘throw all your books into that lake.’ Uftade Hz, the Sheykh of Aziz Mahmud Hudayi literally told him, ‘leave everything that you are doing, studying and teaching and everything,’ and these people are doing it for Haqq, for Islam. Not like us, we are doing it 24 hours for dunya. They say, ‘leave all of that because it’s not helping your spirituality. Take off your clothes and now go and sell liver,’ the lowest job that there is.
Your intention must be that intention when you are not worshipping. When you are not worshipping, what is your intention and what are you busy with? You are saying that you are a murid, the sahabi, what is their intention outside of worship and inside of worship? To be able to serve the Prophet (AS), to run with what he’s running. Not to be separated. Not to say, ‘okay, now that I have Islam, now that I have beyat, now that I have jama’at, let me just sit in my house and give milk to my baby.’
How do you think this Islamic civilization rose overnight like that? When you have people who are not putting themselves first. They are putting Allah priority. This is what scares a lot of modern people too, a lot of muslims. They don’t really scare poor people. They don’t. They don’t scare poor people. They don’t scare people who have nothing. Because they have nothing. They have nothing, they are so poor in so many ways and they say, ‘oh, this is it?
This is the jama’at. We have to come here every night, we have to listen to sohbet. There’s food, there’s this, there’s that, there’s work. We love that. Because we have nothing. It’s when they have something that it is difficult. And when they have a lot, it’s even more difficult. Then of course, modern day, they have nothing and they come and they get very happy, they are busy, then when we give them something, then they kick everything away. And then they are busy with themselves. But American style, they say a lot, ‘oh, I really appreciate what you did. Oh thank you so much. Nobody did this much.’ We don’t need words like that. We don’t need words like that, especially coming from the east, you don’t gush. If you are sincere, you do it. You don’t need to. We know. Eh, it’s a good manners to say but you know if you say, you say, you say, you say so many times and you never do, people get fed up too.
So we worship, yes, you get the blessings. As a Naksibendi murid, you get the blessings, then what happens? We give in our ihdah, our ihdah is everything that we are doing, all the blessings that we are doing, first we are giving it to the Holy Prophet (AS), his companions, his family, all the Saints and our Sheykhs. We don’t keep anything. That is also to stop us from feeling proud. People, a little bit they start flying. Or the ego, uff. You understand?
Everyday is a new day. Wrong intention in the past, say estaghfirullah. Change it. Allah is most generous and Allah moves according to our sincerity. He’s able to do everything but he moves according to our sincerity too. Allah is saying, ‘My guidance is for those who ask for guidance. My guidance is not for those who don’t ask for guidance.’ That’s common sense. Does Allah let everyone and trap everyone and leave everyone alone so that they don’t know what is guidance and what is not guidance? No one can claim, on the day of judgement that. Never. But what is making a man’s heart to be sealed? That is the thing. It’s sealed. That’s important to see.
In everything, there is a heart. In everything. And the heart of the Quran is Surahtul Yasin. And in Surahtul Yasin, Allah SWT is talking about those ones that they say, ‘We have sealed them.’ What is that ayat? ‘We have sealed them in the front and the back and they cannot see, ‘..fa aghsyainaahum fa hum laa yubshiruun.’ It’s already sealed. Meaning that Allah allows that to happen because they are just not working. So intentions in the past, we say, ‘estaghfirullah.’ That’s why Holy days and nights are here for. To sit and to think. That’s what everyday is supposed to be for. In the Naksibendi way you are supposed to make tafakkur. You sit and you think. You sit and you think, ‘what did I do today? What did I do good? What did I do bad? What did I say good? What did I say bad? Why did I say it? Why did I do it? How did it reach?’ As the Prophet says, five hours of Tafakkur it is better than seventy years of worship. Now, it’s not just sitting down that you are going to start thinking, because once you start the engine, it’s not going to stop. You start the engine of always thinking and considering that and making tafakkur. It’s not going to stop. Now, you read something it’s going to make you to think, to make Tafakkur. Someone says something, you listen and it makes you to become Tafakkur. When Sheykh washes you up, you are going to think. He washes somebody up, you are going to think. Then it’s never ending. Then that knowledge becomes never ending. But when you seal yourself like that, when you don’t listen to anything, then that time Quran comes to you, you don’t hear nothing and when a mirror is shown to you, you respond. That time, as a murid, it doesn’t matter where it is. Because before you say, ‘I’m a father, I’m not going to listen to my son,’ ‘I’m a husband, I’m not going to listen to my wife,’ ‘I’m a wife I’m not going to listen to my husband,’ but when you enter into Tarikat now, you know what is Haqq, and if sheytan comes and presents something that is Haqq, you must know that it is Haqq and you must take that Haqq.
People don’t listen to anyone, don’t you see? Now as a murid now we’re going to see, ‘okay, is this meant for me or is it not meant for me, what is this for?’ you must work, otherwise you get stuck, otherwise your heart is going to become dead. You must be aware, how is this reaching, when I say this, when I move like this, when I speak like this, when I act like this, how is it reaching, how are people reading me? What message, what signal am I trying to convey? Does it fit with my intention, my action does it fit with my intention or no? I intend for this to be good but my actions are wrong, it doesn’t fit. Yes, intentions are more important, but the actions have to fit into the intentions. If the intention is the only thing that is going to be accepted why do we have to pray, why do we have to give zakat, why do we have to fast, why do we have to go to Hajj?
All these things are struggles, that up til today other religions are saying, ‘why do you guys suffer so much for your religion? It’s so hard.’ From that time until today, ‘it’s so hard, why? Five times a day you have to pray?’ The intention has to be contained, it has to be protected. That intention is the shahadat. The prayer it is to protect the shahadat, the zakat is to protect the shahadat, yes, the zakat is to protect the shahadat. If you say, ‘La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah,’ you’re saying, ‘I believe in Allah, I believe in the Prophet, I believe whatever Allah says and what the Prophet says.’ Your wealth is not your own, it’s coming from Allah, and there is the rights of others in that wealth and you’re not giving, no matter how much you say you believe, you’re not really believing, you’re a hypocrite. You pick and you choose. So you don’t give zakat, your prayer is affected, definitely, and your shahadat is also affected. It continues, you understand?
So, like it or not, this life, whether it’s religion or spirituality or whatever, this life it is between hope and fear, it is between existence and non-existence. And this life, what you’re doing in reality is always to stop yourself from dying. Why do you think you breathe in? Because you’re dying. When you die, seven breaths out and you don’t breathe in. Why do you think you walk? Because you’re falling. So it is a struggle, this life is a struggle, this is what I’m trying to say. Struggle with those who are struggling with Allah, it will be okay. You have to find yourself a guide, you have to stick close, you have to hold on tightly, you have to watch, you have to be with him, you have to be in sohbet. I used to sit and Sheykh Effendi would give sohbets, three hours, six hours in Turkish and we used to sit and just stare at him, not just in sohbet, outside, we would still pay attention to every single detail that he would do. You enter into that phase of you’re seeing and you’re copying, okay, but you pass through that phase too. You start to understand why it is and how it fits from one situation to another situation. But you have to observe, why do we have the imam? You follow the imam right? When you stop doing that then you separate yourself slowly. You’re not going to gain anything then, that if you’re in their company and you don’t follow you’re not going to gain anything, like what we said before, yes, Hz Bayezid Bestami is saying, those who don’t have a Sheykh their Sheykh is sheytan, and we said those who have a Sheykh and they don’t follow their Sheykh they become sheytan. Because sheytan is putting his arrows first on those ones who are following the Sheykhs, not other people, because those ones who are following the Sheykhs they are taking the treasures of Allah and they’re giving. They must destroy those ones first.
May Allah not let us alone insyaAllah, may Allah not leave us alone from our Sheykh insyaAllah, wa minallahu taufiq, fatiha.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
29 Ramazan 1441
May 22, 2020