Question: Can you talk about how not to trust our egos?
Trust your Sheykh. Trust your Allah and your Prophet. Trust your guide. Trust him more than your ego. He will say ‘black,’ ego is going to say ‘white,’ you’re going to say ‘yeah, it’s kind of white, I see.’ Don’t. The training comes when things are also unnatural, it looks, in the regular world, it looks unnatural. This is what is called training. For example, if you’re training to become, what, a doctor, you’re training to become a doctor, you have so many lessons, whether it is something that you are studying from the books or something that you are going to do in a lab, that’s not real life. Real life is not a book. Real life is not a lab. If you are training to become a fighter, you spar, no? Is that real life? That’s not. But it is necessary, the conditions are unnatural. Yes? But it has to be unnatural so that it pushes more of your talent, your ability.
So the Dergah, there are certain things that are going to happen, so many things, it looks really high pressure, it is unnatural. This is the nature of the training. The Sheykh will push you to certain things, it seems unnatural. We are seeing this is black, why are you saying it is white? So now, all this training is to make you to trust your Sheykh, to know there is a reason. He is not looking at the whole totality of it, but do you see things the way that he sees? He is training you. Maybe there is a color there that you are missing. Maybe there is an understanding there that you are not understanding. Maybe it is not about the color, but it is about you submitting and saying ‘it is.’ Trusting in your trainer is not just trusting your trainer, that he is going to give you candy. Trusting your trainer is trusting your trainer that when he gives you the pepper, it is good for you. Although it is hot, it is good for you. Trusting your ego, when you trust your ego, what has it led us to? It has led us to, always, the fire. Trusting the ego leads us to the anger of Allah and His Prophet. So there are two things that you have to do.
First, you have to distrust your ego. Sometimes, I see people, they have no idea, Allah giving them hidayat, they come into Islam, then they get very excited because they say ‘oh, these are pictures of me when I am twenty old. Yeah, I’m high but, okay, these were days of jahiliyah, but it was very fun. I was only twenty anyway, it was very fun.’ That is very western. So you don’t consider it to be – they are saying ‘I am only twenty, why are you being hard on me?’ So you are twenty years old, you are not mature? Even in western, kafir countries, eighteen years old you are already mature, yes? You are an adult. And in Islam, it’s even earlier than that. So which standards are you looking at? I’m not saying to look at the things that you have done and to beat yourself up, no, but why are we reveling, why are we happy about the things that we have done wrong? We have done things that are bad. So there is a problem there.
So you must learn how to distrust your ego, then. Your anger, your stubbornness, your envy, your arrogance. You are angry, learn how to distrust your anger. ‘Ohh-’ learn how to distrust. The Sheykh says ‘don’t trust it.’ So don’t look at it a hundred percent, don’t trust it a hundred percent. Say there is something wrong there. That is the time you are going to look, okay, in this situation, what would Sheykh Effendi say? How are we supposed to deal with this? Is it like this? If Sheykh Effendi is here, would I do the thing like this? You know the answer too, yourself. You would not. Then why are you doing it? Because it feels good. That means you still trust your ego. Why are you doing it? Because you are so influenced by your father, your mother, the movies, yourself, whatever it is, idol that you are worshiping, but you are not putting how the Prophet is going to deal, you are not putting how the Sheykh is going to deal with this. Then you will never come out from that. You will never. Don’t you see, it is not about your zikr, it is not about your prayers, it is about you controlling that animal? So you cannot control that animal. That animal will destroy you. It’s not about how long you’ve been with a Sheykh, it’s not even about how much that you do. If you cannot control that animal, in the wrong time, wrong place, that animal can kill you and your most beloved ones.
This is the ego. Sometimes it takes just one split moment to lose control, everything is destroyed. You are driving the car, you lose control for a split second, lives will be taken. It’s finished. Then why are we caught up in this? Because when the ego comes too, you know your ego, and here we are learning about our ego. It doesn’t come suddenly. You know it is an enemy, it’s no longer a friend to you, you know it is an enemy, and you know it is coming from way before, because it always comes down this path. Always comes down this path. It’s going to stop, it’s going to do this, this, this, you know this already, yet when it’s coming, you open wide your doors and you let it to take over? What kind of foolishness, stupidity is this? That means that you don’t want to improve yourself? That means you trust your ego, and there is no control. For those who say ‘okay, it comes, I got very angry, I destroy, then later I apologize, should be okay,’ anger is a fire. When you see the fire next time, stick your hand inside, let it burn a little bit, and then pull out your hand, and then apologize to your hand. Go ahead. Apologize and say ‘I’m sorry. Why are you still hurting? Why are you scarred? I said I apologize.’
Allah is careful about our hearts, and we are not careful about each others’ hearts. Who is that one that you are talking to? Your enemy? Kafir? Or believers, that you know they are trying? Hmm. Then you understand, why, why am I being sprayed like this? Why do I have this habit? Why? Because it makes you feel good, it makes you feel like a man. What kind of tyranny is this? Then you will burn. Nothing is going to teach you. The fire is going to teach you. Especially for men. Women, children, they have a right to be angry like this, they are women, children. Leave them. Men, don’t. You don’t have that right. Are you understanding? Or you’re not learning?
So don’t trust your ego. Find reasons not to trust it. Think, ‘I listen, and this is what happened. I listen, this is what happened, this is what happened.’ Find every reason to say ‘this is wrong.’ Say it to yourself over and over and over again. ‘I listen to my ego and this is the things it has led me to.’ Think of that over and over and over again. Then learn how to trust your Sheykh, Allah and your Prophet. Find reasons why you must trust them. Then slowly you will be able to have the power to live as servants and as believers and to have that power to hold on to your animal. It’s enough. People are doing these things, robotic things, these destructive things over and over and over again, never changing. Stop it before it’s too late. The Angel of Death comes to you in that state, you are doing things Allah is not liking, you are doing things that your ego is demanding you to do, faith is absent from your heart, the Angel of death comes, there is no faith there. Do you understand? Be careful. Selam Aleykum wa Rahmatullah.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
10 Safar 1443
17 September 2021