Question: Seyhim, you mentioned in a sohbet that Allah SWT loves when a servant declares his weakness. The ego has this habit of always wanting to take credit for things for itself, like you mentioned yesterday. It will make a person believe that they are the ones who did something. How does one sincerely get rid of this? Is it even possible?
Of course you can get rid of it. Why are you concentrating, you as in everyone, not anyone in this situation, why are you concentrating on good things that you have done? Why you don’t concentrate on the bad things that you have done? Own that. Concentrate on the bad things that you have done. Own that, understand. So you do one thing, it’s a good thing, but because you are always remembering, you say ‘I do good things, but I did so many wrong things, what right do I have to take credit? What right do I have? I’m happy if I do something, it’s for Allah’s sake, and I’m doing it properly.’ You can be happy, of course you can be happy, we are not Buddhist. You have to get rid of your Buddhist past also, to say ‘I mustn’t feel anything, I must be completely empty.’ You are not. Not even the stones are empty. Not even the trees are empty, not even the wood is empty. Don’t you know, when the Prophet (AS), he used to give Khutbah leaning against a tree stump, stump of a tree, he was giving, he was holding and he was talking. And one day, they decided to change to something better. They removed it, and the trunk started crying. It started crying.
Allah is Hayyu and Qayyum. Allah is Hayy. Allah does not create anything that is dead. If He brings something to existence, there is life. But it’s not the life that is according to you, where you understand it, but there is life, there is existence. So you can be happy, say ‘alhamdulilah I managed to do this,’ don’t be fake ‘no, no, no, I didn’t do.’ No, you did. You have to learn how to take it gracefully also, say ‘Alhamdulillah, I did it,’ but don’t take too much credit for it, even if you did everything. You say ‘okay, I did it,’ get over it. Don’t enjoy it so much. What is your enjoyment, what is your business in enjoying it so much? Did you cry so much when you do something wrong? No. You do something wrong, you want to forget it. Then why you need to enjoy so much? This is controlling it. It wants to celebrate, no, no, no. Say ‘no, don’t celebrate so much.’ You are happy, alhamdulillah, good, but be stronger to say ‘okay, what else? What else needs to be done? What else?’
Deflect it, talk about something else. Sometimes I like these American manners, because sometimes they, very polite. You know, coming from our countries, they are very straight sometimes, they just say ‘oh, you look ugly today. What’s wrong with you?’ You know? ‘I don’t like your hair.’ They say it like that, right? As much as they praise, which they don’t really praise so much, but they say all these things. It’s not too great, it’s not too good. But over here, people are very careful. They give you a present, and you don’t like it, American, not Islamic manners, or Eastern manners, they say ‘oh, I like the color!’ They don’t say they don’t like it or it’s this, they say ‘oh, I like the color, it’s very nice.’ Find something to say. It’s good, someone is giving to you, don’t break their hearts. It’s the worst thing you can ever do.
So you do something, you are happy, don’t be too happy. Give yourself a little bit, say ‘alhamdulillah, I managed to do it, shukur. Let me try to do something better.’ Don’t be so emotional also, saying ‘you did this?’ ‘No, no, no, I didn’t do it, I’m so bad, I’m so stupid.’ No, no need also. I was watching something, this is another Asian thing that they do, someone tells you ‘ohh, you look nice.’ ‘No, no, no, you look nice.’ They have to say to you. ‘No, no, you, you.’ But that in itself is not for the sake of Allah, then it can get very like a game. Then find out, who do you want, people. Which people you want them to, not to praise you, but to appreciate you. You have to know the difference. Praise is something else, appreciation is something else, value is something else. Do you understand?
Do you need praise from people? No. Do you want people to give you value? Yes. Do you want people to appreciate you? Yes. You’re a doctor, you help someone, someone doesn’t say thank you to you. That’s wrong, but are you looking for someone to say thank you to you? Not really. But someone doesn’t do it, you don’t feel too too bad. You feel a little bit, maybe, but your intention is clear. You are not doing this for that person to reward you. You are doing this for Allah’s sake, for the sake of your Prophet, for the sake of your Sheykh. You are looking to them. That time, when you are doing work like that, it doesn’t matter if someone is angry or not at you, appreciate you or not, because you are looking, you are turning your face to there, not to here. Do you understand?
You do something, it’s natural, you do something nice, you bring a friend, ‘what do you think?’ They say ‘oh, it’s nice.’ That’s not the ego. It’s just sharing something small, you are not thinking that you are great. It’s just, you cook something, ‘taste this,’ ‘oh, it tastes very good.’ Alhamdulillah. Don’t take it to yourself ‘oh, I’m so great.’ Say ‘alhamdulillah, thank you. I’m so lucky, I managed to do this.’ Don’t be fake and say ‘no, no, no, no, it’s terrible.’ No, you understand? So there is an ease that needs to come with this. Ease. The way that we are easy with our bad characteristics or our wrong actions, we need to be easy with our good ones. Bad, wrong actions we need to be a little bit tough, a little bit more, ‘I did that. Remember I did that? Yeah.’ Ashamed. Then you are going to understand, you are seeking, why, why are you here? Why are you stuck wanting people to praise you? Something happened, what happened? What happened when you are growing up? What happened with your father and your mother and your brothers? What happened?
So many times, people want certain things, later on when they grow up they still want those things because when they were growing up, they never got those things. Yes, I’m putting it very simply. But if you got those things, then you are growing up, it’s okay. It’s not such a big deal to you. You want certain things, it’s not given to you, you grow up, you still want them, but you are understanding why you want them. ‘Is it really for me, or because of something that had happened? So it’s not real. It’s just a hangup that I have.’ Then you are going to control it a little bit more, control it. Then ‘I need it from this one, I don’t need it from this one, I need it at this time, but not at this time.’ Then you are going to say ‘when I get it, I’m going to give it to someone else.’ Zakat is very important. It is a pillar of out faith, zakat. It’s not just money. It’s what Allah has blessed you with, that you say ‘this is not for me. Allah has given me, and I should share it. There is a right in there that belongs to other people. I shouldn’t even keep it.’
So you learn something, you teach. You get something, you want, you want, you want, you get it, you give to those who really need it. You start giving, you start giving, you start giving. And once you do that, because of that generosity, there is power that comes with that. Because man is selfish, but with that generosity there is power. So now you are more free, you are not so in need because you are being generous. You understand? You’re not just trying to take it. You are giving it. You take it so hard, then you step on your ego and you say ‘okay, I take, now I should give.’ Take, give, take, give. Then after a while, you say ‘I don’t even need to take, but I need to give.’ Then pleasure comes from that, giving. Makes sense? So look to see. Tamam, this much is enough. Fatiha. Selam Aleykum wa Rahmatullah.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah, New York
24 Safar 1443
1 October 2021