Sohbet by Sheykh Abdul Kerim al-Hakkani el-Kibrisi

Summer 2004, Manhattan Dergah, New York City

Selamun aleykum. Meded Ya Sayiddi,
Ya Sultan Evliya, Mevlana Sheykh Nazim al-Hakkani. Meded.

Intention is the most important thing in Islam. Intention. You build
everything on your intention. Intention is the foundation of your
work. If you want to build this building the foundation is supposed
to be strong. The stronger the foundation is, the stronger the
building is going to be. The stronger your intention is, the
stronger your deed is going to be. So in Islam it’s not only the
deeds that are counted. But the deeds will be counted and rewarded
according to your intentions. What is your intention? You came here.
Why did you come here? What is your intention? Did you come here to
see somebody whom you can talk with to make business? You come here
for the sake of Allah and for the sake of your religion to learn
something. That is good intention. You may find it working for you.
But if you came here for different reasons, you may find it not
working for you. So the intention is important for Muslims.

If you are making a prayer, you must make intention. (You say for
example) “I am making this prayer now, I am making Isha prayer.” The
intention has to be sincere. And when the intention is good, the
deeds usually become good. When the intention is bad the deeds
become bad. But the mercy of Allah is reaching to us from everywhere
that if we have a bad intention and we didn’t commit that
wrongdoing, until the last minute, it still will be forgiven because
you made a wrong intention but you prevented yourself from doing it.
For instance, you make a wrong intention to go kill somebody. You
make all your planning, you make your intention, everything is
strong. Now you took off and you are going there. You came to that
door. Until you take the gun out and pull the trigger, still the
door will be open for forgiveness. So if you realize it and you
say, “I changed my mind. I am not going to kill that person.” You
walk away. All these wrong intentions and wrong planning, because
you changed it, you may receive reward for it… for not doing the
act, the wrong action. But if you have a good intention, (for
instance) you are coming out of your house with the intention to go
somewhere for the sake of Allah to do something good and you were
not able to reach there. Something happens on the way which stops
you, you are still going to be rewarded for that because the
intention was good. When the intention is good, the action whether
you do it or not, will be rewarded. When the intention is bad, until
you commit the action, you will not be punished for it. You may be
rewarded for changing that wrong intention.

So believers must make intention in everything they do and
everything they are going to do. Without intention it is like
shooting without aiming. You are not going to hit your target. You
have to intend. You have to make aim at the target, (Sheykh takes a
deep breath). They tell you in the army, “Hold your breath. Don’t
give it out until you pull the trigger.” Because while you are
giving out the breath and pulling the trigger, it moves. So the
intention is aiming and concentrating, and then by shooting you may
hit your target. Otherwise, you want to hit your target but you are
not aiming. You are turning your head to the other side and you are
taking your shot. Eh! 1% chance you may hit, 99% chance you may not
hit. So what is important for believers, for those people who are
trying to make it better for themselves, for their lives, first
themselves and later to the people around them, must make intentions
for everything that they are doing.

For everything we are doing, we must make good intentions. When the
intentions are good and the actions are not too good… the intention
was good but the action was not good and the result was not good, at
least you may escape because of your intention. So the intention is
important. We must keep our intentions. But we also cannot say, “My
intention is good so I don’t care about my actions.” For actions to
work, now you have to do planning. You have to do certain work, you
have to put out some energy from yourself for that to work.
Otherwise, just intention does not work too. So Islam is good deeds
coming with good intentions. Good intentions support the good deeds.
When your intention is good you may have support to do the good
deeds but if your intentions are bad and you are a good person, they
(Awliya) may turn you not to do bad things. Your intention is good,
you tried your best but you didn’t reach to the good deeds, you
may be rewarded.

So it is important for us, in these days especially. Everywhere we
look, everything we do, every place we go and everything in front of
us, we see, you may not see, but we see that everything is wrong. We
are not finding one thing right when we are looking deep inside of
it to understand by asking, “Is Allah pleased with this action or
not?” Very rarely will you find these days that Allah and His
Prophet (saw) is pleased with the actions that are happening in the
world. People are saying, “We will bring peace.” You cannot
bring peace. It’s not possible. You don’t know what peace is because you have no
peace. Here (Sheykh pointing at the heart) you have no
peace. You don’t know what peace is. Now the peace is according to
your ego. What fits you, you do. What doesn’t fit you, you don’t.
But your ego does not represent the Truth. The ego always represents
the evil. Evil is supporting the ego. Spirit is supported by
intelligence. So a person who says, “I am going to do good”, first
he has to know the tricks and the traps of the ego saying, “Where is
ego fooling me? My intention is good, my aim is good but I am
finding the result is not good.” Ha! That means the ego is fooling
you somewhere somehow. So you have to know the tricks and the traps
of the ego. You have to know whether you have any experience for
what you are doing. Do you have experience for performing an eye
operation? Say, “Your eyes are no good. Let me do an operation on
you.” Your intention is good. But if now you are seeing 50%, after
the operation you are not going to see at all because the person
that is doing the operation is not good. (Sheykh smiles). The
patient who is submitting his will to that one is not good too.

So in Islam, intention and action, both has to be for the sake of
Allah. When you do it for the sake of Allah, to please your Lord,
the result must be good. It has to be good. It is going to come out
to be good. Who are going to be happy with that result? The people
who are happy with their Lord are going to be happy with that
result. Who are going to be unhappy? People who are happy with
Sheytan are going to be unhappy with that result. In these days you
will find very few people happy with the results that Allah is
keeping. Majority goes,

“Tsk, I don’t like it.”

According to what you don’t like it?

“I don’t like this food. I don’t like this bread. I don’t like this
kind of drink, I don’t like these clothes.”

Hmm. You don’t like them. Of course, because you have so many other
ones. That’s why you don’t like it. If you have one bread, you are
going to like it. It’s not that you don’t like it, your ego doesn’t
like it. Your ego is not pleased with it. The first aim and
intention is what? To feed yourself. Not to have luxury but to have
energy. Ha! Then it’s okay. “This bread and this meat containing
this much protein is enough energy for me.” So you will be happy.
But if not, you cannot be happy. So the intentions and the actions
have to be good, then everything else becomes good. If intention is
not good, actions cannot be good. We must concentrate on fixing our
intention, cleaning our intention, and our intention is to be
servants to our Lord.

Man is running. I am asking students here, “What are you doing? What
are you aiming?” (They answer), “To become a doctor, to have degree,
to have this and to have that.” Workers are making intention to
reach and to become bosses. Is that pleasing your Lord? If that is
pleasing your Lord, then do it. If it’s not pleasing your Lord but
pleasing your ego… don’t. It’s not good. The ego will not leave you
until it will take you to the Fire. Whatever is good for your ego
whatever your ego wants, you have to try to do otherwise. If you
want to make progress in Tariqat, in the Way, you must constantly
work against your ego. If you are aiming to be a nominee to be a
human, you must work against your ego. But if you want to reach to
higher stations, it’s not only the forbidden things that you have to
stop now, you have to voluntarily stop from the things that is good
for the ego. You have to do it otherwise. So inshallah ar-Rahman,
when we know this and when we apply it to our lives we will see that
it will work. If otherwise, then it’s not going to work. You can sit
and you can claim as much as you want, you are there you are here,
but it’s not going to work.

So first we have to know what we are, why we are here, who we are,
who sent us here, what is our duty in this world, why we came to
this world, why are we going out of this world, what are our
responsibilities in this world, what is it that we have to do, what
are responsibilities with our Lord and with other that are around
us. We have to know all this. If we don’t know this, it is not
possible to reach to our aim for which we have been created. We
definitely have not been created to be slaves to this Dunya. We have
not been created to be running after the treasures and the pleasures
of this Dunya also. We have been created for the service of our Lord
and we have been created to win back the Paradise that we came out
from. Living in this world must be concentrated on that. We are
making a journey from there to here and from here to there. Everyone
is going to come from there to here, but everyone is not going to go
back to where they came from. Only those go back to their Paradises
who work against their ego and who try to do what their Lord
wants. Those who run to please their ego will not find the way. It’s
not possible. They will not find the way to go back to the paradises
that they came from. But in your spirit, in your nature your Lord
has created you for that. It is longing for that. We must go back to

Real peace is there. It’s not here. You can put as much peace as you
want into this world. You fix it here the problem is going to be
there, you fix it there the problem is going to be there, never is
there going to be peace as the people are thinking and talking. No.
Never! Because Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is testing people through
different difficulties. If that one is in difficulty, you must be in
treasures and pleasures. When that one’s difficulties finish and
Allah gives him peace, He may put you in difficulties. Who are you
going to go against then? Are you going to go against your Lord
saying, “Why are you giving me this? I am not happy.” You can only
be happy with your Lord when you are holding on tightly to His laws
and to His orders. Then whether things come good or bad, you have no
problem. You will not complain saying, “This is what my Lord wants,
and I am happy with it.” In so many cases you are finding that those
people who are running and screaming, trying to change things are
not the people who are experiencing those difficulties. It is the
people who are outside that are thinking, “They are going to get
some peace from that cake.” As “X” always gets peace from cakes
(Sheykh smiles).

So inshallah, important, very much important, is intention. We must
fix our intentions and when we fix our intentions we may very easily
find our actions and everything around us made fixed. If we don’t
fix our intentions, it is not possible for us to find the things
that are happening around us good. It may be good for a very short
time but you may be knocked down sooner than you think. This life is
very short and at the same time it’s pretty long. The young
generation should not think that they are never going to get old.
Think that you are going to get old. The elderly people should know
that they are not going to become young again. Treat this life
according to that. Then you will win. You have to see it not in
pieces but you have to see the whole picture. “I am here, I am
traveling this road and that is the end. I am going to go there.”
Put yourself out and look where you entered this world, where are
you now, where are you going and what have you done? Look, check and
calculate. You don’t need anybody to check for you. You can check it
for yourself. Sit and calculate. You will know. Don’t cheat
yourself. You cannot cheat yourself.

Lock yourself in a room and say to yourself to your ego, “Look, it’s
only you and I. There’s nobody else. Let’s see. You did this today.
Okay. What was the intention when you were doing this?” Ha. Your
intention was to fool this person to get this. Say to yourself, to
your ego, “Thuu! You are a very bad one.” Say to yourself. Before
anybody tells you say to yourself. Slowly you may find you are
fixing, you are correcting yourself. If you don’t question yourself
and if you are liking what you are doing all the time, then something
is wrong with you because you are a creature, you are a man full
with mistakes. You have to find mistakes. If you don’t find mistakes
then what are you? A prophet? Prophets are gone. They are innocent,
clean. They are gone. Even though the prophets have also been tested
according to their level, they are gone. Are you a saint? It has to
be showing with your actions, with your deeds and with your
intentions if you are (a saint) or not. If you are, then test
yourself according to that level. But if you are a normal person,
then the test has to be according to that. You will find out what
you are doing. You don’t need anybody to test you, to tell you this
right and this is wrong. Judge yourself by yourself and you will
find a voice coming out from your heart saying this is right and
this is wrong. No matter how much others say to you and praise you
saying, “No, this was good”… then you will know, “No, I did wrong.”

In these days people are doing wrong and you find so many cheering
them (Sheykh clapping his hands) saying, “Oh!!! You did good. Oh!!!”
You run after that girl, you catch the girl good and you finish her.
Ask yourself, if that girl was your sister would you have liked it?
Your mother? Question yourself. “Hmph! I don’t like it.” Good. Stop
it and discredit yourself. Say to yourself how ugly you are. Don’t
wait for somebody else to say to you. Say to yourself. Then you will
find you are making progress. Otherwise, Sheytan and ego will fool
you nonstop and others will praise you but when you reach to
difficulties you will find nobody’s around you except the Fire is
coming around you. Except snakes and scorpions coming around you,
you will find nobody else helping you.

Don’t forget, when you are in the deathbed no one can help you, no
doctor can help you too. You are looking for a doctor to help you
but he needs somebody else to help him. If Angel of Death says to
him, “Tak, your engine is stopped”, while he is making operation he
will die. So don’t hold on to the doctors. There you are alone. In
the grave you are alone. No one can help you. Think. You must think.
We must think. And we will only find what we have sent. We are going
to go into our own holes, our own graves. Whatever we send there
that’s what we are going to find. You are not going to find what he
sent or what this one sent. You are going to find what you have sent
there. I am going to find what I have sent there. So look to
increase your good deeds, look to increase your good intentions.

Islam is not selfishness. Islam is always saying, “You first, me
later.” Americanism and Westernism, all “isms” are saying, “Enjoy
yourself.” There is nothing to enjoy. Don’t worry. You are only
torturing yourself with that enjoyment. Nothing else. Learn how to
live in this life and learn how to do things in this life. You have
not been created, as they say, as monkey or donkey. You have been
given a human form and you must reach, you must bring that human
form to the spiritual (reality of) human also to go out from this
life. If you keep this form only physically human and your actions
and your intentions are like animals, without thinking whatever you
do, you do, then on the Judgment Day Allah will order the angels
saying, “Put two more legs to this one and keep him with the
animals. He didn’t keep the level of Humanity that We gave him. He
didn’t honor it and became animal.” You should progress and you
should change. Whoever says whatever to you, look at yourself. Look!
The things that you do, are they pleasing your spirit? In order for
them to please your spirit it must please your Lord. Look. Is it
pleasing your Lord? (If it is then) be happy. If it’s not, then be
sad and change. You can bring one million sheykhs, one million
imams, one million rabbis and you can bring everybody, but if they
say other than this then they are wrong too.

Your aim is not Dunya. Your aim is Akhirat. You have been created
not for this world. You have been created for the other world. You
are living in this world even if you want it or not. As much time
has been designated for you that much you are going to live. You
cannot die even if you want to. How many breaths of life are written
in your book, you are going to take that. It’s not by how many
years. No. It’s saying how many millions of breath you are going to
take and give out. If you know how to take your air and give out,
your life may expand. But instead of taking 100,000 air a day, you
take 200,000, you are living two days in one day. So your life is
getting shorter too. So our life is counted. It is being given to us
one by one (Sheykh breathes in and breathes out a few times). Don’t
spend it for nothing, don’t spend it foolishly, don’t spend it in
the wrong areas, don’t spend it because the majority of the people
are spending.

You enter into this place, some of you 6 o’clock, some of you 6:30,
some of you 7:00, some of you 7:30, some of you 8:00, 8:30. Half
hour passed, one hour passed, two hour passed. Those two hours that
have passed, if you say, “I will pay ten billion dollars to bring
that back”, you cannot. Whatever you filled up, your book is filled
up with it. You cannot change it. Twenty-four hours later it will be
sealed. Maghrib enters and the angels seal your books for that
twenty-four hours and they put it aside. You cannot change it after
that. You may make intentions for tomorrow to do more good deeds and
maybe in the Judgement Day it will erase the wrong things that you
did today but you cannot change that. You are going to go into the
Judgement Place with what it says in that book.

Know what you are doing and know how you are doing it. Behind the
walls nobody’s seeing you. But don’t think Allah and His angels are
not seeing you. There are special ones who are taking you in movie
cameras. In the Judgement Day Allah will make everybody to see what
you are doing. You may feel shame on the Judgement Day for what you
are doing and you should. And you should erase it. You should put
cross to the wrong books and ask Allah not to open it for you.

Wa min Allahu taufiq

Bihurmatil Habib

Bihurmatil Fatiha. Amin.

This much is enough for you and for me until Judgment Day if you
don’t hear anything else. Keep it alive and you will win. You have
three ways of keeping this. One way is whatever you hear you put it
through one ear saying, “Whatever this guy is saying is idiotic.”
It’s okay. Put it out from the other ear and empty it. Don’t carry
it with you. (Sheykh smiles). If you didn’t like what you heard, put
it in from here and take it out from there.

If you like some of what you heard and some you didn’t, open the valve from here
(one ear), the ones you didn’t like get it out and keep the rest inside.

If you liked everything you heard then close this (ear hole) and keep it inside.
Who knows, one day you may find these words helping you.

It’s free because we don’t work for governments, we don’t work for
corporations and we don’t work for supermarkets. We work for Allah
and He is the Most Generous One. He ways, “Take it and give it for
free. Take it and give it, take it and give it. As much as you
carry, give it. It never finishes from where you are taking it.”
It’s always coming more and more and more and more.

Selam aleykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu.