January 2008


Orthodox Islam in Turkey did not greatly oppose dramatic performances although sometimes the civil authorities would interfere if the performances became too lewd

ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News
Traditional Turkish theater, influenced by pagan and Western dramatic methods through the centuries, is making a comeback, despite it’s demise with the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Western theater was not introduced to the Ottoman Turks until the second half of the 17th century when the ambassador of the French king, Louis XIV, the Marquis de Nointel (1670-1679) had a theater built at the embassy in Istanbul.

Plays by Corneille, Moliere, Montfleury and Galland were staged there and it is known that Turks were in the audience although the entertainment was basically for the French community of the city. The French colony in İzmir also saw dramatic performances of Corneille and other French writers at a specially built theater in the French consulate and these were also watched by Turks. The Italian embassy also had a theater while other performances were held at private homes and in the minority communities.

Yet the earliest records of dramatic art in Turkey come from the Seljuk Turkish court in Konya in the 12th century.  Byzantine Princess Anna Comnena in her book, Alexiad, mentions her father being ridiculed in mimes at court performances. The court of Ottoman Sultan Beyazıd had companies of actors as well as other entertainers in 1407. The many official celebrations of royal births, marriages and circumcisions included stage production, puppet shows, animal characters, costumes and music.

Shamanistic rituals of Ural-Altaic origin must have had some influence on Turkish theater. In Turkish shamanistic ceremonies, the shaman is called “oyun” and what takes place is also called “oyun” while the Turkish word for play is also “oyun”. These rituals include dancing, both vocal and instrumental music, drama, mime, ventriloquism and poetry recitations. Metin And, an expert on Turkish theater, divides the types of theater into four traditions – folk, popular, court and western.

In the early days of the Ottoman Empire, entertainment in the dramatic arts took three major forms. Story-telling was the most popular form of entertainment and remains familiar to all Turks even today. Orta oyunu (“middle play”) was a theatrical performance given in the middle of open town squares, or any open space, comparable to the Commedia dell’ arte (“play of professional artists”) and modern theater in the round.

Shadow theater, “Karagöz”, was the third dramatic form. It consisted of an operator manipulating small leather figures against an opaque screen. Both orta oyunu and Karagöz plays were composed of stereotyped, loosely connected scenes. Character was portrayed through contrast and repetition rather than in depth, and female roles were always played by men. Political satire, jokes and mimicking high officials formed a stock portion of the repertoire until the late 19th century when Sultan Abdulaziz banned political comedy.

Orthodox Islam in Turkey did not greatly oppose dramatic performances although occasionally civil authorities would interfere if performances became too lewd. What antagonism did exist was usually directed against the use of plays to propagate mystic doctrines. The shadow figures of Karagöz did not contravene Islamic law forbidding the imitation of living beings. Because the leather figures were made from colored, opaque animal skin, they were judged not to represent humans.

Many references to dramatic performances and dancing are to be found in Ottoman literature. Not only was the peasant in his tiny village entertained by traveling groups; productions of various sorts were staged for the benefit of the sultan and his court. Ibn Ilyas in his Tarih Misr states that, while in Egypt in 1517, Sultan Selim I enjoyed a shadow play so much that he had the producer and his entire company come to Istanbul. Although Karagöz seems to have been established earlier in Turkey and indeed may have been brought into Anatolia from Persia, most of the 13th and 14th century references are literary metaphors. There is no evidence that the Byzantines had a shadow theater. The first actual description of Karagöz dates from 1582 and the celebrations at the circumcision of Mehmed, Sultan Murad III’s son. Often plays would be performed more frequently during the month of Ramadan to coincide with the breaking of the fast. This meant around 28 consecutive nights of performances as against the usual three or four a week. The Sultan kept a permanent band of actors at his palace; however, a company was also to be found among his retinue when he went on campaign. Court officials often emulated the sultan in hiring actors for family feast days. Available evidence does not clearly show what sorts of performances these actors gave – perhaps at first not much more than juggling and conjuring acts. Süleyman the Magnificent in 1530 and Murad III in 1582 are recorded as having witnessed performances of pitched battles (in Turkish, savaş oyunu). In fact in 1582, the first ballet performance, on St. George and the dragon, was performed before Murat III by 300 Christian slaves. According to R.A. Sevengil, the story was translated into Turkish. So the evidence, scanty though it may be, shows that Ottoman Turks, from the royal courts to the peasantry, were not unacquainted with dramatic performances and theater – even if it was not quite what the western European might consider theater.

Western influences on Turkish theater

  Sometimes performances were given in the open in the manner of Italy’s Commedia dell’ arte. These informal performances, similar to orta oyunu, were known as the Tuluat Theater and began in the 1870s. This mainly improvisational method used characters of everyday life, adapting western plays and performing outside under a çınar tree during spring and summer. Western plays were reproduced in outline and dialogue was taken from local events, gossip and newspapers. It also relied on the techniques and some of the classic character types found in the old orta oyunu productions. It was not unknown for successful tuluat plays to be stolen by others, employing a secretary to take down notes during a rival production. It was this kind of improvisation that particularly annoyed Sultan Abdulaziz and then Abdulhamid II. Sharply barbed remarks on current topics could bring about gales of laughter that the sultans could not tolerate.

The 19th century saw theaters open in Istanbul and in İzmir that were open to the public. Not only were western plays staged; famous actors and actresses (such as Sarah Bernhardt) came from abroad to perform in them too. There was a regular circuit that covered Alexandria in Egypt, İzmir and Istanbul.

At the same time more and more Turks were traveling abroad to Western Europe and were exposed to what was being written and produced there. They would bring back their changed ideas of what should be presented. We also see in 1879 how three-times grand vizier Ahmet Vefik Paşa not only set up his own public theater in Bursa when he was governor there, but how he translated many of Moliere’s works into Turkish and even went so far as to try to educate audiences on how to behave when in a theater.

Later, when all things Ottoman were being belittled, traditional forms of Turkish theater almost died out. It wasn’t until the Istanbul Festival began putting on performances of orta oyunu within its framework that people once again began to appreciate this art form. And Karagöz has also made a comeback as interest in these older forms has emerged. Hopefully that interest will continue to grow.



With love you cannot bargain there, the choice is not yours. Love is a mirror, it reflects only your essence, if you have the courage to look in its face.

To the parched lips of those who are wiling to surrender Love will bring the wine that changes darkness into vision, cruelty into compassion and dust into precious incense.

Love means to reach for the sky and with every breath to tear a hundred veils. Love means to step away from the ego, to open the eyes of inner vision and not to take this world so seriously.

Like a thief, reason sneaked in and sat amongst the lovers eager to give them advice. They were unwilling to listen, so reason kissed their feet and went on its way.

When you plant a tree every leaf that grows will tell you, what you sow will bear fruit. So if you have any sense my friend, don’t plant anything but love, you show your worth by what you seek. Water flows to those who want ppurity. Wash your hands of all desires and come to the table of love.

If you can’t smell the fragrance don’t come into the garden of Love. If you are unwilling to undress don’t enter inot the stream of Truth. Stay where you are, don’t come our way.

From the health of the lovers, blood flows like a vast river. Our body is wth windmill, and love, the water. Without water the mill cannot turn.

Can the essence and the scent be separate? Whisper to me intimately, like a lover for tenderness is rare in this world. It is difficult to convey the magic of love to those who are made of dust.

When you see the face of anger look behind it and you will see the face of pride. Bring anger and pride under your feet, turn them into a ladder and climb higher. There is no peace until you come their master. Let go of anger. It may taste sweet but it kills. Don’t become its victim, you need humility to climb to freedom.

There is a thread from the heart to the lips where the secret of life is woven. Words tear the thread but in silence the secrets speak.

Do you want me to tell you a secret? The flowers attract the most beautiful lover with their sweet smile and scent.

To find a pearl dive deep into the ocean, don’t look in the fountains. To find a peral you must emerge from the water of life always thirsty.

Do not be flattered by reason, reason is only the child of the mind. But true friendship is born out of love and is the water of life.

My dear heart, never think you are better than others. Listen to their sorrows with compassion. If you want peace, don’t harbour bad thoughts, do not gossip and don’t teach what you do not know.

Those who think the heart is only in the chest take two or three steps and they are content. The rosary, the prayer rug, and repentance are paths that they mistake for the destination.

Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being. Leave that which is not, but appears to be, seek that which is, but is not apparent.

You are searching the world for treasures but the real treasure is yourself. If you are tempted by bread, you will find only bread. What you seek for you become.

Your earthly lover can be very charming and coquettish but never very faithful. The true lover is the one who on your final day opens a thousands doors.

First, lay down your head, then one by one let go of all distractions. Embrace the light and let it guide you beyond the winds of desire. There you will find a spring and nourished by its sweet waters like a tree you will bear fruits forever.

Why are you so afraid of silences, silence is the root of everything. If you spiral into its void a hundred voices will thunder messages you long to hear.

You have woken up late, lost and preplexed but don’t rush to your books looking for knowledge. Pick up a flute instead and let your heart play.

Do not look back my friend, no knows how the world ever began. Do not fear the future, nothing lasts forever. If you dwell on the past or the future you will miss the moment.

All text from Rumi: Hidden Music translated by Maryam Mafi & Azima Malita Kolin.

[source: Serap Davaz’s Notes on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=803405003%5D


Khutba delivered by Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Hakkani el-Kibrisi

Friday 27 Rajab, 1426 / September 2, 2005
Osmanli Naks-i’bendi Hakkani Dergah, Siddiki Center, New York.

(Sheykh began the Khutba in Arabic and then continued in English)

Medet Ya Syyidi Ya Sultanul Awliya, Medet.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is addressing us through His prophets what
He wants from us and what is it that we have to do in this world. It
is a great blessing to mankind for their Lord to send a message
saying, “This is what I want from you.” If He didn’t send any
messengers and if He didn’t send any books to us, then the
intelligence that He has given us was going to make us responsible
in the Judgment Day. We were going to be appearing (on earth) and
saying, “Oh, what happened? Who put us here?” And that way we would
have been forced to think and find our Lord. But Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala) made it easier for us with His mercy. He sent prophets,
books, messengers (rasuls) and (holy) people who came after.

No group of people in the Judgment Day is going to be able to
say, “I didn’t know. I didn’t know any better and so I didn’t do
this and I didn’t do that.” Allah is saying to us, “We have sent a
reminder to every nation.” Somebody to remind them, somebody to tell
them and somebody to give them the good news also. The messengers
didn’t just come to remind us and to put fear in us. They also came
to give us the good news, to teach us and to show us how much our
Lord cares for us and loves us.

If a man is not showing any love back to that Lord who is giving
everything, that one is Kafir. Kafir (unbeliever) is that one.
Twenty-four hours a day the Creator is sending His mercy, His
rahmat. Everything around us and everything in and out of us is
because of His mercy. If you are not returning that love even with
mere words by sitting somewhere saying, “O my Lord, You love me and
I love you,” then for that one it is better to be under the earth
than to be above it.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) knowing how weak we are, knowing that we
are going to leave everything and run away from His orders and run
after our ego, He made some special days and some special nights for
us to catch up with the things that we have left behind. In one Ayat
He is saying to us, “O you who pass your limits in every wrong
thing, going under the heavy burden of sins, don’t lose hope from
Him, because He is the Most Forgiving One. You will find Him
forgiving for you whatever you have done, as soon as you turn to Him.”
This Ayat is a sign showing to us that in the holy days and holy
nights that are coming, if we turn sincerely to our Lord and if we
prepare ourselves for those days sincerely then we will be finding
comfort and peace coming to our hearts. We will understand then that
we have been forgiven. If a man is not forgiven then with the burden
of the sins that he is carrying he cannot live in this world (in

Allah creates reasons to forgive us. In one hadith Holy Prophet
(alayhi salatu wa salam) is saying to us, “When the days are
approaching for the night of Berat (night of calculations,
accounting night) spend that night in worshipping to your Lord and
spend the day in fasting. Then you will find Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala) forgiving you and forgiving your sins.

We are all full with these (sinful) ways. Especially, being the
people of the 20th and 21st century, we are not caring anything for
our Hereafter life. We are so busy caring for this life, and this
life is occupying us twenty-four hours and this world is taking us
as hostages. We are working, working, working day and night non-stop
but before you know the world comes to an end and the life comes to
an end. As soon as the life comes to and end then the work is
finished. All the mountains of work that you have is going to stay
there. You cannot do anything about it. I am finding so many people
like this in these days, from the believers, from the people who
gave Shahadat. (I am saying,) “Just come for Juma once a week. Once
a week respond back to your Lord saying, `Oh, You love me and I love
You. That’s why I am obeying Your orders.'” Once a week!

You are running for the world to earn things from the world but you
are not going to. If you are not making Allah happy with you then
the world is not going to give you the best of it. It’s going to
give you only the headaches of it and the burdens of it because the
world has also been ordered by the Creator Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)
that, “Those who run after you, run away from them. Cheat them and
fool them saying to them, `I am yours. Come, come.’ And they will be
busy with you running after you all the time. But never give any
treasure to them. Keep them wandering, keep them in pain, keep them
in suffering and keep them running after you. Any minute, any second
they turn away from you and they turn their faces towards Me then
put all the treasures under their feet.” This is the order that
Allah has given to this world. Except man, all other creatures are
obeying the order. Except man. Man has been created in Ahsani
Taqweem, as the most perfect one, but man is the one that is
disobeying the order. All other creatures and anything that you are
seeing, alive or dead (to you it’s dead but in the Divine Presence
everything has a life, everything in existence has a life in their
own world) are obeying that order.

So Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has ordered to this world and this is
what this world is doing. Anyone who leaves Allah and runs after the
world just gets tired. Tired, tired, tired and in the end they
retire and after that they become retired to the other side. What is
the benefit of this world then? What did you gain? You must think.
If everything was given to us, if the whole world was given to us by
tonight, what are we going to do if we don’t have Allah? What are we
going to do if we don’t have Islam? What are we going to do if we
don’t worship? What are we going to do then? Sit and eat non-stop
and sleep non-stop? Your life has no meaning then.

So Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has given this world to us to keep us
busy someway somehow because when a man is alone and he turns only
to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and he thinks non-stop trying to
understand, trying to know and trying to come closer to Allah
(subhana wa ta’ala), then he may lose his mind. It’s because the
capacity that has been given to the intelligence is only limited but
Allah has no limitation. So if a man is trying to find his Lord with
the limited capacity of the intelligence then he is going to lose
that. He is going to blow that box away. So Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala) has also given us this worldly work so that when we are
tired of thinking so much then we can keep our head busy with these
worldly things and while we are doing those things He will give us
answers from different angles and different ways that are coming to
us. He is the one who is putting the question in us and He is the
one who is going to give the answer. When the question is coming, if
you are asking and waiting properly, then you may get the answer.

But it is also another thing about this century that people have no
patience. No patience at all. They want to do everything that comes
to their mind right away. Nineteen-years-old man is only going to
understand nineteen-years-old intelligence. He cannot understand
what is going to be for him when he is eighty-years-old. Every age
is giving different maturity to a man. That’s why Allah (subhana
wa ta’ala) is showing to us again that He made His prophets, almost
every one of them, when they reached to forty years of age. That’s
when He sent them prophethood. He could’ve prepared them at twenty
years of age to give them prophethood. It’s showing to us that we
need to have the maturity age to be able to carry.

And when a man is preparing himself in early ages for that then he
is going to find the answers. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) will not
leave us without any answers. He has created us and He is promising
to us that when we are obeying Him then He is under our service. We
are saying we are serving Allah. What are we doing? Praying? Prayer
is for you. Musa (alayhi salam), the Kalimullah, one of the Ulul
Azam prophets to whom a Book is given, Allah is addressing him
saying, “Ya Musa, what have you done for me?”

The Prophet is saying, “O Ya Rabb, I am praying.”

“That’s for you.”

“I am fasting.”

“That is also for you.”

“I am making pilgrimage.”

“That is also for you.”

“I am giving in Your way what You have given to me, sharing.”

“That is also for you.”

He says, “Ya Rabbi! I don’t know what to do for you.”

So Allah is addressing saying to him, “Love those that I love and
leave those that I don’t love.”

If we just obey this then we will find ways because if we love those
that Allah loves then their blessing is going to reach to us before
anything else because they are sitting in the Divine Presence.
Whatever they ask Allah will not say `no’ to them. They ask and
Allah says, “I’ll give. Whatever you want I’ll give.” But we must
try to reach to those and reaching to those is not running and
giving something, taking something or whatever you have. No. It’s
the proper manners. Proper respect. That’s what they are looking at
because where every knowledge, every intelligence and every `ilm is
finishing, that’s where proper manner is beginning. And then, who
has proper manners has intelligence.

All intelligence is to teach people to have proper manners. We are
seeing it from Sheytan that he lost and he has been kicked away from
the Divine Presence only because he lost the proper manners. He was
worshipping. No one can worship the way that he was worshipping. He
was doing everything but he lost the proper manners. When the Lord
of the Heavens said to him, “Make sejdah to this one.” He looked (at
Adam alayhi salam) and he said (to Allah), “No, it is wrong what you
say.” That’s how he lost the proper manners. He didn’t curse. Today
so many people are cursing to Allah and His Prophet (saw). He didn’t
curse. He didn’t say ugly words that man is using today. But he
said, “You made a mistake. That one is supposed to be prostrating to
me, not me to him. That’s a mistake.” He lost the manners and all
these worship and everything that he did, Allah counted them for
zero and He said to him, “Get lost from the Divine Presence, and
wherever I am sending you is a punishment to you. Stay there until
the Last Day. And after that I will put you into accounting.”

So when a man loses proper respect then he will also be kicked away
from the Divine Presence. The Divine Presence (for murids) is the
dergah, the dergah of Allah. It is not such that (after losing the
Divine Presence for improper manners) a man is going to leave this
area, going somewhere else, living there and worshipping. No. Then
anywhere you turn your way to worship, (you will find that) you have
been kicked away. You have been cursed away. You can turn, you can
go up and down but you are not going to benefit anything then.

So all knowledge is teaching us to have proper respect. And all
these things that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is ordering us to do, He
is saying to us (about them), “You are doing those and through them
you are learning proper respect. Through that proper respect I am
bringing you closer to Me.” And as He said to Musa (alayhi salam), “All these
that you are doing is for you.” If a man is
praying, fasting, giving zakat and going to hajj, it is all for him.
As soon as you enter into the grave, they cover the grave, the Imam
gives the last words to you, he takes off and then you are alone in
the grave. As soon as everybody leaves from there then the fire
starts coming from four sides. If you were praying then one wall
comes to one side covering that part. If you were fasting then
another wall comes, it becomes a fireproof wall and the fire cannot
penetrate through. If you were giving zakat, it was for who? For
yourself. If you were giving zakat and sadaqa then another wall
comes covering the fire not to enter to your grave. If you did the
last principle of Islam, if you went to Hajj then another wall comes
and it covers it. So you will be surrounded by those four walls and
the fire will not touch you then. You will be in safety. If you
didn’t do the last one, if you didn’t get the chance to do it then
another good deed that you did covers that and you will be safe

But only being safe there is not enough again. Now two windows are
going to open on two sides, one on the right side and one on the
left side of where you are laying down. From the right side you will
see the paradises and from the left side you will see the fire, the
hell. The angels show to you saying, “Look, this was the place that
you were supposed to enter, in the hell, but the mercy of your Lord
came and it put you in the paradise. Then your grave becomes one
piece of paradise. There is no worrying for you then.

So Allah is saying to us, “You will become beloved to Me when you
are keeping the orders that I give to you.” The orders are the five
principles of Islam. If you do that sincerely, without making any
show to anybody, then you will become beloved to Allah. Whatever you
are, if you do that sincerely then you will become beloved to Allah
(subhana wa ta’ala). Do you think when you become beloved to Allah
(subhana wa ta’ala), Allah is going to send that fire to you? What
kind of love is this? When we have just a little bit of love for
someone in our hearts, or let’s put it this way, you hate someone so
much but that person has one good thing that you always liked, and
if the chance is given to you then you won’t put that one to burn in
the fire saying, “Ah, this one has this good behavior. Let me
forgive.” So if you are doing these five principles then you will
become beloved to Allah.

When you become beloved to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) then you don’t
sit alone again. You don’t sit doing nothing again. You try harder
this time to run to do the voluntary worships that are not orders,
that are not obligations but it is common sense and your heart is
not leaving you alone now saying, “Do this, you will benefit from
it.” So then you start coming closer to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)
and all spiritual worlds then slowly starts opening. Otherwise,
today spirituality is only a word that people are using. So many are
saying, “I am very spiritual. I have reached to this station.”

(You ask,) “What are you doing? How did you reach there?”

“Umm, I am thinking. I love this one.”

“Do you love the one that Allah loves? And do you leave the one that Allah

That’s one of the most important things. If you do that then all the
other ones come along and you run to do them.

Alhamdulillah Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has permitted us to come
forward and to make intention to worship Him. We cannot say that we
are worshipping Allah. We are just practicing here. People these
days are practicing – except the friends of Allah, the Awliya Allah.
They are worshipping. Even those are not seeing their worship as
worth something. Why? Because Holy Prophet (saw) is saying, “O my
Lord, Do not ask from me the worship that You deserve to have
because I cannot do it. It is impossible for me to worship You the
way that You deserve to be worshipped.” If you put two rakats of
prayer of the Holy Prophet (saw) on one side of the scale and on the
other side of the scale if you put the prayers of all the angels,
all prophets, all the Awliya, Saliheen, righteous people and
believers during all their lifetimes, that two rakat is more beloved
to Allah. The two rakat that the Prophet (saw) is doing is more
beloved to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) because Allah loves that one
and He has created everything else because of that one. So the
little that he is doing is more beloved to Allah. But that Prophet
(saw) is saying, “O my Lord, do not ask me to worship the way you
deserve to be worshipped because I cannot handle it.”

He also said, “O my Lord, don’t leave me in the hands of my ego even
for the blink of an eye. Don’t leave me to my ego for even that much
because I am fearful that I will lose.” With that, the understanding
is being given to us that the Holy Prophet (saw) has never done
anything from his ego and Allah did not leave him to his own ego for
a split second. And because of that every second he is going through
different stations, reaching to higher stations and he is seeing how
great Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is. Everytime he is reaching from
one station to another he is understanding the mercy that Allah is
sending to mankind and how great our Lord is and because of that he
is saying, “I cannot worship the way you deserve to be worshipped.
It is impossible.”

But even the small things that we are doing here, the small deeds
that we are doing here, inshallah will be counted and the big sins
that we are making, inshallah will be erased off before we reach to
the other side because we are living the Last Days of this world. We
are living the Last Days. And in these Last Days the majority of
people and almost every government is teaching people the wrong
things. It’s forcing people to do the wrong things. The parents of
children are trying to teach the children wrong things. Because of
that the little that you are doing becomes very valuable. You must
keep it. You must not let Sheytan fool you. Everyday now are holy days and holy
nights but there are special nights. We passed the Miraj and another holy night
is waiting for us.

InshaAllah Leylat-ul Berat, coming Saturday night (the night from Saturday to

We are intending again to be here and inshaAllah this time we are intending as
Holy Prophet (saw) is saying, “Try to sacrifice that night only for Allah. Try
to worship more that night.” Now you know. You have almost two weeks to prepare
yourselves for that night. Try to prepare. If you do then you will win. If you
don’t then one day you may say, “Why didn’t I do?” Because every holy night and
day is coming with their own blessings. Even if you reached all the other nights
of Berat before, this time it’s coming with something new. So inshaAllah this is
what we must prepare for. That way we will always take the heavenly orders high
and we will run after our Akhirat. Then the world will start running after us
inshallah ar-Rahman.

(Sheykh finished the Khutba in Arabic and then made the following

Ya Rabbi, forgive us for the wrong things that we are doing. Keep us
in the Sirat-ul Mustaqim. Keep us with those You love, keep us with
those whom You said to us to love and give us understanding to know
the ones You don’t love and we will turn our faces away from

(Sheykh then said how to know the ones that Allah doesn’t love)

The easiest way to know that is the love of the Prophet (saw). Love
of the prophets. Love those who love the Prophet (saw). It is very
easy to understand then. You don’t have to go into details, “This
one is beloved and this one is not beloved.” Those who have a drop of love in
their hearts for the Holy Prophet (alayhi salatu wa salam) or for any other
prophets, it is a sign to us that we must try to have some communication with
those. Those who don’t love Allah and His Prophet (saw), leave them. They are
not any good for you and not any good for me.

(Sheykh then lead the Jamat in prayer)


Zikr of the Osmanli Naksibendi-Hakkani Order on Ashura
Listen Here.


Sohbet by Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi

Wednesday 18 Rajab, 1426 / August 24, 2005
Osmanli Naks-i’bendi Hakkani Dergah, Siddiki Center, New York.

Medet Ya Seyidi Ya Sultanul Awliya, Medet.

I believe everyone here has given beyat to Sheykh Mevlana.
What is the meaning of beyat? Who knows what beyat is? I will tell you what
beyat is. When the Holy Prophet (alayhi salatu wa salam) and all those believers
with him were going to Hajj, they stopped before entering Mecca. Prophet (saw)
sent Osman (radiyallahu anh)
to Mecca to talk with the Mushriks, with the unbelievers, to make some kind of a
treaty for them to know that they are not coming to make war. They are just
coming to make Hajj and they are going back. To make some kind of an agreement
so that this way they won’t attack them when they enter Mecca.

When Osman (ra) came to Mecca then words started spreading
everywhere that the unbelievers have killed Osman (ra).
That is the time the Ayat came where Allah is ordering those believers to give
beyat. Beyat means taking an oath,
swearing to Allah. (They swore) that they will not separate
from the Prophet (alayhi salatu wa salam) no matter what
happens. They will not leave him and if it’s necessary
then they will all die.

Prophet (saw) put his hand and everyone put their hands on the
Prophet’s hand and Allah is saying, “Allah’s Hand is on all of you.”
Meaning, “Allah’s protection is on all of you as long as you are
with that Prophet.” And they gave their beyat to the Prophet
(saw). They swore that they are never going to betray the
Prophet (saw) and they swore that whatever is going to happen
they are going to continue with that beyat until they die.

What do you think? Do you think that if some of them later decided
to change their beyat in their lifetimes, they would have found safety then? No,
they wouldn’t because when Osman (ra) came back
he said, “Ya Rasulullah, they are not letting us enter Mecca this year. But we
have made a treaty that next year we will come and we will be allowed to enter.”
So Prophet (saw) thought and he said,
“We are accepting that treaty.” Then he said, “So now slaughter your animals as
if you went to Hajj. It’s accepted. Shave your heads and come out from Ihram
because our Hajj is accepted.”

When Prophet (saw) entered to his tent some didn’t like the idea
and they wanted to go to Mecca. Prophet (saw) came out shaving his head, coming
out from Ihram and slaughtering his animal. When they saw that they all did the
same thing. Now they saw that there is no way to turn. (They said,) “If the
Prophet (saw) did that, it’s finished. We have to do it too.” Then Holy Prophet
(saw) said, “Don’t make any mistake to think that you are swearing by Allah and
you are going to change your beyat later and you are going to find safety.”

Anyone who did so from that time until today has not found safety.
There is no safety to them. There is no safety in Dunya and there is
no safety in Akhirat to them. Beyat is swearing on Allah that you
are in the way of Allah and His Prophet (saw) and continuing. If we
are in the way of Allah and His Prophet (saw) then we have to take
Allah’s orders very seriously. Then we will become beloved to Allah
(subhana wa ta’ala) and His Prophet (saw).



Sohbet by Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi

Monday 16 Rajab, 1426 / August 22, 2005
Osmanli Naks-i’bendi Hakkani Dergah, Siddiki Center, New York.

Medet Ya Syyidi Ya Sultanul Awliya, Medet.

This is association. You don’t have to listen, you don’t have to take the words
seriously and you don’t have to take it and apply it to yourselves. It’s like a
marketplace. When you go to a market, whatever you like you buy and you come
home. The rest you leave there. You don’t take it. Whatever you like. Whatever
suits you, that’s what you take.

This is association. Through association people who are nominee to become better
servants to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) learn. They learn only if they take the
association seriously and what’s coming through the sohbets seriously. If they
don’t then they don’t learn. So it’s like a marketplace. You go, you watch and
you look around. If you don’t buy then you come home and you die from hunger. If
you don’t take from the association then something is waiting on the other side.
Don’t make any mistake, none of you here, no individual who is going to listen
to this sohbet should make the mistake to think that you are the one that
everything circles around. No. We are just weak servants. Nothing else. To know
that is Marifat. To know that you are a weak servant who is not good for
anything, if the Lord of the Heavens does not permit you then you cannot move
your finger, that is Marifat.

In these days I am watching, here and everywhere, when people start worshipping
a little bit and when they start doing certain things a little bit, they think
that they have reached to Sidrat-ul Muntaha and they want do whatever they want
to. So they run after their ego again on the other side. No permission. No
permission to you and no permission to me. Especially for those who are around
me, there is no permission at all. As long as my eyes are open, there is no
permission. You may run far away, that’s okay. You can get up right now,
everyone of you, and run.

You are not coming here for me. Your being here is not for me. It’s for Allah.
And Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is ordering to you, to me and to everyone to be a
Jamat and to worship in Jamat. If you are not taking that seriously then you are
not taking Allah seriously. Do you think that I am going to care for somebody
who is not taking Allah seriously and His Prophet (saw) seriously? Think again.

Through obligation prayers the believers will become beloved to Allah. Through
the obligation prayers. If you keep what Allah has ordered then you start
becoming beloved to Allah. And through voluntary worship you start becoming
closer to Allah. If you are getting closer to Allah then don’t think that you
are going to drop the obligation prayers. Obligations! Not only prayers but
other obligatory worships, as soon as you drop them then you are good for
nothing. And slowly it becomes a shaky situation that you may not save your
faith before the Angel of Death will reach to you. Either you take Allah and His
Prophet (saw) seriously or there is a big question mark, “Are we going to save
our faith in the last breath or not?”

Who are we? The Sahaba-e Kiram who gave so many things in the way of Allah and
His Prophet (saw), some of them made one wrong mistake and they lost everything.
Do you think that you are going to reach to the level of the Sahabi, any one of
you? Any one of us? What do you think? Do you think that because the other guy
next door is not praying and you are praying, you reached somewhere? Reaching
somewhere is taking Allah’s orders seriously. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is
ordering to us, “Take Me seriously.” Hmm.

If we don’t, then we will cry a lot in Dunya and Akhirat. You lose everything in
Dunya. Those who are beloved to Allah and His Prophet (saw) don’t love you then.
You can do whatever you want but they don’t love you then. That love only comes
when you are obedient to Allah and His Prophet (saw). If you are not then you
are separating yourself from them.

Week after week, year after year I am saying, Sheykh Mawlana is saying and we
are going to say. The holy days and the holy nights are approaching. In these
nights take it seriously. Take it seriously! It’s only five nights a year, not
ten. There are three hundred and sixty five days in a year and there are only
five nights that are very holy. You cannot keep up with that? What kind of faith
you have then? Where is your faith? Are you going to give me excuses? Give me
one million excuses but it’s not good for anything. No excuses can pass for that
for a believer. If a believer says, “I have an excuse. In three hundred and
sixty five days I cannot save five days for Allah and His Prophet (saw),” then I
have doubt with your faith. We are not playing here. We are not here for picnic.
We are not here to have only good times and tea parties. We are here to worship.
And those who does not want to worship, they have no place with me. They have a
very short time.

So in a night like this you get sohbet like this. You wanted it, and that’s why
you’re getting it. Take it. If you take it then you win. If you don’t take it
then it’s for me. It’s for me then. But on the other side, you get nothing of
what is coming also.


General zikir sohbet given by Sheykh Abdul Kerim of the Nakshibendi Hakkani tarikat at the Osmanli Dergahi (26 Zul Hijja, 1428).