June 2008



Sohbet by Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Hakkani el-Kibrisi

Friday, 7th Zilkida, 1426 / December 9, 2005
Osmanli Naks-i’bendi Hakkani Dergah
Siddiki Center, New York

Auzu billahi minash sheytanir rajim
Medet Ya Syyidi Ya al-Hakkani, Medet.

Grandsheykh is saying that when man started treating
the animals very harshly and not the way they were
supposed to, the animals complained to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). The complaint
was accepted and Allah opened from that
knowledge for man to use all these jinn works (technology).
All these computers and everything are jinn works. It’s
electricity with which everything is working. But that
is not in the nature of man. So that gives another problem
to man because man went out of his way.

Before man was plowing two acres of land with a cow
and a hand-held plow, opening the dirt, spreading the
wheat with his hands, doing everything with
Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim, with the name of Allah
and when the two acres of land grew, it fed the whole
village. Now they are planting in two hundred acres lands.
Check. They are not even feeding themselves. Go look at
these farmers. Every one of them is complaining.

(You say,) “You have two hundred acres of land, you have
these many cows, you have this, this and this.”

He says, “I cannot keep up with the parts of the tractors,
I cannot keep up with the parts of this, with this and
with that.”

So everything that they are taking is going to that
side and there is no blessing in it. There is no blessing
in any product that is coming because man is running
heedlessly in top-speed to do them. What’s the rush?
You have some period of time that you have to stay
in this world. And if you are rushing like that still
you are not going to change the destiny. You have to go
according to the way that Allah has given to you, slowly,
properly, using the intellect to be able to do what is
your share.

Daytime is for work and nighttime is for rest.
This technology, these robots that you are saying
and everything that they have invented didn’t really
make people’s lives easier. They just made it more
miserable, boring and they don’t know what to do with
their lives anymore. That’s why committing suicide is
found in the first world countries and not in the third
world countries. The first class countries think that
they are the highest. And the highest among them is Sweden.
They have no laws. They are not accepting it. Everything
is free. They have the highest rate of committing suicide.
Then in America and Europe. People are not even thinking
about committing suicide in the poor countries. They are
worried and busy with what they are going to earn and eat
the next day or for that day. So they have no time to
think nonsense.

So all this technology didn’t really bring so much to man.
But as I said earlier, there are exceptions. But when power
falls into everyone’s hands then there is no longer any
exception. Everyone has everything in their hands now and
they are doing as they like. Their lives are becoming more
and more miserable everyday, more emptiness and more sorrow
is coming in and people don’t know what to do with
their lives.

(You say,) “What are you doing?” “I don’t know. I don’t know
what I am going to do with my life.” Hmm. You don’t know?
Sell it. Nobody’s going to buy it.

So all this technology made man to become lazy. That’s
the fruit of that technology. The bottom point is that
all this technology made man to become lazy. That’s all.
Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) divided the day into three
periods of time. Eight hours working, eight hours
resting and eight hours spending in the way of Allah,
with your family, with this and with that. How many is
doing that now? They get up early in the morning before
the sun rises, running in top speed for hours in their
cars going to the workplace taking two hours or three
hours, working like robots, finishing the day, when
the sun sets, running back to their houses driving three
hours, before they reach to the house they expire. They
cannot cook, they cannot eat, they cannot sleep and they
cannot do anything. They cannot spend any time with their
children, with their family. This way family life collapses
and everything collapses. Even if they are in the house,
one kid has one television in that room, the other one
has another television, the other one has another television
or computer, if there are five family members in that house
in five rooms, everyone is in their own world. Everyone is
doing something else. No one is listening, no one is
obeying, no communicating, nothing.

That’s what technology brought to man. So if you say
that it’s good then something is wrong with those eyes,
with that intelligence. (Sheykh smiles).



Edith Kiss (L), a Hungarian, and Asta Erimer, a Lithuanian, are both l earning the delicate paper marbling art of ebru and see it as an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
There are things that are simply immaculate, at first sight. The mere sight of a tulip on a marbled paper, almost surrealistically delicate, is one such beauty: no wonder there are people that travel the whole wide world to İstanbul to learn how to replicate this feat.

On a very hot summer day in the city, where you would have to bribe a person to step outside of home to crumble into pieces under the sun, I went to Sütlüce, to Miniaturk where free marbling (ebru) courses are available: I was intrigued. On the way, I thought to myself, “Oh, how Sütlüce resembles Palestine!” With its splendor of sun-drenched construction sites, sun-drenched grey buildings and all tones of grey as if painted the color on purpose to attract even more sunlight. I entered Miniaturk and passed the kids riding the little train among the mini-sized Blue Mosque, the Maiden’s Tower and Dolmabahçe Palace.

Still wondering how people can bear even to play games under the sun, I entered the tent where a bunch of women were caught up in the delicacy of marbling tulips, acacias and roses on water. It was as if a cloud of tranquility was separating this room from the outside world. It is always said that if you have something evil in your soul, you can’t manage to make a shape on the ebru water, hence one almost paints the colors of one’s soul on the water when one is doing ebru. I always thought that was a myth; however, how can the tranquility of the ebru painting room be explained while it is 40 degrees outside and car horns form a choir of madness?

Ebru is totally an act of absolute patience since both the paint and the water need an exact consistency achieved through the addition of hard-to-find elements. For example, to thicken the paint, formed from 100 percent natural mineral-based pigments, you need öd (cow bile — yes, a cow’s bile!) to mix it with. To thicken the water and give it the desired consistency to preserve the painted shapes on its surface without allowing them to be spoilt, you need to mix in the powder of the geven plant, which flourishes in Anatolia. I remember all those thorny bushes in really dry regions of Turkey and wonder how one can pick them without hurting oneself, let produce a powder.

Nur Gökalp, the assistant of Turkey’s world famous ebru artist Hikmet Barutçugil, explained to me how delicate it was to achieve this exact measure of consistency in addition to explaining the rather mysterious history of ebru. Not much is known about ebru’s past apart from the fact that it was born in Uzbekistan and later came to the Ottoman Empire and has been continually practiced in the region covering Turkey, parts of Iran and other regions of the Ottoman Empire. Nowadays, people from this region somehow connected to ebru in their home country come to İstanbul to see ebru in its cultural capital. Hence there are students who come from all around the world to attend ebru classes held by Hikmet Barutçugil and his assistants. One marbling artist from Bukhara, Uzbekistan, came all the way to Turkey just to take this workshop. Socializing through art is the most fun way to make friends. So here people play a wonderful artistic game together. The maddening exactness and sizeable kit needed for ebru makes me think it would be less fun, and certainly less educational, to try the art at home.

Miniaturk, under the auspices of the İstanbul Municipality’s culture and arts division, wanted to set up a culture and art workshop such as this one at Miniaturk to provide people with the opportunity to enjoy learning traditional arts. Initially targeting people living in the vicinity, the workshop soon saw students from around the world. The best thing about these courses is that they are free. For me, this is too good to be true because we do not live in a country in which each citizen normally feels that his cultural satisfaction is taken at face value by powers that be. It is generally the reverse: We feel like we want to be fooled and rendered more ignorant by the “powers that be” when we watch TV programs that adults are supposed to follow. However, at this course at Miniaturk, which started as a trial project about two months ago and is slated to end this month, it really feels that people in charge of this project do feel obliged that a 12-million-strong city like İstanbul should be a place where everyone could learn about their cultural heritage without having to spend an outrageous amount of money.

I am told that the Japanese show a lot of interest in our ebru. They also have marbling in Japan; however, there are no individual designs on marbled paper in a style that can be considered Japanese. So they come here to learn to make individual shapes such as roses, tulips, etc. and most of all to look at this art from a different angle. On a hot day like this, I felt lucky to meet Edith Kiss, a Hungarian, and Asta Erimer, a Lithuanian, at Miniaturk’s ebru atelier as they took turns on ebru pieces.

Kiss, from Hungary, studied visual arts in Hungary and came to Turkey with the European Volunteer Service (EVS) to do volunteer social work. At Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı, where she works, she saw a poster about this course and came and registered right away. She also gives art workshops in Anatolian cities such as Mardin, Van, Samsun and now ebru will also form an integral part of her art workshops in Anatolia. She thinks that this course here is great because the professors are really professional, all the material is provided and it is free. She is very careful when working on her ebru pieces as she takes precise measures and proportions the shapes she works on.

Erimer, as you can tell from her surname, is married to a Turkish man. She moved here about six months ago. In Lithuania she had been working at managerial positions in banks and commerce companies for a long time. Since she came to Turkey she has been trying to adjust to the new country and system and it seems ebru is a very calming method of adjustment to the at times crazy pace of İstanbul. She heard about this course by word-of-mouth and decided to enroll. She never painted before in her life but when you observe her working a green leaf upon the water into a more edgy leaf with thorn-like patterns around it, it appears that she has gotten used to the delicate style of ebru in quite a short time.

Or perhaps, judging by the immaculate tulips and daffodils waiting to dry in all the corners of the atelier, you might think that only pure souls get to be the present students in Sütlüce, since the colors in their soul come out as perfect shapes on the marbled water, no matter how slippery its surface.

21 June 2008, Saturday


Friday, June 20, 2008

Mathematicians Kemal Karaosmanoğlu and Süleyman Metin Yılmaz have developed a database software program of Ottoman classical music. Called Mus2okur, the software contains musical notes of thousands of Ottoman classical works

ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News

An incredible collection of the musical notes of Ottoman classical works has been gathered together in a revolutionary new software program created by two Turkish mathematicians.

Mathematicians Kemal Karaosmanoğlu and Süleyman Metin Yılmaz spent years looking at musical manuscripts of a myriad of Ottoman classical songs and instrumental works found in the dusty archives of TRT, Turkey’s first and only state television and radio station. As a result of this meticulous study, they applied the musical notes of more than 1,500 classical works to database software they created, calling the result Mus2okur. The software program not only contains the musical notes of centuries-old Ottoman works, but also their lyrics and information about the composers. In addition, each song in Mus2okur is provided with a makam, melodic mode, and usul, underlying rhythmic cycle that complements the melodic rhythm and helps shape the overall structure of a composition in Ottoman classical music.

Mus2okur also contains an index of a total of 24,000 different Ottoman classical works with their descriptive characteristics. All the works can be applied to 128 different musical instruments on a music computer and can be played with a fretless guitar.

Mus2okur is a masterpiece, said Karl Signell, world-renowned U.S. ethnomusicologist and scholar of Turkish classical music.

Mus2okur is one of the most successful studies I have ever witnessed and is a unique source for addicts and researchers of Ottoman classical music, said Periklis Tsoukalas, a Greek musician who specializes in Eastern music.

In the early years of the Turkish Republic, Ottoman classical music was neglected to a great extent because it evoked a past tradition and way of life not in line with modernization and Westernization efforts of the young nation state. We have adopted the notation system of the West and simply ignored our own classical music, said Karaosmanoğlu. As we turned our face to the West, we neglected our own music. Karaosmanoğlu noted that in most Western music, the octave is divided into 12 semitones, while Ottoman classical music features a much more complex range of tones.

Mus2okur also contains information on a specific music notation system created by Hampartsoum Limondjian, more commonly known as Baba Hamparzsum, a prominent Ottoman Armenian composer of Turkish classical music. Called the Hampartsoum notation system, the system Limondjian developed became the main musical notation system for Turkish classical music. Limondjian served as royal musician during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Selim III, who was also a musician. Hampartsoum notation uses symbols derived from an older notation called khaz used by the Armenian Church in the eighth and the ninth centuries.

The music notation system created by Limondjian is the basic notation system in the history of Turkish classical music. Thousands of old songs are still alive today thanks to Limondjian’s notation system, said Karaosmanoğlu. This is the reason why we have also incorporated his notation system to our software program, he said.

Mus2okur’s rich database makes it a great reference on Ottoman classical music for Western musicians and scholars who are interested in the unique style of music.



Sohbet given by Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Hakkani el-Kibrisi

Tuesday, 27 Shawwal, 1426 / November 29, 2005
Osmanli Nakshibendi Hakkani Dergah, Siddiki Center, New York.

Auzu billahi min ash-sheytanir rajim
Medet Ya Sultan Evliya, medet.

Holy Prophet (sws) appeared as one person. The time
came for him to appear because there was complete darkness everywhere. And the
Prophet (sws) appeared as only one person.
And as soon as he said to them, “La illa ha il Allah”, those
people that were worshipping idols and doing everything
other than worshipping Allah all rose up against him.
But they couldn’t do anything to him too. Understand
the secret here. They all rose up against him but they
couldn’t finish him. He was only one man as an individual.
In the human body he was one man.

Allah is talking about Habib-i Najjar in Surat-ul Ya Sin.
He says, “When the messengers came to them…”. The messengers
of Isa (alayhi salam) came to them to Antakya in today’s Turkey. They came and
they told them about that religion, what Isa (as) brought giving them invitation
to accept that religion. When those people in that city came and didn’t accept
them then the messengers said, “Our duty is to say to you,
to give you the message.” And they turned back. When
Habib-i Najjar looked at them he saw that they were
messengers and when he listened to them he ran to the
people and he said to them, “Leave (the wrong things)
and follow those who do not ask of you any fee. Follow
them because they came to you with the right message.”
They said to him, “You are from among us and you are
trying to change our religion, huh?” They attacked him
and they killed him there. They ripped Habib-i Najjar
into pieces.

Those animals that were living in the time of the Prophet
(alayhi salatu wa salam) were worse than them. They were
worse than those people. Why couldn’t they tear Prophet (sws)
into pieces too? It’s because he came with the divine
protection on him. He stood up, Allah sent him the ayats
and the laws and he put those ayats and the laws in practice
in that nation where they were all against him. In twenty-three years time he
built the world’s biggest and strongest
nation. One person. And it was all darkness everywhere in
that time. So the Prophet (alayhi salatu wa salam) went
through all these problems, difficulties and burdens,
and he worked, the people around him worked and they built
the foundation of Islam and they put everything there, alhamdulillah.

The Prophet (sws) is saying that one time the kufr is
going to end in the whole world. When the Prophet (sws)
was living, in his time, and after him up till now when
Islam was ruling, the kufr didn’t finish in the whole
world at once. Right? So the Prophet (sws) is saying
that one time it’s going to finish. Only believers are
going to stay on the face of the earth. The other ones
are going to be taken away. And that is the time of Mehdi
(alayhi salam).

So the work of Mehdi (alayhi salam) is working now.
He is not going to appear to say, “Oh! Let’s do this work.”
It’s (already) working, spreading everywhere in the world.
It is entering in every nation, every country, every city,
every town and every village. When everything has been taken everywhere and the
job is complete then he will pull the flag saying, “Now I am declaring the
Prophet’s way.” He is not
coming to bring us another religion. No. He is not coming
to bring us another book. No. He is going to open the
secrets of some ayats in the Qur’an that are not open
and he is going to bring back the traditions and the
sunnat of the Prophet (alayhi salatu wa salam). This is
what Mehdi is going to do.

Isn’t that what Sheykh Mevlana is doing now? As much
as he can. Why do you need to see something else? Look
at that one. Follow that one’s orders. Then you are
already on the way to reach to Mehdi. If those who are
looking at Sheykh Mevlana’s words (where he is saying,)
“He is coming today”, “He is coming tomorrow”, and he is
not coming and they are disappointed and they are running
away, then they have nothing there for the Sheykh. Then
you have no connection with the Sheykh because you are
only looking at the words that are coming out from his
mouth. So you have no connection at all. You are lost already.

And the betrayers will never be accepted in that work,
in the first class work. They may be in the second class
work. When Prophet (salatu wa salam) was going to war,
in the front lines he was having the strongest Sahabis
who didn’t have any doubts in any way. Some who came,
went back and came back later, they were behind. The same
thing will happen. So we must prepare ourselves for Mehdi
(alayhi salam). Mehdi (alayhi salam) may come tomorrow
morning. When he says, “Allahu Akbar” what are you going
to do? How are you going to run to him? How are you
going to run? Are we going to see it on the television
or in the newspaper or what? This is what the majority is
looking to. They have that internet and everyone of them
are now sitting at rooms like cells, smalls rooms and
everyone became the predictors of Mehdi. Everyone is
talking now about Mehdi (alayhi salam). What do you
know? What you know are the four walls and that
little machine in front of you. If I take you and
put you in front of ten thousand people then you are
not going to be able to speak. But now behind that
wall in their rooms they are speaking to the whole
world, they are seeing here and there people praising
them and they are thinking, “Mashallah.” Hmm. Eh,
go out there and speak. Look what will happen that
time. You know how it is.

So the one who knows about Mehdi (alayhi salam)
must know certain things about him. And the ones
who know the secrets don’t open the secrets.
Once you open the secret it’s gone. It’s no longer a
secret. (People are) saying, “Allah knows.” Of course,
Allah knows. Do we say that somebody else knows? Of
course, Allah knows. And He gives it to those people
who are in authority for them to know also. To those
who are in proper authority and who have been given the
authority from the Divine Presence. Not the authority
that people give or people cheer or people say,
“This one is a big one.” No. The ones who are
supported from the heavenly stations with heavenly
power know. They don’t speak about it. They say,
“You like to sit and wait? Sit. When he comes you
are going to see. I am sitting and waiting.” How many
times have we heard Sheykh Mevlana saying, “I am
waiting for sixty years for him to come, seventy
years for him to come, eighty years for him to come.”

This is what my father (rahmatullah aleyh) used to
always say, “We are waiting for him to come.” He
waited, waited and when he knew, when he understood
that he was going out from this world, he said,
“We waited for him. Our time is up. We are going.”
But he said to me, “As for you, there is a big
possibility that you are going to see.” He said,
“Your grandfather waited, their grandfathers waited,
I waited and he didn’t appear.” He said, “He didn’t
appear in our time and I am going.” He didn’t say,
“I don’t know anything about it.” He said, “He didn’t
appear yet and we are going.” He said, “You might see him.”
He left it and he passed. There were so many around
Sheykh Mevlana that were waiting and they passed.
The Sahabis were waiting and they passed. Our duty is
to wait. To be prepared and to wait. That’s all. Not to
say, “Today he is coming”, “Tomorrow he is coming”,
“Okay, let’s run here”, “Let’s run there”.

In the Millennium people drove themselves crazy
saying, “Millennium, millennium, millennium, Y2K,
Y2K, Y2K”, later Y2K didn’t happen and they said,
“This was a test. You failed the test.” Who are you
fooling? You had no other choice but to say that,
of course. So you were saying that. It’s okay.
We are closing the ears. But don’t think that
you are fooling the whole world. You may fool some
people. It’s okay. They believe in you. So it’s
okay because you said something and you believed
on that too. Some people believed. They were
believing that Y2K was going to happen. And then
nothing changed. Hmm. (You proved to be) wrong.
Alhamdulillahi rabbil alameen.

So our duty is to prepare ourselves and to be
ready like soldiers that are ready for combat
in the front lines. This is what our duty is.
To be ready and to wait. They gave you the guns,
they gave you the bullets but they didn’t give
you the order to shoot yet. If you shoot then
you will be punished. If you shoot one bullet
then right away they search where that bullet
came from, tak, tak, tak, they come down to you
saying, “You used that bullet? Come.” They take you
inside and they punish you. But maybe the war is
going to begin half an hour later. It doesn’t matter.
The order has not been given yet for you to pull
that trigger. Because you pulled it, you will be

Those people are pulling triggers all the time and
making sounds here and there. Leave it. Let those
who are in authority, who have the knowledge work.
Let them do their work. Why interfering? Is it
going to happen because you want it or I want it?
When it comes to them to say, “Only Allah knows”,
they say that. Then believe on that word. Sit and wait.
If only Allah is going to send him to you then sit
and wait. Why are you going searching around then?
Why are you listening to other people if you believe
that only Allah knows? Why are you listening to say,
“This one said this and it didn’t happen and I am
upset with this one. This one is not good.” What do
you care? Everyone is saying something. You don’t
know the situation why that one is saying that word.

So it is not an intelligent act that they are doing.
But again it’s not our business. Our business is to
concentrate in our zikirs to get more power in our
hearts, to be powerful so that when Mehdi (alayhi salam)
appears we will be close to him. Those who are
running around, doing nothing, appearing on pictures
but are not doing anything about it, they are going
to get tired and they are not going to be able to
stand next to Mehdi (alayhi salam) then. So this is
what we must do. We must prepare ourselves now when
it is the time of peace. The war didn’t begin yet.
So the soldiers that are in the front lines are
sitting in their camps, they are preparing their
guns, cleaning it and keeping themselves busy. They
are not running around because they know that there
is a big event coming and they need all that energy
then. So they are not going to be running around.
Those who are running around are going to stay
behind. They are not going to have the energy to
be able to stand for what’s coming.

InshaAllah ar-Rahman, Allah knows best.
These words are to you and to me inshaAllah.
If we take it then we win for our own selves.
If we don’t then live as you like.
Everyone is free.

Wa min Allahu taufiq

Bihurmatil Habib

Bihurmatil Fatiha.

Next Page »