March 2009


We have celebrated the annual commemoration of the martyrs of Çanakkale (pronounced Chanakkalé) with a mawlid on Thursday night. The actual day was Wednesday, March 18th.

Sheykh Abdul Kerim Efendi reminded us of the significance of this battle as the last real jihad authorized by the Caliph, the Sultan in Istanbul. This 19th Crusade to destroy Islam failed as a consequence of about 250,000 martyrs, mostly young men aged 18-25. It marked the triumph of spiritual and religious power over state of the art materialistic power.

Fatiha on their souls.


Below is an ilahi composition by the Osmanli Dergahi murids and the lyrics in Turkish. Can someone find a translation?

Chanakkalé Ichindé | [Download]

Çanakkale içinde vurdular beni
Ölmeden mezara koydular beni
Of gençliğim eyvah

Çanakkale köprüsü dardır geçilmez
Al kan olmuş suları bir tas içilmez
Of gençliğim eyvah

Çanakkale içinde aynalı çarşı
Ana ben gidiyom düşmana karşı
Of gençliğim eyvah

Çanakkale üstünü duman bürüdü
On üçüncü fırka harbe yürüdü
Of gençliğim eyvah

Çanakkale içinde bir dolu testi
Analar babalar ümidi kesti
Of gençliğim eyvah

Çanakkale’den çıktım yan basa basa
Ciğerlerim çürüdü kan kusa kusa
Of gençliğim eyvah

Çanakkale içinde sıra söğütler
Altında yatıyor aslan yiğitler
Of gençliğim eyvah

Çanakkale’den çıktım başım selamet
Anafarta’ya varmadan koptu kıyamet
Of gençliğim eyvah!



We often overlook the spiritual guide’s jelal (majesty and wrath) state. Not all Murshids have this characteristic. It is unmistakably genuine and oddly charismatic. This picture of Sheykh is a stern warning to my pharaonic ego. I say this with regret but a harsh dose of reality.


(Thanks to Haydar Ali’s Flickr photos at Osmanli Traveller’s Photostream)

Sheykh Jelal ed-Din Rumi (qs), known as Mevlana in Turkey and Rumi in the West, was not named with jelal in vain. The jelal state has real substance that is supposed to scare the rebellious ego, to hold it under control, amongst other things. Consider this picture of Jelal ad-Din Rumi below, which I prefer over the popular image of him with a bowed back and a tilted neck out of humility in the presence of his Lord.




Tuesday 15 Jumad al-Ahir, 1427 / July 11, 2006
Osmanli Naks-i’bendi Hakkani Dergah, Siddiki Center, New York.

(After reading from the sohbet of Sheykh Mevlana Nazim, a murid asked:
“Great saints like Abdul Qadir Geylani didn’t have so much. Then after
a certain point they were living like kings. What’s the secret behind

Medet Ya Seyyidi Ya Sultanul Awliya, Medet.

It was just said in the sohbet. The world is given in their hand and
under their authority. But they don’t have it for themselves. They
have it for others. He wasn’t sitting and eating like that too. He was
eating only to show people that he was eating. But Allah is saying
that those who reached to that station, their eating is counted as
worship, their sleeping is counted as worship and their talking is
counted as worship. There was a Sheykh who was always giving advice to
his murids about these three things, saying, “Don’t do these three
things. Don’t eat too much, don’t sleep too much and don’t talk too
much. One day some person came from somewhere and the murids heard
that this man is a Sheykh. In the dergah he was talking with them. He
was talking non-stop. The murids were listening to him. When he was
going to sleep he wouldn’t get up. As soon as he gets up he starts
eating non-stop. The murids were thinking, “This man talks like a
Sheykh but our Sheykh taught us that a man shouldn’t drink too much,
eat too much, sleep too much and talk too much. This one is a Sheykh
and he is doing the opposite.” They went to their Sheykh and told him
what happened. He said to them, “There must be something wrong. But
let me just go and look at it.” That one was a hidden one. When the
Sheykh came to him he looked and said, “Don’t you know Allah says that
those who reached to that station their eating is worship, their
sleeping is worship and their talking is worship?” He said, “Yes.
Please, you must speak to every one of us from now on.”

There is a test that Allah puts people through with their lives.
Today, everyone is playing games saying, “Ah, I am under the test.”
There are a couple of questions, whether you give answer to them or
not, you pass. The (real) test is not like that. Allah put those
people through that test with their lives. If they passed that test
then everything was given to them because they were not for Dunya,
they were for Akhirat. Everything was under their authority.

Abdul Qadir Geylani (qaddasallau sirruh) was living alone in the
mountain. He wasn’t running to find food or other things. He was
keeping himself busy with Allah. He wasn’t worrying and running to pay
rent or work saying, “I need this and I need that.” No. He said,
“Allah is going to provide me with what I need. If it’s necessary for
me then He is going to.” That was the submission that he had. He was
worshipping. And whenever it was necessary and he really needed to eat
something, he would find some grass, which I remember from my
childhood that we were doing that on the mountain. We were finding
some kind of mountain grass [greens] that doesn’t need to be cooked
and we were eating it. And it fills you up. What do you need? The
water is there too. What else do you need? What is the need of man?
Man has to know first what his need is. But today’s people’s need is
never ending. There is no end to their needs. They are piling
everywhere and before you know it they are scared to use it too.

They were not like that. They were going through tests which Allah was
putting. He (Abdul Qadir Geylani Hazretleri) passed the test. He was
eating grass, water and keeping himself busy with Allah only. He
wasn’t running around to teach people too. He didn’t care if he was
going to be a Sheykh or he was going to have these many people
following him. No. He was not running for that. So Allah was looking
at his sincerity. Then Allah inspired him, saying to him, “Go down to
Baghdad and live like a king from now on. Eat like a king, live like a
king and give the secrets to people.” He got the command. He didn’t
worry to think, “How am I going to live like a king.” He said, “Allah
is moving me.” While Allah was moving that one and when he was
entering to Baghdad, Allah was inspiring the richest man in Baghdad
saying, “Go to the entrance of the city and you are going to find My
servant coming. From now on you will be his servant. Serve him and you
will find safety in Dunya and Akhirat.” The man had faith. He had the
money too. He had the wealth. He built everything and he realized,
“Oh, this is what I built it for. So I must go to see the owner who is
coming.” So he went, he saw Abdul Qadir Geylani (qs) coming and he
said, “Please, come to be my guest. Allah is ordering me to serve
you.” He had a place like a palace. He (Abdul Qadir Hazratleri) didn’t
run to build it. Allah built it for him through other people. And he
wasn’t using it for himself. He was using it for other people again.

So alhamdulillah, it is easy for Allah. It is not easy for man. When
he gives a little bit he starts shaking, he starts worrying, he starts
counting, he starts thinking and he starts planning. But Allah has
endless treasures. It (submission) is not by words. Sheykh says to
that one, “Give this to that poor one.” These days they don’t give it
to the Sheykhs also. If Sheykh says, “Bring the treasure and put it
there”, what do people say? What are they going to say? “He is trying
to fool me. He is trying to steal from me.” Sheykh doesn’t need that.
He is not for Dunya. He is in Dunya but he is not for Dunya. He is in
Dunya for people, for their safety. Nothing else. If it’s necessary to
take things away from you then he has to take things away from you
because of your love and attachment to that. So many people say, “I am
so generous” but they are so much in love with those things. They make
show that they are generous but they are not really. So Sheykh touches
from this angle, that angle, moves it a little bit. As soon as he
touches the button then `grrrr…’. Now he says, “Huh, that is in your
heart. Dunya is in your heart.” As long as dunya is in your heart no
love of Akhirat is going to open. Impossible. You are not going to
smell Paradise when the Dunya is in your heart. But when the Dunya is
in your hand then yes. (Sheykh Efendi picks up a saucer with his index
finger and thumb). This is how he was holding the Dunya. He had to,
because he was living in Dunya.

What are today’s people living for? Leave the unbelievers. What are
the believers living for? Dunya. Millions, for Dunya. That’s why they
are not running to tariqats and to Sheykhs to give submission because
submission comes with everything that you have. Not only by word
saying, “I am submitting myself to you.”

“Are you submitting?”


Then Sheykh has the right to say to you, “Take out your clothes and
put it there too.” Do you think that the one who has authority on your
spirit doesn’t have authority on your wealth and your health? He can
take it away from your hand so fast. And it is a blessing if the
Sheykh says to you, “Go bring me this, bring me that and give me
that.” It’s a big blessing to you. But this mentality is gone today.
People lost this faith. People lost faith these days. Murids lost
faith, people who call themselves murids, not murids-murids (real
murids). Murids will never lose faith, the ones who are murid. But the
ones who call themselves murids, some of them lost this faith. As soon
as you touch they start bargaining with you. What is the bargain? Can
a slave bargain with his owner? That is his owner. If the owner says
to his slave, “O my slave, what would you like to eat and drink?” He
says, “As you like. Whatever you give to me.”

He asks, “What would you like to wear?”

“Whatever you give to me.”

“Where do you want to sleep?”

“Any place that you show to me.”

He tries him like this and then he says to him, “Because you have so
much submission like this I am giving you your freedom. You are not a
slave anymore.” And he asks, “How come you are like that?” He says,
“Because I know that I am a slave. And if I am a slave and I am
accepting it then how can I rise and say to you, `I want this and I
want that?’ You are my owner. You know what my need is and you are
going to give me that.” Hmm. Murids have no trust in their Sheykh.
That is Ahir Zaman, the end of times. Trust? You don’t know what
Sheykh has? You don’t know. He is not showing. If he says, “Don’t
breathe the air”, then breathe it. Go ahead. “Who cares?” he says to
them. “You are not in that book as murids anyway. Say anything you
like.” Huh, to be a murid, you need to have Adab, you need to have
manners. Everything starts opening to a man who has manners. The more
opens to him the more obedient he becomes to his Sheykh then. He can
see the paradises, he can enter and come back, but he will never leave
his Sheykh then because what he is looking for is not even in
Paradise. It is in his Sheykh’s hand and nobody else carries that.

So today Sufism, tariqat became people’s running to have some
entertainment. Some are running to have some comfort. Some are already
fed up with the outside world and they are getting old. They cannot do
anything. They are tired of sitting home and so they are running to
tariqat. This is the mentality of today’s tariqat. But did tariqats
change and did Sheykhs lose that power? No. They still have it. But
this Dunya is garbage. So they are not looking for it. They are
circling around this world and they are just checking people. You may
be sitting next to him for twenty years and you may get nothing. He is
circling in the world, he is looking and he says, “This one has good
behavior.” He gives it to that one and walks away. He never finishes.
The more he gives the more comes. But can you give diamond to the hand
of an ignorant person? Can you take a diamond and throw it in front of
a pig? What is he going to do with it?

So first you have to know what the treasure is. You have to know what
you are looking for. And to get that you have to know what you have to
sacrifice. You have to sacrifice something. Everyone has to sacrifice
something. If you are not sacrificing it means that you are not really
ready and prepared to get what is there. You just want it for your own
ego. You are never going to get that for your ego because then ego is
going to cut your neck off. Sheytan is going to take that treasure,
that secret and he is going to go away. And you will be in big trouble
then. So yes, in tariqat sometimes Sheykhs show the people the most
luxurious life and sometimes they show them the worst lifestyle that
people are going through. You have to go through it to understand. You
may be with the Sheykh one week and you will be living like a king and
the next week you will be living like a beggar in the street. Sheykh
has the right to tell you, “Let’s go, we are going outside now to
start begging from people.” Heh, what will you do then? If you have no
submission, what are you going to do? You are going to say, “He is a
thief. Is he trying to teach me how to steal or to ask from people?”

So submission comes with everything you have. You no longer have your
own ideas of thinking and understanding. If you cannot think the way
that the Sheykh is directing you then it is forbidden for you to think
and to try to analyze things by your own self because you are going to
come to the wrong understanding. Sheytan is going to be there. So your
Sheykh is not there. Sheytan is going to be your Sheykh. And you are
still going to say, “He is my Sheykh.” But no. Sheytan is your Sheykh.
Sheytan is giving you directions then.

Wa min Allahu taufiq.

This much is enough for you and for me inshaAllah.


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