Advice Following the Passing of Shaykh Safer Efendi (ra) (March 1999)
My dear companions on the path to Truth, Assalam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.
We thank you for the fine feelings you have expressed on the passing of our shaykh Safer Efendi.
Our Master the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) says, “Allah does not cause pain to the ones He loves, but sometimes tries their patience and love for Him by causing them misfortune.” The ones whose faith is strong bear this misfortune with patience, for they know that there is relief, indeed even good, behind the worst of these trials. They do not blame their Lord as the faithless do. In fact, they are thankful because they know that their Lord is testing their love. The faithful continue to follow what they believe, keeping active in serving their Lord, and that helps them to forget and reduces their pain.
But the ones whose only love is for the world think of only the worldly effects of misfortune, scream in pain, complain and lament for their losses. For the closer one is to the world, the farther away he is from his Lord. They do not hear Him; they do not like the words of His prophet; they do not believe in destiny, and they ignore the ones who do. Yet the only hope they have is the help of the ones who are with Allah. But they choose to be together with the ones like themselves, who think they can act and can satisfy their own needs.
The only cure for them is to realize that the wound is not caused by the knife, nor is the doctor the one who cures them. For these are tools in the hands of their destiny. The knife does not cut if the Lord does not will it, neither can the doctor cure. If they realize this and repent, and are sincere in their repentance, Allah will accept their repentance. Then they will not do it again, and He will forgive them. Then they too will believe in destiny, and they too will accept Allah’s will, even if it is painful. To be better or worse, to be rich or poor, to be well or sick, even alive or dead will be equal. Our Lord is not obliged to account for what He wills for us; what seems bad to us may be good for us. That is how one finds peace.
Listen my friends, accept destiny, be together, keep Unity. Obey your teachers and the rules you were taught, and others will follow you. You will only find teachers whom you deserve. Keep serving and working and you will find help, and you will be rewarded to the extent of your service. Our Lord is Gentle and Generous. He protects His loyal servants and gives infinitely more than we deserve. No one who is good and sincere has ever known otherwise. He who serves is served. The obedient one is cherished and never punished. Many have obeyed and served the fake bosses of this world; what have they obtained? Have they been able to give anything which our Lord did not mean for them to give? What harm has ever come from them? Were they even able to do anything for themselves? Were they able not to die or even delay their death? No one gives, unless one is directed by our Lord to give. No one can do harm but by the will of Allah. No one can bring the end to the beginning, nor make the end a beginning, but our Lord. If we say that we know that, then why do we choose others over our Lord? Woe to us who defile our Hereafter with the dirt of this world, who confuse the dictates of our egos with the words of our Lord, who care more for the praise of the people than the love of our Lord, and are ashamed of their neighbors but not the All-Knowing Lord.
We cry because we have lost someone we love. Let these tears remind us to cry more with the shame of having undeservingly received love and all that we are from our Lord.
May Allah help us all.
Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi
Words adapted from Hd. Abdul Qadir Gilani (k.s.)