1 February 2011 Lefke, Cyprus
(Translated from Turkish)
(Cypriot journalist Dogan Harman interviews Mawlana Shaykh Nazim; transcript starts from 5:00 of video)
Mr. Dogan, is technology for or against people? (It could be both for and against.) Has it done any good for Mankind? Say! (For example, you speak and use TV for Rabbani, Lordly purposes...) All nations are in the age of technology... (As I understand, technology is keeping people apart.)
I will give you a more correct and broad meaning of it: technology has kept people apart from nature. However, tabiat, nature is the mother of Mankind. Tabiat--which they now call it by its made-up name, doga--is the mother of Man. Not only of humans, but she is the mother of every created being that lives on it. And when you neglect her, poison her, insult her, she won't give back to you in return. Nature will then be an enemy to humans and become the mother of all kind of germs and viruses--she’ll attack people. In old times, there weren’t as many sicknesses as there are now. Why? People used to live within nature; loving her as their mother. People are now getting tired of walking in nature; they don’t want her anymore. They’re in cars, etc--many issues. (Mawlana Shaykh speaks to the reporter) Now you stop here (on this topic), don’t go further.
What’s our current situation? Our situation is the condition we are in. And yet, we only told one part of it. We mentioned one out of one-thousand issues, but there remains 999. Now this is a hasbihal, friendly association. We are giving a suhbah, association in the way of understanding each other. We are not against anyone, however, we don’t accept any “new thing” that rasps, degrades and comes against our humanity. In every innovation, there is something that rasps our personality.
For that reason, through intibak, adaptation, it is as if we have moved from our old situation into a new house. I’m used to this house. Now if we move to a concrete building, we wouldn’t feel at ease or find the same comfort. But the one who was born between concrete, hasn’t seen any other. He doesn’t know “the old,” and therefore has no desire for it. What’s shown to him is, “Look this way, don’t look back!” The person who doesn’t look back can not find his human nature. Since the beginning of Humankind's existence on Earth, Man have been collecting valuables. At all times, he collected new assets and struggled to mature his human nature.
They say, “Technology Reform.” It came and forced us to deny our entire history--whatever we had in the past! And this doesn’t pertain to us only; it involves all Mankind. (Whatever keeps Man apart from Allah, nature and humanity, it is as old as Shaytan, even if they call it “new.” Is that right?) It’s already the work of Shaytan, the work of the old expert. (Because when you say “old,” people will say, “Shaykh Nazim Effendi is against innovation.” But it is not like that. The essence of it is different.)
If innovation had brought any benefit to humanity, we would’ve been with it. But ever since the world was created, there’s an established civilization, humanity and the understanding of human nature. Unfortunately, they’ve erased all of these and are bringing people a new identity, which is not appropriate. Now there are people who’ve become mechanized. What am I to do with a mechanized one? They’ve turned people into robots--nothing else! And when it is like this, people no longer have any peace.
Where we are is like a small dot on the map. You’re a journalist or a researcher--a muhakkik or a mudekkik person. This is our inheritance from the past. When we say “muhakkik” and “mudekkik," these are two gems, in which humans have given their due rights. But now in this day and age, we have kicked these two words out! Do we have the right for a made-up language?
(We made it up; we kicked the others out and now we’re using these.)
Is it okay to take out the real orange and bring a plastic one?
(Does it mean that language shouldn’t progress at all; should it always stay the same?)
Is there such a thing in English? Please tell me. The British dictionary, Redhouse...
(Now let me give you an example, because I’d like to understand what you think too.)
Tell me one made-up English word (if you can). Is Redhouse being used today or not?
(It’s being used.)
In it, which of the words did the British change?
(Some words from other languages…)
You pumpkin-head! ( Mawlana Shaykh lifts his cane up) Leave other languages alone! Its original language is English. Take French as an example. Did the French invent a new word?
(They never do.)
(If I don’t discuss how will people understand?)
(He lifts his cane up again) There’s nothing left for people to understand. Now you speak.
(The word “ robot” came into the English language from the Slovaks.)
In Shakespear’s English, which of the words did the British change?
(True. And the Russians haven’t changed Pushkin’s language...
(The Russians didn’t change their Pushkin literature.)
As I said, no one would change. I am speaking to you as a human being. If you are a donkey, what can I tell you?
(I might be a donkey, but…
What is the Turkish word for “eshek”?
(Isn’t it “eshek”? ( Mawlana laughs.) Eh, if I weren’t a donkey, then why would you say these things to me?)
Let me tell you something. What is the difference between a donkey and a horse? (Journalist at a loss) I want an answer. Let’s have the prime minister, the head person in Turkey, and the one here give us an answer.
(You tell us; give us a short cut...)
Say! You claim you’re a philosopher. (Mawlana Shaykh lifts his cane up and motions as if to hit him.) Say it: what is the difference between a donkey and a horse?
(Only the Sufis would know the answer to this.
Right now I’m giving a general talk of Sufism. Now look: what does a donkey ask for?
What does a horse ask for? It wants a Sultan! (To mount?) Of course. Did you understand or not? The donkey wants straw; the horse wants a Sultan. Are there any sultans left? Are there any more horses? All of us have become donkeys. Everyone struggles to earn a living. Just as a donkey runs after straw, people run after their daily bread. The Sultan, which the horse wants, is no more to be found. The horses are crying! Why? Pay attention! Which animal from the animals’ world is the most honorable one? (The lion.) Do you see? (Mawlana Shaykh taps him with his cane) Sometimes your mind works, sometimes you don’t know anything. (I’m becoming clever.) (Mawlana laughs) Of course, after getting hit with a cane, you’re coming out of “donkeyness” and becoming a horse!
(Pretty soon I’ll start asking for a Sultan too.)
(Mawlana Shaykh laughs aloud) Tawbah astaghfirullah! Where again did this bald-headed come from? “Don’t say bald headed! (Don’t you see that) he put a hat on his head?”
(We wore the fez but we still got beaten. (Laughter)
Anyway, this will be enough. It’s time for `asr now.
(We didn’t speak of anything yet. We were going to talk about the happenings in Egypt. What’s going on in Egypt, in Morocco, in Tunisia?
According to our creed, our belief, the Prophet’s (s) word comes first.
The Prophet (s) said:
كما تكونون يولى عليكم
Kamaa takoonu yuwalla `alaykum:
As you are, so will your leaders be. (al-Daylami)
Your governors resemble you. When they take you down and have someone else sit on the chair, that one will be dressed with the same attribute as the one before. Since people don’t want to leave their donkey attributes, every new comer will ride them with a whip. These nations will reach the level of Manhood only if they rid themselves from “donkeyness”. The attribute of people is the attribute of donkeys. They run after their food, they have no other purpose. They want to have a good salary, live a good life, eat and drink, and do whatever…Would any (good morals) be left? I mean, in “donkeyness”. In the musteva, level of donkeys...now they call it “duzey”. Anything wrong with the (original) word, musteva?
(Mawlana Shaykh asks cameraman to get a shot of the journalist)
(You don’t like technology but these things can take you all the way up to the satellite. So you say there’s no benefit of technology?) I am saying that it rasps against our human nature. Did it take us away from being a donkey? Don’t stretch it.
(If I perform the call to prayer, with such technology, I can make your voice heard throughout the world. Would that be bad?) Who will hear? People on the level of donkeys will shout and scream. (Let them scream. When I put your news in the newspaper, it’ll get sold more easily. On TV, it’ll be watched more...) Leave the newspaper now! (So computers have no benefit for humanity?) What benefit does it have? What is in it? Look, there is a limit for everything. What is the benefit of Internet, of computers? It has a benefit, but when does it become beneficial? If it can take people out of the level of donkeys and raise them up to the level of Sultan, the level of horses, then it’s nice.
Did this computer take people out of their “donkeyness”? Or more than that, did it corrupt us? You may listen to whatever you want on the computer, but generally speaking, did it raise the majority of people up from the level of donkeys? (It’s mostly used for bad things.) Okay, now it’s correct! I am sorry to say that there is no device which is used for goodness. It is a trap from Shaytan who wants us to keep staying at the level of donkeys. He says: “Here! We’re giving you straw, so be occupied with it!”(...) Technology doesn’t take people to the highest level of humanity; (instead) it makes them atheists, people of no faith, immoral, crazy, and ill-mannered. Now, generations are being raised sitting in front of the computer 24/7. (They play games all day.) Too many games in it! Anyway, this will be enough. It’s `Asr time.
(Now what’s going to happen with the situation in Egypt? You didn’t give us any message yet? You gave a message in Arabic but we didn’t understand. What’s happening in Egypt?) As they are, so will their leaders be. If their people were high on good manners, discipline and obedience, then their leaders would represent them exactly. But since people are insisting to stay as donkeys, those who will come as leaders over them will carry the same attributes. They will be “insisters” too, saying, “Let this nation, our people, continue on their ‘donkeyness’ so we can ride on them!”
(So as long as you don’t change, your leaders will not change? )It won’t change. What a philosopher you are!
(In a khutbah, 15 to 20 years ago, you said, "As long as you don’t change, Allah will not change your leaders.”) (Mawlana Shaykh nods.)
إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ
Inna Allaha laa yughayyiru ma bi qawmin hatta yughayyiroo maa bi anfusihim.
Verily, God does not change men's condition unless they change their inner selves. (Ar-Ra`ad, 13:11)
Unless people change themselves, Allah Almighty will not take them out of their situation. For example, a fish inside an aquarium would say, “We want to get out of this place!” Now if you take that fish and put it in another pool, it would die. So what it wants is water, an environment.. Wherever Man goes, he seeks to find that environment to live in. The donkey can live in its own environment, the horse can live in its own, finished!
(We elect donkeys, then shout, “Who brought this donkey upon us?”) That’s how it is. What I am saying will highly enlighten people (for an understanding). Whether you like it or not. Say a better truth (if you can). If there’s anyone to debate with me, I don’t think that he could withstand me, other than you. (Am I really able to withstand you? I came here to get beaten up. [Laughter] Tawbah astaghfirullah, O fakir, beggar! What shall we do? Tawbah yaa Rabbee. Anyway, it’ll be enough for today. May Allah change our conditions. Nations are in need for change.
(In November you said that Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Turkey and many other countries will collapse. Then two months later these events took place, and now in Egypt. What was that all about?) And in Chile. It is as we say it. (You listed all of them. Was this a miracle or what?) (Jokingly) Instead of keramet we have kiremit, bricks. If we had anything, these people would have regard for us. (But you gave them the news....) We are zero: that’s why no one calls and asks for us. What news did I give them? (You said these would happen within a year.) Well, there are some matters we know, which belong to spirituality. Now I can’t explain them all. You would come near the door just a tiny bit, then escape from fear. Others won’t even approach the door. It will open. Dawaam is for Allah, everything will change.
(Yaa Daim.) Yaa Daim, Allah, the pre-Eternal and Eternal Creator. (Mawlana Shaykh stands.) Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahi ‘l-hamd. Yaa Rabbee! We are Your servants. Give us understanding, yaa Rabbee. (Mawlana Shaykh sits.) Okay my son... (Okay. Every Friday night we broadcast these on TV, under the title, “Sohbahs with Shaykh Nazim.” Television or telephone...Sometimes I look; the kids also look, but they look at games and nothing else. Everyone is preoccupied with something; they have an ambition, a want, and they run after that. May Allah keep us away from running after baatil, falsehood. May we go after haqq, truth.
They weren’t following haqq, that’s why it came upon Tunisia and Egypt; and to many more it will come. Like domino's, if you touch one, all will fall, one after another; it won’t stop. (What will happen in Cyprus?) The same. Because Man will strive until he’s satisfied and Man is never satisfied. The Ottoman era passed, the British era passed, the Arab era passed and now we have entered into a fourth position--yet still we’re not content. “What’s going to happen?” Let them look into it and find it for themselves. What can you find? I can find but you can’t. You will find what you seek, finished. They don’t know what they are looking for.
(We found you; we can’t find more than that!) If they listen, they’ll find. (Mawlan Shaykh looks at clock) It’s a quarter after three. They won’t let it go for more than 40 or 45 minutes; they’ll close it down. Because listeners wouldn’t be able to carry it; they’d lose their strength. That’s why in schools classes are only 40 to 45 minutes, because that’s how long our human nature can take.
(Yes, thank you very much.)
Thanks to Allah. Whomever He sends, we must see. What to do? Sometimes we are in need, as I like to empty my heart...But we are like a helpless ant; we have no power to do anything. Allah, Qadir Mutlaq, Allah jalla wa `alaa.