The Thick Line Between News and Nonsense

Bismillah-hir-Rahman nir-Rahim

As-Salaam wa Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatahu,

Subhan’Allah. My last entry was a weblog recommendation of a Brother who consistently rises to the challenge of countering today’s sensationalized substitute for ‘News’, by presenting historical facts and on-the-record quotes with their contextual integrity intact. Ironically, The New York Times ‘s recent decision to peddle fiction of the most pulpy persuasion and pass it off as news, has instead made the newspaper the poster boy for shoddy and irresponsible journalism.

The New York Times has printed Ms. Julia C. Mead’s active imagination, in the Long Island edition of its paper, as the supposed expose of the Osmanli Naksibendi Hakkani Order, particulary Sheikh Abdul-Kerim Kibrisi. The title of the story, NY Times: Leaving Stony Brook to Follow a Sheik by JULIA C. MEAD, practically screams, “Scandal”, and no doubt, it’s just what Ms. Mead had in mind.

It attempts to point a wagging and deliberate finger at Sheikh Abdul-Kerim by touting him as a cultish leader whose aim in life is to steal western education from students, children away from their parents, and then steal money away from said students and parents. This weak theory then labors to heft these wild and serious accusations, while struggling to stand on a foundation of outright lies, hare-brained statements from non-credible sources (while discarding strong testimony from authoritative sources), and the miasmic fantasy of a reporter with a penchant for fabrication and an obvious agenda to malign the character of a true Shaykh.

Is it her own agenda? Is it the paper’s? We know from the article that certain individuals were interviewed and their comments were printed. I, personally, know that many other and more credible individuals were also interviewed, but the fact that their statements have been ignored speaks volumes about the paper’s intentions. Allah knows best, but it doesn’t mean we can’t exercise our intelligence and our own investigation to figure out what’s what in this situation.

Calling all Intellectuals, Intelligentsia, and all those who work hard for a living and want nothing more than to put their faith and trust in something and have it, for once, come out at least equal to their expectations: It behooves our sensibilities to sparingly place our trust in someone or something which has consistently let us down in the past. Be it a friend, a lover, your neighbor who stole your gardening tools four months back and acts now like he doesn’t have a clue what you’re so angry about. Draw all the parallels you need to come to this conclusion: Your experience should evolve you, keep you on your toes, at work, at play, in relationships, in life. Let’s look at the track record for those empowered to give us news-stories. Not very good. The media’s tendency to twist the truth is not only well-documented but well substantiated. Be it a blatant bias (here), misrepresentation (here), or confusion through flagrant misdirection, the media is no stranger to lies. The story which has appeared at this time is no coincidence, nor is it an exception to yellow journalism’s long-love affair with untruths.

Those who have followed or not, I’ll tell you that the primary reason for this blog was always to find closeness to Allah. The path I’ve tried to travel was beset on all sides with obstacles. When you don’t have a map or a guide, it is no cake walk, to be sure. So I will also tell you that since I’ve met Sheikh Abdul Kerim el Kibrisi, it is getting much clearer, and much easier Alhamdulillah. In the numerous sohbets in which I have had the honour of listening to, He has always guided in the way of truth, in adopting and establishing the practice and sunnah of the Holy Prophet (AlahiSalatWasSalaam) and closeness and nearness to Allah, while shutting out the vices and turning away from the distractions we replace God with in our daily lives. Therefore, I cannot stand by while he is lambasted by those who are opposed to him for their own selfish reasons.

So, I’m going to present you with what I’ve been given and the content of his speech to all who come his way. Everyone. Find out exactly what the Sheikh is saying and then decide for yourself

* * *

A few facts: Sheikh Abdul Kerim el Kibrisi (His formal title as a teacher, given to him by Sheikh Mevlana Nazim al Hakkani, the Grandshaykh of the Naksibendiyya order, and not just a title of respect) has been authorized by Sheikh Mevlana Nazim to teach tasawwuf.

In a message to Shaykh Abdul Kerim, Shaykh Mevlana, on the night of Friday, December 16, 2005, said in a recorded interview and I quote:

“The service that you do is beautiful, with their baraka continue that service.
Bringing a person to Islam, iman, tarika is more valuable and
rewarding than acquiring all of America in your hands. Continue
it. Do not look at what people say. May you have no business
with gossip. You are with permission, look at your job. If
someone interferes then I will interfere. I have given you the
permission. Gather as much as you can gather. May your service
be accepted, may your body be with health, may your table always
be full, may your door be open to guests. May good servants come
to the place you are. May the evil of sheytan, the evil of the
enemy, the evil of government be distant from you. May your
sustenance not end. May your Nur/Light increase and never
decrease. May your line not be cut off. May your future be
good and selam aleykum wa rahmetullahi wa barakatahu.”

In the article, Ms. Mead quoted Peter Sazanoff(Abdul-Haqq) of the Naqshbandiyya order, trying to discredit his validity as a Shaykh, saying:

“On its Web site, Mr. Fuat’s group says that he is a deputy of Grandshaykh Muhammad Nazim, the spiritual leader of the worldwide Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order. But Abdul Haqq, a spokesman for that order in North America, said he is not.

“He has made his own group,”
Mr.Haqq said. Mr. Haqq added that while “shaykh” — the Turkish equivalent of the Arab word sheik — is a formal clerical title among Sufis that can be bestowed only by the grandshaykh, the word is also a common informal term of respect.

Hmmm, well obviously the most important thing to be seen here is that Mr. Haqq has undermined the authority of Sheikh Nazim. So who has made his own group, eh? The other, the linguistic arguement, is so ridiculous it doesn’t deserve to be dignified with a response. Two of the three students whcih are mentioned both graduated from the university, while the paper makes it seem that all three left their education. Clearly, these are cheap tactics engineered to fulfill a specific aim. I’ve mentioned only a few here to highlight the extent of the baseless propaganda.

Sheikh Abdul Kerim, in the past two months which I have had the honor to know him and sit in his company, has repeatedly said in each and every sohbet, that those who wish to listen may listen. Those not interested, may go. But there is no doubt, that those who are truly sincere, and intent on learning the sunnah of the Holy Prophet, and determined to better the content of their character, will want to be near such a man, and will always try to take and apply what they learn from him. He has brought many Non-Muslims to Islam through the Mercy and Hidaya of Allah, and many, many, muslims back on the path with the same. They have shown their loyalties to him by sticking with him. This is the embodiment of a true teacher, reaching out to the Ummah, and never once taking things for himself, humble to the core, never openly pronouncing takfeer on others as is widely being practiced today. A man living the sunnah, instead of just talking about it. A man clearly rejecting the call to suicide bombing by so-called leaders of Islam, calling them cowards instead, because the Quran and Sunnah clearly are against them. No confusion to be had at all. He has never advocated the rejection of education or professionalism in a career, but rather advised that there must be balance between life as a doctor, engineer, carpenter, gardener – and life as a muslim.

Some jilted parents (Muslim and Non-Muslim) were clearly unhappy that such a path for their children interfered with their own plans, as is the nature of man’s focus to line his pockets with the love of the world, rather than lining his heart with the love of Allah. Subhan’Allah. They approached the newspaper in question, which in turn used that anger and the anger and private agendas of others(Mr. Peter Sazanoff, Ms. Sana Nadim, Mr. Nayyar, etc.) to fuel one objective: to depict Sheikh Abdul Kerim as a backward, anti-education, cult leader eager to extort money frim his mureeds. Astaghfirullah. So, Islam, the fastest growing religion in the world, with the second highest number of followers (1.5 billion ) has now been reduced to a cult? Is judaism, because of slightly less followers, now a coven? Well, for those of us using their brains and have sincerity in their hearts, and would prefer fact to fiction, can see that the real crime is in the slander being carried out against the Sheikh’s name, disguised as a news-story.

I close this by asking all to open the doors and follow the convictions of their hearts, to find out all the facts before submitting one’s will to a newspaper or a journalist(not just this story but any story), and to stand for truth regardless of danger to one’s social standing or one’s own life. Those not swayed by sensationalism, those interested in listening, those interested in learning: Shaykh Abdul Kerim Effendi continues to give Sohbets and continues to conduct Dhikr circles with his mureedain every Friday with, as mentioned above, the explicit blessing and instruction from Sheikh Mevlana. You can gather the details from the site. May Allah guide us to Love and Ihsan, through his walis. Ameen. For the sake of the Prophet(SAWS), Sheikh Mawlana, and Shaikh Effendi. Ameen. Bi hurmati AllahTawfeeq, Bi Hurmati Habib, Bi Hurmati’l Fatiha.

Was-Salaam wa Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatahu


Go here to sign the petition to stop the harassment of Sheikh Nazim by the TRNC(Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) Police – Yes, Sheikh Mevlana is also being harassed – for what? Why, for calling people to Islam of course. Yes, apparently, this is a crime in Turkey as well.