Monday, 23 January 2012

The Spirit of Truth


It is written in the Gospel according to John that Jesus (a.s.) said to his disciples the following:

John 16:12-14
12 “I have still much to say to you, but it is beyond your reach as yet.  13 It will be for him, the truth-giving Spirit, when he comes, to guide you into all truth.  He will not utter a message of his own; he will utter the message that has been Given to him; and he will make plain to you what is still to come.  14 And he will bring honour to me, because it is from me that he will derive what he makes plain to you.”

The ‘Spirit of Truth’ is the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  In fact, one of his titles was ‘The Prophet of Truth’.  He was known also as ‘al-Amin’, ‘The Trustworthy One’ before he was proclaimed a prophet.  The ‘Truth’ is the submission to one God, the One God of Abraham (a.s.) and Ishmael (a.s.), their forefather.  Islam is known as ad-Din al-Haqq, the Religion of Truth.  Indeed, with the coming of Islam, Revelation was Completed.  He did not speak of himself but only what was Revealed; that Revelation being the Qur’an.  And he did prophesise many things including tall buildings, aircraft, the End of Days and the coming of the Messiah (a.s.).  Some have come to pass.  Some have yet to occur.  Did he not receive from God of God and reveal it to the world?

Waraqah ibn Nawfal (r.a.) was a Christian and a man of letters.  And he knew these Scriptures.  And that is why he waited for the coming of the one who would Glorify God.  And his name is Muhammad (s.a.w.) - from the Arabic word 'hamd', which means ‘praise’.  And is it not true that Muhammad (s.a.w.) did constantly praise God and by his actions glorify Him?  The honour that was given the Jesus (a.s.) is the calling back to the Oneness of God and the affirmation of the true teachings of Jesus (a.s.).  Jesus (a.s.) and his mother Mary (a.s.) are Mentioned in the Qur’an.  That itself is a tremendous honour.

That prophesy has come to pass.  Islam is not a new faith but a return to what was.  It is the belief in One God, and of His Prophets, of the religion of Noah (a.s.), and Abraham (a.s.), and Isaac (a.s.), and Ishmael (a.s.), and Moses (a.s.), and Jacob (a.s.) and Joseph (a.s.), and Mary (a.s.) and Jesus (a.s.).

John 15:26
26 “Well, when the truth-giving Spirit, who proceeds from the Father, has come to befriend you, he whom I will send to you from the Father’s side, he will bear witness of what I was…”

And this is what the Qur’an Says:


O people of the Book!  Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but truth.  Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, was (no more than) a messenger of Allah and His Word, which He Bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His Messengers.  Say not “Trinity”: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is One Allah: glory be to him: (for Exalted is He) above having a son.  To Him Belongs all things in the Heavens and on Earth.  And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.  Christ disdaineth not to serve and worship Allah, nor do the angels, those nearest (to Allah): those who disdain His worship and are arrogant ― He will Gather them all together unto Himself to (answer). (Surah an-Nisa’:171-172)

The Trinity itself is an innovation that does not appear anywhere in the Bible.  The closest that one can find it is this:

Matthew 28:19
19 “…you, therefore, must go out, making disciples of all nations, and baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…”

In any case, this verse is of dubious origin and not in line with the teachings of Jesus (a.s.) as espoused by much of his surviving teachings in the rest of the Gospels.

John 16:7
7 “And yet I can say truly that it is better for you I should go away; he who is to befriend you will not come to you unless I do go, but if only I make my way there, I will send him to you.”

This verse clearly indicates that there is someone to come after Jesus (a.s.).  This is the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) himself.


Saturday, 21 January 2012

Beyond the Veil

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

“If any one were to say to the embryo in the womb:

‘Outside is a world well-ordered,
A pleasant earth, broad and long,
Wherein are a thousand delights
And many things to eat.
Mountains and seas and plains, fragrant orchards,
Gardens and sown fields.
A sky very lofty and full of light, sunshine
And moonbeams and innumerable stars.
Its wonders are beyond description:
Why do you stay, drinking blood,
In this dungeon of filth and pain?’

The embryo, being what it is,
Would turn away in utter disbelief,
For the blind have no imagination.

So when the saints tell of a world without smell or colour,
None of the vulgar hearkens to them:
Sensual desire is a barrier huge and stout –
Even as the embryo’s craving for the blood that nourishes it in its low abodes
Debarred it from the perception of the external world,
Since it knows no food but blood.”

Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.)


The Fruit of the Old Man

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Whenever the companions of Rasulullah (s.a.w.) reaped their first harvest, they brought early, fresh fruits to him.  He would then distribute them among those who sat around him.  One morning, a poor man brought one fruit from his small farm and gave it to the Prophet (s.a.w.).

The Prophet (s.a.w.) accepted the gift, tasted it and then went on eating it alone while the companions watched.  One of those present meekly said, "Ya Rasulullah, have you overlooked the right of those who watch while you eat?"

Our Prophet (s.a.w.) smiled and waited until the man who had brought the fruit had left.  Then he said, "I tasted the fruit and it was not yet ripe.  Had I allowed any of you to have some of it, someone would have definitely shown his distaste, thus disappointing the poor man who brought this gift.  Rather than make him feel bitter, I accepted the bitterness."

Guard the hearts of those who come and those whom you meet.  Each and every one of them is a Reflection of Allah (s.w.t.).  Whatever is Given, receive it with love.  The bitterness of the fruits of this world is for but a moment.  But the sweetness of the Hereafter is forever.


Heaven was...

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Heaven was a park bench on a long beach,
On a cloudy night, with forever in reach.
And the world moved yet time stood still.
I drank it all in but I never had my fill.
Perhaps the multitudes did create much ado.
Yet I could see nothing but You.  You.  Just You.

Heaven was that Close Embrace we Had.
Every moment of Aching Thirst to Drive me mad.
Every moment of me in You until ‘I’ was ‘You’.
Every vision of possibilities and impossibilities so new.
Of that aching Love so beautifully intense.
You were Present, the Presence of my Absence.

Take away the world and leave me that bench.
Take away ‘me’ and leave no heart to wrench.
Take away the other and the between in between.
Remove the Veil of the Unveiled until it is Seen
The Reality of You is Me and the Me in You.
No more You or I; only what is True.

Terence Nunis


Monday, 16 January 2012

The Secret of the Lover

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The Sulthan of Lovers, Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.) said:

Love has nothing to do with
The five senses and the six directions:

Its Goal is only to Experience
The Attraction exerted by the Beloved.

Afterwards, perhaps, Permission
Will come from God:

The Secrets that ought to be told with be told
With an Eloquence nearer to the Understanding
That these Subtle Confusing Allusions.

The Secret is Partner with none
But the Knower of the Secret:

In the Skeptic's Ear
The Secret is no Secret at all.

Matsnawi

I am dead, then alive.
Weeping, then laughing.
The power of love came into me,
And I became fierce like a lion,
Then tender like the evening star.


Hassan Askari, A Hero amongst Us

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following occurred on December 2007.  It is an old story, but a good lesson, and lessons in values are timeless.  Riding the Q train into Brooklyn one Friday night, Hassan Askari noticed ten thugs hassling a young couple for replying ‘Happy Chanukah’ when greeted with ‘Merry Christmas’.  Fearing for the woman’s safety, he pushed one thug away, and the gang pounced on the 5’ 7”, 140 lb. hero.  This gave the two victims time to pull the subway’s emergency brake and summon help.  Hassan received two black eyes and a sore nose for his efforts, but never went to a doctor because he worked two jobs and could not afford medical care.  The victim, Walter Adler, who received a broken nose and required four stitches for a split lip, was shocked that “a random Muslim kid helped some Jewish kids, that’s what’s positive about New York.”




Sufficient is Allah (s.w.t.) for Me


بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) wrote in The Revival of the Religious Sciences: Invocations & Supplications: “Allah is enough for me in my religion.  Allah is enough for me in my mundane life.  Allah, the Generous, is enough for me in what distresses me.  Allah, the Affectionate, is enough for me against him who oppresses me.  Allah, the Stern, is enough for me against him who hurts me by evil.  Allah, the Compassionate, is enough for me at death.  Allah, the Merciful, is enough for me at the Inquisition in the Grave.  Allah, the Generous, is enough for me at the Reckoning.  Allah, the Beneficent, is enough for me at the Scales.  Allah, the Powerful, is enough for me at the crossing of the Traverse.”



But if they turn away, Say: "Allah sufficeth me: There is not Allah but He; On Him is my trust - He the Lord of the Throne (of Glory) Supreme! (Surah at-Tawbah:129)


The Prophet (s.a.w.) & the Emperor of China

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Here is a remarkable poem written by the first Ming Emperor of China, Zhu Yuanzhang, born 1328, celebrating the life and mission of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  “Ming” means “light”; it was called the dynasty of Light, Nur.  For political reasons, he did not announce that he was a Muslim, and not many people know that China had a Muslim dynasty, if only for a generation.  However, most of his generals were Muslim.  His bodyguards were Muslim.  And Zheng He, the noted Muslim admiral’s voyage, was in the time of his dynasty but after his lifetime.



“Since Creation of universe
Heaven has already Appointed,
Faith preaching giant saint,
From West He was born,
To receive Holy Scripture,
With thirty-part book,
To guide all creations,
King of all kings,
Leader of holy ones,
With Support from Divine,
To Protect his nation,
With five daily prayers,
Silently hope for peace,
With heart toward Allah,
Empower the poor ones,
Save them from calamity,
See through the unseen,
Pulling souls and spirits,
Away from all wrongdoings,
Mercy to the World,
Walking ancient crowned path,
Evil vanquished to One,
Religion pure and true,
Muhammad,
The Noble High One.”

Swalah to Avert Bala' for Swafar

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is from a note by Ustadz Fakhruddin Owaisi at-Tijani.  Many great awliya’ have mentioned that an immense number of bala’, calamities, descend on humanity on the last Wednesday of this month of Swafar.  Khatim al-Awliya’ Mawlana Ahmad ibn Muhammad at-Tijani al-Hasani al-Maghribi (q.s.) has confirmed this.

There is also a special swalah that Mawlana Ahmad at-Tijani (q.s.) would perform on this Wednesday to ward off these calamities as mentioned by Sidi Sukayrij (q.s.) in the Jinayat al-Muntaswib.  This swalah has been practiced by Mawlana Ahmad at-Tijani’s (q.s.) descendants and by the special ones in his thariqa’ for generations.

Shaykh Ibrahim Niyas (q.s.) gave permission to all his disciples to perform this prayer on the last Wednesday of Swafar as mentioned by Shaykh Abu Bakr ‘Atiq (q.s.) in Miftah al-Akhlaq.  Shaykh Hasan Sisi (q.s.) has also advised his muridun to perform this swalah.  Even non-Tijani saints have performed this swalah but did not recite the blessed Jawharat al-Kamal in the end.

The swalah is performed with the intention of seeking Allah's (s.w.t.) Mercy in warding off the 360, or 360,000, calamities that land on this day.  The swalah should be done on the morning of the last Wednesday of Swafar, before zhuhr.  The method is as follows.  Perform a four rak’ah swalah.  In each raka’at, recite:

1 x Surah al-Fatihah,
17 x Surah al-Kawtsar,
5 x Surah al-Ikhlasw,
1 x Surah al-Falaq, and
1 x Surah an-Naas.

After finishing the swalah, recite the following ayat, 360 times.  Read it 60 times first, then 300 times.


Wallahu ghaalibun ‘alaa amrihi walaakinna akhtsar an-naasi laa yaa'lamuun

… And Allah Hath Full Power and Control over His Affairs; but most among mankind know it not. (Surah Yusuf:21)

Thereafter, recite the Jawharat al-Kamal 3 times, ending it the way we end the wazhifah:


Allah and His angels Send Blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe!  Send ye blessings on him and salute him, with all respect. (Surah al-Ahzab:56)

At the end, we supplicate our needs and seek His Protection.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) was very ill in the month of Swafar and he passed away from that illness.  Therefore, the month of Swafar is a very difficult one for all believers, as we all carry his inheritance.  After it is the month of blessings, Rabi’ al-Awwal.  However, the night is the darkest before dawn.  The above-mentioned swalah is only practiced by the Sufis and those who believe in the Divinely-inspired sciences of the Sufis.

It is not something obligatory on all Muslims.  For those of the Path, their shaykh is their Guide and they seek the Divine Presence.  And for the rest of the ummah, the Qur’an is their Guide and Allah (s.w.t.) will Reward them with Jannah.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Protect us from all Calamities.


Sorrows are a Divine Grace

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.) said, “Sorrows are a Divine Grace.  As long as people feel good, they forget about the Creator.  But in times of sorrow and pain, they think of Him.  When the sorrow comes, the Veil of Forgetfulness is torn apart and the sufferer accepts Allah and wails, ‘O Allah, O You Who are Merciful!’  He is being Cured, but soon the Veil of Forgetfulness falls down again, and he says, ‘Where is God?  I cannot find Him.  I do not see Him.  What shall I look for?’”

Why were we able to find Him when we suffered but cannot find Him now?  So now, we see that as we suffer, Allah (s.w.t.) Makes us think of Him, Sending us sorrow and pain.  To consume worries means to empty oneself.  After such an emptying joy appears, a kind of joy that knows no sorrow - a rose without thorns, a wine that does not bring headaches.  It is the sorrow that guides us.  As long as there is no sorrow, no passion, or no yearning, love in a work; we will not strive for it.  Without sorrow, it remains out of our reach.


The Love of Allah (s.w.t.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Once at the time of hajj, there was a gathering in Makkah of some friends of Allah (s.w.t.), the youngest among whom was Shaykh Junayd al-Baghdadi (q.s.).  In that gathering, there was a discussion on the subject of the love for Allah (s.w.t.) and as to who is the lover of Allah (s.w.t.).  Many of them expressed their views on the subject, but Shaykh Junayd (q.s.) kept quiet.  He was pressed to say something.

With his head bowed down and tears in his eyes, he said, “The lover of Allah (s.w.t.) is he who forgets his own self, remains engaged in Allah's (s.w.t.) remembrance with due regard to all its requirements; sees Allah (s.w.t.) with the eye of his heart, which is Burnt by the Heat of Allah's (s.w.t.) fear; Allah's (s.w.t.) remembrance affects him like a cup of wine, he speaks the Words of Allah (s.w.t.) as if Allah (s.w.t.) Speaks through his mouth; if he moves, he does so under the Command of Allah (s.w.t.), he gets peace of mind only through the obedience of Allah (s.w.t.) and when such a stage is reached, his eating, drinking, sleeping, awakening and, in short, all his actions are for the Pleasure of Allah (s.w.t.), he neither pays heed to the worldly customs, nor does he attach any importance to unfriendly criticism by people.”


'Umar ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz (r.a.) on Sin

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (r.a.) wrote a letter to a military commander and said, “Sin is even more dangerous than the ruses of the enemy.  ‘Amir al-Mu'minin bids upon Manswur that instead of taking fright of his enemy, he should fear transgressing the limits of Allah Ta’ala.  We overcome our enemies in the battlefield only because of their vices and sins, for, had it not been so, we would not have had the courage to face them.  We can not deploy troops in the same numbers as our enemies can do, nor do we possess the equipment they have got.  Thus, if we equate ourselves with our enemies in misdeeds and transgressions, they would undoubtedly gain a victory over us by virtue of their numerical superiority and strength.”

The ummah will always be in a state of subjugation not because the enemies of Islam have subdued them but because they have been subdued by their lower selves.  The Muslim nations have rushed to emulate the enemies of Islam whilst paying lip service to the values of the faith.  The true victory of the Prophet (s.a.w.) was not in the destruction of his enemies.  Rather is it was his convincing them of the Truth.  And that has ever been the victory that Allah (s.w.t.) Promised.  Whenever the enemy met true Muslims, they were eventually enchanted by the sincerity of faith.  They converted and sometimes became better Muslims than the one that came before.  The Persian, the Mongols, the Turks, the Pathans and so many more.  Men of every tribe and nation who came generations after our Beloved Prophet (s.a.w.); they found Islam.

As long as we are virtuous and hold tight to the sunnah.  As long as we have certainty of faith and strive in the Path of Allah (s.w.t.) for the sake of Allah (s.w.t.), we will ever be victorious.


This Time

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

This is a time, when brothers,
O Man, are not brothers.
When brothers all are unjust -
They have two tongues and two faces.
He meets you with a smiling face, but in his heart,
There is a disease which he secretly hides,
Until you are out if his sight –
Then he throws after you falsehood and lies.
Such are the people of this time -
There are not two are true in love.
O Man, live then your life alone.
Do not seek the company of other men.
Live side by side with people, but keep
Yourself safe within house and walls.

‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.)


The Story of David & Michael

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Two guys were lost in the Sahara Desert.  One was David, the other was Michael.  They were suffering from hunger and thirst when they suddenly came upon an oasis, with what looked like a mosque in the middle.

David said to Michael, “Look, let's pretend we are Muslims, otherwise we’ll not get any food or drink.  I am going to call myself ‘Mohammed.’”

Michael refused to change his name.  He said, “My name is Michael, and I will not pretend to be other than but what I am - Michael.”

The imam of the mosque received both well and asked about their names.  David said, “My name is Mohammed.”

Michael said, “My name is Michael.”

The imam turned to the helpers of the mosque and said, “Please bring some food and water for Michael only.”  Then he turned to the other and said, “as-Saalamu’ Alaykum Mohammed.  Ramadhan Mubarak.”


The Ship Sunk in Love


بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is extracted from the Rumi Collection, edited by Shaykh Kabir Helminski.

Should Love's heart rejoice unless I burn?
For my heart is Love's dwelling.
If You Will Burn Your House, Burn it, Love!
Who will say, 'It's not allowed'?
Burn this house thoroughly!
The lover's house improves with fire.
From now on I will make Burning my aim,
From now on I will make Burning my aim,
For I am like the candle: burning only makes me brighter.
Abandon sleep tonight; traverse for one night
The region of the sleepless.
Look upon these lovers who have become distraught
And like moths have died in Union with the One Beloved.
Look upon this ship of God's Creatures
And see how it is sunk in Love.

Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.). Matsnawi


The Ones Who Serve are Served

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is taken from “When You Hear Hoof Beats Think of a Zebra” by Shaykh Shems Friedlander.

One day in the courtyard of the mosque, Shaykh Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q.s.), a great Sufi shaykh and the Quthb al-‘Arifin, the central pillar of knowledge, was making his ablutions in preparation for prayer.  Across the courtyard, he saw a very old man.  In the old days, they used heavy clay pitchers for water, and if you were strong enough, you picked one up and washed yourself.  Often, the person next to you would help you pour the water, and in turn you did the same for him.

Shaykh Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q.s.) saw no one was helping the old man.  He walked over to the old man and said, “Old man, what could you have done in your long life that you do not have one friend?  No one has come to help you?”

The old man looked at him and said, “The ones who serve are served.  And if I had not served Allah and His Creation, how would the Quthb al-‘Arifin, the man of the highest knowledge, come now to serve me?”


The King & the Pauper

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

There was a king who decided to take a tour of his country.  As he passed by different places, everyone rushed to see him.  However, while passing by a certain place, he noticed a poor old man who did not pay any attention to the king's arrival and remained engaged in his own activities.

The king went up to this poor man and asked why he did not join the people to see him.  The poor man replied, "Before you, there was another king who once passed by this place.  Everyone gathered to see him as well.  But, few days later he died and was buried in a place nearby.  A poor man also died during that time and was buried near the king's grave.  After some time, a strong flood passed through that area causing those graves to overturn.  As a result, the bones of the poor man became mixed up with those of the king's.  We could not differentiate between them any longer.  After seeing this, it does not matter to me anymore as to who is a king and who is a beggar.  In the end, our home is the same."

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (q.s.) said, “To recognize the world as insignificant is the highest stage of certainty in faith.”


The Annihilation of 'Ali (k.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is from the Commentary of al-Hikam of Shaykh ibn 'Atha’illah as-Sakandari (q.s.) by Shaykh ibn 'Ajibah (q.s.).  Speaking of the station of extinction, 'Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.) said in verse:

I saw my Lord with the eye of my heart.
I said: No doubt it is You!  It is You!
You are the One Who Encompassed every "where".
So there is no "where," except You are there.
"Where" has no "where," in regards to You.
For "where" to know where You are
Nor can imagination, imagine You.
For imagination to know where You are
Your Knowledge Encompasses everything
So that everything I see is You.
And in my annihilation, is the Annihilation of my annihilation.
and in my annihilation, I found You.


Sunday, 15 January 2012

Decorating Our Personality

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is a transcript of discourse delivered by Mawlana Waffie Mohammed,

It is the custom of a lot of people that when they are decorating a home they usually put up a lot of bright bulbs.  If the bulbs of those lights are not bright and shining, it will not serve its purpose.  Every human being is like a bulb.  And the mission of life is to keep that bulb bright and shining, so that it will be part of the decoration of the Garden on the Day of Resurrection.  In that Garden the perquisite of being there is to have a bright and shining personality.  In this connection, Allah (s.w.t.) Tells us in the Qur’an:



O ye who believe!  Turn to Allah with sincere repentance: in the hope that your Lord will Remove from you your ills and Admit you to Gardens beneath which rivers flow ― the Day that Allah will not permit to be humiliated the Prophet and those who believe with him.  Their Light will run forward before them and by their right hands, while they say "Our Lord!  Perfect our Light for us, and Grant us Forgiveness; for Thou has Power over all things." (Surah at-Tahrim:8)

There are two ways of keeping our bulbs bright and shining.  One is to do good.  When we do good, we add to the brightness of the bulb.  Another way is to wipe out the dust and smut that prevents our bulb from shining brightly.  The way of doing this is to constantly ask for Forgiveness from your Lord.  A lot of people do not keep this in mind at all.  When we reach a point in life, concentrate on two things that Allah (s.w.t.) Makes Mention of in Surah an-Naswr:



Celebrate the Praises of thy Lord, and pray for His Forgiveness: for He is Oft-Returning (in Grace and Mercy). (Surah an-Naswr:3)

We keep our light bright and shining by glorifying Allah (s.w.t.), by seeking Forgiveness for our shortcomings, by doing good to others and by connecting our lamp to the source of the light; Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) because he is Swiraj an-Munirah, the lamp that gives light.  Our aspiration is to get into the Garden and the beginning of entry into the Garden is when we rise with brightened countenances.  On this earth, there are limitations.  For example, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) could not have seen the true personality of Jibra’il (a.s.) in this world.  It was only when he was outside the dimension of space and time he saw his true personality.  So we cannot understand what are the implications and the beauty of having a bright light.  It is only when we are resurrected we can understand fully.

We pray to Allah to perfect our light and try our best to avoid those things that soil the light of your soul.  The soul is the source of our light and we must never forget that our nafs is impacting upon it.  Our personality comprises of both the body and soul so we need to take care of both.  Because we cannot see the soul, much attention is not given to it.  We must understand that the soul is the source of our light and we must polish it in order for it to shine brightly.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Forgive us all and Bless us with the ability and understanding to remove the spots we have put on our light and polish it at the same time.


Saturday, 14 January 2012

The Adab amongst Shuyukh

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from Shaykh Shems Friedlander’s ‘When You Hear Hoof Beats, Think of a Zebra.

There is a special adab, proper spiritual behaviour, between shuyukh of dervish orders.  A man wanted to be a dervish.  He went to see Sulthan Walad (q.s.), the son of Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.), in Konya, who was then the head of the Mawlawi Order.  Sulthan Walad (q.s.) said, "al-Hamdulillah, all praise is for Allah.  Come, bring a sheep, and we will make a feast."  The man left, and the next Thursday he was supposed to bring a sheep.  He was a thief.  That was his job, so he stole a sheep.  He threw the sheep over his shoulders and walked up to the door of the tekke.  Sulthan Walad (q.s.) stopped him and said, "Wait!  That sheep cannot be cooked in our pots.  You cannot be a dervish with our Order."

The man was upset.  He wandered the streets of Konya, until he met a friend, who, seeing his state, asked, "What is the matter?"

"Oh" he said, "I was going to be a dervish.  Then I stole a sheep.  How did he know I stole this sheep?  I mean, he told me that a stolen sheep could not be cooked in their pots.  But how did he know?  I did not tell him.  He knew.  Now I cannot be a dervish."

His friend said, "Don't worry.  Go to the next town.  No problem.  There is a shaykh there, and he will accept you as his dervish."

Again, he stole a sheep, flung it over his shoulders, and went to the next town.  The shaykh there was named Haji Bayram Wali (q.s.).  He went to see the shaykh, who said, "Come.  Come to my tekke.  We cook everything in our tekke.”  He also knew that this was a stolen sheep.  But he accepted it.  He invited him into the tekke.  They had a big feast, and the thief was made a dervish.

Soon the man getting a little smug and began thinking I will go back to Konya and see Sulthan Walad (q.s.), and show him that this great shaykh, Haji Bayram (q.s.), accepted me when he would not.  He went to the door of the Mawlawi tekke, and asked, "Do you remember me?"

Sulthan Walad (q.s.) replied, “Yes.”

"You wouldn't make me a dervish," he said, "but Haji Bayram Wali, the great shaykh; he made me his dervish."

And Sulthan Walad (q.s.) said, "Haji Bayram Wali is like a huge ocean, and one drop of dirt in the ocean can't be seen."

When he went back and saw Haji Bayrom Wali (q.s.) again, he asked him, "You accepted me.  Why you accept me when Sulthan Walad didn't."

"Ah, well," Haji Bayrom Wali (q.s.) said, "You see, Sulthan Walad is so pure that even one speck of dirt can spoil his purity."