Monthly Archives: September 2015

WHAT YOU THINK IS GOOD, IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE BETTER

IMG_20131111_205815God, Good, Better
God is good,
Good is God,
But however good we imagine God can be,
 God will always be better.
………

EVERYTHING. Any emotion that we have ever felt, everything that we have ever seen or heard, eaten or touched, cared for or loved, all its value is dependent upon our understanding of the varying experiences.

ALPHA TO OMEGA. For He has created it all, that we might learn of Him, that we may hear whispers of His Mercy and Beauty, and that we may be struck dumb by the heavenly trumpets of His Awe-inspiring Greatness. His plans are both cosmic and gentle. And at every bend of the music, He is playing an enchanting prose for us. He is the One, in absolute perfect control of the music, from the alpha to the omega of our existence. We need only listen, and dance accordingly.

IMG_20150912_123014_resizedMEANINGS THAT GETS BETTER AND BETTER. So says people of reflection – the value of a thing is in its meaning. The value of everything is in its meaning. So find yourself the best dictionary to chart your journey through this world of meanings. But what is perhaps truly fascinating is that the meanings and definitions contained in such a book does not stay fixed and static. It changes progressively and improves over time, each step we take in our journey towards God and His Beloved (saws),  This is not merely a milestone to mark God’s absolute awesomeness. Rather, it is an assurance to us that however kind, loving, merciful and generous our mind may imagine God to be, God shall always be better than that …for our sakes.

OUR GOD IS NOT OUR GOOD. Some people may think this is, like, so obvious. But it isn’t. Because we often equate our God to our good and we judge people accordingly. When the truth is God is better, indeed greater than our good, however saintly we claim to be. So perhaps we should not be so hasty in judging, lest we display our shortcomings and ignorance. Ooh… I have fallen into such traps, many, many, many times! May Allah forgive me and bless you.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

LOVE IS LOVE – connecting to Allah through the crucible of human frailty

22 ogos 11 (2)Action & Intention
Actions are the broad sweep across history,
Intention is the ghostly mist,
The intangible wisp behind
The pen and the sword,
Between what is done for your own vanity
And what is done for your God.
………….

OLDER. As I get older, boy, do I get more circumspect. Or perhaps more introspect, peeling through the layers of my intentions. Because the truth is that it is very rare that I, your friendly neighbourhood sinner, is motivated by just one solitary reason.

26062011446 2CHAOS. Often I (and perhaps most of humanity) am in fact propelled by multiple motivations. For example, waking up this morning… why did I ever decide to wake up? Well, I simply HAD to wake up because I needed to go to the washroom. But I also felt a little hungry and was already planning my breakfast menu on the way to the washroom. By the time I have finished showering, I have planned my day up to noon time, when I may be on-call for a client. In the mix is thrown my chore to pick up Mikhail, my son, from school. A task I anticipate with visceral happiness.

GOD? So where is my intention for God? Where is the supposed oracle and prism of divine desire, through which I ought to live my days? I am sure (I hope), it is there somewhere, in the confusing jumble of my thoughts, my plans, my prejudices and my psychedelic murmurings.

RUMI. So you see, sunshine, this is me. A veritable chaos of intentions. Anyways, I actually have a point to make today in my normal ambling way. And this is it – Someone shared a posting on Facebook yesterday which said that, “Dear Sisters, when Rumi writes about ‘love’, he’s writing about God. Not about what you feel for the guy who won’t text you back.

NOTRUMI. Well, I am not Rumi (obviously). Perhaps the anonymous commentator here is correct, and that Rumi is indeed talking about Divine Love in all those prose, and not chronicling some immature puppy love for eternity. But I do not think this labeling is necessarily useful. Because like all journeys, mustn’t we start somewhere on the Path of Love? Whether it is a love for an object, like a teddy bear or a book, to the romantic love for a man or a woman. Thus for me, the pitiable teenager’s yearning of a loved one, somehow refusing or unable to return a text message? That in itself is a circumstance pregnant with the analogy of true love and mortal failings. …Love is love surely, and indeed what distinguishes mortal love with Love of the Divine must be a question of degree and not the genus.

25 July, 2011 2HUMAN LIMITATIONS. So it is well and fine that you may say Rumi is talking about Divine Love, but Rumi is also a human being. Thus, however we look at it, love, or Divine Love if you wish to call it, is ringed by our very human inadequacies, constrained as we are with our needs such as food, air, water, companionship and also our unfortunate forgetfulness.

And I do not think this mortal ‘limitation’ makes our protestations and claims of love for Allah Almighty any less meaningful. Indeed, I think Allah Most Beautiful created and planned it thus. A love full of romance and drama, yearning and petty human foibles, admirable moments of lucidity, forgivable moments of forgetfulness and distraction. This is my understanding of love in Rumi’s life. After all, did the great shaykh himself not say…

“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times… Come, yet again, come, come.”

So be not ashamed of your love, sunshine, however inconsequential, however timidly grasped. Had God wanted it any other way, the path would have been different for you and I.

ffsfswa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE FIFTEEEN LETTERS of Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani

IMG_20150827_122517_resized_1A couple of months back, I found this little book at a bookshop. I must admit that this little gem was unfamiliar to me. As the title succinctly says, this book contains a collection of fifteen letters written by the great shaykh to…, you know I am not sure to who originally! But as this story winds to an end, we may find a surprising answer.

It appears the letters were originally written in Persian by the great shaykh. Thus far, four manuscripts have been found, one in Berlin, another in King Saud University, the third in Oxford University and the fourth in Michigan University. The translator and commentator of the book is Louay Fatoohi, who gained access to 3 of the manuscripts, save for the Berlin copy. May Allah (swt) be pleased with his efforts.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have a history with the great shaykh’s books, a part of which I have shared in a 2011 article entitled The Servant & the Master in my earlier blog, the Sinners’ Almanac, which you can jump to by clicking here.

The letters are written in a unique way, mixing short sentences of the great shaykh with Quranic scripture. The words of the great shaykh himself are cast in mystical language. There is really no other way for me to describe to you, so perhaps an extract from the Third Letter (of which I am fond of) will educate us a little. The words in italics are the Quranic verses: -

At times you will be drowned in the seas of independence of:

Allah is rich enough to be independent of all creatures, (29:6)

-at other times you will be bewildered in the entanglements of sandstorms of the majesty of:

Do they feel secure from Allah’s devising? (7:99)

-and at other times, influenced by longing, you will chant like a nightingale in the orchard when the breeze of gentleness of:

And do not despair of Allah’s mercy (12:87)

-blows

………………………………………………………..

Slide1Perhaps you may gain a little from this. Certainly, it makes you question your own contemplation. The juxtaposition of the words of the great shaykh with the Holy Quran leaves me breathless at times, wondering just where he is leading me.

Well, today, on this holy day of Friday, I am pleased that it has led me here at least. To share this oh-so brief snippet of the Fifteen Letters with you – with the sincere hope that a copy of the book may find its way into your hands, and into your heart.

For I, I am not worthy, and I understand that this book is meant for more discerning hearts. Perhaps like the one beating in yours?

Of course, I am right, sunshine. Ask for the book. Godwilling, you will receive it. For I really do believe now that the Fifteen Letters are meant for you, though written many centuries before your birth. And I am actually not much surprised. For this is how Love plans His way. Subtly and over eons.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way