Monthly Archives: December 2015

TASBIH # 1 – children, remembrance and other lessons of love

20150801000400_resized18. Tasbih
Last night I could not sleep,
So remembrance came to me
And I stroke the prayer beads
Named Mikhail.
……

Many years ago, perhaps about a decade, I recall lying in bed beside my sleeping son. Restless and sleepless, I gazed upon his visage and muttered the little I know of dzikrullah (remembrance of God by His Beautiful Names and Attributes) as well as reciting salawat (greetings of peace and prayers of blessings for the Prophet Muhammad s.aw.s. and His Family and Companions).

C360_2013-08-17-23-04-52

Oops. Did I wake you up, honey?

I felt I was not adding anything new nor doing anything particularly special or original. Just another random parent with his child, enchanted by a love passionate and visceral, in awe of the beauty predisposed upon his offspring and wondering as to its source, Allah (s.w.t.) the Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

For in the late hours of the night while our children sleep, the veil between this world and the Divine appears to be lifted a little, transforming our little son or daughter into a magical lamp – through which a little of His Light shines through, mesmerising us in the warm illumination of His Divine Love for His Creation.

2012-11-24_tr_GunesDivine love is the secret sustenance that gives us the ability to face the challenges of this life with hope. It is the reward that enables us to wear the scars of our ego-battles with honour – so long as we remember we are only the servant and not the master of Divine Love. And as weak servants we are constantly craving for such Love, emanating from our beloved family and kin, our friends and teachers, even from complete strangers and foes. We say this because in our experience we have found that things are often not what they appear to be, and that the lessons of love come in many guises!

Don’t you agree, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

1.1

My dad and me, on the Rhine.

NO, MY LOVE… DON’T!

ffsfsNo, My Love… Don’t!
Don’t give me Your knowledge
If I learn nothing of Your courtesies,
Don’t leave me ignorant
If I am deprived of Your intimacies,
Don’t give me health
When my infirmity suits Your purpose,
Don’t leave me in sickness
If my sickness becomes a curse,
Don’t give me life,
If my passing accords with Your plan,
Don’t take my life,
If my dying serves You no end,
Don’t leave me destitute
If my poverty leads to my apostasy,
Don’t shower me in gold
If my wealth turns my heart cold,
Don’t make me well-known
If my fame feeds my vanity,
Don’t leave me unknown
If my anonymity aids me in my villainy.
………….

River HeartIn sickness or in health, poverty or wealth, alive or passing, whatever state we may be in, it is our connection with the Divine that makes everything worthwhile and sublime. It is that love, that incomprehensible intimacy we share with our Lord, hidden from our own consciousness, lest our baser self deems them to be impertinent and villainous.

There is something in the air today which confuses me. I seek support from the Guide of Guides, from the Master of Messengers, our beloved Nabi Muhammad (saws), lest my senses become nonsensical and you get bored with my writing. Madad ya Rasulullah Habibullah…

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam

Love will show the Way 

AM I WORSHIPING YOU, MY LORD? – A Question Unveiled

A Question
Am I worshipping you, my Lord?
Or am I worshipping my knowledge of You?
………….

IMG_20151209_184117I have no answer to this vexing question. My only prayer to Allah Almighty is that He accepts my plea for help, to rid myself of my pretenses – this false persona of knowledge and piety that my ego lays claim to. Even this mask of a sinner that I appear to wear so proudly. Of such things I wish to let go. When all I desire is to be…

Unveiled
No believer, no sinner, no anything,
Unhinged from the structure and
Scriptures of my making.

Unveiled by my Lord
Who is whispering promises
To this blushing servant,
Notrumi the wayward and world-weary,
Notrumi, virginal only to the Truth,
Red with embarrassment,

Listening to God’s declarations of love everlasting!

…………

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

YOU MATTER. YOU ARE NO AFTERTHOUGHT

IMG_20131111_205650Not An Afterthought
If ever you feel yourself
To be an afterthought,
Know that to God,
You are not.
………

SENSITIVITY. I am overly sensitive sometimes. When I get invited as an afterthought to a gathering or function, perhaps because someone else cannot make it, I don’t take such invitations very graciously. in fact I might feel secretly appalled.

Of course the invitation may have come only because the person inviting for some reason entirely forgot about me, which is an acceptable excuse. After all, I am not so hot in the memory department myself. But if I was never really intended to be part of the party, then I am sorry, I will in all probability not accept the invitation. For I will see it as a mere afterthought or perhaps even a slight (albeit unintended), depending on my mood that day. Not very Sufi, right? But would you react the same way, sunshine? Perhaps you won’t, which makes you a far better person than I am!

ocean heart 2GOD. So you see, that is why I am affectionate and intimate with my God, aka our Allah Almighty. For despite His apparent invisibility, He is the Lord God of everything, and I think considers me in all His plans. He never leaves me out, and though I may merit His censure at times (many times, to be very honest), one thing I know for sure is that He will never ever forget me. And I will never be a mere afterthought to Him. Such callousness is simply not the Sunnatullah (the Ways of God).

HIS  BELOVED. Despite my impertinent familiarity with God though, I do not approach Him alone. Perhaps it is my natural diffidence, but following the ancient rites of Islam I enter the Lord’s court with, through and for the sake of God’s own Beloved. For you see, if you desire the favour of the King, it is very smart to align yourself with the King’s favourite – and there is none closer, more favoured and more beloved to Allah (swt) than His Habibullah, Nabi Muhammad (saws). Even a sinner as thick as myself can understand this.

DIVINE LOVE. Can you see now that you are never an afterthought to He who matters most to you? And if God is not the one that matters the most to you, then perhaps it is time for you to realign your priorities. Because I believe with all my heart that the moment you have done so, divine magic will happen - which is realising the truth that you matter, you always have and you always will. And that is a joyous thought, indeed.

Wouldn’t you agree, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

IN THE BED OF MY EARTH

IMG_20151202_210056In The Bed of My Earth
Beneath the powdery snow,
They think I sleep, like a seed
In the bed of my earth,
Wondering when last
I heard my heart beat,

In the bed of my earth
Wondering when last
I heard the whistling reed,

In the bed of my earth
I am asleep people say,
But in truth I am
More awake than they.

For I have lived my life in the sun,
I have drunk, sup and filled my cup,
And now as I lie in my earthly bed
I am no longer deceived,
No longer afraid,

By Courage found in a heart
That once I thought dead.
…………..

I remember reading the words of an ancient sage, advising the seeker to learn to be awake in his/her dreams. “Well, whatever does that mean?!” I remember wondering. How DO you train yourself to be awake in your dream state of sleep?

Perhaps (after all, how am I to know for sure!) this is a solution; We need to realise that our waking hours is in its essence, also a dream – a transient moment, a tangible and real world only when we continue to be captive in its mortal coil. For the truth of the matter is we spend most of our days here on planet Earth wandering as if we shall live forever, not giving heed to the Eternal. As a result, we have cobbled for ourselves a world of social networks with unsocial behaviours, increasing wealth but decreasing happiness, with a 24/7 connectivity to the world but an engulfing tide of loneliness and despair.

So… if you see me sleepwalking my way, oblivious to God Almighty and where I will end up one day, do me a favour, sunshine… wake me up and remind me of my God and my Prophet Muhammad (saws), and the eternal abode that waits us all when we awake from the dream that is this world.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way