Monthly Archives: January 2016

SELECTIVE READING & THINKING… and why wisdom is not something trapped in books.

IMG_20160128_070805_resized_1The Importance of Books
We are surrounded by books,
But we should not be bound to them,
For they are not intended to be walls or fences,
But a door, a gateway to wisdom,
A path to God.
……..

IMG_20160128_070729_resized_1Reading but Not Actually – I was reading up a Sufi book of devotional practices when I noticed something new. Interspaced between texts which were familiar to me are some sentences and words apparently new. But of course, it cannot be so. After all, the pages are dog-eared and it is the same old copy that I have been reading intermittently. I am sure no elf sneaked into my shelves in the middle of the night to mischievously alter the pages.

It may not be elves but I think I have a clue. I was merely using the natural approach towards the practice of any new thing. I essentially wanted to know the basics – Ergo , what I needed to recite, how many times and in what sequence. In doing so I guess I kinda skimmed over the substantive explanations. Silly billy me.

Selective Reading – And of course, what we understand a book to mean will also depend on our own preconception and misconception of whatever topic the book may be about. Often we read books not to actually seek new knowledge, but merely to affirm or validate things we already believe in. Whether we like it or not, we either consciously or subconsciously drift to authors and publications that we anticipate agreement with. So already we are rigging our ‘quest’ to only ‘discover’ knowledge which naturally fits with our own pre-conceived notions of truths and moral rights and wrongs.

IMG_20160128_071021_resized_1Thus, perhaps we have a lot to be thankful for – That wisdom and beneficial knowledge does not come from our choice of books. Because were it so, our ‘wisdom’ would be skewered in the direction of our own bias and secret prejudices. And as history has shown, this is a trend that we should avoid at all cost.

Alhamdulillah (Praise unto God) we are at this orderly juncture. Because I was a little nervous about the apparent contradiction between the Sufic view that wisdom does not originate from books, while at the same time espousing love and devotion to books. Sometimes we just need to delve a little deeper, I guess… To swim a little further and to contemplate little more longer. To find the unity of purpose and divine beauty hidden in the apparent contradictions that spice our life and thoughts. Our eternal gratitude to God Almighty and His Habibullah (saws) for seeding our path with these little questions, that we may learn to find the right answers.

Do you not agree, sunshine?

 

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

LOVE, COME TO ME… PRETTY PLEASE?

IMG_20160124_080305_resizedLove, Come To Me
Love, I cannot come to You,
So please, come to me

Love, I cannot embrace You,
So please, embrace me

Love, I cannot possess You,
So please, possess me

Love, do not keep me waiting too long,
I am weary of feeling lonely,
Tired of wandering
Into places I do not belong,
I am through with this
World’s cold embrace,
Done with it’s promises
And it’s many faces,

Love, will You not come?

Please?
……………

I am advised, “Notrumi, you poor fool, there you go again, straining every fibre of your being against this world, against your nafs (base desires) and your ego. Who do you think you are, to set your mettle against such foes?

21_july_2011-2

Sinner Sloucher, The Sneering Sufi (that’s me, folks!)

My advisor is right, of course. Who am I? Sinner sloucher, the sneering sufi. I am done with trying. I am through with attempting the impossible. Though I have prayed and beseeched God before, now I am quite exhausted and am turning to His Help unconditionally.

So God, if You happen to be reading this… please, help me. I can do nothing without You. I cannot even remember You properly without You reminding me. I cannot praise You sensibly without You teaching me sense. So please, God. as I cannot come to you, You have to come to me. I am asking this not as myself, but through the dignity, nobility and humility of Your own Beloved, Nabi Muhammad Habibullah (saws).

Please? Pretty please?

YOUR SOUL, MY SOUL, OUR SOUL… a conversation about contradiction

artflow_201601171333A Conversation
Wherever I have been,
Whatever I have seen,
However wafer thin
My excuses seem,
To you, I am a soul still,

I am unchanged, unspoilt,
And though sprung
From this very soil,
My home is elsewhere,
And my homecoming certain,

If you doubt and require proof,
Speak to your own soul,
Then you will realise
That I speak only the truth.
………..

Chip. I hold grudges. It is a weighty baggage for me, holding me down. Because the truth is, when we have a chip on our shoulder, it isn’t a chip-size chip. It is heavier than a mountain and large enough to block out the entire universe of blessings that God is giving us all.

Your Soul. Because as I understand it to be, each one of us is created as a soul, a divine light unsullied and eternal, and however we may be aggrieved by another human being, we have to remember that we are still dealing with another soul. But this, we can only recall if we ourselves are in sympathy with our own soul.

befriend yourself 2My Soul. So you see, the poem above began as a the soul of a person I am holding a grudge against talking to me. But as I was finishing the last word, I realised that no, it was not about another soul at all. It was really about my very own soul, and my daily struggle to act, think and feel in complete tandem with it, the truly real part of me that actually exists in the transcendental sense – a soul eternally connected with the Divine, that continuously entreats me to patience, kindness, friendship and love. A voice that I sometimes listen to it but all too often ignore, deceived as I am by my hubris and the  distractions of this world.

Our Soul. Even as we face the constant conflict that life throws at us as human beings interested only in pursuing our own selfish agendas, at another plane of reality, at the station of Divine Truth and its manifestation, our souls are interacting with one another in beautiful harmony. Each unique soul playing off another in a perfect orchestra of divine music.

Contradictions. May we all be guided to lessen the contradictions of our existence, to be at peace with ourselves and with each other, united in loving worship of Allah s.w.t. under the banner of Allah’s manifest mercy to the worlds, our beloved Nabi Muhammad (saws). To cease the endless arguments of our intemperate egos and to finally enable our souls to commune through God and with God. Do you not agree, sunshine?non

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

NO IF NO MAYBE – something in the air of Persia

20151229233159_resizedLove’s Treasury in the Ocean of Mercy
If you are given the key
To Love’s treasury,
You cannot claim poverty

If you are already swimming
In His Ocean of Mercy,
Forbidden to you
Are the words ‘if only’
And ‘if maybe’.
……………

20151229235222_resizedI have returned after a one week break in Iran, basically staying in Tehran and making short trips to Esfahan and Shiraz. After visiting the Maqams (shrines) of the sufi poets Hafiz and Ruzbihan, you may have expected words to flow like a flood. That however did not happen – On the first week of my return, poor Notrumi suffered from a lengthy fever. And on this second week, it is no physical fever that is consuming me, but something else. And it is unsettling my mind, because it is taking away from me the comfort of all the rationales, pretext and excuses that my mind has crafted for me all this while. What was it?

Something
There is something in the air of Persia,
Among the tombs of saints and poets,
Among the enduring roses,
There is something hanging in the air
Among the curious onlookers,
Among the distraught,
Among the believers,
There is something…, I just know it.
Is that You,
o’ God?
……

20151229011502_resizedYes, sunshine. Comfort of a deceptive and ultimately, destructive kind. But tell that to a drug addict. So pray for me, for I am in need of your prayers and best wishes like never before. I want to quit my addiction to my mind’s reasoned excuses. No more ifs. No more maybes. wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way