Monthly Archives: March 2016

THE RIVER OF TEARS …a moment of love crystallised

yangtze-river-cruises-tours-06_leadingRiver of Tears
My greatest relief
Is a river that runs
From my bleeding heart
Through my canyon of hollow fears
Into His Mercy Ocean,

All my painful regrets,
All my broken-hearts
All my melancholy,
All my oh-miserable me!
All flow along this river
Into His Sea of Mercy.
…………

beautifulhorizon1The path of a salica (seeker), or so I am told, is a path of tears. But I am assured that tears are a necessary part of our physical life, thus why should we be nervous to cry a little for our spiritual life?

Tears shed in the spiritual path is not wasted like spilled milk.

Rather they will be counted as jewels in the garden of paradise, treasured because it was unearthed from a place most unsuited for spiritual gems, ergo, this world that we presently call home. Were it easy to find such tears, what value would it have… being just like a grain of sand in the beach? But your tears wrung from your separation and longing for Allah (swt) and His Habibullah (saws) are precious. Sublime and sincere, such a teardrop shed is…

A moment of love crystallised.

So cry, my love. And let the river of tears flow from your heart. For where it is going, by Allah, I wish to be there too!

81915029_5fbaab5a64You have take me with you, you know, because I believe I have not cried enough for my salvation. Be for me always and don’t leave me to the caprice of my ego, my nafs (base desires) or the accursed one. If you lead, I will surely follow, and if not worthy to be your friend, then I will shadow you as a companionable pet dog. Woof! Woof!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

I ASKED, LOVE ANSWERED…

sedih 2I Asked Love
Love, lead me to the very end, to You
Not to the path just to leave me standing there,
Not to the door but to leave the door unopened,
Not to the light but to leave me in its shadows.
…………

This prose came swimming through one day. But no sooner that this vessel anchored at the harbour of my consciousness that another ship, bigger and shinier came sailing over my horizon. It seems that the first poem has piqued an immediate response on behalf of Love. When it docked …

Love Answered
My beloved, do not waste the opportunity
After I have led you to my path
Only for you to stand there unmoving,
Thinking too long whether I am worthy of your love,

Do not waste your short time
After I have brought you to my door
Only for you to wait outside without even knocking,
Too engrossed by thoughts of what you will be leaving,

Do not think you have all eternity
After I have led you to the light,
Only for you to stand apart
To appreciate the light while
Remaining heedless in the dark!
…………

ocean heart 2Infinite Benevolence. And that just about sums up the general state of humanity. We cannot really blame God Almighty for anything, can we? He has given us everything – our bodies, our dazzling good looks, the natural world that we dominate, our intellect and senses to discern right from wrong (which alas we use mostly to discern frappe or latte). But ultimately, Allah (swt) has bestowed upon us our Prophets, the very best of His creation, from Adam (as) through to Abraham (as), right to Isa / Jesus (as) and … (drumroll please, maestro), the very best of the very best, Allah’s own al-Mustafa (the Chosen One) being our beloved Prophet Sayyidina Muhammad (saws).

Finite Time. And it is through His Prophets that God has laid down the syariat (the Law) and the tariqat (the Path) which is the best, safest and shortest way towards peace and eternal bliss in His Divine Presence. Yet we, the poor suckers that we are, we hesitate. Again and again we procrastinate and say “Oh… not today. Maybe tomorrow. Let’s see what’s on the next channel. There is still time. Loads of time.

IMG_20151202_210056But that is a lie. A cunning deception by our ego (who thinks we will live forever) and the world with all its temptations, ever eager to misguide us away from this simple truth – that nobody knows when they will die and time suddenly and inexorably terminates. When you add the accursed enemy, the Devil, as part of this terrible trio that has shadowed mankind since Adam’s days, no wonder mankind all too often sway and swing to his degenerate tendencies.

Clearly we need help, sunshine. I need help. So while breath still animates this sinner’s body, I hope and pray that Allah (swt), through the Prophet (saws) and our masters (qs) will hold me and guide me towards a better tomorrow, a better place and a better understanding of our long-sought maqam (spiritual station) as servants of Allah and of His Creation.

Tough Love. And when you see me still slacking, my friend, turning aside or making unnecessary detours, please grab old Notrumi and slap him about (gently) a bit, and point him back to the Right Path. For this act of tough love, I thank you in advance, my sweet.

wa min Allah at taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

2 CONVERSATIONS… feeling good, feeling God.

25122011310Conversation 1. Last week Mikhail shared an observation with me. “You know, papa, my friend isn’t very close to his father.” I asked for further information. “Well, not just with his father. He is also not that close with his mother and brother and sister too. I noticed.

“Really?” I said. “Yes, Papa. His father builds a wall between them. And my friend helps him build that wall.”

How poignant, I thought, for a twelve-year old.

Then out of curiosity, I asked Mikhail, “Gee, that’s too bad, Mika. But compared to your friend and his dad, how would you rate our relationship?” In reply my son simply smiled and gave me an unqualified thumbs up.

mikapapa 2 2Conversation 2. “You know, Papa…” Began my son one morning. “You actually look like a tourist. You don’t look like a lawyer.” I asked Mikhail why he thought so. “With your hat, walking stick and that pouch you look just like a tourist!”

I am not sure if this is a good thing. After all, I always wear a sling pouch. Where else would you carry your cellphone, wallet, book, rosary, pills, car keys, house keys, office keys, etc? And my constant hat-wearing is perhaps a little Victorian (and not to mention being a sunnah – tradition of the Prophet Muhammad) but that is simply who I am. Perhaps Mikhail noticed my disquiet and hesitation, because suddenly my son said, “It’s like every day you are excited to go out!”

C360_2013-08-17-23-04-52 Feeling Good. I don’t know why, but I am very gratified by the two observations of my boy. Firstly, I think we always like to think we have a close connection with our child, be it a daughter or a son. It is nice to know our child thinks so too!

But perhaps most importantly, Mikhail is indeed right. On most days I am excited when I step out of the door of my house. To the extent I am able to, I feel the world is my own private oyster, and we can partake whatever good we desire from it …As long as it is goodness we are looking for. Because I believe God does give us what we desire. So if we go about a misery-gut, looking at the world and its creatures in all that negativity that mankind so easily generates, well, can you blame Allah Almighty if that is what we find? …Sadness and sorrow, every where. World-weariness and hate around every corner. Who wants this?

12022012556Feeling God. No, I am happy to be happy and to look for happiness. But it is no good putting a bag over our head and expect people to all be like saints and angels. Because people like you and me, we are weak. We can be sincere of course, but we can also be sincerely wrong and foolish. It is hard for humanity to carry alone the weight of expectations of an unconditional love. But at the end of the day, that is what we still desire – Unconditional love, a love that does not finish however much that love is given and shared, a love that exists pre eternity and post eternity. A love undiminished over time, no matter our sins, no matter our mistakes. A love that sustains our existence for every second we live, regardless if we are even aware of such a love. A love that assures but also tests us to raise us closer and closer to His love. To make us the best that we are meant to be, particularly unique to our own individual fitra (essence). It is this love, truest and all-encompassing, that we all manifestly need.

Such a love is only with God, Allah (swt), and His Habibullah, Sayyidina Muhammad (saws) is the master, guide and God’s own manifestation of His Divine love. Thus we are advised by our shaykh (master) to step over the threshold of our home and our breath to search for this True Love, and that is ultimately God – as reflected by one of His ninety-nine names, being al Wadud, the Most Loving, the Most Affectionate, the Source and Originator of all love and loving kindness. And we are encouraged to seek Him through His Habibullah (Beloved of Allah (swt)). Our acceptance of this quest, this mission, this purpose alone is a victory in itself. So how can one not step out into the world feeling excited, feeling good, feeling God?

19022012588He he he. It is funny, sunshine. You know, I never plan where our conversations will end. It started with a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart talking to my son. And now it has led me here, to you. I am thankful to God for such mercies…

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE DERVISH & THE NINETY-NINE

IMGThe Dervish & The Ninety-Nine
Come to Love,
See how bliss Love is,

Say Love’s names
And die for Love’s kiss,

Behind the veil,
His love is tested and teased,

Through snow, rain and hail
Love feeds his heart and breaks his will,

However far the wandering trail
Walks the dervish while the world sleeps,

Exalted is Love in every forest, hill and vale
With Ninety-Nine written on his lips.
…………….

TGIF. Well, thank God it is Friday, sunshine. And thank God for you and for me, for our cat named Moses and thank God for our shaykhs (masters). Thank God for our Nabi Muhammad Sayyidina Miftahur Rahman wa Miftahul Jannah (our Prophet Muhammad, Master Key to Divinely Mercy and the Heavenly Gardens). And of course most importantly… thank God for God Himself, Allahu Rahman (God Most Compassionate) and Allahu Rahim (God Most Merciful). Even for a sinner, there is many thankings to do today. He he he. These are just 2 divine names from ninety-nine that is revealed to mankind. May we be blessed to learn and benefit from more of God’s Divine Names, in their infinitely subtle depths of meaning.

Come on, sunshine… The dervish is just a little further up the path. We must follow the perfume of love that beckons us to his saintly footsteps!

Jerusalem 2wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

SHOW ME HOW… when my vessel is full and fully formed

Slide1The Vessel 
My vessel is full,
How will I receive
Any more knowledge?

Thus I emptied
My vessel of all my
Preconceptions…
……

Ilm (Knowledge). And here we are, my love. At the beginning of the beginning. The threshold for all lovers and seekers of the true reality of Truth and Love. Here we are asked to set aside our preconceived notions of faith, of God and all other thoughts that have led us here to the door of a master. After all, why are we keeping the very things that we are running away from? May Allah (swt) show us the error of our rampant ego and guide us to distinguish our heart and akal (intellect) from the deceiving whispers of our ego, nafs (base desires) and the devil, cursed enemy of all humanity. May Allah Almighty accept our prayers as ikhlas (sincere) communion of our needs through our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) and through our Shaykh (qs). This is the beginning.

But my empty vessel
Already has a form,
How will any
knowledge I receive
Form me?
…….

River HeartAkhlak. But even an empty vessel has a form, an already shaped skin. Thus, water poured into a teacup takes the shape of a teacup, while water poured into a vase, will acquire the form of a vase. But what the lover seeks is not only to receive divine knowledge and love, but to be reshaped by such baraqa (blessings) that is coming to him by his association with a master. A deeply personal reformation towards the perfection of our akhlak (our disposition, nature, temper, manners and morals)

Then, I shed the form
And the shape of my vessel…

Thus I became a vessel without a form,
Ready to become, my Love
Whatever that You desire…
Dressed as a tempest,
A storm at sea,
A drop of water, a river
A rain-swept valley,
…….

We do not know what is best for us. Even when the best of knowledge is poured into our hearts, who amongst us can claim the intellect to choose which knowledge comes first, how such knowledge can be applied and where such spiritual practices will take us? My dear love, every step of the way towards Allah Almighty, we are in utter dependency upon our master, our Prophet Muhammad (saws) and ultimately upon the mover of all things, our Lord Creator Allah (swt) Himself. As a famous Sufi proverb says…

Only by the Sun can you see the Sun

2012-11-24_tr_GunesSo goodbye for now, sunshine. The ink is spent today. But rest not your conclusions at the doorstep of poor Notrumi, this wretched beggar among the alley dogs and strays of God (swt). Go find for yourself a master, an awliya (saint) of Allah, an anointed inheritor of the Habibullah (saws). There is always one near you. And when you are ready, he will be there for you.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE SECRET ERROR & A LOVE INCOMPARABLE – all found in a knot

shoelaces-tied-togetherThe Knot of God
I found my hidden error
In the knot of my shoelace,

Thinking, assuming I can attend
To such menial tasks on my own accord,
While reserving only exalted matters
For the attention of our loving God.
………….

PRAYING FOR STUFFS. We should ask God for stuffs. He insists on it. So I wish to do my part in the divine plan and often beseech our Lord Creator for the good stuffs – You know, redemption, divine forgiveness, entrance into heaven, to be raised in His divine presence as part of the Nation of Muhammad. Indeed, my God inbox encompasses even worldly items, such as a better car, a wife, a daughter (comes after wife), a nice cottage-like house of wood and stone with a respectable piece of land surrounding it. Why, I even ask for good health and a fully-functioning brain. Wonderful and important stuffs, you see. All these I ask of God.

But one night, quite unexpectedly, my friend Munim recalled his Maulana (master) saying that, “Even in tying our shoelaces we must ask help from God!

TRIVIAL PURSUITS. Then it struck me! An epiphany. For all 46 years of my life, I have generally prayed to God to attend matters of critical importance such as elaborated in the first paragraph. Surely I thought, we should only bother God in respect of life-changing and fundamental issues such as health, work, studies, marriage, love, wealth and of course, eternal life. Surely, our everyday menial tasks like sitting and standing and walking, tying our shoelace, opening a drawer or taking out the garbage are not matters to be raised in communion with the Divine. SURELY, such matters can be attended by us on our own accord with our own will, ability and strength! No need at all to bother the transcendental Almighty God in such trivial pursuits.

MIND YOUR BELIEF? And therein lies my error, now so manifest in my eyes that have been blind for so long. Of course, I know already at an intellectual level that we NEED God’s divine sustenance for every breath that we inhale and exhale, for every thought and fancy that passes through what we hastily call our ‘intelligence’ and ‘reason’. But the mind alone cannot sustain such a belief. In the face of temptation and distraction of our base desires, our ego and the devil, only our heart offers real sanctuary. Ergo, the mystics’ timeworn obsession with purification of the heart.

Knot of Divine Love 2THE AFFECTIONATE & LOVING GOD. But alhamdulillah (all praise to God), once we realise the deception of our ‘independence’ and ‘self-reliance’, then the Light of Allah (swt), splendidly reflected through the NurMuhammad (Light of Muhammad) may manifest itself as the sweetest knowledge in the sea of divine sweetness – To know with heartfelt yakin (certainty) that such is the overwhelming and intimate love coming from Allah Almighty that He desires to be involved and remembered in EVERY SINGLE moment of our life. For in the sight of your Lord, there is nothing trivial about anything. Everything, from you and me, to the smallest and furthest sub-atomic particle whirling in the edge of the Universe is given its due of from His Ocean of Majestic Love.  Allah’s Love is not mortal. Indeed, it is not even Infinite or Eternal, such words being mere crude implements in the transmission of divine understanding. Ultimately, Love of Allah may only be known by knowing Allah, by His name of al Wadud (the Affectionate / Loving), and His expression of love that is both tongue-silencing and mind-breaking…

HIS APOSTLE. And the best, straightest and safest way towards knowing Allah (swt) is through Islam as manifested in the perfection of humanity – our own beloved Nabi Muhammad Sayyidina Miftahur Rahman (saws). This Prophet (saws) is perfected in his inner and outer aspect, rendering divine service to the world as a servant of God, while in a constant state of effacement in the Divine Presence of Allah (swt) – seeing only one reality, the singular Haqq (Truth) – that the Lord is indeed the Lord, and we are His servants in utter dependence to Him 24/7. And what the Prophet Muhammad (saws) is, we are taught to desire above all else.

The Knot of God II
I found my God
When I unraveled the knot
Of my independence.
………….

But please, find out for yourself the veracity of what is written here. After all, I am just a sinner with a gift (or curse) for colourful verbiage.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

HIDDEN SAINTS… please help me off this damn merry-go-round!

Slide1Night Sky
My heart is a night sky, my Love!
Bring your hidden jewels to me
To hang like lanterns
In my twilight.

Bring your hidden pearls to me, my Dearest!
To string them across the
Constellation of my heart!

………..

HIdden Saints. Not all saints are known. Indeed, I have been informed that most saints are hidden, their reputation unknown to the vast majority of people. But you know, what the One who hides, He can also reveal. So do not be shy to ask Allah (swt) to disclose the identities of HIs saints to you (whether alive or dead, to use a generic mortal term). If it is good for you that you know, then surely Allah will not withhold His awliya (saints) from you.

escapeRabita. The presence and the rabita (spiritual connection) of a saint is important in the life of any saliqa (seeker). How well someone may know a saint is besides the point. For who can ever know the true state of anyone else, what more a saint of God whose secrets are protected by the Creator Himself? But even a little knowledge, a little association is enough to spark a divine fire of love. And it is this love that will carry the saliqa in his / her journey. The connection with a saint will give relief especially when one is torn between sincere worship and egoistic pretensions dressed in a spiritual mask – a daily regular test for everyone. And it takes someone who has overcome his own ego to be able to guide and assist us in our constant struggle with our egos. God has created the ego to be subtle and adept, able to disguise itself so well that we are often deceived, even falling so far as to believe the whispers of the ego to be our sincere heart! We would be taking one step forward to servanthood only to take two steps back. So you see, without the aid of masters, we would be stuck in an endless spiritual merry-go-round with our ego being at the controls. Forever we will be stuck ‘here’ at the cruel mercy of our ego.

And I am sure, this we do not want… So let us plan our escape, sunshine!bwdivp

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

TALKING TO GOD – and why meaning matters…

sedih 2We Be Talkin’ to Him
Many people pray to God,
But few regularly speak to Him,
Unless trouble comes a callin’
And times be appalin’,
Breaking the holy monotony
Of our praise and hymn,

Then… oh boy,
Then, we are not just praying’…
To Him we be talkin’!
………

donkiMotivations. Let’s face it. While we like to think that we are attracted to love, to purity and beauty, and we live our life with a sublime motivation impelling us to good, but truth be told, a little stick goes some way to also encourage our obedience to the straight path. Sticks and carrots, it works on donkeys, mules and asses, and sure as God made apples, it will also work on us.

Recitations. It might sound nuts, but I must confess that I am constantly reminding myself of what I am reciting, and its meaning and what I desire from it and where I wish it to take me – this is true regardless whether the recitation is silent or verbal, done in formal prayers or otherwise, or whether it is the verse from the holy Quran, a dzikr (remembrance of God’s names and attributes) or a salawat (greetings and praise upon the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s.) that I am reciting. Because a lot of what we do in our prayers to the Divine can (and often does) become ritualised and monotonous, a holy monotony as I impudently put it in the poem above.

20151229233705_resizedHoly Monotony? But coming to God cannot be monotonous. It surely cannot be derivative or dull, or just another same-old-same-old like yesterday, like the last prayer time today, like the last dzikr or salawat we recited just two minutes ago. But in all frankness, I often catch myself kinda reciting some holy verse, dzikr or salawat while thinking about the McDonald’s fried chicken I want to order for lunch later. Because as you know, fried dead poultry is more important than the Creator of the Universe or His Beloved Habibullah (saws). Alas, that is the physical condition of humanity while we exist in this material ego-world.

Forgetfulness, it’s all planned. All this doesn’t and cannot makes sense. But then… oh ho! We remember (ironically) that we are created by God to forget. Especially the important stuffs. Stuffs like God Almighty, stuffs like the moral dos and don’ts. Stuffs like doing charity and worshipful attendance to the meaning of our prayers to Him. Why? Because God wants us to have the opportunity to be forgetful (and ergo, sinful), and to come to Him, tearful and beggarly, seeking forgiveness, so that He will be known as the Most Forgiving.

god 2The Choice. So here we are, sunshine. Basking in the realisation that good or bad, remembering or forgetting, we cannot deviate from the path that Allah (swt) as set us upon. But there is at least one matter that we do have power over. And that is the power to choose. The power to surrender. The power to affirm our intentions and seek our Lord’s forgiveness again and again and again, as we forget and we sin, again and again and again.

Meanings Matter. The meaning of this world, the meaning of the words we recite, the meaning of our actions are subtle and are deep in substance as only Allah Almighty knows! But whatever we mean, it all matters – because what we mean will make our actions, make this world, and ultimately make us who we are. Thus may Allah (swt), through the infinite mercy of His Habibullah  (saws), grant us deeper and better understanding of His Meaning, and His words and His actions, that we may dive deeper and deeper into the Endless Ocean of His Mercy and Knowledge.

But you know, please don’t take my word for it. After all, who is Notrumi but a blighted old sinner. Guidance may be found with a friendly Shaykh in a neighbourhood near you. You need only to ask, sunshine. He he he.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way