Monthly Archives: May 2016

MY MID-LIFE CRISIS … and the tiny problem of being lamentably short of provisions for the hereafter.

The Rope
If Allah throws you a rope,
It is for you to climb,
So don’t dawdle,
Don’t delay,
Climb, for your soul’s sake,
Climb, for heaven’s sake,
Climb!
……….

C360_2013-01-06-19-17-58Life is a bridge. You come to an age in your life when almost every second matters. I think I am there. Like what our Jesus (as) is reputed to have said, “Life is a bridge, walk across fast and don’t try to fix it.” Well that is fine, o’ Prince of Peace. But how prepared am I for that walk?

What, me worry? So with nervous haste, I am casting my eyes across the yawning chasm between this life and the hereafter, and I am checking my supplies for that not-to-be-delayed journey and finding my provisions lamentably inadequate. It is thus no surprise that you will find the sinner rummaging around the divine store of Allah’s al Quran and the Sunnah (traditions) of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) to acquire every little bit of help, every shortcut and every atom of advantage I can take, so that my dearest ones and myself may safely be on our way towards the Heavenly Presence.

Books, writings and sohbets (spiritual conversations) that I have once plucked with intellectual detachment, I am now reading voraciously for its immediate and direct application in this journey of ours that we call life.

Bad Habits. And just as I am acquiring the good stuffs, I am slowly trying to abandon the unnecessary luggage that is weighing me down. You know, all that bad habits and bad thoughts we have unwisely picked up along the way with appalling abandon. But oh boy, some of these habits cling to you like gum on your shoe, or like sand from the beach – it gets everywhere and simply refuses to be evacuated.sands of habit

So this is me where I am at now. Stay with me and pray for me, sunshine. Surely, Allah (swt) will reward you for keeping company with this mendicant. Alhamdulillah… I think the journey will be beautiful, for the destination is the origin of all beauty in Creation and beyond. Okay, here we go… while singing praises and salutations upon the Prophet (saws), upon His Noble House, upon His Blessed Companions and upon His Learned Inheritors.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

O’ LOVE, AWAKE! … knocking on God’s door of forgiveness, hope and gratitude

20150804123718_resizedO’ Love, Awake!
She is kind,
If only she knew how kind You are,

She is forgiving,
If only she knew what You are willing to forgive,

She is generous,
If only she knew what You are planning to give,

She is patient,
If only She knew that You are waiting for her still,

She is beautiful,
If only she can see Your ocean of beauty,

She is lovely,
If only she will step into the loveliness of Your sea,

She is engaging,
If she only knew You, my Lord,
She will not want to miss a thing,

Not a single moment would she forsake
In her journey towards You,

So speak to her Your Words, my Lord…
“o’ Love, Awake!”
………….

ffsfsMay Allah (swt) bestow upon us such favours as He had bestowed upon His faithful servants before us, though by our own merit we know we are not worthy. Thus we are speaking to God in the name of His Beloved Muhammad, Sayyidina Habibullah (saws). We acknowledge our meagre charity and our next-to-nothing piety, but we are here at the Lord’s Door of Forgiveness and Hope, seeking His forgiveness, saying unto Him that we have hope in His Kindness and His Love.

Then we find ourselves at His Door of Gratitude, because we are giving thanks for all that He has granted us and will grant us. For the Most Grateful is one of His ninety-nine known attributes, Allah the Most Appreciative, the One who best rewards His servants …AllahuShakur, AllahuShakur, AllahuShakur…

What irony, that even in seeking expressions of our gratitude to Him, we seek His help. Such is our beggarly conditions, and such is the intimacy He is offering to the Nation of His Beloved… the nation of the glorious guide that is His Nabi Muhammad (saws).

Take my words to your heart,
For the mind is a sterile soil,
A naked soul to be dressed
From head to toe
In the Light of Love.

So be well pleased and grateful, sunshine. wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

TO EACH UPON HIS OWN LANE, AT HIS OWN SPEED …ON THE HIGHWAY TO GOD

IMG_20160525_155746_resizedSpeed
We are crawling,
Many are walking,
Some are running,
For a few,
They fly!

Of these travellers,
Of whom are you?
………..

To each, his/her own path – Travelling at the speed approximated for them by their Shaykhs (Spiritual masters). So really, I ought not to complain if someone is moving slowly, nor should I be bitter at someone passing me by. But by God, I am! Pray for me, sunshine.

I suspect that there are some who appear not to be moving at all, but in truth, have already reached their destination. Or perhaps they only appear to be still, when in fact, their inner state is blazing through the cosmic consciousness like a comet of faith. After all, how would I know and who am I to judge a book by its cover. And even if I do open the book, how do we know   that we have read the story till its very end – as the person on which the book is based is still very much alive!? In any event, we ourselves may be misguided because the dictionary by which we interpret the words in the book is not the same as used by the person we are assessing.

He he he. ‘Assessing‘. It’s a more politically correct word for ‘judging’. So don’t assess anyone, sunshine! Not even me. But let us never rest assessing / judging ourselves, every breath, every words that spill from our lips, every action and omission, every stumbling negligence.

It is upon this daily assessment and reassessment, do we refine our crude blundering way towards Allah swt. And as always, we ask Allah Almighty to inspire us the words, the actions and the manners to bring us closer to Him and as always, through the blessings of the Prophet Muhammad (saws), our Master Guide, the Lamp of Mercy that shines upon all of God’s creation, upon every angel, man, woman and child, from the little ants that crawl under the earth to the seven heavens wherein the good will forever abide.

Don’t fret, sunshine. We are all moving towards the same destination, knowingly or unknowingly! So let us be pleased with the speed we are travelling and with the speed that others are moving. To each upon his own lane, at his own speed  …on the Highway to God. 1405_10153458985924023_7768209619511137782_n

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE QUIET ONE WITH SECRETS TO HIDE

srinagar-mosque-prayer-527134-swYou, ya Allah, You!
Who is the faithless one,
Hiding among the faithful?
Me ya Allah, me!
Who is the sinful one,
Standing with the pious,
Me ya Allah, me!
Who is guarding the veil
Between your faithlessness and society?
Between your sins and the congregation?
You ya Allah, You!
Were it not for You
Would I not be chased out
Of all good company?

Lo where would I then be?
………..

Slide6My wandering feet sometimes lead me to the most unlikely of places, even into the lines of the faithful behind the Imam in prayers. In my fevered thoughts I sometimes wonder, “If only they knew my antecedents and continuing sins, would they even allow me to stray into the house of God?”

But as I look into the faces of the jemaah (congregation) in my mosque, I see mostly a serene calm. It is  an elderly group, with a median age of probably 60. Many are pensioners and former civil servants. After prayers they would read the holy Quran, on their own, or attend a small circle of tafsir Quran, led by a gentle man called Ustaz Ghazali who had lived for many years in Saudi Arabia. There is a gentle brotherly atmosphere that I find most enchanting. So, however undeserving, you will often find me among their midst, a shy quiet one with secrets to hide.

But perhaps even if they knew they would, in their kindness, let me stay. Perhaps they would see in me, at a relatively young age of 45, a fellow traveler, a Saliqa (seeker) at the Door of Mercy, seeking the forgiveness, the kindness and the love of Allah ar-Rahman (Most Compassionate) ar Rahim (Most Merciful).

So what else is there to do, my love? I sigh my gratitude to Allah (swt) and His Beloved Muhammad (saws), I close my eyes and the uncreated words of God spill from my lips.

I am happy. Undeservedly happy.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

INTERNET ETIQUETTE – Internal Eternal Infernal

Slide2The wise are asking for divine support always… to walk down the street, to work in the fields or at our desks, to play or pray, even simply to breath. We are asking for holy guidance, for every step that we take in this world, be it physical or through the incredible invention known as the internet.

Like any tool, it can be a great help, but to any fool, who knows where the Internet will take him and what harm he may do to himself or another person. I am speaking as someone with such unfortunate experiences.

May Allah preserve our internal, by increasing our connection to the eternal, and confounding the scheming conspiracy of the infernal, in all our undertakings and enterprises. We are asking in the name and maqam (spiritual station) of God’s Sayyidina Muhammad (saw), His Guide of Guides, His Seal of the Prophets, His Mercy to all the Worlds, and yes… even in the cyber world you may find His rahmat (Divine Mercy).

Through the Prophet (saws) and our Masters, may Allah Almighty inspire us to live in honesty and certainty, that we may traverse this life and the internet safely.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE MAP OF THE HUMAN HEART – Naqsh

ffsfsThe Map to the Heart
I found the map to my heart
In the path of tears
Shed by my mother,

I found the map to my heart
In the dawn route from
My home to my mosque,
…………

Life is like that. We think we know who we are. We think we know the working and intricacies of our heart. After all, it is our own heart. But the hair on our body is ours too, yet does anybody know how many strands of hair cover our body? Even this basic information, we normally do not know. To understand your heart, you need first to find your way there.

wallpaper-2997540It is important to realise our own ignorance and meagre knowledge, for Allah (swt) is ever so generous and guiding to those sincere in their humble state as His helpless servants. For the prideful, Allah desires to give also, but they are so consumed by hubris that they cannot distinguish between divine inspiration and the trickery of their own ego. A divinely published map and a dedication bordering on bloody-mindedness to get to your destination is an irreplaceable tool to overcome the roadside distractions and temptations you will encounter in your journey. Otherwise, it’s curtains, sunshine.

But let us assume for our story that by the Grace of God, you succeed and find yourself there, in your own heart. What is there?

The Map of the Heart
And when I finally arrived,
In my heart I saw a map;
It was full of avenues, shortcuts,
scenic routes, highways, trails and bridges,
Engraved like a secret across
The plains of my heart…

A world waiting to be explored,
A heart waiting to be filled
With remembrance of

Ahad… Ahmad… Ahad… Ahmad…
…………..

May we find solace in the remembrance of God Almighty, with, through and by the blessed guidance of the Prophet of God, Sayyidina Muhammad (saws). This ought not to be a foreign thing to us, it ought to be the most natural thing for us to do, just like breathing. Don’t you agree? Of course you do, my love.

226330_10150169952279023_4175171_nwa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE GIFT OF YOU…

Camera 360THE GIFT OF YOU
Often God offers man a quicker way,
A shorter path, a gift.
We find four responses…

First, The deniers will say, “This cannot be!
The path must be hard, long
And no reward save those earned
In its strict and measured way!
God is simply not that magnanimous!”

Secondly, some among you
Will be thankful to the Lord,
Counting their blessings
And rightfully so.

Thirdly and for a few,
This is their converse,
“For the satisfied, bless them, o God!
But we are your stray dogs,
Mendicants huddling
And hiding in the alleyways
And dead ends of creation,
And we fear, this blessing is not enough,
If you grant us more, Your generosity will not
Exhaust your treasury by a single iota!”
Thus they ask and plead from God.

And now we find ourselves with the fourth and final group,
And to these strange fellows even an inexhaustible sea of blessings
Will not be adequate to sate their thirst,

For they are asking, “o Love, we seek Thee;
The One, The First!
Not out of piety but in realising
That however much good we do,
And whatever the blessings that You may bestow,
There is no gift better to desire,
Than the gift of You.”

So now, Saliqa,
Of these four groups,
Whom do you belong to?
………………

Camera 360Explanatory Note: The first group of deniers and naysayers, who are accustomed to their own interpretation of religious edicts, fumes at the idea of God giving undeserved respite to a sinner. These are whom I call God’s own killjoys. The second group are blessed, being grateful and thankful and waiting upon more of the Lord’s generpsity with patience and propriety. The third group are the good sinners, woefully in touch with the confessions of their sins, both hidden and apparent, and desiring always more of Allah’s (swt) generosity, and they are also blessed. But the fourth, they are something else. They are not actually interested with anything other than the Creator Himself. No blessings, no merit, no rewards, no ease, no relief, nothing created and separate from Allah our Lord do they consider the ultimate goal and gift. And while they will readily accept such rewards from their God with thankfulness, yet they turn to Him, and yet their hearts and their tongue speak a prayer impudent but sincere -

My Lord, thank You.
But among this treasure than
You have bestowed upon me,
Where is the Gift that I truly seek?
The Gift of You?
………..

But then consider this in the calm pool of your spirit – There is no gift truly worth desiring but God, and the Messenger bearing this Gift  is His beloved Nabi Muhammad (saws).

So maybe they are not so impudent after all nor over-reaching their station. They are really only reflecting upon the Muslim’s attestation of faith, bearing witness that -

There is no god but God, and Muhammad is His Messenger.

So back to the million dollar question, o’ Saliqa (seeker) – of the four group, whom do you belong to?

 wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

MOTHER?

226330_10150169952279023_4175171_nMother?
How will I ever find you
In this immense congregation?
How will I recognise your feet
Amidst this multitude?
Then suddenly,
A hand, oh so familiar
Gently touches my cheek,
And with tears streaming
I asked,

“Mother?”
……………

mamaFOURTEEN. This month marks the 14th year since my mother left my family and me. And every year I think my yearning for her grows and grows, while contemplation of her takes me to new and unexpected places.

Recently, while communing with the Almighty in prayers, my thoughts drifted to my mother (as it often does). And I remember thinking, “Dear God, if for one blessed moment, you would allow my mother to appear before me, how will I look at her? I fear that the light and beauty of her love would blind me, her undeserving son!”

It is from this brief moment  in one fajr (dawn) prayers that the above prose wrote itself.

So please cherish your mother, sunshine. For only Allah (swt) knows the true spiritual station of mothers, and only Allah (swt) knows the jarring moment in time when you will be separated from her.

May Allah bless us with the strength and insight to understand the hidden meaning of our birth, life, death and this divinely-inspired love mothers appear to possess for their children. We are asking for this important lesson in the name of Allah’s Beloved Prophet, Muhammad Habibullah (saws).

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way