Tag Archives: beauty

The Sciences, the Saliqas & the Blessings of the Prophet (saws)

C360_2013-01-06-19-17-58Science of Blessings
Science is wonderful because it reveals the inner working of the Universe,
Science is an answer to the mystics’ persistent prayers to the Almighty;
“O’ Lord, before I seek more blessings from Thee,
Unveil what is hidden and awaken me
To the Reality of Your Blessings
That is already surrounding me.”
………

Oak_Tree_ComboSCIENCE. Notrumi wrote this observation many many years ago, ‘Some scientists utilise their talent and science to explain God while other use science to explain away God.’ And I think this is true now as it was then. What do you think, my love?

LIMITATIONS OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE. Of course, physical sciences may only go so far to illustrate Allah’s amazing handiwork. The science of understanding Allah’s plans is a matter for the spiritual ‘metaphysical’ sciences, that subtle and highly nuanced area of inner knowledge that exists within and gives real meaning to the outer reality of our shapes and forms. People generally call such knowledge and practices as religion.

The Saliqas (seekers of Truth) call it life.

IMG_20150824_184434How do you pray, sunshine? Is it a peaceful blissful moment? Or are you often harangued in mid-prayers by a disconcerting voice -
O’ beggar! There you go, pleading and begging Allah (swt) for more and more blessings. O’ ingrate, think for a moment and ask Allah (swt) to reveal to you the truth of His blessings that are already benefiting you without you even being aware of it! O’ ignoramus, this is enough for you! Your feeble consciousness is simply unable to comprehend the sheer quantity and quality of His blessings that courses through the very sub-atomic particle that forms your body! O’ sinner, Allah’s (swt) all-encompassing love and compassion for His creation precedes you in the past, in the present and in the future! That is why your thankfulness and gratitude must be accompanied with a conscious seeking of His forgiveness and His mercy!”

311766_10151127343404879_1431177460_nThe Blessings & the Grace of Muhammad (saws). For most of us we dwell somewhere between these four polarities. But wherever we are, however high or low our state, we are, in truth, forever in His keeping, in Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful God’s good grace. And it is in this realisation that all Saliqas pray, plead, beg and cry to be guided by Allah’s own Beloved and Mercy to Creation – our Sayyidina Muhammad (saws), the Arch-intercessor & Seal of the Prophets.

For you see, the Prophet (saws), through the service of the saints and sainted ones, is the blessing that just keeps guiding and guiding, and a mercy that keeps giving and giving – the abiding assurance to the faithful, and a stern warning to all that prostrate in fearful awe of God the Most High, the Most Pure!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

RAMADAN WROTE ME A LETTER

Slide1Relationships. We have all had our difficult relationships. That odious bully at the playground. The teacher who seems to take delight in humiliating us. That colleague who just has a face that you want to give a tight slap for no good reason at all. We are built differently and it is thus not surprising that relationships can go south pretty quickly. But sometimes, amazingly, we can turn from mutual dislike into abiding affection. It can happen. It DOES happen. It happened to me recently.

A 70 stick zombie. You see, I have always had a love-hate relationship with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. I love it because even in my severe state of sin, I am aware of a lightness in the air, and a gentle calm at night. But for a 70 sticks of cigarette regular, fasting does put a cramp in my style – as in I become a complete zombie. A hypersensitive ill-tempered ogre from sunrise to sunset.

An intervention. Anyways, by the grace of Allah (swt), He intervened last year and took away my addiction, and I have been ‘clean’ for more than 18 months. So I found even last year’s Ramadan to be a breeze. I was a little light headed perhaps, but more-or-less fully operational and fit for human consumption.

229752_1879889790685_5877716_nRamadan Projects. This year however, Ramadan was welcomed with a little extra. For one, I started my project to turn my late brother’s room into a cosy little prayer nook. This, together with a commitment to perform some of the supererogatory devotions meant that we have been quite busy, especially at night. You know… getting to know Ramadan… to explore what it offers and just how far we may endeavour towards attaining the gifts and blessings contained within. Always, moving slowly but surely along the path treaded by our betters and above all, by the Master of the Prophets, the Beloved of God and Arch-Intercessor, Sayyidina Muhammad (saws).

Oh, please don’t get me wrong, sunshine. I didn’t exerted myself that much. I did a little, but I did it regularly and without fail. I read somewhere that God appreciates this approach, which conveniently suits a sinner as unambitious as me.

He he he.

Well, anyways, I guess you can read this as my reply to Ramadan Karim. And insha Allah (Godwilling) I hope to meet this blessed month next year to and share our experiences once again. Until next time then, may God Almighty bless you always, sunshine, as how He knows best for you.

Camera 360wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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

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 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

AN AFFECTIONATE LIGHT

189544_10150131906520665_605025664_6907033_1654742_nThe Affectionate Light
Nothing is certain
But the shore and the ocean,

Not the breath we anticipate,
Nor the promised date,
Not the best of plans
Ever devised by men,
Nor the sweetest promise
Beheld in a kiss,

Thus two things to me still remains true,

First, that the shore is married to the sea, eternally

And second… in my heart
It is still all of you.
Beside all of me.

And I think, my love,
That is how
I wish it
Forever to be.
…………..

Sometimes even Notrumi finds it hard to put into words, matters that are forever twitching the strings of his guitar-shaped heart.

Have a beautiful Friday, sunshine. For myself, I am waiting for an affectionate light, here deep in the forest of my Lord…

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam - Love will show the Way

IMG

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

THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD

IMG_20160220_192000The Mountain
There is a mountain
Sitting on a vast plain,
You can approach it
Through many passes,
Walking in gullies, valleys
Or scrambling over hidden rocky ravines…

Along your approach
You will see the mountain again and again
In its many wondrous views,
Cloaked in a golden sunset
Or wreathed in a crown of clouds,
Standing in a winter blizzard,
Veiled in a midnight storm,
Sending avalanches down its base,
Or blooming a field of wild flowers
With mountain streams of summer,
Flowing down like a maiden’s tresses,
Beautiful beyond measure…

Glorious, beautiful, enchanting and majestic,
There sits the mountain on a vast plain,
Just that one mountain and no other,
Calling on you with its
Innumerable vistas and stories…

And you go, because you have no other choice,
Turning the mountain climb into
A homecoming to a home that
In truth…

You never really left.
…….

mountain20climbing20man20wallpaper__yvt2The Motivation. When asked about their motivation to conquer mountains and risk severe injury or even death, many climbers will repeat that same old weather beaten cliche – Because it’s there.

The Mountain of God. There are many mountains out there in the world. If you are tempted, you can climb Everest, K2, the Ben Nevis or even my country’s Kinabalu. But however many physical mountains there are, the truth is there is actually only one true mountain, only one real and absolute mountain – The Mountain of God.

The Calling. For you see, the divine calling to ascend the divine mountain is coming from Him. And He is asking you to approach your spiritual goal with an empty heart, that God may pour His love and wisdom into you – To find and experience for yourself His Signs and His Reality – to wander and explore every corner of His revelations, and to see the countless variety of His Beauty, Love and Mercy, each view special just for you! Each understanding weighed with the Divine purpose of His creation – for you to approach and worship your Lord with gratitude and love.

mountain-climber-silhouette2Join Us. In this quest, in this climb, there is no guide better than the one chosen by Allah (swt) for you specifically for this task, and that guide is the Seal of the Messengers of God, Sayyidina Muhammad (saws).

You need not take this path alone. Indeed, it is highly recommended that you climb with a partner. The climb will be hard and a sustained effort is needed.

So will you continue in this climb with me, sunshine? Please…

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

WIELDING THE SWORD OF DIVINE PRESENCE & DIVINE ABSENCE

IMG_20160209_153626Absence & Presence
Love,
How painful is your absence
When your absence is felt!
Love,
How joyful is your presence
When your presence is felt!

I know that what I am asking
Is only for a feeling,

But I would take that feeling
Than all the treasures of the world!
……………

Sick Notrumi. Poor us, poor humanity, poor old Notrumi. I have been unwell for almost 2 weeks, having caught a flu bug that has been plaguing my neighbourhood. But I found this sickness to be a respite of sorts. A break, a lull from the ordinary hustle and bustle that my ego and nafs (base desires) would have normally dragged me through. So I am thankful for this illness.

artflow_201602091201Slow is Good. For the slower speed of my thoughts and actions has allowed me to think a little longer, and sip a little more deeply from the fountain of my conscience… To weigh my many errors and mistakes, to reconsider my path, to relook my priorities and arrange for spiritual supplies that I will need in this journey we all share that we call life.

Feelings. And it is during this present malady that I realise my error – my strange neglect to actually feel when the most important person in my life is present or absent, meaning of course, God Almighty. Of course, at another level, absence or presence is a wholly mortal concept, but it is through such conditions do we sense our nearness or distance from God – from the Love, the Truth, the Mercy and Beauty that can only be Allah (swt) and His Beloved Apostle Muhammad (saws).

A two-edged sword. In a way, asking for a heightened sense of Divine Presence also means asking for a higher sense of Divine Absence. After all, isn’t everything known by its opposite? So now, is Notrumi really ready to wield a sword with two very sharp sides? The edges of which would cut through his petty piety like hot knife through butter? I know I will be burnt, I expect to be scalded. But alas, this fool is drawn to the perfume. To the closeness and intimacy. To the secret congress and loving caresses promised. Oh, Notrumi the Moth, how your wings will be singed by the flame!

But truth be told I am not that sword wielding moth… For I would not be writing this if I have experienced it. No, had I felt it already I would have kept the exquisite pleasure a secret, even from my prying mortal self, lest my ‘spiritual’ ego takes credit (as it is wont to do)! Certainly I will not be sharing my private affairs in a public blog. I do have some scruples, you know!

He he he.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way