Tag Archives: contradictions

THE DISTRACTION OF DISTANCE, THE ILLUSION OF NEARNESS

The Distraction of Distance
I am tryingSlide1
Dear God,
I am.

I am closer
I know.
But I am hindered,
Dear God,
I am.

I am hindered
By my knowing
I am near.

I am distracted, I am,
By the distraction
Of distance.
I am deceived, I am,
By the illusion
Of nearness
……

Don’t be deceived. Be cautious, pet. Space and time, that place where distance matters is a construct for our material ego-world. Do not be attached to such measure of closeness. For Allah, there is only one measure worthwhile for all humanity to understand and strive towards – to Him, to God through goodness…

O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. (Holy Quran, 49:13 -Marmaduke Pickthall)

All other yardsticks, such as pious knowledge or material prosperity, are double-edged swords that bites both ways if the beneficiary of such blessings is not careful. For you see, if the devil is the dog at the door of the Lord, testing the worth of any one who presumes to approach the Divine Presence, the louder is his bark the closer that you get.  Guard dog4

Thus, prudence is the name of the game, sunshine. As my lovely law lecturer, Sheila Tilley used to interject to the bemused delight of her class – softly, softly, catchy monkey.

He he he.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE DEVIL AND OUR EGO, HIS MOST LOYAL ACOLYTE

19022012588Why
Why oh why?
Why did I die?
Why oh why?
Why did I lie?
Thinking I will never be found out?
…….

sedih 2Every time we lie, we die a little. Of this I am certain, and many times more than I care to count I have found myself at my own funeral, looking into my own grave.

Like tango, it takes two to lie. So long as we are weak and a slave to our own ego, our life shall always be divided – between our heart and our ego. And all too often it is our ego that we will believe, while our heart’s admonishments and advice we stubbornly ignore.

Yes, the devil, our enemy tirelessly lays siege upon our peace and happiness, but whispers are his only armoury. It his good fortune that in our ego his evil whispers have found a most loyal acolyte.

Man & His Lies
The devil was asked
Why it was so easy to deceive Man,
To which he replied,
“I have not found,
In all my travel and adventure,
A creature more adept at self-deception
A student more diligent in the science of self-destruction
Than the children of Adam and Eve”
……..

In a world full of mad preachers and merciless sermons, there is always this risk, a very present and real danger, that our very best efforts of piety or charity are diverted and corrupted by our own ego, hubris and self-deception. The road to hell is paved with good intentions… someone said.

So remember BismillahiRahmaniRahim, sunshine. Declare your purpose in everything that you say or do in the Name of God the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. Leave no words or deeds without this accompaniment – a gift of Allah to Rasulullah (sws) and his nation that is priceless beyond measure.

Say it, my friend, believe it, then cross the road without fear.

largewa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

DIVINE SURPRISES DIVINE LAUGHTER

Slide7 Divine Laughter
I try not to worry about my state,
Planning for this, that or the other,
For when God sees what I plan ahead
The heavens ring with His Laughter.
………..

Yup. But then, we must also plan. And do our best to achieve what we plan. But side by side with such commitment and passion is our humble acceptance – that however good we strategise and implement our project, it is His Plan that is ultimately fulfilled. Which may be the same, or slightly different or totally the opposite of what we had planned and worked for.

This balancing of apparent contradictions is but one of the many aspects in our life where we gingerly tread the bridge of the Siratul Mustaqim (the Straight Path) whose width is akin to the width of a  human hair split 7 times thinner.

Slide8Crumbs, that is nail-biting tension on the high wire act.

But let’s not worry too much.  After all, I bet you are just like me in that…

Divine Surprises
I love surprises
And God loves to give me surprises
And He will give me surprises
Whether I like it or not.

So yeah, I love surprises.
………

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE WAY OF DREAMS

dreams wacomThe Way of Dreams
Dreams is not the place for
You to relax your vigilance,
Dreams is not the place where
There is no right or wrong.

So learn to wake up in your dreams
And be conscious of your actions
Lest your nightly carelessness
Follows you into daybreak
And wakefulness.
……….

Hullo, sunshine. Notrumi has been unwell of late. It is something in the air and the wet tropical season that is causing clinics to be full of running noses and rising temperatures.

May the words and our own sickness give us greater motivation for vigilance against an enemy that is ceaseless in his enmity for the children of Adam, day or night. May we be guided from hubris, ignorance and discourtesies, awake or in our dreams.

And Now A Question – Is the prose talking about what we normally call wakefulness and sleep, or is the prose an analogy, this world being our dream state, and death our abrupt wakefulness to the truthful reality? But you know what, sunshine? I really cannot make up my mind…

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE GREATEST GIFT FROM GOD

20150804123718_resizedThe one & the one to be blame
In the kingdom of love,
A sin is a sin even if
You are not to be blamed.

For in the Kingdom of Love
Where the Lord is King,
Who else can be blamed
But he to whom
Belongs your
Name?
………..

Just Say Sorry. If you are familiar with romantic love and perhaps even married life, how often have you found yourself admitting to things which were not your fault? How many times have you, through gritted teeth, spoken those three magical words “I am sorry” and “Please forgive me“, while holding down your rebellious reason aching to correct your beloved’s misconception and holler, “But it is NOT my fault!

He he he. You know what I mean.

god 2But who is the one actually fond of blaming others? Now consider your entire life. Indeed, your very creation, and how you relate to God Almighty. For Allah (swt) has made it abundantly clear that He makes no mistakes, He is furthest from any concept of error, perfect in every action that He does or permits to happen, and perfect in every absence or omission that He prevails upon us. Yes, of course some bad things do occur through a third party machinations, say a burglar or a traitorous friend. But even then, it would not have happened had not Allah Almighty permitted the burglary or betrayal to happen. So do we blame God then, like how lawyers call Force Majeure as Acts of God, like flood, earthquakes and droughts?

Yes, we do. You know what I mean. We blame God a lot. Perhaps not spoken, but secretly whispered in our soul by our finger-pointing ego. And perhaps no one else can hear them, but do you think you can hide your feelings from our Creator?

So you see, all this judging and placing the blame is very much a part of our selves. Our rationale mind, subtly manipulated by our ego are always eager to place blame for everything bad that happens… so long as someone else is the one to be blamed, even God. And if you study the underlying causes in the rise of atheism especially in the West, the perception that God is somehow the cause of great evil upon us at a very personal level is one major factor in turning a man’s belief into disbelief. Sad but true.

mountain-climber-silhouette2THE GREATEST GIFT. How fortunate are we then, my love, that we have been blessed to stumble into saints who are tirelessly guiding mankind towards the true perception of Allah (swt) in All His Loving Attributes. And although we have done nothing to deserve Allah’s generosity He has sworn upon His own Name that He is the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, Most Generous and Most Loving for his creation – the most manifest evidence of His generosity and eternal concern for us being nothing and no one else but the prophethood of His Beloved, Nabi Muhammad Sayyidina Habibullah Harisun Alaykum (sws), divinely ordained to be our master and guardian, and to watch over us constantly, 24/7.

By the proof of such divine kindness, o’ Lord, how else shall we approach Thee but through the Door of Witnessing and the Door of Forgiveness?

There is so much to learn, you see, in the intimacies of mortal love, and its direct analogies to the Divine Presence and Divine Love. Through such lessons, may Allah (swt) permit us to endear ourselves to His Pleasure by being in the company of the One He Loves the Most, our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sayyidina Nabiyit Taubah, the Prophet of Repentance (sws).

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE SECRET HISTORY OF FOOLS …about love and getting blamed

dark-room-light-through-window-hunched-man1My Secret History
I have a library of my secret history
Known only to God and me,
But know you not
That in the library
Are countless volumes
known only to God alone?
……….

IMG_20160128_070805_resized_1Secret Even to Us. My love, we all have secrets. Some are virtues and kindness, done in quiet disguise, while many are our sins, curses and dalliance in vice. But good or bad, we would actually know most of our deeds, our acts and omissions. What we are interested in is however those errors that we have committed unaware. And it is these sins that are hidden in the secret volumes of our secret history known only to Allah (swt) while we stumble along in blissful ignorance.

Why Are We Blamed For What We Do Not Know? Such is the blessings which grace every moment of our wakefulness and sleep, in this world and in the Hereafter, that we are forever indebted to our Lord and to His Messenger Muhammad (sws). And we cannot begin to enumerate the quality nor the quantity of His divine generosity. It is because of this blessed indebtedness that we turn to Him, seeking His forgiveness not only of His blessings that we are aware of but we intentionally or unintentionally forget, but also of His blessings that we shall forever be ignorant of.

The Answer is Love. But why should we be judged for what we are unaware? That does appear somewhat unfair, yes? But did someone long ago not say “All is fair in love and war“? And eons ago we did declare our love, my friend. Like the fools that we were we declared our intention to worship and to adore Allah Almighty when there was no one and nothing else in creation that dared take that burden of choice.

Perhaps we are indeed fools. But better the fool of God than the wise of our own egos.

26062011446-2Don’t you agree, my love?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

GOD OR SYSTEM? … and the Nur of Muhammad

Slide10God System or God
Do I believe in God?
Or do I believe in a belief system?
It is not the same thing.

I talk of His power and oneness,
I write of His mercy and compassion.
I talk and I write like I am cursed,
But I disregard His presence,

For he is here now!

Reading what is written here,
Reading what is in my mind,
Seeing what I hide in the depth of my soul…

Oh my Lord, forgive me!

Abandon me not to my vanity,
Now that my bones
Are growing old, weary and cold…
………………

Oh Notrumi, in your quaint way you think you know Him. But you do not. But verily, as the Creator of the worlds He is well aware of all that dwell within them. Thus He is aware of you, my love…

Before I
My awareness of you precedes your awareness of Me.
My understanding of you precedes your understanding of Me.
My love for you precedes your love for Me.

dark-room-light-through-window-hunched-man1Do not stray from Allah (swt), sunshine. Even in your most pious prayers, even in your most soulful recitations, do not forget Him. For verily man are oft to forget in the most unlikely of occasions, becoming possessed with the perceived knowledge of God, and not possessed by the Lord Himself in His Most Gracious and Most Merciful of His attributes!

This are fine lines drawn in the sand, but my love, it is necessary for He is AllahuHalim, AllahuLatiff (the Lord Most Gentle, the Lord Most Subtle)…

Before II
And beyond My Love and Compassion for everything,
Lo, there was a time beyond time when there was only
My Love and My Compassion for the Light of My Beloved,
The Nur of Muhammad that precedes all of Creation.

beautifulhorizon1Wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

EVERYTHING IS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE – from despair to happiness

beautifulhorizon1The Lord of Seasons
I turn away from the kufr of despair,
For to despair of hope,
To despair of any redemption
Is to despair of Him and His Compassion.

I turn away from the kufr of happiness,
For to be happy for any other reason,
To find joy in any other season,
Is to deny the Lord of His spring,
His summer, His autumn and His winter.

From the kufr of my own means and ability
I return to the Truth and His Reality.
……….

Beautiful-forest-natures-seasons-17593939-1024-768Sorrow and happiness. It is easy to choose which we want, right? But for the Saliqas (Seekers of Truth), things are not so black and white, not so clear. A quintillion shades of grey divide good and bad.

For the Saliqas, while happiness is certainly the best way forward, it is the value of the sorrow and joy which matters to them. Value of any experience, be it a happy moment or a bad hair day is judged simply in this way – does this bring me closer to God? Does this disclose the true nature of my purpose? Does this make me feel love and gratitude for mankind and our Creator? Does this make me want to be a better human being? A better husband? A better wife? A better daughter or a son?

woman-umbrella-rain-art1Easier said than done, right? But all is good, sunshine …all IS good (I think I am one of those patsies who believe that repeating something often enough will make it come true. He he he). It is perhaps only a question of time that the lesson is revealed – waking up with a hangover from the party last night, or with weary relief from a tearful night mourning for our lost love. Good or bad, fun or hurtful, Allahu ‘Alim (God the All-knowing, the Omniscient) makes sure that we are given the opportunity to learn something new and useful, all the time.

For the truth is, insha Allah (Godwilling), everything is a learning experience. All this from the smattering crumbs let fall by the saints from their daily communion with the Beloved of Allah, Sayyidina Muhammad Habibullah (saws). Crumbs on the floor! Crumbs on the floor! Gather them while the gathering season is still here!230

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

OH, DID YOU SAY SOMETHING, GOD? SORRY. I WAS BUSY RECITING PRAYERS AT YOU.

TALK TO ME
Talk to Me,
Don’t talk at Me,
Many people do that,
Talking at Me,
But I want you
To talk to Me
And to actually care
About what I think…

To consider My views,
To listen to My replies,
And heed My assurances
And My admonitions.

You will find Me
To be the best listener
And your most trusted confidant.

So talk to Me.
………

You know this story, because you have experienced it before. Someone collars you into a private conversation. Oh, he wants to have a dialogue, you think. An exchange of ideas and experiences. What fun!

Slide3But you are sorely mistaken. The other party (be it a relative, friend, colleague or even an absolute stranger) is not actually interested in a dialogue. No, instead he begins a monologue, chattering at you about some topic or other, perhaps sharing stories of his miserable love life, or his amazing skill playing the bassoon. So you kindly respond, telling him that his body odour is a major issue, or perhaps that you don’t know a bassoon from a baboon. But his eyes glaze over, his attention apparently focused on something other than what you are saying. If you are lucky he will then leave you alone, but no, luck is not on your side today. Instead he insists on continuing his monologue, talking at you while totally disinterested with whatever reply you may have to his dissertation on romance, bassoons and other wind instruments.

This is what I am guilty of, sunshine, when I am seeking God’s attention. Many a days and nights, I have been talking at God, not to God. Chattering the verses of the Holy Quran, prayers and salawats like a spiritual gatling gun. In between the hail of hales, I thought I heard something -

“Whaa..? Did You say something, God? Oh sorry, I was too busy reciting prayers at you.”

See what our God has to deal with? Impertinent souls like your Notrumi here.

20151229233705_resizedThankfully, I am assured that God responds to our imperfect piety the way He does with every other of our imperfections – with infinite mercy and patience. With sublime gentleness and tolerance as only the Creator has for His creation. So no problem, right, amigo?

But a 70-year old friend of mine advised me; “Talk to God. It is very important, before or after or during prayers. At home, in bed, outside working or playing. Whatever you are doing at any time. You have to open a dialogue with God and keep the channels open.“ I listen to his wise words because the first time he ever really spoke to God was when he was lost adrift at sea, off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. A sudden storm at sea capsized the boat he was on and left him all alone in the big blue, far, far away from shore. He assured me that he spoke to God then. Perhaps for the first time ever in his life.

Slide1So you see, sunshine, we are just like my good buddy there. Perhaps we are not presently half-drowning in the waves of the South China Sea, but spiritually we are beset by challenges just as my friend was. Exiled deep into this world of danger and distractions. Apparently so far away from the safety of the Divine Presence, and exposed to wolves and foolish preachers. But like most of our worldly perception, we are being deceived. For God IS near. As God Himself says in His Holy Quran:-

We verily created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.
(Surah Qaf, 50:16 of the Holy Quran, Marmaduke Pickthall)

old_sailing_ship_in_ocean_at_night_biggerSo have faith in Him, my love. Speak to Him. Listen to His answers. Open a dialogue with God. This communication will be the ship that will bear your spirit safely to the sweetest homecoming you will ever experience – back to Allah Almighty, our Most beloved cherisher and sustainer. Just remember to make sure that the captain of your vessel is the Master Mariner of Mankind, the Father of Souls and Mercy to all Worlds – our own beloved Sayyidina Muhammad Mifathur Rahman (saws).

So set sail with the Prophet (saws), my friend. I will scrub the deck for you.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

YOU BELIEVE IN GOD BUT DO YOU BELIEVE GOD? … the hard question I must answer

1405_10153458985924023_7768209619511137782_nThe Two Beliefs
Many people believe God exists,
Sadly fewer believe God.
……………

Camera 360The Shaykh’s Nagging. This is no fanciful wordplay. For the first form of faith is perhaps the most easily accessible. You, me, Aunt Bee and the cat next door, we all believe in the existence of God. But to believe Him, to obey and carry out His edicts? Not so easy. It is no wonder that the shaykhs (masters) of the sufi tariqat (spiritual paths) of Islam often nag their hard-of-hearing followers and lovers, “Listen and obey! Listen and obey!” In response of which we all bow our collective heads in guilt, fiddling of fingers and then we carry on disobeying.

Why They Nag. I know the temptation, falling for it time and again, to believe in the existence of God and rejoicing in His magnificent assurances of Divine Love and Mercy, but to treat lightly His advice, warning and admonitions – seeing His strict edicts as gentle remonstrations for us to reject or accept as we wish. And really that is natural as Allah (swt) did say that there is no compulsion in religion. But if we do choose other paths than that instructed by our Lord, we must be prepared to face the karmic consequences. Especially now in this era, as the Prophet Muhammad (saws) did mention that the lot of his nation will be judged and penalty imposed in our lifetime. Cash on Delivery, sunshine… (dear God, forgive us!)

Our Self-Deception. The fallacy of our stand is revealed when we are struck by some worldly calamity and then cry in anguish “Oh God, You are most powerful and Your will be done, so why did You allow this to happen to me?” So now we say God is all-powerful and omnipotent. But when we were happy and content with this world, God was not so powerful enough that we obeyed Him. Oh no, in fact we went against His divine advice, inevitably drawing the karmic consequences to us.

My stupid plans. We cannot say with have not been warned. I cannot say I have not been warned. So help me, my love. I am done with my plans and my hubris for which I have been paid with loss and pain. I am lost in the wilderness of my folly, and only Allah (swt) may guide me home through the Prophet Muhammad (saws), God’s greatest blessings and gift to all of Creation.

In truth, I am utterly alone with my sins, sunshine. So please… walk with me these little baby steps home, I am in need of your love and your faith…

baby-steps1wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way