Tag Archives: ego

MANKIND THE NUANCED, THE HIDDEN … a reminder

Slide3Misunderstandings
How will you understand my words
When my silence is incomprehensible to you?
How will you navigate my infinite oceans
When my sea is only a rumour to you?
………….

Unity of Man. If you look at the petty arguments on Facebook, you will find that when you dig a little deeper into the debate, you will find that the two adversaries are not opposites in fitrah (essence). After all, we are made of the same elements, red blood courses through our veins, whatever our skin tone or religion.

befriend yourself 2Contextual. The argument normally arises, because although we may be talking about the same thing, you may have a different audience in mind, while I have my own. Also, you are brought up in different climes compared to my cultural and social norms. Add to that the prejudices and biases we pick up along our way from purity of childhood to the cynical hardness of adulthood and I think you will see where and why we end up  arguing and spitting vitriol at each other, to the aghast of the Angels that observe us (from afar).

Nothing is Random. You are such a complex entity, my love. Perhaps you may not think so, yourself, being the humble man / woman that I know you are. But each of your action or omission, every word, gesture or thought does not occur at random. Indeed, in the spiritual world, randomness does not exist because nothing happens in a vacuum. Every breath you take, every step of an ant, every splitting of a single-cell organism, every supernova of a dying star somewhere in the night sky occurs within the completeness of Allah Almighty’s plan. It is random to us simply because of our very finite level of knowledge.

Camera 360Nuanced Beings. Err… I appear to have been distracted. Ahem. Now where was I? Oh yes, this is a reminder to myself – To not be so quick to judge and anger. To be much more tolerant and mild to the subtle nuances of my fellow human beings. For we are undoubtedly highly nuanced creatures. Allah (swt) made us so, and created us thus so well that even His Angels grew concerned that they asked their Lord why He created such ill-tempered beings who will spread corruption and destruction on earth. We know Allah Almighty’s answer… He replied to His celestial hosts, “I know what ye know not.” (Al-Quran 2:30)

So who are we to say with certainty what we know? When even the Arch angels themselves could not decipher the great riddle that is Allah’s creation known as Man. The answer to His puzzle, as always, is with the Maker of the Puzzle, a.k.a our Creator, Allah (swt). And the best one to guide us to Allah (swt) and His answer is none other than our beloved Arch Intercessor Sayyidina Muhammad (saws). He he he. Don’t you agree, sunshine?

wa 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

LIKE A REFLECTION IN THE MIRROR, HOW CAN WE EXIST WITHOUT HIM?

fat 2Angels. I fear I think too well of my prayers and devotion, “Oh, how meritorious is my deed. How blessed and honoured is my prayers! Why isn’t anyone noticing my glowing piety? Oh, yes… no one is around. But no matter, I bet the angels are giving me a standing ovation even as I am typing this.”

Thus you see, sunshine, I can entertain such strange thoughts even when I am alone in my room. My ego bringing in even God Almighty’s own angels as reluctant (and imagined) witnesses to my saintliness. Our mind often play such tricks like this on us.

Good God. So, in truth, all credit is due to God, Allah (swt). Because the original cause of all virtuous actions, all come from a single source – hinted in the English language by the very ancient and original meaning of the word ‘good’, which is of course ‘God’.

Slide1So don’t you fret if you think you have not garnered enough ‘merits’, gold medals or such rewards as the Lord Creator might deign to grant you. For the lesser you think of yourself, the poorer you realise your state, the more beloved you become in His Eyes, our Lord Sultan…

My Sultan,
Let me diminish
In Your Majesty,
Treat me as how
You treat your servants
Who have been
Proven worthy!
………

Not a single atom of goodly action that we do arises out of our own accord. We are simply answering His Call, for it is God’s Love that forever and always precedes our facsimile of love. Like a reflection in the mirror, we simply cannot exist without Him.

May Allah Almighty cherish and sustain us, and raise us to be dusts beneath the sandals of our Prophet Muhammad, His Beloved One and His Own Declared Mercy to the World (saws). And perhaps most importantly to us, the very reason there is a mirror in the first place. Yes, indeed. But that, sunshine, is another tale for another day.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

3 FLINT RULES… how to identify peace breakers and lessons on avoiding being one

maxresdefaultMy Companion the Flint
My house is on fire,
My forest is ablaze,
My world is black coal,
A dark ember, a hole,
My love is in exile,
Leaving me with my lies,
Did the flint struck sparks of truth
Only to waste and burn
Great swaths
Of my home,
That now
I dwell
Sadly all
Alone?
…….

Fire from blmFlint Rule #1. A Flint is someone you ought to be careful of. But Flints tend to be quite sociable and exceedingly charming, disarming people with their appearance of candour and humour. Just be careful when you hear something negative about anyone from another perdon – and ask yourself why in God’s name did the bearer of bad news need to trouble you with such information about that person, even assuming it is true. Let me tell you a little story…

A couple of years ago, poor dumb Notrumi became a victim of a Flint. What is a Flint, you say? Flint, or flint stone has been used by mankind to make fire since year dot. In the context of this prose, Flint however refers to the human flint stones who instigate discord between people, between brothers, between kin, between husband and wife, between friends and colleagues. In my language Malay, the word is ‘batu api’, literally meaning fire stone. It is a good word I think because of the terrible damage it does to kinship and friendship. 

Because of the Flint, my caring friendship with my old friend ended in acrimony. Poor Notrumi was accused of terrible backbiting and placed before a sort of kangaroo court. I was so dismayed that my friend actually believed the Flint that I didn’t argue or fought back. Teary eyed and broken-heart I simply walked away.

But about three months later, my friend sought me back and said that the Flint did the same thing to him and his other friend. But the warm caring connection we once shared was damaged so much that I found it very hard to accept my friend back the way we used to be. I guess we are polite, but up to this day the wound has not completely healed.

4877_79071_web_8columnFlint Rule #2. When you have to speak about someone to another person, exercise caution and sound judgement. In fact, the least we speak about someone behind his/her back, no matter how well-intentioned, the better. After all, as the saying goes… The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

This is important to realise because the easy truth is that any man or woman can be a Flint. They may be nice and generous at most times, but it doesn’t take bad intention for you to have Flint-like effect on people’s relationship. You may very well be sincere and simply transparent, sharing certain things about Mr.A with Mr.B. But we cannot be sure what is the underlying dynamics of their relationship, so an inadvertent remark that Mr.A joined you to the cinema may provoke silent ire of Mr. B. Why? Because Mr. A apparently had once rejected Mr. B’s invitation to a movie saying he never likes going to the cinema. Uh oh.

Slide6Flint Rule #3. This is perhaps the most important rule of all. It is actually an extension of Rule #2, and this is what it is – We in fact  harbour in ourselves a Flint. A Flint without compare in its subtlety and stratagem, a supreme expert in sowing discord in our most critical relationship of all. Of course you know what I am talking about – It is our relationship with God Almighty, our Most Beloved, Most Compassionate and Most Merciful Allah (swt).

Every emotion of dismay, every despairing sigh, every disappointment, every feeling of being let down, rejected, cheated or attacked… whether we directly attribute it to ‘fate’ (a.k.a God) or through the machination of an agent (normally human), at the conclusion of our contemplation it must necessarily end at the proverbial desk of Allah Almighty Himself, where all buck stops. After all, what can happen to us were it not permitted to occur by God? How could He?! This Flint hiding in the recesses of our soul  and making such observations is none other than our ego. Such is its nature, that our ego ever ready to lay blame on anyone and anything else rather than us for our perceived misfortunes. Even to the extent of blaming Allah (swt).

The Reality. But ego-centric perception is always deceiving. An illusion masking the true Reality of this world and this life – which is actually an intimate stage, a secret communion with our Dearest God. It is this realisation which Allah (swt) may bestow upon us that would ultimately render and tear apart the fragile veil of success and failure, this duo that humanity foolishly cling to to shape our daily sense of happiness and sadness.

So let us silence the Flint that is our ego, and turn away from its compelling ‘reason’ and persuasive ‘logic’. Let no fire spark, let no ember of enmity burn away the contentment that Allah (swt) and His Habibullah (saws) passionately desires for you – the abiding peace and love between you and our Lord and Prophet, and between us and our fellowman.

Don’t be like me, sunshine. Of disappointments, sadness and enmity, leave them be. And make peace… even with the peace breakers and friends that have been too quick to judgment. Surely, that is the only path open for me now. Pray for me, please.

woman-umbrella-rain-art1wa 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

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

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, MY LOVE… DON’T!

ffsfsNo, My Love… Don’t!
Don’t give me Your knowledge
If I learn nothing of Your courtesies,
Don’t leave me ignorant
If I am deprived of Your intimacies,
Don’t give me health
When my infirmity suits Your purpose,
Don’t leave me in sickness
If my sickness becomes a curse,
Don’t give me life,
If my passing accords with Your plan,
Don’t take my life,
If my dying serves You no end,
Don’t leave me destitute
If my poverty leads to my apostasy,
Don’t shower me in gold
If my wealth turns my heart cold,
Don’t make me well-known
If my fame feeds my vanity,
Don’t leave me unknown
If my anonymity aids me in my villainy.
………….

River HeartIn sickness or in health, poverty or wealth, alive or passing, whatever state we may be in, it is our connection with the Divine that makes everything worthwhile and sublime. It is that love, that incomprehensible intimacy we share with our Lord, hidden from our own consciousness, lest our baser self deems them to be impertinent and villainous.

There is something in the air today which confuses me. I seek support from the Guide of Guides, from the Master of Messengers, our beloved Nabi Muhammad (saws), lest my senses become nonsensical and you get bored with my writing. Madad ya Rasulullah Habibullah…

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam

Love will show the Way 

DRAMA! – the ego, me, my smoking and odontophobia… Oh, and something about repeatedly falling off a high horse.

800px-r-staines-malvolio-shakespeare-twelfth-nightDramatic!
My soul is a poem
Staged as a drama,
Where I play the roles of the damsel,
The hero and villain…
……

I can do with less drama in my life. The less the better. But my ego will not let me. He insists on me being the hero when things become heroic, and the misunderstood villain when things become mischievous! Oh woe!

I am quitting smoking (last nicotine laced smoke to grace my lungs was in end January 2015), and I have become a most-loyal customer of our friendly neighbourhood dentist (overcoming my yellow-bellied fear of the dentist chair), seeing him 4 times over the past 3 months. So my ego (and me) would like to take credit for that. That and the woebegone ‘damsel’ that is my conscience, forever at the mercy of her capricious bipolar host.

A high horse. But when I ponder over the circumstances of my two ‘conversions’, much like Paul on the road to Damascus, with all humility, I think I just fell off my high horse. I just ended my procrastination and endless (and I mean ENDLESS) rationalising over my smoking habit and my odontophobia (fear of dentists) and simply just did it (like Nike said I should) – I stumbled off the horse, quit the cancer stick and made that dental appointment.

But the how, when and why I found the courage to do either? Truly, only God knows.

Oh, and one more thing. About that high horse I was on. It must have been a very, very, very  high horse indeed. Because, gosh, I am still falling…. or… am just I hitting the ground and  inevitably climbing back up on my high horse – only to fall again? And again. And again. Oh no.

Pray for me, sunshine. This ride ain’t over yet!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

HATE HAS NO PLACE IN ISLAM
LOVE WILL SHOW THE WAY