Tag Archives: friendship

FAREWELL, WEDDING BELLS

IMG_20170424_193306Farewell, Wedding Bells
I am what I hold in my hand, a broken heart,
I am the memories that shadow my waking sleep,
I am the tears that I cry
Since the night we said farewell
To our dreams of wedding bells
To live a life to an end
That I cannot foretell.
…….

LIFE. All that is born must die. All that is created must have an end, every summer ends with an autumn and every life must inevitably cease. There is little argument on this point.

ENDINGS. What is debatable, and a source of great human drama of joys and sadness, passion and despair is the activity we choose to indulge in between our birth and our pallbearers. And in the consequences of a break-up, the ending of a relationship, boy, it does feel like forever. But I know this is a false forever, a fake eternity concocted up by a fevered heart yearning the gentle touch of a loved one.

GUILT. Nonetheless, in the face of such trials, we have Allah Almighty, we have His Habibullah (sws) and the inner armoury of the soul known as patience, patience and patience. So in truth, there is no competition really – for hope trumps sadness and His divine promise conquers over all our mortal failings. But being human, something in our self-blaming ego is titillated by constantly stirring the pot of our sadness, not to heal the hurt… but to drown our hope, a stillborn.

BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES. I guess guilt plays a big part of my life. But I willingly embrace my malfeasance, because interspaced between the guilty pangs are pearls of memories I cannot nor do I desire to let go off.

Memories of you, sunshine.IMG_20170424_194123

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

DON’T DIE, STAY AWHILE

Song at a Death Bed
Don’t die,
Stay awhile,
Let me tell you
In a clear rendition
Of a song,
Why you matter,

And when my song has ended,
Then, you may do as you wish,
But until then, stay awhile
And listen…
……

IMG_20160916_062850My dear sunshine, how many times in our life have we wished that God would afford us the time to distill the goodness of a person’s life at the death bed, and proclaim his or her goodness in clear unequivocal affirmation of a life well lived, a battle well fought and a journey well travelled?

But regrettably, such occasions are far and in between, life often coming to an end suddenly in the blink of an eye, before the hour, and thus the servant has return to his / her Lord.

So what shall we do then, my love? Not knowing when the Angel of Death may come to take our beloved kin or friend for that not-to-be delayed appointment?

Then we must sing that song, that liturgy of love right here and now – for our father and our mother, for our brother and sister, for our kin and beloved friends. While they are with us still let us not allow a moment go to waste. While life still animate us, let us show by deeds and words just what they mean to us.

Do you not agree, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

TURNING TO GOD… (while stuck in a train between two stations)

226330_10150169952279023_4175171_nTURN TO GOD
It is the hardest thing
To see someone talk to his mum
To kiss and hug her,
To show respect and obedience
Knowing that i cannot.
Thus, I turn to God
Thus, I turn to God
I turn to God…
……

Abang ChikStuck in a train between stations. When will you realise God is real, o’ Notrumi? Perhaps, now? Now that you are torn between the souls of your dearly departed kin and friends and the life you still live? Every day, my horizon stretches across this world and the hereafter, between my living father, brother and son, to the souls of my dearly departed mother and my brother. Who is comfortable sitting here in this cosmic train? Stuck between two stations – between happiness and sadness, between sweet solace and a profound yearning? Who will keep me company in this lonely train carriage that is my conscience?

Remembrance of God as Your companion. It has to be God I guess. Separate as He is from all of His creation yet closer to us than our jugular vein (Quran 50:16) …Hidden but more apparent than the Sun, some mystics say. Easily His Presence and Vision transcends life and death, heaven and earth, between the living and the residents of the cemetery.

IMG-20130915-WA0006(1)-3Allah (swt) is there, sunshine, at your side, through your hours of tearful remembrance, through the lonely nights when you sit in your room, unmasked of the disguise you wear for people during the day. You need only say His name -

Allah… Allah… Allah… I turn to You. Hear the sorrowful words of Your servant… Allah… Allah… Allah… You made me, so You must know me best of all. Nothing is hidden from Your sight, thus you can see the bleeding wound in my heart for the compassion of my mother, for the empathy of my brother – so help me heal, my Love, help me understand, my Lord.”

We prostrate our akal (mind), our heart and our memories before you o’ Malikul Quddus (o’ Most High King Most Pure) in the name of Your Mercy to all the Worlds, Sayyidina Muhammad Miftahur Rahman (Key to Mercy) Miftahul Jannah (Key to the Garden) Abu Arwah (the Father of Souls) (saws). We come to You, o’ God. Seeking Your attention and intimacies through the one You and Your angels love and praise best in the heavenly presence.

20151229011502_resizedwa 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

Poon’s Room, The River & The Ocean

My Brother
Breathing in the room he once breathed in,
Walking upon the floor he once walked on,
This room, this space of certain memories,
The walls speak to me of my brother,
And the constancy of his love
For his family and his friends
Who misses him so,
And dare I say it…?
Of his love
For me.
………

229752_1879889790685_5877716_nThe Room. Ramadan Mubarak, sunshine. This year’s blessed month of fasting is a little different, as I have a small project to complete. I am turning my dear brother’s small bedroom (see above pic) that has been left unused for almost 3 years into a prayer / guest room. I have tentatively test-driven the room… first with a little dzikr and salawat (remembrance of God through the recitations of His Divine Names and greetings of peace and praise upon the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s.) and then, with a little prayer.

How did it feel? It felt good. So good that I cried.

River HeartThe River & The Ocean. It is funny to use the term for a room – to test-drive a room. But it was really that, for in that preciously short time, I left on a journey, leaving this world, leaving its cares and distractions, its poor illusion of happiness to seek solace with my Lord, with the memories past and the new memories to be made with my departed brother, Saiful Bahri (known to me as Abang Chik and to the rest of the world as Poon).

“After all, why ought death be a barrier in creating new memories between us and our dearly departed kin and friends?”, an ancient friend urgently assures me this morning, “After all, death is not a divide but a river communicating us transients of this world to the eternal Mercy Ocean of God, our true home”.

I shan’t tell you much more as there is nothing more to say. Only that this little labour of love will, insha Allah (God willing), keep me occupied until the Lord God brings me home and (again insha Allah) back to His Heavenly Presence with our Prophet Muhammad (saws), His blessed Family and Companions, my masters of the tariqat (the Path), my dear loving mother, my brother, my aunties, uncles, cousins and so many more of my other kin and friends who have all already left us for the Mercy Ocean.

What a day that would be!

Have a wonderful Ramadan, my love. Pray for me please and May Allah (swt) bless you always, and may Allah (swt) forgive me always.

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

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

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

YOU MATTER. YOU ARE NO AFTERTHOUGHT

IMG_20131111_205650Not An Afterthought
If ever you feel yourself
To be an afterthought,
Know that to God,
You are not.
………

SENSITIVITY. I am overly sensitive sometimes. When I get invited as an afterthought to a gathering or function, perhaps because someone else cannot make it, I don’t take such invitations very graciously. in fact I might feel secretly appalled.

Of course the invitation may have come only because the person inviting for some reason entirely forgot about me, which is an acceptable excuse. After all, I am not so hot in the memory department myself. But if I was never really intended to be part of the party, then I am sorry, I will in all probability not accept the invitation. For I will see it as a mere afterthought or perhaps even a slight (albeit unintended), depending on my mood that day. Not very Sufi, right? But would you react the same way, sunshine? Perhaps you won’t, which makes you a far better person than I am!

ocean heart 2GOD. So you see, that is why I am affectionate and intimate with my God, aka our Allah Almighty. For despite His apparent invisibility, He is the Lord God of everything, and I think considers me in all His plans. He never leaves me out, and though I may merit His censure at times (many times, to be very honest), one thing I know for sure is that He will never ever forget me. And I will never be a mere afterthought to Him. Such callousness is simply not the Sunnatullah (the Ways of God).

HIS  BELOVED. Despite my impertinent familiarity with God though, I do not approach Him alone. Perhaps it is my natural diffidence, but following the ancient rites of Islam I enter the Lord’s court with, through and for the sake of God’s own Beloved. For you see, if you desire the favour of the King, it is very smart to align yourself with the King’s favourite – and there is none closer, more favoured and more beloved to Allah (swt) than His Habibullah, Nabi Muhammad (saws). Even a sinner as thick as myself can understand this.

DIVINE LOVE. Can you see now that you are never an afterthought to He who matters most to you? And if God is not the one that matters the most to you, then perhaps it is time for you to realign your priorities. Because I believe with all my heart that the moment you have done so, divine magic will happen - which is realising the truth that you matter, you always have and you always will. And that is a joyous thought, indeed.

Wouldn’t you agree, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way