Tag Archives: hope

SELFISH LOVE

Shaykh Wacom 2Selfish Love
Selfish love is not love,
For love abhors anything other than love.
………..

This is the beginning, the journey and the end. This is where we leave our selfishness behind. A selfishness often disguised as ‘love’. This is where we embark on the ship of love, to cross the sea of love to our homecoming at the harbour of selfless love.

Pray for me, sunshine. Lend a hand to this weary traveller and perhaps we can keep company together. For what better way is there to walk to love than with love as my companion?

P.S. Shaykh Adnan Kabbani is a Lebanese shaykh much admired and loved. It appears that he is unwell. Please keep him in your prayers and your heart. dark-room-light-through-window-hunched-man1

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

GOD, GOODNESS & FAMILIARITY…

rain-girlGod & Goodness
Our taste for God and goodness needs adjustments,
To develop our nose and divine discernments -

To distinguish between what is to be encouraged,
What is to be questioned and what is to be warned against,
What is to be admonished and what is to be avoided,
And lastly, what is to be confronted and challenged!
………..

A SEA OF MERCIFUL MEANINGS. Not that long ago, an epiphany hit me like a truck out of control. And that is whatever I may be doing and reciting in my sembahyang / solaT (prayers), I have the barest idea of their meanings –  All that recitations and the postures that make up our prayers. What I know of its meaning and significance is the merest wisp of an understanding… So now, I realise that when I contemplate my prayersIt is like skimming on the surface of a sea of merciful meanings unfathomable in its depth and secrets.

20150804123718_resizedNO TIME TO REST. And I was happy to be at that place – that place of unknowing, humbled by my utter lack of knowledge. But today I am jolted out of that complacency of a humility that is perhaps too convenient and lethargic. For an ancient friend advised me not to be contented being a fool, and to learn what can be learnt and what Allah al-Alim (God the All-knowing) has allotted since pre time for us to learn. By acquiring a taste for God and His goodness, we hone and develop a sharp sense of discernment which will in contradistinction develop our sense of what is the opposite of God and goodness – ergo our ego, its wickedness, hate and hubris, pride, greed, envy, selfishness and indolence. That way (says my friend), what bad you once tolerated of yourself, you will learn to avoid as you gain the taste for the perfume of God and goodness. As you grow in familiarity with Allah (swt) and with His most precious gift to all creation, Nabi Muhammad Sayyidina Hadiyatullah (the Gift of Allah) (sws) you ought to now become repulsed by the wicked odour of Satan our enemy, the overpowering smell of our own egotism and the ambivalent scent of this worldliness…

Familiarity
The ones familiar with the garden of love and its perfume
Will abhor and avoid the devil’s dumping yard
Of man’s egotism, greed and selfish love.
……….

Do you not agree, sunshine? Of course you do!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

SWIMMING IN THE OCEAN OF GNOSIS

189544_10150131906520665_605025664_6907033_1654742_nTHE OCEAN OF GNOSIS. Hi, sunshine. Hello, my love. You very well know that this ego-world is not our home, nor our stay here intended to be permanent. We were born from the Ocean of Gnosis, rising from the Sea of Knowledge and Spiritual Mysteries. And it is these secrets that take time to winkle out of our life experiences. Even as confusion appears to be our continuing, natural state, our days are yet interspaced with moments of clarity… Our own personal epiphany about God, Love and Mercy. And it is this inspiration that convinces you to rise up, to wipe the dust of defeats off your bowed shoulders, and face the ego-world once again in the arena of your convictions. How blessed you are in your perseverance!

THE SEA & ITS SECRETS. “Know yourself, and you will know your Lord”, the saying goes. But there is no point for the confused to guide the confused. My love, here we are at the shore of the Ocean of Gnosis. The sea both enamours us and frightens us. The wave and the surf draw us near but we are fearful to tread the water, knowing not what is hidden in its depths.

largeBut fret not, my love. Fear only God and place your soul in the guidance of the Light first created by Allah (swt), the key to the Ocean of Gnosis, God’s own Mercy to all of Creation, Muhammad Sayyidina Harisun Alaykum (He who is watchful over you) (sws).

The Ocean
The Ocean of Gnosis
Is the Ocean of Spiritual Mysteries,

It is the Ocean of Muhammad,
The Other named in your
Lord’s testimonies!
………..

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

My father, my son and the true constant of change

artflow_201610032223_resized_1CONFUSING TIMES A’COMING. My son Mikhail is going to be thirteen in January 2017, and I wait for that day with a certain amount of trepidation – worried about how he will change, as he certainly will, becoming a teenager with the hormonal angst and chemical overdrive making him sprout up by a couple of inches, body hair growing in the most inconvenient of places and his voice evolving into a deep growly bass. A daunting prospect for my son? Positively terrifying for his father.

MY DAD WOULD AGREE. There is no doubt that growing up can be a highly confusing period in one’s life. But I do think it is too easy for us to imagine that this period of physical, mental and spiritual confusion abates when we enter our twenties. No such luck, sunshine. I myself am comfortably in my forties, and I can assure you that change occurs to me every challenging day, sometimes smoothly, but mostly, changes comes with doubt, uncertainties and unexpected complexities, no matter how well rehearsed I may be to meet them. I bet if I asked my father of 82 summers, undoubtedly he would nod his agreement, having to pass through the crucible of two significant deaths, that of my mother and my elder brother…

DIVINE LOVE. You know what? I just realise that 70 years separate my son and my father. And I guess I am the bridge between them, but Lord forgive me that I do not think I am doing such a great job bridging the gap. May Allah (swt) bring us closer together, under the guidance of Nabi Muhammad Sayyidina Harisun Alaykum (sws), the Last Messenger of God and the One Who is (Constantly) Watchful Over Us. This is my only hope, truth be told. For I am informed by sound sources that Divine Love crosses infinities… so what is a paltry 70 summers?

mountains-landscapes-fields-california-meadows-blue-flowers-wildflowers-2400x1350-wallpaperWe are always endeavouring thus, in our piecemeal and stumbling ways to try and be worthy of the Love of Allah and His Habibullah (sws) and to connect to the Divine Presence. It is never enough, my love. So please keep us in your prayers.

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

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

Death & Life in the Garden of Forgiveness, Love & Kinship Everlasting

IMG_20160712_105919Gladness in Death’s Embrace
In their life, our understanding never encompassed them,
In their death, our mourning will never encompass them,
Only He who created them knows them completely,
And after years of misunderstanding and confusion,
Is it any wonder that they greet death’s embrace so gladly?
Done with this world that once treated them so niggardly?
…………

IMG-20130915-WA0006(1)-3Ajal. My love, you think your mother is not so old? You reckon that your brother has not been sick a day in his life. You think your friend is the fittest person you know. But what do we really know of our Ajal (the predestined moment of death that comes to all children of Adam). You think they may outlive you, but for all you know they are not stars that will shine over you for too long. Perhaps it is destined for them to fly like comets through your night sky, brightening your life with their love, knowledge and compassion, but to vanish much too soon into a darkening horizon. They came, they shone their light on us, then they returned to God Almighty.

After this world’s topsy turvy morality and distractions, we must not begrudge their return to Allah (swt). But we do miss them so, don’t we? Missing the smile, the gentle assurance and easy charity that they exemplified every single day of their life.

Abg Shem2 Balqies picPost Ajal. Perhaps we should not be so melancholic. After all, what is left of our own life is barely a footnote in the tale of this Universe. Our masters tell us instead to focus on eternity – and pray to God Almighty to accommodate our kin and friends in the sanctuary of His Divine Presence, in the best company of the Prophet Muhammad (saws), his family,  companions and inheritors. And we also ask God that when the time of our own Ajal comes, that He will unite us once again with our beloveds there in the garden of forgiveness, love and kinship everlasting.

Hmm. Maybe happiness and/or sadness is just a question of waiting, my love. To be patient here in this world whilst waiting for Ajal, with perfect adab (divine decorum) towards the Ever-Living One and the facsimile of life that He sustains in this brief reality that we accept as our temporary abode. And I think we need not wait to be sickly to apprehend the coming of our Ajal. In fact, our waiting often begins the moment we realise the impermanence of this world, made cruelly apparent to us by the passing of someone so dear…

Slide2

What do you think, sunshine?

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

A CUP OF BARAQA …the Creator, the Created and the Ego

IMG_20160622_181313_resizedThe Calling
I am calling them,
But few heed Me,
All they hear is
“My servant, my servant”,
And in pride,
they turn away.

Had they heeded Me,
Would have they not found in Me
Their greatest hopes?
And even more would
I have bestowed.

Would I have not
Taken them closer to Me?

In the intimacy
Of their companionship
With their children
Is an analogy
For all to wonder,
But they enquire not
And remain blind,

They say, “I am me”,
Not knowing their true nature.
Lo, that the truth would have set them free,
But they do not understand.
…………..
(Extracts from the DamSunSunAna, circa 2007.)

Divine Goodies. In this holy month of Ramadan that God Almighty has created for His servants, what wonderful openings are given to even the most miserly of sinners to seek forgiveness and blessings and often enough, simply to give thanks to Allah (swt) for all the divine goodies He has given us, the quality and quantity of which we shall never truly appreciate.

Bat-Blind. That is why the good ones always have the dzikrullah (remembrance of God) emanating from their lips and reverberating in their hearts. It is because they realise that they shall forever (and ever and ever) be indebted to their Creator, quite bat-blind to the baraqa (divine blessings) that nourishes them from pre-eternity to this very moment now. And constantly they are pleading, “O’ Lord, forgive us, for we are blind and deaf to all the blessings You have given us, save for the few miserly (that word again!) number of blessings that we are able to realise and acknowledge by Your inspiration.”

ffsfsThe Cup. So that is a good place to start, sunshine. We must ask Allah (swt) to inspire us to see the wondrous baraqa that is already overflowing out of the cup of baraqa that is our life. At the door of gratitude we approach our Lord Most Generous, following the noble steps of our betters, guided by the lantern of faith and mercy to all the worlds, Sayyidina Muhammad (saws).

The Calling & the Ego. Only once we have answered HIs call may we finally begin to learn who we truly are. Be warned though that our ego will not be happy with such humble attitude and it will react. Thus we ask Allah (swt) to give us the fortitude to reject the self-deceiving exhortations of our rampant ego claiming it knows best. Truly only Allah the Creator encompasses real awareness that is within His creation, from the brightest star in the night sky to the smallest worm burrowing in the earth. We need only accept Allah  Almighty and then ask Him – through that ever-so-nicely-and-politely-manner as is taught to us by the Prophet Muhammad (saws).

Don’t you agree, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way