Tag Archives: Islam

Tahajjud, The Twilight Conference of Lovers

20170204_071656In The Conference of Lovers
If we keep calm,
if we keep quite still,
We can feel an ocean
Lapping the shore of our spirit,
In the moonlit hours while others sleep,
We are awake, listening and weeping,
Allah, Allah, Allah the surf whispers
Allah, Allah, Allah the ripple speaks
Allah, Allah, Allah the ocean mutters
Like nightingales serenading our heart
The ripple, the surf and the tide sings
Ya Ahad, ya Samad, Salli ala Muhammad,
Ya Ahad, ya Samad, Salli ala Muhammad,

Intently We listen until we realise,
That the words are manifest
Not from some place of the North
Or the South or the East or the West
But resonating from within our own heart
Ringing like the muezzin cry for prayer
Assuring the uncertain
Consoling the heartbroken
Giving strength to both kings and courtiers,
To the peasants, the farmers and traders alike,
Giving solace to the poorest wretch in the gutter,

Declaring that God and His Prophet is here,
Closer to us than our jugular,
Thus in the darkest part of the night
The Lord of the Nightingales hosts His guests
In the Twilight Conference of Lovers we gather
To worship, to adore in His Light upon Light.
…………

Is there anything more to be said for now, my love? May Allah love us and awaken us from our weary slumber to His calling tonight and every night hereafter. We hold unto the Prophet Muhammad the Light, the Lamp and the Lantern (pbuh), to shine His light upon light into our darkening skies.

Madad ya Sayyidina Nur (the Light)
Madad ya Sayyidina Siraj (the Lamp)
Madad ya Sayyidina Misbah (the Lantern)
(Peace be Upon Him)

And if someone asks thee – o’ Saliqa, o’ seeker! Where do you find nourishment? Tell them that every night you attend to His audience, prostrated as a lovelorn servant, in the Conference of Lovers, in the Tahajjud nightly prayers.

20160809_071418wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE ROSE & THE MIRROR

20150804123718_resizedThe Rose & The Mirror
It is not for the rose to declare its beauty,
But to exist and simply be,
In perfect poise before
An admiring mirror.
…..

I cannot say I am beautiful or attractive. Not when I live in my skin and know very well where all my skeletons are hidden. Thus I answered when asked why I was so hesitant in accepting compliments and praise. But the answer then took me to an older reply of an older inquiry. Perhaps one of the oldest question entertained by mankind, and this is it – Why did God create the world? Why am I here? In a famous Sufi lore, God replied, “I was a Hidden Treasure, and I wanted to be known.”

Like a mirror placed before an incomparable and blinding beauty, the natural state of the world of Men and Djinn is prostrating before the Creator – reflecting upon Allah Almighty, to acknowledge, to praise and to worship Him in His immeasurable Glory, Light and infinite Mercy.

In the holy Quran, Allah (swt) expresses Himself unequivocally thus -

“I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.”
(Quran 51:56, Marmaduke Pickthall)

May we be the mirrors we are meant to be, sunshine, to negate our own ego’s rampant vanity and to complete the divine equation of Love, Beauty and Adoration. To be quite honest here, It is not the easiest algorithm to solve but it is the most enchanting mystery that any student may commit his life and death to uncover!

20151229011502_resizedThe Rose & The Mirror II
A mirror cannot adore a rose
If it persists in thinking
Itself to be the rose.
One must be adored
And the other must be the mirror.
One must be God,
And the other the worshipper.
……

May we always be supported by Allah (swt) and His Beloved Muhammad Sayyidina Mahsusun Bilmajid (sws). For the wandering soul there is no happier or safer way than this path revealed by AllahuFattah (God the Opener, the Revealer).

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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 TWO ARROWS – The Servant & The Lord

IMG_20170120_101006_resizedTHE TWO ARROWS
Two arrows fly from the servant,
But only one can fit the spot,
Which arrow will represent the rebellion?
Which arrow will represent the Lord?
……….

IMG_20170112_124539_resizedAL-QAHHAR. It does not matter, you know. However stubborn our ego, however beguiling the whispers of the enemy, however well we plan our rebellion against His dictate, we simply cannot win against Allah Almighty. Just like the two arrows vying for the bullseye, only one can win the honour, and the other must, naturally, perish, annihilated utterly in the uncompromising unveiling of God in His Attribute and Divine Name of al Qahhar, the Conqueror, the Ever-Dominant.

But human nature is prone to such foolishness, and often we embark on this most futile of quests – to disobey His law, to ignore the admonishments and warnings from His prophets and saints. To what end but to guarantee our own hardship, suffering, frustration and sorrow.

May we avert our gaze from pursuing such mindless course of self-destruction. Rather, may we be guided and reassured by the Lamp of God, Nabi Muhammad Sayyidina Siraj (sws) to be mindful of His Eternal Kingdom, and approach the Divine Presence like the flight of an arrow, flying from the bow of patience and servanthood.IMG_20170311_110843_resized

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

LOVE DIVINE, BY MINE (Part 4 of 4)

20150504_072235In Perfect Sympathy with the Symphony of Creation
Every colour in autumn, every scent of your summer,
Every snowfall in winter, every rainbow of your spring,
Every blush upon your cheek, every smile in the night,
Every sigh and broken wing, every dove in flight,
Everything that can possibly be
And everything that is impossible
Is spelling out, crying out;
Love, Love, oh Love Incredible,
Love, Love oh Love Divine,
Thus make me Yours, tenderly and gently
And make Your Love forever mine.
…………..

It is easy to record such words and vows of undying love. And a whole world entirely to prove it. And that is what our Beloved Lord has exactly done. To create a whole world and infinite worlds to prove His Love. The completion of His incomparable Grace and Generosity to His servants.

And as old Rumi says, if we find anything wrong with this world, then certainly, it is not the fault of the world nor its Creator, rather, we are looking at the world through a broken mirror, cracked and stained by our mortal shortcomings. A matter that, sadly, I am all too familiar with.

230But the day has not ended, my love. Our heart is still beating. Let us find the best path so that each breath we take and exhale resonates with the music of Creation – by being in utter submission to the Creator, in perfect sympathy with the Symphony of Creation, as the honoured children of Adam (as) and most favoured Muhammad’s (sws) loyal nation.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

LOVE DIVINE, BE MINE (Part 3 of 4)

old_sailing_ship_in_ocean_at_night_biggerTell Me, o’ Allah
Thus every shadow in the night,
Every wake of the ships that sail
Across my moonlit sea
Is disclosing Your Truth to me
However far is the captain’s course,
So please assure me, o’ Allah,
That this journey must be
And this crossing is Yours eternally…
………

Not a leaf in a forest, not a dew drop in a mist, not a ray of light from a star that is shining which does not speak to the seeker of the Sought. The seeker being you and me, and the Sought being the only One worthy of our undying attention and love – Allah Almighty, Lord Creator of the Worlds.

Camera 360Any other interpretation of the purpose of our birth is a disastrous detour to distraction and possibly even the destruction of our temporal happiness. Alas, we learn this often only in our greying years, as we look upon the young,  tolerating the same mistakes we did when we were young, despite our stumbling counsel and advice.

Such is life, youth and the coming of old age – Each phase acting its way through to the end like a well scripted play. Perhaps the important thing is knowing there is in fact an end, and that end is a homecoming to  Allah All-Loving, the Friend of Friends, the Guardian Beyond Approach, the Essence of Whom is Incomparable Greatness, and Whose Beloved is the very beacon of all His Creation – our boundless Prophet Muhammad (sws).

Wonderfully operatic and grand, yes? And yet intimately… masyaAllah… more gentle and tender than the kindest human mother with her baby.

Does this not please you, sunshine? Believe! (Go to Part 1 or Part 2)

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

LOVE DIVINE, BE MINE (Part 1 of 4)

Slide1The Reason
Thus Allah the Author of Love
Has spread His Word in Creation
Through pages and pages and pages
Of a story, ancient and true,
A tale bound in Love’s splendid hymn,
Affirming His endless Compassion
And boundless Mercy for you.
……….

A little Maths. If you desire to know how much Allah Almighty loves you, look in yourself and count and ponder over every cell that forms your physical body. Then look outwards to the Universe and count every single atom and sub-atomic particle, every single grain of sand, every star in the cosmos and every rain drop that falls in your world. Count the people, past and present, the animals and plants and all living and non-sentient creation of God. Then look past this temporal world and witness the infinite spiritual reality that lies beyond our eyes, and count everything therein, from angels, other heavenly beings and the numberless celestial places that exist in that realm. Then multiply the aggregate sum you have already counted by the number of worlds that Allah has created and is recreating parallel to our world. What is your final tally?

Perhaps only then you are beginning to scratch the surface of Allah’s love for all His Creation, and above all, for humanity of all colour, race and creed. In the final scripture delivered by the Seal of His Prophets, Muhammad Sayyidina Khatamul Anbiya (sws), Allah (swt) says -

“wa laqad karamna bani Adam”
– And We have certainly honoured the children of Adam
(Holy Quran 17:70)

And that includes you, sunshine.

Are you not pleased with your Lord? Have you found any other love comparable to Him? Reflect,  o’ believers!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

189544_10150131906520665_605025664_6907033_1654742_nHate 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

EVERY TREMOR OF YOUR HEART HE FEELS – of death, love & separation

226330_10150169952279023_4175171_nWhere My Mother Is
I am missing a breath
With every beat of my heart
Since the day you breathed your last,

Since you skipped any more tomorrows
I am living half of my life in the past
And the other half in a sweet sorrow.

Even as people see me living,
I know that I am in truth only dreaming,
And through the window of my soul
I am sadly peering,

To where my mother is,
To where my brother is,
In a beautiful peace.
……….

This is the first observation, and I dare say a sentiment shared by anyone whose loved ones have arrived there in the Hereafter after our short stint in this world. Our departed father or mother, our sister or brother, our  beloved kin or friends, they have all discarded this vessel of clay and water that we presently continue to animate.

And this is the second observation…

1239623_10200377345066459_319749956_nWhole Once Again
The wound is as fresh as the day
Your sweet eyes closed never to open again,

And this separation remains as poignant as
The joyful expectancy to be with you,
When finally, finally… finally…

I am made whole once again.
……...

Along this thread I came across a third observation, and this is it – If we bumbling clowns of humanity can feel such profound sorrow in separation and the bittersweet expectation of a reunion with our dearly departed, how do we reckon God Almighty feels when we are cast into this world through the womb of our mothers?

Even as the Almighty knows the fate of every star, every atom and every living soul?

For I do believe Allah feels. And as His Prophet Muhammad (sws) is known as Sayyidina Harisun Alaykum (sws) – ‘He Who Is Anxious Over You’, do we think his Lord Almighty is unfeeling? Uncaring?

26062011446-2So have faith in Allah’s plan, my love, and in the temporary absence of our dearly departed. For every tremor of your heart, every sigh of separation, every tear that escapes your eyes He feels. In a manner and nearness that you can barely fathom…

Believe me!

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