Tag Archives: maqam

MUSE, MAKER, THE END OF ALL SURMISE

Camera 360My Only Homecoming
I am captivated by Your signs
Bur wonder… how long shall I
Be traveling? To wander this world,
To explore the connections
And signs of You
But to never find You?

I am not claiming that I deserve You
But then You made me and I am Yours,
So is there in truth
Any other homecoming
For me but to You?
………

A few nights ago, I was bemused to hear two simultaneous Azans (call to prayers). One came from my phone with its prayer times app, while the other came ‘live’ from my neighbourhood mosque.

5451_109180257843_543202843_2382546_7545878_nI don’t know why but I was deeply affected by the beauty of the two Azans. They just felt overwhelming, coursing through the air like some cosmic signal being beamed from a divine radio station heaven somewhere beautiful. But then, quite by surprise, a poignant thought came to me…

The End of Surmise
Beautiful songs… But when will I meet the Muse?
Beautiful signs… But when shall I see the Maker?
Beauty, beauty, beauty everywhere
But when will I ever
Meet the End of all my surmise?
………

It was a moment both sweet and sad. I really don’t know how else to explain.

Do you, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

SERENITY …and the true measure of God’s generosity

IMG_20161012_233611Serenity
My Lord, I have seen too many things
That I wish to un-see and forget,

So let the last sight I behold
Be Your Beloved in all his serenity,

For surely such a blessing will wash away
All the bad and its memory,
All the mad and its ugly,

And leave me in sweet anticipation
For Your Beloved in Your mercy ocean.
………

WE ARE IN NEED. My love, I am weary. My beautiful sunshine, I am not myself. I want to rid myself of this hurt and hatefulness, of this stifling hubris that is taunting me like a spirit caged. I have seen too many bad things, you see, and I need to wash my eyes.

SO LET’S NOT BE SHY, And surely it is not time to be reticent in our desire for the Prophet Muhammad (sws)! Not when Allah (swt) has blessed us with Nabi Muhammad Sayyidina Nabiyyur Rahma (sws), the Prophet of Mercy to all of Creation in its unfathomable entirety.

The Generous One
The Generosity of Allah
Is not counted by the gold, silver and gems
In the earth, nor the trees and valleys,
The meadows and the surrounding hills.

The Generosity of Allah
Is not counted by the numberless stars in the night sky,
Nor in the schools of fishes swimming in the sea,

The Generosity of Allah
Is not counted by the health you enjoy,
The wealth that surrounds you,
Nor by your spouse and children.

The Generosity of Allah
Is counted and most exalted
Because He desires to share Muhammad,
His Own Beloved, with you and all nations.
………..

largeSo stay awhile and close your eyes, my love. Open your heart and help me ask God Almighty for this gift – to see our most caring Nabi Muhammad Sayyidina Hafiy (sws), the loving and welcoming prophet of the End of Days!

Which is fitting since is there really any better way to end our own days?

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

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

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

NO IF NO MAYBE – something in the air of Persia

20151229233159_resizedLove’s Treasury in the Ocean of Mercy
If you are given the key
To Love’s treasury,
You cannot claim poverty

If you are already swimming
In His Ocean of Mercy,
Forbidden to you
Are the words ‘if only’
And ‘if maybe’.
……………

20151229235222_resizedI have returned after a one week break in Iran, basically staying in Tehran and making short trips to Esfahan and Shiraz. After visiting the Maqams (shrines) of the sufi poets Hafiz and Ruzbihan, you may have expected words to flow like a flood. That however did not happen – On the first week of my return, poor Notrumi suffered from a lengthy fever. And on this second week, it is no physical fever that is consuming me, but something else. And it is unsettling my mind, because it is taking away from me the comfort of all the rationales, pretext and excuses that my mind has crafted for me all this while. What was it?

Something
There is something in the air of Persia,
Among the tombs of saints and poets,
Among the enduring roses,
There is something hanging in the air
Among the curious onlookers,
Among the distraught,
Among the believers,
There is something…, I just know it.
Is that You,
o’ God?
……

20151229011502_resizedYes, sunshine. Comfort of a deceptive and ultimately, destructive kind. But tell that to a drug addict. So pray for me, for I am in need of your prayers and best wishes like never before. I want to quit my addiction to my mind’s reasoned excuses. No more ifs. No more maybes. wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Your Prayers Matter. You Matter.

226330_10150169952279023_4175171_nMemories Past and Future
Life is all about memories,
Memories with your kin and friends,
Memories of days you wish would never end,
Memories of days that could not end sooner,
Memories of tears and laughter,
Draughts of happiness and regret,
Cups of joy and bitters served
That we will never forget…

And for the future?
All our plans and hopes of making more memories…

So what is the present
But a transient moment awake
Between memories we already have and
Memories we plan to make?
……………

Content = Memories. Life is all about generating content. And these contents are commonly known as memories. I would like to write more, but I am late for my prayers and I wish to create a memory tonight with God. Good people do it all the time without even thinking about it, perhaps coming to them as easily as breathing. But Notrumi is a sinner and have not had much practice. So I shall pray now. And will you also pray that I am making sweet memories with our Lord?

Allah gives and gives and gives divine sweetness from His Love, and this does not reduced or diminished your own portion that He has promised you since pre-eternal. So please pray for this poor sinner in this Holy Month and surely Allah Almighty will give you more in return!

5451_109180257843_543202843_2382546_7545878_nYou matter. I know how  wonderful you are, sunshine, and your prayers will be like tokens of hope strung as starlit pearls across the cosmos of my most wishful dreams and the nights of my most dreadful nightmares. So don’t let your blaming ego persuade you otherwise! Your prayers matter. You matter. You matter to your father and mother, you matter to your brothers and sisters, and you matter to all your memories present and future…

Believe me.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Ramadhan with Kuntum the Pet Baby Elephant

Kuntum3Mr. Ali, thinks himself highly analytical and perceptive, often getting riled and bothered reading the postings, comments and replies on Facebook – especially when he comes across the self-appointed social commentators, moralizing guardians of right and wrong and other assorted do-gooders. In his indignation however, he often comes close to mimicking those whom he disapproves of. Fortunately, dear Kuntum, like most baby elephants, is always there to remind Mr. Ali that however self aware he may be, there is always another level for him to aspire to.

I think Mr. Ali is lucky to have a pet baby elephant like Kuntum.

Don’t you agree, sunshine?

He he he.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Gutter Beauty

20150614_080903_resizedGutter Beauty
I found her by the gutter,
Bowing down before me, a delicate flower,
And she said to me, “To contemplate beauty,
One must submit and surrender,
For one seeking true understanding, there is no way better.”
……………….

Like any discipline, science or art, there is the wrong way, the right way and the best way to appreciate beauty. And as we continue our days here on planet Earth, we are (hopefully) making our way through the different stations of adab (good manners) of appreciating beauty, towards the impossibly high (and frankly, unattainable) adab of our Prophet Muhammad (saws).

For we are assured that the maqam (spiritual station) of the Prophet (saws) is continuously rising, continuously improving, continuously nourished, sustained and raised ever higher, ever nobler, ever more beloved, simply because the Beloved (saws) is beloved by God Himself, He Who Loves best of all, who ennobles and graces His love in infinite ways and degrees.

And yet here we are, denizens of the gutter, being called by our Prophet (saws) to share in His Love – to partake from the River of Love that flows from Ahad to Ahmad, from the Loving to the Beloved.

And that is a beautiful thing to appreciate in zahir (form) and in batin (essence)!

Don’t you agree, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way