Tag Archives: questions and answers

THE GREATEST GIFT FROM GOD

20150804123718_resizedThe one & the one to be blame
In the kingdom of love,
A sin is a sin even if
You are not to be blamed.

For in the Kingdom of Love
Where the Lord is King,
Who else can be blamed
But he to whom
Belongs your
Name?
………..

Just Say Sorry. If you are familiar with romantic love and perhaps even married life, how often have you found yourself admitting to things which were not your fault? How many times have you, through gritted teeth, spoken those three magical words “I am sorry” and “Please forgive me“, while holding down your rebellious reason aching to correct your beloved’s misconception and holler, “But it is NOT my fault!

He he he. You know what I mean.

god 2But who is the one actually fond of blaming others? Now consider your entire life. Indeed, your very creation, and how you relate to God Almighty. For Allah (swt) has made it abundantly clear that He makes no mistakes, He is furthest from any concept of error, perfect in every action that He does or permits to happen, and perfect in every absence or omission that He prevails upon us. Yes, of course some bad things do occur through a third party machinations, say a burglar or a traitorous friend. But even then, it would not have happened had not Allah Almighty permitted the burglary or betrayal to happen. So do we blame God then, like how lawyers call Force Majeure as Acts of God, like flood, earthquakes and droughts?

Yes, we do. You know what I mean. We blame God a lot. Perhaps not spoken, but secretly whispered in our soul by our finger-pointing ego. And perhaps no one else can hear them, but do you think you can hide your feelings from our Creator?

So you see, all this judging and placing the blame is very much a part of our selves. Our rationale mind, subtly manipulated by our ego are always eager to place blame for everything bad that happens… so long as someone else is the one to be blamed, even God. And if you study the underlying causes in the rise of atheism especially in the West, the perception that God is somehow the cause of great evil upon us at a very personal level is one major factor in turning a man’s belief into disbelief. Sad but true.

mountain-climber-silhouette2THE GREATEST GIFT. How fortunate are we then, my love, that we have been blessed to stumble into saints who are tirelessly guiding mankind towards the true perception of Allah (swt) in All His Loving Attributes. And although we have done nothing to deserve Allah’s generosity He has sworn upon His own Name that He is the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, Most Generous and Most Loving for his creation – the most manifest evidence of His generosity and eternal concern for us being nothing and no one else but the prophethood of His Beloved, Nabi Muhammad Sayyidina Habibullah Harisun Alaykum (sws), divinely ordained to be our master and guardian, and to watch over us constantly, 24/7.

By the proof of such divine kindness, o’ Lord, how else shall we approach Thee but through the Door of Witnessing and the Door of Forgiveness?

There is so much to learn, you see, in the intimacies of mortal love, and its direct analogies to the Divine Presence and Divine Love. Through such lessons, may Allah (swt) permit us to endear ourselves to His Pleasure by being in the company of the One He Loves the Most, our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sayyidina Nabiyit Taubah, the Prophet of Repentance (sws).

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

STILL, VERY MUCH…

nonStill, Very Much
Thank you my love,
Coming to me in my dream,
Thank you my love,
Soothing my aching wound,
Calling me beautiful
When my actions are ugly,
Calling me trustworthy
When I am the promise breaker,
Calling me a friend, a saviour, a lover
When all the world has denounced me.

Thank you, my love
For coming into my dream
And waking me from the nightmare
Of my own making.

Telling me that I am like no other,
Saying to me, that to you
I am still, very much
Special.
…………

This is a love poem. Such things come spiralling like words fluttering in the wind of your conscience, yearning for God, yearning for home, calling for those truths that once pervade your life like popsicles, bicycles and sun rays caught in a late autumn drizzle. Perhaps it is time to rewind, to unwind the coils of our own self destruction, and to find the real you and me that has always been there, waiting patiently.rain-girl

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

MUHAMMAD… Does His Light Not Shine Bright?

artflow_201609031916At The Best of Time. When we die, my love, as all things created must, we shall die God willing, at the best of time. Not a moment too soon, and not a moment too late. We shall not overstay our welcome here in this world, nor shall we leave without anything undone in this reality that needs to be done.

But however long that Allah (swt) desires us to live, will it suffice to learn all we need to learn?

Limitless, the Prophet
But if Fate would have
Me live for a century
Or for one thousand years,
Will any age suffice
To encompass the knowledge
About the Prophet
Muhammad?
………..

We found this thought preying upon me and my friend, Haji Mahmud earlier this morning. We are the poorest of companions, I fear, always turning to the beautiful red strings that knots the stories we are listening to, mostly about Allah (swt) and His Habibullah (sws). But who are we to speak of such things?

Muhammad & His Light
If I could give voice to what I feel, what songs can I sing?
If I could share everything that I feel, what stories will I tell?
If I could have my pen and paper, what books may I write?
When the darkness of my sins covers me,
Is his name not the light?
Does his light not shine bright?
………..

Good night, my love. Your humble chronicler here wishes to sleep. To see the bright lights that appear to shine from a horizon in the hereafter. It is not far and it is a homecoming dearly yearned for.IMG_20131111_205650

Wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE ZEN OF IRON … between supernovae, faith and black magic

metals1The Zen of Iron
The molten iron filling into the mould
Asks no questions as to the form
It is taking.
……

Explosion of planet or starSUPERNOVAE. Do you know that not a single atom of iron can be produced by any natural event on this spaceship Earth? Yeah, every single atom of iron in whatever form it is in, many, many, many eons ago was born in the super hot centre of a star, just prior to the star perishing in a supernova explosion, scattering radioactive nickel (nickel-56, which decays into the most common isotope of iron) across the universe.

Iron is the most common element on Earth, forming a large part of the Earth’s outer and inner core, and the fourth most common element on the planetary outer crust (courtesy of Wikipedia), it is therefore not surprising that iron also exists in large amounts within bio organisms. And when you escape out into space, there is no escaping iron, for the terrifying meteorites flying perilously close to your spaceship are also made out of predominantly iron and nickel, in a very dense mass. That is why a meteorite will be a lot heavier than a similar-sized rock or stone.

IRON & ISLAM. The close relationship of the element iron in islam is exemplified by the 57th surah (chapter) of the Holy Quran being named as surah al-Hadid (The Iron). It is not a very long chapter, totalling only 29 verses. But in the oft-quoted 4th and 25th verses of the chapter, the celestial origin of iron is elaborated, many centuries before modern scientific understanding of iron;

“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and is moreover firmly established on the Throne (of Authority). He knows what enters within the earth and what comes forth out of it, what comes down from heaven and what mounts up to it. And He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah sees well all that ye do.” (al-Quran 57:4, Yusuf Ali)

“We sent aforetime our messengers with Clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of Right and Wrong), that men may stand forth in justice; and We sent down Iron, in which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help, Unseen, Him and His messengers: For Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might (and able to enforce His Will).” (al-Quran 57:25, Yusuf Ali)

BLACK MAGIC. Iron forms an important part of our diet, an indeed it is present in almost all living organisms (Wikipedia). It is used as tools, cutleries and ultimately as weapons and defence not only against physical attacks but also metaphysical interferences through black magic and the use of djinns.suit_of_armo_27358_md

May we be guided to remembrance and fealty to our Lord and His Messenger. Like iron, our origin is far, indeed much further than the most distant supernovae that created the element of iron in the universe. For even the furthest stars at the edge of the universe are still within the territory of this physical ego-centric world, while our origin and our home is in a wholly separate plane of ‘existence’. Perhaps in the hereafter we shall have no further need for the worldly raiments and accessories made of iron. But until such day comes to pass when we leave our physical bodies, iron will undoubtedly continue to play a key part in our every day life.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the way

EVERYTHING IS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE – from despair to happiness

beautifulhorizon1The Lord of Seasons
I turn away from the kufr of despair,
For to despair of hope,
To despair of any redemption
Is to despair of Him and His Compassion.

I turn away from the kufr of happiness,
For to be happy for any other reason,
To find joy in any other season,
Is to deny the Lord of His spring,
His summer, His autumn and His winter.

From the kufr of my own means and ability
I return to the Truth and His Reality.
……….

Beautiful-forest-natures-seasons-17593939-1024-768Sorrow and happiness. It is easy to choose which we want, right? But for the Saliqas (Seekers of Truth), things are not so black and white, not so clear. A quintillion shades of grey divide good and bad.

For the Saliqas, while happiness is certainly the best way forward, it is the value of the sorrow and joy which matters to them. Value of any experience, be it a happy moment or a bad hair day is judged simply in this way – does this bring me closer to God? Does this disclose the true nature of my purpose? Does this make me feel love and gratitude for mankind and our Creator? Does this make me want to be a better human being? A better husband? A better wife? A better daughter or a son?

woman-umbrella-rain-art1Easier said than done, right? But all is good, sunshine …all IS good (I think I am one of those patsies who believe that repeating something often enough will make it come true. He he he). It is perhaps only a question of time that the lesson is revealed – waking up with a hangover from the party last night, or with weary relief from a tearful night mourning for our lost love. Good or bad, fun or hurtful, Allahu ‘Alim (God the All-knowing, the Omniscient) makes sure that we are given the opportunity to learn something new and useful, all the time.

For the truth is, insha Allah (Godwilling), everything is a learning experience. All this from the smattering crumbs let fall by the saints from their daily communion with the Beloved of Allah, Sayyidina Muhammad Habibullah (saws). Crumbs on the floor! Crumbs on the floor! Gather them while the gathering season is still here!230

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

ASTAGHFIRULLAH, THE FRUIT FROM HEAVEN

Beautiful-forest-natures-seasons-17593939-1024-768Astaghfirullah is a common expression oft repeated daily by Muslims, often in the hundreds and not uncommonly in their thousands. If you were to google (and come on, who doesn’t?) its meaning, you may find these common translations: “I seek forgiveness from Allah“, or “I seek (the) forgiveness of Allah“, or “God, forgive me…” But our betters have unearthed from their toil more meaning of the phrase. Like a fruit of heaven that gives a different aroma and taste every time you consume it, the meaning of astaghfirullah is subtle and nuanced and many, many layers deep.  These are just some manifestations -

Astaghfirullah, the Fruit from Heaven
Astaghfirullah is the change of cloth after your attire is stained
And torn, not befitting who you truly are.
Astaghfirullah is the compass in your hand, the iron conceived in a star.
Astaghfirullah is the congregation who abide by you
No matter how lowly you secretly are.
Astaghfirullah is the God-given familiarity with sin that you have earned.
Astaghfirullah is the camel that finds you
Alone and lost, friendless and thirsty.
Astaghfirullah is each step that the camel takes, bearing you to safety.
Astaghfirullah is the task God sets you to,
From selfish piety to Godly charity.
Astaghfirullah is the cleansing Fountain of Kawthar
That purifies your action and omission.
Astaghfirullah is to learn of good and evil,
And to taste the difference.
Astaghfirullah is to see kindness in illness,
And goodness in every moment.
Astaghfirullah is to bear the burden of living,
The pain of separation.
Astaghfirullah is to learn what needs to be learned.
Astaghfirullah is to forget what needs to be forgotten.
Astaghfirullah is to be pleased with Him
And to love Him unconditionally.
Astaghfirullah is to believe in His promises and His vows.
Astaghfirullah is to adore He Who is always present,
But Who is apparently absent.

Astaghfirullah is to have a little cry,
A quiet lonely sigh.
Till He breaks the silence
And asks;

“Oh my servant, why…?”
………….

26062011446 2And finally, my love, what is astaghfirullah, but our turning to God Almighty and seeking His forgiveness for our utter inability to recount the many, infinite aspects of astaghfirullah in all its wondrous glory, beauty and mercy?

We are weak and helpless, sunshine. And thus we seek His inspiration and guidance, through our blessed Prophet Muhammad (saws) to give us the means to learn and be thankful for the countless manifestations of His Love, of which astagfirullah is but one.

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

OH, DID YOU SAY SOMETHING, GOD? SORRY. I WAS BUSY RECITING PRAYERS AT YOU.

TALK TO ME
Talk to Me,
Don’t talk at Me,
Many people do that,
Talking at Me,
But I want you
To talk to Me
And to actually care
About what I think…

To consider My views,
To listen to My replies,
And heed My assurances
And My admonitions.

You will find Me
To be the best listener
And your most trusted confidant.

So talk to Me.
………

You know this story, because you have experienced it before. Someone collars you into a private conversation. Oh, he wants to have a dialogue, you think. An exchange of ideas and experiences. What fun!

Slide3But you are sorely mistaken. The other party (be it a relative, friend, colleague or even an absolute stranger) is not actually interested in a dialogue. No, instead he begins a monologue, chattering at you about some topic or other, perhaps sharing stories of his miserable love life, or his amazing skill playing the bassoon. So you kindly respond, telling him that his body odour is a major issue, or perhaps that you don’t know a bassoon from a baboon. But his eyes glaze over, his attention apparently focused on something other than what you are saying. If you are lucky he will then leave you alone, but no, luck is not on your side today. Instead he insists on continuing his monologue, talking at you while totally disinterested with whatever reply you may have to his dissertation on romance, bassoons and other wind instruments.

This is what I am guilty of, sunshine, when I am seeking God’s attention. Many a days and nights, I have been talking at God, not to God. Chattering the verses of the Holy Quran, prayers and salawats like a spiritual gatling gun. In between the hail of hales, I thought I heard something -

“Whaa..? Did You say something, God? Oh sorry, I was too busy reciting prayers at you.”

See what our God has to deal with? Impertinent souls like your Notrumi here.

20151229233705_resizedThankfully, I am assured that God responds to our imperfect piety the way He does with every other of our imperfections – with infinite mercy and patience. With sublime gentleness and tolerance as only the Creator has for His creation. So no problem, right, amigo?

But a 70-year old friend of mine advised me; “Talk to God. It is very important, before or after or during prayers. At home, in bed, outside working or playing. Whatever you are doing at any time. You have to open a dialogue with God and keep the channels open.“ I listen to his wise words because the first time he ever really spoke to God was when he was lost adrift at sea, off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. A sudden storm at sea capsized the boat he was on and left him all alone in the big blue, far, far away from shore. He assured me that he spoke to God then. Perhaps for the first time ever in his life.

Slide1So you see, sunshine, we are just like my good buddy there. Perhaps we are not presently half-drowning in the waves of the South China Sea, but spiritually we are beset by challenges just as my friend was. Exiled deep into this world of danger and distractions. Apparently so far away from the safety of the Divine Presence, and exposed to wolves and foolish preachers. But like most of our worldly perception, we are being deceived. For God IS near. As God Himself says in His Holy Quran:-

We verily created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.
(Surah Qaf, 50:16 of the Holy Quran, Marmaduke Pickthall)

old_sailing_ship_in_ocean_at_night_biggerSo have faith in Him, my love. Speak to Him. Listen to His answers. Open a dialogue with God. This communication will be the ship that will bear your spirit safely to the sweetest homecoming you will ever experience – back to Allah Almighty, our Most beloved cherisher and sustainer. Just remember to make sure that the captain of your vessel is the Master Mariner of Mankind, the Father of Souls and Mercy to all Worlds – our own beloved Sayyidina Muhammad Mifathur Rahman (saws).

So set sail with the Prophet (saws), my friend. I will scrub the deck for you.

wa 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