Tag Archives: reality

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

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

THE PROMISED SACRED INTIMACY… and the discarding of me

dark-room-light-through-window-hunched-man1Discarding Me in the Promised Sacred Intimacy
When I am reciting,
I am not listening,
Nor am I actually talking…

So to whom am I supposed to be talking?
And whom am I supposed to be listening to?
O’ Love, it must be You, it must be You…
O’ Love, inspire me to
Your frequency
To discard the deception of me…
Of my enterprising in anything,
In Your Promised
Sacred Intimacy.
……….

IMG_20131111_205650Beggar Sinner. We are asking for the best from the Giver of Gifts, the Bestower of Honour that is our Lord Allah (swt). Not because we are the best or any good really, but because we want to be counted in the nation of the Best of Creation, being none other than the Prophet Muhammad (saws). For ourselves, masya Allah, we know we amount for nothing, but we are informed by our Prophet (saws) that God’s Mercy is greater than our sins and (ironically) we imagine that His gifts for those who struggle towards Him is so magnificent to be beyond the little horizons of our imagination.

Impertinent beggar, impudent sinner… honestly that is me. And I am holding my begging bowl that is my two open hands asking for the gift of intimacy with the Heavenly presence. Shameful but ever hopeful, I turn to our Lord again and again, as He reveals with every little unveiling of the heart, His Sublime Love and Grace which enamours our very being – leaving us again and again gasping with sorrowful regret and tearful gratitude…

Oh No!
Again and again,
I come to Thee as Me,
The shame of it all!
The shame of it all!
………

Though we are patently undeserving in merit, we ask Allah (swt), by His divine love for the Habibullah (Beloved of God) Sayyidina Muhammad Miftahur Rahman (saws), to forgive us of all our sins, to accept our poor expression of thankfulness and to welcome us to the Promised Sacred Intimacy between the Lord and His Servant.

10544-497-497wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

O’ LOVE, AWAKE! … knocking on God’s door of forgiveness, hope and gratitude

20150804123718_resizedO’ Love, Awake!
She is kind,
If only she knew how kind You are,

She is forgiving,
If only she knew what You are willing to forgive,

She is generous,
If only she knew what You are planning to give,

She is patient,
If only She knew that You are waiting for her still,

She is beautiful,
If only she can see Your ocean of beauty,

She is lovely,
If only she will step into the loveliness of Your sea,

She is engaging,
If she only knew You, my Lord,
She will not want to miss a thing,

Not a single moment would she forsake
In her journey towards You,

So speak to her Your Words, my Lord…
“o’ Love, Awake!”
………….

ffsfsMay Allah (swt) bestow upon us such favours as He had bestowed upon His faithful servants before us, though by our own merit we know we are not worthy. Thus we are speaking to God in the name of His Beloved Muhammad, Sayyidina Habibullah (saws). We acknowledge our meagre charity and our next-to-nothing piety, but we are here at the Lord’s Door of Forgiveness and Hope, seeking His forgiveness, saying unto Him that we have hope in His Kindness and His Love.

Then we find ourselves at His Door of Gratitude, because we are giving thanks for all that He has granted us and will grant us. For the Most Grateful is one of His ninety-nine known attributes, Allah the Most Appreciative, the One who best rewards His servants …AllahuShakur, AllahuShakur, AllahuShakur…

What irony, that even in seeking expressions of our gratitude to Him, we seek His help. Such is our beggarly conditions, and such is the intimacy He is offering to the Nation of His Beloved… the nation of the glorious guide that is His Nabi Muhammad (saws).

Take my words to your heart,
For the mind is a sterile soil,
A naked soul to be dressed
From head to toe
In the Light of Love.

So be well pleased and grateful, sunshine. wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

TO EACH UPON HIS OWN LANE, AT HIS OWN SPEED …ON THE HIGHWAY TO GOD

IMG_20160525_155746_resizedSpeed
We are crawling,
Many are walking,
Some are running,
For a few,
They fly!

Of these travellers,
Of whom are you?
………..

To each, his/her own path – Travelling at the speed approximated for them by their Shaykhs (Spiritual masters). So really, I ought not to complain if someone is moving slowly, nor should I be bitter at someone passing me by. But by God, I am! Pray for me, sunshine.

I suspect that there are some who appear not to be moving at all, but in truth, have already reached their destination. Or perhaps they only appear to be still, when in fact, their inner state is blazing through the cosmic consciousness like a comet of faith. After all, how would I know and who am I to judge a book by its cover. And even if I do open the book, how do we know   that we have read the story till its very end – as the person on which the book is based is still very much alive!? In any event, we ourselves may be misguided because the dictionary by which we interpret the words in the book is not the same as used by the person we are assessing.

He he he. ‘Assessing‘. It’s a more politically correct word for ‘judging’. So don’t assess anyone, sunshine! Not even me. But let us never rest assessing / judging ourselves, every breath, every words that spill from our lips, every action and omission, every stumbling negligence.

It is upon this daily assessment and reassessment, do we refine our crude blundering way towards Allah swt. And as always, we ask Allah Almighty to inspire us the words, the actions and the manners to bring us closer to Him and as always, through the blessings of the Prophet Muhammad (saws), our Master Guide, the Lamp of Mercy that shines upon all of God’s creation, upon every angel, man, woman and child, from the little ants that crawl under the earth to the seven heavens wherein the good will forever abide.

Don’t fret, sunshine. We are all moving towards the same destination, knowingly or unknowingly! So let us be pleased with the speed we are travelling and with the speed that others are moving. To each upon his own lane, at his own speed  …on the Highway to God. 1405_10153458985924023_7768209619511137782_n

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE MAP OF THE HUMAN HEART – Naqsh

ffsfsThe Map to the Heart
I found the map to my heart
In the path of tears
Shed by my mother,

I found the map to my heart
In the dawn route from
My home to my mosque,
…………

Life is like that. We think we know who we are. We think we know the working and intricacies of our heart. After all, it is our own heart. But the hair on our body is ours too, yet does anybody know how many strands of hair cover our body? Even this basic information, we normally do not know. To understand your heart, you need first to find your way there.

wallpaper-2997540It is important to realise our own ignorance and meagre knowledge, for Allah (swt) is ever so generous and guiding to those sincere in their humble state as His helpless servants. For the prideful, Allah desires to give also, but they are so consumed by hubris that they cannot distinguish between divine inspiration and the trickery of their own ego. A divinely published map and a dedication bordering on bloody-mindedness to get to your destination is an irreplaceable tool to overcome the roadside distractions and temptations you will encounter in your journey. Otherwise, it’s curtains, sunshine.

But let us assume for our story that by the Grace of God, you succeed and find yourself there, in your own heart. What is there?

The Map of the Heart
And when I finally arrived,
In my heart I saw a map;
It was full of avenues, shortcuts,
scenic routes, highways, trails and bridges,
Engraved like a secret across
The plains of my heart…

A world waiting to be explored,
A heart waiting to be filled
With remembrance of

Ahad… Ahmad… Ahad… Ahmad…
…………..

May we find solace in the remembrance of God Almighty, with, through and by the blessed guidance of the Prophet of God, Sayyidina Muhammad (saws). This ought not to be a foreign thing to us, it ought to be the most natural thing for us to do, just like breathing. Don’t you agree? Of course you do, my love.

226330_10150169952279023_4175171_nwa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

AN AFFECTIONATE LIGHT

189544_10150131906520665_605025664_6907033_1654742_nThe Affectionate Light
Nothing is certain
But the shore and the ocean,

Not the breath we anticipate,
Nor the promised date,
Not the best of plans
Ever devised by men,
Nor the sweetest promise
Beheld in a kiss,

Thus two things to me still remains true,

First, that the shore is married to the sea, eternally

And second… in my heart
It is still all of you.
Beside all of me.

And I think, my love,
That is how
I wish it
Forever to be.
…………..

Sometimes even Notrumi finds it hard to put into words, matters that are forever twitching the strings of his guitar-shaped heart.

Have a beautiful Friday, sunshine. For myself, I am waiting for an affectionate light, here deep in the forest of my Lord…

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam - Love will show the Way

IMG

THE SECRET ERROR & A LOVE INCOMPARABLE – all found in a knot

shoelaces-tied-togetherThe Knot of God
I found my hidden error
In the knot of my shoelace,

Thinking, assuming I can attend
To such menial tasks on my own accord,
While reserving only exalted matters
For the attention of our loving God.
………….

PRAYING FOR STUFFS. We should ask God for stuffs. He insists on it. So I wish to do my part in the divine plan and often beseech our Lord Creator for the good stuffs – You know, redemption, divine forgiveness, entrance into heaven, to be raised in His divine presence as part of the Nation of Muhammad. Indeed, my God inbox encompasses even worldly items, such as a better car, a wife, a daughter (comes after wife), a nice cottage-like house of wood and stone with a respectable piece of land surrounding it. Why, I even ask for good health and a fully-functioning brain. Wonderful and important stuffs, you see. All these I ask of God.

But one night, quite unexpectedly, my friend Munim recalled his Maulana (master) saying that, “Even in tying our shoelaces we must ask help from God!

TRIVIAL PURSUITS. Then it struck me! An epiphany. For all 46 years of my life, I have generally prayed to God to attend matters of critical importance such as elaborated in the first paragraph. Surely I thought, we should only bother God in respect of life-changing and fundamental issues such as health, work, studies, marriage, love, wealth and of course, eternal life. Surely, our everyday menial tasks like sitting and standing and walking, tying our shoelace, opening a drawer or taking out the garbage are not matters to be raised in communion with the Divine. SURELY, such matters can be attended by us on our own accord with our own will, ability and strength! No need at all to bother the transcendental Almighty God in such trivial pursuits.

MIND YOUR BELIEF? And therein lies my error, now so manifest in my eyes that have been blind for so long. Of course, I know already at an intellectual level that we NEED God’s divine sustenance for every breath that we inhale and exhale, for every thought and fancy that passes through what we hastily call our ‘intelligence’ and ‘reason’. But the mind alone cannot sustain such a belief. In the face of temptation and distraction of our base desires, our ego and the devil, only our heart offers real sanctuary. Ergo, the mystics’ timeworn obsession with purification of the heart.

Knot of Divine Love 2THE AFFECTIONATE & LOVING GOD. But alhamdulillah (all praise to God), once we realise the deception of our ‘independence’ and ‘self-reliance’, then the Light of Allah (swt), splendidly reflected through the NurMuhammad (Light of Muhammad) may manifest itself as the sweetest knowledge in the sea of divine sweetness – To know with heartfelt yakin (certainty) that such is the overwhelming and intimate love coming from Allah Almighty that He desires to be involved and remembered in EVERY SINGLE moment of our life. For in the sight of your Lord, there is nothing trivial about anything. Everything, from you and me, to the smallest and furthest sub-atomic particle whirling in the edge of the Universe is given its due of from His Ocean of Majestic Love.  Allah’s Love is not mortal. Indeed, it is not even Infinite or Eternal, such words being mere crude implements in the transmission of divine understanding. Ultimately, Love of Allah may only be known by knowing Allah, by His name of al Wadud (the Affectionate / Loving), and His expression of love that is both tongue-silencing and mind-breaking…

HIS APOSTLE. And the best, straightest and safest way towards knowing Allah (swt) is through Islam as manifested in the perfection of humanity – our own beloved Nabi Muhammad Sayyidina Miftahur Rahman (saws). This Prophet (saws) is perfected in his inner and outer aspect, rendering divine service to the world as a servant of God, while in a constant state of effacement in the Divine Presence of Allah (swt) – seeing only one reality, the singular Haqq (Truth) – that the Lord is indeed the Lord, and we are His servants in utter dependence to Him 24/7. And what the Prophet Muhammad (saws) is, we are taught to desire above all else.

The Knot of God II
I found my God
When I unraveled the knot
Of my independence.
………….

But please, find out for yourself the veracity of what is written here. After all, I am just a sinner with a gift (or curse) for colourful verbiage.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

TWO QUESTIONS… AND WHY MARX’S OBSERVATIONS CAN BE CORRECT.

artflow_201510221840Divine Insult?
You say I have insulted God,
I say you feel insulted that
My idea of God does not conform with yours.

So it is not about God at all,
But really all about you.
……………

As we ask others to act, we too must act in the same manner. But I am afraid, far too often, we are blinded by our hubris, thinking and acting as if we own God…

Divine Ruse?
Have we turned our religion into a veil;
A mask of hubris?
Have we turned our religion into an excuse;
A one-size-fit-all pretext?
Have we turned our religion into a drug;
An exit from reality?
………….

For you see Karl Marx was right, and that certainly, religion can be an opiate for the masses. And it takes but a little inclination to our ego and base desires to turn that ‘can‘ into an embarrassingly apparent ‘is‘, perhaps a fitting epithet ‘I-told-you-so!’ that can be carved on his tombstone. But like almost everything in Creation, it is for us to choose how we exercise our religion, how to be part of a civilised society, and perhaps make a small step, a little change for the better, one soul at a time.

And I don’t know about you, but I wish to begin with my own wicked self. Upon the path set by our Nabi Muhammad (saws) – A human example of servanthood created by Divine Compassion, that we erring humanity might learn and follow, however stumbling and however long our journey may be, towards the Divine Presence.

So pray for me, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

WHAT YOU THINK IS GOOD, IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE BETTER

IMG_20131111_205815God, Good, Better
God is good,
Good is God,
But however good we imagine God can be,
 God will always be better.
………

EVERYTHING. Any emotion that we have ever felt, everything that we have ever seen or heard, eaten or touched, cared for or loved, all its value is dependent upon our understanding of the varying experiences.

ALPHA TO OMEGA. For He has created it all, that we might learn of Him, that we may hear whispers of His Mercy and Beauty, and that we may be struck dumb by the heavenly trumpets of His Awe-inspiring Greatness. His plans are both cosmic and gentle. And at every bend of the music, He is playing an enchanting prose for us. He is the One, in absolute perfect control of the music, from the alpha to the omega of our existence. We need only listen, and dance accordingly.

IMG_20150912_123014_resizedMEANINGS THAT GETS BETTER AND BETTER. So says people of reflection – the value of a thing is in its meaning. The value of everything is in its meaning. So find yourself the best dictionary to chart your journey through this world of meanings. But what is perhaps truly fascinating is that the meanings and definitions contained in such a book does not stay fixed and static. It changes progressively and improves over time, each step we take in our journey towards God and His Beloved (saws),  This is not merely a milestone to mark God’s absolute awesomeness. Rather, it is an assurance to us that however kind, loving, merciful and generous our mind may imagine God to be, God shall always be better than that …for our sakes.

OUR GOD IS NOT OUR GOOD. Some people may think this is, like, so obvious. But it isn’t. Because we often equate our God to our good and we judge people accordingly. When the truth is God is better, indeed greater than our good, however saintly we claim to be. So perhaps we should not be so hasty in judging, lest we display our shortcomings and ignorance. Ooh… I have fallen into such traps, many, many, many times! May Allah forgive me and bless you.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way