Tag Archives: the ego

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

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

INTERNET ETIQUETTE – Internal Eternal Infernal

Slide2The wise are asking for divine support always… to walk down the street, to work in the fields or at our desks, to play or pray, even simply to breath. We are asking for holy guidance, for every step that we take in this world, be it physical or through the incredible invention known as the internet.

Like any tool, it can be a great help, but to any fool, who knows where the Internet will take him and what harm he may do to himself or another person. I am speaking as someone with such unfortunate experiences.

May Allah preserve our internal, by increasing our connection to the eternal, and confounding the scheming conspiracy of the infernal, in all our undertakings and enterprises. We are asking in the name and maqam (spiritual station) of God’s Sayyidina Muhammad (saw), His Guide of Guides, His Seal of the Prophets, His Mercy to all the Worlds, and yes… even in the cyber world you may find His rahmat (Divine Mercy).

Through the Prophet (saws) and our Masters, may Allah Almighty inspire us to live in honesty and certainty, that we may traverse this life and the internet safely.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Heavenly Courtesies and the Inheritors

dark-room-light-through-window-hunched-man1Movement
I have not moved an inch since birth,
It is time and the world
That pass by me so quickly,
Giving the impression of movement
While in truth I have been quite stationary.
………….

The material world is a natural world for the ego. It is designed to nurture and build our egos to pharaoh-like proportions if we are not too careful. On the other hand, this is a  world where the spirit can prove its worth, the purpose for which Allah Almighty has sent so many messengers and prophets to bring good tidings and warning for mankind, the Seal of whom is of course our beloved Nabi Muhammad (saws).

So we know that the material world is not a natural world for the spirit. Because of this the spirit contemplates physical movement many times over before committing to it, knowing well that its companion ego will take some credit. So if you think your praying movements and postures are safe, think again!

The spirit realises that of ourselves, on our own, we are unable to praise God as how He ought to be praised, unable to understand the subtle nuance of heavenly courtesies that Love demands. Barely able to even keep the rudimentary purity of ablution. So those not totally disconnected from their spirit is always looking towards Allah (swt) to guide his adab (good manners) and his condition.

The saliqas (seekers of the Truth) do this by listening to the Inheritors of the Prophet (saws). And who are they, you may ask?

122. Not Dead
Oh, my Mighty King!
I have not left my flock unattended,
I have not left any fences unmended,
I have left stars that any, if lost, may follow home.

But a cold wind is blowing,
Carrying my memories far away,
Blackness is creeping in,
And though they know how to pray,
They have left my way.

Save for my heirs and heralds,
The fulcrum of this Age,
Still toiling in their mortal cage,
Long-bearded, the white, the black and the grey,

In their hearts, evil holds no sway,
In their hearts, Your Name resonates,
In their hearts, I still live,
Not dead.
…….

169_JPGSo seek a guide of good manners, sunshine, for surely if you ask, Allah the Most Generous shall not disappoint your thirst for heavenly courtesies, to be an adept in the Court of Divine Love, and perhaps draw an approving smile from the most beautiful of creation, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws). Galaxies of stars would be in a state of annihilation, enchanted by such a gesture.

So don’t be shy, o’ saliqa. Ask!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE RIVER OF TEARS …a moment of love crystallised

yangtze-river-cruises-tours-06_leadingRiver of Tears
My greatest relief
Is a river that runs
From my bleeding heart
Through my canyon of hollow fears
Into His Mercy Ocean,

All my painful regrets,
All my broken-hearts
All my melancholy,
All my oh-miserable me!
All flow along this river
Into His Sea of Mercy.
…………

beautifulhorizon1The path of a salica (seeker), or so I am told, is a path of tears. But I am assured that tears are a necessary part of our physical life, thus why should we be nervous to cry a little for our spiritual life?

Tears shed in the spiritual path is not wasted like spilled milk.

Rather they will be counted as jewels in the garden of paradise, treasured because it was unearthed from a place most unsuited for spiritual gems, ergo, this world that we presently call home. Were it easy to find such tears, what value would it have… being just like a grain of sand in the beach? But your tears wrung from your separation and longing for Allah (swt) and His Habibullah (saws) are precious. Sublime and sincere, such a teardrop shed is…

A moment of love crystallised.

So cry, my love. And let the river of tears flow from your heart. For where it is going, by Allah, I wish to be there too!

81915029_5fbaab5a64You have take me with you, you know, because I believe I have not cried enough for my salvation. Be for me always and don’t leave me to the caprice of my ego, my nafs (base desires) or the accursed one. If you lead, I will surely follow, and if not worthy to be your friend, then I will shadow you as a companionable pet dog. Woof! Woof!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

SHOW ME HOW… when my vessel is full and fully formed

Slide1The Vessel 
My vessel is full,
How will I receive
Any more knowledge?

Thus I emptied
My vessel of all my
Preconceptions…
……

Ilm (Knowledge). And here we are, my love. At the beginning of the beginning. The threshold for all lovers and seekers of the true reality of Truth and Love. Here we are asked to set aside our preconceived notions of faith, of God and all other thoughts that have led us here to the door of a master. After all, why are we keeping the very things that we are running away from? May Allah (swt) show us the error of our rampant ego and guide us to distinguish our heart and akal (intellect) from the deceiving whispers of our ego, nafs (base desires) and the devil, cursed enemy of all humanity. May Allah Almighty accept our prayers as ikhlas (sincere) communion of our needs through our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) and through our Shaykh (qs). This is the beginning.

But my empty vessel
Already has a form,
How will any
knowledge I receive
Form me?
…….

River HeartAkhlak. But even an empty vessel has a form, an already shaped skin. Thus, water poured into a teacup takes the shape of a teacup, while water poured into a vase, will acquire the form of a vase. But what the lover seeks is not only to receive divine knowledge and love, but to be reshaped by such baraqa (blessings) that is coming to him by his association with a master. A deeply personal reformation towards the perfection of our akhlak (our disposition, nature, temper, manners and morals)

Then, I shed the form
And the shape of my vessel…

Thus I became a vessel without a form,
Ready to become, my Love
Whatever that You desire…
Dressed as a tempest,
A storm at sea,
A drop of water, a river
A rain-swept valley,
…….

We do not know what is best for us. Even when the best of knowledge is poured into our hearts, who amongst us can claim the intellect to choose which knowledge comes first, how such knowledge can be applied and where such spiritual practices will take us? My dear love, every step of the way towards Allah Almighty, we are in utter dependency upon our master, our Prophet Muhammad (saws) and ultimately upon the mover of all things, our Lord Creator Allah (swt) Himself. As a famous Sufi proverb says…

Only by the Sun can you see the Sun

2012-11-24_tr_GunesSo goodbye for now, sunshine. The ink is spent today. But rest not your conclusions at the doorstep of poor Notrumi, this wretched beggar among the alley dogs and strays of God (swt). Go find for yourself a master, an awliya (saint) of Allah, an anointed inheritor of the Habibullah (saws). There is always one near you. And when you are ready, he will be there for you.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

HIDDEN SAINTS… please help me off this damn merry-go-round!

Slide1Night Sky
My heart is a night sky, my Love!
Bring your hidden jewels to me
To hang like lanterns
In my twilight.

Bring your hidden pearls to me, my Dearest!
To string them across the
Constellation of my heart!

………..

HIdden Saints. Not all saints are known. Indeed, I have been informed that most saints are hidden, their reputation unknown to the vast majority of people. But you know, what the One who hides, He can also reveal. So do not be shy to ask Allah (swt) to disclose the identities of HIs saints to you (whether alive or dead, to use a generic mortal term). If it is good for you that you know, then surely Allah will not withhold His awliya (saints) from you.

escapeRabita. The presence and the rabita (spiritual connection) of a saint is important in the life of any saliqa (seeker). How well someone may know a saint is besides the point. For who can ever know the true state of anyone else, what more a saint of God whose secrets are protected by the Creator Himself? But even a little knowledge, a little association is enough to spark a divine fire of love. And it is this love that will carry the saliqa in his / her journey. The connection with a saint will give relief especially when one is torn between sincere worship and egoistic pretensions dressed in a spiritual mask – a daily regular test for everyone. And it takes someone who has overcome his own ego to be able to guide and assist us in our constant struggle with our egos. God has created the ego to be subtle and adept, able to disguise itself so well that we are often deceived, even falling so far as to believe the whispers of the ego to be our sincere heart! We would be taking one step forward to servanthood only to take two steps back. So you see, without the aid of masters, we would be stuck in an endless spiritual merry-go-round with our ego being at the controls. Forever we will be stuck ‘here’ at the cruel mercy of our ego.

And I am sure, this we do not want… So let us plan our escape, sunshine!bwdivp

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

TO SING WITH YOUR OWN WORDS, YOUR PRAISE

artflow_201511281947The Company That I Keep
Neither here nor there,
No sweetness anywhere
Shall ever to You my Lord, compare
No praise of You, worthy
Shall leave my wanting lips
But they shall come in prose, perfectly formed
Through the company that I keep.
……………….

I am who I am with - Who we are, what we are, our worth is connected to whom we are with – To the people we share our life with, our father and mother, our siblings, our children, kin and friends. To the teachers to whom we owe so much, and to the friends that make our life joyful, even to the coffee-shop waiter where we take our morning tea. Because we are ourselves individuals, but we are also a part of a bigger world, and we take the tone and flavour of the company we keep. Fortunately, often we have the choice to stay or leave…

The Ego - But one company that we cannot escape from, and is a continuing pain, is our ego. That insufferable part of our life which inhabits our daily actions, in all our good and bad – extolling our ‘high virtue’ in our piety, while also tempting us towards common sin and the hidden error of hubris. That is the tongue of our ego, distracting and destructive upon our path towards servanthood.

Thus, may God forgive us and help us silent our ego. That we may speak to Him as He wishes, so that we may love Him as He desires, so that we may praise Him in the manner that He loves best!

10544-497-497O’ Lord, how will we find You if You do not lead us to You? And how shall we be granted this favour if we are forgetful of Your best favour; Nabi Muhammad Habibulah (saws), Your Own Mercy to all the Worlds (and Nations). Thus…

Outside Your door we wait, beggars for Your divine grace,

To sing with Your Own words, Your praise!

Do you not agree, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE OCEAN & THE MASTER MARINER

old_sailing_ship_in_ocean_at_night_biggerThe Ocean & the Master Mariner
Some come to the Ocean undressed,
Some come to the Ocean arrayed in costumes,
Some come to the Ocean on a dingy,
While others come sailing on a mighty ship,

Some come to the Ocean crying,
Some come to the Ocean dying,
Some come to the Ocean busy talking,
While others come to the Ocean
Listening to the Ocean speaking,

Some come to the Ocean seeking Truth,
In search of Mercy, longing for Peace,
While some come to the Ocean seeking power
To dominate and rule over ‘the others’,

Some come to the Ocean laughing,
Some come to the Ocean in tears,
Some come to the Ocean as actors,
Reciting a script, but who was the writer?

Some come to the Ocean as Muslims,
Some come to the Ocean dressed as Christians,
Some come to the Ocean as Jews and Hindus,
While others come bedecked as agnostics,
But none are more intriguing then the atheists,
As they paddle and swim close to shore,
Warmly saying to anyone there;
“There is no Ocean here!
There is no Ocean anywhere!”

However you may come to the Ocean,
Dressed in your assumptions,
Robed in your knowledge,
Hidden in your veil,
Crowned in your ignorance
Or humbled by Wisdom,
Once you are in,
There is only the Ocean,
There is no more you, no more others,
Just as far as your soul may perceive,
An infinite expanse of water,
Beautiful and mysterious,
From the glittering sea for those who remember,
Into the frigid sunless depth of forgetfulness.
There is none but the Ocean here,
And Muhammad is His Master Mariner.
……………..

Slide1Cut the Bull. However we may come to God, He sees through us. Through all our lies, through all our pretense, we who are perhaps so drowned in worldly deception, that we find it hard to see between our own truths, half-lies and lies.

We are Man! For there is no place for falsehood of the ego in the Ocean of Mercy, the Ocean of Truth. Our ego will fight bitterly to stay out of the water. “Be safe, here, Taufiq! This is where we belong, on land, not in the ocean! The sea is for fishes! We are Man!”

But the ego does not speak for Man. The ego speaks for itself, and it knows that in the vastness of the Ocean, it will amount to nothing, it will account for nothing, not even a slight murmur in the water.

Man may have been borne on land, and our very body made of the very clay that forms the land. But our spirit? It is forever yearning for out true home, bent to the siren call of the Ocean, guided by the sunnah (traditions) of the Master Mariner himself, Nabi Muhammad (saws). So you see, the sea is waiting for you, sunshine. In this journey, may I follow you?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way