Tag Archives: the hereafter

THE PEN OF GALLANTRY

artflow_201602091201Punctuality & The Pen of Gallantry
Am I too late?
To taste tea in the morning,
To find roses peeping in,
To hear the tiny toes
Of who knows who
Coming down the gravel walk?

Am I too late?
To put fairness before self,
To close my eyes to the whisperer
But gather instead, with the other moths
In a falling orbit
Around the Sun?

Am I too late?
To put manners before passion,
To place goodness before gratification,
To swell the sea of hopeful pearls
Enchanted by the Moon of Mercy?

Am I too late?
To write my book?
To finish my drawings?
To begin and end the story
Of the elephant, the cat
And dear old Mr. Ali?

Heaven knows, as I do not.
The answers to my punctuality
Rests at the Throne of God
In the Antechamber of Mercy
Before Whom prostrates
The Pen of Gallantry
……..

Abang ChikIRONY. we are not good at saying goodbye, are we, sunshine? Not to our office and friends, not to anyone that we love and care for. Take me for instance, today my late brother’s friend remarked on my recent picture on Facebook that from a distance, I kinda look like him (like my late brother, not his friend). This pleases me no end, to be quite honest as I like to be reminded of him. The irony is that when he was still clowning about in the physical realm, Abang Chik used to annoy me to no end with his eccentric but undeniably insightful view of the world.

IMG_20170310_072726THE END. If you follow my rather quiet and uneventful life, you may know that last week, me and my partner handed over the keys of our 13 years old office back to the landlady. It was a deeply melancholic moment for us, having sifted through thousands and thousands of documents of our past decade’s work, smiling, pondering and sometimes laughing at all the memories we made in the office.

THE BEGINNING. Which brings me to the beginning. And to what I shall do now that my legal practice will take a back seat in my daily life. Truth be told, I am still weighing the possibilities but at 47 years old, I am not in a hurry to make a hasty decision. I am looking a the clouds in the sky, I am feeling the tremor of the air that surrounds me, I am listening to the birds singing outside my window, and I am turning my eyes inwards, to the remembrance of God Almighty and His Beloved Muhammad Sayyidina Habibullah (sws), hoping for a hint, a sign.

Pray for me, sunsine. And may Allah bless you always.

donkeywa 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 2 of 4)

artflow_201510232121_resizedThe Secret Flame
Thus every lingering word, every breathless pause,
Every letter, every passion we try to tame,
Is born to perish, spellbound and spelling out His Name,
Love, Love oh Love Divine!
Love, Love oh Love’s Secret Flame!
…………

largeThe beginning and ending is important. By its nature the beginning is normally a small moment, a brief chapter in a life that may extend to many, many years. The end is also normally quite short. Of course actual dying can be long and gruesome, but the end of one’s life is physically almost instantaneous.

But if we look at them from the spiritual aspect, our birth and death takes on a great deal more meaning than the time spent in the physical realm. In fact, when you think about it, your entire life tend to be lived trying to understand the meaning and purpose of your birth and where you will go when you breathe your last. A great deal of human endeavour, drama and emotion are spent by human beings in this singular pursuit, propelled by some metaphysical purpose found in the traditional religions and its scriptures. It is there in our common history.

Atheism and the End of Love. But now things are different. Now, many people say there is no meaning to be understood about our beginning and ending. Our parents dutifully had sex, and by sheer improbable weight of luck, we were conceived and born. We then live, pay taxes and after a season we die. The End. Roll the Credits.

dark-room-light-through-window-hunched-man1What a sad day for Mankind, when we are now bereft of spiritual reasons behind our birth and our death. Suddenly, everything that meant so much, now really… means nothing. Of course, we are talking about love. According to the naysayers, Love is just a biological and chemical instinct to procreate and ensure the continuity of the human race. It is nothing different from our natural drive to eat and to survive the day. Love is just some fancy creation of poets and love-sick teenagers, a romantic gloss over the overriding primal drive of lust – We being no different from the animals, the amoeba and virus. Sounds depressing to me but Atheists insist that their belief liberates humanity from the traditional constraints and patriarchal oppression often connected with religion. I think there is some truth there, given the unfairness and horrors often visited by the powers-that-be under the pretext of religion. But at what cost do we acquire this ‘liberty’?

For the moment you take love out of the equation, the instance you separate metaphysical meanings, causes and consequences from your physical world, what do you have left? A spartan, dour and crude motivation of survival for no reason but to survive. No other purpose, no hidden truths, no secret flame, no more hidden beauty. No more love. And that, to my mind, is the saddest thing ever. Don’t you agree, sunshine?

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

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

DON’T DIE, STAY AWHILE

Song at a Death Bed
Don’t die,
Stay awhile,
Let me tell you
In a clear rendition
Of a song,
Why you matter,

And when my song has ended,
Then, you may do as you wish,
But until then, stay awhile
And listen…
……

IMG_20160916_062850My dear sunshine, how many times in our life have we wished that God would afford us the time to distill the goodness of a person’s life at the death bed, and proclaim his or her goodness in clear unequivocal affirmation of a life well lived, a battle well fought and a journey well travelled?

But regrettably, such occasions are far and in between, life often coming to an end suddenly in the blink of an eye, before the hour, and thus the servant has return to his / her Lord.

So what shall we do then, my love? Not knowing when the Angel of Death may come to take our beloved kin or friend for that not-to-be delayed appointment?

Then we must sing that song, that liturgy of love right here and now – for our father and our mother, for our brother and sister, for our kin and beloved friends. While they are with us still let us not allow a moment go to waste. While life still animate us, let us show by deeds and words just what they mean to us.

Do you not agree, sunshine?

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

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

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

IN THE BED OF MY EARTH

IMG_20151202_210056In The Bed of My Earth
Beneath the powdery snow,
They think I sleep, like a seed
In the bed of my earth,
Wondering when last
I heard my heart beat,

In the bed of my earth
Wondering when last
I heard the whistling reed,

In the bed of my earth
I am asleep people say,
But in truth I am
More awake than they.

For I have lived my life in the sun,
I have drunk, sup and filled my cup,
And now as I lie in my earthly bed
I am no longer deceived,
No longer afraid,

By Courage found in a heart
That once I thought dead.
…………..

I remember reading the words of an ancient sage, advising the seeker to learn to be awake in his/her dreams. “Well, whatever does that mean?!” I remember wondering. How DO you train yourself to be awake in your dream state of sleep?

Perhaps (after all, how am I to know for sure!) this is a solution; We need to realise that our waking hours is in its essence, also a dream – a transient moment, a tangible and real world only when we continue to be captive in its mortal coil. For the truth of the matter is we spend most of our days here on planet Earth wandering as if we shall live forever, not giving heed to the Eternal. As a result, we have cobbled for ourselves a world of social networks with unsocial behaviours, increasing wealth but decreasing happiness, with a 24/7 connectivity to the world but an engulfing tide of loneliness and despair.

So… if you see me sleepwalking my way, oblivious to God Almighty and where I will end up one day, do me a favour, sunshine… wake me up and remind me of my God and my Prophet Muhammad (saws), and the eternal abode that waits us all when we awake from the dream that is this world.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way