Tag Archives: the hidden and the apparent

THE WAY OF DREAMS

dreams wacomThe Way of Dreams
Dreams is not the place for
You to relax your vigilance,
Dreams is not the place where
There is no right or wrong.

So learn to wake up in your dreams
And be conscious of your actions
Lest your nightly carelessness
Follows you into daybreak
And wakefulness.
……….

Hullo, sunshine. Notrumi has been unwell of late. It is something in the air and the wet tropical season that is causing clinics to be full of running noses and rising temperatures.

May the words and our own sickness give us greater motivation for vigilance against an enemy that is ceaseless in his enmity for the children of Adam, day or night. May we be guided from hubris, ignorance and discourtesies, awake or in our dreams.

And Now A Question – Is the prose talking about what we normally call wakefulness and sleep, or is the prose an analogy, this world being our dream state, and death our abrupt wakefulness to the truthful reality? But you know what, sunshine? I really cannot make up my mind…

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

GOD, GOODNESS & FAMILIARITY…

rain-girlGod & Goodness
Our taste for God and goodness needs adjustments,
To develop our nose and divine discernments -

To distinguish between what is to be encouraged,
What is to be questioned and what is to be warned against,
What is to be admonished and what is to be avoided,
And lastly, what is to be confronted and challenged!
………..

A SEA OF MERCIFUL MEANINGS. Not that long ago, an epiphany hit me like a truck out of control. And that is whatever I may be doing and reciting in my sembahyang / solaT (prayers), I have the barest idea of their meanings –  All that recitations and the postures that make up our prayers. What I know of its meaning and significance is the merest wisp of an understanding… So now, I realise that when I contemplate my prayersIt is like skimming on the surface of a sea of merciful meanings unfathomable in its depth and secrets.

20150804123718_resizedNO TIME TO REST. And I was happy to be at that place – that place of unknowing, humbled by my utter lack of knowledge. But today I am jolted out of that complacency of a humility that is perhaps too convenient and lethargic. For an ancient friend advised me not to be contented being a fool, and to learn what can be learnt and what Allah al-Alim (God the All-knowing) has allotted since pre time for us to learn. By acquiring a taste for God and His goodness, we hone and develop a sharp sense of discernment which will in contradistinction develop our sense of what is the opposite of God and goodness – ergo our ego, its wickedness, hate and hubris, pride, greed, envy, selfishness and indolence. That way (says my friend), what bad you once tolerated of yourself, you will learn to avoid as you gain the taste for the perfume of God and goodness. As you grow in familiarity with Allah (swt) and with His most precious gift to all creation, Nabi Muhammad Sayyidina Hadiyatullah (the Gift of Allah) (sws) you ought to now become repulsed by the wicked odour of Satan our enemy, the overpowering smell of our own egotism and the ambivalent scent of this worldliness…

Familiarity
The ones familiar with the garden of love and its perfume
Will abhor and avoid the devil’s dumping yard
Of man’s egotism, greed and selfish love.
……….

Do you not agree, sunshine? Of course you do!

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

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

WHAT EMPTY CUP? …pretences of emptiness & the pathfinders

IMG_20160924_211029What Empty Cup?
Indeed, my son. You must come
To us with an empty cup.

For what enlightenment can we pour
Into a cup if already full?

So first, let us crack away
At your pretences
Of emptiness.
…….

mountain-climber-silhouette2We are cutting through the multi-layered cake that is our ego, divining its many secrets doors, pathways and disguises by which our ego captures our mind, our conscience and impersonate even our hearts. Who is to say for sure when we are free of our ego, trapped as we are in our material body and very real needs, wants and desires?

On this spiritual path, you must have a pathfinder. A ranger who will lead you through the forest of your own self-deception, protect you from witches and warlocks, give you spiritual sustenance to carry you through the hardest, driest drought. You cannot do this alone, my love. So ask God Almighty for a pathfinder, a Master of the Path (a Shaykh of the Tariqa) who can take a stubborn foolish pupil and turn his weakness into strength, his lies into truths and transform you into the best you that God Almighty and His Messenger (sws) had always intended for you.

And if along the way you find this sinner stumbling in the brush, having lost the path, call to me and help me back on right track. Lord knows His servant often errs!rain-girl

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

MANKIND THE NUANCED, THE HIDDEN … a reminder

Slide3Misunderstandings
How will you understand my words
When my silence is incomprehensible to you?
How will you navigate my infinite oceans
When my sea is only a rumour to you?
………….

Unity of Man. If you look at the petty arguments on Facebook, you will find that when you dig a little deeper into the debate, you will find that the two adversaries are not opposites in fitrah (essence). After all, we are made of the same elements, red blood courses through our veins, whatever our skin tone or religion.

befriend yourself 2Contextual. The argument normally arises, because although we may be talking about the same thing, you may have a different audience in mind, while I have my own. Also, you are brought up in different climes compared to my cultural and social norms. Add to that the prejudices and biases we pick up along our way from purity of childhood to the cynical hardness of adulthood and I think you will see where and why we end up  arguing and spitting vitriol at each other, to the aghast of the Angels that observe us (from afar).

Nothing is Random. You are such a complex entity, my love. Perhaps you may not think so, yourself, being the humble man / woman that I know you are. But each of your action or omission, every word, gesture or thought does not occur at random. Indeed, in the spiritual world, randomness does not exist because nothing happens in a vacuum. Every breath you take, every step of an ant, every splitting of a single-cell organism, every supernova of a dying star somewhere in the night sky occurs within the completeness of Allah Almighty’s plan. It is random to us simply because of our very finite level of knowledge.

Camera 360Nuanced Beings. Err… I appear to have been distracted. Ahem. Now where was I? Oh yes, this is a reminder to myself – To not be so quick to judge and anger. To be much more tolerant and mild to the subtle nuances of my fellow human beings. For we are undoubtedly highly nuanced creatures. Allah (swt) made us so, and created us thus so well that even His Angels grew concerned that they asked their Lord why He created such ill-tempered beings who will spread corruption and destruction on earth. We know Allah Almighty’s answer… He replied to His celestial hosts, “I know what ye know not.” (Al-Quran 2:30)

So who are we to say with certainty what we know? When even the Arch angels themselves could not decipher the great riddle that is Allah’s creation known as Man. The answer to His puzzle, as always, is with the Maker of the Puzzle, a.k.a our Creator, Allah (swt). And the best one to guide us to Allah (swt) and His answer is none other than our beloved Arch Intercessor Sayyidina Muhammad (saws). He he he. Don’t you agree, sunshine?

wa 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

RAMADAN WROTE ME A LETTER

Slide1Relationships. We have all had our difficult relationships. That odious bully at the playground. The teacher who seems to take delight in humiliating us. That colleague who just has a face that you want to give a tight slap for no good reason at all. We are built differently and it is thus not surprising that relationships can go south pretty quickly. But sometimes, amazingly, we can turn from mutual dislike into abiding affection. It can happen. It DOES happen. It happened to me recently.

A 70 stick zombie. You see, I have always had a love-hate relationship with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. I love it because even in my severe state of sin, I am aware of a lightness in the air, and a gentle calm at night. But for a 70 sticks of cigarette regular, fasting does put a cramp in my style – as in I become a complete zombie. A hypersensitive ill-tempered ogre from sunrise to sunset.

An intervention. Anyways, by the grace of Allah (swt), He intervened last year and took away my addiction, and I have been ‘clean’ for more than 18 months. So I found even last year’s Ramadan to be a breeze. I was a little light headed perhaps, but more-or-less fully operational and fit for human consumption.

229752_1879889790685_5877716_nRamadan Projects. This year however, Ramadan was welcomed with a little extra. For one, I started my project to turn my late brother’s room into a cosy little prayer nook. This, together with a commitment to perform some of the supererogatory devotions meant that we have been quite busy, especially at night. You know… getting to know Ramadan… to explore what it offers and just how far we may endeavour towards attaining the gifts and blessings contained within. Always, moving slowly but surely along the path treaded by our betters and above all, by the Master of the Prophets, the Beloved of God and Arch-Intercessor, Sayyidina Muhammad (saws).

Oh, please don’t get me wrong, sunshine. I didn’t exerted myself that much. I did a little, but I did it regularly and without fail. I read somewhere that God appreciates this approach, which conveniently suits a sinner as unambitious as me.

He he he.

Well, anyways, I guess you can read this as my reply to Ramadan Karim. And insha Allah (Godwilling) I hope to meet this blessed month next year to and share our experiences once again. Until next time then, may God Almighty bless you always, sunshine, as how He knows best for you.

Camera 360wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way