Tag Archives: words

SELFISH LOVE

Shaykh Wacom 2Selfish Love
Selfish love is not love,
For love abhors anything other than love.
………..

This is the beginning, the journey and the end. This is where we leave our selfishness behind. A selfishness often disguised as ‘love’. This is where we embark on the ship of love, to cross the sea of love to our homecoming at the harbour of selfless love.

Pray for me, sunshine. Lend a hand to this weary traveller and perhaps we can keep company together. For what better way is there to walk to love than with love as my companion?

P.S. Shaykh Adnan Kabbani is a Lebanese shaykh much admired and loved. It appears that he is unwell. Please keep him in your prayers and your heart. dark-room-light-through-window-hunched-man1

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

TALKING TO GOD – and why meaning matters…

sedih 2We Be Talkin’ to Him
Many people pray to God,
But few regularly speak to Him,
Unless trouble comes a callin’
And times be appalin’,
Breaking the holy monotony
Of our praise and hymn,

Then… oh boy,
Then, we are not just praying’…
To Him we be talkin’!
………

donkiMotivations. Let’s face it. While we like to think that we are attracted to love, to purity and beauty, and we live our life with a sublime motivation impelling us to good, but truth be told, a little stick goes some way to also encourage our obedience to the straight path. Sticks and carrots, it works on donkeys, mules and asses, and sure as God made apples, it will also work on us.

Recitations. It might sound nuts, but I must confess that I am constantly reminding myself of what I am reciting, and its meaning and what I desire from it and where I wish it to take me – this is true regardless whether the recitation is silent or verbal, done in formal prayers or otherwise, or whether it is the verse from the holy Quran, a dzikr (remembrance of God’s names and attributes) or a salawat (greetings and praise upon the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s.) that I am reciting. Because a lot of what we do in our prayers to the Divine can (and often does) become ritualised and monotonous, a holy monotony as I impudently put it in the poem above.

20151229233705_resizedHoly Monotony? But coming to God cannot be monotonous. It surely cannot be derivative or dull, or just another same-old-same-old like yesterday, like the last prayer time today, like the last dzikr or salawat we recited just two minutes ago. But in all frankness, I often catch myself kinda reciting some holy verse, dzikr or salawat while thinking about the McDonald’s fried chicken I want to order for lunch later. Because as you know, fried dead poultry is more important than the Creator of the Universe or His Beloved Habibullah (saws). Alas, that is the physical condition of humanity while we exist in this material ego-world.

Forgetfulness, it’s all planned. All this doesn’t and cannot makes sense. But then… oh ho! We remember (ironically) that we are created by God to forget. Especially the important stuffs. Stuffs like God Almighty, stuffs like the moral dos and don’ts. Stuffs like doing charity and worshipful attendance to the meaning of our prayers to Him. Why? Because God wants us to have the opportunity to be forgetful (and ergo, sinful), and to come to Him, tearful and beggarly, seeking forgiveness, so that He will be known as the Most Forgiving.

god 2The Choice. So here we are, sunshine. Basking in the realisation that good or bad, remembering or forgetting, we cannot deviate from the path that Allah (swt) as set us upon. But there is at least one matter that we do have power over. And that is the power to choose. The power to surrender. The power to affirm our intentions and seek our Lord’s forgiveness again and again and again, as we forget and we sin, again and again and again.

Meanings Matter. The meaning of this world, the meaning of the words we recite, the meaning of our actions are subtle and are deep in substance as only Allah Almighty knows! But whatever we mean, it all matters – because what we mean will make our actions, make this world, and ultimately make us who we are. Thus may Allah (swt), through the infinite mercy of His Habibullah  (saws), grant us deeper and better understanding of His Meaning, and His words and His actions, that we may dive deeper and deeper into the Endless Ocean of His Mercy and Knowledge.

But you know, please don’t take my word for it. After all, who is Notrumi but a blighted old sinner. Guidance may be found with a friendly Shaykh in a neighbourhood near you. You need only to ask, sunshine. He he he.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

SELECTIVE READING & THINKING… and why wisdom is not something trapped in books.

IMG_20160128_070805_resized_1The Importance of Books
We are surrounded by books,
But we should not be bound to them,
For they are not intended to be walls or fences,
But a door, a gateway to wisdom,
A path to God.
……..

IMG_20160128_070729_resized_1Reading but Not Actually – I was reading up a Sufi book of devotional practices when I noticed something new. Interspaced between texts which were familiar to me are some sentences and words apparently new. But of course, it cannot be so. After all, the pages are dog-eared and it is the same old copy that I have been reading intermittently. I am sure no elf sneaked into my shelves in the middle of the night to mischievously alter the pages.

It may not be elves but I think I have a clue. I was merely using the natural approach towards the practice of any new thing. I essentially wanted to know the basics – Ergo , what I needed to recite, how many times and in what sequence. In doing so I guess I kinda skimmed over the substantive explanations. Silly billy me.

Selective Reading – And of course, what we understand a book to mean will also depend on our own preconception and misconception of whatever topic the book may be about. Often we read books not to actually seek new knowledge, but merely to affirm or validate things we already believe in. Whether we like it or not, we either consciously or subconsciously drift to authors and publications that we anticipate agreement with. So already we are rigging our ‘quest’ to only ‘discover’ knowledge which naturally fits with our own pre-conceived notions of truths and moral rights and wrongs.

IMG_20160128_071021_resized_1Thus, perhaps we have a lot to be thankful for – That wisdom and beneficial knowledge does not come from our choice of books. Because were it so, our ‘wisdom’ would be skewered in the direction of our own bias and secret prejudices. And as history has shown, this is a trend that we should avoid at all cost.

Alhamdulillah (Praise unto God) we are at this orderly juncture. Because I was a little nervous about the apparent contradiction between the Sufic view that wisdom does not originate from books, while at the same time espousing love and devotion to books. Sometimes we just need to delve a little deeper, I guess… To swim a little further and to contemplate little more longer. To find the unity of purpose and divine beauty hidden in the apparent contradictions that spice our life and thoughts. Our eternal gratitude to God Almighty and His Habibullah (saws) for seeding our path with these little questions, that we may learn to find the right answers.

Do you not agree, 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