End of a Talk with a Jailor – poem by Samih al-Qasim

August 23, 2014

From the narrow window of my small cell,

I see trees that are smiling at me

And rooftops crowded with my family.

And windows weeping and praying for me.

From the narrow window of my small cell—

I can see your big cell!

- Samih al-Qasim, (Palestinian poet, who died August 19, 2014)

- from Sadder Than Water: New and Selected Poems, translated by Nazih Kassis


A Bed for a Sufi

August 18, 2014

master picSalaam and Greetings of Peace:

Many years ago, on one of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh’s annual visits to the US, he was staying at the New York khaniqah when one of the long time darvishes, who was also studying to become a Persian scholar, said that his parents wanted to meet the Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order, of whom they had heard so much about, and he was invited to visit their home in Westchester County, New York. and have dinner with them. The Master  gladly accepted the invitation, and since it was a journey that would require them to stay overnight, they drove up in the early afternoon, arriving just in time for dinner.

The darvish’s parents lived in a converted farmhouse, and were delighted to have such a reknown Sufi Master as their guest.  They prepared an excellent dinner, though the Master, as was his custom, ate sparingly, and, although he spoke some English, conversed through their son, who was fluent in Farsi.  As bedtime approached, the father said that the Master was to use the master bedroom so that he would be comforable.  And they showed him a large room with a king-sized bed and adjoining bathroom.

The Master shook his head. “This is not a bed for a Sufi,” he said.

“But it’s the only bed in the house. Our son is sleeping in the other bedroom, and we are going to stay with friends,” his father said.

The Master thought for moment.  “There is another bed here,” he insisted.

The darvish’s parents were bewildered. “No, really,” the mother said. “There is nothing else… well ,except for the mattress in the old Chicken Coop. The kids used it as a clubhouse when they were young.”

The Master asked to see it, and they led him around the back of the house to an old wooden Chicken Coop. They brought a lantern as there was no electricity in the coop, and showed him the plain interior.  It was empty now, though recently swept out, with an old single mattress on the floor.

“Yes,’ the Master said, smiling. “This is a bed for a Sufi.”

Ya Haqq!


The sum total of our life is a breath

August 8, 2014

The sum total of our life is a breath
spent in the company of the Beloved.

- Abu Sa`id ibn Abi al-Khayr

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Wisdom of Hafiz

August 4, 2014

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Jesus and the Blind Leper

July 30, 2014

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“It is related that Jesus (on him be peace) passed by a blind man who was a leper and lame of both feet because of paralysis and his flesh was consumed by leprosy, and he was saying: ‘Praise be to God who has kept me in good health and saved me from many things which have befallen others of his creatures.’ Then Jesus said to him: ‘O thou friend, from what kind of affliction do I see that you are free ‘ ; and he replied : ‘ O spirit of God, I am better than those in whose heart God has not put anything of his knowledge and his grace.’ And Jesus said : ‘You have spoken truly. Stretch forth your hand,’ and he stretched forth his hand and became of perfect health both as to his body and his appearance, for God had taken away all his sickness. So he accompanied Jesus and worshipped with him.”


Eid Mubarak :)

July 29, 2014

Salaam And Greetings of Peace:

“O Lord! Let not our hearts deviate now after You have guided us, but grant us mercy from Your own Presence; for You are the Grantor of bounties without measure.”    – Qur’an: 3:9

May Allah bless you all this Eid with generosity of heart, sincerity of speech, kindness in action, and love and joy in remembrance of Him, who is the Source of all Generosity, Sincerity, Kindness, Joy and Love.    Ameen!

The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“One who helps a fellow Muslim in removing his (or her) difficulty in this world, Allah will remove the former’s distress on the Day of Judgment. He who helps to remove the hardship of another, will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. One who covers the shortcomings of another Muslim, will have his faults covered up in this world and the next by Allah. Allah continues to help a servant so long as he goes on helping his own brother (or sister).”

Ya Haqq!


Hazrat Ali’s Sermon on Eid ul-Fitr

July 26, 2014

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The blessed month of Ramadan is over soon, and Muslims around the world will soon be celebrating Eid ul-Fitr, so it is fitting to post this again:

On the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, Hazrat Ali (A.S.) delivered a sermon in which he said:

“O people! Verily this day of yours is the day when the righteous are awarded and the wretched are losers. It is a day which is similar to the one on which you shall be standing (before your Lord). Therefore, when you come out of your homes to go to places of your prayer, remind yourselves about the day when you (your souls) shall come out of your bodies to go to your Lord. When you stand on places of your prayer, remind yourselves of your standing in the presence of your Lord (on the day of Judgment). And when you return to your homes (after prayer), remind yourselves about your returning to your homes in Paradise. O Servants of Allah! Verily the minimum reward for those men and women who fasted (during Ramadan), is an Angel, who calls out to them on the last day of the month of Ramadan (saying): O SERVANTS OF ALLAH! REJOICE THE GLAD TIDING THAT ALL YOUR PREVIOUS SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN…”

- From the Nahjul-Balaghah.

Eid-ul-Fitr is a unique festival. It has no connection with any historical event nor is it related to the changes of seasons or cycles of agriculture. It is not a festival related in any way to worldly affairs. Its significance is purely spiritual. It is the day when Muslims thank God for having given them the will, the strength and the endurance to observe the fast and obey His commandments during the holy month of Ramadan.

Alhamdulillah! May Allah bless us all and grant that we use this Eid as a lens to focus the sunlight of good works, which have shone so brightly during Ramadan, to light the way through this coming year until the next Ramadan. Ameen! Ameen!

Eid Mubarak!

Ya Haqq!


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