Master of the Jinn Updates

August 30, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

1.) Alhamdulillah! Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel has been chosen by a Professor as one of the books to be read and discussed in the Philosophy 150 – Great Ideas class at Oregon State University.The students are also free to email me with any comments or questions about the book (as are any of you who have read it, of course). It is an honor for the book to be selected.

2.) I have recently joined Facebook. So, gentle readers, please add me as a friend if you like.

3.) A SEARCH function has been added to the top of the blogroll, so you can put in a word or phrase and find a particular post, or information included in a post, or anything that interests you, inshallah.

Ya Haqq!

Days are but hours, and hours are but breaths

August 28, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Imam Ibn al-Jawzi (ra) in his letter of advice to his son, wrote:

“Know, dear son, that days are but hours, and hours are but breaths, and every soul is a container, hence let not any breath pass without any benefit, such as on the Day of Judgment you find an empty container and feel regret! Be aware of every hour and how it passes, and only spend it in the best possible way; do not neglect yourself, but render it accustomed to the noblest and best of actions, and send to your grave that which will please you when you arrive to it.”

Taken from the always enlightening Lessons of the Day blog of August 14th.

Ya Haqq!

Sufis of Afghanistan

August 26, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

HERE is a fascinating YouTube video of what I believe is a Naqshbandi Shaykh in Afghanistan instructing dervishes on zekr. It is narrated in French, which I do not speak, so if anyone can translate, please do so in the comments. Its old black and white format makes it seem timeless.

Ya Haqq!

Kahlil Gibran – On Children

August 24, 2007

On Children

Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

For our lovely Sister Maliha of the wonderful Lightness of Being blog, and Yusuf, her beautiful new baby boy, Alhamdulillah! May Allah bless her and her new baby, her handsome loving husband, and Yusuf’s adorable older brother Sufyan. Go HERE and read about it.

And with thanks to The Stumbling Mystic blog for the Gibran poem.

Ya Haqq!

Our Form of Incest, Our Idolatry, Our Insanity

August 22, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. Patriotism is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by “patriotism” I mean that attitude which puts the nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one‘s own nation, which is the concern with the nation‘s spiritual as much as with its material welfare – never with its power over other nations.

Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one‘s country which is not part of one‘s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.

- Erich Fromm

With thank to the excellent Lulando blog.

Ya Haqq!

The Supreme Good

August 20, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing, ever dying, there is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves, and re-creates. That informing power or spirit is God, and since nothing else that I see merely through the senses can or will persist, God alone is.

“And is this power benevolent or malevolent? I see it as purely benevolent. for I can see that in the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists. Hence I gather that God is Life, Truth, Light. God is Love. God is the Supreme Good.”

Mahatma Gandhi, from the Gandhi Memorial

Ya Haqq!

Love’s Caravan

August 18, 2007

Why all this talk of buying and selling?
What you need is already inside you.

Love’s caravan is ready to depart, O Rend,
The camels are laden with treasures untold

Come! Come! Bargains are found on this road.
All you possess in exchange for nothingness.

Sell all you have in the world’s marketplace
In exchange, receive only the love of the Friend.

Earthly jewels are but shining baubles
His jewels are the stars without end

Tarry no longer, the blessed sun rises!
This is the hour when travelers depart

Alhamdulillah! A thousand surprises
Await on the Path of the Heart.

- Irving Karchmar, © August 2007

The First of Sha’baan

August 17, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

On the first of Sha’baan, the Commander of the Faithful (as) passed by a group of a people who were seated in a mosque discussing the subject of destiny. Their voices were raised, as the arguments were heated and the contentions severe. The Commander of the Faithful (as) stopped and greeted them with Peace. They replied, rose in deference to him and requested him to join them. Without heeding their request, he addressed them:

“O people, do not indulge in discussions not beneficial to you. Are you not aware that there are creatures of Allah who, though not dumb or incapacitated, are dumbfounded out of their fear? Whenever they think of the greatness of Allah, their tongues become tied and their hearts feeble, they lose their senses and become confounded by His glory, majesty and magnificence. When they recover from this state, they revert to Allah, regarding themselves sinful though they are distant from sin and error. They are not content with their ordinary labors for Allah, nor do they regard their enormous deeds as plentiful, and constantly engage themselves in efforts for the pleasure of Allah. Whenever you see them in prayer, you will notice them fearful and anxious. How do you compare with them, you the beginners? Are you not aware that the wisest of men are the most quiet and the most ignorant are the most vocal? O people, today is the first of the honored Sha’baan. Allah has so named it as good things (khayraat) are disbursed in this month.”

Ya Haqq!

The Countenance of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

August 15, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Muhammad, the Prophet of God (pbuh) was said to have possessed an exceptionally beautiful countenance, and this is certainly inherent in the nobility of his impeccable honesty and intelligence, as well as the adab, the courtesy and manners of his actions and speech in everyday life. His features have been described by several of the companions, such as Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, with whom he was brought up and who knew him intimately. Ali describes the Prophet (pbuh) in these words:

He was neither tall and lanky nor short and stocky, but of medium height. His hair was neither curled nor straight, but moderately wavy. He was not overweight and his face was not plump. He had a round face. His complexion was white, tinged with reddishness. He had big black eyes with long lashes. His bones were heavy and his shoulders broad. He had soft skin, with fine hair covering the line from mid-chest to navel. The palms of his hands and the soles of his feet were firmly padded. He walked with a firm gait, as if striding downhill. On his back between his shoulders lay the Seal of Prophethood, for he was the last of the prophets.

He was the most generous of men in feeling, the most truthful in speech, the gentlest in disposition, and the noblest in lineage. At first encounter, people were awestruck by him, but on closer acquaintance they would come to love him. One who sought to describe him could only say, “Neither before him nor after him did I ever see the like of him.”

From Islamic Spirituality, edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Ya Haqq!

The Truths of Love

August 11, 2007

Before the quill of Love was set in motion,
Our lives were spent in paperwork.

Page after page turned black,
Like separation’s somber night, from time’s events,

And still the Book of Love did not reach its end,
Though a hundred thousand pages were covered.

Measured by the Lover’s worth, paper’s value
Seemed insignificant, like so many leaves in the wind.

When love made clear
The quill’s weakness,
In jealousy it washed away
Whatever had been written.

- by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, from The Truths of Love: Sufi Poetry

Ya Haqq!


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