Happy New Year 2010 :)

December 31, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Happy New Year 2010 to all my Brothers and Sister of every faith and race and creed around the world!  May God bless you all this year with health, happiness, wisdom, and love, so that we may better serve God by serving His creation.  I can think of no better resolution for the New Year than to try and live up to these true words:

Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ya Haqq!


Surrendering to Love

December 28, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Surrendering to love is the hardest damn work I have ever done in my life. Put me working in prisons to teach murderers how to give good massages or give me tortured women who haven’t slept without nightmares in ten years, but don’t ask me to be open and receive tender loving care of someone who is going to know all my dirty laundry and stick around anyway!

Why is it so hard? Well, I guess I’ve just been on the road so long I don’t know the difference between my feet and my boots and here comes someone to offer a foot rub and I gotta’ feel how tired my feet are and how long I‘ve been wanting some good touch and lay down all those other times of disappointment and confusion and let this in without overwhelming myself or anyone else with grief and longing. I didn’t learn how to do this at home or school. Did you? It takes a combination of mercy and love we give ourselves.

- John Calvi, from True Love, The Friends (Quaker) Journal, 1992

Ya Haqq!


You Are Christ’s Hands

December 18, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In the joyous and loving spirit of Christmas, and to celebrate the birth of Jesus, or as he is know in Islam, Isa ibn Mariyam (pbuh), a poem by one of His sainted devotees.

You Are Christ’s Hands

Christ has no body now on Earth but yours,

No hands but yours,

No feet but yours,

Yours are the eyes

Through which look out

Christ’s compassion to the world;

Yours are the feet with which he is to go about

Doing Good.

Yours are the hands with which he is to bless

Humanity now.

- Saint Teresa of Avila

Ya Haqq!


Answers to Prayers – St. Isaac of Syria

December 8, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

If God is slow to grant your request and you do not receive what you ask for promptly, do not be grieved, for you are not wiser than God.

It this happens to you, it is because either your way of life does not accord with your request, or because the pathways of your heart are at odds with the intention of your prayer.

Or it may be because your inner state is too childish by comparison with the magnitude of the thing you have asked for.

It is not appropriate that great things should fall easily into our hands, otherwise God’s gift will be held in dishonor, because of the ease with which we obtain it.

For anything that is readily obtained is also easily lost, whereas everything which is found with toil is preserved with care.

- from Daily Readings with St. Isaac of Syria (also called St. Isaac of Nineveh), edited by A.M. Allchin.

Ya Haqq!

Note: Alhamdulillah! that such men have through the ages sent forth their spiritual wisdom, for they too are a particle of the mercy of Allah.

St. Isaac also said:

‘Like a handful of dust thrown into the sea are the sins of all mankind compared with the mercy and providence of God’.”


The Prophet (pbuh) Speaks to Satan!

December 3, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

This is related by Anas ibn Malik [May Allah bless him]:

“One day, in the house of Abu Ayyub, we were sitting together in the company of our Master, the blessed Messenger of Allah ( pbuh). Suddenly, we heard a very ugly voice calling from outside. “O Messenger of Allah, have I your permission to enter?” Our Master (pbuh) asked us: “Do you recognize that voice? When we replied: “Allah and His Messenger know best,” our Master (pbuh) said: “That is the voice of Satan.”

“Umar got up and said: “O Messenger of Allah, by your leave, let me go and smash the deceiver’s skull. Let me deliver the people from his mischief.” But our Master (pbuh) told him: “It is not within your power to do so, Umar, for he has been given respite till the Resurrection. Nobody can touch him.”

“We all fell silent, waiting to see what might happen. Our Master (pbuh) said: “There is always an underlying reason for things. Otherwise he would not have come here.” He then gave permission for the devil to enter his presence. In he came, his face very ugly, blind in one eye and with a few hairs on his chin. He explained that he had come at Allah’s command saying: “Had I not come, the Exalted Lord would have tormented me as long as I was on earth. You are to question me, and I am to answer your queries.”

“Our Master (pbuh) then asked Satan: “Who are your enemies?” To this he replied: “My enemies are fifteen groups of people. First of all, my chief foes are you and all the Prophets.”

“What you say is true,” said the blessed Messenger (pbuh): “Neither I nor any of the Prophets have any love for you. You are both my greatest enemy and that of all the Prophets.” Satan then proceeded to enumerate his other foes:

“My second enemies are scholars who put their learning into practice. They not only study and teach, but also act on what they learn.”

“My third enemies are the righteous, who recite the Holy Quran and model their character on what they read.”

“My fourth enemies are those who give the Call to Prayer for Allah’s sake.”

“My fifth enemies are the poor who are satisfied with their lot.”

“My sixth enemies are the compassionate.”

“My seventh enemies are the generous.”

“My eighth enemies are those who perform the early morning prayer on time.”

“My ninth enemies are those who advise the people and call them to Allah, those who reform the people.”

“My tenth enemies are those who abstain from unlawful food and avoid fornication and adultery.”

“My eleventh enemies are those who are always in a state of ritual purity, ready for worship.”

“My twelfth enemies are the modest.”

“My thirteenth enemies are those who place all their trust in Allah.”

“My fourteenth enemies are those who give pleasure to the poor and needy.”

“My fifteenth enemies are those called pious and devout, who are always busy in the service of their Exalted Lord.”

Our Master (pbuh) asked: “Have you any friends among my Community” What are the characteristics of your friends?” To this Satan replied: “O Messenger, ten classes of people are my friends:

First, tyrannical rulers and princes who oppress the people. Second, the arrogant. Third, scholars who are the lackeys of tyrants, who cannot tell them the truth, but hide it and confirm their falsehoods. Fourth, dishonest tradesmen who cannot be trusted in business. Fifth, those who take strong drink. Sixth, confidence tricksters and black marketeers. Seventh, backbiters and slanderous gossips. Eighth, usurers, those who take interest. Ninth, liars and blasphemers. Tenth, informers, intriguers who stir up enmity and cause friends to quarrel and fall out with one another.”

Here we have listed all the friends and foes of Satan. Those who worship are his foes, while those who do not worship are his friends. Is it possible to conceive of a spiritual teacher, a saint, who not only fails to worship Allah personally, but even prevents others from doing so? Anyone who keeps people from their five daily prayers, who make them break their fast, is indeed an intimate friend-not of Allah, but of Satan. He is an enemy of the Exalted Lord. We shall see the true condition of such people on the coming Day of Resurrection. They will have a hard time explaining themselves to their deluded and misguided disciples who will say to them, as they are cast into the fire:

“We were only following you, so can you give us some relief from Allah’s punishment?” (14:21)

They will reply: “Had Allah guided us, we would have guided you.” (14:21)

“It makes no difference now, whether we panic or patiently endure.” (14:21)

“For us there is no refuge.” (14:21)

The false teachers will try to blame it all on Satan. But when they start to shower their curses on him, Satan will emerge from the fire upon a throne, addressing them with these words:

Satan will say: “Allah made you a promise true. I also made you promises, but I have left you in the lurch. I had no power over you. I only called you and you answered me. Therefore do not blame me but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I did not believe in the divine partnership you once ascribed to me.” For the evildoers there is indeed a painful punishment. (14:22)

- excerpt adapted from Irshad: Wisdom of a Sufi Master, by Sheikh Muzaffar Ozak al-Jerrahi.

Ya Haqq!


Mirror Me

December 1, 2009

I lost my moment now
put it in a safe place
or buried it somewhere
under all the stuff
I own, I do, I think about

This giving/taking thing
has me all worn out
funked me into wearing
the same clothes for days
drinking immeasurable cups of tea
fantasizing saving children from war
women from guilt, men from themselves

Ignoring this moment I look for yours
head down, no longer listening
to the hearts of trees
the wave-song of kelp
not seeing flower heads bursting
candle wax on velvet
not feeling the availability of joy
of breath

Without kindness we are lost
so I ask you to step closer
mirror me with love
so that I might remember
who we are
and that this moment
is always now.

- Paddy Noble, 2009


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