Master of the Jinn in Indonesia – Sang Raja Jin Published!

May 14, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Alhamdulillah! Praise God!  Sang Raja Jin, the Indonesian translation of Master of the Jinn, had been republished by Mizan Publishing, one of the largest book publishers in Indonesia.   Look for it at your local bookstore, or buy it online HERE.

Ya Haqq!


NEW REVISED EDITION of Master of the Jinn!

March 18, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Alhamdulillah! Praise God! 

Thanks to the wonders of modern printing technology, I have been able to publish a NEW REVISED EDITION of Master of the Jinn!  It is an author’s dream to be able to correct the typos one inevitably finds after a book has been printed. Well, I have done just that, and also changed a few words to make certain sentences more clear. And, after numerous requests, a Glossary of Terms has been added.  Now readers unfamiliar with Sufi terminology or the Arabic and Persian words used will have an easy point of reference.

Master of the Jinn is now a brand new book, so if you haven’t read it yet, this is the perfect time to purchase one, and if you already own the old one, it is now a collector’s item :) And you might also want this new edition. Click HERE to buy the book. :)

Ya Haqq!

Note:  Only the paperback has been revised so far. The Ebook will be revised in about two weeks.


Mystic Heart – The 3rd Sufi Poetry Carnival!!!

April 7, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

God hath treasures beneath the Throne,
the keys whereof are the tongues of poets.
– a saying of the Prophet (pbuh)

Alhamdulillah!

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Sufi Poetry Carnival, co-hosted by our brother Sadiq of the highly acclaimed Technology of the Heart blog.

The Carnival will run from April 7th to April 30th, during National Poetry Month in the US, and will be posted on our blogs on May 7th, inshallah.  The Sufi theme this year is:

The Mystic Heart

If you have a blog or website, you can submit a direct link of your poem. If you don’t have a blog or website, you can email your submission to the address below, with the subject line:  Sufi Poetry Carnival

All May Enter: We are all spiritual beings having a human experience,  so may submit their poetry, whether a Sufi or not, as long as the poetry is in English and the Mystic Heart theme is followed.

Send your links and entries to me at: Irvingk1945@gmail.com

And please send a duplicate copy to Sadiq at mysticsaint@gmail.com

We will then each post a selection of the poems chosen :)

In your light I learn how to love,
in your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you,
but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.
– Rumi

 

Ya Haqq!


Hazrat Ali’s Sermon on Eid ul-Fitr

September 6, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The blessed month of Ramadan will be over in a few days, and so it is fitting to repost this from last year.  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 sun of good works, which have shone so brightly during Ramadan, to light the way through this coming year until the next Ramadan. Amin! Amin!

Eid Mubarak!

Ya Haqq!


Meditation on Death

April 9, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Because I could not stop for Death he kindly stopped for me. The carriage held but just Ourselves and Immortality.Emily Dickinson

In December of 1986, I was operated on to remove my pituitary gland and the small benign tumor within it that had resulted in Cushing’s Disease, and had caused a lengthy hospital stay in the beginning of that year. It was during that earlier hospital stay that I had the out-of-body experience I have written about in a previous post (which you can read here).

I remember the anesthesia being administered and being told to count backwards from one hundred. At about 96, I blinked my eyes, and when I opened them again an instant later, I was being wheeled back to my room. I asked the nurse, “When does it start?”  She answered, “It’s all over.”

Eight hours had passed in the blink of an eye. It could have been eight years, or eight million. The anesthesia blanked me out of existence so completely, that I wondered if death was like that:

An instant that lasts for eternity!

In the years since those two events, and as I approach my sixty-fifth birthday, death itself holds no fear for me, because just as in the Angel of Death excerpt from Master of the Jinn, I really do consider it a mercy from God.  But I cannot but wonder if one of those experiences holds the answer to the great mystery of what comes afterward.  Both possessed the immediacy of experiential truth, but can both be real? Is the instant of nothingness a precursor to awaking on a different plane of existence? Can it be that our spirit, or soul, or ka, or whatever your faith calls it, leaves the physical body at death and after an instant of blankness, joins, or rejoins, the Eternal Godhead?

Socrates asked the same question, concluding: “Death is one of two things…Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything; or, as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from one place to another.”

My late father-in-law believed the former. Once I asked him if he thought that we live on after death. He said, “Yes, in blood and memory.”  In other words, we live on in the bloodline passed to our children and grandchildren and down the generations. And in the memory they carry of us, until that is lost in time, when those that still remember us have also died.  He considered himself a realist.

And yet, the first law of thermodynamics, an expression of the principle of the conservation of energy, states that energy can be transformed (changed from one form to another), but cannot be created or destroyed.

Is that also true of the energy of consciousness, which is, after all, the only part of us that really would go on after the body dies? Or is it just our greater Self that goes on, our soul, which is that ineffable part of us that is always in touch with, and originally a part of, the Oneness of Divine Love? Inshallah, it is so.  I do not mind at all leaving the lesser self behind; the individual ego with its fears and jealousy and enmity and regrets. Let it die as the electro-chemical brain and body functions come to a stop.

I know that love goes on.  And after years on the Sufi path,  I have seen what can only be described as a glimpse of… something other.

There is some comfort in the belief that the body is nothing but a shell for the evolution of consciousness, “to evolve toward the Godhead,” as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the French philosopher and Jesuit priest wrote in The Phenomenon of Man.

And, so as not to waste what God has given, I am also an organ donor; I prefer to leave all organs that are still of any use to help others, and the rest to be cremated.  I like the efficiency of the fire, taking up as little room at the end as I did at the beginning. And I like the idea of my ashes scattered to the winds of the world.

But does individual consciousness completely die? Or does the soul or greater Self have its own higher level of consciousness? My late Master, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, was asked this very question, and he said, “In the end, the drop becomes one with the Ocean, but it does not lose its wetness.”

There is hope in that statement. I have studied many religions and their beliefs of the afterlife, and in all honesty they sound mainly the same, a heavenly paradise where the individual self consciousness, and often the resurrected body, is kept intact and rewarded or punished for its life on earth in just measure to its deeds. But if the individual self stops at the end of life, the afterlife must be something else entirely. What that something else, that wetness is, is one of the eternal questions of living beings.  The ultimate mystery!

And that’s what I’m counting on :) All questions are inevitably useless. The answer will come soon enough!

No mythology and metaphor for me. I want the great mystery, all of it, no matter what it is—a billion years in the blink of an eye, or an infinite panorama as vast as the universe; and an endless sea of stars on which to sail.

Death is an angel with two faces; to us he turns a face of terror, blighting all things fair; the other burns with glory of the stars, and love is there.
– T. C. Williams

Alhamdulillah!

Ya Haqq!


Monday Musings!!!

January 4, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Alhamdulillah!  The Al Mihrab blog has named Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel, one of the Five Good Books for American Muslims (and everyone else). Check out all the books by clicking HERE.

* * *

It is told that on many a morning the venerable Khwaja Sheikh Bahaudin Naqsbandi (also called Baha al-Din, and in some parts of the world known as El-Shah) would stand on his doorstep, look out and think: “Everyone is a sheikh these days. Where has the dervish gone? Are there any left?”

(My late Master, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, often said something similar.)

* * *

The name of the Prophet’s (pbuh) mother was Aaminah bint Wahb, and his father’s name was Abdullah ibn Abdul-Mutalib

Translated:

Aaminah, the daughter of Wahb
Abdullah, the son of Abdul-Mutalib

So this means Wahb was the maternal grandfather of the Prophet (pbuh), and Abdul-Mutalib was the paternal grandfather of the Prophet (pbuh).

(For all the grandfathers out there, peace and blessings be upon us all.)

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’.”


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