A Month of Blessing

August 30, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every supplicant when he calleth on Me: let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way.” (Qur’an 2:188)

And the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.” [Narrated by Tabarani]

Ya Haqq!


Joy in the Morning

September 16, 2008

Each new day we are given
Is a blessing from God

Each breath at waking
A new beginning

Take nothing for granted
Time and fortune are fleeting

Each exhalation
May be your last

O Friend, breathe deeply
In the morning light

The rise and fall of your lungs
Is the body’s prostration

The prayer of life
Invoking His name

All-ah! All-ah!

- Irving Karchmar, © September 2008


Waiting for God II

April 10, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In a previous post, I wrote that to a darvish, Waiting for God is cultivating patience, that is, waiting for God’s sake. As the Prophet (pbuh) said: “…Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.”

However, there is also another kind of waiting for God: The Sufi way of waiting for divine knowledge, for union with the Beloved. This is the most demanding and difficult of all trials of patience.

Sufi Masters of the past used to sit in the Haram, as did Dhu’l Nun the Egyptian, or in a mosque, like Imam al-Ghazali, or in the desert, like Abu Said Abi’l Khayr, to wait for the answers to be given.

Alhamdulillah! It doesn’t happen because we are worthy of it; no one is worthy of it. It doesn’t happen because we deserve it, or want it, or hope for it, or pray for it, or fast, or give up everything for it. It only happens as God wills.

“Nor shall they compass any of Hu’s knowledge except as Hu might will.” – Qur’an 2:255

Our brother Dara writes: “When I was in Makkah, each night I would see an African man who would circle the Ka’ba until dawn, asking Allah TO BE GIVEN. I was there for one year, and he circled the Ka’ba each night till dawn. He would carry the Qur’an and read slowly. The purpose of practices like Sufi Silence is to learn to wait, like a slave, to be given ‘ilm (knowledge).”

Although Union with the Beloved is never given as a reward for one’s efforts, Strive, O heart, as much as you are able. Hafez

This is our task then, as human beings of faith: To strive and not to yield.

May Allah bless us with patience and guide us on the straight path of Love. Ameen!

Ya Haqq!


Out of Body Experience – Part II

November 9, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Once more, dear readers, thank you for your comments on the previous post about my out of body experience. They have enriched the post immeasurably.

And there is no doubt that some of you have experienced something similar. Here is one true story I was told.

I began dating a very gifted and spiritual woman about a year and a half after my hospital stay, who also happened to be a psychologist. No, I wasn’t seeing her professionally lol. But after some months, I did tell her about my illness, the hospital, and my out of body episode. I thought at the time that it was my own fear of death that caused me to have a dream of confession and redemption.

I said, “What do you make of that?”

She said, “What makes you think it didn’t really happen?”

She then told me that she had also had an out of body experience. At the instant of giving birth to her first child, as the baby was actually leaving her body, she described having a feeling like a tremendous orgasm, and that immediately her consciousness flew out of her body and was enveloped in what she described as a “pure golden light of endless love.” It was so transcendent and beautiful that she never wanted to leave. She thought she might have died, but didn’t care. That light of pure love was all-embracing. Then she heard the far off cries of her newborn daughter, and that forcibly pulled her consciousness back into her body. She had tears in her eyes at leaving that “place.”

I have often wondered if that “place” was the source of a mother’s love, the bond between mother and child. Or perhaps the source of all Love, the sea of light from which our lone drops are formed in this life.

She later did a small, all-woman study about such experiences, and received some surprising results from the study group. Apparently 5% of the women who responded have had similar experiences, sometimes during childbirth and sometimes even during orgasm. But women don’t speak of it, attributing it to the stress of labor, to pain medication, or the rush of hormones during sex. (No wonder the French call orgasm the “little death.”)

We are spiritual beings having a human experience, and only for a short time. We come from that Light, and return to it after our time is over. And since I have come to think that our time in this life is allotted, as the luminous being implied when he said, “It is not your time yet,” I have for many years thanked God each morning for the wondrous gift of my life, for the love He has given me and the mercy He has shown me all the days of my life.

Each day, each moment is a blessing.

As it says in the Koran: “Verily, in the heavens and the earth are signs to those who believe.” (45:2)

Ya Haqq!


Bayazid on the Hajj

November 1, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

It is related that one year the Sufi Master Bayazid set out on the pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj. A few days later he came back. When asked about his sudden return, he gave the following account.

“I was three days walking in the desert when an old man encountered me on the road,” Bayazid recalled.
“‘Where are you going?’ he demanded.
“‘On the pilgrimage,’ I replied.
“‘How much money did you bring for your journey?’
“‘Two hundred dirhams.’
“‘Come, give them to me,’ the man said. ‘I am
a poor man with a family. Circle round me seven times. That
is your pilgrimage.’
“And so I did, and returned home.”

Ya Haqq!

Note: From Attar’s Memorial of the Saints.  Also read the post Bayazid and the Dog for another example of the great blessing of giving in charity.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 356 other followers