A Handful of Dirt

February 4, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

For a moment ponder the Lord’s subtleties and kindnesses and the traces of the divine solicitude and care that have arranged this handful of earth. Look at the different kinds of honor and the special privileges of nearness that He has placed within human beings. For He created the whole cosmos, but He looked not upon a single creature with the eye of love, He sent not a single messenger to any existent thing, He sent no message to any creature. When the turn of the children of Adam arrived, He pulled them up through gentleness and caressed them through bounty and quarries of light. He made their inmost mystery the place of His own glance, He sent them messengers, He set angels over them as guardians, He placed the fire of love in their hearts, and He sent them continuous incitements to yearning and motives for desire.

The purpose of all these words and allusions is to show that a human being is a handful of earth. Whatever ennoblement and honor people have received derives from the gentleness and care of the holy Lord. When He gives, He gives because of His own generosity, not because of your worthiness. He gives because of His magnanimity, not because of your prostration. He gives through His bounty, not because of your good works…

- From the Kashf al-asrar wa ‘uddat al-abrar (Unveiling of Mysteries and Provision of the Righteous), by Rashid al-Din Maybudi, a Sufi Persian commentary, or tasfir, on the Noble Qur’an. The Kashf al-asrar is based on, and probably embodies, the only surviving text of an earlier Qur’an commentary by the famous Hanbali mystic, ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari. Click HERE for more information.

With thanks and gratitude to the Journey to the Garden blog for pointing the way.

Ya Haqq!


The Prayer of Guidance

January 21, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The Prophet (pbuh) has said:

“If one of you is concerned about some practical undertaking, or about making plans for a journey, he should perform two Rakats (cycles) of voluntary prayer. Then he should say the following dua:”

O Allah! I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power; I have none. And You know; I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things.

O Allah! If in Your knowledge this matter is good for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge this matter is bad for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be, and make me content with it.

- Called the Salat-ul-Istikhara, or The Prayer of Guidance, it is adapted from the excellent and beneficial Simply Islam blog.

Ya Haqq!


The Women in Our Lives

November 25, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In our Sister Suroor’s recent and lovely post about men, I commented that everything I know of love, I learned from women; my mother, my daughter, and my wife. This is absolutely true. And more, all that I comprehend of God’s love and mercy, I have learned from love; and even that small fraction of His infinite bounty has its root within my heart in the endless kindness and patience and endurance and generosity of women.

My mother was the kindest, gentlest soul I have even known. I cannot think of even one instance where she considered her own needs before that of her children. I wish I could say the same for myself. My daughter is remarkable. Smart and funny, tall and lovely, in whose company I take great delight. Every man should have such an honest critic :) And my beloved wife embodies all of those attributes, and many, many more.

So here’s to the women in our lives. May we be worthy of them.

Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are — chaff and grain together — certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

-George Eliot


Ya Haqq!


Thanksgiving Prayer

November 21, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

O Lord, we humbly thank Thee for the bounty of our table, when so many in the world go hungry. And we thank Thee for our family and friends, when so many in the world walk alone.

O God, grant that we who are filled with good things from Your open hand, may never close our hearts to the hungry, the homeless, and the poor.

Ameen! Amen!

Ya Haqq!


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