Thanks Giving 2009

November 20, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Thanksgiving is almost here in the US, and with Eid al-Adha the next day it will soon be a time of giving thanks, of gratitude to the Creator. Before every meal, Sufis say “Bismillah!” This is their way of saying Grace, of being grateful. Yet every human being who follows a spiritual path has their own way of being gracious, whose origin is Grace; the giving of thanks to God.

Thanksgiving is sweeter than bounty itself.

One who cherishes gratitude does not cling to the gift!

Thanksgiving is the true meat of God’s bounty;

The bounty is its shell,

For thanksgiving carries you to the hearth of the Beloved.

Abundance alone brings heedlessness,

Thanksgiving gives birth to alertness.

The bounty of thanksgiving will satisfy and elevate you,

And you will bestow a hundred bounties in return.

Eat your fill of God’s delicacies,

And you will be freed from hunger and begging.

- Rumi

“With mealtime prayer we offer thanksgiving to the Source of all sustenance. Prayer is a means by which the reins of hunger and the senses are taken by the spirit and intellect. The offering of a mealtime blessing elevates eating from a mechanical activity to conscious participation in the chain of being. It is an acknowledgment of the fact that in eating any organism, we are sharing in the sacrifice it has made to sustain us.”

Gratitude is an eagle, blessings a fine plump partridge
only gratitude wins the reward of blessing.
Give thanks to Him alone who buys
your words in the bazaar of Paradise.

- Nasir-i Khusraw

Excerpt from Serving the Guest – A Sufi Cookbook

Ya Haqq!

 

 


Who has God wants nothing.

April 13, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God only is changeless.
Patience gains all things.
Who has God wants nothing.
God alone suffices.

- Saint Teresa de Avila wrote these lines on a piece of paper and used it as a bookmark. May God grant that her words of wisdom find its way into the heart of all who read them. Amen. With gratitude to Sister Annie, poet extraordinaire, for pointing the way.

Ya Haqq!


Happy Easter!!!

April 11, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Everyone has eaten and fallen asleep. The house is empty. We walk out to the garden to let the apple meet the peach, to carry messages between rose and jasmine.

Spring is Christ,
Raising martyred plants from their shrouds.
Their mouths open in gratitude, wanting to be kissed.
The glow of the rose and the tulip means a lamp is inside.
A leaf trembles. I tremble in the wind-beauty like silk from Turkestan.
The censer fans into flame.

This wind is the Holy Spirit.
The trees are Mary.
Watch how husband and wife play subtle games with their hands.
Cloudy pearls from Aden are thrown across the lovers,
as is the marriage custom.

The scent of Joseph’s shirt comes to Jacob.
A red carnelian of Yemeni laughter is heard
by Muhammad in Mecca.

We talk about this and that. There’s no rest except on these branching moments.

- Jalaluddin Rumi (from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks)

Ya Haqq!


The Experiment

May 14, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

This is a simple experiment. Go through one day of life without saying the word “I” or “my” or “mine.”

It is related that one of Junaid’s teachers, Al-Qalaneis, said: “I was accompanied by some people in Basra who were quite generous to me, but one morning when I said, ‘where is my robe’ I lost my favor in their eyes.”

To say “my” or “mine” in the presence of those who maintain the status of Suhbat (Companionship) is a breach of the Adab (etiquette) of the Sufis. The robe would surely have been brought to him without the need to ask for it, but it was the claim of possession of anything in this world which caused Al-Qalaneis to lose favor in the eyes of the Companions of the Way.

Alhamdulillah! All that we have of earthly possessions, or of attained knowledge, even our children and our very lives, is but a loan to us, and surely the Rightful Owner can take back the loan as He wills.

So, can you gather the intention and frame of mind go through a single day feeling that all things are ‘loaned’ to you, including your life, and there is no “I” or “mine” or “my?” That all things are prepared for your use and what you owe to Allah, the Rightful Owner, is praise and gratitude and…. well, you can decide what else you owe for yourselves.

The Prophet (pbuh) entered the Ka’ba and destroyed 360 idols. We have an idol in the Ka’ba of our hearts. Its name is “I.” – Dawoud Kringle.

- Source of Al-Qalaneis story: Brother Dara’s Untired with Loving website. The experiment was also his idea, on TheSufiNotes Yahoo group.

Ya Haqq!


Touching Faith

April 23, 2008

you have your doubt
because doubt
is the bars of a cage
you believe in.
you see only
a blurred world of illusion.
still gently as the breath prays
the soul dreams its way
out of every prison people create,
including the fear
that leads to lack of belief.
Lover, it’s your heart we seek
inside our own. you have felt
the breath of Him on your skin
until you named it wind.
how can we know
we dress things in our own
sense of limitation?

if i placed a star in the palm of your hand,
you would feel the way
the earth feels when it becomes
a mother to a forest of seeds.
behold the star now.
if you believe it
is what you view from earth,
balance it in the palm of your hand.
if you can’t, you have touched Truth,
allowing your heart the faith
of the entire universe.

- This beautiful spiritual poem is from Sister Annie’s Kneeling Before the Rose poetry blog, and posted with her permission and my gratitude.

Ya Haqq!


Submission Before the Will of Allah

April 6, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“If you are destined for good fortune you will be blessed; if afflictions have been ordained, no matter where you hide they will seek you out.  Submit therefore before the will of Allah; be grateful in well-being and endure adversity with fortitude, that His light may radiate within your being.”

-Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (R.A)

Ya Haqq!


The Eight Gates of Paradise

January 3, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“There are eight gates for Paradise and seven gates for the Fire.” said the Prophet (pbuh).

The saying of praise for Allah, “Al-Hamdu Lil-lahi,” has eight alphabets*; the number of the gates of Paradise is also eight, therefore he who recites these eight alphabets out of purity of heart does deserve (the opening of) the eight gates of Paradise.

Know that indeed there are eight gates for Paradise, and in the rank that you reach after reciting, “I take refuge in Allah from Shaytan the outcast…” one gate of the eight gates of Paradise opens for you; that is the gate of Ma’refa (Divine Gnosis).

A second gate is that of al-Dhikr (Remembrance) as you are reciting Bismil-lahir Rahmanir Rahim’.

The third gate is that of Shukr (Gratitude) after reciting Al-Hamdu Lil-Lahi Rabbil Alamin’.

The fourth gate is that of Hope when you recite Ar-Rahanir Rahimi’.

The fifth gate is that of Fear when you recite ‘Maliki Yaumid-Din’.

The sixth gate is that of Purity born out of the Ma’refa (Divine Gnosis) of ‘Ubudiat (Servitude) and Rububiat (Divinity) in your reciting ‘Iyyaka Na’budu Wa Iyyaka Nasta’inu’.

The seventh gate is that of Du’a (Invocation) in your reciting ‘Ihdinas Siratal Mustaqim’.

The eighth gate is that of ‘Iqtidā’ (emulation or following the example) of the good and pure souls, and of seeking guidance through their Nur (Divine Light) and that is in your reciting of ‘Siratal La-Dhina…’

Now you know the secrets of the Eight Gates of Paradise and what is referred to in 38:50. ‘The Gardens of Eden with opened gates for them’. For the Gardens of Divine Gnosis have been opened by these spiritual keys, and this does point to what happens during the Prayer of Spiritual Ascension, like that of the Prophet (pbuh) to the Heavens.

- From the Tasfir al-Kabir (The Great Commentary), al-Fatiha, verse 7, by Fahkr al-Din al-Razi (his exegesis on the Quran), also named the Mafatih al-Ghayb (The Keys to the Unknown).

Taken, with thanks to Brother Dara, from the Untiredwithloving website.

*Note: The eight alphabets: Al: Alif+Lam (Lam is the ‘l’ sound)
Hamd: Ha+Mim+Dal (o sound of Al-Hamdo is not an alphabet), Ha is ‘h’ sound, Mim ‘m’ and Dal ‘d’ sound
Lil: Lam
La: Lam
Hi: Ha

Ya Haqq!


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