“…those who spend for Allah’s sake…”

August 20, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“The likeness of those who spend for Allah’s sake is as the likeness of a grain of corn; it grows seven ears, every single ear has a hundred grains, and Allah multiplies (increases the reward) for whom He wills, and Allah is sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.”  – (Qur’an, 2:261)

“Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public. have their reward with their Rabb (God, the Sustainer). On them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.”  – (Qur‘an, 2:274)

Ya Haqq!


Sufi Masters and Disciples of Imagination

May 26, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

A man came to Sufi Master Bahaudin Shah Naqshband and said: “First I followed this teacher and then that one. Next I studied these books and then those. I feel that although I know nothing of you and your teachings, this experience has been slowly preparing me to learn from you.”

Bahaudin Shah said: “Nothing you have learned in the past will help you here. If you are to stay with us, you’ll have to abandon all pride in the past. That is a form of self-congratulation.”

This is true of any mystical path, and almost every initiate, and is a product of their subjective thinking and ego-centered imagination, the very habits the Master strives to cure them of.  As my own late Master, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, noted in one of this lectures, Sufis Who Are Disciples of Their Own Imaginations:

Most people who are drawn to the path of Sufism and become disciples of a master have, in fact, an image of the master in their minds, expecting the master to act according to this subjective image of theirs. If, after a while, they come to conclude that the master is not acting according to their mental image, they decide to leave this master, because, from their point of view, the master has not performed according to their expectations, and in point of fact they expect the master to be the disciple of their own mental image, otherwise they conclude that he or she is not a good master.

For ages the saying has been “The master’s infidelity is the disciple’s faith,” meaning that if the master says something contrary to the disciple’s beliefs, or does something against the disciple’s wishes, and the disciple remains loyal to him, it is proof that the disciple truly has faith in the master. There are very few disciples in the school of Sufism who love their master as he is and not as they would like him to be. For this reason, a true Sufi is a rare thing in this world. Most come through their imagination, and leave through their imagination.

- Edited from Discourses on the Sufi Path, by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh.

Ya Haqq!


There is Only One River

April 27, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“Sufism is not different from the mysticism of all religions. Mysticism comes from Adam, of monks, of hermits, and of Muhammad (God’s peace be upon him). A river passes through many countries and each claims it for its own. But there is only one river. Truth does not change. People change. People try to possess truth and keep it for themselves, keep it from others. But you cannot own the truth.”  – Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak

Ya Haqq!


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!


Advice to Husbands

November 3, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

I recently came across this list of five hadiths, or sayings of the Prophet (SAW), which give advice to Muslim husbands on good behavior during marriage, and thought I would share it, since they would apply to all husbands of any religion.

Advice to Husbands

Jabir narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, gave these instructions in his sermon during the Farewell Pilgrimage: “Fear God regarding women; for you have taken them [in marriage] with the trust of God.”
[Mishkat]

Narrated by Aisha, ‘God’s messenger said: “Among the believers who show most perfect faith are those who have the best disposition, and are kindest to their families.”’
[Tirmidhi]

Narrated by Abu Huraira, God’s messenger said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best disposition and the best of you are those who are best to their wives.”
[Tirmidhi]

Aisha has related that the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, would enter the house with a pleasing disposition and a smile on his lips.
[Uswa-i-Hasana]

Narrated by Al-Aswad: “I asked Aisha, `What did the Prophet, peace be upon him, do at home?’ Aisha said, `He used to work for his family and when he heard the call for the prayer, he would go out.'”
[Bukhari]

Ya Haqq!


“I Was a Hidden Treasure…”

October 21, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“I was a hidden treasure and wanted to be known.” This is the beginning of probably the most famous hadith qudsi, or extra-Qur’anic Word of God, ḥadiṯs-e kanz-e maḵf.  Its more correct translation might be as follows:

“I was a Treasure unknown then I desired to be known so I created a creation to which I made Myself known; then they knew Me.”

Tradition says that it is the divine response to the Prophet David’s query, when he asked about the purpose of creation. These are not the words of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and no chain of transmission is known for this hadith, whether sound or weak, as Ibn Taymiyya and others state. But the meaning is true and is inferred from Q51:56:

“I created the Jinn and humankind only that they may worship Me!” meaning “that they may know Me” as the Prophet’s (SAW) cousin Ibn Abbas explained it.

Since human beings were created in His image (as self-aware consciousnesses evolved in a physical body), all human beings are also hidden treasures to each other. And all have this deep desire to be known. So, all of us create our own little worlds, each according to his or her capabilities of love, talents, and gifts. Of course it is a limited and ephemeral world, not comparable with Almighty Allah’s creation, but part of our nature nonetheless :)

- Edited and adapted from a post on Br. Fahad’s Freelance blog.

Ya Haqq!


“Go to Los Angeles!”

October 8, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

It is related that many years ago, while Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order, was staying in the New York khaniqah, he came out of his room one morning and walked over to where Mr. Niktab, his closest disciple and the Shaykh of Shaykhs of the Order, was conversing with two young dervishes.

They were sitting cross-legged on the Persian rugs that covered the floor and were about to rise when they saw the Master approach, but he motioned for them to remain seated and said to Mr. Niktab:

“Go to Los Angeles!”

He then turned and walked away.

Mr. Niktab said nothing; the other two dervishes looked at each other questioningly. There was no khaniqah in Los Angeles and it was three thousand miles away. Mr. Niktab asked the two if they knew anyone there. “My cousin lives there,” one of them said. “I think you can stay with him.”

“He meant all of us,” Mr. Niktab said. “Get ready.”

They packed a few things quickly and hurried to the airport, took the next available flight, and arrived in Los Angeles just after 4pm.

When the Master says go, you go.

When they arrived at their destination, it was just past 5:00 pm, and the cousin was yet home from work. The young darvish who suggested it confessed that he could not reach his cousin, so the visit was going to be a surprise. Mr. Niktab didn’t seem concerned, and led them to the small, fenced backyard where they found lawn chairs to sit on.

Mr. Niktab meditated for a while, and then began singing one of Master’s poems in Persian, and the other two joined in, clapping out the rhythm.

Soon an elderly man next door heard the singing and glimpsed the three swarthy strangers over the fence that divided the property. He came to the fence and asked:  “Who are you people?”

Mr. Niktab smiled at the old man. He did not speak English, but told the young darvish to translate, and tell him they were waiting for his cousin to arrive, and apologized for disturbing him.  The old man just nodded and went back inside.

When the cousin finally arrived, he was delighted to find his unexpected visitors, and that Mr. Niktab himself had come. He begged them to make themselves comfortable while he made tea.

One of the young darvishes was a good cook, and made a delicious dinner for them all, after which they sang and recited Master’s poetry, having an impromptu zekr.  Mr. Niktab told the cousin to invite the gentleman next door, and the old man gladly agreed, having been listening to the music through the open windows.

He sat next to Mr. Niktab, who through an interpreter chatted with him amiably, and explained about the Sufi path and its dedication to love and service. The old man listened politely, drank the tea, ate one of the offered sweets, and went home sometime later.

The next afternoon, one of the dervishes asked Mr. Niktab what they were supposed to be doing.

“We are supposed to obey Master,” he said. “And be patient.”

The next night, many more Iranians appeared, the cousin telling his friends that a Sufi Shaykh was visiting his home. And this time Mr. Niktab politely invited the old man for dinner.  The food and music and poetry, even in a language he did not understand, seemed to please the old man and put him at ease.

Mr. Niktab also told him that the next might, Sunday, was their majlis, their twice weekly spiritual gathering, and that although he was welcome to attend, he would have to listen from the next room, as only darvishes, those already initiated, were admitted into the circle of the Friend.

“Then will you initiate me?” he asked without hesitation. Mr. Niktab smiled and said that he would be delighted to do so, and instructed one of the darvishes to help him obtain the items needed, and explain the details of initiation.

And so it was that on the third day, the old man was initiated as a darvish of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order; he was given his zekr, and formally gave his heart to God and his head to the Master. And he was happily welcomed into the circle of Lovers.

After the meeting was over and everyone had departed, Mr. Niktab spoke to the two dervishes who had traveled with him.

“Tomorrow we can go home,” he said.  “The old man was the reason the Master sent us to Los Angeles.”

Ya Haqq!

Note: This is a true story, and it was also said that the old man completed the entire Sufi path in one year, which is truly unheard of, except as God wills.

PS: Sunday, October 10th, is the second anniversary of the passing of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, (12/10/1926 – 10/10/2008) who was for fifty-five years the Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order.


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