Like a Mighty Stream

December 2, 2008

 

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

I weep for Mumbai in the wake of the horror, and for Baghdad and Kabul, for Gaza and Jerusalem, for Karachi and Kashmir and Kosovo. Tears fall like rain for Darfur, Burma, North Korea, Tibet, Nigeria, Somalia, Congo, Zimbabwe. Where there is terror, imprisonment, torture, war, murder, genocide, rape, disease, poverty, and famine, how can anyone be at peace in the world?

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.
- The Talmud

Perhaps to be just, loving, merciful, generous, kind, and to walk with humility in spirit, is the beginning of the solution, one person at a time, for as long as we are able. Little by little, the enormity of the world’s grief will diminish, and slowly, slowly the spirit of loving-kindness, the spirit of God, will spread and rise in the heart of His creation. This ordinary work may not be completed in our lifetime, or in our children’s or grand-children’s lifetimes, but if we continue to teach the next generation, and they the one after them, to paraphrase Dr. King, justice will indeed flow like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Ya Haqq!


Generosity of Spirit

October 4, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In my younger years, whenever I walked down a street, beggars would let a hundred people pass and unerringly come right up to me, no matter how much I scowled or tried to look uninterested. What did they see in me, these ragged men and women who could read faces so well? Perhaps I looked like a soft touch, an easy mark, a sucker, a fool who was easily parted with his money. Invariably I would give them a few coins, resenting it all the while. Did they use it to buy alcohol, drugs, food? I was deeply suspicious of the cause of their poverty, and felt robbed of both money and pride.

What a fool I truly was, and feel rightly ashamed of such a miserly spirit, which made me the greater beggar. After many years on the Path of Love, I have learned this at least; the giving of zakat for Eid, or of charity in general, is either from generosity of spirit or it is nothing. God alone is the judge of another’s heart or intention.

As the Master says in the Sufi novel, Master of the Jinn:

“The generous heart always has enough to give. It is the miserly in spirit who believe they never have enough to be generous. It is not lack of possessions that leads to spiritual poverty, nor prayer and fasting by themselves. It is in the abandonment of self-absorption, and in constant remembrance and reflection that the heart becomes detached. Then the hands gladly open their grasp on worldly things and cleave to God.”

And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Indeed, an ignorant man who is generous is dearer to God than a worshipper who is miserly.” – (Al-Tirmidhi )

May Allah bless you all with generosity of spirit, whose foundation is Love, and whose Source is the Most Loving, the Most Generous. Amin.

Ya Haqq!


“Your Lord Has Not Forsaken You”

December 6, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“Your Lord has not forsaken you, nor has He become displeased
And surely what comes after is better for you than that which has gone before
And soon will your Lord give you so that you shall be well pleased.”
- {Ad-Dhuha, 93:3-5}

“Free yourselves from the worries of the world as much as you can, for whosoever treats his worries in this world as his most serious concern, Allah, blessed be His name, will minimize his real loss in his eyes, and He will cause his fear of poverty to broaden and to be constant. On the other hand, whosoever regards the hereafter as his major concern, Allah, blessed be His name, will group his immediate needs together to become manageable, He will fill his heart with richness and broaden his satisfaction and contentment. In fact, whenever a servant turns his heart wholly towards his Lord, then Allah, blessed be His name, will cause the hearts of His believing servants to flow towards him with love, kindness and mercy while abundant divine blessings will flow towards him to serve his immediate needs more swiftly.”
- Narrated by Ummu Darda: ‘Abdu Darda (ra) has said that Allah’s messenger (salla-Allahu’alayhi wa salam) said the above hadith

“You are only guests in this world and what you own is only a borrowed trust.
Eventually the guest will depart and the borrowed trust must be returned to its rightful Owner.”
- ‘Abd Allah bin Mas’ud
Ya Haqq!


A Sufi Poem

September 21, 2007

I begged for power and found it in knowledge
I begged for honor and found it in poverty
I begged for health and found it in asceticism
I begged my account be lessened before God
and found it in silence
I begged for consolation and found it in despair

- Ali Sahl Esfahani


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