“The whole universe… is the Qur’an.”

July 16, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“The whole universe, everything, including you, is the Qur’an.”

- Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti 

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!


Justice in Islam

February 24, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“His Throne is upon the waters, and in His other hand is the balance (Justice), and He raises and lowers (whomever He will).” – a hadith of the Prophet (pbuh)

One of the Names of God is Al-Adl, the Just, and in Islam, Justice demands a balance, a fairness that is clearly seen and felt. And the best example may be the ‘best of creation’ himself:

When the Prophet (peace be unto him) was drawing near death, he availed himself of one last chance to practice justice:

He came to the mosque wrapped in a blanket, and there were those who saw signs of death in his face. “If there is any among you,” he said, “whom I have caused to be flogged unjustly, here is my back. Strike in your turn. If I have damaged the reputation of any among you, may he do likewise to mine. To any I have injured, here is my purse… It is better to blush in this world than in the hereafter.” A man claimed a debt of three dinars and was paid.

In Islam and on the Sufi path as well, the highest level of Justice is to do Justice without demanding it, recognizing that our own demands may be the cause of the imbalance itself. Thus, a story is told of Dhu’l Nun al Misri, the great Egyptian Sufi saint. There was a drought in Egypt, and the people implored him to pray to God for rain. He did so, and during his prayer, God informed him that he himself was the source of the drought. So he left Egypt, and the rains came.

And for the dictators in the world,  a reminder:

Beware of oppressing someone with no defense against you except God. – Hazrat Ali

- Edited from The Virtues of the Prophet, (Chapter IX) by Charles Upton.

Ya Haqq!


Rumi’s Wedding Night – Dec. 17, 1273

December 16, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

On December 17th, 1273 AD, Mevlana Jalal al-din Rumi died at Konya. The 17th of December is thus called Sheb-i Arus, meaning ‘Bride’s Night” or ‘Nuptial Night’ or ‘Wedding Night,’ because of the union of Mevlana with God. As Rumi’s epitaph states:

‘When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.’

Rumi was a universally loved genius, one of the greatest servants of humanity, founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Brotherhood, his poetry and doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness and charity, and awareness through love. Looking with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike, his peaceful and tolerant teaching has reached men of all sects and creeds.

Love and imagination are magicians

Who create an image of the Beloved in your mind

With which you share your secret intimate moments.

This apparition is made of nothing at all,

But from its mouth comes the question,

“Am I not your Loved One?”

And from you the soft reply, “Yes. Yes. Yes.”

~ Rumi ~

Inna lillahi wa-inna ilayi raji’un.
(We belong to God and to God are we returning)

 

Ya Haqq!


Gladdening Hearts

December 13, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace

It is related that in the late 1970s, there was a young man from Southern California who was seeking spiritual knowledge. He had lived in communes and sought, as the young in every generation do, the answers to life in ancient wisdom and eternal truths. Perhaps partly because of this, he was also estranged from his wealthy and conservative father.

The young man decided to go to India to seek enlightenment and find a teacher, and while traveling a roundabout way through Iran, found himself in Tehran.  By fortune or fate, which is another way of saying by God’s will, one of the various people he met there was a darvish, who, upon learning of his desire for spiritual attainment, took him to the Nimatullahi Sufi khaniqh and introduced him to the Master, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh.

The young man had heard of Sufism, but of course had never met a Sufi Master, especially one of such a loving nature and humor and strength of personality.  He spoke at length with the Master on several occasions, and after some consideration, became initiated. He afterwards spent some time in Tehran with Dr. Nurbakhsh, and happily considered that his spiritual quest for a teacher had been fulfilled. Eventually, he expressed his wish to go back to California, and the Master gave him permission, but also commanded that he reconcile with his father.

The young man, now on the Path of Love, knew that this was the right thing to do, and wanted to bring back a present for his parents. He decided on a Persian red and blue rug from city of Kerman (Kirman), because he had heard that their rugs were famous for their rich, blue color.  It was said that the blue of the sky in Kerman was the truest, most beautiful cerulean blue, because of the quality of the light there. Dr. Nurbakhsh, who was himself born there, was delighted to hear of it, and personally contacted Nimatullahi dervishes in Kerman who dealt in rugs, and arranged for the young man to purchase a high quality Kermani rug at a fair price.

Some time passed, and the young man, once again living in his parents house, received word that Dr. Nurbakhsh was arriving in Los Angeles to visit the just purchased khaniqah there. The young man was very happy to hear it, and his parents, to thank the Master for bringing back their prodigal son, invited Dr. Nurbakhsh and the dervishes traveling with him to tea on their arrival.

The Master was jet-lagged and very tired, but he accepted the invitation, and they made the long drive to the parent’s large and palatial home.

The father answered the door in shorts and a Polo shirt, and shook hands with the Master. “Hi! Glad to meet you!” he said, looking somewhat suspiciously at the foreign-looking gentleman and his entourage. The Master shook his hand warmly, and through an interpreter, expressed his thanks for the kind invitation. The dervishes, however, were nonplussed that this American man treated their Master so casually, instead of with the awe and respect they were used to, but the Master thought nothing of it, and just smiled and put them all at ease.

As tea was being served, out of the picture window overlooking the back deck, they watched the sun setting over the Pacific ocean. The slanted light was particularly lovely on the blue of the Kermani rug at their feet. The young man sat with the dervishes, smiling at his parents, who wholeheartedly thanked the Master for all he had done to bring them back together.

Finally, as they said their goodbyes, and the Master got into the car for the long ride back to the new khaniqah, he looked very tired after the long day, having used the last reserves of his energy for the ride to pay his respects to the young man’s parents. Some of the dervishes could not help but wonder why he went through so much trouble.

As if in answer, he suddenly said, “Alhamdulillah! We have gladdened one heart today. That is all that we do. We gladden hearts.”

And so it is.

 

Ya Haqq!


The Knowing Heart

September 21, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“The Sufis have been the educators of hearts for at least fourteen centuries. Their teaching and methods are based neither upon dogma nor conjecture, but upon a divine and objective foundation which is the primordial religion of humanity.

“Sufism does not offer salvation in the sense of a guarantee of heaven in the afterlife. Sufism offers a path to complete humanness, a state in which the spiritual and the human are unified, in which the world of spiritual qualities and material existence are seen as one.

“This education is empirical, practical, and integrated with daily life. At the same time it is attuned to the most transcendent Truth. This education is a unified whole, but it touches on so many areas of experience: individual psychology, relationships, marriage, family, community, livelihood, creativity, and worship.”

We are the mirror as well as the face in it.

We are drunk on this life of God.

We are both the pain and its cure.

We are the fresh, cool water

and the jar that pours.

Rumi (Quatrain 1652)

From The Knowing Heart: A Sufi Path of Transformation by Kabir Helminski

Ya Haqq!


The Son of the Moment

July 1, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The sufi is the son of the Moment, O companion! Saying ‘tomorrow’ is not among the conditions for (being on) the Path.
- Rumi, from the Mathnawi 1:133

The Sufi is of the River, not of time, for ‘with God is neither morn nor eve’: there the past and the future and time without beginning and time without end do not exist … He (the Sufi) is son of that ‘moment’ by which is to be understood only a denial of the divisions of times, just as ‘God is One’ is to be understood only as a denial of duality, not as a description of the true nature of Unity.Ananda Coomaraswamy

Ya Haqq!

Note: This most intriguing and subtle distinction is reposted with thanks from the Mystic Saint blog.


“There is no existence save His existence.”

April 21, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“There is no existence save His existence. The existence of the beggar is His existence, and the existence of the sick is His existence. And the existence of all created things, both accidents and substances, is His existence; and when the secret of one particle of the atom is clear, the secret of all created things, both outward and inward, is clear; and you do not see in this world or the next anything except God.”ibn Arabi

Ya Haqq!

Note:  See also this poem.


Meditation on Death

April 9, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Because I could not stop for Death he kindly stopped for me. The carriage held but just Ourselves and Immortality.Emily Dickinson

In December of 1986, I was operated on to remove my pituitary gland and the small benign tumor within it that had resulted in Cushing’s Disease, and had caused a lengthy hospital stay in the beginning of that year. It was during that earlier hospital stay that I had the out-of-body experience I have written about in a previous post (which you can read here).

I remember the anesthesia being administered and being told to count backwards from one hundred. At about 96, I blinked my eyes, and when I opened them again an instant later, I was being wheeled back to my room. I asked the nurse, “When does it start?”  She answered, “It’s all over.”

Eight hours had passed in the blink of an eye. It could have been eight years, or eight million. The anesthesia blanked me out of existence so completely, that I wondered if death was like that:

An instant that lasts for eternity!

In the years since those two events, and as I approach my sixty-fifth birthday, death itself holds no fear for me, because just as in the Angel of Death excerpt from Master of the Jinn, I really do consider it a mercy from God.  But I cannot but wonder if one of those experiences holds the answer to the great mystery of what comes afterward.  Both possessed the immediacy of experiential truth, but can both be real? Is the instant of nothingness a precursor to awaking on a different plane of existence? Can it be that our spirit, or soul, or ka, or whatever your faith calls it, leaves the physical body at death and after an instant of blankness, joins, or rejoins, the Eternal Godhead?

Socrates asked the same question, concluding: “Death is one of two things…Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything; or, as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from one place to another.”

My late father-in-law believed the former. Once I asked him if he thought that we live on after death. He said, “Yes, in blood and memory.”  In other words, we live on in the bloodline passed to our children and grandchildren and down the generations. And in the memory they carry of us, until that is lost in time, when those that still remember us have also died.  He considered himself a realist.

And yet, the first law of thermodynamics, an expression of the principle of the conservation of energy, states that energy can be transformed (changed from one form to another), but cannot be created or destroyed.

Is that also true of the energy of consciousness, which is, after all, the only part of us that really would go on after the body dies? Or is it just our greater Self that goes on, our soul, which is that ineffable part of us that is always in touch with, and originally a part of, the Oneness of Divine Love? Inshallah, it is so.  I do not mind at all leaving the lesser self behind; the individual ego with its fears and jealousy and enmity and regrets. Let it die as the electro-chemical brain and body functions come to a stop.

I know that love goes on.  And after years on the Sufi path,  I have seen what can only be described as a glimpse of… something other.

There is some comfort in the belief that the body is nothing but a shell for the evolution of consciousness, “to evolve toward the Godhead,” as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the French philosopher and Jesuit priest wrote in The Phenomenon of Man.

And, so as not to waste what God has given, I am also an organ donor; I prefer to leave all organs that are still of any use to help others, and the rest to be cremated.  I like the efficiency of the fire, taking up as little room at the end as I did at the beginning. And I like the idea of my ashes scattered to the winds of the world.

But does individual consciousness completely die? Or does the soul or greater Self have its own higher level of consciousness? My late Master, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, was asked this very question, and he said, “In the end, the drop becomes one with the Ocean, but it does not lose its wetness.”

There is hope in that statement. I have studied many religions and their beliefs of the afterlife, and in all honesty they sound mainly the same, a heavenly paradise where the individual self consciousness, and often the resurrected body, is kept intact and rewarded or punished for its life on earth in just measure to its deeds. But if the individual self stops at the end of life, the afterlife must be something else entirely. What that something else, that wetness is, is one of the eternal questions of living beings.  The ultimate mystery!

And that’s what I’m counting on :) All questions are inevitably useless. The answer will come soon enough!

No mythology and metaphor for me. I want the great mystery, all of it, no matter what it is—a billion years in the blink of an eye, or an infinite panorama as vast as the universe; and an endless sea of stars on which to sail.

Death is an angel with two faces; to us he turns a face of terror, blighting all things fair; the other burns with glory of the stars, and love is there.
- T. C. Williams

Alhamdulillah!

Ya Haqq!


April is for Library Lovers!

April 2, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

April 11-17 is National Library Week in the US, and April is also School Library Month, so please consider buying a copy of Master of the Jinn to donate to your public or school library.

Most of the libraries that now carry Master of the Jinn are College Libraries, and include, besides the Library of Congress, Sarah Lawrence College, Hofstra University, Michigan State University, Georgetown University, Florida State University, and Regis University. And all their copies were donated :)

I know that owning a computer places almost all the information you could find in a library at your fingertips, but I love libraries; they are still the best place to study and read books, surrounded by the knowledge of humanity, as well as the stories that have inspired and moved us through the centuries :)

Ya Haqq!


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