Sons of One Religion

April 10, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the Spirit.

-Khalil Gibran

Ya Haqq!


Isa ibn Mariyam – Jesus, the Son of Mary

March 22, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Happy Easter to all my Christian brothers and sisters :)

Most people in the West do not know that Hazrat Muhammad al-Ghazali (may Allah keep his secret), who was called The Proof of The Faith, collected and authenticated several of the original saying of Isa ibn Mariyam (Jesus the son of Mary) in Aramaic (the language that Jesus spoke) and translated them into Arabic.

In al Ghazali’s time, 10th -11th century CE, there were still Christians who were unaffected by the doctrines of Paul. The Church founded by Judas Thomas for instance, was still strong in Syria and protected by the Khalifate.

It was written in the original Gospel:

Isa ibn Mariyam (AS) said:
Seek what you do not Know only after you
have put into practice what you do Know.

The disciples of Isa ibn Mariyam (AS) came to him and asked;
“O spirit of Allah, is there anyone else like you alive in our time?”
He replied: “Yes indeed, Whoever has the dhikr of Allah in his heart,
and is silent in thought, and who learns from what is given,
surely that one is like me.”

Isa ibn Mariyam (AS), asked his people:
“Where do you find a plant growing?”
They replied: “In the dust of the earth.”
He said: “By Al Haqq, I will tell you,
Marifat (Gnosis) does not grow except in a heart
that is like the dust of the earth.”

Isa ibn Mariyam (AS) met a man and asked him what his profession was.
The man replied: “I worship Allah.”
Isa (AS) then asked: ‘Who feeds and clothes you while you worship?”
“My brother,” The man replied.
Isa (AS) said: “Your brother’s worship is better than your own.”

Isa ibn Mariyam (AS) met three people while traveling,
They were pale and thin with fasting.
He asked them: “What has caused this state in you?”
They said: “Fear of the punishment of Allah”
Isa (AS) replied: “Allah has taken it upon Himself to lessen your fear.”
He continued on a ways and came across three more
who were pale and thin with fasting, even more than the last.
He asked them: “What has caused this state in you?”
They answered: “Desire for Allah’s rewards”
Isa (AS) said: “Allah has taken it upon Himself to give you what you long for.”
Once again in his travels Isa ibn Mariyam (AS) came across yet another three who were pale and thin with fasting. Their faces shone as if they were lit from within.
So he asked them: “What is the cause of your state?”
They answered: “We love Allah, the Mighty, the Glorious.”
Whereupon he replied: “You are the nearest, and nearer still!”

The companions of Isa ibn Mariyam (AS) said to him:
“Look at this temple, is it not beautiful?”
Isa (AS) replied: “My people,
by al Haqq I tell you, Allah does not leave this temple standing
except to destroy it by the sins of it’s inhabitants.
Surely, Allah does not care about gold and silver,
He does not care about this building that you admire so.
What Allah, the Most High loves are good hearts.
Allah inhabits the heart that remembers Him and He desolates
the heart that does not.”

Isa ibn Mariyam (AS),
passed by a group of men who shouted evil things at him.
In return Isa (AS) spoke to them with kindness.
His companions asked:
“Why did you reply to these men with kindness when they spoke evil to you?”
Isa (AS) replied: “Everyone spends from the coin he has.”

The song of Isa ibn Mariyam (AS)

My meal is fasting,
my standard is awe of Allah.
My clothing is of simple wool,
my prayer in winter is at suns rise.
My lamp is moonlight,
My steed is my legs.
My meal is whatever the earth gives me.
I lay down to sleep at night and have nothing,
I awake in the morning and have nothing,
yet there is no one richer than I.

– From The Traceless Warrior Blog. Commentary and English versions translated by Mushtaq Ali al Ansari. Copyright 1999. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Ya Haqq!


A Buddhist Lesson for Eid

October 10, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Gold dawn disk edges purple cliffs.
Old woman bends to sweep temple steps.
She bathes each stone with loving care.
How many worshippers think of her work?

I went at dawn to a magnificent temple. Its architecture was such a supreme expression of the human spirit that it was a treasure. Generations of worshipers had left offerings at the shrines, hundreds of monks had reached their enlightenment on the consecrated grounds, and thousands had been blessed in life and death in the venerable halls.

Yet my most moving observation was an old woman silently sweeping the steps. Her concentration was perfect. Her devotion was palpable. Her thoroughness was complete. Her uncelebrated act showed a true holy spirit.

Later in the day, wealthy people came to worship. Children with brightly colored toys ran over the gray stones. The abbot walked to his ceremonies. Monks passed in silent prayer. Of all who passed, how many were aware of the saintly service that had made their own devotion possible?

When the way is all we have to walk, those who prepare the way should be truly honored.

__________

-Deng Ming-Dao, from the 365 Tao website, taken from the lovely and spiritual Kozi Wolf blog.

Alhamdulillah! This beautiful observation is indeed worth remembering during Eid. Watch the women – the mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, aunts - in the kitchen preparing the food, cleaning the home, setting the table or the sufreh. Observe the care they take, the devotion and love they put into the tasks, and remember to thank them.

Eid Mubarak! 

Ya Haqq!


King Solomon and the Jinn

July 13, 2006

And now listen, those that have ears, to a tale of Solomon the King. Yes, Solomon, the mightiest and wisest ruler of the earth that ever was or shall be. Wealthy beyond measure was Solomon, and with such wisdom as only Allah may bestow. And lo, he commanded the wind, and both men and Jinn, birds and animals. All were servants unto him. Yet he lost favor in the sight of God, for neither wealth nor power nor wisdom brought him enlightenment.

His true name was Jedidiah, the ‘friend of God’ but was
later made Shelomo, Solomon, the ‘King of Peace,’ because of the peace that prevailed during the greater part of his reign. And other names he had also: Ben, because he was the builder of the Temple; Jekeh because he was the ruler of the known world; and Ithiel, because God was with him.

It is written that at the time Solomon began the building of the Temple, Assaf, the Vizir of Solomon, complained that someone was stealing precious jewels from his rooms, and from other courtiers as well. Even the royal treasury was not immune. Now Assaf was also renowned for his wisdom and knew that no ordinary thief could have done these deeds. ‘Some evil spirit causes this mischief,’ he counseled the King.

Solomon then prayed fervently to God to deliver the wicked spirit into his hands for punishment. At once his prayer was answered. The archangel Michael appeared before the
King, and put into his hand the mightiest power that ever was or shall be in this world…a small, golden ring, inset with a seal of engraved stone.

And Michael said: ‘ Take this ring, O Solomon King, son of
David, the gift which the Lord God hath sent unto thee. Wear this ring, and all the demons of the earth, both male and female, thou wilt command.’

Now, many medieval sources claim that the pentalpha, or
pentacle, the ancient sign of sorcery, was engraved on the ring, because Solomon was said to have been a master of the magic arts. But the pentacle is older than Solomon,
first seen on pottery from Ur of the Chaldees, in ancient Babylon.

Other sources describe the ring as made of pure gold, set
with a single shamir stone; a diamond perhaps, or the same heavenly green shamir stone said to have been part of the Temple. The stone was cut and set in the form of an eight-rayed star. On it was engraved the hexagon seal, and within that the four letters of the ineffable name of God.

No stone was ever so renowned as the stone in the ring of Solomon. For with it the whole earth came under his sway. Only death was beyond his power to control. Yes, death is beyond all power, save the One. There is no remedy for death other than to look it constantly in the face. We who are born will die; we must submit. Even he who held the world under the seal of his ring is now only a mineral in the earth.

Armed with the ring, Solomon commanded the guilty spirit
to appear. He wore the ring on the mid-finger of the right hand, and pointed it at the foot of his high throne,
saying, ‘By the power of the seal of the one God, I command thee, troublesome spirit, to come forth.’

A roaring column of flame instantly appeared, reaching
nearly to the high ceiling of the throne room many cubits above, and just as quickly was gone. Whether the flame itself took shape, or merely preceded him, could not be seen, but where the flame had been, the demon stood, caught in his mischief; for he still clutched in his hands a great many jewels just stolen from the royal vaults.

So great was his surprise that he dropped the gems, which scattered like pebbles on the marble floor, and his red eyes darted back and forth like twin flames in that broad,
swarthy face. And wide wonder came into those terrible eyes that some power existed among mortal men that was greater than his will.

Twice the height of the King he was and more, greater even than Goliath that David slew, the King’s father. And of so dark and menacing a countenance was the demon that even Assaf the wise drew back in horror. Only Solomon stood firm, and a light shone before him.

Then the demon saw the face of the King, whose arm pointed toward him, and beheld the seal of the ring. The demon’s cruel, lidless eyes went wide, and he let out such a ghastly, howling shriek that the very stones of the palace trembled to their foundation. It was so horrible a sound that all the people of the kingdom who heard it covered their ears and cast themselves on the ground in fear. Oxen died of terror in the fields and birds fell from the sky, for it was like unto the cry of a soul newly plunged into the flames of hell.

But the power of God was within the ring, so that even the
demon was helpless. He fell to his knees and prostrated himself before the King.

‘Mercy, Master!’ cried the Jinni.

‘Name thyself, demon.’ commanded Solomon.

‘I am called Ornias, O Great King!’

‘Why hast thou done such mischief to my household? Speak truly!’

‘Hunger, Lord of the World! Hunger insatiable!’ And he
revealed himself as a vampire spirit, who with fangs harder than adamant pierces the gems of the earth to drink their light.

‘Why dost thou drink the light of earthly jewels?’ demanded
Assaf the Vizir, ‘It is a thing unheard of among the wise.’

But the Jinni was silent.

Speak the answer,’ said the King, ‘I command it.’

‘Thou knowest my answer, King of Wisdom,’ said the demon.

Then Solomon looked into his heart, for the forty-nine
gates of wisdom were open to him, as they had been to Moses. This derives from the belief that each word of the Torah has forty-nine meanings. And he discerned there the answer, and it amazed him, so that he looked on the creature before him with a new understanding and pity.

Know then the sorrow of the demon. For the gems
of the earth were born at the dawn of the world, created by the death of ancient forests buried beneath the weight of mountains. It was a time of upheaval when both Jinn and Angels were cast out and the world was broken. The light of the new sun was still in the green life of those forests as slowly they were transformed, crystallized
by the long years into the light that sparkles from the cut and polished jewels. And so Ornias the demon, denied the light of heaven, drinks the light of the first morning, feeding his sorrow and his loss.

And so, Solomon burned the seal into the neck of Ornias as a brand of his sovereignty, and the Jinni from that moment did his bidding, and was given the task of cutting stones for the building of the Temple.

And other of the Jinn who were causing mischief within the
realm were also commanded to come forth: Onoskelis, who had the shape and skin of a fair-hued woman; Asmodeus, who professed the Hebrew faith and was said to observe the Torah; Tephros, the demon of the Ashes, and after him a group of seven females spirits who declared themselves to be the thirty-six elements of the darkness; and Rabdos, a ravenous, hound-like spirit. All were branded with the seal of the ring.

Others there were also for another tale, but one more for
this: A demon having all the limbs of a man, but without a head. The demon said, ‘I am called Envy, for I delight in
devouring heads. But I hunger always, and desire YOUR HEAD NOW.’

The Master smiled. “Indeed, envy is the prison of the spirit,” he said.

Adapted from Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel


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