The Women in Our Lives – Happy Mother’s Day 2012 :)

May 12, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Everything I know of love, I’ve learned from women –  my mother, my daughter, and my wife. This is absolutely true. And more, all that I comprehend of God’s love and mercy, I have learned from their love; and even that small fraction of His infinite bounty has its root within my heart in the endless kindness and patience and endurance and generosity of these women.

My mother was the kindest, gentlest soul I have even known. I cannot think of even one instance where she considered her own needs before that of her children. I wish I could say the same for myself.

My daughter is simply remarkable. Smart and funny, tall and lovely, in whose company I take great delight. Every man should have such an honest critic :) She is a mother of two now, as is my daughter-in-law, so I will add to the list my darling granddaughters Hayley and Sophia. The pure love of children lights up the world.

And my beloved wife, who is the soul of patience with Lara and Quinn, her daughter and granddaughter, embodies all of those attributes, and many more, especially kindness and patience with my eccentricities :)

So on this Mother’s Day, here’s to the women in our lives. May we be worthy of them.

Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are — chaff and grain together — certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

-George Eliot

Ya Haqq!


“…he who is kindest towards his wife.”

July 8, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The Prophet (peace be unto him) said: “Amongst the most perfect of believers in faith is he who is best in character, and amongst the best of them is he who is kindest towards his wife.”

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!


Healing through Compassion

February 4, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

My wife grew up on a farm, and has an unerring affinity with nature in its most organic forms, with plants and animals and humans. Last summer, for instance, when she noticed that the bittersweet vines were extending its tendrils and choking off the rose bushes, she devoted many hours to cutting them away. The next day she looked at the roses for a moment and smiled, “They’re happier now,” she said.

She had seen the roses become happier. Even knowing this about her, it took me a long time to realize that the woman I live with is a healer. I had known her only as a mother and recently a grandmother, whose fierce love for her children caused them always to seek out her presence and her comfort and her counsel. I have seen that same love for her granddaughter; her endless patience in playing a game or reading to her, giving her leeway to set her own course, but always with a keen and watchful eye. They delight in each other beyond the need for words.

This true core of love, which is the deep well of her being, is the essence of healing, I think. At a wedding recently, while helping the bride to get dressed, she healed both the bride of badly bruised ribs and the bride’s sister of chronic neck pain, by laying her hand precisely on the injured spots for many minutes. They could not stop talking about it afterwards. When I asked her how she did it, she paused, as if trying to find the right words. Finally, she said, “The pain called to my compassion.”

“The pain called to my compassion.”

This is the deep well of love which marks a natural healer. Jesus healed the sick through this all-embracing love; the pain of the world calling to his compassion.

Many Sufi Masters of the past, who had completed the path of Love, were said to possess healing powers. And in the presence of my own Master, I have often felt a powerful spiritual energy and uplifting of the heart, an immense wellbeing of life. Perhaps healing itself is a spiritual uplifting on a physical level; the energy of the compassion of love healing physical pain.

It is no accident that passion is the root of compassion, whose original meaning was to suffer together. This com-passion, this deep, empathic, encompassing love is both the goal and the result of walking the Sufi path; at each step another drop is poured into the heart, and as love enters, one begins to see God in all of His creation. Perhaps healing is simply God’s Love expressed in the form of this compassionate energy, moved from one human being to another.

Compassion is love moved forward.

And healing is the divine spiritual energy of that love responding to emotional or physical pain. Healing through compassion is an ancient concept, though I had no frame of reference for it until I met my wife. There really is no mystery to it. I would not even call it a miracle, except insofar as all human life and its capacity to love is miraculous; a Divine gift unlike any other, and from which all mercy flows.

Ya Haqq!


Grandpa Darvish – WooHoo!!

August 13, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Alhamdulillah!  My son just called and told me I am going to be a grandfather :)  He and my beautiful daughter-in-law just returned from the doctor, who performed an ultrasound.  They will find out the gender in a few more weeks, but of course what matters most is a healthy baby. My wife is ecstatic :)

May God bless mother and father and child to come, with health, happiness, love, wisdom, and iman.

Ameen.

Ya Haqq!


The Wedding – Of Fathers and Daughters

June 12, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Thank you all for the kind words and prayers regarding my daughter’s recent wedding :)  I promised to write a post about it, though words failed me when trying to express the myriad emotions a father feels when walking his daughter down the aisle, and placing her hand in that of another man. Then a young reader of this blog wrote to me and asked the following:

How did it feel? The actual process of the marriage? Were you happy? Were you sad that she was leaving you? Did your heart at any given point in time feel a bit disappointed that you are no longer the only man in her life? And how does it feel now that after the marriage? Where the celebrations and congratulatory messages gradually die down and you get back to your normal life? Do you feel any difference?

To which I can only say: “All of the above.”

And yet…Alhamdulillah! She married a wonderful and kind man of whom I greatly approve and am honored to call my son-in-law. His parents are also very warm and kind and loving, so the process of marriage went smoothly as far as taking him into the family, and adding the extended family as well, so to speak. Of course the nafs want to hold on to the young girl that looked up to you and that you loved so much, but the heart, that overflowing fountain of love, wanted her to be happy more than anything else, and now, inshallah, she will be.

And it is different now, of course.  For her whole life, I knew her only as “my baby girl” and now she is another man’s wife. But a fine man, whom I came to love over the course of their engagement, so I am truly gaining another son, and not losing a daughter. This is not always the case in marriage, so I thank God that she has found a soul mate :)

Besides that, it’s time for her to begin the next part of life’s journey, and give me grandchildren, LOL. Inshallah, it will be so :)

So thank you, young brother, for inquiring. It is a blessing to set the thoughts down and makes my eyes water and my heart happy all over again :)

My wife is also very happy, of course, and recently wrote this, about loving children and letting them go, to a friend (the emphasis is mine):

You have to move yourself to Love.. You have poured love and goodness into her and that is all you can do. Sometimes the reward of these things is far down the road. I can tell you that I have loved my children during times when other parents I have known have all but turned their backs on theirs. What they do and say is not important, whether you believe that or not. What is important is how deeply and consistently they are loved. It is the place from which they center their entire lives. This is what Love of God and God’s Love for us, means. This is how we live what He intends. It is the source of everything.

Ya Haqq!


The Women in Our Lives

November 25, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In our Sister Suroor’s recent and lovely post about men, I commented that everything I know of love, I learned from women; my mother, my daughter, and my wife. This is absolutely true. And more, all that I comprehend of God’s love and mercy, I have learned from love; and even that small fraction of His infinite bounty has its root within my heart in the endless kindness and patience and endurance and generosity of women.

My mother was the kindest, gentlest soul I have even known. I cannot think of even one instance where she considered her own needs before that of her children. I wish I could say the same for myself. My daughter is remarkable. Smart and funny, tall and lovely, in whose company I take great delight. Every man should have such an honest critic :) And my beloved wife embodies all of those attributes, and many, many more.

So here’s to the women in our lives. May we be worthy of them.

Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are — chaff and grain together — certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

-George Eliot


Ya Haqq!


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