In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
O Lord, bestow on us mercy from Thyself, and provide for us a right course of action!
Praise be to God, who has revealed the secrets of His kingdom to His saints, and has disclosed the mysteries of His power to His intimates, and has shed the blood of Lovers with the sword of His glory, and has let the hearts of Gnostics taste the joy of His communion! He it is that brings dead hearts to life by the radiance of the perception of His eternity and His majesty, and reanimates them with the comforting spirit of knowledge by divulging His Names.
I have been rereading Hujwiri, and this invocation in the beginning of his seminal work, The Unveiling of the Veiled (also called the Revelation of the Mysteries) always touches my heart with what is possible to those who follow the path of Love if Allah’s mercy is indeed bestowed upon us.
He also said, “Know that in this our time, the science of Sufism is obsolete, especially in this country. (He lived in Lahore from 1039 AD until his death in 1073 AD) The whole people is occupied with its lusts and has turned its back on the path, while those who pretend to learning have formed a conception of Sufism that is quite contrary to its fundamental principles. High and low alike are content with empty professions: blind conformity has taken the place of spiritual enthusiasm. The vulgar say ‘We know God,’ and the elect, satisfied if they feel in their hearts a longing for the next world, say, ‘This desire is vision and ardent love.’ Everyone makes pretensions, none attain to reality. The disciples, neglecting their ascetic practices, indulge in idle thoughts, which they call ‘contemplation.’”
I have heard that my Master, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, made a similar statement as to the quality of Sufism in the world today. I do not doubt him. It is the most difficult and painful spiritual path one can take. Nothing of your Self remains hidden. Yet he is the soul of loving-kindness and turns no one away who aspires to the path of Love. And after fourteen years, though I have taken only the first step on a lifelong journey, I thank God every day for the blessings He has bestowed upon this unworthy darvish. In the end, it is Allah that chooses whom He will accept as a lover, but, in the words of Hafez, “Strive, O heart, as much as you can.” And so, a poem/song from Master of the Jinn.
O Beloved, Your arrows sting the heart
Unmercifully. Yet I shall ever be
A relentless target
To the golden bow and endless quiver.
Allah! Allah! Allah!
No sorrow have I but You,
No hope but You, no joy but You,
You are the pain, and You are the cure!
Allah! Allah! Allah!