You are the Veil

July 30, 2006

O, friend! Nobody veils you, but yourself.
In your path there is no thorn or weed, but yourself.
You said: Shall I reach the Beloved or not?
Between you and the Beloved there is nobody, but yourself.

 Awhadoddin Kermani

How long will you keep pounding on an open door
Begging for someone to open it?

– Rabi’a  al-‘Adawiyya

Of Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Wives

July 29, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

I have been thinking lately of the love and kindness of the women in my family, my long-deceased mother, and my daughter and wife and sister also. And so here is a fitting selection from the Miraaj: The Night Journey of the Prophet’s (pbuh) Ascension to Heaven.


Muhammad (pbuh) traveled for five hundred thousand light-years, after which he arrived at the fifth paradise which is called Jannat al Naeem: “the Garden of Beauty and Felicity.” Its door is made of mixed gold and silver from heaven. Jibraeel knocked at the door and a voice said: “Who is it?” “Jibraeel, bringing Muhammad (pbuh).” “Has he been sent for?” “Yes.” “Welcome, Beloved one, to the fifth paradise!” The door opened and Muhammad (pbuh) saw five beautiful ladies whose radiant light among their servants made them appear like diamonds surrounded by pearls. His heart was moved towards them. He asked Jibraeel: “Who are these ladies?” He answered: “This is Hawwa (Eve), the mother of human beings, this is the Virgin Maryam (Mary), the mother of Isa (Jesus), this is Musa’s (Moses’) mother Yukabid, and this is Assia, the wife of Pharaoh.” The fifth lady looked like a sun among stars. Her light shone over the rest of the inhabitants of that paradise like a gentle breeze passing through the tree-leaves. Jibraeel said: “This is an angel representing your daughter Fatima”

Muhammad (pbuh) asked: “Jibraeel, what is the secret of this paradise?” Jibraeel said: “Allah created this paradise to reflect the beauty and perfection of women. The light of this paradise is the source of the angelic lights of all women on earth. Women have been created to carry the secret of creation in themselves. Allah has honoured them greatly by making their wombs the repository of His word which represents the Spirit. He looks at the most sacred place and there descends His mercy and blessings. He perfected that place and covered it with three protective layers to shelter it from any damage. The first is a layer of light, the second a layer of love, and the third a layer of beauty. There he fashions and creates human beings after His likeness, as Muhammad (pbuh) said: ‘Allah created Adam after His likeness.’ He orders the angels of the womb to perfect His creation by giving the baby life, beauty, health, intelligence, and all kinds of perfect attributes that will make each one distinguished among human beings.”

“Women are not created weaker but more generous than men. They are created more beautiful and less fierce, as beauty hates to hurt and harm others. That is why they seem weak to people, but in reality they are not. Angels are the strongest of created beings, and women are closer to the angelic nature than men, as they are readier than men to carry angelic light. It is the good manners and ethics of spirituality which they carry which makes them less forceful than men. Even physically, however, they are extremely strong. They undergo great upheavals in their body without flinching for the sake of childbirth, and face the direst physical conditions more successfully than men because Allah has enabled them to insure the survival of generations.”

“Allah gave women five angelic qualities which men rarely have. They are the source of peace, as Allah said that He created them “so that you might find rest in them” (30:21). This is the attribute of the first paradise which is named “the Abode of Peace.” They are oasis of constancy in the midst of chaos and change. That is why they give birth as the mother nurtures and shelters the baby more reliably than the father. This is the attribute of the second paradise, which is named ‘the Abode of Constancy.’ They perpetuate generations. Through their offspring Allah creates angelic prophets and saints who establish His perpetual remembrance on earth as the angels establish it in heaven. This is the attribute of the third paradise which is named ‘the Abode of Eternity.’ They are generous and bountiful. They are described as ‘a fertile land’ in all Scriptures because they give without counting, including life. They sacrifice themselves for the sake of another creation, and this is the attribute of the fourth paradise which is named ‘the Sheltering Garden.’ Finally, they are the source of Beauty. Through their softness and subtlety, Allah has crowned the earth with the diadem of angelic grace. This is the attribute of the fifth paradise which is named “the Garden of Beauty.”


Blessings and Peace on Muhammad, his Family, and his Companions.

Excerpt from the Waqf Ikhlas, by way of the

Light Within

July 28, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Our brother SAJ Shirazi in Pakistan needs our help. He writes that there is a ban on blogspot in India and Pakistan and his site suffers for it, though I am not sure if it is a partial ban, or a temporary one. He is a very good writer on technology and the natural beauty of Pakistan, and well worth reading. His blog is

Master of the Jinn Book Review

July 28, 2006

Vonaurum has written a review of Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel on his excellent blog

The Greatest Love Story

July 27, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

It is related that Shaykh Ibrahim Khawwas went to a certain village to visit a devout and reverend man who lived there. “When I entered his house, I saw that it was clean, like a saint’s place of worship. In its two corners, two niches had been made; the old man was seated in one of them, and in the other niche an old woman was sitting, clean and bright; both had become weak through much devotion. They showed great joy at my coming, and I stayed with them for three days. When I was about to depart, I asked the old man, ‘What relation is this old woman to you?’

“He answered, ‘She is my wife.’ I said, ‘During these three days, your interactions with one another has been very much like strangers.’ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘It has been so for five and sixty years.’ I asked him the cause of this. He replied, ‘When we were young, we fell in love. On the wedding night, she said to me, “You know what happiness God has bestowed upon us in bringing us together and taking all fear away from our hearts. Let us therefore tonight refrain from sensual passion and trample on our desires and worship God in thanksgiving for this happiness.” I said, “It is well.” The next night she bade me do the same. On the third night I said, “Now we have given thanks for two night for your sake; tonight let us worship God for my sake.” Five and sixty years have passed since then, and we have never touched one another, but spend all our lives in giving thanks for our happiness.'”

Excerpt adapted from the Kashf al-Mahjub, the Unveiling of the Veiled (also called the Revelation of the Mystery), the oldest Persian treatise on Sufism, by Shaykh Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Uthman al-Jullabi al-Hujwiri.

God’s Mercy and the Sufi Path of Love

July 25, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

To follow the path of Love is indeed to be a servant, unto God and to your fellow creatures, so that they may also find their way. Thus came the word of God’s Mercy into the heart of Dhu’l-Nun the Egyptian, as was related long ago…

“And God said unto His servant: ‘If there comes to you one sick through separation from Me, heal him, or a fugitive from Me, seek him out, or afraid of Me, then reassure him, or wishing union with Me, then show him favor, or seeking to approach Me, encourage him, or despairing of My grace, help him, or hoping for My loving-kindness, give him good news, or with right thoughts of Me, then welcome him, or seeking to know My attributes, guide him.

And if one who is injured asks help of you, give it to him, but if he is doing evil in despite of loving-kindness, then remonstrate him, or if he is forgetful of it, then remind him, and if he goes astray, search for him. For you have I predestined for My work, and you have I appointed for My service.”

Excerpt adapted from

Sitting on a Man’s Back

July 24, 2006

“I sit on a man’s back, choking him, and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back.”

– Leo Tolstoy

What better metaphor on Occupation and Tyranny?