“Make the Qur’an the Vernal Season of My Heart”

April 27, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“My Lord I am Your slave,
The son of Your slave,
The son of Your slave-girl,
My full control is at Your Hand,
Effective is Your Decree on me,
Just is Your Judgment for me,
I ask You by all Your Names,
That You call Your own Self,
Or sent down in some book of Yours,
Or taught someone of Your creation,
Or preferred secretly in Your Concealed Divine Knowledge,
That You may make the Qur’an the vernal season of my heart,
And the retreat of my sorrow,
And the departure of my hardship.”

– Prayer of the Prophet (pbuh) for those in sorrow (Bukhari).

Sent by our Brother Dara of the Untired With Loving website. You can read the entire beautiful and moving selection HERE.

Ya Haqq!

A Bite of the Apple

April 25, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The noble father of the venerable Abu Hanifah, the Supreme Imam and founder of our Islamic Law, was the venerable Thabit, may Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala have mercy on him. Once in his bachelor days, he was making his ritual ablution by a stream when he saw an apple bobbing towards him on the water. He picked up the apple and took a bite. As soon as his teeth had broken the skin, he said to himself: ‘What am I doing, biting something that does not belong to me without the owner’s permission?’ Then he started walking back up the stream hoping to find the tree the apple was from.

At length he came upon a tree overhanging the water and, seeing that it bore similar apples, he decided that the one that he had bitten must have come from it. He therefore called to a person working in the orchard: “Sir, three hours ago I found this apple downstream and I took a bite, intending to eat it. But then, as I could not bear the thought of eating something that did not belong to me, I walked all this way to return it to its rightful owner. I guess this apple must have come from your tree. Now let me give you something in exchange for it, or else pardon this trespass of mine.” Hearing this request, the owner of the orchard, whose name was Salih, decided to put the man to the test: “No,” he said, “Impossible! I shall not let you off…. How dare you bite my property without my permission?” Receiving the reply: “What must I do to earn your pardon?” the venerable Salih said: “I will pardon you after you work beside me in this orchard for three years.” By this means he intended to discover whether he was dealing with a pious hypocrite, a stupid Sufi wanting to appear devout, or with a perfect man who would not eat another’s property because he genuinely feared Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala

That was what he wanted to find out by making such a proposal, and the venerable Thabit responded without hesitation: “Yes, I shall work!” He was as good as his word, and worked out the three years. At the end of this time, the venerable Salih said to Thabit: “Even though you have completed the three years, I still have you accountable for that apple. There is only one way to settle that account: I have a daughter, whose name is ‘Abidatu-l’Azhar. She has neither sight nor hearing, and can move neither hand nor foot. If you will take this daughter of mine in marriage, all the apples in the orchard, and all the apple trees shall be yours. Where could I find a conscientious son-in-law like you? If I were to die, who would look after the poor girl in her condition? I could not entrust her to anyone but a person fed on lawful milk, such as you. You are religious, conscientious. Come, give me your reply and we can settle our account.” “I shall take her!” answered Thabit.

The wedding was arranged, with great festivities. When the marriage had been contracted, Thabit entered the bridal chamber. Awaiting him there, dressed in her bridal clothes, he found a ravishing beauty in perfect health. Out he rushed, crying to his father-in law: “This marriage is invalid. You told me that your daughter was blind, but the girl in there has eyes like a gazelle. You told me she was crippled, but she stands there like a cypress.” To this the venerable Salih replied: “I spoke to you metaphorically. When I called her blind, I meant blind to what is unlawful. When I called her deaf, I meant deaf to bad words and evil speech. When I said she could neither move hand or foot, I meant that she touched nothing unlawful and never went to places Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala disapproved of. She is your wife, your lawful spouse. She is a worthy partner for you.

The venerable Thabit married that virtuous lady, who became the mother of Abu Hanifah. While still a child the latter recited the Holy Qur’an in three days. When he came home happily to tell his mother: ‘I read ten parts in one day, and got through the entire Qur’an in three days,” the venerable ‘Abidatu-l’Azhar said: “ My son, if your father had not bitten the apple without permission, you would have finished in one day!” May the mercy of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala be upon her….and Abu Hanifah Rahamatullah alaihi.

To read more tales of Abu Hanifah, go to one of my favorite blogs, the most excellent and spiritual ALMISKEENAH, from which this edited story was taken. Also be sure to read the latest wonderful Doors of Madinah post HERE.

Ya Haqq!


April 23, 2007

You are my first thought
In morning light

You are my last thought
In the dark of night

With every action

With every goodness

You are the laughter
On my child’s face

You are the moon and stars
Of the upward glance

You are the pain and cure
Of every ailment

No joy but You
No hope but You

And in the end
“La illaha illAllah!”
No I but You.

– Irving Karchmar, © April 2007

Master of the Jinn in Thailand and India

April 16, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Master of the Jinn will be translated into Thai later this year, inshallah. The contract is forthcoming. Also, the translation into Malayalam, the language of the Kerala State of India, will also come out later this year, I have just been informed.

Alhamdulillah, that a self-published Sufi novel is already finding an audience in six languages: English, Russian, Indonesian Bahasa, Turkish, Malayalam, and Thai.

Order the paperback and read excerpts, comments and reviews by clicking HERE, or press the Sufi Novel tab at top. For Master of the Jinn as an Ebook for only $5.00, click HERE.

Ya Haqq!

Funniest Video on YouTube

April 15, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

This is really funny :)  Triumph, the Insult Dog, lambastes the nerds waiting in line for the opening of a Star Wars movie.  They are all dressed like characters from the movie, and he is merciless.  Watch it HERE.

Ya Haqq!

Friday the 13th

April 13, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “(Believing in) bad omens is (a form of) idolatry.” Ibn Mas`ud added, “It may occur to anyone of us, but God clears it away when we rely totally on Him.” (Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi, and Abu Dawud).

The same may be said of supposedly good omens. All belief in the good or bad luck of a day or an object is a belief in other than what God has provided for you. 

May God bless us all with trust only in Him on this Friday the 13th.

Ya Haqq!

Note: For an explanation of the superstitions surrounding this day, read HERE.

The Invitation

April 9, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventures of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you tell is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul, if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “YES!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty hours.


From Dreams of Desire (1995) by Oriah House, a Canadian woman. The original is HERE.

With thanks to Kozi Wolf for posting it first.

Ya Haqq!

Waiting for God

April 4, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Waiting for God, to a darvish, is cultivating patience, that is, waiting for God’s sake.  As the Prophet (pbuh) said: “…Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.”

Waiting in line, being stuck in traffic, all the frustrating, aggravating activities of daily life, are also a part of the Sufi path, or any spiritual path. It is not just a dreary test, but an opening and a lesson of love and faith. Quietly reciting my zekr in a traffic jam is a blessing of unexpected time, smiling at the people around me waiting in line at the Post Office, engaging them in conversation, these are the simple acts of daily kindness that grow out of patience.

Patience is submission to the moment; the prostration and prayer of life.

God lives everywhere, within us and around us, in great deeds and small, in acts of love as simple as cooking a meal or as profound as saying grace (or Bismillah) before eating it. As Teresa of Ávila observed, “God lives also among the pots and pans.” In other words, in our daily actions. If these include comforting a crying child, doing dishes, folding laundry, ironing, taking out the garbage, all the small acts of daily life, they can be part of the simple patience that brings us closer to the Source of our humanity.

In Teresa of Lisieux’s words, “the Lord needs from us neither great deeds nor profound thoughts. Neither intelligence nor talents. He cherishes simplicity. Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.”

Patience is an act of love.

Ya Haqq!

The Smile of Unbearable Compassion

April 2, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

There are many statues of the Buddha, the various girths and expressions perhaps symbolizing his many teachings, or the culture in which his teachings took root. There is one expression, however, that is shared by a number of the statues – a calm face and demeanor, with a tiny smile at the corner of the mouth,

This is called the Smile of Unbearable Compassion.

Alhamdulillah! Is this the compassion God has for us, all-embracing for the real misery and grief in the world? Perhaps this is the compassion of Jesus, that caused him to die for the sins and sorrows of the world, or the compassion of the enlightened Buddha for the suffering he observed around him. It may be a part of what is meant by the Talmudic saying in the Undaunted post.

On the Sufi path, to love God is to love and serve His creation. To do what we can in the world we live in, in the time given to us. Inshallah, each small act of love, kindness, mercy and service, makes this compassion a little more bearable.

May Allah guide us all on the right path.

Ya Haqq!