The Languages of God

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

A Spanish missionary was visiting an island when he came across three Aztec priests.
     “How do you pray?” asked the priest.
     “We have only one prayer, “ answered one of the Aztecs. “We say: “God, You are three, we are three. Have mercy on us.”
     “Beautiful prayer,” said the missionary. “But it is not exactly the prayer that God hears. I shall teach you a much better one.”
     The priest taught them a Catholic prayer and went on his way to spread the Gospel among others. Years later, on the ship taking him back to Spain, he stopped at that island once more. From the deck he saw the three holy men on the beach – and waved farewell to them.
      At that moment the three began to walk on the water towards him.
     “Father! Father!” shouted one of them, approaching the ship. “Teach us again the prayer that God hears, because we can’t remember it!”
     “It doesn’t matter,” said the missionary, seeing the miracle. And he asked God to forgive him for not understanding before that He spoke all languages.

Below are some of those prayers:

     Dhammapada (attributed to Buddha)
     Instead of a thousand words,
     Better just one,
     One that brings peace.
     Instead of a thousand verses,
     Better just one,
     One that shows beauty.
     Instead of a thousand songs,
     Better just one,
     One that spreads joy.

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, 13th century
     Out there, besides what is right and what is wrong, there is an enormous field.
     That is where we will meet.

Prophet Mohammed, 7th century
     Oh Allah! I come to you because you know all, even what is hidden.
      If what I am doing is good for me and my religion, for my life now and later, then let the task be easy and blessed.
      If what I am doing now is bad for me and my religion, for my life now and later, then keep me far from this task.

Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 7:7-8
     Ask, and it shall be given you;
      seek and you shall find;
      knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
     For every one that asks receives;
     and he that seeks finds:
     And to him that knocks,
     it shall be opened.

Jewish prayer for peace
      We shall go the mountain of the Lord, where we shall walk with Him. We shall change our swords into plows and our spears into baskets for harvesting fruit.
      Let no nation raise its sword against another, and let us never learn the art of war.
      And no-one should fear his neighbor, because thus spoke the Lord.

Lao Tsu, China – 6th century B.C.
     For there to be peace in the world, the nations must live in peace.
     For there to be peace among nations, cities must not rise up against one another.
     For there to be peace in the cities, neighbors must get on well with one another.
     For there to be peace among neighbors, harmony must reign in the home.
     For there to be harmony at home, it must be found in your own heart.

– From author Paulo Coelho’s Warrior of the Light website.

Ya Haqq!


17 Responses to The Languages of God

  1. Michelle says:

    I love the story of the three holy men.


  2. Ahmad says:

    Dear brother Irving

    Many thanks brother. Your selections are always heart-ravishing, specially the prayer by our beloved Prophet. I,d like to quote it again and cherish it in my soul:

    Oh Allah! I come to you because you know all, even what is hidden.
    If what I am doing is good for me and my religion, for my life now and later, then let the task be easy and blessed.
    If what I am doing now is bad for me and my religion, for my life now and later, then keep me far from this task.

    Ya Haqq

  3. Maliha says:

    I love Paulo Coehlo…anyone who can write something as beautiful as the Alchemist, has a gorgeous heart and spirit Mashaallah.

    Thanks for sharing these, very beautiful…

  4. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Brother and Sisters:
    Thank you so much for your kind comments :) Michelle, the story of the priest and the three Aztec holy men has many parallels in Sufi tales :) And Ahmad, the blessed Prophet’s (pbuh) beautiful prayer resounds in my heart as well. Maliha, I also admire Paulo Coehlo, and you can actually email him on the Warrior of the Light website :) I did, and he wrote a nice email back to me :)
    Ya Haqq!

  5. almiskeenah says:

    Assalamu alaikum dear brother Irving, a wonderful choice from an extraordinary writer…..his spirituality across all religions and beliefs penetrates deep into the chords of the heart. His messages delivering profound wisdom.
    Wassalamu alaikum

  6. Dimas says:

    Dear beloved brother,
    It is true that brother Irving said about the first story has many parallels with sufi tales. although the words are different it doesn’t matter, what is important is the essence of the story. Here is the story taken from the Robert Frager book “Heart Self & Soul, The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance and Harmony”

    One day, a scholar was out rowing on a large lake. He heard a voice coming from a small island. Curios, he rowed to the island and found a hermit practicing dhikr, Remembrance of God, by sitting and reciting a holy phrase over and over.

    The Scholar called out to the hermit and explained that he was pronouncing the formula, which was in classical Arabic, incorrectly. The scholar felt gratified to have been able to correct the unlettered hermit. After all, it was said that those who mastered this holy phrase could even walk on water.

    The scholar rowed away, pleased with his good deed. Then he heard a noise behind him and turned to look. The hermit was running after him over the water. ” O scholar, I’ve said the formula the old way for too long! Please repeat it correctly for me once again.”

    yeah…I had send email to Paulo Coelho too before, and he reply it to me, what a beautiful heart he have! Subhanallah.

  7. Danya says:

    Jazak Allah. Lovely.

  8. musicalchef says:

    Thanks for the beautiful story and the collection of prayers!

  9. Sheila says:

    AOA brother,

    lovely post once again. I am so glad to have found your blog. Also, wonderful that you put up the prayer of ‘Istikhara’ up there. Its something we shouldn’t just read when doing istikhara but should always read, in every matter of our lives.
    Thank you once again.


  10. harmonie22 says:

    This post is a beautiful soothing balm. You truly are a Sufi, Mr. Irving.

  11. Kozi Wolf says:

    beautiful collection Irving

  12. Merryweather says:

    I read the story of the three holy men in Paulo Coelho’s book “By the river Piedra I sat down and wept.”
    And I didn’t know the author had a blog! Thank you for sharing the link.

  13. Abdur Rahman says:

    Salaams Irving bhai,

    As usual (ma sha Allah), an excellent post. Ya Rabbi!

    Abdur Rahman

  14. Raza Rumi says:

    Brother – an excellent post indeed.
    I have moved to Please update your blogroll and pray that this is a good change

  15. J says:

    Where is the Jewish prayer of peace from?

    I really loved the Paulo Coelho’s poem, how true!


  16. Sumera says:

    Beautiful! Thank you Irving.

  17. Mares says:

    A beautiful tapestry of richness from the world of blessed thinkers. Thank you. You remind me of the great truths that unite us and that is so heartwarming.

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