“Lord, I Obey Willingly”

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“Truly, to Allah we belong, and truly to Him we shall return.”Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 156.

Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali woke up early one morning as usual, said his prayers, and then inquired what day it was. His younger brother, Ahmad al-Ghazali, replied,”Monday.” At that, the Imam asked him to bring his white shroud, kissed it, stretched himself full length and said, “Lord, I obey willingly.” And he breathed his last.

Underneath his head rest they found the following verse; composed by him, probably, during the night.

Say to my friends, when they look upon me dead
Weeping for me and mourning me in sorrow
Do not believe that this corpse you see is myself
In the name of God, I tell you, it is not I,
I am a spirit, and this is naught but flesh
It was my abode and my garment for a time.
I am a treasure, by a talisman kept hid,
Fashioned of dust, which served me as a shrine,
I am a pearl, which has left its shell deserted,
I am a bird, and this body was my cage
Whence I have now flown forth and it is left as a token
Praise to God, who hath now set me free
And prepared for me my place in the highest of the heavens,
Until today I was dead, though alive in your midst.
Now I live in truth, with the grave-clothes discarded.
Today I hold converse with the saints above,
With no veil between, I see God face to face.
I look upon Loh-i-Mahfuz* and therein I read
Whatever was and is and all that is to be.
Let my house fall in ruins, lay my cage in the ground,
Cast away the talisman, it is a token no more
Lay aside my cloak, it was but my outer garment.
Place them all in the grave, let them be forgotten,
I have passed on my way and you are left behind
Your place of abode was no dwelling place for me.
Think not that death is death, nay, it is life,
A life that surpasses all we could dream of here,
While in this world, here we are granted sleep,
Death is but sleep, sleep that shall be prolonged
Be not frightened when death draweth near,
It is but the departure for this blessed home
Think of the mercy and love of your Lord,
Give thanks for His Grace and come without fear.
What I am now, even so shall you be
For I know that you are even as I am
The souls of all men come forth from God
The bodies of all are compounded alike
Good and evil, alike it was ours
I give you now a message of good cheer
May God’s peace and joy for evermore be yours.

Ya Haqq!

Note: *Loh-i Mahfuz, or Umm-al Kitab, is the Preserved Tablet, which has inscribed on it the original attributes of each creation, its function and relationship to other creations in the Universe.

– Originally from the Jannah.org website.

8 Responses to “Lord, I Obey Willingly”

  1. Achelois says:

    This is so beautiful and it gave me goosebumps. Thank you for your comment on my blog and this post. You are such an amazing darvish, mA.

    Thank you!

  2. Krishna.n.c says:

    Respected Brother Irving,
    what a touching post! It reminded me of my beloved father:-)
    ” Truly to Allah we belong and truly to Him we shall return”….
    My sincere prayer for you–“May God’s peace and joy evermore be yours!!” Thank you so much for sharing.
    Love and hugs :-))

  3. Baraka says:

    Salaam dear brother Irving & thank you for posting this.

    Subhan-Allah. My grandmother just died and this poem rang true…and made me weep.


  4. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Sisters:

    Thank you for the comments :) And Baraka, may Allah bless the soul of your dear grandmother, and raise her to the ranks of His beloveds. Ameen.

    Ya Haqq!

  5. haamidah says:

    There is a beautiful end for beautiful people.
    May Allah grant us their company in this world (in person or through their works) and the hereafter.

    In one of his works Sheikh Abd al Qadir Jilani comments on
    the Lawhul Mahfuz (as mentioned in this poem of Imam Ghazali )

    “The most extraordinary and rare of all those who have real experience [‘arifin] is one who receives safe conduct [amn]. What has been preordained for him is read out to him, so he knows his refuge and how he will come to arrive there. His innermost being [sirr] reads what is destined for him on the Preserved Tablet [al-lawh al-mahfuz].” – ( Al fath ar-rabbani – 15th discourse by sheikh abd al Qadir Jilani. Taken from http://www.al-baz.com/shaikhabdalqadir/Books_and_Text_of_Wisdom/Al-Fath_ar-Rabbani/al-fath_ar-rabbani.htm

  6. Shahrzad says:

    It was very beautiful.. How faithful men die in peace, bcs they know it is not a big deal, just changing the lifestyle. Thank you to share this story.. and poem.. :)

  7. Katib says:

    Assalamualaikum Br. Darvish

    Wonderful poem. Thank you for bringing out such treasures of our great Muslim scholars, as abi hamid alghazali.


  8. Yeni Inayah says:

    Interesting and Informative. Thank you

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