Waiting for God II

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In a previous post, I wrote that to a darvish, Waiting for God 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.”

However, there is also another kind of waiting for God: The Sufi way of waiting for divine knowledge, for union with the Beloved. This is the most demanding and difficult of all trials of patience.

Sufi Masters of the past used to sit in the Haram, as did Dhu’l Nun the Egyptian, or in a mosque, like Imam al-Ghazali, or in the desert, like Abu Said Abi’l Khayr, to wait for the answers to be given.

Alhamdulillah! It doesn’t happen because we are worthy of it; no one is worthy of it. It doesn’t happen because we deserve it, or want it, or hope for it, or pray for it, or fast, or give up everything for it. It only happens as God wills.

“Nor shall they compass any of Hu’s knowledge except as Hu might will.” – Qur’an 2:255

Our brother Dara writes: “When I was in Makkah, each night I would see an African man who would circle the Ka’ba until dawn, asking Allah TO BE GIVEN. I was there for one year, and he circled the Ka’ba each night till dawn. He would carry the Qur’an and read slowly. The purpose of practices like Sufi Silence is to learn to wait, like a slave, to be given ‘ilm (knowledge).”

Although Union with the Beloved is never given as a reward for one’s efforts, Strive, O heart, as much as you are able. Hafez

This is our task then, as human beings of faith: To strive and not to yield.

May Allah bless us with patience and guide us on the straight path of Love. Ameen!

Ya Haqq!

13 Responses to Waiting for God II

  1. Dipti says:

    Ameen ! Dear brother.. may we all be blessed with the most precious gift of patience …

  2. Abdur Rahman says:

    Salaams Baba Darvish,

    Exactly what I needed to hear, at exactly the right time!

    Ya Haqq!

  3. The Prophecy says:

    This post came in as a reinforcement of my journey as it is of now.

    By the way, you use Hu as a pronoun for Allah – which is interesting. I follow the same practice since I first discovered it in a Turkish Sufi text.

  4. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Alhamdulillah, that the post has been of some benefit.

    Just this morning I came across this passage in Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh’s book, In the Tavern of Ruin: Seven Essays on Sufism:

    “God has said in the Qur’an, ‘Allah will bring a people whom He loveth and who love Him.’ The love of God for man precedes the love of man for God. As Maghrebi has said:

    No one by himself can find a way toward Him.
    Whoever goes to His quarters goes on His feet.

    Thus God must love the slave before the slave can love God. This road will never be traveled without God’s aid and grace. It is an abundant overflow which draws one–something which is given, not something that can be acquired through learning.”

    May Allah bless all who walk, who love, and who struggle in His name. Ameen.

    Ya Haqq!

  5. this is one of the ongoing lessons for me as someone new to Islam. patience seems to be the key way to become more centered…something i tend to need to do constantly.

    thanks, brother.

  6. ned says:

    The interesting paradox is that our effort and striving are purely phenomenal, and yet they seem to be necessary for those of us at these beginning stages of are learning to trust the Divine completely. Eventually however the instrument becomes more and more conscious of the Divine Shakti working through him/her, and at that point the idea that we are “doing” anything ceases (because ultimately the Doer is the Divine).

    I also like the use of “Hu” as a pronoun for Allah.

  7. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Sisters Annie and Ned:

    Annie, patience on the path comes as one advances in love, which is really another way of saying being open to everyone and every experience, although our human mind may separate such experiences into “good” and “bad.” It is why the adab, the courtesy and manners of the path are so important to inculcate as part of our daily living. Patience comes after years of effort, at least for me, and I still haven’t perfected it :)

    And Ned, I don’t see it as a paradox. What is called the Path is the way the Sufi comes into harmony with the Divine Nature. The work is done for its own sake, not done to be noticed. It is that harmony that draws God’s attention, or to put it another way, we become the notes in God’s flute :)

    Ya Haqq!

  8. Marahm says:

    One can understand the desirability of patience, as a state of orientation and also as a desirable quality for temporal activities. One can understand that divine knolwedge is not a reward for striving, but is given at the will of God.

    Since one’s effort seem not to matter, why make them? With all due respect, and not to debate the matter (for I am not knowledgable about the Sufi path) why and how should we strive, knowing that our efforts will not produce that which we strive for? And what, exactly, do we strive for that we won’t find upon our own deaths? Will we not come into harmony with the Divine Nature by virtue of our living and our dying?

  9. Irving says:

    Dear Sister Marahm:

    I understand what you mean when you say: “why and how should we strive, knowing that our efforts will not produce that which we strive for? And what, exactly, do we strive for that we won’t find upon our own deaths? Will we not come into harmony with the Divine Nature by virtue of our living and our dying?”

    I can only tell you that, even though we may indeed come into harmony with the Divine Nature by virtue of our living and dying, such striving for virtue make life sweeter for us, as our striving to be more kind, merciful, generous, and loving makes life sweeter for those around us. It makes the world a better place. And that, I think, is the key to the confluence of the physical evolution of the human species and its spiritual evolution, which follows the same immutable laws. It is why it is said that if we save one life, it is as if we have saved the whole world. Such is the ripple effect of any spiritual path on all living things. Of course, not everyone is meant to go on such a journey, by temperament or chance, but everyone has the capacity.

    Ya Haqq!

  10. pbsweeney says:

    Sometimes I think all the thinking about how or if we should strive toward God, what we should or should not do, whether it matters or not, is the kind of funny mental calisthenic that we occupy ourselves with rather then just simply Loving. I think we know what we need to do, fundamentally, deep inside us, because while we may feel separate from God, we really are not! That also is a funny idea – that we might determine whether we are with God or not! And too, Grace is not for our benefit, it is for Him, so that we might carry forth that which he intends. I think our journeys are more or less effective in part because we futz around and interfere with what the heart was born knowing.


  11. Marahm says:

    Thank you, Irving, for your wise response to my questions. Now I understand something I didn’t understand before.

  12. Saha says:

    Alhamdulillah…and although it is the ulitimate goal of existence, it is hard to imagine for a mere pleb such as myself!

  13. grace says:

    Waiting…patience…interesting how in some areas it can be easier to practice than others…how many of us who want God when WE want God…and we want God the way we want God as well…and in a hurry…here…now. Wonderful reminder to keep patience in our practice, in our awareness. Thank you for this timely reminder.

    Peace be with you.

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