The Experiment

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

This is a simple experiment. Go through one day of life without saying the word “I” or “my” or “mine.”

It is related that one of Junaid’s teachers, Al-Qalaneis, said: “I was accompanied by some people in Basra who were quite generous to me, but one morning when I said, ‘where is my robe’ I lost my favor in their eyes.”

To say “my” or “mine” in the presence of those who maintain the status of Suhbat (Companionship) is a breach of the Adab (etiquette) of the Sufis. The robe would surely have been brought to him without the need to ask for it, but it was the claim of possession of anything in this world which caused Al-Qalaneis to lose favor in the eyes of the Companions of the Way.

Alhamdulillah! All that we have of earthly possessions, or of attained knowledge, even our children and our very lives, is but a loan to us, and surely the Rightful Owner can take back the loan as He wills.

So, can you gather the intention and frame of mind go through a single day feeling that all things are ‘loaned’ to you, including your life, and there is no “I” or “mine” or “my?” That all things are prepared for your use and what you owe to Allah, the Rightful Owner, is praise and gratitude and…. well, you can decide what else you owe for yourselves.

The Prophet (pbuh) entered the Ka’ba and destroyed 360 idols. We have an idol in the Ka’ba of our hearts. Its name is “I.” – Dawoud Kringle.

– Source of Al-Qalaneis story: Brother Dara’s Untired with Loving website. The experiment was also his idea, on TheSufiNotes Yahoo group.

Ya Haqq!

12 Responses to The Experiment

  1. Marahm says:

    This is a good one! I don’t think I could succeed in refraining from”I” or “mine” for more than an hour or two!

    Yes, everything we have is a loan. From time to time, something happens to drive the point home. My father’s passing did it for my mom and I. Here we are, in this big house, with all kinds of stuff we’ve collected as a family over the years. We recently had a rummage sale, and we could have another one. What didn’t sell got taken to the Good Will. It’s so hard to let go of things, especially when they carry reminders of a happy time long ago, but the effort is therapeutic.

    Letting go of unneeded possessions helps remind us that our essential nature is spiritual, not physical. Sometimes that’s scary; maybe our fear causes us to cling.

  2. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Sister:

    How right you are. We cling to our possessions out of memory and safety, as if having enough of them will protect us, and that means our egos, from change and death.

    Inshallah, we say, as a reminder that all comes from Allah’s will, yet we do not act accordingly.

    Alhamdulillah! We are travelers through life, and a light load is the best companion on the road.

    Ya Haqq!

  3. Dimas says:

    Masha Allah, really touched my heart. Thank you brother Irving

  4. […] Via Darvish, Via Dara – The Experiment […]

  5. joanne says:

    A very good experiment. I wonder how many times, even being totally unaware, we say the word “I” or “me” or “mine” in a day, so tightly gripping everything we hold so close to our own identity.

    This will be a wonderful exercise in awareness and gratitude.

    Peace and many blessings be with you!

  6. Mark says:

    Very true dear Irving ! Though it is for sure useless and out of date to cite muslim people as a reference nowadays, or to refer to this religion or any other for that matter. As Great Master Javad Nurbakhsh teaches us in the Nimatullahi order, Islam is about superstition, just like every religion. Islam was actually forced on early sufis from Persia, so they had to pretend to be muslim in order to survive., but were teaching secretly that they God didn’t kill or slaughtered. Sufism is a completely different thing than Islam. Sufism is the ancien pre-islamic spirituality of Persia, and it is at least 3000 years old !

    Let’s be like the eagle that do not get caught in the net of superstition !

    Ya Ali !


  7. Ruth says:

    This is really interesting – I’ll give it a try (oops I’ve said I three times already!)

  8. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Thank you all for your comments :) It is indeed difficult not to include your self into your thoughts, lol, but the goal of the Sufi path, and actually any spiritual path, is to get out of your own way, which is the point of this experiment :)

    And Brother Mark, you may be misunderstanding what our Master says about Islam. Even though there are aspects of all religions that are based on the culture and superstitions of the times they were founded, Dr. Nurbakhsh say that the goal of Sufism is to love and serve God by loving and serving all of His creation. Jesus (pbuh) said the same thing, as did the Prophet (pbuh). It is this complete submission to “God’s will, and service to His creation that is at the heart of the Sufi path, and really of all religions. So what we think happened hundreds or thousands of years ago doesn’t really matter, and only causes misunderstanding.

    “If we cannot speak of love, let us keep silent.”
    – A Sufi saying.

    Ya Haqq!

  9. Safiyyah says:

    Salaams Brother Irving:

    Oh, how I wish I could do it!

  10. Dipti says:

    A truely intreseting experiment .. but so difficult to achieve … but guess the goal is to create that awareness and consciousness of how deeply the lives revolve around this “I” ….every step away from it is his blessing..thanks for sharing …

  11. ned says:

    This being will attempt to carry out this experiment. However, past experience tells this being it is difficult to maintain these states for too long without tremendous sincerity. ;-)

    A very good practice! The best part? This:

    “The robe would surely have been brought to him without the need to ask for it, but it was the claim of possession of anything in this world which caused Al-Qalaneis to lose favor in the eyes of the Companions of the Way.”

    Because what needs to be done will come about spontaneously anyway, and the egoic anxiety about trying to “make things happen” only makes it harder for us to be receptive to the Divine Grace, thereby making it more and more difficult for the Divine protection to help us. Why oh why aren’t children taught this wisdom at young ages? Instead most of us are raised to believe in a world of scarcity, rather than to have faith in the abundance and benevolence of the Kingdom of God.

  12. Ren Udae says:

    It’s impossible –> I <— say! Impossible!!! ;)

    Well Written piece brother D.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: