Healing through Compassion

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

My wife grew up on a farm, and has an unerring affinity with nature in its most organic forms, with plants and animals and humans. Last summer, for instance, when she noticed that the bittersweet vines were extending its tendrils and choking off the rose bushes, she devoted many hours to cutting them away. The next day she looked at the roses for a moment and smiled, “They’re happier now,” she said.

She had seen the roses become happier. Even knowing this about her, it took me a long time to realize that the woman I live with is a healer. I had known her only as a mother and recently a grandmother, whose fierce love for her children caused them always to seek out her presence and her comfort and her counsel. I have seen that same love for her granddaughter; her endless patience in playing a game or reading to her, giving her leeway to set her own course, but always with a keen and watchful eye. They delight in each other beyond the need for words.

This true core of love, which is the deep well of her being, is the essence of healing, I think. At a wedding recently, while helping the bride to get dressed, she healed both the bride of badly bruised ribs and the bride’s sister of chronic neck pain, by laying her hand precisely on the injured spots for many minutes. They could not stop talking about it afterwards. When I asked her how she did it, she paused, as if trying to find the right words. Finally, she said, “The pain called to my compassion.”

“The pain called to my compassion.”

This is the deep well of love which marks a natural healer. Jesus healed the sick through this all-embracing love; the pain of the world calling to his compassion.

Many Sufi Masters of the past, who had completed the path of Love, were said to possess healing powers. And in the presence of my own Master, I have often felt a powerful spiritual energy and uplifting of the heart, an immense wellbeing of life. Perhaps healing itself is a spiritual uplifting on a physical level; the energy of the compassion of love healing physical pain.

It is no accident that passion is the root of compassion, whose original meaning was to suffer together. This com-passion, this deep, empathic, encompassing love is both the goal and the result of walking the Sufi path; at each step another drop is poured into the heart, and as love enters, one begins to see God in all of His creation. Perhaps healing is simply God’s Love expressed in the form of this compassionate energy, moved from one human being to another.

Compassion is love moved forward.

And healing is the divine spiritual energy of that love responding to emotional or physical pain. Healing through compassion is an ancient concept, though I had no frame of reference for it until I met my wife. There really is no mystery to it. I would not even call it a miracle, except insofar as all human life and its capacity to love is miraculous; a Divine gift unlike any other, and from which all mercy flows.

Ya Haqq!

25 Responses to Healing through Compassion

  1. The Prophecy says:

    A most inspiring blog! The definition of compassion has fit in so well with a recent work on sustainability and collaboration that I have undertaken – where sustainability is defined as “elements when they are in a cycle.” Compassion would exactly be the force that moves energy (Love) forward.

    Bless you!

  2. Baraka says:

    “The pain called to my compassion.”

    Subhan’Allah – this gave me spooky yet delicious shivers.

  3. Lara says:

    Very beautiful and thoughtful and TRUE! We are very lucky :)

  4. Anum Yasar says:

    This is a most beautiful, a most touching post. Sinks to the depth of my heart… Love,love,love!
    Ya Haqq!

    p.s: I will read this again inshAllah- and ponder upon the thoughts that have stirred my soul, thank you very much dear brother. May Allah bless you & your loved ones galore :)

  5. priya says:

    The pain called to my compassion…………..ah what a feeling …it came from her heart which is true and beautiful.thank you thank you Dear brother.

  6. A person enroute to sufism says:

    I came across this blog as it was introduced to me by one of my good friends :-)

    the way that ‘Irving Bhai’ was described by my friend, so lovingly as ‘Grandpa Irving, a sweet guy from US’ in itself felt like love in its actual form.

    I feel that only when you like / love a person so dearly, do you feel this kind of compassion towards that person:-)

    definitely sufism is going a long way- in helping people connect and reconnect.

    Hats off, grandpa Irving your writings help create much love and affection

    here are prayers for Grandpa Irving or ‘Irving Bhai’ as you are lovingly called.

    and about the above writing, Grandpa Irving, it is in simple words really really beautiful. thank u so much :-)

  7. Achelois says:

    “The pain called to my compassion”! Wow! I love it.

    Thank you so much for the most beautiful post! I always admire your wisdom – after all you noticed your wife’s compassion; you are wise. I like reading your words, what and how you think about things.

    Thank you!

  8. Sumera says:

    Fantastic. :) It must take a lot of soul searching and self-reflection to be so intune with yourself like that. Its amazing :) Thank you for sharing this Irving :)

  9. toseekandfind says:

    I adore this post and “The pain called to my compassion” now has a home in my journal! I love how you write – wisdom unleashed!

    Thank you :)

  10. Abdul Muneer says:

    Salaams Bhai,

    Narrated Ibn Umar: Allah’s Apostle said to his companions who were at Al-Hijr, “Do not enter upon these people who are being punished, except in a weeping state, lest the same calamity as of theirs should befall you…”
    Your post brings new light to the understanding about the hadith quoted above. It shows how much compassion our Prophet had for others, how much he actually felt for everyone.

    Your wife has been blessed with Allah’s Rahmath. Otherwise she wouldn’t be able to think that way. It is an instance where Allah’s (and thus His Prophet’s)love and kindness manifested in His servants.

    Prophet said,”Allah divided his mercy into hundred parts and kept 99 with Himself for his servants in the hereafter. The remaining 1 part is divided among all creations of all ages in this world. If a mother camel lowers herself so that its baby can drink milk, it is because of the mercy from Allah”.

    And seeing the mercy the way it is manifest in your wife is so enlightening.. That in itself is a joy and reward.

    May Allah bless her even more.

  11. Hi there!
    I was browsing the blogosphere looking for people with similar interests that want to be friends – in a blogging kind of way, so I stopped to say hi!
    Wishing you happy bloging and the best in your life.

  12. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Thank you all for the very kind and generous comments :) I deserve no credit for seeing what is plainly there, and my beloved would take none for doing what comes naturally to all of us if we bring it forth. The Most Compassionate is in all our hearts, and by love is He realized, both pain and cure. Ya Rahim!

    Ya Haqq!

  13. That is beautiful, so much so that I copied it into my journal. Thank you.

  14. ned says:

    This is a beautiful post, and you are very blessed to have such a wonderful woman by your side. I have a healing story of my own to tell — but have to finish some work right now so I’ll come back and post it a bit later.

  15. Safiyyah says:

    As Salaamu Alaikum My Dear Brother:

    Oh wow! This is so beautiful. So you!

  16. lovepeace says:

    a beautiful post. thank you to you and to your wife and to God.

  17. barbara says:

    Salaams dearest Irving. This as always was a beautiful post. Many years ago I heard of a child who was terminally ill, and what the family did was have people who loved him come in intervals every 15 minutes for 3 days straight and did exactly as your wife…then he was miraculously healed. Amazing what unconditional love can do.

  18. Maithri says:

    I feel soft healing run like a river through me as I read these words dear Brother,

    You, Your wife, the circle that surrounds you carry such radiant beautiful energy…

    And whilst the external world might be oblivious to this power… I am certain that in ways large and small, your simple presence in this world…. Heals it…

    Much love to you and yours dearest Brother Irving,


  19. ismail radpour says:

    So beautiful words are written in this post, brother Irving!

    The face of my Beloved is reflected in my cup
    Little you know why with wine, I always myself align.
    Eternal is the one whose heart has awakened to Love
    This is how Eternal Records my life define.
    Hafiz/tans. Shahriari

    Ya Haqq!

  20. nisa says:

    Assalamu alaykum Brother Irving!

    It is always inspirational to read your ruminations. May Allah swt bless you and yours. Looking forward to catching up. Hope all is well!

    ayesha :)

  21. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Once again, thank you for the kind comments :) I am indeed fortunate to have such a loving wife, and such friends as you.

    Ya Haqq!

  22. Hajar Alwi says:

    Healing through compassion … just the kind of post that is both breathtakingly glorious and beautiful to be read in the mornings of Jum’ah. ^^ Bless the souls of you and your wife, for sharing such insightful penning. Indeed, love works in miraculous ways. :)

  23. Rabia says:

    Dear sir Irving
    Thank you for this post

    My aunt just a few months ago was in the hospital in the intensive care. She could not breathe herself and therefore the physicians connected her lungs to a breathing machine.
    Luckily, she learned to breathe herself again and she miraculously got healthy again.

    At first I did not understand why the Quranic Jezus (pbuh) is able to make alive birds of clay with his breath. I really thought the story in the Quran to be very primitive in comparison with the story of his live in the New Testament. Now I do think that I grasp the Quranic Jezus, allthough I still do not understand why my aunt had to suffer that much.


  24. WhatsInAName says:

    Un conditional love?
    I beg to differ.

    Mr. Irving, do you believe there’s no beauty in the beast? All of God’s creations aren’t equal? If they are, then why do we seek the “removal” of ‘unwanted’ creations? Do you see no beauty in the way the vines put forth a manifestation of the social order God wants us to know of?

    And, there is no un-conditional love. No offense meant, but do you think your wife would love you grand-daughter if she knew your grand-daughter hated even her mere presence? No mother loves her children un-conditionally. She wants “love” in return. Period. There are ALWAYS conditions and expectations!

    Shouldn’t we be selfless? Live a life of self-denial and mortification? No worldly attachments? I thought that’s what the belief symbolises ( Sufism ).

    p.s. These are MY views only. Correct me if I’m wrong. And, I meant no offense.

  25. Irving says:

    Greetings of Peace Dear Whats in a Name:

    It is said that the more love you give, the more you have, and this quality of self-regeneration is indeed a main part of the Sufi path. Self-denial and mortification are not practiced by all Sufi order, including mine, which follows the tenants of loving-kindness, family, work to support yourself and be a productive member of society. We are not a monastic order, and also believe that marriage and children are the best teachers of love and patience.

    And really I do not see how it is possible that love freely given by a grandparent would be rejected by a grandchild. I know many mothers and fathers do not seem to love unconditionally, their expectations and insistence on a set of behaviors is part of setting boundaries for the wellbeing of the child. Yet I see that as part of their love, and I cannot help loving my children unconditionally, and my grandchildren also. And the more I struggle on the path of Love, the more I love them.

    And you are right, I do find beauty in the human condition, the beast and the angel, all struggling to understand this short life we are given. All of nature follows the Divine plan, even humans, who with their free will can often take one step back for every two steps forward. Our imperfection makes us human, and I love that about us. Only God is perfect. That is why forgiveness and compassion are part of the path, just as God so often forgives us, His mercy preceding His wrath.

    Many blessing to you, and I pray that our love grows with each passing day, each hour, each moment, in this wondrous life we have been given, as it is the only thing we can take with us in the end. Amen.

    Ya Haqq!

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