Rumi’s Easter Poem – Happy Easter!

April 1, 2018

Everyone has eaten and fallen asleep. The house is empty. We walk out to the garden to let the apple meet the peach, to carry messages between rose and jasmine.

Spring is Christ,
Raising martyred plants from their shrouds.
Their mouths open in gratitude, wanting to be kissed.
The glow of the rose and the tulip means a lamp is inside.
A leaf trembles. I tremble in the wind-beauty like silk from Turkestan.
The censer fans into flame.

This wind is the Holy Spirit.
The trees are Mary.
Watch how husband and wife play subtle games with their hands.
Cloudy pearls from Aden are thrown across the lovers,
as is the marriage custom.

The scent of Joseph’s shirt comes to Jacob.
A red carnelian of Yemeni laughter is heard
by Muhammad in Mecca.

We talk about this and that. There’s no rest except on these branching moments.

– Jalaluddin Rumi (from The Essential Rumi, by Coleman Barks)

Ya Haqq!

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A Lovely Hasidic Tale of Prayer

March 29, 2018

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Once during the Days of Awe (the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur), the saint Yitzhak Luria heard the voice of God tell him that for all his prayerful mastery there was a man in a neighbouring town whose capacity for prayer exceeded even his own. As soon as he could, Rabbi Yitzhak travelled to that town and sought the man out.

‘I have heard wondrous things about you,’ he said to the man when he found him, ‘Are you a Torah scholar?’ ‘No,’ the man replied. ‘I have never had the opportunity to study.’

‘Then you must be a master of Psalms, a devotional genius who prays with great intensity.’ ‘No,’ the man said. ‘I have heard the Psalms many times, of course, but I do not know one well enough to recite it.’

‘And yet,’ Rabbi Luria cried, ‘I was told that the quality of your prayer surpasses even my own! What did you do during the Days of Awe that would merit such praise?’

‘Rabbi,’ the man said, ‘I am illiterate. Of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet I know about ten. When I entered the synagogue and saw the congregation so fervent in their prayers, my heart shattered within me. I couldn’t pray at all. So I said, O Lord of the Universe (Ribbono shel Olom) here are the letters I know: aleph, beis, gimmel, daled, hay, vav, zayin, chet, tes, yud. Combine them in a manner You understand, and I hope that they will be pleasing to you. And then I repeated these ten letters over and over again, trusting God to weave them into words”

– From Hasidic Tales: Annotated and Explained, trans. Rabbi Rami Shapiro 

Ya Haqq!


“The finest thing that we can say of God is to be silent…”

March 2, 2018

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Now pay attention to this. God is nameless for no one can either speak of Him or know Him. Therefore when a pagan master says that what we can know or say of the First Cause reflects ourselves more than it does the First Cause, this transcends all speech and all understanding . . . He is being beyond being: He is a nothingness beyond being. Therefore St. Augustine says: ‘The finest thing that we can say of God is to be silent concerning him from the wisdom of inner riches.’  Be silent therefore, and do not chatter about God, for by chattering about Him, you tell lies and commit a sin. If you wish to be perfect and without sin, then do not prattle about God. Also you should not wish to understand anything about God, for God is beyond all understanding. A master says: If I had a God that I could understand, I would not regard him as God. If you understand anything about Him, then He is not in it, and by understanding something of Him, you fall into ignorance, and by falling into ignorance, you become like an animal since the animal part in creatures is that which is unknowing. If you do not wish to become like an animal, therefore, do not pretend that you understand anything of the ineffable God.

– Meister Eckhart

Ya Haqq!


FREE EBOOKS for a WEEK Starting Christmas Day on Smashwords :)

December 25, 2017

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Each year, the seven days after Christmas mark the biggest ebook selling days of the year as readers unwrap their new e-reading devices and smart phones and load them with new ebooks to read.

This year, for the first time ever, Smashwords is kicking off an end of year sale. The sale starts Christmas day and ends at midnight Pacific time the evening of January 1st.

I am therefore giving my readers and potential readers a Special Holiday Gift by offering all my books for FREE :)

How the Program Works:

At one minute past midnight Pacific time on December 25, the special Smashwords End of Year promotion catalog goes live on the Smashwords home page.  Readers can browse the catalog and search by coupon code levels and categories.  After 11:59pm Pacific time on January 1, the catalog disappears.

The coupon codes only work at Smashwords, not at retailers served by Smashwords.

Please enter the code EY100 prior to completing your checkout.

Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel –

El Maestro de los Jinn (Spanish Translation)

Lessons in Love: Spiritual Exercises for Modern Life

Love Songs to God: 30 Poems of Love and Longing

Puerto Diablo: A Tale of Good and Evil

Master of the Jinn: Aaqa-e-jinnat آقائے جنات (Urdu) –  

Ya Haqq!

 


Master of the Jinn for the Holidays :)

December 11, 2017

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

As Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza approach, give the gift of spiritual literature to your friends and loved ones. Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel

In the Name of the Merciful, 10% of all royalties go to charity!

Master of the Jinn has also been translated and published in Indonesia (Sang Raja Jin), Turkey (Cinlerin Efendisi), Russia (Povelitel dzhinnov), Germany (Meister der Jinn), Croatia (Gospodar demona), Spanish (El Maestro de los Jinn), Urdu ( آقائے جنات) and Malayalam, the language of the Kerala state of India (Jinnukalude Nadhan).

To Order the various editions, click the links below:

The US English Language edition is also available as a Paperback, Ebook or Audiobook in the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, The Netherlands, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, and China – Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel

India in EnglishMaster of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel

India in English Ebook – Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel

India, in Malayalam – Jinnukalude Nadham – Ebook

Urdu   – آقائے جنات Master of the Jinn – Ebook

Spanish – El Maestro de los Jinn – Ebook

Spanish – El Maestro de los Jinn – Paperback

Indonesian – Sang Raja Jin – Ebook 

German – Meister der Jinn – Paperback

German –   Meister der Jinn – Ebook

Croatian – Gospodar demona – Paperback

Croatian – Gospodar demona – Ebook

Russian – Повелитель джиннов  (Povelitel dzhinnov) – Paperback

Russian – Повелитель джиннов (Povelitel dzhinnov) – Ebook

Turkish – Cinlerin Efendisi – Ebook

 

 

Ya Haqq!


In Memory of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh

December 8, 2017

LS2G Love is the Answer to

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Sunday, December 10th would have been the 91st birthday of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (12/10/1926 – 10/10/2008), the late and much beloved Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order,  may God sanctify his secret. In his memory, this poem is dedicated.

Love is the answer
to every question

An ocean emerging
from a drop

This you taught us by your
every word, every action,

The revealed science
of the heart, the key

to the door of the spirit
that is never locked

To serve the One,
serve all, you said,

Eat but a little,
Feed the soul instead

As long as life
remains, and then

The drop returns
to the Ocean again,

Of Love, of Love, of Love

Ya Pir! Ya Hayy!

Ya Haqq!


The Etiquette (Adab) of Reciting the Quran

October 24, 2017

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“These are the secrets of the angelic servants of those who recite the Quran. It behooves the reciter of the Quran to uphold the highest standards of good etiquette when he wishes to begin his recitation. Let him be in a state of complete ritual purity and bring to presence the attendance of the angels. Let him remind himself of the angels’ sanctity and place his spiritual focus on contemplation of and reverential awe for the Quran. Whilst he is reciting, let him not cast a furtive glance toward anyone or anything that is lesser in stature than the Speech of Allah, such as interrupting his recitation with created speech, even if it is the obligatory reply to greetings of peace (salam). It is unlawful for him to reply to greetings of peace whilst he is engaged in recitation of the Quran, because in doing so he drops himself from the highest of the high to the lowest of the low. This is what results when someone interrupts the divine speech by replying to the greetings of peace. As for interrupting the divine speech with worldly speech, it is loss upon loss—manifold loss!

When someone is reciting the Quran, he shouldn’t even glance to see who comes in to see him, no matter what occasions it. It is problematic enough that one should turn and look at someone entering even if he doesn’t stop the recitation of the Quran. Should a person remember a worldly matter after starting his recitation, he mustn’t get up and attend to it, for if he does that he will be included among those who preferred the ignoble and base over the Presence of his Master, and as a result he will be cast from Allah’s divine pleasure and denied the Quran’s blessings.

When someone stops his recitation of the Quran to attend to someone or something, he should consider the secrets of the angelic soldiers who seek forgiveness for him as he recites, and then he should weigh their prayers for forgiveness against whatever he attends to—can or can’t he distinguish light from darkness?

Many students who sell their goods in the market fall into these errors. Whilst in the market, they are busy reciting the Quran, but their focus is really on the people walking by. They say to themselves, “Is this person going to come and buy something from me or not?” or “Is this person going to come over to me or not?” until finally, when someone approaches to purchase a small quantity of this-or-that, they stop their recitation and immediately begin tending to the transaction until it is complete, after which they go back to their recitation without the slightest concern. Quite often they will go back to their recitation without seeking refuge [in Allah from Satan], as if they never stopped reciting. The show no care or concern. Many of them, because of the intensity with which they prefer commerce over recitation, when re-starting their recitation, don’t even remember where they stopped at, and start reading from a different location without invoking the prayer for seeking refuge from Satan.

Because of this lassitude with the Quran, many students are barred from its secrets; the lights of the angels do not connect with their recitation (as we detailed earlier). These secrets are for none but those with complete etiquette and presence. So long as a person is mired in heedlessness of this reality, no matter how hard he tries he will not attain unto the lights of the angels. As much as he may aspire to their lights, their secret will be cut off to him.

When one wants to recite the Quran, he must enter a sanctified state just as he does when offering the ritual prayer. Let him attend to any business or pre-occupations before starting his recitation; then let him ensure he is in a complete state of ritual purity; then, with presence of heart and reverential awe, let him focus on the sanctity of divine speech, even if all he is to recite is a single verse, or two verses, or a hizb. As these are conditions of quality and not quantity—being, as they are, conditions of good etiquette—they are applicable whether one recites a single verse or recites longer portions of the Quran. Even if one only recites a single verse while upholding the aforementioned sanctities, he will attain immense blessings through it.

If something happens, or occurs, or arises, that requires one to stop his recitation, let him stop it in a manner that reflects good etiquette. The very best that the imams have inaugurated in this regard—Allah be pleased with them!—is the practice of saying “Allah Almighty spoke the truth” (Sadaqallahul-‘Azim) and reciting the verse Verily Allah and His angels send prayers upon the Prophet; O you who believe, send prayers and abundant salutations upon him! (Quran 33:56), followed by sending prayers upon the Prophet s and sealing it with invocations of divine pleasure for the noble Companions, the Successors, and the entire Umma of our master Muhammad s, followed by asking Allah Most High that He not make that his final recitation, and that his spirit not leave his body except that he is reciting the Quran—meaning that he first brings it to presence and recites of it what is easy for him before uttering the two testimonies of faith [There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah], so that his testification is upon the foundation of the Quran’s light, sealing his life with the testimony of faith until Allah raises his spirit…”

Shaykh Muhammad al-Qandusi  (Cipher of the Spirit, translated by Abdul Aziz Suraqah)

Ya Haqq!