Master of the Jinn, the Malayalam Translation – Jinnukalude Nadhan ജിന്നുകളുടെ നാഥന്‍

January 14, 2017

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Master of the Jinn has been translated into the Malayalam language of the Kerala State of India as Jinnukalude Nadhan – ജിന്നുകളുടെ നാഥന്‍, and published as an EBOOK by Google Play for $3.82. If you are one of the 54 million people who speak Malayalam, buy it HERE :)

Ya Haqq!

malayalam

 


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Coming of the Magi

December 23, 2016

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In the days before Christmas, I confess that one of my favorite parts of the story of the birth of Jesus, or Isa ibn Mariyam, is the coming of the Magi, and the legends that have grown up around them.

In Christian tradition, the Magi, also referred to as the Three Wise Men, Three Kings, or Kings from the East, are said to have visited the baby Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense.

The word Magi is a Latinization of the plural of the Greek word magos, itself from Old Persian maguŝ from the religious/priestly caste into which Zoroaster was born. As part of their religion, these priests paid particular attention to the stars, and gained an international reputation for astrology, which was at that time highly regarded as a science. Their religious practices and use of astrology caused derivatives of the term Magi to be applied to the occult in general and led to the English term magic.

The Gospel of Matthew (2:1-16), the only one of the four Gospels to mention the Magi, states that they came “from the east” to worship the Christ, “born King of the Jews”. Although the account does not tell how many they were, the three gifts led to a widespread assumption that they were three as well. Their identification as kings in later Christian writings is linked to Old Testament prophesies such as that in Isaiah 60:3, which describe the Messiah being worshipped by kings.

The Syrian King Seleucus II Callinicusis recorded to have offered gold, frankincense and myrrh to Apollo in his temple at Miletus in 243 BC, and this may have been the precedent for the mention of these three gifts in the Gospel of Matthew (2:11). It was these three gifts, it is thought, which were the chief cause for the number of the Magi becoming fixed eventually at three.

A model for the homage of the Magi might have been provided, it has been suggested, by the journey to Rome of King Tiridates I of Armenia, with his magi, to pay homage to the Emperor Nero, which took place in 66 AD, a few years before the date assigned to the composition of the Gospel of Matthew.

And finally, this account by Lewis Williams expands the story in a lovely spiritual way:

While oftentimes conflicting lore muddles the story of the Magi, those bearing gifts for the Christ child are most often named Caspar of Tarsus, Melchior of Persia and Balthasar of Sabia, which was the ancient name of Yemen/Ethiopia (as in the Queen of Sheba/Sabia). Weary from desert travel, the Magi humbly offer their gifts. Caspar is young, European, and offers gold. Gold finances the Holy Family’s coming flight to Egypt and also symbolizes Christ’s immortality and purity. For his generosity, Caspar receives the gifts of charity and spiritual wealth. Melchior is middle-aged, Persian and offers myrrh. Myrrh is a fragrant gum, which the ancient Israelites believed to strengthen children. This symbol of Christ’s mortality was blended with wine and offered to him on the cross, and also mixed with aloes to wrap his body for the tomb. Melchior receives the gifts of humility and truth. Balthasar is elderly, Ethiopian and offers frankincense. Frankincense is a resin used in incense for worship and also symbolizes prayer and sacrifice. Balthasar receives the gift of Faith. And Christ, humbling himself to become man, offers us the greatest gift of all, the light that forever burns in the darkness.

Merry Christmas to all :)

Ya Haqq!

Note: The above painting is Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682).


“Study is not the goal, doing is.” – Wisdom of Rabbi ben Gamliel

December 13, 2016

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

❝I grew up among the Sages. All my life I listened to their words. Yet I have found nothing better than silence. Study is not the goal, doing is. Do not mistake ‘talk’ for ‘action’: Pity fills no stomach. Compassion builds no house. Understanding is not yet justice. Whoever multiplies words causes confusion. The truth that can be spoken is not the ultimate Truth.❞
― Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel (d. 70 CE)

Ya Haqq!


In Memory of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh

December 10, 2016

LS2G Love is the Answer to

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Saturday, December 10th would have been the 90th birthday of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (12/10/1926 – 10/10/2008), the late and 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!


What Love Demands – Eid al-Adha Mubarak :)

September 11, 2016

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Eid Mubarak!

May Allah bless you all this Eid al-Adha, dear Brothers and Sisters, with generosity of hand, sincerity of speech, kindness in action, and love and joy in remembrance of Him, who is the Source of all Generosity, Sincerity, Kindness, Joy, and Love. Ameen!

“O Lord! Let not our hearts deviate now after You have guided us, but grant us mercy from Your own Presence; for You are the Grantor of bounties without measure.” (Quran: 3:9)

This is the time of Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, which celebrates the faith of Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice even his beloved son Isaac as God had commanded. Now what are we willing to sacrifice in order that our prayers may be accepted?

That is the question I ask myself every year. Jesus (as) kissed the leper, the whore, and the thief, out of love and forgiveness and healing. Because of the great expansiveness of his heart, miracles were possible. What have we done, what can we still do, to be worthy of the love and forgiveness and healing we ask of God? The answer that comes to my heart is always the same:

Do what love demands.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

According to a hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) once said, “A true believer is one with whom others feel secure. One who returns love for hatred.”

Alhamdulillah! Indeed, Love is the greatest miracle of God. There have been Spiritual Masters of the past who would not let an aspirant be initiated until they had gone to everyone whom they had wronged in their life, and begged forgiveness, making amends in any way that was required. And until they had gone to everyone that had wronged them in their lives, and granted them forgiveness without asking, and with a whole heart. Only then could such a one be initiated on the mystic path.

And so we come to the great task of our lives, brought into focus on this day of Eid al-Adha: To sacrifice our fear and hatred, our envy and greed and all the other works of the fearful and self-absorbed nafs, in the certain knowledge that anyone who forgives a debt will be repaid tenfold by God, and anyone who forgives a wrong will be forgiven by God a hundredfold, and anyone who returns love for hatred will make of this life a paradise. That is what love demands.

Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.
– Rumi

Ya Haqq!


Laylat al-Qadr, The Night of Power – 2016

June 25, 2016

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:
And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
Therein come down the angels and the Spirit (Jibril, or Gabriel) by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace!…This until the rise of morn.
   – Qur’an, 97:1-5

Laylat al-Qadr, (also known as Shab-e-Qadr), the Night of Destiny, Night of Power, Night of Value, the Night of Decree or Night of Measures, is the anniversary of the night the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

The Night of Power will be, inshAllah, on June 25th this year for those countries that started fasting on June 6th.

Muslims believe that revelation of the Qur’an occurred in two phases, with the first phase being the revelation in its entirety on Laylat Al-Qadr by Allah to the Archangel Gabriel in the lowest heaven, and then the subsequent verse-by-verse revelation to Prophet (pbuh) by Gabriel (Jibril in Arabic). The revelation started in 610 CE at the Hira cave on Mount Nur in Mecca.

Because of the revealed importance of this night, Muslims strive harder in the last ten days of Ramadan since the Laylat al-Qadr could be one of the odd-numbered days in the last ten (the first, third, fifth, seventh or ninth)

The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever prays on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and sincerity, shall have all their past sins forgiven.   –  Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with them).

if you stay awake
for an entire night
watch out for a treasure
trying to arrive

you can keep warm
by the secret sun of the night
keeping your eyes open
for the softness of dawn

try it for tonight
challenge your sleepy eyes
do not lay your head down
wait for heavenly alms

night is the bringer of gifts
Moses went on a ten-year journey
during a single night
invited by a tree
to watch the fire and light

Mohammed too made his passage
during that holy night
when he heard the glorious voice
when he ascended to the sky

day is to make a living
night is only for love
commoners sleep fast
lovers whisper to God all night

all night long
a voice calls upon you
to wake up
in the precious hours

if you miss your chance now
when your body is left behind
your soul will lament
death is a life of no return

Jalaluddin Rumi – translation by Nader Khalili from Rumi, Fountain of Fire.

Ya Haqq!


A Special Ramadan Du’a (Prayer)

June 6, 2016

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Ramadan Mubarak!

The following is a du’a that is constantly read in Tarim, a town in the Wadi Hadhramawt, Yemen, throughout the blessed month of Ramadan. This beneficial du’a has been translated and made available through Sidi Amin Buxton (Allah preserve and increase him):

Sayyiduna Salman narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) spoke to the Companions on the last day of Sha`ban. He informed them that they were about to enter a great and blessed month, a month in which there is a night better than a thousand nights. He mentioned some of the merits of the month of Ramadan. Then he said: “Do four things in abundance: two things with which you please your Lord, and two things which you cannot do without. As for the two things with which you please your Lord: your testification that there is nothing worthy of worship other than Allah and your seeking His forgiveness. As for the two things which you cannot do without: your asking Allah for Paradise and seeking refuge in Him from the Fire.”1

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught al-Sayyida `A’isha to say on Laylat al-Qadr:

“O Allah, truly You are all-Pardoning, You love to pardon so pardon us.”2

On the basis of these two hadiths the scholars and people of Tarim repeat the following du`a throughout the month of Ramadan:

أشْهَدُ أن لا إلهَ إلا الله نَسْتَغْفِرُ الله نسأَلُكَ الجنَّةَ ونَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ النَّار (3)

Ashadu alla ilaha illallah, nastaghfirullah, nas’aluk’l-jannata wa na`audhu bika min an-nar

“I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship other than Allah and we seek the forgiveness of Allah. We ask You for Paradise and take refuge in You from the Fire.” (3 times)

اللهمَّ انَّكَ عَفُوٌ تُحبُّ العفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنَّا (3) يا كريم

Allahumma innaka `afuwun tuhibbu-l’`afwa f`afwa `anna

“O Allah, truly You are all-Pardoning, You love to pardon so pardon us” (3 times). On the third time say “O Most Generous” (Ya Karim).

1 Narrated by Ibn Khuzayma

2 Narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and Tirmidhi with a sahih chain of transmission.

Note: Wadi Hadhramawt is a 220-mile wadi (seasonal river valley) which has a collection of 31 small sultanates with Aden in the middle. Hadhramawt is the biggest wadi in the Arabian Peninsula and runs for 99 miles through a stony desert. This area has been settled since at least the 3rd century AD and brilliant green fields ran alongside the wadi.

Ya Haqq!