Hadith of the Night Journey – Laylat al-Miraj

April 18, 2018

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“When God took me on the Night Journey, I passed a man hidden in the light of God’s throne. I asked if he was an angel, and was told no. I asked if he was a prophet, and was told no. So I asked who he was, and was told that he was a man whose tongue was always moist with the remembrance of God when he lived in this world, whose heart was always attached to the mosques, and who never said an unkind word to his parents.”

— Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), cited in Aisha al-Bauniyya’s (d. 1517) Kitab al-Muntakhab fi usul al-rutab fi `ilm al-tasawwuf, trans. Th. Emil Homerin. The Hadith appears in Ibn Abi al-Dunya.

Ya Haqq!

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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!


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!


Akhlaq Allah – The Divine Manner and the Highest Note

February 7, 2018

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“In the terms of the Sufis, the divine manner is called Akhlaq Allah. A human being thinks, speaks, and acts according to the pitch to which his soul is tuned. The highest note he could be tuned to is the divine note, and it is that pitch, once man arrives at it, that he begins to express the manner of God in everything he does.”  – Hazrat Inayat Khan

Ya Haqq!


Pride – The Greatest Sin

January 21, 2018

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“It has come in a report (that the Prophet [on whom be peace] said), ‘If you were to remain free of sins, I would fear for you what is worse than the sins themselves.’ When asked what he meant, he replied, ‘pride.’

By my life! Pride is from among the attributes of a soul enamoured by its own importance; it nullifies virtuous deeds, and it ranks among the worst mortal sins of the heart … It is better for a man to be tried by countless passions of the body than it is to be tried by a single feeling of pride, conceit, envy, desire for praise, or a yearning to be recollected by others … because these are attributes of Iblis (akhlāq al-abālisa), and the cause of his ruin. Bishr al-Harith said that the delight of the soul in the praise of others is more harmful for it than outright sins (aḍarru ‘alayhā min al-ma`āṣī)”

Abu Talib al-Makki, Qut al-qulub

Ya Haqq!


The Old Healer to the Soul

January 11, 2018

It’s not your back that hurts, but the burden.

It’s not your eyes that hurt, but injustice.

It’s not your head that hurts, it’s your thoughts.

Not the throat, but what you don’t express or say with anger.

Not the stomach hurts, but what the soul does not digest.

It’s not the liver that hurts, it’s the anger.

It’s not your heart that hurts, but love.

And it is love itself that contains the most powerful medicine.

– Author Unknown