Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Letters from Shaykh ad-Darqawi


'Letters of A Sufi Master' is authored by a venerated saint who founded the Darqawi Order of Sufis which is a Moroccan branch of an order established by a renowned Sufi Master Shaykh Abu'l Hassan as-Shadhili. His name was Mulay al-Arabi ad-Darqawi (1743-1823 CE). Extracts of his letters were translated by Titus Burckhardt in the book shown above.

As we travel a long arduous journey towards God, we will need some water to refresh the tired soul and replenish any hopes lost along the way. Any students would appreciate words of encouragement from his or her guru. Ad-Darqawi wrote these letters for the benefit of his students hundreds of years ago but they are still being read and discussed today by the Darqawi tariqah members in many countries around the world.

The following poems attempt to reveal a speck of ad-Darqawi's gnosis as contained in his precious letters.

If you wish to follow a shorter path,
hold fast to the Qur'an and the nafilah.
Prefer inner knowledge over outer ones;
Noble character is nothing else but the tassawuf of the Sufis,
just as it is the religion of religious men.

Sensuality and spirituality are two opposites,
If you increase in one, the other will diminish;
Mingle with those who plunges into the Spirit,
Lest you should smell the sweat of those enslaved by sensuality;
Be like the faqir who remembers God alone,
So that God will be yours;
'Remember me and I will remember you' - (Qur'an 2:147)
Be in constant remembrance, will you?

If you are heedless and ignorant
you will want to feed the ego,
while the wise prefers to kill it
nurturing the heart instead;
So let people say bad things about you,
For 'that which kills your egoism
quickens your heart',
Man only has one heart,
you can only choose one over the other.

To cure the soul, just forget about it,
if you forget your soul, you will not forget God;
If you can forget your existence,
you would find Him as the source of your existence,
then you will see,
that you do not exist at all!

Leave idle talk, but do say good to people,
Beware of who they really are,
For the creature does not hide the Creator,
nor the Creator the creature;
Then you will be the perfect one, the Gnostic;
Be not you a man who is lost.

Al-Khasasi says:
'Pay no attention to him who slanders you,
but pay attention to God;
He will remove the slanderer from you
for it is He who incites him against you,
in order to test your sincerity,
but many men are mistaken on this question.'

Do not lack yourself of spiritual longing,
in honor of intuitions;
Contemplate on the essence of your Lord,
for God favors each one
according to the measure
of his aspiration.

- Ezza, University of Stirling, Scotland, 2006

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