O Son, know that your innate profession which must be cultivated outwardly is that of zakir. Zakir is a person who remembers, a person who does zikir, the doer of zikir. Zikir is the act of remembrance, the invocations you say with your tongue, the silent zikir that beats synchronously with the tongue of your heart or zikir that rise and fall simultaneously with your breath. And you do all these towards the Mazkur, the One remembered. The only One, Allah.
So let your first and only toy be the tasbeeh (or misbahah). Let it be your companion and never leave home without it. Unless of course when you are grown up spiritually, when you can afford to do without the physical beads as an aid of remembrance, then by all means progress further and higher. But even if this is so, it is considered good adab for a servant of Allah to take it with him most of the time if not all the time. There is not a truthful Sufi I know of who is without a tasbeeh in their palm. Wallahi, with a humble heart I share with you this dream I had of Tok Kenali (Haji Muhammad Yusuf bin Ahmad al-Kalantani, 1871-1933) a well known wali from East Coast of Malaysia. In that dream I saw his holy regal figure. In his hand lays a beautiful tasbeeh and that tasbeeh looked like it was moving by itself, almost. As though the zikirs were being said in a really fast manner although his face and mouth looked calm and still. I can only thank Allah for that dream for it came as an affirmation that tasbeeh is an intimate aspect of our life as a servant of Allah, in remembering our Creator, our Mawla.
Certainly it is much more crucial for you O son, as one who embarks on a journey to become a sufi. Remember what I have said in my dedication to you (Read my posting 'About my dedication') on the function of a sufi as mainly to purify the heart, rise to the maqam of ehsan, emulate the akhlaq of Rasulullah s.a.w which is al-Qur'an Mubeen. I will remind you again that this is not a role meant only for the elect, it is in fact incumbent upon every Muslim who prays that he knows that if he does not see Allah, verily Allah sees him anyway. But then again it would be better if you pray as though you see Him. Bi-iznillah.
When you progress further in your journey and by Allah's grace there will come a time when you understand what is meant by the sifat (His attributes) praying to the zat (His essence), know that when that happens you will have come close to the point where the zakir, the zikir and the mazkur becomes One. Strive for this maqam O son, strive for it, beg for His mercy for it, for you can only achieve this with Him. That is why we say 'I know my Lord by my Lord' or 'Ariftu Robbi bi Robbi'. What I've briefly mentioned here may be further studied in Sheikh Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi's 'Kitab al-Ahadiyyah' or 'The One Alone' which I will provide you in due course.
For now it should suffice that you pick your tasbeeh and do your job as a servant which is to remember Him who gave this life to you, He who created you, He to whom you will go back to. Remember Him and be thankful.
My prayers and good wishes are with you O son, so that you will come out successfully through the one gate which all anbiya, awliya and solehin came. I will reiterate that this blog, this space I create, I create it because of my love for you!______________________________________
# Further reading on Tok Kenali