Friday, June 5, 2009

Don't take offense!


Shu'ib was one of my earliest guides whom I met at the turn of the millenium. By God's will I only had 13 weekly lessons with this humble guru before the Lord invited Him to His Presence. One thing he said which I still remember to this day, "Ezza, do not ever get offended!"

It is a simple statement no doubt but try living it. Of course I have been offended many times since then and usually on account of people blaming me. Only recently have I realized that all the sages past and present are saying the same thing - don't take offense; treat praise and blame as the same.

'Being a dervish lies neither in performance of ritual prayers, nor in fasting, nor in the keeping of night vigils. All of these are but intermediate means of serving God. Being a dervish lies in not getting offended, for if you realize this, you will be one with God.' - Balyani in 'Jami: 'Nafahat al-uns'

'If someone tells you that you are the best human being alive, and this remark pleases you more than someone else who tells you that you are the worst person alive, then you may apprehend that you are, indeed, a bad person.' - Sufyyan Thawri in 'Attar: Tadhkirat'

A contemporary scholar from America, Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya an-Ninowy said:
"If for example say someone slanders them, hurt them, they control their tongues and limbs. They do not say anything back but their heart is hurt. They feel hurt or they feel angered or they feel upset - the internal is not purified yet. Why? The heart is still dependent on other people, the heart is not with Allah swt. The heart is not present with Allah. For if the heart was present with Allah, nothing else matters." "We are talking about the people who actually mastered and they worked and disciplined themselves to control their desires so that they don't base their lives on reaction but their heart is not there. The ulama of tassauf call those fake. They say this is like copper plated with gold."

As quoted from Letters of a Sufi Master ad-Darqawi, 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.'

So, let the kids get offended and weep but you O son, you don't take offense!

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