Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Service is a gift, so serve and be a shakir!


O son, I am so excited, I cannot contain my joy, I must and will proclaim the bounty of my Lord as required by us, as mentioned in the Quran Surah Duha: "Wa amma biniqmati robbika fahaddis." "And proclaim the bounty of your Lord."

Service is a gift, so serve and be a shakir! Shakir is one who thanks the Lord constantly. I've been given an unanticipated opportunity to accompany one beautiful soul, a dervish! As a matter of fact, she has just been acknowledged by a contemporary sufi saint to have attained that rank. MashaAllah. Even if she had not revealed the secret to me, I knew she was one! It radiates from her very being, in every presence. May Allah sanctify her secrets. God willing I will write a book about her journey, bi-iznillah. Her journey has resulted in thousands others to embark on their journey to the Lord. Now in her 70s, she has, despite enjoying an honorable position in the society, humbled herself and labored for the religion. O son, I don't know any holier service than that.

This heaven-sent dervish has kindly invited me to be with her so she could show me what service is all about. 'Servanthood is the highest maqam', she said. And adab in doing it is crucial too. She's been coaching me every moment I am with her, to look out for the most minor chance to serve and display adab. So here I am, learning to be a servant. Alhamdulillah for this honorable gift!

"One of the fundamental principles of Sufi ethics is that they are continually occupied in service (khidmat). No principle of the Sufi Path is better or more laudable than this. Whoever inclines toward service finds acceptance on the Path. As long as one does not sacrifice one's own personal fortune and possessions, abandon one's conventional routine and personal desires, set aside one's good name and the hauteur of honor and reputation, one will never be able to gird oneself with the belt of service. Service requires love, sincerity, reverence, trust, submission, certitude, abstinence, piety, patience in the face of annoying and disagreeable circumstances, sacrifice of personal self-fulfillment, renunciation of all complaint, divorcing oneself from greed and cupidity, eradication of passion, suppression of anger, moderation of desire, removal of petty discrimination, abandoning affectation, and perfect faith." (Ibadi in Manaqib al-Sufiyya, 87)
O son, serve and be a shakir!

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