Thursday, September 24, 2009

What is your real age?


O son, theoretically speaking, tomorrow, bi-iznillah, I shall be another year older. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah for this wonderful ni'mat ijad (the blessing of being in existent). It is the greatest blessing indeed to be given a chance to live - 'to exist for eternity', that is what my dear murshid Mawlana Shaykh Nazim said, 'for eternity'. We do not die or disappear into extinction. When we die, we merely move on to a different realm before being resurrected. That's all.

O son, know that your real age may not be what you think it is. It has got to do with dying prior to your death. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w asks us to 'die before you die' (muttu qabla 'antal muttu). Then, according to awliya Allah, only then your real age counts. It was narrated that a wali once took a companion to a graveyard, he pointed to the graves and said 'that one is 2 years old', 'that one is 1 year old' referring to their real age in Sufi terms.

One of the greatest saints of all time Abu Yazid Bistami, before he died someone asked him his age, he said 'I am four years old. For seventy years I was veiled, I got rid of my veils only four years ago.' (He died in 875 CE).

O son, look for a murshid who could guide and train you to 'die before you die', remove your veils, be annihilated and be born for real. Then, you can rejoice. Then it would be more meaningful for anyone to wish you Happy Birthday! May Allah grant us the knowledge which He has granted to His awliya. Allahu 'Aleem.
Al-Fatihah to Abang Aris, a neighbor, who kindly took the picture above, 37 years ago. I was 2 years old!

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