Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shabi Arus - a wedding celebration of another kind


Inna lilllahi wa inna ilai hi ra ji'un!
Today, a dear family friend (my mother's best friend, our neighbor) has gone to a better place. As I was driving 360km alone, I thought of how beautiful friendship can be. My mother yet again showed me what love is all about. Today I witnessed how moved she was when Latifah left her. It was a sad parting for all who knew and loved Latifah but she looked happy because it is in fact her Shabi Arus, her Wedding Night. She looked so pretty and gay to leave her sorrows behind, to be freed from the cage. I could sense it when I planted a goodbye kiss on her forehead. May Allah unite her with all the blessed souls in the highest Heavens. Ameen.

I am reminded of Shabi Arus, a term I had learned from reading Mawlana Rumi a while back. How Rumi had warned people not be sad about his passing from this physical realm. That death is in fact a celebration! O Mawlana, I marvel at how open and generous you had been in your teaching and sharing. Imagine if you were to keep all that avalanche of love and beautiful mysticism all to yourself?

O father Rumi, you were so right in your lament:
O my Lord, if your mercy is reserved only for those with pure hearts, then where will the sinful find refuge?
O Almighty Allah! If you accept only the pious people, then to whom will the guilty turn in prayer? Surely, you are the Most Compassionate!

O Mawlana, how heart broken you would be if you knew the sickness of this age; that some of the 'pious' and 'learned' people dislike other people to be pious and learned too. How they maintain that certain teachings are exclusive, that their tariqa is more exclusive than others so that people should not know about their 'exclusive practises'!

Oh...where will the sinful find refuge? Where will the guilty turn in prayer? And how will the ignorant learn if some 'pious' and 'learned' people keep the awliya all to themselves?

Perhaps they don't want the heavens to get too crowded? But havent't they heard about Bayazid Bastami? How Bayazid had prayed so that Allah would make his body so vast that it would fill the entire Hellfire, thereby leaving no place for other sinners?

Oh shame on you who are selfish, so self centered, thinking you are holier than others! May Allah forgive all our sins. Conclusive argument remains with Him.

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