Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Be sincere in contemplating your Lord


O son, be sure to not only recognize your Lord in good times when He gives you plenty but to also recognize Him when He witholds good things from you. When I was young I thought God cannot possibly be bad to want to make things difficult for us. I thought there was one 'good God' and then there was another being who does all the undesirable things, the 'bad God'. I later learned that He has two sides Jamal (Beauty) and Jalal (Strong) so He could show Himself to be both gentle and mean.  

However, we tend to only acknowledge the positive aspect of our Lord. We would rejoice and be merry when He makes our lives smooth. But when the going gets tough, we would just get absorbed in the downward spiral, drowned in sorrows, grumble in our hearts and complain to people. It is very easy to forget that our troubles come from the one and the same God. So we fail to know Him from this perspective.

Below is what Shaykh ad-Darqawi has to say about contemplating Him sincerely, that is to recognize Him in all states and conditions, good or bad, ugly or beautiful. He tests us positively and negatively to see if we could truly recognize Him. Shaykh ad-Darqawi started off his writings by quoting his guru who gave a somewhat paradoxical clue on how to indirectly win the world and hearts. Many of us would think that to obtain the world and its attractive offerings one must simply hunt for it; and to win people's hearts, one just have to do things to attract him/her. On the contrary, ad-Darqawi's guru said that we should renounce all sincerely, that is renounce all beings/people and the world so that only He is in our heart. Only then, with His mercy, all people and the world and its contents will come to serve us. But of course a true gnostic will not do it with that in mind. A true gnostic would sincerely renounce everything for the sake of his Lord and not think of any other motives. A true gnostic will have Him in his heart, solely for His sake. Subhan Allah! Allahu Akbar!

"When the servant knows his Lord, all creatures acknowledge him and all things obey him. But God knows more. The illustrious Shaykh our master (may God be well pleased with him) used to say: 'When your heart is emptied of beings it becomes filled with Being and from that moment love is born between you and other beings. If you act purely toward your Creator, all creatures will manifest goodwill toward you.'
And we will add:  when you are sincere in contemplation of your Lord, He will try you by manifesting Himself to you in all His aspects and if you continue to recognize Him and do not ignore him, then the universe and all it contains will recognize you; it will love you and behave toward you with veneration and generosity; it will rally to your side, obey you and want you; it will rejoice in remembering you, show concern for you, be glorified in you, flock toward you, call you; all this you will see with your own eyes. But if you fail to know God when He manifests Himself to you, you also will be unrecognized by all things, denied by all things, humiliated, despised, diminished, made more despicable, worse, heavier, more remote; everythiing will insult you, shun you, be against you and overwhelm you.
You who are 'poor', if you wish that your wind may prevail over all winds and all adversaries, then be constant in contemplating your Lord while He is trying you, for He will change your ignorance into knowledge, your weakness into strength, your helplessness into power, your poverty into wealth, your lowliness into glory, your loneliness into intimacy, your remoteness into nearness - or in a word, God, be He exalted, will cover over your qualities with His qualities, for He is generous and bestows immeasurable graces. Greetings of Peace!"
- Shaykh ad-Darqawi
Translator credit: Titus Burckhardt

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