Sunday, April 4, 2010

Embrace sorrow


O son, you must be prepared to be a stranger, to appear foolish in the eyes of the majority and to go against the accepted norms. This path is not for one who is smart. Actually I must use inverted commas for the word smart. Because smart is he who submits himself completely to the Rich and the Powerful as compared to he who relies on his own limited and deceiving intelligence, and borrowed power.

So we learn that we must get rid ouf our self-esteem. No 'self-motivation' or 'positive thinking' guru would agree with that but that is our way. We are strangers on this land. Then again, the Prophet prophesized, 'lucky is he who is with the strange party';  that Islam started as a strange thing and it will, at the end of time go back to becoming strange again.

We learn from our spiritual guides not only to dis-own our selves but also to embrace sorrow. The moments when we are heart-broken are the moments of nearness to our Lord.

Mawlana Rumi, quddisa sirruh said:
"O seeker of the Truth! Be happy if you have sorrows! They are the tricks of reunion that the Beloved has set for you since one remembers Allah and seeks refuge in Him when one is overcome by sorrow."

"Sorrow is a treasure. Your illnesses and the other troubles you face are all treasures."
"Likewise sorrow is as a blessed wind that blows on the mirror of the heart to clear the dust from it; never compare it with harmful winds."

"In this path of love, no one but grief remembers me, thousands of thanks to it."

Another poet who has understood this secret strove to explain it in the couplet below. The poem expresses that everything that comes from the Beloved is a blessing; even sorrows exist for thousands of good reasons. They are prepared by the Beloved to distinguish between false lovers whose only capital is their pretension and talk, and real lovers who are lost in Him:

"The unkindness of the Beloved is but an expression of loyalty, not cruelty;
The one who blames his Beloved with unkindness is not a true lover!"

This is because the sorrows and pains common people perceive as punishment are in fact divine gifts in the eye of the lover of Allah. Sad hearts remember Allah more. They gain nourishment from the fountain of submission. And Allah blesses their hearts with lasting happiness by granting them exceptional gifts because of this spiritual dependence and intimacy.

Alhamdulillah ala kulli hal.
Praise be to Allah in all circumstances!

FROM: Tears of the Heart by Osman Nuri Topbas

Publisher credit: Erkam Publications
Pic credit: Lucie Debelkova

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