Friday, December 27, 2013

Question: "What is desire?"


How do you answer if a 13 year old boy asked you that question: "What is desire?"

I couldn't help but laugh when my nephew texted me not once but twice, asking "What is desire?" It was during a lecture by Shaykh Abdul Aziz Fredericks at the Sacred Path of Love event in Singapore last weekend. The shaykh was giving a talk on "The 7 Deadly Sins: Breaking the desires to attain true happiness." As expected, one word the shaykh repeated perhaps more than a dozen times was 'desire'. 

Desire might be a big heavy loaded or even slightly dirty word for adults because as compared to a boy who has not yet experienced baligh (come of age), adults would have a lot bigger and many more desires. Yes, bigger and many more - purposely emphasizing the qualitative and quantitative aspects of that word :)

But perhaps my nephew was just asking the Malay equivalent of the word desire because I suspect he thinks in Malay. Anyhow, I thought it's a good thing that he first heard the word from Shaykh Abdul Aziz whom my nephew thought was hilarious and thus appealing to a young person like him. 

In my reply to him via text I said, desire is like him wanting a skateboard. I knew he's pushing his mother to get him one. Oh interestingly enough, I noticed a couple of ATM machines in Singapore had this option: "Do you desire some cash?" or something to that effect with the word DESIRE almost shouting at me. LOL. I forgot which bank though. If I recalled correctly one ATM machine in Barcelona had the same option too. LOL.

To state the obvious, we all share a common desire for cash and other objects of desire...heh heh :)

I will share the notes from Shaykh Abdul Aziz Fredericks in another posting later, InshaAllah. Have mercy people, it's 3.48 a.m. now.

My nephew Kamil Arif holding that cute Sacred Path of Love tote bag.
Pray he will grow up and live up to his name
- one who has perfect gnosis.

It's worth noting the quote printed on the back of the Sacred Path of Love tote bag, which in my opinion is the most thought provoking question on desire:
"There are those among you 
who desire the world 
and there are those among you 
who desire the world to come. 
But where is he who desires God?"
- As Shibli 


  1. salam sis.
    i feel bad bcoz i didn't manage to fulfill your request to explain to your nephew. my desire to catch 40 winks got the better of me.

    nevertheless, it was good to see u & ur family here. hopefully it was very beneficial & ur sharing on ur blog is much appreciated. :)

  2. Heh's ok Akhi. The fact that my nephew got to know you and your family as SPOL volunteers was good enough a motivation for him and his sister.
    It was also inspiring for me to see you and other SPOL volunteers at work. So young and yet so committed on such a good cause.
    I will try to share more postings on whatever lessons I managed to jot down InshaAllah.
    Singapore trip was not only beneficial but jolly good fun too, Alhamdulillah :)
    Warm regards,
    Kak Eza