Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Name | Named | Name Giver


One reader whom I respect shared this article. Glad she did because it got me excited and it got me thinking. It's written by Mohamed Ghilan.

Are you one of those Sufis? No, I am not one of those Sufis. Nay. Not qualified. Too big a name.

Mohamed Ghilan wrote this clever and pretty clear summation of Sufism and a critical point about the famous stand made by Rabiatul Adawiyah: "Sufism is about taking the recitation of the Quran with the tongue and turning it into a recitation of the heart. It's about adhering to the Sharia not because of an ulterior motive of obtaining Paradise or avoiding Hell, but because God is deserving of it..."

"This type of worship and relationship with God is what Imam An-Nawawi in his commentary on his 40 Hadith collection, calls the Worship of the Free People as opposed to the Worship of the Slaves or the Worship of the Merchants."  

"Rabia al-Adawiya said in one of her famous supplications: O Lord, if I submitted hoping for Your Paradise, then deny me it, and if I submitted out of fear from Your Fire, then enter me into it, and if I submitted out of hope of seeing Your Blessed Countenance then don't deny me it."

As Mohamed Ghilan rightly said, many people are uneasy with this statement of Rabia because it is as though she is belittling Paradise and Hell. Mohamed Ghilan wrote: "However, what Rabia showed here was her complete submission to her Lord, seeking nothing in return but His acceptance. It's a realization of her answer to a simple yet profound question: if you knew that Paradise and Hell didn't exist and once you die you will not come back, would you still worship God?" 

Would you still worship God?! That's a loaded question indeed. What then is the basis of our worship? Subhan is Allah. I think sufis, sufism, paradise and hell are that which is named. Allah taught Adam names. There are countless names.

Oftentimes, it is difficult to go deeper and see beyond the names or the named (i.e. creations/effects). Many a time, names and the named become a veil of that which we desperately seek out and yearn for. We should realize that that which we desperately seek out and yearn for is none other than the Name Giver Himself - He who possesses the Most Beautiful Names - He Who is the Cause of everything - He Who is before the effects - He Who is Al-Awwal, Al-Akhir, Al-Zahir, Al-Batin.

Subhanallahi 'amma yushrikun. 
Subhanallah wa bihamdih.
Subhanallah al-Azeem.

No comments:

Post a Comment