As mortals, as one who came from the source which we came from - the Spirit, we have a natural tendency to keep returning to our Origins. We would turn back every now and then - after having walked 10 miles - after getting lost for days or months - we would want to just turn back or rather turn towards our Source. We should be in the state of oft-returning to our Lord if we cannot maintain being in the state of constant presence with Him.
Allahyarham Martin Lings or Shaykh Abu Bakar Sirajjudin (1909 - 2005) completed his last book 'A Return To The Spirit' in the year he returned to the Spirit, in 2005. HRH the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles wrote the Foreword: "I used to look forward so much to what became an annual visit from Martin Lings when I had a chance to explore with him some of his inner discoveries, whether in the world of Shakespeare or of Sufism. One of the Martin Lings' greatest legacies - apart from his insights into the true significance of many of the Shakespeare's plays and his remarkable biography of the Prophet Muhammad - must surely be his timely reminder to us that Sufism, of which he was a distinguished proponent, has always been at the heart of Islam, constantly reiterating the unshakable and scared truths of love, compassion and forgiveness which seem to lie at the very sources of the light that lightens our darkness and which, if it illuminates our hearts, can engender that peace we all seek. It is an illuminated peace which I pray is now enfolding the departed spirit of Martin Lings..."
MashaAllah! Such lucid yet loaded words of the Prince. It's brilliant.
Sadly, it's hard for me to accept that Martin Lings was in fact in KL on what would be his last birthday - his 96th birthday. He was here in KL on 24th January 2005. But I remembered seeing a beautiful portrait of him exhibited at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. I remembered standing, mesmerized at seeing his face, I touched the portrait with tears in my eyes, thinking how brilliant this man was, who wrote the biography of Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam, the way he did, how brilliant this man was whose eloquence, my limited vocabulary can never describe.
Al Fatihah to this remarkable writer and Sufi, Martin Lings and all the great women of Sufism who have left us and left us with jewels of their wisdom.
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
Am thankful for a dear companion who presented me with these two precious books. May Allah repay his generosity abundantly. May Allah increase us in knowledge and make us conscious of the presence of the Spirit and remain near. May Allah forgive us for all that we might know; know not and might never come to know. Ameen.