Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shaykh Abdul Kadir al-Jilani on truthfulness

O liars, the truthful person never turns back! The truthful person has no back. He is a front with no back, truthfulness with no telling of lies. He is words and action, claim and evidence. He never turns back from his Beloved because of arrows that come to him from Him, but he rather receives them with his breast. Your love of something blinds and deafens you. When someone knows what he is seeking, he would find worthless whatever he has to spend.
The lover who is truthful in his love always plunges into dangers in the quest for his Beloved.
If he faces an inferno, he throws himself right into it. He swoops at what others would not dare even approach. It is his truthfulness that prompts him to do this. It is his love and impatience with being distant from his Beloved that prompt him into this. Afflictions reveal the truthful one and the liar and distinguish between them. How excellent is this piece of poetry of one of the people of Allah:
"It is in times of dissatisfaction
not in times of satisfaction
that the lover
becomes identifiable
from the hater."

- Shaykh Abdul Kadir al-Jilani in Jila al-Khatir/Purification of the Mind
O son, if you brag how easy your life has been, know that you are not among the lovers. If you complain how difficult life has been, know that you are not patient enough and do not have adab because you are supposed to lament to Your Lord only. But if you do that, it shows you do not understand that by right you should rejoice for being chosen to face tribulations. Afflictions are gifts for a discerning heart. Know that!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Become effaced like milk in pastry


What would happen, youth, if you become a lover like me -
every day madness, every night weeping.
His image not out of your eyes for an instant -
two hundred lights in your eyes from that face.
You would cut yourself off from your friends,
you would wash your hands of the world:
"I have detached myself from myself,
I have become totally Yours.
"When I mix with these people, I am water with oil,
outwardly joined, inwardly separate."
Leaving behind all selfish desires, you would become mad,
but not any madness a doctor could cure.
If for an instant the physicians tasted this heartache,
they would escape their chains and tear up their books.
Enough! Leave all this behind, seek a mine of sugar!
Become effaced in that sugar like milk in pastry.

O son, know that a mark of one who has gnosis is not one who is stiff but one who is fluid; and certainly not one who clings to himself though he may appear as foolish to the men of flesh. In truth, he is the intelligent one for he gives up from himself that which is worthless for something real - the True One. How can one who gives up a drop of water for an ocean be foolish?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Nothing is there, but He - Shaykh Ibn al-Arabi


God says, "There is nothing like Him (Quran 42:11) in many senses (wujuh); He already knows how every exegete (muta'awwil) will interpret this verse. The highest of these senses is:
There is nothing in existence that resembles God or is a likeness of God, since Being/existence is nothing but God Himself ('ayn al-haqq).
So there is nothing in existence other than He that might be His likeness (mithl) or opposite (khilaf). This is inconceivable.

If you say, 'Here we have an observed manyness,' we will reply:
Manyness is the relations, (nisab) of the properties of the preparedness of the possible things within God Himself, who is Being.
Now relations are not enities or things (asbyaa'); they are matters of non existence (umur 'adamiyya) in respect to the realities of the relations.
So since there is nothing in existence but He, nothing is like Him, because nothing is there.
So understand and verify what we have alluded to!
For the entities of the possible things have not acquired (istifada) anything but existence and existence is nothing but God Himself, since it is impossible for it to be a superadded thing (amr za'id) that is not God, as is shown by clear proofs. So nothing becomes manifest in existence/Being is God, and He is One. So there is nothing that is His likeness, since there cannot be two diverse or similar Beings.

- Shaykh al-Akbar Shaykh Muhyiddin ibn al-Arabi
in Chapters 516.31 & 516.34 Al Futuhat al-Makkiya/The Meccan Revelations
Translated by: W. C.Chittick and James W. Morris
Publisher credit: Pir Press

O son,
You can have whatever profession you like, but please be sure to make an effort to study what Shaykh Ibn al-Arabi and all the other mashaikhs are saying about His Oneness. May Allah grant us gnosis as He has granted to His beloved friends. Ameen Allahumma Ameen.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

O Taha


O you who ridicule me for the love that I have,
One who is intoxicated by love should be forgiven for his excessiveness,
If you but knew the sufferings of a lover, 
you would never want to scorn him.
Stanza 9 - Qasidah Burdah  


Mawla ya salli wa sallim daa'iman, abadann
'Ala habeebika khayri khalqi kullihimi.
O Mawla (Protector), send prayers and peace always and forever
Upon Your beloved, the best out of all of Creation.

Muhammadun sayyidul kawnayni wath-thaqalayn,
Wal fareeqayni min 'urbiw-wa min 'ajami.
Muhammad is the Sayyid (Master) of the two worlds and the two groups (men and jinn),
And the Guide of both the Arabs and the non-Arabs.

Nabiyyunal amirun-nahi fala ahadun,
Abarra fi qawli la minhu wa la na'ami.
He is our Prophet, commanding the right and forbidding the wrong, and there is none,
More true in word, saying "Yes" (meaning this is permitted) or "No" (meaning this is haram).

Huwal habeebul-ladhee turja shafaa'atuhu
Li kulli hawlim-minal ahwali muqutahimi.
He is the Habib (beloved) of the One, from whom we have hopes of intercession (shafa)
In (from) all the woes that have descended upon the humans.

Da'a ilallahi fal mustamsi koona bihi
Mustamsi koona bi hablin ghayri munfasimi.
He called us to the path of Allah, and those who cling to him
Have held the rope of Allah so tight, that it would never break.

Faqan nabiyyina fi khalqiw-wa fi khuluqin
Wa lam yudaanuhu fi 'ilmiw-wa la karami.
He surpasses all the Prophets in khalq (creation/external appearance) and in khuluq (characters/internal apprearance)
None could reach his rank in knowledge (ilm) and in generosity (karam).

Famablaghul 'ilmi feehi annahu basharun
Wa annahu khayru khalqillahi kullihimi.
Our utmost knowledge about him says that he is a bashar (human being)
He is the most distinguished and the best, out of all of Creation.

O son, let Qasida Burdah be the first song you learn by heart and hum always. For that which praise and masquerade His Beloved would attract love into his heart. May Allah heighten our love and longing for Taha, the Prophet of Allah, Sayyidina Muhammad s.a.w. the most distinguished and the best, out of all of Creation.
  - 12 Rabi'ul Awal 1431 Hijri

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shaykh Adnan Kabbani in Kuala Lumpur


Shaykh Adnan Kabbani (left) with brother Shaykh Hisham Kabbani (right)

Lisan al-Din welcomes Shaykh Adnan Kabbani to Kuala Lumpur once again. Marhaban ya Sayyidi!

Beginning from Wednesday 24th February 2010 Shaykh Adnan will grace a Maulid event at Bukit Damansara Kuala Lumpur and host a series of private functions for Naqshbandi followers up until 14th March 2010. For further details please contact Lisan al-Din Editor.

Shaykh Muhammad Adnan Kabbani is a renowned religious scholar and author who has devoted his life to the promotion of traditional Islamic principles, such as peace, tolerance, and opposing extremism in all its forms. The shaykh is a member of a respected family of traditional Islamic scholars, which includes the former head of the Association of Muslim Scholars of Lebanon and the present Grand Mufti of Lebanon.
Shaykh Adnan Kabbani is highly trained, both as a Western scientist and as a classical Islamic scholar. He received a degree in Engineering. In addition, he also holds a degree in Islamic Divine Law, and under the tutelage of Shaykh ‘Abd Allāh Dāghestānī license to teach, guide and counsel religious students in Islamic spirituality from Shaykh Muhammad Nāzim ‘Adil al-Qubrusī al-Haqqānī an-Naqshbandī, the world leader of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order.

Shaykh Adnan Kabbani, along with his brother Shaykh Hisham, has received ijazah as calipha of Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani. His books include: Haqiqat al-Haqqani (1995) and Futuhat al-Haqqaniyya (Arabic 2003).

In his long-term efforts to promote better understanding of classical Islam, Shaykh Adnan Kabbani has participated in numerous conferences around the Muslim world. Shaykh Adnan resides in Lebanon where he teaches and directs students of his master Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani.

Source: Haqqani Fellowship

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Reflect upon yourself


Perfect human beings realize the human potential to be one of the three divine books. It is not enough for those who want to follow in their footsteps to hear God's signs in the two outside books - the Quran and the universe. The human self is the greatest of all books, for it alone allows God to achieve the goal, but neither has the potential to become a self-aware book. Both manifest the Hidden Treasure, but neither can know it with full awareness.

So, "He who knows himself knows his Lord" and he also knows all things. So, my son, if you reflect upon yourself, that is enough for you. since there is nothing outside of you. The leader of the gnostics, Sayyidina Ali bin Abi Talib said,
Your cure is within you, but you do not know,
your illness is from you, but you do not see.
You are the "Clarifying Book" through whose letters becomes manifest the hidden.
You suppose that you're a small body
but the greatest world unfolds within you.
You would not need what is outside yourself
if you would reflect upon self, but you do not reflect.

In the same way, Ibn Arabi, the seal of the specific Muhammadan sanctity said:
I am the Quran and the seven oft-repeated (15:87)
and the spirit of the spirit -
there is no spirit I am not.

- W. Chittick expounding on Human Perfection and quoting Sayyidina Ali and Ibn Arabi
in 'Sufism - A Short Introduction'
Publisher credit: Oneworld

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stepping into the circle of Love


O son,
"Step out of the circle of time
And into the circle of LOVE." 
- Rumi

p/s D.ZAS, thank you!
Pic credit: Haqqani Fellowship

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Flee from sensuality!" - Shaykh ad-Darqawi


O son,
Never let sensuality take possession of your heart and limbs.
Never see your profit only in it.
Never chatter about it.
Never busy yourselves with it.
Never rejoice in it.
Drag yourselves away from it!

Shaykh ad-Darqawi said so and he also said:
"Always flee from sensuality, for it is the opposite of spirituality and opposites do not meet. Inasmuch as you strengthen the senses, you weaken the Spirit, and vice versa. Hear what happened to our master (may God be satisfied with him) at the beginning of his journey. He had just threshed three measures of wheat and went to tell his Master he had done so. Lord al-Arabi bin Abd'Allah said to him: "If you increase in the realm of the senses, you diminish in the realm of the Spirit, and if you grow in the latter, you diminish in the former."

This is obvious because so long as you consort with (worldly) people, you will never smell the perfume of the Spirit in them, you will only smell the smell of sweat, and this is because they have been enslaved by sensuality; it has taken possession of their hearts and their limbs..."

"And yet many are they who have freed themselves from sensuality in order to plunge into the Spirit for the rest of their lives (may God be pleased with them and let us profit from their blessing, Amen, Amen, Amen). It is as if God (be He exalted) had not given them Spirit (i.e. the worldly people) and yet each one of them is part of it, as the waves are part of the ocean. If they knew this, they would not allow themselves to be distracted from the Spirit by sensory things; if they knew this, they would discover in themselves oceans; and God is our Warrant for what we say."

* sensuality = al-hiss = sensuality in the broadest sense of the word, i.e attachment to sensory experience

FROM: Letters of a Sufi Master. Translated by Titus Burckhardt
Publisher credit: Fons Vitae

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The man of Extinction and Subsistence


Know that the man of Extinction sees God and does not see creation, while the man of Subsistence (baqa)  - and there is no subsistence before the occurence of true extinction - sees things by God, and therefore gives each his due, puts each thing in its appropriate place, and fulfils to perfection the rights of the Real as well as those of creation; and this neither distracts him from his Lord nor veils him from his station. The man of Extinction may be subject to flashes of Subsistence, and the man of Subsistence to flashes of Extinction; while the actual spiritual state of a man is that which he experiences most of the time.

You hear of men who have reached the state of Subsistence, and yet about whom things are related that bear witness to absorption and Extinction; for instance, that which we hear about Shaykh Abul Hassan al-Shadhili (may god be pleased with him) when he said: "We love none but God!" Someone said: "Your ancestor, may blessings and peace be upon him, said: "hearts are given an intrinsic nature to love those who are good to them," to which the Shaykh replied: "We see no doer of good apart from God; if we must, them as a cloud of dust which you take for something until you examine it more closely, and find it to be nothing at all."

By this he meant that such was the manner in which he saw creation. To express the experience of those who see only God, in both the act of giving and that of withholding, is difficult; language can hardly stretch that far. However, one can recognise the posessor of such a station by its outwardly manifest signs.

- Imam Abdallah Ibn Alawi al-Haddad
in 'Gifts for the Seeker'
Translated from the Arabic by Mostafa al-Badawi
Publisher credit: Fons Vitae

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blessed is he...


Blessed is he, who seeks honor from Allah alone.

Blessed is he, who finds contentment in Allah alone.

Blessed is he, who gets His honor.

O son, let us dishonor ourselves to Allah alone,
as in this du'a I learned from one of my gurus.
"O Allah, do not dishonor us except to You alone.
And honor us with Your honor."
Allahumma la tuzillana illa ilaika
wa a'iz zana bika

Pic credit: Haqqani Fellowship

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lost and found


"O my Lord, the one who has lost You,
what else has he found?
And the one who has found You,
what else has he lost?"
- Ibn ‘Attaillah as-Sakandari

O son, today, let us reflect on this seemingly short yet piercing saying, especially to a thinking mind. There is an opposite to that - Mawlana Shaykh Nazim often says - 'no-thinking mind'. A mind must be programmed to seek Allah. So is the heart. But for most people Allah is a vague idea about God in their mind which they often take for granted. Likewise, a heart must be set to look for Allah or else it would not notice if it had lost Him because He is not there in the first place.

Perhaps, we should ask ourselves each day, at the end of the day, every day, what we have found and lost. Per chance, today, we have found a partner we have been searching and desiring for a long time, but in finding him/her what have we lost or will lose? Most youth sets on an adventure to look for their mates, indeed they will find one. But compare him to a youth who starts his life journey in searching for Allah. Most likely he too will find a mate at some point in his journey because it is Allah's promise that He makes us in pairs. The latter will InshaAllah continue his journey in search of Allah, but the former whose goal is only to find a mate will just stop there and not find anything more.
O son, remember this, make sure your goal is a worthy one, one which is eternal. Do not let your goal be set upon a mortal or a fleeting thing because if you do, you will eventually lose it. Instead, we should all seek Allah and He will take care of everything else along the way. So, find Him.

Pic credit: Sh Parveez Rouf/Haqqani Fellowship

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gamard's Perfume of Love


He who frequents the Perfumery of Love,
a thousand times maybe,
visiting the Saint of Scent
Jalaluddin Rumi
father of the top notes
of love aroma
the essence of fragrance
enchanted many.

Gamard is a love drunkard
savoured 1700
stanza of four;
quatrains addict he is,
this one in particular:
"The one who passes by my tomb
will become (spiritually) drunk,
And if he stops (there),
he will become drunk forever.
(If) he goes to the ocean,
the ocean and [ships'] masts will become drunk,
(And if) he goes into the earth,
(his) grave and burial niche will become drunk."

Thirty three years on
he gets drunk every time
drowned in the Ocean of Love
none dares disapprove

O Rumi
let me sniff a little
the perfume of love
count me in
Gamard & Farhadi.
Dr. Ibrahim Gamard is the translator of THE QUATRAINS OF RUMI together with Rawan Farhadi. In an email to Lisan al-Din, Dr. Gamard said: "Out of over 1,700 of Mawlana's quatrains, the one that pulls most at my heart is the one that is on the cover of the book (quoted in poem above):

"The reason this quatrain is so special to me, is that I have visited Mawlana Rumi's tomb many times. And whenever I go there, I experience an extraordinary blessing that I have called "the perfume of Love"-- since I first went there 33 years ago. I feel drawn into the Ocean of Allah's Infinite Love for all creation. And often I feel such joy that when leaving, I walk with my head lowered in order to hide the "drunkenness" visible on my face. Ash-shukru li-llâh, al-hamdu li-llâh!"

With regards to Rumi's teachings that the young people should know about, Dr. Gamard has this to say: "One day one of Mawlana Rumi's closest disciples, who followed a particular school of Islamic law (Shâfi`î), told Mawlana that he wished to change to the school of law (Hanafî) followed by his master, Mawlana. Mawlana replied, "No! What is right is that you should follow your school of law, but follow my sufi path and guide people to my way of love." Here is an interpretation of this story for teenagers and young adults:
Rumi teaches that people should follow the religion of Islam, while at the same time following the sufi path of practicing selfless virtues and love of God and love toward all of God's creation."
Ibraham Gamard is a licensed psychologist by profession and received his Ph.D. in 1986. A student of sufism for over thirty-five years, he converted to Islam in 1984. He has been a part of the Mevlevi [Mawlawi] tradition of Islamic sufism (the 700 year-old tradition which originated with Mawlana himself) since 1976. In 2007, he was made a Mevlevi Shaykh, or authorized teacher, by Faruk Hemdem Chelebi, the 22nd-generation direct descendent of Mawlana and the international leader of the Mevlevi tradition. Gamard is the author of Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses. He lives in Northern California.
(Quoted from The Quatrains of Rumi publisher:

VISIT Dr. Ibrahim Gamard's website for the complete translation of Rumi's quatrains at Dar-Al-Masnavi is the activity of the American Institute of Masnavi Studies (AIMS) on the Internet. The Institute is affiliated with the International Hazrat-i Mevlânâ Foundation, in Istanbul, Turkey. The president of the Foundation is the hereditary and actual world leader of the Mevlevi order--the 33rd Chelebi Efendi, Faruk Hemdem Chelebi, the 22nd generation great-grandson of Hazrat-i Mevlânâ Jalâluddîn Rûmî. "Dar al-Masnavi" (literally, "house, or abode, of the Masnavi") is the traditional name for a study center dedicated to studying Rumi's great masterpiece of Islamic sufism.

Yâ HaZrat-i Mawlânâ Jalâlu 'd-dîn MuHammad
-- qaddasa 'llâhu sirra-hu 'l-`azîz.
"O our venerable Master Jalaluddin Muhammad!
-- may God sanctify his precious holy spirit!"


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Become of the noble scribes." - Shaykh Hisham Kabbani


O son, I cannot describe how inspired I was when I read Shaykh Hisham's article on 'The Noble Scribes'. When an inheritor of a holy ranking and divine knowledge like Shaykh Hisham speaks, he speaks with an immense wisdom. His words and light will surely penetrate your heart, bi-iznillah.

In 'The Noble Scribes', Shaykh Hisham stresses on the importance of knowing ourselves because "he who knows himself, knows his Lord." The children of Adam & Eve are honorable as they were shaped by God's Hands, made from His Spirit and He has taught them His Names. For a start, Shaykh Hisham says we must know that we are special and one example may be found in our fingers, particularly the thumb and index finger. These two fingers represent our spiritual identity. By putting them together especially during meditation, we connect ourselves to the world of light as a channel opens for the flow of Divine Power or Qudra. The secrets of LAM-ALIF are embedded in these two fingers. Holding them together gives you the power of manifestation - "from the ALIF, which is unseen and unknowable, that energy moves through the LAM into physical manifestation. That is the reality of La illaha illa Allah Muhammadun RasulAllah." The first part of the shahadah represents the ALIF while the second part represents LAM. The relationship between Alif and Lam here means that one cannot know Allah who is from the 'unseen and unknowable' dimension without going through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who is from the realm of 'physical manifestation'. Consequently, when LAM and ALIF meets at the meeting of one's thumb and index finger, that which was unmanifested before could become manifested by means of a pen between the two fingers.

We are all aware of the first Divine revelation to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w:
“Read! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful.
He taught by means of the Pen;
taught man that which he knew not.” (Al-Alaq/The Clot 96:3-5)

We know from that first Qur'anic verse that we will be taught through 'the Pen'. That is how we learn and acquire knowledge. In our hand lies a capability to make knowledge manifest by way of writing. We have seen how people have acted upon the inspirations in their hearts and wrote their ideas and knowledge which eventually manifested in the forms of useful things for our physical needs such as buildings, vehicles etc.

The writing of knowledge of the spiritual world is as significant as the writing of knowledge for the physical world, if not more. Mawlana Shakh Nazim Haqqani wants us to live a life with heavenly purpose so that what we do here on this earth will be beneficial for us in the hereafter. He encourages us to use our hands to document the realities of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. because God has given to the Prophet the kawthar (Fountain of Abdundance) - endless oceans of heavenly knowledge. Whoever documents that knowledge is an honorable scribe. So write. Document all the heavenly teachings because your writings will be an eternal dress for your soul. Your efforts will prove to be a savior for you on the Day of Judgment. 

Shaykh Hisham also said that we should align ourselves with the Prophetic light by following a master who is connected to the Prophet s.a.w. Such a master is able to dress us with his reality which is the reality of Sayyidina Muhammad s.a.w. So find a master and follow him. Write what you learn from him. Let every letter be an eternal blessing that eternally dresses your soul.

Ya Sayyidi Shaykh Hisham, may with your blessings, with the blessings of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and all the mashaikhs, may Allah make us a writer of all that is good and useful for Allah sake. O son, write even a single line; write even if it is read only by one reader.

Shaykh Hisham symbolically inked his love and kinship towards his murshid, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil Haqqani by signing on his painting at an event in Jakarta in Nov 2009.
 Pic credit: Bro. Rifat Ali of Haqqani Fellowship
Please click here for the complete article 'THE NOBLE SCRIBES'

Monday, February 15, 2010

He who is near


"To Allah belongs the East and the West.
So, whichever way you turn, there is the Face of Allah.
Indeed, Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing." [Qur'an 2:115]
In whichever direction you turn, be it with your face or your mind, towards the east or the west, as you witness the Haqq, there at that locus of your witnessing, you will have found something that proves His existence and His Oneness. That which you have reached through your intelligence/mind, will come to a halt as He shall certainly prevail over what your intelligence/mind arrives at. Therefore, let your witnessing of the existence of each and every thing brings about a witnessing of His existence.
As your witnessing of His existence becomes firm and lasting, your witnessing of everything else shall vanish and all that is left in your vision is Allah. You will become certain of His existence, as certain as His words in the Qur'anic verse:
"Indeed We have created man, and We know whatever thoughts his inner self develops, and We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein," [50:16]
Meaning: God's directives in regards to a person's life or death are nearer to him than his jugular vein through which God has caused him to live. Verily his jugular vein is closest to him than any other things as God has caused him to live therewith. So let not your witnessing stops at the jugular vein. Just as He has created you and your jugular vein and makes you alive, He has the power to make you die as He has absolute control over the vein. Consequently, Allah can make you become alive without having the jugular vein as the cause. Through such witnessing, our certainties on Him being the ultimate life-giver and giver of death, will become stronger. This goes to prove that He is God whose Will is closer to one than one's jugular vein.
- Translated from Kitab Qatrul Ghaisiah a Malay book on Sufism by Husin Nasir Mohd

O son, take heed of this lesson. Many pseudo-Sufis fall into the error of misinterpreting this verse. They conveniently and carelessly regard it as God being so near to them that they are Him. Astaghfirullah. The truth is that He is nearer to us than the thing that is nearest to us - our jugular vein, that He could take our lives away very easily without the need for secondary causes. This verse should make one feels awe of His power and be amazed at how in control He is over us; NOT a verse that gives one a license to do anything one fancies, thinking that God has taken a place in one's body. Subhanallah amma yushrikun. Glorified is He above all that He is associated with.      
May Allah guide us onto the Straight Path and protect us from blasphemy. Ameen.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Shun away lusts


Shaykh Abdul Mahmud al-Hayfan (1919 - 1973)
said in Al-Wasiyya:

Live, my sons, in this world with the logic of absolute conviction about Allah's wisdom and justice, with the unique love of Allah and His Messenger, with the honest endeavour to please Allah and with the understanding, prudent and promising actions of establishing the Truth.

In all this be conscious of pure loyalty and pure intention. Purity of intention in the cause of the Truth is a matter that transcends all events, however difficult or dangerous they are.

Know that the veiled are many but the bride is one. Strive to win her and know that you cannot do so except after getting her her dowry. Do you know her dowry? It is first (fasting) by day, waking (in worship) at night, keeping the tongue tight except in truth, spreading peace (by greeting), observing good conduct towards all beings, permitting the allowable, sanctioning the forbidden, giving food and praying at night when people are asleep.

Allah gives this world to those He loves and dislikes from His slaves.
He does not give the afterworld except to those He loves.
Be of the sons of the afterworld and you will succeeed.

Be indifferent to lusts, my sons and you will be free of their shackles. Because he who is overcome by his lusts becomes a slave to them. He who is enslaved by lust will be humiliated by it. Remember the saying of our honorable prophet (pbuh):
"He who is desirous of paradise hastens to do the good
and he who is afraid of fire shuns away lusts."

O son, as in other postings, this one is directed to you and me. Shun away lusts! Beware of people who lure you into fulfilling their lusts. Beware of being distracted from your endeavor to please Allah. Remember your goal is:  Ilahi anta maqsudi wa redhoka matlubi. Irresponsible men are everywhere waiting to victimize women, so please look after your sisters. Should you wish to have a woman, pay her dowry. Be a son of the afterworld.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A heart white as snow


"The Sufi's book
is not of ink and letters;
it is nothing
but a heart
white as snow."
- Jalaluddin Rumi in Mathnawi
May your heart and mine be as such! 

Pic credit: Meer/NY Feb 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Finding the state of gnosis


The venerated Shaykh al-Akbar Shaykh Muyhiddin Ibn al-Arabi, (may God be pleased with his soul, may we obtain barakah from his high station, may God increase his holiness and consequently ours);
Shaykh Ibn al-Arabi has said:

"A gnostic and a man who is ripe, when he says 'He', he becomes 'He' and if he pronounces this in the state of Perfection, the speaker himself does not remain in between, but completely becomes 'He'. This is one of the mysteries of finding the state of gnosis. Everybody does not know this, and there has not been anybody who has pointed this out, for the reason either they are reluctant or they are afraid, for there is a possibility of falling into danger. This is because in this station the quality of immanencing manifests from the servant. Because at the time the servant said 'He' that which was speaking through the tongue of the servant is the Divine Strength and Power." 

"The Prophet (s.a.w) always used the following sentence in his prayer, which he gave us, to lead us towards maturity:
'My God, please make me into Light.'
Doubtless he was Light, but the prayer is in that form to teach us, because
the person who gives himself up to He,
is Light."

Give being to God;
let being be God's at once.
Withdraw yourself from in-between;
let that which remains be the friend.

From: Lubbul Lubb (Kernel of the Kernel) translated by Ismail Hakki Bursevi
O son, again, our mawla Shaykh al-Akbar has made a profound revelation. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. I consider this as a gift after having gone through a bout of spiritual drought. On this blessed Friday, I pray so that Allah grants us gnosis and enjoin us with the righteous. Ameen Allahumma ameen.

p/s Read another profound revelation by Shaykh Ibn al-Arabi in
The One Alone/Kitab al-Ahadiyyah
Pic credit: Dr. Zameer (May God grant you bounties as much as the snow in NY city!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mirror as a waseelah - Mawlana Shaykh Nazim


Man's highest desire is to reach his Lord, his Creator, Who is bringing him from nothing into something! O Salafi `ulamas, did you come to dunya by yourselves and for what? Do you know? Say to people! Wabtagha ilayhi. What is dunya? Wa maa siwaa. Do you think that Allah Almighty orders you to run after this Creation or does He ask you to reach to your Creator?

It is nothing. Ma siwa Allah - everything except your Lord [is nothing]; they are like shadows. There may be shadows on earth. When the sun is shining you may see your shadow on earth, under your feet. There is another shadow for you that you may see yourself, not like a shadow on earth. You may look to a mirror and through there you can see another being that looks just like you, but it is not you. So that you are saying, "I am asking to reach to that person's real being."

Do you understand? I am not asking you to look through this mirror. I may see a beautiful lady on it, it is not enough for me when I am looking and asking to reach her. How are you going to reach?

O People! You must understand the Holy Qur'an! They do not understand anything! W'abtaghaw ilayhi, when you are looking at a mirror - ayna miratu 'l-haqiqah. Mirrors are of two kinds. One is showing through it not a real being. You are not asking for that one, because when you spread your hands, you can't touch it. You are asking for a mirror which and when you look into it, you may reach to that one inside! Yes, this is the mirror that you are looking for to see. What do you think Salafi `ulama, [is there] a mirror for the Creator? No mirror? [There] must be a mirror because without a mirror you cannot look at Him.

And you are asking to reach to Him. That is matlabul `alaa, the highest desire for Man, to reach for what he is asking to reach. Because when you are reaching the One through the mirror, you look at yourself [and then] you just disappeared and vanished, and there [remains] the One only!

[From the] Holy Qur'an, some people may understand something from the past, from `ulamas and from awliyas. Sometimes they are looking, sometimes they are reaching, sometimes someone, they are 'being'. When 'it' enters, finished, no more your personality, your personality just disappeared, you vanished. That is matlabu 'l-`ala - the highest desire which has no end to it, no ending for that manzhar (vision)! We ask how is that? What is the meaning of w'abtaghaw ilayhi al-waseela? If you are asking to reach yourself, first of all you must have one mirror. That mirror is a waseelah, that is the means for you to look to you. There are so many realities, so many stages, so many stations, so many levels going up to be reached; and what are you asking to reach? To get to a point where you are going to vanish, lose yourself and looking at what you are asking, vanish too!

What are we saying now? They are making me speak on some point which is important. We are saying about Shaytan. Allah (swt) takes that away from His servants. Yes, Shaytan is the biggest enemy and we are in need to save ourselves from Shaytan's tricks and traps.

How can it be? One ayatu 'l-kareemah, a holy verse comes to my heart for me to speak: wattabi` sabeela man anaaba ilayy. Kitab is addressing one and at the same time it address everyone! The summary of our speech that is coming to me is: fa ata`ba sababa.... Nabi Musa and Sayyidina Dhul Kifl were wondering, how can we do it as they walked and ran to their target? He was stepping: فَأَتْبَعَ سَبَبًا fa atba`sababa, and so he chose the right means (Qur'an18:85).

SubhaanAllah it is such an ocean. You can find everything that man wishes to learn, that is the key. Through that key you can open everything - wa sakhara lakum maa fi 's-samawaati wa maa fi 'l-ard. If you do not step on it you will not reach. Step on which point? Fa atba`sababa. Therefore, this world, the whole thing is tied or linked to a reason. Without a reason, there can't be anything and Nabi, Prophet Sayyidina Dhul Kifl was running towards a goal. He was asking to reach to that point and step on the steps of reasons. Therefore, this world is `alam ul-inkaan (possibility), everything can be achieved by means of  sabab (reasons). Without reason, you can't reach any targets here and the Hereafter.

'Alam ul inkam, this world, everything [is of] impossibility. But after this life, it is not an impossibility mumkin. And the second one is `alamu 'l-inkaan, mumkinaat, and `alamu 'l-inkaan. Possible and impossible.

Now dunya, everything on it is linked to reasons. When Mahdi (a) comes, people would still be depending upon possibilities which is sunnatullah. Everything on this sunnatullah means everything is linked with reasons. When Mahdi (a) comes, everything [will be] linked on qudratullah. Sunnatullah is just based on reasons. But for Qudratullah there is no need for sabab (reasons) and when Mahdi (a) comes - (Mawlana stands.) Alfu salaat, alfu salam ala khalifatullah Sayyidina Mahdi (a). (Mawlana sits.) - it will be based on qudratullah which is without reasons, "Kun fa yakoon!" That is the highest rank that a person may reach but one cannot reach that point if one does not use waseelah. Whoever asked to reach qudratullah, he may say for anything "Be!" and it comes to be. For that you need not use sabab. That is something else. Waseelah is something else.

May Allah forgive us and give us good understanding. This is an important explanation, perhaps some awliyas just mentioned it but now some high level awliyas will know the secret. And from that secret a little bit of drop is being sent now to prepare people for the coming of Mahdi (a) that he is going to use, "Kun fa yakoon, Be! and it will be."

- Excerpts of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim sohba
on 31 Jan 2010, Cyprus (Language has been slightly edited)
Read the entire sohba transcript  and watch its video recording at
Credit: Pic credit: Sali Mae /Cyprus/April 2009


O son, what I understood from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim's sohba is that he is asking us to look into the mirror and consider what/who our real being is. A mirror is a medium through which we could see our true nature. There is a 'mirror' that reflects Allah. Man is His mirror. Our highest aim therefore, is to reach Allah. This is only attainable through self negation until one reaches to a point of complete 'non-being' or annihilation (fana). The norms (sunnatullah) of this world is that everything happens with a reason. But qudratullah is of a special kind as it needs no cause. Imam Mahdi (a.s) is one who has reached this high station. He has the capability to make things happen simply by saying kun fa yakoon.
Wallahu a'lam.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Polytheism & being distant


O son, I am going to be brutally honest with myself and with you today. There is a label called Muhasabah (self accounting) in Lisan al-Din, so this is one of them.

Woe unto me, I had missed my obligatory prayers and daily wirids yesterday. As I was feeling restless, which is natural for one who has been absent from Divine mercy, I flipped one of my books and saw this saying by Fudayl bin Iyad:
"To abandon action for the sake of men
is polytheism (shirk)."

I was guilty of shirk because I had abandoned my duties to my Lord for the sake of men.

Men here refers to others and me. I had taken the obligatory prayers lightly. I had regarded myself (my preference/inclinations to do other things) as higher and greater than the Lord. Astaghfirullah alAzim.

Missing one's prayers in itself is a punishment. It means that one is not invited to the Divine Banquet for the Soul. That the Divine did not want to see my face. Astaghfirullah. Consequently, it means that I was kept distant. Being distant from the Divine Beloved is akin to hell. So I suffered from both polytheism and being distant.

If I may add to what Fudayl bin Iyad had said:
To abandon spiritual/religious actions for the sake of self and men is polytheism.
It is tantamount to shirk khafi (subtle) - that one bows to another ilah (god) which is oneself because one prefers to do something else than what God has made obligatory from His servants. This implies that one regards oneself as greater than Allah who is Akbar (great). It is like saying my decision not to pray (or pray yet), not to bow to my Creator is all right as I wish to fulfill my own desires so I am putting myself first before my Lord. Astaghfirullah. A'uzubillah min shirikil khafi. I seek refuge in Allah from shirik khafi. I seek refuge in Allah from my bad actions. Allahu Akbar!

One who has missed a prayer is distant from His Mercy. He, the Almighty does not lose anything but he/she is on the losing side because what it means is that one is being dishonored by Him!

So learn from my shortcomings, O son.
Let us humbly pray as Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi prayed in his Monday morning prayer.
"O Allah grant me compassion from You,
reestablish harmony in my disorder,
perfect me where I am lacking,
restrain me when I am astray,
and guide me when I am perplexed."

O son, take from Lisan al-Din only that which is good and leave all that is bad from its writer. 

Pic credit: Sis Tasneem Abd Haqq

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Love bidding


The development of love is often hindered by different obstacles in life. The first obstacle is ourselves. We begin our life with selfishness, and all that we want is for self; and if there is a tendency to love, it is for one's own happiness, and one's own joy. When the question comes, 'How much do you love me, and how much do I love you?' it has come to be a trading in love. 'I love you but you do not love me' is as much as to say, 'I have bid so much, and I expect a return of love.' This is trading in love, and trade cannot lead  anywhere, because it makes one think of the self, and love is beyond that. To love is to give; it is not to take at all. The true lover never speaks of what he has done for his beloved, for he loves for love's sake, not for the sake of of a return. If a person begins to love and makes it a love fed by the love of his beloved, then he seeks an impossible thing. If a person keeps waiting for the love of the beloved, he is bound to find that nature cannot grant that desire, unless both are traders in love. Then each takes the best of the other; each may think he loves, but neither truly loves.

Love teaches the lover patience, forbearance, gentleness, because he thinks, 'My beloved will be displeased; I will be as gentle as possible in my action and in my movements'. These thoughts are a correction to the lover. With every such thought that passes in the life of the lover he corrects himself. Hope is the only thing in life which keeps us alive, because it feeds on love. Patience is fed by love. We can never have patience with anybody without love. How valuable is patience! As it is said in the Qur'an, 'Allah loves the patient.'

Another hindrance to love is its dependence on the beauty of the ideal, be it physical beauty, beauty of thought, of character or of personality. Whatever beauty it may be, whenever love depends for its continuance or for its existence upon the beauty of its object, it must some day fail.
- Hazrat Inayat Khan in an Eastern Rose Garden

O son, remember this one valuable piece of advice from Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani:
"You must give your attention and interest to
anyone who loves you for your sake,
and avoid anyone who loves you for his own."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Oh Ya Latif...


O son, pardon me for sounding mushy but how and why do we get the sudden influx of love in our hearts? A vague, nice, intangible feeling we conveniently call love. Or even healing for that matter - an energy from nowhere or somewhere removing all pains. Or thoughts? Is it really all in the mind?

Rumi says:
"There is a world of bodies, another of imaginings, another of fantasies, and another of suppositions, but God is beyond all worlds, neither within nor without them. Now, consider how God controls these imaginings by giving them form without qualification, without pen or instrument. If you split open your breast in search of a thought or idea and take it apart bit by bit, you won't find any thoughts there. You won't find any in your blood or in your veins. You won't find them above or below. You won't find them in any limb or organ, for they are without physical quality and are non-spatial. You won't find them on your outside either. Since His control of your thoughts is so subtle as to be without trace, then consider how subtle and traceless He must be who is the Creator of all this. Inasmuch as our bodies are gross objects in relation to ideas, so also subtle and unqualifiable ideas are gross bodies and forms in relation to the subtlety of the Creator."

"In lieu of his limitless and incomprehensible nature, God’s knowledge is over the very basic components of existence. At such a level where the atom exists, modern discoveries in physics states that a whole new set of rules exist at the level beyond the sub-atomic. One hypothesis on the table of physics is that the four known forces (strong, weak, electro-magnetic, and gravity) seem not to matter at such a level, but mind seems to control this level. To the physics it seems as if the very structure of reality is ruled by a super-conscious from beyond the sub atomic level.
Thus, the mystery for physicist is the Mind that is programming existence. Islam believes that this programmer is God. Al-Latif is more central to humanity than the very soul of man." - Khalil Green
O son, one of my favorite du'as is:
Allahu Latifun bi 'ibadihi
yarzuqu man yasha'u
wa huwa l'-Qawiyyu l-'Aziz
Allah is gentle with His servants.
He provides for whom He wills,
and He is the Strong, the Mighty.

It is said to be a good prayer to recite on the head of a young child so he/she would grow up to be polite and obedient. If Allah wills, I shall do that for you someday. InshaAllah.
Refer the entire article on "Al-Latif in Islam" by Khalil Green.
Further reading on Al-Latif at