Friday, February 27

Where is God?

When Moses conversed with God, he asked, "Lord, where shall I seek You?"
God answered, "Among the brokenhearted." 
Moses continued, "But, Lord, no heart could be more despairing than mine."
And God replied, "Then I am where you are."

-Abu’l-Fayd al-Misri, “The Kashf al-Mahjub”

Monday, February 23


One is without reason.

Everything needs a reason,
but One never needs it.

Every number has a reason
to be the number
it is.

Except One.

Every number is in need
for the number One,
but One never needs One.

Two needs One
to be two.
Three needs One
to be three.
One hundred needs One
to be one hundred.
Or it will be ninety-nine.

But One is without reason.

And if there is no One,
there is Zero.
There is nothing.

But if there is One,
everything is going to be
from it.

(Mawlana Sheikh Mohammed Nazim Adil al-Haqqani al-Naqshbandi)

Tuesday, February 17

Be Lost in the Call

Be Lost in the Call
Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?

Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you've never seen the face.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn't wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.

My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?

We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn't want a crown or robe from God's grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were naked.

Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.

Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.

"Love is a Stranger", Kabir Helminski
Threshold Books, 1993

Sunday, February 15

Song of Love

I am the lover's eyes, and the spirit's
Wine, and the heart's nourishment.
I am a rose. My heart opens at dawn and
The virgin kisses me and places me
Upon her breast.

I am the house of true fortune, and the
Origin of pleasure, and the beginning
Of peace and tranquility. I am the gentle
Smile upon his lips of beauty. When youth
Overtakes me he forgets his toil, and his
Whole life becomes reality of sweet dreams.

I am the poet's elation,
And the artist's revelation,
And the musician's inspiration.

I am a sacred shrine in the heart of a
Child, adored by a merciful mother.

I appear to a heart's cry; I shun a demand;
My fullness pursues the heart's desire;
It shuns the empty claim of the voice.

I appeared to Adam through Eve
And exile was his lot;
Yet I revealed myself to Solomon, and
He drew wisdom from my presence.

I smiled at Helena and she destroyed Tarwada;
Yet I crowned Cleopatra and peace dominated
The Valley of the Nile.

I am like the ages -- building today
And destroying tomorrow;
I am like a god, who creates and ruins;
I am sweeter than a violet's sigh;
I am more violent than a raging tempest.

Gifts alone do not entice me;
Parting does not discourage me;
Poverty does not chase me;
Jealousy does not prove my awareness;
Madness does not evidence my presence.

Oh seekers, I am Truth, beseeching Truth;
And your Truth in seeking and receiving
And protecting me shall determine my

Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, February 14

Your Love

Your love lifts my soul from the body to the sky
And you lift me up out of the two worlds.
I want your sun to reach my raindrops,
So your heat can raise my soul upward like a cloud.

~ Rumi


There is a way between voice and presence
where information flows.
In disciplined silence it opens.
With wandering talk it closes.

Thursday, February 12

Rumi's Poem on Aging

Why does a date-palm lose its leaves in autumn?
Why does every beautiful face grow in old age?
Wrinkled like the back of a libyan lizard?
Why does a full head of hair get bald?
Why is the tall, straight figure
That divided the ranks like a spear
Now bent alomost double?
Why is it that the
Lion strength weakens to nothing?
The wrestler who could hold anyone down
Is led out with two people supporting him,
Their shoulders under his arms?
God answers,
"They put on borrowed robes
and pretended they were theirs.
I take the beautiful clothes back,
so that you will learn the robe
of appearance is only a loan."
Your lamp was lit from another lamp.
All God wants is your gratitude for that.

For Rumi, it is not aging that is loss. On contrary, life itself is loss, a nostalgia for our Origin from which we find ourselves separated. For Jalal ad-Din, the"last of life" is that for which "the first was made," even includes death itself:

Inside the Great Mystery that is, we don't really own anything. What is this competition we feel then, before we go, one at a time, through the same gate.

Wednesday, February 11

Love is the master


Love is the One who masters all things;
I am mastered totally by Love.
By my passion of love for Love
I have ground sweet as sugar.
O furious Wind, I am only a straw before you;
How could I know where I will be blown next?
Whoever claims to have made a pact with Destiny
Reveals himself a liar and a fool;
What is any of us but a straw in a storm?
How could anyone make a pact with a hurricane?
God is working everywhere his massive Resurrection;
How can we pretend to act on our own?
In the hand of Love I am like a cat in a sack;
Sometimes Love hoists me into the air,
Sometimes Love flings me into the air,
Love swings me round and round His head;
I have no peace, in this world or any other.
The lovers of God have fallen in a furious river;
They have surrendered themselves to Love's commands.
Like mill wheels they turn, day and night, day and night,
Constantly turning and turning, and crying out.

Sunday, February 8

You need a Spiritual Check up!

You need a Spiritual Check up
By Shaikh Nazim

Astaghfirullah, Destur ya Sultanulawliya, medet As salaamu alaykum. Oh our Lord, put your weak servants under Your Divine Protection. Therefore you must try to say as much as possible, more as salaam alaykum, as salaam alaykum. As salaam: peace. When you are saying too much, bringing peace to you and everything around yourself and also spreading that mercy and blessings through east and west. But now people, they are not using too much, to say as salaamu alaykum. Say as much as possible. We are saying as salaamu alaykum.

Allah, Allah... and we are asking Divinely Support, and Divinely Support never coming to people directly, is like a, as we are saying it for understanding, blessing coming like Niagara Falls, you can’t reach to that, but if it is going through pipes, may drink, may use it. Therefore Awliyas, whole Awliyas... Awliya means waliullah, that means friend of Allah, or, who is going to be friendly to Allah. Try to be friendly to Allah. But people running to be friends of shaytan,
because it is last days' signs, that people should run to be friends of shaytan, and very few people running to be friends to Allah Almighty.

And you can’t be friend of Allah Almighty till you are going to be friend to His Most Beloved Servant Sayyidina Muhammad (s), and you can’t be reaching to that point, be friend of Rasulullah (s) till you are going to be friendly to friends of Rasulullah (s). If you are not
reaching friends of Rasulullah (s), you can’t reach to be friends of Allah Almighty. Audhu billahi min ash-shaytan ir-rajeem . Oh our Lord, please give Your Protection on your weak servants, we are saying we are weak servants, please make Your Divinely Protection on ourselves, not to be friends of shaytan. Friends of shaytan going to be in hells beginning here. They are burning. They are burning. From inside of themselves or outside. Burning. But they’re insisting to be, yet to be, friends of shaytan. Say Audhu billahi min ash-shaytan ir-rajeem, oh our Lord, we are running to You, not to be friends to shaytan. say, in such a meaning, say Audhu billahi min ash-shaytan ir-rajeem.

People coming and saying, "oh Shaykh, I am ill, but I am going to doctors, they are sending me to analyst, 'go to that one to make check up for yourself, and bring that to me, to look.', and I am going different analysts, "tahlil", analyzing, saying nothing with you, you are okay". But he is insisting, " I am feeling, that I am not healthy". Yes, but yet, they are not thinking that, that is something not belonging to their material being, no. From inside. Yet they are not coming to say, to accept that we have another being through ourselves, that is our souls. They never going to ask, to make a check up for their souls, but running to make a check up, every organ through themselves. But then, they never going to look, to make a check up for their souls, no. Because people becoming such a materialist, they are thinking only material beings. Material beings
never making a thing to move by itself, no.

Car is a car, but you must put in its box a kind of water and that water changing in another position and moving, making car to move. They always looking, what is water of our car?. can’t walk, we are looking everything okay." Ah, look if it has fuel. -"Our car is okay, for what fuel?" Ya, without fuel, your car can’t move. People running to doctors, doctors say, "you are 100%, you are okay. Okay." "Oh, doctor, if 100% I am okay, why I am coming to you? I am feeling
something in myself, making me not to be rest, disturbing me something from inside". You must go to, Haji Yashar, there is a person, that he may understand such a matters, what is their name? Their name psychiatry. And so many psychiatry coming, saying, "Oh Shaykh, I am
feeling no good". What you are doing? I am asking, psychiatry. Ahh, psychiatry, and you are coming to me? For, for... to treat you? And (I) say first, "jump". If jumping, "you are alright, okay, now go away." Finish. -"I am coming for check up". That is my check up. If do
jumping, then it is okay, nothing with you. If not enough, another check up, run from up, to that side. -"For what?" There is a cat, running in front of you, run and catch it!

I am psychiatry doctors. All psychiatry, they are also {twisting his hand, in Turkish: what do they call it? Antika (=antique)}. Or, every psychiatry, their minds out of their minds, two (piece?)... I am trying you, if you are okay or not. "I can’t do". You can’t do, you must try to do every day, to run 100 meters, to catch a cat. Catch and bring to me. "How? I am doctor of psychiatry!" You don’t know. Come, what I am saying to you, it is okay. Everything check up, but for psychiatry, they are unhappy to be check up. they are making check up for people, saying "nothing with you". But I am looking, you also falling in a deep well, you can’t be able to take yourself out. That is my check up to you. and we are in need, who making check up
for our unknown beings, souls. The authority for that, just granted to Prophets. then Prophets, from Prophets then granted to make a check up, granted what they had been through Prophets' line people, they may do this. Not any, anyone saying, "I can do", you can’t do. But people,
they are running nonsensely, to make a check up to themselves, and it is impossible. really, we are in need a check up for our souls, and who can do that check up for our souls? those whom they authorized, Heavenly Authority. Authorized by Heavenly Authority, they can do only
this, not school, reading, reading, reading, reading. They can’t understand anything. And they are so very rare now. (Those) people, they are running, to make a check up with psychiatries, and their level on same level, and they can’t take any benefit, finish, finish. Mankind just finished. Because they are in ruins, innerly in ruins. they must rebuild their personalities once
again. First, they must try to recognize their real identity. Who are you?! First, for rebuilding his, himself. In, through his life, to recognize himself.

Who are you? Someone must teach him, who are you? Because by yourself, you can’t, you can’t know, who are you. You can see everything except yourself. Your eyes looking and seeing everything except himself. What you are in need? You need a mirror. To say that, "I am this one", you must bring two witnesses, that through that mirror, you that one. By himself, he can’t recognize himself also in mirror. He may think, "that is another one, I am not this one, because
I am not looking myself, putting myself second to that, and to see that this and this the same. No. Perhaps that mirror it is a strange instrument, showing shadows, showing (things), showing something in it, but if no one in that area, you can’t say that this is... "I am that one".

You need two witnesses, that this is you, you are this! You are looking. It is mirror showing to you, therefore man, who is asking, "who are you?" must be a person like mirror, to be able to show, "you are this one". When you accepting, what he is saying, then that person
just permitted to build, to rebuild your existence. To manifest yourself again, as before. Because you are in ruins, destroyed. Your real being destroyed, therefore you are in need a rebuilding.
Rebuilding only those people, whom they have granted Heavenly Lights, and authorized through Heavens, not from earth, no. Earth, our level. Level of hayvanat, zoo level. We are on zoo level. Putting some examples in zoo garden, but not putting one man inside, also, that we are on same level. (addressing someone) You went zoo garden? You have been in zoo garden? Zoo.
I went also, but I was escaping, not to put me also with another place, that is also on that level animal. Our level, first level of animals. only we have granted for speaking. Our animals, they are not speaking. Same qualities, that they have, we have same also. Only they are running on 4 legs, we are running on 2 legs. But we must get up for rebuilding our real personality, if we are not recognizing yourself, you can’t be able to understand anything, coming hayvan, going hayvan. Coming as animal, and going as animal. And this life, that people living now, it is not 2nd level of real mankind. Because first level, they are characteristic on same character, all of them. If they are getting second level, they can’t touch, like this, can’t give, can’t harm anyone.

Once show me, my Grandshaykh, in Mecca al-Mukarrama, Baytullah, sharafahullah, 'Look, azim Efendi", as I am looking, one, first level people, they’re making tawaaf. But they are pulling and making everything, making harm people, pushing them, pulling them, but the second one, I am
looking and seeing a group of people, they are like butterflies (silently making a circular motion with his hand for a while)... no sound, no trouble, no harming. 1st level, level of animals. they are
giving to each ‘other harming, fighting, eating, everything they are doing. Now look, and say truth, what is the level of living people, whom they are claiming, that we are reached, we are reached to top of civilization? They are so big liars! Because that is Shaytan’s teaching to them, to say, "now we are on top, top level of civilization", For what? Because you have so many kinds of weapons, and high technologia, you have... therefore you reached top of civilization. And I am saying yet, you are on same level. Technologia never taking you on second level, only spirituality under can take you, and spirituality under heavy pressure. You can’t be able, to leave it, to reach to that point. And people, they are trying to kill, to harm people, to destroy, what is that? That is the level of mankind? I'm sorry to say that is not level of real human beings level. And I
am sorry to say, that even animals level, they are not accepting that level, and kicking them down! Kicking them down. That is the position, general view of our world, in our days, that it is days, Last Days. And we are reaching to Yamul Qiyamah. Oh people! Come and listen! And
ask Truth! To ask Truth it is your most important characteristic. You must ask truth, and you must try to learn Truth about your life, then you should be up. Never harming, therefore Prophet (s) saying, "surrender, people". That people, they are running away from Islam,
the name of Islam. They are hating and running away. but real Islam, what saying? A real Muslim, who never harming people by his tongue, by his hand, by his power. They are not real Muslims. People, people, Muslim, they are looking and seeing what happening. And people
thinking that Islam ordering to kill people, without any, with reason or without reason.
Destroying every day. And they are saying on it, "the name of Islam".

Audhubillah (I seek refuge in Allah!). Allah take them away. Take away. Don’t be with them, don’t say that they are doing good - that is not Islam, they are not Muslims. Only by name, their names may be written Muslim, but they are so far. As far earth from heavens, they are far away from Islam. May Allah forgives us and blessings you, for the Honor of the Most Honored One in His Divinely Presence, Sayyidina Muhammad, (s), Fatiha.

Wa min Allah at Tawfiq [Transcribed by Arief H.]

Friday, February 6

Laila and Majnun - A great Love Story

The story of Laila and Majnun has been told in the East for thousands of years and has always exerted a great fascination, for it is not only a love-story, but a lesson in love. Not love as it is generally understood by man, but the love that rises above the earth and heavens.

A lad called Majnun from childhood had shown love in his nature, revealing to the eye of the seers the tragedy of his life. When Majnun was at school he became fond of Laila. In time the spark grew into a flame, and Majnun did not feel at rest if Laila was a little late in coming to school. With his book in his hand, he fixed his eyes on the entrance, which amused the scoffers and disturbed everybody there. The flame in time rose into a blaze and then Laila's heart became kindled by Majnun's love. Each looked at the other. She did not see anyone in the class but Majnun, nor did he see anyone save Laila. In reading from the book Majnun would read the name of Laila, in writing from dictation Laila would cover her slate with the name of Majnun. 'All else disappears when the thought of the beloved occupies the mind of the lover.'

Everyone in the school whispered to each other, pointing them out. The teachers were worried and wrote to the parents of both that the children were crazy and intensely fond of one another, and that there seemed no way to divert their attention from their love-affair which had stopped every possibility of their progress in study.

Laila's parents removed her at once, and kept a careful watch over her. In this way they took her away from Majnun, but who could take Majnun away from her heart? She had no thought but of Majnun. Majnun, without her, in his heart's unrest and grief, kept the whole school in a turmoil, until his parents were compelled to take him home, as there seemed to be nothing left for him in the school. Majnun's parents called physicians, soothsayers, healers, magicians, and poured money at their feet, asking them for some remedy to take away from the heart of Majnun the thought of Laila. But how could it be done? 'Even Luqman the great physician of the ancients, had no cure for the lovesick.'

No one has ever healed a patient of love. Friends came, relations came, well-wishers came, wise counselors came, and all tried their best to efface from his mind the thought of Laila, but all was in vain. Someone said to him, 'O Majnun, why do you sorrow at the separation from Laila? She is not beautiful. I can show you a thousand fairer and more charming maidens, and can let you choose your mate from among them.' Majnun answered, 'O, to see the beauty of Laila the eyes of Majnun are needed.'

When no remedy had been left untried, the parents of Majnun resolved to seek the refuge of the Kaba as their last resort. They took Majnun on the pilgrimage to Kabatullah. When they drew near to the Kaba a great crowd gathered to see them. The parents, each in turn, went and prayed to God, saying, 'O Lord, Thou art most merciful and compassionate, grant Thy favor to our only son, that the heart of Majnun may be released from the pain of the love of Laila.' Everybody there listened to this intently, and wonderingly awaited what Majnun had to say. Then Majnun was asked by his parents, 'Child, go and pray that the love of Laila may be taken away from your heart.' Majnun replied, 'Shall I meet my Laila if I pray?' They, with the greatest disappointment, said, 'Pray, child, whatever you like to pray.' He went there and said, 'I want my Laila,' and everyone present said, 'Amen.' 'The world echoes to the lover's call.'

When the parents had sought in every way to cure Majnun of his craze for Laila, in the end they thought the best way was to approach the parents of Laila, for this was the last hope of saving Majnun's life. They sent a message to Laila's parents, who were of another faith, saying, 'We have done all we can to take away from Majnun the thought of Laila, but so far we have not succeeded, nor is there any hope of success lift to us except one, that is your consent to their marriage.' They, in answer, said, 'Although it exposes us to the scorn of our people, still Laila seems never to forget the thought of Majnun for one single moment, and since we have taken her away from school she pines away every day. Therefore we should not mind giving Laila in marriage to Majnun, if only we were convinced that he is sane.'

On hearing this the parents of Majnun were much pleased and advised Majnun to behave sensibly, so that Laila's parents might have no cause to suspect him of being out of his mind. Majnun agreed to do everything his parents desired, if he could only meet his Laila. They went, according to the custom of the East, in procession to the house of the bride, where a special seat was made for the bridegroom, who was covered with garlands of flowers. But as they say in the East that the gods are against lovers, so destiny did not grant these perfect lovers the happiness of being together. The dog that used to accompany Laila to school happened to come into the room where they were sitting. As soon as Majnun's eyes fell on this dog his emotion broke out. He could not sit in the high seat and look at the dog. He ran to the dog and kissed its paws and put all the garlands of flowers on the neck of the dog. There was no sign of reverence or worship that Majnun did not show to this dog. 'The dust of the beloved's dwelling is the earth of Kaba to the lover.' This conduct plainly proved him insane. As love's language is gibberish to the loveless, so the action of Majnun was held by those present to be mere folly. They were all greatly disappointed, and Majnun was taken back home and Laila's parents refused their consent to the marriage.

This utter disappointment made Majnun's parents altogether hopeless, and they no longer kept watch over him, seeing that life and death to him were both the same, and this gave Majnun freedom to wander about the town in search of Laila, inquiring of everyone he met about Laila. By chance he met a letter-carrier who was carrying mail on the back of a camel, and when Majnun asked this man Laila's whereabouts, he said, 'Her parents have left this country and have gone to live a hundred miles from here.' Majnun begged him to give his message to Laila. He said, 'With pleasure.' But when Majnun began to tell the message the telling continued for a long, long time. 'The message of love has no end.'

The letter-carrier was partly amused and partly he sympathized with his earnestness. Although Majnun, walking with his camel, was company for him on his long journey, still, out of pity, he said, 'Now you have walked ten miles giving me your message, how long will it take me to deliver it to Laila? Now go your way, I will see to it.' Then Majnun turned back, but he had not gone a hundred yards before he returned to say, 'O kind friend, I have forgotten to tell you a few things that you might tell my Laila.' When he continued his message it carried him another ten miles on the way. The carrier said, 'For mercy's sake, go back. You have walked a long way. How shall I be able to remember all the message you have given me? Still, I will do my best. Now go back, you are far from home.' Majnun again went back a few yards and again remembered something to tell the message-bearer and went after him. In this way the whole journey was accomplished, and he himself arrived at the place to which he was sending the message.

The letter-carrier was astonished at this earnest love, and said to him, 'You have already arrived in the land where your Laila lives. Now stay in this ruined mosque. This is outside the town. If you go with me into the town they will torment you before you can reach Laila. The best thing is for you to rest here now, as you have walked so very far, and I will convey your message to Laila as soon as I can reach her.' 'Love's intoxication sees no time or space.'

Majnun listened to his advice and stayed there, and felt inclined to rest, but the idea that he was in the town where Laila dwelt made him wonder in which direction he should stretch out his legs. He thought of the north, south, east, and west, and thought to himself, 'If Laila were on this side it would be insolence on my part to stretch out my feet towards her. The best thing, then, would be to hang my feet by a rope from above, for surely she will not be there.' 'The lover's Kaba is the dwelling-place of the beloved.' He was thirsty, and could find no water except some rainwater that had collected in a disused tank.

When the letter-carrier entered the house of Laila's parents he saw Laila and said to her, 'I had to make a great effort to speak with you. Your lover Majnun, who is a lover without compare in all the world, gave me a message for you, and he continued to speak with me throughout the journey and has walked as far as this town with the camel.' She said, 'For heavens sake! Poor Majnun! I wonder what will become of him.' She asked her old nurse, 'What becomes of a person who has walked a hundred miles without a break?' The nurse said rashly, 'Such a person must die.' Laila said, 'Is there any remedy?' She said, 'He must drink some rainwater collected for a year past and from that water a snake must drink, and then his feet must be tied and he must be hung up in the air with his head down for a very long time. That might save his life.' Laila said, 'Oh, but how difficult it is to obtain!' God, who Himself is love, was the guide of Majnun, therefore everything came to Majnun as was best for him. 'Verily love is the healer of its own wounds.'

The next morning Laila put her food aside, and sent it secretly, by a maid whom she took into her confidence, with a message to tell Majnun that she longed to see him as much as he to see her, the difference being only of chains. As soon as she had and opportunity, she said, she would come at once.

The maid went to the ruined mosque, and saw two people sitting there, one who seemed self-absorbed, unaware of his surroundings, and the other a fat, robust man. She thought that Laila could not possibly love a person like this dreamy one whom she herself would not have cared to love. But in order to make sure, she asked which of them was named Majnun. The mind of Majnun was deeply sunk in his thought and far away from her words, but this man, who was out of work, was rather glad to see the dinner-basket in her hand, and said, 'For whom are you looking?' She said, 'I am asked to give this to Majnun. Are you Majnun?' He readily stretched out his hands to take the basket, and said, 'I am the one for whom you have brought it,' and spoke a word or two with her in jest, and she was delighted.

On the maid's return Laila asked, 'Did you give it to him?' She said, 'Yes, I did.' Laila then sent to Majnun every day the larger part of her meals, which was received every day by this man, who was very glad to have it while out of work. Laila one day asked her maid, 'You never tell me what he says and how he eats.' She said, 'He says that he sends very many thanks to you and he appreciates it very much, and he is a pleasant-spoken man. You must not worry for one moment. He is getting fatter every day.' Laila said, 'But my Majnun has never been fat, and has never had a tendency to become fat, and he is too deep in his thought to say pleasant things to anyone. He is too sad to speak.' Laila at once suspected that the dinner might have been handed to the wrong person. She said, 'Is anybody else there?' The maid said, 'Yes, there is another person sitting there also, but he seems to be beside himself. He never notices who comes or who goes, nor does he hear a word said by anybody there. He cannot possibly be the man that you love.' Laila said, 'I think he must be the man. Alas, if you have all this time given the food to the wrong person! Well, to make sure, today take on the plate a knife instead of food and say to that one whom you gave the food, 'For Laila a few drops of your blood are needed, to cure her of an illness.''

When the maid next went to the mosque the man as usual came most eagerly to take his meal, and seeing the knife was surprised. The maid told him that a few drops of his blood were needed to cure Laila. He said, 'No, certainly I am not Majnun. There is Majnun. Ask him for it.' The maid foolishly went to him and said to him aloud, 'Laila wants a few drops of your blood to cure her.' Majnun most readily took the knife in his hand and said, 'How fortunate am I that my blood may be of some use to my Laila. This is nothing, even if my life were to become a sacrifice for her cure, I would consider myself most fortunate to give it.' 'Whatever the lover did for the beloved, it could never be too much.' He gashed his arm in several places, but the starvation of months had left no blood, nothing but skin and bone. When a great many places had been cut hardly one drop of blood came out. He said, 'That is what is left. You may take that.' 'Love means pain, but the lover alone is above all pain.'

Majnun's coming to the town soon became known, and when Laila's parents knew of it they thought, 'Surly Laila will go out of her mind if she ever sees Majnun.' Therefore they resolved to leave the town for some time, thinking that Majnun would make his way home when he found that Laila was not there. Before leaving the place Laila sent a message to Majnun to say, 'We are leaving this town for a while, and I am most unhappy that I have not been able to meet you. The only chance of our meeting is that we should meet on the way, if you will go on before and wait for me in the Sahara.'

Majnun started most happily to go to the Sahara, with great hope of once more seeing his Laila. When the caravan arrived in the desert and halted there for a while, the mind of Laila's parents became a little relieved, and they saw Laila also a little happier for the change, as they thought, not knowing the true reason.

Laila went for a walk in the Sahara with her maid, and suddenly came upon Majnun, whose eyes had been fixed for long, long time on the way by which she was to come. She came and said, 'Majnun, I am here.' There remained no power in the tongue of Majnun to express his joy. He held her hands and pressed them to his breast, and said, 'Laila, you will not leave me any more?' She said, 'Majnun, I have been able to come for one moment. If I stay any longer my people will seek for me and your life will not be safe.' Majnun said, 'I do not care for life. You are my life, O stay, do not leave me any more.' Laila said, 'Majnun, be sensible and believe me. I will surely come back.' Majnun let go her hands and said, 'Surely I believe you.' So Laila left Majnun, with heavy heart, and Majnun, who had so long lived on his own flesh and blood, could no more stand erect, but fell backward against the trunk of a tree, which propped him up, and he remained there, living only on hope.

Years passed and this half-dead body of Majnun was exposed to all things, cold and heat and rain, frost and storm. The hands that were holding the branches became branches themselves, his body became a part of the tree. Laila was as unhappy as before on her travels, and the parents lost hope of her life. She was living only in one hope, that she might once fulfill her promise given to Majnun at the moment of parting, saying, 'I will come back.' She wondered if he were alive or dead, or had gone away or whether the animals in the Sahara had carried him off.

When they returned their caravan halted in the same place, and Laila's heart became full of joy and sorrow, of cheerfulness and gloom, of hope and fear. As she was looking for the place where she had left Majnun she met a woodcutter, who said to her, 'Oh, don't go that way. There is some ghost there.' Laila said, 'What is it like?' He said, 'It is a tree and at the same time man, and as I struck a branch of this tree with my hatchet I heard him say in a deep sigh, 'O Laila.' '

Hearing this moved Laila beyond description. She said she would go, and drawing near the tree she saw Majnun turned almost into the tree. Flesh and blood had already wasted, and the skin and bone that remained, by contact with the tree, had become like its branches. Laila called him aloud, 'Majnun!' He answered, 'Laila!' She said, 'I am here as I promised, O Majnun.' He answered, 'I am Laila.' She said, 'Majnun, come to your senses. I am Laila. Look at me.' Majnun said, 'Are you Laila? Then I am not,' and he was dead. Laila, seeing this perfection in love, could not live a single moment more. She at the same time cried the name of Majnun and fell down and died.

The beloved is all in all, the lover only veils him.
The beloved is all that lives, the lover a dead thing.
Jalaluddin Rumi, Mathnawi I, 30

Thursday, February 5

Who is a Sufi Teacher?

The task of the Sufi teacher is not to force a belief on a mureed, but to train him so that he may become illuminated enough to receive revelations himself.

A real teacher is only an instrument of God. It is his presence, what he wishes for you that helps; not the words he speaks. When I asked my teacher what is the sign of a real guru he says, 'It is not his form, it is not his appearance, it is not what he says; it is his atmosphere, it is what his presence conveys to you, it is what his atmosphere tells you.'

The work of a mystical teacher is not to teach, but to tune, to tune the pupil so that he may become the instrument of God. For the mystical teacher is not the player of the instrument; he is the tuner. When he has tuned it, he gives it into the hands of the Player whose instrument it is to play. The duty of the mystical teacher is his service as a tuner.

Love has its limitations when it is directed to limited beings, but love that is directed to God has no limitations, God alone deserves all love, and the freedom of Love is in giving it to God. Devotion to the Teacher is not for the sake of the Teacher, it is for God. Even in the case of a Teacher, the devotee may make a mistake by halting at the feet of the Teacher and not progressing to God. The Teacher is a shield covering God, a gate through which one has to go. As it is necessary to enter the gate, so to reach God it is necessary to have devotion to the Teacher first. But the ideal of real progress is that man, through his devotion, arrives to God, freeing himself from all limitations and bondages. For the Teacher, one has gratitude, but love and devotion is for God.

According to the Sufi point of view there is only one teacher, and that teacher is God Himself. No man can teach another man. All one can do for another is to give him one's own experience in order to help him to be successful. For instance if a person happens to know a road, he can tell another man that it is the road which leads to the place he wishes to find. The work of the spiritual teacher is like the work of Cupid. The work of Cupid is to bring two souls together. And so is the work of the spiritual teacher: to bring together the soul and God. But what is taught to the one who seeks after truth? Nothing is taught. He is only shown how he should learn from God. For no man can ever teach spirituality. It is God alone who teaches it. And how is it learned? When these ears which are open outwardly are closed to the outside world and focused upon the heart within, then instead of hearing all that comes from the outer life one begins to hear the words within. Thus if one were to define what meditation is, that also is an attitude: the right attitude towards God.

The attitude should first be to seek God within. And, after seeking God within, then to see God outside...

The Sufi teacher never wants his pupil to become an occultist or a great psychic or a man with great power. This does not mean that he will not become powerful, but the responsibility of the teacher is to develop the personality of the mureed (student), that it may reflect God, that it may show God's qualities...

... Read the Beatitudes in the Bible; has Christ not taught the development of personality? Did he not teach the building of the character? Did he not show in his life the innocence which proves the angelic heritage of man? Did he say, 'Be ye occultists,' or 'Tell people their fortunes,' or 'Correct people of their errors'? Never. What Christ taught was, 'Make your personality as it ought to be, that you may no more be the slave of the nature which you have brought with you, nor of the character which you have made in your life; but that you may show in your life the divine personality, that you may fulfill on this earth the purpose for which you have come.' ”

[The Sufi teacher] does not give anything to or teach the pupil, the mureed, for he cannot give what the latter already has; he cannot teach what his soul has always known. What he does in the life of the mureed is to show him how he can clear his path towards the light within by his own self.

learned to know four true kinds of masters and four false ones. Among the true I saw first the one who would never answer the appeal of a seeker until he was fully prepared. The second kind would not initiate anyone until a long and trying period of probation had been undergone by the disciple. The third, in order to keep away undesirable adherents, would make himself appear so utterly disagreeable that everyone would run away at the sight of him. And the fourth would so disguise himself to escape the praise and publicity of the world that none would believe for a moment that he was truly a Murshid.

Among the false teachers I first met the hypocrite, who increases the number of his adherents by telling most wonderful stories and showing them tricks of phenomena. The second apostate was pious, disguising his infirmities and failings under the cloak of morality and always busy with worship and prayer. The third was the money-taking master, who eagerly seized upon every opportunity of emptying the pockets of his pupils. The fourth was he who was greedy for the adoration, worship and servility of his followers.

This experience of different Murshids prepared me for the ideal master.

At one time I wanted to take a friend to meet my murshid. This friend was a very material man, restless and pessimistic and doubting and skeptical. And everyday I urged him to come with me and meet my murshid. 'But,' he asked, 'what can he do for me?' I said, 'You can ask him something.' He said, 'I have twenty thousand questions to ask, when could he answer them?' I said, 'You can ask one or two of the twenty thousand, that is already something.' 'Well,' he said, ' one day I will see.' And indeed sometime later he came along, but the moment he reached my murshid's presence he forgot every single question and did not know what to ask. He was sitting spellbound and breathing the atmosphere of the master's presence; he had no desire to ask a question. And after the interview, when we were leaving the house of my murshid, he again began to feel inclined to ask twenty thousand questions, this time of me, and when I asked him why he had forgotten them there, he only answered, 'I cannot understand why.'

Where do questions come from? Very often they come from the restlessness of the mind. And does any answer satisfy them? Never. During my travels I went thrice to San Francisco, and each time I saw a lady who always asked me the same question. Each time I answered her, and each time when I came again she asked me the same question. This meant for fifteen years there was a question and there was an answer; but that answer was never heard. One ear heard it and the other ear let it out again and the question remained there alive. A question is a living being, it does not wish to die; the answer kills it, and therefore those kindly souls that wish to cherish the question, keep the answer away, although the question calls out for an answer. Do not be surprised, therefore if for twenty years a person asks a question of two thousand other people and gets two thousand answers. It does not mean that the answer that he gets does not satisfy him; it only means that he does not wish to have the answer. He only wishes to cherish the question.

In the beginning of my spiritual pursuit, when I went to my murshid there was no end to my enthusiasm, there was no end to my devotion, there was no end to my excitement about it. I told everybody I met how I felt about the personality of my murshid. Once, in answer to my deep feeling, my murshid said, 'Friendship in the path of God, friendship in the path of truth is greater than any friendship in life.' And at that time I met a very learned man in Hyderabad, with whom I spoke about the deeper things of life. He was interested to hear such deep thoughts from a young man, and said that he would like to see more of me. And in my great enthusiasm I said, 'If you saw my teacher you would realize that there is no one in the whole world who can be compared with him. So great is he, so wonderful is his personality, so blessed is his presence, so inspiring his glance, so peaceful his atmosphere.' He said, 'I would like very much to see him. Where does he live?' I told him, and then he exclaimed, 'There? I have lived there for twenty years; it is just next door to my house? What is his name?' I told him, and he said, 'I have known him all these years, but I never thought he was so great!' In twenty years he had not seen what I had seen in a few months. It is friendship that enlightens one; and it is distance that keeps one's eyes covered.

I shall tell you a story of my insolence that will interest you. Once I looked at my Murshid, and there came to my restless mind a thought, 'Why should a great soul such as my Murshid wear gold embroidered slippers?' I checked myself at once; it was only a thought. It could never have escaped my lips, it was under control. But there, it was known. I could not cover my insolence with my lips; my heart was open before my Murshid as an open book. He instantly saw into it and read my thought. Do you know what answer he gave me? He said, 'The treasures of the world are at my feet.'

What is the relation of the mureed to Murshid, and of Murshid to the mureed? And my answer to this is, do not think of any hierarchical relation with Murshid: only think of what relation your own heart and your own intuition tell you. If you think of Murshid as your brother, it is true; if you think of Murshid as your friend, it is true also; if you think of Murshid as your spiritual teacher, it is true; and if you think of Murshid as your servant, it is also true. Besides this, there is no place for any other discussion. Your Murshid is a human being, and as such he is liable to shortcomings. You may give him your confidence and trust, and know him as a human being. Murshid's murshid used to say, "There are many friendships in this world, but the friendship between murshid and mureed is in the path of God, in the path of Light and Truth." Therefore every earthly relation may have a chance to break, but the relation between murshid and mureed is not for the life on earth only. It is this belief which keeps their souls together, helping each other along the spiritual path.

Murshid is not the mediator between God and the mureed. Murshid stands apart, trying to unite God with His own child. And if at the beginning Murshid seems more forward, his duty is just like that of the mother: before the child begins to take natural food, she will nurse him. But it is not forever, it is for the beginning. Murshid is the divine mother, to show sympathy and tenderness to the mureed, who has been attracted. To love God, the mureed learns by the friendship of Murshid. He begins to feel in Murshid something of the fragrance of that flower, which is the love of God. Murshid helps the mureed to come in time face to face with God, and then the journey with the murshid is finished, and what remains is the gratitude in the heart of the mureed.

What must be the mureed's intention in becoming a mureed? He must not have the intention of getting wonderful powers which others do not possess; neither must he have the intention to become more wise, in order to seem more learned or wise than his fellow man. On the other hand, if he has some powers he hides them in his humility, and if his inspiration is developing, he should bow his head down, that his fellow men may not see it. Always consider that this is the one thing that you will meet on this path, and the one enemy you will avoid: vanity. You must be on your guard against it from which ever side it comes. It comes so swiftly and so subtly that it is difficult to recognize. When you are on your guard you will see that even your humble words and your meek actions will prove to be vain. This is the thing which throws man from the highest stage. Even prophets have to fight and to fight it. Know the danger of this path, and do not waste your time in falling into it. The one thing to rely upon is God's favor. Do not build neither on your study nor on your meditation, although they both help you. But you are dependent on God, not even on Your murshid. Seek Him, trust Him. In Him lies your life's purpose, and Him is hidden the rest of your soul.

Hazrath Inayat Khan(ra)

Tuesday, February 3

For Ages

For ages you have come and gone
courting this delusion.
For ages you have run from the pain
and forfeited the ecstacy.
So come, return to the root of the root
of your your own soul.

Although you appear in earthly form
Your essence is pure Conciousness.
You are the fearless guardian
of Divine Light.
So come, return to the root of the root
of you own soul.

When you lose all sense of self
the bonds of a thousand chains will vanish.
Lose yourself completely,
Return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

You descended from Adam, by the Word of God,
but you turned your sight
to the empty show of this world.
Alas, how can you be satisfied with so little?
So come, return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

Why are you so enchanted by this world
when a mine of gold lies within you?
Open you eyes and come -
Return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

You were born from the rays of God's Majesty
when the stars were in their perfect place.
How long will you suffer from the blows
of a nonexistent hand?
So come, return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

Your are a ruby encased in granite.
How long will you deceive Us with this outer show?
O friend, We can see the truth in your eyes!
So come, return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

After one moment with that glorious Friend
you became loving, radiant, and ecstatic.
Your eyes were sweet and full of fire.
Come, return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

Shams-e Tabriz, the King of the Tavern,
has handed you an eternal cup,
And God in all His glory is pouring the wine.
So come! Drink!
Return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

- Rumi

Monday, February 2

Stand firm against your Lower Selves

Stand firm against your Lower Selves

Hazrat Sayyiduna Abdul Qadir Jilani (may Allah sanctify his soul) said that most people are under an illusion, laying claim to Islam, yet possessing nothing of what Islam is all about. Woe unto you! The mere name of Islam will bring you no benefits. You rush into meeting it's requirements only outwardly and not inwardly. Therefore your action is worthless. Your outward is in the mihrab, yet your inward is indulging in sheer dissimulation and hypocrisy. Your outward is the outward of a hermit, while your inward is full of unlawful things and you have a mistress at home! The Law will not call to your punishment outwardly because you have not shown anything that infringes it. However, knowledge will condemn you to hatred and criticism. Suppose that you escaped the punishment today, who would save you tomorrow (at the Resurrection)?

You are in a deep sleep, unaware of the bliss of the Friends of Allah. O you who are forgetful of the bliss! You are unaware, you are absent, and you are unconscious. While you are knowledgeable in dealing with the affairs of this world, but you are totally ignorant with respect to the affairs of the Hereafter. You are trapped in mud, the more you move the more you sink. You must think, you must reflect, you must realize and you must understand. Stretch out your hands towards Almighty Allah [Invincible and Exalted is He] with truthfulness in seeking Him, repent and apologize so that He will salvage you from your situation.

I, Sayyiduna Abdul Qadir Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him) am calling you to stand firm against your lower selves, your passions, your natural inclinations and your lustful desires and to endure with patience the loss of worldly things. Respond to my call and then you will sooner or later come to see all that which I am referring to. I am calling you to surrender and ‘die’ in the name of Allah. Who will attack? Who will advance? Who will dare? Who will take the risk? It is 'death' followed by an everlasting life. You must put your lower self [nafs] to death, so that you may come to life.

Listen to me and comprehend what I have to say, for I am the servant of those who have gone on before us. I serve in their presence, spread their teachings and call upon seekers to view them. I do not betray them or claim that the teachings are mine; I praise their words. Almighty Allah has [Invincible and Exalted is He] has qualified me for this through the blessing of my following of the beloved Prophet [Allah bless him and give him peace] and my devotion towards my parents.

May Almighty Allah [Exalted is He] be pleased with the Cardinal Pole [Qutb], the Spiritual Helper [Ghauwth], Muhyiddin Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and may He sanctify the innermost beings of all His saints and servants. May Almighty Allah bless our beloved Master, the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), his family, and his Companions, and may He grant them peace. Praise be to Almighty Allah [Exalted is He], the Lord of All the Worlds

Sunday, February 1

Rumi - What is life?

This being human is a guest-house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of it's furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

The Art of Meditation and its Serveral Levels

The Art of Meditation and its Several Levels

Shaykh Nazim

Most masters today present the method of meditation to you. But usually they do not base it on Christianity, or Judaism or Islam, so many people think that it is a method which originated within other religions. That is however not the case. Meditation was a method which was already given to the first man, within the first message, to the first Messenger.

What purpose does meditation serve, and how can we reach such a state? It is mentioned in all our Holy Books: the Torah, the Gospels and in the Holy Quran, as a method to reach the Divine Presence. When we come face to face with our Creator, we leave everything else behind. Nothing remains except your soul. Even if I tried to cut you with a sword, you would not be harmed. Nothing can touch you physically in such a state, because your physical body will have entered your spiritual being.

Normally it is the opposite: our souls are imprisoned in the physical body. In a perfect state of meditation, your soul covers your physical body and you become a spirit.

There was once a Grandsheikh, Sheik Abdul Qadir al Jilani. While he was meditating he kept saying, “I am the truth!” People around him were offended by this utterance and started attacking him with swords, but nothing happened to him. They could not touch him.

When Maulana Rumi was in real meditation, he would be whirling and take off from the ground. He had full connection with the Divine Presence. According to our traditional knowledge, meditation has so many steps before reaching to the top point. If you keep to those rules, real meditation can come to you at any time. Everyone must try within the rules which exist in their religion, to praise the Lord first, in the way the prophets taught us. We can then sit in a silent place, preferably in the dark, cover ourselves and withdraw from everything around us. We should not hear or feel anything, only think that we are one within the existence of the Lord Almighty Allah in the Divine Presence. Even if it only lasts for 5 minutes, it will give us power. This will then increase and make peace-falcons out of peace-doves. If a terrorist even looks at you, he will fall down. With meditation you can attain ultra-power. Don’t think that meditation is something easy. It is the most important power which has been given to mankind.