Sunday, August 31, 2014

WHEN ALLAH SAYS 'WE', HE DESIRES TO INCLUDE YOU

Know O beloved,
that the highest blasphemy is our seeing
two, three or many
instead of the One

And yet when pointing to His Majestic Self
Allah uses the pronoun 'We'

Forget for a moment what they teach
in kindergarten madrassas and seminaries
that this "We" is just a royal pronoun

Come and graduate yourself
from that class for children
those who cant digest food
so they are given the ready-made
formula for infants

Instead,
The subject of tonight's lesson is
for the advanced

That
"We" by which
Allah calls HimSelf is
Precisely because
He desires to include you

Yes - you
As His

In baqa * You are His,
so He can gladly call
this sweet union
as His Never-Beginning-Never-Ending-Self

Your disappearance from you
is the We's appearance in Hu ^

In the Garden of Mystics
there are no
they - them - she - he
But only
One We

A gigantic
and infinite
We - That desires
You
my dear,
So very dearly
to be included

and may none of us
who read this
be excluded,
or be misfit

By the Most Merciful,

SO

BE

IT.



* Baqa is the station one reaches when one subsist in God. This comes after Fana, the passing away of the illusion of the false self, unreal identities and one sees only Oneness of His. Huwa Hu, only He is He.

^ Hu is the pointer that points towards the Divine Self


SADIQ M. ALAM


# Related:
* Allah Misses You

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bismillah ~ In the Name of Allah ~ On Behalf of Allah

Bismillah - Arabic calligraphy - mixed media - Sadiq M. Alam


1.
And know that all of Allāh’s secrets are in the heavenly books, and all of the secrets of the heavenly books are in the Qur’ān. And all of which is in the Qur’ān is in al-Fātiḥah, and all of which is in al-Fātiḥah is in bismillah.. and if you probe further you may come to know that all of that is further contained within the tiny dot below the ba (the first letter of bismillah)
~ Traditional Sufi Saying

The above statement is an allusion to the holographic nature of the universe and reality as well where the part contains the whole and there is no separation, for reality is one. Quran is also a holographic text that must be studied with system meaning.

In a holographic universe information about every part is enfolded into every other part. In other words, at bottom the universe is undivided, indeed indivisible. If we use the word “atom” in its original sense (a- no, tom parts), the universe is the only true atom. 

Remember how Christ in his wisdom teaching compared the infinite kingdom of God with a tiny mustard seed? Thats also for the same allusion. Ahad or Oneness is what It really Is. Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad!





2.
BismilLlah, BismiLlah, BismiLlah
BismiLLahir Rahmanir Rahim
Mawla tu Rahim
Mawla tu Karim

In Allah's Name, With Allah's Name, In Allah's Name
With the Name of the Essence Who is Universally Merciful, Exclusively Entangled Mercy
Lord You are the Exclusive Lover
Lord You are the Most Generous Giver


Barqaton ka peghaam mile
Kehne se 'la illah illallah'
Rehmaton ka salaam mile
Bas kehne se 'Bismillah'

Blessings descend upon us
on our utterance of la ilaha illaLlah
Salutation of grace saturates us
just by saying bismiLlah


Tere naam se shuru hua
Tere naam pe khatam lillah
Bismillah Bismillah Bismillah
Bismillah...

With Your blessed Name is our beginning,
With Your blessed Name is our end, for You O Allah,
With Your Name O Allah, By Your Name O Allah, For You O Allah
On behalf of You Allah



Mushqile aasaan hui, saari aafat tal gayi
Oh Allah, Allah, Allah!
Nemate naazil hui 
marti khwahish pal gayi

Difficulties transform into ease, all troubles disappear
Oh Allah, Allah, Allah
Divine gifts befall us,
dead wishes come alive


Teri mil jaye panaah
mere kehne se bas Bismillah
Bismillah Bismillah Bismillah
Bismillah...

Your salvation is received,
by me just saying Your blessed Name, Bismillah
With Your Name O Allah, By Your Name O Allah, For You O Allah
On behalf of You Allah

Kuch hidaayat kuch karam
Kuch inaayat kuch reham
Oh Allah... Allah
Kuch hidaayat kuch karam
Kuch inaayat kuch reham

Please send us guidance and grace,
mercy and compassion,
Oh Allah... Allah
Some guidance and some grace,
Some mercy and some compassion


Thodi hain farmaaishein jo ho zaraa gunjaaishein
Naa koi majboor ho barsa de jo tu noor toh
Iss lifaafe pe likha
Iss lifaafe pe likha hai dil se maine Bismillah
Bismillah Bismillah Bismillah .......
Bismillah...

These few requests I have, more like enquiries,
When Your Nur (Divine Effulgence) rains down none is helpless
So I wrote on this envelope,
With my heart I wrote on this envelope, Oh Allah,
With Your Name O Allah, By Your Name O Allah, For You O Allah
 In Your blessed Name O Allah


Tere naam se shuru hua
Tere naam pe khatam lillah
Bismillah Bismillah Bismillah...
Bismillah...


With Your blessed Name is our beginning,
With Your blessed Name is our end
With Your Name O Allah, By Your Name O Allah, For You O Allah
On behalf of You Allah



~ Original Lyrics by Irfan Siddiqui, retranslation in English by Sadiq M. Alam 

+ You may listen to this beautiful song and composition via Youtube here




3.
A gnostic said: The letter ba' [of the bismilllah] is the glory of God (baha' allah), the sin ("s"), is the splendor of God (sana' allah), and the mim ("m") is the sovereignty of God, mulk Allah). Allah is the God of all things.

The bismillah is also considered a prayer in its own right, a source of divine knowledge and healing. It is said to contain, in addition to all the knowledge in the Qur'an itself, all the knowledge of the previous scriptures. It has been seen as a means of salvation and protection.


4.

Beyond the Common Meaning


The common translation for bismillah is "In the name of Allah", which is actually an idiom, an expression that really doesn't make much sense on a literal word-by-word basis.

The phrase In the name of  is an idiom having the connotation of  with the blessings of, under the governance of, as an instrument of, in devotion to, in adoration of, on behalf of, with the support of, or for the glory of. In each of these cases, the idiom In the name of indicates that one is submitting to, honoring or glorifying that which is referred to.

Now, let's take a deeper look into the Arabic roots of this magnificent word bismillah.

The term bismillah, is a combination of three words:

* The particle bi  which can mean by, for, with the aid of, through or by means of and points toward that which happens next.

* The next word in this phrase is ism, based on the root variously reported to be s-m-w or a-s-m, which indicates the means by which something is distinguished, whether by use of an identifying mark, or by being raised up high so that it may be distinguished, and would include  a name, reputation, light or vibration, and points toward the very essence of something, the inherent qualities and signs of the existence of something, the underlying reality of something.

* The ending of the term is the word Allah, which is the Arabic name of the One. The Semitic roots of the word Allah extend back several thousand years to the Canaanite Elat, Hebrew El and Elohim, and Aramaic Alaha. These roots point toward unity, oneness, the eternal power which includes all of existence and of non-existence. (credit)




5.

A Secret of Bismillah


It is Divine Will that the Supreme Creator willed that It/ He / She is to place Man as It's / His /Her representative/ khalifah / vicegerent / deputy on earth. Allah says to Man, "O human being I have created everything in the universe for you, and have created you for Myself." Allah honored the children of Adam for they are chosen as guardian of divine trust, they are His / Her representative on earth.

We who are blessed to be the khalifa of Allah on earth, whatever action we carry out, we carry out on His/ Her behalf. This consciousness is contained within the kalima, the sacred formula "Bismillah." The gnostic meaning of bismillah means, On Behalf of Allah. We are engaging, doing, carrying out this action on behalf of Allah, as Allah's deputy.

Allah is the Hearing, Allah is the Seeing. Real Hearing and Real Seeing and like that for all action, the Real Doer is always the Supreme Creator. We are honored to be able to participate that by the bestowal of Allah. We say, indeed we are His and to Him is the ultimate return of everything, be it our soul, our actions, the intentions, energy of our thoughts, everything - for they were never ours, they were a trust given to us and all trust must be returned to its rightful owner and Who else is the Real Owner of all but the Supremely Sovereign King? Huwa al-Warith. He is the Ultimate Inheritor of all. All that is in the earth and in heaven belongs to Allah and to Allah alone.

So a more accurate meaning, a more gnostic meaning of Bismillah is "On behalf of Allah","For Allah." May whatever we do, we are given the capacity to do it on behalf of Allah, in harmony of the Divine Will, for all enabling comes from Allah. Indeed our living, our dying, our prayer and our sacrifice all are for Allah. Bismillah!


______________________________________________
Sadiq M. Alam / BUET Campus / Dhaka, Bangladesh


# Further:
* Detail meanings of Bismillah
* Secret of the Name and the Named One
* Sohbet and Bismillah by Shaykh Nazim
* Secrets to the Key of Paradise and Bismillah
* Bismillah MashaAllah
* Quran as a Holographic Text


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Friday, August 22, 2014

Study Theme for Humans who Aspire to be Awake




MAN HAS TO COME
TO UNDERSTAND
HOW TO SEE HIMSELF
AS HE REALLY IS,

SO THAT HE CAN ACHIEVE
SOMETHING IN THE AREA
WHICH HE CALLS
"WHAT HE MIGHT BE."

~ Idries Shah



A certain sufi teacher was asked, “If you were to give a number of study themes to the people present, which ones would you stress?”

Following were his answers in brief and bold. The texts in italic are commentaries by this author.


1. All approaches to a study or an individual may start with a desire for attention. However they start, they must never end up in this manner. 

Desire for attention of others is a pervasive, very hard to eradicate disease of nafs or the lower self. Thus even the apparent engagement of spiritual study, religious quest, to be associated with a pious and spiritual person or to be included in a spiritual circle, one need to be vigilant so that one does not fall in this trap of desiring attention upon the self. This tendency can be super subtle, almost invisible and very very hard for the individual to detect and it may disguise itself in the worst possible manner, camouflaging itself inside the apparently most noble cause or relatively unreal intention.

2. Study the assumptions behind your actions. Then study the assumptions behind your assumptions.


The reality of all actions are measured or evaluated by the intention behind that action. Most human beings are not that conscious enough to engage in action with intentions. Our actions are mostly unconscious because we are people who are far from being awake. So one good practice is to contemplate and probe into the assumptions behind the actions, even if we are well inside the action, for example we have started a new profession or have engaged in a study of a subject. If we probe sincerely and find out the assumptions, we may still have chances to correct our intentions, adjust our courses or make better intentions.

3. 'Why did I do such-and-such a thing?' is all very well. But what about 'How otherwise could I have done it?'

This is connected to the above points. The “Why..” question is the checking of the exact intention or intentions behind action and the “How otherwise..” question is to seek a better course and guidance to improve upon the assumptions and intentions. There are always room for improvement and the potentiality to better ourselves and our actions never cease to exist. Those who try, Allah helps them and literally the entire Universe conspire by the permission of the Lord of the Universes to reach that person to a better destination.

4. You have come a long way, and you do not know it. You have a long way to go, and you do know what that means.

This is self explanatory and only reconfirms the truth that the potentiality to better ourselves and our sanctions never become zero. That potentiality exists as long as we have our last breath still left.

5. In respect to some, you may have advanced. In relation to others, you have not progressed at all. Neither observation is more important than the other.

''He who knows himself knows his Lord", transmitted the Messenger. So knowing ourself is of paramount importance and its worth investigating in which areas we have advanced (if we really have over last 5 years or 10 years or 20 years) and in which areas we haven’t progressed at all (for example our bad habits, our anger, the way we speak when we are upset etc., our concentration in our prayers). To do so one must observe these aspects of the self. This is muhasiban nafs, accounting of the self.

6. If your desire for 'good' is based on greed, it is not good, but greed.

7. Exercise power by means of kindness, and you may be causing more damage than you could by cruelty. Neither approach is correct.

Equity and Justice is the keyword here, not kindness or weakness as that it may translate to or cruelty which again is of course a wrong approach.

8. The man who knows must discharge a function. The one who does not, cannot arrogate one to himself; he can only try to do so.

Everything has a right in this universe, including knowing of higher order. One who become a knower of God, at some point in time he or she will be moved to share that knowing with others. Allah does everything with a medium. Human heart is the best medium for imparting knowledge and gnosis and thus sacred knowledge of highest degree transmits from heart to heart.

9. Do not try to be humble: learn humility.

So true. 'The trying to be humble' ones suffer from a disease called self righteousness, may Allah save us from such calamity. We can never finish our learning of humility and some of the best places to be learn such humility is the study of the Life of Messengers of Allah, life of his holy family members, and his blessed companions. After that the next best arena to learn humility is the lives of the Awliya Allah (saints and friends of God). This learning is best complemented by finding someone who follow the spirit of Submissin, one who has mastered harmonious surrender (Islam) and who is a follower of the way of the Messenger, not just the outer aspects of it but as well as the inner.

10. Assume that you are part-hypocrite and part heedless, and you will not be far wrong.

This is an excellent wisdom. We have the tendencies of hypocrisy as we’ll as heedlessness in varying degree. In fact people in this last age are far more hypocrite and heedless than any other time in human history, but they are equally unaware of it. None of us are immune from such hypocrisy and heedlessness and our state of affairs are precisely so miserable because of this. The earlier we admin and acknowledge our hypocrisy and heedlessness, the better chance we have to be more conscious and knowingly avoid them.

11. To copy a virtue in another is more copying than it is virtue. Try to learn what that virtue is based upon.

The inner meanings of virtues, for example the real Sunnah or Way of the Messenger needs to be understood, reflected, internalized and practiced; rather than imitating the outward clothes, appearances and so on and so forth.

12. No practice exists in isolation.

Community and companionship must not be neglected.When migratory birds fly for hundreds of miles, they form such a formation where the birds in front give more energy and the vaccum created by their wings help the birds at the back to take rest and they change positions over time, helps each other to rest and travel together. Likewise there are mutual helping when spiritual journey is taken together in shared companionship and fellowship, the down periods of mind, heart and spirit of individual is protected and taken cared of by others in the group.

13. If you seek a teacher, try to become a real student. If you want to be a student, try to find a real teacher.

This is a real wisdom for those seekers who are impatient in finding a teacher or have found one but have been refused for the time being to be accepted as a student.

14. The more often you do a thing, the more likely you are to do it again. There is no certainty that you will gain anything else from repetition than a likelihood of further repetition.

When we are engaged in an action or practice which is repetitive in nature its important to not get caught with just the habit of it. If we refocus and reeducate and remind ourselves the significance and real reason of those practices only then we may avoid being caught in the pattern of repetition that fail to provide nourishment.

15. At first, you are not worthy of the robes and implements of the Sufi. Later you do not need them. Finally, you may need them for the sake of others.

This is a great hint for those who has the intelligence to understand. It encompass guarding against arrogance and vain pride and to replace that with humility, spiritual independence which is free from showiness and pretension and finally its about service to creation (haqqul makhlukat).

16. If you cannot laugh frequently and genuinely, you have no soul.

Humor is a sign of intelligence and one needs to develop a genuine sense of humor which again is a fruit of enlightenment.

17. When a belief becomes more than an instrument, you are lost. You remain lost until you learn what 'belief is really for.

We are reminded in the Scripture not to go overboard with religion or do excess in it. Even God doesnt care about belief that has no sincerity, fossilized rituals and fake religiosity.

18. When a dervish shows interest in your material welfare, you may be pleased. But it is frequently because you are not yet ready for anything else.

19. When someone asks for you to help in doing something, do you imagine that it is because he cannot do it unaided? Perhaps he is a Sufi who wants to help you by connecting you with his task.

Do you recognize the shift in focus away from the self? Thats what this Path is all about.

20. If you are lazy, count yourself lucky if someone points this out, giving you a chance to improve. Laziness is always your fault. It is the sign that a man has persevered in uselessness for too long.

Time is short. Our time in this world is extremely short, while awaits for us the unending afterlife in our Real Home, the Garden, the Paradise of Bliss. When we reach at the final breath our life may look like as if we have picked up a glass of water and have just finished taking a sip from it and have hardly put it down and its over. Yes that long this life may seem and yes thats how fast this life vanishes from us. So lets seek refuge to the Lord of Refuge from every laziness, from every moment which we have not used to remember the Real, hence have missed the opportunity to be more awake. "Allah there is no god but He alone Is. Ever Living, Peerless. He is Ever Awake (La ta'khudhuhu sinatun wa la nawm)."


These points are in fact exercises in outwitting the false self, which thrives on smaller satisfactions. The Sufi aims at Fana (passing away - of the Faise Self) and Baqa (remaining - of the Real).


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Friday, August 08, 2014

Story of a Reluctant Healer

1.
There was a woman who had a son who became blind at an early age. The sorrow of the mother was very profound because her son could not see the colors of flowers, nor the play of clouds against blue sky, nor could play joyfully like how other children played. The heart of the mother was filled with sorrow. One day she heard of a saintly man who had miraculously healed many people.

So one day with great hope the woman brought her blind son to the saintly servant of Allah, who was known as Khawaja Ahmad Jam. About him it was popularly known that he was someone whose supplications would be accepted (mustajab al-d’awah) by Allah. On reaching the humble abode of the saint the mother requested that the saint wipes his hand over her son’s face so he may be cured.

It is said by the Messenger as a way of metaphor that the heart of man is within the fingers of the Merciful. "There is no heart except it is between the two fingers of the Merciful." So the condition and state of heart actually fluctuates over time, over period, over life time.

So when the mother requested the saint at that time the state of servitude (‘ubudiyyah) had overcome him and so, with much humbleness, he said, ‘I do not have the ability.’

The woman insisted and Khawaja Ahmad Jam answered the same. The exchange continued three to four times and when he saw that the woman was not accepting what he was saying, he stood up saying, ‘This work is that of Sayyiduna ‘Isa (Jesus Christ) he would cure the blind and the lepers. As to me, I don’t have the ability.’

The shaykh had only walked a little when it was revealed to him through inspiration (ilham):
‘Who are you? Who is ‘Isa (Jesus) and who is Musa (Moses)? Turn around and wipe your hand over his face. You are not able to cure and nor is ‘Isa. It is We, the Divine Authority Who do it (mami kunyam).’ 

On hearing this, Khawaja Ahmad Jam turned around and saying mami kunyam, mami kunyam wiped his hands over the boy’s face and he was cured by the Grace of God.

After narrating this story, one of the knower of Allah said, “Foolish people may think that he is saying mami kunyam from himself. This is not, however, his speech, is but the speech of the Almighty. When one hears a beautiful poem, then one repeats it and takes pleasure from it. Likewise, he was repeating the Almighty’s word mami kunyam on account of the pleasure of that ilham.”

On this subject great scholar Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi writes: “Regarding his saying, ‘But the speech of the Almighty…’ I say that this is the best interpretation of Mansur al-Hallaj’s saying, ‘I am the truth (ana al-haqq).’”



2.
WHO SAYS WORDS WITH MY MOUTH
WHO LOOKS OUT WITH MY EYES


All day I think about it,
then at night I say it.

Where did I come from,
and what am I supposed to be doing?

I have no idea.

My soul is from elsewhere,
I'm sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness
began in some other tavern.

When I get back around
to that place,
I'll be completely sober.

Meanwhile, I'm like a bird
from another continent,
sitting in this aviary.

The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear
who hears my voice?

Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes?

What is the soul?

I cannot stop asking.

If I could taste
one sip of an answer,
I could break out
of this prison for drunks.

I didn't come here of my own accord,
and I can't leave that way.

Whoever brought me here
will have to take me home.

This poetry,

I never know
what I'm going to say.

I don't plan it.

When I'm outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet
and rarely speak at all.



- Jelal'uddin Rumi - 13th century Sufi mystic and poet
From The Essential Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks


Listen to this Beautiful Poem recited by Coleman Barks himself 


# Related on the Subject of Healing:
* Spiritual Energy Healing in the Sufi Way
* Spiritual Healing in Islamic Sufi Tradition
* Ephphatha | Healing of Christ and Sufi Invocation
* To heal is to become one with the Deep Love of God | from a conversation with Dr. Ibrahim Jaffe
* Abdul Hamid Khan | Tribute to a Silent Sufi Dervish & Healer
* University of Spiritual Healing & Sufism


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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Two Poems on Beauty and a Prayer my Heart often Sings to the Most Beauteous One



KNOW THE TRUE NATURE


Know
The true nature of your Beloved.
In His loving eyes your every thought,
Word and movement is always -
Always Beautiful.


Hafiz Daniel Ladinsky, A Year with Hafiz: Daily Contemplations





THE GUARDIANS OF HIS BEAUTY


We are the guardians of His Beauty.

We are the protectors
Of the Sun.

There is only one reason
We have followed God into this world:

To encourage laughter, freedom, dance
And love.

Every man, plant and creature in Existence,
Every woman, child, vein and note
Is a servant of our Beloved -

A harbinger of joy,
The harbinger of
Light.

We are the companions of His Beauty.
We are the guardians
Of Truth.


Hafiz Daniel Ladinsky, The Subject Tonight is Love





A PRAYER OF BEAUTY


In the Beautiful Names of the Most Beauteous One

O You Who is Beauty Itself and You Who Love all that is beautiful

Please make my thoughts beautiful
Please make my speech beautiful
Please make my actions beautiful

Please make my interaction with others beautiful
Please make both my inside and outside beautiful

Please make my living and dying beautiful

My Beloved You are the Most Beautiful

Please saturate me with Your beauteous Beauty that has no end

By the most beautiful human being who is the locus of Your Beauty -
Your beautiful Habib *

Please accept this prayer O Beloved. +


Sadiq M. Alam



* Habib in Arabic means beloved and by it is meant Muhammad Mustafa, may Divine benedictions be upon his noble soul

+ Its recommended to make this above mentioned supplication prayer in Sujud or in State of Prostration with eyes focused on the place of prostration (for single mindedness) or you may keep your eyes closed. While you prostrate, you assume the posture of an unborn child within your mother's protective womb. The arabic word for womb has the same root (R H M) for the two divine attributes, Rahman and Rahim. When we are in prostration, we are as if again finding ourselves within the Presence of Rahman and Rahim. Calling upon the Beauty, like the unborn, we're waiting to be born again for the sake of the Beauty waiting for us. Innalillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun. Indeed we are Allah's and to Allah is the return (and rebirth).

ultrasound image of unborn within the mother's womb - similar posture as sujud or prostration

wasjud waqtarib - prostrate and draw (yourself) near to the Beloved
(The Quran 96:19)



In this supplication, the Prophet Muhammad is mentioned (as Habib), but if you have another Divine Guide who appear to your heart as the locus of Divine Beauty, according to your spiritual tradition, for example: Krishna or Jesus you may mention and remember that particular beautiful being. Such beings are testimony to what is humanly possible in the task of reflecting the Divine Beauty as human beings as they are a link to reach divine threshold. A true faithful makes no distinction between any of the Divine Guides, peace be upon them all (Quran 2:136, 2:185, 3:84, 4:152). Those sweet human beings are like the face of the gentle moon reflecting back to us the light of the Awesome Sun.

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