Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Seeking the Complete Human | Guide on the Path

Sidi Said Al Jamal listens1.
Feed your heart in
..... conversation
with someone harmonious
........... with it;
seek spiritual advancement
from one who is
.............. advanced.

- from Rumi's Mathnawi, I, 726
translated by Kabir & Camille Helminski

Consider how wool is turned into an elegantly designed carpet by coming into contact with an intelligent person.

See how dirt can be turned into a fine palace by coming into contact with an intelligent person.

If association with the intelligent has such an effect on inanimate objects, think what effect will be when one seeker of God associate with another!

- Rumi, from The Rumi Collection by Editor, Kabir Helminski

On the importance of a good guide (Shaykh) on the path of seeking the Truth, the gnostic Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani, may God be pleased with him, said:

'You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaikh who is learned in the sacred law [hukm] and gnosis ['ilm] of God, and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed.

Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth, Almighty and Glorious. What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of prayer [yusalli rak 'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path."

The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Prophet has said: 'If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgment, he will go astray.'

Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your walking [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your appearance. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Prophet has said: 'The believer is the believer's mirror (al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min).'

- from Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (text credit)

A Sufi Master Sitting down facing the Kaba4.
al-Warith al-Muhammadi
Who Is the Guide Who Carries the Truth ?

'Beloved, know in whose presence you sit; know who whispers these words into the ear of your heart. If you hear me, know me; if you would know me, you must enter. All of these words are in the way of metaphors. With what voice shall I call you but the voice of your own quest? You will see me with the eye of your deepest yearning, if you see me at all. And if you are searching for me, it is because I am searching for you. If you understand what I mean, then let us meet face to face, hand to hand, and soul to soul.

If you want to go to Damascus, you must find someone who has traveled that way and who knows all the subtleties, the difficulties, and the detours in the road; who has reached the destination and knows every inn along the way. I am the way to Damascus. I am the way. Where do you want to go? When I say that I am the way, understand well who it is who is speaking to you. The way is ancient and everlasting. All who are of the way are possessed by the way and carried by the way, even while they carry the way.

How would you know the guide for whom you have been searching if he stood before you and spoke with you? Look within and without for the source of this voice. From where does it come? Watch the way in which he moves and by what is he moved? By what light is he guided? Whose work does he accomplish? If he comes in the name of the holy tree, taste the fruit to know what the tree is. Listen to the heart of the message in every action of the life of the guide. If it is al-Warith al-Muhammadi, al-Insan al-Kamil, the perfected one, whom you see, he spends all his time working in the way because he has no time; the time is God’s.

Beloved, know that the guide is the holy bride who wants to wed you, but only her Beloved within you can truly embrace her. The bride is your own original truth, which remains virgin and undefiled beneath the veil of every presence. You cannot know the guide who sits before you, if you do not know the guide who is within you and is your own true being. Know yourself; call this holy being into existence if you wish to know who sits before you and instructs you in the form of the pretext of the guide.'

- from Sidi Said al-Jamal ar-Rifai ash-Shadhuli's teachings (text credit).

"It takes time to make a soul pregnant with God. But it can be done; IT WILL BE DONE...."

"ONE CANNOT HAVE FAITH; until time is ripe, nobody can have faith. Complete surrender is absolute faith. He is Absolute; so faith must be absolute." ... he added after a silence, "Fana fi Sheikh" (Complete absorption / annihilation in the beloved guide).

- Bhai Sahib Radha Mohan Lal, Daughter of Fire by Ms. Irina Tweedie

Is there somebody who can take me to the Lord?
I will go to him, touch his feet and kiss his hands,
And serve him faithfully, him,
who can take me to the Lord.

- a Sikh prayer hymn
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