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in such presence, where one always grows

Why do people stop growing? Unfortunately and unknowingly perhaps at some point in life some people do. You know it when you hear someone, when given an opportunity to speak to an audience, they keep repeating the same thing, over and over and over again. This happens even to people who once possessed a very brilliant mind. You may wonder how come the same person who once was full of brilliant ideas, a tremendous open ended mind - now constantly repeating the same constricting ideas, only going round and round and worse enough if those ideas are full of negative criticisms.

May God save us from such state of mind and mental attitude. Allahu 'Alim, God is the Source of All Knowledge.

What a waste of our human potential to stop growing while inhabiting this precious existence. Its a result of slowly spiraling into unmindfulness - some might suggest, and I don't disagree. But when I am around such people who from the seat of a speaker, from the seat of a teacher keep speaking about the same ideas, I suffer from a deep nostalgia, a strange homesickness.

Where are those sweet human beings, the perfect masters of humanity in whose presence you grow every moment and never cease growing?

Where is Jesus who when speaking everytime would marvel his disciples with new parables of ageless insight? Where is Buddha who would spell bound hundreds and thousands of monks and nuns with discourses after discourses that would pierce the very seat of reality? Where is Muhammad the Messenger who would speak with such eloquence that his companions would feel homesick even if they are at their respective homes, but absent from the presence of him? Where are those beautiful human beings worthy of calling true masters in who's company and sohbet (spiritual conversation) you would melt away in bliss?

Where is a perfect teacher like Jesus, the son of blessed Mother Mary, who would climb the mountain and give us the priceless words of beatitudes? Where is Jesus of Nazareth who with a single movement of his hand toward Simon Peter and Andrew would make them fall in love with a perfect stranger once and for all?

Where is perfect wise master Gautama Buddha who would sit motionless with closed eyes and the light of wisdom will burst forth from every pour of his skin? Where is Muhammad the celestially praised one, who after every prayer at his simple mudbrick mosque would turn completely to all companions and would not speak a single word except with the highest mode of inspiration?

How unfortunate we are that we are living in this bereft world without them! How unfortunate we are that we are let to be living in this mad world of cluster bombs, holocaust, greedy monsters and corrupt politicians! What a bazar full of sick ones we turned this world into, most of whom are suffering from terminal sickness of selfishness.

How we long to be included among those holy companions who cured themselves of selfishness. May our longing to be with them count us close to them, as Prophet said, 'one shall be united with one's loved ones'. Indeed the words of our master of both worlds are truth.

For that, its worth leaving the world of artificial reality to become the servant of Buddha, even if that means to beg for rest of one's life. Its worth paying the price of our head, like the price John the Baptist paid to baptize one such pure human being, bending and touching the feet of Christ at the river Jordan. Its worth praying the price with our soul like those holy martyrs in the battle of Badr after the spirit's thirst is quenched in the presence of beloved Mustafa. What unbeatable bargain those are!

Indeed such teacher is a true teacher who speak not out of whim, but speak out of pure inspirations alone.

Your comrade is neither astray nor being misled.
Nor does he speak out of whim.
It is no less than inspiration sent down to him.
Taught him the Lord of tremendous power.
- The Quran 53:2-5

In the shade of such beautiful human beings may we grow, always.

And remembering Rumi, when he asks us to "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!"

In the blessed hands of such ones with luminous intelligence may our dirts within be washed clean. a m e n.


- Belmont Park Bus Stop,
Charlottesville
March 14, 2009


Images from the book of photography "The World of Allah" by David Douglas Duncan, scan courtesy: Yohosame Cameron

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