Reaching Divine Presence

bleeding-heart-vine-400x266Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) is the means by which Stations yield their fruit, until the seeker reaches the Divine Presence. On the journey to the Divine Presence the seed of remembrance is planted in the heart and nourished with the water of praise and the food of glorification, until the tree of dhikr becomes deeply rooted and bears its fruit.

It is the power of all journeying and the foundation of all success. It is the reviver from the sleep of heedlessness, the bridge to the One remembered.

Part of article here

Swimming in the Sea of Reason & Intellect

ship2Maulana Rumi (R.A.) says: “It is completely useless to swim about in the sea of Reason and intellect. There is need for the ship of Nabi Nooh (A.S.)  i.e. The help of the friends of Allah. Look how Nabi Nooh’s (A.S.) son, Kan’aan, depended on Reason alone saying: “The high mountains shall save me from this storm”. He considered the ark of Nabi Nooh (A.S.) as being despicable. The result was that the ship was saved during the deluge and reached the high mountain while Kan’aan was drowned.

Maulana Rumi (R.A.) says:

“When you do not look with proper sight, then you look upon the love and company of the saintly ones and their obedience i.e. their ship as despicable, and you look upon your imitation of the people of Europe as the high mountains of Intellect and Reason. But, beware, do not look upon this ship as being of no value and a thing to be despised.

The power of Allah is such that with one wave, He can turn the ship upside down. But the ship which travels in the shadow of Allah’s Mercy, in spite of its outward weakness and the evil intention of Shaytaan, it will pass through all the trials in safety.

Ma’arife-e-Mathnawi. Full article here

The Fortress of Imaan

brick-wallThe allegory of belief (Imaan) is that of a land that has five walls.

Al-Hajjawi said in its commentary: It is said that the allegory of belief is that of a land that has five walls. The first wall [the innermost wall] made from gold, the second from silver, the third from iron, the forth from cooked clay [aajurr], and the fifth [the outermost wall] from brick. As long as the people of the brick wall are diligent in protecting the brick, the enemy does not aspire [destroying] the second; but if they neglect this [brick wall], they will aspire for the second and then the third, until they demolish all of the walls.

And like belief [Imaan] has five walls: certainty, then sincerity, then performing what is obligatory, then the recommended [sunan], and then refined behavior [aadab].

As long as one holds to and is diligent with having refined behavior, Satan does not scheme [to destroy] him. But if one forsakes refined behavior, Satan aspires to [destroying] the recommended works, then the obligatory, then sincerity, and then certainty.

Sheikh `Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani  (taken from Qibla.com)

The leaf sinks and the stone floats

stone on waterSuch is the state of those whose hearts are entrenched with the Being of Allah ta’ala, that He comes to mind no matter what statements others make!

One early morning an old woman recited a few words as she grinded some corn,

“See the trick played by the river, the leaf sinks and the stone floats”

Shah Abdul Quddus Gangohi (Raheemahullaah) heard them and went into a state of ecstasy/rapture as the old woman’s words reminded him of verses in the Qur’an [Surah Al-Qaari’ah 6-9]:

“Then, as for him whose scales are heavy (with good works), he will live a pleasant life. But as for him whose scales are light, the Bereft and Hungry One will be his mother.”

A leaf being light, should float and a stone being heavy, should sink.

Whosoever’s weight (in the scales) will be heavy, will float away into Jannah (Paradise). But whosoever’s weight will be light, will sink into Jahannam (Hell)

Adapted from Majlis-e-Maseehulummat by Shaykh Ismail Mangera

Outward Display of Humility while Pride lurks within

islamic_design_by_lunabyss-d21f2l0Pride and arrogance come in many forms. One manifestation of pride which is not easily recognisable, takes the outward form of humility: some people feel the need to outwardly display humility while within they actually think highly of themselves for doing so.

People who are genuinely humble do not have a high opinion of themselves, but truly believe themselves insignificant and humble. An analogy will help us understand what true humbleness is.

Imagine a sleeping person: while fast asleep he does not know that he is asleep; it is only after waking up that he realises that he had been asleep. Likewise, a person who is humble does not feel that he is being humble; his behaviour is naturally full of humbleness without him knowing it.

Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat

The Scars of Allah’s Love

watreholeSome years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward him. His mother, in the house, was looking out the window and saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal, and on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved. The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn’t let go.”

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator or anything quite so dramatic but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But some wounds, my friends, are because Allah has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He’s been there holding on to you.

Islam teaches us that Allah loves us. He wants to protect us and provide for us in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril and we forget that the enemy, Shaytaan is waiting to attack. That’s when the tug-of-war begins, and if we have the scars of His love on our arms, we should be very, very grateful.

Author unknown

Danger in the Rose Garden

roses-with-thornsDo not think that there is no danger in the rose garden.

That garden may be filled with all kinds of charming, colourful and fragrant rose flowers, but do not go in thinking that there is no danger.

Beneath the petals of those beautiful, fragrant and sweet smelling flowers are thorns. Safeguard yourself and your garments when you walk through that garden, for those thorns cannot be trusted. They could cause you injury.

Read more…

Our Sinking Ship

ship-231Mawlana Rumi (Raheemahullah) describes “love for the world” in the following way.

A ship needs water to float on. It will remain on the surface of the water as long as the water does not enter the ship. Once water enters the ship, it will sink.

Similarly man is the ship and the world is the water. Just as the ship needs water to keep afloat, man needs the world to live. As long as the world remains outside and does not enter the heart, man will reach his destination. If the love of the world enters the heart, then like the ship which allows water to enter, it will sink.

The Light of a Candle against the Brilliance of the Sun

sunMawlana Rumi (Raheemahullah) gives the example of those who give their hearts to those other than Allah ta’ala in the following words.

It is the height of foolishness to use a candle or a lamp when the sun is at the height of its journey across the earth, so too is it foolish to turn one’s attention towards the glimmer of earthly beauty, in the face of Allah ta’ala’s Eternal Brilliance.

The Raindrop

raindrop2Shaykh Saadi (Raheemahullah) mentions a beautiful story, in his Bustaan, of a raindrop which fell from a spring cloud. Seeing the magnitude and vast expanse of the ocean, it was ashamed. Reflecting and introspecting, it thought :

Where am I next to the sea? Compared with it, I am extinct. I am nothing.”

In its contemplative and pensive mood, it regarded itself with an eye of disdain. Whilst doing so, an oyster surfaced from the ocean and took the raindrop within the haven of its care. Destiny then shaped its course that eventually the raindrop became a renowned Royal pearl.

For its humility and humbleness, it found itself exalted.  Its annihilation, made it existent.