Multiple Veils, Single Reality

“God is the separated beloved whom the human being has to find in everything beautiful, including one’s own heart. The thousands of forms in this world are like thousands of veils across the face of a single Reality. True seekers learn to ignore the appearance (majaz) of whatever they see, and concentrate instead on the unseen, the Reality (haqiqat). In other words, God exists everywhere and those who can see beyond appearance see Him manifest in things as little as a glow-worm and as huge as the Himalaya.”
-Khurram Ali Shafique on explaining the philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal

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Be Silent, God will become Manifest

“There are two kinds of silence: firstly, silence of the tongue, which consists of not speaking of other than God with other than God … and secondly, silence of the heart, which consists of refraining from all thought occurring to the soul that concerns any created thing. The one whose tongue is silent, even if his heart is not, lightens his burden. When someone’s tongue and heart are both silent, his innermost consciousness becomes manifest and his Lord reveals Himself to him. The one whose heart is silent but whose tongue is not speaks wisely. The one who possesses neither a silent tongue nor a silent heart remains under the domination of Satan and opens himself up to become an object of ridicule.”

—Shaykh Ibn al Arabi

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Transformation

Some people shake your foundations. In one encounter all of your deficiencies fall onto the floor, leaving you naked, embarrassed. You desperately try to hold onto the last remaining threads of what you held as absolute truths of yourself. But no, those have flaws and holes too. Confused, bedazzled, you seek validation. But validation cannot be sought from sentient beings.

You are left alone with the scraps of yourself on the floor. You try to put them together into a coherent whole again.

This process is personal transformation. Painful, but liberating. Traumatizing, but strengthening. Life altering. Character correcting. Life mission improving.

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Words of the Elements (poem by Rumi)

“A whole afternoon field inside me from one stem of reed.
The messenger comes running toward me, irritated:
Why be so hard to find?
Last night I asked the moon about the Moon, my one question
for the visible world, Where is God?

The moon says, I am dust stirred up
when he passed by.The sun, My face is pale yellow
from just now seeing him. Water: I slide on my head and face
like a snake, from a spell he said. Fire: His lightning,
I want to be that restless. Wind, why so light?
I would burn if I had a choice. Earth, quiet
and thoughtful? Inside me I have a garden
and an underground spring.
This world hurts my head with its answers, wine filling my hand, not my glass.
If I could wake completely, I would say without speaking
Why I’m ashamed of using words.”

-Mawlana Rumi

These are the main interpretations that form in my mind when I read the poem:

The narrator is looking for signs of the existence of God through the elements of the visible world (moon, earth, fire, wind, etc.)
While the elements’ reactions to witnessing God are phenomenal and cause some of them to step outside their normal characteristics (the wind desires to burn and the earth is usually quiet and thoughtful, but it announces the great energy it has within: “Inside me I have a garden and an underground spring”), none of these answers are adequate enough to fulfill the curiosity of the narrator, and thus the narrator has wine pouring into his hand but not into the glass with which he can drink and satiate his curiosity and understanding of God. The words uttered by the elements are not enough to describe the majesty and reality of God.
I think that the poem is also alluding that the narrator needs to look at the “invisible” world instead of the visible world to find these signs. If the narrator looks within his own self, he will find the answers that he is looking for, for the human being is the microcosm of the universe, and the only creation that can fully reflect the attributes of God through his polished heart. The wind, fire, earth, etc. all emanate qualities that already exist within the human. I also think that the “glass” mentioned in the end of the poem can be a symbol for the heart, and that the words uttered by the elements are beautiful, but not enough to fill his heart. In conclusion, while it is excellent to look for signs of God in the visible universe around us, it is also just as important to look within and contemplate His Reality in the invisible world, and also to understand that words are not sufficient enough to explain His Reality. And it is perhaps better understood through experience that is felt.

And God knows best.

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“Did you miss Me?”

“But tell me, did you sail across the sun?
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?
Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar?
And did you miss Me while you were looking for yourself out there?”

Lines from “Drops of Jupiter” by Train

“I am going to light a fire in the Garden and pour water onto it so that both these veils may disappear from the seekers, and that their purpose may be sure, and that the servants of God may see Him, without any object of hope or motive of fear. What if the Hope for the Garden and the Fear of the Fire did not exist? Not one would worship his Lord, nor obey Him. But He is worthy of worship without any immediate motive or need.” -Rabia Al Adawiyah

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Salawat Naariyah (A blessing/prayer for the Prophet)

This is one of the most beautiful prayers I have come across for the Prophet Muhammad:

“O Allah, bestow seamless salutation and perfect peace upon our master Muhammad – through whom difficulties and calamities are relieved, needs are fulfilled, aspirations are attained, the best outcomes are achieved, and the clouds deliver their rain by virtue of his noble countenance. And bestow such salutations and peace upon his family and his companions at every moment that lasts the duration of the flickering of an eye or the drawing of breath, and do so to the number of everything that is known to You.”

Here is my reflection on the translation:

1. Peace is described as “perfect” and “seamless” which is fascinating – the fact that there can be levels and degrees of peace, and that we are praying for the most beautiful and perfect peace to descend upon the Prophet, his family, and his companions.
2. In addition to the afflictions that are removed, the needs that are fulfilled, and the aspirations that are achieved due to the noble status of the Prophet, the salawat then states that the clouds send rain due to his noble status as well. This is amazing as well because rain descending to the earth is being compared to the removal of afflictions and the fulfillment of needs. Rain is a powerful metaphor and symbol for God’s mercy and blessing. With rain comes many great bounties.
3. The salawat states to send peace to the Prophet, his family, and his companions to every moment equal to the “flickering of an eye” or the “drawing of a breath”. That is an impossible number to count! We cannot even fathom such a large number!
4. Lastly, the du’a/salawat then asks Allah to send peace to the prophet for the number of everything known to God. The number of everything is such a vast number again, and it can only be an infinitely ascending number, since God is always creating every moment we encounter. Every cell is constantly dividing, every experience we have He is creating, and every abode in Paradise is constantly becoming more beautiful. Insha Allah. And the fact that only God can know that number is proof of His Magnificence and Power, and proof of our meek and dependent servitude.

So in conclusion, with that one du’a/salawat, we are asking Allah to send perfect peace to the prophet, his family, and companions for an infinite amount of times. SubhanAllah.

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“Redemption” (My Parody to Shawn Mendes “Stitches”)

“Redemption” (Parody to Shawn Mendes “Stitches”)

I thought your foils would be no more
But I’ve learned the world was made to make me sore
It can cut deeper than a knife
But I have a Being to breathe me back to life

Got a feeling that I’m going under
But I know that I’ll make it out alive
With His help I’ll come out much stronger
Move on

Yes I may bleed until I can’t breathe
Shaking, falling onto my knees
But now I know of your deception
Got time for redemption
Tripping over myself
Aching, begging God to come help
Yes now I know of your deception
Got time for redemption

Just like a moth drawn to a flame
Oh, you lured me in, I couldn’t sense the pain
Your bitter heart cold to the touch
I don’t wanna reap what I sow
Cuz I can repent on my own

Got a feeling that I’m going under
But I know that I’ll make it out alive
With His help I’ll come out much stronger
Move on

Yes I may bleed until I can’t breathe
Shaking, falling onto my knees
But now I know of your deception
Got time for redemption
Tripping over myself
Aching, begging God to come help
Yes now I know of your deception
Got time for redemption

[x3:]
Needle in the thread,
Gotta get you out of my head
Needle in the thread,
With God I’ll transcend

Needle in the thread,
Gotta get you out of my head, get you out of my head

Yes I may bleed until I can’t breathe
Shaking, falling onto my knees (falling on my knees)
But now I know of your deception
Got time for redemption (Got time for redemption)
Tripping over myself,
Aching, begging God to come help (begging, “Allah, please.”)
Yes now I know of your deception
Got time for redemption

(Yes now I)
Know of your deception
Got time for redemption

(Yes now I)
Know of your deception
Got time for redemption

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My “halalmixed” parody to Sia’s “Chandelier”

Here is a parody I wrote for Australian singer Sia’s “Chandelier”. Her vocal range for this song is powerful and impressive.
The original song is about a young woman’s justification and struggle with her addiction to drinking, my version is about a different type of “drink”. :)

Warrior souls don’t get hurt
Can’t help but fight, against ego’s might
They push it down, push it down

Calling out to One, for that taste of Union,
Mind’s clearin’ up, from all mundane thought.
They aim for Love, aim for Love

One Two Three, One Two Three, drink
One Two Three, One Two Three, drink
One Two Three, One Two Three, drink
From the pool of transcendence

I’m gonna shine like the chandelier
Like the chandelier!
I’m gonna pray like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist!
I’m gonna rise like he* did on Miraj,
Feel my tears as they fly!
I’m gonna shine like the chandelier
Like the chandelier!

Cuz I’m longing hard for His light, won’t stop now won’t open my eyes
Keep my tongue full until morning light, ’cause I’m longing hard through the night
My Lord, I’m holding on for Your light, won’t stop now won’t open my eyes
Keep my heart full until morning light, ’cause I’m holding on for Your light
All through the night

Sun is up, past Fajr time
Gotta get out now, rise and climb
Work in His Name, Work in His Name

One Two Three, One Two Three, drink
One Two Three, One Two Three, drink
One Two Three, One Two Three, drink
From the pool of transcendence

I’m gonna shine like the chandelier
Like the chandelier!
I’m gonna pray like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist!
I’m gonna rise like he did on Miraj,
Feel my tears as they rise!
I’m gonna shine like the chandelier
Like the chandelier!

Cuz I’m longing hard for His light, won’t stop now won’t open my eyes
Keep my tongue full until morning light, ’cause I’m longing hard through the night
My Lord, I’m holding on for Your light, won’t stop now won’t open my eyes
Keep my heart full until morning light, ’cause I’m holding on for Your light
All through the night

All through the night
‘Cause I’m holding on for Your light
Oh, I’m holding on for Your light
All through the night
All through the night
‘Cause I’m holding on for Your light
‘Cause I’m holding on for Your light
Oh, I’m holding on for Your light
All through the night
All through the night

*Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)

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My Parody to “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt

“You’re Beautiful”

My life is brilliant.

My life is brilliant.
My love is pure.
He’s like an angel.
Of that I’m sure.
He smiled at me at the doorway.
He’s a veil of God’s beauty
But I won’t lose no sleep on that,
‘Cause I work for His duty

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.
You’re beautiful, it’s true.
I sensed your soul in a crowded world,
I wonder at all you do,
I see God’s beauty through you.

Yes, he caught my eye,
As we walked on by.
He could see from my face that I was,
Flying high.
And I don’t think that I’ll see him again,
But we shared a moment that will last ’til the end.

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.
You’re beautiful, it’s true.
I sensed your soul in a crowded world,
I wonder at all you do,
I see God’s beauty through you.

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.
You’re beautiful, it’s true.
I sensed your soul in a crowded world,
But it’s time to face the truth,
It’s God’s beauty that shines through you.

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Heart Frozen

I stand trapped beneath the bars of illusion…
His blessed cloak is arriving close.
A sweeping moment of holy temptation
I frantically reach out one arm to grasp
My breaths fall faster until I can only gasp…

How I long to touch his blessed soul!
Our beloved Messenger, the Light of the Universe.
The key to my reaching my spiritual whole!
The guide to freedom from the world accursed!

What are these bars that have prevented me?
Why is my energy no longer roaming free?
How do I let go, and let myself be?
Doesn’t fate know, that I am in need?

I give up and smile at what is in front of me.
I appreciate him from the distance between.
I bow my head submissively to God’s regime.
I hold back my desire and on the floor I lean.

I look up again and kiss the air.
I dare not fight against my destined lair.
I admire the spectacle in front of me.
My heart frozen at such unreachable beauty.

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