When we travel the path of Love,
When we connect on the level of the spirit,
Do our differences in fiqh really matter?
Let us look beyond our forms,
Beyound our physicalities
Beyond methodology of law
Beyond the realm of labels
And unite in the Ocean of Love.
There is so much unnecessary bloodshed and violence in the world; just to name a few: Burma, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, etc.
We all love the same Being, let us unite in this Love. When we look with the eye of Tawhid, we see Oneness, One Love, One God, One Spirit, One Universe. When we look with the eye of multiplicity, we see insignificant differences.
We should think before picking up the weapon, “Am I killing another lover of God?”
Yesterday I attended a workshop at the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Center in Manhattan. The teacher presented the different maqams (scales) of music in the Islamic world. She also taught us basic drumming techniques, which can be used on the daff (frame drum), darbuka, or rek. The teacher was a deeply spiritual individual, which made the class more lively and touching than many other drumming workshops that I have attended. There were about 9 students in the class – thus making the class intimate and cozy. We also had a session of mindful drumming, which was one of the most powerful meditation experiences I ever had.
Recently I made the intention to learn to become a meditation guide because of the happiness and benefits that it brought me and for others. However, something about regular meditation wasn’t enough for me. It lacked movement (as well as dhikr). I wanted to incorporate movement in my meditation, thereby allowing the peace reached within meditation to penetrate into my entire physical being. This is how I felt while participating in the mindful drumming. Imagine sitting in a circle with people playing the same rhythm on their drum as you, at the same time. The reverberations are powerful; they permeate throughout the room, bounce off the walls, and penetrate into our hearts. I felt immense healing and happiness – more than I felt in regular meditation. The vibrations of the sounds had a healing effect on my soul. We also stood up during part of the session and swayed with our drums. We were taught to “inhale and exhale” with our drums. During inhale we could kneel close to the floor, during exhale we could stand up and extend our drum into the sky. It was the perfect combination of movement, rhythm, music, and meditation. It was perfect. All praise to God! Now I have expanded my intention to be a mindful meditation coach. I want to be a mindful drumming meditation coach, and incorporate dhikr into it as well. May God facilitate what is best and with the most ease, and allow me to benefit others!
“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
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.
Every pain of separation we feel from those we love on this earth, is just a tiny speck of the type of loss and pain we should feel in our separation from God. The loss of a loved one is a microcosm of the macrocosmic loss of union with God. The joy of Paradise is really a joy of reunion with the Ultimate Beloved.
Only in isolation does the yearning get unraveled
Secrecy of night is the sanctuary unparalleled
Close your eyes and thoughts from empty, earthly clutter
Revel in blissful calmness of your gentle heart’s murmur
Gaze up and free your inner eye to grasp His Raining Mercy
And bow your ego down before His Great and Stunning Mastery
The heartbreak you keep hidden from all the world to see
Is the same place that He pours His Resplendent Light and Beauty
Divine Love is unexplainable
A mystery so incredible.
The foolish describe it aimlessly
While the wise feel it inherently.
Your rejection of me…
does not reject my du’as for your happiness.
Your indifference to me…
does not negate my yearn for your wellness.
Your path away from me…
does not hinder my path of love for you.
For my love is selfless.
I love you with no desire for a return.
I care for you without reciprocated concern.
My tears call out for your success that is endless
I think about you despite your lack of awareness.
For your moments of joy are my ecstatic bliss.
Your passion for knowledge brings warmth to my soul
Your love of poetry flows through the blood of my bones
Your sincere longing for God is the ultimate goal
That has permeated my being and rendered me whole.
This poem is not about a specific person, it is expressing the sentiment and state of selfless love. A lot of people may interpret this poem to mean that the writer has just been “rejected” from a lover, however that is not the case. I like to step into the shoes of other people, and try to understand how they may feel. There are also many levels and dimensions of rejection. A person may feel rejected by a child, a teacher, a community, an ideology, or a religious institution. The last couple of lines indicate that the only thing worth taking out of the “rejector” is its yearning for God. And it is this yearning for God, a separate entity from the rejector itself, that has made the writer feel whole. The rejector itself cannot make the writer feel whole.
Do not call me “Guyanese” or “West Indian”. These terms are alien to me.
I associate myself with nothing less than the environment of Tasawwuf (the science of ihsan, inward purification) and all of its strivers, the religion of Oneness: One God, One Love, One Ummah; the Religion of Love and Mercy. I feel at home with the lovers of intellectual progress under the teachings of Ibn al Arabi. I feel at peace with the lovers of poetic and religious mastery under the teachings of Mawlana Rumi. My soul is at harmony with the lovers of outward discipline and inward excellence under the teachings of Imam al Haddad. My heart is satisfied in the company of the lovers of Imam al Ghazali, the Reviver of the Spiritual and Intellectual dimension of Islam in his century and beyond. I feel at bliss in the company of the lovers of our beloved teacher and final Messenger of the Creator to mankind, and all of his prophetic predecessors (Jesus, Abraham, Noah, Moses, Adam and more) and his inheritors. Peace be upon them all.
This is my family. This is my home. This is my love. This is my passion.
Let us look beyond the outward shells of culture, class, and color, and revel in the unity of the human spirit.