Posts with category - Personal

unbounded

call me irrational
call me a fool
i am proud
to be unbound
by the superficial
conventions
created my men
and instead
try to submit
to the bounds of
the Uncreated One

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The Passing of Shaykh Murabit Al Hajj

There are those who do not seek to be known while they are alive. When they die, God makes them become known world over.

Shaykh Murabit is the teacher of many of our teachers, including Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. Our world has lost a great and beautiful soul.

“May God reward him for his service to this deen and his love and concern for the Muslims. He was never known to speak ill of anyone. Once when a student was studying Khalil with him and asked what a certain word meant in the text, he explained to him that it was a slow and clumsy horse. The student then said, ‘like so-and-so’s horse?’ At this Murabit al-Hajj suddenly became upset and said, ‘I don’t spend much time with people because they backbite, so if you want to study with me, you must never speak ill of anyone in my presence.’ It is not well known by Muslims that to speak ill of someone’s animals falls under the ruling of backbiting.”
-Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

“My eyes fell upon the most noble and majestic person I have ever seen in my life. He called me over, put his hand on my shoulder, welcomed me warmly, and then asked me, “Is it like the dream?” I burst into a flood of tears. I had indeed experienced a dream with him that was very similar to our actual meeting. He then went back to teaching. I was given a drink, and some of the students began to massage me, which I most appreciated, as my entire body ached from the difficult journey.”
-Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

“People speak of the evil eye
But they overlook the good eye.
The good eye exists.
Just as the one who possessed the evil eye can cause illness with a glance,
The one possessed of the good eye can heal with a glance.”
-Habib Ahmed Mashhur Al Haddad
From ‘Signs on the Horizons’ by Michael Sugich

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Miracle

When the light of hope is dying
And the soul’s energy is bleak
And the eyelids heavy
Struggling to open
Amidst the weight of the heart’s
despondent calls

A small, hidden, and tiny voice,
From the core of my being whispers
‘I know You can make miracles happen.’

Nothing is difficult for Him who
Evolves and sustains the multitudes
Of lives
Each traveling its own
specific course of mysteries unfolding

More than a trillion souls, traversing the worlds
Some on earth, and many in the barzakh
He is aware of all
Every inch of movement and thought

Is not He, who is capable
of feats so great and wondrous
and with magnitudes unable to be counted
able to create and sustain this miracle?

He, whose mercy is more vast
than the oceans of space between the galaxies
Whose power and wisdom so grand,
beyond our capacity to understand.

Whose nature of giving
Whose readiness of bestowing
Whose eagerness of providing
Is beyond human enumeration
and comprehension.

I beg Thee, Thou who are so great
that my existence becomes a shadow
fading into non-existence.

I beg thee, Thou who are so capable
that places me at utter reliance
submission, and brokenness.

To grant this undeserving soul,
this wretched heart,
this struggling and rusted mirror,
This miracle.

I know You can make miracles happen.

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That impenetrable heart

What does it take
To penetrate that heart?
How do I unlock
The doors
To the secret core?

What must I do
To tap into
that mysterious well
of unending love?

How do I request
a meeting with that heart
Guarded in its fortress
Of steel walls
and knights in armor?

Oh God! I rely entirely on You.
To blanket the path ahead
With Your mercy,
Love and harmony.
For only You
Can pierce through
The walls of our hearts
And allow us to feel and taste
That wondrous
That irresistible
Love.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Shaykh Rumi

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You are a light that others may not see

Every friend/saint of God is different, yet every saint is a beloved to God. Every sahabi (companion of the Prophet) was different, yet every sahabi was a beloved to God. If someone cannot see/value the beauty, talents, and light within you, do not allow the veils shrouding their inner vision to temper your confidence.

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Fawakih Winter Intensive 2017

I spent about a week and a half this month with the Fawakih Family, which was a decision that I will never regret. They offered the exact type of environment that I needed to boost my motivation and energy in Arabic studies. The environment is holistic and rejuvenating for the soul: (students participate not only in learning and studying, but in traveling, serving, cooking, recreation, poetry night, swimming, and more). We had classes to stimulate the mind (Arabic grammar and morphology), as well as the heart (spirituality). I recommend this program and this beautiful institute to all those wayfarers on the path who desire to deepen their intimacy with the Qur’an and, ultimately, their Creator. It was certainly a feast for the souls!

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Unite in the Ocean of Love: Don’t Harm the Lovers of God

Dear lovers,
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?”

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Mindful Drum Meditation

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! It would be lovely to share this rejuvenating experience with others, perhaps as a mindful meditation coach one day myself.

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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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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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