A Sign Above My Door

Peace, one and all…

bism01.jpg

The sign above my door is a passage from the Quran, a saying of the Prophet (alaihi al-salatu wa al-salam), a quotation drawn from Mevlana Rumi’s Masnavi (may God sanctify his soul) and a traditional Jewish benediction:

‘My Lord, forgive me and my parents and whoever enters my house in faith…’
(Surah Nuh 71:28)

‘Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be hospitable to his guest…’

‘The Sufi’s book is not of ink and letters; it is nothing but a heart white as snow’
(Mevlana Rumi, Masnavi II.159)

Blessing for the home:
Let no sadness come through this gate.
Let no trouble come to this dwelling.
Let no fear come through this door.
Let no conflict be in this place.
Let this home be filled with the blessing of joy and peace
(Birkat HaBayit)

Welcome to Abdur Rahman’s Corner, my very own virtual home. Ahlan wa sahlan! I hope that you enjoy this blog, and that it is useful to you in some small way, insha Allah.

My virtual home, as with my actual home, is a welcoming and accepting place, insha Allah. I welcome all visitors to my cyber-home, regardless of background. Let me take this opportunity to offer greetings of peace. I’ll even go so far as to offer generous helpings of (virtual) tea and biscuits!

However, before you enter, please be aware of the rules of my home. There aren’t many, but such rules as exist are taken seriously.

Please note, that the views and opinions expressed by me on this website are entirely my own. I am deeply committed to the spiritual life and to my faith, which means my posts are (usually) the product of careful study and reflection. However, I’m only human. I make mistakes and get things wrong (only God is perfect). If an error is pointed out to me, I will apologise and attempt to put it right, insha Allah.

This is the online home of a believing, committed Muslim. I have no problems with differences of opinion (even sharp differences), but this is not a place for Islam-bashing.  If you feel the need to engage in such things, the Internet has many free blogging platforms that can accommodate you.

The comments and ideas of others are the responsibility of their respective authors. Also, I am not responsible for the comment of other websites linked to here. My inclusion of such links does not indicate that I agree with all that they say, merely that I have found that site helpful and useful in some way.

Furthermore, please also note, that although I welcome comments from anyone who passes by, a word about appropriate conduct is in order.

Perhaps one of the only certainties in matters religious is that someone, somewhere is going to disagree with me. That’s fine. After all, I’m an adult (according to my passport at any rate) and I can handle differences of opinion easily enough. However, I will not tolerate abusive behaviour. In particular, this means that the use of foul, threatening or generally offensive language is utterly prohibited. It also means that I will not tolerate sexist or racist comments of any kind. I will any and all such posts without warning.

Ma’as salama,
Abdur Rahman

40 thoughts on “A Sign Above My Door”

  1. love the site !! having just recently converted to islam i found all your articles very informative.

    i am presently trying to locate a scholar in the north east to assist me with my conversion, however i also need someone who can teach me the sufi path and i am finding this extremely difficult, surely there must be a sufi in the north east !! if there is i cannot find him / her !!

    once again congrats on the site, its wonderful

    isha

  2. Salaams Isha,

    Thank you for the compliment. May Allah bless you, now and always. Let me welcome you to the community of Islam (or Ummah if you prefer). May Allah guide your steps.

    If I might add a word of counsel. You may find (as I certainly did) that there are many different ways of ‘doing’ Islam. Also, it seems, that many are keen to offer you their own views and perspectives. I would say, just take your time and Allah will guide you to where you need to be, insha Allah.

    I’m not from the north east, though I’ve visited Durham and Newcastle in my time. So, I can’t help you. Insha Allah, when I next go to Leicester I’ll make a few enquiries regarding scholars/sufis in that part of the world.

    Welcome to my virtual home. Feel free to visit as often as you like. Also, feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

    My best salaams to you and yours,

    Abdur Rahman

  3. A. Walli said:

    Salaam!

    Long time since I’ve posted a comment on your site. I was just out and I remembered it out of the blue. At that point, I figured there must have been a reason to remember, and so I found one :)

    There is an exhibition currently touring London that I’d really recommend you and your readers to visit, if it is at all possible. It is called ‘Spirit & Life’, selected pieces from the permanent collection of the Aga Khan Museum. There are fabulous pieces on display, including the oldest known copy (1052 CE) of Ibn Sina’s Canon of Medicine … a text used for the study of medicine for 500 years after being authored! There are also other fascinating pieces, such as pages from the North African Blue Quran, Persian miniatures, and so on. The exhibit consists of pieces from number of different areas and traditions of the Muslim world, and this is an important message.

    Here are some links for you to visit to help you consider visiting:

    BBC’s Newsnight – 7 Jun 07 – video clip!
    http://www.iis.ac.uk/SiteAssets/video/Newsnight.wmv

    BBC Radio 4′s Today programme – 10 Jul 07 – audio clip!
    http://www.iis.ac.uk/SiteAssets/video/today_nf_01.mp3

    Times on-line – Waldemar Januszczak
    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/visual_arts/article2099511.ece

    BBC – Stephanie Holmes
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/entertainment/6902755.stm

    Financial Times – Robert Irwin
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/c5b7bb82-30e5-11dc-9a81-0000779fd2ac.html

    Evening Standard – Nick Hackworth
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/arts/artexhibition-20636527-details/Spirit%20&%20LIfe/artexhibitionReview.do?reviewId=23404635

    Prince Charles on his web-site
    http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/speechesandarticles/a_speech_by_hrh_the_prince_of_wales_at_the_opening_of_the_ag_1254785784.html

    And last but not least, the exhibits original press release and official web-site
    http://www.akdn.org/museums/aktc_spirtandlife_pr.html
    http://www.akdn.org/museums/index.html

  4. Salaams A. Walli,

    I am doubly blessed by the guest who returns to my door after a long absence! Ahlan wa sahlan. :)

    Jazak Allah for the long list of sites. Insha Allah, I’ll look through them all. I’d be more than happy to visit the exhibition you refer to. There are few things I enjoy more than walking around museums and other such things.

    Allah bless you always

    Abdur Rahman

  5. Greetings!
    This comes from Brazil. It was a great surprise to find your page on the web. What a rich sourse to a great culture!
    Hopefully, you can help me: I read that, whenever a Muslin is about to start a story, a mention to the name of Allah is made. Could you be kind enough to send me this sentence in English and in your own language? That would be very nice, indeed.
    I bid you peace.
    Ana Maria – São Paulo, Brazil

  6. Peace Ana Maria,

    Welcome, welcome and thrice welcome! :)

    The phrase you refer to is an Arabic phrase (written at the top of the blog itself), which reads Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. In English (my native tongue), it means: ‘In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful’.

    Feel free to stop by anytime.

    May God’s peace be with you and those you love, now and evermore.

    Abdur Rahman

  7. Syeda Neegar Banu said:

    Dear Abdur Rahman,

    This is Syeda Neegar Banu from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I am so much inspired by visit ur website. I thought u may be help me.

    In Dhaka I am working in a private TV stations and now I want to prepare myself to take higher study on film making in London.

    About my education I need ur assistance. I thought ur suggestion help me a lot.

    This is my personal ID address: snbanu03@yahoo.com
    Would u give me ur email contact? I promise ur email ID willn’t misuse.

    Salam

    Neegar

  8. Salaams Syeda Neegar Banu,

    Welcome to my online home. Allah bless you always. I know next to nothing of film studies and so, my only advice would be to look at UK universities online.

    I am sorry I can’t be of any further help.

    Abdur Rahman

  9. dr shahid chaudhary said:

    aoa, nice to see this blog , it is a real appreciable thinking to start.
    in this era , the islam is misused by the name of Jehad,while the relgion of islam is based on spirtual love and touheed.The touheed can not stand concrete until the cement of love of Muhammod (asws) is not used. unfortunatly all the new Ulma are defining the islam on the bases of fear of God but no one is describing with same extent the love of prophet Muhammod(mpuh)The muslims can not come out of this hotwater until they creat a love for Him in their heart.to whom Allah loves how we can ignore him and direct ourself towards the God?

  10. Salaams Dr. Chaudhury

    Welcome to my online home. Allah bless you always.

    I am glad you have stopped by. Thank you for your thoughts. I agree with your thoughts. O God! Teach us to love you as we should

    Abdur Rahman

  11. waywardhappiness said:

    Referring to Dr. Chaudhary’s comment, “the islam is misused by the name of Jehad,” this has been a thought of mine for years. NPR did a wonderful commentary on the misused and misunderstood Quranic vocabulary and the North American notions regarding it.

    On to my initial thought, I very much enjoyed the title of your posting and its content. It brought a smile to my face as well as tapped into my feeling about God.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Nadia

  12. waywardhappiness said:

    Found the link and interesting quote:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6392989

    “The term ‘jihad’ usually means Jihad fi sabil Allah — “striving in the path of God,” says Streusand.” Simply by its very definition, striving in the path of God is a good thing to do.

  13. Salaams Nadia

    Welcome to my online home. I’m glad you stopped by. Allah bless you always.

    You’re right, of course. Jihad is always fi sabil Allah or esle it’s not jihad!

    Abdur Rahman

  14. Interesting

  15. dear Abdul Rehaman saab
    salaam
    this is my second post on your blog.great work..
    i went thru some of the comments on your blog .specially on jihad fi sabil Allah it is very important that every body should distinguish between jihad and qital. Jihad is not necessary phisical fight in voling violence .It is Qital which means fighting involving violence.people give ref. to islam doctrine of jihad and mean Qital. just a comment

  16. Salam Brother Syed Farid Maharaj,

    Thank you for your kind words. Allah bless you for them. Allah is the source of all that is good. Only the mistakes are mine.

    Thank you for reminding us of the difference between Jihad and Qital. Indeed, the two things are distinct. Although jihad may sometimes be undertaken via armed struggle, jihad is not ‘holy war’ nor is it merely fighting. Indeed, the Prophet himself (alaihi al-salatu wa al-salam) referred to the stuggle against the soul and its wayward desires as ‘the greater jihad’.

  17. Salaam Abdur Rahman

    I hope you are well.

    I thought you might find this item I posted on the persecution of Sufis in Iran of interest.

    http://myriadlives.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/sufi-holy-place-destroyed-in-esfahan/

    Regards

    Karl

  18. Peace Karl,

    My family and I are well, by God’s grace. Thank you for the links. I will check them out as soon as I can, insha Allah. I had heard of similar things before.

  19. dear abdur rahaman
    salaam may Allah bestow his mercy on you.
    inshaAllah i will be travelling to Ajmer SHarif to attend the annual urs of Hazarat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty by the end of June.the Qul is on 6th Rajab.as usual there will be mehfi-e-sama and opprotunity to interact will mashaikhs and pirs from all over the world.we all be gathered with humanity in large numbers to seek the baraka of the great shaikh.you are also invited to join in this spritual event. if there is anythink which i can be of help,pls ley me know.
    with warm regards

  20. Salams Dear Brother Farid,

    May Allah bless you always. May the urs of God’s beloved friends fill you with love of God. May baraka flow into your hands like rain.

    Thank you for the invitation. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend this year. But, Allah knows, maybe next year? At any rate, insha Allah, one day I will be able to come, and we might travel there together.

    Please make dua for me, my wife, children and family. In particular, please make dua for my mother who will be undergoing an operation next week. Also, please convey my salams and love to the mashaikhs, and to Hazrat-i-Pir Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty (quddus Allahi sirruhu)

    Abdur Rahman

  21. I love your blog. MashaAllah, it’s wonderful. Greetings from Bosnia! :)

  22. My salams to you Adi

    Welcome to my online home. May Allah bless you always. I have known many good brothers from Bosnia…ma sha Allah. :)

  23. Hi Abdur Rahman,
    Salaam.
    It was nice meeting you earlier on at the Dhikr. I did say I’d remember, and also that I’d find you. So I have.:)
    I’ll endeavour to come back and have a gander at your extensive work here. I’m sure I’ll find much that will hold my interest.
    WS
    Adila

  24. Salams Adila,

    It was nice to meet you too. And yes, you did say you’d remember :)

    Feel free to stop by whenever you wish. Welcome to my online home. May Allah bless you always

    Abdur Rahman

  25. Peace,my friend,

    There is a wonderful group of people called the Leicester Unitarian Fellowship. If you visit their site http://www.leicesterunitarians.org under “Resources” you can download a .mp3 file of “Bells of Norwich” (written by Sidney Carter) performed by them which makes delightful listening.
    God willing, I am to lead a service for the first time on Sunday- a scary privilege.

    Jim

  26. Peace Jim

    Thank you for the link. I will, God willing, check it out. I do so love spiritual music. May God bless you as you lead your service.

  27. Peace, Abdur.

    I am italian, I was catholic once, now I think I can call myself a (not too much) convinced atheist.

    But spirituality is something who lives into me, in a way.

    And it lives into this site, also. I found you site to get the translation of a song, and now I can’t stop reading.

    Thank for your work,
    d.

  28. Peace ZQ,

    Welcome to my online home. Thank you for your kind words. What was the song, just out of interest?

    Bright blessings to you….and welcome again

  29. Tom McFerran. said:

    There is a sign above my door.

    “My heart has become capable of every form;
    It is a pasture for gazelles,
    a convent for Christian monks
    and a temple for idols
    it is the pilgrim’s Ka’ba,
    the tables of the Torah,
    and the book of the Qur’an.
    I follow the religion of Love: whichever way
    Love’s camels takes, that is my religion and my faith.”

    Ibn al-‘Arabi.

    Tom (Ibrahim) McFerran.

  30. Salams Tom,

    Welcome. That is a beautiful sign indeed :)

  31. Fiza Rasool said:

    As salaam Elikum,
    Thank you for you good work. Alhamdulillah.

    Regards
    Fiza

  32. Fiza Rasool said:

    As salaam Elikum,
    Thank you for your good work.I love the Qawali you have posted. Thanks for sharing this immense knowledge. God Bless you. All Praises be to God.
    Regards
    Fiza

  33. Wa alaikum salam Fiza,

    Welcome to my online home. Allah bless you always. Thank you for your kind words. I do love Qawwali music, and Sufi poetry.

    Welcome again… :)

  34. Salams Dear Brother-

    I thank you for your beautiful, thoughtful spiritual posts. I always read them and appreciate your hard work.

    Allah bless you and yours

    Zahra
    ..

  35. Salams Zahra,

    Thank you for your kind words. Allah bless you always. In truth, anything good comes from God. Only the mistakes are mine. :)

  36. Salaam, It is a fascinating site, with lots of precious and profound resources. I have to say, it is the first rich Islamic site I have seen. I feel proud to see Muslims like you. If you do not mind can I ask what Sufi order you are following?

    My research in on Muslim Cultures and Identities, I am very interested to link it somehow to Sufism , still not sure how to do it. I was wondering if you can suggest some academic resources.
    Kind Regards,
    Hengameh

  37. Wa alaikum salam Hengameh,

    Welcome to my online home. Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you’ve found my blog useful, though, in all truth, anything here that is right or true comes from God. Wallah! Only the mistakes are mine.

    What is the exact topic you are studying? I am more than happy to share any resources I might have. In a broad sense, I do think that historically there has been a very intimate connection between Sufism (or even Islamic spirituality more generally) and Muslim culture: calligraphy, music, poetry, arts and crafts have all been used to express the beauty given to us by God. Perhaps we can speak of true culture as being a particularised manifestation of the infinite creativity of the Divine.

    This poor one is a small part of the Mevlevi tariqa. Ya Hazret-i Mevlana Hakk Dost! My teacher is Shaykh Kabir Helminski Effendi: http://sufism.org/

    Ask olsun!

  38. Salaam Alaikum Abdur Rahaman,

    Of course, all good deeds and thoughts come from Him, and it all come through dedicated people like you. Mashaallah, God bless you.
    I agree with you there is a historical link between Muslim and Sufism, as the later is the heart of the Islam. Though I have not enough knowledge on it..
    My research is on Cultures and identities of Muslim women in Newcastle and in Glasgow in two generation.
    Thanks for sending the web link, I am very impressed and have to avoid to look at it for a while. Because have to finish an article and a paper for my uni work in 2-3 weeks. Actually if my paper accepted I will present it in Mevlana University in Konya. I am very keen to make it happen. The paper is on Multiculturalism in Britain(strengths and weaknesses). Please make dua for me..

    Jazakomallah khayran kather.

    Hengameh

  39. Salaam Brother,
    Just wanted to ask a question regarding incorporating the Wird in my morning prayer. Should I try to memorize and recite the entire Wird? Or should I work toward reciting one of the numerous sections?

  40. Salams brother

    Welcome to my online home. Thank you for stopping by. Allah bless you always.

    I’m not a shaykh or a scholar and so I can’t answer your question from a fiqhi perspective. I would say, though, that the small deed, done consistently is best. Memorise whatever is easy for you.

    Also, this way allows you to reflect on the meanings. I have found that living with a wird in this way is a beautiful, and enlivening thing!

    May you be always blessed

    Ask olsun

    Abdur Rahman

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