If I Were To Die Now…

Peace, one and all…

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If I were to die now,
and pass out beyond
the circles of the world,
what would this life of mine
have amounted to?
What would I have done
worthy of remembrance?

I have known life,
and love and friendship.
I have loved and been loved,
been a son, a brother,
a husband and a father.
My eyes have beheld
the glory of the sunrise,
and the beauty of the night.
I have sat in the circle of lovers
and sang hymns
to the Beloved Source of All.

Ahh my heart,
your life has been blessed indeed.
Breathe and be thankful.
Be human,
and when your turn comes
pass on into eternity’s expanse unafraid.

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Like That Of The Light To The Sun

Peace, one and all…

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Ali (may God ennoble his countenance) said, ‘I did not tear down the door of Khaybar by bodily force nor by strength resulting from food, but rather through strength that came to me from the Celestial Realm (malakut). My relation to Ahmad (Muhammad) is like that of light to the sun’.

Someone who sees himself as little value and little worth is gracious, a lover and delightful. However, a person who holds his own existence in high regard and who watches the roads carefully in order to protect himself is a person whose spirit is heavy and who is frozen and dead. But God knows best!
Aflaki, Manaqib al-Arifin 414g

The phrase ‘watches the roads carefully’ brought to mind the image of a highwayman. One who watches the roads carefully, always looking for offence and profit, is in many ways a robber, out to trick and trap those they come into contact with. Arrogance freezes us into a lifeless form, and freezes the heart – and carrying a huge block of ice around with us is tiring indeed! Poverty can help us realise that we are essentially light to God’s sun.

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Nice Bir Uyursun Uyanmaz Mısın

Peace, one and all…

Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak Al-Jerrahi

Ah nice bir uyursun uyanmaz mısın
Göçtü kervan kaldık dağlar başında
Çağrışı tellallar inanmaz mısın
Göçtü kervan kaldık dağlar başında

Emr-i hac göçeli hayli zamandır
Muhammed cümleye dindir imandır
Delilsiz gidilmez yollar yamandır
Göçtü kervan kaldık dağlar başında

Yunus sen bu dünyaya niye geldin
Gece gündüz Hakkı zikretsin dilin
Enbiyaya uğramaz ise yolun
Göçtü kervan kaldık dağlar başında

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God’s Promise

Peace, one and all…

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‘Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing’
(Quran 2:268)

Fear threatens us with poverty, and would have us abase ourselves in unwholesome misery.  There is much in today’s world that does this, and is to that extent, satanic.  And yet … And yet, God promises us forgiveness and acceptance and bounty, alongside His all-encompassing, infinitely overflowing grace.  O my soul, hold fast to God’s promise.  Remember your utter poverty before His Infinite Wealth. Remember that this poverty comes from Him, that you might live only in Him, that you might walk only to Him.

Hu diyelim HUUUUU!

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Niyaz: Beni Beni

Peace, one and all…

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bab-i ihsanindan mürüvvet eyle mürüvvet eyle
karistirma her bir esyaya beni
bakma isyanima merhamet eyle
ulastir menzili dost dost a’laya beni beni dost beni beni

beni beni beni beni sevdigim beni beni
ulastir menzili dost dost a’laya beni beni dost beni beni

kün buyurdun her esyayi yitirdin yali yitirdin
mevcudati kemaline getirdin
yaptin ars’i kürs’ü çiktin oturdun
düsürdün dünyayi dost dost kavgaya beni beni dost beni beni

beni beni beni beni sevdigim beni beni
düsürdün dünyayi dost dost kavgaya beni beni dost beni beni

dertliye tükenmez nice dert verdin ala dert verdin
ne çekmeye sabir ne gayret verdin verdin
ne saltanat verdin ne devlet verdin
ya niçin getirdin dost dost dünyaya beni beni dost beni beni

beni beni beni beni sevdigim beni beni
çok sükür bir dara dost dost yitirdin beni beni dost beni beni

beni beni beni beni sevdigim beni beni
ulastir menzili dost dost a’laya beni beni

dost beni beni
dost beni beni
dost beni beni

From your Door of Benevolence, cast your generosity upon me
Don’t let me mix into the world of matters
Overlook my rebellion, show compassion
Take me, O Friend, to my goal – the ultimate destination

(Take) me me me me, O Beloved, (take) me me
Take me, O Friend, to my goal – the ultimate destination

“Be!” You ordered, and You created every object
You brought the existance to Your perfection
You made the Ninth Heaven a throne, and placed Yourself there
Then you reduced me, O Friend, down into the struggle of the world

(Take) me me me me, O Beloved, (take) me me
You reduced me, O Friend, down into the struggle of the world

You gave unending pain after pain to Dertli* (poet’s nickname, meaning ‘The Painful’)
You gave neither the patience, nor the effort
Neither the reign to him, nor the state
Why on earth, O Friend, have you brought me to this world

(Take) me me me me, O Beloved, (take) me me
Countless thanks, O Friend, you made my way to a safe haven at last

(Take) me me me me, O Beloved, (take) me me
Take me, O Friend, to my goal – the ultimate destination

Source

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Turn Inwards In Truth

Peace, one and all…

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‘And remember your Lord within yourself in humility and in fear without being apparent in speech – in the mornings and the evenings. And do not be among the heedless’ (Quran 7:205)

As I read these words, and apply them to my immediate context, I am reminded to go inside once more, to peer into the darknesses of my own soul, that I might gain insight and awareness. On this path, there are no shortcuts, there are no quick fixes, no easy solutions. Turn inwards truthfully.  Turn inwards in truth.

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O Mu’mine Brate Moj

Peace, one and all…

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 A beautiful nasheed from Bosnia, a long-time favourite of mine.

O mu’mine, brate moj, govorim ti, dobro čuj,
dragom Rabbu ti robuj. La ilahe illallah.

Ćefin će te čekati,u kabur te spustiti,
za din će te pitati. La ilahe illallah.

Farz što ti je dobro znaj, uči Kur’an i slušaj,
abdest uzmi i klanjaj. La ilahe illallah.

U mezaru mračna noć Munkir, Nekir tebi doć’,
od’kle će ti pomoć doć? La ilahe illallah.

Od grijeha bjež’ u kraj, u dunja se ne uzdaj,
u Rabba se pouzdaj. La ilahe illallah.

Klanjaj brate pet-vakat, Rabb će tebi dragi dat’
u Džennetu lijep hajat. La ilahe illallah.

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Ben Melamet Hırkasını

Peace, one and all…

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Ben melamet hırkasını
Kendim giydim eğnime
Ar ü namus şişesini
Taşa çaldım kime ne
Haydar Haydar taşa çaldım kime ne

Sofular haram demişler
Aşkımın şarabına
Ben doldurur ben içerim
Günah benim kime ne
Haydar Haydar günah benim kime ne

Gah çıkarım gökyüzüne
Seyrederim alemi
Gah inerim yeryüzüne
Seyreder alem beni
Haydar Haydar seyreder alem beni

Nesimi’yi sorsalar kim
Yarin ile hoş musun
Hoş olam ya olmayayım
O yar benim kime ne
Haydar Haydar o yar benim kime ne

Source

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Threshold Society: Integral Sufism, London April 2015

Peace, one and all…

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Recordings of the Threshold Society’s April 2015 event on the theme of Integral Sufism.

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Source

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Seb-i Arus & the Sustainer of Humanity

Peace, one and all…

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In Mevlevi tradition 17th December marks Seb-i Arus, or Mevlana’s ‘Wedding Night’ feast, the evening on which he returned to God.  Mevlevis celebrate it as a night of love and remembrance.  This year I was blessed to celebrate Seb-i Arus with a few beautiful dervish friends. We performed a powerful zikr, had a deep spiritual conversation (sohbet), sang songs in praise of the Prophet (as), Mevlana and all the holy ones (awliya, erenler), and prayed together.  This poor one was asked to lead the night prayer (Isha). During the second prayer cycle (rak’at) I felt moved to recite Surah al-Nas, (the Chapter of Humanity), the last chapter of the Quran and a powerful invocation of Divine protection against the whisperings of Satan, and the lower self.  As I performed my recitation, I felt overwhelmed by God’s deep overflowing love for us, as human beings.  ‘I am your Sustainer and Cherisher, I am your Ever-Watchful King, I am your Ever-Loving God. I will always protect you against those who seek to harm you. I am the power of that ignites the Sun, driving away all that is dark.  Take your place within Me. I am enough. I always have been. I always will be’ the Surah seemed to whisper within me.

His love and mercy is an ever-present reality, the living reality behind all realities.  I felt a deep sense of humility at having been allowed to witness this moment, however partially and briefly.  May it sustain this poor one in his struggle towards a true and living human being.  May there be love.

And my last prayer is in praise of God, Sustainer of all the worlds.

Here is a beautiful recitation of this surah, offered in love.

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Abdur Rahman

If You Can’t Yet Be A Lover…

Peace, one and all…

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If you can’t be a Friend,
at least be with them
and if you can’t yet be a Lover,
at least follow their path.

The path is so very long
and time seems always against us,
but what does eternity’s vast expanse mean
when measured against a single drop of His love?

O beautiful one, may your every limitation dissolve,
like mist beneath a swift sunrise.
In the end, if we don’t strive for love’s fullness,
what’s the point?

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Shaykh Kabir Helminski: Patience is Crowned with Faith

Peace, one and all…

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A sohbet with Kabir Dede.

Patience is consent to the present moment; Patience is crowned with faith. Ya Sabur.

True patience comes from the acceptance of the unfolding of time. Most of the time we don’t realize that we are in the world of time. Rather than being content with the present moment we are rushing from one moment to the next, from one situation to the next. The Prophet said, “Haste is of the devil.” This may sound like a rather strong statement, and yet we must search for its real meaning and apply it to our lives. Is our hastiness sometimes a lack of trust, a dissatisfaction with simply being awake in the present moment?

Another hadith tells us: Live for the things of this world as if eternity were before you; and live for the things of the next world (Akhira, eternity) as if you might die tomorrow.

Surah Asr tells us that “everything is in loss,” except those who joined together for the mutual teaching and encouragement of truth and patience.

What benefit can there possibly be in rushing through some moments to get to others? Every moment is the perfect gift of the divine, manifested for our benefit. Moments of difficulty and challenge are moments in which the soul has the potential to develop and awaken new qualities. Knowing this we can be completely open to each moment accepting it as it is with gratitude.

Yet another hadith tells us: “How remarkable the faithful one’s affairs are, and such a condition is only for the faithful: If something good happens, he thanks God and that is to his benefit. If something bad happens, he endures it and that is to his advantage.”

Patience is referred to countless times in the Quran, and one of the central ayats is this one: Seek help in patience and prayer and this is a hard thing for all but the humble in spirit. [2:45]

Waista `aeenoo bi as sabri wa as salah wa innaha lakabeeratun illa `ala al khashi `aeena.

And so the task remains for us: How will we develop patience in more and more aspects of our lives? Imam `Ali said, “I will become so patient that even patience will tire of me.”

Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi expresses the futility of trying to deny and escape the present moment, of refusing to see and accept what is right now. Patience is accepting where we are in the present moment in order to see more clearly, and this leads to what we mean by faith: knowing that grace manifests in all circumstances and that the present moment is the teaching for right now.

Patience Is Crowned with Faith

If you are running away in hope of some relief,
in that direction, too, a calamity comes to meet you.
No corner is without wild beasts;
there is no rest but in the place
where you are alone with God.

Even the narrow cell of this world’s inevitable prison
is not exempt from the charges for visitors
and the cost of a housewarming.

By God, if you flee into a mouse-hole,
you will be afflicted by someone
who has the claws of a cat.

People thrive on fantasy if their fantasies are beautiful,
but if their fancies show anything unlovely
they melt away like wax in front of a fire.

If amid snakes and scorpions
God keeps you with the imaginings
of those who are spiritually fair,
the snakes and scorpions will be friendly to you,
because that imagination is the elixir
that transmutes your copper into gold.

Patience is sweetened by this kind of imagination,
since in this case the imaginings of relief come to mind.
Such relief enters the heart from faithfulness:
weakness of faith is despair and torment.

Patience is crowned with faith—
where one has no patience, one has no faith.
The Prophet said, “God hasn’t given faith to anyone
in whose nature there is no patience.”

[Rumi, Mathnawi II: 590-601, translated by K. & C. Helminski]

God is the most patient of those who are patient, and that is why we call upon Allah to bring forth the patience we have deep within our own essence. And if we are especially fortunate, we may find we have companions on the way of patience, sincere friends with whom to travel this Way.

Qur’an 18:(28) And contain thyself in patience by the side of all who at morn and at evening invoke their Sustainer, seeking His countenance, and let not your eyes pass beyond them in quest of the beauties of this world’s life: and pay no heed to any whose heart We have rendered heedless of all remembrance of Us because he had always followed [only] his own desires, abandoning all that is good and true. (29) And say: “The truth [has now come] from your Sustainer: let, then, him who wills, believe in it, and let him who wills, reject it.”

Source: Threshold Society

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Reza Shah-Kazemi: The Metaphysics of Tawhid and the Consummation of Love in Islam

Peace, one and all…

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I really find Reza Shah-Kazemi’s work inspiring.  This is a beautiful and illuminating discussion.  May it be of benefit.

This lecture was given at Heythrop College, in collaboration with the Matheson Trust.

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