Contemplating ‘And He is with you wherever you are’

Peace, one and all…

Here are a selection of profoundly meditative texts, drawn from a number of sources.  As I contemplate them, I am repeatedly drawn back to the following passage from the Quran:

‘And He is with you wherever you are’ (57:4)

May these texts be of benefit to all who read them.  May all who pass by be blessed.

Text One

‘Look at the chickpea in the pot,
how it leaps up when it feels the fire.
While boiling, it continually rises to the top
and cries, ‘Why are you setting the fire under
me?
Since you bought me, why are you turning me
upside down?’
The housewife keeps hitting it with the ladle.
‘No!’ she says, ‘boil nicely now,
and don’t leap away from the one who makes the
fire.
It’s not because you are hateful to me that I boil
you,
but so that you might gain flavour,
and become nutritious and mingle with essential
spirit.
This affliction is not because you are despised.
When you were green and fresh,
you were drinking water in the garden:
that water-drinking was for the sake of this fire’
(Masnavi 3.4159-4165)

Text Two

‘When love beckons to you, follow him,
though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you, yield to him,
though the sword hidden in his pinions may wound you.
And when he speak to you believe in him,
though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you, so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth, so he is for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest
branches that quiver in the sun,
so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their
clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become
sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
(Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, On Love)

Text Three

‘The beauty of the heart
is the lasting beauty:
its lips give to drink of the water of life.
Truly it is the water, that which pours,
and the one who drinks – all three
become one when your talisman is shattered.
That oneness you can’t know by reasoning’
(Masnavi 2.716-718)

Text Four 

‘Commentary on ‘And He is with
you wherever you are’
So one more time we’ve come back to the tale
– when did we ever take our leave of it?
His gaol is if we come to ignorance,
and if we come to knowledge it’s His palace.
We’re drunk on Him if we succumb to sleep;
we’re in His hands if we remain awake.
If we should weep, we’re clouds of hypocrites,
and if we laugh, then we’re His lightning flash.
And we reflect His wrath in war and anger,
His love in peace and reconciliation.
Who are we in this convoluted world?
Like alef, what’s the point?  No point at all’
(Masnavi 1.1519-1524)

Text/Source Five

Ma’as salama,
Abdur Rahman

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