Mercy: A Recent Sohbet

Peace, one and all…

The text of another recent sohbet. Our theme during this meeting was mercy, and in particular, its beloved embodiment, the Messenger of God (as).

May the hearts of the lovers be opened.

Indeed, a messenger has come to you from your selves. Dear to him are your struggles and suffering, watchful and caring [is he, and] tender and unconditionally loving with those of Iman (9:128)

And [O Prophet,] We have sent you only as unconditional love towards all the worlds. (21:107)

The Prophet said, “O people,
to you I am compassionate and kind as a father,
Because you all are parts of me.”
(Masnavi 3.1935)

Mustafa said, “Happy he that has seen me
and he that looks at him that saw my face.”
When a lamp has derived light from a candle,
every one that sees it certainly sees the candle.
If transmission occurs in this way till a hundred lamps,
the seeing of the last becomes a meeting with the original.
Either take with your soul from the hindmost light—
there is no difference—or from the candelabrum.
Either behold the light from the lamp of the last,
or behold His light from the candle of those who have gone before.
(Masnavi 1.1945-1950)

Anna Rohleder: Lover Letter to Muhammad (as) 8

Dearest M,

Before I came to Islam, the only story I’d ever heard about you was about your cat. The story goes that she was sleeping on your prayer robe, and you cut off one of the sleeves rather than disturb her…..
……Now: this story about the cat. The standard versions I’ve read doesn’t ring quite true to me. Here’s what I imagine really happened. You had a pet cat; that we know. I think she had a habit of sleeping
on your clothes. Maybe one of your wives complained about it, or tried to shoo the cat off, and you interrupted with a joke. “That robe – ah, it belongs to the cat now,” I see you smiling.
Then, instead of cutting the sleeve off – something I find it hard to imagine you doing, since you had so few clothes to begin with, and you were assiduous about mending them yourself – you
would have left the cat sleeping. Maybe you said you would rather cut the robe than disturb her, and borrowed one from someone else for the prayer. (And maybe the person who hastened to loan you
his own robe on that occasion was the eccentric cat man himself among your retinue: Abu Hurairah, “father of the kitten”.)

I see you teaching with the cat in your lap – stroking her fur, and rubbing her whiskered cheeks. They say you admired cats for their cleanliness. I think you also appreciated their air of independence. Part
of your message to all creatures (including the jinn, let’s not forget!) was to embody the dignity of the Divine creation. I understand that to mean taking care of the flesh that the soul inhabits, like the hermit crab in its shell, but not to get stuck or hide inside such a rigid form of identity. Dwelling in the joy of being alive is to sing the great song of becoming: to take wing and fly while still in the world, just as a creature as huge as a whale can leap and transcend its own element. To feel and to know and be grateful for one’s own beauty is all the Creator asks of any of us, I think. You were able to do that, my dear, but with full human consciousness and free will: to be the treasure, and to love to be known. Your message was an inspiration for all of us to make that choice for ourselves; to surrender to Allah’s overwhelming love and acceptance and give our whole being in worship in return, without holding anything back – not even so much as the sleeve of a prayer robe. Sitting at your feet as you teach, feeling your voice in my bones,



I wonder did my Prophet
ever see the snow,
flakes fresh from heaven
dancing here below?
Perhaps in the caravans–
whither did they go?
I wonder did my Prophet
ever see the snow?
I think that my Prophet
would have smiled at the snow;
light upon light
that the heart longs to know;
spotless as the desert
where feet fear to go.
I think that my Prophet
would have smiled at the snow.
I almost hear my Prophet say,
Huuu! to the snow.
Earth, water, air:
all in white they now go;
and don as one a veil,
their naked truth to show.
I almost hear my Prophet say,
Huuu! to the snow.

By Daniel Dyer

A Talent is Needed…

What prevents someone in coming to the presence of the great ones, into their gatherings, is a lack of aptitude. Capacity is needed, receptivity is needed, and freedom from busyness with the world is
necessary in order for such a visit to bear fruit. Those who visit with real need, even if they are deficient, still, their visits won’t be wasted. But one has to make an effort to improve oneself. In some I don’t see the
hope of improvement–that they might wake up before they regret the opportunity that they have lost.

(Rumi’s Sun- The Teaching of Shams of Tabriz – Translated by Camille Ana and Refik Algan)

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