Monday, February 14, 2011

“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.”

— Henry Miller, Sexus


My Dear Son,

If you understand this tradition, there is no need for too much knowledge. There is also another story to meditate and reflect over.

Hatim Al-Asam was among the friends of Shaqiq Al-Balkhi (may Allah have mercy on them both). One day Shaqiq asked Hatim: "You have kept my company for thirty years; what have you gained in the course of these years?" Hatim replied: "I have gained eight benefits from the knowledge which is sufficient for me. I hope my salvation and safety are embodied in them." Shaqiq asked Hatim to mention them. Hatim Al-Asam said:

'The first benefit is that I observed the creation and saw that everyone had a loved one and one passionately desired whom he loved and longed for. Some of the beloved accompany the lover up to the brink of sickness and death and others to the gate of the graveyard. All of them return and leave him there alone. No one goes into the tomb with him. I looked into the matter and said to myself: 'The best beloved is that which would enter the tomb with the lover to console him'; I found it to be nothing else than good works, so I took this as my beloved, to illuminate my grave for me and to comfort me in it and not leave me alone.

The second benefit is that I saw that people were following their lusts and hastening towards the desires of the souls; and I meditated on the saying of the Exalted: "But as for whoever has feared the majesty of his Lord and has refrained his soul from lust, truly the Garden shall be his dwelling place." (Surah Al Naziyat 79: v40-41) I Convinced that the Qur'an was true and right, I began to deny my soul [its pleasures] and hurried to combat it and refuse it its passionate desires, until it enjoyed real satisfaction in obedience to Allah the Exalted.

The third benefit is that I saw that every human being trying his best to accumulate as much as he can from the wreckage of this world and then holding on strongly to it. I meditated on the Qur'anic verse: "What is with you must vanish; what is with Allah must endure." (Surah Al Nahl 16: v96) So I gave freely my worldly possessions for His sake by distributing them among the poor so that it would be my provision in the future with Him the Exalted.

The fourth benefit is that some people whom I observed think that their dignity and honour lie in the multitude of their family and large clans. They were fascinated by these things. Others claimed honour and dignity in abundance of wealth and children and they were proud of it. Some believed honour and power abide in appropriating the wealth of others, doing injustice to them and shedding their blood. Others considered dignity to consist of extravagance and spending wealth in a foolish manner. I meditated upon the saying of the Exalted: "The most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you." (Surah Al Hujurat 49: v13) I chose righteousness for myself, convinced that the Qur'an is right and true and those claims and opinions of the people are all false and temporal.

The fifth benefit is that I found the people slandering each other and speaking ill of one another out of envy of fortune, power and knowledge. I meditated upon the saying of Allah: "It is We who divide their livelihood among them in the life of this world." (Surah Al Zukhruf 43: v32) I realised that the process of dividing livelihood is entirely in the hands of Allah since the beginning of time. Therefore I never envied anyone and was satisfied with the distribution of Allah the Exalted.

The sixth benefit is that I saw people becoming enemies of each other for different reasons. I meditated upon the saying of the Exalted: "Verily Satan is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy." (Surah Fatir 35: v6) I became aware that enmity with anyone but Satan was not permissible.

The seventh benefit is that I saw everyone working very hard, exhausting himself to obtain food and sustenance, tempted by doubts and forbidden things. They degrade themselves in humiliation. I pondered over the saying of the Exalted: "There is no moving creature on earth but its sustenance dependent on Allah." (Surah Hud 11: v6) I knew that my livelihood is guaranteed by Allah the Exalted so I engaged myself in worship and cut off my covetousness of all else, other than He.

The eight benefit is that I saw that everyone relied on some created thing, some on the dinar and dirham, some on wealth and property, some on trade and craft and some on creatures like themselves. I meditated upon the saying of the Exalted: "And whosoever places his reliance on Allah, sufficient is [Allah] for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose. Verily for all things has Allah appointed a due proportions." (Surah Al Talaq 65: v3) I therefore placed full trust in Allah the Exalted. He is sufficient for me and He is the best Disposer of affairs.'

At this point Shagiq said: "May Allah bless you and grant you success. I looked into the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Zabur and the Qur'an and have found that the four books revolve around these eight benefits. Whoever works according to them is working according to these four books."

(Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali - Dear Beloved Son)

Thursday, February 3, 2011


O Allåh! O You who are the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, In You I establish my protection: shelter me with the shielding, protective sufficiency and safeguarding, the reality and proof, the stronghold and security of In the Name of Allåh.

Admit me, O You who are the First and Last, to the hidden domain of the unknowable, secret and encompassing treasure of As Allåh wills! There is no power save in Allåh.

Unfurl over me, O You who choose Clemency [over censure], who Veil in Protection,66 the sheltering wing, the covering veil, the preservation and deliverance of Hold fast to the bond of Allåh.

Build around me, O You who are the All-Encompassing,the All-Powerful, the secure, encircling wall, the glorious canopy, the might and majesty of That is better, that is of the signs of Allåh.

Place me under Your protection, O You who are Observant [of all needs] and Responsive [to all requests]: preserve my soul and faith, my family and children, my home and estate, through the watchfulness, protectiveness and timely relief and
assistance of But [Satan] will not hurt them anything, save by the leave of Allåh.

Shield me, O You who Protect [from corruption] and Repel [all evil], by Your Names, Verses and Words, from the evil of Satan and of the powerful, such that if an oppressor or tyrant treats me unjustly, he will be taken by An enveloping chastisement of Allåh.

Deliver me, O You who Abase [those who would set themselves above You] and who Avenge [without pardon], from Your iniquitous slaves who wrong me and from their minions, such that if one of them intends me ill, Allåh will forsake him,
Setting a seal upon his hearing and his heart, and laying a cover on his seeing. Who then will guide him, after Allåh?

Protect me, O You who Seize and Vanquish, from their treacherous deception: repel them from me censured, driven away in blame and routed, through the damaging, corrupting and destruction in And there was no host to help him, apart from Allåh.

Let me taste, O You who are Ever Glorified and Praised,Ever Sanctified and Holy, the sweet delight and intimate converse of Come forward and fear not; for surely you are among those who are secure in the shelter of Allåh.

And let them taste, O You who inflict Harm and take away Life, the exemplary punishment, the evil consequences and annihilation in So the last remnant of the people who did evil was cut off. Praise belongs to Allåh.

Make me safe, O You who are Peace of Perfection, the Giver of Security, from the sudden sorties of the enemy forces, through the aim of the beginning of the verse For them are good tidings in the life of this world and in the hereafter. There is no changing the words of Allåh.

Crown me, O You who are the Sublimely Magnificent, the One who Raises in Honour, with the crown of the awesome grandeur, the majestic dominion, the sovereignty, might and magnificence of And do not let their saying grieve you. Indeed the honour and glory belong to Allåh.

Clothe me, O You who are Solicitous in Benevolent Majesty, the Incomparably Great, in the robe that renders the august majesty, complete perfection and attentive solicitude in And when they saw him, they so admired him that they cut their hands,
saying ‘May we be saved by Allåh!’.

Bring down upon me, O You who are the Eminent in Affection, the Constant in Love, love [extended] from You, so that through it the hearts of Your servants will be guided to me, yielding to me with love, affectionate and unwavering, from the filling with love, the softening of hearts and the coming into loving union in They love them as if it were love for Allåh, but those who believe are more ardent in love for Allåh.

Show upon me, O You who are the Manifest and Hidden, traces of the luminous mysteries of He loves them and they love Him: [they are] soft towards the believers, hard on the unbelievers, striving in the path of Allåh.

Turn my face, O Allåh, O You who are the Eternal Refuge, the Essential Light, with the sheer purity, beauty, intimacy and illumination of So if they dispute with you, say, ‘I have surrendered myself to Allåh’.

Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad? Alice: I am afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.
-Alice In Wonderland (Movie)