Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Carbon Footprints of Muhammad

Muhammad was the first
To leave carbon footprints,
Long ago he wandered across
The desert of my heart,

Leaving behind diamonds
Twinkling like stars
In the night sky,

One was called Abu Bakar,
Another Omar, the third was Usman,
The fourth, Ali, Hassan, Hussein
And thereafer more
And more and

Prose is from current and untitled chapter. It is a flower from the lore of Sufis that the Companions of the Prophets, are like the stars in the desert twilight, follow any one of them, and surely he will lead you to the Prophet, to God, to Love.
So, I beg you, as one tired wanderer to another, look for the stars, high in the celestial sky, or in the closeness of your own heart... they are there, all of them.
For if God can be contained in the heart of a true believer, what more His Friends and Saints?!
Pax Taufica.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Ocean in the Infinitely Greater Sea

I am the soul,
I am the ocean,

Older than the blessed Angels am I,
And the life you live
Is but a passing second
Of my wave crashing upon
A mortal shore.

A little of my light is with you,
While I am an ocean, swimming like a drop
In the Infinitely Greater Sea,

Kissing the feet of Ahmad,
Prostrated as I am,
Before the Divine Throne.
No.13 from the chapter entitled 'What is in your Basket?' Completed in 31st May 2005.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Even the mightiest of trees began life in a tiny little seed

That’s my son, Mikhail. I guess he would love to accompany me almost anywhere. So long as there is something in it for him. Once he said to me, “Papa, if you love someone, you would die for that someone!” Precocious, isn’t he? Anyhow, I was curious as to his new-found romantic sensibility and asked, “Well, Mika, who would you die for?” He was thoughtful for a second and replied, “Anyone, Papa. Anyone really.” I was just thinking how much we can learn from a mere child, but then he continued, “So long as they pay me!

I asked Mika why he doesn’t tidy up after himself in my house. Monetizing the issue, he replied, “You know, Papa, I would, if you pay me RM10 every day.” I counter-argued, “Mika, maybe you should be the one paying me. After all, I pay your teacher who teaches you twice a week in Kumon. But I teach you everyday to be a good boy.” Without batting an eyelid, my son replied, “Papa, you will get paid when you get to heaven.” I have apparently conceived a religious capitalist.

He is also a strong advocate of the gold standard. He once shared with his long-suffering grandmother his monetary views, “You know what, Nenek? I don’t like paper money anymore. Do you know they are worthless? I like gold now. Gold lasts forever.” Then he finally notices the gold pendant that his grandmother always wears and exclaimed, “Hey! Is that gold?

He suffers quite a bit, being my son. Again and again, I would question him, “Who is your boss, Mika?". And without fail his answer would be, “God and Nabi Muhammad”, Or sometimes, a little impatiently, “Nabi Muhammad and God, Papa!” I like to ask him simply because I love his answer, and he gives me the same reply because he knows I like it. He is thoughtful that way.

Mika is also a religious innovator. In the nursery game of scissors-paper-stones which he often plays with Heche, he would create alternative hand gestures, which includes a bazooka, ten thousand bazookas, or infinity times bazookas. Sometimes it can also be a universe-sized dinasour or robot. Heche can still win against him though, if she can think fast. But in the end, she inevitably loses when Mika brings out the biggest gun in his arsenal and cries out “God and Nabi Muhammad!”. He doesn’t like to lose, my son.

Mika has five cousins but I think he is most fond of the youngest boy, Rafael. He told me one day, “I love Rafael, Papa, even though he sometimes bites me.” I then asked him, “If Ralf likes to bite you, why do you love him?”. He replied, “Because. Papa, he’s the best bolster!

I do not think I will win Dad of the Year award. But Mika will always be Son of the Year to me. Often I would ask him, “Who’s my best boy?” To which he always replies, “Me.” Then I would ask him why. With a world-weary sigh he would give the same explanation, “Because I am your only son, Papa…

Kahlil Gibran, that old Lebanese lover-boy once wrote that our children are like arrows which we must ultimately shoot from our bows to take flight according to their whim and desires, to fly in the hands of God/Love that we must trust best. It is hard to let go, I know. But are we ever in control even of our own fate?

I look at my son and try not to worry too much. Because in all the children born from my generation, I discern a glimmer of promise more promising than their parents, wisdom beyond their years, and an inner grace incubating in a small and seemingly fragile figure. But even the mightiest of trees began life in a tiny little seed.

Thank you for reading my ramblings today.

Pax Taufica.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Me, you, who? Acts of High Treason against the Conscience

Who God is,
Depends on
How you perceive Him.

How you perceive Him
Depends on
Who you are.

But whoever
You may be,
There is only
One God.

So does this mean
That whoever
You may be,
You are me
And I… am you?

The Oneness of God is a condition of unity in the plurality of mankind. This is no high theological statement, but a grease that serves to smooth the tensions and irritations which we face in our daily interactions, as each of us pursue our individual ambition, hope and desires.

So long as I consider the other person as ‘the other’,
So long as I perceive the existence of me and you,
So long as I place my desires above any other,
Please pinch me with great vigour,
Because I, Taufiq, have not yet
Heartfully accept that there
Is only the One God.

Nor do I truly understand
The Message or the

For I have not enthroned
The Conscience as
The Pilot of my
So, forgive me. I have been selfish in my interactions with you. For truly, I know that the hurt I cause, the unfairness that I have dealt to you, the empathy that I lacked, and the anger I exhibited are all acts of High Treason against the Conscience, Muhammad Habibullah.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Gates of Love

Love is not all joy.
It is also to learn how to cry.
So disdain not sadness,
For of all the gates of the House,
It is through Love
That sadness enters
And departs.
If you want to love, you must learn tears and sorrow. Sadness and bleak tomorrows. I have cried my fair share, but when weighed in comparison, my cup of joy floweth over...
Smiling, laughing or crying, if it is in the name of Muhammad, Habibullah, the Red Rose in the Garden of Creation, it is all worth it. Nay, its worth will only be understood later, when you and I meet and greet on top of Mount Qaf. Until then, Salams!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A most Christian view on the whirling dervishes

I shan't write anything now, as I am currently working on a sketch which should be ready tomorrow. But if you aspire to an understanding of understanding, I bid you visit Nun Tuck's Almanac. Today, she has written a short commentary on whirling dervishes. I have always found her postings a rollicking good read. Catherine is a Christian theologian who doesn't permit theology to distract her in the path of love and truth.

God is raining an ocean of mercy from the sky above our heads And really, when I look up, I see only one sky, one heaven, one truth.
God Bless all you merry men (and women) of Sherwood Forest! Hurrah for the Green Sheikh!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Your Name is ....

When sunlight grows dim,
And shadows creep closer,

As truth becomes weak,
And lies get bolder,

When the horde of my enemy,
Hiding in the valley,
Count their victories,
Against me.

A dispatch,
Returning from the front,
Brings terrible news,
To the mutinous crew,

“We have been doubly deceived!
He still lives.
And he is not who he says he is!”
A little explanation about the prose - It was recorded in August 2004 and is a regular mystic-centric hobnob about man, his struggle with his ego, and the final salvation which is secured by the man leading a sort of double existence - for we believe that our soul has been divided, to exist before the Divine Presence, and only a small ray of our light is inhabiting our body to struggle through life's many twists and turns. Foremost in our life struggle is the unending fight to tame our ego - ergo that bit about "the horde of my enemy...". But ultimately, in the finality of Time, God has to win, His Prophet has to win. That is the assurance sanctified by our soul continuing to be in the Divine Presence. For however often our ego may triumph over our conscience ("count their victories against me..."), it is nay but a small part of our soul - the name(s) of whom is kept secret by the Keepers of Names. So how can the Ego and the Enemy ever win if they do not even know who they are contesting against? - "he is not who he says he is..."
There are still Keepers wandering the earth, who have your names in their keeping. Safe and secure from your own vagaries and indiscretions. But perhaps you already know at least one of your original names... How fortunate are you! Happy Birthday!
But be careful too! Because however happy the ending, you and I, we are still stuck here, and we need to complete our respective journey well... My friend, If you go by the high road, I shall to follow you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Take My Hand (Or statements of the blinding obvious)

O’ Lord of the Ends and the In-betweens!

Take my hand and lead me where Thou pleases!

For Thou surely do it already anyway!

(No.17 'wa rida nafsihi', from the chapter entitled "What is in your basket?", completed 31.05.05)
I guess the plea is redundant, since God does it regardless. But I like to write the obvious. Indeed, if 'statements of the blinding obvious' is exorcised from my writings, I would probably end up with only a quarter left to peddle. Hehehe.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Secret Foolish Ambition

It is a secret ambition

Of my life to become

More and more foolish,

And by God,

How I am succeeding!
(No. 86, from chapter entitled "Just Between You and Me", Feb 2009)
I don't want to be so foolish. But I cannot help it. Doing foolish things, and thinking the most ridiculous of thoughts, and writing them down (like right now) appears to be fated for me. Many times, I have found myself at the corner of the classroom, commanded to quietly contemplate the errors of my ways. But often too, I would hear a whisper in my ears, comforting me and saying, "Don't worry, Taufiq. If you are a fool, and if you are a sinner, you are still my fool and my sinner."
Between streaks of tears that were running down my cheek, I would then smile. But I am also careful not to let teacher see me smiling. It would be misinterpreted.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Absent in the Past, Present and Future

When I think of the past, I visit it,
And when I return to the present
I leave a little of myself behind
To contemplate the past further.

When I think of the future, I visit it,
And when I return to the present
I leave a little of myself behind
To contemplate the future further.

When I contemplate Love, I visit Him,
But Love refuses to grant leave of me,
So I am ever in contemplation of Him,
And am in truth now
Absent from my past, present and future.

So who is typing all these words now?

Ooh… I don’t know!


No.14, from the chapter entitled "Just Between You and Me", completed on 25th February 2009. Just another one of those riddles that I am fond of confounding myself with...
Its been a rainy, rainy day today, and waking up on this wet, wet Friday morning was really, really difficult. But it has been a good day overall, peacefully Taufiq, or as the Romans may have put it, Pax Taufiqa.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I am a Congress of Atoms

I am a congress of atoms,
Called upon to bear witness
Upon the Creator of atoms,

Once before, my atoms
Were formed to be very
Different things and persons,
Part of a tree perhaps,
Or a flaming fountain
Of a distant star,
Or a wavering wave
Of an ancient lake.

Then as now, my atoms
Continue to form and unform
In many trillion ways
As my Lord may
Infinitely dream,

And only my soul
Is real, living and
Possessing life
For a brief

I am my Lord’s dream
In this world of form,
As you are.

If we talk then,
Is it mere words
You hear through
The reverberations of
Molecules in the air?
If we kiss then,
Is it merely pressure
That you feel upon
Your nectar lips?

I look into your eyes then,
But is it merely light that
I see reflected in them?

I have seen eternity,
I have spoken without speaking,
And our lips interlocked
In an ocean of honey stolen
From the bees of paradise,
So do not ask me anymore, o’ love,
Whether I love honey or not.
For we are all lost in God
And His Thoughts.


Another prose recorded in October 2009, in the chapter entitled 'How Beautiful Love is'.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Teddy Bears and Sweet Gentle Walks

It is a heady draught
For you to drink here,
Forget what you thought
To be true and plain,
For after the first glass,
Nothing shall ever
Be the same.

Not in the smiles
That we share
Nor the tears
Wept by our

Not in the whiles
That we talk,
Nor the promises
Made in our sweet gentle walks.


A sighing verse, plucked from the chapter entitled 'How Beautiful Love is', circa October 2009.

Picture is courtesy of Panoramio.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nameless and Anonymous

Were I good,
Rest assured
I would not be writing.

I would be silent,
Nameless and anonymous
As a raindrop.

This is a prose entitled 'Take me not as a master' recorded circa 2007. It is an important note for me, for it clearly illustrates my predicament. It is easier to write, but much more harder to do. The 'nameless and anonymous' bit comes as nothing new in Muslim lore, and was said many times before by scripture worthies like Abu Bakar, the Prophet's shadow and Mary, blessed mother of Jesus.

I am not of such ilk. Rather, I look to others, my parents, my family and friends, and in them, I see the virtue of simply being good. Nice. Not desiring to change the world, but merely to better themselves. But perhaps, by changing ourselves, we change the world. And there lies another perfume scented from an ocean of sweetness that I cannot comprehend, but daily it laps on the shore of my heart... Ah, how nice it feels to be in love.

Thank you all, for allowing me to share a little in your perfume. It is intoxicating, and more beautiful than anonymity.

Salams, and Godbless.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What is in a name or word? THE MEANING...

i do not worship idols
made of stone or wood
Nor do i pray to gods
cast in a name or word.
A couple of months back, Malaysia was beset with the ‘Allah’ controversy. A public debate arising from a court application by the Herald in East Malaysia for the right to use ‘Allah’ in reference to God in that Catholic publication.

The above prose and sketch were recorded in those troubling days when politicians and pundits were talking about ‘the god that the Christians worship’ and ‘the god that the Muslims worships’- strange and worrying phrases coming from believers reputed to be super-duper monotheists.

I am not comfortable with such notions. I am one of those old fashion monotheists who believe that, in truth, everyone prays to the One God, whether you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian or whatever.

But who cares what I think…,

I am after all, just a sinner.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Mum & Mika (Ramadan & Syawal)

Ramadhan left, leaving me
In the cradle of Syawal,
And though pleased with
My new nursemaid,
I will miss my old one
And look forward
To see her again,
Next year.


Earlier today, I accompanied my aunt to visit her sister's grave. Her late sister had a wonderful zest for life, and though she has passed on, to me she is as real, or perhaps even more real than me. She was known to be kind and generous, tolerant and merciful. My son, Mikhail who accompanied us, dutifully helped to wipe her tombstone. She also happens to be my mother.
On this Eidul Fitri of 2010, my thoughts wander afar. Drifting in the sweet memory of my mum. Then, I look at my son, and my heart is filled with hope for the future which will be his promise.

May God bless your past and future, your parents and your children. For you and I, we are but a link between two golden chain.

Salams and Eid Mubarak!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

You are just being polite. Don't worry.

This is in reply to Shal's (aka Sheikh Feisal) comment on yesterday's posting entitled 'RUN from this world'. I actually drew this way back in 2007. I knew that if I waited long enough, there would be a use for this cartoon. Hehehe. I am indebted to you, Shal.

Salam Ramadan, my friends. Just 3 days to go.

Monday, September 6, 2010

RUN from this world!

Ho, Taufiq! Run from this world,
And this world will
Run after you!,
Said my Master.

"I am, I am!",
I replied, huffing
And puffing my
Way away.

"But why do you
Keep glancing back?"
Queried my Master.

"I don't want to waste all
My effort, Master."
I answered.

"I just want to be

Sure that the world
Is indeed chasing after me."

This oft-quoted Sufi saying (in the first para above) always makes me wonder. If we are always running away from the world, how do we know that the world is indeed chasing us?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A deeply PERSONAL thinGY stuffs...

Love puts bread on the table,
Love puts the roof over our heads,
Love is the cure to all
Our sorrows and

Love is perfect,
But we are imperfect,
So we become torn,
Pulled left to right,
Front and back.

If man were perfect,
What need would he
Have for love from
Anyone at all?

Imperfection is
The Lord's gift
That compels us
To seek Him...,

That compels us
To seek Each other.

So do not despair,
And say not unto me,
That our Lord
Does not

And ask not of God,
That HE be contented
With us,
When we are not
Contented with Him...

Oh my Love,...
By my words
I am undone.

Forgive Me.
From current and untitled chapter
This is really my first ever 'live' posting. The verse, as in most truths, is related to me in hindsight, from a series of sms-es. The contentment with God portion is however an earlier conversation between the saintly Rabi'ah al-'Adawiyah and Sufyan al-Thawri. It is an old, old tale, but the morale appears to fit in here nicely. Don't you agree?

The truth is, when I speak of love, I shame the word, as I am unworthy. But God has given me eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to feel and hands to write with. And I guess I am meant to share it with you, my pretties. May God, Who has given me all these though I am unworthy, grace your days and nights in sweet solace. For I know that you at least, you are worthy!


Friday, September 3, 2010

The Apparent and the Hidden

I did not bring the Quran to you,
I peeled your skin and read the Quran
That was in you already,

I did not bring Muhammad to you,
You spoke and I heard Muhammad
That was in you already,

I did not bring the angels to you,
I came and saw that they were your
Faithful companions already,

The constant source of wonder to me
Is that you realize these not yourselves
(Prose from chapter entitled "These Words", completed during the Eidul Fitri in Nov 2004.)
I am constantly amazed by people I meet and know. Their nobility and courage humble me. Their kindness and patience shame me. I don't say it often enough, so I shall confess here that you, you and you... and of course you and you too, you are all simply amazing.
And the fact that you are oblivious of your own virtues, make you all the more lovely to me. May God shower His blessings on you, all this holy month. Ameen.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why you often fall in love...

Your heart has no straight lines,
That is why you keep on falling.
(From current and untitled chapter). Falling is easy, my friends. Especially when you are trying to keep your balance on such a curvy shape as the human heart. That is why I think the heart is heart-shaped. May you fall, and fall well this Ramadan.
Postscript 5 hours later: Verse is an Addendum but in fact the original. The earlier posted verse reads - 'Falling in love is so easy, when your heart is so curvy'. Choose whichever suits your mood.