Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jelaluddin Rumi, Mikhail, God, Sincerity, Roti Canai and the Rain

2. On the Scale of al-Amin II
O’ seeker, be sincere,
Do not use our secrets
To make you negligent of your worldly duties,
Nor to put obstacles in your worldly affairs.

As Mevlana Rumi once said,
"Worldliness is only forgetting God,
It is not having a family or goods."

And seeker,
There is nothing more worldly than insincerity!
From the 6th chapter entitled ‘The Scale’, circa 2004


Saturday morning is a good wet morning. And I took the opportunity to take Mikhail out for breakfast. Here he is, still in his pajamas. He had roti canai (which is something similar to roti prata). But it was cooked by a Malay and not an Indian Muslim so it is different. It is not so crispy and it is very yellow. I don’t know why it is so yellow. It looks like someone accidentally tipped a cup of turmeric into the batter.

The path is not about abandonment of the world. It is not about sacrificing your ambition and dreams. There are many amongst us who could claim that they have abandoned worldliness. But many of us never had much to begin with and perhaps have not tasted the vast beauty and wealth that Dunia (the world) has to offer. Not so much of a sacrifice is it?

It is not smart for seekers to pack their bags, burn their academic certificates and suddenly turn into a wandering hermit. The fact is there are two types of people in the world - the rich and the poor, the prosperous and the needy. Do you really want to be the poor and needy? Forever in need of assistance? Can you bear the great tribulation of envy? Can you carry the mountain of hope? Would you be able to drink the Sea of Self-Doubt as you look at your children and wonder if your earnings will keep them in clothes and food? While a friend is able to take his wife and children on a holiday, what will you say to your youngest child when she says that she wants to go to Disney World too? Or even to the local funfair?

So do not burn your dreams and ambitions on the funeral pyre of your hubris. God doesn't want that. I keep hearing in my ears, an angel (mosquito-sized) cautioning me again and again - We do not want you to change. To be some sorta super-dervish. Our expectations are much more attainable. We want you to be the best that you can be. To walk the world and seek its riches and bounties. To marry and raise a family. To be happy with God and with that person that you call ‘me’.

Mika says he is not like “Tarzan, Lord of the Apes”. He doesn’t want to go about shirtless, he is shy that way. Instead, he rather be “Mikhail, Lord of the Moneys”. He likes having money, he likes spending money and he (will) like earning it. He is material-inclined. But he doesn’t worry me at all. Because above all things, I teach him that God and Prophet (the Boss) is the Best of All.

So this rainy Saturday morning, I took Mikhail out for breakfast. And as the rain fell from heaven, we ate, happy in each other’s company. And I did not forget God this time. How can I, when He has given me the happiest joy of my life? My little boy.

So I leave you today with thoughts of Jelaluddin Rumi, Mikhail, God, sincerity, roti canai and the rain.


Have a beautiful Saturday, sunshine.

Pax Taufiqa.

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