Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Shining Lanterns, the Mother of All Jihad and the Garden of God

198. Bright Lantern
If you are given a shining lantern,
But persist in wandering with your eyes shut,
Do not then say to God
That you are still stumbling in the dark.

When I wrote this in May 2004, the ‘shining lantern’ I had in mind was the Al Quran and the Sunnah (Traditions of the Prophet). It still is, but 6 years of ups and downs have led me to further elaboration. My tiny heart now thinks that...

The Shining Lantern also means
1. Your Heart / Conscience
2. Other Hearts / Conscience

YOUR HEART. I think that we always need light to shine into the darkness of ignorance. After all, you cannot read without light. So go ahead, switch on the table-lamp. But do not forget to switch on the light of your Conscience and your Heart. For without the inner light, we will be prone to misunderstand our religion (and everything else, really). And we may fall into those who bring our religion’s name into calumny and disrepute – defaming the beautiful lives and lessons of our prophets by our heartless action. History is packed with such examples. Don’t join this miserable statistic.

OTHER HEARTS. As a ridiculous sinner, I cannot depend entirely on my heart. I am not blaming my heart, I simply get confused between my heart and my ego who often disguises itself as my heart. So I look to others, who are mighty and valiant in the neverending war – that Mother of All Jihad – the struggle for our heart to overcome and subdue our ego. These mighty Soldiers of Love are all around me. They are all around you too – they are your beloved family and friends. People who love you and whom you look up to. Your Dad - your mother, your favourite Uncle Joe (no, not the plumber), Mahadevan the teacher, Munim the Yemeni, and Moses the Cat.

199. The Smart Enemy
The Greater Struggle skirmishes
In the hearts of men.
Therein the enemy sends his most senior generals,
Wasting not his best warriors for lesser feuds,
Why are we not as wise?

So I will see you there, friends! In your heart and in my heart – entwined in the Garden of God. Together, you and I, we will saddle our ego and hand the bridle to our heart. And if my horsemanship is poor, please… help me.

Have a wonderful Sabbath, sunshine.

Pax Taufiqa.

Footnote: Both poems are from Chapter 1, ‘The Dam.SunSun.Ana’ (circa mid 2004).

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