Monday, March 21, 2011

Auntie Nab, Rabia & Salman in Jerusalem - Umrah Pilgrimage Part 7

(If unclear, please click on picture)

Rabi'ah al-'Adawiyah. She is a saint. Perhaps the most well known and revered of woman saints in the lore of the wise masters and their foolish students.

Auntie Nab. I have heard of her of course. A couple of years back after my mother passed away, I spent time with an old, old friend of my mother, Auntie Nab. She is an integral part of my life because she was the ‘matchmaker’ between my mom and dad. I guess you could say that without Auntie Nab’s timely intervention, I may have never been born.

Auntie Nab is a reader and admirer of Rabia. Women are often fond of Rabia because she always has something to say about man and our weaknesses – exposing our little petty vanities for the world to take lesson (and often giggle at). Like this story…

Hasan and Rabia.
One day, Hasan al-Basri (ancient big-time saint and contemporary of Rabia) made a point to visit Rabia. But he did not take the bus, neither did he walk, ride a camel or any of the many mundane ways of transport available to him in those days. Hassan flew. Saints get to do this magical stuffs once in a while. Rabia was outdoor when Hassan came swooping down like an angel from heaven. And as he was descending, Rabia called unto him, saying, “O’ Hasan, even birds can fly!”

Jerusalem. Such is Rabia that she even has things (many, many, many things, in fact) to say to God Himself. I hope I shall be visiting her soon. Her maqam (tomb) is near Jerusalem (or maybe in Jerusalem?), and it is part of the itinerary of the tour for Tuesday. Am I excited? I am, but being it is Rabia herself, I am approaching her with deference (and not a little caution). It is always a good idea for men to be circumspect and careful when dealing with women, especially women saints.

Salman al-Farsi. On the same day we shall also be visiting the maqam of Salman al-Farsi, a great and beloved Companion of the Prophet. My hands trembled when I read the itinerary because I know him. He is a wonderful human being… a true Lover of the Beloved of God.

Have a lovely Monday, sunshine. Today, I am a traveler.

Pax Taufiqa.

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