Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Abu Bakar, Muhammad, the Gunny Sack and Gabriel Part 1 - Origin of Whirling

55. Attachments, expectations and satisfaction
Without attachment
There would be
No expectation.

Without expectation
There would be
No dissatisfaction.

But if you cannot be displeased,
Verily, you can never be pleased,
And was not Abu Bakar
Pleased with God?

So have attachments and expectations,
For that state is demanded of you.

Say... though you find
It difficult still to believe, that...

"I have no expectations but God,
And Muhammad is the
Messenger of my Expectation."

"I have no attachment but God,
And Muhammad is the
Messenger of my Attachment."

THE WHIRLING. It is one story that the Sufis whirl because Abu Bakar whirled. And this is how (it is said) to have happened...

HE GAVE AWAY EVERYTHING. When the Meccans arrived in Medina, the Prophet organised a Baitul Mal (Public Treasure) to provide assistance to the Muhajirins (Literally 'the Immigrants' - meaning the Meccans who followed the Prophet to Medina to escape the persecution by the Quraish in Mecca). Answering the call of Muhammad, the Ansars (Literally "the Helpers" - meaning the local Medinans who are providing support and shelter to the Muhajirins) and Muhajirins both donated whatever they could afford from their wealth or poverty. But above all was Abu Bakar, who donated beyond what he could afford, even down to the clothes on his back. So on that auspicious day, Abu Bakar, most close companion to Muhammad Beloved of God, literally had nothing, not even the clothes on his back.

THE GUNNY SACK AND THE ANGELS. But he can't stay hidden indoors forever, and he wanted to meet the Prophet. So alone in the little house that accommodated him, Abu Bakar happily found some ragged gunny sack and had the bright idea of stitching up some robe or cloth that he may be able to wear. He was unaware that as he commenced his sewing, he was being watched from afar. A congregation of Angels earlier saw him donating everything he ever had, and they were awed by his selfless generosity, "Oh what glorious soul, oh what magnificent specimen of mankind..." they intoned. "What is he doing now?" they puzzled, "Where is he going?" they asked. "He is going to see the Prophet, Muhammad, my brethren...", someone amongst the angelic audience said. "Then he cannot walk alone! Someone amongst us must accompany him!" - the host of God were in a state of high agitation.

GABRIEL AS HIS COMPANION. Suddenly a voice rang out, "I shall accompany Abu Bakar, my brethren." It was the Archangel Gabriel. The rest of the angels silently agreed (Well, who's going to argue with the Boss Angel?).

Abu Bakar was satisfied after he put on his newly stitched gunny-attire. At the very least, I am decently dressed, he thought to himself. He then left the house, but not long in walking he was suddenly accosted by a man, also wearing a similar gunny-sack-cloth. The man (who was in fact Gabriel the Archangel, Herald of the Holy Revelations) inquired gently of Abu Bakar, "Kind sir, where are you going?"Abu Bakar replied, "I am on my way to see Muhammad, Prophet of God". The man then asked whether he could accompany Abu Bakar, to which he consented.

THE QUESTIONS. After awhile, the pair arrived at the Prophet's home and was led to his presence. Abu Bakar was settling down when the his companion suddenly asked the Prophet, "O'Rasulullah (Prophet of God), who is this man?" gesturing to Abu Bakar who looked a little astonished. The Prophet replied, "He is my closest friend, Abu Bakar." The man then said, "O' Rasulullah, ask him, if he is pleased with God." Muhammad addressed his childhood friend, "O' Abu Bakar, you heard his question. Are you pleased with God?" Abu Bakar stood up and replied, "O' Rasulullah, I am ever so pleased with God and what He has granted me, Alhamdulillah!(Praise be to God!)"

GOD'S REPLY. The man acknowledged Abu Bakar's answer and said, "Tell him, o' Rasulullah, that I am Gabriel, and God sends His Greetings of Salam (Peace) to Abu Bakar." Muhammad the Mercy of the Worlds, then turned to Abu Bakar smiling and said, "O' Abu Bakar, God Himself sends greetings of Salam unto you!"

ABU BAKAR WHIRLS. Carried by an overwhelming feeling of happiness, his heart ablaze with God's greetings of peace and entwined by pleasure, Abu Bakar then started to whirl, with his right hand raised and open to receive the blessings of this Divine Pleasure, and his left hand open and extended to pass on the rahmat and baraka (blessings) to the assembled companions, and now today, to me and you as you read this.

Thank you for sharing your time with me, sunshine. I am so happy to share this story with you.

Pax Taufiqa.

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