Carry lanterns in their hands,
And cry out, “This way, this way!”
They think us mad,
To look to the stars for guidance,
Thinking stars too far and unreliable.
But we are only following
The footsteps of our forefathers,
Who relied on the celestial orbs to guide their way
Across this vast expanse of life.
So we say to them,
“We will not be led by men carrying lanterns in their own hands,
Then thinking themselves rightly guided!”
Then they reply, “Well, even Muhammad was a man!”
Then we answer,
“Yes. But he is also the Lantern itself, and he is carried by the Hand of God”.
The veneration of a man who has passed away a long time ago continues to be an essential part in the life of the Sufis. They will shake hands with a Mason, an Illuminati or a trekkie, because after all, when you are so into the Prophet, everything else kinda pales in comparison.
The Sufis are not against reform. Indeed, reform of the self to reveal the True Self is one of the canons of excellence which is the pursuit of all mystics. They are however cautious in the face of any suggestions of reforming the creed that has been practiced by Muslims for eons. Thus they are magnificent defenders of the traditional lore, from Rumi to Ibn Arabi to Sheikh Abdul Qader Geylani to Imam Ghazali. They continue to pass the knowledge to those fated to receive them through transmission of the heart, much to the irritation of those enslaved by the written word. The Saints are Masters of the Living Word. Thus, to the Saints, the al-Quran, which is also known as the Book of the Universe, is not only a written text, but the Living Word of the Creation.
It is thus inevitable that how they read and understand the holy scriptures is very different from the reformers. And how they perceive the nature of Muhammad Habibullah is very, very different from that perceived by the uninitiated. As one old dead soul informs us -
My Candle and the Prophet's SuperNova
In his passing through the threshold of death,
The existence of the Prophet continues and is as real
As the Cosmic eruption of an infinite horizon of supernovas,
This compared to the brief sputtering candle flame
Of my own mortality that I still cling to shamelessly!
It is Friday, sunshine. May you bask in the radiance of your Prophets and be guided by those whom God has entrusted the authority over you. May you learn in their secret convention far beyond the orbit of the earth, such things as you are fated to learn about your mind, your spirit, your heart and your conscience. If such wisdom is fated for you, not even the gravitational pull of the Sun will keep you captive to this Solar System