Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Cartoon - Education, Sufism and Reading the Al Quran

Oh Muslims have it easy. Theologically speaking. But I reckon that we really ought to stop resting on our laurels and move on. And the only way to move on is through education. It does no one any good for us to say that mankind is Kalifa / Caliph of God (Regent of God), when we don't even know how to chop down a coconut tree. Of course the coconut tree is merely a metaphor for knowledge generally. Both temporal and spiritual knowledge. Is it coincidental that our best work was done some time ago, in the days of greater spirituality? Today, I find that we are certainly more religious, but not so spiritual. We are more concerned with the form, and not the essence. More concerned with the shell, and not the seed. But how will the seed (our children) grow well if we don't tend to it? I think that our neglect on the education system shall reap its bitter fruits in the future, in the physical and metaphysical sense of things. I think there is no easy cure for this malaise affecting the Muslim community, but I do believe in this - That for us to look and prepare for the furthest future that we can envisage, we must look the furthest back into history. To learn from the lessons that the Prophets and Saints have learnt in their divine mission to humanity. Right to the time of Adam and Eve. And, yea, even further back then that. 
Young aspirants in the Sufi Order sometimes like to make a grand show of things. In a way, I don't really blame them. After all, you are (ostensibly) linking yourself to a tradition of learning that dates back to the beginning of Creation. And they learn that not a single act in daily life is bereft of spiritual significance. EVERYTHING has spiritual significance - from how you eat, how you bath, to how you exercise and how you make love. There is no stray thoughts in the life of a Sufi. Everything has a meaning, and everything must be accounted for. So on the premise of such expectations, the young lad will undoubtedly entertain some personal agenda, mostly riding on a preconception of what it is like to be a  Sufi. But as most Sufis have found, it is best to leave ALL preconceptions and assumptions you have about Islam and Sufism outside the threshold of a Sufi Tariqa Order. A Sufi Master will always want to pour knowledge into your vessel, but if your vessel is full of your own ideas, he won't be able to pour much, will he? Oh no, the highest accomplishment that any Sufi will attain is to overcome his ego, and chuck out whatever pretensions he may have of being knowledgeable and scholarly, to sit humbly by the feet of the Wise and present himself to be educated. This is a difficult thing to do if you are not in love. Only love will make us do the most foolish things against the diktat our our ego which always wants to control what we think, say and do. 
The study of recitation of the holy al-Quran is an important undertaking for all children. It is a highly developed science of grammar and pronunciations in Classic Arabic (Tajwid). So I do believe that you should do your best. But if your best is not great, then I think we best leave it to the Mercy of the Almighty, and not to mankind's capricious opinions on religion. I think God is not going to ignore you simply because you are slurring and mishandling your Arabic prayers. But I also think we ought not take advantage of God's Kindness and Mercy, for that means that we are rotters. And we don't want to be damn rotters, do we? I think there is no end in perfecting our recitation of the holy scriptures, and why should we complain? Only a madman will complain about having to study Beauty and Love, which is the Divine Attributes by which God is known to us in our inherited scriptures as a member of the Nation of Muhammad.

Sunday Cartoons, sunshine. A little diversion from poetry, yes? Sometimes I think we can have too much poetry! Have a wonderful and restful Sunday, chums.

wa min Allah at-taufiq.

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