Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A World of Happy Ghosts - Veneration of Muhammad

3. If you see me crying
If you see me crying,
In the midst of
A crowded restaurant,
Don’t worry.
If you see me in tears
While driving,
Don’t worry.
If you see me walking
While tears run down
My cheek,
Fret not.

For I am only in
The midst of remembrance,
In the clutches of a
Jealous love that
Won’t let me go,
But a love yet to be
Consummated in the
Presence of my beloved.

For I am here,
And he is there,

But when he is
Somewhere else,
The truth is
Though I am here,
I am really nowhere.

I have written songs,
I have grafted poems
Upon the lifeless limbs
Of my aching body,
When loneliness
And nothingness which
Drowns me, apart from him,
Leaves me disconsolate
And miserable.

In a breath, he seems
So near, but he isn’t!

But if you see me smiling,
Alone all by myself,
In the crowd of unknowing humanity,
Know that I feel he is near,
And that what is the reality
Which you perceive is yours,
And not mine,

For in my reality,
In the drawing of a smile
From a secret pleasure,
Abu Bakar is with me,
Omar is with me,
Usman is with me,
Ali is with me,
Salman al-Farsi, Jaafar as-Sadiq
And dear Abu Yazid al-Bistami
Are all with me,
With my Masters, with the saints,
With angels whirling upon the leaves
Of trees, while little birds of green feathers
Dash and fly about me.

How happy and ashamed am I then,
To be in the company of such ghosts…

In the course of a conversation earlier this morning, Heche mentioned the word 'Prophet', and I instantaneously felt teary. Because you see, in the context of daily life, it is not often that someone refers to Prophet Muhammad in a kindly and as-a-matter-of-fact manner. No, his ideal and personality crept into the conversation as part of our every day chitter-chatter, not confined to the confines of a Mosque nor spoken in the theological bent of religion. She spoke as if he was real and human, and not a caricature of a historical figure.

True veneration of the Prophet (according to this sinner) is not in the evangelical tone of earnestness, but in the gentle sigh and in the far-away-eyes of his lovers. For they keep looking to see him, somehow and somewhere. So much so that sometimes they seem to live their lives thinking that it is they who are dead and it is the Prophet who is actually very much alive. And in the metaphysical, I guess they are right.

Something to think about, sunshine. While we dwell in this world of happy ghosts.

wa min Allah at-taufiq.

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