Friday, November 18, 2011

Complex, Confused and Confusing - Man

Have you ever spoken to a Sufi murid(student)? I have, and I have gained much entertainment and perhaps a little insight into their ways. It is quite apparent that they do not look at the world the same as we do. And if you were to venture a question, do not expect to receive the complete truth from him, and this is why:-

1. The Sufi doesn't know the whole truth.
2. The Sufi will not tell you even the extent of truth that he considers he knows.
3. The Sufi will judge your circumstances and your ability to reason things out.
4. The Sufi will weigh the good and bad effects of disclosure. This is called discretion.
5. The Sufi do not expect to 'manage' things or people, but they do know that what they say will affect people.

A little doggerel recorded some time back perhaps best illustrates this...

36. Yes AND No
Do not ask a Sufi anything,
For he will often reply;
Yes and No,
Do and Do Not,
Stay and Go,
And while it matters a lot,
It matters naught to God,

For many times,
He will perceive
What you really wish,
And will say that
Just to please.

For verily,
He will know your capacity,

And what value is truth
If you cannot bear it?

Rather than force you to disobedience,
He will send you on your merry way,
Thinking you have gained some wisdom,
When in truth, he gave you nothing,
But what you find pleasing.

The problem with religion is that people expect quick answers and over-night solutions. But if this was so, God would not have taken the trouble to send Prophets, Messengers and Saints to humanity. God would simply send His angels to leave the Torah, Bible or the Quran by our bedside table with a little sticky note on the cover, "Read, Obey and Shut Up - by the Command of Me. Your God."

But look around you, sunshine. Observe the sheer complexity and magnificent detailing in our Creator's handiwork - the planets that circle the sun on their appointed orbits, the sea rippling with life and hidden creatures, the earth and the sky, the rich rainforests, the cold steppes and the seemingly barren deserts. From the smallest ant to the smallest sub-particles, to the biggest galaxies and the furthest undefinable edges of the Universe, Creation works like the insanely complex clockwork of the Master Clockmaker. This manifest order and complexity is mirrored by us and within us in our emotions and our physical bodies, through both the temporal and spiritual metaphysical realities of Man... *Phew!* I am just actually saying that man is a complex (and often) confused and confusing creature. Just as how God made us to be.

The Yes and No conundrum as explained in the poem goes far to explain this simple rule - For every moment of our existence, there is the perfect adab (good manners) for us to follow. We may never find that perfection (since we are not Prophets), but to strive towards the perfection of good manners and etiquette is the Path of Love. That is the path that the Sufis are on.

'Tis Friday, sunshine!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam

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