Monday, May 28, 2012

Against The Tag Team of The Ego and The Devil - Muhammad, Prophet of God (pbuh)

The Mirror of God & The Bar Above the Dot
When I looked into the mirrors on the wall,
Upon the reflections cast on windows,
I see myself, growing cold and old.

Then I came upon the Mirror of God,
Muhammad, Prophet of the Lord,
The Bar above the Dot,
And slowly I began to forget
And leave behind the trappings
Of my tired old ego.

His story became my story,
His life became my life,
His love became my love,
His worry became my worry,
His hope became my hope,
And slowly, I let go
Of the chain of my ego
That for the longest time
Oppressed my heart and my mind.

So nothing now stands before him,
This Mirror of God,
Save for a soul, who once struggled
With himself, having now lost
His self in the sweet ocean of Ahad,
Trailing foot prints on
The shore of Ahmad.

'The Bar above the Dot' is an old story about the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) referencing the Arabic script 'Ba'. The very first alphabet is 'Alif' in which the 'bar' is standing upright and alone - taken to mean the one God of all humanity and creation. 'Ba' which is the second alphabet is seen as the 'bar' falling into the state of prostration, and below the bar is a 'dot'. The 'dot' is interpreted to be God, and above Him is the 'bar' of Muhammad(pbuh). Above Muhammad is all of creation.

The Mirror of God is a new parable to me at least. But it recalls an old sufi tradition about the Prophet, Abu Jahl(his worst enemy) and Abu Bakr(his closest Companion). In that tale the persona of the Prophet is depicted as the Flawless Mirror. And indeed how each person who looks upon him, sees himself (or herself) in his most true nature, good, naughty, bad or downright loathsome.

Ahad is one of the names of God (meaning One, absolutely One, clearly and undoubtedly only One in the absolute Oneness that only God uniquely has) and Ahmad, is of course another holy name for Muhammad(pbuh).

The Ego and the Devil... The Sufis really (really) loves talking about the Ego and Muhammad(pbuh). But I reckon it is because they have good reasons to do so. Firstly, they are told to do so, and so they do it. Secondly, the human Ego is quite simply the very worst enemy inside the individual and collective human psyche. The Devil (Iblis, Satan, Bezelbub, Diablo...) in his numerous names, titles and minions that obey him is your enemy outside, the one who is the whisperer (he does nothing else really), telling you to do all sorts of nefarious and stupid things that will only cause hurt on yourself and those close to you. But it is our ego that is the loyal listener inside us, the one who will betray us, if we follow its machinations and promptings. They often work together, our Ego and the Devil. And they are cunning, patient, determined and assiduous in plotting our spiritual and physical downfall. They have had epochs of time to craft their methodologies while we shall only have about 60 to 70 years (Godwilling, hehehe) of life experience to set against their vast experience that stretches across the ages. Alone, we shall have no chance.

Yes, we all love solitude sometimes. But do we really
want to face the challenges of this life alone?

Veneration of Muhammad. Set against this background I can understand why the Sufis hold unto the coattails of Muhammad, Beloved of God. As a Prophet, and indeed, the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad(pbuh) is the creation of God designed (with God's infinite power and subtlety) to overcome and dominate over the ego and the Devil with his patience, kindness, wisdom, beauty and divine power.

And those 'others'. So it surprises me that some Muslims want to go it alone. They disbelieve in the intercessions of the Prophet(pbuh) nor do they believe that Saints persist to this very day. They think that tassawuf (inner contemplation) is hogwash, rabita (spiritual connections) and fana (spiritual state of annihilation) stink of witchcraft and deception. They take pride in their knowledge and figure it is enough for them to face the ego and the Devil. Well... good luck to them, I say!

I don't know about you, but I am a fool. I am not very smart, nor have I been imbued with holy powers to face The Tag Team of The Ego and the Devil in the wrestling ring alone. So I cling unto those who cling unto the Prophet(pbuh). What can I say... I am a weak, beggarly fellow.


Have a lovely day, sunshine!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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