Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mr. Ikhlas, Black Magic and The Divine Shyness in the Presence of Villainy

We are talking about magic and villainy today. But don't worry, pet.
We have our own spells of Light and White Magic. It is called
the art of being good to all creatures.
Mr. Ikhlas is a little disturbed today
This morning an ancient soul (Mr. Ikhlas - I wrote about him earlier, a pensioner of about mid-60s) dropped by to join me for breakfast. I was waiting for him and he was looking for me, and we found each other today. It is no miracle but merely applied statistics and based on the regular habits of (old) men. If we like a place, we tend to stick to it. And yes, I think I am old at 42.

Anyways, while we were chatting an old acquaintance of his suddenly dropped by to say hi. The man shook Mr.Ikhlas's hand and after a very brief exchange of pleasantries he left us alone. The man did not strike me to be a close friend of Mr. Ikhlas because there was a distinct absence of friendly bonhomie. And Mr. Ikhlas was always the soul of any party.

My companion turned to me and said in a serious tone, "He is not a pleasant man." I think he felt that he needed to explain to me the rather curt interview earlier. "He used black magic to break our mutual friend's marriage." Mr. Ikhlas then concluded, "If we were alone, just me and him, I think I would have stood up and punched him." But he said it as a-matter-of-fact and I sensed no malice or anger. I think my old friend just felt that the karmic balance of the cosmos would be benefited by a left-upper hook into that man's jaw. Hehehe.

This was the first time I have found Mr. Ikhlas to be a little disturbed. It is apparent from the stories that he has shared with me that his life has been always interesting, full of the ups and downs, roundabouts and dead-ends. But he always appeared to have taken everything in his happy stride - a humble, contented God-fearing man of the old-school. In other words, a true gentleman. You don't get many of those around nowadays.

God and being shy in the presence of villainy
How do we deal with 'bad' people? People who have intentionally hurt you or anyone else with malice aforethought or at the spur of unbridled emotion. Mr.Ikhlas hates 'knowing' any bad information about anyone. "It is a bloody burden!" He passionately said. "Sometimes, I ask God - Oh God, why did you lift the veil and let me see a person's bad action or character? Because, honestly, it simply makes me feel shy towards him..." I asked Mr. Ikhlas what he meant by that...

"When I inadvertently find out anything bad about anyone, I do not feel righteous or morally superior. I do not feel I am somehow 'better' than him. None of those ego-assuring emotion pass through me. The overwhelming feeling is that of shyness. Shyness towards the man who has wronged others or himself. I don't like to even talk about it."

And that in a nutshell, is our greatest fear of all. Not just in our relationship with people, but most importantly, with God Himself. Have I been so bad a sinner and a fool, that God does not want to gaze at me anymore? That He cannot bear to be embarrassed, much too delicate and shy to observe me at my worst and most dastardly? Does He not look unto me anymore?

Mr. Ikhlas answered, "He cannot tear away from looking at us, because we are His beloved creation. Nothing that He has created, not the fishes in the sea, nor the birds in the sky or two old chattering fools sitting in a coffeeshop, that He does not love with the Heavenly Love that is uniquely His own. If He turns away in shyness from the world for its rampant villainy, all the world would dissipate into a black chasm of nothingness. So our very existence is evidence that God is always watching us and more importantly, watching OVER us."

"But we are not safe." He continued, "Not because of God's limitation of Love and Mercy, but by our own limits in comprehending His Infinite and Incomprehensible Love and Compassion for His creatures. We often set limits on our feelings of love and mercy, a pre-condition not suffered by God Almighty." Then Mr. Ikhlas grinned like the Cheshire Cat and winked at me.

He is right of course. If we feel shy towards the rule-breakers, imagine how God feels towards us? God whose knowledge encompasses the very smallest sub-atomic particle that makes up the form of a man or a woman? Right now I just feel like I wanna run up to God and embrace Him, assuring him with words of love -

Love and Self-Betrayal
Oh Love, I have betrayed myself and you saw me in my shameful state!
I am sorry, please do not be shy of me... I promise to do better
If You would but wait...

I would say these things, knowing that I shall always be a sinner. But I hope one day to be a good sinner, presentable enough to be brought before the royal court of God, the Most Loving King. And I hope not to make God wait too long.

Hullo...! Hullo o' Lord! I hope I have not kept Thee waiting too long!

MasyaAllah. What a beautiful evening this is, sunshine. Thank you for sitting with me.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Click on Earlier Posting about Mr. Ikhlas - The Holy Quran, Mr. Ikhlas and Katmir the Dog

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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