Saturday, May 5, 2012

Schism, Diversity and Unity - a pocket-book guide to avoid some big potholes along the road to you-know-Hu

God, the Saints and You
There are some close to God,
But cannot stand that God permits
Others less ‘holy’ to be with Him,
To be near Him, unassailed
By any Retribution.

There are some close to the Saint,
But cannot stand that the Saint permits
Others less ‘correct’ to be with Him,
To be loved by Him, unhindered
By any Judgment.

We do not own God
But we presume to speak on His behalf,

We do not own the Saint
But we presume to judge others
That the Saint has, with love, shown mercy.

Do you now see?

That is what makes a Saint a saint,
And we mere jesters and observers.

Do not stand in the Saints way...
For alive or dead their stories continue
In the unveiling of Truth above falsehood,

So now... Of that part, which is fit for you?

Schism is an ugly word in religion. In Islam's history we have seen the rise of two co-existing caliphates, the Abbasids in Baghdad and the second Ummayad Caliphate in Andalusia, Spain. We also have the 4 jurisprudence schools of Hanbali, Maliki, Syafie and Hanafi dividing the Muslim nation as well as numerous sufi orders - Adawiyya, Chishti, Mehlevi, Qadiriyya, Rifa'i, Naqshbandi etc. But is this really schism?

But in religion, diversity and unity are really beautiful words. If God had wanted a single-one-type utopia He would have made everyone alike. but He didn't. He didn't even make His Angels the same, what more Djinn or Mankind with our varying passions, wisdom and foolishness? I think that this reflects the Unity through Diversity or Plurality... a reflection of the infinite multi-faceted attributes of God. After all, even God has many names and attributes, although a couple are clearly His favourites - Most Compassionate and Most Merciful, ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim.

Thus He has decide to reveal Himself to us, in God's single-absolute-unique Oneness but One whose attributes are so vast that really, we only know Him as He guides us to know Him. Clearly it was fated that from the seed of Adam, there would grow this rich diversity in our differing races and cultures. And I see no harm in this. So long as we know where we came from (from Him) and where we shall one day return to (to Him again). And even in this understanding we must withhold judgment on those who are still travelling in the journey... as we all are.

73. HU-man-ity
I always believed that
Man was just man.
Until HU came
And changed man into HUman.
Then HU made me see,
That from Ahmad’s single Nur
Came plurality,
Thus, HUman became HUmanity.

In terrible danger are those who think that they have 'found' God and that their journey is at its spiritual end while they still live. For they are always at risk to pride, hubris and the ego-driven alienating feeling of 'us' and 'them'. And yes, this danger is alive in all of us, whether we are laypeople or clerics, Muslims as well as those who aspire to the Tariqas (the Path) of Islam. Thank God that God and the Prophet is ever attentive to our mischiefs, and correcting us along each step of our own personal journeys.

If the storm clouds of schism is over your house, remember God, the Prophet
and observe patience and tolerance towards those whom you think are different.
Alhamdulillah then, praise be unto God, that you are you and I am I. Two separate personalities but united in the belief and worship of One God. May God make your journey easy (but always interesting). Of course, the funny thing is that often, when the journey becomes really interesting it becomes less easy. Hehehe. Just a thought, sunshine.

Have a happy, happy day.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will shown the Way

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