Saturday, June 30, 2012

Not a Miracle, Merely Love - sometimes, having simple expectations really helps.

Not a Miracle, Merely Love
I saw a cloud in the sky
And the tail of my master’s turban,
But it is not a miracle,
It is merely love.

I placed my hand on the trunk
Of a tree, and someone said
Verily, the master used to do that,
But it is not a miracle,
It is merely love.

I sat on the steps of a building
And someone commented,
Verily, the master used to sit there
Just like that, with his feet
Swinging in the air,
But it is not a miracle,
It is merely love.

I am a sinner and a fool,
But my master is beautiful,
And he does not reject me
Nor turn me away,
But it is not a miracle,
It is merely love.

I write of history,
Of the present,
And sometimes even
Of what is meant to be,
But it is not a miracle
Nor am I Nostradamus,
It is merely love.

People see miracles and magic,
But I only see of love.
People see mysteries and wonder,
But I only see my master.

And really, that is enough
For the likes of me.

And sometimes, it is meeting someone
special that is a grand little
Miracles? I have enough miracles already to last me several life times. Honest. Like how I found my car keys again after dropping them in a pitch black cinema. Like how I passed my honours and Bar finals. Like how I was born to a fine lady of a mother and a lovely if slightly demented family. Like how butterflies often hover near and how the trees let fall a shower of flowers and leaves along the path. And how the dog downstairs is finally noticing me after weeks of my saying hello to him. But of course, perhaps for some people, such things are not miraculous at all.

Do you think I should set my standards for miracles higher? Like splitting the Moon in two, walking on water or bringing the dead to life?

The Miracle of Man. But the truth is that I am happy this way. This life appears seldom boring or dull, and sprinkled aplenty with fairy dust. Perhaps the greatest miracle of all is our very own existence and our very own being. Because as one spiritual acolyte recently shared with me, Man affects and changes the environment that he enters into. Whether it is in his house, out in the garden, in his workplace or among animals of the forest. Always affecting for the better, if what he looks for is goodness.

It is this ability, and his latent strength to rise up again however low he may fall as an alley cat in the gutter that is perhaps, the greatest miracle of all. How fine and beautiful has God designed you, sunshine!

From here, I can see it already. Plain as daylight under the sun of Ahad and remaining luminous under the moon of Ahmad.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

The Sultan, The Zawiya and The Enduring Rose - The Prince Part 19

71. The Fountain
I approach the Fountain
And reflected in its waters I saw the sky,
As I came closer
I saw the mountains and trees,
As I came closer
I saw the meadows and valleys,
As I came even closer
I saw the hosts of humanity,
As I arrived and peered straight into its waters
I saw no one,
No meadows,
No valleys,
No mountains,
No trees,
Not even the sky.
I only saw I.

87. Passion 1
Passion is come, and I am overcome,
My Lord has struck my senses dumb.
He has taken me from my place of comfort,
Far away to a place besieged by harm.

Thus, He moves us as He wishes,
From point to point, from maqam to maqam.
Thus, He does unto us as He pleases,
Making dull what is halal, sweet what is haram.

O’ Lord, passion is nigh and this servant is blinded!
Guide me to Layla through Rumi’s secret door,
So that I may see what is forbidden and see no more,
So that I may hear what is forbidden and hear no more,
So that I too may be hidden and matter no more.

O’ Lord, lead me away from the kufr of my worship!
End this separation which You force me to keep!
Lead me to the shore of Your Mercy Ocean
To drown in the waters of a secret consummation.

Sometimes it appears that the Path, that strange winding road of the Sufis and other mystics is a lonely, lonesome highway. At other times it is a jema'ah (congregation) of people, in solemn rows of prayers, or sitting around a mawlud (songs and hymn in praise of the Prophet(pbuh)) or simply waiting in queue to shake and kiss the hand of a reigning Sultan attending a zawiya where once his late son was the Shaykh.

At other times, the Path is also about grammatical correctness, for I would correct myself and say that al marhum Shaykh Raja Ashman Shah ibni Sultan Azlan Shah (may God sanctify his secrets) is still the Shaykh and Master of the zawiya here, though he has discarded his worldly raiment about 3 months ago. And certainly his memories still persist and continue to bloom in the hearts of his many friends, mureeds(students), admirers and groupies. For when someone comes and seed your heart with love and mercy, it is a most enduring rose!

I am not worthy to write, you know. I am barely educated to pass comment on myself, what more Ku Ash, as he is fondly (and impudently) referred to by some of his groupies. There are so many others, who actually knew him and shared activities with him. Having tea, watching football matches and playing futsal. Me, I just write and sketch, and send them over to The House on the Hill where he once resided, not more than a 3 minutes' drive from my own house. Where o' Lord, shall I send the prose, stories and sketches now?

al fatiha
But perhaps, no one really knew him. As perfect knowledge is only with our Lord God and with our Prophet Muhammad(pbuh). Certainly, when I saw His Majesty Sultan Azlan Shah once again in the zawiya, I felt that His Majesty was also looking, through association with those who loves his son, to understand more of his younger prince - to find out what made him tick, and undoubtedly, to honour his memory and legacy.

For you see, they shall always be celebrating Ku Ash's life and love, but they shall also always be in a state of mourning - more than 40 days, more than 100 days, until that day comes when God unites them with the man they call Ku Ash, or in the Sultan's case, simply... my son.

God bless you. Thank you for staying a little longer to listen.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Hijaz, The Caliph and The Star of Al-Saud - the story of a good custodian

Some Background Information
I sometimes visit the sohbet (sermon) website of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil ("the Mawlana"). He is the grandshaykh of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order currently residing in Lefke, Cyprus. It was he who shared with the world news of the new Caliph of Islam for this epoch, his majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. This information has not been picked up by mainstream media, but the divine stone has been cast into the ocean of creation, and its ripples will become waves and the waves will become tsunamis. It is a reckoning for Truth, Love and Mercy prophesied, but in God's own time.

Recently there was a sohbet entitted “The Star of Al-Saud”, and the sinner was surprised by the mere title. This is because, since the advent of the Saud family in Hijaz and their capture of Mecca, Medina and the rest of the Arabian peninsular, they have been active proponents of Wahhabism, that black aberration of Islam and the cause of great discord and violence not only amongst the nation of Muhammad, but has spilled out in its terrible fury upon the non-Muslim world... an aberration fueled by oil money, drilled and sucked out of the Arabian desert sands with the connivance of western oil mega-corporations.

Exporting oil and Wahhabism world wide...

For the Naqshbandis, and indeed for all Sufis and rightful thinking Muslims, the number one sin, the numero uno error and the Great Lie perpetrated by the Wahhabis is their active policy to destroy the religious practice of venerating the Prophet(pbuh) and his household, which stands not as a prop or optional accessory of being a Muslim, but a sacred and sacrosanct tenet of the Islamic Faith - For you cannot be a Muslim if you are not a Muhammadan. In their blind hatred of history, and ill-thought ignorance and prejudices, the Saud-backed Wahhabis not only have sought to disconnect the Prophet(pbuh) from his nation, but also to destroy the essence of Islam, which is the teachings of the tariqas (Sufi Orders) of the Saints of Islam. To this end they and their followers the world over have sought to destroy the books, tombs and graves of great Muslim Saints, as well as suppressing tahlils (periodical Muslim prayers for the dearly departed) and visitations to the graves of our kin. Not even being a Companion of the Prophet saved the tombs of some of the great Companions of Muhammad(pbuh). Such is their shameful conduct and for which they must answer to God and the Prophet(pbuh), these defilers of maqams (tombs).

1. If The Kaaba …
If the Kaaba is a diamond,
The defilers of maqams are conspiring to pry off the gemstones
That dot her ornate setting,

If the Kaaba is life,
The defilers of maqams are conspiring to choke her breath,

If the Kaaba is the sun,
The defilers of maqams are conspiring to eclipse her moons,

If the Kaaba is justice,
The defilers of maqams are conspiring to conceal her mercy,

If the Kaaba is the universe,
The defilers of maqams are conspiring to rewrite her history,

If the Kaaba is a writer,
The defilers of maqams are conspiring to be her censors,

If the Kaaba is Rapunzel,
The defilers of maqams are conspiring to cut off her golden tresses.

That is want they want.

But who can they harm but themselves?
And what can they defile but their own name?

Thus it is with this foreknowledge that our friends were surprised by the title of the sohbet – A star of Al-Saud?? Surely not! But surely yes, because God in His Infinite Mercy and the Prophet in His Blessed Station are not limited by human prejudices - Always our Lord looks for good reasons to forgive and to rain blessings upon us.  Read on...

The Star of al-Saud
In his Sermon (Click Here to go to the Video and click on the subtitles for your preferred language), the Mawlana recounted his experience of being awaken one night by an inspiration to his heart. Some words and visions bestowed with great force upon his old frame concerning the passing of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the age of 79. In the vision, brought unto him by the Saints of the holy city of Mecca, was that of the Crown Prince, having died in Switzerland on the blessed night of Laylatul Mikraj, and a sight of angels descending from heaven and taking his soul, and praying over him in the holy city of Mecca, as per his wish to be buried in the Haram precinct.

The Star of Al-Saud, the late Crown Prince Nayef.

The Crown Prince (said the Mawlana) was dressed in divine light, his face was calm and peaceful as the angels and saints prayed over him. He even smiled and blinked at the Mawlana when he notice the Mawlana looking on. Mawlana declared that no other previous king or prince of the Saud house has ever reached this spiritual station, the example of Godly reward for a believer... even for one who is a prince of the Saud House. And what was it that he did to earn this miraculous gift?

Breaking into sincere tears, the Mawlana shared that the crown prince had 2 secret desires…

The First Desire
The crown prince, inspired by God by his belief in doing the right thing, desired to return Hijaz and the two holy cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina to the rightful owners, which is the household of the Prophet(pbuh). Yet, perhaps it came too late in his life, by which time he had no powers left in his hands to manifest this secret desire. Had he lived longer? But it was simply not meant to be...

The Prophet's Mosque in Medina wherein resides his tomb

The Second Desire
Secondly, the crown prince was inspired to desire spending and giving away his wealth and treasures. For he was awaken to the danger and risk of hoarding wealth. For those who are not generous with the treasures that God has given them, God shall withhold His treasures from reaching them. Hoarding like Qarun, hiding their assets in secret bank accounts, secured warehouses and offshore tax-free havens, what good is wealth to them who have passed away? For Mawlana reminds us that the good believers are those concerned only with obeying God and doing the right thing. To such blessed souls, this world and all its treasures are less than the dust beneath their feet - Most honoured are they in the Divine Presence! But alas, this too the crown prince was prevented from achieving by his death.

But such is the generosity and mercy of God, that even though the crown prince was prevented from achieving these two good intentions, his secret desires reached the Knowledge of God and the Knowledge of the Prophet. And verily, by merely holding these sincere good intentions, he was rewarded in magnificent heavenly splendor when finally, his body breathed its last and his heart stopped beating.

Aye, the crown prince did. He rocked for Mustafa* and Mustafa heard!
(*Mustafa is an epithet for Muhammad(pbuh) meaning The Chosen One)

The Reminder
Had you but one atom of goodness in you, surely God would forgive you and bring you into the company of the angels and blessed souls. But to the reigning sons of Saud, the Mawlana had one final word to say. A reminder from the Prophet – In the end of time, tell them that God Himself prays (and gives praise) over me. And yet you prevent prayers to be made over me? On the Day of Judgment, I shall be your opponent!

A beautiful sermon but alas summarized. Do not take my word for it, sunshine. Click on the link and watch for yourself. Watch the Mawlana, look at his eyes, his posture and his tears overcome with love and mercy, his tired sitting, and his trembling frame as he stands in prayers that he enjoins for the sake of humanity.

Thus what is the conclusion of this? Will the Saud family (with their many, many princes) return the Hijaz and the two holy cities to the rightful owners, the Household of the Prophet(pbuh), one heir being King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan - the Caliph of Islam and Commander of the Believers? Will it happen in our lifetime? When our little band was in Medina and Mecca last year, already our friends sensed a change in the air. Ah, such is the suspense and wonderful tension being written upon the script of destiny by the Greatest Writer of them all, aka God Himself.

King Abdullah II of Jordan, Caliph of Islam, Commander of the Believers,
Shadow of God on Earth, Lion of God (far right, sitting), at the funeral of Prince Nayef,
the Star of Al-Saud. 

We are living in interesting times, sunshine. Stay by me and I shall keep you posted, so long as it is thus fated. 

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Make It Be! And Make It Be Me! - music, songs and the sufis

Make it be me

I would love to leave this world a song of Thee,
A sonnet or a ballad glorifying Thy utter wonderfulness,
A hard rock or a soft rhythm and blues piece that praises Thee
With heartfelt prose and love-drunk inflections!

And if this is not to be in my life, o' Lord,
How I would thank Thee if Thy could
Make me return to the world as a whisper,
An inspiration borne on the breeze from heaven
To the heart and ears of a songwriter,
And to be able to whisper into his talent,
Write it like this... Compose it like this... Sing it like this...!

I would love to be a song for Thee,
A tearful poem recited for Thee,
In a concert of saints who would
Raise the music to Thy Divine Presence!

If this would make Thee happy,
O' Lord, O' Lover of the Beloved Muhammad,
Make it be!
And make it be me!

There is just something about music that turns something on inside of us. And if I am to leave this world one day, I would love to leave this world a beautiful song for all maidens and laddies in love. They would all be singing or humming me.. in the car, or walking and listening to their iPods. Oh, they will think it is a romantic song about Romeo and Juliet, about Cher and Bono or about Layla and Majnun, when in truth it has always been about you, my Lord! And one day they will know and understand.

Unfortunately I do not have much musical talent. But God can make anything possible, so why not this? And why not me?

And why not you, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Sinner in The Lion City - pictures tell stories

I was in Singapore, but the sinner was not chilling in a glass
of Singapore Sling (a famous concoction). I was there
for work with a bunch of my chums from the office.

Over the weekend, the sinner and a couple of other sinners visited the Lion City (that's Singapore, sunshine) for work. Professionally it was an eye-opener for me. Physically however it was an eye-closer as we returned to our hotel rooms at night tired and mentally drained. But then again, if it was not difficult and a little tiresome, work wouldn't be work and nobody would wanna pay us just to have fun in Singapore, I guess. Hehehe. I took some pictures when I was there, and the pictures have some stories to tell...

While I was in Singapore, I wondered whether they had a cabinet position for
the Minister for Trees. The city, cosmopolitan, brash and energetic has its unruly
tempers dampened by the avenues lined with old trees, even in the heart of the business
district. I admire this about our southern neighbours.
Busy, busy, busy handling the clientele. Our partner, Alex is respectfully given the
moniker by my other partner as the "manusia takde perasaan" or loosely translated
to mean "the man with no feelings". But of course he does. He just doesn't get flustered
or angry very easily. This is a good trait to have in any line of work, I think.
But "the man with no feelings" was emotionally disturbed by the no smoking signs
that litter this otherwise perfect city. Even here, at the Newton Food Centre where you
are eating alfresco under the night sky, you are not permitted to smoke.
"This is unnatural!" I fumed as Alex nodded philosophically.
The property market here is stagnating a little. From our little
chats with the locals, we came across some sentiment of worry and uncertainty,
concerning the increase in the cost of living, high property prices and the squeezing
of the lower class amid the influx of competitive migrant labour. 
In my earlier posting I commented on how many of the holy sites around
the world always has a large pigeon community resident... in Medina, Mecca and
Jerusalem. Well, the pigeons are well represented here in Orchard Road, which I guess is a
temple of sort to the god of ostentatious consumerism.
Oh well. To each his/her own choice of faith / lifestyle.
We don't feed the pigeons, but they flock near nonetheless. Coming within a foot
of our err... feet. Some less sentimental souls like to describe pigeons as flying rodents.
Flying home on a budget airline. But it is still the same sky, whether you are
flying first class, business class or cattle class, you know. And the clouds are
as voluptuous as always. There is something about clouds that often makes me
wanna grab my camera and take pictures. God simply loves to show
off His artistic talent, I think. 
I like to wander through the mega book stores here, but we were strapped for time
during this visit. At the airport however I managed to steal away these two titles.
I have always loved Karen Armstrong's writing. I think she is inspired. In a world
full of hate, hyperbole and hubris, her considered prose is a calming
sea of reason and love.

I was pleased to come home. But travel is important I believe. It allows your soul to flex its horizons as your senses drink in different sights, food, people and way of life. Then you mix the new ingredients in the well of your soul and come to the conclusion... Oh Lord, how beautiful You have made this world to be. And how wonderfully lucky are we to be part of it. Thank you for taking the trouble to create us!

And thank you, sunshine, for travelling across the finite cyberspace to visit my almanac. Always happy to have your company.

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Anger Issues and a Cancerian - a grey pall cast over the Shore of Love, a temporary glitch in the Matrix of Mercy

Anger is a fire
Burning beneath you skin
Sapping your soul of the goodness
That you hold within.

A cancer destroying your spirit,
The source of many foul deeds
And many, many thoughts all-wicked!

I am a sinner. I think I have made this pretty clear. But even as a sinner I tremble with (extra) foreboding at holding any hatred in me for anyone or anything. It makes me disconsolate and discontented, you see.
This, I am not. I am fat but I hope my fattiness is transitory and will go away
if only  I pray really, really hard. I savoured this dream for a long time until an ancient
friend suggested I pray while jogging 2 kilometres a day. He said God is sure to
answer my prayers then. I don't like my friend very much.

I would like to say that I am hate-free, no-Trans-Fat, sugar-free kinda fellow. But I am on the err... plump side of the weighing scale, I have diabetes and I can entertain hateful sentiments like the best of the haters.

But if hatred does pop up like a hateful boil on the landscape of my soul, I try to take immediate corrective measures. I consider the other person's point of view and his/her antecedents. I also weigh my own faults and see how I came to this hate-filled conclusion. Often enough I am able to attain some sense of perspective and the hatefulness drifts away like a grey pall cast over the Shore of Love - a mere temporary glitch in the Matrix of Mercy. And of course, as a One-Size-Fit-All-Problems-Solution I ask God and the Prophet(pbuh) to help me rid of the hate within me.

I hope to one day graduate from being this sort of Cancerian... 

.... to this kinda Cancerian!
This struggle with hate is a constant daily toil for me, being such an 'overly-sensitive' and emotional Cancerian (Yup, I am). I hope you will pray for this crabby crustacean, sunshine... that I might be permitted to accompany you to the Good Place where the Good Ones dwell in an eternal bliss.
Hehehe. A crab can always dream, don't you agree, sunshine?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Fishing for Happiness where the Bounty is Richest

Ripples in Creation
God made the light of Muhammad and it was still as a calm sea,
Beautiful in its infinite hue.

Then He made Adam and later Eve,
From whence through many seasons of love passing came me and you.

Making ripples in the Sea of Mercy,
We fished for happiness where the bounty was richest,
And Gladness filled the Lord's ocean
As He contemplated you, me 
and the cat called Moses
With Infinite Affection

We came from one place, and we shall return to the same place. In between the beginning and the infinite end, we make friends and sometimes we adopt a cat, whose name may be Moses. Or is it Moses who actually adopt us? You know how cats are...

Love is true, highest and mighty in the Lord's infinite sea of banners that magnify and glorify His Attributes. If you have found Love, or Love has found you, do not let go and hold on to your God with all your latent passion and talent for affection.

I was away because of work, but now I am home. And I am so pleased to find you here, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Mirror of God Looking at another Mirror of God - in the journey to nothingness

1. All Ours
All things invented and made,
All things written and read,
All things of beautiful birth
Are in truth, ours.

An ancient friend shared with me, "Old chum, if you think you are something, you will have nothing but shadows and illusions of this world - money, power, men and women. If you have achieved nothingness, then everything is yours for the taking, and it will be everything in its essences and hidden meaning!"

The meanings are all behind that door only. Don't go looking for meanings
through any other door, however inviting it may look to you.

He paused, and smiled. "You are confused? Let me elaborate. It is important to gain something in its essence and hidden meaning because the outward shapes and forms are merely that - shapes and forms that we perceive by our senses. Your face and limbs hide your heart, brain and other organs that make you function. And when you pierce through the skin and look at the organs themselves, they too are only shapes and forms of the minute cells that make them. And then you go down to the level of cells, molecules, atoms, sub-atomic particles and etc, etc, etc... There is no end to the essences and hidden meanings of this physical reality. And beyond that there is of course the spiritual dimension of things created by God. Which in itself is a whole other world for you to explore and gain entry into. But it is invisible to the human eye. To attain such vision you must learn too see this world beyond its forms, to make the forms invisible and transparent, that you might see the beautiful working order in this wonderous machine which God has created and Man call the Universe. Really, to trade for petty baubles and trinkets of this world is a waste of your energy..."

Then he got up and walked away. I was left alone nursing my cup of coffee, after which I also left to continue my journey to nothingness. InsyaAllah, you shall errr... not see me there at all! And I shall not see you there also, transparent as you have become to me and I have become to you - a Mirror of God looking at another Mirror of God.

Hehehe. This is what they call an overbearing ambition. But why covet the Sultan's Palace when you can have the Sultan Himself?

Sufi Travel Advice: Pack light when you are embarking
on the journey to nothingness. You will have to discard all
of them anyways - all our masks and deceptions, all our attachments
and pretension - all to be left behind approaching the
Divine Presence of God and His Prophet...

Have a perfectly happy day, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Everything is relative, so don't worry!

1. All are relative
Sadness and joy,
Determination and timidity,
Wisdom and folly,
Success and regret,
Love and hate,
Fear and courage,
Are all relative concepts.

So float,
My happy blossom,
Between the Sun of Ahad,
The Moon of Ahmad,
And the Stars of the Sahabat*.

(*Sahabat - Companions)

Had an interesting work day with an astoundingly rude clientele. I didn't feel like writing at all. Then I bumped across this old prose, and I figure, what the heck... We gotta float, don't we? ...Just like a butterly, and doth do we stingeth away like the proverbial bee.


Forget it, sunshine, tuck your stinger back in... Whatever irritation that bothered you today, it is simply not worth it. You who are kept in good company of good people, under God and His Beloved Prophet. What have you to worry? Keep steady and seek your support from God and the Prophet, from the Saints and the Angels who shall never (ever) let you down...

Ahh. I feel better already.

Thank you, sunshine, for keeping me company.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Mikhail's Top 5 Singers in the World! (or maybe for today only)

"No, no, no... Not Pitbull. He's just creepy." says Mikhail.

Last night I interrogated my 8-year old son, Mikhail. It was about music.

It was pitch black as I was actually tucking him to bed. But you don't need light to make small talk, so I asked him, "Mikhail, who's your favourite singer?"

"I liked Justin Beiber 2 years ago. But not anymore."

Before I could comment, Mika went on to confess a dreadful secret. "Papa, do you know that Justin Beiber Baby video is the most disliked video on Youtube? And it's all my doing!"

I asked for an explanation. "How is that possible?"

Sniggering on his pillow, he said, "Yes, Papa. I opened up lots and lots of Youtube accounts so I can dislike the video many times over. I am the cause of his 'disliked fame'!"

Almost 750 million hits(!!!!) for JB's Baby music video on Youtube. With  1.2 million likes
but 2.6 million dislikes. So Mika was not kidding...  And it's all thanks to him. But I don't
blame him for not liking JB anymore. At 6 years old you can forgive anything, but at 8 years
old you have started to acquire some fashion taste, and wearing a baseball cap sideways
is simply unacceptable. These are important things to learn on the Path. 

Err. Alright. "Well, if it's not him anymore, who is it? I bet it's me!" I replied.

"Noooo, Papa. Wait, let me swing the Wheel of Singers, my 5 favourite singers!.... Swing, swing, swing, swing the Wheel..." And so he went until, "Okay! Alright, here it is... Hey Papa, No. 5 is you...!

"Alright!" I exclaimed, but knowing that my son is giving me the token last place. So sweetot.

"Hmm... alright. No. 4 is Bruno Mars. Err... No. 3 is Katy Perry. No wait! No...No, It's Chris Brown (Mika will never put a MERE girl on his top list of anything because we all know that girls are yucky.). Alright... No.2 is... hmmm." Then Mika continued in a whisper, as if thinking aloud, "Hmmm... No... No, not Pitbull. He's just creepy. Oh yes, I got it! No. 2 is Red Foo and Sky Blu!

I actually like some of her songs. But even if Katy Perry can win the MTV Awards,
she will never ever get into Mikhail's Top 5 Singers. She's the wrong gender, you see.

I did not know them so I asked, "Who the heck is RedPoo and Skyblue? Are they a band?"

Mika laughed at my ignorance and answered, "Papaaa... it's Red FOO not RedPoo! LOL, Papa, LOL! (Yes, he actually says LOL instead of laughing) You know them, it's the two guys who sings 'Party Rock'!"

The members of LMFAO, RedFoo(left) and SkyBlu. RedFoo is actually SkyBlu's uncle.
RedFoo's father is the music mogul Berry Gordy (Founder of Motown Records),
who's Sky Blu's grandfather. The silsilah (historical precedences) of people
are important to know. This is also some of the stuff you learn on the Path.

Oh I see. Or in Mika's abbreviated grammar... o i c.

"Okay, Papa... my No.1 singer is someone who was born black but died white! He's name starts with err... M! It's Micheal Jackson!" Then he asked me, "How is that possible, Papa? How could he be black then die white?"

"Gee, I don't know, Mika. But I never knew you loved Micheal Jackson."

"I do, Papa. Even when I was 3 I already liked him." Mika said before wistfully concluding, "I was very sad, you know, when he died. Very sad."


Yes, indeed. Life is often full of poignant sadness, sunshine. But it is also full of joyous and downright hilarious 'Mika' moments. And of course the singers... wonderful singers.

God bless the singers.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Love Already Told Me, But I Disbelieved - Religion, Sufism, Escapism and Our Bold Presumptuous Promises

Love Already Told Me, But I Disbelieved
Love told me, "Be patient..."
Love told me, "Persevere..."
Love told me, "Eat healthy..."
Love told me, "Go to the gym..."
Love told me this and Love
Told me so many other things,
But did I listen?

So I was brought down,
My stature lowered,
My station left down low,
My wealth and my health
Waiting for a better tomorrow,

And then Love came to me in the night
And said, "Will you NOW then listen to me?"

Thus I replied, "Give me my pen that I might write 'Yes',
Give me my face that I might prostrate before Thee,
Give me my hands that I might do charity,
Give me the Sun that I might know where is West,
Give me my veil that I might hide my piety,
Give me my health that I might do all this
When now I know that all that
You've ever wished for me
Was for my best.

TWO AIMS. The spiritual path of the Sufis has two aims, to address our heavenly endeavours and our worldly enterprises. Because you know, unless you are packing it in, and retiring from your job to become a full-time paid-up member of the Path, you still gotta eat, sleep and work to provide a living for those whom you are responsible for.

What is the point if you are learned in the transcendental truths and knowledgeable in the history of the Saints when you are not well? You have to take care of yourself, sunshine - in all aspects of your life, health, wealth and worldly knowledge, that you might contribute to society as an upstanding citizen, and nevermind your most Sufi-esque pretension.

Otherwise, for all these 'meaningful' and 'profound' expositions on love, truths and mercies, your faith and your 'sufism' would become nothing but a form of escapism. And I know, masyaAllah, how I know that there is so much promise in you.

Believe me. For I am not lying. For I too was there on the Day of Promises when we each made our bold presumptuous promises to our One Loving God. And we promised each other before Him that we shall look out for one another, and to remind one another. So here I am, reminding you. And reminding myself too. God bless.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Certainty is with God, in most other things doubt has a role to play...

1. Doubt as a blessing
If there is no doubt,
There would be no
Tales to tell,
Nothing to learn.

Within measure,
Even doubt,
While troubling,
Is a blessing.

It is okay to be doubtful about most things, my friend says - Politicians, currency exchange, price of oil, the weather, politico-preachers, the England football team (soccer they call it in America), the traffic congestion today, inflation, the ozone layer, the giant multinationals, the too-big-too-fail banks, the Rating agencies, the pharmaceutical companies, genetically modified food, etc. Really, the list can go on and on. We have this list because mankind and their agencies have proven time and again to have feet of clay - promising the world to us, but failing to deliver...

So my friend said that we should strive for certainty in our relationship with God instead. It is called 'yakin' and when all else fails, it is this certainty that will pull us through. We cannot all be saints or even saintly after all, nor geniuses or wise scholars. Most of us are really just trying to get through life without hurting (too many) people. I am fond of what the Prophet(pbuh) once said - "My follower is he whose hand and mouth no man or woman need fear of."

Thanks for driving in today, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Monday, June 18, 2012

What Stylish Gentlemen Are Wearing to Go Clubbing Nowadays - the Mosque and the Sufis(that's you, sunshine)

Well... you cannot blame me for sketching these two particular attires because of my
woolly-headed admiration for the Naqshbandi and Mehlevi Sufi Tariqas.
But you know... to each his/her own. Wear whatever you want, sunshine
so long as it has style and is cool. Even if nobody else does,
I am sure that God and the Prophet appreciates your effort
to look good and smell nice. Hehehe.

The Mosque. 
It makes sense you know... what I am suggesting. Well, it makes sense in the olden golden days of Islam. If going clubbing is essentially going to a place that leaves you feeling breathlessly happy and enraptured, then to the mosque we shall go for the heart-beating Mawluds (salawat and songs in praise of God and the Prophet). And if you want to witness two fantastic teams in the context of two grand masters of the Tariqa discoursing (that's debating politely) on transcendental truths, then to the mosque we shall again go, like football fans going to a Wembley Stadium finals. And if you want intellectual and spiritual gratification, again you go to the mosque to listen to and read about the advances in the sciences of astronomy, physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, psychology and the arts. And if you are looking for the best food, why visit restaurants when the richest philanthropists and the best cooks are donating their money and talents at the mosque? And if you are severely depressed and needing counsel, which Befrienders are better than the open-minded and tolerant wise men that habitually visit the mosque?

A big mosque in Kuala Lumpur.

Where is the Beauty? Where is the Love? Where is the Mercy?
Or is your mosque not like this at all? Is your mosque boring? Full of hide-bound rules-bound stony-hearted men (and women)? Is your mosque totally bereft of music and Mawlud? Is it just full of posters tacked up on the walls telling you what you are prohibited from doing (or dressing)? And really, is the young absent from the congregation? Where are the young teens and professionals? Of course, they are out at the clubs, the restaurants and the sport stadiums... because what is beautiful in the mosque does not exist there at this point in time.

If it is boring in the mosque, then un-boring it. But to do that, you gotta be there.
It is up to us. 
Whose fault is it? The mosque committee? The Wahabbis / Salafis or the Political-Islam reformists that fill up the Saf (row of prayers)? If we think that we are not represented, then surely it is beholden upon us to represent ourselves. So go to the mosque today, sunshine, and share the Love, without judgment on anyone.

Mikhail, in his constant struggle to remain awake during the Friday sermon. Poor kid.
But I don't blame him really. 

Have an awesome possum day. And bring some of your smiles and sunlight into the mosque...

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Religion is (or it should be... hehehe) - from the Sinners' Dictionary

Religion Is...
Religion is courtesy and rightness,
In that order of prevalence...

Your religion should
Make your mother and father appear more lovely,
Your children appear more angelic,
You can converse better in pillow-talk,
You can engage wisely with your bank manager,
Public speaking will seem like a walk in the park,
Weariness at the end of the day is a work well done,
Waking up in the morning is a soul well rested
And what is death, if it is not a life well lived!?

Your religion should
Make each morning's greeting richer,
An embrace fantastic,
A kiss cosmic,
The assuring hand on your shoulder
Becomes the Hand of God,
The kind shoulder that you rest your troubles upon
Becomes the Shoulder of God,
But the hand that you shake to say goodbye
Is not the Hand of God because goodbye
In the original ye old English
Means 'God-be-with-ye'...

Your religion should
Make the bees' honey taste sweeter,
The scholar's mind wiser,
The lover's promise truer,
The writer's prose bolder
As wealth and poverty
Become nothing but a state of mind
And each breath that you take
Becomes just one more step
Towards the Divine Presence...

And a problem becomes a milestone along that journey,
Sickness a cleansing white fire,
Sorrow a rose in bloom,
Pain nothing but a faint white star
In a galaxy of merciful meanings
As God and the Prophet guides you
To answer the singular question
Of who you truly are

I think the prose above is quite un-commentable as I think it is a comment in itself on religion. Do not sell yourself short. Do not limit your ambitions in your quest for Goodness and Godliness.

... who am I?

I think verily you underestimate your talents!

Have a really lovely day, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way