Friday, July 20, 2012

Holy Ramadhan and Shaykh Raja Ashman - The Prince Part 23

"... rain is falling before the Gates of Ramadhan..."

3. Thank you?
My Master spoke to me tonight,
“Thank you for your writings.”

Thank you?
Thank you for the Moon,
Thank you for the stars,
Thank you for the seas
Of a million worlds
Waiting to pour from my eyes,
Leaving streaks of teardrops
Luminous with meaning,
Thank you for the celestial beings
Waiting outside the threshold of my soul,
Ready to say 'Hello' and 'How do you do?'

Thank you for all,
And thank you for you!

Happy birthday to me!
And happy birthday to you!

Four years ago, in the holy month of Ramadhan, thus recorded the sinner the above prose. I cannot recall exactly the circumstances, but it was undoubtedly one of those rare occasions that I bumped into the late al-marhum Shaykh Raja Ashman Shah ibni Sultan Azlan Shah (Shaykh Raja). And that was what he said. "Thank you for your writings."

It is deeply poignant for me to come across these very same words now. Hitting me unprepared.

The friends, mureeds and groupies of Shaykh Raja have cried many tears, I know. And they have been looking at his old pictures, with deep longing. I pity them for their trial and tribulation, without the physical presence of their Shaykh and Master. For he is their Master with utmost certainty. Ariffin my friend recalls his visit with Shaykh Raja to Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, the Grandmaster of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order. During one of the gathering, Ku Ash prompted Ariffin to quickly go to the Mawlana and salam (take his hand in greeting and kiss it) the Mawlana. So being the dutiful man that he is, Ariffin immediately approached the Mawlana with his hand extended, only for the Mawlana to strike it and say, "No! Salam your Shaykh first!", gesturing to Shaykh Raja. 

He He He.

Poor Ariffin. He felt that he could have dropped dead right there and then.

So, to the Shaykh Raja, and to my sainted mother and family and friends who have all passed away, wherever they are and in whoever company they are blessed to be in, I would like to wish them Ramadhan Mubarak! It is simply not the same world without their presence. And yet people still think it strange that the Sufis make a regular habit of visiting graves and maqams (tombs) of their beloveds and even strangers.

"Are you a Sufi?", they will ask you. "No," you will reply, "I am simply a human being. And in their life times these departed souls filled my world with truth, knowledge, love and sympathy. Is it not natural for us to recall and remember their spirit and memories with attendance to their graves in good Adab(courtly courtesies) and prayers?"

God bless you, sunshine. And this evening even the Earth is especially blessed. The heavens have opened up and rain is falling before the Gates of Ramadhan, extolling... "Mercy! Mercy! Mercy is Here! Blessed Ramadhan Karim is here! Rejoice o' sons of Adam! Rejoice o' Nation of Muhammad!"

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way


jo said...

Thank you.

Milky Tea said...

a pleasure always. selamat berbuka!


Ariffin said...

Thanks bro, the visit was in 1999 and the incident occurred on Friday, Farmagusta, North Cyprus. It was a routine for Mawlana and entourage to travel to another city in North Cyprus to perform Jumaat prayer. Our brother Shahzad was also there. Your friend Moses was present too. I thought it was the right adab to salam Mawlana first and since Ku Ash pushed me for it, it was something special... Being the first to salam Mawlana:) But yet, I end up being among the last:) What a memory. Al Faatihah, Ameen

Milky Tea said...

"I am a bad man", my ego says. Yet my spirit bows before your memories.

al fatiha!