Thursday, September 20, 2012

Martabat Sunnah Memanah, The Honour of Prophetic Traditional Archery - get your bows and arrows... we are shooting down our egos today!

Learn Archery! 
Not a single arrow leaves the quiver 
If it is not for my love for God and His Messenger, 
Not a single arrow flies from my bow 
If it is not for my love for God and His Messenger, 

Not for fame, 
Nor for glory 
Not for death 
Nor for infamy, 
Not for any statue made in my name 
Nor for any sport or game, 

Not for hate 
Nor for my pride, 
Not even for my own life, 

Not for glory 
Nor for heaven and its Huris, 
Not for power 
Nor for knowledge and its hubris, 

My bow and my arrows, 
As are my life and my hour, 
Shall always be his… 

Muhammad Habibullah... The Lord's Messenger… 

And he tells me, 
Learn archery!

You know... something funny just past through my mind. If indeed I were to take up traditional archery, I will be useless even during training. You know why? Because each time I were to reach for an arrow from my quiver, each time I were to pull the bowstring to let fly the arrow, I would suddenly pause, sigh and let drop my hand, thinking... "Oh no. I am doing this for my pride. Or for my glory. Or for my fame. Or for my own hubris or ego." He he he. I am a bad sinner I am.

So it pleases me no end that some of my friends have taken up archery or as they sometimes call it, Sunnah Memanah (the prophetic tradition of archery). Indeed some have gone beyond mere pastime, organizing archery schools and even tournaments. They are planning a big one here in Malaysia next year, and my dearest most sincere hope is that they will succeed in raising the Martabat (honour) of Traditional Archery not just here but in the whole region of South East Asia. 

South East Asia? We are already reaching China, my friendly sinner!
Keep up, keep up!
(Malay Archers on the Great Wall of China... very recently)

One little fellow tells me that he is hoping to organise a wall of 1,000 archers for the tournament ceremonies. I told him I will take part as I expect that it will require little physical exertion on my part. This is an important point for me because not only am I a bad sinner, but I am also quite lazy.

He he he.

Live life and love supremely, sunshine. Do not dither and wait for tomorrow. Be like my little friend. Don't me like me!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An old dream, new again today.

I lay awake a long time thinking about the dream that had just occurred. It was an exhaustive, fierce combat with deadly assailants. When it finally ended in an astonishing victory, I was still heartbroken that it was necessary to fight at all. But those sentiments did not prevail. Hazrat Babajan of India, the Sufi Qutub, was visibly present throughout the whole event observing the battle, and perhaps more than that. As I thought about it all I drifted back to sleep.

A new dream appeared, a different scene and situation, but with a related meaning. There were about six of us. We were in an antique building, in an elegant spacious room with beautiful wood walls, some of it ornately carved. There were no windows. It was a shooting gallery for archers. Each archer had a target across the room. Our bows and arrows were lightweight, but very large. The arrows seemed 5-6 feet long, and the bows were large enough to support them. I stood at the far left end of the straight line of the six of us ready to practice.

I aimed … seeing with crystal clarity the bull’s eye, the tip of my arrow pointing to the exact center of the target before adjusting for ballistics, and shot … hitting it precisely. I had the impression that because of the length of the arrows and the distance of the targets, this was not an easy feat.

We all wore brown robes with hoods, like monks, so I couldn’t see who the others were. I think some of them were in the Babajan dream. There was a single person, a man I think, also in a robe, sitting on a plain straight-back chair in the center of the room facing where we were shooting. I couldn’t see him from where I stood, there was a large pillar that blocked my view. But he could see our arrows as they passed perpendicularly in his line of vision.

I went to him. He seemed to be the Master Archer observing our practice. I had a question, I think in regards to our present status as archers, as if I were looking for approval to graduate to the next level. But in silence the Master stopped my question and communicated telepathically, that for now, continue to practice, continue to fight the assailants of the mind and heart to graduate to the next level. I returned to my post, and aimed...