Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Death Beneath the Bowing Eaves

I came to see you, 
Beneath the bowing eaves
Of the willow trees, 
Bent in praise to the Lord,

I greeted you kindly, 
But your downcast eyes
Did not see me at all,
Cast in pearly tears
For a life spent
Looking for love
All your weary years,

Beneath your emerald robe
Rivers of sadness streamed,
Above your noble head
Was tied a turban 
Of strange symmetry,

Two roses keep your company,
Burnished white and crimson,
The shy fleeting prayers
From two constellations,

At the end of the river
Two clouds form
Like a burial wreath,
For all your trials,
Your poverty, your sickness
And your wealth,

Now finally, you looked up
And you saw me,
And then you said,
"O Death...?"   

Prepping for death. I am advised that all I need to know about life is that it is best spent preparing for death. For that moment not to be hastened or delayed when we are introduced to Mr. D himself. But waitaminute... my mistake, it is not about prepping ourselves for death, but for the life after death. "I am but a door." Death says.

Evil does not win by death. In the ancient and modern take of life and death, I find it interesting that ghosts, demons and all sorts of nefarious creatures (including mankind also) are treated to have succeeded in their wickedness if they are able to terminate the life of the hero / heroine / innocent in a story. You will find this in the oldest folklore and you can watch it in the most contemporary horror films. For a believer, death is not a dice game between good and evil. For these fellows death is a threshold to a homecoming, as birth is a witness to a sorrowful parting.  

Azrael (Izra'il) Mr. Death is no servant of the wicked or evil. As an Arch Angel of God, he gets his instructions from the Divine Presence. And no doubt a piece of paper with our names scribbled will one day pass into his angelic In-Tray. InsyaAllah, may we all end in a good passing, at the end of a life beautifully lived as a servant of God and humanity. You know... to be remembered as good sorta chap (or chapette).

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sinners Guide to Reading the News and The Agenda of Inclusiveness

Pick your Agenda. Or in the new world of data-mining your internet history,
the Agenda will pick you. He he he.

As part of his mandatory community service to pay for all his past sins, this sinner is compiling some rules for reading and watching the news. It is a one-size fit-all baseball cap to fine tune your brain in reading and distilling the vast 'information' tsunami pouring out of the newspapers, internet and television...

Rule 1: Facts are not Neutral. It sits in an Agenda.
Rule 2: Yes. Everyone has an Agenda. Even Julian Assange. 
Rule 3: If you are reading or watching any particular News, you are likely the target of the Agenda.
Rule 4: Don’t just watch the News. Read the stories behind the News. And the stories behind the stories.
Rule 5: Business News – There is no such thing as pure price discovery (there never was, to be quite honest), only price propaganda for the Agenda.
Rule 6: Don’t react. Think about your reaction. This will scupper the Agenda.
Rule 7: When did mainstream become mainstream? But both mainstream and alternative news sites have their own Agenda. 
Rule 8: Advertizing and Psycho-technics - News are advertisements for the Agenda, and driven by the Agenda. 
Rule 9: There are no real News Reporters, per se. Only News Makers. So even Journalism advances an Agenda.
Rule 10: So what is the Agenda then, Mr. Smarty-pants?

Yes, sunshine. Even these guys have an agenda (or agendas),

Good question. Some agendas are well documented and follows the normal grain of ideology, race and religion. You know... right wing, left wing, centrist, nationalists, patriotism, Atheism, religion, race, socialism, communism, capitalism and all other sorts of -isms that mankind has created to mirror their views and unfortunately divide humanity. 

I too have an agenda. I am just not too sure what it is. I am a Muslim, I am a Malay, so there are some beliefs that I lean towards. I like to eat. I don't like conflict. I can be lazy sometimes. I have diabetes. Like it or not, your entire person influences your thoughts and aspirations. I like to write. I like to sketch. I love music. Even Kylie Minogue and Abba (I think Abba is so underrated). All this forms the foundation on which I write this Almanac. But above all this (I would like to believe, I may be fooling myself after all. I don't discount that possibility), I am most fond of the teachings and experiences from the Sufi Masters and friends that I am aware of. For however I define what I am, the inclusiveness taught to me by these fine fellows helps me break down the walls that we sometimes prop up because of our own origin, upbringing and social, ideological and religious prejudices.

So people may talk to you about this Islam and that Islam, this Muslim and that non-Muslim. But things are not as simple as that. If you are a Muslim, and if you believe that the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) is the Seal of the Prophets, the Prophet for the End of Time and God's anointed Mercy to all the World(s) and all the Creatures, then a sense inclusiveness must play some part in your faith. And this sense must encompass all mankind, whatever their piety, creed, race or religion. And this also includes the animals and the natural environment of the world.

I guess this is my agenda (for now). Inclusiveness. It is not about agreeing about everything. It is about agreeing to sometimes disagree. Isn't this what the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) has taught you, o' Muslims? O' Arabs?

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Monday, October 29, 2012

Being Nothing and Doing Nothing - the ego and the selfless ones...

1.      Be Nothing
To be nothing
Is not to do nothing.

It is to do something
With your life
In the pursuit of
Being nothing.

And accepting
That whatever effort
That you expend,
At the end,
It is entirely up to Him.

Yes, it is a little
Like God having the cake
And eating it too.

But, you see,
That is God.
And I would accept
Him regardless of
The  infinite ways
That He may breach
Our petty human norms.

Indeed, it makes
God to me,
God the Most Interesting,
God the Utterly Unique!

But don't believe me.
For I am in love, you see.
And I would say the most
Foolish of things now,
To keep Him
In me.

Doing Nothing. And when you are doing nothing, you are also doing something. For the human ego has to two contradictory abilities, it can motivate you to do the baddest thing in the world, and like a giant donkey, it can simply sit on you and stop you from doing the best thing you can do, for yourself, and the world. As a sinner who has graduated with both majors, I can assure you that the ego can ruin your life either way.

The Ego. Whether you are rich or poor, the ego as the selfish, proud, a genuine mr-know-it-all with a middle-age spread of hubris can make life unbearable. Whether you are sick or healthy, the ego will either make the path of recovery appear so unlikely that it will convince you to do nothing at all, or it will tell you that you will always be healthy and live forever. Both are of course, damn lies, but it is difficult sometimes to sieve through the truth and lies, facts and illusions, especially if you are inclined to believe the insidious mutterings of your ego most of the time...

The Selfless Ones. I admire the selfless and the generous, who thinks of nothing to lend their last penny to their brothers and sisters in need. They have trained their ego to heel, to sit, to stand up, to trot and to gallop according to their conscience, and not the other way around. God bless them!

Thank you for sharing the loft of your mind with me, sunshine. It is Monday and the Sun is shining obscenely bright outside. And I can almost hear the cackle and noise of humanity knocking on the door of my contemplation, requiring my attention. In my line of business, worrying and doing something about other people's problems is my vocation. My donkey is tethered outside and impatiently braying for me to come. Thankfully, I like what I do very much... May we all be guided to do in life what is natural to our fitrah (individual essence), whether as a doctor, a mechanic, a farmer, a writer, a singer or a nurse. Love what you do and do what you love... as the old adage goes.

Whatever you are working as, may you have a wonderful day ahead.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Sunday, October 28, 2012

THE STORY OF THE ONE RING IS NOT ABOUT THE RING AT ALL - Tolkien, story devices, miracles, saints and the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.)

Hearts & Clouds
Clouds turn into hearts,
When you recite,
And if they don't, 
Will you now turn on your heel
And walk away from 
Allah and His Prophet?

You can heal the sick,
And you can fly
When you say
But if you are not able to,
Will you now turn on your heel
And walk away from
Allah and His Prophet?

Among the wisest of the wisest,
The Universe is in their hands,
But they see it as bad manners
To ask God to use such story devices,
Seeing the miracles already in themselves
And in Creation and the Flawed Splendour that is Mortal Man.
(bismiLlahiRahmaniRahim - in the name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful)

Story Devices. I have read somewhere that J.R.R. Tolkien, when he wrote his magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings, were not too keen on 'story devices'. These literary devices are magical events or creatures that are used by him to  turn the plot in a direction that he desired - such as the giant eagles, and of course the One Ring itself, that is able to turn the wearer invisible. Ironic when you think about it. 

The best fellows. The best of fellows are those who rarely if ever use 'miraculous' powers. Because the role of such teachers is to guide mankind unto the path of the Prophet (s.a.w.s) and His Companions (r.a.). There is of course an avenue for the use of some magic to turn people's hearts, but to be quite honest here, I don't believe that the saints like doing such miracles. For they do not desire to alienate their own person from that of their mureeds (students). "Well, of course he is a saint! I once saw him fly!" Saints do not desire to differentiate based on these story devices. Rather, they are calling us to the very human and yet very spiritual journey of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). And the greatest miracle of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) are not such things as the splitting of the moon, but the change he made in the heart, the conscience and the life of Man, for the better - learning a good habit, leaving a bad habit, healthy living, caring and kindness, forgiveness and empathy, friendship, courage and forbearance.

Sentiments. This may not make for grand cinematic scenes, but as Tolkien himself was aware of, the story of the One Ring is not about the Ring at all, but the sentiments, good and bad that drove the plot and the lives of the Hobbits, Men and the Elves. The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) would have understood this.

Have a lovely day, sunshine. Be useful, be happy and forget about the One Ring and the parlour tricks of the Devil. The unadorned finger pointing to the Oneness of God is the best accessory your soul can ever wear...

Galadriel rejected the Ring. You should too. Stay mortal and simple.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way   

Saturday, October 27, 2012

These Truths and the Stories of Man - clarity of beauty in the morning air

Katmir & Dogmir get wet. What a wonderful morning it is here. At half past six I took my dogs (read my sneakers) for a walk, dear old Katmir and Dogmir. As I was walking by the edge of the neighbourhood of Hartamas, I saw a definite clearing through the shrubbery that would take me to the no-man's land of the high tension power line that borders Hartamas and my own locality of Bukit Damansara. So on we trudged up the track and I found it to be a perfectly nice view, albeit overshadowed by the quintillion volts of electricity running above me. Alas I could not enjoy the vista too long as my path led me to a deep morrass of weeds and sinking soil left wet by the many days of storms we have had here recently. 

Morning Life. It was from then a gingerly and cautious stroll to find my way to the end of the path which (thankfully!) wound its way back to the main road. I detoured to the nearby food stalls which was already serving the early morning folks... Bangladeshi and Indian workers coming back from the 24-hours Indian Muslim restaurants where they toiled all night long. Some girls were already walking from home to the sundry shops where they work, while at the stall itself I was served by a cornucopia of Indonesians and Pakistanis. Sitting at the next table were a couple of Indonesian construction workers, having their breakfast before reporting to the work site, and next to me a doddering old Chinese fellow with a gravelly voice bantered with the Pakistani waiter. A couple of Malay boys and women came by to buy some Nasi Lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk). Later, a pretty Myanmar girl arrived to have black coffee. The resident stall cat, who looks very-well fed, were making plaintive mewing for his breakfast from sympathetic patrons.

3.30am. I woke up early today about half past three to sketch something, but like many things man-created, nothing is more sublime and beautiful than this rich world that God has created for us to be born in, to grow up, to live, work and get married, to have children and finally, to one day  return our body to the soil whence we came. And for our soul to speed its way back to the Divine Presence. And of the richness and beauty we have left behind? Nothing even there would compare with the Beauty that is God, with the Refined Wonderness that are His Attributes, and the Incomparable Happiness to be in His Company and that of the most honoured in His presence, the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).

I like to wake up early because these truths and the stories of Man have more clarity in the morning air, before the rest of us awaken to get distracted by this world and humanity's own puzzling confusion about who they truly are and why they are here. But we have no such confusion, do we, sunshine? Not here. Not now.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Friday, October 26, 2012

OH GOD...! YOU GOT ME! - the arrow, the heavenly website, mikhail and the melodramatic father

My son need not 'score' to win his place in my heart. At his birth God has already scored a bull's eye inside me. It is my life's hope to be worthy of this arrow sent winging its way from Heaven...

Mikhail a.k.a. 'Mini Me'
Well, Mikhail did rather decently for his exams. At his age of 8, it is not necessarily the most important thing in the world to me, but it has certainly elevated my son's self-confidence, which is always a good thing, I doth think. Perhaps more so than any other creature on our planet, the relationship between parent and child is one of the most complex and sincere connection you can have with another human being. He (or she) is genetically and spiritually your own Mini Me.

It is tough being a parent. No training, no proper certification, not even a short internship to prepare us when the stork comes along with the little bundle of joy (which will soon translate into a large bundle of bills and expenses unheard of by the new parent, especially the father). We know we are not very good, and everything devolves into on-the-job training. So our real prayers always is that we don't cause permanent damage to our children. It's a trust thing, you see..

91. I, Wobot
Like a computer,
Every hour, divine programs
Are downloaded from the
Website in the Sky.

But it is when their elders,
Mess about with their codes,
That children become confused,
And they hang, refusing to reboot;
Ctrl, Alt, Del!
Ctrl, Alt, Del!

Have a lovely day, sunshine. And a wonderful Eidul Adha for our Muslim friends... God bless all children.

Damaged? No... my son just has a quirky sense of humour. In fact, if you look closely
enough you can see the fibre optic cable running from the top of his head to
the Heavenly Website upstairs. It is the same for all children.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thank you, for praying for me - Sleep, Life, Death, The Tapestry Divine, God and His Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.)

Thank you, for praying for me. In whatever way you may be praying...

Awake. After a night’s rest of the mini-death that we call ‘sleep’ I am awake once again. And I am not dead. God has decided NOT to finally end my ill-used life, my wasted hours, my neglected prayers, my poor facsimile of a good human being (what more a Muslim…), my crowing cockerel on top the heaps of my foolish deeds, my failed attempts to virtue, my successful claim as a sinner, my growing record of mistakes… in other words, God has delayed the termination of my mortal life for one more day.

I don’t remember praying for this. I don’t remember asking God last night, “Ohhh… Lord… please don’t end me yet. Not when I am like this… not when I have so many things I wish to do… so many missteps to correct, so many defeats to reverse, so many promises to keep… oooh God… pleeease… Amen.” No, I did not do that, instead the last words I heard was a documentary on RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland)…”acquisitions… NatWest Bank… Citizens… entering large market in Chicago… failure in risk management… cost-cutting… 2008… mortgage derivatives… bla bla bla…” . Then my eyes slowly closed and to sleep I fell.

So someone must have been praying for me instead. Was it you?

Thank you, sunshine. Preachers and clerics often tell us, “Pray! Pray! Pray!”. But sometimes (if not all the time), our existence in this world, is carried upon the prayers of others. They are easily recognizable, the prayers of our fathers and mothers, our aunties and uncles, our brothers, sisters, cousins and friends. But above all of these ‘others’, in the highest firmament of love and compassion, there in the Divine Presence of God, the prayer for us is being recited by our Master, Muhammad Prophet of God(s.a.w.s.), Warner and Bringer of the Good Tidings of God upon All Creation, anointed Mercy to all the world(s). He was nigh but a mere orphan, poverty-stricken, but his prayers is heard by God. Alhamdulillah always…

But I am thankful for all prayers that come springing my way. They are like little flowers of spring blooming upon the path through a Meadow of Light. So, thank you.

Generally... I may not know you specifically, but by Allah, I know you generally at least. You are my brothers and sisters united in the worship of the One God, however you may be dressed in such worship – whether you say you are a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Sikh... in the many colourful ways that Humanity calls upon our One God. The Tapestry Divine.

It is my hope to know each one of you, specifically. If not in this life, surely the Lord will bring us together at the Good Place where the Good People meet. I may not be one of the Good People, but I believe you are one, sunshine… so your prayers for me will bring me to you. Wherever you are.


Wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

THE PROMISE - I was there... and I saw it all.

Before the doctor gathered you into his arms, I was there and I saw it all,
When you opened your eyes for the first time, I was there and I saw it all,
When your mother embraced you for the first time, I was there and I saw it all,
When your father picked you up from your first fall, I was there and I saw it all,
When you cried as your mother left you in school for the first time, I was there and I saw it all,
When you looked at the world as a child, confused and a little scared, I was there and I saw it all,
When you turned teenager and do not know of your place in the world, I was there and I saw it all,
When you left school and took that first tentative steps to manhood, I was there and I saw it all,
When you traveled to a foreign land, seeking knowledge and experience, I was there and I saw it all,
When you returned to your delighted mother, I was there and I saw it all,
When you gave your heart away to only have it broken, I was there and I saw it all,
In your marriage and the birth of your son, I was there and I saw it all,
Through your divorce and the uncertainty that it brought, I was there and I saw it all,
And when you found love in the most unlikely places, I was there and I saw it all,
When you found yourself in the gathering of Sufis, I was there and I saw it all,
When you first kissed the hand and embraced the Masters, I was there and I saw it all,
In all your ups and downs, your valleys and peaks, I was there and I saw it all,
Through everything that you have experienced, many of which you have forgotten,

I was there and I saw it all.

But you did not see Me at all.

And now you speak to Me of love.

How can you, when you have not even seen Me?

In all My sweetness, in all My beauty, in all My mercy for you?

In all My forgiveness and My love for you?

Your yearning for Me accounts as small compared to My yearning for you,

And every second, every moment's delay of our meeting I accept because as your Lord,
I know what is the best way for you, I know what is the end for you...

Lo, how can you imagine I would desire any hurt upon you,
That I would desire anything but the best that I can give,
And as your Lord, the best for Me
Has no limits,

Just like My love for you.

We reflect and we project reality upon the canvas of this world. So reflect upon God in the most sweetest and endearing thoughts, and the world will be the sweetest and most endearing to you. This is not escapism but realism, for each moment of hopeful thoughts and prayers, each iota of I-will-never-give-up courage and fortitude that you manifest, each second of things-will-get-better that springs in the well of your heart, is yet another step to God, with God.

How can things NOT get better, when we are passing through this captioned life of ours to the one end that is for all of us, to God in His Divine Presence?

This is how my Prophet's teaching (s.a.w.s.) is taught to me, though I am the worst student and know nothing really, except for the moment that I am present. Everything else, in the past and in the future is belief.

May we learn to believe, to be better believers in the Promise.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Far Beyond the Shores of Mortal Thoughts... sailing the Ocean of Belief

The Shore of Understanding and the Ocean of Belief
Understanding has its limits,
Belief has no limits,
It has oceans, and when you reach
The end of one, another ocean
Opens up for you to sail,
And another, and another.

Sometimes, in the quietness
Of the early morning,
When everyone else's asleep,
I would stand in the mirror
And look to my day’s words and deeds,
And verily, I would shake my head
And address myself, saying,
“O’ you weak fool. I sometimes do not
Understand you at all!”

So how far outside our skin do we
Have any knowledge, when we are
Limited by our own understanding
Of who and what we are?

This is where I often meet my Master,
In the ocean of belief,
With angel-like seagulls flying above,
But I am not catching any fish!

I try to keep close to the familiar,
Hugging the coastline of my own understanding,
Fearing the unknown, but ever the Master
Sends the wind of belief, and whether I like it or not,
My ship’s sail is catching his prayers,
Billowing in the divine breeze of God,
And my ship is entering further and further
Into the Ocean of Belief, 
Far beyond the shores of mortal thoughts.

Sometimes, things happen beyond the normal. It is not abnormal, but it is strange for the course of existence that we would like to take. But the truth is, we cannot have everything our way (thank God!). So we should take some hope that wherever the wind blows our soul towards, it is anywhere and everywhere the Ocean of God, if we would only surrender our own plans and conspiracies and accept the infinite Ocean of Belief.

Where you are right now. Whatever you may be doing, and whomever you are with. All these things occur for a reason. Believe that you are on your way to the Divine Presence, and you will be...

Have a lovely day, sunshine. Happy sailing!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Monday, October 22, 2012

A little optimism with your Monday morning cup of tea - the Sky of Love, the Glow of Muhammad the Light, and the bumbling sinners holding on to the balloon...

Holding On
I don't know where I will end up,
Holding on, as best as I can,
On a heart-shaped balloon
With a short wingspan...

A little bit of self-audit,
A little bit of self-deprecating humour,
A little bit of study,
A little bit of funny,
A little dose of serious-ity,
A little dose of irony,
A little bit of praying,
As upon the wings of a prayer,
I go a floatin'...

Laughing and crying,
Singing and dancing,
Learning and obeying,
Disobeying and regretting,
Loving and yearning
Upon the singular path
That attracts all the best
Of man and their kings...

The Path of Love.
Thus, only God and His Prophet
Knows why I am here,
Spoiling the scenery 
With my floating indiscreet prose.

We are all floating. Clinging for dear life (and sanity) on the thin thread that is tied to that big balloon in the celestial sky called Love. We are all floating. No matter how certain we are with our calculations of market trends. No matter how assured we are in our 'facts' and experiences. We are all floating in the Sky of God, as bumbling souls, big or small, fat or thin, hoping and praying that God sends us to the best of places, to the highest firmament of divinely graced happiness, over the valleys of Man, up to the Highlands of the Saints, further beyond to the peak of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s). And beyond? Unto the divine presence, veiled from even the highest flying Angels of God, to where the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) is, waiting for us, beckoning us, and breathing the guiding wind of truth, mercy and love... that we may come to him soon. Very, very soon. 

My name is Taufiq, if you would care to know. And as a student of this life, I think I would have despaired for Mankind (and myself) as I witness, on the daily basis, human greed and folly, spreading fasad (corruption), falsehood and tyranny through out the lands. But I am assured by the balloon that I hold on to, that it will not fail me. Not in a million years, not in an infinite span of sad days and crying nights will I consider that God would fail me, that Muhammad Habibullah, the anointed Mercy to all the world(s) would fail me. We are all carried in the wind by the very best prayers and wishes of all of God's own Angels, by the very best desires of the Companions and Saints of the Prophet. 

Now the day called Monday is open anew for you. The Angels have awoken the Sun, and the birds are bursting forth in their musical choir for you, and for me. This is a good day. This is the very best of days, for it is another twenty-four hours to get to know yourself. For verily, if you but knew yourself, as God knows you, you would fall in love with yourself, you will keep yourself safe from your own neglect, and the Light of Love burnished in the Glow of Muhammad the Light shall never grow dimmed. Indeed, in these dark times it will shine brighter than a million galaxy of supernovas.

There... A little optimism with your Monday morning cup of tea. Go forth with God, sunshine!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Facts do not exist in the Vacuum of Human Nature - knowledge, human instincts and the greatest struggle of humanity

It is our own human nature that evokes the emotion we feel when looking at this picture.
The Perception
Facts do not rule our lives. 
Our perception does.
And to better understand the world
Is to better understand our own humanity
Our good and bad inclinations,
Our good and bad nature.

To encourage the former
And resist the latter
Is the greatest struggle
For all of us.

No Vacuum. We are all humans. Facts do not exist in the vacuum of human nature. Well, it could exist in such a vacuum... but so long as we are human beings, what experiences and knowledge we all acquire is distilled by our natural instincts. This is true whether we seek physical experiences and knowledge, or spiritual experiences and knowledge.

Love is beyond the physical. Even Atheists know this, but some have been conditioned
by a Mr-Know-All sense of pomposity and condescension. And the Believers? Of course
we believe in Love, we are just not very good at it. Still working to improve....

The Honey and Poison of Human Nature. Both believers and unbelievers, between those who believe in the existence of God and those who do not, we all come born into this world with certain virtuous instincts unalienable to our nature - the instinct to survive, to seek company, to socialize, to love, to forgive, to seek understanding, to tolerate and to be caring. But we are also born with our ego, thus our instinct is not only to survive but to dominate, not only to seek company but to rule, not only to socialize but to to demonize and ostracize those who are 'not like us', not only to love but to overwhelm, not only to forgive but to put 'such people' in their rightful place (beneath us), not only to understand others for empathy but to subjugate, and lastly... not only to be tolerant and caring but to rationalize our own sense of moral superiority.

So you see, for each honey of humanity, there is an equal and devastating poison when you look closely at the words and action of Mankind. The poison can, and alas has destroy the happiness of many, many people. 

Unhappiness is waiting in the rain for a ride that will never come. Admit it, we have
all felt like this at some point or rather in our lives. 

The Importance of History. It is too bad that history is such a neglected topic of public discourse. Because there is no better way to study human nature than history. It is all there, because frankly, there is nothing new and original under the Sun. All has been gone over, many, many times before in the past - orthodoxy, conservatism, revolution, war and evolution, economic boom and bust, spiritual enlightenment and moral decay, liberalism and reactionary forces, all entwined in a constant struggle for and the conditioning of the human heart. If we would only look into history, it will reveal many warnings and signs that can help us avoid the worst manifestation of our egos... violence, hate, hubris, wars and oppression.

Islam. For the Muslims, we must look beyond the trending news of terror, fundamentalism, extremism, violence and hate that is perpetuated by the very same Mass Media that is purportedly acting for liberalism, freedom and justice. We must look back to history to understand the significance of these global trends. For as you may recall, no facts exist outside human nature. By acknowledging this, not only about 'the others' but especially more so, about our own selves, we will come better to understanding our own human instincts, and learn to encourage the good of God that is within all of us, and struggle against the selfish and self-conceit of our egos. The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) calls this the greatest struggle of humanity.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Seeing Through the Nothingness of Self - the garden, the stage and the Stage Master, Muhammad Habibullah (s.a.w.s.)

Black or White, Tiger or Mousedeer?
If you are the black
Will I be the white?
If you are tiger
Shall I be the mousedeer?
If you are the hunter
Will I be your prey?
If you will be the Moon at night
Shall I be the Sun at daybreak?
If you are the shore
Will I be the sea?
If you are the accused
Shall I be the jury?
If you are struck blind
Would you still see me?

If you will be the Pharaoh
Shall I be Moses and Aaron?
If you are the Queen of Hearts
Can I be your knight errant?
If you will be the damsel in distress
Shall I be the gunslinger?
If you will be right
Will I be wrong?
We can be this, that and the other,
So long as we remember, my love...
To whom we all belong. 

People walk by,
Passing us unknowing
Of the universe we create
And the roles we play
In our mould of clay.

al-marhum Shaykh Raja Ashman Shah
ibni Sultan Azlan Shah ('coach')
Dear God, I need Thy love, sweet and beautiful as it is, and however Thou may imagine in Thy infinite imagination. I have found myself, and I saw nothing there. Then I saw through the nothingness to see Thy perfect order and subtle ministration of this beautiful, beautiful world Thou has created for us, us poor weak servants - too playful and foolish, naughty little children let loose in Thy Garden of Paradise called Earth. Protect us from the accursed one who ever seeks to lead us astray. Help us, o' Lord of the Garden!

Dear God, in whatever role I may play with my opposite, in whatever mask I wear, in whatever masquerade party I am invited to, let me be Thy answer to the eternal questions of Mankind - who am I? why was I created? Where did I come from and to whom shall I return to?

Dear God, I can play the bad part. I can play the good part. Guide me always to the good part. Send me the script, send me the director, send me my acting coach, send me my agent and only true Master... bring me unto the guiding light of Thy Prophet Muhammad Habibullah (s.a.w.s.), Thy Own Beloved, and anointed mercy to all actors upon this stage that we call the world.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

With the right coach, you will feel like you are walking on air...

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way