Monday, November 19, 2012

Light Upon Light - God and the Gossamer Screen

The Gossamer Screen II
He is the Gossamer Screen,
And the Lord made him with
Fine threads of light,

He is the Gossamer Screen,
And he shines brightest at night,
When all the world is asleep,

A long time in the making,
His web of light is stretched
From one end of God’s infinity to the other,
And called the Gossamer Screen
He reflects the Lord’s Light better than any other.

He is the flower of spring,
The first snowfall of winter,
He is God’s own serendipity,
Flowing with beauty and mercy,

As His Light falls upon him,
It is Light upon Light,
Praised by the dead in the cold earth,
Praised by the angels, deathless in the sky
The Sign of Mercy, Most Beloved of God,
The Gossamer Screen is he.

It is the understanding of the Sufis, those praying, singing and dancing dervishes, that true reality is God's alone. We are only reflections of God's own absoluteness juxtaposed upon a transient mirror, fleeting moments in the imagery when contrasted with the infinite breadth of His existence. And this is quite interesting, considering when I look in the mirror I see me and no one else. As I am sure you do too (I mean you would see you, of course. Not me. Hehehe). 

Oh well, this is what they tell me.

And yet the world is not an illusion for us. It is extremely real as we are born, we grow up, we work and play, we get married and have children, we love and we fight, we crawl, walk and run, we do all the things humanity has done since the beginning of time, until finally, we relinquish our hold to this world, to return to our Creator, God. So in its form, the world performs its function perfectly.

But form is not everything. There is of course the essence, the meaning of the world. And it is in this context that this world is illusory. For it betrays a deeper compelling purpose to our existence. It is to be a servant of God and to be of service to all our brothers and sisters in humanity. From this fitrah (essence) pours out all the very best of what we can be... honest, obedient, kind, compassionate, creative, loving, merciful and humble. This is the reflection of the Light of God, existing not just in Heaven, but on Earth as well. And the very best of Mankind reflects best the Light of our Lord. For the Muslims, this very best is Muhammad ibn Abdullah (s.a.w.s.), Prophet of God, anointed Mercy to all the world(s).

In the holy Quran, we read thus...

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is Knower of all things.
(Verse 24:35, transliteration by Marmaduke Pickthall)
This is the true reality of our existence then, living in a world of allegories and parables. But the allegories and parables are not for play, it is for us to reflect and contemplate upon, that we might learn a little of who we truly are, which is the very first baby steps towards understanding who God truly is...

May your path be beautiful and meaningful, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Salam, this is beautiful, Tawfiq, and cannot be said often enough. We need constant reminders of Reality and the signs of the One are everywhere to read