Friday, July 26, 2013

THE MASTER & THE MOUNTAIN PASS - The Ramadan Story, Part 14

Inmates of the Bachelor Pad. Many years ago, before my housemates achieved marriage, middle age and a sheen of respectability, they were all seekers. Seeking for God and truth. Seeking for the straightest path and best methodology towards understanding themselves, their place in this world and really, to answer that age-old question - What loophole can people who are patently sinners and ne'er-do-gooders use to get in synch with the Universe and God's Plan for us?

The Techno Saint & His Loophole. One of my housemate back then, whom I shall call the Techno Saint (for he is a shy and retiring flower, and does not court publicity) told us of one loophole in the Universal Grand Design of God that he discovered. Moses, who was there, was intrigued and asked for further and better particulars. Essential to the Techno Saint's scheme is to ensure a transparent and straight path between our endeavour and accountability to God's desk which says 'The Buck Stops Here'. To do this, says the Techno Saint, we merely ask of God to send us a Master. Someone who will love us and support us, and help manage our otherwise caprice-driven life towards some meaningful end. So no more confusing and perplexing issues of theology. No more nail-biting decisions about where to move, what job to take and whom to marry. He he he. I guess not only were we sinners. But we were also commitment-phobic, lazy and procrastinating bums, dithering nervously between life choices. "So..." concludes the Techno Saint, "... If God sends us our Master, then we are sorted! And if God doesn't send us our Master... well, it's not our fault anymore, is it? For we asked already, and God ignored us."

After 13 years, thanks... I was not part of the menage that night in our bachelor pad when this Loophole was first discussed. Nor did I share in any of the strange coincidences and dreams which finally led my housemates to a Shaykh. But I too finally found my way to a Shaykh in 2004, whom coincidentally, was the very same Shaykh that Moses and the Techno Saint was led to. But this was not an event that occurred overnight, rather it was something which was seeded in 1991 when my brother took me to meet the Shaykh and to whom I unknowingly gave bay'at (the oath of fealty between a student and a teacher). I was 21 years old then, and had little preconceptions whatsoever, and when my brother told me to put my hand on the right shoulder of the man in front of me (this was part of the congregational bay'at with the Shaykh) I simply did so with little thought of its meaning. After the short prayer session, my brother sent me back to my college, back to my friends, my books and my puppy-love for girls. I would not have guessed back then, the sheer enormity of what had actually transpired (and how could I have?), and I cannot have imagine the calm and coolness of Love from which it had flowed since. 

And now that I think about it, I have never really thanked my brother for that brotherly gesture. I know he didn't do it to save me. No, it was because he found this wonderful thing called Love and Compassion, and he simply wanted to share what he has found. So despite being rather late, here it is... Thanks, Abang Chik!

"MasyaAllah!" Said the fisherman. "I am not kidding. The fish that got away
must have been at least THIS BIG!"
Who is Your Master? So after this meandering tale, we come to the whole point of this dictation... how would you actually know that the Master is really the Master and not some crank or Saint-wannabe? How would you know that he is actually telling the truth about the fish that got away?

The Master & the Mountain Pass
I cannot tell you how I know,
I cannot tell you why I know,
I cannot tell you what I know,
For I am ever in the state of relative ignorance,
With unknowing coming after knowing,
Coming after unknowing and coming after knowing!

But in his eyes, I saw knowledge like a well whose depth is unknown,
And in his hands I felt the warmth of love,
And in his manners was discretion and subtlety
Sharper than the Steel of Toledo!

But above all, in his heart I sensed
An understanding, an enveloping compassion for me 
Despite all my wretchedness...

For he does not turn away in disgust,
Taking me as I am, beginning from that day,
Through the darkest valley of my conceit,
Through the highest path of the mountain pass.

Yeah. The answer, such as it is, is not easy, sunshine. After all, love must have its drama. Shakespeare knew this. The Shaykhs knew this, and certainly Allah (s.w.t.) and Muhammad Habibullah (s.a.w.s.) also knew this... setting humanity on our merry way, unwittingly towards love and all its tribulations, those essential ingredients which makes love and life both meaningful and joyful. 

Go on... knock on the door... You cannot resist Love, you know. And if you can resist Love's blandishments, then it is not Love at all and this door is not for you. But never fear, for Allah (s.w.t.) will always have a door for you. You need only to ask. After that, it is just a question of time before you find the right one for you.

Have a lovely day, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

No comments: