Friday, August 9, 2013

Making the Prose of Rumi more Beautiful and the Discourses of Geylani more Meaningful - honest toil and the virtues of household chores

Prose does not put food on the table, the kitchen stocked
nor the pathways and bathrooms clean...
For that we need the honest toil of workers and domesticity
of the home-makers. Blessed be the Prose of God in action!
(Prologue: This write-up is inspired by the exhaustion of the sinner after only two days' prep and household chores for yesterday's Eid open house. I plonked dead on my bed at 10pm, waking up 12 hours later...)

Kids... Mikhail and Imran.
You want them not to make the mistakes
you have made, and the easiest way is for you
to nag them. But the best way is by example.
You know it, I know it and
they know it too! (dammit)
Secrets. So what? There are secrets, and there are secrets of secrets. On the spiritual path, you will be pleased to know that many veils of such secrets are lifted,... and hey! Kudos to you because you now know! But so what?

For what is the point of knowledge if it is not manifested in your every day life? And as a registered sinner, I am the first to admit that this is not easy. But there are some very basic things which is important and we must at least try to do.

Self Improvement. The path (tarikat) does not enjoin the seekers to give up on the world, for there is much to do and improve, if we would only realise this. And of course it all begins with our own selves, first and last. For the journey to improving our habits and life style does not end until we exhale our last. So for acolytes of the mystic ways to espouse great transcendental knowledge about God and humanity, about the ordering and corruption of society... they must ask first what they are doing (or trying to do) to remedy their own faults - Their own personal health and eating habits. Their own exercise and concern for the household and their neighbours. After all, if nothing is attempted, nothing is gained. 

With Knowledge comes Responsibility. But for those blessed with secret knowledge, the responsibility is heavier. For as Imam Shafi'e said - Knowledge without practice is arrogance. In other words, you are principled in words and thoughts, but unprincipled in actions. This is not a good place to be in. In fact, it would be better to know less or nothing at all.

Honest Living. If you toil every day for an honest living, you gain money and wealth. With that prosperity, you can share it with your family and friends, your neighbours and needful charities, and there are a great number of people needing help out there. If you do not work, what are you contributing to the world? Whether you are trading, working for people, there is always room to work. 

Mikhail is a grandson of a great and efficient home-maker.
Though he never got the opportunity to meet my mum,
I hope to instill a little of my mum's domesticity in him.
(And in my own lazy self, come to think of it.)
The Prose of Rumi, the Discourses of Geylani. Even if you have no job whatsoever, you can at least be helpful about the house. For me, fixing the toilet, changing the light bulbs, sweeping the garden and throwing away the rubbish properly, are all a necessary and distinguished part of life. For it makes life for ourselves and everyone around us better. Menial though these chores may be, but the truth is they make the prose of Rumi and the discourses of Geylani even more beautiful, poignant and moving. Otherwise, are we not merely pandering to our spiritual ego?

Household Chores. Such things must be taught when young. And we must take the effort and be patient with our children. Otherwise, they will grow up dismissive of domestic chores, giving little credit to the little wives, mothers and sisters without whom a house can turn into a dung heap really, really fast.

So God bless all house-makers, and may we always be reminded to help them in their virtuous work!

Oh, and thank you to all who came yesterday. Most of all, I did the open house in loving memory of my late mother, Arbayah binti Haji Hashim, who made us a loving and generous home. May Allah (s.w.t.) bless her in the company of His friends.

My late-mum, the efficient home-maker. She only rested when she died.
But I wonder if she is now just as efficient in the Hereafter as she was here,
...watering the roses and weeding the Eternal Garden of the eternal weeds. He he he
al fatiha

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

1 comment:

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