Wednesday, January 29, 2014


You Cannot
You cannot find me here,
I am a lost soul, drowning
In the Sea of His Mercy,

You cannot speak to me here,
I am deaf to everything that speaks
Save for those who extol His Majesty
And the virtues of His Prophet of Mercy,

You cannot hold me here,
My spirit is ever seeking to free itself
From this worldly body,

You cannot understand me,
For I am bereft of understanding,
Knowledge of my true self being
With my One King,

You cannot see me,
For I am the veiled light,
I am the forgotten wanderer,
And I am veiled from myself
Lest my mind becomes my teacher,

You cannot make me despair,
For I am neither here nor there,
I am in a place without time or space,
And I wear many secret names 
And faces.

Beginnings and Endings. This is not the end of a conversation, and neither is this a beginning. Whether it is yesterday, today or tomorrow, we are all part of a story devised by God Almighty for His pleasure. Thank God for God, that in whatever He may have planned for us, He plans with a love beyond mortal words to utter, with the certainty of a goodly beginning and ending, though God's divine plans are not encompassed by mere human concepts of beginnings and endings as we think them to be.

The Assurance of Muhammad. The assurance for humanity is that His own Beloved, Muhammad Habibullah (saws) is the epicentre and catalyst of His creation... the canvas of love upon which God paints and paints with unimaginable mercy, kindness and utter beauty.

And happily, despite what the news, world history or your weighing scale may suggest... you are a beautiful part of it, sunshine! 


wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Sunday, January 26, 2014



Sacred Archery. Traditional archery of the Prophet Muhammad Habibullah (saws) is a sunnah (tradition) highly recommended by the spiritual Masters. Consequently, my archery ambition for my self and Mikhail is celestial... cosmic... heavenly even. But my reality is very much down to earth. He he he. I don't mind, so long as I don't accidentally hurt any of God's creatures (which would include the brown squirrels and birdies that populate my garden and backyard, my next door neighbour's German Shepherd, and any unlucky cat or jogger that may stray too close to my home).

Actually it is quite impossible, because we don't have any arrows, you see... But such deficiencies are only technical issues. We can still practice archery, if we put our heart into it.

He he he.  

Have a lovely day, sunshine. Gonna catch a nap before lunch.

I love Sundays.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Friday, January 24, 2014

THE ONE AND ONLY ONION - for all believers, all unbelievers... for all of humanity

I like onions. They are a delicious part to any dish, when brown and caramelized, they add a distinct taste to any food you may like to cook. Apart from that, onions when raw are also excellent for detox. I have even read of sick people leaving a peeled onion next to their bed to detox the air in the room. Which is why I am told that you should not eat peeled onions left uncooked too long. They help to purify the air in the room, pantry or even the fridge, so you don't want to go eating the impurities absorbed in that onion.

Infinite Layers. Apart from eating them, I also like to use the onion as a metaphor. For I find that in this journey we call life, as we muddle and blunder our way through the many, many levels of understanding... it brings tears to our eyes sometimes. Just like when we peel the onion. But when we realise that everything we experience in life is entirely connected to the journey to an understanding of ourselves and of God, why... we find that there are infinite layers to this special onion.

Only One. So if you find yourself at one layer of understanding, which may not gel with another person's, so what? If you are both honest and sincere, what matters our differing views? The crucial thing is that we must always remember that this onion we are individually peeling and exploring... it is only one onion. One onion for all believers, for all unbelievers, for all of humanity.

Have a lovely day, sunshine. Enjoy that onion...

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Be! Awake!
I am a nobody,
You are a nobody,
But God said "Be!"
And we were thus done.

How many days have we lost,
Going to sleep as weary sinners,
But in the morning God said "Awake!",
And as believers we greeted the sun.

I spent some time with an old friend earlier this week. And he said "Don't allow your iman (faith) to enter your mind-ego." Do not be confused between the calculations of your ego, subtly disguised as moral or theological judgments to sway you from the true centre of your iman. The true core of your spirit and wherein sits the Throne of God."

"And where is that?" I asked.

"Your heart, of course. So think, but let your reason be subservient to your heart! For ultimately, there is where your iman resides."

...And how many times have I allowed my heart to be jailed by my mind and ego... My conscience silenced by calculative self interest and hubris? As many nights as I have slept, perhaps? 

Pray for me, sunshine, that I might wake up a believer.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

WHEN A STORY BECOMES YOUR HISTORY... how belief transmutes a mere tale into your own personal past

They Found Me
I found them that night,
Nightingales without wings,
Oh how they sang for their king!

I found them that night,
Weaving love in the night air
With their enchanted words!

I found them that night,
Swaying to and fro in a conference of birds,
Swaying to and fro, all perched in many rows,

I found them that night,
Me, the beggarly crow,
An unfit, uninvited shadow in the assembly,
Or so my reason did quell me,

Until came this ancient whisper,
Assuring the broken sinner,
“You did not find us,
We found you,
Tired and torn
Weary and worn,

We found you unspoken for,
So we said unto the Prophet…
We will take him.

This was the trade we made,
Long, long, ago…

This was the oath we took from you,
Long, long ago…

This was the love promised,
Long, long ago…

As the nightingales sang and dance,
Whirling and swaying to and fro..."

These words were spoken long, long ago
How I wish I could remember...

When you think about it (and why not?), your past antecedents and your personal history make who you are now. The things you have done (or not done), the words you have spoken (or omitted to speak) in your past, these direct personal experiences have all conditioned your attitude towards God, mankind and the world. But there is also another contributor to your personality... 

Your belief.

In the Sufi school whose zawiya resides not far from my home, is the belief that its mureeds (pupils) were all chosen in some distant event before time began. In that story, all the Saints and Masters of the different tarikats (Sufi schools) were  invited by the Prophet Muhammad (saws) to lay claim upon their (future) mureeds. But from the multitude, some souls were left behind. A Saint and Master  (and in whose name the Sufi order takes after) stepped up, and basically said... "I will take these souls left behind. As none will take them, I shall."

I reckon that my friends who often frequents the zawiya, not only knows this story - rather they actually believe the story. And once you believe such a tale, it no longer remains merely a story. It becomes your own history. And the grace and gratitude, the humility and generosity that such history inspires would benefit your present thoughts, words and action. How fortunate are such people!

So let your own good stories become your history and illuminate your life. 

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Thursday, January 16, 2014

TWO BOW-LENGTHS - sunnah archery, whirling dervishes and the unity of Allah (swt)

Two Bow-Lengths
Beneath ten million stars
Across the plains of America
High in the mountains of the Himalayas, 
Deep in the sea of the Pacific,
Hidden in the dunes of old Arabia,
In the Artic tundra,
On the steppes of Russia,
In the hollow of a rainforest
In rural hilly Malaysia
We whirl...

Following the one
Brought closest to the One
Till he was at a distant of but two bow-lengths
Or even nearer.

All roads lead to God. The art of the whirling dervish and the prophetic tradition of archery appear to be two very different activities. That is true at one level, but at another level it is essentially one and the same, just like the God we all pray to. And if you follow the spiritual path, there are many, many more levels for you to traverse. Across a seemingly impossible divide between the temporal and spiritual, the physical and the mystical. Slowly, you will notice the blurring of borders between religious ritual and daily life, between this world and that world. 

And most importantly, between you and I, between us and them.

The last sentence in the prose references a Quranic verse depicting the arrival of God's Beloved Muhammad (saws) beyond the last veil, through which not even the Archangel Gabriel would pass. And it was there (wherever 'there' is) that Muhammad Habibullah (saws) was brought to the divine presence of Allah (swt), God of all Creation. As the Quran informs us...

While he was in the highest part of the horizon
Then he approached and came closer
And was at a distant of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer.
(Quran 58:7-9, Yusuf Ali)

In this month of the Prophet Muhammad's (saws) birth, the Muslims are busying themselves in remembrance of their beloved Prophet, polishing the old connection and reasserting their passionate love for the Habibullah (saws) in the celebrations of his prophetic attributes. Why, even sinners such as I cannot but get dragged along for the ride...

So have a good one, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

THE SPRING OF BLISS & THE HAPPY, JOYOUS STATE - the Maulidur Rasul and why we need not fear...

Beguiled by beauty? Fear not, for your Prophet is beauty personified! 

46. The Turban and the Nightingales
There are folds in the Prophet’s turban
Like unto petals of a fragrant rose
Before any nightingale sang in heaven
Muhammad was Allah’s first prose.

This evening marks the 12th day of Rabi' al-Awwal, coinciding in the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). It also coincides in a flu-fever for the sinner. But I cannot permit this day to end without something for the Almanac, and I have taken the judicious solution of digging from my stash of old prose about our beloved Prophet (saws). Three of which is reanimated here... I hope you like them all.

207. The Waiting II
Muhammad is waiting under the Lote Tree,
Sitting under the shade of My Mercy,
Resting his back on the trunk of My Support,
Tasting the fruits of My Generosity,
Taking delight in the manifestation of My Beauty.

Attended to by the Best of Hosts,
He is already in the Best of Company,
Yet his gaze returns to thee,
Asking, “Join me! Join me!”

Doggone day? Fear not, for your Prophet is calling you out of the storm!

18. Love and Servanthood
Nothing is taught here,
But the Art of Love;
How to love,
And how to be loved.

Nothing is taught here,
But the Art of Servanthood;
How to serve,
And how to be served.

From perfect love comes perfect servanthood,
And from perfect servanthood comes perfect love.

From the perfection of both characters,
Comes the perfection that He looks for,
And that only He may Bestow.

By any other name, such perfection is he, Muhammad,
Best of Creation,
The Chosen Intercessor,
Lover and Servant,
Most Beloved of God.

What happy, joyous state is he!

Salam Maulidur Rasul, sunshine. May we all enter the Divine Presence and the Happy Joyous State that is with Muhammad Sayyidina Aynun Na'im (The Spring of Bliss) (saws), Prophet of Allah Almighty and Mercy to all the Worlds.

Blinded by the world? Fear not, for your Prophet is bringing you the Light of Knowledge!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

APPLES & ARCHERY... of life, love, parenting and cliches

93. Muhammad Mikhail
May he be a servant of God,
A lover of the Prophet,
A  friend of the Angels,
A mureed of the Masters,
A caretaker of the Traditions,
And spring of charity
To all who may come to him in need.

Somewhere far, far down the line,
Perhaps he can also call himself
A son of mine.

That is my prayer for my son.

Line of Precedence. Many years ago, when my son was only a baby, I recorded the verses. It sounds fine and properly humble, putting myself and my parental relationship with my Mikhail at the end of a virtuous and noble line beginning with God Almighty. Placing overall protection and education of my offspring upon the grace of God, the Prophet Muhammad (saws) and other divine and holy personages. 

Apples. But now I guess that the prose can be read from an entirely cynical point of view, and that is... I am running away from my responsibility as a father. I am saying this because Mikhail is going to be ten years old in a few weeks time, and to a large degree he has replicated some of my habits and attitude, the good and the not-so-good inclinations that make up my personality. You know the cliche... the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Do as I say and not as I do. So in Mikhail's 10th year and his father's 44th year, I am minded to do better this 2014 as a father. Because though I implicitly believe that my importance is so small in the greater scheme of things, but to my little child's eye, I am still the mirror by which he reads this world and lives his life. So on Saturday, I was resolved to follow him for his first traditional archery class, simply because of what he said to me...

"Papa, if archery is so important and a sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet, then why haven't you done it? And if you haven't done it, then why should I do it?!"

Cannot argue with that logic. So yesterday you would have found Mikhail, myself and Heche at the field adjacent to the local community hall. And it was great fun, though the hot Sun baked my brain.

He he he.

Have a beautiful Sunday, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way  

Friday, January 10, 2014

LEAP OF FAITH - releasing the power of the spirit through gaining mastery over our ego..

"Why does one pass away the instant someone shoots a bullet through them? Who takes that secret away?Why does someone pass away when they are fatally ill? The spirit is always trying to run away and break free from the cage of the body. When it find a way it will run away and go back to its origin. When you yourself, through your power over your own ego, free your spirit, at that time you can control the power of the spirit and it cannot run away. At that time you can do miraculous powers through your spirit."
From Mercy Oceans Secrets of the Heart, Rajab & Ramadan Lectures by
Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

I sketched the above picture not knowing what I actually wanted to say with the drawing. But yesterday I found a beautiful part of Sheikh Hisham's book (one of the older ones, published circa 1992) which I feel compliments the sentiment of the picture. I hope you enjoyed them both!

Have a blessed Friday, sunshine. And a wonderful weekend...

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

THE HADRA, THE BEAUTIFUL INHERITANCE - love is forever attracted to Love

92. Whatever, Whomever You are Looking For
I am your Home and your Homecoming,
I am your Beginning and your Ending.

If love is what you are looking for, love is with Me,
If light is what you are looking for, light is with Me,
If truth is what you are looking for, truth is with Me,
If safety is what you are looking for, safety is with Me,
If friends are what you are looking for, they are with Me,
If Muhammad is who you are looking for, he is with Me,

Whatever, whomever you are looking for, they are all with Me.

And if you are looking for your self?
You too are with Me.

So why look else where?

The Hadra. Some sit, some stand, some whirl, some jump, some walk, trot then run in a circle. A little bird perched near my ear tells me that the Hadra, a supererogatory ritual of remembrance, veneration and praise of God Almighty and His Beloved Muhammad (saws), often performed by the Sufi Orders are returning to the shores of the Malayan Peninsular and elsewhere in the South East Asian archipelago. The Hadra is performed on many religious occasions as well as important events like birthdays, weddings and even tahlils (supererogatory prayers for the deceased).

This is good news for the seekers looking for the understanding of the self, which leads directly to a knowledge of Allah (swt). And to undertake this worshipful search with hope, joy and happiness. 

It is something new for some people, but for some elderly friends, they look on a recent Hadra performed at a wedding reception and exclaim with surprise... "Why, we used to do this when I was young!"

As I said, this is indeed a wonderful missive for those looking towards Allah (swt) with hope and joy. After decades of Wahhabi-centric propaganda, it appears that people are returning to their beautiful inheritance, their original roots which stretches through centuries of the great Companions and Saints of the Prophet Muhammad Habibullah (saws)...

Surely, o' deniers, you do not think you shall always have your way here?

And this is naturally so because I believe that most people are lovely. And love is forever attracted to Love, beyond the forms and formalities of blind ritualism of religion.

Have a wonderful day, sunshine. 

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

INFINITY IS JUST ONE MOMENT - the words of the Prophet (saws) comes tumbling through time for us

Momentarily, please...
What is a moment?
When does a moment begin and when does it end?
Between two breaths?
Between the draw of a bowstring and the release of an arrow?
Between your birth and your death and what follows?
How many todays are left for us, o' Saad?
And how many tomorrows?
How far shall your arrow fly?
And wherefore shall your soul go?

The Oxford Dictionary (which I here summarize) says that a 'moment' means a very brief period of time or a particular or exact point in time or course of event

But for God Almighty, time itself is a point of creation. And though we are forced to live our daily life from the crib to the grave in periodically significant moments such as days and nights, births and deaths, work and rest, sleep and play... to God, all these occasions, which may be broken into countless and infinitesimally small apportionment of time, can all count to be one single moment for Him. After all, from the point of creation to the end of whatever end may be, it is in a single glance of God's divine vision... simply because the created can never, even clothed in that barely imaginable idea of infinity, encompass the Creator Himself. 

So like all things manifested by Our Loving God, even infinity is an instrument for human conjecture and reflection. 

Err... I appear to have wandered off topic. Alright, the prose above is actually referencing a hadith (verbal sayings of the Prophet Muhammad saws) - for one day, while walking with his four illustrious Companions, Abu Bakar, Umar, Usman and Ali, the Prophet (saws) came upon his uncle, Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, who was his mother's cousin. Famous for being one of the earliest Muslims, and a courageous and skillful archer, Saad was practising his archery skills when  the Prophet (saws) came by. Looking on, the Prophet (saws) encouragingly said to him, "O' Saad, shoot an arrow for me...".  

And so it is for you, sunshine. Whatever good deed or work you may be doing, however humble. Planting a sapling, cooking a pot roast, cleaning your room, reading a book, embracing your mother, honing your archery skills, or going for a walk... do you not hear our Master? Do it for me... do it in my name... do it on my behalf... do it for my pleasure... in all our prayer, pleasure, pastime or passion.

The words of encouragement from the heart of Muhammad Habibullah (saws) comes to us, passing through the vast expanse of time and space as if it were all just one moment in the Vision of Allah (swt) the All-Knowing, the All-seeing! Because the truth is, it really is.

So let us strive to a beautiful and purposeful life, sunshine. Not for my sake, and nor even yours. But for his sake, for the sake the Light of Creation, Sayyidina Miftahul Jannat (Key to the Garden), our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws).

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way