Saturday, May 31, 2014

AL FATIHA, AL FATIHA, AL-FATIHA - death and my guilty pleasures

The almarhum Sultan, at his son's zawiya in 2012, a month of two
after the passing of almarhum Shaykh Raja Ashman Shah.

Learning to Become Unlettered
I am a man of letters,
But when Love found me
Bereft of joy at the loss of a beloved,
I learn to become unlettered.

I learn to let Love write my life for me,
First, a little name was written...

Then a little phrase,
Next a sentence,
Then Love wrote for me
A whole paragraph...
Before the paragraph turned 
Into pages of paragraphs,
And finally concluding in
One small chapter of my life
That Angels call "One moment in
The life of Notrumi."

Seconds of Love in a Day. actually thought of ending the prose with "... One day in the life of Notrumi". But I felt embarrassed to do so. Because the truth is, sunshine, I cannot recall any whole day that I have lived allowing Love to write me and finish my sentences and actions. I am afraid that in the 24 hours of my average day, there are only minutes, or perhaps only seconds when Love furnished complete my thoughts, my words and my deeds. And the rest 99% of my day? Well... no doubt I was motivated more by my hunger, my tiredness, my search for recognition, my submission to the aimless distractions that God has filled this world with.

Oh dear.

Guilty Pleasures. I was editing this post when my friend Moses and his wife came by to join me. I felt terribly shy that they might notice my unfinished writing. I felt like a bride in the bridal chamber, and someone had left the door ajar. So I minimised the page, lest Moses might see the guilty pleasure that I am taking with you...

His Joyous Light!
I have no true pleasure in this world,
All that I have felt, all that I can conceive,
All happiness, all joy, all such things that men like to treasure,
To me, they are all guilty pleasures...

For they were not created for me,
But in truth, true Love was written for him,
Muhammad Habibullah.

And I await my real happiness,
My real joy and delight
To be in his presence...
In His Joyous Light!

And I conclude this writing contemplating those whom Allah (swt) has given me the honour and pleasure to know and to know of - The Master, my Master and my Sultan, Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah ibni al-Marhum Sultan Yussuf Izzuddin Shah Ghafarullahu-Lah, Sultan of the royal state of Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia... who left his physical body after a life well-lived just three days ago to return to the Almighty Sultan of sultans... 

al-fatiha al-fatiha al-fatiha

Oh sunshine, of all my guilty pleasures, perhaps they are my most guilty pleasure of all.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Notrumi Embun, 31st May 2014

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

THE FIRST STRUGGLE ... illusion and the self-delusion of humble glory

The Greater Struggle
Every breath is a struggle,
Every blink of your eye,
Every thought that passes
Through your mind,
Every passion stirs
In your heart.

Do you need for arms,
Armours and wages of war
Before your struggle starts?

Muslims often say, "Jihad is not just war. The Jihad ul-Akbar (the Greater Struggle) is the personal struggle against our own ego and nafs (base desires)." Yeah... we say a lot of stuff. But we don't actually mean it, for time and time again, I observe than we are often overwrought and impressed by military history, weapons of destruction and violent sentiments. Of course we couch it in the name of God and His Beloved Muhammad (saws). 

So I say now that...

The First Struggle
The first struggle for you
Is to overcome your self-delusion
That you truly understand 
What is the Greater Struggle,

And for you to mind your manners with
The ant under your feet,
The woman that you claim to love,
The air that you breathe but do not own,
The God that you claim to worship but Whom you keep distant
And the Prophet that you claim to love but do not follow.

I read someone who decries why Muslims are not "jihad-ing" like how we used to in the past. The struggle, right from the moment of the prophet of Muhammad Habibullah (saws) continues. Look with your heart and see our struggle! Not one moment passes that we are not walking upon the path between right and wrong!

Mika completed his first khatam quran yesterday at his mummy's house.
And it was a struggle. How beautiful it was
because it was indeed a struggle!

wa min Allah at-taufiq.

- Notrumi Embun, 28th May 2014

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Sunday, May 25, 2014

THE ENEMY, THE DOG, THE PIG AND THE RELIGION ... ending the illusion of 'religion'

What is Religion?
Things took a turn for the bad
When the Muslims took what they had,
The faith and the way that Muhammad brought,
And shoehorned Islam into their limited conception of
Religion and God.

Think about it, sunshine. There is no comparable religious study program of Islam and any other religion. For the truth is Islam encompasses everything. It is the tea that you drink, the charity that you do, the sin that you commit, the trust that you keep, the friendship that you have betrayed, the life that you live, and the love that you have faithfully kept or lost. For God has said that He knows your all, your past and future deeds, your black and white and grey. Islam of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) is a key to the infinite, and as such cannot be judged in finite empirical methods. 

Often, we repeat similar sentiments when we say, "Oh... Islam is not merely a religion. It is our way of life!". But the truth is we are merely parroting some preacher man. For in our conduct, in our prejudices and delusions of humility and obedience, we have still far, far, far to go in understanding and keeping to the Islam and Sunnah (traditions) of Nabi Muhammad (saws). Sad that many of us still cling to the intoxication that we somehow deserve Islam and the Prophet of Islam - that we have better rights than the pig in the sty, than the dog in the gutter... may Allah (swt) save us from this foolish 'piety'!

The Islamic Pig
You have not completed your faith 
Until you can look at the lowly dog, 
The dirty, stinky pig, 
The Devil and your worst enemy,
And perceive the Islam
In their action and purpose
Of their creation.

Dwell on this, my love. For one day, you may find me reprehensible, a liar and a wretched fool. And I hope that on that day, you will still perceive the Islam in me.

Have a hopeful beautiful Sunday.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

- Notrumi Embun, 25th May 2014.

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Saturday, May 24, 2014

THE ROSE, THE SOUL & THE WINDOW - Of death the beautiful door and love true and eternal...

The Rose, The Soul & the Window
The most beautiful rose
You may find in the cemetery,
Blooming in between the headstones
And loving engravings,
In between the worshipful epithet 
And a weeping widow, there
You may find a soul
And its window.

I have changed, I think. The idea of dying, that mortal door through which all men must pass, is a constant thought that rides through my mind like a merry-go-round. I guess it comes with middle age. He he he.

20th May 2002. It should be no wonder too, when the woman who gave birth to me has only just passed the 12th anniversary of her passing. Shedding her mortal skin to wear who-knows-what now... Indeed, Hu (He, meaning God) would know, I guess. He he he. I pray for her eternal peace and happiness, I do. Though I know I am not worthy to kiss her feet.  

30th March 2012. Then, some year later, my Shaykh Raja Ashman was released from his worldly burden, to go to a place where, according to his master, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, he would bear witness upon real power! I wonder what that meant. Real power. But I am not too worried, for He who wields that power is the Source of all Power, a.k.a. God Almighty Himself. And He loves us, He does... 

God loves us with a longing you cannot know, 
More than you will love any child you bear, 
More than you will love any maiden you marry, 
More than you will ever love even the person
That you call "Me".

14th September 2013. Then last year, my elder brother, Saiful Bahri (known as Poone to his kin and friends) also returned to God and His Prophet. It was a surprising death (well, not really, in hindsight), but it was also good for him, looking in death far more beautiful to me (and many of our family and friends) than he was ever alive. It was as if upon death, God the Most Merciful, pulled the veil that hid my brother's true soul, that we might speculate a little upon his love, friendship and generosity. What a trick to pull at the end of his life! I will never forgive him for that. He he he.

7th May 2014. Finally, and most recently, our beloved Mawlana Shaykh Nazim of Lefke, Cyprus departed from this reality for the infinitely greater reality. Not to say that his attachment for this world was ever like us ordinary sinners. Drawn to Nabi Muhammad (saws), beloved to the saints and Companions of the Prophet, like a moth to a candle, he was ever whirling and living with love and mercy, carrying a heavy weight of servanthood. As my good buddy, Munim says... " I will not last a single day of Mawlana's life!". So now Mawlana himself is bearing witness to the real power

Well, we may only speculate what these phrases mean when spoken by our betters. But we can hope to be reunited with all of them in the pacific solace of God's Divine Presence. After all, why bother praying if you do not ask God for the best that He can give you?

He he he.

And for myself? My death? Will anyone blog about me?

And when I am dead and buried? 
Who will care for my passing? 
And who will bother to write about me? 
But I am not worried. 
I intend to write my own epithet in your heart, sunshine. 

Just remember me, and I will be there,
Busily scribbling!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Notrumi Embun, 24th May 2014

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

THE OWNER OF GODLY GRACE - and the passing of a good servant

The Owner of the Godly Grace
I know there is a life after death,
Because our conversation has not ended,
Day in and day out, it is still the same,

I know there is love after death,
Because I can feel you looking to me,
Day in and day out, it is still the same,

I know there is a Prophethood after death,
Day in and day out, it is still the same,
This has been the Mawlana's constant refrain to me, 

I know there is a God after death,
For this true love cannot be contained in one short life,
Day in and day out, eternity rolls out,
And you are still the same to me,

Only that you look much, much better
And wherever you may be, it is a good place to be.

How I wish I will be there with you
When the Owner of Godly Grace
Sends His invitation,
To your side
Be my

On 7th of May 2014, as I was driving home from work, I received a WhatsApp message from my friend, Sheik Munim Bajrai. Although always praying for the best, I would lie if I said I did not anticipate the possibility. After all, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim was 92 years old, and has been in the ICU for ten days.

This would be a good place to explain who and what the Mawlana was and is. But where do I begin? For I am pretty sure I don't know him enough to say what ought to be said, nor describe what is often times, an indescribable feeling when you are drawn to his presence, whether physically or otherwise.

If you think I am confounded because to talk of the Mawlana is to enter some existentialist transcendental discourse about cosmic consciousness, then may I be permitted to correct you.

All that the Mawlana has ever showed to me and his many followers was love. Love, kindness, mercy and a guidance towards the best master of such love, kindness, mercy and guidance - that being the Seal of the Prophets, Sayyidina Muhammad (saws). And through the miraculous love and obedience of the Prophet (saws), towards the Endless Oceans of Mercy of Allah (swt).

Mawlana's teaching has not ended. Nor his loving concern for his naughty, mischievous mureeds (students). Death, just like when we were born from the womb of our beloved mother, is only the beginning...

And in particular, I came from the womb of this woman, my late mother.
And just as it happens, today marks the 12th year of her passing.
al fatiha...
And thank God, it is!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

- Notrumi , 20th  May 2014.

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way