Archive for June, 2009

The Alchemist, ‘iraadah & himma
June 9, 2009

Lately i’ve been marinating over a book that’s over 20 years old, holds the Guinness World Record for ‘most translated book by a living author’, and has sold 65 million copies, in 67 languages, in over 150 countries  –

alchemist[www.chapters.ca]

Accolades aside,  it’s really a book on ‘iraadahhimaa – will, aspiration & goals…

If read through the lens of a seeker, the book actually translates to lessons in Tawhid – active afirmation of the Oneness of the Divine, Tazkiyat al-Nafs – purification of/from the self  & Mujahidaah – spiritual struggle against the self, for the heart…

This post is really meant to be a place-marker for a longer post on the parallels that the book draws for those seekers with the highest of all aspirations – the source of all aspirations:  Allaah

Once i actually finish it, and if i can return more learned/practiced on Tazkiyat al-Nafs, perhaps a longer post may be justified.

But writing more now may be somewhat audacious.  Remember, when as kids, we use to rebuttal on the playgrounds to other name-calling kids, with:
“.. it takes one to know one!”
(perhaps it takes one to write about those ones, those seekers, as well…)

Until then, here are some nuggets from the intro to hold you over with –

On the success of ‘The Alchemist’, Paul Coelho intros the book with the following: (more…)

‘rizqtu hubbaha’, ‘zamilooni, dathirooni’
June 8, 2009

Many years after she passed away – Rasulullah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, spoke of his love for his wife Khadija, radiallahu anha, with the following:

“She believed in me when the people disbelieved in me,

she trusted me when people said I was not trustworthy,

and she gave me her money when people prevented me –

and I was given the rizq of her love” (rizqtu hubbaha… )


– Shaykh Ninowy, Love Takes Time (Pt 7/10 @ 0:27 mark)

When combined with the Prophetic criteria for/of love, in the 2nd verse of his du’aa of hubb – it’s beautiful:

و حُبَّ مَنْ يَنفَعُنِي حُبُّهُ عِنْدَكَ

“… And the love of the one: whose love benefits me with You …”

https://kuhlsnotes.wordpress.com/2007/07/18/du’a-of-hubb-du’a-of-habibullaah/

——–

“But she sacrificed all her wealth and everything she had
And he honored her, and gave her faith,
when the times were bad, when times were bad…

Now years have passed, times had changed, since Khadijah breathed her last.
And the Message of the one true God, was spreading far and vast
But then he came across a jewellery, that Khajidah
once had worn
His eyes began to swell with tears, his heart again began to mourn

Cause she was there for him, when times were rough, and his enemies were cruel
Was the first believer, so keen and eager, to comfort ar-Rasool”

– Zain Bhikha, ‘Zamilooni, Dathirooni’ (Envelop me, Embrace me)

heart_yann[www.student.britannica.com/eb/art/print?id=90668&articleTypeId=0]

But she sacrificed all her wealth and everything she had
And he honored her, and gave her faith,
when the times were bad, when times were bad…
Now years have passed, times had changed, since khadijah breathed her last.
And the Message of the one true God, was spreading far and vast
But then he came across a jewellery, that khajidah once had worn
His eyes began to swell with tears, his heart again began to mourn
Cause she was there for him, when times were rough, and his enemies were cruel
Was the first believer, so keen and eager, to comfort ar-Rasool

The Alchemist, Narcissus & ‘ujjub
June 8, 2009

The following is an interesting story of Narcissus, on narcissism: ‘ujjub in Arabic, or excessive self-love…

I have my own theory on the end of this version of the story – as it appears as the prologue to The Alchemist, an allegorical novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho –

alchemist2[www.amazon.ca]

PROLOGUE
Translated by Clifford E. Landers

The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had bought.  Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.

The alchemist knew that legend of Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty.  He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned.  At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.

But this was not how the author of the book ended the story.

He said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.

“Why do you weep?” the goddesses asked. (more…)

Unrequited Love and Shifa…
June 6, 2009

 

Shaykh Hamza told one of the most beautiful stories on love and unrequited love during the RIS Knowledge Retreat last winter in Toronto, Canada:

“… she also was very generous – Bareerah was a woman that she purchased and then set free, and the famous story about Bareerah was that she was married to someone named Mugheeth.  If two slaves were married and then the woman get freed, then she can leave/divorce her husband if she wants to because now she’s free and the husband is not, so there is no parity.
So Bareerah wanted to leave Mugheeth, but Mugheeth loved her.  He went into total distress, and he literally was walking behind her around Madina begging her (to take him back).
Abbas (Rd.) was with the Prophet (saw) one day and the Prophet (saw) saw Bareerah and he said: “Isn’t it strange how much Mugheeth loves Bareerah and how much Bareerah dislikes Mugheeth?”
And the Ulema say when the Prophet (saw) said “Isn’t it strange”, the Arabs use the word “strange” only when the means/cause (sabaab, lit. ‘door’) of/to something is unknown, and that there is no need for something to be called “strange” if the cause is known.
So the Prophet (saw) was calling him to the point the strangeness of love.  Love is very strange.  Why do people fall in love? Why our hearts are attracted to some people and not other people?  Why love is sometime unrequited (returned)? Because the worst type of love is unrequited love: when you love somebody and they don’t love you – there is nothing worst than that in the world.  And obviously the worst type of unrequited love is with God.  That’s why Abu Hasan as-Shadali (teacher of Ibn Ata Askandari) use to say:
“Oh God, make my wrong actions, the wrong actions of people whom You Love,
and don’t make my good actions, the good actions of people whom You do not Love.”
In other words – I would rather have wrong actions and be someone who You Love, than have good actions and be someone who You don’t Love.
So the Prophet (saw) went to Bareerah, who was the free slave of ‘Aisha, and he said: “Won’t you reconsider Mugheeth?”  And she said: “are you telling me to do this, because if you tell me, then i have to do it.”  He (saw) replied: “I am only interceding on his behalf”
And that’s his Shifa, he finds it difficult things you find difficult.  The Prophet (saw) saw M suffering and he wanted to help him.  That shows you his ‘shafiqa’, even in love he wanted to help this poor man who was suffering from the loss of his love.
So when the Prophet (saw) replied that he was only interceding, Bareerah replied: “I don’t have any need for him”.  So there was something arrogant in her answer, as she was free and he was still a slave – there was something there from her nafs.
Now when Mugheeth saw that Bareerah rejected intercession from the one that even God had given intercession, Mugheeth lost all desire for her – just taken out of his heart.  And at that point when he lost all desire for Bareerah, suddenly she fell madly in love with him – like a punishment for rejecting the intercession of the Prophet (saw) – he did not want anything to do with her, yet she was now begging him to take her back now!… “

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf told one of the most beautiful stories on love, unrequited love and shifa during the RIS Knowledge Retreat last winter in Toronto, Canada –

heartbreak3[www.mairperkins.co.uk/category/portfolio/illustration]


Speaking of the generosity of ‘Aisha (Rd.) –

“… she also was very generous – Bareerah was a woman that ‘Aisha (Rd.) purchased and then set free, and the famous story about Bareerah was that she was married to someone named Mugheeth. Now if two slaves were married and then the woman was freed, then she can leave/divorce her husband if she wants to because now she’s free and the husband is not, so there is no parity between them.

So Bareerah wanted to leave Mugheeth, but Mugheeth loved her.  He went into total distress, and he literally was walking behind her around Madina begging her to take him back.

Abbas (Rd.) was with the Prophet (saw) one day and they saw Bareerah and the Prophet (saw) said: “Isn’t it strange how much Mugheeth loves Bareerah and how much Bareerah dislikes Mugheeth?” (more…)

HOME – documentography
June 6, 2009

http://www.home-2009.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/homeproject

“I killed her hope for me… my hope for her…”
June 5, 2009

Ahmad ibn Sa’id al-Abid related that his father had told him the following:
‘There was once with us at Kufa a young man much given to devotional practices, who used to stay in the Friday mosque and hardly ever leave it.  Since he had a fine face and bearing, and a pleasant manner, he was noticed by a beautiful and intelligent woman, who fell deeply in love with him.  After having passed a long while in this condition, she stood in the road one day when he was going to the mosque.
“Young man!” she said.  “Hear a few words which I would say to you, and then do whatever you will.” He walked on without speaking to her.  Then she stood on the road when he was returning home, and said, ‘Young man! Hear a few words which I would say to you!’ He lowered his head for some time, and told her, “This is a situation that invites suspicion, and I do not like to be suspected.”  “By God,” she told him, “I am not standing here because of ignorance of your disposition; God forbid that people should see me to this thing, yet I have been impelled to meet you myself; only a little of such things is considered by people to be too much, and you constant worshippers are like glass bottles which are damaged by the slightest thing.  In sum, what I would say is that all my limbs are intent upon you: God, God help me with you!”
The young man when home.  He wanted to pray, but he could not concentrate, so he took out a piece of paper instead and wrote a message.  He then went out-doors, where the woman was standing in the same place:  he threw the message towards her, and went back in.
The message ran: “In the name of God, Most Compassionate and Merciful.  You should know, O woman, that when one of God’s servants sins against Him, He deals with him leniently.  Should he sin again, He conceals for him.  But should he don its garments, then God conceives against him such a wrath as the very heavens and the earth could not compass, ‘neither the mountains, the trees and the animals’: what man could then withstand such wrath?  If what you said was spoken in deceit, then I would remind you of a ‘Day when the sky will become as molten copper, and the mountains as carded wool’, when all nations shall crouch down before the onslaught of the Almighty.  I am too weak to reform myself; how, then, may I reform others?  However, if what you say was spoken truly, I would direct you to a physician of guidance, who cures festering wounds and burning pains; to wit, God, Who is ‘Lord of the Worlds’.  So address yourself to Him with sincere entreaties, for I am distracted from you by His words (Exalted is He!): ‘And warn them of a Day of Destruction, when hearts shall choke throats, when there will be no friend for the evildoers, neither any intercessor who will be heard.  He knows the traitor of the eyes and that which the hearts conceal.  God judges with verity!’&sup4  How may one escape this verse?”
‘A few days later, she came and stood in front of him again in the street.  When he saw her from afar he wanted to return to his house so as not to see her.  But she said, “Yound man!  Do not go back, for we shall never meet after today save in the presence of God (Exalted is He!).”  She broke into bitter tears, and said, “I ask God, in Whose hand lie the keys of your heart, to ease all your hardships.”  She then followed him, saying, “Grant me the kindness of an admonition, which I may take from you, and give me counsel by which I may act.”
“I counsel you,” he said, “to protect your soul from your soul, and would remind you of His statement (Exalted is He!): ‘He it is who slays you at night, and knows what you commit by day’.  At this she lowered her head, and cried even more bitterly.  When she recovered, she went home and remained there, and occupied herself with continual worship until at last she died in grief.
After her death, the young man would week when he recalled her.  “Why do you weep?” he was asked, “when you kept her away from you?”  And he would reply, “I killed her hope for me at the outset, and through that rejection stored up a treasure with God (Exalted is He!).  And then I was ashamed to take back a treasure of this kind.”‘
[End of Kitab kasr al-shahwatayn (Breaking the Two Desires), Book XXIII of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din]

Imam Ghazali chooses the following story as the last words of his Kitab kasr al-shahwatayn (Breaking the Two Desires, Book XXIII of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din) – perhaps for a certain wisdom relating to balance. Read on…

heartbreak[www.last.fm/music/Gretchen+Wilson/+journal]

“Ahmad ibn Sa’id al-Abid related that his father had told him the following:

‘There was once with us at Kufa a young man much given to devotional practices, who used to stay in the Friday mosque and hardly ever leave it.  Since he had a fine face and bearing, and a pleasant manner, he was noticed by a beautiful and intelligent woman, who fell deeply in love with him.  After having passed a long while in this condition, she stood in the road one day when he was going to the mosque.

“Young man!” she said.  “Hear a few words which I would say to you, and then do whatever you will.”   (more…)