GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 1
When the ego fasts, the believer's heart feasts. When the Eid comes they both feast.
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 2
Fast from lying, backbiting, gossip, envy, malice and greed. Only then will you be allowed into the secret blessings and glories of Ramadan fasting. The Prophet (sws) said: "One who prays or fasts but his conduct does not improve
only falls further away from Allah. Let him not so tire and thirst in vain for
Allah does not need his tiring and thirsting.”
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 3
Do you know why we have to say the basmala (bismillairrahmanirrahim) before reading the Qur'an and doing anything legitimate?
As you know basmala means "In the Name of Allah the All-Kind, the Mercifully
forgiving". The true believer, the sufi insightful says the basmala because he or she intends to feel and behave in an all-kind way, in a mercifully forgiving way. Therefore, He acts for Allah and as a result, does Allah’s work. Read if you wish:
"You did not throw (o prophet) when you threw but it was Allah Who threw" (8: !7) Without basmala this Godly blessing is not available.
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 4
Islam is the Way of Unification (Tawhid). The easiest test for your belief in Allah's unity is your unconditional love for all who believe similarly which means you love all Muslims. But although easiest it is also easiest to pretend such a love. Harder is to love all members of your narrow social environment. Here we are found gossiping, backbiting and bickering if not worse. In a tariqat setting all protest their love for the sheikh. But this often is a WORLDLY love by which I mean it is based on a selfish desire to be a favorite to the sheikh and possess him more than others. Each murid being so motivated they are jealous of each other and each would like others to fall from favor. This is the hallmark of worldly love. Like the love of rival wives or concubines for their lord. Spiritual love which is the trademark of true believers in One True God and true followers of a sheik is that
EACH LOVES ALL THE REST, EACH APPREACIATES AND VALUES ALL THE REST AND WHAT IS MORE WILL NOT ENJOY ANYTHING WHETHER OF THIS WORLD OR THE SPIRITUAL WITHOUT ALL OTHERS JOINING HIM.
If you are like this, congratulations. If you secretly resent others apparently doing better than you and feel like fighting them go away and shed tears for your misfortune. You are a non-starter. You did not understand tasawwuf.
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 5
People dread abandoning their egos like the Meccan idolaters dreaded deserting their idols. They thought they brought them both security and wealth. Wealth because other Arabs flocked to Kaaba for idols' sake and dropped sack-loads of money to Meccans. Idols in fact are egos represented in sculpture. But Islam brought more safety and wealth to Meccans since.
It is the same for you. Abandon your ego, which means stop being self-serving and self-idolizing and you will become so attractive that others will value your company as nothing else and also pamper you. For an ego-less man attracts others for being totally benign, posing no threat to anybody. All the fights on earth (including intra-murid frictions) are the clash of egos.
No ego, no clash. Hostility gone natural love and comradeship prevail. Then all the riches of both worlds race to them.
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 6: TRUE LOVE GIVES
Love is real only when the beloved possesses you and not other way round. Trying to possess the beloved is lust- it is selfishness. A false lover wants to enjoy himself with the beloved, not to let the beloved enjoy herself as she wants.
The true lover of birds is the one who lets them be and watches them flapping wings, perching, courting, nesting, feeding and breeding as they themselves want. If the supposed lover wants to put them in cages, feed them as he and not as they want and then reclines to listen to their bewailing as if they were songs of happiness then he is no lover of birds but a selfish hedonist and sadist.
That is why some 'lovers' kill their 'beloved' if the latter does not love them but want to marry another. Some Islam-lovers love it for the power it may give them over others, from marrying four wives to dictating on others their will at the pain of a whip or sword. That is why we have thousands of gangs of nasty 'Islam lovers' who are against everything and everybody and vice versa. It is one of the biggest industries among Muslims who do not have any other industries.
Real love of Islam does not breed hatred and violence, but compassion and kindness. Love, love, love; how easy to say, how rare to know and have!
So if you love Allah let Him do what He wants and do not resent His doings. If
you love your sheikh let him enjoy his wise choices and don't get angry if he
does not give you what you expect. If you love your brothers and sisters in
faith love them as they are, do not make demands on them and do not covet what
they are given. It is only then that you are a true lover of Truth and you are
given all that your beloved has. Had the Satan bowed to Adam he would be given
exactly what Adam was. Give love and love gives back.
Remember the song?
"Love is a many splendor thing
Is the April rose that only grows in the early spring.”
Early spring is the heart of lover of Allah. This heart is always in bloom, singing the glories of its Creator.
GREEN PEARLS OF RAMADAN- 7: "DIE BEFORE DYING"
The Messenger of Allah (sws) said "Die before dying.” What did he mean?
Let us explore:
Before we know better, before we gain true, genuine, first-hand insight into Iman (faith) and Islam (which should be the one and the same thing really) we think that we are separate, independent beings endowed with all the tools and articles of freedom and we know where our best interests lie. Therefore this world is full of 'sovereign' powers like us which keep heartily disagreeing, cleverly plotting against and valiantly fighting each other until a lot is wounded or killed with no peace except fraudulent mutual appeasement as the only occasional alternative.
Muslims are even more notorious for such clever cheatings and unmitigated brutalities among them- consider the history of Afghanistan if you wish. It is only the dead who do none of these abominations and rest in peace. Now the Prophet (sws) must mean this:
Be weaned of all your immature, infantile, selfish follies and brutalities which keep you bumping into each other and hurting in the dark that you are. Abandon all those salivating lusts and teeth-grinding greed’s and honey-tasting grievances-vengeance, and learn to live like loving brothers and sisters, not hurting but helping each other in good.
THAT IS DEATH, pure and simple for the unawakened, self-absorbed intelligent brute that ordinary man is. Can you imagine, EVEN HIS SIGNING UP TO A FAITH AND JOINING A 'SPIRITUAL' GROUP is often an extension and continuation of his infantile self-seeking. If anything there is more envy, subversion, sabotage, back-biting and in-fighting among the so-called spiritual groups in which the objective seen varies from plain wealth, prestige and fame to lust for working miracles and getting his or her way no matter what. It seems that to leave these blasphemies behind one has to
die altogether. But the Prophet (sws) says "Not necessarily.”
You know what is the best way to cast away these unworkable, self-defeating misunderstandings and motivations unawakened men are bound by?
What is the way to persuade a man to cast away the thorn bushes he is eating with a
bleeding mouth if this man believes that there is nothing else to eat and he better eat thorns to survive? Why, it is showing him a food store glittering with fresh meats, fruit and vegetables, spice and butter, bread and chocolate... all tidily and accessibly arranged. Then he won't keep eating thorns and you won't have to fight him either to make him cast away the thorns or to rush to the food store.
That is the real mission of the prophets and awlia. They both tell and demonstrate to us that a far better alternative to self-worship monotheism' does exist. It is worshipping not the individual ego-self but the Universal Total Self which is the Divine and whose worship is real monotheism. This true religion is attained when you learn to look at the whole created existence in which man is the most precious from the Divine viewpoint; As if it is you who made them all, as if it is you who must care for them, as if they must learn and taste love and compassion from you. This is Beatific Vision, this is the Cosmic Consciousness, this is the aim and culmination of true and real spirituality;
THIS IS THE DELICIOUS DEATH REAL MARTYRS TASTE and this is their eternity without time. So shake up and wake up o sufi, abandoning the false path and the false promise of self-centered and self-delusional sufism in which your ego does not blink let alone die but flourish even more; and adopt martyrdom in self-death which catapults you to the Company of the Divine Self where you get everything free from the Infinite Treasure and not at the expense of others- which is the cause of all frictions and arena of clashing and crashing egos.
Allah bless and guide us. Treasures await us. They are mind-boggling, they are safe, they are inexhaustible, and they are Divine. Pity and help yourself to them and get peace!
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 8: RELIGION OF GRUDGE
The first ever sinful emotion lived under the firmament was anger. It was the anger of Iblis (who became the Satan) against Allah's choosing Adam as His Khalifa and accordingly commanding all angels including Iblis who was an apparently bright (foreign) star. Iblis was greatly angered and aggrieved and he rebelled with relish. Since then his religion (which means both way and law) has been aggrieved anger. How dare Allah (hasha) choose not noble fiery Iblis but Adam, that dirty earthy creature! So till the Day of Judgment Iblis won't budge, won't apologize and won't repent. Now as you know he challenged Allah saying:
"It is you who enraged me and made me lose my way. And I swear by Your Worth and Majesty that I shall demonstrate and show you what a fake this man of yours is whom you preferred over me."
So with the wise permission of the Lord of Everything, Iblis chose his weapon of destruction: Infecting man with his own illness (like a malicious AIDS sufferer for example). It is the Illness of Pride among whose symptoms is anger with Allah's choices and a vindictive determination to undo Allah's work or at least hate and fight against it no matter what the results or the cost. Now, there are many religions or sects of religions and even secular ideologies (like Marxism, Anarchism, extreme Feminism etc.) whose spirit is Satanic:
Unmitigated anger against Allah's choices disguised as championing something just or good which Allah allowed to be lost. The believers and supporters of these Satanic ways keep mourning and celebrating the 'injustice' so that the flames of hatred do not die like the fires of the Zoroastrians and become replaced by the fire-fighting water that Islam is.
With its ablutions and cool worshipping, Islam is the religion of cooling down tempers, putting out fires which may engulf everything and of repairing any damage and curing any heart-aches by the delicious honey of forgiveness and reconciliation.
So o saint-to-be, beware of following the Sheikh of Fire who is out to start fire everywhere and make all end in the Last and Eternal Fire with himself. Let him not be too clever for you. Let him not deceive you into believing that hatred is sugar and revenge is honey. For that make sure you nurture no grudge against any other servant of Allah. Do not let a grudge make your Islam a form of disguised blasphemy. Drive the hot and smoky fire out, let the cool and bright light in. Story:
Bahlul, that 'mad' dervish brother of Harun al Rashid could not be seen around for a week and beginning with the king Harun all were worried and alarmed but could not find him. One day he suddenly showed up at the royal mosque.
People asked: "Where have you been Bahlul, the king is very angry."
He said: "I went to hell.”
A puffed up alim asked: "Then show us the proof, a piece
of the fire for example."
Behlul the sufi 'fool' was only too ready with the answer: "There is no fire in hell. You take there with you from here.” Let no fire burn in your heart.
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 9: TRUE KNOWLEDGE THAT SAVES
Mere cramming one-self with religious as well as sufi knowledge from books and talks is exactly like hoarding worldly wealth and power. They are for this world, help you to market and sell yourself as somebody and get you your way. You may live like a king and an idol then to the end of your days. But what you crammed or hoarded dies with you- end of the rope!
The knowledge that is true and saving is different. It is the knowledge Allah Himself inspires into you once you really begin to walk His Path and not the worlds. His Path is called the Straight Path not because it is a physical road drawn and laid down by road builders but because it is the path of people who are straight in thinking, feeling and action. They take greatest possible care to think the right thoughts, feel and nurture the right feelings and emotions and automatically as result commit the right and righteous acts. This the Prophet (sws) called 'al jehad al akbar':- the greatest struggle which must be of far more merit than physical war for Islam. Once you utter the 'basmala,’ make the firm intention to walk this Straight Path andd never turn back even if you are the loneliest and most private man on earth. Yet you are also in best company Allah provides you from His invisible hosts. You are out to attain, meet and join the Supreme Loner (Ahad) Allah the Timeless Eternal, the Full and Self-Sufficient (Fard'us Samad) He pleased with you and you pleased with Him (Radiyyatan Mardiyya). Now on this path of righteousness you watch and record all your thoughts, feelings and actions before any Recording Angles (kiraman katibeen) do; you criticize and judge them as best as you can before Allah the Supreme Judge of judges (Ahkam al Hakimeen) does it for you on the Day of Judgment.
If you judge that you have been a bad servant you allow yourself into the hell of regret, shame and self-blame until you burn off your sins. If you have judged that you did something good by the standards of sincere conscience you allow yourself into heaven of happiness. That is why the Prophet (sws) said:
"If your good deeds delight you and your bad deeds make you sad you are a true believer.”
Compare this with the reactions of many imperfect Muslims who almost resist and resent themselves for doing anything good as a small as two rik'ats of salat (let alone dropping a coin into charity) while they will never admit to any wrong or mistake but defend even their worst actions like mother birds defending their chicks. Always self-righteous, lazy and reluctant for good yet pompous and spiritually ambitious (of the wrong kind)! Let such memorize the whole Qur'an and Hadith, all books and anecdotes of great sheikhs, but there is no use. Let them sell themselves and pass as the greatest living scholar, which is even worse for them.
We must not deceive ourselves with such ambitions and busy ourselves with such frauds. We have a soul to save and the time ahead of us is anything but plenty. We must realize our foulness and vanity of ways masked by lofty and prestigious outward shows. We must offer full and permanent repentance beginning without delay, walking the lonely and private Straight Path which is the only path that can take us to the Only One, the Most Sublime and Glorious. It will be a totally private Meeting as He Almighty says: "You have come to us as utter individuals (furada) like we created you before" (6: 94). Now this path involves what we said before:
Constant and relentless monitoring and judging of your every thought, every emotion, every act and living the hell of self-shame and repenting and running to attain the heaven of right thoughts, right emotions and right actions and taking all the care to remain therein (Khalidina fiha abada: They remain therein- 98: 8).
Then guess what happens. No I am almost sure you cannot. Let me tell you in case you cannot:
Learning begins to dawn on you from the Divine Presence, honey drop after honey drop, musk wafting after musk wafting, light of the eye after light of the eye. It is a knowledge which we may rather call gnosis which includes a lot of ineffable, which is fed through mighty channels sourced from beyond the Highest Heavens, a gnosis which enlightens for more profound and magnificent insight and empowers for more righteousness and good action and delivers assured humility... as much as it informs. Now, what you would hear or read from the sheikhs you hear from 'yourself', what Allah keeps in store to send down you smell and taste in advance. Among the owners of this last 'maqam' among the sahaba was in sayyidina Umar RA whose quite a few wishes and opinions were subsequently confirmed by Revelation and became part of the Qur'an and the Prophet (sws) praised and congratulated him on that. It is this personal moment from moment direct and undeliberate access to the Truth that constitutes the real channel to true and saving knowledge and blessing ineffable grace so lacking in mere scholars, fake sufis and so palpable and conspicuous in real ones. The matter is so private that it can neither be shared with nor transmitted to anybody else. How can one share his adolescence with children since only the adolescent has his hormones switched on and how can a mature man share his maturity with adolescents since adolescents are not yet ready for maturity. So understand this and with or without abandoning external knowledge to this extent or that make haste to take the Straight Path which opens into many straight paths in parallel each with its own specialized blessings. Move towards your Lofty Destination reserved for you for sure but not assured whatever you do. Those who die before awakening to and walking this only path to salvation die to unmitigated regret and may envy the fate of animals. Read if you wish:
"The Day when man sees what his hands have sent forward he says, 'Would that I became dust (like animals)" (78: 40).
But just please dare to put a foot on the Right Path inside the private you and you begin the springtime walk of your life, the scenery getting more and more magnificent with every step, with everything all around you in bloom and buzz with plenty of fruits and mighty harvests ahead of and awaiting you- all your halal private property registered into your name by the Most Gracious, Most Loving Lord. Please have pity on yourself and enter this Path. Drop after drop of maturity and felicity will rain on you like the multi-colored rays from the rainbows above smiling on you and that unstoppable gentle yet generous rain will deliciously soak you to the bone like warm spring rain under a warm spring sun and will put you 'Singing in the Rain". ALLAAAAH! Read if you wish: "Those who struggle in Our Way We shall most certainly guide them to our ways. For Allah are with those who mean well and do well" (29:69). Amen.
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 10: EGOS WITHIN EGOS
The human ego begins to materialize at about the age two or three when the child is clearly aware that it is both separate from and in competition with others around him. If something is not as plentiful as air but limited the child learns that what others get more of, he may get less of. Motivated by an irresistible survival instinct as well as ambition it not only fights against being left out but fights for getting the lion's share if possible.
Later on the young person increasingly realizes that group action is better than individual action- like a pack of wolves are more assured of predatory success than a lone wolf. In the end loners often lose their skin on the end of a bull's horns. So, without losing their individual foolish and ambitious egos a gang creates a joint gang-ego like a wider ring around a smaller circle. The basic human gang is the family. Other circles of additional joint selfishness become formed around the growing person (or rather as the person grows, he or she becomes aware of wider and wider social circles to belong to). The smaller the circle the more intense the devotion. So the self comes first, family comes second and clan comes third etc. At the present level of socialization the nation is the widest circle within which members find common identity and can work for common interests and can die for with some sense of honour and glory.
Recently a wider circle is dimly materializing which wants to unify a block of nations, the EU on the verge of becoming US of Europe. Congratulations. But you know what? However wide the social circles they still are EGO circles with all the folly and ambition written all over it. Although in each circle there is a semblance of mutual affection and cooperation there are also smaller groupings of rivals, like two elder sisters in the family ganging up against Cinderella or three old players in the football team allying themselves against a newly transferred player or four ministers in the government working against four others under the nose of the prime minister or Germany and France ganging up against Britain in the EU etc. To this effect Allah Almighty and Wise says:
"Had thy Lord willed He could have made mankind one community. They shall never stop differing and opposing EXCEPT WHOM Thy Lord showed mercy to. FOR THIS HE HAS CREATED THEM. The Word of Thy Lord that 'I shall indeed fill the Hell with people and jinni all' has been fulfilled” (11: 118-9).
Please read, if necessary, what I have been saying again and again and understand that the Ego is everywhere written all over the world history and geography and still reigns supreme. All social groupings of spiritually unawakened men and women are ego rings, including religious and so-called spiritual groupings. Each says about the other what Iblis said to Allah when he was commanded to bow to Adam but wouldn't, namely: "Ana Khairun minhu khalaqtani min narin wa khlaqtahu min teen": "I am BETTER than him, Thou createdst me from fire and createdst him from clay" (7:12). All such boasters and bickerers are beyond real unity and in utter disunity and all are destined to fill the Hell as Allah said. ONLY THOSE WHO WITH ALLAH'S MERCY, go beyond the ego both in the individual and group sense, escape the fire and enter the Garden. For saved from the ego in any form and guise they discovered their loyalty to and servant-hood of the Divine Self Who looks down on all with love and compassion and sends down on them from His high heavens a rope to pull them up to His Garden of Unity. Break out of all forms and sizes of ego rings and become a real Unitarian. Do not belong to any gang whatsoever but do your virtuous best for any circle you are temporarily made to belong. Give priority to your family for example but not at the expense of justice. Never forget that you are answerable to the Utterly One who demands loyalty to Unity (tawheed) from you above everything else.