GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 21: HIGH AMBITION
While ambitiousness for this world is the mother of all sins ambitiousness for the world to come is the mother of all virtues. What is more the two are mutually exclusive and couldn't be more different.
Those who are worldly ambitious choose, pursue and attack their worldly targets like tigers, variously outwitting, out-manoeuvring or even tearing apart their rivals and opponents and want to be noticed and deferred to. But what they so gather are like assets obtained in a dream. Once they wake up at death they are sorely disappointed with the falseness of their gains- they just vanish. Only a record of sin remains with them, weighing on them like a millstone around their necks. Worldly ambition is the source of hell. It burns and blinds with black smoke both its owner who goes on to burn others crossing paths with him.
Against this we have the other-worldly ambition. This is what Allah likes and promotes. It is about shedding worldly desires except what is essential for survival and a decent capacity and role among Allah's servants as an honourable if unostentatious member of the community- but with no heart attachment. When the love of this world departs from the heart we find in it a far greater love patiently waiting to be discovered since past eternity. This love does not burn or blind- it enlightens cools down and gives peace. A man's or woman's Islam, when genuine, delivers this enlightenment, this coolness, this peace. Make that your non-burning ambition.
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 22: THE RAHMAT IN BLOOD TIES
Of the 99 Most Beautiful Names of Allah the next most comprehensive after the Grand Name of Allah is AL RAHMAN. Deriving from the same root RHM as 'rahm' which means firstly 'womb' and then BLOOD TIES the Most Beautiful Name of Al Rahman means the One Whose Loving Compassion is full, unconditional and universal like a mother's loving compassion for her baby in her womb. All the anger, admonitions and striking out of Allah towards His wayward and negligent servants are like a mother's. Behind all is full loving compassion and impeccable good will. Now this Only Lord of Ours commands us through His Book and His Prophet's (sws) word and example to keep in good contact with our blood relations whatever their character and deeds. Short of helping them fight against Allah's cause and friends we only owe them love, goodwill and assistance in lawful matters. Some of our relations may be non-muslims and even atheists. But we still have to treat them well and keep in contact no matter what. I am saying this for recently I came across a young man who refused to talk to his MOTHER on the phone let alone visit and please her, because she was against his following of the Tariqa. Thankfully he got the message and made up with mum and mum is so happy that
she suddenly approved of him for everything. Another woman cut off contact with a dad because she said he was too bossy and bitterly critical. None of his children loved him and they refused to name their children after him. In his old age he demanded that the daughter in question name her new baby after him but she regarded this as an opportunity to punish dad and refused. Then a friend of Allah persuaded her. Suddenly paradise burst upon the family. The old man became and angel and drowned the good daughter and new baby in love and generosity. All are well and euphoric now. The old man is almost a weeping saint now.
You know what is a true mu'min? It is the one who can emulate his or her Lord in being a rahman person towards all, beginning with those whom Allah made him or her descend from the same 'rahm' (Womb). What Allah appointed for a mu'min in terms of rahm the mu'min should treasure with thanks. Please seek out, mend fences with and please all your relations this Eid.
GREEN PEARL- 23: ATTACHING IMPORTANCE
Our Maulana Haqqani sometimes touches on a very fine point which is barely noticed by most. He says something like this:
"If you show contempt you become contemptible.”
For example you notice that somebody is trying to do some small charity or a worshipper busies himself with some pious service which is not perhaps even a recognized sunna. If you regard such humble acts with contempt and perhaps also think 'they are worthless, I have higher standards' or 'better not to do them, they are so pathetic' you become a contemptible person. There is even more. Muslim or not, if you look down any one or any legitimate act with contempt you become contemptible. The lesson is that you should attain the marifa (gnosis) to recognize that all
servants and their legitimate acts are Allah's masterpieces in one form or
another and be able to see and praise Allah's greatness reflected from them,
one way or another. Then you attain adab (good manners) with your Lord and
full of respect and devoid of contempt for anybody and any legitimate act.
The acquisition and maintenance of this adab makes you influential with even
most influential people because that unearthly wisdom and grace shines from
you and is unmistakeable. The Lord possesses all else.
The Lord is irresistible.
GREEN PEARL- 24: LAILAT AL QADR
According to some reports (riwayat) Lailat al Qadr MAY be any one night in a year. This looks to conflict with the more famous reports that it is in Ramadan and even more so in the odd-numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan, like 21, 23...27, 29. But there may be no conflict at all. The awlia take this possibility seriously (not with contempt as explained in
Firstly he or she will not miss the Lailat al Qadr, because all nights have been bought like a man buying all the lottery tickets- he cannot fail to hit the jackpot.
Secondly ALLAH IS SO GENEROUS, so devoid of contempt for any atom of goodwill and good act that I shall be more surprised if He won't reward the servant as if he or she celebrated the holy night every night in all his or her years than if He didn't.
In other words and in all honesty Allah the Most Great and Sublime is Better than anything good we can imagine in Him. As a result He may well reward all His regular worshippers as if they lived worshipful lives whose all nights were the Night of Power. I can only imagine Him to return every humble, dutiful, well-meaning action from us with only infinite good from Him. Amen.
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 25: KNOW THY WORTH
"O man, you think that you are a tiny bit something" said our master Ali RA "but the whole creation is wound up and placed in you.” Anyone who thinks he or she is just another animal and perhaps an improvement on apes and therefore sets his or her sights low, confining it to the apparent and material possibilities of this world is making an irreparable catastrophic mistake.
The truth is that man is potentially Allah's slave deputy (khalifatun abdun) and of higher rank than the highest angels. This potential is the case for each man, woman and child no matter who. But it is what it says: POTENTIAL. Whether the person realizes it is another matter. One who prefers to think or believe that there is no God to serve, nor a spiritual dimension beyond the physical and that he is an improved ape forfeits this potential for sure because he will not work towards it a bit.
Therefore true and correct faith is essential. The reason why self-imagined improved apes always try to discredit religion and extinguish faith is that even such adopted apes know the truth deep down but like the Devil they HATE the truth (lil Haqqi karihoon) and since they cannot profit from it, want others also not to profit. All sheikhs say:
"Do not deny something spiritual you cannot fathom. If you do you remain deprived.” We must nurture faith and believe in our potential and it won't fail to come and engulf us in its infinite embrace. Faith moves mountains and there are many mountains for us waiting to be moved. Amen.
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 26: TUNED TO ALLAH
We have car radios with buttons which can be used to select our favourite stations. In fact one particular station may be so popular with us that we set it to start talking as soon as we switch on the radio.
True believers are very much interested with the Divine broadcasts which blare out from each and every piece and event in the universe all the time, if you have the ear to hear them. The most commonplace and 'trivial' (although there is nothing trivial in Allah's work) sights and sounds always mean something important to the true and aware believer.
We had told you the story of Maulana Rumi who fell into trance when he heard the clang of a blacksmith hammer. One old black sister was like that. Once people were listening to some fifties hits. One said "It is now or never". Another said "love me or leave me". Still another said "Sometimes I love you, sometimes I hate you/ But when I hate you it is because I love you". In each instance this lovely saintly all-love, all-emotion sister sent up cries and wails of being wounded in the heart by these seemingly mean sexual lyrics. "I hear Allah criticising me for being not responsive enough to His love."
It is now or never- you either respond to Me immediately or you won't ever find and see
Once, when I was a new murid, I was sitting with this sister with other guests. A terrible noise kept coming from outside and filling her humble mud brick house. In a nearby cinema there was a noisy concert of vulgar popular songs. I ventured some criticism "Look aunt, instead of saying their isha prayers ignorant people are braying like assess”. She did not agree. Chuckling gracefully she commented:
"Allah is kindly entertaining His poor servants who don't know better.”
I was stopped in my tracks. I felt that she knew better. Ayat "Allahu ahsnu ta'weela", i.e., “Allah is the best in the interpretation of events".
Sure, saints speak from Him. They are always tuned to Allah. So should we aim to become.
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 27:
Everything which has a beginning must also have an ending. Another holy Ramadan is ending now. Human life on this earth is a form of passing time and time flows only one-way. It is a river of no return. It flows from a terrestrial source to a marine dissolution, if it can reach that at all. For one devoid of Allah both past and future are loss and frustration. The past is a loss because it has been wasted. The future is frustration because of the irreversibly lost opportunities. But among all episodes of life there is a stretch of time which is pure profit and fulfilment from the beginning to the end. It is a Ramadan fasted in good faith. A single night in it, the Lailat al Qadr is worth a lifetime's accepted service to Allah. In a holy hadith the Messenger of Allah reports from His Lord Almighty "Every form of devotion to Allah has a measured and defined reward from Him. But the reward for fasting is exceptional. Only I know how great and wonderful are its reward.”
So we pray to Allah the Most Kind and Merciful to accept our Ramadan and bless us with many more accepted Ramadans and award us all the great and wonderful rewards which only He knows. Sallallahu ala sayyidina wa maulana Muhammadin sayyidil awwalina wal akhirina wa alihi wa ashabihi ajmain wa manittabahum bi ihsanin ila yawmid din wa subhana rabbika rabbil izzati amma yasifuna wa salamun alal mursaleen wal hamdu lillahi Rabbil Alameen. Al Fatiha.
Your humble servant Abdulezel, thank you for reading.
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMADAN- 28
How gracious Allah has been to us
By making our fasts so light
Just miss the midday's meal
And have a heaven of a night
Eat your tastiest meal
At sundown and heal
Resort then to the tarawi
And get the best spiritual deal
Sit with your Lord at sahur
He blessing you with each morsel
Then make wudu with water tahur*
With salat take the day's first parcel
Day after day accumulate light
And on Qadr see Love's Might
Smelling the almost touchable Eid
You have been alright and will be alright
You have had a month with Allah
No better days you have seen wallah
Proud with you smiles Rasulullah (sws)
At last you knew what is 'la ilaha illallah'
* tahur= pure, clean
GREEN PEARLS FOR RAMAZAN- 29: FEAR OF THE BELOVED
Some fools say that Allah is not to be feared but only loved.
He is too good and beautiful to be feared, they 'explain'. Some think that
singing hymns of love and glory to the Lord is sainthood at its purest and
highest. They couldn't be more wrong. All prophets, all angels and all true
saints couldn't fear Him more, despite their desperate and devastating love
for Him. Perhaps only a thousand deaths can prepare one for His meeting. Allah
is no joking matter.
For one thing He is so majestic that despite His purest and highest beauty it
strikes the poor lover with annihilating terror. Let me explain for you with
Once upon in
turned 15 and despite being unschooled he was very intelligent as well as very
sensitive and spiritually very talented. He was thirsty for love and would die
for it happily. But where was love? Where was the one to love badly enough. He
thought of loving God, but wasn't He too great for him to love let alone
attain? Thinking this wise he happened to visit with his father the capital
of the kingdom where the king was to treat his subjects to a great feast on the
occasion of his daughter's coming of age, for that was a tradition in that
country. The princess would appear to the public from the balcony of the
palace. Father and son being early risers by shepherd's habit were able to get a
place very near to the gold balcony and looked to the sight of the royals and
especially the happy princess. Thousands had filled the big square in front of
the palace by the time the sun was up by two lances height and were moving like
giant waves in anticipation of the blessed appearance. Guards, splendidly
dressed were everywhere keeping order. It took another hour for the bugles to
sound the royal leitmotif and the king and his family to break into full view
of their adoring subjects. The princess was there in between mum and dad, all
dazzlingly dressed in excellent taste but as soon as the public's eye took in
the princess the mum and dad faded aside in their view. She was incredibly not
only beautiful but also radiated an aura of angelic innocence as well as
intelligence beyond her years. A great 'aaah' of infatuated wonder rose from
the public and some knelt worshipfully. But what happened to Na'san was
altogether in another category- he was love-stricken with such powerful love
that it equally tasted like overwhelming terror. The beauty of the princess
was ter-ri-ble! Our boy couldn't help and was not aware of the loud hoarse cry
of terrible distress he let out and he saw the princess look at him direct in
the eye with a big-eyed disapproval. Her heavenly gaze of anger as beautiful as
roses was too much for the love-thunder-bolted Na'san who then fainted at no
time. He could not recover his senses for days and he was back at his mud
brick hut by the time he had haltingly regained them. Not only his whole family
but also almost all villagers was around him anxious, tearful and prayerful by
then for days and all gave thanks to Allah for his recovery and asked what had
happened. The boy had matured by years from the experience of love that hat
hit him as a juggernaut and recited this poem there and then
TERRORS OF LOVE
Love has torn my garment, nay, my flesh, to filaments
My bones are broken my marrow seeping
For the discourtesy I did to my beloved there is no amends
My punishment now is forever burning and weeping
Attaining her for me is out of question
Just one gaze burned me to ashes
Too beautiful to look, too terrible to offend
I forgot all happiness, abandoned all wishes
Yet I can't help longing for her though it means death
But are terrified with the fear of a gaze from far
I won't know what I mean until my last breath
I both love her and terribly, terribly fear
(Do you understand now?)