Allâh

In order to say ‘God’ there are two words in Arabic: 1. Allâh, which is reserved for the unique God and is a proper name, which exists only in the singular 2. Ilâh which is a shared (i.e. not unique) name, which has a plural âliha and thus is susceptible to refer to all gods, although according to Islam there is of course only One. The two terms have etymological connections; some lexicographers say that Allâh is the contracted form of al-Ilâh. The two important questions asked in this respect are what is the origin of the name Allâh, which is of interest to the lexicographers and the other one is what is the meaning and the definition of the…

Treasure of Sugar

Just suppose you are able to make an interview with shaykh Baba Fariduddin Mas’ud Ganj-e Shakar. What would you ask him? Perhaps some of your questions are similar to the ones as given below: Q: Can you tell us something about your youth? A: My grandfather Qazi Shuayb left Kabul and came to Qasur near Lahore. The qazi of Qasur informed the sultan of his arrival and recommended that suitable provision should be made for his maintenance. The sultan was greatly pleased to learn of my grandfather’s accomplishments and showed his willingness to help him in any possible way. To his offer my grandfather replied: “I don’t desire any worldly object, but for the simple reason that whatever is lost…

Sufi concept: Saturday – Prophet Abraham

Shaykh Ibn al-‘Arabi tells us, that for every day there is a prophet from among the prophets, from whom descends a secret upon the heart of the verifying witness, a secret in which you takes delight during your day and by which you know something of that which requires to be known. This only happens to those who possess a heart. Day 7: Saturday If your day is Saturday, then it is Abraham, so hasten to the honouring of your guest before he vanishes. On Saturday it is Abraham who addresses you with a secret whereby you come to know how to deal with enemies and when they are to be fought against, and this is the presence of the…

Hazrat Mian Mir

The following information on the life and teachings of Hazrat Mian Mir has mostly been derived from chapter 111 of a forthcoming publication of Dr. Zahurul Hassan Sharib: Hazrat Mian Mir is a great Pir of the subcontinent of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. He is considered as an outstanding wali (friend of God) and an eminent mystic. He traced his relationship from the second caliph of Islam, Hazrat ‘Umar Farooq. His grandfather was named as Qazi Qalandar. His father, named, Qazi Sa’in Data belonged to the Qadiriyya order of the Sufis. His mother, named Bibi Fatima, was the daughter of Qazi Qadan. She was a very accomplished woman of her time. He had four brothers, namely Qazi Bolan, Qazi Mohammed…

The Sufi Path of Light

The Sufis are lovers of light. That is why some flashes of light will be shown in the parts below. Flash 1 In 1183 a young man, a ragged dervish, entered Aleppo. There his learning and his magical powers drew the attention of all. The prince grew to love him and became his disciple. The other learned men, jealous of his ascendancy, complained of him to the king, the great Saladin. The king feared that his son would be led into heresy, and he knew that heresy bred sedition. Twice he ordered his son to kill the dervish. Heartbroken the prince at last complied. The dervish’s disciples fled, and their names were forgotten. In Aleppo people remembered him, remembered the…

Generosity

Hatim at-Tayy was known for his extreme largesse, which was so great that whenever a man of his circle found himself in dire straits, he would refer to Hatim at-Tayy as the proverbial solver of all problems. Once a man who lived rather at a great distance of Hatim’s dwelling place was sorely pressed from want of funds. For days he fretted and worried about this, while his situation steadily worsened, until one day his wife said to him: ‘Whatever we try to do to pull ourselves out of this trouble, it just gets worse. How long is this to go on? Why don’t you go now and speak to Hatim at-Tayy and ask him to help you for once?’…

Diwaan-e-Mo’in: Ghazal 2

Here is a ghazal from the Diwaan-e-Mo’in (Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, Patna): Chu man az hastiye-khod dur baasham Ba-khod ham naazer o manzur baasham As I am far from a selfish existence, I am myself both the observer and the observed. Chu jaam o baada o saaqi mohaiyast Rawaa baashad ke man makhmur baasham As the cup, the wine and the wine-poorer are available, It is only proper that I am drunk. Ze jaam-e-wahdatam yak jor’a bakhsh Ke dar daar-e fanaa’ mansur baasham Give me one draught from the cup of union, So that I am a Mansur on the gibbet of extinction. Az aan jaami ke chun serr-e anaa’l-haqq Bar aayad bar zabaan ma’zur baasham From that cup…

10 Sufi tales about khwaja Khidr

Hakim at-Tirmidhi describes Khidr as the one who travels over land and sea, mountains and valleys searching and longing to meet the friends of God. Hakim at-Tirmidhi tells about Khidr a remarkable tale. Khidr knew from the beginning of time what would happen to these friends of God. He wished to see in his own life what would become of their works. That is why Khidr received such a long life that he would experience all of it up to the Day of Resurrection. Here are more tales: TALE 1 The Chishti shaykh Nasiruddin Cheragh Dehli says (see pp. 13-14 of “The Best of Assemblies”): There once was a dervish, who went into the desert. He there met a Pir….

Self-mastery

The secret of the cook is not to lose your self when you search for yourself. Shaykh Yahya Suhrawardî wrote a quatrain about the right kind of orientation: Hân tâ sar rishta-yi-khud gum nakunîKud râ barâ-yi nîk wa bad gum nakunîRah-raw tuî wa râ tuî manzil tuHushdâr ki râh-i-khud be khud gum nakuni Take care not to lose sight of the origin of your self,Lest, for the sake of good and bad, you lose your self.The traveller, the road and the destination, you are yourself.Take care not to lose the road to your self!   There is another version of the first line, mentioning rishta-yi-khirad [instead of rishta-yi-khud], and this can be translated as ‘the thread of wisdom’ or ‘the thread of the intellect’. What causes us to lose self-mastery?…

Hazrat Amir Khusraw

I’ve been active during the month of Ramadan to write something every day about Hazrat Amir Khusraw. Each of the following numbers contains the material written during each day: 1. Hazrat Amir Khusraw asks a question. The first line is in Persian and the second is in Urdu: Teshna raa che mibaayad Melaap ko kyaa chaahiye What is required for the thirsty person? What is required for union? 2. This verse shows the loving union existing between Hazrat Amir Khusraw and his murshid Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya: Man to shodam to man shodi Man jaan shodam to tan shodi Taa na-guyad kasi pas az in Man digaram o to digari I have become you and you have become me. I have…