The Rivers of Paradise

Aziz an-Nasafi in his “Unveiling of the Realities” gives this beautiful explanation in regard to the rivers of paradise and the water/milk/honey/wine mentioned: Know that water causes life and its benefit is common for everything in all times, and the reality of these rivers of water in heaven is that they are the waters of life for all the people of heaven who enjoy all of them. The cause which nurtures children is milk which is more particular than water, since the benefit of milk is common for all but only at a certain time. The reality of these rivers of milk in heaven is that they are the rivers of common sense which is the basis and exoteric aspect…

Ibn Arabi: Love

Ibn al-‘Arabi has dedicated a complete chapter of his Futuhat al-Makkiya to love, which has been translated by Maurice Gloton as ‘Traité de L’Amour’ (ISBN 2-226-02715-7). He describes 3 types of love (pp. 67-127): 1. Divine love 2. Spiritual love 3. Natural love. For those not knowing Arabic or French Stephen Hirtenstein has described these 3 types of love in his ‘The Unlimited Mercifier’ (ISBN 1-883991-29-3). See pp. 191-203. A condensed description with all the major features of the exposition of the shaykh is given on pp. 194-195: “Know that Love is according to three degrees. (Firstly) there is natural love, which is the love of ordinary people, whose aim is unification in the animal spirit… It ends in the…

The trunk and the thieves

One day three thieves entered the effendi’s house. The effendi had seen them and had hidden himself in a trunk. The thieves searched everywhere for something of some value. At last, discouraged, they opened the trunk. “What are you doing here in the trunk?” exclaimed one of the astonished thieves. “Excuse me,” said the Effendi politely. “Knowing that you couldn’t find anything valuable in my house, I was so ashamed that I hid myself”.

The Sun of Tabriz

Just suppose you are able to make an interview with Hazrat Shams-e Tabrizi.. What would you ask him? Perhaps some of your questions are similar to the ones as given below: Q: You are so famous that you really need no introduction. Your name Shams means ‘sun’… A: When someone is born in the sun itself, from birth he opens his eyes to the sun and becomes accustomed to it. They tell him: ‘Speak of the moon, speak of Mercury”. How can I speak of them? Does the sun even know that there is a moon in the world? Q: Can you tell us something about your relationship with Mawlana Rumi? A: When I came to Mawlana, the first stipulation…

What kind of Pir do you want?

Nawab Khadim Hasan was once approached for initiation. He asked the visitor if he would like a murshid who was a leaf, a stone or a log? The visitor was quite surprised and could not give a reply. So to save him the consternation Nawab Khadim Hasan gave him an explanation: If a leaf floats down a river and a stone is dropped on it, it sinks a little, then tilts and the stone falls off, and thus soon the leave alone is floating down the river. If you drop a stone in a river, it sinks. In fact if you tie anything to it, they both sink. But if a log floats down a river, you can grab it…

My awakening

Your sending, dear Ahmed, of Khwaja Sana’i’s obituary brought it all back. You wrote about this Sufi whom I had met so long ago: Someone said: ‘Khwaja Sana’i is dead’. The death of such a master is no little thing. He was not chaff which flew on the wind, He was not water which froze in winter He was not a comb which was broken with a hair, He was not a seed which the earth crushed. He was a treasure of gold in this dust-pit, For he valued the two world at a barley-corn. The earthly frame he flung to the earth, Soul and intellect he bore to heaven… Ahmed had – so many years ago – for 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?’…

Hafez

This is the first rubâ’i, quatrain, of the Divân of Hâfez and in Persian it sounds thus Joz naqsh-e-to dar nazar nayâmad mâra. Joz kuy-e-to rahgozar nayâmad mâra. Khvâb âr che khosh âmad hameh ra dar ‘uhdat Haqqâ ke be chesham dar nayâmad mâra. Nothing comes in our eyes except Your face. Except Your lane we have no other path to trace. If it is so that as a duty sleep comes joyfully to everyone, But, in truth, our eyes it does not grace. ~ Here are some of his other quatrains. The transcription of the Persian text has been followed by its English translation. Bar gir sharaab tarab angiz o biyaa Penhaan ze raqib-e sefle be-sitez o biyaa Ma-shnav…

Light upon Light

You’ll find some Sufi teachings about light here: Flash 1 The well-known Chishti Sufi Amir Khusraw has seen the light: What a glow everywhere I see, Oh mother, what a brilliance! I’ve found the Beloved, yes I found him, In my courtyard. I have found my pir Nizamuddin Awliya. I roamed around the entire world, Looking for an ideal Beloved; And finally this presence has awakened my spirit. Flash 2 Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya says that the sama’ (audition of Sufi music) confers three blessings, namely: 1. Anwar : lights 2. Ahwal : states 3. Asar : symptoms. These blessings appear from three ‘worlds’: 1. Nasut : the world in which we live. 2. Jabarut : the world or the sphere…

Diwaan-e-Mo’in: Ghazal 24

Maraa ay saaqi-ye-wahdat be-daadi jor’ahaa zaan mai Ke har dam az hayaahuyash bar ayad az del-am hai hai The Saqi provides me with cups filled with the wine of unity, So that with every breath my heart keeps on shouting ‘He is!’ ‘He is!’ Magu ai khom che mi-jushi chu mai-ye-dardi to mi-rezi Magu ai nai che mi-naali chu ham khud mi-dami dar wai Don’t tell, O vessel (of the heart), why you are agitated, when you receive the wine of pain! Don’t tell, O flute, why you are complaining, when each breath returns to Him! Che baad-ast in na-midaanam jaam-e-del ba-yak jor’a Chonaan az zang saafi shod ke didam yaar raa dar wai I don’t know what kind of…