The Key to open the Door

A key [miftâh] is an instrument for opening [fath]. Keys are able to open a locked door. An opening can be considered as an unveiling: “There’s a key, an opening, and something opened”, says shaykh Ibn al-‘Arâbî. “When the opened thing is opened, that which has been veiled by it becomes manifest. So the key is your preparedness [isti’dâd] for learning and receiving knowledge, the opening is the teaching, and the opened thing is the door at which you come to a halt”. “If you don’t halt and you travel on, you’ll see with every step what you had not been seeing, and you’ll come to know what you didn’t know, and God’s bounty to you is ever magnificent [Qur’ân…

Quotes of Sa’di

Lovers are prisoners at your door, come! They’ll not hold your fiery temper against you, come! Each of your cruel acts will be excused, But before they don’t excuse you anymore, come! عشاق بدرگهت اسیرند بیا بد خو ئى تو بر تو نگیرند بیا هر جور و جفا که کرده ای معذوری زان پیش که عذرت نپذیرند بیا If you are longing for the masters of heart, be aware That you aren’t heedless of service even for one moment; Give food to the parrot, the partridge and the pigeon, So that one day a phoenix may fall into your snare. الا گر طلبگار اهل دلی ز خدمت مکن یک زمان غافلی خورش ده به گنجشك و کبك و حمام که…

One Special Task

In jedem lebt ein Bild dessen, was er werden soll. Solange er dies nicht ist, ist nicht sein Friede voll. In each one lives an image of what he is to be. As long as he is not this, he ne’er at rest will be. [Friedrich Rückert] یکی گفت که اینجا چیزی فراموش کردهام Someone came and said: ‘I have forgotten something here.’ [Rumi: Fihi ma fihi; # 3; p. 14] Rumi answered: ‘There is one task in this world you should never forget. Even when you’d forget everything, except this one task, then it doesn’t matter. When you performed all tasks, remembered everything, and not forgot anything, but forgot that one task, then you have done nothing whatsoever’. ‘It…

GOD

Your name is in my mouth, Your image is in my eye, Your remembrance is in my heart: So where are You hidden? A scholar remarked in the presence of Shamsuddin of Tabriz: ‘I have established the existence of God with a categorical proof’. On the next morning our master Shams said: ‘Last night the angels descended and blessed that man, saying ‘Praise be to God, he has proven the existence of our God! May God give him a long life’!’ [Rumi:Fihi ma fihi]. Shabistari writes in his Gulshan-i-Raz: دلی کزمعرفت شهود است زهرچیزی که دید اول خدا دید A witnessing heart illuminated by gnosis, Sees God first in all things it looks upon. Several Sufis never talk or write…

Who are the just?

A man who cultivates his garden, as Voltaire wished. He who is grateful for the existence of music. He who takes pleasure in tracing a root of a word. Two servants playing, in a café in the South, a silent game of chess. The potter, contemplating a colour and a form. The typographer who sets this page well, although it may not please him. A woman and a man, who read the last tercets of a certain canto. He who strokes a sleeping animal. He who justifies, or wishes to, a wrong done him. He who is grateful for the existence of a Stevenson. He who prefers others to be right. These people, who don’t know one another, are saving…

Thirty-six

There are 36 attestations of tawhîd in the Qur’ân. This takes place by means of a dhikr, which is in this case the tahlîl. The basic shape is well known to you: “no god but God!” This is the recitation wherein God is declared one, by negating what is other than Him and by affirming Him. O Lord! Light the eternal fire in my heart! Turn every breath into a messenger of Your compassion! 1-36: The first attestation of tawhîd can be found in Q. 2:163. It is a tawhîd by means of the Divine name ar-Rahmân: Wa ‘ilâhukum ‘ilâhuñw-wâhidå: lââ ‘ilâha illâ huwa-r-rahmânu-r-rahîm And your God is one God, no god but He, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Shaykh Ibn…

Hikmat

HAQIQA AL-MUHAMMADIYYA Dr. Zahurul Hassan Sharib has briefly paid attention to an important Sufi doctrine in his The Culture of the Sufis (see pp. 100-1). It is the doctrine of haqiqa al-muhammadiyya (the logos of Muhammad). For some reason or other this doctrine has always fascinated me. For me it is a journey into new worlds, to be slowly explored, but to shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir from Algeria (1808-1883 C.E.) it is familiar ground. Sufis like him have received the blessing of an opening up of this subject. The Algerian shaykh received answers in a vision related to a teaching of the shaykh ‘Abd as-Salam ibn Mashish, a descendant of the Prophet who died in 1228 C.E. The Algerian shaykh comments on…