The sufi and his cat

René Guénon, aka shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahid Yahya, died in 1951. There has been an European Sufi shaykh, Mustafa ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, who has been the first in modern times to introduce the teachings of shaykh Ibn al-‘Arabi in depth to the west. His French name is Michel Valsan.

Shaykh Mustafa ‘Abd al-‘Aziz has written a letter about the death of shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahid Yahya:

Paris 18th June 1951.

I think you have already received the sad information about the death of René Guénon by means of newspapers and radio. It took place on the night of the 7th to the 8th of January. I have received your letter on the 8th of January at the same time as news of his being in a state of suffering. I was informed the next day that he has passed away. He has already been suffering for several months and he had stopped all his writing since the end of November.

He was suffering of an edema in his leg, caused by rheumatism. [more details follow which have not been translated]. But he has been lucid upto his last moments.

Now, I’ll tell you some very moving details: During his last days, he was aware of the fact that he was going to die. During the afternoon of the 7th of January he performed a very intense dhikr, while he was supported on both sides by his wife and another family member. These women became very tired and completely exhausted near him. They told that from that moment his perspiration smelled like the perfume of flowers. He finally asked with some insistence their permission to die, which shows that he was able to choose his moment of death.

The women begged him to stay alive for a longer time. He ultimately asked his wife: “Can I not die now? I’ve suffered so much!” She agreed and said: May God protect you!” He died only a few moments later on, after having repeated one or two final invocations.

Some extra details: his cat, which appeared to be in perfect health, started to moan and died a few ours later on.

On the day of his (the shaykh’s) death, he surprised his wife by telling her that after his death she needed to leave his room unchanged. No one should be allowed to touch his books or his papers. He made it very clear that otherwise he would not be able to see them, i.e. his wife and their children, while in a room which would not be disturbed, he would remain sitting at his desk and would thus be able to see them, even though they would not be able to see him.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. KgnReshma says:

    Bismillah KGN,
    Seriously ‘The Sufi and his cat’ makes my heart skip a beat……..

    Quran says
    “There is not an animal that lives on earth, not a being that flies on two
    wings but they are living beings like unto you”.

    1]Mercy and kindness towards all compromise the general ethic of

    2]In Islam sanction for killing of animal for food did not mean an
    unmerciful behavior towards the animals or other living creatures.

    3]The Hadith forbids the eating of meat while on pilgrimage or holy war,
    & rules against killing of animals when they are in helpless condition.

    Source: Peace through non-violent action in Islam by Dr.N.K.Singh.


    Quiz Time:

    Q) Have you ever met a real time hero?
    A) Well well, this Seeker has & below is His history…………..

    O Alchemist of good fortune,
    For Seekers thou art a boon.
    Thee picked up an abandoned Kitten,
    From street of Vienna without a mitten?

    Lost & dehydrated as she was,
    Thee adopted her for a noble cause.
    Sufis are renowned for their soft heart,
    O Shaykh, thee have a mystic art!

    A role model & example, thee have set,
    Kindness of Sufis turn eyes wet.
    I too shall follow thy teaching,
    ‘Sufism in action’ is the real thing.

    & when I rescue an abandoned Cat,
    Men say” In whose company you sat”?
    Say I, “A Dervish I met a while ago”,
    Men remark “O, to Him our heads bow”!


  2. KgnReshma says:

    Bismillah KGN-Salaams.
    A work beyond writing,
    Go after this, realizing.

    O this indifferent attitude,
    Humans with cold magnitude.

    Living for self, a mean way,
    To pomp & desires, say Nah.

    Truly, God lives not in Idols,
    No Kindness in pretty dolls?

    It’s a mirage this World Dervish,
    An innocent Cat, I failed to nourish.

    Tears flow down, look at my plight,
    On me a Dervish threw His light.

    Cause of blessings of Kind Dervish,
    My heart in kindness does flourish.

    What is my work, Dervish do spell out,
    Shall follow thy path, don’t have doubt.

    I am so weak O my dearest Krish,
    Too timid for responsibility & risk.

    & a work beyond writing,
    Go after this, realizing…

  3. KgnReshma says:

    KGN & Haji Malang Baba,
    Fascinated by the Sufis & their love for Cats, I too longed to have a Cat sometime back.
    And truly now, I do have two beautiful angels(Cats)……………

    The Sufi & His Cat.

    O The Sufi & His pretty Cat,
    In the company of Wise I sat.
    So what if me outside thy circle?
    My love for thee is true & eternal.

    Murshid has gifted me two angels,
    To overcome depression, life’s tangles.
    Angles look at me with lovely angles,
    Murshid’s love flows via such channels.

    And what is Love? ask me not,
    With my Murshid, I tied a knot.
    The Knot of love is strong & sturdy,
    Think its Divine & not at all Worldly.

    The two angels are innocent & cute,
    *The Cat’s Meow, my Murshid’s flute.
    His Melody flows through vales & hills,
    Like Tulips dancing in rhythmic thrills.

    Hah the angels’s gleaming eyes!
    Emeralds beaming through skies.
    Kindness precious than gems & pearls,
    This Murshid is safest for boys & girls.

    O The Sufi & His pretty Cat,
    In the company of Wise I sat.
    So what if me outside thy circle?
    My love for thee is true & eternal.

    * The Cat’s Meow-Someone or 
    something wonderful or remarkable.

    Thank You!

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