The Order of Hearts

Nizamuddin Awrangabadi came to Delhi hoping to find a spiritual guide. Hearing a great deal about shaykh Kalimullah he wanted to meet him. When he went to the shaykh, sama’ (audition of Sufi music) took place and the doors of the khanaqah were closed. It was their custom not to allow strangers to participate in the sama’. Nizamuddin knocked on the door and was permitted to enter. Everyone was greatly surprised, but shaykh Kalimullah said: ‘Know you all that this persoon is not a stranger!”. The reason was that the spiritual guide of shaykh Kalimullah had informed him that a persoon possessing such and such features and named Nizamuddin would come to him. Hazrat Nizamuddin Awrangabadi, who later on became…

Adherence to habits

Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti has said: “There is no greater or more awful calamity in your own existence than the adherence to habits. There is no poison deadlier than this, that you may desire to enrol spiritual disciples. The traveller in search of the truth who longs to have spiritual disciples does not reach the high station”.

20 Poems of Hazrat Baba Farid

I’ve acquired “The Couplets of Baba Farid” as translated by Maqbool Elahi when I was in Lahore. The original Punjabi text is also contained in this book. These poems are included in the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhs. 1 On the day the body was married to the soul, All the destined breaths were written in a scroll. At the approach of the last breath, The so much heard of angel, brought their counth to death. 2 Rattling bones, this angel takes life away. Tell yourself, while breathing: ‘Destiny holds the sway’. 3 Life is wife and death her husband. Husband takes his wife away. After ‘yes’ to his proposal, How can she hold back the…

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…

Biko’s Bird

Biko desired to be a spiritual guide, but he attracted no murids. That’s why he became jealous of shaykh ‘Abdullah, the local Sufi master. He tried to discredit him with a trick. When shaykh ‘Abdullah was teaching the local halqa, Biko went to this assembly with a very small bird in his hands. He intended to ask the master if the bird was dead or alive.  In case the shaykh would say that it was dead, Biko would open his hands in order to let the bird fly away. When the answer would be that the bird was alive, he’d quickly crush the bird and thus kill it. In both cases the master would give the wrong answer.  Biko, full…

Jamali

The Indian Sufi Jamali was very fond of travelling and embarked on long journeys. He was a famed poet who was even known in Herat. (my wordprocessor is changing Herat into heart…!). After visiting Mecca and Medina Jamali visited the Maghrib, the Yemen, Palestine, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and even Sri Lanka to see the footprint of Adam. It is said that he travelled in the same manner as a qalandar, and with the dust of his travels on him he arrived in Herat and visited the famous Jami. He sat down next to him. Jami was rather annoyed and asked him what was the difference between him and an ass. Jamali then answered by pointing out the distance between…

Sufi concept: Wednesday – Prophet Jesus

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 4: Wednesday If your day is Wednesday, Jesus is your companion, so hold fast to holy life and persevere in the desert. On Wednesday it is Jesus who addresses you with a secret by which you come to know the completion of the stations, how they are sealed and by whom. WEDNESDAY: Arabic: al-arba’â’ Divine attribute: Willing Prophet:…

A pair of trousers

Mawlana Shamsuddin Mohammad Yahya was an intimate friend of Mawlana Sadruddin Nawli. Both of them used to hear quite a lot about the spiritual greatness of Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya. They had never met him. One day, when they came to Ghiyaspur to wash their clothes, they decided to go to Nizamuddin Awliya to see what kind of dervish he was and to find how much learning and knowledge he possessed. But they felt annoyed by the type of devotion that so many people offered to Nizamuddin Awliya. They considered it to be contrary to Islam. That is why they would only say ‘Peace be with you’ according to the Islamic precepts and then sit down. As soon as Nizamuddin Awliya…

A sufi on his deathbed

Sîdî al-‘Arbî was one of the friends of God. When he was on his deathbed he called for a certain man and his wife and he told them, pointing to a cap and a pair of black trousers: “This is a trust of God which will remain with you until your son ‘Abd al-‘Azîz will be born. You then give these clothes to him”. Some time later ‘Abd al-‘Azîz was born and when he reached puberty God inspired his mother to give him the clothes received as a trust. ‘Abd al-‘Azîz then put on his trousers as well as his cap. He then felt a great heat, so much so that tears appeared in his eyes. ‘Abd al-‘Azîz has said…

Mystical Marriage

Nekah-ye-ma’nawi oftaad dar din Jehaan raa nafs-e-kolli daad kaabin A mystical marriage was celebrated in religion. The Universal Soul gave the earth as a dowry. I have visited Lahore in Pakistan a number of times. During one of these visits I went to Shaikh Muhammad Ashraf, one of the local publishers to buy some books. I noticed another customer whose pile of books was as large as mine and we started to talk. During a meal together I found out that he belonged to a Pakistani Sufi order. I told him that I had bought The Secret Rose Garden of shaykh Mahmud Shabistari. The above quote is from this book which has become one of my favourite Sufi books. As…