The Word of the Weaver

The Weaver is sitting on top of the highest mountain under a tree that is as old as the mountain itself and is weaving. The Weaver is continuously occupied in weaving creation and gives it substance, quantity, quality, action, passion, relation, position, habit, place and time. The Weaver is able to see all that is taking place and hears the voices of all times. He is whispering but doesn’t move his lips. Which word does he whisper? Which word makes the dumb one speak, makes the deaf one hear, and makes the blind one see? The Weaver whispers the word that starts life on earth, the word that determines your fate, the word that makes you fall in love, the…

The Thief Who Became a Sufi Master

A true teacher takes what you do not have and gives you what is always yours. This is why the sage does his work and slips away unperceived. Real masters are like thieves: Only the ones caught are known. The best remain hidden. Yet their blessed presence though unrecognized continuously sustains the world often behind a most mundane appearance. Yosy Flug: The Illuminated Donkey – Book of Secrets; pp. 52-3 Salik wanted to meet a spiritual guide, but where to find one? It was difficult to find a murshid. Salik searched for a very long time without finding a Sufi Master who possessed all the qualities Salik thought to be necessary. That’s why Salik needed to change his method of…

She walks in beauty

You’ll know the poem of Lord Byron called She Walks in Beauty. I have accessed its recitation by Marianne Faithfull on the 21st of July 2021:   The Sufis say that the manifestation of the Divine is strongest in women. The dark-haired beauty – the raven tress – in Byron’s poem will remind you of Layla in Sufism, whose name implies the darkness of the night. Lord Byron’s love for beauty reminds me of a Persian Sufi concept called Jamâl-parastî – the worship of beauty. She Walks in Beauty could have been written by shaykh Rûzbihân Baqlî; just study this quatrain: ‌چشم از رخ خوبت آفتابی دارد حسن از قبل روی تو تابی دارد مسکین دل شوریده سر گشته من…

Dervish ‘Abdullah meditating in a hammock

Dervish ‘Abdullah lay lazily in a hammock under a flowery ceiling of beautiful white wisteria above him. Enjoying the sun, he marveled at the beauty of the flowers. He was grateful for their beauty. Then he realized that maybe the flowers weren’t there just to be looked at and admired by him. This thought came into him, because he became aware of subtle movements above him. He shook his head and broke free from the pleasant hypnosis of the flowery beauty. He looked deeper, more attentively at the many flowers. Suddenly he saw a bee emerge from one flower and fly to another flower. And another bee, and another bee. The dervish saw many bees flying, buzzing, among the flowers….

Dervish ‘Abdullah meditating near the river

Dervish ‘Abdullah is sitting in meditation by the banks of the Ganges river. He reads it like a book that tells him of the river’s nature, its hidden depths, its movements… He observes a log floating in the stream, lines and circles in the water, as well as a certain colour of the sun reflected in the Ganges. The dervish watches the leaves: some are floating placidly along and make no effort to resist the current. They are taken towards the Ocean. Other leaves are throwing themselves wildly in the turmoil and get ultimately thrown against the banks and remain there, rotting in the sun. Dervish ‘Abdullah says: “The people with inward peace don’t resist the nature of the river….

The Quest of Sidi Ibrahim

Sidi Ibrahim is the Sufi name of Titus Burckhardt [1908-1984]. ‘Sidi’ or ‘Sayyidi’ means literally ‘my master’ and, in fact, Sidi Ibrahim guided the students of Sidi ‘Isa, aka F. Schuon, in Basel. Sidi is actually used as an honorific title given to someone who has been initiated into the Sufi path. Sidi Ibrahim has described his quest to find a spiritual guide and teacher in some detail. Do you know shaykh Ibrahim ibn ‘Abdallah [1784-1817]? You can see a painting of this ancestor of Sidi Ibrahim dressed in Muslim clothes and can read more about his life at wikipedia.org. This ancestor made the pilgrimage to Mecca in 1815. He was the first European to describe the hajj in some…

The whole picture

Abu Talib visited the garden of the Baghban tariqa. The shaykh asked him to count the number of rose bushes. When viewing the garden from the gate, Abu Talib could see eleven rose bushes. When moving away from the gate he suddenly discovered a rose bush not seen before, but having moved Abu Talib lost sight of one other rose bush. No matter how he moved, he always could see only eleven out of the twelve rose bushes in the garden. He learned through moving that the whole picture could not be seen from any one of his viewpoints.  

Thread your way through my labyrinth of love and find me

A woman recently explained that there is a difference between a labyrinth and a maze. This is what she said: “When you enter a labyrinth, there is only one way that leads to its centre. When walking it you sometimes appear to get further away from the centre, but when you continue you get step by step nearer to the centre.” This woman entered a maze together with her children. After about 45 minutes she still was wandering from one dead-end to another, while her children had already found the exit. From their standing point, they not only could see their mother but also could give her directions and guided her out of the maze. “One day” {writes Alberto Manguel…

Persian translation of Grandfather’s Oven

تنور پدربزرگ خام بُدم، پخته شدم، سوختم من دیر به کاروانسرای قونیه رسیدم. به همین دلیل صبحِ فردا نزد منیر شاه رفتم. متوجه شدم که کتابی میخواند و کنجکاو بودم بدانم چه میخواند. چند ساعت بعد دوباره او را دیدم. روی نیمکتی رو به روی مسجدی که مقام حضرت شمس تبریزی در آن قرار داشت، نشسته بود. در حال خواندن همان کتاب با جلد قرمز رنگ بود. دیدار سوم در باغ مَرام قونیه اتفاق افتاد. من توصیف این باغ را از اِولیا چَلَبی خوانده بودم و به همین دلیل به آنجا رفته بودم. مردم قونیه برای لذت بردن از زیبایی باغ و آواز پرندگان به آنجا میرفتند. منیر شاه باز هم آن کتاب را میخواند. او متوجه من شد و…

Grandfather’s Oven

خام بدم پخته شدم سوختم I was raw, I was cooked, I was burned! I arrived rather late in a caravanserai in Konya. That’s why I saw Munir Shah the next morning. I noticed him reading a book and I wondered what book he was reading. A few hours I saw him again. He was sitting on a bench opposite the mosque with the maqam of Hazrat Shamsuddin Tabrizi. He was reading the same red coloured book. The third time happened to take place in the Meram gardens of Konya. I went there because I had read the description of these gardens by Evliya Çelebi. He writes that these gardens are situated on the eastern side of the Meram Mountain….