Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Sufi wisdom from Mevlana



I'm taking an indefinite break from blogging/ the net. You may have noticed I wasn't very active anyway. May or may not be back,

As far as the asma e husna offer [the Dhikr] please go to this site where you can calculate the personalized Dhikr of God's Divine Names yourself.

God Bless,

fi aman Allah


Sufi wisdom from Mevlana

I'm thinking this is a Coleman Barks "version". Still it retains something of Mevlana. I'm not sure of the source. However I've fixed some words which needed capitalization.

People are distracted by objects of desire,
and afterward repent of the lust they've indulged,
because they have indulged with a phantom
and are left even farther from Reality than before.

Giving thanks for abundance
is sweeter than the abundance itself...

Infinite Mercy flows continually
But you're asleep and can't see it.


Some Sema

At Urs of Hazrat Baba Farid RA, last year

Full speech of Mengal Sahib & Mian Sahib as seen on Samaa TV

Save Pakistan

The Pak Army should reign in the agencies and ease the situation in Balochistan, nay even bend over backwards if need be. Otherwise I'm afraid that Shah Naimat RA's prediction of the 6 part-division of the Sub-continent is going to be all out of Pakistan, not India [save perhaps Kashmir]. This is urgent, short term.

Long term, become more inclusive, encourage mass recruits from the other 3 provinces, the COAS has taken some good steps but much more is needed. On the flip side, people from other provinces need to realize that most Punjabis are not chauvanists, but poor hard-working people like themselves.

Another disturbing report has been about growing financial corruption in the forces, land appropriation etc... I always said the Waderas are worse, but Balochistan is too volatile.


Beautiful Mughal painting of Hazrat Khizr

Stolen from Abdur Rahman's Corner.

Was Allama Iqbal a Sufi?

This promises to be my most unpopular post since the ideology of Pakistan one, which received like a hundred negative comments. Oh dear. Still one must speak the truth no matter how bitter... even if it means losing followers
Short answer: not really.
The Allama had a complex, love hate relationship with Sufism.

Sorry Zaid Hamid, Dr. Tahirul Qadri and those many thousands of devotees of the Allama who expect to be whizzed into the stratosphere or the Arsh e Mualla with their copies of Armagahan e Hijaz.

Long answer:
Now first remember the Allama was a great mind, so puny brains like mine cannot even conceive the depth and breadth of his intellect.
He was a true passionate Muslim.
A lot of his poetry is genuinely inspired, not just inspiring
He had quite a few AMAZING spiritual experiences.
He often had Kashf.
He used a lot of Sufi terms in his poetry.
He praises 'the Qalander'
He calls himself a mureed of Mevlana Rumi RA
He had a strong emotional attachment to many Sufi saints: Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, Data Ganj Bakhsh, Hazrat Mujaddid Alif Sani etc.
He was a lover of the Ahlul Bayt and the senior companions.
He was probably a Waliullah, a friend of God.
He was certainly an agent of God to shake Muslims into action.
Shucks he probably had more of the above than most Sufis.

He was not really a Sufi.

Please before you chuck your coffee at my blog, consider the alternative, his own admission:
please read Allama Iqbal's 2 decade long correspondence with Hazrat Khwaja Hassan Nizami of Delhi . Nothing and I repeat nothing will make the Allama's relationship to Sufism more clear than the Allama himself in these letters!

For all his devotion, and the fact that many elements of his philosophy are based on Sufism, he did not accept certain fundamental Sufi doctrines, which no true Sufi can afford to deny. In fact Allama Iqbal considered many elements of Sufism Kufr or disbelief, but he did not go to the extent of calling those Sufis Kafir, as the Allama held that they had made "genuine mistakes" in interpreting the Qur'an.

Allama Iqbal admitted that by heart he was a Sufi but his head could not let him accept Sufism. No wonder a great contemporary Sufi Hazrat Maulana Wahid Bakhsh wryly observed that the verse the Allama applied to Neitzsche could be applied to the Allama himself with regard to Sufism:

دل او مومن و دماغش کافر است

Indeed he despised Sufism at times, and 2 fundamental Sufi doctrines in particular:
Predetermination and Wahdat ul Wujood/the Unity of Being. He was also against the concepts of Fana and the Sufi philosophy of the 6 Descents- but that will expand this piece too much.

Now, everyone who has read the Sufi textbooks such as Gulshan e Raz, or Kalabadhi's Taarruf or the Kashf or the Awarif or the Kitab al Hikm knows that predeterminism is a basic foundational tenet of Faith of Sufi Islam. But to Allama that meant quietism, and he replaced it with the Shi'ite belief in Action, filtered though Neitzsche of course, characterized by Allama Iqbal as the "qalander" the man of Love and Action as opposed to the contemplative Sufi. [Later the Allama would enlist Mevlana Rumi RA for this same purpose- quite against what Hazrat Mevlana himself taught].

As for the Unity of Being, there are plenty of articles by great Sufi masters on this site, so suffice it to add that perhaps the Allama contributed to the current academic misunderstanding that Wahdat al Wujud and Wahdat ash-Shahood are 2 opposite views... never mind Hazrat Mujaddid's own clarifications in the laterMaktubaat, or what Shah Waliullah and other Naqshbandi followers of Hazrat Mujaddid clarified: the 2 are one and the same.

To sum up, the Allama Iqbal RA was by nature drawn to Sufism. He was a person of tremendous spiritual as well as intellectual stature anyway. However, despite the many Sufi terms and elements of Sufi philosophy in his thought, one must bear in mind his thought also has elements of Salafist Reformism, Shi'ism, German Romanticism, Pan-Islamism, Aligarh Progressivism, Bergsonianism etc... even Akber Alahabadi-style conservatism on many an occasion...

But we must have heroes, and we are men of emotion rather than discernment.
Me included, by the way. But what can I do, I've read the correspondence between Hazrat Khwaja Hassan Nizami and Hazrat Allama. And being a ghissa pitta mureed, I needs must follow the well-trodden path of the Sufis. I'm with the Khwaja on this.

God bless, and sorry for the offence, respected fans of the Allama who would have loved to prove that the beloved Allama was a Sufi.

And God knows best.


interesting year

This year has been a slog, spiritually. Battles with the nafs [lower self], sometimes one's higher self wins and sometimes the lower: and all victories are clearly Divine inspiration or help from the positive "forces beyond." One has to take more "credit" for the nafs victories, although the negative forces beyond have their say, they are weaker than the positive forces [and by this I'm referring to Barzakh: the angels and the saints].

Event wise nothing of extra significance close around me: yes there are deaths and births but not in my immediate family, alhamdolillah.

Also completed one year of Kung Fu, alhamdolillah and although I'm learning an old man's style, Wing Chun, it's been physically challenging and a lot of fun and benefit, I would seriously recommend to almost anyone young or old esp. introverts like myself. Martial arts brings a discipline and focus, as does Salat, so the 2 together are useful for combating the aforementioned enemies i.e. one's Nafs and the darker "forces beyond."

Of spiritual "progress" I cannot say, it's just a constant struggle. In any case it's God's Grace at the end of the day.

When I was younger, even 2 years ago, I had grand illusions of Reforming the Faith, yes laugh at that, now I do too, for surely it's a common human failing today.

A couple of years ago that changed mercifully, alhamdolillah, and I realized that the real goal is to Reform oneself, Religion is not in any need of reform, at least not the religion that the Noble Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, brought [faithfully preserved by sufi saints such as Rumi, Hujweri, Attar, Ajmeri, Shadhilli, Suharwardi, Jilani etc].

This year I've realized that even self-reform is an unrealistic goal, at my stage and age, I can best hope for damage control, that those around me are kept safe from my worst impulses and failings.

And the Creator alone gives success.