Are you still seeking or tired?
Life is marked by ups and downs; it poses us with difficulties and hopes to recognize our consistency over our beliefs, without considering the boundaries of religion, race, region, etc. The journey of human civilization tells us the story of prophets and great philosophers, sufis, saints, and many others that they all always kept seeking the path of truth and reality. To find the truth, Socrates had to taste the poison, and he said at his last breath “When poison reaches the heart, that will be the end”1, and Sarmad Shaheed was hanged. The life of Prophet (PBUH) and his companions was confronted with extremely terrible situations and they had to leave their homes and their entire community, many had to leave their parents, wives, luxurious lives, and everything but the truth. Once the Prophet was offered by Meccan leaders the highest post of Mecca, tons of money and a marriage proposal with a beautiful girl from a reputed family but the words he responded with are historic. He said, “Oh! My uncle, even if you put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, I will not give up this mission unit I die”. Prophet Muhammad and his companions had been brutally tortured, socially boycotted, openly mocked, treated contemptuously but those torments could not shake the commitment of the Prophet and his companions with Allah. When they had got the victory they never intended for revenge. Hamza Yusuf finds the difference and says, “This is the difference between someone whose heart is purified and sound and one whose heart is impure and corrupt. Impure people oppress, and the pure-hearted not only forgive their oppressors, but elevate them in status and character”.2 When the Prophet Muhammad lighted up the hearts of his companions with the flames of Allah’s love, they ruled the world, turned the direction of winds as they wanted, they crossed the oceans by their horses. As Allah promises and says in the Quran,
ولا تهنوا ولا تحزنوا وأنتم الأعلون إن كنتم مؤمنين
[So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers. (Quran, chapter 3, verse, 139] They love to die because they wanted to meet their lord, and they found the divine taste of death. They wish to die over and over again to taste it more and more and this is all thrilled by the truth they found after a prolonged struggle. Rumi defines the Ashq (love) of death beautifully. He says
“I want to kiss you, and the price of kissing is your life3
Nobody wishes a heaven if the price is death
Nobody will wish for immortality if the cost is death
But this is what LOVE is DEATH”
When our heart finds the true love of its creator then the smile of Sayyid Qutub will appear on our faces when he was being taken alive for his own funeral ceremony.
We have also claims, declarations on our truths but when time demands from us our life our mind commands our heart because our truth is commanded by traditionI, passing from generation to generation, therefore our hearts are deprived of the spark of curiosity.
Allah always loved you!
We are naive! Someone has fallen in love with us, expressing it in day and day out. Created night and decorated with winks of stars and a moon with many shadows. He has given us colours and coloured flowers into hundreds of different shades and coated the earth into a thick colourful carpet. Did you ever notice why he wants us to perform Namaz five times in a day? He wants to see you loving Him, turning towards Him, remembering Him, seeking His armor. When all the theories of human beings and their claims of being superior and powerful proved terribly wrong by a little unseen creature and then again, how naively, we keep blaming that this is a punishment by Allah! Salman Younas puts it beautifully “When Covid-19 really began to spread, many asked whether it was an adhab (Punishment) from Allah.
Simply answer: if it is caused you to finally turn to him sincerely in life, it is his mercy upon you; but if you are as heedless as before, if not more, you are under adhab”.
Ramadan: Tradition or transformation
Ramadan is a month of Qur’an and the Qur’an is a book of metamorphosis. It is a moment that transforms but this one isfor true lovers. Allah says
[فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ] Therefore remember me, and I shall remember you; and be grateful unto me, and deny me not. [Quran; 2:152]
What would be more glorious and grateful moment for a human being (who is created by a thick coagulated blood) than when Allah, The lord of mankind, promised to remember us. We must have gone through so many months of Ramadan in our life but did we ever feel the devotion or that spirit of change? Did our heart ever polish from the divine love of Allah? Did our soul ever get the breeze of His shadow? Did our wounds ever aid by the divine heal? Did our thirst ever get fulfilled by the divine wine of love? If not then this Ramadan is a tradition and we are strongly carrying this legacy. If not then we are Muslims but by birth not by heart. If not then our tongue is pledging the old traditions of our ancestors. We will easily pass this month as same as we have been doing it since our birth. Traditions need to be followed and transformation always stands with the adjectives of curiosity, questions, anxiety, and madness to reach the garden of divine fruits. Rumi says, First I was raw then I was cooked and then I was burnt!
Abdul Hakim Murad says “the one whose inwardness creates his outwardness is beautiful in his outwardness; the one whose outwardness is trying to shape his inwardness is the uncomfortable kind of pietistic”4.There is thousands of material in our hands that can easily change our outwardness. Digital gadgets provide hundreds of filters that make us look beautiful and brings artificial smile on our faces. Did we ever search something that changes our soul? Did we find the connection that purifies our heart and makes our soul beautiful? That divine element is inside us and the book was revealed on prophet [PBUH]. The Quran provides unimaginable and innumerable filters and it pours drops of love to make our heart soft and beautiful. This is only for lovers, Allah says in Quran,
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَهِ
But those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah (Quran; 2:165)
If we believe in god then we will surrender towards him and our hearts keep boiling in the flames of his love. This is what Rumi says “then I was burnt”!
Imâm Ghazâlî states the intensity of love أشدّ حب لله: “Love is the heart’s inclination toward what it derives pleasure from. If this inclination is intense, it is termed ‘ashq (ecstatic love)”.5Be curious to find the love in the month of Ramadan then blindlessness will wash away completely. Let us pen the windows of our heart and make it broad that you could imbibe more and more light from your lord. Rumi expresses it “The window determines how much light enters the house, even if the moon’s radiance fills the east and the west”
Transform into simplicity
Simplicity (acondition when you get transformed) brings to us a fearless, pure, natural, and a burning heart, and a soul filtered in the high flames of love. The simplicity comes with a long journey and a tough effort. We need to free our heart from worldly attachments. Solace is beautiful; the fearless heart seems strong, being natural looks lovely. We should surrender ourselves. Our voice should be his, our decisions should be for him, and our priorities must begin from him and end at him.
Iqbal always finds Simplicity [سادگی] in his life. He says it in his famous poem [Tere ishq ki inteha chahta hun] I need your infinite love.
یہ جنت مبارک رہے زاہدوں کو
کے آپ کا سامنا چاہتا ہوں
میری سادگی دیکھ کیا چاہتا ہوں۔
[Blessed be the paradise, for those who seek it,
To come affront you, mere for your gleams, I desire.
Observe, what in my modest dreams, I desire.]
Sarmad Shaheed portrays the toughness.
The pain of love is not given to the lustful7
The passion of a moth is not given to the honey bee.
It takes the lifetime to unite with the beloved
This divine bliss is not given to everyone.
Abul Kalam Azad puts it beautifully and how your heart speaks the language of simplicity and you don’t need to pick the terms from market. He says it about Surah Al-Fatiha in Tarjuman-Al-Quran
“They are so simple in form. There is nothing complicated about them; nor do they confuse. The fact is that whatever is true to life is always easily comprehended. Look at nature. Nowhere does it appear elusive. Elusiveness is produced by artificiality. All that is true and real will necessarily be plain and attractive, so attractive that when it appears before you, you do not feel any strangeness about it. Indeed, you accept it without hesitation”.8
We are being pushed into different phases of fear, toughness and it will go on. We have been striving for shelter in our homeland since two months in India. During this moment a small and unseen little virus stopped all the movements across the world. World leaders are clueless; people are afraid of death and locked themselves inside their homes. Roads are closed, shops have been shut down, places of worship are empty and we all are at home and a guest from skies arrived at our doors. Wants to stay at our homes for a long month to teach us etiquettes of love, and brought us a book to fill our hearts with the divine spark.Keep seeking the truth that prepares you to taste the poison with a smiling face and a pleasing heart. Let us transform into a simple human being, a man who carries a garden of love inside his heart. Let us transform to win the hearts and smiles.
Tradition: I mean by tradition here as acts repeated mindlessly without understanding their essence and truest sense. Acts which we perform as merely to observe formalities in life.
- The story of philosophy [Will Durant]
- Purification of the hearts, by Hamza Yusuf
- Famous poem of Rumi [1207-1273], also referred by Claire Portor in his book, seventy thousand veils,
- Referred to Imam Ghazâlî in hundreds of different articles on his work
- Kulliyat-e-Iqbal [Baang-e-Dara]
- Tarjuman-ul-Quran, Volume