Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Discourses of Rumi: Signs of the Unseen

"All this I said to the Parvana. I told him, "You, who have become the head of Islamdom, have said, 'I sacrifice myself and my intellect and all my power of deliberation and judgment for the continued existence and spread of Islam.' But since you have relied upon yourself and not looked to God to realize that everything is from Him, God has caused that very endeavor of yours to be the cause for the diminution of Islam.... The very thing that was to be a cause for the expansion of Islam has become the cause for its diminishment. Therefore, in this state, which is a fearful one, turn to God. Give alms that He may deliver you from this evil condition, which is fear. Do not despair of Him, even if He has cast you down from a state of obedience into disobedience. Because you thought your obedience was in and of yourself, you have fallen into disobedience. Even now in this disobedience, despair not but turn humbly to God, for He is almighty. If He turned that obedience into disobedience, He can turn this disobedience into obedience and give you repentance. He can provide you the means to strive anew on behalf of the propagation of Islam and to be the strength for Islam. Despair not, for none despaireth of God's mercy, except the unbelieving people [12:87]."

"My purpose was to make him understand, give alms and humble himself before God, for from a most exalted position he had come to a low state, even in which he should be hopeful."

"God works in mysterious ways. Things may look good outwardly, but there may be evil contained inside. Let no one be deluded by pride that he himself has conceived good ideas or done good deeds. If everything were as it seemed, the Prophet would not have cried out with such illuminated and illuminating perspicacity, "Show me things as they are! You make things appear beautiful when in reality they are ugly; You make things appear ugly when in reality they are beautiful. Show us therefore each thing as it is lest we fall into a snare and be ever errant." Now your judgment, however good and clear it may be, is not better than his, and he spoke as he did. Don't rely on your every thought and opinion, but humble yourself before God and fear Him."

"Such was my purpose in speaking to the Parvana. However, he applied this verse and this interpretation to his own strategy, saying, "At this time, when we are moving our troops, we must not rely on them. Even defeated, we must not despair of Him in time of fear and hopelessness." He applied my words to his own design, whereas my purpose was as I have said."

- Signs of the Unseen: Discourses of Jalaluddin Rumi.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

And The Wind Swirls Around Me Again...

All around the world, there are cyclones, tornados and hurricanes blowing their wrathful puffs, leaving a trail of devastation and destruction along the way. Unfortunately for me, although I may not be a continent or a nation, I am not excluded in the tempestuous winds eddying around me.

This is not my first experience. The wind blows the same. But what it brings with it this time is somewhat different than before. I have had my life turned upside down to the point where everything I believed to be right and true was challenged and re-established. This time around, the dust in the wind carries poison needles that tries to penetrate the faith of my soul and the strength of my spirit.

The rage may still be equally horrendous for those around me. Yet, I feel it differently. Its more like a whisper, strengthening my belief that faith is the strongest slayer of everything evil and devious. I am not swayed by the eddying wind around me. I stand strong and grounded. I am not easily shaken anymore. Allah has whispered in my ear. He is around me, in me, in everything. I can't lose this time. I can only win. I have Him on my side. And I am on His side.

The wind has failed to blow out my beacon of light that shines a path of victory for me to see. I venture on with confidence and integrity, with pride and humility, with faith and strength. Even if I were to perish, I still win. The greatest blessing is to live by His name. The greatest honor is to die for His sake. He did not ask this of me. I willingly volunteer. My life, my prayers, my death is all for Him. And I refuse to be one of the infidels.