Friday, January 29, 2010

اخیر نصیحت

!پاگل دی پتر
! دل دی گل سن

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"No further Shall You Go!"

What a moment it is when one realizes that at the end of the path, they meet none other than one's own self.

That one's self is vulnerable, open, truly bewildered, and utterly not-in-control. That one is sustained in a fascinating way with a threadbare yet potent connection that grants one all life.

There is no mastery of the affair, and no end to further comprehension. At the end, one is only left in a state of not-knowing. "I know that I truly, really, do not know."

Answers vanish.

Notions dissolve.

There is no mastery of the future. There is no way that the past can be erased such that it is not a living part of one's self. One comes only as far as the Present.

Where one is one. One is whole. One is complete. One is as one is.

One is brought back to the center, to the self, to a state of necessary obligation and acception, for beyond that circumference is a raging fire -- a friend that defines the parameter of one's being.

One is no one.

Thus far one comes, and no further shall one go.

And Allah knows best.



Oh dear.

New Earth has arrived. Suddenly, after generations of waiting and anticipation and tribulations on the way, it has arrived.

And what do I have to offer? A reluctant hallelujah!?


It is time to open the heart anew, to connect, to sing, to praise.
It is time to welcome the New Earth.
It is time for hallelujah!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The First Statement

Note to self:

I had been reflecting about the first statement, the first declaration that makes a person a Muslim. It is:

No god
but Allah;
Mohammad is Allah's Messenger.

There is a reason why I have broken this statement down in essential phrases. I think it is possible that a person progresses through the various stages of this statement; and as they do, they are still, consciously or unconsciously, believers in this declaration.

The first stage of this statement is: "No god".

It is then followed by: "But: Allah".

Then: "Mohammad is Allah's Messenger."

This is all I wish to say at this moment as I begin to research what the Qur'an has to say on the matter of "god", or "no god".

(Pulled from the archives. Written on 17 January 2010. Published on 29 December 2011.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

To Banish Ignorance

To banish ignorance with ignorance is compounded ignorance. 

Yes, yes, banish ignorance if you will and if you're drawn to it. However, banish it with its opposite: create knowledge. Use hikmat, wisdom. 

This way is what differentiates the wise from the unwise and from the ill-disposed. You cannot carry out a deed for the world with an ill disposition without making the world worse for your touch. Therefore, be careful. 

Give time to your thought, your method. 

Let me tell you what is the aim of ignorance: ignorance. Ignorance is to create chaos in the organized ways of Man. 

You are very concerned with "rightful space on Earth," with what constitutes an elegant, straight path. One of the aspects of that is to keep your path once you've been set on a correct course. Keep your course. 

Lover -- a poem


What is a lover 
who did not
one day (or night)
declare the Love?

What is a cloak
which was not
one night (or day)
torn and shred? 

You hide 
and hide and hide and hide
'Til the core of your heart 
is infused with the secret. 

What perfume is this
that which not
day and night 
escapes its folds?

Declare the love!
Declare the love!
Oh you lover, 
declare the love!

What is this life?
Which is not
at this moment
put aside. 

Make way for Love!
Make way for Love!



2:12 AM
January 15, 2010
At the writer's desk

Dedicated to Nimra Amjad-Archer. 

The "People" Illusion

Dear Prophecy:

Almost invariably, when a person says "people:, they are indeed referring to themselves. You can judge what a person thinks of their own self by listening to what they think of "people".

Indeed, by this word, the person is referring to an inner entity. 

So what's the use of knowing this? The use is this: understand that each time you pose a question about "people", you are indeed posing that question about yourself. 

Therefore: if you ask, "Why don't people learn?" 
Then you real question is: "Why don't I learn?" Or, it is: "Why don't I teach?"

If your question is: "What do people think about this celebrity?"
Then your real question is: "What do I think about this celebrity?"

The fact is, the people illusion serves to hide our questions from ourselves, allowing us to dodge ourselves. 

Beware of this. 
Clearly be you. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

40 Days of Transition: December 06, 2009 - January 14, 2010

On my 30th birthday, I began a period I called 40 Days of Transition

There are essentially two practices that formed the 40 Days: journaling and offering gratitude. 

I bought a new journal and gave myself the task to write three pages, each day, for forty days. Ideally, I would write the pages in a stream-of-consciousness fashion, early in the morning. The idea was to communicate to my soul and find out exactly what it wanted. 

I wanted to catch myself just as I woke up from sleep, with the most honest feelings brimming from my being. 

The other practice that marked the forty days was a twin-fold gratitude practice: as soon as I get up each morning, I would offer Sura-e-Fatiha -- the prayer that the Qur'an begins with. It is primarily a prayer rooted in gratitude, a prayer for a new beginning, a prayer that brings one into the present. Aptly, its name is translated into English as "The Opening". 

Immediately after Fatiha, I would offer gratitude for 7-10 specific things. I have kept a gratitude journal as far back as in 2006. The practice is immensely helpful, especially in a world that is populated with bad news that can rapidly replace one's beautiful memories. 

I wanted to anchor myself to my reality by pinning my memories down to paper. This time, however, I offered verbal gratitude, and then got down to journaling. 

"What is the aim of this journal?" a confidant asked. 

I was gagged. I had no idea. I confided the truth: I want the journal to tell me what it's for. 

That was the whole point -- for there indeed was a point --: to be able to communicate with my authentic self by getting past all the noise. 

Tomorrow is January 14th, 2010. It will be the last day of this period of transition. I managed to offer the gratitude practice almost each day, without fail, though sometimes well after waking up. I managed to journal almost 80% of the days -- mostly skipping on the days that I was extremely fatigued. Surprisingly, there were many such days. I consider that a part of becoming conscious of my own pattern. The key is that I am the book that I am writing on the Page. Therefore what transpired in and on the journal is what my inner pattern is. 

Clearly, I was absent some days. On January 3rd, I finally collapsed. In what I experienced as a death-like condition, I finally made the transition that I was seeking: concern for the world left me, and I became who I am. In the silence that I felt when I thought I was going to die, I met myself. 


I wrote the above last night. Today, I have finished the 40 Days of Transition.

On the last day I wrote: I have turned up on the page -- with fail and without fail, but I have turned. Now, I hand this over to Allah. It is up to Allah to make what Allah makes of my journey within. 


07:34 pm
At the writer's desk

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What is Taqwa (تقویٰ)?

Dear Self:

You asked me, what is Taqwa (تقویٰ)? 
Answer: Taqwa is the art of managing one's rightful space on Earth.

Listen closely. 
The key words of this definition are: 
  • art of managing
  • one's (own)
  • rightful space on Earth
"Art of managing" implies that it is a constant, active job. It is not achieved once and for all, to be used up later in life from stored supplies. One needs to practice it all all living moments. One can, thus, act like a mutaqqi متقی (one who has attained to taqwa) in one moment, and unlike so in another. It is a living act and it is exhibited through action. It is not sufficient to understand or know a verbal definition of taqwa -- just as it is not sufficient to note down the recipe of a chocolate cake. The real task is to do it; just as the real task is to bake the cake. 

It is true, however, that one can develop an understanding of what taqwa is in stages. And it likely that once one has attained a degree of understanding, their practice will begin to reflect that. The practice may still falter, for it is a matter of choice. Yet one can evolve their understanding of the matter -- which in turn will improve the practice. 

"One's (own)" [place] is just that: one's own. Not another's. This is a key concept of taqwa. The person who entangles themselves into the affairs of the other with the belief that they can change the heart of the other does both themselves, the other, and all universe great harm. One cannot change hearts, hearts change themselves. One only has power to say, do, or enable the right thing, according to one's strength and domain. 

The one who aspires to attain to taqwa is one who is primarily concerned with managing one's own self, and of participating in enabling an environment where one's own self can practice taqwa (and others may do the same). Indeed, if one strives to create an environment for one's own taqwa, one will find that one has also enabled an environment in which others can attain to taqwa. This is because the environment is outside one's self, and thus larger. The example of it is this: if one plants a tree to purify one's breathing space, one also helps others breathe in a purified space, as the tree serves others, too. 

"Rightful space on Earth" is the heart of taqwa. This is related to accountability. Who is one accountable to? What determines one's rightful space? What is the key to managing one's rightful space? Who or what determines rightful space?

What faith or belief you have, whatever religion you belong to or not, understand this: the Earth is round, and your body is populating it with other bodies. No matter what the beliefs or lack of beliefs the people of the planet have, this fact is the common denominator of all humans. The Earth has a limit, and that limit can be exhausted. 

If one looks at the Earth and sees that one is here to take from the Earth, all Earth and the solar system would become insufficient. For there is no limit to "more", to "taking". This also immediately puts one in competition with the other. More so, one becomes accountable to the other. The person with such a way of seeing things will need to falsify their belief every now and then as existence will come to compete with and overpower such a person -- and this person will need to lie to survive. 

This way of seeing the Earth also establishes an outside-in ethic, where one is compelled by many. The person with this vision will be overwhelmed with choice because as far as his eye travels, he will wish to take. This will make him a poor decision-maker. 

To see the world this way is to become a slave of the world, even if "taking" and "more" appear to be a kind of freedom. One becomes accountable to many. Know that the definition of "god" is: "that which the self is ultimately accountable to". A person with an inclination to take, to have more will have many gods--- whether those gods be physical, emotional, or conceptual.

There is no limit to which this person is accountable or manipulable, for he wishes to overtake a planet full of billions of people. 

If, however, one looks at the Earth and sees that one is here to give, to contribute, then the extent of that person's accountability immediately shrinks to one, and that one is their own self. Giving is limited to the extent to which a person can give. Therefore, such a way of seeing automatically establishes a parameter for each person to operate within. 

The ethic of a person with this perception is an inside-out ethic. This means that such a person is introspective, aware of their being, and that their task is to live their own potential. This person is concerned with a constant refinement and cleansing and improvement of the self, aimed at becoming a worthier contributor to the world. 

Focus and enhanced decision-making is the outcome of this way of being. This is because this person deals with one unit of existence that is their own Self. Such a person is collaborative, and is able to discern their part of the larger task of life & the universe. 

This person's wants and needs have limits, for this kind of a person wants "less". While "more" has no limits, "less" has limits. Having less than a certain limit can cause hunger and death of the Self, therefore an automatic, rational limit is set. This person, then, also understands the very concept of rights. 

What are the rights of one who wants less? And how do they compare with the right of the one who wants more? 

The rights of one who wants less are essential rights, and they are also elegant. The best example of this is found in traffic. What kind of traffic behavior results from a mindset of wanting all the space? What kind of traffic behavior results from managing one's rightful space? There is only as much space a vehicle can take -- and it cannot go any less than that. So the one who maintains rightful space will use the space with elegance. There is no limit to running one's vehicle all over the space if one is focused on taking space. Anything can happen when a person decides to over-speed, under-speed, zig-zag, or otherwise attempt to snatch others' rightful space. It is chaos, while rightful space leads to organic design. 

The one who is answerable and accountable to their own self has only one God. This experience is only possible through one's own self. 

Finally, "the art of managing one's rightful space on Earth" implies that the one who practices taqwa is a being with an inner strength. By way of asserting only rights that pertain to the self, this person is also rightful, for what they wish for themselves, they can wish for the world.  


So this, my dear self, this is what taqwa is. 

I pray that may you attain to taqwa -- may you know and practice the art of managing your rightful space on Earth. Amen.

- END -

A backgrounder note for the uninitiated reader: 

Taqwa is one of the fundamental tenets of Islam. It is the only basis of differentiation and nobility amongst humans. Islam asserts that people are honorable not on the basis of their wealth, physical beauty, social status, pedigree, popularity, children, race, accumulations, ability to speak and overwhelm -- but on the basis of taqwa. The word is often translated in English as "piety". Its meaning is often said to be "fear of Allah". One must ponder, though, what is this 'fear' of Allah?

One of the statements that Qur'an makes it: "Wherever you turn, there is the Face of Allah." (Chapter 2: Verse 115). 

Must Man fear whichever way he turns? Yes, if he is looking at it with a view of taking it -- for it will take Man out. Those who attain to taqwa fear transgression beyond their limits. If wherever one turns is the Face of Allah, then to stop oneself from transgressing upon it all is the fear of Allah. 

It is thus that one of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him explained Taqwa thus with an example: "If one is walking through a forest where there are many thorns, one walks carefully so as not to get pricked or get one's clothes torn."

Finally, it is said that Islam is not a religion, it is a way of life. (There is a parallel with "the Tao" here.) Islam refers to 'the way' of being and how to conduct oneself in the world. The fundamental of this way is 'taqwa'.

You are advised to do further exploration on your own, and consult your own heart and innate sense on this matter.  



Thursday, January 07, 2010

Triangulation -- a poem


You hear
What I say
You say
And I hear

You are
And I see
You see
Who I am

You know
And I know.
I know.
I know.

When I know
And I know,
this triangulation?

When I say
You hear
You repeat

So they hear
What you say

When I see
Who you are
Then you show

So they see
Will they see?

If they could
hear and see
then they would
hear and see

Why speak?

I am
And You are.

Let this be.
Let this be.

~ ramla

January 07, 2010
At the writer's desk

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Two Types of Advice I Ever Gave

There are only two kinds of advice that I have ever given.
The first kind is: "Follow your heart". To follow your heart, prepare yourself to be aware, to listen to yourself, to discern, to be truthful. Build courage through practice so that what your heart says, you will be able to act upon. Do not do ill to others for that, in the longer run, prevents you from doing the right thing for yourself. The illness you do to others builds a trap for you, through you, by entrapping you in your ill value.
In this advice is all the wisdom I have ever known, or can possibly ever know.
The second kind of all advice I ever gave was simply 'bad advice'.
I observed that the human soul is stirred by the first kind of advice, but people tend to solicit and urge the second kind. For the first is a silent kind, and the second is words.
And people choose to fill their life with words, with more.
May God lift the veils we willing put on our senses!