Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Moon sighting, confusion, when is Eid?

To sight, or not to sight: that is the confusion:
Whether tis nobler in the mind to calculate or suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous Ulema,
Or to take arms against the accusations
And by opposing end them? To sight; to globally sight;
No more; and by a pact let us end this
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time
if we were not to end this madness?

- Original Shakespeare 

It is that time of the year when we have
two Eids in two masjids facing each other
on the same street, yet opposing in decision.
It never ends because they cannot agree
so that we may meet, greet, and eat the same day.

- Khaadim

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rabia Al Adawiyya

"O God the stars are shining;
All eyes have closed in sleep;
The kings have locked their doors,
Each lover is alone, in secret, with the one he loves,
And I am here too; alone, hidden from all of them – With You”

- Rabia Al Adawiyya 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Curator of the Holy Cities

Dr. Sami Angawi is the closest thing to a curator of the two holy cities and this appears to be his blog:

If it weren't for him, we would'nt have heard of or seen the excavation of Syeda Khadeeja's house.
Many treasures lie buried in Hijaz.

Joseph lives today

Like incense Joseph was burned by brothers,
his fame spread like fragrance in the Kingdom
of Eygpt; something tells me there exists a Joesph
In the dry udders of mother earth where
grows his spirit; formidable.


* dry udders = empty wells


If my sweetheart associates one moment with strangers

It wants but little and I die of jealousy.
She said similing: "I am the lamp of the assembly, O Sa'di,
What is it to me if a moth kills itself?
- Saadi

So much competition to attract your attention, so many suitors madly in love that it causes me grief to know that I am not even a moth - willing to consume myself for the Beloved. Will I ever be known to the Beloved? 
And why should I be known? Not an atoms worth of work have I done, and am pretentious in my love.

But, how do I transform from an ugly caterpillar into a butterfly?
I tell myself that no amount of beseeching will help, no amount of weeping will do. But have I ever really begged? Have I ever shed a tear of anguish?

Perhaps Ghalib was right when he said, "Ishq par zor naheen, hai ye woh aatish Ghalib, k laagaye na laage aur bhujhaye na bhuje".
my poor translation: Love is uncontrollable, it is a fire, Ghalib, that cannot be lit if tried, nor extinguished if tried.

Then what is it - a gift?

- Khaadim

If it weren't for the Messenger of Allah

What Makkah? What Madinah?
If it were not for the Messenger of Allah.

What Hashmi? What Qureshi?

If it were not for the Messenger of Allah.

Serenity of Madinah would not be

If it were not for the Messenger of Allah.

What care Khaadim of paradise

when his destination is Madina?

- Khaadim

Thursday, August 13, 2009

House of Ali

Persecuted sons of Ali,  
Hunted by tyrant authority,  
Left Madina seeking tranquility.  

Hearing this wept Madina  
As it had when Bilal called Adhan  
Upon his return from Shaam.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cashing in on Rumi

A much needed article, by someone not so well known, appreared in the Poetry Foudnation journal a while ago. The author discusses the many English translations of Rumi; it is a must read for anyone who has ever heard of Rumi.

Rumi like Ali is loved and maligned by many. Imam Ali was hated so much so that for decades (perhaps a century?) he was cursed during Friday prayers in all corners of the Umayyad empire. Yet, at the same time many considered Imam Ali the incarnation/manifestation of God.

These 'extremists' of love and hate were perhaps never open to common sense. No amount of convincing reasons, logic, and even slings and arrows thrown at their heads could stand up to their stubborn foreheads. The famous example of Imam Ali comes to mind. He threatened death by fire to a group of heretics for making him the object of their worship; they accepted that fate, but renounce they did not their misguided faith!

Before I go off on a tangent let me return to the case of Maulana Rumi. Maulana Rumi is held in some circles as the paragon of irrelgiousity, and they seek to cut and tear him off from the very umbilical cord that makes him Rumi.

"I am the slave of the Quran and dust under the feet of Muhammad. Anyone who claims otherwise is no friend of mine" said Maulana Rumi.

And then we have the circle of the self-righteous pretenders who believe Maulana to be the worst kind of Sufi! They denounce his music, poetry, whirling, and wahadat ul wujood; proclaiming him to be a kafir (infidel).

So how does one understand Maulana Rumi, his mind, his message, and above all his experiences? Wouldn't it be wise to seek him in his original works, to learn of Maulana from his descendants and disciples? Yes, the very disciples who inhaled air that Rumi exhaled and thus absorbed his knowledge and love.

However, let me make clear that there is nothing really wrong with the translations of Rumi. Coleman Barks etc have certainly helped in popularizing Rumi in North America, but as Kabir Helminski has stated in the article "Americans still have an adolescent relationship with Rumi. It will take some time before we move beyond the cliches". The translators are not really translating Rumi, they're actually mixing ingredients, over-cooking, and then presenting a dish that Rumi would not recognize!

And for those who have been love-struck by Rumi, move beyond your childish drunkeness, and experience the intoxication of the spirit by taming your ego's desires. If you are ready to plunge into the Sea then learn of Rumi in the works of Annemarie Schimmel, William Chittick, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Kabir Helminski, and others who have drunk wine, albeit in different quantities, from the same Cup Bearer.

And as a last note, I would like to direct your attention towards the comments section of the article I posted above. Read Mr. Shiva's comment, a New Age thinker/spiritualist, and a translator of Maulana Rumi. His lack of knowledge of Sufi terms, symbols, and even of Rumi himself is apparent in his comment:
"A religious person views Rumi as being highly religious, however that doesn’t it make it so. Nor does it change the fact that one of Rumi’s most common themes is “finding god outside of a mosque.?"
I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this state of affairs! Here is a famous translator of Rumi ignoring the the most important aspect of Rumi!

Please visit: http://www.dar-al-masnavi.org/about_translations.html - it is maintained by Dervishes of Maulana Rumi's Sufi Order. Here you will find the most accurate and authentic translations and meanings - that is once you are over the lovey dovey teenage feelings.

From the City of Madinah

Al Miskeena, news bearer from Madinah,
Roams the narrow alleys of bliss in Madinah,
Bringing us glad tidings from the radiant
Land, where rests the Master of all men.


Peace be upon him and his family

My pitiful, colorless, sorrowful life,
Is adorned with angelic light, when
Upon him I send salutations of peace,
Peace be upon him and his family.

- Khaadim

Battle of Trench

Enough of moaning, groaning,
Tie two stones in place of one,
Quiten the growling stomach,
It's a distaction; so shut it up,
Cease complaining. Zip it!

Get back to work, sing the song,

The song that was sung that morn,
And dig, dig, and dig some more,
Dig till you reach that rock.
Then call upon the Chosen One.
- Khaadim

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pir - o - Murshid (Spiritual Guide)

Polish his shoes as you will your heart,
Apply some pressure,
The dirt is adamant and hard.

Wash his feet as you will your heart,

Use heavenly water,
For rust has made its mark.

Awaken it from deep slumber,

Heed the Call Khaadim,
A Treasure lies buried, deep in your heart.

- Khaadim

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My life, my destiny

When asked about my life
In meek response I say:

There flows my life towards
My destiny like broken
Petals flowing helplessly
In a river that unites
With the deep Sea.


Longing for Madina

It is we who, like the tulip in the desert of Madina,
Bear in our heart the scar of longing for Madina.
Passionate longing for paradise may dissappear from the wise man's head, but
It is not possible that the passionate longing for Madina should leave him.

Jami, quoted by Schimmel


If my sweetheart associates one moment with strangers
It wants but little and I die of jealousy.
She said similing: "I am the lamp of the assembly, O Sa'di,
What is it to me if a moth kills itself?


Some more of Iqbal

Disgrace me not before my Master,
Call me to account away from his sight,

Iqbal referring to judgement day and requesting that his account be taken away from the Prophet's sight (peace be upon him and his family)

The song of love for him fills my silent reed,
A hundred notes throb on my bossom.
What to speak of the praises I sing of him,
Even the block of dry wood wept at parting from him.

Reference to the famous event of the pulpit.

The Muslim Body

We who know not the prison walls of country,
Resemble sight, which is one though it be the light of two eyes,
We belong to Arabia and China and Persia,
Yet are the dew of one smiling dawn

We are all under the spell of the eye of the cup bearer of Medina,
We are united as wine and cup

- Iqbal

Iqbal on Ahl e Bayt

Strangely plain and colorful is the story of Harem,
Its beginning is Ismail, Husain the end.
The station of Shabbir is truth everlasting,
Ways of Kufa and Syria change from time to time.
Not one Hussain is in the caravan of Hijaz is found,
Tresses of Tigris and Euphrates though are lustrous still.
Love is the truthfulness of Khalil, fortitude of Hussain is Love,
In the battle of life Badr and Hunain are love.

In the Muslims heart is the name of Muhammad (peace be upon him),
All our glory is from the name of Muhammad (peace be upon him),
He slept on a mat of rushes,
But the crown of Chosroes was under his followers' feet.

He chose the nightly solitude of Mount Hira,
And he founded a nation, laws and Goverment.
He passed many a nights with sleepless eyes,
In order that the millet might sleep on Chosroe's throne.

The Sonnets

Some of Shakespeare's most powerful and deep sonnets ...

When in disgrace with fortune and mens eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me luck to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possesed,
Desiring this man's art, and that mans scope
With what i most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply i think on thee- and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered, such wealth brings
That then i scorn to change my state with Kings.


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love.
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no ! it is an ever fixed mark
That looks on the tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unkown, although his heights be taken.
Loves not times fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
if this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.