…the fast of truth, which is preventing the heart from worshiping any other than the essence of Allah. It is performed by rendering the eye of the heart blind to all that exists, even in the secret realms outside of this world, except the love of Allah. For although Allah has created all and everything for man, He has created man only for Himself, and He says ‘Man is My secret and I am his secret’. That secret is a light from the divine light of Allah. It is the center of the heart, made out of the finest of matter. It is the soul which knows all the secret truths; it is the secret connection between the created one and his Creator. That secret does not love nor lean towards anything other than Allah.
Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits — and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!
Wonder what he means…
The Water said to the dirty one, “Come here.”
The dirty one said, “I am too ashamed.”
The water replied, “How will your shame be washed away without me?”
Eventually we all have to return to the stream of His mercy, no matter how stained our souls. For only there can we be purified and made whole again.
So why delay, why let it fester, why stay away…
“And who despairs of the mercy of his Lord except for those astray?”
Surah Al-Hijr 56
“This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.”
Moses heard a shepherd on the road praying,
where are you? I want to help You, to fix Your shoes
and comb your hair. I want to wash Your clothes
and pick the lice off. I want to bring You milk,
to kiss Your little hands and feet when it’s time
for You to go to bed. I want to sweep Your room
and keep it neat. God, my sheep and my goats
are Yours. All I can say, remembering You,
is ayyyyyyy and ahhhhhhhh.”
Moses could stand it no longer.
“Who are you talking to?”
“The one who made us,
and made the earth and made the sky.”
“Don’t talk about shoes and socks with God!
And what’s this with Your little hands and feet?
Such blasphemous familiarity sounds like
you’re chatting with your uncles.
Only something that grows needs milk.
Only someone with feet needs shoes. Not God!
Even if you meant God’s human representatives,
as when God said, ‘I was sick, and you did not visit me,’
even then this tone would be foolish and irreverent.
Use appropriate terms. Fatima is a fine name
for a woman, but if you call a man Fatima,
it’s an insult. Body-and-birth language
are right for us on this side of the river,
but not for addressing the Origin,
not for Allah.”
The shepherd repented and tore his clothes and sighed
and wandered out into the desert.
A sudden revelation
came then to Moses. God’s voice:
You have separated Me
from one of my own. Did you come as a prophet to unite,
or to sever?
I have given each being a separate and unique way
of seeing and knowing and saying that knowledge.
What seems wrong to you is right for him.
What is poison to one is honey to someone else.
Purity and impurity, sloth and diligence in worship,
these mean nothing to Me.
I am apart from all that.
Ways of worshipping are not to be ranked as better
or worse than one another.
Hindus do Hindu things.
The Dravidian Muslims in India do what they do.
It’s all praise, and it’s all right.
It’s not Me that’s glorified in acts of worship.
It’s the worshippers! I don’t hear the words
They say. I look inside at the humility.
That broken-open lowliness is the Reality,
not the language! Forget phraseology.
I want burning, burning.
with your burning. Burn up your thinking
and your forms of expression!
those who pay attention to ways of behaving
and speaking are one sort.
Lovers who burn are another.”
Don’t impose a property tax
on a burned out village. Don’t scold the Lover.
The “wrong” way he talks is better than a hundred
“right” ways of others.
Inside the Kaaba
it doesn’t matter which direction you point
your prayer rug!
The ocean diver doesn’t need snowshoes!
The Love-Religion has no code or doctrine.
So the ruby has nothing engraved on it!
It doesn’t need markings.
God began speaking
deeper mysteries to Moses. Vision and words,
which cannot be recorded here, poured into
and through him. He left himself and came back.
He went to eternity and came back here.
Many times this happened.
It’s foolish of me
to try and say this. If I did say it,
it would uproot our human intelligences.
It would shatter all writing pens.
Moses ran after the shepherd.
He followed the bewildered footprints,
in one place moving straight like a castle
across a chessboard. In another, sideways,
like a bishop.
Now surging like a wave cresting,
now sliding down like a fish,
with always his feet
making geomancy symbols in the sand,
recording his wandering state.
Moses finally caught up with him.
“I was wrong. God has revealed to me
that there are no rules for worship.
and however your loving tells you to. Your sweet blasphemy
is the truest devotion.
Through you a whole world is freed.
Loosen your tongue and don’t worry what comes out.
It’s all the light of the Spirit.”
The shepherd replied,
I’ve gone beyond even that.
You applied the whip and my horse shied and jumped
out of itself. The Divine Nature and my human nature
Bless your scolding hand and your arm.
I can’t say what has happened.
What I’m saying now
is not my real condition. It can’t be said.”
The shepherd grew quiet.
When you look in a mirror,
you see yourself, not the state of the mirror.
The fluteplayer puts breath into a flute,
and who makes the music? Not the flute.
Whenever you speak praise
or thanksgiving to God, it’s always like this
dear shepherd’s simplicity.
When you eventually see
through the veils to how things really are,
you will keep saying again
“This is certainly not like
we thought it was!”
If someone asks,
But what is Love?
Dissolving the will.