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Archive for the ‘Layla’ Category

Perhaps someone somewhere has explained this better than I can, but I wanted to share what I consider to be the supreme profundity of our simple dhikr: Subhan Allah Alhamdulillah La ilaha ill Allah Allahu akbar.

 

سبحان الله – Subhan Allah

Subhan Allah means that nothing is like Allah. Anything you see, hear, smell, taste, feel is different from Allah. Allah is transcendent above all of our embodied experience.

الحمد لله – Alhamdulillah

Alhamdulillah, on the other hand, is related to everything. Anything that you can conceptualize is from Allah, and thus all praise for everything in all existence belongs to Allah. There is no wanting something that is not, in the final analysis, wanting Allah, for that which is praiseworthy in that thing could not be there without Allah. Thus, Subhan Allah and Alhamdulillah are two sides of the same coin.

لا إله إلا الله – La ilaha ill Allah

If Subhan Allah was metaphorically like pushing Allah away from everything you can conceptualize, and Alhamdulillah was like bringing Allah as close as possible to everything, then La ilaha ill Allah is the stripping away of that distinction. Is there conceptualization without the Knower of everything sharing a drop of knowledge? Is there an existent world without the Living sharing a drop of life? Is there something to experience, and an experiencer to experience it, that is ever, for even a single moment, independent of Allah?

الله أكبر – Allahu akbar

Subhan Allah was based on the plain understanding that Allah is unlike the creation. Alhamdulillah flipped that observation on its head, and made the creation reveal the Creator at every moment. La ilaha ill Allah erased the distinction entirely. Allahu akbar brings us back into a relationship, where beyond ever horizon there is something greater. Where the furthest limits of our imagination cannot reach. For no matter what I say, or do, or experience, or think, or imagine, or want…Allah is always greater than that.

So the next time you repeat these four phrases, try to remember that this simple dhikr is an expression of all that ever was, is, or will be.

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there is no me

it is a secret, writ large

there is no me

 

maybe if i die soon

these words will last for a hundred years more

the tragic end of a seeker

who still had so much more to explore

 

vanity. pure vanity.

 

for there is no me

 

a million years from now

if there are still humans in the universe

even these words will be gone

and were you there to see it

the only reason you would even know i had been there

is a distant memory

 

for i exist only in the Mind of God

in the Knowing of past-present-future

in the Garden-time and Fire-time

in the forever

in the always

 

and these eyes have already rotted in my grave

and these fingers are nothing but bones

and would you send me your salams

you would not hear my reply

 

unless God permitted it

 

for i am already gone

 

there is no me

there is only Mercy and Justice

there is only the Garden and the Fire

there are only the Friends and their supporters

and the Enemy and those who acted on the whispers

 

kun fa yakun

 

رَبَّنَا إِنَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّا

end-of-time-3

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the false hierarchy

my Lord

what can i do to earn Your Love

 

everywhere i look

human beings claim to be “winning”

which implies that others are losing

but i contend that we are all losers

every single one of us

from the first to the last

losers

for the beauty of the beautiful

is Your Beauty

and the power of the powerful

is Your Power

and the independence of the independent

is Your Independence from all that is

لا إله إلا أنت

this is the Truth that i want to shout from the rooftops

this is the Reality i want to infect the false hierarchy

so that it comes crashing down

and You save us

“from imagining any meanness in someone who is destitute

or imagining any superiority in someone who possesses wealth

for the noble is he whom obedience to Thee has ennobled

and the exalted is he whom worship of Thee has exalted!”

 

my Lord

what can i do to earn Your Love

when i am such a loser

pathetic

bechara

with nothing to offer

and You are Layla

the Most Beautiful of those with beauty

the Most Powerful of those with power

the Most Independent of those with indepedence

there is nothing that i have ever wanted like You

and after You, there is nothing that i could ever want

 

my Lord

what can i do to earn Your Love

 

لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله

 

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when, like me, you face the reality of your shortcomings in the middle of the month of Ramadan, then perhaps you will feel what i felt when i read this prayer a friend sent me:

 

My God, if You do not forgive in this honored month anyone except the one who sincerely purified himself for You, in his fasting and his prayers, then who will be there for the negligent sinner, when he drowns in the sea of his sins

My God, if You do not have mercy on any except the obedient, then who will be there for the disobedient

And if You do not accept from anyone except the performers of good actions, then who will be there for those who fall short

My God, those who fast have profited, those who stay up in the prayer have won, and those who are sincere have succeeded

but we are Your sinful servants

so be kind to us through Your Mercy

and save us from the Fire through Your Forgiveness

O Gracious, O Most Merciful of those who show mercy

 

begging

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O Allah,

You Who have clothed us,

Your weak servants,

with the dress of existence

through Your grace and favor and pure mercy and generosity,

prior to any service and worship on our part,

and without needing our worshipping and servitude.

You have bestowed upon us diverse kinds of spiritual and corporeal favors,

and different sorts of internal and external mercies,

although our non-existence causes no flaw

in Your power and strength,

nor our existence adds anything

to Your greatness and prestige.

Now that the headspring of Your beneficence gushed forth,

and the sun of Your Beautiful Beauty effulged,

drowning us in the seas of mercy

and illuminating us with the lights of Your Beauty,

make up for our shortcomings,

sins

and failures

with the light of internal success

and Your secret help and guidance,

and relieve our fully attached hearts from mundane attachments,

and make them cling to Your Holy Might.

 

(Prayer at the end of Ādāb aṣ-Ṣalāt: The Disciplines of the Prayer)

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This is the third and last video on spirituality. In it I discuss the concepts of Beauty (جمال) and Majesty (جلال) and our hope and fear in God. I pray that you find benefit in it, and that God accepts it from me, ameen.

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for You

You need nothing

and yet

let me offer this to You

Creator of my soul

Provider of my consciousness

Giver of a promise to all

 

i cannot even fathom what lays hidden

but what i have heard and seen and felt

is already so beyond words

 

so let my gratitude flow through these words

using what You have given me for Your sake

to glorify You to the extent that You have opened my heart

to understand You

 

only You know Yourself truly

for us the approach has no end

so bless my works in this short life

for how can i claim anything

when i did not create my hands or my mouth or my mind

 

 

You

forever You

always You

never me

 

have mercy on David

for he is who You chose me to be

and were i to thank You

with every breath remaining in my time on earth

it would not even approximate

the reality of Your Generosity

 

يا كريم

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