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Archive for the ‘Layla’ Category

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)

Rouhollah_Khomeini_in_exile,_Najaf,_Pilgrimage_the_shrine_of_Imam_Ali_(6)

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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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‘ubūdīya

وَعَادَاهُ لَكَ بِحَقِيقَةِ الْعُبُودِيَّة

shows enmity toward [Shayṭān] through the reality of servanthood

 

 

once upon a time

someone knew You

he knew You better than most

he loved You

he worshipped You

the mysteries of the unseen were his

and yet

he did not obey You

he did not affirm the rank of what You created

he did not submit

thinking that his knowledge of You

saved him from You

and so he was banished from Your mercy

forever

even though

he was not banished from knowing You

 

so we seek Your mercy

for only You are to be feared

and we seek refuge in You from You

for knowing You

does not necessarily save us from You

 

so grant me the realization of my eternal servitude

by Your mercy

send me where You will

not as i will

engage me in that which You want

not what i want

surround me with those You choose

not those i choose

 

if you want me to make sajda

to someone You created

i will

for You know that which i do not

and i am Your servant

nothing more

لا إله إلا أنت سبحانك إني كنت من الظالمين

2015_10_16_3_34_42_772

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Unexpectedly, I am brought back to reflect on how this blog began 10 years ago. March 2008 to March 2018.

I don’t think anyone knows that the name of this blog, “A Mercy Case,” came from the Hindu story of Jagai and Madhai. In short, two sinful guys (Jagai and Madhai) throw an earthen pot at a religious person named Nityananda, causing his face to bleed. Nityananda’s spiritual master, Chaitanya, is about to kill them in response, but Nityananda intercedes and they are spared. Moved by this act of compassion, Jagai and Madhai reform their lives and follow the teachings of Chaitanya.

Back in March 2008 (when this blog began), a Hindu friend described the incident of Jagai and Madhai as “a mercy case,” and that was my inspiration.

jagaimadhai2

In my very first post, I alluded to this:

Guidance can sometimes come from the most unexpected of places. The inspiration to write came from a chance encounter a week ago, and the title of this endeavor came from a phrase used by a friend of mine who is not a Muslim. Wherever we turn, God is there, no matter how often we forget.

The same Truth still holds today.

I have lived the last 10 years in the tension between believing that God is guiding me and admitting the possibility that I am in a state of delusion. The atheist surely believes I am deluded, whereas a Hindu might consider me to be more or less going in the right direction, but with some serious modifications to be made if I want to succeed at the moment of my death. But the most important thing to me is that, if you have lived life through my eyes, then God is surely real and in whom else can I possibly hope except the One who is with me wherever I am. And I can not live life through any eyes but my own, as much as I may wish I were able to experience existence the way millions of others do. Only God can do that.

لَّا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

No vision can take Him in, but He takes in all vision. He is the All Subtle, the All Aware.

Over the last 10 years, these posts have contained many many quotes. It is inevitable that our religious ideas are formed by the ideas of others. And so I want to share a quote (see video below) on this special occasion that describes my experience of faith probably better than anything else. Maybe in the next ten years faith will mean something different to me than it does now, but I do not know my future. All I know is my present and what I can remember of the past. It is no surprise to me that this quote comes from Hamza Yusuf, one of my teachers and someone who has had a lasting impact on thousands if not millions. Whenever I speak with him, I am reminded that we are both searchers.

Almost without a doubt, 10 years from now some of us will not be here. Only God knows. Best to keep on doing our best, worshiping our Lord until certainty comes.

May the Most Merciful of those who show mercy lead us all into Eternal Mercy, ameen.

 

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