By Imam Jamal Rahman “Confound not Truth with Falsehood.” ~Qur’an 2:42 “There is Truth and there is Truth of Convenience.” ~Sufi Saying One day the Mulla knocked on his neighbor’s door and asked to borrow a large pot to prepare food for a large celebration. The neighbor was reluctant to let go of her prized […]
“We have bestowed upon you the source of abundance. So to your Sustainer turn in prayer and sacrifice.” (Qur’an 108:1-2)
“Do not barter away your bond with God for a trifling gain!” (Qur’an 16:95)
The Qur’an tells us that we humans made a sacred covenant with our Creator before descending on earth. We testified that we would worship only God. The holy book further explains that our journey in Islam is about surrendering attachment to the ego that idolizes money, power and status.
“And of everything we have created opposites, so that you might bear in mind that God alone is one.” (Qur’an 51:49)
“Nothing can be clear without a polar opposite.” (Rumi)
Allah is that which unites yes with no, for in His singularity all duality is mysteriously united. Allah is both the bridge between the unseen and seen realms and the meeting point between existence and nonexistence.
“Are you not aware that it is God whose limitless glory all creatures in the heavens and on earth praise, even the birds as they outspread their wings?” (Qur’an 24:41-42)
“To God belong the most Beautiful Names.” (Qur’an 7:180)
In Islamic spiritual literature, there is a classic story of God who appeared to some birds and spoke to them. Birds initially were creatures without wings.
“Make room for one another in your collective life, do make room; and in return God will make room for you in His Grace.” (Qur’an 58:11)
“Come out of the Circle of Time and enter the Circle of Love.” ~Rumi
Qur’anic commentators explain that this revelation counsels the human being to be inclusive, and to be gracious and generous in our co-existence with others.
“We have sent you (oh Prophet) as a mercy for all humankind.” (Qur’an 21:107)
“If kindness were a visible creation, nothing which Allah has created would be more beautiful than it. “ ~The Prophet Muhammad
Sufi teachers repeatedly use the metaphor of water in nature. There is nothing as soft and yielding as water but for overcoming the hardest, nothing is as powerful as water.
“Those who listen closely to all that is said and follow the best of it; it is they whom God has graced with His guidance, and it is they who are endowed with insight. “(Qur’an 39:18)
“Listening is like putting your head on a person’s chest and sinking into the answer.” (Rumi)
The truth is that there is a cacophony of voices inside of me clamoring for attention. Besides my higher self, there is the voice of my wounded self, my arrogant ego, my frightened inner child and so on. How do I discern which one is real?
“A paradise as vast as the heavens and earth has been readied for those who are conscious of God …who restrain their anger and pardon their fellow beings…” (Qur’an 3: 133-135)
“Raise your words, not your voice; it is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” (Rumi)
Devoid of self-control, the formidable energy of anger lacks God’s Grace.
“Follow those who ask no reward of you and are themselves rightly guided.” (Qur’an 36:21)
“Join together in the mutual teaching of truth and patience.”(Qur’an 103:3)
Even prophets sought companions. The Prophet Muhammad over time had a large following but he also had an inner circle of confidantes. . .
“Truly by token of time, humankind is in loss..”(Qur’an 103:1-2)
“Half of life is lost in charming others. The other half is lost in going through anxieties caused by others. Leave this play. You have played enough.” ~Rumi
When we finally move beyond the dramas and melodramas of our life and yearn to become and do that which gives meaning and substance to our life, we realize that our time on planet earth is limited. . .