“God Always Prepares a Way of Emergence” (Qur’an 65:2)

“Fear not: for I am with you. I hear and see everything.” (Qur’an 20:46)

“The Ocean cares for every wave
Until it reaches the shore.
You are given more help
than you will ever know.” ~ Rumi

It is so easy to feel lost in this sea of illusion, this world of mirages. So many times we feel like we are being barraged with troubles, beset with failures, and frustrated by obstacles in our path. We set a worthwhile goal and find ourselves waylaid onto a path that is not leading us to our goal.

Signs of Nature — Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the succession of the night and day, there are indeed messages for all who are endowed with insight.“ (Qur’an 3:190)

“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore

“There is One Holy Book, the sacred manuscript of nature, the only scripture which can enlighten the reader. To the eye of the seer every leaf of the tree is a page of the holy book that contains divine revelation, and he is inspired every moment of his life by constantly reading and understanding the holy script of nature.” ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Truth of the Matter — Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

Let’s admit it, truth is a slippery topic. Gandhi lived by the Hindu dictum: “God is Truth.” Al Haqq, or The Truth, is one of the 99 Divine Names of God in Islam. We all know that truth is important. However, there are so many aspects to truth, and we don’t all agree on what truth is, although most of us recognize and abhor falsehood when we encounter it. If this seems contradictory, please read on.

The Source of Abundance – Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“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)

I am fascinated by all the verses in the Qur’an that use economic metaphors when talking about our relationship with Allah.

Praise and Thanksgiving — Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“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)

We tend to think that only human beings can praise God, maybe because we think of praise as being expressed in words. Praise and gratitude are often expressed in words, but that is certainly not the only, nor even the most powerful way, they can be expressed.

Make Room for One Another — Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“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

The Qur’an enjoins those who believe in Allah to be inclusive in their communities. The Book addresses believers as men, women, people from all walks of life, all ages, all races and nationalities, and all classes. Believers are called specifically to embrace those whom others consider outcasts, such as widows, orphans, the poor and indigent, wayfarers, slaves, and immigrants.

Kindness, Compassion & Mercy — Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“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
Have you noticed how often your mood changes during the day? One of the most puzzling aspects of my own life is how often my mood changes at “the drop of a hat,” it seems.

The Sacred Art of Listening — Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“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)

Listening is not only an art and a skill, it may also be considered a spiritual practice. In our current culture, we tend to focus more on communicating rather than listening. . .

Restraining Anger – Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“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)
Anger is a complex emotion, one which demands intense scrutiny if we are to understand and learn to control it.

Rightly Guided Ones – Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“Find someone the sight of whom reminds you of GodThe awe of whom moves your heart, Who counsels you not with the tongue of words, but with the tongue of deeds.” ~Ibn Khafif

The great sages have given us warnings about who to avoid, and who to follow. In our hearts, we can usually discern who is leading us in the right direction, mainly from the way they inspire us to be our best self, without judgment. People learn best by example, not precept.