Annihilation of the self, I, is attained through Ishq, fervent love for any object, person or God among other ways. Here we are speaking in reference to Mortal Love as the Way to Divine Love.
Love came to your feet in the guise of a mortal. The message she brought was a heavenly love letter drenched in wine. In false pride, you claimed piety and rejected her message. My foolish sweetheart, Love came as a teacher unto you! You decided to build an iron wall around your heart and proclaimed, ‘No need have I for mortal love, I only seek Divine!” As Love drifted away, her parting words, ‘Did you think you could reach Divine without Me? By heavens, no! Not even in a million years! Rather, if you choose me as your Path, I’ll take you to your destination. All you have to do is embrace and reciprocate.
To further elaborate, we present one of our favourite stories highlighting this subject as taught by the famed mystic and guide, Jami.
A man once came to the Spiritual Master Jami and asked to become his disciple. He had studied all the scriptures in depth and was surprised when the master asked him: ‘Have you ever been in love?’ He answered, ‘No.’ The master said, ‘Go and fall in love and suffer, then come back.” The man went into the world and acted upon Jami’s advice. When he returned, he eventually became Jami’s successor.
The Path actually begins in Fana for one’s mother. Ishq is the first lesson taught to a baby and the subject of Ishq is the mother. Then later as the child matures, the subjects change and vary. Love, a teacher in multiple forms, imparts lessons that are essential to the Path of Love. Whether one consciously signed up or not to learn these lessons, Love teaches life lessons to all. Mortal love is the Way to Divine Love. Love is the Guru.
Stages of Fana [annihilation] Goal being Divine Presence and Path Entailing Levels of Fana in Sufic Context
[Divine] ALLAH ——–> Fana in Muhammed [S] ———> Fana in Ali & Fatima [AS] ——–> Fana in Imams of Ahlul Beit* ———>Fana in Awliah [AS] ———-> Fana in Authorized Ones
The above, starting from the last progressing upwards, is basically the formula entailing the Path of the Elect in the Way of Ihsan.
This morning, I received an email from a mystic, one who learns from Khidr; the Green one. She asked me if I had ever read Women of Sufism by Shaykha Camille Helminski.
This triggered profound memories of the early part of my journey in the Kingdom of Love; Arabia, and brought me to beautiful memories. The following was my reply to this Qalander,
Salaam and Good Morning,
Yes, I did read the book, Women of Sufism by Helminski. I read this perhaps over a decade ago while living in Riyadh. I found it to be supportive as at that time in my journey I was feeling as if men too had totally hijacked the spiritual path. I recall feeling hopelessness and resentful and even wondered if Islam was being unfair. This book did save the day for me and reminded me of the fact that we were always there and will always be lovers of the Divine. Spirituality is inherent in our nature and this is something that can never be taken away, even if we go unrecognised. I was reminded of the stories I heard in my childhood and through people of female mystics and those who performed miracles… Hence, I did find it beneficial. Now, as far as covering all geographical locations and orders, sure, it is lacking yet whatever the author could do, I am sure she did her best. So AH ( Alhamdullilah) for the effort. I had even lent the book out to SELECT ladies, some of whom today are in the front lines of the Path in Arabia. So again… I must say that the book itself was pivotal and an aide while I was in the dry and harsh region of Najd.
As far as the couple is concerned, I personally have not met them, yet knew of them before I was initiated. I being inclined towards the Mevelevi Order or Mev. Rumi’s teachings, did come across their work yet no opening ever came from my guides to take from their way. I do recall a dream I had of Kabir and his son and not sure if Camille was in the dream. Hence, I did write an email to him or them and do not recall a reply. I believe it was redirecting me towards the Mevlevi Order as at that time I was not ready for the initiation which came later in dream-initially.
I was to meet Shams e Tabrez personified in a female figure. She drove me to a place unlike any other conduit and prepared me for my life’s calling. In the process, I was ‘transformed’ into a Rumi Prototype (far from his reality yet symbolically) and then this year, I was to be initiated in person in Makkah on the 6th of Rabi 1 and the eve of the Dec 6th.
The Shams I met was my twin soul, my exact mirror. Yet, like Shams e Tabrez had to ‘leave’, the same is my story. She did what Shams did to Rumi and the rest is history. I am indebted to my mirror, a true Qalander. I know that the disappearance was only illusion as I was to reach a state of annihilation in love through her discipline that it brought me to one reality, there is no separation, only union. In this process, I composed multiple poems with no ‘background’ in poetry. She brought out the reality of my DNA if anything. Through her, I found my way and am aligned to my way which is to serve, serve, and serve. She alighted me, put me ablaze and gave me a sip from the Cup of Love. I am to do my work in sobriety through the state of drunkeness.
I shall sit by your door
Like an unworthy beggar
I shall remain at your doorstep
Forever and ever
I promise to remain silent
I shall utter not a word or gesture
I shall diffuse in your presence
I am in Love!
And you are the cause!
My only desire?
A glimpse of your face
I swear this love is Divine
Must I admit and proclaim to all;
this love I speak of is earthly.
I seek the day where I shall meet once again, if not here, then by Mustafa’s Fountain!
A River Named Love
There is a river named Love
Upon its banks lovers reside
S e p a r a t e d and United by Love
All in love.
Desiring union they yearn daily
This river is food and drink
Their Fountain of Eternal Life
Lovers must unite!
How shall we reach our beloved’s gate?
Frantic and mad they wail in haste:
This mighty river has split one heart!
Recalling Khidr’s auspicious advice;
One must take the leading plunge
The other shall mirror in unison
Never again to depart
Never again to say good bye
Together in this river they delight
United at last
Shackled by chains
Drifted by vicious currents
Into the Eternal Ocean of Love
Swim together upon the waves
Drink together the eternal drink
Drown together in eternal Love
Live together in eternal Light
The Women of Sufism Study Circle can be accessed here
One may register after reading the guidelines and join the virtual study circle which will give insights into the mystical dimension in Islam, also known as Sufism through a feminine lens.
I had registered this morning and look forward to studying the subject deeper.
The Golden Number is a product not of mathematical imagination, but of a natural principle related to the laws of equilibrium. We find the criteria of beauty according to Fibonacci is based on the laws of proportion. The 13th Century Italian Leonardo of Pisa, better known as Fibonacci, was by far the most talented Western mathematician of the Middle Ages. His introduction to Arabic numerals commenced at a young age during his stay in North Africa. It was Fibonacci who introduced Europe to the use of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, describing its many benefits for merchants and mathematicians as a superior system to that of Roman numerals. By the 5th Century, Arabic prevailed making Roman numerals obsolete.
Inspired recently through a discussion with one of my teachers who hails from the House of Hashim through the descendants of Hasan al Askari, shed light on the subject of beauty and the Golden Ratio. The subject here is not the arithmetic aspect of the Golden Ratio but rather in light of beauty, balance and the human form as per Fibonacci’s theory and Leonardo Da Vinci’s depiction of the perfect man.
“Leonardo envisaged the great picture chart of the human body he had produced through his anatomical drawings and Vitruvian Man as acosmografia del minor mondo (cosmography of the microcosm). He believed the workings of the human body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe.”
In linking to Vituruvian Man, the Islamic tradition of describing the physical attributes of Mohammed (s), also known as Hilya, we find a common factor in all narrations; equilibrium as his natural state in form, character, mannerism and teachings. That said, the adherents of esoteric Islam believe in the Mohammedan Reality; Haqiqatul Mohammediya, which dwells upon his light being the first of all that was created,
“The first thing Allāh created is the light of Muhammad (s) and that light came and prostrated before Allāh. Allāh divided it into four parts and created from the first part the Throne, from the second the Pen, from the third the Tablet, and then similarly He subdivided the fourth part into parts and created the rest of creation. Therefore the light of the Throne is from the light of the Prophet (s), the light of the Pen is from the light of the Prophet (s), the light of the Tablet is from the light of the Prophet (s), the light of day, the light of knowledge, the light of the sun and the moon, and the light of vision and sight are all from the light of the Prophet (s).” [Al-Khātib Abū al-Rab‘i Muhammad ibn al-Layth in his book Shifā’ al-sudūr ]
The Muhammadan soul (al-rūh al-muhammadīyya) is therefore the quintessence of all created things and the first of them and their origin, as the Prophet said: I am from Allāh and the believers are from me, and Allāh created all souls from me in the spiritual world and He did so in the best form. It is the name of the totality of mankind in that primordial world, and after its creation by four thousand years, Allāh created the Throne from the light of Muhammad himself, and from it the rest of creation. The Muhammadan Light goes from prophet to prophet (min nabīyyin ila nabīyyin) until Allah (swt) causes it to emerge (akhraja) as the physical manifestation of the Prophet Muhammad (s) as the seal of the line of all prophets, yet first in the process of creation.
That said, we now go back to the concept of beauty as per the teachings of Fibonacci and Da Vinci. Given that the Creator is perfect, Flawless, Most Beautiful, thus His creation too reflects His beauty and Mohammed (s) being foremost to befit the Golden Ration criterion of human beauty. Creation perceived as a mirror of Divine beauty, we find man to be the most attractive of all creation. The magnetic power of the Prophet’s (s) beauty, both inner and outer, impacted all those who glanced upon him (s). These individuals became lovers of Mohammed (s), or lovers of Divine Light-Divine Light being this primordial Light; the Mohammedan (s) Light. This love phenomena carries on till today as has been the case of every era, even prior to his physical manifestation as known to us. Traditions state Adam sought forgiveness through Mohammed (s) whose name was written on the Divine throne. Prophets who came ‘before’ Mohammed (s) beseeched the Lord to appear as followers of his community in place of Prophethood. Such traditions are too numerous to share here. Aisha (r) the Prophet’s (s) wife, described the beauty of Mohammed (s) in comparison to Joseph who was known to possess half of the all created beauty in the following couplets based on the Qur’anic story of Joseph and the vizier’s wife, Zulaykha, whose friends cut their hands because they were mesmerized by his (Joseph)beauty:
‘If the women who saw Yusuf cut their hands seeing the beauty of Yusuf. They would have cut their throats if they saw my Yusuf. (referring to the prophet (s).
Imam al-Qurtubi in his book al-Salah explicates: “The perfection of the beauty of the Prophet (s), Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, was not manifested to us fully; for, if it would have appeared in its entirety, our eyes wouldn’t have been able to observe him.”
Another from our Divaan of utterances, we share the same in terms of this mesmerising love,
The Light of Yusef
Yousef’s body thrown into a well
Zulaikha’s heart thrown into a bottomless well named Love
Yusef a Prophet
Zulaikha a plain mortal
His crime; innocence
Her crime; Love
I fell in love with Light
Through Yusef I saw Habib
Through Habib I saw Him
This light took over my being
My heart melted…
*Habib-among the names of Prophet Mohammed (s)
(copyright Qudra Healing)
Concluding the subject of this post, we come back to the Hilya, as a reflection of the beauty-criterion of the Golden Ratio. He, Mohammed (s) representing the personification of the Divine mirror, the ultimate manifestation of cosmic and celestial beauty!
The term hilya (Arabic حلية (plural: ḥilan, ḥulan), Turkish: hilye (plural: hilyeler) denotes a religious genre of Ottoman Turkish literature, dealing with the physical description of Muhammad. Hilya literally means “ornament”.
The Hilya Tradition
“God is Beautiful and He loves Beauty”
Hasan ibn Ali asked his maternal uncle Hind bin Abi Haalah about the description of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). He said about his uncle that he was very capable of describing, he had given an excellent description of the Messenger of Allah (s). He said “I desired to hear this description from him because I wanted something to hold onto”.
Below is a transcript of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s lecture on the Description of the Prophet(S).
He was very awe inspiring when you saw him.
He was monumental, grand in nature when you saw him.
His face was like a moon on laylatul badr. It had a light coming out of it like a moon on laylatul badr.
He was taller than a moderate build but not exceedingly tall. If you see somebody very tall then it is strange even amongst tall people. If you see somebody short then it is also noticeable. He was of a middle stature inclining towards height because everything about him was middle.
Even his physical description of colour was middle. He was not pasty white and he was not black. He was inclining towards light skin because of the racism of human beings. That is one of the hikmah of that. He was inclining towards light skin because of the racism of human beings. It has to do with the stupidity of human beings in distinguishing between people because of colour. He was a colour like what we call the harvest moon. He was not white nor dark, he was light skinned what we would call in English, a reddy complexion.
His hair was neither straight or curly. It was wavy, it was middle. Everything about him was middle. He had a full head and his hair was wavy. If he parted it, it parted. It never went past the lobe of his ears if he allowed it to grow long because sometimes he would cut it for ibadah like the umrah or hajj. It went to the lobe or in some riwayah it went to the shoulder.
He did not speak slow or fast. He spoke in a moderate tone. His words were neither too short nor excessive but they were always just right. When he spoke, people felt as it exactly the right amount of words were used. Everything about him was moderation.
He had a large forehead which is an indication of high quality. He had a vein on his forehead. If he got upset they could see the vein.
His eyebrows were full and there was a slight space between them.
The upper part of his nose was aqualine. He had a beautiful nose that had a bridge on the upper part. He had a light that came from that area of his face that was clearly discernible.
He had a full beard and his eyes were very dark.
He had high beautiful cheek.
He had a mouth that was full so when he spoke his pronunciation was perfect.
His teeth were beautiful, there was a slight space in the teeth.
He had a light hair on his chest which was manliness without having a lot of hair.
His neck was like a gazelle’s neck. He had a beautiful neck and a high neck. It had like a beautiful silvery clarity to it.
He was balanced in all of his outward aspects. He had a strong build and it was all perfectly formed.
His stomach and chest were equal. He never had a large stomach. He had no paunch. Even when he was in his sixties, his stomach was always flat. He had light hair on his stomach. He had no hair over his breasts.
He was full chested and his shoulders were broad. He had large bones.
He had hair on his arms and he was sinewy and strong.
There was a space in his trachea.
His limbs were strong and he had full calves.
His feet were very smooth. Because they were desert people and they walked a lot, their feet would have a lot of roughness to them. His feet were smooth that water would pour off them.
When he walked, he walked softly but he was quick paced as if he was walking on an incline.
When he looked at somebody, he did not just move his head, he turned his entire body to give full attention to that person.
He looked more at the ground than he did up. His glance was generally down because of the power of his glance. When he looked at people, he did not maintain his stare. He would look then move away. As he looked at people, he never fixed his focus on people because of the effect that would have on people.