Closeness

Closeness

Mercy descends in a voice that recites

After a hard days work into a long calm night

Bathed in splendour of good, lovingly looked upon

by a Lord most beautiful, beauty with love adorned

Lulled into a calm and refreshing repose

Tranquil in trust that rest will come

From The One to the one,

sleep brings a delightful glimpse of closeness

Light upon light

Refreshed to greet, if Allah wills, another dawn

***

Joymanifest (C) 2013

Ramadan nights

Ramadan nights are penseive
Waiting for the angels to arrive
Bearers of glad tidings
To souls who never lost hope in the promise of their Lord.

Ramadan nights are peaceful
With a peace beyond man’s realm
Descends a greater good
To tranquil the wayward ego and
souls then in grateful joy.

Ramadan nights. Oh what will I do
My Lord if I have to live past them
Grant me then
The witness of another Ramadan
Let the hours between be as if an inconsequential moment.

***
Joymanifest (c)

Do not speak

Do not speak too fast
   for I fear the speed of what you say
   will drown out what you want to.
 
What do you want to say?
   That you are lonely, and deep needs
   need filling by empty blabbering.
 
Where have you come from and where are you going?
Where have you come from and where are you going?
 
Isn’t that enough to speak about
   And ‘ere speaking, it needs deep thinking.
  true listening. It needs you to be quiet.
 
So you can hear what God has never stopped saying.
 
***
copyright Joymanifest 2013

If you hadn’t…

If you hadn’t made me strong my Lord,
I would not have been able to resist

If you hadn’t made me just my Lord,
I would not have been able to stand-up

If you hadn’t made me kind my Lord,
I would not have been patient

If you leave me for a moment my Lord,
I will be destroyed.

***
Copyright Joymanifest
Continue reading

Recitation, a new poem

Assalamu alaikum, peace to all!

The Quran is a phenomenal book. It has about 50 titles, most of which I don’t know. One, the better known is ‘Furqan’, meaning roughly, ‘criterion’, i.e., a way to distinguish between right and wrong. The most commonly used word, ‘Quran’ comes from the root word ‘qara’a’. The arabic root word system is amazing. Root words are usually derived of three letters (in arabic there are no vowels and consonants, it is a phonetic language with diacritical marks denoting vowel sounds), in this case; q-r-a’, which can then be formed in many versions to mean many things that are derived from that root word. ‘qara’a’ means to read a written thing, recite with or without a script, proclaim, convey, call, rehearse, transmit, deliver. In fact the first revealed word, which is found in the Quran as the first verse of chapter (or sura) 96, is ‘iqra’. It was the first revealed word to Muhammed, the final messenger, upon whom God shower peace and blessing, and indeed a fitting opening for what was to follow and the mission he recieved with that word.
One of the Quran’s titles is shifa, meaning a ‘healing’. The recitation of the Quran carries immense healing and calming. Which is why often Muslims, even those who don’t understand arabic (the majority) will know how to recite the Quran. And this recitation has certain rules and methods. The best reciters or ‘qaari’s’ (you can see how the root word system is working!) often lead the prayers in Mosques, as during the prayer, verses of the Quran are recited. These recitations are beautiful and many around the world listen to recordings of them. And such is the healing power of the Quran, that the recording of it’s recitation is often used (i.e., by playing it over radio, internet, tapes etc) to cure people or comfort those who are dying. For myself, the Quran healed a broken heart and also soothed a mind when it was wandering ( I carry schizophrenia susceptibility genes and for a time was almost delusional due to some bad life incidents). Mashaallah (=by God’s grace), the Quran healed me. The words of my Lord are a soothing balm and comforter.
That was a long prelude! But it was organic so I hope you will indulge me and I wanted to explain the context of what reciting means to a Muslim. This is a poem written a few days ago ater a peaceful pre-dawn time of reciting, sitting on a prayer mat that was made of my grandmother’s soft old white sari, folded many times and wearing the white prayer dress of embroidered (white on white) skirt and loose head covering. I hope you will like it and I wish for you many such moments of utter peace and comfort, of such closeness with the divine. Praise and Glory be to Him. To end I want to say, ss Muslims believe, any good in me is from God and God alone.

Recitation

Teaching, guiding, soothing
Each morning before the sun rises
with the birds who wake before dawn
learning their song. I recite
the revealed words of the Creator
As the earth stirs to life
So does my heart.
As the cool gentle breeze of truth
hums within my heartstrings
As the perspicious light of guidance
dissipates the doubt in my brain
As the wise and the true
embellishes itself in my heart
I am but a grateful slave
of the One. One beyond time and place
One closer to me than my conscience
One knowning me better than I do myself
So then peace. In the safest hands
I am gently lead. To a better way to live.

Each morning as I recite
The words of my Lord. The birds sing
And soon it will be dawn.

***
Copyright Joymanifest Blog (C) 2012.

O’ Moon

image

There is a beautiful moon outside and the night is clear and still. These nights of the full moon of rabiul awwal…the time of the birth of the beloved, the final messenger Muhammed, upon whom be peace and salutations, what beautiful nights they are.
Looking at the moon my heart realizes the prayer Muhammed himself would make on beholding the moon. And so my lips say it too- “O Moon, as thou dost worship my Lord, so do I!”
But tonight I gaze on the moon and add to it this yearning ( and these words are my own) – ‘O Moon, you are the same moon who looked upon the prophet making that prayer. O Moon how blessed you are! I am gazing on you that has seen my beloved and time stands still. How blessed my eyes to behold you! O Moon, as you do worship Allah so do I’
So saying my beloved’s words my heart fills with the light of the answering moon
Thanks and Glory be to God.

And peace to you all.

‘What a Nourisher’ from Rumi’s Mathnawi

Peace be with you all,

It is a beautiful morning here in Vancouver. MashaAllah it snowed last night (we have had hardly any snow this winter) and the earth covered in its white mantle suddenly seems a different place. How amazing it is that something so simple as crystallized water on the ground can completely change one’s perspective. But nay, I am wrong to say ‘ice on the ground’ is simple. Indeed water is one of the most amazing creations there is. From a scientific point of view it’s shear brilliance is astounding. It is the perfect substance and the perfect matter to bear creation. Indeed, in the Quran, Allah says He created every living thing from water;

أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا ۖ وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ ۖ أَفَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

Quran (21:30)
Transliteration
Awa lam yara allatheenakafaroo anna assamawati wal-ardakanata ratqan fafataqnahuma wajaAAalnamina alma-i kulla shay-in hayyin afalayu/minoo
Yusuf Ali Translation
Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?

The above verse is precisely what science understands of the process of creation. Isn’t it amazing to have the Big Bang Theory and even the evolutionary origin of life theory in one simple sentence! As a scientist, this excites me to the heavens and humbles me to the dust! Subhahana wa bihamdihi (Glorios is He and all praise and thanks is his). I could go on and on about water, but I really began this post to copy Rumi’s poem. So here is a link to a post on the mention of the water cycle in the Quran. And here are excellent articles about why water is so miraculous-
The source of the water miracle: hydrogen bonds
The design in water
By the way, to my non-Muslim readers, water is one of the most often used words in the Quran and discussed in a very many varied contexts and instances.

It is hard to include Rumi or anyone else’s work in the same post that includes the words of our magnificent Maker. However, I am guilty of the same, mixing my words up with the Quran as I write this blog. So may there be some good in these poor words from a very faulty specimen of Allah’s creation and may my Lord be pleased with the effort. We Muslims say that ‘All good is from Allah’. For among his attributes is ‘The Good’… whatever is good in this too is from Allah and may our beautiful Creator make us more receptive to Divine grace. Rumi himself was an inspired person after all, and indeed it is amazing for I was only going to copy the poem when I began with the comment on the snow, and then that lead to thinking of water and this leads to thinking of how water is the source and nourishment of us all which perfectly ties in with the message of this peom, which is that if you have God as your source and well-spring, you have nothing to fear or grieve! Alhamdulillah! even my brain is wired and works as God desires! :) yay :)

What a Nourisher

The sensible man doesn’t pay attention
to what increases and decreses,
since both pass like a quickly moving stream.
Whether the water of life runs clear
or is tumultuous as a flood,
don’t bother speaking of it-
it doesn’t endure more than a moment.

In this world thousands of animals live happily,
without throes of anxiety.
The dove on the tree coos gratefulness,
even though her food for the night has not yet arrived.

The nightingale’s glorification is this:
“I depend for my daily bread,
on You who love to respond.”
The falcon delights in the King’s hand,
and no longer looks at carrion.

Look at every animal from the gnat to the elephant:
they all are God’s family
and dependent on Him for their food.
What a nourisher is God!
All these griefs within our hearts
arise from the smoke and dust
of our existence and vain desires.

MashaAllah, on that note to end with one of my most favourite ayah from the Quran (ayah meaning ‘sentence’ but the root word means ‘sign’ or symbol or proof..a word rather deeper than sentece and used in many ways. Actually one of my close friends named her daughter ‘ayah’, I think that illustrates what I mean). It is the last ayah of a very beautiful short lyrical surah (chapter) called ‘Mulk’ (The Dominion)

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَصْبَحَ مَاؤُكُمْ غَوْرًا فَمَن يَأْتِيكُم بِمَاءٍ مَّعِينٍ
Transliteration
Qul araaytum in asbaha maokumghawran faman ya/teekum bima-in maAAeen
Sahih International Translation
Say, “Have you considered: if your water was to become sunken [into the earth], then who could bring you flowing water?”
Yusuf Ali Translation
Say: “See ye?- If your stream be some morning lost (in the underground earth), who then can supply you with clear-flowing water?”
Quran (67:30)

Trust

Assalamu alaikum, peace be with you! It has been a long long while since I last wrote. I have been on a journey, not just external but also internal as many life events took their toll. But this joy that we are all born with, the light within, never abated…only I could not see it sometimes, blinded by tears. Aren’t we all at some point in our lives and is not the benefit of the tear to wash the dirt from the soul? to clean the eye so it can see again, what is important and essential.

Here is a poem I wanted to share, I found it writen some time ago, during Ramadan I believe.

Taught to trust
through hours
when my feet swell
and my body sways
gently to the rhythm of the recitation
rising and falling
as my breaths
joined to the rhythm of the universe
this reverberation
Ramadan night resonation
With the soul
for a moment, split second divine
worry leaves and the heart is re-born
The soul’s polish
reaches that first sparkle
when polishing cloth leaves its surface
and before dust can settle
split second glimpse
of the Divine
Light upon Light
so heavy, yet so ethereally weightless
so substantial, everywhere yet nowhere
It explodes, this light
in a quiet spreading
beyond physics…beyond the created
It is just there. And polished mirror soul
I reflected it. Till it was everywhere.
And I was nothing, in a sea of light

There I found trust, implicit absolute immaculate trust
My Lord will look after me.

***

‘sabran jameelan’

It has been too long since I last wrote. I have been traveling, resting, absorbing, healing, wondering….Alhamdulillah! Being quiet as I try to come to grasp with life’s changes. Allah knows best and in this I have peace, and again, this too by the grace of the Almighty. Here is a poem written some time ago that a beautiful encounter with a kindred spirit this evening has prompted me to find and now to post. May you enjoy it! Love and peace to all.

Note: ‘sabran jameelan’ is an arabic phrase appearing in the Quran many times. ‘sabr’ means patience and ‘jameel’ is beautiful. As with many arabic words, the meaning is deeper than this especially when put together in the form of ‘sabran jameelan’. Though meaning a beautiful peace it is in an action form, meaning it is not a passive thing to achieve this or have this beautiful peace, but rather an active state requiring toil but completely at peace in beauty and a quiet state. It was the reply of the prophet Jacob when he was told by his other sons that they had lost his beloved son Joseph while out playing. The prophet Jacob knew the brothers were not telling the truth about the wolf having devoured Joseph story but did not say that. This story given in the 12th chapter of the Quran (chapter called ‘yusuf’, the arabic of ‘joseph’) is detailed, beautiful, profoud and the narrative differs in many ways so that Quranic form of it is unique. Anyways that long note was not meant to be so long, but I hope it helped. The phrase is found in other places in the Quran as well.

Sabran Jameelan

I find it hard to write in the old way, holding my pen
Dripped ink staining my cuticles
Pausing to think and write again and write again and think
While dipping my tip in to the ink pot to rejuvenate it.
It dried up while I was thinking.

But oh I need to, need to connect.
Can I in this modernity find the me that was
In my past, a simpler world, a truer me
Is that me yet.

Now music must play so I can hear myself think
And the soft patter of keys pressed is oddly comforting
The world is hard. Sabran jameelan. Sabran jameelan
In my old pen, I would write it in Arabic
And the formation of the curves of that majestic script soothing
Bringing closer the immensity
Of sabran jameelan.

Write in your soul, write everyday and no matter
What medium.
No matter what medium.

Sabran jameelan. It will end soon.