Monday, April 25, 2011

Where Is My Key?

This is an interesting answer I found to a question:
Why would a religion that has peace in its very name be known by many by its opposite?

Hope you like it...



The Mulla was sitting inside his house, after having worked hard to support
himself and his family, after putting in another hour volunteering at the local
police station (helping them with paperwork so that the professionals would have
more time to catch criminals and preserve social order), and after volunteering
another hour serving food to the poor at the local soup kitchen.

Finally, in the late afternoon, after a brisk walk during which he recited the
Qur'an (or perhaps after lifting some weights at the gym, while remembering
Allah), he had returned home, helped his wife to prepare the dinner (since she
herself had returned from a grueling day at the school where she taught); and
after dinner he had made sure the kids were doing their homework.

During all of these activities, he had made it a point (while engaging in his
activities), simultaneously to be aware of Allah, to receive Allah's embrace,
and to be grateful for Allah's sustaining himself and all that he was aware of
throughout his day—because being such a "surrenderer" (muslim) is the essence of
what it means to be a Muslim.

He was now sitting on his prayer rug, having already prayed the salat and the
sunnah prayers, practiced the meditation of remembering Allah (dhikr Allah),
recited some Qur'an and read some hadith, sung some Rumi, Hafiz, Yunus Emre, Ibn
al-Farid, Galib, and Hamza Fansuri, and soared in contemplation of some of Ibn
'Arabi's Futuhat al-Makkiya--in short, this was an ordinary day in the life of
the Mulla, one in which he was practicing Islam in the full sense of the word.

At some point during his day the Mulla had begun feeling ecstasy (wajd), being
in love with Allah. It is hard to say when he first felt it, perhaps it was
before fajr prayer--when he kissed the forehead of his still sleeping wife
before he jumped out of bed to bathe in the light of the morning's ablution
(wudu); perhaps it was when he was teaching his class the luminous letters of
the Arabic alphabet; maybe it was at the police station or when he plopped into
his seat on the bus, surrendering his body to the motion of the bus which was
conveying him to the soup kitchen where he volunteered.

In any case it does not matter when the feeling started. Now, however, sitting
in his house, the love was drowning him, at one moment he was lost in the union
with God called fana (passing away from self), and the next moment he was still
in union but aware of himself to a slight degree, facing the Beloved, while
still one with the Beloved.

He went on for some time in this state, gazing at the Beloved's ever-changing
face on which images from his life, unconditionally sustained by his
Lord-Sustainer (rabb), would momentarily appear and disappear. These were images
of events that involved him directly as well as images of others in the past
that he had read about in school or watched on TV or on his computer, even
images of the future that he or others had imagined.

All of these images (lutfi-benevolent and qahri-severe images), together with
his thoughts and feelings about them, appeared on the Beloved's Face while He
was gazing at this Face during his union. More precisely, these images were
different appearances of his Beloved's Face. They were appearances of the many
qualities of his Beloved. They were signs (ayats) of his Beloved.

Whatever images appeared, at each moment he would surrender, in gratitude to his
Beloved for the image. Even when one of the images was a picture of himself not
being able to surrender gratefully in love to His Beloved or not wanting to
surrender with such gratitude, He continued to respond with this surrender, with
this gratitude--because he was being drawn deeper and deeper into his Beloved's
embrace and because he knew and could feel that each moment his Beloved was
inviting him and that each moment was a new moment in which He could choose to
intend to surrender or not.

Then suddenly, on his Beloved's face, a different sign of his Beloved's face
appeared. It was the image of a Muslim, cutting off somebody's head; then
another image: one of a busload of civilians blown up just after a bearded youth
crying "Allahu akbar" got on the bus; and then a Muslim throwing acid on a
woman's face; and then another Muslim blaming everything that is wrong in the
world on Jews and the Americans.

Seeing these images, although deep in the Mullah's unconscious (in his
fitra-primordial unspoiled nature) he knew these were signs on His Beloved's
face, the depth of his revulsion for these disgusting acts obliterated his
awareness that these too were signs of His Beloved. The revulsion even
obliterated his awareness of His Beloved and his awareness that he could be
grateful to His Beloved for giving Him such revulsion.

The next thing he knew, he was out of his house, shouting, with complete
sincerity, under the street lamps, "Where is my key, I've lost my key? Where is
it?" (while cursing Muslim terrorists under his breath). His neighbors, having
been disturbed by his screaming, rushed out of their houses and said, "Mullah,
where did you lose your key?" He thought for a second and replied, "I lost it
inside my house." Trying to calm him down, his neighbors asked him, "Then why
aren't you looking inside your house for it?" To which he replied, "Because it's
light out here."

May peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon us all.

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