Wasalamalaikum. I have noticed that in mainstream “intellectual” circles, there is this deliberate tendency to substract Islam from works of Muslim artists especially when their creative endeavor reflects pure genius and grace. This is what has happened with the work of Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi better known as Rumi, the world’s most read poet; in my eyes he represents the greatest exemple in this inclination to extract the religion and tradition of Islam from Muslim geniuses’ work. The authentic context of his profound poetry, which is Islam, has been extracted from most books on him translated/published in the West. Or he is simply labeled as a “Sufi” poet, excluding the whole Islamic culture and practice that shaped his life and work.
Since there is great fear around Islam itself it may be that for marketing purposes, it is convenient to “mask” Islamic artistry with other terms. Yet Sufism remains an expression of Islam regardless of the widespread aversion toward Islam which is also subtly fed by many scholars who are as rigid as the system they serve. Because Sufism has great appeal thanks to its excellent, profound artistic expressions, academics who want to profit from it, have managed to “separate” it from Islam as if to perpetuate the isolation of Islam from its own graceful reality which actually is animated since the beginning of the Creation and not since the 7th century as Eurocentric historians would have us believe. (please read “The Transcendence of Islam” for more details.)
This tendency to dissociate Islam from its truth is very dangerous because it deprives people of the opportunity to discover the Light of this universal Pathway, of its long prophetic chain from the first prophet Adam (as) all the way to the last one prophet Muhammad (saw). It also diverts people from the Holy Qur’an and the spiritual nobility of prophet Muhammad (saw), in truth there is no Sufism whatsoever without Islam/Surrender, its very shell.
“And withhold yourself with those who call on their Lord morning and evening desiring His goodwill, and let not your eyes pass from them, desiring the beauties of this world’s life; and do not follow him whose heart We have made unmindful to Our remembrance, and he follows his low desires and his case is one in which due bounds are exceeded.” (~18: 28 Holy Qur’an)
With the centuries-old, systemic attempt to demonize Islam and its followers, it is currently convenient to subtract the Islamic element from the works of Muslim geniuses whose divinely-infused arts have lit hearts all around the globe for hundreds of years. Even though the substance which has molded their creativity for centuries is completely omitted from the way big corporations present their works, it is important to remember that there is this dimension in us that pulsates with the Truth only so when it exteriorizes itself it is indeed to remain and to expand in spite of all human scheming.
copyrights 2007 Aida Toure
Inflamed the poem can be read here.
Wasalamalaikum, it’s indeed true that Allah (swt) hears and answers our prayers. Prayer nurtures the heart and makes its light our reality through which we become more patient and unconditionally loving. The sense of immediacy in our wants in time or space no longer matters because we are certain the believers’ souls needs are met in this world and the next inshAllah, they are taken care of, this is a divine promise. A soul who loves its Source in this way and cultivates this love in the purest sense becomes a beautiful, moving, blessed soul. Sincere prayer takes us to that inner place inshAllah, it keeps us attuned to what transcendently matters: the defeat of our own ego’s darkness.
The greatest pain is caused by our lack of alignment with divine love, but this can be resolved and this is what life here is about. It is about that peculiar awakening which brings us to the door of humility and gentleness so that the soul can experience its prostrating state in the freest way, this is our Jihad, our Struggle to become true human beings.
I must say it’s a delight to remember the promise of Allah (swt), it turns us into simple witnesses of all occurrences al hamdulillah. This reminds me of some verses of “Golden Corridor” (a poem that I wrote a few years ago) that say: “Secretly each form is a flute that only He can play, we become the celestial music as a response to the grace, in each He blows impartially, no one is a doer here! We are only witnessing…”
Beyond all the corruption and misery we are exposed to on this Earth, we individually can will to journey through life with the spirit of Surrender in mind. Thus the world would reflect our harmonious inner state and would become a very beautiful place for all of mankind.
copyrights 2007 Aida Toure
The Cosmos sobs in its own drunkenness with Love, the Moon there tenderly gazes and the stars in a loud laughter let out billions of pearls for the finely attuned hearts who pick them up, each, with their forehead kissing the ground like the beloved nobodies they really are. You long to be rich? Then emulate those precious ones! With such constant beauty at our disposal how could we waste energy and breath in the ego’s ruining demands? Have you listened to your pulse today mmh? Have you stopped to hear its mingling with Ruh (as) mmh? Lo! Here it goes again: “Have you unselved in this abundance Allah (swt) has bestowed upon you?…” You hear this, pay attention it’s not finished! “…I’d rather mind these all-directions-going-round-dervishes slipping in and out of worlds, ecstatic in their praises of His Kind Majesty. Leave me alone my love! Do not bother my wretched self with matters of this prison-world, I want no part of it, I have Love to tend to and besides to Him shall we all Return.”
Suddenly I long to sit by the silent ones…
copyrights 2007 Aida Toure
There is a Sufi poetry Carnival hosted on Inspirations and Creative Thoughts and on Knocking From Inside. Please visit these blogs to read beautiful Sufi poetry from diverse horizons and ages.