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Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
Full name Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
Born Unknown
Sri Lanka
Died December 8th, 1986
Philadelphia, United States
Era 20th century
Region Sri Lanka, United States
School Sufism

This article describes the Sufism philosopher, for the Sri Lankan architect see Geoffrey Bawa.

Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (died December 8, 1986) was a saintly Tamil-speaking teacher[1] and Sufi mystic from the island of Sri Lanka who first came to the United States on October 11, 1971[2] and established the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship in Philadelphia. From Philadelphia, with its approximately 1,000 followers,[3 ] branches of the Fellowship have spread throughout the United States and Canada,[3 ] as well Australia and the UK. Societies of followers were already in Jaffna and Colombo,[4 ] Sri Lanka before his arrival in the USA.

Contents

Early life

According to the older Sri Lankan students, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen emerged from the jungles of that country in the early 1940s and met pilgrims who were visiting shrines in the north. Reports of dreams or mystical meetings that preceded a 'physical' meeting by these early students were not uncommon.[4 ] According to an account from the 1940s, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen had spent time in 'Kataragama', a jungle shrine in the south of the island, and in 'Jailani', a cliff shrine dedicated to 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani of Baghdad. His association with that Shaikh indicates his connection to the Qadiri order of Sufism.[4 ] Many of his followers who lived around the northern town of Jaffna were Hindus and addressed him as swami or guru. His role was often as healer of both medical and spiritual illnesses, including curing demonic possession.[4 ]

Eventually an ashram was formed in Jaffna, and a farm was started south of that city. After business travelers from the south of the country met Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, they invited him to visit in Columbo, the capital of Sri Lanka. By 1967, the 'Serendib Sufi Study Circle' was formed by these Colombo students who were predominantly Muslims. Earlier in 1955, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen had set the foundations for a 'God's house' or mosque in the town of Mankumban, on the northern coast. This was the result of a spiritual meeting with Mary, the mother of Jesus.[5 ] After two decades, the building was finished by students from the United States who were visiting the Jaffna ashram.[6] It was officially opened and dedicated on February 17, 1975.[7]

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen taught through the use of stories. These reflected the background of the student or listener and included both Islamic and Hindu religious traditions and he welcomed persons from all traditions and backgrounds.[5 ]

Public Career in the United States

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship

In 1971, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen accepted an invitation from an American student and several others to visit them in Philadelphia. She and the others had been corresponding with him after being introduced by a fellow university student from Sri Lanka. She and her associates made arrangements for his travel to the United States and for his stay in Philadelphia.[5 ] By 1973, a group of his followers formed the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship, which hosted a Meeting house that offered several public meetings a week.[5 ]

As before in Sri Lanka, people from all religious, social and ethnic backgrounds would join to hear him speak. Across the United States, Canada and England, he won recognition from religious scholars, journalists, educators and world leaders. The United Nation's Assistant Secretary General, Robert Muller, asked for Bawa Muhaiyaddeen's guidance on behalf of all mankind during an interview in 1974.[8] During the years 1978-1980 when the Iranian hostage crisis was occurring, he wrote letters to world leaders such as Iran's Khomeini, Prime Minister Begin, President Sadat and President Carter to encourage a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the region.[9][10] Time Magazine, during the crisis in 1980, quoted him as saying that when the Iranians understand the Koran "they will release the hostages immediately".[11] Interviews appeared in Psychology Today,[12] the Harvard Divinity Bulletin,[13] and in the Philadelphia Inquirer[14] and the Pittsburgh Press newspapers. He continued his teaching and personal guidance to his students and visitors until his death on December 8, 1986.

Legacy

In May, 1984, the Mosque of Shaikh M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen was completed on the grounds of the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship, 5820 Overbrook Avenue, Philadelphia. The building of the mosque took 6 months and nearly all the work was done by the members of the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship under the direction of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen.[15]

Mausoleum of M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship Farm is 100 acres of farmland located in Chester County, Pennsylvania just south of the small city of Coatesville at 99 Fellowship Drive. The center point of the farm is Bawa Muhaiyaddeen's mausoleum or mazar. It was built shortly after his death and completed in 1987. It is a place of pilgrimage for Sufis and Sufi sheikhs, and also is visited by Muslims who have the tradition of family gatherings near a saint's tomb.[16]

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen established vegetarianism as the norm for the community[17] and meat products are not permitted at the Fellowship center in Philadelphia or at the Fellowship Farm.[18]

He was an artist and created paintings and drawings that symbolized the relationship between man and God. He described his art work as "heart's work."[19] Two examples are reproduced in his book titled Wisdom of Man[20][21] and another is the front cover of the book Four Steps to Pure Iman.[22] In 1976, Bawa Muhaiyadeen recorded and released an album of meditation, on Folkways Records entitled, Into the Secret of the Heart by Guru Bawa Muhaiyaddeen.[23]

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen authored over twenty-five books, although he himself did not read or write.[24] These books were created from over 10,000 hours of transcriptions of audio and video recordings of his discourses and songs in the United States from 1971 to 1986. Some titles originated from Sri Lanka before his arrival in the U.S. and were transcribed by hand. The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship continues to study and disseminate this repository of his teachings. It has not appointed a new leader or Sheikh to replace his role as teacher and personal guide.

Titles and Honorifics

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen was referred to as Guru or Swami or Sheikh or 'His Holiness' depending on the background of the speaker or writer. He was also addressed as 'Bawangal' by those Tamil speakers who were close to him and who wanted to use a respectful address. He often referred to himself as an 'ant man',[25] i.e, a very small life in God's creation. After his arrival in the United States in 1971, he was most often addressed as Guru Bawa and he established the Guru Bawa Fellowship. By 1976, he felt that the title 'guru' had been abused by others who were not true teachers in his estimation. In that year, he decided to drop the title Guru and the organization became the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship.[26] Most of his American students use the familiar name 'Bawa' when speaking of him.

By 2007, a new honorific, Qutb, was being used by his students in the publications of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen's talks.[27] Qutb means literally pole or axis, and signifies the spiritual center which explains and reveals through divine wisdom the true nature of man.[28] The name Muhaiyaddeen means 'the giver of life to true belief' and has been associated with previous Qutbs. By using this lofty title, his students are presenting him as a universal teacher for this era.

Quotes

A larger selection of quotes is available at Wikiquote.

  • "The prayers you perform, the duties you do, the charity and love you give is equal to just one drop. But if you use that one drop, continue to do your duty, and keep digging within, then the spring of Allah's grace and His qualities will flow in abundance."[29]
  • "People with wisdom know that it is important to correct their own mistakes, while people without wisdom find it necessary to point out the mistakes of others. People with strong faith know that it is important to clear their own hearts, while those with unsteady faith seek to find fault in the hearts and prayers of others. This becomes a habit in their lives. But those who pray to Allah with faith, determination, and certitude know that the most important thing in life is to surrender their hearts to Allah."[30]
  • "The things that change are not our real life. Within us there is another body, another beauty. It belongs to that ray of light which never changes. We must discover how to mingle with it and become one with that unchanging thing. We must realize and understand this treasure of truth. That is why we have come to the world."[31]
  • "My love you, my children. Very few people will accept the medicine of wisdom. The mind refuses wisdom. But if you do agree to accept it, you will receive the grace, and when you receive that grace, you will have good qualities. When you acquire good qualities, you will know true love, and when you accept love, you will see the light. When you accept the light, you will see the resplendence, and when you accept that resplendence, the wealth of the three worlds will be complete within you. With this completeness, you will receive the kingdom of God, and you will know your Father. When you see your Father, all your connections to karma, hunger, disease, old age will leave you."[32]
  • My grandchildren, this is the way things really are. We must do everything with love in our hearts. God belongs to everyone. He has given a commonwealth to all His creations, and we must not take it for ourselves. We must not take more than our share. Our hearts must melt with love, we must share everything with others, and we must give lovingly to make others peaceful. Then we will win our true beauty and the liberation of our soul. Please think about this. Prayer, the qualities of God, the actions of God, faith in God, and worship of God are your grace. If you have these, God will be yours and the wealth of the world to come will be yours. My grandchildren, realize this in your lifetime. Consider your life, search for wisdom, search for knowledge, and search for that love of God which is divine knowledge, and search for His qualities, His love, and His actions. That will be good. Amin. Ya Rabbal-‘alamin. So be it. O Ruler of the universes. May God grant you this."[33]

Literature and Books by His Students

A number of books have been published by students of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen that explore his teachings from their perspective and understanding and detail the impact these teachings had on their lives.

  • Owner's Manual for the Human Being by Mitch Gilbert, One Light Press publisher, 2005, ISBN 0977126706
  • The Illuminated Prayer: The Five-Times Prayer of the Sufis by Coleman Barks and Michael Green, Ballantine Wellspring publisher, 2000, ISBN 0345435451. According to the publisher, the book "offers a compelling introduction to the wisdom and teachings of the beloved contemporary Sufi master Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, who brought new life to this mystical tradition by opening a passage to its deepest, universal realities. It is the loving handiwork of two of Bawa's best-known students, Coleman Barks and Michael Green, who also created The Illuminated Rumi."
  • One Song: A New Illuminated Rumi by Michael Green, Running Press publisher, 2005, ISBN 0762420871
  • My Years with the Qutb: A Walk in Paradise by Professor Sharon Marcus, Sufi Press publisher, 2007, ISBN 0973753404

Coleman Barks, a poet and translator into English of the works of the 13th-century Sufi poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, has described how he met Bawa Muhaiyaddeen in a dream on May 2, 1977[34]. As a result of that meeting, he began to translate the poems of Rumi. Coleman finally met Bawa Muhaiyaddeen in person in September, 1978 and continued to have dreams where he would receive teachings[34]. In Coleman's estimation, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen is on the same level of enlightenment as Rumi and Shams Tabrizi, the companion of Rumi[35].

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Malik and Hinnells, p. 90.
  2. ^ Divine Luminous Wisdom, p. 254.
  3. ^ a b Malik and Hinnells, p. 93.
  4. ^ a b c d Malik and Hinnells, p. 91.
  5. ^ a b c d Malik and Hinnells, p. 92.
  6. ^ Malik and Hinnells, p 92.
  7. ^ The Tree That Fell to the West, p. 171.
  8. ^ To Die Before Death, p. xix.
  9. ^ Haddad and Smith, p 103.
  10. ^ The Truth and Unity of Man: Letters in Response to a Crisis
  11. ^ Article Is the Ayatullah a Heretic? in April 28, 1980 issue of Time Magazine
  12. ^ Article The Mind is in the Heart by Sam Keen in an issue circa 1978
  13. ^ Harvard Divinity Bulletin. Harvard University Divinity School. December 1982 - January 1983, Volume XIII, Number 2
  14. ^ Haddad and Smith, p 104.
  15. ^ Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship web-site.
  16. ^ Malik and Hinnells, p. 96.
  17. ^ God, His Prophets and His Children, pgs. 150-157
  18. ^ Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship web-site Farm page
  19. ^ Acknowledgments page, Wisdom of Man
  20. ^ Wisdom of Man, pg. 8
  21. ^ Wisdom of Man, pg. 28
  22. ^ Four Steps to Pure Iman, front cover.
  23. ^ Smithsonian Folkways recording FW08905.
  24. ^ Islam and World Peace, pg.173.
  25. ^ The Tree That Fell to the West, p. 165.
  26. ^ Truth and Light, p. 10.
  27. ^ The Point Where God and Man Meet, p. xi.
  28. ^ Resonance of Allah, p. 716.
  29. ^ Sheikh and Disciple, p. 63.
  30. ^ Islam and World Peace, p. 3.
  31. ^ Questions of Life Answers of Wisdom, Vol.1, p. 220.
  32. ^ Come to the Secret Garden, p. 188.
  33. ^ My Love you My Children; p. 466.
  34. ^ a b Rumi: the Book of Love, p. 140.
  35. ^ Nov. 12, 2007 interview by Chitra Kalyani, IslamOnline.Net article

References

  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (1972). The Divine Luminous Wisdom That Dispels the Darkness. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390112.  
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (1974). Truth and Light: Brief Explanations. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 091439004X.   Radio Interviews by Lex Hixon - WBAI, New York, and Will Noffke - KQED, San Francisco
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (1976). God, His Prophets and His Children. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390090.  
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (1976). My Love You, My Children: Stories for Children of All Ages. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390201.  
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (1980). The Truth and Unity of Man: Letters in Response to a Crisis. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390155.  
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (1980). The Wisdom of Man: Selected Discourses. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390457.  
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (1983). Sheikh and Disciple. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390260.  
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (1985). Come to the Secret Garden. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390465.  
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (1997). To Die Before Death: The Sufi Way of Life. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390392.  
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (2001). Questions of Life, Answers of Wisdom, Vol. 1. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390325.  
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (2001). The Resonance of Allah: Resplendent Explanations Arising from the Nur, Allah's Wisdom of Grace. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390619.  
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (2003). The Tree that Fell to the West: Autobiography of a Sufi. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390678.  
  • Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (2004). Islam and World Peace: Explanations of a Sufi. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390651.  *Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. (2006). The Point Where God and Man Meet. Philadelphia: The Fellowship Press. ISBN 0914390791.  
  • Y. Y. Haddad and J. I. Smith, editors (1994). Muslim Communities in North America. Albany: SUNY. ISBN 0791420191.   Chapter 4: Tradition and Innovation in Contemporary American Islamic Spirituality: The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship by Dr. Gisela Webb, Professor of Religious Studies at Seton Hall University
  • J. Malik and J. Hinnells, editors (2003). Sufism in the West. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415274074.   Chapter 4: Third Wave Sufism in America and the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship by Dr. Gisela Webb, Professor of Religious Studies at Seton Hall University
  • Snyder, Benjamin H. (2003). HEARTSPACE: The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship and the Culture of Unity. Philadelphia: Haverford College thesis.  
  • Barks, Coleman (2005). Rumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0060750502.  

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (died December 8, 1986) was a saintly Tamil-speaking teacher and Sufi mystic from the island of Sri Lanka who first came to the United States in October 1971 and established the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship of North America in Philadelphia. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen authored over twenty-five books, although he himself did not read or write. These books were created from transcriptions of audio and video recordings of his discourses and songs, taken in the United States, totaling about 10,000 hours.

He was associated with the Qadiriyyah order of Sufism.

Sourced

  • God bestows His Compassion upon all beings, always, and His Love and His Way is to bring lives together by pressing them together. God possesses a Love which spreads and intermingles with all lives. In the same way, among human beings there is also such a true Love, such a true, real feeling. When that Love is operating, when it is working, then it is God's work to take it and put it in its appropriate place. That is the Form of Love. That Love, that Divine Love, has brought us together as one.
    • Truth & Light: Brief Explanations (1974)
  • My beloved children, who are the pupils of my eye—Truth is silent. If Truth has dawned within you, then there will be no further speech. It is silence, and silence is the greatest Truth, the best question. If there is no Truth, then there will be a lot of talk and questions. One is good and the other is bad. If there is good within you, there will be no further noise within. But if you are full of bad, there will be so much of talk, speeches and questions. Therefore, seek the good. God does not make a noise. If you need anything, then you will have only to knock, and if you are tuned to that point, with the sound of that knock you will get an answer immediately. No noise, you don't have to make a sound. This is the Truth.
    • God, His Prophets, and His Children (1976)
  • To all those who say they believe in God, please realize with faith that God hears every word you say. God hears your every thought. Realizing this, speak only what is truth and act only with God's qualities of love, compassion, justice, patience, and the realization that each life is as important as your own.
    • Spoken on January 10, 1979
  • Each of us who came here with wisdom must learn from this school. Heaven does not come from building beautiful churches, mosques, and temples. Man must build his church, mosque, and temple within himself. The house of God must be built within. The place of worship must be seen within. The completeness of God must be built within the self. If man can understand his story and the story of God and then build a church within himself, that is victory.
    • The Wisdom of Man (1980)
  • Live with that faith that your body and your soul do not belong to you. Then God will share the suffering that comes to you. Place your trust in God all the time; in every moment say, “O God, this is Your property, Your duty.” One who was born as a man and has lived as a man will exist in this state. For whatever happens he will say with contentment and gratitude, “All praise belongs to God, al-hamdu lillah.” For what might come in the next moment, he will say, “It is Your responsibility, O Allah, tawakkul-‘alallah,” and praise Him.
  • O man, no matter what you have studied or how much you have studied, do not follow the ways of your mind with conceit in your learning. Ask a man of wisdom who is on the path and follow his directions. If you do not meet a man of wisdom, lay your heart open and ask even a tree or a wall. The power of God within your heart called conscience will caution you and guide you. It will say, "Go," or "Don't go," "Right," or "Wrong." If your heart is open, your conscience will provide useful fruit which will benefit your journey through life.
  • Son, you must not find fault with any of God's creations. You must realize that the center is within you. If you open your wisdom, stand in the center, and look intently at yourself, you will understand the point. Do not waste your time trying to analyze other people: if you look at others and try to figure out what they are like, everything will go wrong, because each person sees his own faults in others.
  • Within your heart in a space no bigger than an atom, God has placed the 18,000 universes, good and evil, and the wisdom to differentiate between them. That is your farmland. If you plow that land deep with your wisdom and sow God's qualities and actions with the knowledge of the difference between good and evil, you will receive the wealth of your soul, the bountiful harvest of undiminishing grace.
  • O man, no matter what you have studied or how much you have studied, do not follow the ways of your mind with conceit in your learning. Ask a man of wisdom who is on the path and follow his directions. If you do not meet a man of wisdom, lay your heart open and ask even a tree or a wall. The power of God within your heart called conscience will caution you and guide you. It will say, Go, or Don't go, Right, or Wrong. If your heart is open, your conscience will provide useful fruit which will benefit your journey through life.
  • You must place your faith in the one indestructible, imperishable God. To do this, you must stop depending on the kings, forces, and armies within you. When you give up all this and stand defenseless and alone, saying, O God, it is all Your will! The sheikh will stand by your side. It is only when you surrender to Allah that the sheikh, who is the explaining wisdom of the Qutbiyyat which guides you on the path of God, will come to stand by your side. 'Son' he will say, 'Now you are ready. Come, let us go'.
    • The Golden Words of a Sufi Sheikh (1980)
  • If you try, everything you strive for will come close to you, and you will reap the benefit. May God give you that help, that grace, that wisdom, and His qualities. May He do what is good. If you believe in Him, He will never let go of you. If you intend Him, He will come looking for you. If you call Him, He will call you. If you love Him, He will love you. If you search for Him, He will search for you. Know this. Amin. Amin.
  • If you have faith in that one treasure which is God, His truth, and the wealth of His grace, if you assume His good qualities and His actions, God will always be with you. Whether you feel happy or sad, in sickness or in health, in sunshine or in rain, His wealth will always be yours and will always give you peace, happiness, and comfort any time you need it. This is the only thing which can protect you and take care of you. Nothing else is of any use. You must, therefore, have faith in God, the One Treasure, who is always with you, who always takes care of you. He is your shade in the heat of the sun. He is an umbrella in the rain and the happiness in your sorrow. He is always there to help you in any situation.
  • Have good thoughts in your lives. Have good manners, be polite, and have good actions. Be good, have love, and be patient. Never think of harming others. Only think of helping people. Think that others should be made better and that you should be made better. That is how your heart should be. Always wish for good things for other people. If you do, then your life will never be ruined, and you will progress higher and higher, and your brothers and sisters will also become exalted. Please think about this. Amin. May God give you His grace.
  • Whenever you look, God is there. But is He a rock or a stone or a sun or a moon or a bone? No. His sound is there and His warnings are there. You can see Him. You can see His sound, His words, His speech. You can listen to the commandments given to the prophets, because they have not gone away. They are within us.
  • We have come here to learn about the creations, about God's secret, and about God's grace. We are the form of light. There are six kinds of lives and we are the form of light. We have come here to learn the sirr, the secret connection between ourselves and His power, to study our Father and the story of where we were before. Within this body, within this show, there is much we must learn. We have come here to learn, not to dance on this dramatic stage or to watch show after show. We have come here to open and look within everything and see our Father. Each thing that we enjoy or feel sorrow about must be opened, and we must see God within. That is the lesson we have come to learn.
  • Know the qualities in each one's heart and then serve him. But first, try to know your own heart. Only then can you understand the hearts of others. If you have that understanding, then whatever words you speak and whatever duty you perform will be true duty, God's everlasting duty. If you are in that state, the love you give to each one will be God's complete love. In every situation, perform your duty with this understanding.
    • My Love You, My Children: 101 Stories for Children of All Ages (1981)
  • The prayers you perform, the duties you do, the charity and love you give is equal to just one drop. But if you use that one drop, continue to do your duty, and keep digging within, then the spring of Allah's grace and His qualities will flow in abundance.
    • Sheikh and Disciple (1983)
  • Our house is God's house. If our state is correct, our heart (qalb) is God's house, God's kingdom, God's justice, love, compassion, and unity. Before this state of beautiful peace and unity comes, we need a place in which to meet, unite, understand, think, and reflect every minute and second, establishing relationships of unity and peace. Instead of wasting time in the world, we can go to this place five or six times a day to do prayers and worship. We can gather at God's house, focus on God, think about God, pray to God, and remember God. It is for this purpose that we are building this place.
    • Spoken on March 10, 1983
  • My children, Allah's greetings of peace and supplications, His salams and salawats, resonate there in that water of divine knowledge. There you will find His representatives, His prophets, His olis, qutbs, auliya' and all those who know Him. Every second, every minute, they are praying and resonating with that beauty of Allah. Whoever falls into this water of divine knowledge will keep changing, until the taste of Allah is within him and he becomes the beauty of Allah.
    • A Mystical Journey (1990)
  • Look at yourself. You came into this world, but what you have to realize is that you came from Him and you must return to Him. The light within you has to merge with that One Light. Then the dark show of life will disappear. My love you, my children. This is the most important thing to understand in life.
    • Come To The Secret Garden: Sufi Tales of Wisdom (1994)
  • The more you make yourselves humble and ask for forgiveness, the more your true exaltedness is seen. Humility is a sign of exaltedness. The preface of a spotlessly pure heart (Iman-Islam) is patience (sabur), contentment and gratitude (shakur), having trust in God (tawakkal), and praising Him for everything that happens to us, saying, “Al-hamdu lillah!” Therefore, without feeling shame, ask forgiveness whenever necessary. This will be good. Allah, the Lone One who rules and sustains (Allahu ta’ala Nayan), will protect you and me.
  • This is the only path on which we can proceed with ease. It is the path to the freedom of our soul. Therefore, may we protect ourselves and give love to others. May we protect others as we would protect ourselves, love our neighbors as ourselves, and make all mankind our relatives, our brothers and sisters. May we make everyone our loved ones and help them become those who trust in God. May we all go together on this path as the followers of God, as the representatives of God, as the children of the one Father.
    • To Die Before Death: The Sufi Way of Life (1997)
  • What has to die will die, and what has to remain will remain. Supposing you dig a well and the water dries up. Just because the well went dry, you cannot say that there is no water there. You cannot say that the spring is dead, for if you dig down one more foot, water will again spring up. If people will only dig a little deeper, they will find the water there. Of course, they can say, “There is no water in the well any more,” and go away. But those who have real thirst will dig a little deeper, and they will find water there. What is will always be. That which dies is dead and gone, but that which is will always be.
  • What we are slaves to will prevent us from praying to God. If we are slaves to all the thoughts we think, if we are slaves to everything our eyes see, if we are slaves to all the music our ears hear, if we are slaves to everything the nose smells and the tongue tastes, if we are slaves to everything the body wants, then how can we ever reach a state of peace? We can never know peace or tranquility this way. We have to escape from this slavery and become a slave only to God.
  • In God's kingdom there is no fighting. He rules over both kingdom of hell and the kingdom of heaven, giving each of His creations what is due to them, but taking no share for Himself. God is One. He proclaims, My religion is to recognize all lives as one’s own life, all religions as one’s own religion, all languages as one’s own language, all vision as one’s own vision. It is in this state that God conducts His kingdom. He has no partialities, no religious differences, and prejudices based on skin color, whether it be black, red, white, or yellow. In His kingdom, there is no fighting.
  • "The things that change are not our real life. Within us there is another body, another beauty. It belongs to that ray of light which never changes. We must discover how to mingle with it and become one with that unchanging thing. We must realize and understand this treasure of truth. That is why we have come to the world.
  • What we are slaves to will prevent us from praying to God. If we are slaves to all the thoughts we think, if we are slaves to everything our eyes see, if we are slaves to all the music our ears hear, if we are slaves to everything the nose smells and the tongue tastes, if we are slaves to everything the body wants, then how can we ever reach a state of peace? We can never know peace or tranquility this way. We have to escape from this slavery and become a slave only to God.
  • We should not hold on so strongly to those who are going to leave us some day anyway. We should not feel excessive attachment for them. We have to keep it in moderation. But there is One who will never leave us, One who will never perish. God will never leave us, not in the kingdom of heaven, nor in the kingdom of hell, nor in this world. And since judgment is in His hands, He is the only attachment we must have. If we hold on to only that one attachment, then we will have joy throughout our lives and even at the time of death. On Judgment Day we will know that joy, because we will be with Him.
    • Questions of Life Answers of Wisdom, Vol.1 (2001)
  • My loving children, my children who were created with God's beauty, my wise children, whatever difficulty you may have, do not ever leave His charge. Just as the prophets of God kept their faith firm and were tolerant in spite of the problems they had, no matter what difficulties you may experience, be tolerant, be forbearant and embrace all living things as your own life.
    • The Tree That Fell To The West: Autobiography of a Sufi (2003)
  • Here and in the hereafter, we must embrace all those who with absolute faith accept Allah in their hearts. We must pray to Allah in a state of unity, peacefulness, and truth, and then give greetings of peace to each brother. Standing face to face, our eyes looking directly into our brother's eyes, our hands clasping his hands, and our hearts embracing his heart with love, we must say, "May the peace of God be upon you." This is the unity and beauty of Islam, the beauty that Muhammad (Sal.) brought to the people. Wherever we go, our hearts must be in that state. Our prayers must be one-pointed, directed toward the same place, toward Allah, the One who is truth. If we can recite the praises of Allah and the Prophet, then look each other in the eye, give peaceful greetings, and embrace each other — if we can achieve that oneness of the heart with all lives, then we will be true believers.
  • To wage war within oneself is Islam; the real fight is an inner one. To dispel evil qualities, evil thoughts, and the differences that lead to separations is Islam. To wage war upon jealousy, envy, and vengeance is Islam. To cut out and discard the qualities of Satan and to fill ourselves with the qualities of Allah is Islam. To show a heart full of love to our brothers and sisters is the wealth of Islam.
  • Everything in this world changes; only God remains the same forever. If mankind will realize this truth, then we can avert disaster by coming together with faith in God and living in unity and compassion. Do not live divided. With compassion for each other, live in unity and truth, in the presence of God. Live according to justice and conscience, respecting the lives and bodies of all others as your own, and knowing the hunger and the suffering of others as your own. Have patience, contentment, trust in God, and live praising God at all times, and peace will be easy.
  • One who has not found peace within himself will forever be giving speeches about peace. This world is a pulpit upon which man preaches, and there is no end to this talk! For millions of years man has been speaking this way, but he has not come forward to first find peace within himself. There is no use in making speeches. Man must acquire the qualities of God and live in that state. Only then can he speak of peace, only then can he speak the speech of God and dispense the justice of God's kingdom.
  • People with wisdom know that it is important to correct their own mistakes, while people without wisdom find it necessary to point out the mistakes of others. People with strong faith know that it is important to clear their own hearts, while those with unsteady faith seek to find fault in the hearts and prayers of others. This becomes a habit in their lives. But those who pray to Allah with faith, determination, and certitude know that the most important thing in life is to surrender their hearts to Allah.
    • Islam and World Peace: Explanations of a Sufi (2004)
  • The real fast is the blossoming of the inner heart. Fragrance must emanate. The qualities, conduct, behavior, and disposition that accompany this blossoming make no sound. Light and fragrance must dawn in the inner heart. The one point which is God must resplend. Do fast, but make sure the heart blossoms; make it fragrant. The flowering scent must emanate, and when that space is perceived, the One who inhales that perfume will come. The One who perceives that fragrance will come. He is the Lord.
    • The Fast of Ramadan: The Inner Heart Blossoms (2005)
  • There is a Power, a Power that controls the moon, the stars and the sun. It is a Power that can burn all other powers. It is the Power that pervades each atom, all that is finite, all that is infinite, a Power that no one can see...It has no assistance. It is completely alone. Original.
    • The Point Where God and Man Meet (2006)
  • Always use positive words, and never use negative or evil words. Cultivate good thoughts, not bad thoughts. Make sure your intentions are constructive intentions. Never be jealous; be grateful. Be tolerant, peaceful, and honest instead of vengeful. Always be compassionate, never proud and arrogant. Praise God, because God is the Deserving One. You need these in your life. If you can teach yourself to follow these suggestions, you will have a very good life.
    • God's Psychology: A Sufi Explanation (2007)
  • Before we try to destroy someone else, we should first pass judgment on ourselves. Before finding fault with others, we must first pass judgment upon ourselves. Before we backbite others, we must first pass judgment upon our­ selves. Before we lie about others, we must first judge ourselves. Before we hurt the heart of another, we must first pass judgment on ourselves. Like that, we have to pass judgment on our thoughts and on all actions done by our eyes, ears, nose, hands, and mouth. The guilty ones are within our own body and mind. These are our qualities which exist in our actions. All these qualities exist within us, do they not? So we have to pass judgment on them. That is the state of Iman-Islam. That is what is called Islam. To first see the fault in yourself and then to pass judgment and correct yourself is true justice. Those who perform that justice are in the religion of truth. They are the leaders of the religion of truth. They are in the state of Iman-Islam. They are the true believers.
    • Benefit to All (undated)
  • Children of any religion who have true faith must realize that God is the only One who knows all of everything. Therefore, only God can judge whether a person has faith, certitude, and determination or not and whether a person lives with that purity that can be called Islam or not. No one else can give that judgment. Do not wave your religion like a banner and go out to capture others. Only one kind of war is permissible in the eyes of God: the war you wage within yourself to defeat the demonic forces of lust, anger, jealousy, desire for revenge, and other evil feelings and attributes that may exist within your heart. God has sent each of the prophets as witnesses to the grace of God and as supports to help us in this inner war. This is the reason for the Qur'an. It is to help the true Muslim fight this inner battle and win victory over his own base desires that God sent the Messenger with the Qur'an.
    • The True Meaning of Islam (undated)
  • There is One God. He created all beings, and He exists beyond the beyond of religions, beyond the separations of race, religion, and philosophies. He is beyond mind, desire, and physical vision. He is beyond the world, lust, torpor, and illusion. God resides in that spotlessly pure place known as the heart and sees and knows everything. He sees each and every heart and mind and understands all things.
    • God's Light Magazine, Vol. 1 #4 (undated)

About

  • We read his words and our heart opens. Suddenly we realize our home is with God.
    • Rabbi Zolman Schacter-Shalomi, Professor Emeritus, Temple University

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