< Thoughts & Readings

Saturday, May 03, 2003  

The Story of Sheikh Sam’an Sam’an was once the first man of his time. Whatever praise can be expressed in rhyme Belonged to him: for fifty years this sheikh Kept Mecca’s holy place, and for his sake Four hundred pupils entered learning’s way. He mortified his body night and day, Knew theory, practice, mysteries of great age, And fifty times had made the Pilgrimage. He fasted, prayed, observed all sacred laws – Astonished saints and clerics thronged his doors. He split religious hairs in argument; His breath revived the sick and impotent. He knew the people’s hearts in joy and grief And was their living symbol of Belief. Though conscious of his credit in their sight, A strange dream troubled him, night after night; Mecca was left behind; he lived in Rome, The temple where he worshipped was his home, And to an idol he bowed down his head. “Alas!” he cried, when he awoke in dread, “Like Joseph I am in a well of need And have no notion when I shall be freed. But every man meets problems on the Way, And I shall conquer if I watch and pray. If I can shift this rock my path is clear; If not, then I must wait and suffer here.” Then suddenly he burst out: “It would seem That Rome could show the meaning of this dream; There I must go!” And off the old man strode; Four hundred followed him along the road. They left the Ka’abah for Rome’s boundaries, A gentle landscape of low hills and trees, Where, infinitely lovelier than the view, There sat a girl, a Christian girl who knew The secrets of her faith’s theology. A fairer child no man could hope to see – In beauty’s mansion she was like a sun That never set – indeed the spoils she won Were headed by the sun himself, whose face Was pale with jealousy and sour disgrace. The man about whose heart her ringlets curled Became a Christian and renounced the world; The man who saw her lips and knew defeat Embraced the earth before her bonny feet; And as the breeze passed through her musky hair The men of Rome watched wondering in despair. Her eyes spoke promises to those in love, Their fine brows arched coquettishly above – Those brows sent glancing messages that seemed To offer everything her lovers dreamed. The pupils of her eyes grew wide and smiled, And countless souls were glad to be beguiled; The face beneath her curls glowed like soft fire; Her honeyed lips provoked the world’s desire; But those who thought to feast there found her eyes Held pointed daggers to protect the prize, And since she kept her counsel no one knew – Despite the claims of some – what she would do. Her mouth was tiny as a needle’s eye, Her breath as quickening as Jesus’ sigh; Her chin was dimpled with a silver well In which a thousand drowning Josephs fell; A glistering jewel secured her hair in place, Which like a veil obscured her lovely face. The Christian turned, the dark veil was removed, A fire flashed through the old man’s joints – he loved! One hair converted hundreds; how could he Resist that idol’s face shown openly? He did not know himself; in sudden fire He knelt abjectly as the flames beat higher; In that sad instant all he had been fled And passion’s smoke obscured his heart and head. Love sacked his heart; the girl’s bewitching hair Twined round his faith impiety’s smooth snare. The sheikh exchanged religion’s wealth for shame, A hopeless heart submitted to love’s fame. “I have no faith,” he cried. “The heart I gave Is useless now; I am the Christian’s slave.” When his disciples saw him weeping there And understood the truth of the affair, They stared, confounded by his frantic grief, And strove to call him back to his belief. Their remonstrations fell on deafened ears; Advice has no effect when no one hears. In turn the sheikh’s disciples had their say; Love has no cure, and he could not obey. (When did a lover listen to advice? When did a nostrum cool love’s flames to ice?) Till evening came he could not move but gazed With stupefaction in his face, amazed. When gloomy twilight spread its darkening shrouds – Like blasphemy concealed by guilty clouds – His ardent heart gave out the only light, And love increased a hundredfold that night. He put aside the Self and selfish lust; In grief he smeared his locks with filth and dust And kept his haunted vigil, watched and wept, Lay trembling in love’s grip and never slept. “O Lord, when will this darkness end?” he cried, “Or is it that the heavenly sun has died? Those nights I passed in faith’s austerities Cannot compare with this night’s agonies; But like a candle now my flame burns high To weep all night and in the daylight die. Ambush and blood have been my lot this night; Who knows what torments day will bring to light? This fevered darkness and my wretched state Were made when I was made, and are my fate; The night continues and the hours delay – Perhaps the world has reached its Judgement Day; Perhaps the sun’s extinguished with my sighs, Or hides in shame from my beloved’s eyes. This long, dark night is like her flowing hair – The thought in absence comforts my despair, But love consumes me through this endless night – I yield to love, unequal to the fight. Where is there time enough to tell my grief? Where is the patience to regain belief? Where is the luck to waken me, or move Love’s idol to reciprocate my love? Where is the reason that could rescue me, Or by some trick prove my auxiliary? Where is the hand to pour dust on my head, Or lift me from the dust where I lie dead? Where is the foot that seeks the longed-for place? Where is the eye to show me her fair face? Where is the loved one to relieve my pain? Where is the guide to help me turn again? Where is the strength to utter my complaint? Where is the mind to counsel calm restraint? The loved one, reason, patience – all are gone And I remain to suffer love alone.” At this the fond disciples gathered round, Bewildered by his groans’ pathetic sound. “My sheikh,” urged one, “forget this evil sight; Rise, cleanse yourself according to our rite.” “In blood I cleanse myself,” the sheikh replied; “In blood, a hundred times, my life is dyed.” Another asked: “Where is your rosary?” He said: “I fling the beads away from me; The Christian’s belt is my sole sanctuary!” One urged him to repent; he said: “I do, Of all that I was, all that belonged thereto.” One counseled prayer; he said: “Where is her face That I may pray toward that blessed place?” Another cried: “Enough of this; you must Seek solitude and in repentant dust Bow down to God.” “I will,” replied the sheikh, “Bow down in dust, but for my idol’s sake.” And one reproached him: “Have you no regret For Islam and those rites you would forget?” He said: “No man repents past folly more; Why is it I was not in love before?” Another said: “A demon’s poisoned dart – Unknown to you – has pierced your trusting heart.” The sheikh said: “If a demon straight from hell Deceives me, I rejoice and wish her well.” One said: “Our noble sheikh has lost his way; Passion has led his wandering wits astray.” “True, I have lost the fame I once held dear,” Replied their sheikh, “and fraud as well, and fear.” One said: “You break our hearts with this disgrace.” He laughed: “The Christian’s heart will take their place.” One said: “Stay with old friends awhile, and come – We’ll seek the Ka’abah’s shade and journey home.” The sheikh replied: “A Christian monastery And not the Ka’abah’s shade suffices me.” One said: “Return to Mecca and repent!” He answered: “Leave me here, I am content.” One said: “You travel on hell’s road.” “This sigh Would shrivel seven hells.” Was his reply. One said: “In hope of heaven turn again.” He said: “Her face is heaven; I remain.” One said: “Before our God confess your shame.” He answered: “God Himself has lit this flame.” One said: “Stop vacillating now and fight; Defend the ways our faith proclaims as right.” He said: “Prepare your ears for blasphemy; An infidel does not prate piety.” Their words could not recall him to belief, And slowly they grew silent, sunk in grief. They watched; each felt the heart within him fail, Fearful of deeds Fate hid beneath her veil. At last white day displayed her golden shield; Black night declined his head, compelled to yield – The world lay drowned in sparkling light, and dawn Disclosed the sheikh, still wretched and forlorn, Disputing with stray dogs the place before His unattainable beloved’s door. There in the dust he knelt, till constant prayers Made him resemble one of her darks hairs; A patient month he waited day and night To glimpse the radiance of her beauty’s light. At last fatigue and sorrow made him ill – Her street became his bed and he lay still. When she perceived he would – and could – not move, She understood the fury of his love, But she pretended ignorance and said: “What is it, sheikh? Why is our street your bed? How can a Moslem sleep where Christians tread?” He answered her: “I have no need to speak; You know why I am wasted, pale and weak. Restore the heart you stole, or let me see Some glimmer in your heart of sympathy; In all your pride find some affection for The grey-haired, lovesick stranger at your door. Accept my love or kill me now – your breath Revives me or consigns me here to death. Your face and curls command my life; beware Of how the breeze displays your vagrant hair; The sight breeds fever in me, and your deep Hypnotic eyes induce love’s restless sleep. Love mists my eyes, love burns my heart – alone, Impatient and unloved, I weep and groan; See what a sack of sorrow I have sewn! I give my soul and all the world to burn, And endless tears are all I hope to earn. My eyes beheld your face, my heart despaired; What I have seen and suffered none have shared. My heart has turned to blood; how long must I Subsist on misery? You need not try To humble wretchedness, or kick the foe Who in the dust submissively bows low. It is my fortune to lament and wait – When, if, love answers me depends on Fate. My soul is ambushed here, and in your street Relives each night the anguish of defeat; Your threshold’s dust receives my prayers – I give As cheap as dust the soul by which I live. How long outside your door must I complain? Relent a moment and relieve my pain. You are the sun and I a shadow thrown By you – how then can I survive alone? Though pain has worn me to a shadow’s edge, Like sunlight I shall leap your window’s ledge; Let me come in and I shall secretly Bring seven heavens’ happiness with me. My soul is burnt to ash; my passion’s fire Destroys the world with unappeased desire. Love binds my feet and I cannot depart; Love holds the hand pressed hard against my heart. My fainting soul dissolves in deathly sighs – How long must you stay hidden from my eyes?” She laughed: “You shameless fool, take my advice – Prepare yourself for death and paradise! Forget flirtatious games, your breath is cold; Stop chasing love, remember you are old. It is a shroud you need, not me! How could You hope for wealth when you must beg for food?” He answered her: “Say what you will, but I In love’s unhappy torments live and die; To Love, both young and old are one – his dart Strikes with unequalled strength in every heart.” The girl replied: “There are four things you must Perform to show that you deserve my trust: Burn the Koran, drink wine, seel up Faith’s eye, Bow down to images.” And in reply The sheikh declared: “Wine I will drink with you; The rest are things that I could never do.” She said: “If you agree to my commands, To start with, you must wholly wash your hands Of Islam’s faith – the love which does not care To bend to love’s requests is empty air.” He yielded then: “I must and will obey; I’ll do whatever you are pleased to say. Your slave submits – lead me with ringlets twined As chains about my neck; I am resigned!” She smiled: “Come then and drink”, and he allowed Her to escort him to a hall (the crowd Of scholars followed, weeping and afraid) Where Christians banqueted, and there a maid Of matchless beauty passed the cup around. Love humbled our poor sheikh – without a sound He gave his heart into the Christian’s hands; His mind had fled, he bowed to her commands, And from those hands he took the proffered bowl; He drank, oblivion overwhelmed his soul. Wine mingled with his love – her laughter seemed To challenge him to take the bliss he dreamed. Passion flared up in him; again he drank, And slave-like at her feet contented sank – This sheikh who had the whole Koran by heart Felt wine spread through him and his faith depart; Whatever he had known deserted him, Wine conquered and his intellect grew dim; Wine sluiced away his conscience; she alone Lived in his heart, all other thoughts had flown. Now love grew violent as an angry sea, He watched her drink and moved instinctively – Half-fuddled with the wine – to touch her neck. But she drew back and held his hand in check, Deriding him: “What do you want, old man? Old hypocrite of love, who talks but can Do nothing else? To prove your love, declare That your religion is my rippling hair. Love’s more than childish games, if you agree – For love – to imitate my blasphemy You can embrace me here; if not, you may Take up your stick and hobble on your way.” The abject sheikh had sunk to such a state That he could not resist his wretched fate; Now ignorant of shame and unafraid, He heard the Christian’s wishes and obeyed – The old wine sidled through the old man’s veins And like a twisting compass turned his brains; Old wine, young love, a lover far too old, Her soft arms welcoming – could he be cold? Beside himself with love and drink he cried: “Command me now; whatever you decide I will perform. I spurned idolatry When sober, but your beauty is to me An idol for whose sake I’ll gladly burn My faith’s Koran.” “Now you begin to learn, Now you are mine, dear sheikh,” she said. “Sleep well, Sweet dreams; our ripening fruit begins to swell.” News spread among the Christians that this sheikh Had chosen their religion for love’s sake. They took him to a nearby monastery, Where he accepted their theology; He burnt his dervish cloak and set his face Against the faith and Mecca’s holy place – After so many years of true belief, A young girl brought this learned sheikh to grief. He said: “This dervish has been well betrayed; The agent was mere passion for a maid. I must obey her now – what I have done Is worse than any crime beneath the sun.” (How many leave the faith through wine! It is The mother of such evil vagaries.) “Whatever you required is done,” he said. “What more remains? I have bowed down my head In love’s idolatry, I have drunk wine; May no one pass through wretchedness like mine! Love ruins one like me, and black disgrace Now stares a once-loved dervish in the face. For fifty years I walked an open road While in my heart high seas of worship flowed; Love ambushed me and at its sudden stroke For Christian garments I gave up my cloak; The Ka’abah has become love’s secret sign, And homeless love interprets the Divine. Consider what, for your sake, I have done – Then tell me, when shall we two be as one? Hope for that moment justifies my pain; Have all my troubles been endured in vain?” The girl replied: “But you are poor, and I Cannot be cheaply won – the price is high; Bring gold, and silver too, you are innocent – Then I might pity your predicament; But you have neither, therefore go – and take A beggar’s alms from me; be off, old sheikh! Be on your travels like the sun – alone; Be manly now and patient, do not groan!” “A fine interpretation of your vow,” The sheikh replied; “my love, look at me now – I have no one but you; your cypress gait, Your silver form, decide my wretched fate. Take back your cruel commands; each moment you Confuse me by demanding something new. I have endured your absence, promptly done All you have asked – what profit have I won? I’ve passed beyond loss, profit, Islam, crime, For how much longer must I bide my time? Is this what we agreed? My friends have gone, Despising me, and I am here alone. They follow one way, you another – I Stand witless here uncertain where to fly; I know without you heaven would be hell, Hell heaven with you; more I cannot tell.” At last his protestations moved her heart. “You are too poor to play the bridegroom’s part,” She said, “but be my swineherd for a year And then we’ll stay together, never fear.” The sheikh did not refuse – a fractious way Estranges love; he hurried to obey. This reverend sheikh kept swine – but who does not Keep something swinish in his nature’s plot? Do not imagine only he could fall; This hidden danger lurks within us all, Rearing its bestial head when we begin To tread salvation’s path – if you think sin Has no place in your nature, you can stay Content at home; you are excused the Way. But if you start our journey you will find That countless swine and idols tease the mind – Destroy these hindrances to love or you Must suffer that disgrace the sad sheikh knew. Despair unmanned his friends; they saw his plight And turned in helpless horror from the sight – The dust of grief anointed each bowed head; But one approached the hapless man and said: “We leave for Mecca now, O weak-willed sheikh; Is there some message you would have us take? Or should we all turn Christians and embrace This faith men call a blasphemous disgrace? We get no pleasure from the thought of you Left here alone – shall we be Christians too? Or since we cannot bear your state should we, Deserting you, incontinently flee; Forget that you exist and live in prayer Beside the Ka’abah’s stone without a care?” The sheikh replied: “What grief has filled my heart! Go where you please – but quickly, now, depart; Only the Christian keeps my soul alive, And I shall stay with her while I survive. Though you are wise your wisdom cannot know The wild frustrations through which lovers go. If for one moment you could share my pain, We could be old companions once again. But now go back, dear friends; if anyone Asks after me explain what I have done – Say that my eyes swim blood, that parched I wait Trapped in the gullet of a monstrous fate. Say Islam’s elder has outsinned the whole Of heathen blasphemy, that self-control Slipped from him when he saw the Christian’s hair, That faith was conquered by insane despair. Should anyone reproach my actions, say That countless others have pursued this Way, This endless Way where no one is secure, Where danger waits and issues are unsure.” He turned from them; a swineherd sought his swine. His friends wept vehemently – their sheikh’s decline Seemed death to them. Sadly they journeyed home, Resigning their apostate sheikh to Rome. They skulked in corners, shameful and afraid. A close companion of the sheikh had stayed In Mecca while the group had journeyed west – A man of wisdom, fit for any test, Who, seeing now the vacant oratory Where once his friend had worshipped faithfully, Asked after their lost sheikh. In tears then they Described what had occurred along the way; How he had bound his fortunes to her hair, And blocked the path of faith with love’s despair; How curls usurped belief and how his cloak Had been consumed in passion’s blackening smoke; How he’d become a swineherd, how the four Acts contrary to all Islamic law Had been performed by him, how this great sheikh Lived like a pagan for his lover’s sake. Amazement seized the friend – his face grew pale, He wept and felt the heart within him fail. “O criminals!” he cried. “O frailer than Weak women in your faith – when does a man Need faithful friends but in adversity? You should be there, not prattling here to me. Is this devoted love? Shame on you all, Fair-weather friends who run when great men fall. He put on Christian garments – so should you; He took their faith – what else had you to do? This was no friendship, to forsake your friend, To promise your support and at the end Abandon him – this was sheer treachery. Friend follows friend to hell and blasphemy – When sorrows come a man’s true friends are found; In times of joy ten thousand gather round. Our sheikh is savaged by some shark – you race To separate yourselves from his disgrace. Love’s built on readiness to share love’s shame; Such self-regarding love usurps love’s name.” “Repeatedly we told him all you say,” They cried. “We were companions of the Way, Sworn to a common happiness or grief; We should exchange the honours of belief For odium and scorn; we should accept The Christian cult our sheikh could not reject. But he insisted that we leave – our love Seemed pointless then; he ordered us to move. At his express command we journeyed here To tell his story plainly, without fear.” He answered them: “However hard the fight, You should have fought for what was clearly right. Truth struggled there with error; when you went You only worsened his predicament. You have abandoned him; how could you dare To enter Mecca’s uncorrupted air?” They heard his speech; not one would raise his head. And then, “There is no point in shame,” he said. “What’s done is done; we must act justly now, Bury this sin, seek out the sheikh and bow Before him once again.” They left their home And made their way a second time to Rome; They prayed a hundred thousand prayers – at times With hope, at times disheartened by their crimes. They neither ate nor slept but kept their gaze Unswerving throughout forty nights and days. Their wailing lamentations filled the sky, Moving the green-robed angels ranked on high To clothe themselves with black, and in the end The leader of the group, the sheikh’s true friend, His heart consumed by sympathetic grief Let loose the well-aimed arrows of belief. For forty nights he had prayed privately, Rapt in devotion’s holy ecstasy – At dawn there came a musk-diffusing breeze, And in his heart he knew all mysteries. He saw the Prophet, lovely as the moon, Whose face, Truth’s shadow, was the sun at noon, Whose hair in two black heavy braids was curled – Each hair, a hundred times, outpriced the world. As he approached with his unruffled pace, A smile of haunting beauty lit his face. The sheikh’s friend rose and said: “God’s Messenger, Vouchsafe your help. Our sheikh has wandered far; You are our Guide; guide him to Truth again.” The Prophet answered: “I have loosed the chain Which bound your sheikh – your prayer is answered, go. Thick clouds of dust have been allowed to blow Between his sight and Truth – those clouds have gone; I did not leave him to endure alone. I sprinkled on the fortunes of your sheikh A cleansing dew for intercession’s sake – The dust is laid; sin disappeared before His new-made vow. A world of sin, be sure, Shall with contrition’s spittle be made pure. The sea of righteousness drowns in its waves The sins of those sincere repentance saves.” With grateful happiness the friend cried out; The heavens echoed his triumphant shout. He told the good news to the group; again They set out eagerly across the plain. Weeping they ran to where the swineherd-sheikh, Now cured of his unnatural mistake, Had cast aside his Christian clothes, the bell, The belt, the cap, freed from the strange faith’s spell. Seeing his friends approach his hiding-place, He saw how he had forfeited God’s grace; He ripped his clothes in frenzies of distress; He grovelled in the dust with wretchedness. Tears flowed like rain; he longed for death; his sighs’ Great heat consumed the curtain of the skies; Grief dried the blood within him when he saw How he had lost all knowledge of God’s law; All he had once abandoned now returned And he escaped the hell in which he’d burned. He came back to himself, and on his knees Wept bitterly for past iniquities. When his disciples saw him weeping there, Bathed in shame’s sweat, they reeled between despair And joy – bewildered they drew near and sighed; From gratitude they gladly would have died. They said: “The mist has fled that hid your sun; Faith has returned and blasphemy is gone; Truth has defeated Rome’s idolatry; Grace has surged onward like a mighty sea. The Prophet interceded for your soul; The world sends up its thanks from pole to pole. Why should you mourn? You should thank God instead That out of darkness you’ve been safely led; God who can turn the day to darkest night Can turn black sin to pure repentant light – He kindles a repentant spark, the flame Burns all our sins and all sin’s burning shame.” I will be brief: the sheikh was purified According to the faith; his old self died – He put the dervish cloak on as before. The group set out for Mecca’s gates once more. And then the Christian girl whom he had loved Dreamed in her sleep; a shaft of sunlight moved Before her eyes, and from the dazzling ray A voice said: “Rise, follow your lost sheikh’s way; Accept his faith, beneath his feet be dust; You tricked him once, be pure to him and just, And, as he took your path without pretence, Take his path now in truth and innocence. Follow his lead; you once led him astray – Be his companion as he points the Way; You were a robber preying on the road Where you should seek to share the traveller’s load. Wake now, emerge from superstition’s night.” She woke, and in her heart a steady light Beat like the sun, and an unwonted pain Throbbed there, a longing she could not restrain; Desire flared up in her; she felt her soul Slip gently from the intellect’s control. As yet she did not know what seed was sown – She had no friend and found herself alone In an uncharted world; no tongue can tell What then she saw – her pride and triumph fell Like rain from her; with an unearthly shout She tore the garments from her back, ran out And heaped the dust of mourning on her head. Her frame was weak, the heart within her bled, But she began the journey to her sheikh, And like a cloud that seems about to break And shed its downpour of torrential rain (The heart’s rich blood) she ran across the plain. But soon the desert’s endless vacancy Bewildered her; wild with uncertainty, She wept and pressed her face against the sand. “O God,” she cried, “extend your saving hand To one who is an outcast of the earth, To one who tricked a saint of unmatched worth – Do not abandon me; my evil crime Was perpetrated in a thoughtless time; I did not know what I know now – accept The prayers of one who ignorantly slept.” The sheikh’s heart spoke: “The Christian is no more; The girl you loved knocks at religion’s door – It is our way she follows now; go back And be the comforter her sorrows lack.” Like wind he ran, and his disciples cried: “Has your repentant vow so quickly died? Will you slip back, a shameless reprobate?” But when the sheikh explained the girl’s sad state, Compassion moved their hearts and they agreed To search for her and serve her every need. They found her with hair draggled in the dirt, Prone on the earth as if a corpse, her skirt Torn from her limbs, barefoot, her face death-pale. She saw the sheikh and felt her last strength fail; She fainted at his feet, and as she slept The sheikh hung over her dear face and wept. She woke, and seeing tears like rain in spring Knew he’d kept faith with her through everything. She knelt before him, took his hands and said “The shame I brought on your respected head Burns me with shame; how long must I remain Behind this veil of ignorance? Make plain The mysteries of Islam to me here, And I shall tread its highway without fear.” The sheikh spelt out the faith to her; the crowd Of gratified disciples cried aloud, Weeping to see the lovely child embrace The search for Truth. Then, as her comely face Bent to his words, her heart began to feel An inexpressible and troubling zeal; Slowly she felt the pall of grief descend, Knowing herself still absent from the Friend. “Dear sheikh,” she said, “I cannot bear such pain; Absence undoes me and my spirits wane. I go from this unhappy world; farewell World’s sheikh and mine – further I cannot tell, Exhaustion weakens me; O sheikh, forgive…” And saying this the dear child ceased to live. The sun was hidden by a mist – her flesh Yielded the sweet soul from its weakening mesh. She was a drop returned to Truth’s great sea; She left this world, and so, like wind, must we. Whoever knows love’s path is soon aware That stories such as this are far from rare. All things are possible, and you may meet Despair, forgiveness, certainty, deceit. The Self ignores the secrets of the Way, The mysteries no mortal speech can say; Assurance whispers in the heart’s dark core, Not in the muddied Self – a bitter war Must rage between these two. Turn now and mourn That your existence is so deeply torn!’ -Shaykh Fariduddin 'Attar, The Conference of The Birds (Mantiq at-Tair)

posted by SuFiSTiC | 5/03/2003 04:25:00 PM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
Md Mubaraq
Md Firdaus

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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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