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Friday, August 29, 2003  

On Silence (Samt) Part 2 of 2 Ibn Masud said, "Nothing is worthier of a stay in prison than the tongue." Ali bin Bukkar said, "God Most High made two doors for everything, but He made four doors for the tongue - the lips are two leaves of a door, and the two jaws are two leaves of a door." It is said that Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, for many years used to hold a stone in his mouth in order to limit his speech. It is said that Abu Hamzah al-Baghdadi was a fine orator. Then a voice from the unseen spoke to him and said, "You have spoken, and you have done it well. He is waiting for you to be silent and to do it well." He did not speak afterwards until he died which was more or less a week after this occurrence. Sometimes silence will come over a speaker because someone with greater right to speak is among those present. I heard Ibn Sammak say that Shah al-Kirmani and Yahya bin Muadh were friends. Although they lived in the same city, Shah would never attend Yahya's sessions. Asked about this, he would insist that it was the proper course. People continued to pursue him, however, until one day he went to the sessions. He sat on one side so that Yahya bin Muadh would not be aware of him. When Yahya began to speak, he fell silent. Then he said, "There is someone here who should speak before me," and he remained speechless. Shah said, "I told you that the right thing was for me not to come to his sessions." Sometimes silence falls upon a speaker for a reason having to do with those present; that is, because there is someone there who is not worthy to hear that discourse. In such a case, God Most High restrains the tongue of the speaker out of jealousy, to preserve that discourse from those to whom it does not belong. Sometimes the reason for silence affecting a speaker is that God Most High knows the state of a member of the audience to be such that, if he were to hear such a discourse, it would become a test for him. Either he might imagine that what he heard applied to his own case, while it did not, or the matter of the discourse might oblige him to take on something of which he was incapable. So God Almighty and Glorious has mercy upon him by protecting him from hearing that discourse, either to guard him or to hinder him from error. The shaykhs of this Way have said that sometimes the cause may lie in the presence of jinn who are not fit to hear, for the sessions of Sufis are not devoid of the presence of a congregation of jinn. I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq said, "One time I fell ill in Merv. I longed to return to Nishapur. I had a dream in which it seemed a voice was saying to me, 'It is not possible for you to leave this city, for a gathering of jinn is enjoying your discourse and is present at your sessions, so for their sake, remain here.'" A wise man said that the human being was created with only one tongue, but with two eyes and two ears so that he may hear and see more than he says. Ibrahim bin Adham was invited to a banquet. When he sat down, the guests began to gossip. He remarked, "It is our custom to eat the meat course after the bread, but you have begun by eating the meat!" (He was pointing to the saying of God, "Would one of you like to eat the dead flesh of his brother? No, you would abhor it" [59:12]). A Sufi said, "Silence is the tongue of forbearance." Another said, "Learn silence as you have learned speech. Speech will guide you, and silence will protect you." It is said, "The chastity of the tongue is its silence." And it is said, "The tongue is like a beast of prey. If you do not tie it up, it will attack you." Abu Hafs was asked, "Which is better for the Friend of God, speech or silence?" He replied, "If the one who speaks knew what disasters there are in speech, he would be silent even if he lived as long as Noah, and if the one who keeps silent knew what disasters there are in silence, he would pray to God Most High twice as much as Noah did until he could speak." It is said that the silence of ordinary people is of the tongue, the silence of the gnostics is of the heart, and the silence of the lovers is to protect the secrets of their inner selves. A Sufi was told, "Speak!" He said, "I don't have a tongue!" "Then listen!" "There is no place within me where I can listen!" One of the Sufis said, "I lived thirty years in which I did not hear my tongue except from my heart. Then I lived another thirty years in which I did not hear my heart except from my tongue." Another said, "Even if you silenced your tongue, you would not be saved from the talk of your heart. Even if you become old and dried up, you would not be purified from the chatter of your ego. Even if you strove with every effort, your soul would not speak to you, for it is the concealer of the inner secret." It is said, "The tongue of the ignorant is the key of his destruction." And it is said, "When the lover keeps silent, he perishes. When the gnostic keeps silent, he rules." I heard Muhammad bin al-Husayn say ... that Fudayl bin Iyad said, "Whoever counts his talk as part of his work will talk little except in what concerns him." -Imam Abu-l-Qasim al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism (Risalah Qushayriyyah)



posted by SuFiSTiC | 8/29/2003 06:39:00 AM |
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."
(Bukhari)
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
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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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