Thursday, July 19, 2012

Don't go back to sleep.

I could not keep up with Ustadh Yahya Rhodus' sessions on the beautiful names of God based on Imam Al-Ghazali's (may God have mercy on him) book, and I thought to myself - I need to get the book so I could link my notes and thoughts to it. Then, I spontaneously browsed through some literature on my shelf, and guess what? I already have a copy and I got it years ago. Strange how it is - books sit on our shelves for years... we need them at random times, and often in those random moments when you decide to pick them and flip pages, the wisdom that unfolds in them is just what we need in that particular time. Books are like friends waiting to be acknowledged.

I need to continue reading the late Imam Al-Ghazali's works (Ihya Ulum ad-Din / The Revival of the Religious Sciences is considered his magnum opus and it contains 40 books). I read several pages of "Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife" a few years ago and it left great emotional and psychological impact on me that I had to stop reading. I think reading such books require so much energy - the reader has to do a lot of reflection, to sink deeply into his mind and soul... to stir his inner self and wake him up...

At this point, I remember Shaykh Hamza Yusuf's word's during yesterday's session - people generate meaningless thoughts everyday, and they're not really in a mindful state. We've to be "wakeful beings", he said. There's so much organised distraction that our minds are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Wakeful beings. It's hard to be awake, but I don't want to fall asleep.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

'Essential Rumi' by Coleman Barks

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