Photo taken in the sacred town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun in northern Morocco. Photographed by me (Armaan Siddiqi) during a recent trip!

Photo taken in the sacred town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun in northern Morocco. Photographed by Armaan Siddiqi during a recent trip using a digital camera. 

“O Beginninglessly Eternal! O Endlessly Everlasting! O Formlessly Manifest! O Apparently Hidden! Hear my call as You heard the call of Your servant, Zachary; grant me victory through You, for You; support me through You, for You; join me to You; come between myself and anything other than You…”

Excerpt from as-salat-al-mashishiyya, the sublime benediction upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), by the venerable Moroccan saint Abd al-Salam ibn Mashish–student of Sidi Abu Madyan and shaykh of Abul-Hasan al-Shadhili–may Allah sanctify their secrets. One scholar has written that in this prayer “the believer calls upon Allah to bless the Prophet as if to thank him for having received Islam through him.”

You can hear the full prayer here

“You must be patient.  Even if the pains of waiting and wishing and praying tire you, be patient. Even when long periods of time pass by and others are blessed with what they’ve been praying for while you still wait, be patient. For Allah does not waste the effort of the doers of good. He delays His response only to hear you call to Him more. Be patient. For what awaits you is sweeter than the bitterness of longing” 

Sunrise in Dubai. November 2014. Photo taken using an iPhone 6 by Sidra Mushtaq

Sunrise in Dubai. November 2014. Photo taken using an iPhone 6 by Sidra Mushtaq

” Good architecture is to promote thankfulness” ~Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad

The Dome of the Rock Mosque, Jerusalem, 2013. Photo taken with  A SLR by Sidra Mushtaq

The Dome of the Rock Mosque, Jerusalem, 2013. Photo taken with
A SLR by Sidra Mushtaq

“Remembrance is the cornerstone of the Path, the key to realisation, the weapon of the seeker, and the authentication of sainthood.” Habib Ahmad Mashur al-Haddad

Photo taken on Canon EOS 40D by Muhammad Atif   www.sacredfootsteps.org

Photo taken on Canon EOS 40D by Muhammad Atif http://www.sacredfootsteps.org

Altered reality…..

Photo taken using a Nikon D70s with Lightroom adjustments by Mas'ud Ahmed Khan. Instagram ID: masud.a.khan

Photo taken using a Nikon D70s with Lightroom adjustments by Mas’ud Ahmed Khan. Instagram ID: masud.a.khan

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

 

1st Bowl. Southend-on-End Photo taken using an iPhone 5s by: Ahqib Hussain. Instagram ID: iamclarkkent23

1st Bowl. Southend-on-End
Photo taken using an iPhone 5s by: Ahqib Hussain. Instagram ID: iamclarkkent23

Everything you see has its roots
in the Unseen world.
The forms may change,
yet the essence remains the same.

Every wondrous sight will vanish,
Every sweet word will fade.
But do not be disheartened,
The Source they come from is eternal –
Growing, branching out,
giving new life and new joy.

Why do you weep? –
That Source is within you,
And this whole world
is springing up from it.

The Source is full,
Its waters are ever-flowing;
Do not grieve,
drink your fill!
Don’t think it will ever run dry –
This is the endless Ocean.

From the moment you came into this world
A ladder was place in front of you
that you might escape.

From earth you became a plant,
from plant you became animal.
Afterwards you became a human being,
Endowed with knowledge, intellect, and faith.

Behold the body, born of dust-
How perfect it has become!

Why should you fear its end?
When were you ever made less by dying?

When you pass beyond this human form,
No doubt you will become an angel
And soar through the heavens!

But don’t stop there,
Even heavenly bodies grow old.

Pass again from the heavenly realm
and plunge into the vast ocean of Consciousness.
Le the drop of water that is you
become a hundred mighty seas.

But do not think that the drop alone
Becomes the Ocean –
the Ocean, too, becomes the drop!

~ Mevlana Rumi 

Autumn trees in England, UK. Photo taken using an iPhone by: Sidra Mushtaq

Autumn trees in England, UK. Photo taken using an iPhone by: Sidra Mushtaq

I’m not sure about you, but I am quite an avid “Instagrammer”. I love taking photos, although I am not a professional photographer!

Mevlana Rumi wrote:

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do”

I fully embrace what Mevlana wrote and use Instagram as an “iPhoto diary” (I am part of the iPhone tariqa you see!). I take photos as a way of capturing beauty, gaining inspiration and sharing stories with family, friends, work colleagues and people who I am closely acquainted with. My photos mainly consist of nature, my travels, some of the things I like, love and which inspire me. As the famous Chinese proverb goes: “one picture is worth ten thousand words”, and I completely agree with this.

God-willing, I am going to run an “Inspiration series” on this blog where I will share a photo everyday (or every other day) and the caption will either be a quote, famous saying, personal reflection, or a story. I might even get some of my Instagram friends to contribute as well!

Here is one to begin with.

"Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form" ~ Mevlana Rumi

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form” ~ Mevlana Rumi

image

Pause. Something which I have not been very good at in my life. But today is a new day to start a new habit.

Pause. Breathe. Reflect. Reframe. Hopefully this will help to regain focus, and bring us back into the “here and now”, or the “present” as you may call it.

May we learn and cultivate the art of being able to just pause.

“Misery is only for those without hope”~ Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Have Hope and remind others there is always Hope.

“Everything departs and doesn’t return except supplication: it travels higher seeking hope and returns with gifts beyond expectations” ~ Imam Afroz Ali

Hope. 

“As you struggle with whatever you’re struggling with, understand that the opening will come. The darkest part of the night is just before the dawn. Never despair, never lose hope, be patient, the opening will come, just as it came for the Prophet and for his community” ~ Imam Zaid Shakir

Hope. 

 We are people of hope. Our Prophet was a person of hope and never gave up despite everything he faced. Draw strength and courage by reflecting on how he coped with difficult situations. ~ Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Hope. 

“Hope is connected to Mercy. A believer has hope that no matter what happens, everything will be okay – because Allah is All-Merciful. It’s important to live with hope always. It is even possible to say, anyone with hope is a believer of some sort!” ~ Bosun Benyamin

Hope.

The only real assurance the heart craves us that there is hope, that there is meaning and there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is: Nur-as-Samawati wal ard, Light of the Heavens and Earth. ~ Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Hope.

“O my Lord, let not my hopes in You be cast back unfulfilled. Nor let my firm conviction (of Your Goodness) be thrown into disarray.” ~ (line 157), Qasida Burda by Imam Al- Busiri

Hope. 

Hope is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –

And sore must be the storm –

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chilliest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me

By Emily Dickinson 

We are people of Hope. 

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