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” Good architecture is to promote thankfulness” ~Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad
“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
“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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
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.
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
“Everything departs and doesn’t return except supplication: it travels higher seeking hope and returns with gifts beyond expectations” ~ Imam Afroz Ali
“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
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 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
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
“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 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.
My dear friend Taslim very recently wrote a piece on her excellent blog called: Four Words (which is well worth a read, in fact her whole blog is worth reading and bookmarking!). She ended the blog post with the following question:
“What four words would you choose?”
Although it was perhaps a rhetorical question, it did inspire me to think. What four words would I choose?
As Taslim mentioned in her blog post, words are powerful, and I fully agree with her in the sense that words do carry the power to affect us in a positive or negative way.
Towards the end of August, on a 5 hour train journey to a friend’s wedding in Glasgow, I reflected on words which impact me. I came up with many words which resonate with me, inspire me or perhaps describe my outlook on life. But since I could only choose “four”, I narrowed my selection down and wrote the four words which hold deep meaning, and impact me the most:
Prayer is a source of comfort. It strengthens belief.
Belief is a form of acceptance and submission, and it ignites hope.
Hope gives us courage and the strength to carry on moving forward. It encourages us to be positive and patient, and look forward to receiving that joy we pray, believe and hope for.
Joy is that feeling of pleasure, delight, triumph and gratitude, which leads us back to prayer, thanking our Creator for the blessing, because our belief and hope was in Him all along.
We pray to strengthen our belief, which then provides us with hope, and ultimately we are led to joy.
As you can see, the four words I chose are interconnected.
What four words would you choose?