Layla and Majnun and the Soul’s Longing for the Real

In this beautiful miniature painting that illustrates a scene from Nizami’s telling of the folk story of Layla and Majnun we see Majnun in the wilderness longing for his beloved Layla who he is forbidden from seeing. With time however, he begins to see Layla in all things. This story of lovers serves as a wonderful metaphor for the soul and its longing for the Lord, the One Beloved in which all are united. The Names of Allah can be seen manifested through all creation and the sufi seeks to be constantly aware of this in the same way that Majnun sees Layla everywhere in the wilderness. Sometimes when this world appears to be a wilderness I try to remember that “All things pass except the Face of God”. It helps to remember and what better way is there than to do dhikr (or zikr), simply remembering all the time that we are all contained within the Mercy and Compassion of the One.

To read more on Layla and Majnun see this post here

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Unveiling the Garden of Love

Two well loved stories of love from the Sufi and the Hindu traditions where both serve as metaphors for the love of the Beloved
clipped from astore.amazon.com

Unveiling the Garden of Love: Mystical Symbolism in Layla Majnun & Gita Govinda (Perennial Philosophy)Discover the common ground shared between Islamic Sufism and Hindu Bhaktism through their literary expressions. This book examines two classic love poems-The Story of Layla Majnun (written by Nezami in the Sufi tradition) and Gita Govinda (written by Jayadeva in the Hindu tradition)-and finds common experiences of love shared between these seemingly disparate cultures.
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Muslims Praying in a Virginia Synagogue

Just found this piece of very heartening news. Alhamdulillah!
clipped from www.dawn.com

RESTON: On Friday afternoons, the people coming to pray at this building take off their shoes, unfurl rugs to kneel on and pray in Arabic. The ones that come Friday evenings put on yarmulkes, light candles and pray in Hebrew.

The building is a synagogue on a tree-lined street in suburban Virginia, but for the past few weeks — during the Muslim holy month of Ramazan — it has also been doubling daily as a mosque. Synagogue members suggested their building after hearing the Muslim congregation was looking to rent a place for overflow crowds.
Both groups say the relationship won’t be over when Ramazan ends in North America over the weekend. The rabbi and imam are talking about possibly even making a joint trip to the Middle East, and Friday prayers will still be held at the synagogue.
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The Secret Heart

Image via Wikipedia

I recently put this in my Facebook notes and then thought that readers here might also enjoy it. Just a few thoughts on the experience of the dissolution of the nafs (ego matrix) that is the aim of the Sufi path.

The soul dwells amidst the utmost silence of total awe and the secret heart expands in space, knowing itself, knowing the Beloved. All is abandoned. Entirely. In savage nakedness veils are torn and slip noiselessly back into the created universe. Light pierces this being and excises every remaining trace of space and time. Stars, galaxies, universes are but sparkling jewels set in the dark mystery of the Unmanifest.

‘I was a hidden Treasure and desired to be known; therefore I created that I might be known’ (Hadith Qudsi)

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From the Fusus al-Hikam of Ibn ‘Arabi

La mosquée tombeau d'Ibn Arabi
Image by Ghaylam via Flickr

It is He who is revealed in every face, sought in every sign, gazed upon by every eye, worshipped in every object of worship, and pursued in the unseen and the visible. Not a single one of His creatures can fail to find Him in its primordial and original nature.

Ibn ‘Arabi, Fusus al-Hikam

The photo on the right is of the mosque which contains the tomb of Ibn ‘Arabi.

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