LEARNİNG FROM MAWLANA JALALUDDİN RUMİ
Rushing, adversely affects many a task; you must undertake what you wish to do slowly, but steadily. Do not forget that Allah enables a person to mature slowly, over a time span of forty years.
There are many affairs that are contingent upon time and Divine decree, which take shape not according to our haste, but in line with their own natural course. Failing to see this reality and impulsively rushing into something serves only to ruin it. For instance, it takes nine months for a child to be born into this world. Rushing for the birth to take place intolerably early and intervening to this end serves no other purpose than to harm and even destroy that child. The extent to which the fruit and vegetables grown non-seasonally with chemicals, pesticides and hormones threaten our health is also self-evident.
In short, the best course of action is always that realised with diligence. It is for this reason that the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, has stated: "Calmness and patient deliberation is from Allah whereas haste is from Satan."
Greed, or the ambition to acquire worldly blessings, forces a person to extend a hand to that they have no right to.
Greed and avarice towards the blessings of the world is the result of the peaking of the human ego. Those entering this path gain nothing save causing harm to both themselves and others.
Taste stems from hunger, not from tastefully prepared food. In hunger, even barley bread is sweeter than sugar.
The intensity of all desires is proportional to the appetite that forms the basis for their procurement. For instance, even the most valuable knowledge will become futile and even an encumbrance for a person who does not have the desire and enthusiasm to learn. That is, the value of a bounty and something of benefit becomes apparent with the need for that bounty or thing reaching a peak.
JUSTICE AND OPPRESSION
If a judge intends upon accepting a bribe, they cannot distinguish an oppressor from the oppressed.
Actions are judged according to intentions. Righteous deeds cannot manifest themselves when intention is corrupt. A straight line cannot emerge from a crooked ruler. The shadow of the crooked is also crooked.
LOVE AND SUFFERING
Just as justice cannot be realised without a witness, love cannot surface without pain and suffering.
Divine love requires sacrifice and is attained with the abandonment of fleeting, transient loves for its sake.
Human beings pay the greatest price and make the greatest sacrifice for their love, as everyone endures sacrifice for the one whom they love to the degree of their love. When love reaches perfection, sacrifice and its resultant suffering also reaches a pinnacle. Suffering and pain then become ease and pleasure.
A mountain bearing a few silver coins is that which is mined
In the same way that a tree that is to bear fruit must be prepared for the stones that will rain upon it, a person who aims to possess favourable qualities must be ready to endure the bitter and sweet things that these qualities will cause them to undergo. This is because some will travel about these qualities with good intention, in order to receive benefit from these, some bearing feelings of jealousy with a mind to destroy these and others still, to steal from them. It must not be forgotten that Satan too strives more against those with good deeds. Where has a thief robbing a thrift shop ever been seen! What excites his interest is the jewellery store.
The power of Allah is endless. Similarly, speaking of and praising Him is also without end or limit.
The quality and description of every being in existence is to the extent of their limitation. From this perspective, all beings are limited. Human beings included... However, due to His being eternal with every one of His attributes, praise and mention of Allah Almighty is also eternal. Notwithstanding how much he is praised and spoken of, He cannot be praised completely and as He deserves. That is to say, it is not possible to understand and explain the limitless with the limited. The key criterion at this point is Allah's name al-Subhan; that is, His being above and beyond all deficiencies, limitations and imperfections, His being the Owner of all the perfect and eternal Attributes, and His being absolutely beyond any human conception. In short, He is also free from and beyond being within the confines of our human description, representation or explanation.
REASON AND REFLECTION
O brother and sister! You must find life with tafakkur (reflection). Your body, with respect to its bone and blood, is the same as that of animals. If your reflection is a rose, you are in a garden of roses. If however, you think like a thorn, (if you are overcome by your carnal desires) you are fuel for the fire.
With respect to their body and carnal self, human beings are no different from other beings. That which distinguishes humans from other beings is their subtle contemplation, profundity of emotion and richness of feeling. When these qualities are used correctly and appropriately, they enable a person to develop spiritually and elevate them to a level higher than that of the angels. However, when a person loses these qualities through their being defeated by their carnal soul, they stumble to a rank lower than that of animals.
Reason is not for feeling subsequent regret and remorse, but to ponder and take precaution.
If reason is used in the way of carnality, the result is only regret and lamentation. However, reason has been bestowed to us not to cause a person to lament and cry in such a way, but to collect the pearls of truth on the straight path and take precaution against the intrigues of Satan. Consequently, its actual value is commensurate with its averting mistakes through calculating the end of every undertaking. In other words, reason is acceptable and valuable only to the extent of its being good sense and sound judgement.
Even a dog does not eat a bone or bread thrown its way without smelling it first.
Every task and behaviour must first be weighed with sound judgement. The failure of humankind to show the care that even a dog shows in this regard is the means for their losing their honour and integrity. It is for this reason that when someone was praised in his presence Allah's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, he used to ask, "How is their soundness of judgement?"
Reason is essential, but a person must possess enough reason to know that reason is limited.
A reason that does not know its limitations resembles a ship with a broken rudder, in the middle of the ocean. The direction in which it is to be dragged and the whirlpool in which it will vanish is unknown. In this respect, reason is more valid and useful to the extent that it is able to determine its boundaries. More precisely, reason only gains perfection and rank within the boundaries of revelation.
The rupture caused by foolishness and ignorance cannot be mended. O people of counsel, do not sow your seeds of wisdom rigidly therein!
Perception of wisdom is realised only by means of the harmony between a sound judgement and sound heart. It is therefore impossible for the senseless to discern wisdom. Attempting to teach them wisdom is a struggle in vain, like the raindrops falling in the desert or on hard rock and thus going to waste.
Be as silent as a book in the presence of an ignorant person
An ignorant person is deprived of awareness and perception. They are deaf and blind to the lofty truths explained to them. Even assuming an offending attitude, they can bring both themselves and others to the verge of destruction. Due to this, sometimes the best course of action is silence. 'Ali, may Allah be well pleased with him, therefore states:
"Do not insist on responding to a word spoken indecently, as one who utters it possesses many other such words with which they will again retort."
“Whatever you do, do not joke with an ignorant person. As their tongue is poisonous, they will injure your heart."
Showing us the sound path in the face of the ignorant, Allah Almighty states:
"The (true) servants of the All-Merciful are they who move on the earth gently and humbly, and when the ignorant, foolish ones address them (with insolence or vulgarity as befits their ignorance and foolishness), they response with (words of) peace, (without engaging in hostility with them)." (Furqan, 25:63.)
AFFLICTION, CURE AND PATIENCE
Affliction forever brings a person to maturity
Every kind of affliction causes its owner to gravitate to servanthood by enabling them to perceive their weakness and helplessness. It is owing to this that while bounties more often than not inflame carnal desires, trials and tribulations become a means to the reform of the carnal self through making it taste of weakness.
A rose's enduring its thorns made it beautiful in fragrance
In the same way that food cooks above fire and gains flavour thus, human beings acquire maturity and beauty of heart through patient endurance to the flames of trial and affliction. This is exactly like the rose's becoming the master of flowers through enduring its thorns. As the rose suffered its thorns, it sat upon the throne of sovereignty above them. The true accomplishment is to read and experience such currents and manifestations of Divine power in the universe.
Remedy seeks nothing in the world other than affliction
A righteous believer also resembles a remedy. Their most salient characteristic is their sharing the troubles and grief of all ill, destitute, lonely hearts wailing in sorrow, whether material or spiritual.
Most afflictions befall the Prophets, as reforming the immature and unrefined is an affliction in and of itself
Afflictions are of various kinds. The heaviest of these are the endless sufferings endured to guide the unrefined. As such a great burden is the obligatory mission of the Prophets first and foremost, the tribulations they faced outnumbered that experienced by other people. Following the Prophets, in patient endurance to these trials, are the righteous servants, scholars and then others.
Ustadh Osman Nuri TOPBASH
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