Every once in a while, by His will, Allah gives us a glimpse behind “The veil”. This “veil” is really just the product of our complete inability to comprehend Allah as He is. Sometimes it seems these come as a result of fasting and endless prayer, dhikr, etc. Other times it seems they just come, but in any case all success is from Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala.
I had one of these moments earlier, on my way home from Amscot. Pondering over the fact that the bank had to hold my money until tomorrow morning and I can’t afford to do laundry today I found myself correcting my poor attitude. The thing is, I told myself, this life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it..it’s all perception. At least I have money in the bank, and was able to take out enough to pay the rent, and at least I have clothes to wash. At this point my attitude improved immediately. I know, you might be thinking,”This is it? This is his epiphany?” No..but this is the thought process that lead to the epiphany.
Pondering on the power of perception I realized that that’s all there is, perception and Allah. We don’t live in this world as it is. The world is separate from our perception of it, yet all we know is our perception so as far as practicality is concerned the world “as is” for all intensive purposes does not actually exist. We change everything in this world with our perception, and so 10 people could look at the same object or situation and come away with 10 different understandings and experiences. Reality is subjective. Think back to Aristotle’s Theory of Forms, or the Buddha’s statement that the world is as we think it to be.
As for Allah Al Azim, He is completely above and outside of our perception. He is independent of it. This is why He is Al Haqq, The Reality. In fact, He is the ONLY Reality. He is unchanged, He is Himself regardless of how we perceive Him, or whether we even perceive Him in the first place.
Even we ourselves change according to our perception, so how can we be any more real than our thoughts and emotions and mental constructs? Allah SWT exists outside of concepts and constructs, we could never explain Him in such a way as to fit our mind because our mind is subjective and relative, and Allah SWT is completely unlike anything.
Allah is the one thing we cannot affect or change with our perception, whatsoever. If anyone thinks they have an understanding of the Almighty other than what He is in the way He has revealed Himself, indeed they would be lost. He is only one as He is, our mind does not change Him. And yet, that being said, if Allah sees to it to change us we are altogether powerless to resist Him. If we are in ignorance and Allah wills it that we should come to know Him, it is so and no one or nothing can change or stop it. Similarly, if He wills us to be astray we have no hope but Him to save us from our ignorance.
This is what brings me to a deeper understanding of Tawhid, the Oneness and Unity of Allah Al Zawajal. It could almost be said that with all of our changing attitudes, emotions and concepts, times the billions of people in the world today, there are just as many universes as perceptions, if we indeed see each perception as a different world. However, regardless of how many perceptions and dimensions our mind leads us into, Allah SWT is One. He does not change or divide for the sake of our perception. His vastness is such that He is beyond all of our states of being and understanding.
Even with this note, no one will read this and come away with the same understanding. Even the same person could read this and each time probably come away with something new, depending on their perception at that time. Allah is One, Allah is the Real, either we understand it or we don’t. Our perception will not change that, and that’s why when one develops a relationship with Allah it could never be put into words. Words, concepts and images reduce the true nature of a thing. Perception takes something out of its nature and brings it into a world of form and duality, and therefore it is a knowledge of the heart (qalb), not of the mind.
This is why Islam rejects images and idols, because a concept or image of God is not The Reality, The Reality transcends all of these.
72:2 “It shows the way to Enlightenment, so we have come to believe in it. And we shall never again ascribe a partner unto our Lord.”
May this note benefit you, inshallah. May we all gain knowledge and hidayah, and may our striving and the Rahmah of Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala join us among the righteous and admit us to Paradise. Ameen.
How can I describe the color of light to a blind man? The eyes improving slightly, some run recklessly to the reflection on the glass, slapping the exterior like moths burning to feel the warmth. The light itself so far hidden within the center of the flame, we seek and yet settle for what is seen only by the eyes. The heart can see what the eyes cannot, empty yourself and see life for the first time.
My true name is Nothing, my enemy tells me otherwise. Depriving myself with hunger is the only true food, My body starves to nourish the spirit. Two loves cannot live in the same heart, I am shamed by my infidelity. Striving to lower my gaze, I am taken with an ocean of forms that are other than my Beloved. Every moment I steal leads me further away, further and further until I am imprisoned by I and Me.
I spread out my mat, in hopes that my Love will notice my longing, acknowledging my calls with a moment of forgetfulness. Forgetfulness of everything I know, everything I hold to be “real”. There is only one Reality. May I follow my namesake, and destroy the idols within my soul.
I took this from the brother Abdur Rahim’s blog, may Allah reward him.
It’s a habit of yours to walk slowly.
You hold a grudge for years.
With such heaviness, how can you be modest?
With such attachments, do you expect to arrive anywhere?
Be wide as the air to learn a secret.
Right now you’re equal portions clay
and water, thick mud.
Abraham learned how the sun and moon and the stars all set.
He said, No longer will I try to assign partners for God.
You are so weak. Give up to Grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave
till it gets to the shore.
You need more help than you know.
You’re trying to live your life in open scaffolding.
Say Bismillah, In the Name of God,
as the priest does with a knife when he offers an animal.
Bismillah your old self
to find your real name.
-Mevlana Jalaludin Rumi
And while you read those last four lines, ponder this ayat:
[Kausar 108:2] “So offer the prayers for your Lord, and perform the sacrifice.”
May Allah bless you and keep you, ameen.
The highest pleasure in cloth excrement of worms–- silk.
The highest pleasure in smell is the mucus of a gazelles–- musk.
The highest pleasure in drink is the most abundant thing in the world–- water.
The highest pleasure in pleasure is the meeting of the two urinary tracks–- sexual intercourse.
Upon waking: “Alhumdulillahil lazi Ahyana Ba’da ma Amatana Wa Ilaihin-nushur” (All praises due to Allah, who revived us to life after giving us death, and to Him we shall have to return)
“Alhumdulillahi Rabil ‘alamin” (All praise due to Allah, Lord of the worlds)
Also before bed, after witr prayer:
Zikr ul-Fatima (Subhanallah, Alhumdulillah, Allah hu akbar) x33
“Allahuma bismika amuta wa ahya” (Oh Allah, with your name I die and I live)
“Bismillahil lazi la ilaha illa huwa” (In the name of Allah, there is no god except Him)
“Allahuma Anta hassanta khalqi fa-hassin khuluqi” (Oh Allah, you have made my physical shape beautiful, so beautify my character too)
“Allahuma a’inni ‘ala zikrika wa shukrika wa husni ibadatika” (Oh Allah, help me at your rememberance, thanks, and good worship)
“Bismillahi a’uzu billahi wa qudratihi min sharri ma ajidu wa uhaziru” (In the name of Allah, I seek refuge with Allah and with His power from every evil that I may find or the fear of which ever haunts me)
“Ya Rabbi lakal hamdu kama yanbaghili jalali wajhika wa’azimi sultanika” (Oh my Lord, all praises be to You as it should be due to your Might and the Greatness of your Power)
“Rabbigh-firli waliwali dayya walil mu’minina yauma yaqumul-hisabu Rabbir hamhuma kama rabbayani saghiran” (Oh my Lord, forgive me, my parents, and Muslims in the hereafter. Oh Lord, show mercy on them as they have nourished me when I was young)
Rabbana ( “Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil ‘akhirati hasanatan waqina ‘adhaban-nar.”
“Our Lord! grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire.” (2:201) )
Ayatul Kursi (2:255)
Durud Sharif (sending prayers to Prophet Muhammad saws and Prophet Ibrahim as)