The experience of Prophet Yunus (pbuh) is so crucial to internalize. When he was trapped in the belly of the whale, he had only one way out: turning completely to Allah, realizing Allah’s oneness and his own human frailty. His duaa encapsulates this truth in such a profound way: “There is no God but You, glory be to You, I was wrong.” (Quran 21:87)
Many of us are also trapped inside the belly of a whale. Not a whale of the sea. It is the whale of our own desires and objects of worship. It is our own selves which we become enslaved to. And that imprisonment is the result of putting anything where only God should be in our hearts. In so doing we create the worst and most painful of prisons; because while a wordly prison can only take away what is temporary and inherently imperfect, this spiritual prison takes away what is ultimate, unending and perfect: Allah and our relationship to Him.
“Indeed Allāh has a wine for His friends, which if they drink, they get intoxicated, and when they get intoxicated, they get overjoyed, and when they get overjoyed they get pleasant, and when they get pleasant, they melt down, and when they melt down, they get pure, and when they get pure, they seek, and when they seek, they find, and when they find they reach, and when they reach, they unite, and when they unite there is no difference between them and their lover.”—Imam Ali (as)
“Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving — it doesn’t matter,
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times,
Come, come again, come.”—Rumi
“Many have been led astray by the Qur’an:
by clinging to that rope many have fallen into the well.
There is no fault in the rope, O perverse man,
for it was you who had no desire to reach the top.”— Rumi
“Once upon a time we were fish swimming in the ocean, unaware of the water & ourselves. The ocean wanted to be recognized, so it threw us up on dry land. We flip after this, we flop after that, pursuing an ever more elusive happiness. Is the ocean tormenting us? Well, yes. It put us here. But, the more we burn, the more… intensely we will love the ocean’s beauty when it calls us back.”—Rumi on our relationship with God
“The best way to remove the love of this world from the heart is to think that if it was a good thing, then Allah would not have deprived His Prophets and ‘Walis’ of it.”—Usul-e-kafi 2, p. 315 (via ashiqaimmah)
“These people seek relief in this world while We have not created relief and comfort in this world. And where We have created these things, they are not searching there.”—Hadith al-Qudsi (via ashiqaimmah)
“Meditation in God is my capital.
Reason and sound logic are the root of my existence.
Love is the foundation of my existence.
Enthusiasm is the vehicle of my life.
Contemplation of Allah is my companion.
Faith is the source of my power.
Sorrow is my friend.
Knowledge is my weapon.
Patience is my clothing and virtue.
Submission to the Divine Will is my pride.
Truth is my salvation.
Worship is my habit.
And in prayer lies the coolness of my eye and my peace of mind.”—Imam Ali (as) (via ashiqaimmah)
“Do you disobey God and pretend you love Him? This is amazing. If you were true you would have obeyed Him, for the lover is submissive before the one whom he loves.”—Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) (via ashiqaimmah)
“My Fridays, stressed and quiet, I burst to tears. Trust me, I am tired For me this world is a cage. For a lifetime I complain for my heart is hurt from separation.The hidden who is always present, O where are you?”—
“Ayatullah Bahjat (R.A): “Place a cotton ball in your ear so that what you hear stays in your ear for a while so it doesn’t escape.”
That’s our problem what we hear from the Ahlul Bait keeps escaping our ears.”—
“If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.”— Vincent van Gogh
“… is to dream that you will live while you are alive and die only when you are dead.
To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.”—Arundhati Roy
“Rumi quotes the parable of a man who was constantly in communion with God and kept on repeating the divine name. Satan came to him once and tempted him in such a manner that he stopped his invocations henceforth. One day, Satan came to the man again and said: “With all your repetition of the name of God and your wakefulness at dawn for devotion and your longing, did you ever hear once from Him saying: “Here am I?” If you had gone to any other door and groaned so much, you would have received a response at least once.” This remark appeared logical to the man, so he kept silent. In a dream, an invisible voice asked him as to why he had abandoned his communion. He answered that despite all his longing and pain of love, he had never received an answer. The voice said: “I am sent by God to give you an answer. The pain of love that He has put in your heart is the response.”—Shaheed Mutahhari
We, as a society, are doing ourselves a great injustice and endangering future generations to come because of the ideas with which we are raising our daughters. It is unfortunate, but most of our girls are of the mindset that “we’re just wasting time until we get married”. The way we have set-up our society, majority of our girls are growing up with the idea that their worth and identity is defined solely by the man they end up marrying. Most of our girls are of the impression that they’re competing with Hollywood’s ideals of what a woman should be (as far as beauty is concerned). Most of our girls are very immodest with their dressing, or remove their hijab, or don’t observe it to begin with because they think they cannot attract a potential husband otherwise. For a lot of our sisters, their main goal is to find a man and get married. Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get married, but to think that that’s the whole purpose of your female existence? And then we ask why our sisters lack confidence?
[addressing the brothers] If you guys really want to help the sisters with their shaky confidence with being modest, yet strong Muslim women, then prove it! The day our Muslim brothers start marrying girls more for their modesty and less for the way they look, that’s the day when our Muslim sisters will start being more concerned with their modesty than with their looks. Brothers, don’t answer this question, but just ask yourselves… why would a girl (who believes the purpose of her existence is to find a husband) adopt modesty with confidence, when she constantly sees that majority of the Muslim men are marrying immodest women?
“This convoy is coming towards you since the beginning of time and it hastens until the night of eternity
The are all lost, bewildered and in deep love with You
Their hearts captivated longing from every side
So unveil the beauty so that they all see the purpose at looking at Your face
O Concealed, Souls are tumbling and hearts are beating”— Imam Khomeini’s Poetry
“My Lord, if You condemn me for my crimes, I will cling to Your forgiveness, and if You hold me for my sins, I will cling to Your granting pardon. If You haul me into the hell, I will tell its inmates that I love You.”— Munajat Sha’abaniyeh
The Most Beloved of Allah (Story of Jesus and Old Lady)
Jesus (as) asked God to show him who is His most beloved. Allah guided Jesus towards an old lady who lived by the sea. When Jesus arrived to her location, he saw the woman living amongst ruins with a paralyzed body and blind eyes. Jesus went forth and saw the woman busy saying zikr:
« الحَمدُ للهِ المُنعِمِ المُفضِلِ المُجمِلِ المُکرِمِ» My Lord I thank you that you gave me blessings, dignity, and beauty.
Jesus was shocked that despite being paralyzed and only her mouth functioning, she is praising the Lord? Jesus (A.S) thought to himself that she must be one of the friend’s of Allah and that he has entered her residence without permission so he back tracked and entered again saying “Asalamu Alayka Ya Amata’Allah”.
The Old Lady responded: “Alayka’ Salaam Ya Ruh’Allah”.
Jesus (A.S) asked, Lady, do you see me?
She replied: no
He said: then how did you know I’m Ruh’aAllah?
She responded, the same God that guided you to me told me who is coming.
Jesus (A.S) asked, What has God given you that you thank Him so much? what is your thankfulness for?
The old lady replied, ‘O Jesus, what He had given, He took back. Do you think He took it away randomly? Don’t you think for Him to take them away … He needed to first look at me?
Jesus (A.S) replied: Yes, He first took a glance at you and then took them away.
The Lady responded: I’m ecstatic just by that glance, by Him giving me that attention of His. He didn’t look at anybody like that except me. Therefore I should thank Him …
Shouldn’t we be so warmed in our hearts by all the glances Allah takes at us daily? He doesn’t take his eye off us … isn’t that special attention that He has given us enough to be grateful in life and stop complaining? The old lady wasn’t a Prophet but she was teaching Jesus (A.S) a lesson. When a tragedy befalls, we think Allah is taking revenge while He is trying to wash away our sins so He doesn’t punish us in the hereafter. But sometimes tragedies are simply because He loves us and wants us to reach a higher stage and gain more reward.
A person saw Ayatullah Bahjat in the yard of the shrine of Hadrateh Masooma. He said: “Agha, I have lost myself, what should I do to find myself?”.
Ayatullah Bahjat said: “There is a Lost and Found office on that side of the shrine, go and call yourself in the microphone and see if you can find yourself.”
The path isn’t as difficult as we make it. We just have to be a bit more careful not to say everything, not to watch everything, not to wear everything, and not to step everywhere. If a person let’s their self free they will be like an animal and when they reach any land they will eat the grass there. They don’t care who is the owner. Is it halal or haraam? what is our difference from animals? A person should go after strengthening their human side and controlling their nafs so they reach the true destination.
Sometimes, there are no pretty words. No wise sayings. No perfect song. Sometimes, there is nothing to capture the madness inside your chest. No human words to explain the feeling of utter defeat. But in that place where thought hides, I find peace. There’s a land in the human heart beyond desire or emotion or want.
After conquering many lands Alexander headed back to his country. He became sick and bed rested for a couple months. With his death coming closer, he realized how worthless all his won battles, big armies, sharp swords, and all his wealth were.
He called the general of his army and said that he will be soon departing this world and has 3 requests that must be fulfilled.
While the general had tears tumbling down his cheeks, agreed to fulfill all the requests of Alexander.
My first request is to have all my doctors carry my coffin on their shoulders
Second, when they are carrying my coffin towards my grave, their path has to be covered with gold, silver, and jewels that my treasury has accumulated.
Third, and last request is that both of my hands have to be out of the coffin and hanging.
The people that were gathered around found the demands of the king very bizarre. However, nobody had the bravery to protest or ask.
Alexander’s favorite commander kissed his hand and placed it on his heart and said: King, we assure you that all your demands will be implemented but tell us why you have such strange request? In response to this question, Alexander took a deep breath and said: I want to make the world aware of three lesson I have learned.
I want doctors to carry my coffin because I want people to understand that no doctor can not really heal anyone. They are weak and can not save any man from the fork of death. So, don’t let people think they have an eternal life.
The second asked about the pouring of gold, silver and jewels in route to the cemetery: this brings the message to people that they can’t even take the smallest amount of gold with them in their graves. Let people understand that hoarding wealth is a pure waste of time.
And the third request: about my hands out of the coffin, I want people to know that I came with empty hands to this world with with empty hands will leave this world …