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Some reflections on Haqq [Truth] inspired by the Quran and Rumi’s work by Tazeen Ahmad.
The Quran states:
Alhaqqah, Mal-haqqah, Wa maa adraka mal haqqaqah.
Oh, the laying-bare of the truth!1 How awesome that laying-bare of the truth! And what could make thee conceive what the laying bare of the truth will be?2
[Surah al-Haqqah 69:1]
Living in a state of covering the Truth – La illaha [There is no God…] – may feel familiar to many. As we journey deeper towards …ilallah/ ilalla-Haqq/illah-Hu […but God], the inner journey of self-examination allows the veils of separation with the One to fall away. ‘The Quran… addresses how our ability to discern becomes marred. It is the anxiety that is created in the lower self, or nafs, and the resultant feelings of doubt and confusion that serve to make humanity unaware of al-Haqq. The condition is described like this: They have no knowledge and they are attached only to their pure conjecture, but conjecture is not related in any way to al-Haqq.’3
Shaikh Kabir Helminski4 defines shallow idolatries as ‘things that grab our attention which are either negative or positive’ and encourages us to begin dealing with our negative conjectures such as malice, resentments and judgments.
‘Vain breathings and lies cannot be joined with the truth,’ says Rumi.5 Judgments towards each other fuel a sense of righteousness that the ego enjoys to the fullest. When you judge, you are in the right and have put someone else in the wrong, creating a gulf of separation. The gradations of lies we adopt ultimately lead to denial of Allah. Shaikh Kabir reminds us of a Hadith, where the Prophet (pbuh) was asked the following questions: Can you be drunk and a Muslim? He answered, ‘Yes.’ Can you be a coward and a Muslim? He answered, ‘Yes.’ Can you be a liar and a Muslim? He answered, ‘No.’
The negativity, ultimately, hurts ourselves:
Listen, O seeker of truth, let’s solve this difficulty and doubt.
Those who were deniers were really enemies to themselves:
they were striking at themselves the blows that they struck.6
Quantum physics, Rumi and the Quran all speak about the laws of attraction, with like attracting like:
The part gravitates towards its whole.
Whoever is bitter will gather with the bitter.7
With Rumi, we learn of the different levels of participation in Haqq.
‘Like a spiderweb matrix of light and dark, of form and emptiness, the human being then could be seen as the “spider” uniquely positioned to weave together the strands of the absolute and the relative into oneness.’8 Although few may meet the Prophet’s (pbuh) Hadith, ‘The best amongst you is he whose face reminds you of Allah’, we are all responsible for writing our own book and ultimately for our thoughts and heart-space.
O brother, you are what you think.
As for the rest of you, it’s only flesh and bone.
If your thought is a rose, you are a rose-garden;
and if your thoughts are thorns,
you are just kindling for the bath-stove.9
Yet there is always the remembrance of that Infinite Mercy and Compassion from which we were born and turning to the abode of Peace, to which we will return.
The bath-stoves function is to purify and cleanse. For us to therefore be cleansed of shallow idolatries, we awaken our hearts to the receptivity of Grace through gratitude and acceptance. Allowing your state to enter Being rather than doing. By focusing our attention on God, we allow the alchemical process to take root, and, eventually, we will even be grateful for our enemy as Rumi describes:
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.10
As we learn to discern between the real and the unreal, we deepen our experience of Haqq and the permanence of its undying reality. The more we open our hearts to be ‘cleansed of shallow idolatries’ and focus on the Oneness of Being and experience this Living Breath with each other, the more ours/yours/my/the Truth is laid bare and then we ARE Patience, Tolerance and Contentment in each passing moment.
For the invisible with the visible, by being witness to the power of divine purpose moving through all of manifestation, leads us to look to the Quran:
Fata’alla-allahu-I-maliku-I-haqq laa ‘illaaha ‘illa hoo. Rabb-ul-‘arsh il-Kareem.
Allah is both absolutely transcendent and absolutely immanent. This reality, this truth, is al-Haqq, there is no other reality but the reality, the Hu. It is the cherisher of the essence of the universe that is everywhere all at the same time.
~ Tazeen Ahmad
Art by Samir Malik
1From Muhammad Asad’s Quranic commentary: ‘I.e., the day of Resurrection and Judgment, on which man will become fully aware of the quality of his past life and, freed from all self-deception, will see himself as he really was, with the innermost meaning of all his past doings – and thus of his destiny in the hereafter – blindingly revealed.’
2Ibid: ‘Implying that this sudden perception of the ultimate reality will be beyond anything that man can anticipate or imagine: hence, no answer is given to the above rhetorical question.’
3Physicians of the Heart, by Wali Ali Meyer, Bilal Hyde, Faisal Muqaddam, Shabda Khan.
4See http://sufism.org/sufilodge/podcasts for Shaikh Kabir’s full discourse.
5Mathnawi II, 276, ‘Do Not Bear Malice’, The Rumi Daybook, translated by Kabir and Camille Helminski.
6Mathnawi II, 788-789, ‘The Real Enemy’, The Rumi Daybook.
7Mathnawi II, 275-276, ‘Do Not Bear Malice’, The Rumi Daybook.
8Physicians of the Heart, by Wali Ali Meyer, Bilal Hyde, Faisal Muqaddam, Shabda Khan.
9Mathnawi II, 277-278, ‘Do Not Bear Malice’, The Rumi Daybook.
10‘The Guest House’, The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks.
11Physicians of the Heart, by Wali Ali Meyer, Bilal Hyde, Faisal Muqaddam, Shabda Khan.