Tag Archive: rumi


The courage of love

Photo: Vipin Chandran

The courage of love – The Hindu.

Social reformer and scholar Asghar Ali Engineer devoted most of his adult life heroically fighting not one but three battles. The first was against religious hatred and violence, for promoting peace and harmony among people of diverse faiths. The second was a painfully lonely lifelong struggle against the oppression of the leader of the Bohra sect into which he was born. And a third was to reclaim ideas of a humane, peaceful, tolerant, and gender-just Islam.

Over many decades, in times of strife and mass violence, his voice steadied us with its compassion and reason. For his beliefs, Engineer routinely suffered death threats, deathly attacks and social boycott. Yet he never wavered. In the years I was privileged to know him, I never heard a word of personal rancour or bitterness. With the passing of this man of extraordinary humanity, dignity, learning and courage of convictions, the country is much poorer.

Engineer inherited a long tradition of social reformers in India — which latterly includes also Gandhi and Maulana Azad — who were simultaneously deeply religious and deeply secular, and saw no contradiction between these two. Instead, Engineer believed that true religion could never teach you hatred, prejudice or violence against people of other faiths.

……………..Another influence was his encounter with Marxist writings, which moved him profoundly. He struggled to reconcile his new Marxist convictions with his religious faith, and found solace in poet Iqbal’s words that socialism along with God makes Islam. He concluded that it was not necessary to be an atheist to be a Marxist, and both Marx and his religious beliefs nourished his values of justice, equality and compassion for the suffering of others. Engineer’s interpretations of Islam, in over 70 books which he wrote, and his life-long practice, represent a creative construction of liberation theology in Indian Islam.

…………………………..The next major riots after Jabalpur were in Ahmedabad in 1969, from where he reported gruesome brutalities. The next year, Bhiwandi burned. Engineer took leave from the Bombay Municipal Corporation, and his friend, actor Balraj Sahni, from films, to spend 15 days in the May heat together touring Bhiwandi town and the countryside appealing for peace. They were devastated by the violence they saw in many villages, in which isolated Muslim families were killed and their bodies thrown into wells. Back in Bombay, actors and poets joined him in appeals for peace. This remained a recurring motif of Engineer’s life right until his death. I doubt if there is another like him, who tirelessly visited every site of communal violence in free India, to tell its story and to appeal for peace.

The second battle which consumed him was against the despotic tyranny of the high priest of the Bohras, the Syedna, who exercises absolute authority over all Bohras in religious as well as secular matters. The Syedna retaliated against Engineer’s calls for reform by declaring him a social pariah, commanding all Bohras to socially boycott him. He was barred even from attending the weddings or funerals of his closest friends or relatives. Even his mother, who could not bear to be cut off from her siblings, relatives and friends, finally moved into a separate house he bought for her and met him only in secret.

He was also assaulted half a dozen times; his face was once slashed, and his house looted and ransacked, including his beloved books. Even in his death, he was an exile: denied a resting place in the Bohra burial grounds. He was buried in a Sunni graveyard.

He spoke to me once about the loneliness of this cruel, lifelong boycott by his extended family and community. He regretted also that none of the country’s political leaders openly sided with his battle for fear of alienating the powerful Syedna. This could well have felled a lesser man. But not Engineer.

In his autobiography, Engineer quoted poet Rumi: “A heart without love is nothing but a handful of dust.” Engineer’s life was one devoted above all to the pursuit of love. Like the Sufis, he derived from his love for God the brave love of all humanity.

 

Moving Water

Veraiconica's Blog

When you do things
from your soul,
you feel a river
moving in you,
a joy.

When actions come
from another section,
the feeling disappears

Don’t let others lead you

They may be blind
or, worse, vultures.

Reach for the rope of God

And what is that?

Putting aside self-will.

Because of willfulness
people sit in jail,
the trapped bird’s wings are tied,
fish sizzle in the skillet.

The anger of police is willfulness.

You’ve seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment

Now see the invisible.

If you could leave your selfishness,
you would see how
you’ve been torturing your soul

We are born and live inside
black water in a well.

How could we know
what an open field of sunlight is?

Don’t insist on going
where you think you want to go

Ask the way to the spring.

Your living pieces
will form a harmony.

There is a moving…

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Rumi

The Guest House – by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

q

“Your heart is the size of an ocean.
Go find yourself in its hidden depths.”

~Rumi 

https://i2.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxhx63vHyr1r764gxo1_500.jpg

rumi

http://www.enlightenedbeings.com/rumi.html

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels bless’d; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones,
To Him we shall return.

 

I am so small I can barely be seen.

How can this great love be inside me?

Look at your eyes, they are small but they

see enormous things.

 

 

 

You were born with potential

You were born with goodness and trust

You were born with ideals and dreams

You were born with greatness

You were born with wings

You are not meant for crawling, so don’t

You have wings

Learn to use them and fly!

 

 

 

 

We are the mirror as well as the face in it.

We are tasting the taste this minute of eternity.

We are pain and what cures pain both.

We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.

I want to hold you close like a lute so we can cry out with loving.

You would rather throw stones at a mirror?

 I am your mirror, and here are the stones.

 

 

 

You bewilder us with your grace,

all evils transformed into goodness.

You are the master alchemist.

You light the fire of love in Earth and Sky,

in heart and soul of every being.

Through your loving, 

existence and non-existence merge.

All opposites unite. 

 All that is profane becomes sacred again

 

 

Is it your face that adorns this garden?

Is it your fragrance that intoxicates this garden?

Is it your Spirit that has made this brook a river of wine?

Hundreds have looked for you, and died searching in this garden,

where you hide behind the scenes.

But this pain is not for those who come as lovers.

You are easy to find here.

You are in the breeze and in this river of wine.

 

 

 I do not exist, am not an entity in this world or the next, 

did not descend from Adam and Eve or any origin story.

  My place is the placeless, a trace of the traceless.  Neither body or soul.

  I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one

 and that one call to and know, first, last, outer, inner, 

only that breath breathing human being.