Monday, November 28, 2011

"The Window"

As I enter the solitude of prayer
I put these matters to Him, for He knows
That's my prayer-time habit, to turn and talk
That's why it's said "My heart delights in prayer"
Through pureness a window opens in my soul
God's message comes immediate to me
Through my window the Book, the rain and light
all pour into my room from gleaming source
Hell's the room in which there is no window
To open windows, that's religion's goal

Rumi's Masnavi 3: 2400-2404

The Windows above found here

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Allama Iqbal's Marghdeen: Light for Us Today

Whether we consider the emphasis all over the world on "green" living, the need for freedom which does not limit the freedom of others, the longing for a world without war and overbearing law-enforcement, Iqbal has something to say. Look at the goals of the "Occupy...the Banks or the 99% movements". Or see how often religion has become the opiate of people in various places, times and with different names. Consider not only how we sabatage the free expression and imagination of our children yet also do the same to our own.

Then read the following reflectively. This is from Iqbal's imaginary journey with Rumi in his book "Javidnama". Iqbal called this one book (for the childlike of all ages and times) his life work. How generous he left behind such wisdom for us all!

From JAVIDNAMA "Sphere of Mars" p. 27 Retold by Hina Tanvir, Ed. by Khurram Ali Shafique and Illustrated by Tabassum Khalid - available from Iqbal Academy Pakistan.

The city of Marghdeen is a magnificent place with tall buildings. Its people... speak a language that sounds melodious to the ears. They are not after material goods; rather they are the guardians of knowledge and derive wealth from their sound judgment. The sole purpose of knowledge and skill in that world is to help improve the life. Currency is unknown, and temperaments are not to be governed by machines that blacken the sky with their smoke...there are no landlords to plunder their harvest, and the tillers of the land enjoy the entire fruit of their labor. Learning and wisdom don’t flourish on deceit and hence there is neither army, nor law keepers...because there is no crime in Marghdeen. The marketplace is free from the...heartrending cries of the beggars.

“In this world there is no beggar,”...“Nor anyone is poor; no slave, no master – no ruler and thus none dominated.”

(The visitor) said, “Being born a beggar or a destitute, to be ruled or suppressed, is all by the decree of God. He alone is the architect of destiny. Destiny cannot be improved by reasoning.”

“If you are suffering at the hands of destiny,” replied the (Marghdeenian)..., “It is not unfair to ask God for a new one. He has no shortage of destinies for you. Failure to understand the mystical significance of destiny has led the inhabitants of the Earth to lose their identities. Here is a hint to the secret of destiny: change yourself and your destiny will change with you. If you are dust, you shall be scattered by the wind. But if you become solid as a rock, you can break the glass. If you are dewdrop, then you are destined to fall but if you are an ocean, then you will remain. To you, faith means conformity to others while your imagination remains confined because you do not conform to yourself. Shame on the faith that serves like an addiction to opium!”

Then he paused, and added, “A gem is a gem as long as you think it is valuable, otherwise it is just a stone. The world will shape itself according to your perception of it. The heavens and the earth too will adjust.”

Thumbnail above is "Evening in Amsterdam"
Lower represents painting "Lights and Shadows"
both painting are by artist Leonid Afremov Find him at

Now Is the Nonviolence Moment STRONG as usual that NONVIOLENCE is the ONLY way to respond to and initiate action TODAY in the murk of violence to personhood on all levels.

From the
WarIsACrime site:

Now is NOT the moment to declare "We tried nonviolence and it didn't work."

The purpose of a nonviolent movement is not to prevent police violence. The purpose is to change the society. And there is always every expectation that the police will be ordered to respond with violence if we begin to have any success. We are having success and the 1% is scared. Big city mayors are holding conference calls to discuss those fears and their militarized responses. War criminals and pirates like Cheney, Rice, and Paulson are canceling their events. Referenda are being passed in favor of working people. States are pulling out of mortgage (non)settlement deals.

Obama is at least pretending to listen to the people on the tar sands pipeline.

The corporate media is discussing inequality and the unfair concentration of wealth, power, and tax breaks in our corporatocracy. The Occupy camps are returning, resisting, growing, and finding ways to build a movement broader than the encampments. Now, when there are encouraging (if brutal) signs that the other side knows we are winning, now is the moment when we need a nonviolent movement.

Until now it has just been a movement. Now is when we nonviolently escalate. Now is when we take it from the streets to the suites. Now is when we refocus the discussion on taxing the rich, ending the wars, and moving the money from the military and corporate handouts to people and our natural environment. Now is when we shut down the stock exchange, the committee hearings, and the gated communities. Now is the winter of our discontent. Now is the nonviolence moment.

Watch this video from Keith Olbermann. SEE war is a crime dot org

Also watch OccupyWashingtonDC on CNN.

Also check out the new bill just introduced in Congress to overturn corporate personhood.

Lead Us


If there's ONE Rumi poem which keeps coming to mind the most it's this one (Even the very beginning works well by itself and the middle is perhaps too dense for now.)

A Zero-Circle

Be helpless and dumbfounded,
unable to say yes or no.

The a stretcher will come
from grace to gather us up...

Crazed, lying in a zero-circle, mute,
we will be saying finally,
with tremendous eloquence, Lead us.

When we've totally surrendered to that beauty,
we'll become a mighty kindness.


In addition, I'm not at all sure if this is the accurate poet of this one...yet I find it quite interesting:

I saw this in an older forum - the poster said:

This is a poem by Rumi's oldest son, Bahauddin:

Where Are All the Others?

Those full of fear are not really on the way.
Everyone here is a king. No servants.

The wave can never be afraid of the ocean.
Inside that motion, how can anything be "other?"

When you feel separate, you're in your imagination.
Saints are the lights we see within this

exquisite fluid, and I'm not talking
about the elements! There's a light

that's the opposite of fire, as white to black.
When what I'm pointing to arrives,

there's no trace of burning. Don't ask
for a lineage of revelation, or explication

of texts, or rules of morality. There's nothing
here but love and mystery. Welcome to the tavern

where drunkards get sober and transparent,
until they disappear altogether in the face

of the one they love. Whatever loosens the taste
of their joy comes new with each breath.

In this orchard, and for the garden we farm,
there's no summer or winter. Roses open

every direction. This world's existence
is one night long. There's a great lively

gathering that night, but some people sleep
through it. Anyone who has seen the Beloved

wonders, "Where are all the others?" This
has nothing to do with thinking or belief.

Bahauddin, you've been left here alone
without your father, the great Mevlana.

From now on you'll have no friend,
no form to love, only what's real.

From a Commenter on this older forum:

What I really love about Rumi's poem is this, every single poem of him tell us his search for Allah. Some of his poem are so sad, some so mad, some so crazy and some filled with joy. The absolute beauty of his poem will be know if we follow it from his early stage of his life, before he meet Shams, then when He meet Shams we could see the difference in his view, as he keep searching and searching from the beginning to the end, we could feel the transformation in Him...

(Finally) in Rumi's world there is no Rumi or Shams or anyone else, only the One, Allah.
Image above found on blogsite called HeavenlyMindedEarthlyGood with this quote underneath it:
"That which does no earthly good cannot be heavenly minded." R. Rivera

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Allama Iqbal Day: In Honor of the Poet/Philosopher

who was also a jurist, a politician, a social reformer, and a great scholar.

* find link below to source of photo
and to a shortened version of reference page...

(Note from other sources:
The first funeral prayer was attended by over twenty thousand people at Islamia College Railway Road and the second one outside Baadshahi Mosque. The then Imam of the Mosque, Moulana Ghulam Murshid led the prayer which was attended by over sixty thousand people.)

On April 21, 1938, Iqbal died in Lahore. People swarmed to his house; they included MUSLIMS, HINDU and SIKHS...when the funeral procession started in the evening it contained no less than twenty thousand people. Children from the orphanage of Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam paid their homage by holding little black flags in their hands and standing silently in a queue on a nearby road. They lowered their flags when the procession passed by. It was not forgotten that the poet had started out as a fundraiser for HOMELESS children thirty-eight years ago.

...His last book, an imaginary travelogue to Madinah in Persian verse was still unpublished. It came out later that year by the title he had given to it, Armughan-i-Hijaz, or The Gift of Hijaz...

...the Prime Minister designate Jawaharlal Nehru called the first session of his parliament on the 14th and let it linger on till midnight when he could greet the awakening of his country with a moving speech. The session did not adjourn until Suchitra Kirplani, who would later become the first woman Chief Minister in an Indian province, had sung Iqbal’s Saray jahan say achha Hindustan hamara (Our India is better than the whole world) alongwith Jana mana gana of the Bengali poet Tagore.

The next morning in Karachi, Jinnah hoisted a green and white flag to start the first day’s work in the state that was officially seen as the brainchild of Iqbal. Here, each successive ruler would feel obliged in one way or another to pledge commitment to the “message of Iqbal.”

The two states fought three wars against each other in less than three decades but Iqbal remained dear to them both. (It is believed that Nehru)...had enjoined upon his daughter (who became prime minister)to always honor the memory of Iqbal.

(Iqbal) had immortalized (Nehru) by mentioning him in his greatest work, Javid Nama.

(Indira Gandhi) initiated a second round of accolades for Iqbal by way of an international conference in New Delhi when Pakistan announced its own centennial of the poet four years later. However, it would be wrong to guess that such appreciation in India was restricted to the Nehru family – Morarji Desai, who wrested power from Indira Gandhi in the meanwhile, took pains to ensure that the conference in New Delhi takes place as planned...

Find this complete page here

People bestowed on Iqbal the title of "Shaere-Mashriq" (Poet of the East!). It may sound strange that Iqbal never considered himself a poet as is evidenced by his correspondence with Syed Sulaiman Nadvi [1885-1953].

"I have never considered myself a poet. Therefore, I am not a rival of anyone, and I do not consider anybody my rival. I have no interest in poetic artistry. But, yes, I have a special goal in mind for whose expression I use the medium of poetry considering the condition and the customs of this country." (translated from the original in Urdu; Maktoobat, Volume I, page195)

Iqbal: A Reference Page on The Republic of Rumi Website here

In honor of a major biographer's of Iqbal's life here

Other Notations such as Quaid-i-Azam's message on Iqbal Day
12:01 AM Posted 9 November 2011 by Khurram Ali Shafique

You Tube video discussion with Khurram Ali Shafique here

Recent International Iqbal Awards include Muhammad Abdul Rahim from Bangladesh on his book in Bengali ‘Iqbalaur Rajnaiti Ki Chintadhara’

Monday, November 7, 2011

Three poems about Waking Up:

Pied Beauty

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Gerard Manley Hopkins


Break the Mirror

In the morning
After taking cold shower
—–what a mistake—–
I look at the mirror.

There, a funny guy,
Grey hair, white beard, wrinkled skin,
—–what a pity—–
Poor, dirty, old man!
He is not me, absolutely not.

Land and life
Fishing in the ocean
Sleeping in the desert with stars
Building a shelter in the mountains
Farming the ancient way
Singing with coyotes
Singing against nuclear war–
I’ll never be tired of life.
Now I’m seventeen years old,
Very charming young man.

I sit down quietly in lotus position,
Meditating, meditating for nothing.
Suddenly a voice comes to me:
“To stay young,
To save the world,
Break the mirror.”

Nanao Sakaki


Song Of Dawn

It's dawn, -
open the door,
wake up, Khukumoni!
The jasmine flowers
from their vines
are calling you to come running,
wake up, Khukumoni!
Uncle Sun
is crawling out
all dressed in a crimson shirt,
listen - the gatekeeper
is singing
his song, 'Rama hoi.'
The birds
are leaving their nests
to fly in the sky,
listen to them
singing continuously,
filling the morning air!
The restless
Bulbul birds
whistle from flower to flower,
this time,
this time,
Khukumoni will open her eyes!
Setting the rudder,
hoisting the sail,
the boat begins its journey,
this time,
this time,
Khukumoni has opened her eyes!
she's not-
she's an early-riser,
that's why
Brother Moon
gives a teep everyday for her!
and running-
all the little boys and girls,
listen to them
about who woke up first!
wash up
wake up, Khukumoni!
With a hymn
let's begin
asking for a blessing from God!

Kazi Nazrul Islam

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gaza-Bound Flotilla Again...

EXCLUSIVE: Video Report from Gaza-Bound Flotilla …13 hours ago

Nov 03, 2011 · Democracy Now! correspondent Jihan Hafiz filed this video report from the Tahrir boat from international waters and joined us live on the telephone …

Reporter for Democracy Now!