Thursday, March 8, 2018

Stormy Nights

Honoring Stephanie Gregory Clifford as Woman of the Day this Women’s History Month on March toward #MeToo Movement. /Historic leap to believe the victims of sexual assaults. /#MeToo/ Theatre women sharing their works/ Sunday March 18, 2018, 2:00 PM/ National Action Network/ House of Justice/ 106 West, 145th St. New York NY 10039/ Monologue written by Farzana Moon/ Stormy Nights/ ‘It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’/ Lewis Carroll/ I am Stormy Daniels./ I had an affair with Donald Trump when Melania was pregnant./ For the price of my silence not to disclose Trump’s adulterous affair I was offered one hundred and thirty thousand dollars which made me twice the victim of my own nightmares./ The first time I was victim of my own guilt for being the lover of conscienceless Trump while Melania languished at home, heavy with child. /My second time as a victim began with #MeToo movement when women stood up against the sexual harassment and I couldn’t say a word, since my silence was bought at a heavy price./ During all those years between then and now, my sufferings never ended, for inside the cage of my own mind I remained a prisoner, shackled by chains of remorse, my heart wounded and bleeding. /But now, the purple wound in my heart is abscessed and throbbing under the burden of too heavy a ransom for my silence. /This silence within me is soaked in my blood and veins, my body revolting against the violence done to women by men rich, craven, egotistic and vainglorious who can buy carnal pleasures at their own whim or caprice. /This #MeToo movement has awakened me to the realization of the hopeless, helpless pain of countless women who have been victims of sexual harassment for years, but their lips were sealed for the shame of being violated and for the brutal fact that even if they were to expose their naked shame to the world, no one would be willing to believe their tragic plight./Before Trump became president, and listening to his tapes, bragging about his salacious assaults on women, not only wounded my heart but bruised my mind afresh, wild and tortured. /After Trump became president he kept insulting the women he had sexually assaulted, and the globe of shame within my mind became a searing, maddening mirror, reflecting a myriad of torments those innocent women suffered while Trump corrupted the Oval Office with his lies grand and fantastic./ Exulting in his sexual assaults by denial and arrogance, even siding with Roy Moore the pedophile, backed by a legion of Republicans to corrupt the very air of Senate Halls. /This reek of corruption from White House nauseates me and I long to comfort my #MeToo sisters, but Trumpian Lawyers follow me like hounds, poised to stab me with the knife of their lies till I am bled to death. /I beg you, please take your blood money back, even take my life, you liars lawyers vultures, but before that speak I will, telling the truth, my story, the tragic story of every women in the world who has suffered through the carnal desires of men-beast. /Even if one man-beast Trump can be held accountable for his sins and removed from the Oval Office, world would become a better place./ Paradoxically, in this bazaar of a world, we are defined as buyers and sellers. /All of us are selling something, our wares, our ideas, our bodies. Yet, when a woman is forced by circumstances to sell her body, she earns little money and a lot of disrespect. /When women holding ‘prestigious’ jobs are defiled by lecherous men, porn stars can feel their pain and shame much more intensely and profoundly, for they too are the victims of this so-called civilized world./ ‘I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.’/ Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, February 5, 2018

Peace Memorial Revisited

'It's not the load that breaks you down. It's the way you carry it.' Lena Horne/ Today is the 91 Year death anniversary of Hazrat Inayat Khan and his teachings are being shared all over world as a mark of reverence and celebration/He came to America Year 1910 with a message of peace, unity and harmony in all religions/ Even after more than a century ago his message of love still resounds fresh and inspiring/Below is an excerpt form his teachings which is so pertinent to our times in throes of uncertainty/ Memorial Note:/ Hazrat Inayat Khan - July 5, 1882 - February 5, 1927/ Following a bout with pneumonia, Inayat Khan departed from this world on February 5, 1927, at the Tilak Lodge, located along the river Yamuna near Delhi, India./ His burial tomb is in the Basti Nizamuddin neighborhood of Delhi./ Inayat Khan described the essence of his spiritual message with the following words, which are offered here to commemorate his life and teachings:/ Our sacred task is to awaken among those around us and among those whom we can reach in the first place the spirit of tolerance for the religion, scripture, and the ideal of devotion of one another; our next task is to make man understand people of different nations, races and communities, also of different classes./ By this we do not mean to say that all races and nations must become one, nor that all classes must become one; only what we have to say is that whatever be our religion, nation, race or class, our most sacred duty is to work for one another, in one another's interest, and to consider that as the service of God. .../ The central theme of the Sufi Message is one simple thing, and yet most difficult, and that is to bring about in the world the realization of the divinity of the human soul, which hitherto has been overlooked, for the reason that the time had not come./ The principal thing that the Message has to accomplish in this era is to create the realization of the divine spark in every soul, that every soul according to its progress may begin to realize for itself the spark of divinity within./ This is the task that is before us./ Now you may ask, what is the Message?/ The Message is this: that the whole humanity is as one single body, and all nations and communities and races as the different organs, and the happiness and well-being of each of them is the happiness and well-being of the whole body./ If there is one organ of the body in pain, the whole body has to sustain a share of the strain of it./ That by this Message mankind may begin to think that his welfare and his well-being is not in looking after himself, but it is in looking after others, and when in all there will be reciprocity, love and goodness towards another, the better time will come./ The need of the world today is not learning, but how to become considerate towards one another./ To try and find out in what way happiness can be brought about, and in this way to realize that peace which is the longing of every soul; and to impart it to others, thereby attaining our life's goal, the sublimity of life./ 'People kill each other for idols/Wonder makes us fall to our knees'/Gregory of Nyssa/ Love from France/ '5 February 2018/ Dear Companions on the Path,/ I wish you a blessed Visalat Day!/ May the peace, blessings, and love of God be with you on this special day as we celebrate the earthly and heavenly life of our guiding spirit, Hazrat Inayat Khan./ Today, in the presence of many companions here at Fazal Manzil, and joined in thought and spirit with all of you throughout the world, I am issuing a Declaration announcing that Pirzadi-Shahida Noor-un-Nisa will henceforth be included in the Silsila of the Inayati Order./ Please see the Declaration in French, German, and English./ Stimulated by the discovery of a play by Pirzadi-Shahida Noor in the Astana Archive, over the last several months I have been deeply reflecting on her life and legacy. /It has become clearer to me than ever before that the time has come for our Order to truly claim her as an essential tradition-bearer of the Sufi Message. /Tremendous inspiration can be drawn from her writings, and even more from her life, which was a real-life Jataka tale./ God willing, Pirzadi-Shahida Noor’s play, Aede of the Ocean and Land, will be published this year./ It is a fascinating spiritual retelling of Homer’s Odyssey./ At Zenith Camp in Switzerland this summer a week will be dedicated to Pirzadi-Shahida Noor, chivalry, and Aede. /Please do come if you can. And this, we hope, will just be the beginning. Yours ever, Sarafil Bawa,

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friends Incarnate Alive

Friends Incarnate published by All Things That Matter Press—link to right, is producer’s dream come true./ Any producer interested in adapting this book to a movie please contact Phil Harris at his website: A little peek into the Story/ Gable the protagonist in this book, though no Don Juan, is lover incarnate in age of baby-boomers. /He is master of his own fate, reflecting mirror of his mind as some projection on TV screen, more like a restless spirit haunted by the demons of his own psyche. /His girlfriend Ethel gets married to his best friend Fabian, and thus begins the journey of his sinful passion and glorious madness. /Remaining true to his love lost and love unforgettable, he wades through the waters of a loveless marriage, then divorce and finally into the furnace of adultery with his own brother’s wife. /He himself tumbling down the rungs of depravity, clings to Ethel in his thoughts as one devotee to his patron saint. /His sister commits suicide, his brother dies and so does his friend Fabian, leaving open the gates of paradise for Gable and Ethel as Friends Incarnate./ Gable’s own villanelle below sums up this novel in all its entirety./ Let me sleep in peace, wake me up on Judgment Day/ My wearied and restless soul cries in plea/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Sorrows weep no more, aged grief has turned all gray/ Negation in nothingness dares to flee/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Spirit of agony has lost its power to slay/ The embittered heart in torments of glee/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Surcease has trodden all paths to pave the way/ Into the chambers of hope where blindness can see/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Lost youth at the altars of ruins need not pray/ The nemesis silent, sealed by God’s holy decree/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Roots of death in illusions have learnt to array/ The naked dreams in raiments of lies on life’s tree/ Let me sleep in peace, wake me up on Judgment Day/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Dialogue Excerpt/ “You are going to kill yourself, Gable, by shutting yourself off in your room all the time./ And pacing, if not writing.” Phoebe flung herself upon the crumpled bed, pouting her lips voluptuously./ “Are you really worried about your friend, Fabian, I mean, or thinking more about your friend Ethel, your beloved, your true love?” Her eyes were sparkling with a subtle challenge./ “You would never understand the meaning of true love, my evil temptress.” Gable’s look was feverish and incisive./ “Tempt me no more to sin, go away.”/ “You are a fool, Gable. An absolute fool to reject my love.” Phoebe scoffed./ “Your love for Ethel is a delusion, don’t you know that?/ Why can’t you forget her?”/ “Sin and lust are not love, Phoebe, you have succeeded in burying me alive inside the volcano of my own guilt and grief.” Gable murmured deliriously, resuming his pacing./ “What do you know about love?”/ “More than you do, my sinful lover.” Phoebe laughed seductively./ “At least, I absolve your sin with the gifts of joy and sweetness, which is me, each fiber in my flesh—since you tell me I have no soul, singing that love is not ever sinful.”/ “How I loathe you—and myself—” Gable pounced upon her with the fury of a man possessed, sealing her lips with kisses wild and terrible./ “Now leave, before I kill you.” He panted with rage and disgust./ “I have to go and see my sick friend.”/ ‘Love is the merchandise which all the world demands./If you store it in your heart, every soul will become your customer.’/ Hazrat Inayat Khan

Friday, August 18, 2017

Peace Prayer

Saint Francis of Assisi/ baptised as Giovanni di Bernadone/ b. 1182 -- d. 1226 A. D./ The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis/ "O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!/ Where there is hatred, let me sow love./ Where there is injury, pardon./ Where there is discord, harmony./ Where there is doubt, faith./ Where there is despair, hope./ Where there is darkness, light./ Where there is sorrow, joy./ Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not / so much seek to be consoled as to console;/ to be understood as to understand; / to be loved as to love; / for it is in giving that we receive; / it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; / and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life." / ________________________________________ This beautiful prayer, although often mistakenly attributed to St Francis, does not appear in any known writings of St Francis. / The prayer was apparently written in France during World War I, perhaps by a Catholic Priest, Father Bouquerel. / It is commonly known as the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis because it was often seen printed on a small card that had a picture of Saint Francis on one side and this prayer on the other side. /However, the card did not make any claim that the prayer was written by Saint Francis./ So, ironically, this beautiful prayer, which is so highly revered around the world, actually has nothing to do with St Francis. / The first known appearance of this inspiring prayer was in 1912 AD when it was published in the French magazine La Clochette. / It matters not who wrote these words./Divinely Inspired our world needs this prayer more than ever before to avert nuclear tragedies./ ‘Ignorance is the loneliness of isolation./The pain of discontent./The misery of being other./Misery is the pain of not realizing our true nature.’/Buddhist Saying.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Peace Ideal by Hazrat Inayat Khan

An ideal is beyond explanation./ To analyze God is to dethrone God./ Belief is like a staircase./ Each step takes one higher, but when one remains standing on a certain step of the staircase one does not progress./ Belief may nail the feet to the ground and keep one there standing on a certain spot on a staircase. /As a person evolves so his belief evolves, until he comes to that stage where he harmonizes with all the different beliefs, where he is no longer against any belief./ Then he is not nailed down any more; he is above all the different beliefs. Very often a person says, 'I cannot understand what God is. /Can you explain God to me?/ But if God were to be explained He would not be God. /To explain God is to dethrone God./ God apart, can one explain anything fine and subtle such as gratitude, love, or devotion, in words? /How much can be explained? /Words are too inadequate to explain great feelings, so how can God be explained in words?/ Since to analyze God means to dethrone God, the less said on the subject the better. / Everyone has his own imagination of God. /It is best if everyone is left to his own imagination./ However religious or pious, he cannot explain God; not even a mystic or philosopher can explain Him./ The ideal of God is the first lesson that must be learnt; and it cannot be learnt by analysis. /Therefore the intellectual mind which seeks for an analysis of God is always sure to be disappointed. /The philosopher spoke truly when he said, 'To analyze God is to dethrone God.' /Analysis can never portray even the ideal of God. /That is why every messenger, Muhammad, Christ, Moses, Abraham, emphasized the one word: faith. / It is the same with every ideal, even with the ideal of God. /An ideal is beyond explanation./ Where the flame of love rises, the knowledge of God unfolds of itself./ In love abides all knowledge. /It is mankind's love and interest in the things that in time reveals their secret, and then man knows how to develop, control, and utilize them. /No one can know anybody, however much he may profess to know, except the lover, because in the absence of love the inner eyes are blind. /Only the outer eyes are open, which are merely the spectacles of the inner eyes. /If the sight is not keen, of what use are the spectacles? / It is for this reason that we admire all those whom we love, and are blind to the good qualities of those whom we do not love./ It is not always that these deserve our neglect, but our eyes, without love, cannot see their goodness. /Those whom we love may have bad points too, but as love sees beauty, so we see that alone in them./ Intelligence itself in its next step towards manifestation is love. /When the light of love has been lit, the heart becomes transparent, so that the intelligence of the soul can see through it./ But until the heart is kindled by the flame of love, the intelligence, which is constantly yearning to experience life on the surface, is groping in the dark. / Love is like the fire; its glow is devotion, its flame is wisdom, its smoke is attachment, and its ashes detachment. /Flame rises from glow, so it is with wisdom, which rises from devotion. /When love's fire produces its flame it illuminates the devotee's path in life like a torch, and all darkness vanishes. /If this love expands to embrace the whole creation of the Heavenly Father, it raises man to be among the chosen ones of God./ Peace is perfected activity; that is perfect which is complete in all its aspects, balanced in each direction and under complete control of the will./ It is useless to discuss the peace of the world. /What is necessary just now is to create peace in ourselves that we, ourselves, become examples of love, harmony and peace. /That is the only way of saving the world and ourselves. Peace is independently felt within oneself./ It is not dependent upon the outer sensation. /It is something that belongs to one, something that is one's own self. / Peace is not a knowledge, peace is not a power, peace is not a happiness, but peace is all these./ And besides, peace is productive of happiness. /Peace inspires one with knowledge of the seen and unseen, and in peace is to be found the divine Presence. /It is not the excited one who conquers in this continual battle of life. /It is the peaceful one who tolerates all, who forgives all, who understands all, who assimilates all things./ The one who lacks peace, with all his possessions, the property of this earth or quality of mind, is poor even with both. /He has not got that wealth which may be called divine and without which man's life is useless. /For true life is in peace, a life which will not be robbed by death. / The secret of mysticism, the mystery of philosophy, all is to be attained after the attainment of peace./You cannot refuse to recognize the divine in a person who is a person of peace. /It is not the talkative, it is not the argumentative one, who proves to be wise./ He may have intellect, worldly wisdom, and yet may not have pure intelligence, which is real wisdom. /True wisdom is to be found in the peaceful, for peacefulness is the sign of wisdom. /It is the peaceful one who is observant. /It is peace that gives him the power to observe keenly. /It is the peaceful one, therefore, who can conceive, for peace helps him to conceive. /It is the peaceful who can contemplate; one who has no peace cannot contemplate properly./ Therefore, all things pertaining to spiritual progress in life depend upon peace./ And now the question is what makes one lack peace?/ The answer is, love of sensation./ A person who is always seeking to experience life in movement, in activity, in whatever form, wants more and more of that experience./ In the end he becomes dependent upon the life which is outside, and so he loses in the end his peace, the peace which is his real self. / The first thing is to seek the kingdom of God within ourselves, in which there is our peace. /As soon as we have found that, we have found our support, we have found our self. /And in spite of all the activity and movement on the surface, we shall be able to keep that peace undisturbed if only we hold it fast by becoming conscious of it./ Do not limit God to your virtue. /He is beyond your virtues, O pious ones!/ There is no such thing as impossible. /All is possible./ Impossible is made by the limitation of our capacity of understanding. /Man, blinded by the law of nature's working, by the law of consequences which he has known through his few years life on earth, begins to say, 'This is possible and that is impossible.' /If he were to rise beyond limitations, his soul would see nothing but possible./ And when the soul has risen high enough to see all possibility, that soul certainly has caught a glimpse of God./ Many have been resentful towards God for having sent them misery in their lives, but misery is always part of life's experience. /Some may become very angry and say, 'This is not just', or 'This is not right, for how could God who is just and good allow unjust things to happen?'/ But our sight is very limited, and our conception of right and wrong and good and evil is only our own, and not according to God's plan./ It is true that as long as we see it as such, it is so for us and for those who look at it from our point of view; but when it comes to God the whole dimension is changed, the whole point of view is changed./ It is for this reason that the wise in all ages, instead of trying to judge the action of God, have so to speak put aside their sense of justice for the time being; and they have tried to learn one thing only, and that was resignation to the will of God. / The Being of God is recognized by His attributes. /Therefore man speaks of God as the just God./ He sees all power, all goodness in God; but when the situation is changed, when he sees God as injustice, he begins to think that God is powerless, and to judge the action of God. /But one must look at this from a different point of view. /Human beings are limited, imperfect, and yet we try to judge the perfect Being, or His perfect action, from our own imperfect standpoint./ In order to judge, our vision must become as wide as the universe; then we might have a slight glimpse of the justice, which is perfect in itself./ A man's inclination is the root of the tree of his life./ The real inclination of every life is to attain to something which cannot be touched or comprehended or understood. /The hidden blessing of this knowledge is the first step to perfection. /Once awake to this fact, man sees there is something in life that will make him really happy and give him his heart's desire./ He can say, 'Though there are many things in life which I need for the moment, and for which I shall certainly work, yet there is only that one thing, around which life centers, that will satisfy me: the spiritual attainment, the religious attainment, or, as one may even call it, the attainment of God.'/ Such a one has found the key to all happiness, and has found that all the things he needs will be reached because he has the key to all. /'Seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you. /Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.' /This kingdom of God is the silent life; the life inseparable, eternal, self-sufficient, and all-powerful. /This is the life of the wise, whatever be the name given to it; this is the life which the wise contemplate./ It is the face of this life that they long to see; it is the ocean of this life that they long to swim in; as it is written: 'In Him we live and have our being.'/ Yes, teach your principles of good, but do not think to limit God within them. /The goodness of each man is peculiar to himself./ What is man to judge the doings of God from his limited standard of good and bad? /He knows not beyond what he knows. /He says he knows if he knows one cause, but there is cause after cause, hidden one behind another; and when once the soul perceives the Cause of all causes, he then realizes that all other causes are as illusions./ There is one single Cause behind all things./ One sees different desires in different people, yet when one studies them keenly one finds they are all different paths leading to one common goal. /When one realizes this one's accusations, complaints, and grudges cease at once. /However, there is also a natural tendency in man to find the easiest and quickest path to reach the desired goal, and there is also the tendency to share his pleasure, happiness, or comfort with others, and it is this that prompted the prophets and reformers to help mankind on its journey to the goal./ Those that follow in their footsteps, forgetting that moral, drag people by the neck to make them follow them, and this has brought about the degeneration of religions./ Christ said, 'In my Father's house are many mansions.' /The Prophet has said, 'Every soul has its peculiar religion.' /There is a Sanskrit saying, which perhaps deludes those who do not understand it, but which yet means the same thing: 'As many souls as there are, so many gods are there.'/ The God of each is the God of all, but in order to comprehend that God we each have to make our own God. /Some of us seek justice, we can seek for God Who is just. Some of us look for beauty, we must find it in the God of beauty. /Some of us seek for love, we must find it in the God of mercy and compassion./ Some of us wish for strength and power, we must find it in the God Almighty. /The seeking of every soul in this world is different, distinct and peculiar to himself, and he can best attain to it by finding the object of his search in God./ To learn to adopt the standard of God, and to cease to wish to make the world conform to one's own standard of good, is the chief lesson of religion./ When people came to Christ accusing a person of doing wrong, the Master could not think of anything else but forgiveness./ For he did not see in the wrongdoer what the others saw. /To distinguish between right and wrong is not the work of an ordinary mind, and the curious thing is that the more ignorant a person is, the more ready he is to do so./ The religious man full of dogmas is often apt to make these too rigid and he expects the godly or God-conscious to fit in with his standard of goodness. /If they do not fit in with his particular idea of piety he is ready to criticize them. /But the thought and life of Krishna were used by the artist, the poet and the musician; and out of this came a new religion, a religion of recognizing the divine in natural human life./ Every mind has its particular standard of good and bad, and of right and wrong. /This standard is made by what one has experienced through life, by what one has seen or heard; it also depends upon one's belief in a certain religion, one's birth in a certain nation and origin in a certain race./ But what can really be called good or bad, right or wrong, is what comforts the mind and what causes it discomfort. /It is not true, although it appears so, that it is discomfort that causes wrongdoing./ In reality, it is wrongdoing which causes discomfort, and it is right-doing which gives comfort./ The discrimination between good and evil is in man's soul. /Every man can judge that for himself, because in every man is the sense of admiration of beauty. /Happiness only lies in thinking or doing that which one considers beautiful. /Such an act becomes a virtue or goodness./ Thought draws the line of fate./ As mind is naturally impressionable, that means that man is naturally impressionable too./ Most often his illness, health, prosperity, failure, all depends upon the impressions on his mind. /They say 'Lines of fate and death are on the head and palm,' but I would say that it is the impressions man has on his mind which decide his destiny./ A person thinks, 'Someday I should like to build a factory.' /At this time he has no money, no knowledge, no capability; but a thought came, 'Someday I should like to build a factory.'/Then he thinks of something else. /Perhaps years pass, but that thought has been working constantly through a thousand minds, and a thousand sources prepare for him that which he once desired./ If we could look back to all we have thought of at different times, we would find that the line of fate or destiny, Kismet as it is called in the East, is formed by our thought. /Thoughts have prepared for us that happiness or unhappiness which we experience. /The whole of mysticism is founded on this./ One must always say every word with consideration, and should not say what one does not wish to happen. /Those who do not understand the value of suggestion walk after their own fate with a whip in their hand, and those who understand its value and control their word and use it rightly, they are a bliss to themselves and a source of happiness to others./ Misbelief alone misleads; singlemindedness always leads to the goal./ He who sincerely seeks his real purpose in life is himself sought by that purpose. /As he concentrates on that search a light begins to clear his confusion, call it revelation, call it inspiration, call it what you will. /It is mistrust that misleads. /Sincerity leads straight to the goal./ Many are the paths that lead to success. /The difficulty lies in keeping strictly to the chosen path, or in other words in retaining singleness of mind. /There is one means only by which man can attain to a realization of the religious ideal of the Godhead, and that is through sincerity and singlemindedness in the conduct of everyday life./ A person with the tendency to respond will succeed in all walks of life; a person who is not responsive will become disappointed in all affairs of life./ Responsiveness comes by interest, also by concentration, also by power of one's mind. /Responsiveness may be explained as faith, trust, concentration, singlemindedness, a living interest, contemplation, and love. /To respond means to give full attention and not divided attention but single attention./ Responsiveness is focusing one's whole being to something of interest. /When a person, even in his interest in worldly affairs, has so developed his faculty of responsiveness, then it becomes easy for him to respond to the call of the Spirit./ The mystery of responsiveness is that the responsive one must forget himself in order to respond; and the same mystery may be called the path to perfection. /A person who is not capable of forgetting himself, however good, pious, or spiritual, will always prove imperfect in his life. /All misery comes from the consciousness of the self. /The one who does not forget is constantly called by his own limited life, which enslaves him constantly. The one who forgets himself receives the call of God./ A king is ever a king, be he crowned with a jeweled crown or clad in beggar's garb./ Those crowned with beauty are always kings, even if they are in rags or sold as slaves. /A true king is always a king, with or without a throne./ I arrived at a cemetery where a group of dervishes sat on the green grass, chattering together. /They were all poorly clad, some without shoes and others without coats; one had a shirt with only one sleeve and another lacked them both./ One wore a robe with a thousand patches and the next a hat without a crown./ This strange group attracted my attention and I sat there for some time, noticing all that was going on yet feigning to be utterly indifferent. / When the Murshid arrived at the assembly of his disciples each one greeted the other, saying, 'Ishq Allah, Ma'bud Allah!—God is love and God is the beloved! . /The solemnity of the sacred words they uttered found their echo in my soul, thereupon I watched their ceremonial with still greater attention. /The queer patches on their garments reminded me of the words of Hafiz, 'Do not befool thyself by short sleeves full of patches, for most powerful arms are hidden under them.'/ The dervishes first sat lost in contemplation, reciting charms one after the other, and then they began their music. /I forgot all my science and technique while listening to their simple melodies, as they sang to the accompaniment of sitar and dholok the deathless words of the Sufi Masters such as Rumi, Jami, Hafiz, and Shams-i Tabriz. / The most amazing part of the proceedings came when the assembly was about to disperse./ For one of the dervishes arose and, while announcing Bhandara or dinner, addressed them in the following terms, 'O Kings of Kings! O Emperors of Emperors!' /This amused me greatly at the time, while I regarded their outward appearance. /My first thought made them merely kings of imagination, without throne or crown, treasury, courtiers, or dominions—those natural possessions and temporal powers of kingship./ But the more I brooded upon the matter, the more I questioned whether environment or imagination made a king. /The answer came at last: the king is never conscious of his kingship and all its attributes of luxury and might unless his imagination is reflected in them and thus proves his true sovereignty./ And it also reveals how fleeting time and the changes of matter make all the kings of the earth but transitory kings, ruling over transitory kingdoms; this is because of their dependence upon their environment instead of their imagination./ But the kingship of the dervish, independent of all external influences, based purely on his mental perception and strengthened by the forces of his will, is much truer and at once unlimited and everlasting. /Yet in the materialistic view his kingdom would appear as nothing, while in the spiritual conception it is an immortal and exquisite realm of joy./ Verily, they are the possessors of the kingdom of God and all His seen and unseen treasure is in their own possession, since they have lost themselves in God. / Thus I compared our deluded life with the real, and our artificial with their natural being, as one might compare the false dawn with the true. /I realized our folly in attaching undue weight to matters wholly unimportant. /I felt that we were losing the most precious moments and opportunities of life for transitory dross and tinsel, at the sacrifice of all that is enduring and eternal./ To treat every human being as a shrine of God is to fulfill all religion./ Where is the shrine of God?/ It is in the heart of man. /As soon as one begins to consider the feelings of another, one begins to worship God. /There is a story of a murshid who was going with his mureeds to visit some village, and he was keeping a fast. /The mureeds also had taken a vow of fasting. /They arrived at the peasants' home where there was great enthusiasm and happiness and where a dinner was arranged for them./ When they were invited to the table, the murshid went and sat down; but the mureeds did not dare because they had taken a vow of fasting. /Yet they would never mention it to the murshid./ They thought, 'Murshid is forgetful; Murshid has forgotten the vow.' /After dinner was over and they went out the pupils asked, 'Did you not forget the vow of fasting?' /'No,' was the murshid's answer, 'I had not forgotten./ But I preferred breaking the fast rather than the heart of that man who with all his enthusiasm had prepared the food.'/ The thirst for life makes us overlook little opportunities of doing good./ Every moment of life brings an opportunity for being conscious of human feeling, in prosperity, in adversity, in all conditions. /It costs very little; only a little thought is necessary. / There is no greater religion than love./ God is love; and the best form of love is to be conscientious regarding the feelings of those with whom we come in contact in everyday life./ How beautiful are the words of the Prophet: 'The shrine of God is the heart of man.' How true that is! . /He who understands this can worship God even in man. /For when he abides by this philosophy he will always be aware that in every aspect and at every moment he may be injuring or hurting the feelings of God, that he is in danger of breaking the shrine of God in breaking the heart of his fellow man. / What does all this teach us?/ It is all a lesson in sympathy for one's fellow man, to teach us to share in his troubles, in his despair. /For whoever really experiences this joy of life, finds that it becomes so great that it fills his heart and his soul./ It does not matter if he has fewer comforts or an inferior position than many in this world, because the light of his kindness, of his sympathy, of the love that is growing, the virtue that is springing up in his heart, all fill the soul with light. /There is nothing now that he lacks in life, for he has become the king of it./ ~~~ Hijrat Day (Departure Day) -- The day that Inayat Khan departed from India, headed for America, September 13, 1910./ ‘Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them.’ Washington Irving

Friday, June 30, 2017

Hijabis Persist

This play below to be produced is open for further productions./ Any Artistic Director interested please leave info in comment box on this blog and you will be contacted ASAP Hijabis Persist/ Cast of Characters:/ Sadiqa/ Rehana/ Character Breakdown:/ Sadiqa/ Pakistani born US citizen./ She is a Muslim in her twenties, studying American History in Portland University. /Medium height, petite looking, pale complexion. Brown eyes, same color hair cut to shoulder length./ Rehana/ American African classmate of Sadiqa, also Muslim, studying Computer Information Systems. /Tall, athletic looking, large, dark eyes, dark complexion. /In her twenties, wears hijab./ Scene:/ A dorm room scantily furnished with two twin beds and a couple of writing desks. /When the curtain opens, Sadiqa and Rehana are seen lounging on their separate beds with pillows propped behind their backs./ Sadiqa/ Don’t you feel guilty, Rehana, that two men died and one wounded just because you were wearing a hijab./ Rehana/ I only feel anger, that’s all. /How can you say such a thing, Sadiqa? /Have you forgotten those racial slurs thrown at us? /You don’t wear hijab though you claim to be a Muslim. Sadiqa/ True Muslim is one who curbs his or her anger, no matter how harsh the provocation, Prophet Muhammad said./ As to hijab, it has nothing to do with Islam. /Clerics and zealots have concocted this manmade edict to control and oppress Muslim women./ Rehana (Shocked)/ How can you malign your own faith?/ I am proud to be a Muslim and wear hijab to protect my faith./ Sadiqa/ Islam is not about what you wear or how you cover your head, but loving, caring, sharing./ Besides there is not a single verse in the Quran which says Muslim women need to cover their heads./ Rehana (Scoffing)/ I never thought you could be so ignorant./ Don’t you know this verse: And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display their adornments only that which is apparent, and to draw their scarves over their bosoms. 24:31 Quran./ Sadiqa (Smiling)/ Sure!/ Clerics succeeding in distorting Quranic verses and seducing Muslim girls to cover their heads, who cares about the bosom part, just look like penguins by wearing hijab, maybe that tickles the fancy of Cleric’s zeal, who knows. /That verse was revealed in response to pagan women going around Kaaba wearing low-neck dresses with their bosoms revealed./ Rehana (Frowning)/ I have never heard you talk like this before. /I guess we never discussed religion. How about this verse in the Quran: / O ye who believe! Enter not the dwellings of the Prophet for a meal without waiting for the proper time, unless permission is granted you. /But if you are invited, enter, and when your meal is ended, disperse. /Lingering not for conversation. /Lo, that would cause annoyance to the Prophet and he would be shy of asking you to go, but Allah is not shy of truth. /And when you ask of the wives of the Prophet anything, ask it from them behind a curtain. 33:53 Quran./ Sadiqa/ Another tool of tyranny and distortion in the hands of zealots. /This verse has nothing to do with hijab or veiling. It was revealed right after Prophet’s marriage to Zainab. /The wedding guests lingered over the food and didn’t leave until it was very late in the night./ Rehana (Desperately)/ How come then that so many Muslim girls wear hijab?/ Sadiqa/ How come that countless more who don’t wear hijab, yet they are devout Muslims./ Rehana (Confused)/ I don’t know./ Sadiqa/ I will tell you why, because they believe in living Islam by the example of Prophet’s own life and by his Message of love, peace and harmony. /Not by touting unIslamic hijab as a symbol of Islam. /It’s like shouting: Look at me, I am a Muslim!/ Rehana (Persistently)/ I don’t think that way./ Hijab is part of my faith and I want to preserve it against these sudden tides of hate and Islamophobia./ Sadiqa/ Extremists are cause of this Islamophobia and they are very happy to see the symbols of their zeal over the heads of the young girls. /Saudi Arabia funneling money into mosques to make zealots of Muslims and luring them to their dens of hate for killing. /Suicide bombers are promised reward of houris in heaven, though suicide is forbidden in Islam, not allowed under any condition./ Rehana/ How do you know that mosques are breeding zealots since you don’t even go to the mosque?/ Sadiqa/ Because my friends tell me so. /They also tell their parents they don’t want to go to the mosque because mulla teaches hatred./ Rehana/ I don’t know which mosque they go to? /Our Maulvi is nice. He teaches us to love one another, how to dress, what to eat, say our prayers and stay away from sins. /Somehow I feel hijab is holy. /It’s my fight against all this hate and prejudice which many Muslims suffer silently. /If I took it off I would feel naked. /Yes, it’s my fight against bigotry and hate-mongering./ Sadiqa (Laughing)/ You are steering this fight in the wrong direction. /Fight the bigotry and hypocrisy of the zealots. /Discard all symbols of zeal and anger, and hatred and prejudice will melt away./ Rehana/ You don’t understand the sanctity of hijab./ You have never worn one./ Sadiqa (Laughing again)/ Yes, I have!/ Our mulla at the mosque, when I did go to the mosque, convinced me that hijab is Islamic and I must wear it to become a good Muslim. /My mom was so upset, exclaiming: /I would never get a good husband looking like a penguin. /Yet I persisted for two years until I went to Egypt to study Arabic./ My teacher over there, I discovered, was a great Islamic scholar and she told me that hijab has nothing to do with Islam, no mention of such a thing in the Quran or Sunnah. /She also told me that by not wearing hijab and teaching my friends to do so might help the plight of the oppressed Saudi women who are forced to wear niqab, abeya./When I returned to US without hijab, my mom teased: /How could you not believe your own mother but only your Islamic teacher in Egypt./ Rehana/ Amazing! What’s niqab or abeya?/ Sadiqa/ Wahhabi version of unIslamic hijab, niqab is a veil with only two slits for eyes. /Abeya is black, more like a death-shroud covering Muslim women from head to toe, and they must wear it if they leave their home. /Also they are not allowed to be alone on the streets unless accompanied by a male chaperone./ Rehana/ Awful! What is Wahhabi?/ Sadiqa/ Rather, Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia which has replaced Islam with its distorted version of manmade laws. /Oppressing women, breeding extremists, killing Muslims and non-Muslims in the name of Islam./ Rehana/ Can’t imagine such a dark country could still exist in this century twenty-one./ I feel I have been sleepwalking all my life. /How are the conditions in Pakistan? Do girls wear hijab?/ Sadiqa/ Not when I was growing up, I had never seen anyone wear hijab./ I didn’t even know what hijab was until I migrated to US./ At one of the Muslim gatherings I noticed one woman with this kind of head-covering. /I asked someone seated next to me why she was covering her head. I was told she was from India and what she was wearing was called hijab. /A decade later when I visited my hometown Lahore in Pakistan I thought I had entered a hijabi city. /Forty percent of the girls wore hijabs. /My aunts told me that Saudis were funding Islamic schools and their Wahhabi teachings were making Pakistani girls hijabis and boys zealots if not suicide bombers./ Rehana/ It’s frightening! /And I thought I knew everything about Islam. / Now that I am beginning to learn I can’t explain this sudden need inside me to help others./ How can I help?/ Sadiqa/ Take first step of feeling guilty, no matter how innocently you became instrument of the tragic deaths of Ricky Best and Taliesen Namkai-Meche./ This will jumpstart the rite of atonement and you will feel cleansed of all anger. /Simultaneously, look within you and start feeling truly and eternally grateful to Micah Fletcher, the wounded survivor of racially charged Jeremy Joseph Christian./ Rehana/ Oh, I feel so stupid and miserable. /Even now my anger for Christian is more than my guilt in wearing hijab which became the cause of tragic deaths./ I can feel this wild impulse in me goading me to hit Christian over and over again if it could make America Great Again. /As if that would avenge the deaths of two innocent angels who stood up to defend me against the barrage of racial slurs./ Sadiqa (Sadly)/ This impulse of yours reminds me of Christ’s saying: Resist not Evil. /Hazrat Inayat Khan, one of the Sufi teachers explains that Resist not Evil means, when there is resistance to evil of the other person, do not become angry with him./ When you foster the same emotion, you add to his, and you increase the same fire in yourself. /It is like infecting yourself with a contagious disease instead of curing it. /Anger and bitterness will die in time./ Rehana/ I need to learn more, about Christians too, and from learned Muslims, it is becoming obvious. /With no fault of my own and perhaps ignorantly, I became the instrument of two tragic deaths. /I need to do something, to help, to atone, what can I do?/ Sadiqa/ After the completion of first step, the second in line is to take off your hijab and reach out to as many Muslim girls as you can to educate them in the true precepts of Islam. /Convince them to challenge the manmade edicts of zealots by making a pile of discarded hijabs and feed those symbols of zeal to the flames./ Rehana (Peeling off her hijab)/ What’s next?/ Sadiqa/ Continue reaching out to young Muslim girls till centuries-old lies of the zealots are replaced with the purity of Islamic truth./ Rehana/ And what is the truth?/ Sadiqa/ Truth is a relative term, yet during the lifetime of the Prophet, Muslim women participated in public life and didn’t wear hijabs. /The pagan women as well as women from Judo-Christian background wore veil and hijab as mark of wealth, status and distinction. /To instill the virtue of equality amongst Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad forbade the Muslim women to wear veils./ Rehana/ I think I will reach out as far as Saudi Arabia till the oppressed women over there are not forced to wear those death-shrouds while still living. /What do say those dark gowns are, abeyas, I guess./ Sadiqa (Cheerfully)/ What about Afghanistan where Taliban love to imprison all women in burqas./ Rehana/ What is burqas?/ Sadiqa/ Burqa, twin of Saudi abeya, you might say, white death-shroud, but it can be of any color with only mesh around the eyes to look at the world, breath almost choked. /When Taliban ruled Afghanistan, they used to flog women even if their one toe was visible from under the burqa./ Rehana/ So much cruelty in the world, unbelievable! /And women oppression worst of all in many countries./ Sadiqa/ Not as brutal as in Saudi Arabia. /Their Religious Police oppressing women on the streets and at home./Yet, Muslim girls themselves in other countries inventing their own zeal and mode of self-oppression or glorification, don’t know which one? Have you heard, burkinis?/ Rehana/ Yes, in France, those Muslim girls fashioning their own swimwear, even hijabis look down upon. /They do look ridiculous, even looking like penguins doesn’t look that bad. /Yet, now it makes sense why they call it burkini, sort of combination of burqa and bikini./ Sadiqa/ Saddest part is even name-brand companies are portraying hijabi girls as young Islamic models to promote their shoes, jewelry and clothing./ As to burkini, covered from head to toe, they seem to be proclaiming: Look at me, I am a Muslim./ Didn’t I say that before?/ Rehana/ At times I too thought it sad, but now the thought itself depresses me./ I am beginning to see that Muslim girls like me are going through identity crisis. /Our parents too feel threatened as if their religion is being swallowed by Western ideology of feminism, if not by Christian way of living. /I have not much thought about it, since the thought itself is gloomy./ Sadiqa/ Let’s discard our own present gloom too, and think of cheerful living in hope of a better future. /Together, we will stand against the hurdles of bigotry. /And even without our help, many more like Micah Fletcher will stay alive to make America proud as the land of Liberty, chivalry and compassion./ Rehana (Thoughtfully getting down from the bed)/ Not yet time to sleep. So, let’s find some halal place to eat in Portland./ Sadiqa (Sprinting down her own bed and laughing)/ In Pakistan they say:/All zealots go searching for halal meat in the market with haram money in their pockets. /Haram in this context meaning money obtained as bribery, extortion, drug-dealing./ The Curtain/ ‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’ /Henry S. Haskins

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Muslim Teens in US

Since decades zealots have wreaked havoc worldwide/ Killing God’s creatures in name of Islam/ Wandering in daze without a divine guide/ Tilling earth with swords of hate causing much harm/ Blaspheming against Allah and His Prophet/ Murdering Muslims and non-Muslims by feverish resolve/ Inciting anger against Muslims in whole world/ Rosary of evil in their hearts Around their bloody thoughts revolve/ Yet never in history of America before/ Muslim girl killed by zealot of another kind/ Till Trump’s rhetoric of hate left open wide door/ To volcanic anger for his supporters to easily find/ Their victims close to the precincts of a mosque/ Brutal murder most craven/ Will US injustice let them in glory bask/ For beating to death of NABRA HASSANEN/ Yet one might ask why one life more lamented than millions more/ While daily countless are massacred/ Yet again if US is caught in storm of lies galore/ Each life most precious with hate slaughtered/ Again and again harsh reminder for Muslims to contemplate/ Truth in their hearts where what went wrong/ Still opportunity for Muslim parents to educate/ Their teens to sing life’s song/ God dwells in loving hearts/ Not in mosques of marble coldness/ When zeal in favor of wisdom departs/ Ignorance melts against light of goodness/ Untimely death of teens is saddest of all/ When tragedy hits home with knife of hate/ Zeal rises to witness truth’s fall/ Balm to grief if we can blame all on fate/ Tragedy of all tragedies/ When mother loses young daughter/ To ravages of hate maladies/ Heart weeps eyes only see blood and slaughter/ Zeal of one Faith or Other Faith is no less brutal/ To kill God’s creatures is to malign Creator/ Anger stems from hate to acts cruel/ Murder becomes game as well as Creed of hater/ TO GRIEVING WORLD A BRIEF NOTE OF HOPE/ In tides of highs and lows/ Life coasts along/ River of love in hearts smoothly flows/ To this knowledge of universal truth we all belong/ AND A QUOTE FROM ELEANOR ROOSEVELT/ ‘It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself’ MAY ALL SUFFERED AND SUFFERING FIND LOVE AND PEACE