Sufi Wisdom

Rumi once explained that there are two types of intelligence or wisdom. The first is that acquired intelligence which is gained through education; studying from books and lecturers, memorizing, reflecting and forming concepts. This intelligence has its uses, but it can also sometimes be a burden. The second type of intelligence is a gift of wisdom from God.

Acquired intelligence is like water supply entering a house from outside, if the supply is blocked the house may go without water, but the wisdom that is a gift from God flows from the heart. therefore e he advised the people to seek the wisdom that God may bestow upon a person more than acquired intelligence.

Intuition is an internal wisdom that exists at the core of each individual. This includes the intuition of the Fitra (the true nature of humans) and the subconscious memory of seeing God before entering the fetus, the memory of Him informing us that He is our Lord and Creator and that we should worship Him.

Intuition exists somewhere between intellect and emotion and it is the product of repeated pattern recognition. It is not intellectual, although intellectual knowledge aids it and neither is it emotional, although emotion informs it. Rather than intuition being the slave of emotion or intellect it is their true master.

The ‘humanist’ 20th century psychologist Carl Rogers became aware of the inner wisdom that resides in each individual whilst he was working as a psychotherapist. He called this inner ability to perceive things accurately, and to function in ways that promote well-being, the Organismic Valuing Process. Others such as Abraham Maslow have also become aware of the innate intuitive human ability of self-actualization.

Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and give him peace) is reported to have explained that ‘Religion (Islam) is sincere talking helping and good advice’ (Bukhari). He (may God bless him and give him peace) often gave wise counsel to the people such as explaining ‘make the most of five things before five others, life before death, health before sickness, free time before becoming busy, youth before old age, and wealth before poverty.’ (Saheeh al-Jaami).

Imam Jalaluddeen Suyuti (ra) recorded a narration that summarized the Holy Prophet’s (may God bless him and give him peace) practically talking helping a person over a broad range of areas in one meeting. Suyuti (ra) records how one time a person came to the Holy Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace) and asked him to counsel him on some important issues. The Holy Prophet’s counsel is paraphrased below;

Question,

O Rasoolollah I desire to become an Alim.

Answer,

Fear and obey God and knowledge and wisdom will come to you.

Question,

I desire to be wealthy.

Answer,

If you choose contentment you will be wealthy.

Question,

I wish to be of the best of people.

Answer,

The one who benefits others is the best of people…..

Question,

I want to become a just person.

Answer,

Do for others what you like for yourself so you may become a just person.

Question,

I wish to be liked in the court of God.

Answer,

Then practice the Dhikr of God Ta’aala.

Question,

I desire to be amongst the devout.

Answer,

Worship God as though you are seeing Him….

Question,

I wish that my faith should be perfect.

Answer,

Correct your personality and your faith will become perfect.

Question,

I wish to be classed amongst the obedient.

Answer,

Perform your Fard duties so that you will be counted amongst the obedient.

Question,

I wish to be resurrected with light in the Resurrection.

Answer,

Avoid oppressing others and you will be resurrected with light on the Day of Judgement.

Question,

I desire God’s Mercy.

Answer,

Show mercy upon yourself and the creation of God Ta’ala and He will show Mercy to you.

Question,

I wish for my sins to decrease..

Answer,

Seek God Ta’ala’s forgiveness and your sins will decrease……

Question,

I wish to be honoured.

Answer,

Avoid complaining in difficult times and you will be honoured.

Question,

I desire abundant provisions..

Answer,

Always remain in a state of purity so there will be blessings in your provision.

Question,

I wish to become the friend of God and His Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace).

Answer,

Like the things that God and His Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace) like and dislike that which they dislike….

Question,

 

I desire to be saved from the anger of God Ta’ala.

Answer,

Do not become angry with anyone without having a valid Shariah reason so that you are saved from the anger of God.

Question,

I wish to become a person who’s supplications are accepted by God.

Answer,

Abstain form unlawful things and unlawful speech.

Question,

I desire that God won’t disgrace me in front of everyone on the Day of Judgement.

Answer,

Hide the faults of your brother and God Ta’ala will cover your faults.

***

 

“A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.”

(William Blake – a wise saying)

A rich profligate

 

is a lump of earth gilded

 

and a pious ascetic worshiper

 

is a sweetheart

 

covered in earth.

 

The latter

 

is the patched garment of Moses

 

and the former

 

is the bejeweled beard of Pharaoh.

 

Nevertheless good men

 

retain a cheerful countenance in adversity

 

whilst the rich droop their heads

 

even in prosperity.

 

Who possesses wealth and dignity

 

but therewith succours not those

 

whose minds are distressed,

 

Warn him wealth and dignity

 

will not be his the mansion

 

of the next world.

(Saadi)

Many wise people have explained that the secret of happy life is to be in harmony with your Merciful Creator and enjoy it, appreciating the things He gives you.

 

When fortune is a person’s slave

 

His heart is perpetually disposed towards obedience.

 

It is not fit to turn aside one’s head from servitude,

 

since fortune is obtainable from obedience.

 

Happiness is procured from obedience;

 

The heart becomes illumined from the light of obedience.

 

If you girds thy loins with submission,

 

Thou wilt open the door of everlasting happiness.

 

The wise man doth not turn his head from obedience,

 

since no excellence is more lofty than obedience.

 

Keep your ablutions freshened with the waters of obedience,

 

so that to-morrow you may be free as from fire.

 

Establish your prayers with sincerity,

 

So that you may attain everlasting prosperity.

 

Enlightenment of soul springs from obedience,

 

Just as the earth derives light from the sun.

 

Worship the Creator;

 

Sit down in the portals of obedience.

 

If you makes choice to worship the Creator,

 

you will be a chieftain in the kingdom of fortune.

 

Raise thy head and keep not abstinence in thy pocket,

 

for Paradise is the abode of the abstinent.

 

Lighten the lamp of your soul with piety,

 

that you may become happy, like the prosperous

 

Whoever is clad with the garment of genuine spirituality

 

has no fear for the trials of the day of Judgement.

(from Saadi)