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About a Sufi

While there is no precise definition of a ‘Sufi’ the description of one is of a person who is ‘pure’. By being pure it is meant that the sufi rids from himself his impurities that have been a part of him owing to his being human.

This is a journey to perfection. God has gifted humankind with a very powerful gift: “knowledge” and using this gift you rid yourself of impurities. I have written about this in my post: “Why Ego is bad” and also in my post: “How to achieve the ultimate goal”.

While on this journey your “shaoor” (urdu) improves, i.e. you come closer to enlightenment. By this I mean you understand reality better and you come closer to the “ultimate reality”.

The Quran it is said is a book of wisdom – a book that has said many things in parables. And by wisdom is meant “truth of the ultimate reality”. Wisdom it is because knowledge is derived from it. All knowledge is derived from wisdom which I have already described. And this knowledge is the key to becoming ‘pure’ or closer to the ultimate reality i.e. closer to God.

A sufi while on his journey tries to develop “Ishq e Haqiqi”. I will give you a better description of this then that I have given in my earlier post: Ishq e Haqiqi has two components (breaking it down linguistically): “Ishq” and “Haqiqat”.

Ishq is the highest point that you have felt with somebody or something. For example the highest point that you have felt with your mother is Ishq. The highest point you have felt with a friend, or even with God that is Ishq. Laila and Majnu/ Romeo and Juliet, the highest point of their love was Ishq.

Haqiqi comes from Haqiqat which means reality and it is one of the most radical concepts in Islam.

And so Ishq e Haqiqi is “Ishq of haqiqat” and that is what a sufi develops as he uses knowledge to free himself of the troubles in his everyday life, by working on himself and improving himself, thus empowering himself.

By doing this he also experiences freedom. A very good quote about freedom by Daniel J. Boorstin is: “Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.”

Now so people say that to get to Ishq e Haqiqi (the superior kind of love) you have to have Ishq e Mijazi (which you would have with your partner for example). They say this figuratively but the point they want to communicate is very important: You have to be “Lateef” in order to develop Ishq e Haqiqi.

“Lateef” , the best description I have for this is: “being light spirited”. A person with the “soul of a woman” is lateef. That’s why I think women generally are more Lateef, although they can be very crass too if they don’t have the security that comes from knowledge.

And to me “latafat” is the spirit of/one of the sources within man of knowledge. If you are lateef you will be able to think freely!

An excellent poem by CONSTANTINE CAVAFY (1863–1933) translated by Rae Dalven tells us about this journey:


ITHACA

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon—do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your heart does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would never have set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

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Explanation of the movie 'Revolver'

I saw the movie for the umpteenth time last night and I finally got it.

This is what the movie says:

1) In every game and con there is always a victim and there is always an opponent. It's good to know when you are the former so you can become the latter.

2) But the question is how do you prepare yourself for this game?

3) You only get smater by playing a smarter opponent.

4) The smarter the game the smarter the opponent

5) Checkers is an example of such a game. Chess is a better game. Debate is an even better opportunity to learn and so on.

6) But the question is where does the game stop? or one can ask what is the smartest game one can play?

7) The answer according to the movie is: "The game of con you play with yourself".

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The text below has been added on 3 Dec 2008 and is based on a comment posted on October 30, 2008, at time 4:12 PM. I have only recently understood what this person meant and it is …

What the journey means to me

My journey so far has been about discovering the meta rules of how the self works. The essence of what I have learnt is that the self can change and in fact does change every time it undergoes an experience. Where any experience is significant because of the meaning it carries for us. It means something to us by the fact: it changes our feelings from state (state a) to another state (state b). Where this movement between states is a process we can call witnessing.  The exercise of witnessing can be powerful and enriching.  In fact if we could communicate what we have witnessed through poetry or through prose, perhaps with the aid of metaphors, we could share these experiences with our family, friends and with the larger community. 
Thus to go in retrospect and search for meaning in the experiences we have had can help us grow mature, become stronger and make us more aware.

My Criteria for my marriage partner

1) She should be a home maker. 10 on a scale of 10
2) I should be able to fall in love with her and her with me … 7 on a scale of 10.

First criteria:

10 on a scale of 1-10 for this criteria because I consider my family my second self. The better my partner will be at making my family the best the better off my second self will be. Who doesn’t want to aim for the best? In accordance with this she should have the best of the characteristics that every home maker should have:

1) Intelligent
2) Practical
3) Ability to take stress and bounce back – agility of mind
4) High level of commitment
5) Principled
6) Caring
7) Want her children to be the best
8) Want to learn how to make her children the best

Of course there is an ideal woman out there who would rank very high in all these areas. But then I have to be practical too. I would want to marry the most ideal woman who is compatible with me. Compatibility is covered in the second criteria.


Second Criteria:

Description of scale:

5: passes the basic crite…