When the CEO fell for the Majzoob

This story will confound you through and through

A CEO fell for a poor majzoob

She was the founder of a beauty brand

He lived on streets and hung around the strands

She worked so hard to build her own empire

The presence of Allah his only desire

She’d made enough money for long lifetimes

He slept in rags whilst witnessing the Divine

She had been scarred by handsome parasites

His only fear to lose dear Allah’s sight

And so one day, next to the riverbank

The CEO strolled by, with workers flanked

And so along this path, the majzoob staggered

Drunk with Allah, and looking rather haggard

These two conundrums met by the streaming water

The CEO took off her sunglasses and faltered

And though the crazy guy appeared offensive

She saw in his deep eyes a beauty intensive

Taken aback by wonder so supreme

Which shone in eyes that never touched eye cream

Inside a voice said to her, “He’s the one…”

And she was drawn like moths unto the sun

Discarding all her aides and pompery

She said to him: “you’re the one for me!”

The majzoob stilled himself and shook his head

Then chose to give her some advice instead:

“You’ll never find true peace in just a man…

Flee to Allah and take Mustafa’s kind hands

I’m not the one; Allah is One, you see…

Through Him be rich, and vanish in His seas…”

And whilst these two engaged in reverie

An aide piped up: “are such positions open for me?”

THE STRANGEST MILAAD MEHFIL EVER IN BIRMINGHAM

Mustafa and Ali stood outside Masjid Abu Bakr, which was nestled into the corner of ancient Walford street and the adjoining Stratham Road. Row upon row of red bricked, terraced, Victorian houses dominated the scene. Busy traffic zoomed by as Friday evening had arrived; the sun was settling for its slumber, and the late-night shopping districts were now warming up for the oncoming shoppers.

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The Murid, the Sage, the Water Hole, the Spade

A murid called his sage with yearning eyes

“Show me the secrets of your enterprise…”

“Okay,” the sage replied, “let it be told

With this spade that I give you dig a hole

And dig until you find the quenching water

Then drown in it your vices and their daughters

When you are pure and washed, prepare your eyes

For the boundless secrets of our enterprise.”

The shaykh led the murid to a special pit

And showed the spade and how to dig with it

“Keep digging for the water, don’t give up

Don’t let the fiends of doubt your hopes disrupt!”

And so the seeker dug on through the day

And through the night without any dismay

But as the days went on although he cried

No water came although he tried and tried

The shaykh appeared again, “Keep digging my dear friend

The deeper that you dig, the deeper your great end!”

And on the final day murid was really straining

The shaykh arrived to beautify this training

“Have you discovered water yet my son?

Have you tasted the water of the One?”

The murid cried with anguish, “my dear Shaykh!

I’ve dug without success my heart it really aches!”

And then the Shaykh so soft were his deep eyes

Some wondrous tears appeared light and divine

Each tear fell in the hole with the murid

In just a glance it filled up to his knees

And then below the earth gave way and bled

Fresh water merged with tears the sage had shed

The murid dived and bathed in flowing water

The secrets of the way in his soul’s quarters

And now a hole murid had strained to dig

Was like a lake refreshing, clear and big!

The murid returned to shore with his sage smiling

“My son you’ve found something so enterprising

But if you dug deeper for Allah’s sake

You would have found His ocean, not just a lake!”

For Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, may Allah bless him

The Brave New World Of Sufism

The-Brave-New-World-Of-Sufism

Transcript from an interview between Mureed Supreme, Mostafa Marx and host, Uncle John, recorded live at the studios, in the Fukrfield Festival of Democracy and Equality, at the London arena in Central London.

December, 2080

(Theme Music followed by rapturous studio applause. MM and UJ lighted on the stage, seated on stylish leather chairs and separated by a smart coffee table with glasses and water decanter. Applause and music fades out)

UJ: Welcome, my dear audience and citizens at home, to another segment of ‘Talking Heads’, I’m Uncle John. And today I would like to introduce our guest, none other than Mureed Supreme, Mostafa Marx! (Applause)

MM: Many thanks, John! God bless, God Bless! (Applause ends)

UJ: So let’s cut right to the chase. You are Mureed Supreme of what’s known as ‘tariqa waahidiyya’. Could you tell us more about your movement and its achievements since you were given this role?

UJ: Well, Uncle John, first of all, I would like to thank you for your kindness in inviting me onto your programme where I can discuss this critical work we’ve been doing. As you know, our society has quite rightly equalised every facet: parents and children, teacher and student, police and citizen, prime minister and constituent. We have finally reached a societal reality, thanks to our Founding Citizens, in which parents can no longer manipulate and control their kids; teachers can no longer wield authority over their learners; and even the leader of our country over the lay person on the street. We are all equal, and only God is higher- but even that height is in all of us…. God is one- but the knowledge, the truth and the power are in the many….. And religions, of whose heart is Sufism, is no exception to these ideals…

UJ: Mmm, fascinating, please elaborate about Sufism….. How so?

MM: Well, in primitive times, when people believed in the supernatural and so-called ‘spiritual states’ like ma’rifa, shuhood, hubb, shukr, and kashifaat, this all went hand in hand with notions of hierarchy, respect, deference and obedience to what was known as the ‘shaykh’. A ‘shaykh’ was supposedly someone who had attained these supernatural, spiritual states and could transfer them state into an aspirant, thereby helping their student or mureed to tread a path of enlightenment and journey in God. All Pugwash, I have to say! These spiritual states and these spiritual guides were mostly psychological tricks performed by charlatans, wielding undemocratic power over their students and committing various acts of spiritual, physical and sexual abuse at will. Whilst the few so-called ‘real’ ones, one could say, brought some kind of inner peace into the lives of their associates through ‘ma’rifa’, the majority were pushing the faithful towards an abyss of humility, forbearance and frankly extremist quietism. But as the Founding Citizens showed us so clearly, supernaturalism indeed is all in the head, there is no God but God- which really means the God of the mind. Religion and spirituality work at their best through their facilitation of socialization, camaraderie, and communal spirit. We kept the latter and got rid of the former.

UJ: Okay, that sounds rather challenging… How on earth did you rid our society of the evil of supernaturalism?

MM: Well, we came up with these ingenious devices known as the ma’rifa and shuhood inhibitors. We patented them of course. And these wonderful, life-saving devices were used on so-called shaykhs and mureeds who displayed signs of supernatural states, like spiritual tears, visions, light in the face, peaceful countenance, and so forth. The ma’rifa and shuhood inhibitors were installed on these individuals and frankly, after some time, they were cured of their so-called inner peace and inner light….

UJ: Oh yeah, how is that?

MM: Well the inhibitors were essentially locked-in headphones and digital glasses. Every time these wackos felt a bit spiritual and thought they were touching the so-called divine light of God, the inhibitor kicked in, and they got blasted by some real-world stimuli, like flashes of pornography, or hearing orgasms, and the like. The glasses had these neat, high definition video screens and the headphones crystal clears. Just some regular flashes and screams while these guys went for their morning prayer, or said invocation before sleep, and all that so-called ‘shuhood’ or ‘ma’rifa’ poured out of them like water in an unplugged bath.

UJ: So you got the old God out of them…

MM: Indeed, out with the old, in with the new…. We got rid of these shaykhs, these spiritual states, these undemocratic relationships, these inevitable oppressive structures and spread the concepts of equality and oneness. We abolished all the tariqas, and united them into one, tariqa Waahidiyya- the way of the one. No more Qadariyya, Naqshbandiyya, Shadhiliyya and all their ilk that claimed to be supernatural chains to attain these bogus spiritual states. Complete nonsense; and all divisive, conflicting bodies of shaykhs and mureeds vying with each other to see who has the most mureeds, who has the biggest tomb, who has the most attended zikrs. The tariqas were complete chaos. We abolished all notions of shaykhs and shaykhdom- now there are only mureeds, or seekers and enlightenment is naturally found within- no other has an authority and access to special knowledge that another has to show deference to. We are one and equal, our God is one and equal, and even the Prophets, every one of them, are the same as every one of us- they were just stepping stones to the rational zenith we have reached now, all through the tremendous work of the Founding Citizens. Currently, anyone who wants to enter the path of Sufism registers online, pays a monthly membership fee, and has access to every Sufi centre and mosque on this earth. 

UJ: Hmm, fascinating, fascinating… But now, as this is Talking Heads…

MM: Indeed, indeed, I know what’s coming up

UJ: Yes, yes, you know it. devil’s advocate. I have to play it.

MM: I knew you would play devil’s advocate….although the devil is all in the mind and in the small print! (mild laughter)

UJ: As your detractors say, including that renegade so-called shaykh who is still at large…. Haven’t you gotten rid of the heart of Sufism? Isn’t the whole point, that Sufism links you to the ineffable presence, through an ineffable, physical representative on earth? And surely, some deference should be showed for the one who brought such riches to your heart?

MM: Ah, yes, you quote the words of the devil himself and advocate for him well! Insha Allah the authorities will catch him and end his heresy soon….. He loves to talk about the ineffable… But as the Founding Citizens have taught us, ineffability leads to oppression- the supernatural was the biggest stumbling block and inhibitor of human progress. The so-called shaykh and his magical tricks cannot prevent the road of progress moving on through the supreme democracy of the human project.

LONG LIVE THE FOUNDING CITIZENS! (He rises and salutes. UJ and the audience follow suit then they all sit down)

UJ: Do you have a message for the shaykh if he is watching this programme or otherwise?

MM: Yes- stop pretending you are conduit for ma’rifa- become a conduit for the supremacy of the mind and equality of the human race. Amen

UJ: Mostafa- a pleasure as always. Mostafa Marx dear audience!

(Applause)

Dear English Tongue

My dreaming language, dear English tongue!

Through Shakespeare you’ve enthralled the old and young

But through imperialism and technology

You’ve left a trail of pain and lethargy

So let me boost your lexis and your art

By using you to praise the Prophet’s heart!

Dear English tongue, Muhammad, peace on him

His miracle was light that shone within

So brilliant and fine his inner light

That Aisha found a needle deep in the night!

Dear English tongue, Muhammad, peace on him

His character was pure, beyond the whim

His miracle was the eloquent Quran

Whose verses still the soul, protect from harm

Dear English tongue, Muhammad, peace on him,

You may ask us, why do we love him?

As when he was accosted by cruel words

He was loving despite the hate he heard

Dear English tongue, you may think this rather odd

But through Muhammad, you will reach The Only God

The Only One, that people in the West

Think is a myth and their English tongue knows best

But English tongue, know this I do beseech

That every word exists through Allah’s speech…

And Peace and Blessings on Muhammadan!

From Edinburgh, and Cardiff and London!

Oscar Wilde Meets Ahmed Al Alawi

In my imaginings, in 1893

Oscar Wilde meets Ahmed Al Alawi

Wilde is on a search for a harem

With Lord Alfred in the streets of Mostaganem

Then above the town, a tempest tossed

Wilde can’t see his lover; Alfred is lost

And in the churning rain, Wilde sees a light

Emanating from a house there on the right

He bounds towards it, thinking of Alfred

Where has my lover gone? He frets and dreads.

And so he enters this humble abode

A simple dwelling glimmering on the road

The door is left ajar; richly shines sunlight

Strange, he thinks, at this time of night

He enters, wondering of this strange sun

Hidden within this house, how is this done?

Then in a room, sitting still, upright

Oscar sees a man encircled by light

A soft white turban crowning his head

And skinny as a rake, he’s hardly fed

But strange! O strange! The sunlight in his face

Somehow in this room from outer space!

Wilde intrigued, now speaks to him in French

Here is a translation of their sense

Wilde begins: “Why greetings my dear fellow!

I have a problem I want to let you know!”

“Welcome my friend,” proclaims Al Alawi

A far look in his eyes, his voice friendly.

Wilde erupts: “I’ve lost my loving friend

Somewhere within this storm; around the bend

I cannot live whilst he is there exposed

And I am safe in separation’s throes

But tell me my dear man what of this light

Which rises like the sun in this dire night?”

Shaykh Al Alawi with piercing eyes

“It is the light of One,” he just replies

“Who or what is One? What do you mean?”

Oscar speaks and more he is intrigued.

“The Presence Absolute; the Only Light

The One True Being shines right through my sight”

Speaks Al Alawi, with overwhelming peace

Oscar thinks- this is nothing like our priests…

“How do I find this light of which you speak?

How do I feel this Oneness so to speak?”

Al Alawi replies: “You must divest

From love of things and people that transgress

The sacred law and balance of the earth

Then you’ll feel this light which comes from birth.”

Oscar Wilde dismisses and decries:

“How can you say that, don’t you understand

I love Sir Alfred though he be a man

And isn’t love what makes the planets turn

How can you censure me as my heart burns?”

“You asked me how to realise the Light

It’s up to you to do what you think right

If you can shun aside love of this world

Everywhere you step, you’ll find a pearl

If you can say the Name on everything

From name to Named you’ll shift, you’ll soar with wings

When He who’s Named effulges through your heart

His love will radiate; and fears depart

His light will shine through you as will the meanings

The sensory will no longer be deceiving

But if you seek Him, you must sacrifice

This love you hold for people of this life

So purge the love of him whom you adore

And filter it upon the sacred law.”

Oscar says: “dear sir how can I seal

This love I feel for him, for me it’s real.

How can I live with authenticity?

If I deny this love inside of me?”

“Well brother,” replies Shaykh Al Alawi

“For me there’s only one reality

Which scintillates the eyes of our true hearts

Which highlights truth and falsehood so apart

For me the ocean merges in the drops

For me the One illumines, and never stops

For me, I read the Name on everything

And every person until there is nothing

And now through Him I live as you can see

So choose the temporal or infinity…”

The tempest ebbs and now the sky is clear

Oscar Wilde now finds this man so queer

“Thanks for your time, dear sir,” and off he goes

In the distance, Alfred waves and glows

In the house, Al Alawi just prays

The Names of Him reveal and interplay

The Mureed Of Sorts Who Took His Sufi Shaykh To Court!

Once there was a bold mureed of sorts

Who went and took his sufi shaykh to court!

He stood before the judge with indignation

The shaykh stood in the docks with resignation

“So what’s your case?” began the magistrate

As jury, public, media stood in wait:

“Dear judge,” began the bold mureed of sorts

“By this man I was guided, helped and taught

But now I’ve realised, he is of no use!

As he has subjected me to spiritual abuse!”

“Describe in detail your experience,”

The judge advised with this august appearance:

“Well,” said the mureed, “Let me start with this

He made me give my own ego the miss!

He forced me to reduce my reputation

By begging in the streets with humiliation

Then he said that I would be inspired

If I gave up my ego’s deep desires.”

The mureed wept, tears streaming down his face

He looked up to the judge: “Sorry your grace.”

“So what was the result?” enquired the judge

“Well here’s the crux of my permitted grudge

This sufi shaykh committed heresy

By making me forego my agency

He forced me to ingest unearthly wine

Which he said had appeared from the divine

And then I lost all concept of my self

All I could see was light and heavenly wealth

I was imprisoned in the malakut

Where angels served my needs all to my suit

But here’s the worst reality you see

All I could see was Him; nowhere was me!”

The mureed opened his indignant eyes

And stared around the court in great surprise

For judge and jury looking rather guilty

Now stood before the shaykh swearing their fealty!

The judge said: “dear mureed, you got us thinking

I think we’ll have what you have just been drinking!”

Mobeen Hood and the Crooked Pir

Pir Sikandar was a Gaddi Nasheen 

Who had more properties than Her Majesty the Queen 

Every Friday in his local mosque 

He gathered copious funds like a hungry fox 

Rupees from poor and rich whatever the vibe 

And to his TV channel, all, they must subscribe 

And if any of his followers decried 

“The curse of God on misers!” He would cry.  

His house was more a palace than khanqah 

For driving, he would cruise around in sports cars 

While most of his mureeds got by in rickshaws 

And most lived in crowded flats and on one floor 

But amongst all these, there was a wild malang 

With the honey bees of Love, he had been stung 

This roaming dervish, he was called Mobeen 

His face looked rough- his heart was most serene 

He loved some stories, but one he thought was good 

Was about the Merry men and Robin Hood! 

One night to God, he cried and he implored: 

“I will perform one thing that Thou deplores 

I’ll steal the funds hidden in Sikandar’s stores 

And rob the rich to benefit the poor!” 

So, in the night, whilst Sikandar was asleep 

Mobeen he lurked outside with just a creep 

He slipped into the tomb of Sikandar’s Dada 

And there he spoke with ecstasy to the spirit of this Baba 

From there he took some treasures and some light 

And distributed it throughout the night 

Sikandar’s followers awoke feeling so rich 

With hidden Oneness lights, no more they itched 

Then on that Friday, when Sikandar came to rule 

Despite his retinue, he looked a total fool 

Because to his infuriating surprise 

No one had turned up to pray in the lines 

“Where are my followers? Where are they indeed?” 

He stormed at his most gullible mureed 

So, then they searched and drove along the roads 

To each and every disciple’s abode 

And everywhere they went they couldn’t fathom 

That each mureed they met was now bedazzled 

With priceless, wealthy lights around their head 

And public crowds following in their stead 

The last they met was none other than Mobeen 

Who wore the jewels of love brighter than the Queen: 

Sikandar cried: “Mobeen for goodness sake! 

I thought I was supposed to be the shaykh! 

And now all those who once would follow me 

Each one has turned into a boundless sea!” 

Mobeen said: “O dear pir I must confess 

I robbed the lights hidden within your chest 

That you have locked away in your darbar 

And now your way of life from this is far 

Like Robin Hood I stole from one who’s rich 

With ancestors who gave their nafs the ditch 

I shared their lights with those who are deserving 

As you have ignored things that need preserving.” 

Pir Sikandar, wealthy Gaddi Nasheen 

Proclaimed in shame: “O God, what have I been!” 

And there and then he chose he would repent 

And gave away his riches then off he went 

Roaming the roads like one who’s on a search 

Because his love for God has gone berserk 

He left Mobeen to take his rightful place 

As the sincere pir; as the real shaykh 

And that’s the story of old Mobeen Hood 

And Pir Sikandar who changed all for the good! 

Notes:  

Gaddi Nasheen- inheritor/son of previous Pir or Shaykh (spiritual leader/holy man) and assumes his position in the community 

Mureed- followers of spiritual leader 

Malang- deranged, spiritual aspirant with strange powers 

Baba- old shaykh, pir / old man 

Dada- grandfather from father’s side 

Darbar- grave of spiritual leader/holy person 

The Ma’rifa Barber

It was a sweltering August weekend on Ilford Lane; the high street was teeming with beaming, movie star faces, inching along in gleaming, convertible sports cars and booming bass lines. The shops and markets on either side were thronging with customers, laden with designer bags and baklava boxes, like rows of ants heaving a booty of sugar lumps along a kitchen floor. Wedding season was in full flow. As were the plethora of barbers and salons along the lane: Asian, Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Somali, male, female, retro, traditional, high-brow, cheap and cheerful. It seemed as if everyone had decided to get their special trims or facials on this day. It wasn’t unusual today to see queues extending out of every barber shop and salon and, consequently, tempers were beginning to fray; nerves were itching; patience was fizzling in the heat.

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Morning Full Moon

Morning full moon, today
Over the ruins and roads
Morning full moon, this hour
Over the cordoned land
Morning full moon, my love
Can’t take my eyes off you
What do you so magnetize?
In the dawning blue?
Over the steel cumbersome bird
Moving in straight lines
Over the restless, swerving larks
In your gaze, benign
Crossing the road I miss you
Then in between the homes
Morning full moon, you shine
You radiate alone
Can’t take my heart from you
Don’t want to go inside
Morning full moon your soul
A perfect one sublime
In the shores of the ebbing night
Your face a haunting show
But in the red rising vista
I’m taken by your glow
Morning full moon find me
When I’m lost in my nights
Morning full moon guide me
When hatred clouds my sight
Morning full moon stir me
When I’m engrossed in fear
Morning full moon touch me
So I can feel you near…