This is a chapter from Idries Shah’s Book “The Way of the Sufi” (Penguin Books, London, 1974). It can be found under the chapter “Chishti Order” – this is as such a story narrated by Shah, but is originally a story from the Chisthi Order Sufis.Continue reading
“The believer is like a bee, feeds upon the goodness, relieves a burden of goodness (honey), lands upon a branch softly so as not to break it and when falling into the water does not pollute it.” ~ Saying by Mohammed (as)
"The Messenger of Allah said: “By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the believer is like a bee which eats that which is pure and wholesome and lays that which is pure and wholesome. When it lands on something it does not break or ruin it.”
The bee only eats from flowers which are tayyib (pure and wholesome). It is not attracted to repulsive things, unlike other insects. Likewise the believer only eats that which is pure and wholesome.
"Books are the gardens of scholars." ~ Ali ibn Talib (as)
It is Autumn, 2017. This past summer I exhibited some art work in a garden in Berlin as part of an art festival and studied the culture and history of the Islamic garden. The Berlin garden was pretty yet somewhat chaotic (so Berlin!) and I longed for the calm composition, clarity and artistic refinement of the real thing.
"O Marvel! A garden amidst the flames." ~Ibn Arabi, Tarjuman al-Ashwaq
"We are unaware of our own manifestation in this garden, the narcissus does not see it's own spring with it's own eyes.” ~ Mir Dard
When do we really see and take in the delicate beauty of a flower, the majesty and care of trees, the ever changing colors, forms and appearances of a bloom?
"The word "Toxin" (...) has a Persian Shamanic root ("taxsa" means "poisoned arrow"). The art and science of "the anti-dote against the poison" has a highly honored, special place in the Islamic healing arts."
The Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger, Black hellebore or Snow Flower, in Asia: Helleborus orientalis) is an evergreen perennial flowering plant that blooms in winter. It is considered a special plant with high mystical powers. According to European folk tales, the Christmas rose protects love, and is a symbol for a long and happy live. It was used as an aid against various illnesses since antiquity in Europe. It was also used since then as a repellent against malice and envy, and planted before door steps and stables. Like many protective talismanic plants it is very poisonous and highly ambigious.
“The Arabesque (…) transfigures the object of nature it decorates (…) into a weightless, transparent, floating pattern extending infinitely in all directions (…) the object of nature has become under the Arabesque treatment a window onto the infinite.”
During my work on this blog, while researching, reading and writing about Islamic philosophy and arts I have come of course very early unto the Arabesque. The Arabesque pattern – sometimes foliate but commonly geometrically structured patterns of different shapes and coloring, known from Islamic decorative arts but also from music – has captured my interest.Continue reading
"During the night the Peonie spends medicine and healing, during the day the beautiful “Rose with no thorns” is protected by a jealous bird."
The Peonie (Paeonia officinalis) is known in phytology lore as “Fuga Demonica” – a repellent against bad energies and demons. It is a medical rose that came back to medieval Europe via the Islamic world from China (who imported it - via Arab, Persian and Syrian traders - originally from ancient Greece). The Peonie is a very stately flowering bush with large, lush dark pink, purple and rose tinted blooms. She is a wonderful floral gift for women.
"You think you are a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire Universe" - Ali ibn Talib (as)
"It is God who splits open the seed and the fruit stone. He brings out the living from the dead, and the dead from the living." ~ Quran, Surat 6:100
One of the great blessings in my life are my encounters with Al-Khidr, the green spirit (Khiḍr resembles the word “green” in Arabic, though others give other etymologies for the name). One afternoon in England - in a park with a small forest - I encounterd a bright green light (that's Clorophyl) in the moss and ever since I follow this light and began a conversation with trees and everything that grows. With time I learned more about the vast interconnected natural networks that surround us and I began to venture deeper into communicating and seeking to learn from them.
Poem of the Atoms, by Dschalal ad-Din ar-Rumi
O’ day, arise!
Shine your light, the atoms are dancing.
Thanks to Him the universe is dancing.
overcome with ecstasy,
Free from body and mind
I’ll whisper in your ear where their dance is leading them.
All the atoms in the air and in the desert are dancing,
puzzled and drunken to the ray of light,
they seem insane.
All these atoms are not so different than we are,
happy or miserable,
perplexed and bewildered,
we are all beings in the ray of light from the beloved,
nothing can be said.
~ Dschalal ad-Din ar-Rumi
“Typhus has a part in Spanish history. The old Spanish name for it was Tarbardoillo, from the word for a red cloak, inspired by the crimson red rash which is one of the symptoms of epedemic typhus fever (…)”~ Spanish Mountain Life, Juliette de Bairacli Levy
The disease was brought to Spain as long ago as the 13th century, by soldiers returning from Cyprus. At the siege of Granada later in the 15th century, typhus was an important factor in aiding Spanish victory, as the fever became epedemic amongst the Moorish defenders and slew more of them then any other weapon of war.” ~ Spanish Mountain Life, Juliette de Bairacli Levy