Conversation with Mawlana Asad Ali (Damascus)

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A Summer Day in the Damascus Winter

Asad Ali: Salaam!

Kabir Helminski: Wa Alaykum Salaam Mawlana.

AA: May your days of celebrations (Eid) be joyous!

KH: We send you our love from London we miss you we love you we pray for you all the time

AA: Ya Salaam, what is this voice of Spring? What is this voice that joins together two continents

KH: Yes the lovers of the water of Spring

AA: Today in Damascus, I am calling it the Summer day of Winter. Because I feel it’s the 20th of August. Most Muslims don’t know this date it’s the birthday of the Prophet by the Julian Calendar in 571 C.E. You must learn this factoid! (laughing)

We feel we are having summer in the middle of winter. Normally, you call us during the celebration of Sheikh Ibn Arabi, and now you are calling on the day of celebrating the Prophet. This is how I feel because of your call, like Happiness Without Death.

KH: Mashallah, Mashallah

AA: That’s why the first thing I said to you is Happy Eids. And now I wish all of the holidays of the Americans, Europeans, and the Asians, everyone inshallah be in the direction of happiness

KH: And we are happy to join you in this happiness

AA: Well, this is what Kabir did. He gave the world Happiness Without Death!

KH: People are still reading this book and it’s bringing happiness to many hearts.

AA: Inshallah its reading will continue because people need it to heal their wounds in the East and the West. The most beloved of people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to His servants. And I see no better benefit for His servants in our times than the goodly word that reminds the human being of his humanness and reminds everyone of their brotherhood in the abode of Adam. This is the message from the East, from the summertime in the winter of Damascus, so what do you have for us?

KH: You’ve helped us to rise above the clouds of London and now we’re in the sunshine of Rasul Allah and his friends and the lovers of God.

AA: Ya Salaam, this great Sheikh his words are always great and ascendant. (Laughing)

KH: Because I’ve learned praise from you Mawlana! I am taking lessons in praise and happiness for many years from you my dear, dear friend.

AA: Why did he name his son Shams?

KH: Yes, Shams is now a doctor…

AA: In what?

KH: Internal Medicine.

AA: A doctor in the inner world. May God guide him to be of benefit to people.

KH: Thank you he has a beautiful heart and a true love for human beings.

AA: He must reflect much upon the letters of his name. Why the sun? The idea is in Arabic we distinguish between the Sun and the Moon. We say the emanating light  (Daw’) of the Sun and the reflective light (Nur) of the Moon. How do you distinguish in English between those two lights?

KH: Well, maybe radiance and reflection…

AA: Good, good. As it is said in the Quran, you see it in Surah Al Furqan. And between us we have a shared book, The Lights of the Quran. It is a sun book. All spiritual books give light. I named this year, 2013 The Year of Lights. Not that it is the Lights of the Quran only but it is that our world, the world of the Sun, the world of Adam is in need of the lights that can help us avoid falling into the slippery slope of error. The Year of Lights is to illuminate intellects. How do we get humans to use their intellect in an objective way in order to truly see?

At this moment, Sheikh Ibn Arabi sends his greetings to you! Saying, “When the trustworthy spirit descends upon my heart, my whole constitution is deconstructed and I long for the unseen.”

Now, the unseen of Ibn Arabi is not the common unseen, it is what as a whole follows the maxim, “If you could see the unseen, you would choose reality.” That is you would choose what is the present moment. What is meant by the unseen here is that you should understand your eyes, understand your head, understand your feet. When you understand the relationship and meaning between your eyes and feet you will understand the meaning of unity of being (Wihdat Al Wujuud). Is this good? (Laughing)

KH: Yes, very good! (Laughing)

AA: Did this reach the mind of that genius (Kabir) who joined the two continents, even more, three continents because you bring Africa, while I am in Asia. This is the polygon of continents and we send our salaams to Dr Ali Sulayman in Australia! This way we can reach in unity of being the seeing of all continents with one light. As for the other unity of being, that of lights, it is a matter for you, it is in your hearts and minds. I am talking to you from the room of Luqman in my house now. So, greetings from Luqman, from Surah Luqman, and from his room. So now bring me what you have!

KH: The question I have today is in a world in which lies and untruth rule societies and so much of everyday life how can we bring the message of truth, how can we bring the Haqq to this world that is so covered with lies? Because sometimes I get disturbed by this, what is my obligation?

AA: Good! Kabir always thinks about his role in this world while he is in the heart of the theatre. He whirls and revolves about the stage in the way he should. I have a gift for you today. It is to read the 25th Song of Happiness Without Death that corresponds to today. This song is inspired from The Night of Power, from Surah Al Qadr. So, “Peace is she until…” you know this well. So our roles are to read The Night of Power and to reflect upon Allah the exalted, the wise and to ask Him from the depth of our hearts to give the world of Adam the blessings that are contained in Surah Al Qadr.

I am in a state now. When you witness the visions you are overwhelmed, it’s as the Indian Yogis say, “The waters of the ocean have flooded my heart so that I live the life of a thousand Spring times.” It is your hearts that teach.

KH: Yes, yes so speak from the heart, listen to the heart…

AA: I always understand Sheikh Kabir. He’s seen so many sources of water from all over the world from west to east and north to south. He said to me in one of his letters that he saw the most pure and sweetest of all sources, definitely those who love to whirl in the way of Jalaluddin and the Sharif so that the letters jump out of their covering layers. It’s a little difficult but I will simplify it for you. When one completes a turn it’s as if he turns in every direction, on every continent, and in every language. In Arabic, whirling is called Al Fattil, its meaning is the intimacy, or knowing of Allah (Ulfatu Eel). So when you whirl it is as if you are seeking the companionship and intimacy of Allah. In this way the meaning of the Mother of Languages, or the unified language of humanity, is made evident to you. Just as it is one god, so it is one humanity and one language.

In English you say “oneness”, isn’t it so? In Arabic it is “Wannisna” meaning grant us intimacy. We call humankind “Insan”, so this intimacy is a call to a discourse that addresses all of humanity at once that brings us to this one divine reality, to oneness.

Luqman is apologizing for moving, let us see…speak to us. What else would you like to say?

KH: Please, I want you to give our love and prayers to all our friends in your circle in Damascus and to let them know that we have not forgotten them for one day.

AA: May our Sustainer increase your goodness. Sheikh Kabir reminds us of a genius by the name of Hermann, an American philosopher and author who wrote two books titled The Whole Brain, and The Creative Brain that you should read. And if you like those books and think they’re worth reading then send copies of them to us! (laughing)

How is lady Camille?

KH: Alhamdulillah, she’s been healing for the past 10 months, she’s walking with a cane and a bit limited but every day is better.

AA: May she be healed completely inshallah. Heal her with whirling!

KH: Allah has sent us from the edge of America to the heart of America in Louisville. Louisville is a city of compassion. I wonder if you can help us understand the meanings of Louisville.

AA: This is originally French? May the King of Kings guide and protect you in your new city of the French king. What is the meaning of the Arabic word Lu’ayy? He was an ancestor of the Prophet. If you add an “S” to it, then it is Louis. He was the carrier of the banner, he was given a light that eventually was born in Muhammad. What is your work in Louisville now?

KH: We’re focusing more clearly on writing, on Tassawuf, and caring for our international community.

AA: Excellent! So now you’re in the heart of the matter. Maybe there will be a whole state for Kabir someday (laughing). The first matter is 3 books from the Lights of the Quran, The Sisters of Heaven. These books must be published in this city. May Allah bless the city and its inhabitants, beginning with the father of Shams, this beloved brother, this truly beloved brother. We’ll call these the Louisian books that begin with Surah Luqman Ayat 12 which says, “We gave Luqman the wisdom of thankfulness to God.” Meaning that in order to have wisdom one must drink from the pure spring of thankfulness. Wonderful, wonderful I believe that the message has been delivered to you.

KH: We’re very close to finishing the manuscripts I just want to pass it on to Mahmoud and another friend, Iman to check the Arabic text one last time.

AA: We are always praying for you and for the entire world of Adam.

KH: I have one more question, Mawlana. It has to do with Surah Tawbah Ayat 112 were there are 9 types of believers mentioned. This is very interesting and mysterious, these 9 types and their position after the previous Ayat that says Allah has purchased the believers, I am reflecting on these 9 types can you bring some light on these?

AA: Wonderful, wonderful. Of these 9 levels, which one is most beloved to you?

KH: The seventh one, the ones who command to goodness.

AA: I believe this is our message in this world. It is to remind the world of goodness. Is the sun known? If it is, then what of its steps do we emulate? Every day it illuminates the world, without asking for any compensation. Nor does it require repeated urgings from its Master to do its work as is the case with humans and Jinn. For instance, in Surah Al Rahman there are 31 repeated criticisms of humans and Jinn, “Which of your Sustainers signs do the both of you deny?” But the sun’s goodness is known, it rises without arguments and performs its duty. The sun-like human, the luminous one, should be this way. He rises on time, he illuminates from the sun of his intellect and he becomes a sun. And if he develops more he becomes a moon, he enters into the secret, into deep contemplation. He becomes a crescent, he becomes a full moon, and as he completes the full Mevlevi turn he enters into occultation “Sirar”, as the moon does when it completes its cycle it disappears for one day. If the human develops and matures he become Mevlevi. Is it good? Do you like it (laughing)?

KH: It’s very good! (laughing)

AA: We interpret and understand the Mevlevi whirling as re-enacting the cycle of the moon. Now I want to give you a quatrain to translate at your own pace.

Hazha-an nashaatu min-ar rahmaani fiyya mashaa

Wal az-haraani ‘alaa kaffayya qad furishaa

Azhka azhakaa’u minal adwaa’i mu’talifun

Nusaymatun sharifat bil ruuhi fanta’ashaa

I think you should write it down and reflect upon it in this year of the Lights and how the sun and moon are spread out in your hands, it is a comfort and aid for you. Allah is the one who aids and supports. He gives us capacity beyond what we can imagine. And when He gives us, He gives us in order that we give to others. So that the human being will be one who benefits his brother/sister human beings.

May our Sustainer heal lady Camille, give her strength and aid her. And may Allah send His fragrance by this noble Spirit in the unity of being and by whirling so that Allah maybe with everyone inshallah.

When I first heard the voice of Sheikh Kabir, it reminded me of a diwan called Fragrance and Sound that I received in Beirut through Sheikh Al Qushayri. The idea is that the sound guides you to the meaning of life in the sound-maker. I sense a tension in his voice today. Maybe this is why Kabir is in London now. He can return to the year of our first meeting in the room of Luqman 20 years ago to regain his vitality and energy. There are different levels of our states. When Ibn Arabi says my religion is the religion of love it can be simple or advanced for everyone depending on their need and capacity. If Sharif Al Radi chose from the words of Imam Ali, now you show us what God has chosen for you. I always pray for you and I ask for your prayers. Today yours is a praiseworthy station, indeed. Praiseworthy and great (play on words of Mahmoud and Kabir) because I know what happened here today with me. So I want your Makkan Openings. May the voices of your hearts resonate and be heard, may God protect and guide your hearts.

I am particularly happy you called me on this day, the 25th of February which links our discourse to the song of the Night of Power. Peace upon you and upon the ones you both love. And I just ask for your prayers. The thankfulness of Luqman’s wisdom. May God inspire you to the work that you are meant to undertake for the sake of His children.

KH: Thank you!

AA: How blessed are the English speakers who keep saying thank you! (laughing) May God guide them to the wisdom of this thankfulness.

KH: Thank you for all those years of friendship and guidance it’s a precious treasure for us.

AA: Our friendship is a bridge that is open between the seen and unseen. Salaams.

 

2017-01-29T15:55:09+00:00