Reflection on June’s theme: Beyond desiring attention, become attention.
As I sit with these words, receiving them as though they are a personal decree for me from my Lord, I notice His/Her usage of the word ‘beyond’; it seems to me that I have to journey somewhere, from me to the other, from this small hamlet to a vast galaxy, or maybe another hamlet. I notice that in my travels I’m not leaving myself or my hamlet behind, rather they travel too. With a shift in my consciousness I notice that though I am journeying, and I am, I am also still, where I have always been abiding.
I notice that my need for attention though existent, and permanent in me, seems to be less exacting in my new location. I’m able to see the landscape outward as well as inwards. This new vantage-point affords me the apparel to become attention itself. I sense qualitatively that I am beholding a new trust, call it a responsibility if you like, but I liken it more to my own humanity or servanthood; I realise that this new vantage-point with its expanse, will still have in it its blind spots, but it gives me greater access to attention. I notice from this place where I now abide a slackening for my need to consume, replaced instead with discernment that something greater will be flowering.
In my day-to-day life I embody the role of a healthcare professional for women and children who are fleeing abuse. I am also learning about issues such as masculinity and femininity in our exoteric-gendered-worlds, and how when these are performed without being rooted within the wholeness of spiritual equality or singleness, then we are harbouring conditions that are conducive to injustices and abuse. I am reminded of a recent event at which my sheikh, Kabir Helminski, requested for my friend and sister in faith, Zeliha Akdan, to call the Adhan. For those who know anything about traditional Islamic practices, you’ll be aware the woman is usually relegated to a back room and her voice is not to be heard. I saw at this event my sheikh using this opportunity, whilst still embodied in his exoteric-gender though very much rooted in spiritual equality, make a public space for her. For me this was a real life example of what we can do when we become attention. The servanthood that acts as an enabler for others, when activated, brings to fruition something that has been suspended in waiting.
~ Adila Ahmed, London
July’s theme is: Contentment is inexhaustible wealth. ~Imam Ali (r.a.)
We welcome your reflections on this theme. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish everyone a month of spiritual awareness, deepening, and solidarity, however you may choose to participate.
Ramadhan Outreach: Principles for Guidance
The essence of Christianity is love, but in Islam the essence is knowledge and its expression in compassionate justice as a product of love. The concepts of love and knowledge are mentioned in the Qur’an hundreds of times. They are so important that many different Qur’anic words are needed to express the depth of meaning of these concepts as the root of reality.
The first guiding principle or purpose of Ramadhan is the search for knowledge, because it commemorates the revelation over twenty-two years of the wisdom that every person instinctively knows but must relearn throughout life in order to apply it in practice. Ramadhan therefore is a process of holistic education.
Ramadan eCourse — Remembrance: The Spiritual Practice of Zhikr
Remembrance: The Spiritual Practice of Zhikr eCourse began on June 29th. It’s not too late to still sign up: www.spiritualityandpractice.com
A Collection of Writings on Fasting
Know that, in the view of the verifiers, fasting has three degrees. The common people fast by refraining from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from morning to sunset prayer.
The elect fast by preserving the seven bodily members from sins and acts of disobedience. They prevent the tongue from lying, obscenity and backbiting; the eye from looking with caprice and appetite; the ear from listening to nonsense, obscenity, idle talk and the like; and the hand, foot and other members from acts made unlawful by the Shariah. The divine revelation gives news of this meaning. The hearing, the sight, the heart—all these shall be questioned
The elect of the elect fast by examining their thoughts and preventing their innermost consciousness from paying attention to anything other than God. These are the people of poverty, and their capital and provisions for wayfaring on the path to God are nothingness. . .[The Easy Roads of Sayf al-Din]
There will be a communal Eid prayer and celebration held in London on either Monday 28th or Tuesday 29th July at 10.30am, Harrow Quaker Centre, Friends Meeting House, 456 Rayners Lane, Pinner HA5 5DT. Please contact Tazeen for more details and confirmation of date: email@example.com
Some Sayings of Hazrati Ali
Sohbet on the birthday of Hazreti Ali (May 8th), sharing reflections on his character and wisdom.
Sacred Self, Sacred Earth
UK Annual Retreat
Registrations are now open for this year’s UK retreat on the theme of The Never-Ending Search for Truth. With Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Shaikha Camille Helminski & Dr. Jeremy Henzell-Thomas.
In these times amidst all that challenges our humanness and distracts our remembrance, the role of spirituality must be to overcome the distortions (both secular and religious) that cloud our hearts and dull our spirits. The Way of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi continues to be a crucible of transformation awakening creativity, consciousness, and love.
Join us for this special time of exploration with talks, music, spiritual practice and friendship. Discounted until August 10th! More details and registration form.
Threshold books are available to buy through Chickpea Press (UK delivery only). For a full list of available titles see here.
Jul 5: London Monthly Open Group, 7pm, Library room, Westminister Quaker Meeting House, 8 Hop Gardens, off St Martins Lane, London WC2N 4EH (look for ‘Gymbox’ sign – and lots of scaffolding!). Contact Sadat for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jul 28 or 29: Eid Prayer 10.30am, Harrow Quaker Centre, Friends Meeting House, 456 Rayners Lane, Pinner HA5 5DT. Please contact Tazeen for more details and confirmation of date: email@example.com
Aug 16: Family Eid celebration from 2-6pm, Harrow. More details due soon or contact Sania: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aug 29-31: Threshold UK Annual Retreat at Gaunts House, Dorset. Registrations now open, see here for more info.
Get in touch
We’d love to hear from you — a favourite piece from Mevlana, your own poetry, reflections on the path… please do contribute. We learn so much from each other, may this space be an opportunity for community, connection and companionship.
O moon-faced Beloved,
the month of Ramadan has arrived.
Cover the table
and open the path of praise.
O fickle busy-body,
it’s time to change your ways.
Can you see the one who’s selling the halvah;
how long will it be the halvah you desire?
Just a glimpse of the halvah-maker
has made you so sweet even honey says
“I’ll put myself beneath your feet, like soil;
I’ll worship at your shrine.”
Your chick frets within the egg
with all your eating and choking.
Break out of your shell
that your wings may grow.
Let yourself fly.
The lips of the Master are parched
from calling the Beloved.
The sound of your call resounds
through the horn of your empty belly.
Let nothing be inside of you.
Be empty: give your lips to the lips of the reed.
When like a reed you fill with His breath,
then you’ll taste sweetness.
Sweetness is hidden in the Breath
that fills the reed.
Be like Mary—by that sweet breath
a child grew within her.