Principle of Unity, Your Path to Happiness and Prosperity
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and dear friends;
Thank you for being here tonight and bringing your kindled
hearts so we could have a greater light to celebrate life together.
Last week Dec. 17 was the celebration of Rumi's Wedding Night,
the night he passed away in 1273 and reached his beloved for a full reunion. The
story goes that when he was walking through the goldsmithing market of Konya, Turkey,
Rumi heard beautiful music in their hammering. He began to turn and spin with harmony
in an ecstatic dance of submission, surrendering and yet using great discipline. He
reached a place where ego dissolves and harmonic unity of the universe resonates. This is
the core purpose of ecstatic whirling of Dervishes to synchronize with the universal
tune and reach a high level of consciousness. To reach his beloved, a Dervish dances
with the universe which is a Uni. Verse an Uni. Song, one song. A manifestation of unity of
existence. That is the belief and knowing of unity of all beings, (existence)or the
principle of unity that brings such great joy to a Sufi and aligns his behavior and action in
tune with the song of universe.
In a beautiful poem Rumi describes and speaks about the turning
of Dervishe, he says:
You have said what you are.
I am what I am.
Your actions in my head,
My head here in my hands
With something circuling inside.
I have no name
For what circles
A secret turning in us
Makes the universe turn.
Head unaware of feet,
And feet head. Neither cares.
They keep turning.
This moment this love comes to rest in me,
Many beings in one being.
In one wheat grain a thousand sheaf stacks.
Inside the needle's eye a turning night of stars.
A Sufi submits to the unity of existence. He submerges into the
universal consciousness, the super conscious. He submits to the Towheed the knowing of
one God. A Sufi, at the beginning, learns about the unity principle or Towheed but later
on he experiences it with his own heart and come to a knowing level. His heart becomes a
knowing heart. What he sees is God, what he feels is God, and with his perpetual
strives and Jihad he gets to reunite with his creator. Towheed is a major pillar in Islam.
Understanding Towheed lets one see the beauty of the creator in everything and
anything around him. Life gains its meaning as a purposeful journey toward God. No wonder that
the Koran says true believers are happy and delighted, since they are in flow with
the entire universe.
But why does submitting to the Towheed, the oneness of
existence, bring so much joy, happiness and prosperity? To answer this, let’s look at a
reflection of Towheed in the universe.
According to Quantum theory, all the constituents of matter and
the fundamental phenomena are interconnected, interrelated and interdependent.
In other words, they cannot be studied and understood as isolated systems and beings.
This is the insight that has been expressed by different interpretations of Quantum
theory. For example, the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum theory, which was developed
by Bohr and Heisenberg in the late 1920, is a widely accepted
interpretation. It states that to conduct an experiment we need to set up two systems, one is for the
atom, or subatomic particles and the other for the observer and the apparatus being used in
the experiment. The way we describe these two systems is totally different which makes
us encounter a paradox.
Suppose we want to measure the place or momentum of subatomic
particles. The observer is being described under mechanical physics as an
independent system and the experimental system is described in a totally different language
than classical physics which negates the existence of the observer system. At any given
time, we do not know the exact place of a particle or the time of its positions.
Therefore, we have to use a probability language or probability function. Meaning that at
any given time we could only state the probability of a sub-particle place or time.
There is no certainty. This is clearly the opposite of the way we describe the observer system.
Besides the problem of confirming the sub-particle position or even its existence, we,
as the observers, also inject our influence in its attributes. In other words, our measurement
becomes a total subjective measurement. In one hand, we claim that the
fundamental ingredient of the physical world is matter. In the other hand, we cannot measure
it objectively and inject our influence in the measurement as well. So what is it then? Is
matter the basic material and building block of the physical world or not? If it is, then
we have a problem counting for it. The observer system seems to be stationary but the
particle system is nonstationary and uncertain. Furthermore, when we want to do our measurement
of a subparticle we need to make it ready and do some proper preparation.
Suppose we want to measure a particle's attributes. To do so we
need to prepare it for measurement. Say it's in region A and we'd like to measure the
particle's behavior like speed and time in region B. So by help of some heavy
accelerators we are able to move the particle from region A to region B. Here the measurement at
region B is kind of impossible, we don't have the distance and the connection
between regions A and B as AB. Therefore, to measure a particle at the B region is
dependent on the connecting distance between A and B. The intermediate system between A and
B exits and has a meaningful implication in our experiment.
At the atomic and subatomic levels the basic material of the
world, say matter, is dissolved into a pattern of probabilities that classical physics
is unable to deal with.
However, quantum physics deals with the universe as a collection
of physical objects as an interrelated web and therefore does not distinguish any
particles or objects separated from other particles and objects. Furthermore, the observer
disturbs the measurement. In short, the Copenhagen interpretation asserts that in a certain
sense the atom and particle that is not measured is not real. Its attributes are created and
realized in the act of measurement since the observer's disturbance creates a reality.
Therefore, since each observer would come with a different measurement which is a
reflection of his observation, the unmeasured particles may not be real at all. If
you think this is hard to believe, well let me give you another mental shock. According to
Bell's theorem, the reality must be non-local. This theorem has mathematical proof,
so it is not a conjecture or proposal. Non-local means that the disturbance induced to the
atom's measurement is not created at the local site only, but it also includes the
events outside the measurement site, events arbitrarily distant, including events outside the
light- cone. An event outside the light-cone means that it is so far away and must travel
faster than light to reach the measurement site. This means that the momentum of an atom is
being influenced and disturbed by two factors. One is the experimenter’s act of
measurement by a momentum meter and second, according to Bell’s theorem, is by a vast
array of events from all over the world, from every city, country and galaxy. Therefore, the
act of measurement is not a private and local act. It's a public event that, if not all,
but a large portion of the universe is participating in it. It’s worth it to remind you
again that Bell's theorem has a mathematical proof and is not a supposition and conjecture.
Towheed, the principle of unity and oneness asserts that the
universe is a whole and each element is interconnected, interrelated, and interdependent. Now
in other fields of science like dynamic systems, the Chaos Theory and Complexity Theory
have also explored the interconnectivity of the all parts of the universe. According to
the Chaos Theory, all the parts of the system are interrelated, interconnected and
interdependent. In other words, a butterfly flapping her wings in New York could cause a hurricane
in Paris, that is the butterfly factor.
Therefore, any harm doing to anyone or hurting anybody also
affects us as well. Any happiness or positive action we do also effects other people as
well. A great Persian poet, Sa’di, has said a beautiful poem, that I rephrase it here; all
the human beings are related to each other since they are all from the same origin. If one
faces an enduring and trying time or some unpleasant situation, all human beings will be hurt
and in pain.
In light of cutting edge science, it now seems easier to
understand when the Koran states "whoever killed a human being . . . shall be looked upon as
though he had killed all mankind; and that whoever saved a human life shall be regarded
as though he had saved all mankind" (Koran, 5:32).
Praying is another illustration of how all of us, through the
principle of unity and Towheed, are connected. Praying is an act of connecting to whom
is prayed for through the consciousness. Since we are all connected to each other,
regardless of where we are and who we are, in the world of consciousness, there is no
stranger; we are part of the same universe with the same creator. All existence is
interrelated to each other through the principle of Towheed. The finding of 20-year longitudinal
research presented in the fall of 1998 to the American Heart Association drew major
attention to the working power of prayer. This verified the interconnectedness of all
elements of the universe one more time. The research, which was conducted by Duke University,
divided 150 seriously ill patients into two groups. Some were prayed for and
some were not. For all patients, the necessary medicine and medical care were rendered.
Neither the praying group nor the praying party knew about each other. Amazingly,
the group which was prayed for, seemed to recover better. Seven religious groups
were utilized in this study to pray. The recovery rate for patients who were prayed for had a
50 to 100 percent better recovery rate than those who were not prayed for.
Understanding Towheed and living in a unified form with all of
her surrounding leads a Sufi to see beauty around her. A Sufi cannot see any evil nature
in anyone or anything, since they are part of the one Holy Spirit, one super
consciousness, one God, Allah. For a Sufi, grief doesn't have any room in her life. Our master,
Jalaluddin Rumi says: "I saw grief drinking a cup of sorrow and called out, ‘ It
tastes sweet, does it not?’
‘You've caught me,’ grief answered, ‘and you've ruined my
business, how can I sell sorrow when you know it's a blessing?’"
Yes how can you feel sad when you see it as a blessing? When
light comes in, darkness doesn't have nay other choice but to leave. When you feel and
get in touch with the unity of existence, when you submit to the Towheed, how can you feel
sad, angry, and afraid?
The Koran asserts that true believers are: " Rejoicing in what
Allah has given them out of His grace, and they rejoice for the sake of those who, (being
left) behind them, have not yet joined them, that they shall have no fear, nor shall they
grieve." ( 3:170)
Before a Sufi becomes a Sufi, he needs to submit to Towheed, or
to be a Moslem.
Moslem, a submitted, is derived from the root word of Salam,
which means peace. There is no coincident that peace and submission to God are two sides
of a coin. When one believes that every one of his actions and thoughts impacts the
whole universe, how can one not want the best for all? He knows as a fact that when he
is sending his good intent along with his positive actions toward others, he will also
benefit from his own blessing as well.
Darkness and sadness is a reflection of seeing the world in
duality or multiplicity. In Sufism, the principle of unity is a fundamental belief. To
believe anything else but Towheed, like duality and multiplicity is a great sin for a
Sufi. Multiplicity is the source of disarray and sadness, violence and trouble in a society. The
common perception for many religion followers is usually that God is sitting up in
heaven and works as a vending machine. We pray and seek for blessing, and depending on
his mood, we may get what we want or not. So the purpose of praying is getting
something. And as soon as we got what we were praying for, we go back to our usual habits
and life and keep a separation from God again, at least a break in praying time. But
God is here within us and we are all part of Him. To consider something other than this is
a pitfall and will be a major hindering in our lives. Since it sows multiplicity, any
other existence is a major sin and underscores the multiplicity of the belief. If I may ask
you, please close your eyes for a moment and try to answer the question, who am I?
Like the majority of people, most of you may have answered, I'm
a teacher, a student, a doctor, a father, a son, a wife, a daughter, a grandma and you
may have few more of them. In other words, we define ourselves as different
identities. Each of these identities needs to adhere to some specific role and rule. So these
identities communicate according to some specific rules with its surroundings and other people. A
father is supposed to take care of his children and provide for his family. However,
in many instances, there are some conflicting issues between two or more of one's assumed
Consider a child, very peaceful and free from internal and
external conflicts due to his different identities. Since he is himself, he has not acquired
different identities yet. As he grows and gains knowledge and understanding through his
family, culture and his own personal experience, he develops a sense of multiplicity. He
realizes that he needs to wear different hats to respond to each identity needed. As he
grows he becomes more discontent. He worries about his responsibility that each role
requires him to do. He doesn't feel good since sometimes he has to put on different
faces to show either he cares or doesn't care about something. He becomes a father, a big
brother, a husband, an engineer, and each vies for his attention and energy. Soon he
loses his "balance" and tries to reach some inner peace with some external sources and
substances. The more he tries to create a "balance" between his different identities the
more stress and pressure he feels. To release it, he either gives up some of his roles like
he doesn't want to be a father anymore. He doesn't want to take responsibility of the family as
a big brother or he doesn't like his job anymore. All these problems are due to
looking at life at a multiplicity level. Each reality has become a delusion for him
and he has grown from his truth and inner self. He has lost contact with his self and
temporally let other stuff take away his attention from being who he is. If we could borrow a
metaphor from Chaos Theory, we could say that an individual with different and
sometimes conflicting identities is carrying a handful of Parallel Universes within
An individual, who looks through life from a multiplicity and
does not consider it in Towheed perspective, is like a child who has lost his mother. He
looks around and spends time trying to verify if specific individuals might be
his mother. He doesn't feel at peace and comfortable until he finds his mom and gets reunited
with her. That's the same way with all of us. We are like that child and spend our time
believing different delusions of truth. Therefore, we do not feel at peace and comfortable
until we are united with our creator. Anything that keeps us away from meeting her becomes an
obstacle in reaching our Beloved. So our happiness, bliss, ecstasy and inner peace is
only achieved through Towheed.
Multiplicity is a delusion of truth and reality, which also acts
as the main source and cause for distress in any relationship. Either our relationship
with our surrounding, loved ones, or friends. When we don’t see our spouse as part of us, we
create the mentality of I against her, or in a larger scale, we against them. Therefore, a
slippery slope in this divisional framework and system yields to social prejudice and
individual bias. We are better than them. They lack such and such. They are evil people
and so on. This becomes the root for wars, fighting, and lack of understanding.
It doesn’t matter what we say, however as long we have this lack of Towheed in our
approach, we could never have peace anyplace in the world. The ongoing war and killing will
continue until we realize that who we hurt is us, not them. There is no I and you, not we
and them, we are all one.
Regardless of what identity we have, if it is not real and true
would only cause separation and distress. A good friend of mine once came to me and sought
my counsel about his relationship with his wife. He was wondering why they don’t have
a loving relationship.
When I asked him for more information, I realized that he has a
separate bank account.
He deposits his paycheck into his account and his wife does the
same. They have divided the bills between themselves and so on. It was clear that there
were two strong "I"sbetween my friend and his wife. He was wondering why they don’t
have a good and loving relationship. Their two "I"s were in a constant ego fight
with each other, not literally, but through their intentions. To bring love and
happiness to any relationship, including one’s with God, the ego and the "I" should be
dissolved and become reunited with Him.
Our master Rumi realizes this root problem and directly aims to
demolish any identity and false labels that have created separation between each other
and our God. He says:
Not Christian, or Jew or Moslem, not Hindu.
Buddhist, Sufi, nor Zen. Not any religion
or cultural system. I' am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up
from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,
am not an entity in this world or the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any
origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.
I belong you the beloved, have seen the two
Worlds as one and that one call to all know,
First, last, outer, inner, only that
Breath breathing human being.
Our master Rumi clearly steers us away from multiplicity and
encourages us to only and only belong to the whole and nothing else.
Have you noticed when each of you tried to answer our previous
question, we came up with the answer of I'm an X. It was a description or attributes
of I or I's but not about you. A Sufi believes that I and me are the same. I am Me.
In the aforementioned poem Rumi says:
You have said what you are.
I am what I am.
Your actions in my head,
My head here in my hands
With something circuling inside.
I have no name
For what circles
There is no separateness between I and Me. These two are the
same. Therefore, unity is indivisible and we can't divide it into any thing or any
identity. We can't disintegrate the unity since by doing so, we lose our own soul and real self. Me
is indivisible, because it's HU or Him, Allah. To disintegrate and divide one to another,
there must be two separate and independent identities. So since we are all one,
interconnected, interdependent and interrelated, the only thing you can divide Me by is zero. Go
ahead do it and you get infinity, the whole universe, and God again. In mathematical
terms 10 divided by zero is infinity. Any way you do it and any way you look at it, either
through Quantum physics or Quantum Reality or mathematics, you see him, Hu.
There are four levels and stages that a Sufi goes through to
reach his Beloved and annihilate in him. According to the great Sufi sage Ibn 'Arabi's
explanation these are;
1. Shariah - The level of the law in which "yours is yours and
mine is mine." In this level, one is guaranteed his personal and individual rights and
should be respected by all as he respects theirs. One comes to know other people's space
and be respectful to them and social ethics. Religions represent this stage and level. A
religion as a composition of laws and social ethics assures freedom and individual rights for
2. Tariqah - This is the Sufi path. In this level, "mine is
yours and yours is mine."
The Dervishes treat each other as brothers and sisters. They
share their hearts, homes, foods and purses with each other.
3. Haqiqah - The level of Truth. In this stage, there is "no
mine and no yours." The advanced Sufis in this stage realize that all things belong to
God and they are just simple caretakers of all of their worldly possessions. Positions and
fame become meaningless.
Their ego has been kept to its minimum level and dampened in
their daily lives. They have dissolved their external attachments and gone beyond the
description Mine or Yours.
4. Marifah - Genesis is the last level of a Sufi evolution. In
that level there is "no me and no you." At this final phase, an individual has annihilated
in God; he sees nothing but God and he is inseparable from him (Fana Fe Alah).
As it illustrates Sufism is not a religion, it is the spirit of
religion. If religion is a body and form which encompasses all the social ethics and ethical
rules, Sufism is the substance and essence of that body. Without the spirit and
essence, the body is only a collection of rules and sometimes rigid ones. Therefore, it
doesn't matter if you are a Christian, Jew, or a Buddhist. You may very well follow the way
of a Sufi master without having to change your religion, simply in the same way
you would be taking a yoga course. The master will even encourage you to continue
being a Christian, for example, if that is the religion in which you were born. You
must neither wow nor deny anything before you are worthy of the master¹s teaching: this is
no religion !
There is a famous story about Mnasur al-Hallaj, who was executed
for publicly saying that: I am Truth (Ana al Haqq). Truth or Haqq is one of the
ninety-nine attributes of God.
And according to the law, it is absolutely forbidden for one to
call oneself God.
However, from the point of view Sufism; the Divine is within
each of us. It resides in one's heart of hearts. The innermost heart does have Divine
qualities, and each person should be honored as a temple of God. As the Sufi saint Junaid
replied when he was asked about Mansur, "What should he have said? ‘I am falsehood’" Sufism is a set of personal practices -seldom collective, then
only in small groups. These practices are meant to help the seeker in developing capacities,
in acquiring a certain vision of the world and experiencing the divine in his own pace.
This should allow personal development and self-knowledge, as well as acquaintance
with the visible and invisible worlds, leading the seeker or "traveler" to the way of
Submission to the universal Towheed and unity brings peace and
happiness. To submit, one needs to accept. Acceptance is an inherited feature and
characteristic of submission.
Then when a Sufi submits to her Beloved she is accepting the
unity of the universe, the loving presence and any forms or shapes that loving presence is.
Accepting is the necessary step in bringing happiness and prosperity to any
situation. Without the acceptance seed, the love flower cannot grow and come to
existence. The spirit and essence of God is love and the Sufi path is a path of love. Love
is to accept and see what is good and beautiful in everything. It is to learn from
everything, to see the gifts of the
Beloved and the generosity of God in everything. It is to be
thankful for all God's bounties. Her acceptance of her surrounding and situation and
whom she is, is the acceptance of divine presence in her life. She doesn’t fight and
argue why she is who she is and what situation she is in. She accepts it since they are
Hafiz (the thirteenth century Persian Sufi) beautifully states:
All of these reflections
Make but one image
The reflection of the Wine bearer
In the Cup of Wine.
This acceptance is not a passive notion and excuse for
relinquishing one's responsibility for change. But accepting the reality as it is, is a
precondition for implementing any constructive changes and expressing one's responsibility. You
accept the reality and appreciate it as it is, without injecting any judgment or bias
to it. When you inject your bias and exert your judgment, the mirror of truth in your heart
becomes tarnished. When ego is in control, judgment is in command and when your sacred
soul is in control, pure acceptance is in command. Let's not forget that each of our
intentions, thoughts, and actions are impacting the world and universe. Therefore, when
you take a proactive position and create your reality, you submit yourself as an
agent to the Universal consciousness and spirit, to the creator and God. The sense of
responsibility and proactiveness is so high that the Koran asserts: " Surely the
hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these shall be questioned about that." ( Koran 17:
36). Your ears, eyes, and heart all are responsible. In other verse, Koran defines an
individual as what he tries and works for. As God says: "And that man shall have nothing but
what he strives for." ( Koran 53:39).
So acceptance by no means implies lack of responsibility to make
necessary changes, but it is presupposition of a proactive and responsible individual.
To solve problems, one first needs to accept it and assert its problems. An alcoholic
will not be able to give up his drinking habit until he recognizes and accepts his drinking
problem. But at the same time, acceptance as part of one's submission to the unity of
existence and universe brings peace and happiness. One cannot prosper and be happy until he or
she accepts whatever he or she is for what he or she is, nothing more or less.
In personality psychology, a popular model is the Five Factor
Model which sometimes is called the Big Five. For the last 70 years, this model has been
widespread and utilized in understanding and evaluating one's personality traits. The Five
Factor Model is a linguistic approach with taxonomy of various personality traits
that have been used in language. FFM or Big Five identifies five Domains for our
personality traits. One of these domains is Neuroticism or Emotional Stability. A domain is
a continuum spectrum, which has a Normal Distribution. For example, individuals who
score in the upper end of the Emotional Stability domain, between 60 to 100, tend to be
Reactive. They are quick to react to external stimuli with anger, rage, stress, and
worry. Individuals with a low score in this domain, between 0 to 30, tend to be Resilient.
They are quite calm and in control of their emotions. They take their time in analyzing a
situation without any fast reaction to it. People with a score between say from 40 to 60,
tend to be Responsive. It's like they know when they should react and when they should stay
clam. For example, when someone cuts you off in traffic, you may feel outrage. In
some cases, you wish to take your revenge and do the same thing to him. You may
have a high score in your Emotional Stability domain. A woman who often screams at her
children when they make noise, acts jittery. She may have a high score in the
Emotional Stability domain.
Each domain is composed of 6 facets or traits. For example, the
N domain or Neuroticism has six facets, which are Worry, Anger,
Discouragement, Selfconsciousness, Impulsiveness, and Vulnerability. Now, if you consider these aforementioned facets, you could see that the triggering point
and underlining factor to their existence is lack of acceptance. In other words, when
someone refuses to deal with a situation as it is and does not accept it for whatever it is,
he or she tends to react and express their displeasure for it. Lack of acceptance causes us
to react and introduce ourselves to negative emotions like Worry, Anger,
Impulsiveness, and Vulnerability. So when we don't submit to
Towheed and therefore do not accept the universe and our surroundings as they are without
any judgment, we are bound to experience all those negative emotions. It is a
scientific and well-researched fact that negative emotions as mentioned earlier create harmful
chemicals that could seriously undermine one's health. A type A personality type is a good
example of one with a high score in Neuroticism or Emotional Stability domain. So
acceptance not only brings us a peaceful mind and happiness and therefore spares us from the
adverse effect of negative emotions. As the Koran notes the true believers in God are happy
and peaceful and they are not worried or sad. Since they have accepted things as they
are and see all as parts of his glory and universal consciousness, a Sufi is calm and finds
any opportunity to sing along and dance with the one song of existence, universe. There
is a story about our master Jelaluddin Rumi that someone once said to him: "If you
believe in silence, why have you done nothing but talk and talk and write and sing and
dance?" He laughed and said; "The radiant one inside me has never said a word."
When we do not accept the world as it is and who we are, we
react to different circumstances with worry or anger. We worry, when we move away
from present and anticipate something that has not happened in the future, or
worry about something, which has happened in the past and may result in some
undesirable outcomes. The past is gone is only a memory, and the future has not arrived yet,
it's just a fantasy. But the present is a gift. By rejecting to accept the present we are
refusing a gift and blessing.
Worrying will not have any room if we see blessing in everything
we do and anything we see around us. Reality is only a personal interpretation and
nothing else. Realty is a locally defined event. A single event may mean blessing for one
and a disaster for another, the same reality and event but two different
interpretations and therefore two different reactions. Acceptance and submission is our entrance
door to the blessing house of Towheed
We get angry because someone said or did something to us, we
felt insulted. Our ego was hurt. The same ego that teaches us to judge others and see
them as our inferior and below us, a judgmental ego. A Moslem knows that he is in a
perpetual fight and strives with his ego so he can free himself from it. When ego gets to be
in command then we become discouraged about the way things are happening in our
lives. Or we may not win that fight and think that we have lost against the little
battle. We get self-conscious because we are cautious to act in a way so people, could tell us
how good we are. But a person who accept and submits to the unity of the universe is a
Rumi was talking about the nature of humility.
"Look at the trees. Those that yield no fruit - the pine, the
cypress, the box - grow tall and conspicuous. Whereas those that give fruit - the apple, the
peach, the pear - droop and trail branches. Muhammad carried all the virtues, and yet he was
more of a humble dervish than any other prophet. He had his head broken and his
teeth knocked out. Still he prayed for those people "who know not what they do". ( Rumi,
translated by by John Moyne nad Coleman Barks.)
A Sufi feels connected to all and through his acceptance and
submission to Towheed, destroys barriers that his ego may present. An ego creates a
delusion realty for us. It seems that when we wish to escape reality, we disintegrate our
souls and create different identities, roles and egos. But, the realty is the same. A Sufi
learns about this oneness and Towheed through his master's teaching and guidance. Sufism
is not a religion since it does not have a set of rules as a general prescription for all.
For the same reason being a
Moslem, Christian, Jew, Hindu or Buddhist doesn't disqualify one
from being a Sufi. I could be a Moslem and be a Sufi, you could be a Christian and be
a Sufi or you could be a Jew and be a Sufi as well. Sufism is the spirit of the
religion. Religion is a skeleton and structure, a collection of rules and social ethics and codes.
But, Sufism is the spirit and essence of the religion's teaching and message. For a Sufi, the
Koran describes Jesus as the spirit of God, Moses as the words of God, and Mohammad as
the light of God. In some other verses the Koran reminds us that all the prophets are
the same and there is no differentiation between them; they are all from the same source
and reveal the same message, Towheed or oneness.
I sum up our discussion about principle of unity, your path for
happiness and prosperity, with a poem from one of the Sufis (Dr. Shahid Athar) who said:
For a long time I treated my heart
Like a big trash can
Filled with vain desires
Like a pagan’s Kabah
Filled with idols.
Now I have emptied my heart
Cleansed it inside and out
Polished it all around
For the new resident to come
And live forever.
No one lives here anymore
I have kicked everyone out
Neither there is lust
No tempting wealth
Nor false pride.
Eyes have dried up
All sores healed.
No pain no more.
There is no darkness,
Only "light upon light."
I am sad no more
I am filled with joy.
My beloved has come
To live in my heart.
The new resident of my heart
Is the One who gave me my heart,
Gave me feelings and love
Then took it away.
In my heart now
He will live forever,
Without any partners.
My heart will beat only for Him,
My lips will sing Only for Him
Song of "la illaha illa allah"
There is no God except the One.
May tonight's celebration of light bring peace, happiness and
prosperity for all. God bless you all.