Simmering your breath

 

What is this pang that stirs in the breast of man that he covets from the world in fear, without ever showing a vulnerable shade of himself?

There is this longing that persists, in spite of the notoriety one rises to in this world, in spite of the gain in wealth and status, this ache continues in the inner most core of the inner most core, this Lub and indeed as Allah teaches us, ‘none will understand except (ulil-albab) the people of the inner most core of the inner most core.’

That is, the brutality by which you must live your life, that you must confirm and decommission your existence, it requires a special refusal to be satisfied with the mundane and meagre answers of this world, but to be utterly devoted to uncovering truths about yourself.

It was this curiosity, this vehement devotion to wanting to know more that was hovering over my heart like a heavy iron that would not relent for the whole week before I had a small insight to help me connect some of my ideas towards this point.

It culminated on a Friday sermon, whereby Allah inspired a friend, a man who’s path Allah allowed to cross mine for a reason, whom I shared a room, food and breathed the same air as he for the whole month of pilgrimage last year, to invite me to a sermon he was giving. In his words, he thought that I may enjoy it.

The moment the sermon commenced felt like a gushing stream in my heart.

He began by speaking about the primordial nature of man and his attraction to material, to basely and worldly things, in Arabic and Muslim nomenclature, what we refer to as dunya. Dunya, can be colloquially and very loosely translated as world or worldly. It can also mean earth, but more importantly, linguistically it means lowly or base. It is that which subdues one and pulls one down.

It becomes interesting to note as my friend explained in the sermon that as men and women, all that we are attracted to in this world, comes from the earth, that is, comes from elements we were created from anyway. It is no secret that the Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths share the same idea about the creation of Adam, the first human, that is God fashioning Adam from clay, from dirt, from dust of the earth depending on how you want to translate the Quranic and Biblical accounts.

The Muslim concept of creation states that Allah (God in Arabic) ‘fashioned’ man from this clay, that the Angels collected from the earth, from vast corners, mountains and valleys, arid lands and moist mud, sands of deserts, fields and more. All types, from all over and this represents why our father Adam carried the genetic code for all mankind everywhere, all races, nationalities and tribes.

Allah fashioned Adam himself, by his own hand and in the continuation of the verse states, “blew or breathed (Nafakhtu) , into him his soul from Himself.”

It is at this point, although I have heard the verse a thousand times and have heard the story an equal amount that I became an uncontrollable river streaming with thoughts.

What on earth had I missed all this time, this extraordinary nugget of gold that Allah has shared with us, much to our neglect and ignorance?

That whole week, I was deprived of something that I take for granted. That is, I enjoy an abundance of health and wellness, but I had breathing trouble for a week, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and an overwhelming feeling of a tight chest.

I wasn’t my usual self and signs of my heart defect were summoning me to pay attention. I wonder sometimes, what the medical professionals class as a birth defect may in fact be the opposite, a birth blessing, in that it has made me perceive and be utterly conscious of things others ignore.

Strangely that morning, before the sermon, I was trying to explain to another dear brother the importance of breathing deeply, knowledge I had gained in my years of exposure to high level training. Mostly, I was trying to advise the young brother to quit smoking altogether and to instead understand what his inert nature was requesting from him when he felt like a cigarette.

There is no doubt that nicotine is an addictive agent, but I have a firm conviction that the nicotine is not as addictive as the habit and longing of the subconscious to ‘breathe’. Deep articulate breathing, breath that reverberates from your diaphragm, deep below, from your core. The shallowness and mundaneness of life and the world has stopped most of us in our tracks and taught us to breathe just as shallow.

I asked him instead to not only breathe deeper, but to also recite the grand name, the supreme name, the ultimate of ultimate names, that is Allah, the way our masters have taught us, the way they have termed ‘Zayn al Anfas’, the beautifying of breath. Breathing deeply the name Allah, drawn out to a six second count. The Al (Alif, Lam) drawn to three seconds and the Lah (Lam, Ha) drawn to three seconds, with the Ha a deep heave from the sternum, diaphragmatic, vibrating and vibrant pulsating up the airway to the opening of the mouth.

I advised him to do this, rather mindful of my masters teaching, but after hearing the opening first few sentences of the sermon later that day, it sent me into a spiralling and dizzying flurry of meditative thought.

How could I have missed this important piece of the puzzle? Allah Himself breathed into Adam his soul. Why? To bring him to life! Here Adam was, fashioned by the best fashioner, in perfect form, but otherwise lifeless, dead until Allah allowed his soul to enter, suddenly alive and in total awareness that Allah is his source of life.

If a man engineers a vehicle, builds a building, designs a city, creates something, then the knowledge of that thing, its intricacies, nuances, inner most realities, secrets, weaknesses and strengths are all known to him. If that is what we know of creation of material, then it suffices to deduce that Allah also knows His creation and what He has fashioned. In His generosity, with this knowledge in mind, Allah also provides us the whole manual for living and if that wasn’t enough, created the most noble of creation to guide us in the most experiential manner possible. That is, he blesses us with the Quran and His beloved Messenger and Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him and his noble family.

It is this breath that bounces between our sides, which dances in our cavities and ends up flowing through our veins to every cell in our bodies to keep us alive. Stop breathing and see what happens to you.

What is it about this breath that can become euphoric in a sensation of exertion, perhaps why those addicted to exertion through exercise, through rigours of pushing their bodies to the limit unwittingly participate over and over again, subconsciously, their souls, their ability to stay alive is bound by this sacred entrusting. The breath Allah provided us, a constant revitalisation, and rejuvenation of that pact.

My friend’s sermon also mentioned man’s attraction to that which he was made from. That is, all this worldly material is really an attraction to basely and lowly things (dunya). Whether it is gold or jewels, they’re earthly. Whether it is a car or house, both steel and brick derived and extracted from the earth. Whether it is food and attraction or addiction to it, they are sourced from the earth. Everything you can conceive of, its origin, the earth.

This also reminded me of an earlier idea I proposed to someone that week, that no different, humankind is from the earth. Men and women, in essence are also nothing more than material, this over obsession with one’s spouse, children, parents or friends is nothing more than obsession with material, with things that are finite and disposable. It is not befitting of a man or woman of sound nature and discerning mind to be overwhelmed by this intoxicating obsession for another being.

Beings are not for possession, they are on loan to the world, coming from the earth, returning to the earth, allowed existence only by the mere fact they are allowed a breath to pass their lips, no second of breathing guaranteed more than the next, the source of all of that Allah, God.

What then is this near heathen approach and bestiality in being infatuated beyond reason to humans, again as aforementioned to a material thing, to a perishing thing?

That sermon and mere reminder of ‘breath’ and the origins of human kind, our lowly and base nature, became in moments a revelation of sorts for me, this lowly and base creature who has always thought there is more to his existence than mere trivial pursuits.

Perhaps with this pulsating heart, that chooses to skip a beat or two every now and then, that has been blessed enough to enlarge and function beyond the capacity of laymen at least in a physical capacity, perhaps with this thirsty soul, perhaps with this stubborn mind that searches for more, is why I have chosen the path of extremes, pushing my physical limits, to extend my breath’s capacity, to stretch it far beyond my lungs fill capacity. Perhaps why I want to heave a little harder, breathe a little deeper, be deprived a breath or two to be reminded, to be discarded and re-invited by His majesty to be at least in His company, through if only a physiological exchange, that may one day transform into the spiritual exchange.

What I do know is that this contraction (Qabd) and expansion (Bast) of heart and lungs, of chest and diaphragm is not to be taken for granted. Allah is Al Qabid, Al Basit. He is The Contractor and The Expander and what I do receive of both remains my invitation and calling, if only I decorate that pathway, if only I beautify its passage with mention of His name, indeed, as the great Imam Ali RA, said, ‘The hour will not come, until the people stop reciting Allah, Allah, Allah’.

Oh Allah, perfume my breath with Your name,
do not ever leave me in vain,
do not expose me in shame,
do not keep me the same,
O turner of hearts,
turn me in whatever manner you see fit,
and breathing,
in your remembrance,
leave me no other utterance to proclaim,
but Your name, Your Name.

‘And they ask you about the soul. Say: The soul is one of the commands of my Lord, and you are not given aught of knowledge but a little.’

– Quran, Author; Allah

W.E.

Adhan


Oh Bilal,
I wonder,
if that stone placed upon your chest,
an act of barbarity,
to stifle your tongue,
from mentioning The One, The One,
to suffocate your breath,
didn’t in fact give you lungs,
didn’t in fact expand your breast.

No stone, nor mountain,
would in future find more peace,
and tremble with love and awe,
than by hearing your voice,
And have your breath between them soar.

God made that stone and every stone, subservient to your Ruh,
your Reeh,
your zephyr that passes between your teeth,
from the well within,
far too deep,
for the materialist minds,
for the societal sheep,
to do anything but misunderstand,
but a thousand years and a thousand more,
still makes every believer weep.

W.E.

Bilal Ibn Rabah, was the first African to become a Muslim.
He suffered tremendously for his pronouncement of faith.
At a time where the Meccan dignitaries were oppressing anyone, be they of nobility or a layman, the punishment endured by Bilal was nothing short of an extension and proof of the putridness that lay within them, the barbarity and hostility they had towards anyone who professed to believe in One God.

Bilal’s would go on to become one of the most infamous rebellion stories.
A slave to wealthy Meccans, upon hearing the call to believe in one God, the equality of men and women before God that Islam espoused, Bilal defied his owners and would not whip Ammar bin Yassir when asked to make an example out of him. So instead, his owner and the rest of Mecca decided to make an example out of Bilal.

They whipped and punished him, dragged him around town with rope around his neck, even dipped him in boiling water, and still, Bilal could only echo ‘Ahadun, Ahad’, – The One, The One. Two syllables that would enrage the Meccans who wanted him to denounce one God and instead worship and acknowledge their many gods.

Umayyah ibn Khalaf, became enraged, being the owner of Bilal, he set about from the start to orchestrate all the punishment. Finally he had a stone brought forward which took four men to lift and placed it upon Bilals chest. Defiantly, Bilal would not succumb, ‘Ahadun, Ahad’, The One, The One.

It was at this time Abu Bakr, paid for Bilals freedom, when Ummayy had realised he could no longer have any use for him, he thought, being the materialist oppressor he was, that the money is better than a ‘useless’ slave.

Bilal was bought off and set free by Abu Bakr.

Upon hearing his story, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) became extremely fond of Bilal.

Bilal would go on to be the official Mu’adhen (caller) to prayer. The Prophet Muhammad preferred him over anyone else because of his sincerity and piercing voice.

So here we have a man, thought of as nothing, a former slave who was persecuted and tortured by the Meccans, now calling the prayer for all Muslims.
His call, which he saw in a dream, has become the only call to be recited by all Muslims around the world 1430 years later.

Bilal lived out his life alongside the Prophet Muhammad and the companions until the day came when the Prophet (peace be upon him), passed from this world.
Bilal was making the call to prayer and upon reaching the part mentioning the Prophet, broke down inconsolably. He finally finished the call but couldn’t bare to be around the place where the Prophet’s scent still lingered, and joined the convoy of Muslims heading to Damascus and settled there.

One night, he saw the Prophet (peace be upon him), in his dreams who asked him ‘Oh Bilal, why is it that you don’t visit me?’ Upon waking, Bilal immediately packed his belongings and set for Madinah.

Upon arriving, he was greeted by Al Hassan and Al Hussayn (God be well pleased with them), the noble grand children of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Bilal had a deep fondness for them, because they were so dear to the Prophet. So when they requested he make adhan for prayer, he could not refuse their wish.

Upon initiating the call, suddenly Madinah and all its inhabitants fell into shock. For a moment, they reminisced, they were all taken and thought that the Prophet Muhammad had returned and began crying and coming out into the streets, rushing to the central prayer mosque. Upon arriving the joy was apparent on everyone’s faces, it wasn’t the Prophet, but it was his beloved companion and preferred caller to prayer, Bilal. This was the last time Bilal would call the prayer in Madinah.

Bilal would eventually return to Damascus where he passed away.

His story reminds us today that no matter the persecution, God always has a plan far grander than any punishment oppressors can dish out.

From the chains of slavery, Bilal became the echo on every Muslims lips, five times a day at the minimum, reminding them of God, calling them to prayer, calling them to success, calling them to establishment and rectitude of their affairs, reminding them to reconcile, admit error, improve ones affairs and repent from evil or wrong doing. To ask for forgiveness, and to beg pardon. To have thanks and gratitude for fortune and misfortune, knowing well, whatever lay in stall for them, is of the wisdom and knowledge of their maker.

W.E.

*Ruh – Soul
*Reeh – Subtle breeze or zephyr

-connect

connect
connect

I’ve hit and been hit uncountable times
And I still can’t connect to people.

Perhaps why my fists have come down,
and my tongue is my biggest duke.

But even that,
is a mute.

It’s through my pen,
I can summons,
like fingers on a flute.

I tried my hand and normality,
I tried my hand at brutality,
I tried my hand at humility,
I ended back at civility.

My sanity,
remains hidden,
in cavities,
of punching peoples lights out,
and getting mine punched back,
and I still can’t connect.

I lay, I prostrate,
I bend and I stand erect,
I walk to,
I turn away from,
I rush towards,
I flee,
And I still can’t connect.

I give, I take,
I give more than I take,
I leave more for others,
Only for Allah’s sake,
And I still can’t connect.

Perhaps I’m not meant to,
perhaps others are meant to connect to me,
touch me from a distance,
prod me with the broomstick of their fears,
to see if they can connect.

-Wesam El dahabi

-responsibility

responsibility
-responsibility

how do you unsee
once you have been shown
how do you unknow
once you know
like a seed that has sprouted
wanting to ungrow.
-W.E.

Once you have met the conditions, you are obligated, anything else is treachery and concealment.
The purpose of covering a seed is not to keep it buried, unlike humans, unlike a lie, a seed longs to sprout and it will grow wild if it is shown light. There is no return for the seed once it has sprouted and been touched by light. It cannot return to being concealed. But all it’s nature asks for is to maintain it, prune it, water and keep it’s soil pure so it can bare it’s fruit.

The human being is no different. Lying to yourself, knowing the truth, witnessing it with your spiritual eye, in the depths of you, aware of it’s reality carries with it the weight of acting upon that truth and waiting for the fruits to bare. Like the seasonal changes, so too will you vary, become dry, weak and may even break a few times, or parts of you may fall, but when the environment suits, you will again grow, larger and stronger.

This, you owe to yourself.

-W.E.

 

Art in background: Huwa by samirmalik on DeviantArt

-within

creation

it can be nothing else if He blew life into Adam

This is the month of return,
the month awash with sins,
floating away in the stream of regret,
turned to foam, turned to mist, turned to nothing.

He has set aside this tumble dry of you, for you.
He awaits with gates flung open,
by the breath of His eminent Being,
a perfumed breath,
of compassion.

He has set for us a bath house,
to ablute outwardly,
more importantly, breathe Him inwardly,
but He cannot dwell in a soiled cavity,
so He asks of us this simple depravity,
leave food, leave water, leave vileness,
for Me.

A month long journey to Him,
reconnecting with the utter-ness of nothing,
so like He blew,
into Adam his breath,
He can blow into you.

God is a jealous God,
He wants to bring you closer to Him,
and there you are pretentious,
vain, arrogant,
an ever dependent earthling,
incessant ego prattling,
go make yourself then,
if you are indeed something.

Oh ingrate, oh hypocrite,
yes I am talking to you, to me,
the writer of this ode of misery,
vile and wretched you live your entirety,
come for one day and be pulled to His gravity,
it’s not ever down, but always and ever upwardly.

In your abasement of carnal fetishes, find your hollow,
create the space, and remove your sorrow,
and find the root of you,
by cleansing with blunt bristles if you have to,
and follow inwards, and swallow,
the bitterness that is admitting,
that you’re merely something borrowed.

One month of your life,
for a lifetime for Him.
And you wonder why the breath of the fasting is like musk,
What else would it be if naught else but God is within?
-W.E.

Ramadan Mubarak to all the Muslims around the world. May this month replace your breath with His divine perfume.

Egoïste – 35

decend into me2

Descending into Me,
Is your ascent to eternity
W.E.

Descend any which way you want!
He is love,
Let your heart sink,
Drop your ego,
Set with the sun,
Dive into the ocean,
Fall into an abyss,
Lower into your grave,
Whatever your descent,
Align your aim and point your arrow to eternity,
He is The First and He is The Last.
He is The Beginning-less, The Endless.
The Hidden, The Manifest.
That’s where you’ll find the all of me,
That’s where you’ll find He.
-W.E.

Revisiting this series feels good. https://lonerloaner.com/category/egoiste-collection/