"What you seek is seeking you", a line from the oft-quoted poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, who was also a jurist, Islamic scholar and theologian, has an ocean of meanings. Rumi speaks of the reed being separated from the reedbed and the music created from it is its crying and longing to return to its source.
Listen to the story told by the reed, of being separated.
"Since I was cut from the reedbed, I have made this crying sound.
Anyone apart from someone he loves understands what I say.
Anyone pulled from a source longs to go back.”
Similarly, humans have an origin, and we long to return to our source – the Creator of the Heavens and Earth. While we may think that we are far from the Divine, Allah assures us that He is indeed near, as He says in the Holy Qur’an,
We created man – We know what his soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his jugular vein. [Qur’an 50:16]
As our soul cries and longs for the Divine, it is often distracted by the disturbances from the nafs (lower self or ego), hawa (desires), dunya (worldly pleasure) and shaytan (Satan) – the four main spiritual enemies of man. Allah also said in the Holy Qur’an,
The love of desirable things is made alluring for men – women, children, gold and silver treasures piled up high, horses with fine markings, livestock, and farmland– these may be the joys of this life, but God has the best place to return to. [Prophet], say, ‘Would you like me to tell you of things that are better than all of these? Their Lord will give those who are mindful of God Gardens graced with flowing streams, where they will stay with pure spouses and God’s good pleasure – God is fully aware of His servants. [Qur’an 3:14-15]
Believers are told that once they embark on that journey to God, the spiritual enemies will also work harder to distract them, as Allah had said,
Do people think they will be left alone after saying ‘We believe’ without being put to the test? [Qur’an 29:2].
In another poem, Rumi says:
“Your calling my name is My reply
Your longing for Me is My message to you
All your attempts to reach Me
Are in reality My attempts to reach you
Your fear and love are a noose to catch Me
In the silence surrounding every call of “Allah”
Waits a thousand replies of “Here I am.”
The speakers will expound on the four spiritual enemies on the path to God and how we can steer the course safely towards the Divine. The speakers will also speak about listening to the soul's cries and giving the soul its due from the worship and obedience to Allah, performance of good deeds and the remembrance of Allah.
Teacher: Shaykh Hisham Kabbani
Medium of Instruction: Arabic/English