Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Pearls, The Golden Box, The Emptiness In The Heart

Category: SOUND


Author unknown.
The cheerful little girl with bouncy curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Aisha got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbour and asked Aunty Jamshed if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace. Aisha loved her pearls.

They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere, Sunday madressa classes, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green. Aisha had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story from the Quraan. One night as he finished the story, he asked Aisha , "Do you love me?"

"Oh yes, daddy. You know that I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember, daddy? The one you gave me. She's my very favourite." "That's okay, Aisha, daddy loves you. Allah-hafez." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Aisha's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?" "Daddy, you know I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper. "That's okay. Sleep well.

May Allah bless you & protect you, Aisha. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Aisha was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Aisha? What's the matter?" Aisha didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, daddy, this is for you." With tears gathering in his own eyes, Aisha's daddy reached out with one hand to take the cheap necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Aisha.

He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the cheap stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.

So it is with our Allah Almighty. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasures. Isn't Allah great? Are you holding onto things that Allah wants you to let go of? Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary Friendships, habits and activities that you have come so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing Allah will never take away something without giving you something better in its place. The greatest gifts happen when you share love and touch others' hearts!

Golden Box

Author unknown.

The story goes that some time ago a mother punished her 5 year old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and she became even more upset when the child pasted the gold paper so as to decorate a box to put for Eid celebrations. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her mother the next morning and said, "This is for you, Momma."

The mother was embarrassed by her earlier over reaction, but her anger flared again when she found the box was empty. She spoke to her in a harsh manner, "Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?" The little girl looked up at her with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Momma,it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was full." The mother was crushed. She got down on her knees and put her arms around her little girl, and gave her a warm hug, and asked her to forgive her for her unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later and it is told that the mother kept that gold box by her bed for all the years of her life. Whenever she was discouraged or faced difficult problems she would open the box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us, as human beings, have been given a Golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children,family,and friends. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

The Emptiness In The Heart

Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya (ra):

Truly, in the heart there is a void
that can not be removed except with the company of Allah.

And in it there is a sadness

that can not be removed, except
with the happiness of knowing Allah and being true to Him.

And in it there is an emptiness

that can not be filled except with
love for Him and by turning to Him
and always remembering Him.

And if a person were given all of

the world and what is in it,
it would not fill this emptiness.

From "Starting with the Self", a thread on

Turning Away From Pointless Talk, Good Character, The Hours of Life, The Reproachful Self

Category: SOUND

Turning Away From Pointless Talk

Imam Al-Bayhaqi:
Allah Most High has said: Successful are the believers, who are humble in their prayers, and who turn away from pointless talk, [23:1-3] and: Those who do not bear witness to what is false, but when they pass by pointless talk, pass by with dignity, [25:72] and: When they hear pointless talk, they turn away from it. [28:55]

"Pointless talk" [laghw] is speech which is futile and irrelevant, and bears no relation to any true purpose. It brings no benefit to the one who utters it, and may well bring him misfortune instead.

Ali (r) related that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, "It is part of a man's sound practice of Islam that he leave alone that which is of no concern to him." [At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

Dhu'l-Nun said, "Whoever loves Allah lives truly, and whoever inclines to anything else damages his mind. A foolish man comes and goes, paying attention to what is nothing, while the intelligent man inspects his own thoughts scrupulously."

* Source...The Seventy-Seven Branches of Faith [Summarized]
The Quilliam Press 1996
© belongs to the translator A. Murad

Good Character

Imam Al-Bayhaqi:
This includes suppressing one’s anger, and being gentle and humble. Allah Most High has said: Surely, you are of tremendous nature, [68:4] and: Those who suppress their anger, and forgive other people – assuredly, Allah loves those who do good. [3:134]

Bukhari and Muslim relate that `Abdallah ibn `Amr, radhiallahu `anhu, said, "The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, was never immoderate or obscene. He used to say, ‘Among those who are most beloved to me are those who have the finest character.’"

They also narrate that `Aa’isha, radhiallahu `anha, said, "Never was the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, given the choice between two things without choosing the easier of them, as long as it entailed no sin. If it did entail sin, he was of all people the most remote from it. Never did he seek revenge for something done against himself; but when the sanctity of Allah was challenged, he would take vengeance for His sake alone."

The meaning of good character is the inclination of the soul towards gentle and praiseworthy acts. This may take place in one’s personal actions for Allah Most High, or in actions which involve other people. In the former case, the slave of Allah has an open and welcoming heart for His commandments and prohibitions, and does what He has imposed on him happily and easily, and abstains from the things which He has forbidden him with full contentment, and without the least dissatisfaction. He likes to perform optional good acts, and abstains from many permitted things for the sake of Allah Most High whenever he decides that to abstain in that way would be closer to perfect slavehood to Him. This he does with a contented heart, and without feeling any resentment or hardship. When he deals with other people, he is tolerant when claiming what is his right, and does not ask for anything which is not; but he discharges all the duties which he has towards others. When he falls ill or returns from a trip, and no-one vits him, or when he givse a greeting which is not returned, or when he is a guest but is not honoured, or intercedes but is not responded to, or does a good turn for which he is not thanked, or joins a group of people who do not make room for him to sit, or speaks and is not listened to, or asks permission of a friend to enter, and is not granted it, or proposes to a woman, and is not allowed to marry her, or ask for more time to repay a debt, but is not given more time, or asks for it to be reduced, but is not permitted this, and all similar cases, he does not grow angry, or seek to punish people, or feel within himself that he has been snubbed, or ignored; neither does he try to retaliate with the same treatment when able to do so, but instead tells himself that he does not mind any of these things, and responds to each one of them with something which is better, and closer to goodness and piety, and is more praiseworthy and pleasing. He remembers to carry out his duties to others just as he remembers their duties towards himself, so that when one of his Muslim brethren falls ill he visits him, if he is asked to intercede, he does so, if he is asked for a respite in repaying a debt he agrees, and if someone needs assistance he gives it, and if someone asks for favourable terms in a sale, he consents, all without looking to see how the other person had dealt with him in the past, and to find out how other people behave. Instead, he makes "what is better" the imam of his soul, and obeys it completely.

Good character may be something which a man is born with, or it may be acquired. However, it may only be acquired from someone who has it more firmly rooted in his nature than his own. It is well known that a man of sensible opinion can become even more sensible by keeping the company of intelligent and sensible people, and that a learned or a righteous man can learn even more by sitting with other people orf learning or righteousness; therefore it cannot be denied that a man of beautiful character may acquire an even more beautiful character by being with people whose characters are superior to his own.

And Allah gives success!

The Seventy-Seven Branches of Faith
The Quilliam Press, © 1990, 1996
The Hours Of Life

Imam Al-Ghazali's Kimya' al-Sa`ada (The Alchemy of Happiness):
At the resurrection a man will find all the hours of his life arranged like a long series of treasure-chests.

* The door of one will be opened, and it will be seen to be full of light: it represents an hour which he spent in doing good. His heart will be filled with such joy that even a fraction of it would make the inhabitants of Hell forget the fire.

* The door of a second will be opened; it is pitch-dark within, and from it issues such an evil odour as will cause everyone to hold his nose: it represents an hour which he spent in ill-doing, and he will suffer such terror that a fraction of it would embitter Paradise for the blessed.

* The door of a third treasure-chest will be opened; it will be seen to be empty and neither light or dark within: this represents the hour in which he did neither good nor evil. Then he will feel remorse and confusion like that of a man who has been the possessor of a great treasure and wasted it or let it slip from his grasp.

Thus the whole series of the hours of his life will be displayed, one by one, to his graze. Therefore a man should say to his soul every morning, "Allah has given thee twenty-four treasures; take heed last thou lose anyone of them, for thou wilt not be able to endure the regret that will follow such loss."
The Reproachful self

Al Hasan Al Basri (ra) said," You always see the believer reproaching himself and saying things like: Did I want this? Why did I do that? Was this a better thing to do or should I have behaved otherwise?

Hazrat Umar Al Farooq (ra) said, "The wisest of men is he who can account for his own actions."

From "Starting with the Self", a thread on

Quotes: Precious Words Of Wisdom

Category: SOUND

Precious Words of Wisdom

Taken from an article compiled by Shaykh Ahmed Farid:

Ibrâhîm at-Taymi (rahimahullâh) would say: “The sincerely devoted one is he who conceals his good deeds like he conceals his bad ones.”

Once ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azîz (rahimahullâh) was advised, “O ‘Umar, beware of being the ally of Allâh in open, while being His enemy in secret. If one’s nature in open and secret do not equate then he is a hypocrite, and the hypocrites occupy the lowest level in Hellfire.”

It was asked by one of the Pious, “Beware of hypocritical fear!” On being asked, “What is hypocritical fear?” he replied, “When your body is seen fearing whereas you heart is not fearing.”

One of them said, “Accompanying the righteous people gives rise to righteousness in the heart.”

Ahmad ibn Harb (rahimahullâh) said, “There is nothing more beneficial to a Muslim’s heart than to mix with the righteous and to watch their actions, while nothing is more harmful to the heart than mixing with the sinners and watching their actions.”

One of the Salaf said, “If it can be that no one beats you to Allâh, then do so.”

Abû Turâb an-Nakhshabî (rahimahullâh) would say, “If a person resolved to leave sinning, Allâh would send him reinforcements from all sides. What indicates the blackness of the heart are three: Not to find an escape from sinning, nor a place for obedience to occur, nor a haven for the sermon that warns.”

One of them said, “If the only quality of obedience was light appearing on the face and its radiance, love in the heart, strength in the limbs, security of the soul (nafs),… all these would have been enough for leaving sins. And if sins only produce ugliness in the face, darkness in the heart and fear over the soul, then all this would have been enough for leaving sins. For both the disobedient and obedient Allâh has left indications and signs to please one and make the other sorrowful.”
One of the Salaf said, “I disobey Allâh to find its effect in the way my animal (live stock) behaves (towards me) and my wife.”

Mâlik ibn Dînâr (rahimahullâh) said, “Whoever proposed to the world, then the world would not be satisfied until he gave up his Deen as dowry.”

Sufyân ath-Thawrî (rahimahullâh) said, “Whoever’s knowledge makes him weep, then he is a scholar (‘âlim). Allâh the Most High said, ‘Verily those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them they fall down on their faces in humble prostration.’ [Sûrah Banî Isrâ’îl (17):107] He also said, ‘When the verses (âyât) of Ar-Rahmân (The Most Merciful) is recited to them they fall in prostration weeping.’ ” [Sûratul-Maryam (19):58]

One of the Salaf said, “If one of you do not wish to fulfil his brother’s needs by sharing his worries or by making invocations (du‘â) then do not ask – How are things? – because it is considered hypocrisy.”

Abû Bakr as-Siddîq (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu) was asked, “How are you this morning?” He replied, “This morning I enter as a lowly slave to a magnificent Lord. I enter the morning commanded by His command.”

Imam ash-Shâfi‘î (rahimahullâh) was asked, “How are you this morning?” He replied, “This morning I have entered eating my Lord’s provision but not fulfilling true gratitude towards Him.”

Mâlik ibn Dînâr (rahimahullâh) was asked, “How are you this morning?” He replied, “I enter the morning with my remaining age diminishing and my sins increasing.”

‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azîz (rahimahullâh) used to say, “None can reach the station of taqwâ until he possesses neither action nor words that can be exposed to his embarrassment either in this world or the Hereafter.” He was once asked, “When does the worshipper reach the peak of taqwâ?” He replied, “If he put all his thoughts and desires in his heart on a plate and then wandered around in the market, he should not feel ashamed of anything there.” He would frequently say, “The sign of the muttaqî (pious person) is to bridle oneself from speaking just like one in ihrâm bridles himself from speaking. The muttaqî need to be a scholar of the Sharî‘ah, all of it, otherwise he leaves taqwâ without realising.”

Abû Dardâ (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu) said, “From the completion of taqwâ is that the slave fears from his Lord even with regards to things the weight of an atom.”

Abû Hurayrah (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu) was asked about taqwâ. He said, “It is a road full of thorns. One who walks it needs to have extreme patience.”

Sufyân ath-Thawrî (rahimahullâh) said, “We met a people who loved it when it was said to them, Fear Allâh the Most High. Today you find that people only become annoyed at this.”

From the statements of the Amîrul-Mu’minîn ‘Alî (radhiAllâhu ‘anhu), “The tallness of the slave ends at the age of twenty-two. His intelligence reaches its peak at twenty-eight. What is after that until the end of his life is just test and affliction.”

Qatâdah (rahimahullâh) would say, “Men are of three types: A man, half a man and no man. The man is the one from whose opinion and intelligence there is benefit. The half man is the one who questions the intelligent and practices according to their opinion. The no man is the one who has no intelligence nor opinion nor does he ask anyone else.”

Sufyân ibn ‘Uyaynah (rahimahullâh) said, “The most nimble of creatures still have need of a voice. The cleverest women still need to have a husband, and the cleverest man still needs to consult wise men.”

Wahb ibn Munabbih (rahimahullâh) said, “Whoever claims to be intelligent but his attention is not geared towards the Afterlife, then he is a liar.”

One of the Salaf said, “One of you might see his own faults but he still loves himself. He then hates his Muslim brother on suspicion. So where is the logic?”

Rabî‘ ibn Khuthaym (rahimahullâh) said, “No one should isolate himself in worship except after studying the religion deeply, because Imâm Mâlik used to say: Study deeply and then seclude yourself.”

It was said, “Secluding oneself from the general public is from the completeness of morals.”

Ma‘rûf al-Kirakhî (rahimahullâh) said, “A person speaking about unnecessary things is [indication] from Allâh abandoning him.”

From "Starting with the Self", a thread on

Friends Who Desire Only Pleasure, The Love of Two Days, Signposts on Seekers Highway

Category: SOUND

Friends Who Desire Only Pleasure

Hakim al-Ummat Hadhrat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (ra) said,
“If family members, close friends and other acquaintances do not love you anymore then be content that Allah, Most High made this a means for your heart to turn away from everything other-than-Him (ghair-Allah).”

Ma-sir Hakim al-Umma ra, pa 387
Mullah Jami states the following in His Baristan:,
A Man completed his prayers and then began his supplications, desiring to enter paradise and to be delivered from the fire of hell. An Old Woman, who happened to be seated at the rear of the masjid, and heard him said. " O Lord, cause me to share in whatever he supplicates for."

The man who had listened to the woman then said: " O Lord, hang me on a gibbet and cause me to die of scourging." The Woman continued: " O Lord Pardon me and preserve me from what he asked for." The man then turned in her direction and said: " What a wonderfully unpleasant partner this is! she desires to share with me in all that brings rest and pleasure, but refuses to be my partner in distress and misery."

Something to reflect.

Many people fall into the above trap, and become embroiled in illicit relationships, and destructive companionships of friends who encourage towards Haram. . In due course they end up, far removed from the deen. When calamity arrives, neither those friends nor those Lovers who sang rhymes of Love are to be found.

Mullah Jami narrates:

A beautiful woman had many admirers, whose attentions where so assiduous that the very street in which she she lived became thronged by visitors, but when her attractions disappeared and she had become ugly her lovers abandoned her. Then I said to one of them: " She is the same friend as before, with the same eyes, brows, lips, but perhaps her stature is less tall and her body more stout. It is faithless and treacherous on thy part to neglect her."

He replied: "Alas for what thou sayest! That which ravished the heart, and enthralled the senses, was the spirit which resided in her form, in the gracefulness of her limbs, the smoothness of her complexion, and the pleasantness of her voice, but as that spirit has departed from the figure, how can I love a dead body, or show affection to a whithered rose?"
The Love Of Two Days

In his Baharistan (Abode of Spring), Mullah Jami narrates the following:
The dialogue of lovers.

The Beautiful Maiden.
"By God, who openly and secretly is worshipped by men and Jinns, I swear of all whom i see in the world no one is dearer to me than thou."

The Handsome Youngman.
"O thou who sawest me, and residest in my heart, soul and body all now belong to thee it is no wonder; It, must be a stone not a heart, which turns not to thee!"

The girl replied that now her only desire was that they should spent time alone in each others embrace.

The Youngman replied.
"My desire is the same, but what can I do? As God the most high says: ' The intimate friends on that day shall be enemies unto one another except the pious,' which means that on the day of resurrection friendship of friends will become enemity, except the friendship of the abstemious, which will increase the attachment. I do not wish that on the morn of resurrection the edifice of our love impaired, and our friendship be turned into enmity." After saying these words, he departed saying the following: "O heart, abandon this love of two days, because a love of two days profits not; choose a love where with on the day of reckoning. Thou mayest abide in the eternal abode."
Signposts on Seekers Highway
If one wants to know whether one is climbing upwards toward success, there are certain signs and indications that can help one to determine one's progress.

1) As one becomes more knowledgeable, one becomes more humble and merciful to others. Think of an expensive pearl: the more heavy and valuable it is, the more deep it is in the ocean. A wise person knows that though knowledge is a gift, Allah tests the one whom He gives it to. When one is thankful for the gift of knowledge, one will be raised in ranking.

"Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge."
-Qur'an (58:11)

2) The more one performs good deeds, the more one becomes cautious and fearful, in the sense that he does not feel secure from error, such as a slip of the tongue or a change of heart. He is always in a state of watching over himself and of being wary. He is like a careful bird: each time it lands on a tree, it soon leaves it for another, afraid of the skilled hunter and his bullet.

3) The older one gets, the less covetous one should be for this world, because he knows with certainty that his time is soon finished.

4) The more wealthy one becomes, the more generous should one be toward others. The wealthy Muslim must understand that his wealth is a trust given to him, and that Allah is testing him in that wealth.

5) The higher one's status becomes in society, the closer should one be to ordinary people, showing humility and fulfilling their needs.

The signs that indicate wretchedness and misery:

1) The more knowledge one attains, the more haughty and arrogant he becomes. Such a person's knowledge is not beneficial. His heart is empty and his company heavy to bear.

2) The more he increases in deeds, the more proud he becomes and the more contemptuous he becomes of others. He doesn't give the benefit of the doubt to anyone except to his own self. Thus, he deems that he is the only one who achieves salvation while all others are bound for destruction.

3) The older he gets, the more avarice and cupidity become part of his character. He gathers, but he never shares. Calamities and misfortune fail to move him into becoming a benefactor to others.

4) The more wealthy he becomes, the more miserly he becomes.

5) The higher his position in society, the higher his level of arrogance and haughtiness.

Source: Don't be Sad - Shaykh Aaidh ibn Abdullah Al-Qarni

From "Starting with the Self", a thread on

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dua When Something Is Lost

Category: SOUND

The most basic dua is to recite:
Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (ra) writes in Munaajaat al-Maqbool:

When something is lost:
"Itha Da'alahu shay-un aw abqa.

Allahuma raadda-DDaalati wa * hadia-DDalaalati anta tahdi mina-DDalaalati urdud 'alayya Daalati biqudratika wa * sulTaanika fa innaha min 'aTaaika wa * faDlik."

"Oh Allah, the Returner of the lost and Guider of the misguided, You are the one who guides from misguidance, turn back towards me what I have lost with Your Power and Authority because it was Your own gift and bounty."
It is also said that it is the experience of some people that reciting Surah 31 (Luqmaan), ayah 16 has the benefit of returning lost things:
"Ya bunayya innaha in taku mithqala habbatimmin khardalin fatakun fee sakhratin aw fissamawati aw fil-ardi ya/ti biha Allahu innAllaha lateefun khabeer." (31:16)

"O my son!" (said Luqman), "If there be (but) the weight of a mustard-seed and it were (hidden) in a rock, or (anywhere) in the heavens or on earth, Allah will bring it forth: for Allah understands the finest mysteries, (and) is well-acquainted (with them). (31:16)
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (ra) also relates in A'mal Qurani that reciting the following verses will help:
As well as verses 7:54-56 with 9:128 added on to the end:
'inna rabbakumullahulladhee khalaqasamaawaati wal ardhi fee sittati ayyaa min thummastawaa 'alal 'arshi yughshilaylannahaara yatlubuhu hatheethauwashamsa wal qamara wanujuuma musakharaatin bi-amrihi alaalahulkhalqu wal amru tabaarakallahu rabbul 'alameen. (7:54)

ud 'oo rabbakum tadharru 'auwa khufyatah innahu laa yuhibbul mu'tadeen. (7:55)

walaatufsidoo fil ardhi ba'da islaahihaa wad 'oohu khayfauwa tama'an inna rahmatallahi qareebumminalmuhsineen. (7:56)

laqad jaa a kum rasooluminn anfusikum 'azeezun 'alayhi maa 'anittum hareedhun 'alaykum bilmumineena ra oo furraheem. (9:128)

"Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil o'er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds!
Call on your Lord with humility and in private: for Allah loveth not those who trespass beyond bounds.
Do no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order, but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the Mercy of Allah is (always) near to those who do good." (7:54-56)

"Now hath come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that ye should perish: ardently anxious is he over you: to the Believers is he most kind and merciful." (9:128)
He also relates that Ja'far Khalidi lost a ring in the Tigris. He made this prayer:
"yaa jaa mi 'annaasa liyau-millaa rayba fihi ijma' 'alayya dhaallati"
and one day while looking through some papers he found the ring among them. It is also suggested to recite surah 93 (duha), repeat verse 7 thrice.

Heres an anecdote I found from SunniPath, attributed to Shaykh Abdul Qadir Gilani (ra):

According to a report from Ibn Tawus al-Yamani (may Allah the Exalted bestow His mercy upon him), his father, Tawus (may Allah the Exalted bestow His mercy upon him), told him:

"An Arab nomad [A'rabi] once came [to Mecca] on a riding camel of his. He caused the beast to kneel down, and hobbled its feet with a cord. Then he raised his head toward the sky, and said: 'O Allah, this riding camel, as well as the load upon its back, is covered by Your insurance, until I return to reclaim it.' He then went off and entered the Sacred Mosque [al-Masjid al-Haram].

"Some time later, the Arab nomad returned from the Sacred Mosque [al-Masjid al-Haram]–to find that the riding camel had been taken away, together with the load on its back. So he raised his head toward the sky, and said: 'O Allah, nothing has been stolen from me, for nothing is ever stolen except from You.' "

Tawus went on to say:

"While we were in this situation together with the Arab nomad, we suddenly caught sight of a man descending from the peak of Mount Abu Qubais. He was leading the riding camel with his left hand, while his right hand, which had been cut off, was attached to a cord around his neck. When he eventually reached the Arab nomad, he said: 'Here, take your riding camel, along with the load on its back.'

"I asked the man about his condition, so he explained: 'On the peak of Abu Qubais, I was approached by a rider on a gray horse. "O thief," he said to me, "hold out your hand!" So I held it out, and he placed it on a slab of rock. Then he took another piece of rock and used it to amputate my hand, which he then tied to my neck. "Now go back down the mountain," he told me, "and return the riding camel, along with the load it carries, to the Arab nomad."'"
Hazrat 'Umar (ra) has also said:
'Umar [ibn al-Khattab] (may Allah be well pleased with him) used to quote these two verses [of Arabic poetry] as an instructive example:

Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by God's decree.

If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Quotes: Rumi & Freud? (and more)

Category: SOUND

You heard me right. And yes, this does belong under the SOUND category. I realize how controversial Freud is, the sheer damage he has wrought cannot be denied (See: Ali Shariati on his influence on the 20th century).

But whenever I find myself defending Freud (more often these days), it's by distinguishing Freud the man from Freud the pseudo-philosopher-psychologist. What it seems to amount to is that Freud was a brilliant man with a bit of an elitist streak, a superiority complex. We know well what he thought of the masses around him, his work in psychology speaks for itself. He thought of them as animals, ruled by the sex drive (honestly, can we blame him for his conclusions? we should be blaming him for what he did in response to them). But did he ever apply his psychology to himself? It doesn't seem to be the case (not too often, anyway). He reserved some quite different, quite traditional explanations for himself and the other "intelligent", "enlightened" people around him (or who preceded him).

So I'm going to post a bunch of quotes I had dug up sometime last year from both, but with this label attached to the post. I apologize in advance, because I had originally sought to follow up each Freud quote with a corresponding saying of Maulana Rumi (ra), but I just don't have the time at the moment to undertake that kind of search and effort. =\ This also means I had to leave out his controversial quotes that would make more sense with an explanation (because I can't write them). Other random quotes follow at the end (uncited in italics).

Without further ado:


"Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism."
-Sigmund Freud

"A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them: they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world."
-Sigmund Freud

"America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success."
-Sigmund Freud

"Everywhere I go I find that a poet has been there before me."
-Sigmund Freud

"One is very crazy when in love."
-Sigmund Freud

"We are never so defensless against suffering as when we love."
-Sigmund Freud

"He does not believe that does not live according to his belief."
-Sigmund Freud

"What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult."
-Sigmund Freud

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection."
-Sigmund Freud

"I have found little that is "good" about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think."
-Sigmund Freud

"Men are more moral than they think and far more immoral than they can imagine."
-Sigmund Freud

"It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built upon a renunciation of instinct."
-Sigmund Freud

"The goal of all life is death."
-Sigmund Freud

"The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is "What does a woman want?""
-Sigmund Freud

"We must reckon with the possibility that something in the nature of the sexual instinct itself is unfavorable to the realization of complete satisfaction."
-Sigmund Freud

"A man who has been the indisputable favorite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror."
-Sigmund Freud

"A certain degree of neurosis is of inestimable value as a drive, especially to a psychologist."
-Sigmund Freud

"Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent."
-Sigmund Freud

"Neurotics complain of their illness, but they make the most of it, and when it comes to talking it away from them they will defend it like a lioness her young."
-Sigmund Freud

Maulana Rumi (ra):

In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you.

but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.
Totally conscious, and apropos of nothing, you come to see me.
Is someone here? I ask.
The Moon. The full moon is inside your house.

My friends and I go running out into the street.
I'm in here, comes a voice from the house, but we aren't listening.
We're looking up at the sky.

Lo, I am with you always means when you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self,
or things that have happened to you
There's no need to go outside.

Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.

A white flower grows in the quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.
Re: "All loves are a bridge to Divine Love, but those who have not had a taste of it do not know!":
God has given us a dark wine so potent that,
drinking it, we leave the two worlds.

God has put into the form of hashish a power
to deliver the taster from self-consciousness.

God has made sleep so
that it erases every thought

God made Majnun love Layla so much that
just her dog would cause confusion in him.

There are thousands of wines
that can take over our minds.

Don't think all ecstasies
are the same!

Jesus was lost in the love of God.
His donkey was drunk with barley.

Drink from the presence of saints,
not from those other jars.

Every object, every being,
is a jar full of delight.

Be a connoisseur,
and taste with caution.

Any wine will get you high.
Judge like a king, and choose the purest,

the ones unadulterated with fear,
or some urgency about "what's needed."

Drink the wine that moves you
as a camel moves when it's been untied,
and is just ambling about.
A True Man stares at his old shoes
and sheepskin jacket. Every day he goes up
to his attic to look at his work-shoes and worn-out coat.
This is his wisdom, to remember the original clay
and not get drunk with ego and arrogance.

To visit those shoes and jacket
is praise
Do you think I know what I am doing?
That for one breath or half-breath I belong to myself?
As much as a pen knows what it's writing,
or the ball can guess where it's going next.
i don't need
a companion who is
nasty sad and sour

the one who is
like a grave
dark depressing and bitter

a sweetheart is a mirror
a friend a delicious cake
it isn't worth spending
an hour with anyone else

a companion who is
in love only with the self
has five distinct characters

stone hearted
unsure of every step

lazy and disinterested
keeping a poisonous face

the more this companion waits around
the more bitter everything will get
just like a vinegar
getting more sour with time

enough is said about
sour and bitter faces
a heart filled with desire for

sweetness and tender souls
must not waste itself with unsavory matters
Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky,
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You're covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side. Die,
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you've died.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.

The speechless full moon
comes out now.
I've said before that every craftsman
searches for what's not there
to practice his craft.

A builder looks for the rotten hole
where the roof caved in. A water carrier
picks the empty pot. A carpenter
stops at the house with no door.

Workers rush toward some hint
of emptiness, which they then
start to fill. Their hope, though,
is for emptiness, so don't think
you must avoid it. It contains
what you need!

Dear soul, if you were not friends
with the vast nothing inside,
why would you always be casting your net
into it, and waiting so patiently?

This invisible ocean has given you such abundance,
but still you call it "death,"
that which provides you sustenance and work.
Know that your body nurtures the spirit,
helps it grow, and then gives it wrong advice.

The body becomes, eventually, like a vest
of chainmail in peaceful years,
too hot in summer and too cold in winter.

But the body's desires, in another way, are like
an unpredictable associate, whom you must be
patient with. and that companion is helpful,
because patience expands your capacity
to love and feel peace.

The patience of a rose close to a thorn
keeps it fragrant. It's patience that gives milk
to the male camel still nursing in its third year,
and patience is what the prophets show to us.

The beauty of careful sewing on a shirt
is the patience it contains.

Friendship and loyalty have patience
as the strength of their connections.

Feeling lonely and ignoble indicates
that you haven't been patient.

Be with those who mix with God
as honey blends with milk, and say,

"Anything that comes and goes,
rises and sets,
is not what I love."

Live in the one who created the prophets,
else you'll be like a caravan fire left
to flare itself out alone beside the road.
There is a way between voice and presence
where information flows.

In disciplined silence it opens.
With wandering talk it closes.
Who gets up early to discover the moment light begins?
Who finds us here circling, bewildered, like atoms?
Who comes to a spring thirsty
and sees the moon reflected in it?
Who, like Jacob blind with grief and age,
smells the shirt of his lost son
and can see again?
Who lets a bucket down and brings up
a flowing prophet? Or like Moses goes for fire
and finds what burns inside the sunrise?

Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies,
and opens a door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there's a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet
and leaves with blessings.
Chase a deer and end up everywhere!
An oyster opens his mouth to swallow one drop
Now there's a pearl.
A vagrant wanders empty ruins,
Suddenly he's wealthy.

But don't be satisfied with stories, how things
have gone with others. Unfold
your own myth, without complicated explanation,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you.

Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then there comes a moment
of feeling the wings you've grown,
That intellectual warp and woof keeps you wrapped
in blindness. And four other characteristics
keep you from loving. The Qur'an calls them
four birds. Say Bismillah, "In the name of God,"
and chop the heads of the mischief-birds.

The rooster of lust, the peacock of wanting
to be famous, the crow of ownership, and the duck
of urgency, kill them and revive them
in another form, changed and harmless.
The cloud weeps, and then the garden sprouts.
The baby cries, and the mother's milk flows.
The nurse of creating has said, Let them cry a lot

This rain-weeping and sun-burning twine together
to make us grow. Keep your intelligence white-hot
and your grief glistening, so your life will stay fresh.
Cry easily like a little child.

Let body needs dwindle and soul decisions increase.
Diminish what you give your physical self.
Your spiritual eye will begin to open.

When the body empties and stays empty,
God fills it with musk and mother-of-pearl.
That way a man gives his dung and gets purity.

Listen to the prophets, not to some adolescent boy.
The foundation and the walls of the spiritual life
are made of self-denials and disciplines.

Stay with friends who support you in these.
Talk with them about sacred texts,
and how you're doing, and how they're doing,
and keep your practices together.
Little by little, wean yourself.
This is the gist of what I have to say.

From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood,
move to an infant drinking milk,
to a child on solid food,
to a searcher of wisdom,
to a hunter of more invisible game.

Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo.
You might say, "The world outside is vast and intricate.
There are wheatfields and mountain passes,
and orchards in bloom.

At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight
the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding."

You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up
in the dark with eyes closed.
Listen to the answer.

There is no "other world"
I only know what I've experienced.
You must be hallucinating.
This is how it is when your animal energies,
the nafs, dominate your soul:

You have a piece of fine linen
that you're going to make into a coat
to give to a friend, but someone else uses it
to make a pair of pants. The linen
has no choice in the matter.
It must submit. Or, it's like
someone breaks into your house
and goes to the garden and plants thornbushes.
An ugly humiliation falls over the place.

Or, you've seen a nomad's dog
lying at the tent entrance, with his head
on the threshold and his eyes closed.

Children pull his tail and touch his face,
but he doesn't move. He loves the children's
attention and stays humble within it.

But if a stranger walks by, he'll spring up
ferociously. Now, what if that dog's owner
were not able to control it?

A poor dervish might appear: the dog storms out.
The dervish says, "I take refuge with God
when the dog of arrogance attacks,"
and the owner has to say, "So do I!
I'm helpless against this creature
even in my own house!

Just as you can't come close,
I can't get out!"

This is how animal energy becomes monstrous
and ruins your life's freshness and beauty.

Think of taking this dog out to hunt!
You'd be the quarry.
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently swep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Who makes these changes?
I shoot an arrow right.
It lands left.
I ride after a deer and find myself
chased by a hog.
I plot to get what I want
and end up in prison.
I dig pits to trap others
and fall in.

I should be suspicious
of what I want.
It's the habit of yours to walk slowly.
You hold grudge for years.
With such heaviness, how can you be modest?
With such detachments, do you expect to arrive anywhere?

Be wide as the air to learn a secret.
Right now your're equal portions clay
and water, thick mud.

Abraham learned how the sun and the moon and the stars all set.
He said, No longer will I try to assign partners for God

You are so weak. Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave
till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.
You're trying to live your life in open scaffolding.
Say Bismillah, In the name of God,
as the priest does with a knife when he offers an animal.

Bismillah your old self
to find your real name.
What God said to the rose and caused it to bloom in hearty laughter,
He said to my heart and made it a hundred times prettier.

Other Assorted Quotes:

A group of men once visited Rabia al-Basri to test her to see if she would make an unguarded comment. “All the virtues have been scattered upon the heads of men,” they said. “The crown of prophethood has been placed on the heads of men. The belt of nobility has been fastened around the waists of men. No women has ever been a prophet.”

“All that is true,” she replied. “But egotism, worshiping one’s self, and “I am your Lord, the Most High” have never sprung from a woman’s breast. All these things have been the specialty of men.”
-Tazkirah Al-Awliyaa’

"Through you I have found the stars I've been seeking."

"And He placed the stars for you, so that you might be guided by them in the dark shadows of the earth and of the sea..."

"Your life lies before you like a path of snow, be careful how you tread it because every step will show."
-Lowri Williams.

“This text requires a single name, not two,”
He answered them, “Majnun alone will do.
If someone delves within a lover’s heart,
He’ll find the loved one in its deepest part.”
“But why,” they asked him, “from among the two,
It’s Layli who’s been cut away, not you?”
“It’s wrong,” he said, “for her to be the cover
That hides within itself this ardent lover.
I am the veil for what should be internal
I am the outer shell; she is the kernel.”

"These two friends are one, eternal companions. He is Majnun, the king of the world in right action. And she is Layla, the moon among idols in compassion. In the world, like unpierced rubies they treasured their fidelity affectionately, but found no rest and could not attain their heart's desire. Here they suffer grief no more. So it will be until eternity. Whoever endures suffering and forebears in that world will be joyous and exalted in this world."

"Whoever would find a place in that world must tread on the lusts of this world. This world is dust and is perishable. That world is pure and eternal. . . . Commit yourself to love's sanctuary and at once find freedom from your ego. Fly in love as an arrow towards its target. Love loosens the knots of being, love is liberation from the vortex of egotism. In love, every cup of sorrow which bites into the soul gives it new life. Many a draft bitter as poison has become in love delicious. . . . However agonizing the experience, if it is for love it is well."

"For how long then do you want to deceive yourself? For how long will you refuse to see yourself as you are and as you will be? Each grain of sand takes its own length and breadth as the measure of the world; yet, beside a mountain range it is as nothing. You yourself are the grain of sand; you are your own prisoner. Break your cage, break free from yourself, free from humanity; learn that what you thought was real is not so in reality. Follow Nizami: burn but your own treasure, like a candle -- then the world, your sovereign, will become your slave."
-The Story of Layla and Majnun by Nizami, trans. and ed. by Dr. Rudolf Gelpke
Then said Almitra, “Speak to us of Love.”
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them.
And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
-Khalil Gibran

"Available language forces us to speak in terms of knowledge, but sometimes this knowledge is in excess of speech."

"A witty saying proves nothing."

"All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God."

"Love is lightning. Poetry is the thunder."

"Believe me, if all those endearing young charms, Which I gaze on so fondly today, Were to change by tomorrow, and fleet in my arms, Like fairy-gifts fading away, Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art, Let thy loveliness fade as it will, And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart Would entwine itself verdantly still. It is not while beauty and youth are thine own, And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear That the fervor and faith of a soul can be known, To which time will but make thee more dear; No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets, But as truly loves on to the close, As the sunflower turns on her god, when he sets, The same look which she turned when he rose."
-Thomas Moore

"Knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity."
-Al-Ghazali (ra)

"Physical love is attraction, and it is an addiction. Psychological love is projection, and it is a disorder. Spiritual love is reflection, and it is Truth."

"There is only one thread of all cotton.
The warp, the woof, the quill of the weaver's shuttle,
The shuttle, the texture of cloths, the cotton shoes and hanks of yarn,
All are known by their respective names,
And they all belong to their respective places
But there is only one thread of yarn."
-Bulleh Shah

"Very clearly, life appears as a mirror holding the great secret of the universe and its reality."

"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards."
-The White Queen, Through the Looking-Glass

"When it's dark enough men see stars."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Hitch your wagon to a star."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death."
-E.B. Browning

"Islam is, amongst mankind, what Love is, amongst thoughts ... A believer that turns to Allah momentarily is akin to a stray thought of the Beloved that enters the heart ... And if the Iman is true, then the believer is unwielding, just as a heart harbors nothing but thoughts of the beloved when the Love is true."

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."
-Nicholas Gordon

"To love is not to look at one another, But to look together in the same direction."
-Antoine de Saint (Exupery)

"People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty."

"I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops."
-Stephen Jay Gould

"You will find rest from vain fancies if you perform every act in life as though it were your last."
-Caesar Marcus Aurelius

"Righteousness is good morality, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in your soul and which you dislike people finding out about."
-Prophet Muhammad (saw)

The Companions (ra) said, 'O Prophet (saw)! since God hath appointed our place, may we confide in this and abandon our religious and moral duty?' He said, 'No, because the happy will do good works, and those who are of the miserable will do bad works.'

"Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems."

"Appetitus Rationi Pareat" [Translation: 'Let your desires be ruled by reason']

"Think of the totality of all Being, and what a mite of it is yours; think of all Time, and the brief fleeting instant of it that is allotted to yourself; think of Destiny, and how puny a part of it you are."
-Caesar Marcus Aurelius

"Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts."

"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts, therefore guard accordingly; and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue, and reasonable nature."
-Caesar Marcus Aurelius

"First, decide who you would be. Then, do what you must do."

"Nothing outside the will can hinder or harm the will; it can only harm itself. If then we accept this, and, when things go amiss, are inclined to blame ourselves, remembering that judgment alone can disturb our peace and constancy, I swear to you by all the gods that we have made progress."

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."

"Get rid of the judgement ... get rid of the 'I am hurt,' you are rid of the hurt itself."
-Caesar Marcus Aurelius

"If you are distressed by any external thing, it is not this thing which disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment now."
-Caesar Marcus Aurelius

"Everywhere and at all times it is in your power to accept reverently your present condition, to behave justly to those about you, and to exert your skill to control your thoughts, that nothing shall steal into them without being well examined."
-Caesar Marcus Aurelius

"If you work at that which is before you, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract you, but keeping your divine part pure, as if you were bound to give it back immediately; if you hold to this, expecting nothing, but satisfied to live now according to nature, speaking heroic truth in every word which you utter, you will live happy. And there is no man able to prevent this."
-Caesar Marcus Aurelius

"The soul should know whither it is going and whence it came, what is good for it and what is evil, what it seeks and what it avoids, and what is that Reason which distinguishes between the desirable and the undesirable, and thereby tames the madness of our desires and calms the violence of our fears."

"Virtue is nothing else than right reason."

In explanation of the Hadith, "I was made to love three things in your world: women, scent, and the coolness of my eye in the prayer.":

"Scent is the food of the soul, and the soul is the riding beast of the faculties of man."
-Prophet Muhammad (saw) (An-Nasa'i)

"Man sees a part of himself in woman, and he is thus humbled. He wants to take her back into himself but in witnessing her independent soul and rebellious spirit, he is enabled to step out of himself and comes to see Allah immaterially and his own existence, soul, and spirit ... Men are humbled by women. Women are humbled by life. A woman is not meant to be humbled by a man, she was already born humble."

"When man witnesses Allah in women, his witnessing is in the passive; when he witnesses Him in himself, regarding the appearance of woman from Him, he witnesses Him in the active. When he witnesses Him from himself without the presence of any form from him, his witnessing is in the passive directly from Allah without any intermediary. So his witnessing of Allah in the woman is the most complete and perfect because he witnesses Allah inasmuch as He is both active and passive. Regarding himself, He is passive in particular. For this reason, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, loved women because of the perfection of the witnessing of Allah in them since one does not ever witness Allah free of matter. Allah by His essence in independent of the worlds. So from this aspect, the business is impossible, yet witnessing only occurs in matter. The witnessing of Allah in women is the greatest and most perfect witnessing. The greatest union is marriage.
From man, He derived a person in his form called "woman". She appeared in his form, and he yearned for her with the longing of that thing has for itself, and she yearned for him with the longing of that thing has for its home.
Whoever loves women in this measure, loves with divine love. Whoever loves women with respect to natural appetite or gratification (physical or psychological), deprives himself of the knowledge behind it."
-Ibn Arabi (ra) [commentary & translation]