Monday, January 23, 2006

LOVE


Among the English poetries that I still enjoy, apart from Wordsworth, Blake, etc., this particular one has been ringing in my ears since my primary school days.

Abou Ben Adham

Abou Ben Adham (May his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adham bold,
And to the presence in his room he said,
‘What writest thou?’ The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, ‘The names of those who love the Lord.'
‘And is mine one?’ said Abou. ‘Nay not so?’
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, ‘I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men.’

The angel wrote, and vanished.
The next night it came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.


By Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)


Not just beautifully written by Leigh Hunt, but the noble message, reminds me of that of Imam al Ghazali's in one of the chapters of Ihya' 'Uluumid Din (The Revival of Sciences of the Religion), on ikhlas and mahhabah. In the quest for closeness to God, Abou displayed sincerity and unselfishness and that brought the angel back to inform him of the good tidings for him.

Sayyidina 'Ali Karramallahu wajhah, once complained to the Holy Prophet SAW, that he finds it difficult to have the presence of the heart in prayers (Khusyuk), thus how could he love Allah? The Holy Prophet advised that if he finds it difficult to love Allah, then he should strongly love those who love Allah.

Allahuma aj'al hubbaka,
Oh Lord made me love You,
wahubbaman ahhabbaka.

and all those who love You.

But coming to think of it, if Leigh Hunt is still to be alive today, would she write it for Abou ben Adham? What is Abou? A Muslim or a Jew? If she is to write of a Muslim Abou, it would be rejected due to the Muslims' synonimity to terrorism. But if he is a Jew, then it would be probably worse for now Abou could be associated to a radical Zionist activist or oppressor. Surely she wouldn't write of the person being George Bush either.

17 comments:

Ku Keng said...

The illustration is not of Abou. IF you notice, he is a snake charmer. People love him because he is charming to the cobras. Today we need a lot of this kind of guy cos there are lots of urban king cobras around.

dr in the house said...

You read that poetry in your primary years? Subhanallah! You're sure somebody to be reckoned with!
I am definitely someone way below your league, sir!

And talking of khusyuk in prayers, I wish I have more of it :(

Has said...

Khusyuk in prayer, sorry if I distorted the narration from Al Gazali (dah lama terbaca ni), tetapi pada suatu masa dia mengkritik saudaranya kerana tidak mengimankannya padahal begitu ramai yang lain dari segala perusuk rantau datang untuk sembahyang dengannya.

Jadinya saudaranya pun turut serta mengimankannya dan semasa sedang bersembahyang, beliau meninggalkan Al Gazali dan pergi sembahyang secara bersendirian. Maka tersiratlah satu perasaan pada Iman Al Ghazali dan beliau mendapatkan saudaranya untuk mengetahui sebabnya.

Maka saudaranya berkata, aku mampu mengikuti mu sehinggalah kamu pergi melihat keldai-keldai mu. Maka Imam teringatlah semasa dia sembahyang, terlintas persoalan di dalam hatinya samada keldainya sudah diberi air minuman.

sya said...

Keng.. I have read some of the chapters in the Ihya Uluumid'din.. one thing that i remember most is Keikhlasan.. apa maksudnya ikhlas?? Honesty? Siapa yg dah tenguk drama Indon bertajuk "Qiamat sudah dekat" akan memahami maksud "ikhlas".

"The Holy Prophet advised that if he finds it difficult to love Allah, then he should strongly love those who love Allah".... teringat kata my dad.. sekiranya seorang manusia berada di tengah-tengah antara syurga dan neraka, .. di jengah di syurga maka terpandang olehnya seorang alim, lalu org yg alim berkata "eh aku kenal si anu .. dia kawan ku" maka InsyaAllah manusia itu akan ke syurga... wallahualam.

Nita said...

Tuan Keng,

Itu sebab disarankan kita berkawan rapat dengan orang2 yang mempunyai akhlak yang baik..agar sedikit sebnyk terbias baik akhlaknya kepada kita..

zizie ali said...

PREMIS: "kita memang disaran berkawan rapat dgn orang2 yg punya akhlak yg baik." LOGIK (MANTIK): kita memang disaran berkawan rapat dgn orang2 yg punya akhlak yg baik.Orang yg punya akhlak yg baik itu juga ingin berkawan dgn orang yg punya akhlak yg baik. jadi tipislah peluang org yg punya akhlak kurang baik untuk berkawan dgn org yg punya akhlak yg baik.

Anonymous said...

Saya ada terbaca kat mana tak ingat, tapi dalam buku tu kata,,,,,,
2 things determine what kind of person you gonna be in five years time.

1. From the "type" of books you read. kalu asyik baca gggg (tak mau mention nama la..) ........jadi gila agaknya!!! hik! hik! hik!

and

2. The "type" of people you mix with. Kalu dengan orang baik -baik.......baiklah jadinya

kalu dengan black metal.......buang tabiat agaknya.

idak le teman.....na uzu billah...

NBB said...

semoga termasuk dalam golongan Ben Adham..ameen

Ku Keng said...

Puan Dr.:
During that time to join other clubs in school was not within reach. Luckily the Literary Society was cheapest. So there we were debating and reciting poetry. Not that they were taught in classes. Had primary education being much longer I suppose we would have learnt to appreciate Rubaiyyat or Mesnevi or Gitanjali.
Has:Was it the donkies or blood. Al Ghazali said his brother was too deep in blood. That was cos his brother was, during the prayer thinking of how to resolve an issue pertaining to menses.
Sya:
Nanti saya cari CD tu.
Nita:
Saya setuju, jangan bimbang saya akan cuba berakhlak baik.
Zizie:
Kita kodkan manusia kepada tiga kategori. Yang Baik (YB), Yang Mau Baik (YMB)dan Yang Soheh Tak Baik (YSTB). Jadi kalau YMB mau berkawan dengan YB dia kena pakai lencana P, macam pemandu baru. Nanti kila tubuhkan skuad untuk memantau mereka.
Anon:
Kalu dia kurang baca buku, agaknya 'from the types of blog he visited'. Yes those two indicators could be used as rough measurements.
NBB:
Ameen, dan termasuk juga kepada semua yang ada hak atas diri kita, bersama-sama.

lentiform said...

That is my biggest problem , khusyuk in prayers, there's always something disturbing, either mentally or physically(esp.during working hours), at home it's a bit easier, although I can't say I can achieve it well either.
When I try to bring myself closer to HIM, there'll always be something distracting sooner or later. Any help there?

Kecik @ Arjunna said...

Tuan,
Sampi jam ni pun teman dok memikio lagi tentang bagaimana teman nak belajor becinta. Besok Tuan tolonglah bagi tip sikit. Ni, baru nok buat time cuti umum nok gi dating, orang tua doh sughoh balik tabur garam kat pokok deghrian pulok dah.

Ku Keng said...

Lentiform:
This is a common problem among us. Probably understanding what we recite would help. Probably breathing as in yogic practises would be useful. Many discussions on this. However zikrullah is most effective. When the heart, whether in prayers or out of it, is constantly in zikrullah, keeping it would be easier. Allah SWT is most selfish and not want the human being to place anything else in the heart (kalb)except remembrance for HIM. Just as we keep tunes of certain songs within our mind and subconsciously at times as it plays within us, our body would respond to it through physical motions or even loud hums. Remembrance of HIM should implanted in our minds, in the same way. Once the kalb is trained, maintaining khusyuk should be easier. Should be. But the whispers of khannas, is a constant threat to those in prayers. Let us pray to Allah SWT for HIS help in the keeping our heart steadfast.
Arjunna:
Ini cinta pada Khaliq bukan kepada makhluk.

Anonymous said...

Keng Tembaga said...
Anon:
Sori Anon. Macam mana boleh saya menganggap yang anda ini Tuan dan bukan Puan, atau Encik atau Cik


Anonymous said...
Tuan Keng

ten plus ten plus ten = ????? Thirty????

No sir!!

ten ten tennnn! surprise... he! he! he!

Tuan ka, Puan ka, cik ka, chom bee ka! tak pa la tuan keng.......only for me to know,,,, hik! hik! hik

Ku Keng said...

Anon:
hih, hik, hik ... tangisan atau tersedu kerana nak membesar.

Mohd Adib Noh said...

I bought a book written by William Wordsworth when I was visiting a friend in Lancaster a few years back.the book was printed in 1927!Talking about poet,my favourites are Al-Rumi and Kahlil Gibran.

Ku Keng said...

Abedib:
Wow that is a collector's item. I love The Daffodils. Many thought that Kahlil is a Muslim and took his philosophy on religion seriously. How dangerous.

Mohd Adib Noh said...

The Messenger and The Message are equally important.