muslim saints




The faith doesn’t come from the outside. It comes from the inside. Who can say that Allah did not put faith in them? Who can say? Which son of Adam that is not born with Islam, not born with Iman, not born with guidance? And Allah is saying, ‘I am closer to you than your jugular vein,’ not to Muslims. He is not saying that to the Arabs or to the Pakistani. He is saying that to everyone. Believer and unbeliever. ‘I am close to you.’ Because what the Evliya'Allah they do is they say, whatever that you are searching for, that is so far away, that you are looking everywhere, it is right in front of you. It is there. Just open your eyes a little bit. Everything is in front of you. The mercy of Allah is there. The signs of Allah is there. The azab of Allah is there. What you are looking for, it is right in front of you, only if you understand; only of if you remove the veil; only if you take a Guide.

-Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz.

Painted scrolls have been used to tell stories in India since at least the 2nd century BC. They were used as a visual aid to spoken stories and legends. This example dates from around 1800 and features typical styles of the era – brilliant colours, detailed patterns and flat backgrounds. This example has 54 individual scenes, and illustrates the legend of Gazi, a local Bengali Muslim saint. His many epic activities included fighting with demons, overpowering dangerous animals and performing miracles.

melancholicmai  asked:

Hey! I saw what you reblogged about that poem regarding Punjabi. It's interesting, i was talking to a couple of my Pakistani Punjabi friends and they were telling me how the language "is kinda crude but funny". But I definitepy understand ur concerns

Thank you so much for bringing this up!! That’s the thing. On both sides of the border the language is shamed and treated as a joke, and in place the nationalist rhetorics put the idea into people’s heads that the national language is somehow superior to their mother tongue. In East Punjab that’s done with Hindi, and in West Punjab with Urdu. 

In East Punjab the likes of Gandhi complained about the fact that the Sikh scripture is in Gurmukhi (a script of Punjab), and explained how Gurmukhi is inferior to Devnagari (mainstream Hindi script). In Bollywood Punjabi is the language of choice to tell jokes, as it is seen as crude and illiterate. Moreover, many schools in East Punjab have basically stopped teaching Punjabi, and instead focus on Hindi and English.

Cross the border and the situation isn’t any different in West Punjab. Even though Punjab is the biggest state of the state of Pakistan, its indigenous language is not recognized officially by the government, and Punjabi students in school are not taught Punjabi in favour of Urdu. This has created several waves of action, such as the PLM (Punjabi Language Movement), that do demonstrations to pressure the government to give Punjabi recognition. Here is a demonstration that took place this year during International Mother Language Day in Islamabad:

Speaking of International Mother Language Day (the observance of which originated to honour the struggles of people in Bangladesh to preserve their Bengali language), I am honestly jealous of how Bangladeshis preserved their culture. To this day, they speak the same language as their Western counterparts in India, and have preserved many of the cultural traditions, such as the observance of Pohela Boishakh (basically the Bengali version of Vaisakhi). If we look at the observance of that exact same holiday in pre-partition Punjab, it was celebrated by Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh Punjabis alike as the harvest festival and the beginning of the agricultural new year. Fast forward to today, and the holiday is celebrated with pomp and fervour in East Punjab, but its observance in West Punjab has become limited to the pockets of Sikhs that remain on that side of the border. Weddings in West Punjab have lost the many of the traditional folk songs and cultural traditions that their native legends like Heer and Ranjha had gone through. 

Basically Punjabi culture is on a decline now more than ever, as West and East Punjab are moving towards Urdu/Hindi respectively, and Punjabis in the West are slowly forgetting their mother language. Moreover the stigma of Punjabi being crude is acting as a catalyst. 

Here in the West, English poetry is lauded as beautiful and unique. However, the language as we know it today is fairly modern. Chaucer, whose Canterbury Tales are barely understandable today, was alive in the 14th century. Hindi and Urdu are shown as refined language in comparison to Punjabi, but Hindi only came about in 17th century and Urdu 18th century. 

Punjabi can be traced back to Shauraseni, which was used in from the 3rd to the 10th centuries in northern South Asia as the chief language of the poetic and theatrical arts. Punjabi was the language in which Sheikh Fareed Ji (also known as Fareed Shakarganj- a Sufi Muslim saint from the Chisti order) recorded his works, which Sikhs view as Ilaahi Bani (Words from God). Punjabi is the language spoken by the royalty of Punjab. Punjabi has been immortalized in the poetry of Birahu Da Sultan, Shivkumar Batalvi. Punjabi has been sung by the sweet voices of Muhammad Sidiq and Surinder Kaur. Punjabi is a language of resistance, fostering revolutionaries like Shaheed-E-Azam Udham Singh and Bhagat Singh. Punjabi is a language of resilience, providing comfort to pioneers venturing outside the comfort of the motherland. Punjabi is a language that flows like rivers in Shahmukhi, and lauds the glories of the Guru in Gurmukhi. Punjabi is a queen. It is beautiful, and most of all, Punjabi is my mother. It WILL get the respect it deserves.

ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਸਾਡੀ ਮਾਂ ਬੋਲੀ ਹੇ پنجابی ساڈی ما بولی ہے

A dervish or darvesh (from Persian درویش, Darvīsh via Turkish, Somali: Daraawiish, Arabic: درويش‎, Darwīš) is someone treading a  Sufi Muslim ascetic path or “Tariqah”, known for their extreme poverty and austerity. In this respect, dervishes are most similar to mendicant friars in Christianity or Hindu/Buddhist/Jain sadhus.

Many dervishes are mendicant ascetics who have taken a vow of poverty, unlike mullahs. The main reason they beg is to learn humility, but Dervishes are prohibited to beg for their own good. They have to give the collected money to other poor people. Others work in common professions; Egyptian Qadiriyya – known in Turkey as Kadiri – are fishermen, for example.

Some classical writers indicate that the poverty of the dervish is not merely economic. Saadi, for instance, who himself travelled widely as a dervish, and wrote extensively about them, says in his Gulistan:

“Of what avail is frock, or rosary,
Or clouted garment? Keep thyself but free
From evil deeds, it will not need for thee
To wear the cap of felt: a darwesh be
In heart, and wear the cap of Tartary.”

Rumi writes in Book 1 of his Masnavi:

“Water that’s poured inside will sink the boat 

While water underneath keeps it afloat.
Driving wealth from his heart to keep it pure
King Solomon preferred the title ‘Poor’:
That sealed jar in the stormy sea out there
Floats on the waves because it’s full of air,
When you’ve the air of dervishood inside
You’ll float above the world and there abide…”

There are various orders of Dervishes, almost all of which trace their origins from various Muslim saints and teachers, especially Imam Ali. Various orders and suborders have appeared and disappeared over the centuries. Dervishes spread into North Africa, Turkey, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Iran, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Other groups include the Bektashis, who are connected to the janissaries, and the Senussi, who are rather orthodox in their beliefs. Other fraternities and subgroups chant verses of the Qur'an, play drums or whirl in groups, all according to their specific traditions. They practice meditation, as is the case with most of the Sufi orders in South Asia, many of whom owe allegiance to, or were influenced by, the Chishti order. Each fraternity uses its own garb and methods of acceptance and initiation, some of which may be rather severe. [x]

anonymous asked:

tbh i don't understand why you're so driven to push this 'muslims boys are so pure and can do no wrong' rhetoric. as a muslim girl growing up around muslim boys, i can tell you the vast majority of these boys are nothing like your beloved balloon squad.


My sister, not all Muslim boys are pure saints, believe me, I know this, bc I’ve seen them. But the problem isn’t with the fact that they are “Muslim”, because Islam has nothing to do with it, it’s the people that are misogynists. And yes, some boys, that are Muslims, are misogynists. Misogyny isn’t a “Muslim” or “Christian” or “Jewish” or “Atheist” thing, it is a HUMAN thing.

But these boys, The Balloon Squad? They’re not misogynists. You know, some Muslim boys ARE decent, good, respectful boys, and I know some boys that are these kinda boys aswell. So, if on Western media, we are getting the portrayal of GOOD, DECENT, RESPECTFUL Muslim boys, why are you not happy about this lmaooooo??????

Mughal Empire , mid 17th century (made)

The painting, in opaque watercolour on paper, gold on borders, depicts an image of the legendary Muslim saint, Khwaja Khizr, standing on a large fish swimming on the surface of water. The saint holds out his hands in prayer with a rosary looped over his left hand. He is facing left and is dressed in robes in his traditional colour of green. The outer robe has wide sleeves under which he wears a darker robe with narrow sleeves. He also wear a green rounded turban with one end falling down his back. He wears black-heeled shoes and dark green trousers which fall over the top of his shoes. The grey-scaled fish has a pink tail and underbelly and swims on top of wavy grey water which is set against a pale, almost colourless, sky at the horizon which is midway up the surface of the painting and rises up to the top, becoming streaked with gold and touches of pale mauve.

According to local folklore, the feeding of hyenas in Harar originated during a 19th-century famine, during which the starving hyenas began to attack livestock and humans. In one version of the story, a pure-hearted man dreamed of how the Hararis could placate the hyenas by feeding them porridge, and successfully put it into practice, while another credits the revelation to the town’s Muslim saints convening on a mountaintop. The anniversary of this pact is celebrated every year on the Day of Ashura, when the hyenas are provided with porridge prepared with pure butter. It is believed that during this occasion, the hyenas’ clan leaders taste the porridge before the others. Should the porridge not be to the lead hyenas’ liking, the other hyenas will not eat it, and those in charge of feeding them make the requested improvements. The manner in which the hyenas eat the porridge on this occasion are believed to have oracular significance; if the hyena eats more than half the porridge, then it is seen as portending a prosperous new year. Should the hyena refuse to eat the porridge or eat all of it, then the people will gather in shrines to pray, in order to avert famine or pestilence.


Islamic militant sect, ISIS, which has been rampaging across the north and west of Iraq since last month, has been demolishing sacred sites such as shrines and mosques around the historic northern city of Mosul in Nineveh province.

Photographs from the area posted online under the banner “Demolishing shrines and idols in the state of Nineveh” depicted mosques being turned into piles of rubble – explosives deployed against Shiite buildings - and bulldozers flattening the shrines.

At least four shrines to Sunni Arab or Sufi figures have been destroyed by the bulldozers, according to AFP. The structures had been built around graves of Muslim saints. Six Shiite mosques have also been destroyed using explosives.

A Bosnian Muslim is very proud, because he believes that he was made to command, and others should listen. He acts according to that, always quiet and calm. He doesn’t talk much, and when he talks, he takes care, he doesn’t want to say anything corrupt, or unworthily of a great man. 

I have been on service for 16 years here, and I rarely could hear (and even that only in recent time), even a the most vulgar Muslim cursing God or saint. A Muslim hates and despises a person who curses God, and he cannot understand how God doesn’t send a storm on person who blasphemes him. I was on a train between Prakrac and Daruvar. In the same wagon was a Muslim from Banja Luka. One of the younger passengers argued with someone and cursed God. Our Muslim, calmly but seriously told him: “God gave you those beautiful eyes and those beautiful lips to look at the sky and praise Him. That’s a shame. Big shame!”

And morality? A Bosnian Muslim is full of character, and his word is holy to him. If he gave a promise, he will keep it, no matter how difficult it is. He hates lie more than everything, and even a poor man will hardly steal anything, because that is unworthily of human.

Antun Hangi - Book: “Life and tradition of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina”

Church of Saint Elian - Homs, Syria

Kaneesat Mar Elian - Hims, Suriya

One of the oldest active churches in the world, it dates back to 432 CE.

The feast of Saint Elian is held every year at the church on the 6th of February, attracting a large number of pilgrims from around Syria both Christians & Muslims.

Our obsession with adopting a pan-Arab Muslim ‘culture’ often contributes to glossing over the rich histories of gender and sexual non-normativity which are as diverse as South Asia itself. While many so-called ‘developed’ Western states either failed to acknowledge or grossly mistreated and oppressed their transgender communities, the Mughals of South Asia celebrated them by appointing them as high court officials. References about intersex and gender ambiguous individuals appear in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions alike. Similarly, the practice of appointing eunuchs in royal courts reportedly existed in the Ottoman Empire, as well as the Mamluk and Safavid dynasties. Chief eunuchs in Mughal courts served as army generals, harem guards and advisors to the emperors. They also supervised the education of princes, protection of the harem women and also served as messengers and watchmen. Many such gender and genitally ambiguous people reached high status and accumulated riches. The eunuchs, historian Laurence Preston maintains, were entitled to public revenue, received grants in the form of cash and land, and even had the official right to beg. The Khwaja-sira community of Pakistan draws its history and identification from this time. Hijra communities sought devotion to both Bahuchara Mata and Muslim saints.

Similar acceptance or at least tolerance existed for queer sexualities. Anthropologists often delve into the subject through queer reading of Sufi poetry, which they supplement with historical accounts. An oft-quoted example is that of Muhammad Sa’id, more commonly known as Hazrat Sarmad Shaheed, who had a male lover by the name of Abhay Chand. Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh was highly influenced by Sufi poet Sarmad Shaheed, whose shrine is in Delhi. The Punjabi historian Shafi Aquil speaks of the relationship between Madho and Hussain as one of “boundless love”. Such was the spiritual love of Madhu Lal and Shah Hussain that the latter is still known today as Madho Lal Hussain – as if the two lovers fused together. I have an excerpt from Bulleh Shah’s Sufi poetry framed in my room in which the legendary Punjabi poet beautifully depicts the suffering of separation from one’s lover by imagining oneself as a woman.

Emperor Babur’s autobiographical Tuzuki-i-Babri contains a sentimental recollection of his erotic love for a teenage boy. Acclaimed South Asian author Ismat Chugtai’s Lihaaf is considered a classic text in contemporary queer literature.

Among the various forms of sex and gender queerness, Islamic law acknowledges intersexuality in a legal as well as social light. Medieval Muslim jurists carefully considered this issue and today the Islamic law explicitly acknowledges intersex individuals and their choice in choosing gender. Scott Siraj-ul-Haqq Kugle discusses the historical evidence stemming from oral and hadith narratives that assert that Prophet Muhammad interacted with several mukhannath (intersex or effeminate men) in his life time. There is evidence regarding mukhannaths guarding the harem of Prophet’s wives, praying with men and women in mosques, and later being employed at Ka’ba and Masjid-e-Nabwi. I will leave it to the readers to further study this topic and fathom the queer aspects of Islamic and Arab history. Scott Kugle’s and Kecia Ali’s works, as well as some Palestinian queer rights organizations like Aswat and Al-Qaws, are a good place to start. Food for thought.

Church of Saint Porphyrius - Gaza, Palestine

Named after the 5th century bishop of Gaza, Saint Porphyrius, it is the oldest active church in Gaza. The original church dated back to 425 CE however the current building dates back to 1150 CE.

Saint Porphyrius’s tomb is situated in the northeastern corner of the church. His feast day is celebrated on February 26 by both Christians & Muslims.

Muslims pray in Saint-Etienne, France. “They want to turn off the stars, we’ll turn them on again !”


If Muslims are praying and saying Je suis Charlie too, I think that all the people who were saying “Charlie Hebdo deserved it” can just SHUT THE FUCK UP and THINK. Thank you.

12 people are dead and they’re still hostage takings at the moment, PEOPLE ARE IN DANGER. 

[16] Then my wife had further dreams in which I appeared, all of them towards dawn.  She had one dream after another as if they were a message (risala).  And she had no need of an explanation of them because of their clarity and the obviousness of their interpretation.  Amongst the dreams she had was one which she recounted as follows:

“I beheld a large pool of water in a place I didn’t know.  The water in the pool was limpid like the water of a spring.  And above the pool over the water appeared clusters of grapes, all of which were white.  I and my two sisters were sitting at the pool, and we were picking those grapes and eating them.  Our feet hung down in the pool and rested on the surface of the water without sinking or disappearing from sight. 

And I said to my younger sister: ‘We are eating these grapes as you see.  But who has sent them to us?’  Then I saw a man approaching.  He had curly hair and wore a white turban, and he let his hair hang down at the back of the turban.  He had on white clothes and he said to me: 'Who owns a pool such as this and grapes such as these?’

Then he took me by the hand and had me stand up, and aside from my two sisters he said to me: 'Tell Muhammad b. Ali (al-Tirmidhi) to recite [Quran 21/47]: "We shall set up just scales on the Day of Resurrection…” until the very end of the verse.  Nor will flour and bread be weighed in these scales but rather the words of this - and he pointed to his tongue.  And this and this will be weighed in it - and he pointed to his hand and to his two feet.  Don’t you know that superfluous talk causes the same intoxication as wine when it is drunk?“

And I replied to him: 'I would like you to tell me who you are.’

Then he said: 'I am one of the angels.  We travel about on the earth and reside in Jerusalem.’

And I saw in his right hand green fresh myrtle, and in his left hand basil.  And he spoke to me while he held these in his hands.

Then he said: 'We travel about on the earth and visit God’s worshippers ('ubbad) and we place this basil upon the hearts of the worshippers so that they have this with them when they go to worship God.  And we place this myrtle upon the hearts of the strictly truthful (siddiqun) and those who have attained certainty (muqinun) so that by means of this they may know what sincerity (sidq) is.  Basil is only fresh in the summer, but myrtle doesn’t change in the summer or the winter.  And say to Muhammad b. Ali: Wouldn’t you like to have both of these?”  And he pointed to the myrtle and the basil. […] 

“And say to him: 'Purify your house!”

Then I said: 'I have small children and I cannot keep my house strictly purified.’

He replied: 'I do not mean purified from urine but from this!’ And he pointed to his tongue. […]

Then he took some of the myrtle from the bunch he had in his hand and gave it to me.

I said: 'Am I to take this for myself or to give it to him?’

He laughed and his teeth appeared to be like pearls and he said to me: 'Take this!  As for the two things in my hand, I will bring them to him myself.  And this you have in common.  Both of you are together in the same place.

And tell him: “Let this be my final exhortation to you.  Peace be upon you!”

And then he said: 'God shall bestow on you, oh sisters, a garden.  He has not bestowed this on you because of your religious practices in the form of fasting and ritual prayer.  But He has bestowed it on you because of the rectitude (salah) of your hearts, and because you love what is good and are not pleased with what is bad.’ […]

And I said to him: 'Why don’t you say this before my two sisters?’

He replied: 'Verily, they are not on par with you and are not your equal.’

Then he said: 'Peace be upon you!’, and he went away.  Thereupon I woke up.’

 - from the autobiography of al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi, a 9th century mystic and saint.  About half of his sira consists of reports of dreams, mostly his wife’s, which document his spiritual development (”What Tirmidhi received through these dreams were messages concerning reality (bushra) which proclaimed to him his gradual ascent within his inner self and, correspondingly, within the macrocosm.” - pg 9) 

His wife is never named and wasn’t formally educated - she spoke only Persian (the angels and the Prophet Muhammad who appear to her in dreams and give her messages for her husband speak to her in Persian) -  but as the angel says in this dream, she attained an unspecified high spiritual rank in her own right (”Both of you are together in the same place”).  Ubbad, siddiqun, and muqinun all represent important categories of spiritual development, which al-Tirmidhi writes about, but unfortunately he doesn’t mention his wife or her rank in his spiritual hierarchy any further - she only appears as a medium.

(The Concept of Sainthood in Early Islamic Mysticism: Two Works by al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi, tr. Bernd Radtke and John O’Kane, pg. 24-25)

What do Lord Ganesha and Lord Buddha have in common?

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The Moghul invasion of India brought with them in the first waves, Muslim holy men known as Sufis - and they saw and explained that all the great religions are but branches of the same tree and even though ordinary men saw them as fundamentally different, the truth was that in essence they are all the same.

Many years ago, I went to a series of lectures at the Analytical Psychology Club in London. One week a Zen Buddhist monk would speak, the next week a Catholic Monsignor, the next week a Jewish Rabbi, the next week a High Anglican, then a distinguished Jungian analyst etc etc. One night as we were leaving, a very old lady, with a face like wrinkled parchment, gave me a beaming smile and asked me if I was enjoying the lectures. I said I was. She said, “Have you noticed that the essence of what they say is the same, it’s as though each is standing on one face of a diamond and they cannot see the other faces. But it’s all one.:

I am proof reading a wonderful, extraordinary book at the moment. Here are some of the things I read this evening. It’s taken from talks given by the great spiritual master, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.

"We talk of peace. we talk of the end of war, but all that is not going to work out. The only thing that is going to work out is the transformation of human beings because if human beings are transformed, things will work out perfectly. Not only that but people will also enjoy the bliss of life.

Human beings must ask themselves one thing: "What have I achieved out of all of this?:

Just for a minute, stop and think about this.”


“I was born in India and in a Christian family. If you are an enlightened person, you see the essence of everything. No matter into which religion you are born, you should not ignore any other religion. You should try to learn about other religions and you find that the essence is the same in every religion.

What is there to fight about? By fighting you belong to no religion, while in truth you belong to every religion.”


“Every religion has said one thing: You must know yourself. Islam says it. Buddha said the same. Christians say the same. Hindus say the same. But still people go on doing all kinds of acrobatics, realizing, ‘We haven’t found the truth’.:


"I went to America and was shocked how things were going on there, but I couldn’t help because they were so ill-equipped. They could not understand what they had to have. They did not know that you cannot pay for the truth.”


“Everyone has to search for the truth within. There is no other way. Without searching for the truth that lies within, one goes on treading the path of untruth. When you are established in truth, no rules and regulations are required. Then all your deeds become divine. Therefore everyone should seek the truth and this is the time you can get it. Let us see now how the seeking comes to be within us and from where it comes.

Seeking in only possible when something is living. For example, what is the seeking of a chair? It cannot think. It cannot move. You can put it in the kitchen or you can put it in the street. You can smash it and through it away. You can again use the wood for some other purpose or make a stool out of it. It has no seeking of any kind.

Only when a thing becomes a living being does it start manifesting its seeking. A living thing is supposed to seek. It is not dead. So those who we say are not seeking as as good as dead." 

The northeast Bosnian town of Zvornik was known for its heritage of Bosnian Muslim poets, saints, rebels and mystics. From April through July of 1992 the Serb military killed or expelled the entire Muslim population. After all the mosques in the primarily Muslim town were dynamited and ploughed over, the new Serb nationalist mayor declared: “There never were any mosques in Zvornik”. Destroyed with those mosques was the evidence not only of the Muslim heritage of Zvornik but also of five hundred years of shared living between Christians and Muslims. History could now be rewritten according to the desires of those who wished to claim that this land was always and purely Christian Serb. In May 1993 to celebrate Zvornik’s new status as 100 percent “pure” and cleansed of all Muslims, the mayor dedicated a new church, renamed a local, formerly Muslim village “Saint Stephen” and kissed a crucifix.
—  Michael A. Sells, The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia