Elixir for the Gnostic: an unbolted epistle for SMH
Respected Syed Munawar Hassan,
Human life! Its duration is momentary, its substance in perpetual flux, its senses dim, its physical organism perishable, its consciousness a vortex, its destiny dark, its repute uncertain. In fact, the material element is a rolling stream, the spiritual element dreams and vapor, life a war and a sojourn in a far country, fame oblivion. What can see us through? One and only one thing, philosophy; and that means keeping the spirit within us unspoiled and un-dishonored not giving way to pleasure or pain, never acting unthinkingly or deceitfully, or insincerely, and never being dependent on the moral support of others.
There are three dimensions which may be identified in every religious context. They relate to fear, to love and to knowledge, and it is the first of these that commonly presides the initial stage of the spiritual journey. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and there are elements in the human personality which respond only to the threat of punishment, just as there are other elements which are drawn into the pattern of unity by love, and yet others which fall into place in the light of knowledge.
Some degree of order is imposed upon the city warring factions by fear, and only then is a place ready for the kindling fire of love and for IMAN (faith), which Islam defines as the state in which the heart accepts truth and lives by it, the lips and the tongue make profession of truth, and the limbs execute what is required of them by the truth. Beyond this is knowledge which is equivalent to certainty.
Jalal-ud-din Rummi advised people like JI chiefs centuries ago in these words:
If you want to escape from this narrow well
O brother, start walking on fire without delay_
Look for God’s contrivance, leave your contrivance
Deceitful’s wile is ashamed of His contrivance_
When your contrivance is mortified in His contrivance
Then one strange aim will be broadened_
That aim’s lowest level is prosperity
From beginning in Exaltation and Evolution_
Do try for this aim
So you may apprehend the fragrance of ILM-E-LADUNI_
In the end the whole sad story, that had started after your poisonous scathing statement for the true soldiers of this country, is summed up in the wise child’s prayer: “Lord, please make good people religious and religious people good”.