Inspiration

Inspiration is God’s gift.  You cannot force inspiration.  You cannot cause inspiration.  Inspiration is a spontaneous occurrence that comes of its own accord at its own time.  As and when God wills.  In the words of the ancient Greek Tragedian Aeschylus “He who learns must suffer, and, even in our sleep, pain that we cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the ‘awful’ grace of God.” 

“When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up; when the stars fall losing their lustre; when the mountains vanish (like a mirage); when the she-camels ten months with young are left untended; when the wild beasts are herded together (in the human habitations); when the oceans boil over with a swell; when the souls are sorted out (being joined like with like); when the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned for what crime she was killed; when the scrolls are laid open; when the world on high is unveiled; when the blazing fire is kindled to fierce heat; and when the Garden is brought near; then shall each soul know what it has put forward.”
– An Excerpt from Translation of Surah Al- Takwir – The Holy Koran

“Anxiety occurs (only) at the time when that (object of desire) is hidden: this searching is after the unseen.  (If) the throne of the heart has become restored to soundness and purged of sensuality, thereon the Merciful God is seated on His Throne.  Our senses and finite speech (reason) are obliterated in the knowledge and wisdom of our (Divine) King.  Except love of the most beauteous God everything, though (outwardly) it is (pleasant like) eating sugar, is (in truth) agony of spirit.  He that works without tools and without limbs, He that bestows these profitable gifts, causes the intelligence to taste myriads of wines in such wise that eyes and ears are unaware.  Is this an enchantment of the eye? (Or) is it a marvellous hidden grace? On thee is the form of the wolf, and on me is the quality (beauty) of Joseph.  Unless the Watcher open a door, this idea never stirs within.”
– An excerpt from Mevlana Rumi’s Masnavi

“You live in a period when virtues recede and evils advance step by step and Satan becomes greedier in his eagerness to ruin human beings.  Today, his equipment has been reinforced, his traps are set in every place and his prey comes easily.  Look around; you will see either a poor man hardly able to breathe in extreme poverty and penury, or a rich man who has transformed Allah’s blessings into his own infidelity, or you will see a miser who makes stinginess in discharging the obligations imposed by Allah a means of increasing his own wealth, or you will find the rebellious whose unruly hearts are deaf to moral admonition.  Where are the virtuous, the righteous among you?  Where are the free men and the magnanimous?  Where are those who avoid every trace of deceit in their dealings and pursue piety and honesty in their ways?”
– An excerpt from Imam Ali’s Sermon 129 – Nahj-ul-Balagha

“Most of us have had the experience, either as parents or youngsters, of trying to discover the “hidden picture’ within another picture in a children’s magazine.  Usually you are shown a landscape with trees, bushes, flowers and other bits of nature.  The caption reads something like this: “Concealed somewhere in this picture is a donkey pulling a cart with a boy in it.  Can you find them?”  Try as you might, usually you could not find the hidden picture until you turned to a page farther back in the magazine which would reveal how cleverly the artist had hidden it from us.  If we study the landscape we realize that the whole picture was painted in such a way as to conceal the real picture within, and once we see the “real picture,” it stands out like the proverbial painful dig.  It must be remembered that the first job of any conspiracy, whether it be in politics, crime or within a business office, is to convince everyone else that no conspiracy exists.  The conspirators’ success will be determined largely by their ability to do this.  That the elite of the academic world and mass communications media always pooh-pooh the existence of the ‘Insiders’ merely serves to camouflage their operations.  These “artists” hide the boy, the cart and the donkey.”
– An excerpt from No One Dare Call it Conspiracy by Gary Allen & Larry Abraham 

“These troubles and depressions that come to you are the effect of some injury and wrong you have committed.  Even if you cannot remember in detail what you have done, still from the results you can know the deed.  You may not remember whether it came from your own negligence or ignorance, or because others swayed you into wrongful action.  But look at the results: how much did you fall from grace, or how much has your heart expanded? Certainly a fall from grace is the response of disobedience to God, and expansion of the heart is the reward of obedience.”
– An excerpt from Fihi Ma Fihi – Discourses of Mevlana Rumi

“You must journey upon this infinite road with the feeble hands and feet that you possess.  We know well that with feet so feeble you can never accomplish this journey.  Indeed, in a hundred thousand years you will not be able to accomplish a single stage of this journey.  But even as you collapse and fall, with no strength left to struggle farther, then Our loving breath will carry you on.  Even a child, so long as it is a suckling, is carried in the arms, but when it is grown it is set free to walk.  Now in this hour when your powers have left you, when your own means fail, behold Our graces, Our gifts and Our love.  You will not witness even an atom of such blessings after a hundred thousand strivings.”
– An excerpt from Fihi Ma FihiDiscourses of Mevlana Rumi

“O people what I fear most about you are two things – acting according to desires and the extending of hopes.  Acting according to (personal) desires prevents (the experiential admission of) truth; regarding extensive hope, it makes one forget the next world.  You should know this world is moving rapidly and nothing has remained out of it except the last particles like the dregs of a vessel which has been emptied by someone.  Beware, the next world is advancing and either of them has sons i.e. followers.  You should become sons of the next world and not become sons of this world because on the Day of Judgement every son would cling to his mother.  Today is the Day of action and there is no reckoning while tomorrow is the Day of reckoning wherein there would be no (opportunity for) action.”
– An excerpt from Imam Ali’s Sermon 42 – Nahj-ul-Balagha

“The spirit of philosophy is one of free inquiry.  It suspects all authority.  Its function is to trace the uncritical assumptions of human thought to their hiding places, and in this pursuit it may finally end in denial or a frank admission of the incapacity of pure reason to reach the Ultimate Reality.  The essence of religion, on the other hand, is faith; and faith, like the bird, sees its ‘trackless way’ unattended by intellect which, in the words of the great mystic poet of Islam, ‘only waylays the living heart of man and robs it of the invisible wealth of life that lies within.”
– An excerpt from Iqbal’s Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam 

“People convince themselves of their own lies, becoming victims of their own inventions as they begin to direct their lives by standards of behavior, ideas, feelings, or instincts which do not correspond to their inner reality.  What is truly serious in this matter is that the individual loses all points of reference regarding what comprises truth, and what comprises lies.  He becomes used to considering as true only that which is convenient for his personal interests; everything that is in opposition to his self-esteem or in conflict with already established prejudices, he considers false.”
– John Robert Baines ( 20th Century Academic and Egyptologist)

“If the animal sense could see the King (God), then the ox and the ass would behold Allah.  If, besides the animal sense, thou hadst not another sense outside of (unconditioned by) the desire of the flesh,  then how should the sons of Adam have been honoured?  How by means of the common sense should they have become privileged (to know these mysteries)?  Your calling (God) “formless” (transcending forms) or “formed” (immanent in forms) is vain, without your liberation from form (unless you yourself are freed from sense-perception).  (Whether God is) “formless” or “formed,” He is with him that is all kernel and has gone forth from the husk.  If you are blind, ’tis no crime in the blind; (but) if not, go (persevere in purifying yourself), for patience is the key to success.  The medicine of patience will burn the veils over your eye and will also effect the opening of your breast (to Divine knowledge).  When the mirror of your heart becomes clear and pure, you will behold images (which are) outside of (the world of) water and earth.  You will behold both the image and the image-Maker, both the carpet of (spiritual) empire and the carpet-Spreader.  The phantom (seen in mystical vision) of my Friend seemed (to me) like Khalíl (Abraham) — its form an idol, its reality a breaker of idols.”
– An excerpt from Mevlana Rumi’s Masnavi

“By the Mount (of Revelation); By a Decree inscribed; In a Scroll unfolded; By the much-frequented Fane; By the Canopy Raised High; And by the Ocean filled with Swell; Verily, the Doom of thy Lord will indeed come to pass.  There is none (that) can avert it.  On the Day when the firmament will be in dreadful commotion.  And the mountains will fly hither and thither.  Then woe that Day to those that treat Truth as Falsehood.”
– An Excerpt from Surah Al- Tur – The Holy Koran

“It is the thought that brings us.  The thought of a garden brings us to the garden.  The thought of a shop brings us to the shop.  However, within these thoughts is a secret deception.  Have you never gone to a certain place thinking it would be good, only to find disappointment?  These thoughts then are like a shroud, and within that shroud someone is hidden.  The day reality draws you and the shroud of thought disappears, there will be no disappointment.  Then you will see reality as it is, and nothing more: “Upon that day when the secrets are tried”.  The many things of this world are a trial appointed by God, for they hide the single reality: “And their number We have appointed only as a trial”.
– An excerpt from Fihi Ma Fihi – Discourses of Mevlana Rumi

“Much blood must flow from your heart and eye that self-complacency may go out of you.  The fault of Satan lay in thinking ‘I am better (than Adam)’, and this disease is in the soul of every (human) creature.  Though he regard himself as very broken (in spirit), know that it is (a case of) clear water (on the surface) and dung under the stream.  When he (the Devil) stirs you in trial, immediately the water becomes dung-coloured.  There is dung in the bed of the stream, my man, though to you the stream appears pure.”
– An excerpt from Mevlana Rumi’s Masnavi

“Justice puts things in their proper place and generosity diverts them from their (natural) direction.  Justice is the general caretaker, whereas generosity is a particular reliever. Consequently, justice is the nobler of the two and possesses the greater merit.  The former is a principle, whereas the latter is only a ramification.  The former is a trunk, while the latter is a branch of it.  The former is the foundation of the structure, whereas the latter is an embellishment.  Here is a wide scope and room in the dispensation of justice.  Justice is vast enough to include and envelop everyone; he who [being of a diseased temperament] finds restriction and hardship in justice should know that the path of injustice and oppression is harder and even more restricted.”
– An excerpt from Imam Ali’s Sermon – Nahj-ul-Balagha

A certain foolish person accompanied Jesus (on his way).  He espied some bones in a deep-dug hole.  He said, “O companion, (teach me) that exalted Name by which thou makest the dead to live; Teach (it) me, that I may do good and by means of it endow the bones with life.”  Jesus said, “Be silent, for that is not thy work: ’tis not meet for thy breath and speech.  For it wants breath purer than rain and more piercing in action than the angels.  (Many) lifetimes were needed that the breath might be purified, so that he (its owner) was entrusted with the treasury of the Heavens.  (Suppose that) thou hast grasped this rod firmly in thy hand: whence will accrue to thy hand the cunning of Moses?”  He said, “If I am not one to pronounce (such sacred) mysteries, do thou pronounce the Name over the bones.”  Jesus cried, “O Lord, what are these hidden purposes (of Thine)?  What is (the meaning of) this fool’s inclination (to How has this sick man no care for himself?  How has this corpse no care for (spiritual) life?  He has left (uncared for) his own dead (soul) and seeks to mend (revive) the dead (bones) of a stranger.”  God (answered and) said, “The backslider seeks backsliding: the thistle that has grown (in him) is the retribution for (consequence of) his sowing.”   He that sows the seed of thistles in the world, be warned not to look for him in the rose-garden.  If he takes a rose in his hand, it becomes a thistle; and if he goes to a friend, he (the friend) becomes a snake.
– An excerpt from Mevlana Rumi’s Masnavi

“Discrimination is a quality that is always hidden in a person.  Don’t you see that an insane person possesses hands and feet but lacks discrimination?  Discrimination is a subtle essence within you.  Yet, day and night you have been occupied with nurturing the physical form that does not know right from wrong.  Why have you devoted all your energies to looking after the physical, entirely neglecting that subtle essence?  The physical exists through that essence, but that essence in no way depends on the physical.”
– An excerpt from Fihi Ma FihiDiscourses of Mevlana Rumi

Eschew all Evil: for man was not created
Without purpose or without respnosbility.
The Day of Account will come, and his own
Coscience bears witness that he
Must walk straight; for he must face
That Day’s Realities.  With patience await
The unfoldment of God’s wise Purpose.  Keep
The Hereafter ever in view.  The faces
Of the Blest will beam whit brightness and beauty.
For the others, Death will be a terror
For duties neglected and sins committed.
Woe unto man that he thinks not now
Of God’s Purpose and noble Destiny
For which God gave him Life and its Gifts.
– Introduction to Surah Al-Qiyyamah by Abdullah Yusuf Ali

So long as you are giving your body greasy (rich) and sweet (food),
You will not see fatness in your (spiritual) essence.
If the body be set in the midst of musk,
(Yet) on the day of death its stench will become manifest.
Do not put musk on your body, rub it on your heart.
What is musk?
The holy name of the Glorious (God).
The hypocrite puts musk on his body and puts his spirit at the bottom of the ash-pit
On his tongue the name of God, and in his soul stenches (arising) from his infidel thought.
– An excerpt from Mevlana Rumi’s Masnavi

How can the soul’s self-conviction be fitly
Expressed, except by types of tremendous
Cataclysms in nature, and still more by tremendous
Searchings in the heart of man?
These want deep pondering.
When once the spiritual Dawn
Has ‘breathed away’ the Darkness of the Night,
The Vision Glorious clears all doubts,
And brings us face to face with Truth.
The highest Archangel in heaven is sent
By God to bring these truths to men
Through their Apostle.
God’s Grace flows freely
We have but to tune our will to His
The ever-loving Righteous God.
Introduction to Surah Takwir by Abdullah Yusuf Ali

All mystries, fair or shrouded in gloom,
Will vanish when the full Reality
Stands revealed. If this life is but painful toil
There is hope of the Meeing with the Lord!
That will be Bliss indeed for the righteous,
But woe to the arrogant dealers in sin!
Like the sunset glow or the shades of night,
Or the Moon’s ever-changing light, man’s life
Never rests here below, but travels ever onwards
Stage by stage. Grasp then God’s Message
And reach the Heights, to reap a reward
That will never fail through all eternity!
Introduction to Surah Inshiqaq by Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Whoever is loved is beautiful, but this doesn’t mean that whoever is beautiful is loved.
“There are girls more beautiful than Laila” they used to tell Majnun “Let us bring some to you.”
”I do not love Laila for her form,”  Majnun would reply.   “Laila is like a cup in my hand.  I drink wine from that cup.  I am in love with that wine.  You only have eyes for the goblet and do not know the wine. A golden goblet studded with precious stones, but containing only vinegar, what use is that to me? An old broken gourd with wine is better in my eyes than a hundred goblets of gold.”
A person must be moved with passion and yearning for them to tell the wine from the cup.  This is the same as someone who is hungry, who hasn’t eaten for ten days, and another who has eaten five times a day.  Both see a loaf of bread.  The full one sees only more food, but the hungry person sees life, itself.  To the hungry, this bread is a goblet, and the life it brings is wine.  Such wine cannot be known except through hunger and yearning.  Acquire this appetite so you will not only see the appearances of form, but will find the Beloved everywhere.
– An excerpt from Fihi Ma Fihi – Discourses of Mevlana Rumi

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