Rumaysa's Blog

A Spiritual Journey...

Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Saturday, January 22, 2005

In the midst of a flower garden...

I came across this quote today by Maulana Rumi:

Whoever is sitting with friends
is in the midst of a flower garden,
though he may be in the fire.
Whoever sits with an enemy is in the fire,
even though he is in the midst of a garden.

-Rumi, "Mathnawi" [IV, 1976-1978]

It reminded of one of the aphorisms of ibn Ata'illah, one that i always quote...

If someone's state does not lift you up,
and his words do not lead you to Allah.
Then do not keep his company.

It may well be that you are in a bad state,
But to keep company with someone worse than you
would allow to see good in yourself.

There is so much wisdom in this. True knowledge is passed from heart to heart, not from books.

As Abu Madyan says in his ode,

The pleasure of life is only in the company of the fuqara....

Therefore keep their company and have adab in their assemblies....

Watch the Shaykh carefully in his states, perhaps a trace of his approval will be seen on you.

May we find ourselves in the midst of a flower garden... in company with the friends (ameen).


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