Wisdom of the Week

Wisdom of the week #30

There is no path to the street of rendi* for people of desires and ease. 

A wayfarer, a spiritual champion against the world of desires is essential, not a raw and griefless one. (Hafez, 470:8)

*Rend refers to those purified nobles who unconditionally follow the path of love as their religion, free of unnecessary social or cultural restrictions.  Rendi is its noun.

 

Wherever we are stuck in life, therein lies a turning point to our freedom. Whenever we face a dead end, we should expect a door to be opened. Dead ends are unpleasant to humankind. We like our path of life to be a wide expressway. Those who have such lives will never grow—will never ascend. Their way of life will be more of a death road rather than a life path. 

Who are the glowing pinnacles on the road of science? Those who have never encountered any problems? Those who have never had any unanswered questions? Those who have never been stuck in a question or faced a deadlock? Or are the scientific geniuses those who have encountered and tackled unsolved questions? 

Those who have not had any questions are the ignorant and incognizant ones who have had no scientific progress.

On the path of life and growth, the more genius you are, the more entanglements you will encounter.

 Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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Wisdom of the week #29

I was an angel, and heaven was my residence

Adam brought me to this desolate place (Hafez, 317:3)

 

The coming of Adam’s children to earth was not a descent; it was taking a few steps back to make a huge leap. This is a secret that if human beings learn, they will take wing and ascend. Similar to a high-flying, swift-winged, hunting bird that comes down to the earth to hunt its prey and quickly soars back in the sky. Humankind is not a prey of earth; earth is not a trap for humankind. Humankind is greater than being contained in a trap. So long as a bird is great, it won’t be contained in any trap nor be a captive to any kind of seed. Humankind become a captive of a seed or a trap, only when they forget who they truly are. Adam’s children came down to earth because they didn’t want to be limited to the heavens. How can one who is not contained in the heavens (with all its greatness) be a captive of earth? Passing through the veils, not remaining in the same spiritual stage, and not being limited to boundaries are all attributes of humankind. Such attributes are humankind’s identity— without this identity they are lost.

Seyed Alireza Mousavi

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Wisdom of the week #28

Why do you speak about disgrace, for I am proud of it.

Why do you ask about fame, for I disdain it. (Hafez, 46:8)

Many people dream of becoming famous. One of the main motivations for becoming an actor/actress is to become famous. One of the main glamors of some professions is fame. Wealth beyond a certain point actually adds nothing to quality of life, but one of wealth’s main attractions is fame. Some people feel joy and satisfaction when people constantly talk about their wealth. 

As a definite and unexceptional rule, the more humans ascend through spiritual stages, the more reluctant they will be toward fame; the friends of God are unknown. They would rather be anonymous and unidentified, for they are lovers. Lovers want their Beloved to be in the spotlight; they even cover their own name. 

And the servants of the All-Merciful are those who walk on the earth humbly.(Quran, 25:63)

The lovers of God love Her name— not their own name; They love repeating God’s name and not repeating their own name. They don’t want to draw any attention toward themselves. They walk so humbly that no dust arises from their steps. 

A heart that desires fame can never embrace the love of God.   

Seyed Alireza Mousavi

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Wisdom of the week #27

Views and impressions— if not radically false, and if they have some relevance to reality—are of two types: a one-dimensional view and an all-encompassing view. The story of such views is illustrated by Rumi in the fable of “The Elephant In The Dark” in Masnavi.

The more comprehensive and exalted the reality, the more distant and far fetched it will seem for superficial minds; hence, it will go under more scrutiny from one-dimensional views. Such an interpretation of an exalted reality is, in and of itself, a distortion.

We occasionally go to a tailor and ask them to take our measurements. And sometimes, we purchase garments only to find out later that they are tight on us, so we have to lose weight in order to fit into them. 

How do we approach the Quran? How do we  measure ourselves against Ashura? 

If we turn to Ashura with our current dimension, we will confine it to our limited level—like those who ask a tailor to make a garment for their fit. However, if we resort to it without any bias or rigidity, we can advance our limited state to the comprehensiveness of Ashura. 

Hafez refers to this issue in this couplet:

Whatever of shortcoming exists in us is from our inharmonious stature

Or else Your grace has no failure to encompass us (Hafez, 71:8)

Seyed Alireza Mousavi

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Wisdom of the week #26

Talk about minstrel and wine, and seek not the mystery of the world

No one has decoded or will demystify this riddle through knowledge (Hafez, 3:8)

Humans like to unveil the secrets of the world and to understand the mysteries of creation. But how far can a human’s mind go? Despite what people think, humans’ knowledge is quite limited— more limited than what they think. Conceited and intoxicated from the limited knowledge that they have, humans go so far as to allow themselves to deny things that they know nothing about. They assume that the world is limited to what they see through their microscopes or telescopes, and there is nothing beyond that. In their opinion, there is a wall and everything ends there.

What humans know and see is but an infinitesimal fraction of the ocean. The biggest enemy of human’s sapience is delusion, denial, and jubilation on their negligible knowledge. 

Those who have a treasure of valuable gems conceal it from strangers. They only show it to their close friends. No one can attain the secrets of creation and the universe by their limited and minuscule knowledge. The only way to obtain this treasure is love. God will show this gem only to those who love Him and whom He loves.

            By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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Wisdom of the week #25

The story of Karbala is a story of a lover who gave everything. The Beloved revealed Her beauty to him, and he sacrificed many Ismails (reference to the story of Prophet Abraham being asked to sacrifice Ismail for God) and sacrificed his own life for Her. Many poets have written and sung about love but it is here in Karbala where a lover bathes in his own blood and sings about love. Look here where a lover’s lips are speaking of love and sacrifice while impaled on top of a spear.

Imam Hussain did not step out with the intention of war or else he wouldn’t take his family along. If he wanted war he wouldn’t tell his companions that there would be no war spoils and whoever wanted could leave. If he wanted war, he would pay heed to the warning of those around him, asking him to turn back as his trip would be extremely dangerous.

Humankind treats everything as a business, and it dominates every aspect of their life and behavior. Whenever they want to give something away, they immediately think about what they are going to get in return. It is only through love that one can give and not get anything in return, sacrifice and not see it, give everything and only be worried if the Beloved has accepted or not. The leader of Karbala who was a devout lover is the champion of sacrifice. 

There are many unspoken things and secrets between the lover and the Beloved. They always keep their secrets tight between themselves. They both cover the secrets of love. But in Karbala, something spectacular happened, a very rare occurrence. It was in Karbala that some of the secrets of love were revealed for all to see. 

            By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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Wisdom of the week #24

In the path of love, calamity is safety and comfort.

Be sore that heart that seeks a cure with Your pain! (Hafez, 470:5)  

 

People are usually after convenience, that is why so few of them have the heart to throw themselves into the sea of love. Love is a resurrection in the depths of a human’s existence. Humans have not come down to an eventful, earthquake-prone piece of land to rest and sleep. When a prophet was sent on a mission, it was to resurrect the people who had fallen asleep. When the Great Resurrection comes, it will be the rebirth of the people in sleep. When spring comes, it will be a revival of nature. Likewise, love is a resurrection. In the path of love, lovers get on their feet with their entire being and devote all their wealth to the Beloved. Those who fall in love with God will experience a resurrection even before Resurrection Day comes.

Seyed Alireza Mousavi

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Wisdom of the week #23

There is someone who baffles and stuns all hearts; a heart-pleasing and soothing truth which is the answer to all the unease of every being, a teller that all speeches are by Her and for Her fervency, a kind ear who listens to every whisper. She exists; She is the evidence of every evident; She is the unseen of every unseen; all illuminations are from the light of Her face. The sun and the moon get their light from Her. The sun and the earth go round and round in circles, baffled by Her presence. Galaxies are like minuscule particles that are a captive of Her magnetism. Every heart in every chest throbs for Her love. She is the color and beauty of every flower. The song of every nightingale is from Her rapture. New people come to this world eager for Her, and those who depart this world are enthusiastic to meet Her. She gave us free will so that we could give it up for Her. She gave us life so that we give it back to Her and see the Beloved. She is the Beloved of all the hearts— the One and Only God.

By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi

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Wisdom of the week #22

Without seeing, contemplation, and knowledge, no one falls in love. No one gives their heart and love to the unseen. How can we see Him--with a vision that is not merely a mental image or an imprint in a book-- with a vision that deeply affects our soul and captures us? 

 

For the sake of acquiring gnosis of God, the Divine spirit, which has been breathed into us, is intimate to us. No one can find a way to the Divine love without seeing this Divine spirit; likewise, no one would see this Divine spirit without falling in love with Him. In other words, we must ask human-being, “Do you know why you have not fallen in love with God yet?”. It is because achieving Divine love is through that Divine spirit. The flame of love is lit in the Divine spirit, and you have not found it yet; if you find the Divine spirit, you will access the streak of love and reach the outlet of the Beloved’s epiphany. Love is already sparkling somewhere very near to us. The spark of love that has been placed so near to us, for the sake of our knowledge and vision, is our Divine spirit. The reflection of God’s manifestation is evident in that mirror, such that it magnetizes us and makes us ardent.

By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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Wisdom of the week #21

O my two co-prisoners! Are diverse lords better, or God, the One, the Conqueror?(Quran, 12:39)

What would the result of a castle being attacked from all sides be other than utter devastation? This is the story of our heart.  When the Good-looker comes, He will expel all, and the heart will flourish again. The heart is unhappy and broken because multiple lords are pulling it from all sides. When the Beloved’s moon initially shines on the heart, it is only a crescent; however, it will gradually become a full moon, and the entire heart will glow silver.

When my Friend holds a chalice in His hand

Idol market starts to fall (Hafez, Ghazal 148:1)

Only the love of that full moon can clear the heart from all else and make it thrive and be blissful.

By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi

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Wisdom of the week #20

Love can be identified by its own unique characteristics.  A desire that doesn't have these characteristics, is not love. Love is unchangeable, and external factors cannot affect it in a positive or negative way. For example, a relationship that is positively or negatively affected by the presence or absence of wealth is not based on love.  Love is irreversible. Hence, those who have reached a loving relationship will never turn their backs to the beloved; likewise, the relationship of those who have turned their backs to the beloved could not have been built on love. 

 

Love is grounded in knowledge; love and knowledge are intertwined. The lover knows the beloved. If one day, someone said, “ I made a mistake falling in love.” they haven't truly and wholeheartedly experienced love. All such regrets and hesitations have no place in love; these concerns take place solely before one would reach true love in a relationship. 

 

Love is accompanied by constant recollection. A lover cannot be forgetful and oblivious of the beloved’s remembrance, even for a second. 

 

Love holds the reigns of the heart (the ruler of being); hence, it dominates the entirety of existence. The lover’s sight, hearing, and speech altogether, have the color of love. Love is like a flame and not only does it not dim, but it burns ever hotter and brighter as time passes.

By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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Wisdom of the week #19

I said, “I have Your sorrow.’ He said, “Your sorrow will end.”

I said, “ Be my moon.” He said, “If it rises.” (Hafez, Ghazal 231:1)

 

If human beings put all the sorrow that they suffer in life in good use by investing it in the love of the incomparable Friend, they will ascend and free themselves from all ties, beyond the earth and the heavens. Free from both earthly and everlasting abodes, they will reach the street of the Sweetheart. 

These sorrows will never end. They are like a philosophical vicious circle and endless chain which has no beginning or end. However, the sorrow of the Beloved has a joyful ending; one day, it will pass and will be followed by a sweet union. 

If you sorrow for Him, your worries will end, and joy will appear. If you want Him to be the moon of your murky night, do not settle for a crescent. Wish Him to rise and become your full moon; let His light pervade your heaven so no star can find a chance to glimmer. It is only then that the night of separation will pass, and the morning of vision will be nearby.

By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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Wisdom of the week #18

Having a heart to heart talk is a sign of friendship;

Falling silent comes from lack of intimacy.

How can a heart that has seen the sweetheart remain bitter?

How can a nightingale who has seen a flower remain silent? (Masnavi, Book six: 2638-9, Nicholson with some modifications)

 

Surprisingly, love influences the entirety of human’s existence. The eye wishes to be lost in a look at the sweetheart; the look that sees only beauty, and a fault-finding character would never contaminate it. The ear wishes to listen and the tongue likes to talk to the beloved.

Humans are apathetic before friendship takes their heart, while their perfection is through the manifestation of the exalted sentiments. Companionship unites all parts of the human’s existence side by side; just like iron filings being lined up along the magnetic field.     

Love makes humans and their manifestations graceful, and it keeps them away from bitterness.

A nightingale that has seen a flower cannot remain silent; a heart that has seen the sweetheart cannot stay silent and bitter. It would rather start talking.

 By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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Wisdom of the week #17

To behold Your face, spirit-seeing vision is needed

And my world-bound eye is not of this rank whatsoever(Divan Hafez Ghazal 52:2)

The human body consists of millions of cells, each of which is an independent and living unit; yet, they are joined together in such a way that we see them as one entity. 

Likewise, the universe is like our body. Each being is like one of those cells. The world is beautiful and its beauty comes from unity and peace. Otherwise, it would be obnoxious and intolerable; just like our body when it struggles with agonizing cancer where the cells attack each other.

I am the one who has harmonized and held all the cells together in my body. Likewise, in the great world of creation, someone must have unified and beautified all the parts; it is due to Him that they are all together. 

Someone who is tied up with disunity and separation has an eye that is deprived of seeing the One, the reality which holds this great universe together.

By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi

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Wisdom of the week #16

Thanks to the hairline and mole, You stole gnostics’ heart

There are wonder subtleties under Your trap and bait. (Divan- Hafez, Ghazal 34)


The Friend’s beauty mole is His bait, and His hairline is the trap. Using His beauty mole and hairline, He steals the gnostics’ hearts. The line is a manifestation which traps and encircles the gnostic’s heart. The Friend’s line asserts that all the beauty is from and within Me. The Friend’s beautiful line is a message from Beloved to the lover, a signal full of secrets, that invites the lover towards Him. 


Whoever wants to fall in love with Your fresh down

As long as one is alive, one won’t leave the circle. (Divan- Hafez, Ghazal 157)


The beauty mole is a glorious point. It is a luminous manifestation, and a spot where secrets will be revealed. It is the pinnacle of the Beloved’s unity, and is the happy ending of love. 

Love is captivity. It is a string that is put only on righteous and noble-minded people. Hence, those who are attached to things other than God, will never be captive of the Beloved’s love. Those who prefer freedom over the hardship of love will never get ecstatic by the wine of love.


By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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Wisdom of the week #15

Bahlūl saw someone who was righteous and had a delightful and wonderful life. He asked him how he reached such a state of bliss. He explained that everything in the world runs according to my wishes and desires. All the floods and brooks are flowing to where I want. Stars are aligned the way I want. Bahlūl replied “Yes, it is clear from the expression on your face that what you say is indeed true. So tell me, how did you achieve such joy and reach such an ability that your wishes are aligned with what is actually happening?” He answered that everybody can rest assured that the great God is dominant over all, and everything runs according to His will. Every leaf that falls from every tree, does so through God’s will. My wishes and desires fall in line with whatever is His will and command. Hence, everything that happens is according to my wishes. (Rumi, Masnavi, Book 3)

By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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Wisdom of the week #14

The breeze of Your curly hair constantly makes me ecstatic

Every moment, the temptation of Your enchanting eyes tears my selfishness apart(Divan-Hafez Ghazal 95)

There is a rapture and attraction by the Beloved which gravitates lovers towards Him. It is during the turns and twists of this attraction that lovers fall in love with Him and go into raptures. Love makes humans ever more beautiful as it helps them detach from their selfishness. All the obscenities of humanity are from their self-centeredness, and all their beauties come out only when they distance themselves from egoism and selfishness. This won’t happen unless they fall in love in the presence of Beloved’s strong attractions.  

 

There is an attractive force in magnets which drags metal objects, but metal objects also have some characteristics that make them magnetizable, otherwise, magnets won’t attract them.   

 

Beloved’s hair is a metaphorical attracting string drawn from Beloved towards lovers, but lovers must also possess certain signs and characteristics as parts of their being to be attractable.

The observers of Your face are those of vision

Yes! There is no head where the secret of Your hair is not ( Divan-Hafez Ghazal 73)

 

Those who have experienced the scent of this elongated string are to remain in ecstasy for good. This string of connection is ever-lasting and flows in each moment and breath.

By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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Wisdom of the week #13

You renew my love for you every moment

May You manifest a new Beauty every moment (Hafez, Divan - Hafez, Ghazal 104)

 

The flame of love can never be extinguished. Not only does the flame not die but it burns ever brighter and hotter every second. Anything that wears out is not love. Love is always fresh and new. The beauty of the pre-eternal Beloved is indefinite and no repetition is found in His manifestations. The two novelties in the universe are the love of His lovers and the unrepeatable manifestation of His beauty. Both are in harmony and blend in with each other. The love of lovers is always fresh in every moment and they are always looking for God’s manifestations. God is the only beloved who responds to this indefinite love through His manifestations. The whole universe is like a new and everlasting flowing spring as its reality is a dialogue between the lover and beloved. A lover who is looking for God’s manifestations and beauties with their ever-renewing love; and a Friend (God) who pays attention to their love through His nonrepeating manifestations.

By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi

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Wisdom of the week #12

Love is powerful and I am defeated by love

I have become sweet as sugar by fervency of love

(Rumi, The Masnavi, Book 6:902)

 

Love has enveloped me and is the unquestionable ruler of every particle of my being. The passion of love has stimulated me and created a storm in my heart and soul, hence, I am now sweet as sugar.

Those who surrender to love to the point that it inflames their heart, show an ecstasy which is far from any depression. Such people have a power above all inabilities. They have passed their own soul and reached the Sweetheart(God) and eternal life.

Those who are bitter to themselves and others lack such vitality. There is no vibrancy without love. Without love, the world is down and depressing. Without love, human’s soul is lifeless. Love brings passion with itself and fills our being with sweetness.

By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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Wisdom of the week #11

In the name of God who is Merciful towards all creation and Especially Merciful towards believers

 

Just as lovers are hungry for their beloveds, beloveds are also eager towards finding lovers. Know that whoever is a lover is also a beloved! Lovers love their beloved and beloveds also love their lovers because love is mutual.

Now that you know that God loves you, be calm and don’t be restless! If God teaches you a lesson to make you watchful and to guide you through your journey, be all ears! I have no fear of stepping on my ego. I am a devoted lover and I’m not worried about destroying the walls of ego and selfishness that I have built around myself for my Beloved, as I know there are hidden treasures under the rubble. If I go past myself for God’s love, the treasure trove of His Kingdom will be unfolded within me. Hence, lovers should be bursting with joy to bask themselves in God’s love and they shouldn’t be afraid of the ups and downs of this journey. For such a lover, ups and downs, sweet and bitter, pain and pleasure are all the same. (Mathnawi, First book)

By: Seyed Alireza Mousavi


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