Believer

From the book, Sufis Of Andalusia by Muhyiddin ‘Ibn Arabi, “35 Abu Ishaq Al-Qurtubi of Cordova. One of the ‘Believers’ and a companion of Abu Madyan of Bugia.”
(The note by the translator says – I do not know what is meant by the special use of the term ‘believer’ (mu’min) here.)

My name is ‘Abd al-Mu’min, and mu’min is both a term to describe a believer, and also an attribute of Allah as is described by the hadith, Fifteenth Khabar (55) from Divine Sayings The Mishkat al-Anwar of Ibn ‘Arabi, p 64:

“God, ever mighty and majestic is He, will say in addressing the people of Paradise, ‘You are the faithful who rest in security, and I am God the Faithful who bestows security. I have broken open for you a Name from among My Names. There shall be no fear for you, nor shall you be sad. You are My Friends, My Neighbours, My Beloved, My Chosen, My special ones, the people of My Love, and you are in My Abode.'”

Also from the King James version of The New Testament:

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

As a ‘Believer’, my role is to make this, my service and Union by this Name that has been broken open for me, more clear for you, to bear witness to an illumination of Faith (Al Ikhlas), a bestowal of tranquillity and security, that you might take heart during these times of change. Salaam.

‘Abd al-Mu’min – Spring Solstice 2018.

The above is a Facebook post taken from my page and put here to expand upon after conversations with passengers in my taxi.

It seems that ‘belief’ is held by many people to be inferior to ‘knowledge’. Yet, the irony is that as people grow up supposedly from believing in Father Christmas and The Tooth Fairy, then in the sophistication of this technological age people can be overwhelmed by information, know a lot, then suddenly realise that they don’t believe in much of anything at all.

I was introduced to the beginnings of what it is to be a Sufi thirty eight years ago. I experienced an overwhelming spiritual experience in 1982, from and in which it has taken me until now to believe what actually happened.

Many years ago, I was told by a man who knew Bulent Rauf, the Sufi who was a Consultant to The Chisholme Institute in Scotland, that Bulent had told him that I was protected.

I did not know what was the purpose of that message then, but that is the nature of The Way, to understand only later the meaning of statements or the answers to questions. To not just know the words of Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi in the following poem, but to be and to believe them as one’s only being …

“O marvel, a garden amidst the flames –
My heart has become capable of every form: it is a pasture for
gazelles and a convent for Christian monks,
And a temple for idols and the pilgrim’s Ka’ba and the tables of
the Tora and the book of the Qur’an.
I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love’s camels take,
that is my religion and my faith.”

It has taken until now for me to be able to usefully integrate my oft-disintegrated self-knowledge, into a realisation of being able to write the Facebook post above.

For these matters of becoming are carded and developed through oppositional forces, forces often given to one in outer experiences of failure and psychosocial behaviour often deriving from personal defect, as much if not more than experiences of triumph and personal success.

This much is known in stories from scripture about the lives of men like Job, but it is not believed that these principles of a direct preparation by God, by the reality that some say is attributed to Khidr, can still be transmitted into a person and can still be experienced in these modern times.

To reconnect belief to knowledge is easy to say, but not easy to achieve unaided. I have been protected, I am protected as ‘Abd al-Mu’min and only now do I understand what Bulent Rauf saw in 1981, for his help I am truly grateful.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)

Here, belief is expressed as the word charity. For belief illuminates faith, indeed as it says, though you have all faith so that you could move mountains – without a certain something else is present, nothing happens.

Why is belief like charity, that certain something else?

Because they both affirm the primordiacy of doing something without expectation of profit for oneself, the primordiacy of giving rather than getting something to happen.

It is why Christ talked of the need to become like little children. He did not mean to let go of the contemporary expressive science, but that without the open-heart of belief, that openness that most children have and that most adults lose, then knowledge stalls and fails to release its meaning.

About Andrew Dettman

Counsellor, poet, cabbie, diction worker. Ministrant.
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