Talk by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - 30th November 2010 - Cambridge - 1 hour 30 mins 46 secs
How can one leave the self behind on the path to Allah when we are the self? This was the central paradox behind the sheikh's latest circle: living with our selves.
Approaching the question through the language left us by today's monoculture makes our task difficult; the word has been so desacralised that it is nigh on impossible. This is not to say that signs are not present. Ironically the depth of modern scientific study has only given us the opportunity to diversify our appreciation of God's signs, from the far reaches of the universe down to the enigmatic workings of the subatomic realm; these ayat all urge us to be what the sheikh calls 'New Cynics', the Rindan of Mevlana Rumi. Akin to the intoxicated joyful ones of old who would laugh at the absurdity of their own selves and the world around them, we need now more than ever to marry the exuberance of youth with a learned cynicism over what the modern world seeks to beguile us with.
This futuwwa has Hadhrat Ali - Shah e Merdan - as its champion, for his sword Zulfiqar with its two points indicated to the inward and outward rectification required of those who would tread the path of Islamic chivalry. That this dual jihad was and indeed is necessary was highlighted by the Sheikh in a chilling passage: al-Hasan al-Basri said that 'this world is a bridge, it is for passing over, not building on'; if you cannot realise this then your thoughts are not your own, and you are as good as dead.
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