Some live without thinking; some only think, but cannot put their thoughts into practice. However, we have an obligation to live thoughtfully and while living, by producing the freshest combinations, to develop more and varied approaches to thinking. Those who live without thinking are the objects of the philosophy of others. Such persons always run from pattern to pattern, ceaselessly changing molds and forms, hectically struggling their whole life through, in deviations of thoughts and feelings, in personality disorders, and in metamorphoses of character and appearance, never being able to become their own selves. Although from time to time they share the achievements of society and benefit here and there from the occasional breezes of corresponding events, as if those breezes had some affect on their thought, consciousness, or willpower, they can never ease nor enliven their spirits with their own, freely-chosen merits and virtues, nor can they direct them to the infinite. These people always resemble a pond of water which is infertile, barren, stagnant, and marred by a bad smell. Far from being able to express anything that is in the slightest way life-enhancing, it is inevitable that such people will become like a life-threatening bundle of viruses or a nest of microbes.
Love is the most essential element of every being, and it is the most radiant light, and it is the greatest power; able to resist and overcome all else. Love elevates every soul that absorbs it, and prepares these souls for the journey to eternity. Souls that have been able to make contact with eternity through love exert themselves to inspire in all other souls what they have derived from eternity. They dedicate their lives to this sacred duty; a duty for the sake of which they endure every kind of hardship to the very end, and just as they pronounce "love" with their last breath, they will also breathe "love" while being raised on the Day of Judgment.
Dialogue means the coming together of two or more people to discuss certain issues, and thus the forming of a bond between these people. In that respect, we can call dialogue an activity that has human beings at its axis. Undoubtedly, everyone is rewarded according to their sincerity and intention. If people direct their actions with sincerity and with good intentions, then they may be winners even if others should consider them losers. The Prophet of God said: "Deeds are judged by intentions," and he emphasized that the intention of the believer is more important than the act itself. If the deed is founded upon good intentions, it will turn out well. So, whatever one may do, one must first be sincere in one's intentions and seek the approval of God. Thus one should not illjudge or slander the ties that are being established between various groups in the name of love, dialogue and tolerance.
Are all of life's hardships worth enduring? The answer depends on what our goal is in living. In fact, understanding life's purpose is a slow and absorbing process. We sense its mystery while reflecting upon our existence and humanity. Therefore, our concept of life evolves gradually throughout our lives.
The purpose of our creation is obvious: to reach our utmost goals of belief, knowledge, and spirituality; to reflect on the universe, humanity, and God, and thus prove our value as human beings. Fulfilling this ideal is possible only through systematic thinking and systematic behavior. Thought will provoke action, and thereby start a "prosperous cycle." This cycle will produce more complex cycles, generating between the heart's spirituality and the brain's knowledge, and thereby develop ever-more complex ideas and produce larger projects.
It is patently obvious that those who do not share the same values inherited from the past, or who do not rely on the same sources as us are not likely to appreciate our affliction; nor can they help but be puzzled by our general attitudes. In fact, for those who view the present and the future from only a materialistic point of view and who deal with life merely in accord with its corporal aspects, it is not possible to feel or taste anything but the transient and shallow pleasures of the body. And, again, according to the same corrupt view, things not related to corporeality or to the body are not worth mentioning. Neither the past nor the future holds any meaning. The past and the future are merely refuges in which those who have lost the present can take shelter. What such people consider essential is the present; they see the rest as being a waste of time. Truly, these people, imprisoned within such a narrow perspective, are not likely to understand such statements as, "Were you to know what I know, you would seldom laugh, and often weep." Nonetheless, the Sultan of the Words, the Prophet who uttered this hadith, knew well over what he was crying, just as those mature spirits, satisfied only with faith, divine knowledge and love, and prepared with their armament for eternity, also know why they are weeping and of what they are in pursuit. There are many reasons for such people to cry.
At this time when we experience occasions of much sorrow and some contentment, we sense the promise in the advent of Ramadan, the month of mercy and forgiveness. In the climate of this month of light, we feel both spring and autumn at the same time in our inner worlds, seasons of lovely expectations and longing.
With their profound, spiritual breezes, every sound and breath of air in Ramadan announces in a most exalted and exhilarating style all the pleasures we would like to taste in life and the hopes of good we deeply cherish.
Coming like successive rays of light, the smiling days of Ramadan envelop us with the expectations, hopes and joys they carry from the worlds beyond, and preset to us samples from Paradise.
When Ramadan begins, our inner life, its thoughts and feelings, is renewed and strengthened. Breezes of mercy, coming in different wavelengths, unite with our hopes and expectations, and penetrate our hearts. In the enchanting days and illumined nights of Ramadan, we feel as if all the obstacles blocking our way to God are removed and the hills on that way are leveled. Like rain pouring on the earth, Ramadan comes with streams of meanings and emotions that water dried and thirsty hearts, making the inner worlds of people propitious for new meanings and conceptions. By means of the light of the days, hours and minutes of this blessed month, hearts attain such spiritual depth and become so purified that they never desire to leave its climate of peace.
How should we establish balance with respect to the spiritual and worldly dimensions of our life?
Balance holds a very significant place in every phase of life. Balanced action is necessary over the spectrum which covers the essentials of belief and worship, as well as those of eating and social conduct with people, both far and near. "Your Lord enjoys rights over you; your self and your family enjoy rights over you; recompense all these rights to their owners." This is the consciousness that every individual should pursue in their life with firm balance and composure. The perception of servanthood must be duly interpreted before all else. The goal sought in the remembrance of God is the attainment of His good pleasure. The attainment of extraordinary qualities or the manifestation of wonders is not the purpose; such actions have been considered by saints as being little more than "menstruation blood"; i.e., something that should not be highly regarded. Wonders may come about without having been demanded as a result of sincere efforts; the servant then accepts them as a gift from God, in a dual mood of joy and concern. The most fitting attitude would be to make sure of one's own loyalty saying, "My Lord, do you offer me something so sweet because have you seen disloyalty in me?"
We use prayer to turn to the Eternally Merciful God, present ourselves to Him, and ask Him to meet all of our needs. We entreat Him humbly and submissively, fully aware of our status as weak, poor, and needy servants who are not self-subsistent. Thus prayer is a necessity arising from our belief, trust, and full confidence in the Lord, as well as our understanding of Divine Unity.
Within this framework, servants become engrossed in a combined feeling of fear and hope. Away from the sight of others, we supplicate from the heart only to God, and pray in secret. This sentiment, which is reflected in The Qur'an 7:55, describes an essential element of prayer that we must observe while praying. However, only the Legislator can permit and encourage this attitude at various times, and only He can determine the degree to which it is allowed.
There are some significant personalities who with the help of their voice and breath, their love and excitement, and their promise for humanity always remain fresh and alive over the course of centuries. Time evidently fails to make these characters obsolete. Their thoughts, analyses, explanations, and spiritual messages, which will never be lost, represent, ever anew, alternative solutions and prescriptions for today's social problems, in great variety and diversity.
Rumi is one such personality. Despite the vast amount of time that separates his life from ours, Rumi continues to hear and to listen to us, to share our feelings, to present solutions to our problems in a voice that is without equal. Despite the fact that he lived some centuries ago, he remains absolutely alive among and with us today. He is a man of light-one who receives his light from the spirit of the Master of Humanity (Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him), distributing this light in a variety of manners to just about everywhere. He was chosen to be one of the world's saints and to be pure of heart; a blessed one whose words are outstanding among those of the heroes of love and passion. He was and continues to function as Israfil; blowing life into dead spirits. He did and continues to provide the water of life to the barren hearts of many; a spiritual irrigation. He was and continues to provide light for the travelers on their paths. He was and continues to be the perfect heir of the Prophet.
Love is like Solomon,
Borne aloft on the heart, its throne.
The heart is humanity’s most essential feature and its greatest treasure. It is the expression of our spiritual existence, the source of our feelings and beliefs, and the pathway to our soul’s ultimate depths. Those who walk on the path of the heart will not experience any darkness, and those who soar on the wings of their hearts will surmount any obstacle. Human virtues are cultivated on the hillsides of the heart; faith, love, and spiritual pleasures are the fruits of its garden.
If your heart is like a desert, your thoughts and feelings will inevitably wither and fade. In our history, human reason enjoyed its golden age when it submitted to the rule of the heart. Under the heart’s guardianship, reason left behind countless immortal works. In those times, matter was melted and re-forged in the furnace of our spiritual essence. Then our experience became a fairground of the hereafter, this world intermingled with the next, and the treasures of the transcendent realms were on offer here. It is according to the measures of the other world that the objects of this one become priceless. In those times, the sugar was separated from the cane, the bud was pregnant with a flower, and the soil was imbued with the lights of the other world. Things of this world found fulfillment and were perfected. The tulips and lilies of the earth began to dance in the presence of the heart, and the charms of the next world were felt in every corner.