Words and Artwork Zaenab Baisaheba J. Imaduddin. (@zaenabimaduddin)
Darkness to Light, 2017 Acrylic on Canvas 16”x18”
October 31, 2020
The human mind resides in a network of neural tissue. How can this corporeal matter, in its search for transcendence, transform itself into a sublime entity? This paradox, that has perplexed sages since antiquity, is deciphered in Syedna Taher SaifuddinRA’s verse:
العقل في الانسان اعلى الجوهر
متلالئ في نفسه كالازهر
intellect in man is the highest substance in his soul, resplendent as the moon
العقل في الانسان محتاج الى
نور ينير من المقام الازهر
intellect in man calls for light
which radiates from a lofty luminosity
To discern and contemplate eternal truth, the mind, like the moon, needs to be illumined by light from outside of itself.
Maula is the conduit of this divine light in that his gaze and words illuminate the mumin’s soul, igniting his intellect, and enabling him to understand his true origins. Eventually, by the virtue of love and devotion to his Maula, acquisition of knowledge, and performance of good deeds, he is transformed and can return to his exalted origins.
Syedna Mohamed BurhanuddinRA and Syedna Mufaddal SaifuddinTUS are the embodiment of this transformative illumination as evident in their purity, piety, love for their followers, their dedication to the betterment of humanity, and not the least, in their brilliant intellect.
They have lit up my mind, kindled my soul, and brightened my life. They have provided wise counsel to navigate the travails of life, whether through personal advice, prescribing a prayer, appearing in my dreams or through their teachings and discourses. My heart fills with love and my eyes well with tears of gratitude when I recall instances, great and small, of how they have inspired me to become better than what I ever thought I could be.
Syedna Mohamed BurhanuddinRA, your radiant countenance and loving gaze flash upon my “inward eye” and ease my troubled heart.
Syedna Mufaddal SaifuddinTUS, you are the light of my path and the fire in my soul. You are a living book of knowledge- your actions speak, and your counsel is filled with timeless wisdom. I have learned both about doing and being from your loving kindness and grace.
May AllahTA grant you a long healthy life till the day of judgement. May He bestow on you tenfold for the hearts and minds that you have transformed by your sincere prayers, for the spirits that you have lifted by your gentle smile, for the needy that you have helped with your kindness, and for the souls that you have illumined with Iman. Ameen!