This Scholarship is Not Just For Me
In appreciation of the video by Tahira Hussain
Allah's Spirit as Opening Doors
Process (fat soul) philosophers know that we are not islands unto ourselves. We are persons-in-community; our actions and attitudes influence others just as their actions and attitudes influence us. Sometimes, at our best, we open doors for each other.
Ask Tahira Hussain. Her scholarship opened doors for her, but she knows that her scholarship is not for herself alone. It is also for her family, for other women, her parents, her sister, and her brother. And so it is with all of us. For good and ill we create worlds for one another. We are the contexts for other people’s lives and always we are becoming together, sometimes happily and sometimes sadly.
As we watch Tahira's video, we find ourselves inspired by Tahira, her parents, her sister, and her brother. We see what process philosophers call creative transformation -- the spirit of Allah at work in the world -- in all of them. This is what door opening really means. It is an opening of the door of the heart so it can help others and add beauty to the world.
As process (fat soul) philosophers our hope continue in their journeys even today, inwardly beckoned by One who seeks the well-being of all and whose will is that every person be treated with respect and care. This part of what it means to say Allahu Akbar.
Process (fat soul) philosophers believe that the One whose heart is open unto all, like a pasture for gazelles, dwells within each of us as a call to respect ourselves and to respect others, even if others disapprove of what we are doing. Tahira and her family heard the call. This calling is greater than any human call. Allahu Akbar.
What does the call sound like? It sounds like truth itself, but without the tedium of abstract philosophy. Muhammad Iqbal writes: "When truth has no burning, then it is philosophy, when it gets burning from the heart, it becomes poetry." The calling is the fire of love not anger, of poetry not prose. When we feel the burning of love, our hearts grow wide like the One who calls us. Ibn Arabi has it right:
"My heart holds within it every form, it contains a pasture for gazelles, a monastery for Christian monks. There is a temple for idol-worshippers, a holy shrine for pilgrims; There is the table of the Torah, and the Book of the Koran. I follow the religion of Love and go whichever way His camel leads me. This is the true faith; This is the true religion." ~Ibn Arabi
Once again, we say Allahu Akbar.
The hope of Islam is that all people, everywhere, can hear this calling, each in his or her way. We do not need to convert to Islam; we only need to convert to Love, surrendering our will to something that opens doors and wings for all people: Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and Free Spirits.
"Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us: We taste only sacredness." - Rumi
Yes, Allahu Akbar.
Allahu Akbar (Arabic: الله أكبر) is an Islamic phrase,
meaning "God is greater" or "God is greatest"