7.Either be as you are seen or be seen as you are

Why is a good question to ask. Should we not present our best face to the world?   What is Rumi is saying about it to us? This is a comment than can be contemplated on many different levels. First could be social level, we should not be two faced is clear enough but also, if we keep hiding our true self and live in constant fear of how will everybody like us, we never get to grow and experience life from our point of view. Allah has created us with our own point of view and we must experience Allah from our own experiences. If we act according to how others might like us to be is suppressing our own inner

Ali Baba, A Nakshi shaykh from Toros mountains, Turkey

self and stopping the growth.

Another level of contemplation could be the spiritual, either be one with your essence, which is Allah. Since our true and everlasting self is the spirit of us, if we don’t honor this spirit and acknowledge it, we will be the ones loosing out on a big opportunity of being one with Allah. The purpose of this journey in this planet is to consciously make a trip back to Allah and earn our nearness to Allah. As Sufis, we want to cleanse our nafs and be one with Allah here in this world, otherwise at the end, everything will be facing Allah when we die or when the world finally ends. Why wait?  Rumi says, make a decision, choose Allah. For him, he never had any question about this issue. He chose his path to honor Allah and here he is the most read poet of our times, a caller of hearts to the Divine.

5. In modesty and humility be like the Earth

5. In modesty and humility be like the Earth: What is modesty and humility? Modesty can be many things from not having vanity, not being proud to simplicity.  Humility also could be said to not puff up about one’s own importance. Being aware that though we are much bigger than ants, we are much smaller than whales. So Rumi is telling us from across the centuries that we should not be self centered in how we approach life. Our example is how the Earth treats us. We eat from it; we drink from it, live and die on it. It keeps nourishing us without asking for nothing in return.

In the time of Creation, the Earth accepted our beings; our burden upon itself and it continues to serve us in a very humble way, quietly. So when we think of how giving the Earth is, we should take a couple of lessons from it. One is to take Earth’s example in our actions (especially in our actions that we do for Allah’s sake) and not expect anything back in return from anybody but Allah. As Sufis, all our interactions must be with Allah. If we do something for Allah’s sake, then we must not loose the sight of our goal, which is to know Allah. We will get to Allah when we surrender and realize in truth that Allah is God, not us and the way to tread that path is to live our lives with modesty and humility.