Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:55 pm Post subject: Miracle of Mowla #5: Kilimanjaro Airport/Arusha April 2009
MEHMANIS (OFFERINGS OF LOVE) ALWAYS REACH MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM - Miracle of Mowla #5: Kilimanjaro Airport/Arusha April 2009
Have you ever seen Hazar Imam in anything other than a crisp white shirt?
What if you had the sincere wish that he wear a shirt that was other than white in colour?
What if you were out shopping for yourself and suddenly your eyes fell on a couple of shirts and your first thought was - wow, those would look really good on Hazar Imam?
This is the story of one such murid (name withheld). It was one week to Valentine’s Day and she was out shopping when she saw two coloured shirts at a designer store. And her heart just set itself on them. Although her rational mind cautioned her against what she was about to do, her heart – impulsive and sincere – propelled her forward. She paid for them and gleefully took them home, undeterred on her mission to create a ‘thalo’ to present to her beloved as a mehmani in Jamatkhana.
It took the whole week to source other befitting items that caught her eye and, just like a woman set on creating an impression, she went through a lot of decorative options in the effort to get it ‘just right’.
After all those hours she spent labouring, out of love, the day to show one’s love finally arrived and she, with as much confidence as a woman who knew she had done her best, carried this ‘thalo’ to Jamatkhana.
The sevadhaaris were the first to raise their eyebrows. Hmm, this is rather an unusual mehmani. Food offerings are always taken to the ‘nandi’ section but this ‘thalo’ does not fall under that category. Surely, Ismailis are not supposed to celebrate Valentine’s Day - what on earth was this woman thinking?
They shook their heads and directed her to seek permission from the Mukhi Saheb to present such an incredulous mehmani to Hazar Imam.
The Mukhi Saheb glanced at the ‘thalo’ and gestured to the volunteers to remove all the decorations and then place the ‘thalo’ on the paat beside him. What was the big deal? All ruhani thalas were kept there. He didn’t understand the fuss nor the quizzical expression on her face nor the judgmental looks the volunteers were casting at her.
She knelt down beside the Mukhi Saheb, her heart a courageous force of nature. She explained that the thalo wasn’t intended for a ruhani member; it was for Hazar Imam, for Valentine’s Day. She knew Valentine’s Day wasn’t an ‘Islamic tradition’ but it was her intimate and most visceral wish to present this mehmani to Mawlana Hazar Imam today.
When the Mukhi Saheb showed signs of disbelief and disapproval, she quickly cited the incident in our history when a woman who had nothing to her name gave her hair as mehmani for Mowla. It had been her most prized possession and Mawlana Sultan Mohamed Shah (s.a.s) had thoroughly reprimanded that Mukhi Saheb for throwing away the hair in the river instead of presenting it to Him.
The Mukhi Saheb seated in front of her still did not look convinced. He looked at her, then at the ‘thalo’ then back at her and stated bluntly: “Mowla doesn’t wear such colours. Pink? Black? You can’t be serious.”
Mukhi Saheb went on to say, “and these decorations are so embarrassing for all of us.”
This brought tears to her eyes. Had she really done something so wrong? Did anyone really have the authority to judge a mehmani - big or small, food or not? She was stunned at the response she had received from the volunteers and Mukhi Saheb. Absolutely stunned. But she pleaded with him anyway. Trembling though she was, she calmly explained her reasoning and her heart’s desires. As a murid, she could and should give whatever she wanted, out of love, out of worship, to her beloved Imam.
Mukhi Saheb sighed and finally acquiesced, but warned her that this was a one-off.
The incident left her shaken: her spirits in a turmoil, her lips trembling and eyes watering but she consoled herself – at least her mehmani was presented to her beloved Hazar Imam and she didn’t have to go back home with it. And so, she left it at that.
Now let’s zoom forward to a couple of weeks later:
She found herself sitting in the departure lounge at Kilimanjaro Airport. She and her family had just enjoyed a short break at a lodge in Tanzania and they were homebound now. She was minding her own business when suddenly she noticed a fluster at the large floor-length windows. Everybody had gathered there and were captivated by something happening outside.
She ventured towards the crowd and, just over their heads, she saw the tail of a plane that looked extremely familiar. She blinked. The red and green colours were unmistakable! But what was Hazar Imam’s plane doing here?!
She quickly surged forward through the crowd and pressed her nose to the window, her heart already galloping like the wind! Were her eyes playing tricks on her? Was this actually happening? Had Mawlana Hazar Imam just landed at the same airport she was due to depart from?
Hazar Imam’s plane had taxied to a stop and the door opened. A few seconds later, she was greeted with a sight that left her mouth hanging wide open. Hazar Imam was coming down the plane. Allahumma salli ala Muhammadin wa ale Muhammad! What a joy! What a marvelous, unexpected surprise! What luck - she was actually seeing the deedar of her Beloved Imam so unexpectedly and in a place she would have never thought of in her wildest dreams! Mt Kilimanjaro Airport was such a pokey sleepy little airport. Goodness! Her entire being flooded with ecstasy, it was as if her soul was bouncing up and down in celebration.
But something tugged eagerly at her consciousness. Through tear-filled eyes, she noticed Hazar Imam was dressed quite casually and He wasn’t wearing His standard crisp white shirt! Her hand flew to her mouth.
Hazar Imam was wearing a BLACK shirt!
She could have fainted right there, she felt so giddy with validation and love. She needed to yell and shout about this to someone, anyone. This was so unexpected and so unbelievable! Who would believe her? She frantically glanced around for her family and gesticulating wildly she somehow got the message to them and someone somehow managed to take a snap. The only proof of such an extraordinary miracle!
She could barely believe it herself. She was barely cognisant of what had just unfolded before her very eyes.
Mawlana Hazar Imam loves His spiritual children so much that He would go out of His way to show it like this? He would deviate away from His own norm and comfort to validate His child? It is beyond the scope of the mind.
And there’s still more:
A few days later, more photos emerged of Hazar Imam’s visit to Arusha on social media and, on her email, she was bestowed with the evidence of a second miracle.
Hazar Imam wearing a PINK shirt! (Just like the one she had taken to Jamatkhana for Him on Valentine’s Day)
Goodness gracious me, she thought. How handsome He looked! And then she laughed joyously – “He wore the shirts I bought for Him! And he made sure I was there to witness that!”.
It had been a month or two after she had been criticised for choosing colours she longed to see on her beloved Imam and, within such a short period of time, He had actually shown her two things:
1. Anything – any single thing – that is given, out of love, as an offering or a mehmani in khane most certainly reaches Him.
2. He reciprocates the little amount of love shown His way in the most magnificent and magnanimous proportion!
It’s true what the ginans say:
bee saaheeyaa(n) het paaye ra(n)g laago
bee saaheeyaa(n) pir paaye ra(n)g laago
bee saaheb to sethee man baa(n)dho
moro dil baa(n)dho jee
(Oh Lord, through love, I have attained the colours
Oh Lord, through the Pir, I have the colours.
Oh Imam, with you, my mind is bound and my heart is stedfast)
Since then, she always makes it a point to make Valentine’s Day special for beloved Hazar Imam. In the matter of love, He is first and foremost. And yes, she continues to present Hazar Imam with whatever her heart desires, in Jamatkhana, with her head held high.
And without doubt, beloved Hazar Imam receives and accepts, with pleasure, each and every offering.
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