I’ll start with how I got roped into this situation, rather my dear husband and I. My husband’s friend mentioned to him that he was going to listen to a ‘concert’ consisting of some religious songs, words, poetry, etc. Hubby dear asked if I was interested, I said ok why not? I had totally assumed that it was going to be some kind of nasheed or recitations or at the very least Islamic poetry. (Must say that hubby’s friend is not religious, he’s more ‘spiritual’ but still within the general realm of Islam (kind of – anyway will make sense later on) So, we go inside and take our shoes off and go inside the area, where we are greeted by a woman and asked if this was the first time coming to this – we, my husband and I say ‘yes’. So she chats for a while, and tell us to take a seat. Ok, we do so. I look around for the first time at the surroundings and realize it’s very calming and serene. We are given a handout, so I start to glance over it (couldn’t imagine why we were being given that). As I am glancing at it, I start to get a bit of a nagging feeling that ‘this is not what I think it will be’ – the understatement of the year!
It starts out nice enough: “Praise be to Thee, Most Supreme God,Omnipotent, Omnipresent, All-pervading, the Only Being...” I was like, ok thats nice. Most of the wording was like, this and quite nice to listen to. Then there started some music, a man was playing guitar and started singing this: Bismillahir rahim ...we start in the name of God” It was a nice scene, people were singing along with it. I know that they were not Muslim but it was truly heart-warming that they were so taken with it. So it continued this way, these kinds of words and music (there was even one song, ‘laillallah ill allah’ they kept singing it over and over (mashallah). I realized by now that it was not anything that I was expecting – but that was ok, because I like learning and experiencing different things. Well, that was up until the next phase of the “universal worship service” (I should have known better).
I’m not going to go on a write all that was said... but there is a site where I found all that I ‘experienced’
Basically this was called ‘universal Sufism’. Now being a convert to Islam, I of course heard of Sufism, but had never really gone too much into it. I know that it is a ‘mystic form of Islam’
“[Sufism is] a science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God.”
Basically it’s a form of Islam concentrating on the more mystic and inner forms of reflection, and prayer. I should know by now that people will and have always twisted things to form their own conclusions and interpretations. Ugg! Sufis originally were following Islam the correct way, but they also devoted their lives to finding spirituality. One of the more famous Sufis was Mevlânâ Celaleddin-i-Rumi -He was a universal mystic and a devout Muslim. His way of Sufism teaches unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love.
“So long as my life persists, I'm the servant of the Qur'an”
"A dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen,
"If one conveys contrary to my words,
"Disgusted I am from the conveyor and from the conveyed."
Sounds pretty good? Yes, it does but unfortunately these people have twisted something good and turned it into something ‘wrong’. Well, at least that is how I think of it! If interested look in the ‘real’ Sufism, I have a bit and its kind of interesting. Unlike what I had witnessed.
It’s interesting how I was so ‘freaked’ out by all this. I do not get these feelings if I attend a church service or hear about another religion, etc. But this ‘worship service’ had me feeling all strange. I think it was because there was some elements of Islam but it became a twisted version of it. I know some people will think and say that ‘this was haram, you should have not gone’, or at the very least I had to leave the moment I realized what was going on. Well, I could not leave, would have been rude to my husband’s friend and to the people there. I do not feel that my faith is shaken or weakened by what I say, in fact it was strengthened. Subhanallah, I was so glad that I was Muslim and that I was on the ‘right’ path, but I do not look down upon these people, because they are trying to follow the right path, and only by God’s guidance, will they find the true path. Perhaps they will discover Islam on their own. They are not very far from the true path, but perhaps this is the way to find Islam. For us converts we were ‘lost’, in a sense, and were guided by God to the right way. I choose right now to take away only one memory from this event, this being the older man of the group. While they were singing, ‘bismillah hir rahman’ the old man had his hand over his heart, eyes closed saying these words over and over. Not a more beautiful site than that. Yes, there is hope in this world.