The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship

Children's Stories

The Three Times of Light

My love you, my grandchildren. Let us go out for a while. It's growing dark now, although a slight glow still lingers in the sky. There is enough light to discern shapes and forms, but it is difficult to tell exactly what they are. Look, we can see the outline of that tree ahead, but we cannot see if anything is lying on the ground beneath it. So we must be careful as we walk toward it, or we might meet with an accident.

My grandchildren, man's intellect is like that slight glow. What it can show you is limited. It is as limited as the slight glow or glitter that can be seen in anything made of the five elements of earth, fire, water, air, and ether. Anything with a form can reflect light, but this only provides a small amount of illumination. The same is true of the intellect. It too is only a glimmer in the darkness, a reflection from another source. It cannot dispel the darkness nor penetrate the clouds that prevent you from fully knowing what lies beyond. The intellect can give you only a tiny bit of clarity. It is not enough to prevent accidents. You cannot proceed safely using only your intellect.

However, there is something beyond intellect. There is a sense of judgment, subtle wisdom, analytic wisdom, and divine luminous wisdom. Only with wisdom can we see clearly and understand deeply. We need wisdom.

Now the moon has risen, and it has become lighter. Earlier there was only a small amount of light, which was like a shadow of a shadow, but now we can see by the cool yellow light of the moon. The coolness of that moonlight is similar to man's sense of judgment, which develops through his prayers to God. Just as the moon rises and dispels the darkness, judgment comes and shows man the nature of things. It helps him to see things for what they really are, and it helps him to see the path.

It is through our connection to God in prayer and worship that this coolness can be known. Our relationship to God is the wealth that we receive from prayer, and it is through this connection that we can better understand the world and ourselves. That relationship is very cooling, very enjoyable, and very loving. Through prayer and dhikr, the remembrance of God, we can see that bliss within ourselves and proceed happily on our journey. At that point the journey of life is very sweet and our prayers are very sweet. They give us peace.

If we have the faith which can establish this relationship to God within us, it will bring a cooling comfort to the heart, like the coolness of the moon. Let us enjoy that coolness and happiness, as we proceed on our way and finish our journey.

Ah, my grandchildren, morning has dawned. The cool light of the moon has gone, and the rising sun is burning away the morning fog.

It is daylight now and the fullness of wisdom has dawned.

Children, when wisdom emerges within us, it is very hot and very bright, like the sun. In that complete light everything can be seen. When that resplendence comes to your life, all your connections to the world will be burned away, just as the sun burns away the morning fog. When wisdom dawns, all the clouds of life will be burned away, and all your sorrows and sadnesses dispelled. Torpor, illusion, and the darkness in the world will try to come to you, but they will not affect you.

When your full wisdom and the fullness of the purity of the soul emerge, the world within you will be destroyed by the heat. You will have attained the fullness of the grace of God and will have become the children of God. His power, which is the light, will come into you and be working within you. That inner development will show that you are His son. God and His power will be your life.

My love you, my grandchildren, my sisters and brothers, my sons and daughters. Think of each thing that exists in your life and try to understand it. May you attain the fullness of His grace. Amin.

- M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
Come to the Secret Garden: Sufi Tales of Wisdom