Wednesday, November 26, 2014


In the good old days, archery was an integral part of war strategy and a game of skill. The skill was acquired in stages. Once the students acquired the art of holding the bow and arrows firmly, the master taught them to aim the arrows first at the banana tree, then at the wide banana leaves, and progressively at the bird figurines dangling from the thread and gently swinging with the wind. When the archer had accomplished these to perfection, the master now taught them to aim at a bird sitting on a high branch and then at a bird in flight. Thus the expertise was acquired in stages under the guidance of a teacher.

Like wise knowledge, in our context spiritual knowledge, particularly deeni uloom, should be acquired in stages, under proper guidance. The master will never allow the archer to aim at a bird in flight, when he is at a stage of still learning to aim at a banana plant. It is for no other reason, but in the interest of the archer, so that he does not bring harm to himself and others.
However, once he reaches that stage, the master will surely impart to him the art and the secrets of aiming at the bird in flight.

When an elephant is let loose, it goes about uprooting trees and shrubs, but as soon as the keeper restrains by applying a hook on its head, it becomes quiet. So the mind, when unrestrained, wantons in the luxuriance of idle thoughts, but becomes calm when pulled up with the gaud of discrimination. ( Saying of Ramkrishna Paramhansa )

Thus it becomes imperative that one should acquire Ilm in stages and under proper guidance, and the restrains if any are in our own interest. If the niyat of the seeker is true and steadfast, he will for sure reach his manzil.  

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