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Tag: mystic

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My Greatest Friend

Dar Khalifa is large, spread out, encircled by gardens and, beyond them, girdled by the shantytown. Very often, I scoop up a clutch of random people and drag them home to eat. Few things excite me more than seating half a dozen strangers around the dining table for good food and lively conversation. Rachana (whom I already said insists I have no spam filter on my friends) doesn’t quite understand my craving for people. I think it’s a family thing, ie from my family, something I must have acquired from my father. Just like him, I can’t help myself but collect people… the stranger the better. So, often, the house is full of voices, the sound of cutlery clattering on plates, and glasses clinking together. And, on those days and nights, I am content. But then, on afternoons like today, when I am home alone, I feel something different, equally pleasing. It’s perhaps my greatest Moroccan friendship of all… the one I share with Dar Khalifa itself. This house is not quite like other houses. You see, it’s magical, the kind of place conjured from a child’s imagination. It’s made from stone, quarried nearby, and it feels alive… as if it knows I’m inside. Right now I am in the library, staring out at the riad, the courtyard garden, where tortoises amble slowly through the shade. And I am thankful, most of all to my great friend, Dar Khalifa, for touching our lives with magic… the kind only Morocco knows.



TS
6
March 24, 2009 Posted by tahir in Travel

Abjad

The Abjad is an alpha-numeric system found in Arabic, similar to such systems used by the ancient Greeks, etc, and currently with the Hebrew alphabet. The system is well-known, and works on the principle of equating specific numerical values to each letter. In the Arab world, Abjad has been used to conceal ideas and information, as well as to develop geometric patterns and images, which in turn contain reference to a name, a word, or an idea. There’s plenty on the system on the internet.The Abjad letters are memorised in a meaningless string (phonetically, they sound like this:)


ABJAD HAWAZ HUTY KALMAN SAFASQURSHAT THAKHDZ DHATZAGH

And these are the basic numerical values.

ALIF    A       1

YA       Y         10

QAF        Q     100

BA         B        2

KAF     K         20

R             R      200

JIM         J        3

LAM     L      30

SH          SH   300

DAL      D       4

MIM      M     40

T             T     400

HA        H       5

NUN      N      50

TH          TH   500

WAU     W      6

SIN       S        60

KH          KH   600

Z            Z      7

AYN      AYN 70

DZ          DZ    700

HH        HH   8

FA         F       80

DH          DH   800

TT           TT   9

SD       SS      90

TZ           TZ    900

 

 

GH           GH 1000

2
March 23, 2009 Posted by tahir in Travel

Hidden Meaning

The Sufis have always used language to encode ideas and themes precious to them. These hidden meanings are invisible to the eye or the ear of the uninitiated. They can be released and activated however through teaching. The sense of specific Sufi code words or stories is lost on those without the knowledge to perceive the concealed message. An example, is the Arabic root, NSHR, to saw. The word has numerous meanings (see below), and is used as a kind of key into another way of thinking. Sawing wood for Sufis signifies creating something new — sawdust — and from a material — wood — that is being worked on to create something new. The process is a metaphor for transmutation also, as in alchemy. The root and its multiple uses in language makes it a valuable code word:

NaSHaR = to expand, spread, display
NaSHaR = to saw wood, scatter, propagate
NaSHaR = to become green after rain, to spread (as in foliage)
NaSHaR = to recall to life, revivify (the dead)
NaSHiR = to disperse by night in a pasture
NaSHr – life, sweet smell, reviving herbage after rain
YaUM EL-NNuSHUR = day of resurrection
NuSHARa = sawdust
MiNSHAR = saw.

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March 22, 2009 Posted by tahir in Travel

Baraka

Anyone interested in the layers of information concealed within Arabic, would do well to read the Annotations at the back of my father’s book, The Sufis.


One interesting root provides the first name for the new President of the United States:

Baraka
Root and derivation (Arabic)
BaRK b = to stand firm, dwell in.
BaRRaK l = congratulate.
BaRRaK ‘ala = to sit down.
Barrak ‘ala = to bless.
BARaK = to be exalted.

TaBaRRaK b = to bode well of.
BaRaKat = blessing, abundance.
BiRK at = pool, tank, puddle.
BaRIK = happy, fresh dates with cream.
BaRRAK = miller.
MuBARaK = blessed.
BaRRak = make kneel down, bend the knees.



0
March 21, 2009 Posted by tahir in Travel

Arabic

Arabs believe that their language, Arabic, contains within it many layers of concealed information. It is for this reason that it is often believed that Arabic is the only language in which the Qur’an should be read, and that by translating the holy book one loses secret meaning. The matter is dabated endlessly, as one can imagine. What is very certain however, is that Arabic is a labyrinth within itself, one in which specific roots of words can be used in many different ways. I’m not going to start giving Arabic lessons, but I want to observe how Arabic is used to conceal information. It’s a subject that is well known across the Arab world, especially to scholars, and has been used for millennia by Sufis.




TS