Al hamdu lillAh

posted in: Spirit | 0

Thanks be to God.

I’ve shared time with Sufis. Sufism is normally ascribed to Islam. However, Sufis tend to avoid rigidity, which leads to them being unwelcome in some Islamic circles.
That same acceptance of diversity can sometimes be found in traditions other than Islam, and those that share that trait are welcome within Sufism.

Or so is my impression. My deepest exposure to Sufism was at two summer retreats of a Mevlevi (referring to Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi) Sufi group, headed by Kabir and Camille Helminski. The retreats were held on rented facilities at Burke Mountain Academy (in Burke, VT). My wife Bonnie and I found and bought our Vermont home soon after the second retreat. Bonnie tells me that my heart became more open for having spent this time with Sufis.

The word used in the title of this post came to me to add to the end of a message I was writing to a local Buddhist retreat center. Wanting to end the message expressing my past connections with a Hindu tradition, I used the words Namaste and Shanti. The word Alhamdulillah came to mind. Wanting to make sure that it in fact was saying something I wanted to say in this instance, I looked up its meaning. [The link has been edited since.]

“… Alhamdulillah: in theory, it is to be said with a profound sense of love, adoration, and awe of the power, glory, and mercy of God. …”

Yes, the word was just fine at the end of my note. The traditions with which I have my closest connections include divine presence – as expressed with the Muslim phrase used in the title of this post. Buddhism, from what I understand, does not recognize a supreme deity.