Diary of a Beardless Rumi - Healing Hands
Issue 81 June 2011
Lately, I’ve been feeling really depressed. My every effort to come close to spirituality has led to disaster. So, I took to moping in my room; doing nothing but pacing up and down like an expectant father. I guess the sound must have eventually driven Aboo mad because he just marched into my room and demanded a father-son talk. Now, for Aboo, dialogue and monologue mean pretty much the same thing. So, I wasn’t particularly excited by the prospect of a ‘chat’.
Anyway, we went down into the living room. Aboo sat down, staring silently at me for ages. Then, he pointed next to me and said, “He is whispering to you.” I turned my head and confused, replied, “There’s nobody there.” Aboo looked at me intensely. “You can’t see him, but he can see you,” he said. “Shaitan whispers to everyone, Aboo,” I responded without hesitation. “He is whispering more to you than to anyone!” Hurt, I asked him why. “Your Mother tells me that instead of reading Qur’an, you are reading mumbo jumbo nonsense poetry.”
“It’s not nonsense. It is one of the most widely read books in the world. It is Khalil Gibran,” I affirmed. “What he say that make you stop reading the Qur’an?” came the response. “Er...he was talking about fathers and their relationship with their children. He said that you can give a child your love but not your thoughts. You can house his body, but not his soul.” Aboo looked at me intently. “Let me ask you something. Who wipe your bottom when you baby? Me or Khalil Gibran?” I sighed heavily and replied, “You.” Aboo smiled and said, “So, you do what I say, not what Khalil Gibran say. Tomorrow, I take you to a very great man who is visiting mosque. He will wipe away mumbo jumbo from your mind. He is the Pir from Pindi. Now, go to sleep and tell Khalil Gibran to bugger off or I give you a red bottom.”
The next day, Aboo took me to see this Pir from Pindi guy. It was after the Zuhr prayer. A few people were surprised to see Aboo since he is not a regular visitor to the mosque. The reason for that is the collection they keep doing at the beginning and end of every sermon. Two ancient-looking guys in a deep, sombre voice say, “Gold is heavier than silver. Show the Queen the light of day and we will show you the light of Paradise.” They then unravel their turbans and proceed to walk down every row. If someone decides not to contribute, they stand still until everyone is looking and ask again very loudly. Aboo likes being anonymous and so for that reason, he rarely comes to the mosque.
After the collection, a sprightly man with a long snowy beard walked into the hall. Immediately, everyone formed a circle and one of the brothers fetched a chair and placed it in the centre. The bouncy old man sat down on the chair. It was the Pir from Pindi. He stretched out his hand and one by one, all of the brothers walked up and kissed his hand.
Normally, I would have run away but since Aboo did it, I decided to do it too. When I walked up to him to kiss his hand, I heard his mobile phone ring. With his hand still outstretched, he reached into his pocket with the other hand and answered the phone. As I bent over to kiss his hand, I heard him say, “What does Dow Jones say about Oracle?”
So focussed was he on the opinion of Dow Jones, that he didn’t notice that I hadn’t kissed his hand. When I sat back down again with Aboo, I looked at the Pir from Pindi intently. He caught my eye and winked at me. Now I really was taken aback.
When all the brothers filed out of the prayer hall, Aboo went up to him and whispered something. Aboo then beckoned me to come over. The Pir from Pindi looked at me gravely and said, “Young man, your father tells me that Shaitan is whispering to you and you have a pain in your thigh.” I nodded warily. “Which is causing you greater pain?” he asked slyly. I pointed to my thigh and he then wiped his hands on a cloth and placed his hands on my thigh. Intense heat shot through my entire body. My leg became heavy with sweat. When he lifted his hands, he said, “Is the pain better?” Aboo spoke for me as I fell to the floor. “Good,” replied the Pir from Pindi. “Next week, I shall begin to rid him of Shaitan.”