By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Peace be unto you in name of God Alone. I sincerely offer that most austere greeting to you in the Creator Alone’s cause because it’s where my mind is now, and my present trend of thinking is one where it also tells me that I should extend to you and others, who desire the same for me, the opportunity to know that peace starts from within the heart’s flavorings.
I feel that many “hue-mans” in the world-at-large are in need of a crisp reevaluation of what is truly the meaning of peace. Being at peace within one’s self and with other”hue-mans” is really a desired work of art, and I can’t help but say “Amen” to that.
On a very personal front, I have to admit that I’m a self-described work in progress, concerning myself with struggling to be at peace with others. I say that fully understanding that all in depth Afrikan, Eastern and Oriental spiritual knowledge teaches that “The greatest struggle is within one’s self.”
That’s why I constantly look to divine guidance in helping me steer my wandering thoughts correctly when they run amuck back to saner dimensions of spiritual tranquility. In a way, I’m no different from others in the universe who feel compelled to be at peace within themselves and are attempting to coexist with others, spiritually speaking, no matter their what their faith traditions or creeds may be.
Inwardly, I feel that there’s a favorable beauty in being at peace. It’s a mental elixir that physically stimulates me to no end because, in my heart and mindset, absolutely nothing exists or comes into being except by the will of the Most High Alone. That includes what the Creator Alone places on my daily mental and physical planes of testing in this phase of worldly existence.
Some of my critics, and I love them all, get a little uptight that I pepper so many of my thoughts, expressions and opinions with homage and reference to God Alone. I respect those dislikes, but please know that without me recognizing this realistic identity of the Creator Alone’s singular existence, I’d be remiss in laying down what I’ve been blessed and challenged with as a writer in putting forth before your minds what I have every week for the last thirty some odd years as a columnist.
I know that that the flavor of my skill as a visionary spiritual thinker and as a dedicated writer doing what I do, forever seeking the favorable groove of being at peace. I know also that there are others who, obviously, for whatever reasons, see, think and do things in their own different norms of understandings who may disagree with me on many issues and points of concerns.
All that’s seems fine with me because it doesn’t affect me in the least and those reflections only serve for me to continue on my path as a diurnal student of learning. Unlike many folk in the world, I’ve come to know that everyone is not going to like or be pleased with me or my thoughts. That’s life because I know that there are haters are all around me and you. They are literally lying in wait, some more cutthroat, sneaky and dangerous than others, but they are still hovering around us in the atmosphere like suspended atoms and undetected molecules.
I learned a valuable lesson about this viable reality from my late mother, a revered and acclaimed schoolteacher, who told me to always realize that some folk are going to be negative for no good reason other than that’s their true natures and characters. My mother died in 1985 but her ever-lasting insights, like the one I just alluded to, still guides many of my instincts to this very day.
Take for instance, it used to bother me when I came in contact with some two-faced naysayers in life, especially the ones who smile to your face and literally stab you in the back at every opportunity they get. With age and God Alone’s divine teachings and wisdom, I’ve gained a spiritual upper hand in dealing with them, myself and any other forces when encountering said folk and their resulting dilemmas.
I firmly believe that “to thine own self, one must be true.” That philosophy guides me wherever I go in life because there’s much understanding in knowing that you alone must live your life and not be controlled by others’ thoughts and opinions of who you are and want to be.
While on that theme, I’d like to politely refer to something that was passed on to me by a gentleman, who was not a believer in my faith tradition, when the topic of differences came about many, many years ago. He was an old West Indian man named Trevor, who I met and knew from old stomping grounds in Newark, New Jersey, during the late 1970s and early 1980s. We both were spiritually inclined, always having respect for each other, even though I was a Muslim of the orthodox persuasion and he was a devoted Rastafarian.
Our mutual respect was very visible whenever we met, and he told me something when we spoke about when some folk don’t like you, and they utter mischievous falsities behind your back as they will surely do. Trevor, the Rasta sage, with a distinct Jamaican patois, looked me straight in my eyes and uttered, “My brotha, such is life. ‘Dem full of ‘der own self-hatred. ‘Dem never realized that life is full of different flavors. Be proud of the fact that Jah made you who you are,” and, respectfully, I’ve never forgotten that and some other shared profound wisdom he always threw my way.
The world is filled with a lot of objective unbelievers and commonplace haters in many apt and not-so-defined descriptions of identities. Being a believer in God Alone’s path toward inner and outer peace is the favorable way in staying on the right path in fulfilling what tranquility really means to a desirous seeker of peace. The negative, abstract-minded souls of today are unhappy in so many ways, lurking behind every nook and cranny you can name in the living experience today.
I trust that you’re not like some of these “deaf, dumb and blind” folk who, apparently, can’t see the proverbial forests for the trees. While you think about that, also know that no two souls are probably going to agree on the same thing. From relationships to “polytricks” to sports to wearing apparel to, well, you name it, more than likely, there’s going to be someone who disagrees with or sees something different about some issue, person, or cause, etc.
Like my old respected Rasta cohort would say, “Such is life!” So, the struggle in seeking peace in all parameters is a constant, but we must know that being at peace is a flavoring that coats the soul with love for one’s self and others. Remember that tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. Time is nothing to play with. Start seeking peace now. It’s the flavor of love. I think you get the message, and for today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”