Bawa Mahaiyadden, fully Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

Mahaiyadden, fully Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
c. 1880

Saintly Tamil-speaking Teacher and Sufi Mystic from Sri Lanka who established the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship in Philadelphia

Author Quotes

Killing, cutting, slaughtering, destroying, injuring or abusing another's life is not Islam. But to each one of us is enjoined the Qurban, the sacrifice - the sacrifice of our Nafs, our base desires, our animosities, our egoism. Other than Allah and His Truth, every other thing must be the object of our sacrifice. His Word, His Qualities, His Traits, His Actions, His unique Three- thousand Qualities, - other than these, everything else are all enemies unto you and these must be sacrificed. And to wage total war against such enemies unto oneself, is Islam. Anger, hastiness, rage, fury, impatience, feelings of superiority of 'I' and 'you', pride, jealousy, treachery, selfishness, sorcery and black magic, mesmerism trickery, self-praise, conceit, titles, position and status, exclusiveness as between 'you' and 'I', falsehood, envy, - to cut away these base qualities and more, - is Islam. Such then is the formidable war within.

This is one's very own battle, one's own sacrifice or Qurban, this is one's own war of purification, one's own purging of all that are enemies unto oneself. It is these which are the wars of Islam. Islam is certainly vehemently not a war which kills man or another human being or which slaughters or divides human kind or causes dissensions in human societies or annihilates humans. This is not Islam... For, Islam by its definition, has no enmity, no differences, no distinctions. To segregate and divide those who themselves divide and cause separation among the children of Adam, - is not Islam.

He Who is unfathomable, Who is the Ultimate Wonder, Who is the Supreme Giver, the Provider, the Most Pure, the Most Perfect, the Incomparable, the Immeasurable , who is the Most Compassionate, Who Protects and keeps vigil and watches , Who is the Most Exalted Treasure, the Greatest of Treasure, Who is the Light of the eyes, the Universal Nourisher and Sustainer, Who dispenses Understanding and Meaning, the Knower of all things, The Omnipresent, the Omniscient, Who Envelops and is Enveloped in everything here, there and everywhere, the Absolute Principle, Infinite and Eternal, the Protector and Upholder of both worlds and everything they contain, The One Who is Ill Allah, - existing Alone, Unsupported, Self subsisting, Who is the giver Who gives every bounty eternally, - It is He alone Who is worthy of our Total, unwavering, uncompromising trust: He is the Treasure which He himself gives unto us , and it is unto Him that we shall give back that Treasure which is the Life within our life, the soul within our soul, the Qualb within our qualb. IT IS WE THEN WHO MUST TAKE THAT TREASURE WHICH WE ARE DESTINED TO TAKE.

You will come to know that what you undergo or suffer (karmam) is of your own choosing, and what you yourself have sought. That which you have sought you inevitably have to bear. And it is also inevitable that if we shall not realise and understand this sequence of inevitability, it is we who will have to bear the consequence of our own ignorance.

Anger (being hostile) is a quality which to some, is like a religion. How can we kill it? It can only be killed by a sharpened intellect (koorvaputhi). Anger is like an elephant, - heavy, burdensome, which obliterates everything on its path, and cannot be killed easily. A very sharp intellect is the only weapon with which you can kill it. In folklore, it is said that if you are able to kill it, you are likened to a 'dev muni' (a petty god in tamil folklore). To us, it means that one could realise the Truth (Haqq) which is Allah.

Further we have arrogance, which is the "I" in me, and everything else that is associated with the "I". It is also said in Tamil folklore, that so long as the pride and arrogance remains as the "I" in me, they will slaughter me. That "I" consciousness will unerringly drag my mind down to abysmal depths of degradation. Like a mote in your eye which affects your vision, it blocks the power of the mind.

Whilst the arrogance of the "I" infects the mind, and whilst the greed of "mine" envelops the mind, then you are under the fatal stranglehold. Then your eyes are dazzled by the visions portrayed, and you succumb to that stranglehold. So the constant intention and inward prayer should be - "Oh Allah, the Almighty Power, let the arrogance that is "I", and the greed that is called "mine" be cast asunder, that I shall see Thee in all thy Majesty". That is the priceless effulgent Thing.

That is why we always say, annihilate the "I", because that is the cause of your disease of misery, (thoonbam). Your pride, your arrogance, your greed, your lust, your attachments, all have the "I", your base ego being the generator. The idea of "I" and "mine" permeates your entire being and taints your every thought and action, your conduct and behaviour. Therefore, if and when you come to possess the knowledge to cross this abyss of the "I" and "mine" then that knowledge you must have before you can pursue your religion, whatever it may be.

Focus the place of worshp in your qalb, your inner heart. First you have to put your intention on Him in your qalb, then bring that intention to your memory which should be the focal point of attention. That focus must slip through feeling and feeling should become awareness of it. Understand what prayer is through that awareness which must flow through your blood and body; they must be associated with the Zikr, and as awareness exists in the blood, intellect must also function there. Iman, faith, certitude and determination, should be at work within the pointedness of intellect, and that prayer must function on the pointedness of iman in the three worlds, awaal, the time of creation, dunya, this world, and akhirah, the hereafter, because everything exists within man. This prayer should radiate through the tissues, the nerves, the marrow, through intention; focus your needs, this Zikr should flow through tissues, nerves, veins, blood, the body. When it does, that is prayer, that is devotion. Establish this thought, establish this intention, the Zikr must function like the pulse of blood in your arteries.

My precious children, please bear with me when I plead with you, you who are like those whom I have given birth to, born of me, to such of you, I gift this Knowledge of Truth, which is, that your belief, that Trust in the Almighty, is your Power and your Strength, your Purity and the Perfection of your Soul. These will determine the destiny of your Soul and ensure the victory of your existence, victory of Perfection and Purity, the victory of Unity, when you attain that conviction that all other lives are like your own life.

Forgiveness - The Wisdom of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen YouTube Video Clip at

There is One God. He created all beings, and He exists beyond the beyond of religions, beyond the separations of race, religion, and philosophies. He is beyond mind, desire, and physical vision. He is beyond the world, lust, torpor, and illusion. God resides in that spotlessly pure place known as the heart and sees and knows everything. He sees each and every heart and mind and understands all things.

Children of any religion who have true faith must realize that God is the only One who knows all of everything. Therefore, only God can judge whether a person has faith, certitude, and determination or not and whether a person lives with that purity that can be called Islam or not. No one else can give that judgment. Do not wave your religion like a banner and go out to capture others. Only one kind of war is permissible in the eyes of God: the war you wage within yourself to defeat the demonic forces of lust, anger, jealousy, desire for revenge, and other evil feelings and attributes that may exist within your heart. God has sent each of the prophets as witnesses to the grace of God and as supports to help us in this inner war. This is the reason for the Qur'an. It is to help the true Muslim fight this inner battle and win victory over his own base desires that God sent the Messenger with the Qur'an.

Before we try to destroy someone else, we should first pass judgment on ourselves. Before finding fault with others, we must first pass judgment upon ourselves. Before we backbite others, we must first pass judgment upon our­ selves. Before we lie about others, we must first judge ourselves. Before we hurt the heart of another, we must first pass judgment on ourselves. Like that, we have to pass judgment on our thoughts and on all actions done by our eyes, ears, nose, hands, and mouth. The guilty ones are within our own body and mind. These are our qualities which exist in our actions. All these qualities exist within us, do they not? So we have to pass judgment on them. That is the state of Iman-Islam. That is what is called Islam. To first see the fault in yourself and then to pass judgment and correct yourself is true justice. Those who perform that justice are in the religion of truth. They are the leaders of the religion of truth. They are in the state of Iman-Islam. They are the true believers.

Always use positive words, and never use negative or evil words. Cultivate good thoughts, not bad thoughts. Make sure your intentions are constructive intentions. Never be jealous; be grateful. Be tolerant, peaceful, and honest instead of vengeful. Always be compassionate, never proud and arrogant. Praise God, because God is the Deserving One. You need these in your life. If you can teach yourself to follow these suggestions, you will have a very good life.

There is a Power, a Power that controls the moon, the stars and the sun. It is a Power that can burn all other powers. It is the Power that pervades each atom, all that is finite, all that is infinite, a Power that no one can see...It has no assistance. It is completely alone. Original.

The real fast is the blossoming of the inner heart. Fragrance must emanate. The qualities, conduct, behavior, and disposition that accompany this blossoming make no sound. Light and fragrance must dawn in the inner heart. The one point which is God must resplend. Do fast, but make sure the heart blossoms; make it fragrant. The flowering scent must emanate, and when that space is perceived, the One who inhales that perfume will come. The One who perceives that fragrance will come. He is the Lord.

One who has not found peace within himself will forever be giving speeches about peace. This world is a pulpit upon which man preaches, and there is no end to this talk! For millions of years man has been speaking this way, but he has not come forward to first find peace within himself. There is no use in making speeches. Man must acquire the qualities of God and live in that state. Only then can he speak of peace, only then can he speak the speech of God and dispense the justice of God's kingdom.

Everything in this world changes; only God remains the same forever. If mankind will realize this truth, then we can avert disaster by coming together with faith in God and living in unity and compassion. Do not live divided. With compassion for each other, live in unity and truth, in the presence of God. Live according to justice and conscience, respecting the lives and bodies of all others as your own, and knowing the hunger and the suffering of others as your own. Have patience, contentment, trust in God, and live praising God at all times, and peace will be easy.

To wage war within oneself is Islam; the real fight is an inner one. To dispel evil qualities, evil thoughts, and the differences that lead to separations is Islam. To wage war upon jealousy, envy, and vengeance is Islam. To cut out and discard the qualities of Satan and to fill ourselves with the qualities of Allah is Islam. To show a heart full of love to our brothers and sisters is the wealth of Islam.

Here and in the hereafter, we must embrace all those who with absolute faith accept Allah in their hearts. We must pray to Allah in a state of unity, peacefulness, and truth, and then give greetings of peace to each brother. Standing face to face, our eyes looking directly into our brother's eyes, our hands clasping his hands, and our hearts embracing his heart with love, we must say, "May the peace of God be upon you." This is the unity and beauty of Islam, the beauty that Muhammad (Sal.) brought to the people. Wherever we go, our hearts must be in that state. Our prayers must be one-pointed, directed toward the same place, toward Allah, the One who is truth. If we can recite the praises of Allah and the Prophet, then look each other in the eye, give peaceful greetings, and embrace each other — if we can achieve that oneness of the heart with all lives, then we will be true believers.

My loving children, my children who were created with God's beauty, my wise children, whatever difficulty you may have, do not ever leave His charge. Just as the prophets of God kept their faith firm and were tolerant in spite of the problems they had, no matter what difficulties you may experience, be tolerant, be forbearant and embrace all living things as your own life.

We should not hold on so strongly to those who are going to leave us some day anyway. We should not feel excessive attachment for them. We have to keep it in moderation. But there is One who will never leave us, One who will never perish. God will never leave us, not in the kingdom of heaven, nor in the kingdom of hell, nor in this world. And since judgment is in His hands, He is the only attachment we must have. If we hold on to only that one attachment, then we will have joy throughout our lives and even at the time of death. On Judgment Day we will know that joy, because we will be with Him.

In God's kingdom there is no fighting. He rules over both kingdom of hell and the kingdom of heaven, giving each of His creations what is due to them, but taking no share for Himself. God is One. He proclaims, My religion is to recognize all lives as one’s own life, all religions as one’s own religion, all languages as one’s own language, all vision as one’s own vision. It is in this state that God conducts His kingdom. He has no partialities, no religious differences, and prejudices based on skin color, whether it be black, red, white, or yellow. In His kingdom, there is no fighting.

What we are slaves to will prevent us from praying to God. If we are slaves to all the thoughts we think, if we are slaves to everything our eyes see, if we are slaves to all the music our ears hear, if we are slaves to everything the nose smells and the tongue tastes, if we are slaves to everything the body wants, then how can we ever reach a state of peace? We can never know peace or tranquility this way. We have to escape from this slavery and become a slave only to God.

What has to die will die, and what has to remain will remain. Supposing you dig a well and the water dries up. Just because the well went dry, you cannot say that there is no water there. You cannot say that the spring is dead, for if you dig down one more foot, water will again spring up. If people will only dig a little deeper, they will find the water there. Of course, they can say, “There is no water in the well any more,” and go away. But those who have real thirst will dig a little deeper, and they will find water there. What is will always be. That which dies is dead and gone, but that which is will always be.

This is the only path on which we can proceed with ease. It is the path to the freedom of our soul. Therefore, may we protect ourselves and give love to others. May we protect others as we would protect ourselves, love our neighbors as ourselves, and make all mankind our relatives, our brothers and sisters. May we make everyone our loved ones and help them become those who trust in God. May we all go together on this path as the followers of God, as the representatives of God, as the children of the one Father.

The more you make yourselves humble and ask for forgiveness, the more your true exaltedness is seen. Humility is a sign of exaltedness. The preface of a spotlessly pure heart (Iman-Islam) is patience (sabur), contentment and gratitude (shakur), having trust in God (tawakkal), and praising Him for everything that happens to us, saying, “Al-hamdu lillah!” Therefore, without feeling shame, ask forgiveness whenever necessary. This will be good. Allah, the Lone One who rules and sustains (Allahu ta’ala Nayan), will protect you and me.

Look at yourself. You came into this world, but what you have to realize is that you came from Him and you must return to Him. The light within you has to merge with that One Light. Then the dark show of life will disappear. My love you, my children. This is the most important thing to understand in life.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Mahaiyadden, fully Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
Birth Date
c. 1880
Death Date

Saintly Tamil-speaking Teacher and Sufi Mystic from Sri Lanka who established the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship in Philadelphia