AsSalamu'alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu.
Alhamdulillah, we were blessed once again in the GTA, with a visit from Sidi Hakim Archuletta this past weekend. Masha'Allah, he is truly a beautiful person to be with -- Salik, who met him for the first time, also quickly fell in love with Hakim.
As I did after his last visit here in March 2006 (A Weekend with Hakim Archuletta...), I'm going to post some of my notes from his talk/workshop, as well as some of the things I learned from him in a more informal way over the weekend -- my notes are not linear...just points that stood out to me.
Sidi Hakim began by saying "Alhamdulillah, Shukrulillah" -- and he said it with his entire being and mentioned that we cannot begin, but with those words of gratitude to the One without whose permission we could not have gathered together.
- Traditional Medicine is called Hikma Medicine because it requires wisdom to understand the human body. He mentioned that Imam Ghazali said, "Do not offend your animal, learn to ride it so that it does not drag you" and the hadith "do not chase the camel". He also mentioned the example of ants in Pakistan that crawl up people who push them off only to have the ants return, not knowing that the best thing to do is help them in the direction they're headed by pushing them that way and not back where they came from.
- Sidi Hakim told us that one of the principals of Hikma is that Allah's patterns in creation are the same. Therefore, what we find in animals, we find in ourselves, and what we find in ourselves is what we find in the environment. We are polluted. What we have done to the environment is simply a reflection of what we've done to ourselves.
- Our lifestyles are obese -- we suffer what the kings of the past did. Our lifestyles aren't just destroying our environment, but our souls. Over tea, Hakim mentioned to Salik and I that people often will stuff themselves with food when they're already full in order to not "waste" food -- but since waste is anything that is excess, such people are wasting food, and unlike when thrown in the garbage, when excess food is thrown into our bodies, it's actually dhulm to our bodies. He reminded us of what he's often referred to in the past as "the bite" -- that is the point in our meal when our body signals to us that it does not need anymore...it tells us not only through how our stomachs feel, but by the way the food looks, feels, and smells at that point...and that is when we should stop eating. Thus the hadith that we should fill 1/3 of our stomach with food, 1/3 with liquid, and 1/3 with air. He finished by saying that we should cook in accordance with what we can eat without wasting, likewise, we should take a little food at the table, and take more if we need it...rather than filling the plate with food because we're hungry when we first see it.
- We are digging our graves with our teeth!
- Addiction to a life of ease does not bring fulfillment.
- Hakim spoke of the fact that there is much barakah in eating food prepared by a believer, and especially that of one's mother which is made with immense love. He told us the hadith that "the believer's heart goes through 2000 hals in a day and that the heart of the non-believer can stay in one hal for 2000 days".
- As he often does, he told us that one Shaykh said that the flood in the time of the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) was one of water, and that the flood of our times is one of separation. In light of this he advised us to never eat alone and added there is a hadith in which we were told that the one who eats alone eats with Shaytan and that in Morocco there are many people that still seek refuge in Allah if given a plate of food to eat from alone!
- We are mammals and we have a need to connect. Just talking meaningfully affects our nervous system.
- And men, as in the past, he mentioned once again the need to listen to your wives! He said that men often say that their wives are weak and that he says, Alhamdulillah because women have saved our humanity! Men don't express their feelings enough. The depressed person does not want to face things that bring grief, sorrow, distress, anger, and the like -- what we need to learn is to come into our sense and know where we have these feelings and to let them come out in words, tears, and vocal sounds that want to come out because they've been trapped inside. He said that when tears come because of something we've kept locked inside, they come from the stomach and bring deep breaths that feed the body with much needed oxygen -- just as Allah says in the Qur'an that He sends down rain to revive the dead earth, so too do tears revive a heart that is dying! He said once again that he has never met a depressed person that was really breathing.
- Finally, although he did not specifically recommend or endorse these books, he did mention them in his talk in passing: Jerry Mander's In the Absence of the Sacred; biodiversity work by Vandana Shiva; Paul Hawken's Blessed Unrest; Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food; David Korten's When Corporations Rule the World; and work on the Bioneers. These aren't "recommendations", though...just works he referred to in the context of a workshop on Faith and the Environment. For his list of recommended books, click here.
Overall message: WAKE UP!
May Allah forgive me for any mistakes I've made in sharing Hakim's Hikma.
Oh, and the picture's mine (I took it) and is copyrighted like all other pictures on my blog!