Symbols of the world's religions


Part 3


Timothy Conway

In or near the town of Rawalpindi, Gul Rukh lived the ascetic life for some years. At one point she entered an apprenticeship to a Hindu guru. After this she endured nearly 17 months in solitude, probably in a cave in the nearby mountains.

In such a lonely spot, our faquirani (renunciate) would have spent her days and nights absorbed in reciting, pondering and meditating upon verses from the Qur'an, and perhaps some Hindu scriptural verses and wisdom literature, chanting or singing the glorious names and attributes of god, and contemplating the majesty of towering mountains and a star-filled vastness of night sky.

The region reverberated with the sound of her voice declaring Muslim invocations such as Bismillah ir-Rahman, ir-Rahim (in the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate!), al Hamdu Lillah (all praise and thanks be to God!), Allahu Akbar (God is Great!), ilaha illa Allah (There is no god or reality except God!), and Muhammad rasul Allah (Muhammad is God's messenger).

Her silence, deepened through long hours of Divine Communion, may have eventually become more resounding than her chanting. Various animals dwelling in the wilds would occasionally approach her. These creatures could feel utterly safe in the presence of one whose heart no longer harbored any trace of fear or anger. Long periods of fasting would be her norm, with an occasional trek to a nearby village for food; perhaps local folks discovered her presence and regularly brought food offerings in hospitable service to this noble soul.


1994 © Timothy Conway, Ph.D.


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