I think of the stories of mystic saints when I read this.
The metaphysics of healing
Tuesday, 21 June, 2005
Discovery magazine recently posed this question: “If an electron can be at two places at one time, why can’t we?” This is an exciting proposition, and it reminds me of a story my Pakcik told me about his experience in his younger days. It happened when he was in Mecca for the Muslim pilgrimage, over three decades ago. He was there with his late father, but had left his wife and children back home in Kuala Lumpur. One day he met an elderly Shaykh, who invited him home and gave him daily lessons on religion, and on healing. When he met the Shaykh, he was alone, and was always the only one with the Shaykh at the latter’s home during the lessons. So, one day, he decided to bring his father. To his amazement, he could not even find the house that he had been going to every day. The house had actually disappeared! On the next day, he had no difficulty at all finding the house when he went alone for his lessons. On one occasion, when he was missing his wife so much, the Shaykh asked him whether he would like to be home with them for a while. He jumped at the offer. He was asked to close his eyes and hold the Shaykh’s hands while the latter recited certain verses in supplication. Then when he was asked to open his eyes, he found himself standing in the middle of the main hall of his house in Taman Ibu Kota, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur! His wife was busy making cookies and their young children were playing around her. But he could not speak to them, and they could not see him or sense his presence. He was allowed to stay for as long as he desired, and when he was satisfied, he found himself in front of the Shaykh again. Many years later, back in Malaysia, he came across a book about Malay Muslim saints and discovered from the descriptions and drawings that his teacher was Shaykh Daud al-Fatani (from Pattani, which is now a province in Thailand), who had died over 100 years ago. My Sufi Shaykh also told me a similar story, except that this time he was physically transposed and everyone could see him. This happened over two decades ago when his own Shaykh was alive and they were in a city in Pakistan. One day he asked the elder Shaykh whether it was possible to travel to another place in an instant, as he had heard and read so much about it. The elder Shaykh replied in the affirmative, and asked him if he would like to experience it. He of course accepted the offer.
He was asked to walk straight through the wall of the room they were in. When he tried, he hurt his face when he banged it against the wall. Next, the elder Shaykh held his hand and asked him to close his eyes and they smoothly walked through the wall together. When he opened his eyes, he was doing the tawaf (circumbulating) around the Kaabah in Mecca. He was physically there, jostling among the thousands of people doing the tawaf. Several weeks later, back in Pakistan, a neighbour who said that he was behind my Shaykh during the tawaf, returned his (my Shaykh’s) pen which he had dropped but could not retrieve while doing the ritual circumbulation. Not only was my Shaykh physically transposed to Mecca, there was proof because the neighbour brought back his pen via the usual physical way.