As salaamu alai kumm wa rahmatullahi wa barakath,
The image on your left is of the Greek island, Samos. The place where one of the most famous mathematicians of the past, Pythagoras is believed to have been born in 570 B. C., very little in known about the man himself except that he traveled a lot, visiting places such as Egypt in his search for knowledge and God knows what else, what we do know is that he dabbled in various sciences and is remembered throughout history as a mathematician, scientist, philosopher and…even a mystic, whoever he really was, I only remember him from the math class back when I was in school, where we were taught the Pythagoras theorem. I recall, it was pretty easy.
But was it knowledge that made his famous? Not at all as you’ll see. The following is a marvelous anecdote about him I came across a few years ago is an eye opener.
Pythagoras as a seeker of knowledge and his travels to Egypt:
When Greek philosopher Pythagoras reached Egypt to enter a school – a secret esoteric school of mysticism – he was refused entry. And Pythagoras was one of the best minds ever produced. He could not understand it. He applied again and again, but was told that unless he goes through a particular training of fasting and breathing he cannot be allowed entry.
Pythagoras is reported to have said: “I have come for knowledge, not for any sort of discipline.”
But the school authorities said: “We cannot give you knowledge unless you are different. And really, we are not interested in knowledge at all; we are interested in the actual experience. No knowledge is knowledge unless it is lived and experienced. So you will have to go on a 40-day fast, continuously breathing in a certain manner, with a certain awareness on certain points.”
(Note that he had the knowledge but not the experience – Blog author)
There was no other way, so Pythagoras had to pass through this training. After 40 days of fasting and breathing, aware and attentive, he was allowed to enter the school.
Pythagoras reportedly said:
“You are not allowing Pythagoras in. I am a different man; I am reborn. You were right and I was wrong, because then, my whole standpoint was intellectual. Through this purification, my center of being has changed. From the intellect it has come down to the heart. Now I can feel things. Before this training I could only understand through the intellect, through the head. Now I can feel. Now truth is not a concept to me, but life. It is not going to be a philosophy, but rather, an experience – existential.”
Pythagoras later returned to Greece and is said to have become the fountainhead… the source of all mysticism in the west, what isn’t known is if he encountered any messenger of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, around 570 BC would mean perhaps it was the time of Prophet Musaa (Moses) (peace be upon him) and the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) too came in Egypt, its said he found his own sect known as Pythagoreanism which died soon enough, Alhamdulillah, we don’t know for sure what he really stood for, whether he believed or not, whether he died a believer or not, what really that school where he rediscovered himself was… yet, what we do know is that he did benefit a lot from those 40 days, those 40 days did immense good for him, they made him humble, they made him disciplined, they made him reflect, they made him feel, and in his own words, he felt as if he was…reborn.
Conclusion: Leave home in khuruj, for its said man gets what he intends, so if you are feeling down and out, leave home in the path of Allah and seek Him who created pythagoras, seek His help, seek His blessings, there’s everything to gain and nothing to lose, and what you will gain would not only help you in this world but in the hereafter too…unlike the Pythagoras Theorem, which will be of no real worth. Nothing will be of any worth without the Shahadah.
So.. find your spiritual calling, leave home for 40 days or in its multiples for even though WE don’t know, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala definitely knows that…there’s something about 40 !!
Wa alai kumm as salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakath.