Photo: King Ibrahim Mbouombouo Njoya (c. 1860 – c. 1933) was 17th in a long dynasty of kings that ruled over Bamum and its people in western Cameroon dating back to the 14th century. He succeeded his father Nsangu, and ruled from 1886 or 1887 until his death in 1933, when he was succeeded by his son, Seidou Njimoluh Njoya. He ruled from the ancient walled city of Fumban.
Only fools take pride in their station here, trapped in
a cage of dust, moisture, heat and air.
No need to complain of calamities,
this illusion of a life lasts but a moment.
(Shaikh Abu Saeed Abil Kheir)
'Nobody Son of Nobody'
By Shaikh Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir (Author), Vraje Abramian (Translator)
Readers who swoon within the love-intoxicated poetry of Rumi must read the poetry of Shaikh Abil-Kheir. This renowned but little-known Sufi mystic of the 10th century preceded Rumi by over two hundred years on the same path of annihilation into God. He referred to himself as -- Nobody Son of Nobody his expression of the reality that his life was subsumed in the Divine, and that the individual self had disappeared in the heart of God: Under this cloak is nothing but God. Introduce me as Nobody, Son of Nobody. These are 195 short selections translated from the original Farsi. These poems deal with the longing for union with God, the desire to know the Real from the False, the inexpressible beauty of Creation when seen through the eyes of Love, and the many attitudes of heart, mind and feeling that are necessary to those who would find the Beloved -- The Friend -- in this life.
Shaikh Abil-Kheir is highly honored by followers of Islam, and as a lawyer-theologian he was known as the "Socrates of the Sufi Path." He is remembered for his passionate dedication to a disciplined lifestyle coupled with his profound hospitality to guests, his tenderness and compassion. He began many of the customs and ways of conduct still followed in Sufi Khaneqhahs.
(Sufi gathering places)