I hope that everyone has had a lovely Mawlid-i Nabi/ Valentine's Day. I love that they occurred on the same day this year. There seem to be a lot of these kinds of coincidences these days, such as the timing of the Kurban Bayram and Thanksgiving recently. It brings a tremendous joy to my heart seeing the coming together of Islamic and Western traditions-- celebrating similar themes. Elhamdullillah, Rab'il Alemin. Some of you may also remember Valentine's Day 2001, when the mevlut for Burhan Efendi was commemorated. That was an incredibly powerful evening of zikir and singing-- really one of the most amazing nights I've ever experienced.
I've been trying to digitize some photographs I took over the years, mostly around 1999-2000 in Chapel Hill, so insh'Allah I'll be posting some more soon. This is one of my very favorites: I asked Baba if I could take a picture and he grabbed another camera, held it to his heart, and said "Yes, as long as you make sure to take a picture with your heart."
If anyone has any pictures or stories that you would like to share, please send me a message with your email and I can contact you. I'd love to find more pictures of Sherif Baba, Burhan Efendi, the Rifa'i Marufi tekkes in Turkey, pictures from the Rumi Festival in Chapel Hill, etc.