December 7, 1978

Noor Mahal

December 7, 1978

Dear Mansur,

Your letter of November 30 much appreciated. [In which, I commented on his appointment of Fatima as his successor. Among other things I wrote, “I smiled at the thought of Jemila (Taj) and Fatima at the head of two spiritual organizations.]

Your remark, “…organizations may function smoother if they are guided by one’s closest associates: wives and children. Who more able to receive the living transmissions?”—is interesting. Historically it would seem to be true at times and false at times.

Buddha did not dote on his son Rahula. And Murshid was certainly adamant in quoting the Biblical injunction, “Flesh and blood do not inherit the kingdom of heaven.” It can be a delicate subject. I must say, however, that one’s choice of Fatima has nothing to do with our familial relationship; it is based solely upon a glimpse of that dear woman’s soul which was vouchsafed one evening many years ago at Scott Hall when Murshid was still in the boody.

The man and wife thing seems actually like an effect of a cause mysteriously batin [the interior or hidden meaning of the Quran], yet more real than even a successful marriage, which is real enough on its own ground in this day and age.

I’m not sure that I know what I want for Christmas, but I think I know what Allah wants. And I know what I’m sending to you… [This in  response to my “Sensaki’s poems are very zen. Do you know what I want for Christmas? What do you want?”]

As-salaam aleikhum!