Playing Violin As A Path To Love

by Hasan Roy Martin

A Prayer Request – Debut Violin Performance at Church Talent Show

Friday night: I am asking for your prayers. About a year and a half ago, I heard this man play the fiddle. The music was so beautiful, afterwards I had to go up to him and tell him how moved I was. As we were talking, I could feel his heart open by how inspired I was. I approached with absolutely no intention of learning to play but, as we spoke, it was right there to ask if he would teach me. I did and he said yes. He then lent me a thousand dollar violin without even getting my phone number. The whole thing was totally unplanned and unexpected and miraculous. It’s the kind of thing that would not have happened but for this path and the way it’s taught me to pay attention to what’s moving in my heart.

Alas, now, at 50 years of age, I’ll be performing in front of an audience for the first time tonight. I’ve never learned to play an instrument before.

So my prayer request is simply for whatever’s in the highest. If tonight is supposed to be an exercise in humility, Glory to God. If I’m supposed to rise to the occasion, stay focused and play flawlessly, Glory to God. Just please pray with me for Allah to help all the students and bring through whatever’s best and highest. Thank you; blessings to all.

Lessons and Gifts

Well, it was an amazing night. But not for the reasons I had expected. I played poorly. Really really poorly. I couldn’t get through a single piece. I was great until I began playing. Talking to the audience was wonderful. But when it came time to play, I was off. Then I was nervous and the harder I tried, the more nervous I got.

But despite that, or maybe because of it, there were all these unexpected gifts. First, the more I screwed up, the more love I received from the audience. It was a great lesson in the truth that we’re not loved for our perfection but for our imperfection. It’s like my being human made me . . . well . . . human (and, thus, loveable).

Second, it was a night of ego annihilation and that’s always a good thing. We know this as Sufis (and there’s nothing like learning the violin to annihilate ego.) :0)

Lastly, despite my poor play, after it was over, several people independently reflected that my love for this instrument and the music came through loud and clear. That was a beautiful reflection to receive. It’s my walking on this path that has opened my heart to the violin. It’s not something I would have taken on from ego and it’s not leading me toward ego, but rather toward love. I’m very grateful.

Though it didn’t look the way I expected it to look (at all), at least not if I was going to feel good about it, I’m really happy. And grateful. Ya Allah ar-kareem. Thank you for all the prayers. They must have worked wonders because the unexpected gifts were far better than any gift I could have received from playing well.

And we’ll see what Allah creates next year, when I try it again. It’s an annual talent show. This is not the end, insha’llah. If Allah gives me any say in it, this is only the beginning. Much love to everyone and thank you all.

Comments

  1. Roy Hasan Martin says:

    Amina,

    If my experience is useful to others, I’m grateful. Thanks for reposting.
    I now have the video, if anyone cares to see how poorly I played they can watch it here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_rTX-dhMmI&feature=em-upload_owner

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