Tarot Card Quick Reference Chart for the Minor Arcana for Muslims

(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2005

Suit of Cups Suit of Wands Suit of Swords Suit of Coins
King Lord! I seek refuge in You from adversities, weaknesses, indolence, cowardice, avarice, indebtedness, and being victimized by the populace. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Anas bin Malik A certain man was renowned for his virtue. The king asked him, ‘How do you spend your time? The man replied, ‘I spend the nights praying, and I spend the days laboring. I try to regulate my family’s expenses, so I can spend as little time as possible laboring, and as much time as possible praying.’ The king gave the man enough money to support himself and his family, so that he could pray during the day as well as the night. -Sadi, “Gulistan” Since reason is our most precious gift from God, we should do nothing to reduce its status or degrade it. Since reason should govern our conduct, we should allow nothing to govern it. Since reason is the sovereign over all human facilities, it should not be made subject to any other faculty. -Razi, “Kitab al-Muluki” Do not be upset at the good things you miss, and do not be overjoyed at the good things you receive. God does not love those who are arrogant and boastful; he does not love those who are stingy, and encourage others to be stingy also. Those who ignore these words, should remember that God alone is self-reliant, and God alone is worthy of praise. -Qur'an, Al-Hadid, Surah 57:23-24
Queen A basket full of bread sits on your head; yet you go from door to door begging for crusts. Attend to your own head. Knock on your heart’s door. -Rumi, “Mathnawi” Once a person asked the Prophet, "What is true faith?" The Prophet replied, "When your good endeavors bring you pleasure and your transgressions cause you anguish, you know that you are a person of faith." -Reported by Abu Umamah I seek refuge in Allah from knowledge that brings no wisdom, from a heart that lacks kindness, from desires that bring discontent, and from supplications that go unanswered. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Abu Hurairah If you are dependable, honest, virtuous, and content in Allah’s will, no harm shall come your way. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Abd’Allah bin Amr
Knight When people address God in words - in the form of intimate conversation, petition and pleading, gratitude, remorse and repentance, and so on - they are in a position of separateness from God. When they address God directly through the heart, and when they listen to him in the heart, they are in a position of union with God. -Qushayri, “Risalah” What direction do you wish your lives to take? I urge all of you, if you have the strength of will, to follow the path of righteousnes. Yet you cannot do this, unless it is willed by God, the Lord of creation. -Qur'an, At-Takwir, Surah 81:26-29 God is the guardian of all who believe. He leads them from darkness to light. As for those who do not believe, their guardians are their false gods, who lead them from light to darkness. They are the heirs of hell, and will live there for ever. -Qur'an, Al-Baqara, Surah 2:257 A man lost his way in the desert, and wandered aimlessly for several days. He ran out of food, and thought he would die. Then he saw a bag lying in the sand. He opened it, and at first he thought it was filled with grains of barley. He was overjoyed. But when he tried to eat them, he discovered they were pearls-and he plunged into despair. -Sadi, "Gulistan"
Page Once the Prophet was asked, "Who are the chosen people of God?" He replied, "The truthful and the pure-hearted." "O Prophet of Allah," they said, "truthful we understand, but who are the pure-hearted?" "Those who neither fall into sin, nor transgress, who neither deceive nor bear malice. Such are the pure of heart." -Hadith reported by Abd'Allah bin Amr Take to compassion and abstain from oppression and obscenity. Compassion is grace and the lack of it a disgrace. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by A'ishah bint Abi Bakr If you want glory, then remember that all glory belongs to God alone. He hears every kind word that is spoken, and he praises every good deed. But those who plot evil will be sternly punished; he will thwart their plots, bringing them to nothing. -Qur'an, Fatir, Surah 35:10 The Almighty Allah judges you neither by your countenance nor your wealth, but by the purity of your hearts and your deeds. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Abu Hurairah
Ace Allah is compassionate and loves compassion in all things. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by A'ishah bint Abi Bakr I am a burning candle; You are the morning light, If I do not see You, I burn; if I see You, I vanish. This is my condition in separation and closeness. I can bear neither separation nor proximity. -Sufi poem If you stay patient in adversity and restrain yourselves from evil, your Lord will help you with five thousand distinctively marked angels, should your enemy suddenly fall upon you. Allah ordained this as a message of hope for you, so that your hearts may find comfort, since victory comes only from Allah, the Almighty and the Wise. -Qur'an Al-Imran, Surah 3:125-26 Those who steadily seek absolution shall find that the Lord eases their way out of every difficulty, providing for them from unimaginable bounty. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Abd'Allah ibn Abbas
Two He does not refuse sustenance to the one who speaks ill of Him. How then could He refuse sustenance to the one whose soul is overflowing with love for Him? -Rabi'a, "Rabi'a the Mystic" Have we not given each person two eyes, a tongue, and two lips? Have we not shown them the two paths, the path of righteousness and the path of wickedness? Yet they refuse to scale the great height.’ -Qur'an, Al-Balad, Surah 90:8-12 There are two kinds of speeches and two kinds of silences. Speech is either truth or a falsification, and silence is either fruition or heedlessness. If one speaks the truth, his words are better than his silence, but he who invents falsifications, his silence is better than his speech. -Al-Hujwiri, "The Kashf al-Mahjub" For those who honour the majesty of the Lord, there are two gardens, each planted with trees which give shade. Which of the Lord's blessings would you deny? Each garden is watered by a spring which constantly flows. Which of the Lord’s blessings would you deny? Each garden contains a pair of every kind of tree; so there is every kind of fruit. Which of the Lord's blessings would you deny? -Qur'an, Ar-Rahman, Surah 55:46-53
Three When clutches of the "self" break away, they clap their hands and break into dance as their imperfections fade away. The musicians within strike the tambourine, and the seas burst into foam at their ecstasy. -Rumi, "The Life and Thought of Rumi" The water in lakes is fresh and sweet and pleasant to drink; while the water in the sea is salty and bitter. Yet you catch fish to eat in both lakes and the sea; and from both lakes and the sea you bring up ornaments to wear. And you sail on both in order to engage in profitable trade. Perhaps all this will prompt you to give thanks. -Qur'an, Fatir, Surah 35:12 Those who show compassion to the weak, treat parents gently, and pardon the enslaved shall be granted an easy death and the delights of Paradise. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Ja'bir bin Abd'Allah Those who maintain kinship with the detached, who continue to provide for those who let them down and willingly forgive their oppressors, shall indeed excel both in this world and the next. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by 'Uqbah bin Amir
Four Your pleas shall be answered, but wait patiently for the Lord to respond. Do not lose hope and begin to complain, "I beseeched the Lord, but He never responded." -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Sahih al-Bukhari The spiritual path ruins the body, but subsequently restores it to health. It ruins the house to reveal the treasure, and with that treasure it builds better than before. -Rumi, "Mathnawi" Yet I realized that my only hope of attaining eternal bliss was by detaching myself from all worldly desires, and by honouring God in every aspect of my life. I knew that I had to leave the mansion of deception, and set out with all vigour towards the house of God. I had to turn away from wealth and position, and flee from all the worldly obligations that consumed my time. -Ghazali, “al-Munqidh min ad-Dalal” Do not strut on the earth filled with pride, for you cannot rend the earth asunder, nor can you reach the mountains in height. -Qur'an, Al-Isra, Surah 17:37
Five When reason reaches its peak and the souls of His lovers feel helpless and disabled, they grow restless and stretch their hands in supplication, seeking comfort for their burning souls. When every manner of search within their power has been consumed, the doorway to Him is opened. -Al-Hujwiri, "The Kashf al-Mahjub" Blessed are those who honour God in all they do, who believe in the revelations of their Lord, and who worship only their Lord. Blessed are those who, when they give to the poor, do so with hearts filled with awe, knowing that they will soon return to their Lord. Blessed are those who vie with one another for God's blessings; they will be foremost in receiving them. -Qur'an, Al-Mu'minun, Surah 23:57-61 Believers, let no man among you mock another man; the man being mocked is usually superior to the man who mocks. Let no woman among you mock another woman; the woman being mocked is usually superior to the woman who mocks. Do not slander one another, nor call each other by rude names; it is wrong that someone who has embraced the faith, should be called by a rude name. Those who do not repent, are sinners. -Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:11 We cannot do away with our daily nourishment, but let us not wallow in gluttony. Abu Yazid was once asked why he regarded fasting so supreme. He replied, "Had the Pharaoh known hunger he would not have declared himself God. And Korah would never have been so rebellious had he endured the pain of starvation." -Al-Hujwiri, "The Kashf al-Mahjub"
Six The finest of the believers conduct themselves with honorable bearing. And the finest of the finest are those who treat their mates with affection. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Abu Hurairah There may spring from you a community that will invite to goodness, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. Such people shall certainly triumph. -Qur'an, Al-Imran, Surah 3:104 Friendship takes many years to establish; so do not fall out with a friend over a single disagreement. -Sadi, "Gulistan" God curses usury, and blesses acts of charity. God has no love for ungrateful sinners. The Lord will reward those who have faith and do good works, who say their prayers and pay the poor-rate. They have nothing to fear or regret. -Qur'an, Al-Baqara, Surah 2:276
Seven True ecstasy is passive: it overwhelms the heart without any intention or deliberate effort. It is the fruit of spiritual devotion and worship. The deeper is your devotion to God, and the more intense is your worship, the more likely you are to receive ecstasy from God. In a state of ecstasy the heart is lost to God. -Qushayri, “Risalah” A true Muslim is the one who does not defame or abuse others; but the truly righteous becomes a refuge for humankind, their lives and their properties. -The Prophet Muhammad, as narrated by Abd'Allah bin Amr Observe how the life of this world deceives those around you. It lures them into the traps of vanity, wealth, and fame, and exalts them above others. This splendor blinds them, and they are lost forever in illusion. But then in one instant, life deals the blow of death, and all is gone, and with the Beguiler it stands laughing at their sad end. So overcome your egos that you may be saved from the snares that devoured kings and paupers alike. -Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani, "Fayuz E Yazdani" When one of you plants a tree, the fruits of which all creatures enjoy, let it be written as charity. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Anas bin Malik
Eight O Merciful, transform my fears into hope. In the name of Your glorious Qur'an relent toward me. Allow its light to illumine my way; endow me with the resolve to follow its dictates. Help me recite it night and day that its wisdom might blossom within my soul. -Prayer upon finishing the Qu'ran The inevitable--what is inevitable? If only you knew! The trumpet will sound a single blast. Earth with all its mountains will be raised high in the air; and then with a mighty crash it will be shattered into dust. On that day even greater things will happen. The sky will lose its strength, and start to sway; then it will break apart. The angels will stand around the sky, and eight of them will carry the throne of God above their heads. On that day all of you will be brought before him, and all your secrets will be exposed. -Qur'an, Al-Haqqah, Surah 69:1-3, 13-18 If you only understood the great height! It consists in purchasing the freedom of a slave. It consists in feeding, during famines, an orphaned relative, or anyone who is starving. It consists in having faith, in encouraging others, and in exercising mercy. -Qur'an, Al-Balad, Surah 90:12-17 If you have faith and do good works, God will never impose a duty on you greater than you can bear. You are the heirs of paradise, and you will abide there for ever. "We shall take away all hatred from your hearts." Rivers will flow at your feet, and you will say, "Praise be to God who has guided us to this place. If he had not guided us, we should have strayed from the right path. His apostles have surely preached the truth." And a voice will cry out to them, "This is paradise, which you have earned by your labors." -Qur'an, Al-A'raf, Surah 7:40-43
Nine The Lord Almighty ordained, "Find leisure for My service and I shall fill your hearts with peace and enrich you in bounty." -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Abu Hurairah I struggled hard but did not reap the fruits of my labors. Then I gazed into myself and found that my ego and my heart were unified. When the ego and the heart are united, a portion of all that shines upon the heart is seized by the self. Thus I came to know the cause of my dilemma, that the light illuminating my heart was being seized by my ego. -Al-Nuri, in "Islamic Sufism" When we allow God’s power to pervade all our actions, and submit to his decrees, we shed all anxiety about the effects of our actions on others; we cease even to consider the effects of our actions. When we cease to consider the effects of our actions, we are adopting the attributes of God himself. -Qushayri, “Risalah” The most upright among you are those who carry themselves with the finest conduct. -The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Abd'Allah bin Amr
Ten Since the dawn of human consciousness, religion has been the mightiest force driving humankind toward an unknown goal. It has allowed the teeming millions to experience a greater joy and a creative fervor; it has furnished them with the strength and the courage to achieve imperishable cultural feats and enabled them to reach unimaginable spiritual heights. -Muhammad Asad Loepold Weiss, "Islamic Sufism" Enjoin worship upon your people and persevere therein. Remember, We do not ask you for any provision. Instead it is We who sustain you. Blessed is the end of the righteous. -Qur'an, Ta Ha, Surah 20:132 A Sufi was wounded by a leopard. He tried every kind of medicine to heal his wounds, but none was effective. Yet the Sufi never ceased to give thanks to God. Some people said to him: 'You are suffering greatly, and yet you constantly thank God. How is this?' The Sufi replied: 'I give thanks to God that I am suffering a physical wound caused by an animal, and not a spiritual wound caused by sin.' -Sadi, "Gulistan" Lord! Allow me and my descendants to remain steadfast in devotion. Lord! Humbly I implore that You accept my pleas. -Qur'an, Ibrahim, Surah 14:40

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This page was created November 23, 2005 and updated on October 9, 2006.