Monday, October 31, 2005

Divine Revelation all around us


Beauty Redefined 2
Originally uploaded by Mystic Lens.
How sad that we often forget that this world is the place of Divine Revelation.

May our heart and consciousness open up, so that we can see and feel the Glory of our Beloved in everything around us!

Lo, wherever we turn we see this manifested Glory of Him!
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What actions are most excellent?

Some one asked the Prophet Muhammad, What actions are most excellent?

He replied, To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the injured.

If we ponder only on the the first statement - 'To gladden the heart of a human being' ... it is something so strong and bold that it is enough to transform one person from ordinary to extra ordinary.

If we all work to gladden the heart of our fellow human beings, wouldn't that be enough to transform this earth into Kingdom of Heaven? Pin It Now!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Motorcycle Diaries

Let the world change you... and you can change the world.

Just finshed watching the movie, The Motorcycle Diaries. Its a moving movie, very nicely made. What i love is the character of Che Guevara and his intergrity and honesty. Its a worth watching movie.

As a person he had this extra-ordinary charisma and charm inside him. His humble and simple living was the most beautiful part of him along with his passion for changing the lives of his people.

As a government official, Guevara served as an example of the "New Man" (el Hombre Nuevo). He regularly devoted his weekends and evenings to volunteer labour, be it working at shipyards, in textile factories or cutting sugarcane. He believed such sacrifice and dedication on the part of the people was necessary to achieve Communism through the Socialist society.

Guevara was also known for his austerity, simple lifestyle and habits. For example, upon becoming a member of the government, he refused an increase in pay, opting to continue drawing the (considerably) lower salary he received as a Comandante (Major), in the Rebel Army. This austerity also manifested itself as a general dislike of luxury.

More on Che Guevara here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Che_Guevara Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Memoirs


Memoirs
Originally uploaded by Mystic Lens.
Are the memories really ever lost?
I have an inside feeling that nature saves everything somewhere as we imitate the same effort with photographs.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Art and realizing truth

+ Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.

+ The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place; from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.

+ Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her limbs.

+ There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.

+ Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.


:: Quotes from the Art Guru Pablo Picasso. : : Ref: Art Quotes Pin It Now!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Observation

A good piece of art needs to be observed from a distance (any artist of abstract art will tell you that; Life IS and at the same time more than an abstract art). Similarly observe your own life and your own self by taking a stand a bit far away.

Don't get too caught up with the complexity of your own web of life. That is the way we miss so much thing about ourself and our own wonderful life. Observing from a distance adds and certainly open up many new things that we often neglect when we are inside it.

Sadiq. October 2005. Hotel Coronade, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Image credit: Sadiq, 05.
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Sunday, October 23, 2005

A conversation


A wise conversation with a teacher. Click on the picture above to view a beautiful inspiring message. Thanks to her who send it to me.
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Friday, October 21, 2005

At the end...

"At the end of our life our questions are simple: Did I live fully? Did I love well?"

-- Jack Kornfield Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Walk on Life instead

To become cold from the coldness of the world is weakness, to become broken by the hardness of the world is feebleness, but to live in the world and yet to keep above it is like walking on the water.

:: Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Life can be symbolized as water: there is one who drowns in the water, there is another who swims in it, but there is still another who walks upon it. The one who is so sensitive that after one little pinprick he is unhappy all day and night, is the man of the first category. The one who takes and gives back, making a game of life, is the swimmer. He does not mind if he receives one knock, for he derives satisfaction from being able to give two knocks in return. But the one whom nothing can touch is in the world and yet above the world. He is the one who walks on the water; life is under his feet, both its joy and sorrow. Verily, independence and indifference are the two wings which enable the soul to fly.

There are two essential duties for the man of wisdom and love; that is to keep the love in our nature ever increasing and expanding and to strengthen the will so that the heart may not be easily broken. Balance is ideal in life; man must be fine and yet strong, man must be loving and yet powerful.

Ref:: http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VIIIa/VIIIa_3_25.htm

http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/XIII/XIII_14.htm

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Freeing the bird and Questions of Life :: Rethinking

Referring to the last post, the freeing of bird represents the tendency to question, to ponder on life. And the flying of the bird represents the path of knowing life and therefore knowing one's true self.

You can not expect to know life without that questioning or thinking over it (which we all do at certain point of our life).

When a bird is set free, the fact that it will fly is very natural. In a similar note, when we ask the purpose of life in our inner heart, the answer will come in such a natural way. We all have the answers hidden and programmed in us in someway. The purpose of every individual is differenet. Some are very simple even.

But if we never question and live in denial, then our condition becomes like a bird who was in a cage all through her life and forgot how to fly, or perhpahs her wings are never developed.

Few weeks back i invited your thoughts about Life.
Click here to view and post your comment if you haven't done so.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Food for thought

How can you free a bird if it doesn't fly?

How can you know life,
if you don't question why?
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Monday, October 17, 2005

Spiritual Migration towards God

"Self Building:: an islamic guide for Spiritual Migration towards God" .... a valuable enlightening book which you may find useful.

Here is the link:: http://al-islam.org/selfbuilding/

Thanks to Zaineb for sending me the link. May God reward her. Pin It Now!

A Community of Lover of God in NYC


The Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order is a community of dervishes within the Halveti-Jerrahi Path. They are based at Masjid al-Farah in New York City, with various circles throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

Browse the website for deeper secret of Inner World. They joyfully welcome seekers and students of all religious and non-religious paths into their gatherings.
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Sunday, October 16, 2005

On Spiritual Responsibility

For the last few days or so i'm continuously listening to talks given by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. They have magnetic effect on me somehow. Today while listening another talk, titled: Spiritual Responsibility, i found something very beautiful. So decided to write it down from the audio and share with you ... This is L. Vaughan-Lee speaks,

"I remember years ago being in Seattle airport, in waiting lounge between airplanes. People were reading newspapers, talking on their cell phones, and eating sandwiches. For a moment the veils were lifted for me and I saw this waiting room of people, and I saw each human being is filled with God.

And I saw that the miracle was not that they were full of God, this divine substance, like liquid gold – the way i saw it. Like they were full from tow to right up. I saw that was not the miracle. The extra-ordinary thing is that they didn’t know it. That was totally bewildering, totally baffling, that these extra ordinary beautiful luminous beings full of liquid gold of divine substance didn’t know that they were like that!!

They were talking on their cell phones, arguing with their wives, making appointments, reading the newspaper. It was bizarre!

When one enters the spiritual path, you take upon yourself the responsibility to become aware of that what you are. And then you have to incarnate it in all of the conflicts of daily lives. And practices of the path help you to do that."


Here is the talk. You can save it by right clicking and choose Save Target As...

The talk is recorded at Spiritual Responsibility at a Time of Global Crisis Conference, National Cathedral School, Washington, DC

:: For more of his beautiful talks, pls go here: http://www.goldensufi.org/5-AudioArchive.html

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i is imaginary

In The Wild Things of God, Jon puts something very beautiful about the self (nafs) or ego.

... In its abstract way, the relationships of other realms are reflected in mathmatics. And as mystics know that there is something beyond the material universe or “real world,” mathematicians denote a realm vastly larger than that of “real numbers.” It’s the world of i, not I.

When I is written in the lower case, i, it no longer represents 1, the truth, the whole, and certainty. Instead, it symbolizes the basic unit of a completely different framework, strangely called the imaginary, although the imaginary number i is just as real (and just as imaginary!) as the real number 1.

Spiritually, When the ego is shifted to the lower case, it no longer confuses its perceptions with the truth, the universe, and certainty. Instead it sees clearly, the “real world” and the real world, which is “imaginary” in the viewpoint of those who are closed to the Spirit....

Read the complete thought here, http://www.frimmin.com/mt/archives/000162.html
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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Who's Art is it, anyway?

In one previous post, titled, "Thoughts on Art work and its meaning" Tiel Aisha Ansari expressed her view very wonderfully on the topic. I brought up this issue on the meaning and interpretation of Art.


Here is what she said...
Well, this is my view (as a sometime artist, or at least, an attempted one): Art comes from God, it only passes through me. Who knows what it means? God knows. I may guess, but sometimes I don't have a clue.

My viewpoint on it is no more valid than that of any other (human) observer.

Am I a Creator, that I should claim to have created art?

God owns whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth.

If He lets me borrow a poem or a story, that doesn't mean I get to call it "mine".


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Friday, October 14, 2005

Thoughts on path


Lonely Biker
Originally uploaded by Mystic Lens.

In one of the previous post, titled: 'Becoming the path', Kathy Trejo said..."I wonder what Buddha would say about getting sidetracked when you are on a path? i find myself sometimes not staying on the main path...and going where the path is not."

Its not fair to answer on behalf of Buddha. Where can we find such an enlightened mind again?

But no harm sharing my view. So here is my thought:: In the evolution of spirituality, first we should discipline ourselves by staying on the path. If at that stage we get sidetracked (and be assured that we all are sidetracked very often), we should be mindful and comeback. The main problem is not getting side tracked but being conscious and mindful of that fact. How to become mindful is a very central theme of Buddha's teaching.

Secondly when our spiritual evolution is high enough, we can become the path (perhaps because then we know the path well !). And then you can truly travel the paht. May be that is what is signified in this quote from Buddha when he says, "You can not travel the path until you have become the path itself".

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Awareness of ONENESS

An extra-ordinary talk by : Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Awareness of oneness is a simple spiritual practice in which we see that our essential nature is part of life. Our breath is part of the breath of life, our light is part of the spiritual substance of life. To be fully present in life means to be aware of this oneness that is dynamically alive, that is being born anew every moment. We carry this secret within us, which is the love affair of creation: everything in the world is made of love, everything is a lover of awakening to the presence of its Beloved.

Listen to this truly amazing audio lecture... click here. (right click, select Save target as, to save it to your computer for later listening).

About the author: LLEWELLYN VAUGHAN-LEE is a Sufi teacher and author. In recent years the focus of his writing and teaching has been on spiritual responsibility in our present time of transition, and the emerging global consciousness of oneness.

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee was born in London in 1953 and has followed the Naqshbandi Sufi path since the age of 19, after meeting Irina Tweedie, author of Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi master. He has specialized in the area of dreamwork, integrating the ancient Sufi approach to dreams with the insights of modern psychology, and is the author of several books on the subject. Llewellyn has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe on Sufism, Jungian psychology, and dreamwork.

Llewellyn is the founder of The Golden Sufi Center. His most recent books are Working with Oneness and Light of Oneness.
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Thoughts on Art work and its meaning

View point #1: The 'observor' of an art piece is allowed to add meaning to art.

View point #2: The true meaning of the work is hidden with the one who did it, for they know what influenced their choice of colour, design etc.

My view: I agree with both of the view points, but support mostly the first one. How and why? let me explain.

The art work is an expression of human being. And an artist follows his or her passion, feelings when he or she creates the artwork. So the real meaning of the art must be with him. And interestingly sometime artist himself doesn't know. They follow their mood and go with the flow.

But again, its true that the observer can also and (often) does add his own meaning to art. Each mind is unique, and our thoughts and imotions are influenced according to our own evolution of mind. So its inevitable that individual observor willl add meaning to art works.

Here is a similie that came to my mind when i was pondering on this issue.

In the truest sense, God is the Ultimate Artist and this Cosmos is His art work. And why He created it, what is the true purpose behind it, is only known to Him, The Originator Artist. But yet again, we who are the observor or experiencer, we all have different values and meanings to our life (and its allowed by God because that adds more beauty to life and creation as a whole when we find differnet meanings).

We all create our own meanings of life, work and living. Don't we?

So may be both side of the coin have values in them - the artist have their own meanings, and again the observer or experiencer also have his own little meaning created by him (and he should be allowed to do so).

{ Background of this thought: I used two images from Daughter of Adam's blog and in her blog comment section we had a little discussion on the topic. Here i just elaborated it a bit. }

:: Image: 'The path', by Sadiq. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Like 'Pi'


On my palm
Originally uploaded by Mystic Lens.
Love is like 'Pi' - natural, irrational and very important.

- Lisa Hoffman
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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Golden Rule in various Religions


Islam:: No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself.

Christianity:: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.

Buddhist
:: Hurt not others in ways that you would find hurtful.

Jewish::Whatsoever thou hatest thyself, that do not to another.

Confucian::Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.

Hindu
:: This is the sum of duty: do naught unto others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.

Jain
::In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.

Sikh
:: I am a stranger to no one: and no one is a stranger to me, indeed I'm a friend to all.

Taoist
:: Regard your neighbour's gain as your own gain, and your neighbour's loss as your own loss.

Zoroastrian
:: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself.


:: Reference: http://katinkahesselink.net/other/ethics.htm

:: Also check versions of the Golden Rule in 21 World Religions

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"The first thing created by God was the Intellect" - Prophet's saying

Here is a wonderful article by Irshaad Hussain in the blog, Islam from Inside. Its titled, 'Intellect in Islam'.


Some excerpts from this article- "The human intellect is a microcosmic reflection of the universal intellect. When man attains to proper use of his own intellect he is able to move from the level of his own individual intellect to swim in the ocean of the universal (macrocosmic) intellect. "

"In Islam "...logic is an aspect of truth and Truth (Al-Haqq) is a name of God." (Nasr, Living Sufism). The use of logic is like the use of a rung in a ladder - properly used it can help man move upward along the vertical axis of his being. Reason is an innate ability within man which encompasses logic and which can propel him rapidly upwards along the vertical dimension. But in order to do this reason must be free of the taint of man's animal, material propensities. Otherwise reason can be subverted to provide suprious justification for man to attain his desires in whatever realm his desires may fall. Reason and correct knowledge must go hand in hand. "

To read the complete article, click here.
:: The Concept of Intellect in Islam by Irshaad Hussain (first published March 1993)
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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Fall of Adam :: from a sufi perspective

From the blog, Islam from Inside, here is a beautiful audio lecture by scholar, Dr. William Chittick. It is from the lecture, on Ahmad Sam'ani's view of Adam's fall as elaborated in Sam'ani's work, "The Ease of Spirits in Explaining the Names of the All-Conquering King" ("Rawh al-arwah fi sharh asma' al-malik al-fattah").

It's a fascinating and beautiful lecture and i highly recommend you to listen to it. The theme of the lecture is God's Mercy and is elucidated through a beautifully detailed and nuanced exposition of Sam'ani's commentary on the fall of Adam.

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The inner heart blossoms

The real fast is the blossoming of the inner heart. Fragrance must emanate. The qualities, conduct, behavior, and disposition that accompany this blossoming make no sound. Light and fragrance must dawn in the inner heart. The one point which is God must resplend.

Do fast, but make sure the heart blossoms; make it fragrant. The flowering scent must emanate, and when that space is perceived, the One who inhales that perfume will come. The One who perceives that fragrance will come.
He is the Lord.
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Becoming the Path


The Shady Path
Originally uploaded by Mystic Lens.
You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.


:: Buddha
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Mystic Light


Mystic Light
Originally uploaded by Mystic Lens.
It is a very high stage on the path of love when a man really learns to love another with a love that asks no return.


:: Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
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Enlightening quotes

The Enlightened is one, who does not keep anything dear to his heart except the remembrance of God.


There are such lovers of God, whom the love of God has made quiet to an extent that they do not know that there is anything else existing in the world.

When one comes on the path of love of the Friend, he becomes nonexistent (loses himself).

The heart of the Enlightened should be such that, it may efface everything, and may be exclusively devoted to the Glorious vision of the Friend.

:: Sayings of Hazrat Khwaja Mu'inuddin Hasan Chishti // Image credit.

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Listen the beautiful recitation of The Quran

The Final Testament, Quran is a wonderful Divine Book. It is unique in nature, unparallel. Many of us are unware of the fact that the uniqueness of Quran and its characteristics are nothing short of miracle. There are many incidents where just listening to Quranic verses have transformed the heart of a person (who is even not familiar with Islam and arabic language) in such a manner that they readily accept the message of God and becomes a submitter to the true way of God. May God open your heart to accept the divine message as well.

Tonight while browsing i got this audio of Quranic verse about Ramadan, the sacred month of Fasting. So here i'm sharing it here. Hope you find inspiration in listening to it. If you like the recitation, then pls post ur comment. I will post more links on audio recitation of the Quran.


:: Click
here to listen to the recitation.

The meanings are:

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-

(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.

Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful. (The Quran, Chapter 2: 183-185)

:: Ref: http://www.zaytuna.org/ramadansection.asp

[>] Another Beautiful Recitation of Quranic Surah by Ibn Arabic Enssemble


To read the miracles of Quran:

http://www.harunyahya.com/c_miracles_quran.php

http://www.55a.net/firas/english/index.php

Image credit

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Seeking the lamp of Gnosis

Gnosis or marifa is the perception of something as it is in its essence and attributes. It is the soul of everything, the deeper wisdom and knowledge of the spiritual path. When a servant seeks the lamp of gnosis, he must have 7 things.
  1. Effort: 'As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths...' [29:69],
  2. Humility: 'Call upon your Lord humbly...' [7:55].
  3. Burning and purifying the soul: God Most High has said, '...and restrained his soul from passion' [79:40].
  4. Turning to God repentantly: 'Turn often in repentance unto your Lord...' [39:54].
  5. Patience: '...But be patient! Verily God is with the patient' [8:46].
  6. Gratitude: '...and be grateful for the blessings of your Lord...' [16:114].
  7. Contentedness with the decrees of God: Who has said, 'Bear calmly the judgment of thy Lord' [68:48].
:: Ref: From the beautiful, enlightening blog of my friend Shaik Abdul Khafid { http://weifarere.blogspot.com/ }
:: The verses are from the Final Testament, The Quran.


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People are like stars

Look at the sky !

Some stars are there every night

and lighten the sky.

Some are seen just six months a year,

so we don't see them the other six months.

Some are like Hally, a comet, emerging only once in 75 years,

stay in the sky for one or two months

and then disappear for another 75 years.

If we are lucky enough to live long, we may see it one more time.


I believe people are like stars

some remain in our heart for ever,

we remember them everyday, and whenever we missed them,

only have to wait for them for a few hours to appear

and star the sky of our hearts.

But some are like comets, come too late,

stay in the heart too short, and leave too soon,

and when they go, won't be back for a long time.

We may only see them again one day

in the street or while traveling by chance.


But among all these various planets and stars,

I think of the moon and the Earth the most.

The moon is revolving around our planet every second. How loyal !

When it comes near the Earth, all waters come up and

when it goes farther they return to their first position.

These two planets remind me of friends

who remembers one another all the time.

Their love for each other may grow a bit cold, but it neverfinishes.

Now, let's look at the sky of our own heart!

How many stars are shining there?

I just hope they are not comets! "


az ketabe ghofteghoo ba setareyeh Haaly,

from the book " Conversation with Haaly Star"

Translation: Maryam Zargarzadeh

_______________________________________________

Thanks Maryam for this beautiful poem and at the same time sharing it with me. You are a genius. Keep showing your brilliance!
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Friday, October 07, 2005

Wisdom of Imam Ali

Nature of this World

Surely, the likeness of this world is that of a snake:
it is soft to touch, and deadly poisonous.
The ignorant child is distracted by it,
and the one with understanding and intellect is cautious of it.

So turn away from what fascinates you in it,
for how little of it stays with you.
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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Prayer for Ramadan

1.
In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful
O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad

My God,
the beggars are standing at Your door,
the needy have taken refuge with Your Honor.
the ship carrying the poor and humble people,
is standing at the shores of the sea ,
of Your generosity and grace,
hoping for permission to cross ,
to the shores of Your mercy and blessings.

My God, if You do not forgive,
in this honored month,
except the one who has sincerely purified himself for You,
in his fasting and prayers,
then who is there for the negligent sinner,
when he drowns in the sea of his sins?

My God, if You do not have mercy on any,
except the obedient,
then who is there for the disobedient?
And if You do not accept from any,
except the performers of (good) actions,
then who is there for those who fall short?

My God, those who fast have profited,
those who stay up in prayer have won,
and those who are sincere have succeeded,
but we are Your sinful servants!
So be kind to us through Your mercy
and save us from the fire through Your forgiveness, O Gracious, O most Merciful.

O Allah, bless Muhammad and his family, the purified ones. Amen.

2.
Prayer during Ramadan: Salatul Tarawih

This prayer is between eight and twenty rakats (four to ten prayers of two rakats each) and is offered in the presence of others. The following prayer is recited after finishing every four rakats of the Tarawih prayers during Ramadan:

Subhana zil-mulki wal-malakut
Subha-nal malikil hayyil lazi la yanamu wa la yamut.
Subbu-hun quddu sun rabbu-na
wa rubbul mala'ikati war-ruh.

Allahumma ajirna minan nar.

Ya Mujiru, ya Mujiru, ya Mujiru.

Free from all imperfections is the Real King Who is
Ever Living, Who neither sleeps nor dies.

For Him is Purity and Holiness (He is) our Lord and the
Lord of the angels and Gabriel.

O Allah protect us from the fire.

O Protector! O Protector! O Protector!

3.
Dua at the time of breaking fast (iftar)

Once Moosa (AS) asked Allah Ta'ala: O Allah! You have granted me the honor and privilege of talking to you directly, Have you given this privilege to any other person? Allah Ta'ala replied, O!! Moosa during the last period I am going to send an ummat, who will be the Ummat of Mohammed (SAW) with dry lips, parched tongues, emaciated body with eyes sunken deep into their sockets, with livers dry and stomachs suffering the pangs of hunger - will call out to me (in dua) they will be much closer to me than you O Moosa! while you speak to me there are 70000 veils between you and me but at the time of iftaar there will not be a single veil between me and the fasting Ummati of Mohammed (SAW) O!! Moosa I have taken upon myself the responsibility that at the time of iftaar I will never refuse the dua of a fasting person!

Sub'hanallah! !
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Saying of Prophet on Fasting

The Prophet said,

"God says: The Fast is for Me and I will give the reward for it, as he (the one who observes the fast) leaves his sexual desire, food and drink for My Sake. Fasting is a screen (from Hell) and there are two pleasures for a fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord."

Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 584:

The holy Prophet had enjoined, "When you fast, let your ear, your eye, your tongue, your hand, and your every limb fast."
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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Meditation on Expansion of Heart


Today i had this vision when i was reading Quran on my way to somewhere when i was on underground train. I thought it could be a nice and powerful meditation. So i’m putting it on blog before it gets lost in other thoughts.

First let me go though the background of the verses that i was reading. One was from chapter 94, Al-Inshirah (The expansion). The verse is: Alam nashrah laka sadraka, meaning Have We not expanded for you your heart? (here God addresses Muhammad.)

This is a mystical verse which signifies, the illumination of the heart with wisdom and its vastness for the reception of the Divine.

Then another verse strikes me, Qad aflaha man tazakka, meaning He indeed shall be successful who purifies himself (from chapter 87, Al-Ala, The Most High).

Combining these two inspiring verse, the following vision came to me. You can use it as a meditation for yourself. The above picture may guide you to the meditation.

First imagine, a huge field. The color is truly green, as lively as you can think. The sky is truly blue. Now in the horizon, middle place between the field and sky imagine your heart. This is the metaphorical heart that represent your soul. Imagine the shape of heart there, as if it is suspended from the heaven.

Now imagine cleaning your heart. It could be done by praying to God or you can yourself do it. Ask God to clean your heart, to purify it. Also be conscious about the actions that purify the heart.

Imagine expanding the field unto infinity. The field and sky together represent your ‘soul space’. So imagine expanding it in all direction and imagine purifying your heart. May God, The Most Pure help us purify ourselves.

Image Credit: Sadiq, collage from other images.


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This is another beautiful website on different Fasting tradition in all faiths of the world. Pin It Now!

Update on "Reflection on Life"

I'm still collecting answers on the two questions that i posted earlier. So far i got some very brilliant answers. I must admit, they are one of the most hardest question you will ever face; yet my blog visitors are really cool to answer them superbly.

So far i have received about 25 plus answers. I'm still collecting... after that i would love to compile and hightlight them in a separate post, God willing. If you have not posted your thoughts, pls go here and do post.
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Fasting for the sake of God

The month of fasting has began for muslims all over the world. In Islamic fasting one can not eat, drink and have intercourse from sunrise until sunset. So generally people take food before sunrise and again break the fast after the sun set. And this fasting will last for 30 days or so. All adult muslims are prescribed to fast in this one month time.

Fasting is prescribed in all religion:
The Final Testament states: "O, you who believe fasting is prescribed to you, as it was prescribed to those before you that you may acquire self-restraint." (Al-Qur'an 2:183)

"The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you; and (He desireth) that ye should complete the period, and that ye should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that peradventure ye may be thankful." (Al-Quran 2:185)

Fasting have different levels of significance.

Self Control:
One level is that it teaches self control. Human being is essentially a Spiritual being who is far more than just flesh and body. Fasting is something that put less emphasis on body and its need but on soul. The Spirit doesn’t need food. So fasting is an approach to teach us that. As Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone." (Matt 4:4). When we practice self control of restraining ourself from food and drinks it gives more freedom.

Prophet also states that fasting is a shield, an armor protecting the believer from sinful acts. "Satan runs in the circulatory system of the son of Adam in the same way blood circulates in our system; so tighten his passages with hunger." (Bukhari/Muslim)

Consciousness of God:
On another level although one can eat behind another person, but since fasting is for God and God sees everything, so he who fasts doesn’t take any food or drink anything. It is a lesson to remind that God sees every action of us. Consciousness of God is practiced with fasting for the simple reason that, when you fast, you become weak for the lack of nourishment, which means your cravings are diminished. With diminished cravings, the sins are greatly lessened, because there is no energy to fuel them, praise be to God. When sin is lessened, we move more towards our originality.

It teaches man the principle of sincere Love: because when he observes Fasting he does it out of deep love for God. And the man who loves God truly is a man who really knows what love is.

Social aspect:
Fasting has some social aspect as well. Since all observing muslims fast in this month together, there is a great bond. Generally people break fast together, in family or in mosque together. It is a good practice to be together.

The month of fasting is a sacred month which encourages all to ask more forgiveness, to perform more prayers. It helps the heart to be more tune with God.

Fasting is something for which God Himself will give reward. As Prophet describe God’s promise on this matter, "All services of the son of Adam are for him except fasting. It is for Me, and I will reward him for it." What could be more rewarding than that?
Fasting also provides man with a transparent soul, a clear mind and a light body.

Not only Muslims fast:
Fasting has been there in practice in all religions and the underlying principle is the same. To teach self control and to teach spirituality.

Thus did Prophets fast:

We hear the Prophet David say: "I humbled myself with fasting;" (Ps 35:13),
"I wept and chastened my soul with fasting" (Ps 69:10), and
"My knees are weak through fasting." (Ps 109:24).
King David also fasted when his son was sick and pleaded with God for the child" lying "all night on the ground" (2 Sam 12:16).
The Prophet Daniel fasted (Dan 9:3) and so did the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezek 4:9).
We hear that Nehemiah fasted when he heard that "The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire." (Neh. 1:3,4). Thus did Ezra, the scribe and priest, fasting and calling upon the whole population to fast. (Ezra 8:2 1).
The prophetess Anna "did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day." (Luke 2:3 7).

Jesus Said: "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Gospel of Matthew 6:16-18)

Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus all religion have fasting as an integral part of religious spirituality and practice. For fasting across religion, click here: http://www.beliefnet.com/features/fasting_chart.html
Also, http://www.abc.net.au/religion/stories/s939883.htm
The Bahai Fasting: http://www.safnet.com/bahai/docs/fasting.html
Buddhist perspective of fasting
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma9/fasting.html

More on Islamic fasting: http://www.islamic-paths.org/Home/English/Discover/Pillars/Sawm/Fasting_in_Islam.htm
Purpose of Fasting in Islam: http://www.tolueislam.com/Bazm/Mansoor/MA_LT_06.htm


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Prophet on Fasting

On the last day of Sha'ban, Prophet Muhammad, gave a lecture about the upcoming month of Ramadan (the month of fasting).

It begins:

"Oh people! A great month is coming to you. A blessed month. A month in which there is one night that is better than a thousand months. A month in which God has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night.

Whoever draws nearer to God by performing any of the voluntary good deeds in this month shall receive the same reward as is there for performing an obligatory deed at any other time. And whoever discharges an obligatory deed in this month shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time.

It is the month of Patience, and the reward for patience is Heaven. It is the month of kindness and charity. It is a month in which a believer's sustenance is increased.

Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without the latter's reward being diminished at all." [Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah] Pin It Now!

Monday, October 03, 2005

All in One, One in All

Look at the mirror.
What you see, my friend?

You see you.
What else can you see?

You also see me.
Yes, I’m in you,
and you are in me.

Surely we are all in One,
and One in all.

© Sadiq, Singapore
Sunday, September 25, 2005
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7 Blunders of the World : from Gandhi


1. Wealth without work
2. Pleasure without conscience
3. Knowledge without character
4. Commerce without morality
5. Science without humanity
6. Worship without sacrifice
7. Politics without principle

Mahatma Gandhi
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A beautiful blog of Jon Zuck ! Visit and be enlightened !! Pin It Now!

Lesson from earth

A friend of God must display the hospitality like the earth. We are raised and cradled in its lap, and yet it is always under our feet.


- Sayings of Khwaja Mu'inuddin Chishti Pin It Now!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Power of Chanting

The tradition of chanting or repeating of Name of Divinity has its special place in all the religions. For example, in Buddhism, specially the Tibbetan tradition put a lot of emphasis on chanting. Similarly in Sufi (Mystic) Tradition. It is said that the heart opens up with constant rememberance of the Divine. Its called Zikr in arabic term, meaning to remember. When we repeat the Divine Names, slowly but surely we get near to that qualities and we become like God. And it is something for which are are made, because God created Adam in His likeness or in His image.


Here is a beautiful chanting audio of 99 qualities of God. These qualities or attributes were taught by the Last Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him). Click here to listen. It is very good for Meditation as well.

Now one can say, whats the point or benefit on chanting or repeating the Names of Divinity? On this issue, here is a wonderful post from Anab's blog. Its titled, What's in a word? (From Mystical Horizons) and it ends like this:

“Now, if the saying of a few words, which are either false, or not based on true knowledge, can alter your condition in such a dramatic fashion, don’t you think it is possible that repeating the Name of Divinity can alter your spiritual condition just as dramatically, if not more so?”

Credit: http://anab-whitehouse.blogspot.com/

www.sufiheart.com/RahmatullahMusic/qualities.ram

(you will need real player)

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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Thoughts of Einstein

Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it.


But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people -- first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy.

A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving...

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Thou hast made me endless

Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure.

This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again,

and fillest it ever with fresh life.


This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales,

and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.

At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses

its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.


Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine.

Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.

from GITANJALI.

Rabindranath Tagore (6 May 1861 - 7 August 1941) Indian philosopher, poet; winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913.; also known as Robi Thakur.

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My neighborhood flowers sang to me

Everyday the orchids near my house greets me on my way. I'm grateful to them for their smiles.

The beauty touches me, overflows me with joy and refresh my feelings that 'life is truly beautiful'.
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Life is a Celebration of Joy

There has been blissful response to the post Reflection on Life. I have prevented myself from posting anything else so that the questions remain the lead post. For last few days i was enjoying various thoughts from you on life and its meanings. Now I would like to continue my thoughts on the same line.


What is life?
- Yes truely, i don’t know the correct answer. Only He Who gives and takes away life, knows its true secret !

My realization is that, it’s a gift to experience this world and beyond. There is an opening line of a song of Tagore which goes like, "Jogoter anondo jogge amar nimontrono" meanings, "My invitation to the celebration of Joy in the world."

Life is like, we are given our existence with our body and soul to experience the Joy of this world. Yes you may say, there are sorrows and pain. But if you think carefully, that contrast is just to make the experience of Joy meaningful and existing. Without dark will there be anything we can identify as Light? The simile goes like that.

Life is collection of experiences, realization, where God has invited us to celebrate the joy of Life. So, come and celebrate our life! Take a deep breath and feel it. Thanks for all your beautiful thoughts.

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