Saturday, June 09, 2007

Secret of the Spiritual Ascension (Miraj) of Prophet

According to Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi), known as the greatest master (Shaykh al-Akbar) and one of the islamic tradition's most important writers explains:

the purpose of spiritual ascension is not to reach God - for He is never apart from us - but simply for Him to show some of His Wonders and Indications.

He writes,
[God] says, "I only make him (the blessed Master of humanity, the Messeger of God, Muhammad) journey by night in order that he sees the signs, not [to bring him] to Me; because no place can hold Me and the relation of all places to Me is the same. For I am such that [only] 'the heart of My servant, the person of true faith, encompasses Me', so how could he be made to journey to Me while 'I am with him wherever he is'?!"

Thus for the saints (enlightened ones), they have spiritual journey in the inter-mediate world during which they directly witness spiritual realities embodied in forms that have become sensible for the imagination; these (sensible images) convey knowledge of the spiritual realities contained within those forms.

These spiritual realities are the secrets of our innermost self and the journey also is within our own self.

- from the Introduction of Ibn 'Arabi's Book Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries (Mashahid al-asrar al-qudsiyya wa matali al-anwar al-ilahiyya), translation by Cecilia Twinch and Pablo Beneto.

Its worth mentioning that the Prophet says: “Prayer is the miraj or the spiritual ascension of the believer.”

Currently reading this great work of Ibn 'Arabi which is said to be written from inspirations of an extremely elevated level. This is a major work of mystical literature. The Contemplations in the book deals with perennial questions such as nature of existence, our relationship with the all-encompassing Reality, the limits by which we define ourselves and the Truth, and the way to happiness.

Related Reading:
:: Inayat Khan's take on the Symbology of Prophet's Ascension
:: Ibn 'Arabi Society
:: Contempation of the Holy Mysteries - the Book
Review of Contemplation of Holy Mysteries Pin It Now!