Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Great Pilgrimage | where the lovers meet

"... in this station he makes his final sajda at the door of the sacred mosque and from this sajda he does not lift up his head again because there is no head to lift up ..."

In teaching the Great Pilgrimage (Al-Hajj Al-Akbar), sufi guide Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal ar-Rifai, may God be pleased with him, uses the legendary love story of Layla and Majnun to teach the inner realities.

Following is an excerpt from his teaching:

The Great Pilgrimage – where the lovers meet at the door of the sacred mosque and reunite in the still center after turning and turning and turning around the throne of the Most High.

Majnun meets Laila in the course of his journey around the holy house. She has always been with him, but only in this station, in the midst of his unveiling, does he realize her nearness and the intimacy of her discourse. The dialogue of love is the mystery of her revelation within him.

As he circumambulates the reality and becomes more and more effaced in it, as one by one he surrenders the veils of his separateness, her presence, the still center, the open heart around which he turns, becomes more and more revealed within him until no other existence remains.

So many are the veils to be burnt in the holy hajj, and hidden within every ritual act is the annihilating flame. First he circumambulates the Ka’ba seven times, and in this turning he walks through the stations of the self. Laila is his shaykh to take him through every station. She is the message; she can only be what she is. He must travel through all his trials and doubts, his anger and depression, his joys, his yearnings, his tests: “What is the meaning of this? Why are we going in circles?” She is the patience to carry him through every station of his journey. Her eyes, which never lose sight of him, are mercy and compassion. And yet she kills him with the sword of al-Haqq which is her essence.

He penetrates every veil and annihilates himself simply by being the essence of the truth as he travels, so intimately, with her around the holy house. At the end of his first seven circumambulations, he kisses the foundation stone of the Ka’ba, which Adam brought from the garden, and which Ibrahim built the Ka’ba around. Here he prays two rak’aat where Ibrahim prayed. In this he drinks from the wine of the prophets and sends the love which they carried to every side ... click here to read in full

[>] via Healing the Broken Heart blog post where the blogger mention how this teaching also had a profound effect on the author in his own journey to Hajj, the sacred pilgrimage to Mecca. Originally from Sidi's book, Music of the Soul available from

I pass by these walls, the walls of Layla
And I kiss this wall and that wall.
It’s not Love of the houses that has taken my heart,
But of the One who dwells in those houses.
- Qays ibn al-Mulawwah

I am yours.
However distant you may be,
There blows no wind but wafts your scent to me,
There sings no bird but calls your name to me.
Each memory that has left its trace with me
Lingers forever as a part of me.
I am yours.
- Nizami

# related
. The Man Who Loved Too Much | The Legend of Leyli and Majnun
. The Philosophy of Love by Hazrat Inayat Khan
. the Kaaba, Secret and Mysteries Pin It Now!