Thursday, May 17, 2007

Nisbath and Lineage of Spiritual Transmission

The Quran indicates one should 'enter houses by their doors' (2:189). The door of the Quran is the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, not only because he was the one through whom the Divine Revelation was transmitted to the rest of humanity, but also because he is the one whom God invested with the most knowledge concering the different levels of significance and meaning inherent in the Quran.

The door to the Prophet is love. In fact, the Prophet, himself, has said that, 'no one can complete one's faith until the Prophet becomes dearer to an individual that the person's family and all of mankind.'

The door to loving someone who loves the Prophet is 'nisbath'. Nisbath (meaning transmission) is the bond of spiritual resonance which inclines a seeker to learn from a given servant of God, while simultaenously inclining that servant of God to teach the seeker who manifests signs of such nisbath.

The door to nisbath is adab or spiritual etiquetee.

The door to adab is initiation into a silsilah or 'lineage of spiritual transmission' at the hand of an authentic living locus of manifestation through which such transmission is given expression.

- from Reality Without a Name by Bill Whitehouse

The Book, Reality without a Name is a critical examination of a variety of themes and principles that are of relevance to exploring the Sufi mystical path. It uses Sufism: A Short Introduction by Professor William C. Chittick as a case study. read details here.

A hint of spiritual lineage given by the Prophet when he mentioned about Ali, "I am the city of knowledge and 'Ali is the gate", to whom (almost) all sufi orders trace back their lineage and then finally to Prophet, ArchAngel Gabriel and The Ultimage Source, God.

Taking hand is the initiation into the way of spiritual transmission. From spiritual master's hand it extends to Prophet and to God. "The Hand of God is above their hands" - (The Quran 48:10)

A seeker on the path visits a true Master and asks him about various spiritual methods. The sage replies: "Do not fear- they all belong to us! Yet you are like one who earnestly tills the soil, waiting for a shoot to grow. Then you wait for the shoot to become a tree. Then the tree must blossom. Then only finally it yield fruit.

Whereas I (and here he reaches out his hand towards the seeker), I am offering you fresh fruit - all you have to do is eat!" - The Black Pearl by Henry Bayman
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