Monday, August 24, 2009

Immersion | a Ramadan Sharing

Women Praying in Ramadan1.
If you desire an Opening then behold!
the Opening has come to you.
Inna Fatahna Laka Fathan Mubina.
Truly We have opened out to you a clear Opening.

- a Shadhili Invocation, Inspired by Quran (48:1)

If you want to have the Door open to You,
keep walking towards the Door.

- Rumi


The great Ramadan, the month of the Qur'an.

For the third year in a row, the same Hafiz al-Qur'an is visiting our little community; he conducts the Taraweeh prayers and recites fabulously.

Last night I rediscovered Surat al-Baqara. In the relatively small, crowded room where the women are relegated, I am recovering (once again) from an old sport injury. Several times during the recitation, my body started vibrating and my dull ache dissipated completely for a few minutes at a time until I would come back to myself. Around me predominantly African, Indian and Pakistani women... several elderly African women in sumptuous traditional clothing. One cannot tell those who understand the Arabic from those who do not from the degree of absorption in and reverence for the words that are being uttered and what is being presented. At the end of the prayers, the invocations rise so easily, so fluently... in response to the One who just spoke and told of marvels of Mercy: "Wallahu dhool Fadhli'l 'Adheem", For Allah is the One with abounding Bounty" al-Baqara: 109.

Parallel to the immersion in the Qur'an, I am reading "Imam Jalal al deen al Suyuti's: "Secrets of the ordering of the Qur'anic Surat"; in it, he speaks of a rule that he and others have discovered : each Surat explains and expands on the one preceding it. Surat al-Baqara in its entirety is an explanation of the verses of Surat al-Fatiha. For example: The first verse : "This is the Scripture - let there be no doubt about it- a guidance to those who are cautious" is a response to the invocation in Surat al-Fatiha: "Guide us to the straight Path"- as in the Hadith reported by Ibn Jurayr and others:" The straight Path is the Scripture"... Many gems in this little book brought out from the Imam's vast knowledge.

Later on I watched a recording of last night's Taraweeh from al-Haram al Shareef, the first reciter - Imam al Johany- impeccable in his recitation had a little lapses and kept repeating one verse: 7-8 times he repeated verse 74:
"And yet, after all this, your hearts hardened and became like rocks, or even harder: for, behold, there are rocks from which streams gush forth; and, behold, there are some from which, when they are cleft, water issues; and, behold, there are some that fall down for awe of Allah And Allah is not unmindful of what you do!"

As I watched and listened, I thought that Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He, without whose permission nothing happens, was giving us from His own house from His own Book an insistent message about our state as people..."after all this" weighed heavily on me.

I am waiting for the next installment tonight, that is the food of Ramadan.

May Allah, Owner of Glory and Perfection, forgive us and continue His blessings on us all - Ameen.

- Hind
Ramadan 1430 H, August 2009 CE

The soul’s understanding is that everything comes from the Presence. That’s how we know God, through the awareness that the soul has. If everyone could know this all the time, everyone would be a prophet. But that is not the case. Prophets have been given the power to renounce tasty food and drink, to relinquish pleasure in order to dissolve their attention more completely into the divine. Very few can do this.

- Maarif, Bahauddin Valad (from The Drowned Book by Coleman Barks and John Moyne)

# Related Multimedia Resources:
. Live Taraweeh (Special Prayer on Ramadan) transmission from Makkah approx 6.00 pm GMT from Embedded Islami Channel
. Haramain Salat Recordings
. Ramadan 1430 Recordings
. Prayers from Mecca and Medina Mosques
. Makkah Taraweeh 2009 by Shaykh Abdullah Juhany
. The Interactive Tajwidi Quran
. Tanzil | Quran Navigator

. Ramadan 2009 | a Community Blog

# Other:
. Divine Teacher by Hind Rifai Pin It Now!