Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ephphatha | Healing of Christ and Sufi Invocation

Christ as Healer1.
Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said: "Ephphatha!". At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

- Gospel of Mark, 7

2.
One of the episode of Christ's life is preserved in the New Testament where he heals a deaf and almost mute person. The invocation that Christ invokes, interestingly is preserved in ancient Aramaic language even though the New Testament was written in Greek.

What Christ invoked in Aramaic is still invoked by the Sufis, specially Sufi Healers who heals in the footsteps of the message bearers of God. Ephphatha (ef'-a-tha, ef-a'-tha) is equivalent in arabic as Ya Fattah which essentially is an invocation of God by one of God's attribute, El-Fattah, the Opener. Fattah is pronounced with soft t). The interpreter of the bible generally translate it as "Be opened" (by the help of Heavenly Father).

Among the revealed Beautiful Names of God, Al-Fattah is one of them. It points to the Divine identity of The One Who opens what is closed. The One Who opens the door to success. The One by Whose guidance that which was closed is opened and the unclear is made clear. The One Who lifts veils and Who opens the heart. The One Who holds the keys to victory and success. The One Who reveals the solution to all problems.

Both Aramic and Arabic has the same Semitic root, thus the similar words share the same source. The word Fatah (written Phatha in New Testament) comes from the three word root f-t-h which has the following classical Arabic connotations:
. to open, unlock, unfold
. to reveal, inform, explain, make clear
. to grant, permit
. to make victorious
. to judge, decide

The Arabic word miftah, translated as key, meaning that which opens or unlocks, is also based on this same root.

3.
While living in Los Angeles, I was blessed to be in the company of a saintly sufi, may God bless her, from the lineage of Hazrat Inayat Khan. I will never forget her gift of two Blessed Name of God which she recommend to me (which she also received from her own teacher in the path) to invoke in the face of difficulty which were al-Fattah and al-Jami. The Opener and the Gatherer.

Not many days apart from when she advised me to recite these two names, I was confronting a situation where these two Names of God were invoked earnestly, Ya Fattha, Ya Jami (O the Opener, O the Gatherer) only to witness to my surprise how an apparently impossible passage was made open with ease. Since then I have used al-Fattah and al-Jami as two talismanic Name. All praise is due to Allah for all His generous gifts.

Just like Christ, particularly that of sufi healers, al-Fattah, holds great mystery through which Invisible Doors are Opened, Doors of cure are unlocked for difficulties and for physical diseases alike. The spirit of the word Fatah is embedded in the Name of the Opening chapter of the Quran, thus Sufis often time begin or end their supplication by the call, "Al-Fatiha!" to be followed by the recitation of the opening chapter of the Quran. The chapter according to Islamic tradition is also called ash-Shifaa or the Cure. This chapter by the name al-Fatiha is so powerful and filled with baraka that the Prophet said, "Whoever does not recite Fatiha in his prayer, that prayer is incomplete."

4.
Nasrum mina Llahi,
wa Fathun Qarib.

Help is from God,
and Opening (is always) Near.
- The Quran 61:13

Inna Fatahna laka Fathan Mubina.

Truly We have opened out to you a manifest opening.
- The Quran 48:1

5.
In speaking about the Invocation or Commemoration of the Name of God, in the book Irfan (gnosis) Faqir Nur Muhammad writes with example from the healing of Christ:

God the Most High shines towards a slave with the same name with which the slave remembers Him. The symptom of it is that the very name of God the Most High gets impressed with bright letters of nature inside the commemorator and at the time of absorption that commemorator sees it shining on the invisible sky like a brilliant star.

Esoterically the lights of the Names appear in the form of stars, that of the attributes like the full moon and that of the Essence appears in the form of the sun. So that when any name of God the Most High gets written in brilliant words inside the commemorator, the commemorator gets filled up with the light and electric power of that name and exercises his influence, in both the worlds through the light and power of that name.

It can then be said that so and so is the operator of such and such a name or prayer. For example, when his holiness Jesus, salutations be on him, wanted to cure some leper or lunatic possessed by an evil spirit, he used to commemorate in his heart or concentrate on God the Most High's name Quddus (Holy) and he supplicated and attended God the Most High's attribute of Pure Holiness. At that moment, in accordance with the promise, "Remember Me and I'll Remember thee" God the Most High cast the light of His name holy and the light of attribute of holy on Jesus .. At moments he used to be filled up with the light of the name Holy, i.e. the holy ghost.

Since an evil spirit enters the leper and lunatic which distorts their exoteric and esoteric nature, the name Quddus (Perfectly Holy) is the opposite of all esoteric and exoteric evil - as the one is light and the other is darkness and the one is truth, the other is false. Therefore when full of the light of the holy ghost his holiness Jesus touched a leper or lunatic, the evil spirit used to fly from the leper and lunatic due to his power of the light of holiness. The darkness always flies from the light of truth, Says Allah: "The truth has come and the falsehood has vanished, verily falsehood is vanishable."

6.
Captivates my soul and my heart
The beauty of the Name of God
Quenches my spiritual thirst
The Majesty of the Name of God.

If you seek intimacy (wisal) with the Real,
Be one of them who sit together in His Name
Look! Intimacy with God is
In the intimacy with the Name of God.

Between the Name and the Named
When there is no difference (farq nist)
Look you! Only in the self disclosure (tajalli) of the Names lies
The perfection (kamal) of the Name of God.

- From the Ghazals of Hazrat Muinuddin,
translated by Irshad Alam



# Related

. Spiritual Healing in Islamic Tradition
. Rumi and Spiritual Healing
. Fatiha | Opening
. Aramaic of Jesus
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