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Returning, Going Back and The Journey Home

one way.

The return
to God.

of divine truth.

This means banishing and dispelling every thought, good or bad, that comes to mind involuntarily during the dhikr. When performing the remembrance the heart is required to attain the calm contentment of: “Oh Allah, my goal is You and Your good pleasure; it is nothing else!” So long as there is any space left in the heart for other interests, such calm contentment cannot take shape, and the remembrance cannot be genuine. Even if this tranquility cannot be attained at the outset, one must not abandon the remembrance, and it is necessary to persist in its performance until this feeling is acquired.

The meaning of baz gasht is the return to Allah Exalted and Almighty by showing complete surrender and submission to His Will, and complete humbleness in giving Him all due praise. The reason, mentioned by the Holy Prophet in his invocation, ma dhakarnaka haqqa dhikrika ya Madhkar (“We did not Remember You as You Deserve to be Remembered, O Allah”), is that the seeker cannot come to the presence of Allah in his dhikr, and cannot manifest the Secrets and Attributes of Allah in his dhikr, if he does not make dhikr with Allah's support and with Allah's remembrance of him. As Bayazid Bistami (d. 874) said: “When I reached Him I saw that His remembering of me preceded my remembrance of Him.” The seeker cannot make dhikr by himself. He must recognize that Allah is the one making dhikr through him.

“Beloved, you and your approval are my purpose and desire.” This attitude will rid one of impure thoughts and distractions. It relates to the path of absorption. One Sufi was concerned that he was not sincere, and was ashamed. So his sheikh took him to a Sufi who was on the path of absorption, and this sheikh told him that absorption, not hair-splitting, would free him from his problem. The wayfarer realized that in his worry about his dishonesty and shame, his wants and needs, he had been focused on himself, separating himself from his Beloved.

According to Khwaja Ahrar, the saying “returning” means that we have within us the goal of our striving. The seeds of transformation are sown in us from above and we have to treasure them above all possessions.

Your journey is towards your homeland. Remember you are traveling from a world of illusion to a world of reality. The wayfarer travels from the world of creation to the world of the Creator.

The Journey Home is the transformation that brings man out of his subjective dream state, so that he can fulfill his divine destiny.

From the Rashahat-i 'ayn al-hayat: "[The journey home refers to] that traveling which the seeker makes within his human nature. In other words, travel from the qualities of humankind toward the angelic qualities, moving from blameworthy qualities to laudable ones." Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi (d. 1624) said: "This blessed expression [traveling in the homeland] means traveling within the self. The source of its results lies in putting the final [practice] at the beginning, which is one of the characteristics of the Naqshbandi Way. And although this [inner] traveling can also be found in other tariqas [schools of Sufism], [in those] it is found only in the end after the 'traveling on the horizons' [referring to the Qur'anic verse (41:53): 'We will show them Our signs on the horizons and within their selves until they know He is the Real']."

"Traveling on the horizons" is traveling from place to place. At the beginning of the journey it can mean leaving home to find a guide or teacher. Also it happened in former generations that when the wayfarer had become established in a place, got accustomed to it and become familiar with its people, they took on traveling in order to break down habit and comfort and cut themselves off from renown. They would choose travel in order to experience complete emptying.

It means traveling within oneself, looking at oneself, examining oneself and one's reactions, and how they act upon one.

This reflects the stress that the Naqshbandi path puts on the inner states, stages, processes.

Be an external resident and let your heart travel.
Traveling without legs is the best kind of travel.

- From the Eleven Principles of the Naqshbandi Sufi Path via Golden Sufi


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Technology of the Heart: Returning, Going Back and The Journey Home
Returning, Going Back and The Journey Home
Technology of the Heart
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