Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ramadan Preparations and Inspirations

The gnosis of soul 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.

- Ma'arif, Bahauddin Valad, The Drowned Book

Preparations for Ramadan

It was customary that the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, prepared for the month of Ramadan [and exemplified to others to do so, he was most generous in terms of giving away wealth in this month, he was most humble in his worship of the Lord]. All kinds of worship activities have been reported. None of which will be effective unless, we all cut-out people and things out of our lives that distance us from the Dhikr of Allah and focus on the related tasks e.g. for me the tasks are the writings here, for you might be something else.

In particular I would wish to cut out unnecessary thoughts about people and events which have nothing to do with the needed focus. In conclusion, if there is a thought or action or meeting a person, all have to be in service of the Dhikr and its related tasks, or else they need to go. It is easier said than done, but INSHALLAH let's try to prepare for the Ramadan as such.

The Prophet said: He who does not thank people will not thank Allah!

So before entering the month of Ramandan let's be thankful to the people around us:

Mother or wife or sister or son or brother... who share their lives and love(s) with us, maybe make our homes or prepare our foods or go to work and provide... Employer (Customer) who provides employment and honorable halal (Lawful) provision. Country, municipality, police and others who provide us safe and secure land. And so on.

We tend to anger when we are hungry and thirsty, angry to those around us, whether justified or not, so the Prophet also advised in such upset to invoke Allah: My Lord I am fasting. The latter actually works even if you are eating now i.e. you are within the state of fasting though not abstaining, and if you are angered by folks around you invoke Allah for calm.

I know there are quite a few foul and evil deeds that I cannot get rid of in this life, and probably I will die and only the dust of the grave shall wash them off my Nafs. And I know they plague me during the Ramadan. What to do?

23:96 Repel evil/foulness with that which is best/good-deed

Let's say you have trouble with anger and that is your evil/foulness then give gifts and charity to repel it away by good deeds. Let's say you like shopping, indulging in foods and luxury, then be nice and fair to people or speak less and spend more time silent in Dhikr. Therefore repel one foulness with another good behavior. So for this Ramadan, INSHALLAH, let's choose 3 foul and evil aspects of our personalities and behavior, and seek repellents now before the month starts. Mind you the repellents must be some deed or behavior that is easy on you and you can perform it with sincerity, in completion and frequently. [Recommended: 68 blemishes of the ego-self to work upon/ also, Defects of Nafs]

[if there is only one imperfection that you can work on in this lunar cycle, then practice towards having no malice in your heart for anyone. Love all, have malice towards none - and by Allah's grace, one is guided to exalted state of the heart and soul in this. Thousand times easier said than done. But those who are successful in freeing their inner heart from any trace of malice towards other sentient beings, shall enter That Divine Presence in the Renewed Reality of the AfterWorld, Inshallah. This is confirmed by our Grand Master Mustafa and his heirs.]

Prophet Moses, peace be upon him, could not wait to make the rendezvous with Allah, just because Hu is sublime and most beautiful: Once a servant is exposed to a single ray of Nur's beauty, there is no going back or waiting... When you fast, you WAIT for the time to eat and drink, similarly we have to WAIT for when and where and how Allah might show us some Divine Beauty. To view that Divine Beauty is endowed, not achieved.

- Advice of Dara O Shayda, may Allah bless his work
via his moderated Yahoo Group: the Sufi Notes

Ramadan Inspirations from previous years posts

. Ramadan: The Quintessential Month of Fasting
. The Meaning and Dimensions of Fasting in Ramadan
. Ramadan Hadith
. Two fold meaning of Sawm
. Purpose of Ramadan
. Ramadan Mubarak | Blessed Ramadan to all 

. Ramadan Discourse by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani
. A Sufi Masters Advice on Fasting
. Secrets of Ramadan

. Rumi on Fasting and Jesus on Spiritual Nourishment
. Science of Fasting - Medical benefits of fasting and beyond
. Philosophy of Ramadan
. Essence and Symbology of Fasting and Sacrifice
. Symbolic Meaning of Sighting New Moon and Breaking Fast

. Fast of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary
. Jesus Christ bless those who fast
. Wisdom of Confucius: Fasting of the Heart
. Fasting as self discipline
. Spiritual Wisdom of Fasting
. Observing Ramadan as a Month of Universal Spirituality
. Immersion | a Ramadan Sharing

. Prayer for Ramadan
. Ramadan Prayer
. Prayer for the last ten days of Ramadan
. Last Ten Nights of Ramadan of Exalted Possibility of Transformation
. Come! let us fast today

In Numerology Number Nine (9) represent the completion of numbers, it is of the highest value, after which again the number series repeats itself. Similarly the ninth month of  Islamic Lunar Calendar, Ramadan is the month of highest point of spiritual embodiment, a time for spirituality in practice, reaching climax for divine inspiration. It is the month when servant, the seeker journey to learn the way of the luminous beings, way of the truly guided one - to fast, to abstain (sawm) from everything other than God. And abstaining from everything other than God is mean to approaching the divine promise where Allay says, "Fasting is for Me and I Myself is its Goal and Reward."

Every moment of this holy month is best reserved for contemplation, inner-work (as well as stepping up of amal saleh, the wholesome work) and turning inward. Allah gives us the most wonderful opportunity to see who we are and how we are (our states and stations). During Ramadan I won't be posting here frequently except for update on the Gladdening the Sacred Hearts Project progress and a report of a Foundation which is a work in progress to help the needy, the poorest among the poor, orphans and the less fortunes ones. Since it has been mostly your generous contributions which helped put together these projects, it is my obligation to update on it. God willing, I hope to provide an update within few days. 

I ask your forgiveness for every shortcomings on my part, for being less than sincere and I ask forgiveness and grace of Allah, except Whom there is no other to turn to. Hasbun Allah wa Ni'mal Wakil, wa Ni'mal Mawla, wa Ni'mal Nasir.

May this blessed month be truly blessed and may we perfect our journey unto Allah, by Allah, with Allah, for Allah. La ilaha illa Allah.
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