Tuesday, March 30, 2010

they must come, one and all

Once I met two ascetics of a certain religious sect in a village of Bengal.  "Can you tell me," I asked them, "wherein lies the special features of your religion?"  One of them hesitated for a moment and answered, "It is difficult to define that."  The other said, "No, it is quite simple.  We hold that we have first of all to know our own soul under the guidance of our spiritual teacher, and when we have done that we can find him, who is the Supreme Soul, within us." 

"Why don't you preach your doctrine to all the people of the world?" I asked. 

"Whoever feels thirsty will of himself come to the river," was his reply. 

"But then, do you find it so?  Are they coming?"  The man gave a gentle smile, and with an assurance which had not the least tinge of impatience or anxiety, he said, "They must come, one and all."

Yes, he is right, this simple ascetic of rural Bengal.  Man is indeed abroad to satisfy needs which are more to him than food and clothing.  He is out to find himself.  Man's history is the history of his journey to the unknown in quest of the realisation of his immortal self--his soul.  Through the rise and fall of empires; through the building up gigantic piles of wealth and the ruthless scattering of them upon the dust; through the creation of vast bodies of symbols that give shape to his dreams and aspirations, and the casting of them away like the playthings of an outworn infancy; through his forging of magic keys with which to unlock the mysteries of creation, and through his throwing away of this labour of ages to go back to his workshop and work up afresh some new form; yes, through it all man is marching from epoch to epoch towards the fullest realisation of his soul,- the soul which is greater than the things man accumulates, the deeds he accomplishes, the theories he builds; the soul whose onward course is never checked by death or dissolution.  Man's mistakes and failures have by no means been trifling or small, they have strewn his path with colossal ruins; his sufferings have been immense, like birth-pangs for a giant child; they are the prelude of a fulfillment whose scope is infinite.  Man has gone through and is still undergoing martyrdoms in various ways, and his institutions are the altars he has built whereto he brings his daily sacrifices, marvellous in kind and stupendous in quantity.

All this would be absolutely unmeaning and unbearable if all along he did not feel that deepest joy of the soul within him, which tries its divine strength by suffering and proves its exhaustless riches by renunciation.  Yes, they are coming, the pilgrims, one and all--coming to their true inheritance of the world; they are ever broadening their consciousness, ever seeking a higher and higher unity, ever approaching nearer to the one central Truth which is all-comprehensive.

Man's poverty is abysmal, his wants are endless till he becomes truly conscious of his soul.  Till then, the world to him is in a state of continual flux-- a phantasm that is and is not.  For a man who has realised his soul there is a determinate centre of the universe around which all else can find its proper place, and from thence only can he draw and enjoy the blessedness of a harmonious life.

- Credit: Sadhana: the Realisation of Life by Tagore 
. full text

Mankind entering the Divine Way in Multitude

Iza jaa nasru Allahi wa al Fath. 
Wa raayta an nasa yadkhuloona fee deeni Allahi afwaja. 
Fasabbih bihamdi Rabbika, wa istaghfirhu; 
innaHu kana Tawwaba.

When Divine Support and the Opening cometh,
And thou seest mankind entering the Divine Way in multitude,
Then hymn the praises of thy Lord, and seek forgiveness.
Lo! He is ever receptive 'to Return' (tawba) (to Him).

- Surah of Divine Support, the Quran

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Monday, March 29, 2010

comment from a knowing heart

Thank you so much for sharing with your readers about dreams and I read the latest post this morning. Then I read some of the comments and although I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion I just can’t help myself and have to write to you about this.

I personally find it very ironical that some of the readers are having these discussions about what is meditation and what is contemplation, and the difference between them. And then one is quoting one source and another is knit-picking and “making clarifications” on the first definition. And to me it sometimes seems that these are just wars on words, constant defining and - re-defining, words for the words sake sometimes. The irony is that this post is about sub-conscious and the sub-consciousness as in dreams, and surely when then sub-consciousness is at work we neither meditate nor contemplate! Our ego is asleep although temporarily and we are letting things appear that we. As the manifestation of the collective sub-consciousness, can and have been suppressing, including our ego. Which is why mystics have always been interested in dreams and the interpretation of dreams. It is a bit like the suspended heart beat and the slow breathing of the crocodiles when they are hibernating, and when their body temperature drops: suspended halfway.

So to be perfectly honest I don’t understand why some of these comments are there, are some people writing just to show off, and to satisfy some sort of pride, or to tell the rest of the world that they have read this latest post, I don’t really know.

Is the bird meditating or contemplating when it is singing, and is making a beautiful sound? Or is the grass meditating or contemplating or is the beautiful flower or is the river when it is running down the valley? Isnt it exactly because of these too many words and too many attempts to define something that defies any definitions that we have got ourselves in such a mess with different theories and definitions of the Spirit? I wonder…

Anyway, this is what I thought when I read the post and was quite inspired to write a little comment, for the heart knows best if one is a Sufi in the real sense of this word.

- Comment from A. S. E. on the post: initiation isn't about suffering, but stepping up

The one who show, does not know.
The one who know, does not show.
- Traditional

Every pretender shall be tested.
- Traditional

Allah does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech,
unless (it be) by one to whom injustice has been done;
and Allah is He who alone Hears and Knows all things.
- Surah an-Nisa: 148

Verily, Allah loves not any arrogant boaster.
- Surah Luqman: 18

"O God, forgive me my sins of which you are more aware than me. And if I commit these sins again, even then forgive me. Whatever promises I had made with myself to follow Your commands have not been fulfilled -I seek your forbearance.

If I have sought Your proximity with my tongue, but my heart did not keep pace with my tongue, overlook my lapse. O God, forgive me for my futile talk, vain desires and lapses of the tongue"

- Prayer of Hazrat Ali, gnostic companion of the Last Prophet, may God's grace surround them both Pin It Now!

Friday, March 26, 2010

initiation isn't about suffering, but stepping up | sharing of mystical dream

Mystical dreams play a special role in Sufism. The function of these dreams is to illuminate the world of the imagination, an autonomous sphere of symbols and representations that is viewed as real, but as existing beyond the tangible, material universe. In Sufism, the world of the imagination is thought to exist in a state of suspension apart from physical reality. This dominion is much like an image reflected in a mirror which can be viewed three-dimensionally, although the image itself is not a three-dimensional object.

In their prayers, Sufi mystics often request to be given a dream-world spiritual chaperon to help lead them into the "way of the return." Sometimes these spirit-world aides are given somewhat arcane names like "Perfect Nature" and "Invisible Guide."

Active imagination is a term used by classical Sufis who represented a metaphysics of pure monotheism (tawhid) in which God alone is real, while the "I" that separates itself from this unified Reality is unreal.

The mundus imaginalis, or alami mithal, is a level of reality in which "meanings" are embodied as images that have a kind of autonomous existence. The imaginal world is an "interworld" in which visions, which are simultaneously meanings, are experienced by a psychospiritual faculty, the active imagination, or what Sufis would simply call the "heart." it is important to realize that this level of perception was reliably available only to those souls that were to some extent "purified". In its mature functioning it was certainly not a conceptual, intellectual, or merely symbolic experience, but a visionary one of the kind that many Western psychospiritual explorers touch only rarely in their lives, but which is the natural medium of mature mystics. It is not uncommon for a Sufi to ask another, "Did it happen in the tangible world or in meaning (mana)?" Whether the experience of the active imagination is in a dream or in wakefulness, it has the quality of profound significance.

- credit: Alami-Mithal: Autonomous World of Symbols

I dream a lot and try to record my dreams in a journal.  This is a dream that has lingered in my mind for about a year now. Though it feels as if it is self explanatory it still lingers pretty clearly in my thoughts.

“There was water everywhere.  It was a flood. I could see water rushing around on all sides of an old dark clapboard house-like shack.  I was with a group of people. I am not sure if they were people I knew or not.  We all ran inside.

We stood in a large room and there were circles on the dark brown wood floor.  It was as if the circles were cut into the floor. A man stood in one of the circles. I began to become nervous as I realized this was an initiation and I was supposed to stand on one of the circles.

Everyone was silent and watching me. I didn’t want to participate. Then I thought “why not.” So I went and took my place in the circle I knew was mine which was behind the man and to his left. I wanted to connect to him to at least know I wasn’t alone. He did not look at me. 

I thought I should say something but he was silent and staring straight ahead so I said nothing.  I watched as the circle he stood in began to sink into the ground beneath the floor.  As he disappeared from site I thought I should be nervous and I wondered what it would be like to sink into the ground and I wondered if I was going to die - and I thought to die to what or where.

Then a thought flashed into my mind “I have done this before - many times before. I can do this.”  I felt peaceful as the circle I stood on began to sink down.  I sunk beneath the floor and into the ground. I could smell and see the dark earth. Then I glanced slightly upward and was surprised that the ground was not closing over me instead the circle I stood on began to rise.

As I came to the surface I had this sense of knowing deep inside. I suddenly understood and knew what it was all about… The thought that came into my mine was that the initiation wasn’t about suffering but about stepping up, taking the risk, and just being willing to do whatever it was that I was asked to do.

Then I woke up and quickly wrote it down.

- Shared by B., Traveler of Seerat al-Mustaqim, may Allah sanctify her travel and raise her spiritual station to a lofty height

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
By the invocation of the mystical letters: Ta! Ha!
We did not reveal the Sacred Recital (al Qur'an) to you, to cause you any hardship.
Only to remind the reverent. A revelation from the Creator of the planetary and the heavenly existence.
The Most Gracious; He has assumed all authority. To Him belongs everything in the heavens, and the earth, and everything between them, and everything beneath the ground. Whether you declare your convictions (or not) He knows the secret (sirr), and what is even more hidden (akhfa).

- The Quran, Opening verses 
from the Surah of Mystical Letters Ta Ha

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tarbiyya | Training of the Seeker

If we compare Sufism to mountain climbing, we can state that potentially all people can climb Mt. Everest, but in actuality very few people are willing to undergo the training and have the muscles and the heart strong enough to reach the top of the mountain. Sufism is for all people in the sense that potentially all people can become Sufis, but in actuality 'many are called but few are chosen' as Christ said.
- Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Organized by Islamic Sufi Study Center of Charlottesville, the Program "Five Sundays on Tasawwuf" is focused around five central themes of Tasawwuf (Islamic Science of Spirituality, Sufi Way), namely:

* The Necessity and Function of the Shaykh,
* Sohbet or the oral tradition,
* Ikhlas or sincerity,
* Tarbiyya or the training of the mureed, and
* Dhaahir & baatin - balancing the inner and the outer.

The 4th Sunday Program: Tarbiyya or The Training of the Mureed (Disciple, Student of Spiritual Seeking, Seeker) was organized on this past February 28th, 2010. The two major speakers who offered their insight, wisdom and sohbet were Shaykh A. Nooruddeen Durkee from Shadhili Sufi Path and Shaykh Ahmed Abdur Rashid from Naqshbandi Sufi Path.

Following are excerpts from the talk by Shakyh Nooruddeen Durkee, may Allah be pleased with him, accept his service and give him good health. A talk of composite wisdom from the great masters of the Path. You may download the audio of the full talk from the link provided towards the end of this post.

When we speak of tarbiyya we must first speak of the term ‘al-murrabı’ in Arabic. The word tarbiyya is derived from the root rabb, which means to foster, nourish and care for. A person who does this is called al-murabbi in Arabic. English unfortunately does not contain one all embracing word by which we can translate this term. In Arabic, in the context of the shaykh or teacher, the reflection in this world of the Greatest Teacher, the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings of Allah, is the one who nourishes, fosters, supports, advances, aids, encourages or trains the murıd by goodness and grace, in the Way of Allah, All Glorious. We may also think of it (al-murabbi) as meaning ‘The Trainer of Souls’.

The first and greatest murrabi is the Prophet, may our love be perfected for him, but after him the true shuyukh (plural of Shaykh) are the educators, trainers, fosterers - the murabbi of their muridun (disciples, students). Were this not so they could not have connected their students to the knowledge of Allah and the Way of Islam. As such tarbiyyah is not a process of learning “about” Islam but it is the process of learning to “be” a Muslim.

It was the custom of Sidi Abu-l-Abbas, may Allah hallow his soul, to thoroughly review and investigate (tafaqqud) his muridun in regard to their states (ahwal), their inspirations (ilham) from Allah, and their intuitive insights (firasah), by engaging them in discussion so as to check their understanding and progress. He used to say that the “Shuyukh should follow up their muridun.”

On one occasion he said to one of his followers, “Why have you left me?” and the murıd replied that, “Because of you I have no need of anyone.” To which the shaykh said, “There is no one without the need of another. Sayyidin Abu Bakr, Allah's blessing be with him, though he had the direct benefit of being with the Prophets, did not come to be without need of him. Indeed he never left him for a single day.”

Sidi Ibn 'Ata Illah as-Sakandari, Allah bless his soul, relates this story; “I once said to some friends of the Shaykh, ‘I wish that the Shaykh would give me some attention and put me in his thoughts.’ The Shaykh knew of this and when I went to visit him said, ‘Do not ask the Shaykh to place you in his thoughts but, rather, place the Shaykh in your thoughts. ‘To the degree that you do this, just to that degree will the Shaykh be with you.’ Then he said to me, ‘What you would like to be, by Allah. you will be.’”

The Shaykh was meticulous in recognising the human dignity (al karamatu-l-'insaniyyah) of his muridun. He was not like some of the shuyukh who leave their students waiting when they have come for a meeting. He said in this connection, “A murıd comes to his Shaykh in the state of great spiritual determination and urgent zeal (himmah). If the murıd is made to wait his zeal may be dampened and his ardour (himmah) extinguished.”

A Shaykh should ask his murid about the truth of his claims and the nature of his limitations (qasirah) for as long as he is a beginner but must not continue in this way for too long. When the murıd reaches maturity (bulugh) it is not necessary for the Shaykh to ask him for proofs (bayyinah), for at that point the murid will have dropped his appetite cravings (wiham).

Whenever the Shaykh finds the murıd entering by himself into the spiritual recitations (al-'awrqad) he should order the murıd to cease. The Shaykh is keen on breaking the habits of immature aspirants to indulge themselves in deceptive illusion (hawaham) saying, “He who loves visibility (adh-dhahur) worships appearence. He who loves to be unknown (khafi) worships hiddeness. But for the one who worships and is the slave of Allah ('abdullah) it is all one to him whether Allah causes him to appear or vanish.”

In order to help the muridun to reject their own self indulgence he used to tell the story of how the Prophet overheard 'Abu Bakr reciting the Qur’an in a low voice whilst at the same time Umar, was reading in a loud voice.

The Prophet asked ‘Abu Bakr why he was reciting in a low voice and received the answer that, “I have made myself heard to He to whom I am speaking.” He then asked Umar why he was reciting in a loud voice and received the reply, “In order to awaken the sleepers and drive away the shaytan.”

“The Prophet then said to ‘Abu Bakr, “Raise you voice a bit.” and said to Umar, “Lower your voice a bit.”

The Shaykh said, “The Prophet meant in this way to cause each of them to abandon their individual will (iradah) and join them to his will.”

Following the practice of the Prophet, the Shaykh seeks to bring his muridun to the point where they abandon their self indulgence and illusions. If, for instance, he finds a murid boasting (fakhr) of his asceticism (zuhd) and his dropping of concern or pre-occupation with the world (isqat at-tadbirat) he says, “My brother. You give the dunya too much importance when you think it is something you must abstain (zahadat) from. It is less than you think.”

It is important that the murid understand certain things about both al-fakir in the sense of boasting, bragging and false pride in one’s voluntary poverty (fakr) or asceticism (zuhd) and in the sense of the love of appearance, visibility, pomp, conspicuousness, ostentation and general ‘show’.

... “The man of state is like a stream or a river. When the rain of spiritual knowledge (ma'arifah) descends the river overflows its banks and floods the land. Or if the waradat descend upon him he is drowned in his ma'arifah. “The man of station (maqam)and dwelling (manzil) is, however, like the ocean. When the rain of knowledge descends he contains and absorbs it for have you ever seen an ocean flooded by rain?”

.. This understanding may help to explain why the really great Sufis are seldom known, and if they are known are not really understood, whilst the people with conspicuous states are more usually known due to the appearance (dhahir) upon them of those states. They are too weak to bear them and not disciplined enough to control them. In truth they are without any real spiritual science ('ilm) or knowledge (ma'arifah). The man of hal may be more greatly acclaimed than the man of maqam but the distance between them is greater than that which exists between the earth and the heavens. We can safely say, and indeed it is well known to those who know, that insofar as a being is confirmed in the Divine Science (al-'ulumu-l-ilahiyah) and the Lordly Knowledge (al-ma'arifatu-r-rabbaniyyah) this being will be a stranger (istighrab) to this world (ad-dunya) and few will be those who know him, and of those who do come to know him, most will leave him.

The outer form of the tarbiyya proceeds, usually, through the shaykh assigning the murid certain ‘tasks’ some of which may seem very mundane and the value of which may not be readily apparent to the murid. These ‘tasks’ are, however, a major way in which the murid learns to bring his will into accord with that of the shaykh.

The murid should have implicit faith in his shaykh to the extent that he believes that in all the world there is no one to his knowledge who can benefit him more than his shaykh. In the terminology of tasawwüf this conception of implicit faith in the shaykh is known as wahdat-e-matlab or holding firm. Without holding firm to one’s shaykh the act of bay'ah is meaningless and of no benefit, as compatibility (munasabat) with the shaykh is an essential condition for reformation (islah) of the nafs.

.. we return to the necessity for tarbiyyah and, concomitant with that, the absolute necessity of a true teacher (murabbi) and perfect guide (murshid) to set one on the Way and, even more importantly, to keep one moving on that Way. Here are some sayings of those who have gone before us.

Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, may Allah be pleased with him, makes clear the necessity of a murshid in a beautiful metaphor in al-Fathu-r-Rabbani. He says:

“The heart is the plantation for the Last World (al-'akhirah). Sow the seeds of 'Iman in your heart. Irrigate, fertilise and mature them with regular good deeds. If there is kindness and energy in the heart it will be fertile and an abundant harvest will result. Should the heart be harsh and contemptuous, the soul becomes infertile and barren and no crop will be able to grow. Learn this art of farming from the farmers who are the 'awliya karam (friends and saints of God). Do not think your opinion to be sufficient. Our Prophet a says, ‘Seek help in every field from an expert in that field.’"

He also said on this subject in al-Fatur-r-Rabbani: “Arrogance, hypocrisy, egoism, are all arrows of shaytan (satan) aimed at your hearts. One should formulate a strategy to defend oneself from this attack. The correct strategies are explained and demonstrated by the shuyukh. You should heed their commands and act on them. They will guide you on the path of Allah since they have already traveled on this path. Ask their advice on matters relating to the nafs, desires, cravings and other weaknesses because they have also suffered their consequences and are well aware of the dangers and harms of evil desires. They have battled them over a long period of time and can confront, control, subdue and, finally, defeat them”.

Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, may Allah be pleased with him says, “In the sphere of spiritual (ruhani) training (tarbiyah) the shaykh's concern and affection are similar to a father’s affection in the sphere of worldly training. In fact, the spiritual mentor (murabbi) has greater affection than even a father. The spiritual mentor executes tasks that even a father is incapable of rendering. He unites the spirit (ruh) of a human being with Allah. He transforms the human being into an 'arif (one who possesses deep knowledge and insight of the spiritual realm) and a wasil (one who has attained the goal of Divine measure).

Thus, in this holy process of spiritual training the bond between the two parties - murid and murad - can never be ‘finished’ irrespective of any high degree the association may have attained.

Mawlana Rumi, Allah bless his noble soul says:

“No one became anyone by himself. No piece of iron became a sword by itself. No confectioner became a master of the art until he became the student of the sweet maker. Rumi was not Rumi until he became the slave of Shams of Tabriz.”

In short in this world there is no science or art, trade or business that a human being has acquired without the teaching of another.

It is the envy and the arrogance of the sensual, blind and the dead hearted eternally unfortunate people which keep them from taking the Way to Allah and making the acquaintance of the guide. Shaytan (Satan) did not prostrate before Sayyidina Adam, peace be to him, due to his envy and conceit even though he tried to make his unitarianism an excuse saying he wouldn’t prostrate before anyone but Allah.

He claimed unitarianism and disowned polytheism but in reality his case was arrogance and egotism.

Byazid al-Bastami, hallowed be his station, once asked Allah, "What is the Way to Union?” and heard the reply, “Quit yourself and you will meet Me.”

This is the deep training (tarbiyah): how to quit your self (nafs).

Allah bestows honor on the one who bows to another and practices ‘humility’ for the sake of Allah. He who bows down is uplifted. He who is vain falls. The seed germinates only when it has been buried in the earth. The people at the time of the Prophet used to ask,

What is it with this Prophet
who eats food and walks in the marketplace?
Why hasn’t an angel been sent down with him to give admonition?
(Surah al-Furqan 25:7)

and followed that up with,

How come we don’t see the angels come down to us
and why don’t we see our Lord?
(Surah al-Furqan 25:21)

and Allah answered them saying,
[Even] if We had made an angel, 
We would have sent him as a man, 
and dressed him as you are dressed.
(Surah al-'An'am 6:9)

So it is that our guides, our shuyukh, our murshids are people like us but more along the lines of the response of the Prophet, upon him be peace,

Truly I am a man like you
but it has been revealed to me that your G-d is one G-d.
(Surah al-Kahf 18:10)

and our shuyukh, the human inheritors (warathah) of the Rasul (divine Messenger), continue to do just that - remind us of the oneness of Allah and train us in the Way of Allah urging us to board the Ship of Safety so that, insha'Allah, we may reach the farthest shore. Our task, as sincere students, is to take the reminder, walk through the door and take the hand of the man whose hand is in the hand of the man whose hand is in the hand of the Prophet so then, like bulbs connected to wires running from pole to pole, we will be connected to the generator in the powerhouse of love and mercy.

yadul-Llahi faoqa aydihim
And the Hand of Allah is above their hands!
(Surah al-Fath 25:7)

You may download and listen to the sohbet offered by Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee and Shaykh Abdur Rashid. Please maintain adab by listening to each talk to its end, in one sitting or as many as you need, but do complete. Perhaps Allah by His Will, Mercy and Grace will illuminate your inner faculty of recognizing the truth and guide you to a higher spiritual station.

[>] Download and listen to the talk by Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee (mp4 audio)

[>] Download and listen to the talk by Shaykh Abdur Rashid (mp4 audio)

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

What the Seeker Needs | Ibn Arabi

And strive in His cause
as you ought to strive.
- The Quran 22:78

Therefore, when you are free (from your immediate task), still progress (towards a higher station), and make your Lord your exclusive goal.
- The Quran 94:7-8

All praise and thanks are due to Allah Most High, and may His benedictions and salutations be upon His messenger, and the progeny and companions of His messenger. This short guide is a response to one who wishes to take the path of faith, hope, and love so that he might become complete and perfect as he was created. It was written to answer his questions about what he should believe in and what he should do in the beginning, before anything else.

O you who yearn for eternal beauty, traveler on the path of the true wish, may Allah make you successful in knowing the true way, finding it, and being upon it. May He use you and us in actions that please Him and are done for His sake. For the beginning and the end and what is in between, and success in them all, belong only to Him. The way and means to eternal salvation and bliss is in coming close to the Truth. Allah Himself teaches us the meaning of His closeness to us. He teaches us by sending us His prophets. We say, "we believe." It is the truth. We accept and confirm it. The only thing then left for us to do is to follow the teachings and the example of His prophet.

First, you must believe in the oneness and uniqueness of the One who is before the before and after the after, who created us and everything else, and you must not associate with Him anything unbefitting the purity of His Essence.

The second matter of importance for one who wishes to learn is the belief that Allah Most High is free from all resemblance to anything visible or invisible in the creation. He is free from all defect. There are some who, wanting to see the image of their Creator, err, and liken Him to a human being. Let His own words be your guide in this. He says:  

Nothing is like Him... (Shura, 11)

Any thought, any word, any quality or attribute not corresponding to this principle is a falsehood, unworthy of the Divine. Therefore seek no further than the fact that none resemble or are like Him. That is His reality. This is also confirmed by the declaration of His messenger, who said, "At the beginning was Allah, and none with Him." The ones who followed him added to this statement, "It is now as it was." As it was before the creation, it is after the creation. From the time when matter was hidden under the veil of nonexistence and there was no form, nothing has been added or subtracted. Though He has created the creation, still there are none like Him. Nothing is like Him. Nothing is Him, but everything is from Him. The divine word that He is without likeness cancels all other thoughts, claims, and interpretations.

Look upon the whole creation, and above all, mankind, with good will - accepting, approving, forgiving, serving, loving. Make that your nature in your dealings with the world. Listen to your conscience. Cleanse your heart. In that clean heart, keep up prayer for your faithful brothers. Help and serve, as much as you can, the people who hide their misery, who are content with their poverty, the travelers on the path to truth. Do not attribute to yourself virtue, goodness, and graciousness because of your service to the creation. Consider that you owe other people thanks for having humbly accepted your help. It is incumbent upon you to lighten the load of those who are burdened. If people whose pain you have helped to alleviate cause you pain in return - if their responses, their ways, their habits are dark and cast shadows upon you - show patience and forbearance. Do not forget that Allah says:

... surely Allah is with the patient. (Baqara, 153)

Do not spend your life in empty endeavors and your time in idle talk. Instead, reflect and remember Allah, read the Qur'an, guide the misguided to the enlightened path. Help others leave evil and turn to doing good. Mend broken friendships. Help others to help others.

Find the right friend, who will be a support for you, a good traveling companion on the path of truth. Faith is a seed. It grows into a tree with the beneficent watering and sunshine of faithful friends.

Look for a perfect teacher who will lead you on the straight path. In your search for a guide, be sincere, because sincerity distinguishes the true seeker. It is certain that if you cling to sincerity and truthfulness, the Lord will manifest His attribute of the Ultimate Guide upon you and will guide you to a perfect teacher. Sincerity in the seeker is such a blessing that when it is present, Allah will even turn the accursed devil himself and the seeker's personal devil, his ego, into angels of inspiration serving him. Sincerity is such a catalyst that it turns lead into gold and purifies everything it touches.

A matter of the greatest importance, one of your greatest needs, is to be sure that the morsel of bread you put in your mouth is lawful. Lawful sustenance, the lawfulness of all you enjoy in this world, is the foundation of your faith. It is upon this foundation that your religion can be built.

To advance in this path, in the footsteps of the prophets (peace and blessings be upon them), you have to be light - light in worldly goods, light in your concerns about this world. An unmistakable sign of the heaviness that will prevent you from advancing is to be a burden on people. Neither be a freeloader nor let others carry your load. Particularly, don't accept goods and favors, either for yourself or for others, from people whose hearts are dead, submerged in the sleep of heedlessness.

Allah has blessed you with intellect, knowledge, profession, strength, and health. All grace and power are due to Him. Use these to gather as much of your sustenance as possible in the minimum of time.

Do not sleep until you are unable to stay awake. Do not eat until you are hungry.

What is essential for you is to be heedful at all times, to be attentive to what comes into your mind and your heart. Think about and analyze these thoughts and feelings. Try to control them. Beware of the wishes of your ego, settle your accounts with it. Have conscience, shame, in front of Allah. That will be a motivation to make you heedful.

Give value to your time, live in the present moment. Do not live in imagination and throw your time away. Allah has prescribed a duty, an act, a worship for your every moment. Know what it is and hasten to do it. First perform the actions He has given to you as obligations. Then do what He has given to you to do through the example of His Prophet. Then take on what He has left you as voluntary, acceptable good deeds. Work to serve the ones who are in need. Do everything you do in order to come close to your Lord in your worship and prayers. Think that each deed may be your last act, each prayer your last prostration, that you may not have another chance. If you do this, it will be another motivation for becoming heedful and also for becoming sincere and truthful.

Cleanliness is an order of Allah. Keep your body and your inner self clean at all times.

Do not be satisfied with your spiritual state; advance. Advance ceaselessly, without interruption. With firm intention pray to Allah, the Ultimate Truth, to bring you from the state in which you are to a state beyond it. In every state, in every move, while doing a thing or while being inactive, be sincere and truthful. Be with the Ultimate Truth. Do not ever forget Him. Feel His presence always.

Learn to give, whether you have plenty or little, whether you are happy or in pain. This is a proof of your faith in Allah. Try to satisfy the needs of the needy.

Wake before sunrise, remember Allah, and repent. When repentance follows sin, it erases it. The sin disappears as if it never happened. When repentance follows a benevolent action or prayer, it is like light upon light, grace upon grace. To remember Allah and to praise Him unifies the heart when it is scattered all around - like a mirror broken into a thousand pieces - and mends it, makes it into one, and turns it towards the One. Then all trouble leaves the heart, and it is filled with the joy of the One whom it remembers.

Fear Allah both in your actions and deep in - your heart and thoughts. Fear of Allah is the fear of Allah's punishment. Whoever truly fears the warnings of torment of the Absolute Judge cannot but act in accordance with the pleasure of the Creator and seek the right over the wrong. The Owner of the Final Word Himself said:

... and Allah cautions you against His retribution... (Al-Imran, 27)
... and know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so beware of Him... (Baqarah, 235)

The fear of Allah is a protection, the thing that guards you from harm. Allah's protection is the strongest of all armor, of all fortifications; no harm can penetrate it. That is what divine fear secures for you. The Prophet of Allah, whom He sent as His mercy upon the universe, himself took refuge in his lord. Praying to Him, he said, "I take refuge in Your pleasure, in Your beauty, in Your gentleness, from Your wrath and Your strength. I take refuge in Your divine mercy and compassion, from your punishment. I take refuge in You from You."

Someone who chooses this temporal world over the true good of the eternal Hereafter will never reach his goal, either here or there. For the ambition of one who is ambitious for this world will never be satisfied. The desires of this world are like sea water. The more you drink of them, the more you thirst.

Do not exchange your spiritual peace and the possibility of eternal bliss for the temporal, decaying goods of this world. No matter how grand and secure they look, they will die when you die. Death may come in your next step upon this earth, and all your dreams of this world will evaporate. As the world-bound are sons of this world, there are also people bound for the hereafter, sons of the hereafter. As the Messenger of Allah advised, "be sons of the hereafter, bound for eternity, not temporal sons of the earth who will return to the earth." Read these words of your Lord and abide by them:

Whoever desires this world's life and its finery, We repay them their deeds therein and they are not made to suffer loss in it. These are they for whom there is nothing but fire in the hereafter. And what they work therein is fruitless, and their deeds are vain. (Hud, 15-16)

Whoso desires the harvest of the hereafter we give him increase in his harvest, and whoso desires the harvest of this world, We give him thereof, and he has no portion in the hereafter. (Shura, 20)

May the Eternal Truth wake you from the slumber of heedlessness. May He make you aware of the origin, to which we will all return and in which we will all remain for the rest of eternity.

May the Divine Seer of all and everything open your inner eye, so that you can see and remember what you have done and said all through your life in this temporal realm of experiments. Then you will know and always remember that you must account for it all and that you will be judged on the day of final judgment.

Do not leave your accounting to the Day of Reckoning. This is the place and the time to do it. See yourself, close your accounts. The only way to salvation is to go into the Beyond clean and clear of debts. Give heed to the advice of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who said, "Make your accounting before it is made for you, weigh your sins before they are weighed for you." Examine your life; weigh your transgressions against your good deeds. Do it while you still have time in this world of numbered breaths, while you can, before you are left alone in that dark hole in the ground.

While you are alive, your worldly self is like a collector of benefits from Allah's bounties, which come to you from myriads of hands. What you receive is not really yours; you are like a cashier who distributes what he has received, and you are responsible for the accounting of it. If you do not do this today, be sure that tomorrow on the burning Day of Reckoning you will scream and ask for help. No one will come to your aid. You will. hear the divine voice coming from the center of all divine orders, the voice of the Absolute Punisher who punishes the guilty, reducing them to nothing. it will be saying:

Read your book (of divine records). Your own soul is sufficient as a reckoner against you this day. (Bani Isra'il, 14)

Whoever theorizes his religion offends
against the Way of God, and peace.
Heretic! Deviate toward the Law!
Don't complicate.
All that is forbidden. All this learned talk
is ignorance. Station and state discard it.
It's not discussion: Religion's what my Lord said
or what he said - the master guide, the envoy
(and peace be his) - for he said not a word!

- A brief selection from the valuable classic manuscript "Kunh ma la Budda Lilmurid Minh" / 'What the Seeker Needs' (Written in Mosul in 1204) by Great Saint and Mystic Master Muhiyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, may Allah bless his soul, Translation in English by A. Jeffrey (1962).

> > You may download the book in full, What the Seeker Needs by Ibn 'Arabi (pdf)

Threshold Books also published this book with couple of other work together titled, What the Seeker Needs Essays on Spiritual Practice; The One Alone; Majesty and Beauty. (on Amazon)
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dreams of Insight from Futuh al-Ghaib

In his famous sufi manuscript, Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelation of the Unseen) Saint of saints Shaikh Muhiuddin Abdul Qadir Gilani, may God sanctify his station and benefit us from his perfumed soul, the great saint used few of his visions / dreams of his own, as well as that of other saints in a number of discourses.

I saw in a dream as if I were in a place like a mosque in which there were some people who kept aloof from the rest of humanity. I said to myself, "If so and so were present here he could have disciplined these people and given them proper guidance, etc.," and I thought of a certain man of virtue.

These people gathered round me and one of them said to me, "What is the matter with you? Why do you not speak?" I said, "If you are pleased with me, I will." 

Then I said: "When you have stood aloof from the people for the sake of truth, do not ask people for anything with your tongue. And when you have stopped asking so, do not ask from them anything in your minds either, because asking in the mind is as good as asking with the tongue. Then know that God is every day in a new state of glory, in changing and altering and raising and lowering (people). Thus He raises some people to the highest of heaven and He lowers others to the lowest depth of degradation. Then He threatens those He has raised to the highest of Heavens that He may lower them down to the lowest depth of degradation and gives them the hope that He will keep them and preserve them in the same state of exaltation, whereas He threatens those whom He has thrown to the lowest depth of degradation that He may leave them to abide in their abasement and holds out the hope to them that He may raise them to the highest of heavens." 

Then I woke up.

I saw Satan, the accursed, in a dream as if I were in a big crowd and I intended to kill him. 

He said to me, "Why are you going to kill me and what is my sin? If Providence sets the evil in motion I have no power to change it and transform it into good. And if Providence sets the good in motion I have no power to change and transform it into evil. And what is there in my hand? 

And I found his appearance resembling that of a eunuch, soft in speech, a line of hairs fringing his chin, miserable looking and ugly-faced, as if he was smiling before me, full of shame and fear.  

And this was on the night of Sunday twelfth Dhul Hijjah in the year 401 of Hijrah.

I had a dream in which an old man asked me: "What makes a servant of God near to God"?

I said: "This process has a beginning and an end; so the beginning of it is piety and Godliness and its end is to be pleased with God and to surrender oneself to His way and to rely on Him entirely."

I saw in a dream as if I was saying: "O you (self)! (you are) ascribing partnership to your Lord in your mind by your own self, and in your outward conduct by His creation, and in your actions by your desires!"

At this a man who was by my side, said: "What is this statement?"

So I said: "It is a kind of spiritual knowledge.."

And there is a famous incident related of Abu Yazid Bustami that when he saw God the Almighty in his dream, he asked Him, "How is one to get to You?"

God said, "Discard yourself and come to Me."

"Then," continues the Saint, "I got out of my self as a snake gets out of its slough."

[>]  Download the Book, Futuh al-Ghaib by Shaikh Abdul Qadir Gilani in PDF
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Secret Shared by Sufi Master Bawa Muhaiyaddeen | Jonathan Granoff

"If you treat other lives as your own life and live within the resonance of God's compassion, wisdom will dawn and you will know yourself.

If you know yourself, you will know that God lives in you and you live in God."

- Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
may God protect and sanctify his Sirr

The human being has the capacity to demonstrate that which is most worthy of praise: the indivisible unity of being. It is realized through the divine attribute of love. The expression of this capacity is through intrinsic dignity, realized through the nurturing of inner character and the kind of knowledge that emerges from that effort, which is often called wisdom. This uniquely human capacity leads to the clear perception of the inner connectedness and inter-connectedness of all life. It manifests as ethics based on the Golden Rule.

The aspiration to our highest calling -- as a unique creature capable of knowing our uniqueness as well as realizing it -- should not be ignored. In this modern age, cynicism toward higher ideals is like a cancer. We hear so much about man as a beast and the great value of seeking the "bottom line." An appropriate bottom line is found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which asserts our common humanity. Below that is where the law of power tends to overtake the power of law. When individuals allow power to overtake the rule of law, personal tragedy is the result. Human respect is corroded and relationships deteriorate. When societies seek power over respect for humanity through the law, war and tyranny ensue.

When nations pursue the Golden Rule and treat other nations as they wish to be treated, peace and prosperity result. When they pursue the quest for ultimate dominance, chaos always follows. One only need compare the result of post-World War I's punishing process and its results with the success of the post-World War II's Marshall Plan and the creation of the UN system.

I am not positing that the world can become heaven easily. I am proposing that when we follow the Lord's Prayer, which calls us to aspire to do God's will here on earth, much goodness results. It is also true that when too many fail to honor the calling to do good works, enormous suffering results. And what we never know is how our own personal commitments affect the whole. What we can know, however, is how such personal commitment affects us. This knowledge is based on experience rather than on doctrines.

We can never aspire enough to our personal highest potential, which might not have a limit. As it partakes of the divine, it certainly cannot be measured or quantified. But, then again, neither can self, consciousness, soul, or conscience. Only objects can be measured, not that which knows them.

We need not bemoan the fact that in our time pursuing the highest ideals, where dignity shines in sacred beauty, is not treated with appropriate respect. One need only look at the trials and tribulations of Socrates or Jesus to remember that those who honor truth above all else might stimulate the most undignified conduct by many. Yet Jesus reminds us that we can forgive all wrongs and preserve the greatest treasures of the spirit. Socrates knowingly gives up his own life fully aware that the law has been misapplied to his individual case but is nevertheless well worth respecting since it is an institution necessary to guide the conduct of many. He gives up his body because he has found something far more precious, the profound presence of divine love for the benefit of others. His actions manifest the presence of the sacred infinite mystery within the finite world.

Can we all attain these standards? Who knows? Can we strive to emulate them? Why not? Both of these men encouraged all to follow in their ways. Both asserted the presence of capacities for human dignity we all too often forget. I had the privilege of seeing this level of dignity in our time and thus have the responsibility of sharing it with you.

I was in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, in 1974, and it was a very hot day. I was sitting at Bawa Muhaiyaddeen's bedside. He was very old, and his ashram was made up of a cement floor, a corrugated steel roof, and a courtyard ten yards from his bed with a variety of animals. There were goats, peacocks, dogs, cats, and a deer that had followed this gentle Sufi out of the jungles when he entered society to teach. I was struck by how the deer was always attentive when Bawa would sing and pray.

Bawa's day consisted mostly of sitting on his bed and giving advice on understanding the wonder and beauty of God. Because he was respected as a living saint, people attributed many things in their lives to him -- both good and bad -- sometimes, things that should not have been blamed on him.

One day a fellow came in absolutely shaking with rage and hatred. I was sitting right by the bed, and the man pulled out a short machete, the kind that one uses to cut bamboo. He was screaming. I understood that some tragedy had befallen his family and he was blaming Bawa. I was close to him, close enough that I could have sucker punched him. He wouldn't have expected it. He would never have seen me coming. But I thought, no, it's not for me to step in front of this sage. I'm here as a student, and it's not for me to intervene.

You must understand the kind of love that Bawa Muhaiyaddeen generated in me, so this was a profound position that I was in. But I knew, deeply, that I wasn't supposed to do anything. I was to watch and not engage.

Bawa attributed all beauty, goodness, wonder, and the miraculous events that happened in creation only to God. He never centralized any events on himself. He did not use miracles as a way of promoting wisdom. He promoted the supremacy of love and the knowledge of the nature of consciousness as the pathway to human realization.

Now Bawa opened his arms fully wide. He had no shirt on, and he leaned his head backward, exposing himself fully to this flood of violence. He looked with the most melting eyes of gentleness at his assailant and said, "My Brother, will taking my life give your soul the peace it is seeking?"

It was as if the molecules in the room began to scintillate and vibrate with the power of love. That love just filled the space we were in like a tangible presence, and the man with the machete became like a puppet whose strings had been cut. He collapsed on the ground and sat up gazing deeply into the sage's eyes. Bawa then embraced him with such kindness and motherly absorption, and said, "Go home and clean yourself, and come back, my child."

I bear witness to having seen somebody respond to ultimate violence with no concern for his own life but only for the well-being of the attacker. I saw the power of divine love in this world in action.

I learned the value of a true human being.

I am sharing with you a secret he told me: "If you treat other lives as your own life and live within the resonance of God's compassion, wisdom will dawn and you will know yourself. If you know yourself, you will know that God lives in you and you live in God."

A person with such knowledge shines with a light that guides others even without speaking. They do not protect the grace of God for they have surrendered themselves into God and reside knowing that God protects them. Thus, they express the grace of God as part of their own being. Such an expression is a unique human potential and the ultimate ground of human dignity.

For generations people who have attained this level of realization have been admonishing all who would listen, to see the human family as one, and to respect the mystery and sacredness of life. In this modern age -- when our reach is extended through science and technology to the point where we can shred the very fabric of the web of life by following the excessive quest for power through nuclear weapons or through greedily irresponsible business practices that hurt the environment-this admonition has become an imperative.

Persons who have chosen to pursue the secret inner treasure upon which real value is based are capable of presenting a different route. This route is based on nothing new or old. It is based on living to know and honor the Creator of the indivisible unity of being through the attribute of love. A life lived in such a fashion is resplendent with dignity.  May we live to know this.

Jonathan Granoff is an attorney, author, and international advocate who emphasizes the legal, ethical, and spiritual dimensions of human development, nuclear disarmament, peace, and security. He is president of the Global Security Institute and a member of the National Advisory Board of the Network of Spiritual Progressives.


Sufi Master and Saint Bawa Muhaiyaddeen holds the author, Jonathan Granoff (Ahamed Muhaiyaddeen) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1973. Pin It Now!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

dream of bawa muhaiyaddeen and soul's calling out

I had a dream last night..

I was little sad since last few days, from last two nights I was requesting God for guidance. Then I had this dream.

I dreamt that I am standing in a shop and telling the guys who run the shop to introduce me with a man or owner who lives behind the shop.. I give them a written letter to give to the man.. they took my letter and bring back the written answer from the man...

The answer is actually a written medical prescription from the man... as I read, I told them I don't need medicine, I want to meet that man or a holy man and send another letter... as they took my letter inside suddenly someone appeared I don't know from where!... a very very beautiful, a young person... I instantly recognized him, He was Baba Muhaiyyaddeen whose mazar (shrine) is one hour away from my home... he actually was looking at another woman but I hold his hand very tightly and said "I am not gonna leave you",

and I woke up.

I was not able to hold my tears and thought to share this with you..

- dream from first week of Feb, 2010

Let me share something from my dreams I had a year ago... 

Once I saw myself standing in my parents home and as I looked at  the sky, saw clouds were flying but color of clouds was red, like blood... I called other people to come out and look at the sky. Yet no one listened to me... Just in an instant a fleet of big birds or something else looking like birds appeared and was gone... and in the next moment a huge kite appeared and covered almost the whole sky... this kite's color and design was like the globe...

And it was a little above the roof of the house where I was standing and suddenly heard a blast coming far behind the stars, and something round and round like a riptid not shiny not black, but colored like quicksilver appeared and fell toward me and expanded with a speed my eyes couldn't hold (something from behind the stars and in a blink it came on top of me).. I just closed my eyes and put my both hands closed like the man in this picture and started screaming in fear "Allah jee! Allah jee!" (O God!, O God!).

and woke up all burning...

When I found this picture it made me stunned that it is almost like the bird in my dream, like a kite and eye like a riptid (round and round moving shape of water... kind of a huge circle) and man same like me except that I didn't find enough time to fall on my knees as it was so quick and overwhelming...

How long this dream was? May be less than a second... like you gaze and all this you capture in a single sight... I am not sure where I saw this picture but saved it.

- Shared from S. | Mystic at Heart and Lover of Sufi Path
may God protect, guide and bless her and help reach her Maqam-e-Hu

# Related:
. Introduction and First Post in the Series of Sharing Spiritual Dreams
. Coleman Barks' Vision of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
. The Last Question to Bawa Pin It Now!

Friday, March 12, 2010

sharing of spiritual dreams | the Beloved's ways are beyond this heart

Introduction to A New Series on Dreams

Welcome to a new series on Dreams at Inspirations and Creative Thoughts. We are very much blessed that among those who are drawn near here, many of them are gifted with powerful spiritual visions and dreams. In this segment we will be sharing some of these original dreams with exclusive permission from the dreamers and where appropriate by preserving anonymity. Dreams / Visions are significant and interpretation of dreams is a sacred Islamic wisdom tradition which is still preserved by advanced guides on the Sufi Path. For the Sufis, for serious seekers - dreams hold greater significance than what we understand as dreams in the everyday sense.

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, a contemporary Naqshbandi Shaykh writes in the opening section of his book, In the Company of Friends - Dreamwork within a Sufi Group on why dreams are important: "Dreams come from the unknown. Sometimes they retell the images of our daily life or lead us down confused corridors. But some dreams speak with the voice of the soul. They have a quality, a music, a depth of feeling that belong to the sacred part of ourself. They open a hidden door into a beyond that is also the most intimate part of our inner being. Listening to these dreams we can hear the voice of our deeper self. Speaking to us in its own language, a language of images, symbols, and feelings, a dream can guide us through the tortuous maze of our psyche. As both teacher and guide, these dreams are of infinite value on the inner journey. They call us inward into the mystery and wonder that is our real nature. When the body is asleep, when our everyday life has laid down its burdens, these dreams tell us of another world and of a winding pathway that can lead us into the depths."

Ith qala Yoosufu li-Abeehi: Ya Abati innee raaytu ahada AAashara kawkaban wa ash shamsa wa al qamara raaytuhum lee sajideen.

Behold! When Joseph said unto his father: O my father! Lo! I saw in a dream eleven planets and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating themselves unto me.  - The Quran, the Chapter of Joseph, verse 4

From the dreams of the Prophet Joseph and Nebuchanezzer down through the ages to our own time, there has been no community which has not regarded dreams as messages to be decoded so that their meaning can be understood and benefited from in the spiritual as well as the temporal domains. Another contemporary Sufi guide Kabir Helminski meaningfully writes, "In one sense, the process of spiritual realization is the progress from subjectivity to objectivity. This progress is reflected in the quality of our dreams when they are consciously observed: gradually they change from confused, personal, subjective imagery to objective and meaningful symbology, to states... and sometimes to clear communication with sources of knowledge... the nature of our dreams changes when we have come into contact with an authentic source of spiritual transformation. This state of mind is the natural (not supernatural) human state in which our intelligence (which is the intelligence lent us by Allah) is not veiled from us by desires, obsessions, or other forms of negative conditioning."

The primary intentions behind this sharing of dreams in this series are:
- to hold a sacred space for the often lost voice of our soul, to affirm its vivid presence through those to whom they are given new life by the Sole Giver
- visions even though may come in personal soul-space and state, yet they carry elements which can be hints and signposts to others, specially who are spiritual companions and fellow seekers of similar energy
- in Islamic sacred tradition, earlier reference of dream interpretation by the holy Prophet, upon him be peace, inform us that in his early community, often he would invite the companions to share their dreams among gathering (particularly after the fajr prayer) and there are many wisdom in it. The sharing in this series is in the footstep of that tradition.
- the holy Prophet said "When the time draws close, the dreams of a believer will hardly fail to come true, and a dream of a believer is one of the forty-six parts of prophethood." (Bukhari), thus this sharing is also intended to be a sharing of truth.
- to remain alert, to pay attention and to witness every gift sent by God is a real practice for every seeker. These sharing of dreams, if can do nothing but if at least inspire you to pay attention and become witness to your own dreams, that itself will be beautiful.

In Sufi Path, an enlightened authority with preserved chain of transmission, an advanced guide with special affinity for dream interpretation is an ideal person who could be counseled for dream interpretations. For this particular series, there will be no attempt to interpret any of  the dreams, but will be plainly shared here with a prayer and hope that they may speak the language of your heart and soul, and with Allah's permission may become helpful to you who chance upon here. If you wish to share your dreams, feel free to send to mysticsaint@gmail.com.

Receive the Dust of the Eyes of Truthful Dreamer

Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said, "Nothing is left of Prophethood except glad tidings."

Those with him asked, "What are glad tidings?"

He replied, "True dreams / visions."
- Sahih Al-Bukhari

Time changes for ever, energy of age shifts, humanity moves from one cycle to another. There will never be the same level of epiphany equal to the encounter of Mighty Messenger Moses at the Burning Bush on the sacred valley or God speaking from an invisible voice on Holy Mount Sinai. There will be no more revelation on the same level of intensity as it did to Blessed Mother Mary at her veiled station in the holy temple, or the opening of heaven experience for Beloved Master Christ on the bank of River Jordan at the moment of his baptism or the descend of Archangel Gabriel in the Cave of Hira for Prophet Muhammad, the Chosen. The age of manifest revelations are sealed by the advent of the Seal of Prophets, Muhammad Mustafa, yet the door of subtle revelation of true visions / dreams are left open for humanity.

Visions and Dreams are sent from alam al-mithal (the active imaginal realm of reality) in arabic, or mundus-imaginalis in Latin, The mundus imaginalis is a level of reality in which "meanings" are embodied as images which have a kind of autonomous existence. The alam al mithal is an "interworld" in which visions, which are simultaneously meanings, are experienced by a psycho-spiritual faculty, the active imagination, or what Sufis would simply call the "heart." It is important to realize that this level of perception was reliably available only to those souls which were to some extent "purified" (credit). May we all be blessed to attain that level of purity as to make us worthy to be recipient of true visions and dreams.

Many wonders are manifest in sleep:
in sleep the heart becomes a window.
One that is awake and dreams beautiful dreams,
he is the knower of God (aaref bi'Llah)
Receive the dust of his eyes.
- Rumi


Sharing of Spiritual Dream # 1

This is all true. though the essence may be, as these things are, illusive. but, I will try to write the simple facts and try to avoid excessive subjectivity.

"I am sitting in a hall painted white, though not glaring and brilliant. a calm color. It is rather large but not overwhelmingly so. There are as many as a two dozen dervishes scattered about in my peripheral vision, both behind me and to the sides. I do not see them clearly. To my direct left is a Sheik who I know to be my guardian (he is bald with a grey beard that may or may not have been red at one time, his robes are embroidered in soft ocher yellow and red on ivory).

Though I know I am not like the others, a dervish - we are all on roughly a yard square sheepskins, cross legged on the floor facing a wall. Arrayed before us are five musicians. Two drummers, an upright two or three stringed instrument and directly before me and slightly to my right is another Sheik, the Sheik of sheiks. Equal but 'above' the guardian sheik to my left. He has a dark beard rimmed into a clean spade shape and is deeply tanned with an eagles face, that is one of great authority and piercing eyes.

A dark turban wrapped about a low white cone shaped hat. his robes are clean though humble plain spun cotton natural in color with a dark shawl. His left arm is a ney of ebony and gold and ivory. The music it makes is a true voice that speaks though the words are not as regular words but somehow still music. They, meaning the musicians begin the music of a sema, then they stop just as the breathing and song of the dervishes' begin.

Then the Sheik of sheiks points the arm / ney at my guardian and admonish him to not be so rough and hard on me, it is a mistake, and that he must be gentler as he watches me in his duty. My guardian reply's that he has no idea that he was mistaken and realizes that the Sheik of sheik is correct and will make it so.

I am overwhelmed with remorse at my guardian being corrected in public and throwing myself to my left so that I may fall over at his feet cry out in tears that I am sorry for being so difficult and that I will try even harder to make his guardianship easier. I am nearly inconsolable with my shame.

My guardian lays his hand on my head to comfort me when the Sheik of sheiks speaks. I sit up wiping my tears away so that that I can pay proper attention when I notice that the Sheik of sheiks has spoken and given me a gift. In my lap sits a wounded swan, its head trying to tuck under it's wing, but it can not.

I am in wonder at this gift and suddenly feel a deep compassion and gentleness towards it. I internally vow to care for it forever if it takes that long. I feel suddenly humble, knowing I am not a dervish like the others and wonder how I, of all people have been given this task.

Then I awoke to the most astonishing sight ...

The early morning sky was quite literally gold ... the whole sky, not just the horizon, but the whole sky. The leaves of the trees glowed a brilliant emerald green. In all my years of watching the dawn, I've never seen the entirety of the sky either that color nor have I seen the whole sky that color. Gold and green completely pure in tone. I closed my eyes in an effort to remember as exactly as possible the effect so that it would not fade from memory.

When I awoke further as is usual I went to the computer to check my mail. When I do this I usually put some music on as I love to listen to music early in the morning. To my surprise there was a song of Mercan Dede's in my music file. I have no memory of downloading.

The Beloved's ways are beyond this heart."

- Shared from M. | Dervish, Wanderer
may God protect, guide and bless him and raise his station

# Sharing of Spiritual Dreams Series:
1) The Beloved's ways are beyond this heart
2) Initiation isn't about suffering, but stepping up
3) Dream of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and soul's calling out
4) Dream of Secret Garden and of Unfathomable Recognition

# Further Resources:
. The Dream of the Sleeper | Dream Interpretation and Meaning in Sufism
. Accessing the Imaginal Realm to Heal our Planet
. Searching for Sufism in Art, Music and Dreams
. Audio Page of Golden Sufi containing some discourse on Sufi Dreamworks 
. In the Company of Friends - Dreamwork within a Sufi Group
. Dreams in Islam (pdf)
. Dreams, Sufism, and sainthood: the visionary career of Muhammad al-Zawâwî
. Dream Psychology by Sigmund Freud (audio book) Pin It Now!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lalon Song by Farida Parveen | Allah Ke Bojhe Tomar Opar Leele?!

Ke bojhe tomar opar leele?
Allah! ke bojhe tomar opar leele?
Tumi Aapni Allah, dako 'Allah' bole!

Who can comprehend Your endless play!
Allah! who can comprehend Your endless play?!
From Your Lord-Self
You cry out 'Allah' - Your Name Supreme!

Nurer kare tumi Nuri
Chile dimbo avatar e.

You are 'Light upon Light',
Without ceasing in
every incarnation.

Shakare srijon korle tri-bhuban
Eshe akare chomotkar bhab dekhale.
Allah ke bojhe tomar opar leele?

In form You've created the entire existence,
Your descent in every manifest form
dazzles our heart and mind.
Allah! who can comprehend Your endless play? !

Nirakar Nigumbho Dhani
Taoto shotti shobai jani

The First Command and Word
arose from You, Truth is this.

Tumi agomero phul
Nigome Rasul
Eshe Adam er qalbe jaan hoile.
Allah ke bojhe tomar opar leele?

You are the Holy Flower of Essence
The Name and the Named,
You pass Yourself as life giving spirit
within the secret heart of Adam.
Allah! who can comprehend Your endless play?!

Atma tatto jane jara
Shai'er nigur leela dekhche tara.

Those who've cognized the Self,
ceaselessly witness they
Lord's secret play.

Nire Niranjon, akottho shey dhon
Lalon khuje berae bon jongole.
Allah ke bojhe tomar opar leele?
Tumi Aapni Allah, dako 'Allah' bole!

That Subtle, Pure Supreme Being
Beyond words or descriptions,
Lalon seeks such Treasure here and there, 

Allah! who can comprehend Your endless play?!
From Your Lord-Self
You cry out 'Allah' - Your Name Supreme!

~ Original lyrics by Fakir Lalon Shah ~
mystic and baul of Bengal - may God be pleased with him
an approximate rendition from Bangla to English by Sadiq Salim, Dhaka

. download the song in mp3 .


al insano Sirri 
wa ana Sirru hu

God says, "Man is My Supreme Secret 
and I Am his Supreme Secret"
- Hadith (Sacred Tradition of Islam) - 
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