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Quran as Remembrance and means of attaining Divine Presence

Pages of Quran, Arabic Text

This is a blessed book
that has been sent down
upon you
so that they may
contemplate its signs
and so the people of understanding
may be reminded.

- The Quran, Chapter of Sad 38:29

The attainment of the realization of Divine Presence happens through three means. First is - Tasabbur (intimate feeling, experiential realization), in the language of Shariat this is called Tafakkur (reflection) and according to the people of the Path, Muraqaba (divine meditation). Second is – Zikr, or Divine Remembrance and Third is – to recite or reading of Allah’s Words.

In a sense Muraqaba is a Zikr of the heart, for this reason sometime Zikr and Muraqaba is spoken as one. In truth, the aspiration towards attaining the realization of Divine Presence is found in two action: Zikr and Recitation of the Quran. Both remembrance of the tongue and remembrance of the heart are both considered as Zikr (Divine Remembrance).

The remembrance for Divine Presence should be done without any sound, but with the heart where Allah is remembered, or should be done by such sounds on the tongue which once pronounced points to the Divine Attribute and Being such as Allah, Samad (Eternal), Samiyu (All Hearing), Basiru (All Seeing). This is because such divine names, once pronounced, human consciousness is led to the Divine Attributes and Being. At such stage, aql (intellect) or knowledge feel the presence of the Holy Essence and faith is strengthened. And when the faith on Ever Present Quality of the Divine is achieved, then the person feels that, Allah is with him or her. At this stage the Divine Qualities start to have influence on human attributes. Thus the human character start to transform into divine character, like in the saying of the sacred tradition we find:

Takhallaqu bi akhlaqi-Llah

Build your disposition on Divine disposition.

In its explanation it is said that the Holy Names of Allah which describe Divine Attributes such as, Rahman (Compassionate), Rahim (Merciful), Malik (Owner), Quddus (Holy) – by focusing on such Names, by understanding the Qualities inherent in such Names, servant will direct his or her affairs towards the Possessor of such Names. In true heart should direct his or her attention; for all affairs should place trust (tawakkul) and without That agent, must not ask from anyone else – and in that process the servant form a bond with those Names.

Words which are as long as in the mind or heart but not spoken, they are called Kalam e Nafsi (Words of the inner self); and when they are spoken its called Kalam e Lafzee (Words pronounced or expressed). Accordingly, the Divine words are of two kind, Kalam e Nafsi and Kalam e Lafzee. Quran is Kalam e Lafzee of Allah.

Just as how through Zikr the Divine Presence is attained and such Presence is impressed upon the heart, similarly the recitation of the Holy Quran is a means of attaining Divine Nearness. First the meanings carried in the Words of the Holy Quran are like the garments of Allah’s Kalam e Nafsi. Then the words become one of the sifat (Divine Attribute) and to the one who recites, it draws one of the Divine Attribute close to the understanding of the reciter.

The favors and bounties which are spoken by Allah about those who remember, is spoke on higher level for those who recites the Quran. For this reason the recitation of the Quran is spoken in the Surah Muzammil before Remembrance (Zikr).

O you enshrouded one,
keep vigil in the night, except a smaller part of it
Half of it - or subtract from it a little
Or add to it, and recite the Qur'an with measured recitation (tarteel).
Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence [of heart and tongue] and more suitable for words.

And remember the Name of your Lord (wazkuri isma Rabbika) 
and devote yourself to Him with [complete] devotion.

It is also understood that none of the verses of the Quran are void of Divine remembrance and the recitation is equivalent of remembrance and it also bestow benefits that are obtained from Pir-Murshid and Divine Guide. For this reason, those who recite the Quran, Sifat e Elahiya (divine qualities) descend upon the reciter and “holding strong to the ropes of Allah” - a metaphor used in the Quran itself is achieved during its recitation.

Sultanul Mashayekh (Grand Master of Guides) Khwaja Nizamuddin Awliya (may Allah sanctify his secrets) was asked: “Which is better? Should one be involved in the recitation of the Quran or should one be involved in the Zikr?” In answer he said, union of those who do zikr is faster; but there is a fear of disappearing or falling from this station. The union of the reciter are delayed, but there is no fear of diminishing of this station.”

- From the writing of Hazrat Maulana Shah Karamat Ali Jaunpuri, May Allah be pleased with him

From his writing Zakhiraye Karamat (Zaduttaqwa part), translated in Bengali by Maulana A B M Salauddin Laskar (Karamatiya Library and Publication)

“Allah showed great kindness to the faithful when He raised among them a Prophet from amongst themselves who reads to them His verses and purifies them and teaches them the co-operation and wisdom though formerly they were in manifest error.” – The Quran

In every age God the Most High first of all illuminates a perfect person with the light of faith and the sun of His personal name Allah and sends him making him the light of guidance. Then He lights innumerable lamps from His light. Through this perfect omnipotence he first grows the natural seed of His personal name Allah in the field of the heart of a perfect person. When that becomes a holy tree and fully flourishes, he creates innumerable other trees from the fruits thereof and makes a rich garden of the established religion. First of all from the seed of His personal name Allah, God the Most High caused the tree of the lights of the Quran to appear in the bright breast of his Holiness Muhammad, peace be upon him, and illuminated the whole world therewith. Here are its particulars: when the seed of His person name Allah began to grow in the blessed preson of his Holiness, he felt the signs of revelation in himself, i.e. like the holiness Mary he felt in his esoteric womb the conception of revelation without intermission and in accordance with:

“Then she conceived and retired herself to a distant place.” – The Quran

He took to the desert and retired in a mountain cave called Hira, far from the populance. He often used to go and sit there in expectation of the incubation and shooting of esoteric seed and birth of the spiritual Jesus. Finally in order to irrigate that brilliant seed of His personal name Allah, Gabriel the trustworthy angel brought in his breast the fountain of life from the sea of light of God the Most High.

Thus the tree of the Quran grew in the blessed person of His Holiness through the bright seed of His personal name Allah. As the plants first shoot up in tender branch and then strengthen it. Then growing into a big tree it stands firmly and straight on its trunk.

Thus this great trust of the Quran was transferred from Allah, the Most High, into the bright breast of His Holiness Muhammad through the intermission of Gabriel the trustworthy. It is the heavy and the weighty trust which the earth, heaven and mountains refused to bear off. The noble Quran with all its sciences, secrets and lights is so contained in His personal name Allah, as the tree is in the seed.

- Selection from IRFAN by Faqir Nur Muhammad Sarwari Qadri

To the Sufis, the Quran is the Letter from the Beloved, from the Lord. Thus reading the Quran is like reading the precious communication from the beloved in a state of exile, with heart full of memory and hope of meeting one's beloved. And since the recipient of the Holy Quran was none other than the chosen one who is addressed by Allah as habib Allah or beloved of Allah - for every faithful, the connection between the Quran and One Who sent it - is a connection of hubb (love).


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Technology of the Heart: Quran as Remembrance and means of attaining Divine Presence
Quran as Remembrance and means of attaining Divine Presence
Technology of the Heart
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