Monday, September 26, 2011

News from Shadhili Tariqa: Sidi is coming to San Diego in November


1.
Shadhili Sufi Center San Diego invites:

Calling all souls to the Heart of Sufism. Come sit with Sufi Master and Spiritual Guide, Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal ar Rifai ash-Shadhuli.

Come, be part of an experience that awakens your heart to Divine Love through lectures, meditation, chanting and other mystical practices of the Shadhiliyya Sufi way. Come and immerse yourself in an experience that is life-changing, that enriches you spiritually and emotionally, that heals, unveils and lifts the covers from your heart and mind to help you realize your spiritual potential.

Where: Del Mar Hilton, San Diego, CA (location-map)

When: November 11-14, 2011, Friday 6 PM - Monday 4 AM

Cost to cover logistics: $250; early bird - $225

To register, click here. For more information, go to the Calendar of Events.


2.
Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal, may Allah be pleased with him and accept his sacred works, belongs to the last generation of pure masters of the later days. He is a direct descent from the holy family of Venerable Prophet Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. He is the current master of the Shadhili Sufi Way carrying the light from Jerusalem, the city of innumerable Guides, Messengers and Instructor of souls of humanity.

He was born in Tulkum in the Holy Land in 1935. He is the spiritual inheritor through the Shadhili line from his Guide and Master, Shaykh ‘Abdu-r-Rahman Abu-r-Risah of Halab in the land of Syria,and is one who has kept Sufism alive and at work as an institution and a school of thought and spiritual knowledge. In 1997 he restored the 1000 year old Sufi Council that served in the Holy Land. He is the Head of this Council in Jerusalem and the Holy Land and has been a teacher and central figure at the Masjid al-Aqsa or the Dome of the Rock for many years. The Shaykh has been living on the Mount of Olives in the Holy City of Jerusalem since the year 1959.

The teaching from his spirit is very deep and for all those who have a heart and who listen with this heart. Sidi Muhammad is a gnostic guide and one of those rare beings who have returned to the world out of deep compassion and love for the family of God after disappearance in the Incomparable One, the Majestic, the Most High. You may consider yourself lucky even to sit near him. May Allah preserve Shaykh Muhammad al Jamal and bless all those who come in his presence. Ya Allah!

Sidi Muhammad al Jamal
Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal in Jerusalem during a visit by Sikh delegates (2005) | photo credit: Eliyahu McLean via Flickr

For many years the Shaykh has been a teacher at the sacred sanctuary of al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, which is linked for all Muslims to the Holy House in Mecca in the tradition of the Night Journey (al-Mi‘raj) of the Prophet Muhammad from the Ka‘ba in Mecca to the al-Aqsa Mosque and from there to the heavens. He is well known to many people both in Palestine and in other countries in the world. Not only is he a teacher and counselor for all those who come to be at al-Aqsa, but he is also its custodian, for through his hand and leadership in these times this Sacred Precinct has been preserved, in the face of many efforts to destroy it, as a place of prayer for the Muslim people who come from all over the world to visit the Holy City of Jerusalem and to take the blessing of the praying in this Mosque. The Shaykh has students and followers in the Holy Land as well as in America and Europe, but it has only been since 1993 that the order came to his heart to travel to visit other countries. At the same time the order came from Allah for him to give teachings to all those in every part of the world who are sincerely seeking for the truth of their existence, the meaning of their life, and to heal their wounds. Up until then, the teaching had been reserved only for studyin his Zawiyah in Jerusalem.

He began his career at a very young age as an uncompromising man of God, who had no fear of anyone but God, and because of this took a stand facing governments any time they tried to overlook God in their actions or disrespected people's right to worship God. Being a judge of the courts, he was a government employee, at the same time that he gave weekly sermons in al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. He has been the spiritual counselor to the people of the Holy Land and to all those who have visited over the past forty years and has given his life as a sacrifice to this work.

He makes monthly journeys all over the Holy Land to help the poor and to make sure that everyone has food and clothing. There are always lines of people at his home and at his office because they know that they can find real help from him.

The Shaykh opened a Sufi Center in an old building on the road to Jericho which holds the Prophet Moses' tomb, may the peace and blessings of God be with him. This center became the head of the Sufi operations of aid.


3.
This is the journey for those who search for the real soul for themselves and for the heart.
It is the walking on the Path which leads to the knowing of who you are and Who Allah is,
which is one and the same thing.
I want to give you the key to open the door of the Path so that you can live inside it.
When you live inside it, then you are a Sufi and you begin to be complete.
The Sufi is the person who searches for completion and for the Truth of Allah.

- Sidi Shaykh Muhammad Sa‘id al-Jamal ar-Rifa‘i ash-Shadhuli

Know, my brother in heart, that what I have said to you in the last meeting about Tasawwuf, the Sufi way, is one of the most important things in life, and the greatest thing in knowledge – the science of His light. This knowledge, Tasawwuf, illuminates the knowers like the sun. It is the source of all the lights and of all the secrets. How could this not be, when it is the heart-mind of the way of the Prophets? It is the way of the courtesy, the love, the knowledge of God, from Him to Him. It is the way one can reach God, Who is his Master. Jibra’il and all the angels and all the believers will be his support and his guidance if he wants to follow the way of God and to realize the secrets of His knowledge. For this, he must be ready to make his heart the house of God, filled with love, to be present at God’s table, and to know by God, in God. On that day, he will be helped by Him. Tasawwuf is the way of wool (as-suf) because the Sufi is like wool between the hands of God. The wool has no will of its own. It is soft and easy and it goes with the waves of the will, whichever way the breath blows.

God knows all the secrets of the Sufi, as the Sufi knows the secrets of God which He has taught him. He is the reflection of the qualities of God, refusing all the qualities which are not of the truth. He is empty of everything but God, forgetting all of the unnecessary sciences. As he is following the way of the truth, he is subsisting (al-baqa’) in the presence of God. The Sufis are sitting in the first row seats, face to face with the immediate presence of God. This knowledge is transmitted by the masters of the earth, the Prophets, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them all, with whom God speaks.

And keep yourself with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, desiring His good will, and let not your eyes pass from them, desiring the beauties of this world’s life. Do not follow him whose heart We have made unmindful of Our remembrance, who follows his low desires and his case exceeds due bounds. (Qur’an 18:28)

What is the importance of the science of Tasawwuf? As its essence is God, of all the sciences, it is the greatest. It gives you the knowledge of the secrets of the spirit and the soul, and guides you to be in fear of God in the beginning, and know Him – to leave everything and be one with Him in the end. Those who trust in this science are the most special, the believers in God. Those who study and understand it are the most special of the special – the most near of the near. He who speaks it with courtesy is like a shining star on a sea, the depths of which cannot be fathomed. You must come to the shore of this sea to being to know the subtle secrets of the soul, and to be washed in its water, which takes you from the density of this earth to the world of the soul and the light.

So, do not turn away from the path of light, because if you are turned away from it, you will be in a place of darkness, pain and suffering, as those who are lost. I ask God that we may be among those who listen with the remembrance of the heart, who have a heart and this heart is God, who listen with the hearing of God and God tells them everything. Then listen to what I say to you and understand. There is no god but He. So it was in the beginning, and so it will be in the end, without end. The word was transmitted from one to one, from prophet to prophet, from believer to believer, until it reaches us by His will.

(excerpt from Tasawwuf from Sidi's book Music of the Soul. Courtesy of Sidi Muhammad Press.)

Bi sirri al-Fatiha! to Sidi Muhammad al Jamal

# References:
* Biography of Shaykh Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal
* The Sufi Way
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