Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ananda Dhara Bohiche Bhubone | Song of Tagore


Ananda dhara bohiche bhubone.
Din o rajani koto omrito rosho 
Utholi jayo anonto gogone

Stream of divine bliss is flowing in all planes of existence.
Day and night ceaseless nectar of pure joy
spills over to the infinite cosmos.

Pan kore robi shoshi anjali bhoriya,
Shoda dipto roye akkhoyo jyoti.


The sun and the moon drink in their hands full,
Beaming with never diminishing light in their sublime subsistence.

Nittyo purno dhora jibone kirone,
Ananda dhara bohiche bhubone.


Ever filled is this manifestation with rays of light and life,
Stream of divine bliss flowing in all, for all.

Boshiya acho keno apono mone
Shartho nimogno ki karone?


Why are you sitting there alone
all selfishly self-absorbed, miserable?

Khudro dukkho shobo tuccho mani
Chari dike dekho chahi Hridoyo proshari
Premo bhoriya loho shunno jibone.


These illusions of suffering are vanity of vanities,
To look beyond them, expand you Heart,
Fill your empty cup of life from the fountain of love.

Ananda dhara
bohiche bhubone.

Behold, the stream of divine joy
is ever flowing in the world.


- Song of Tagore | Original in Bengali. Download the original as mp3 as sung by Arnob


The Mystics knows the secret that our soul, which is essentially spiritual in nature is nourished by divine bliss, by divine grace. In his writing title, The Smiling Forehead, Hazrat Inayat Khan writes: "The sanskrit word Atma means the soul of man as joy itself. In its pure condition it is a joy, and when it is without joy its natural condition is changed: it depends upon the names and forms of the earth and is deprived of the dance of the soul. Therein lies the whole tragedy of life. The wrath of Indra, the God of paradise, is nothing but breach of law, as it is natural that the soul is attracted to the Spirit and that the true joy of every soul is the realization of the divine Spirit."

A valuable remembrance for us is that the Divine joy, bliss, peace and harmony is ever flowing, is ever accessible and its birthright to every soul because it is the natural condition of the soul. When Sufis say Allahu al Qarib, its a pointer to the closeness of that Reality.

For Happiness, cure against depression, ungratefulness is the Holy Name of the Divine is ash-Shakur. Allahu ash-Shakur. Its remembrance of the quality of the Most Grateful,  the Most Appreciative,  the Source of Gratefulness. Use this Holy Name: Ash-Shakur (from which comes the word Shukr) to transcend every otherness of misery, depression and sadness - for your soul's essence is happiness, awakened joy and bliss.

Modern Mystic Osho gives us a meditation called Inner Smile meditation which is as follows:

Breathe From the Mouth: “Relax the lower jaw and let your mouth open just slightly. Start breathing from the mouth, but not deeply. Just let the body breathe so it becomes more and more shallow. And when you feel that the breath has become very shallow and your mouth is open and jaw relaxed, your whole body will feel very relaxed. 

Feel a Smile: “In that moment, start feeling a smile — not on your face but all over your being — and you will be able to. It is not a smile that comes on the lips; it is an existential smile that spreads just inside. Try and you will know what it is, because it cannot be explained. No need to smile with your lips on your face but just as if you are smiling from the belly, the belly is smiling.

“And it is a smile, not a laugh, so it is very very soft, delicate, fragile — like a small rose opening in the belly and the fragrance spreading all over the body.

“Once you have known what this smile is, you can remain happy for twenty-four hours a day. And whenever you feel that you are missing that happiness, just close your eyes and catch hold of that smile again, and it will be there. In the daytime as many times as you want, you can catch hold of it. It is always there.”

+ Further:
* Experience a Sufi Dhikr with Shaykh Nazim
* The Smiling Forehead by Hazrat Inayat Khan Pin It Now!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spiritual Maturity and Service by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee











Strive to become the true human being:
one who knows love, one who knows pain.
Be full, be humble, be utterly silent,
be the bowl of wine passed from hand to hand.

- Al-Ansâri



Servanthood

On the Sufi path the highest station is servanthood. We are here for our Beloved. All of our effort, our practices, our inner work, are in order to serve our Beloved better, to be more attentive to the needs of the divine. There is a simplicity and wonder in being of service that belongs to the soul’s relationship with God, with the way God looks towards us and we look towards God.

At the beginning of the path the Beloved looks into our heart and ignites the fire of longing, the pain of separation that draws the lover back to God. Through this longing we are taken into the mystery of mystical love, the way God reveals divine presence within the heart. We are taken by love to love. Through our efforts and aspirations we work to make a space empty for love. With sincerity and attention we work on our problems, confront our fears, anxieties, and the shadow, the rejected and unacknowledged part of ourself. We discover the light that is in this darkness, how the light of the Self shines in the hidden places of our psyche. Through our practices and remembrance we learn to look towards this light and bring it into our daily life.

As we walk upon the path we discover that the ego and its desires no longer hold us so tightly, that we are no longer so caught up in our conditioning and psychological dynamics. The mind with its continual thoughts no longer possesses us. Slowly, gradually, we become awake to another reality, the light of divine love. The path then opens the doors of servanthood, showing us how we can be attentive to the needs of love. The Sufi practice of “polishing the mirror of the heart” is the inner work that is needed so that we can reflect the light of the Beloved into the world.

In the West we tend to identify “service” with outer activity, and although there are many valuable ways we can be in service in the outer world, there is also a dimension of spiritual service that belongs to the inner world and the light of the divine. This divine light is everywhere, just as divine love is the substance of life. And yet this light is hidden. It is hidden within life just as it is hidden within us. The work of the lover is to reveal the light of love, through which we can see how this world is a reflection of the Beloved and a place of divine revelation - “Wheresoever you turn, there is the face of God.”

We can access this light most easily in our heart and soul. Our souls are made of a quality of light, a light that belongs to God and carries a knowing of its source. Through this light the soul sees its way, the path it needs to follow, the destiny that needs to be lived. Without this light there could be no evolution, no meaning to life.

Spiritual life is a means to bring the light of the soul into the world. Spiritual practices give us access to our light and the teachings of the path help us live it in our daily life. The more our light shines in this world the easier it is to follow a spiritual path and be guided from within. Through this light the inner meaning of the soul comes into our life, and the wonder of God becomes visible. In this light we see the oneness that belongs to God, that is a direct expression of the divine. Without this light we only see the reflections of our illusory self, the shadows of the ego - we are veiled from divine oneness.

Sadly, in the West much of our understanding of spiritual life has been subverted by the values of the ego. Only too often we see spiritual life in terms of self-development, the desire for progress or achieving spiritual states. We overlook the basic principle that the path is never about us, about our individual or spiritual well-being. Spiritual maturity is to recognize that our efforts and work upon ourself are for the sake of service, service to our Beloved and to the whole of life. In the oneness of love there is no difference.


The Work of the Mystic

We are living at a time of transition. Only too clearly can we see around us the debris of a decaying civilization, the pollution and ecological crisis that threatens our survival, the dominance of material values and collective greed, the lack of real meaning and the desecration of much that is sacred. The world is dying and it needs the light of His love to reawaken.

In our own journey we know that any time of crisis is also a time of opportunity. When powerful forces constellate, they carry the potential for transformation as well as destruction. What is true of our individual journey is also true for the world. The tremendous clash of opposites, of light and dark, that is threatening such destruction and seemingly polarizing the world belongs to the birth pains of a global transformation. But in order for this transformation to be successful it needs our attention. It needs the participation of those committed to service, whose consciousness can be aligned to something greater than their personal well-being.

At any time of real crisis our work is to look beyond the plane of action and reaction to where real help and grace are given. Through our prayers and devotion, we align ourself with the love and power of the divine without whose presence we are left alone with our own self-destructive conflicts. Sadly, we have tended to place prayer and devotion solely within the sphere of our personal relationship with the divine, not recognizing its larger dimension which concerns the well-being of the whole.

Only the divine that can heal and transform the world - the forces of antagonism in the world are too powerfully constellated for us to resolve on our own. But the divine needs our participation: we are the guardians of the planet. Working together with the power and light of the divine, we can help turn this moment of crisis into a time of global awakening. And what is the nature of this work? In our masculine culture we identify work with “doing” and activity. But to hold a space for the divine requires the feminine quality of “being.” Through the simplicity of living our inner connection to the divine, we link the worlds together.

Central to this transformation and awaking is the uniting of the outer and inner worlds. Much of our present predicament comes from isolating ourself in the outer physical world, to such a degree that we have almost forgotten the presence of the inner worlds. And yet it is always from within that divine grace and healing come. Those who have committed themselves to spiritual work have turned inward, and through meditation, prayer, dreamwork, and other practices, have begun to reclaim the inner world.

Sufis are known as “soldiers of the two worlds,” living in the outer world of daily activity and the inner world - “outwardly to be with the people, inwardly to be with God.” Through real attention to daily life we bring the awareness and the light of the soul into the outer world. This is described in the Naqshbandi Sufi practice of “Attentiveness” (nigah dasht) - “Be always attentive to what you are thinking and doing so you may place the imprint of your immortality on every passing incident and instance of your daily life.

Through the simplicity of our daily life we make our contribution; through being true to our self and our lived connection to our Beloved, we bring divine presence into a world that for too long has suffered from the experience of divine absence. Bringing the worlds together we can help the heart of the world awaken and the world become transformed.


Working with the Light of the World

There is also a work that is done from the plane of pure being. The mystic who is surrendered to God is inwardly present in this dimension of light upon light. This is the light of the soul of the world, the essential inner dimension of pure light that is present within every cell of creation and yet hidden, veiled from ordinary consciousness.

Mystics are a “brotherhood of migrants who keep watch on the world and for the world.” Working in the inner world we look after its well-being, keeping it aligned with the highest principles of creation, with divine love and power. We keep the balance between the worlds, and at this time of transition are working to bring the light of the soul into the outer world so that it can act as the agent of transformation that is needed at this time. This light is the pure light of God and the simplicity of His essence. It alone can heal and transform the wasteland of our present civilization and awaken us from a sleep of more than a thousand years. Without this light we will remain in our present self-destructive cycle.

Because His servants have given themselves in spiritual service they have direct access to this light and are allowed to work with it in the world. Living ordinary lives, they often pass unnoticed, but they carry this quality of pure being, this essence of love. They weave it into the fabric of their everyday life, nourishing the web of life with His essence.

At this time those in service are being linked together. Some of these connections are made in the inner worlds and some in the outer. Only when we are connected together can we support each other and effectively counter the denseness of our present material culture and its dominant power dynamics. Working together we can create a consciousness that is about unity rather than divisiveness, about “we” rather than “me.” We can celebrate the interconnectedness of life and the oneness that is its foundation and true nature. Together we can bring the light of the divine more directly to where it is needed. We can help the world to awaken from its present materialistic nightmare to an awareness of the unity and sacredness of all of creation.  This is the future that is being offered.

Spiritual maturity means to stand in the midst of life holding the light of the soul in one’s heart, and living this light in one’s ordinary everyday life. Working together, each in our own way, we can participate in a real spiritual alchemy: how through our divine light the heart of the world can open and the whole of creation experience a global transformation - the rebirth for which it is waiting.

Credit: Shared via Seven Pillars House website | >> Read the article: Spiritual Maturity and Service in full.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Divine Sayings from Hadith Qudsi: Mishkat al-Anwar

Islamic Geometric Pattern

*
God ever praised and exalted is He, says:
"I am with My servant when he or she remembers Me
and when his or her lips move in mention of Me."


*
God, ever mighty and majestic is He, says:
"O child of Adam, it is your right from Me that I be a lover for you.
So, by My right from you, be for Me a lover.


*
God, ever mighty and majestic is He, says:
"O child of Adam, I have created you for My sake,
and I have created things for your sake.
So do not disgrace that which I created for Myself with that which I created for you.
(don't go after the world in a way that you forget The Real)"


*
God, ever mighty and majestic is He, says:
"O child of Adam, how can you deem Me weak, when I have created you in this fashion?
Despite My shaping you and proportioning you, you strut about proudly,
making the earth shake with your noise; you amass and you withhold,
until you reach the point of death.
Then you say: 'I will give in charity',

but is that the time for charity?"


*
God, ever mighty and majestic is He, says: "If My servant has lost his state of purity
and does not make ablution, he maltreats Me.
If he makes an ablution and does not pray, he maltreats Me.
If he prays and does not then call to Me, he maltreats Me.
If he calls to Me and I were not to respond to him, I would maltreat him.
But I am not a Lord who commits maltreatment."


*
God, ever mighty and majestic is He, says:
"O child of Adam, do not fear for lack of nourishment,
for My treasuries are full, and they shall never be exhausted."


*
God, ever mighty and majestic is He, says:
"I am present in My servant's thought of Me,
and I am with him when he remembers Me.
If he mentions Me in his self, I mention him in My Self,
and if he mentions Me in an assembly,
I mention him in a better assembly than that.

If he approaches Me by a hand's breadth, I draw near to him by an arm's length;
and if he draws near to Me by an arm's length, I draw near to him by a fathom.
If he comes to Me walking, I come to him running."


*
God, ever mighty and majestic is He, says:
"He who hopes for other than Me does not know Me.
He who does not know Me does not worship Me.
He who does not worship Me has incurred My Displeasure.
He who fears other than Me, My Vengeance befalls him."


*
God, ever mighty and majestic is He, says:
"O child of Adam, as long as you beseech Me and hope for Me,
I shall forgive you whatever you have done, without minding in the slightest.

O child of Adam, were your sins to reach up to the clouds of Heaven
and then you asked forgiveness of Me,
I should forgive you, without minding in the slightest.

O child of Adam, even if you were to bring Me enough sins to fill the earth,
but then you met Me without associating anything with Me,
I should bring to you the selfsame measure of forgiveness."


*
God, ever praised and exalted is He says:

    "O My servants, I have forbidden injustice to Myself and I have
    made it forbidden amongst you. So be not unjust to one another.

    O My servants, all of you go astray except the one whom I guide.
    Ask guidance of Me, and I shall guide you.
    O My servants, all of you go hungry except the one whom I feed.
    Ask Me for food, and I shall feed you.
    O My servants, all of you go naked except the one whom I clothe.
    Ask Me for clothing, and I shall clothe you.

    O My servants, you transgress by day and night, but I forgive all misdeeds.
Ask forgiveness of Me, and I shall forgive you.

O My servants, harming Me is beyond you, so you cannot harm
    Me; and benefiting Me is beyond you, so you cannot benefit Me.

O My servants, if all of you - first and last, man and jinn - were
    like the one among you with the most devout heart, that would add
    nothing to My kingdom.

    O My servants, if all of you – first and last, man and jinn – were
    like the one among you with the most ungodly heart, that would
    take nothing away from My kingdom.

    O My servants, if all of you – first and last, man and jinn – were
    to stand on the same level and address Me with your requests, and
    if I were to give each one what he had requested, that would not
    diminish what is with Me, any more than a needle diminishes the
    sea when it enters it.

    O My servants, it is solely your deeds that I take account of, and it
    is by virtue of them that I will repay you. So let him who finds good,
    praise God, and let him who finds other than that, hold none but
    himself to blame."


*
God, ever mighty and majestic is He, says:
"For My righteous servants I have prepared what no eye has seen,
nor ear heard, nor has entered into a human heart."


*
God, ever mighty and majestic is He, shall say on the Day of Resurrection:
"Where are those who have loved each other for the sake of My Majesty?
Today I shall shelter them in My shade, on a tremendously scorching day
when there is no shade but My shade."


*
God, ever mighty and majestic is He, will say in addressing the people of Paradise:
"You are the faithful who rest in security, and I am God the Faithful (al-Mumin) who bestows security.
I have broken open for you a Name from among My Names.
There shall be no fear for you, nor shall you be sad.
You are My Friends, My Neighbours, My Beloved, My Chosen,
My special ones, the people of My Love, and you are in My Abode."


*
When the people of the Garden have entered the Garden, God, ever exalted is He, will say:
"Do you want for anything more than I may give you?"

They will reply: "Have You not illuminated our faces?
Have You not caused us to enter the Garden and delivered us from the Fire?"

Then the Divine veil shall be lifted, for they cannot be given anything that they would love more
than the Vision of their Lord, ever majestic and most beautiful is the Divine Being.

The best, and more beyond that, is destined for those who strive with excellence.



Signature of Ibn Arabi in Arabic
Signature of Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, Allah sanctify his soul

Shaykh Ibn 'Arabî was born in Murcia in southern Spain (al-Andalus) in 1165 (AH 560). He began his study of hadîth in Seville at about the age of fifteen as the result of a remarkable spiritual experience. It was also as a result of this vision that he began his spiritual quest in earnest. During a period of retreat he had a vision of Jesus, Moses and Muhammad, each of whom gave him particular instruction. In the vision, he was rescued from danger by the Prophet Muhammad, who said to him: "My beloved, hold fast to me and you will be safe." Ibn 'Arabî says, "It was from that time on that I occupied myself with the study of hadîth."

In general, the Arabic word hadîth means "news" or "report". Hadîth qudsî (translated as Divine or Sacred Sayings) are a special kind of hadîth, reporting a communication spoken by God Himself to the Prophet Muhammad. In fact some hadîth qudsi do not come through Muhammad either. There are twelve in the Mishkat, reported by Kab al-Akhbar, who says he found them in the Torah. Although they convey God's words, hadîth qudsi are considered to be different in important ways from the Qur'anic revelation, or other sacred books, such as the Torah.

So the Mishkat al-Anwar consists of reports of things said by God, sometimes addressed to Muhammad directly, sometimes to another prophet, such as Moses, sometimes to an angel, sometimes to the "Son of Adam", sometimes to people on the Day of Judgement, sometimes to the people of Paradise.

The Mishkat al-Anwar consists of 101 hadîth qudsi collected and arranged by Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi. It has few of Ibn 'Arabi's own words in it. The title of the book, Mishkat al-anwar, "The Niche of Lights", is of course a reference to the Ayat al-Nur in the Qur'an, the famous Light Verse.

God is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the likeness of His Light is as a niche wherein is a lamp... (Q. 24:35)

From early times there have been interpretations of this ayat in which the niche (mishkat) is understood as Muhammad, be it his body, or his heart, reflecting the rays of God's Light (nur, plural anwar). Perhaps we can relate to this the following passage from the Futuhat:

The most excellent, balanced and correct of mirrors is Muhammad's mirror, so God's self-disclosure within it is more perfect than any other self-disclosure there may be. You should struggle to gaze on the Self-disclosing Real in the mirror of Muhammad so that he may be imprinted in your mirror.

The hadîth qudsi collected in the Mishkat are examples of God's self-disclosure in that clear mirror. Though its language is simple, what is in the Mishkat is essentially unlimited.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rising in Love rather than falling | 5 More Sundays Event

1.
On Sunday, 27th March, Islamic Study Center (Charlottesville, VA) is hosting its program on the series Five More Sundays which features five themes: Peace, Justice, Mercy, Love and Freedom, each being adress on Sunday every month. Tomorrow, is the 4th in the series on the Subject of LOVE and to provide Sufic perspective, contemporary Sufi Guides Shaykh A. Nooruddeen Durkee and Shaykh Ahmed Abdur-Rashid will give valuable discourses.

The event is scheduled to begin Inshallah on local time (Eastern Day Light Saving Time) at 10:30 and finishes at 5:00 pm. The talk by Shaykh A. Nooruddeen Durkee begins at 11:15 am.

Globally anyone can freely join the event through live teleconference (audio and video webcast feed) via this link: http://www.telspanrayo.com/?meeting=4496318

Here are the timing for few major cities:
11:15 am - 12:30 pm Charlottesville, New York, US Eastern Standard Time,
08:15 am - 9:30 am, California,
04:15 pm - 5:30 pm, London,
06:15 pm - 7:30 pm, Mecca,
09:15 pm - 10:30 pm, Dhaka local time.

You may compare your local timing from WorldTime site.


2.
wa-llazina amanuu ashaddu hubbal lillah
those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah.
- Suratu-l-Baqarah 2:165

wa Huwa-l-ghafuru-l-wadudu - zhul-arshi-l-majid
and He is the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Loving, Lord of the Glorious Throne.
- Suratu-l-Buruj 86:14-15

And what is that Throne but the Heart of the faithful in accord with the well known Hadith Qudsi “Nothing contains My Glory, My Lights, My Manifestations except the Heart of the faithful, for nothing can contain Me but the Heart of the faithful ones.”

qalba-l-mumin baytu-r-Rabb
Heart of the faithful is Abode of the Lord.
- Saying of the Messenger, may our love be perfected for him

Love is something granted by Allah to the heart of His Slave which distracts him from everything else other than Him, to the point that you see your lower self inclining to Him, the intellect protecting itself by spiritual knowledge of Him, the spirit rapt in His Presence, the inner secret soul overwhelmed in contemplation of Him. The slave asks for more, and more is given, and he enters into the sweetest of delights of spiritual communion with Him. He is clad in raiment that befits the approach to Him upon the carpet of proximity and he comes into contact with virgin reality and revealed science. For that reason it is said that the awliyah are the brides of Allah, Glorious is He. - Shaykh Sidi Abu-l-Hasasn ash-Shadhdhuli, may Allah sanctify his secret

Know my beloved, that there are four names for the stations of love (maqamatu-l-mahabbah); passion (hawa) which is the falling of love into the heart in its very initial state within the lover. If passion has no association with another beloved and the lover is deprived of his will and comes under the will of the beloved, then passion is called love (al-hubb). When love (al-hubb) becomes constant it is called affection (al-wudd) and when it embraces the heart and the thoughts and nothing remains it is called passionate longing (al-ishq). The ishq then surrounds the lovers heart until it blinds the lover from seeing anything but the beloved. - Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal, may Allah be pleased with him

It is a matter of rising in love rather than falling in love even though it seems that falling in love is what the world seems to treasure.. this is an extremely important point to consider in both the contemplation and experience of love. "Does this love I feel bring me closer to Allah and His Messenger or close to the dunya (temporal and passing world of appearance)?"  - Shaykh A. Nooruddeen Durkee, may Allah accept his tireless service

In this discourse, Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee take the audience in an journey into various stages of True Love from Sufic perspective. Click this link to join in via Live Webcast on Sunday at the time mentioned in the beginning of the post.

Sidi Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee at Pope Valley Photo
Shaykh A. Nooruddeen Durkee, the Khalifah in North America of Shaykh Dr. Ibrahim Muhammad al-Battawi, from whom he received idhn and ijaza in 1984CE/1405H to teach Islam from the Sufic perspective and to initiate, train and guide people specifically in the way of Shaykh Abu'l Hasan ash-Shadhdhuli, may Allah sanctify his secret.

The Green Mountain School is actively dedicated to making known in English language and Arabic transliteration the ahzab, adhkar, awrad and du'aa' of Sidi Abu'l Hasan ash-Shadhdhuli, the epitome founder of Shadhdhuili Sufi Path.

# Further Resources:
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Eye of Certainty | from Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din

And when We said unto the angels: 'Make prostration before Adam', they prostrated themselves all save Iblis... And We said, 'O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in the Paradise...' - Qur'an, II:34,35.

IN ALL parts of the world, but with many differences among different people as regards details, tradition tells us of an age when man lived in a Paradise on earth. But although it is said that there were then no signs of corruption upon the face of earth, it may be supposed, in view of the Fall which followed, that during this age the perfect human nature had become the basis for gradually less and less spiritual exaltation. This is inferred by some Sufi Shaykhs from the story of Adam and Eve, whose successive creations are said to be a sign or a presage, from the very beginning, of two different phases through which mankind in general was destined to pass through the Edenic age.

The creation of Adam and his adoration by the Angels (Devas) is taken to refer to a period when man would be born in possession of the Eye of Certainty only, that is, in the state of merely human perfection: in the beginning Eve was contained in Adam as the human nature is contained in the Divine, and her separate existence foreshadows the apparently separate existence of the perfect human nature as an entity in itself. Finally, the loss of this perfection corresponds to the loss of the Garden of Eden, which marks the end of the Primordial Age. This interpretation of the story of Adam and Even make it relevant to quote a saying attributed by some to the Prophet:

'Before the Adam known to us, God created a hundred thousand Adams.'

Between the first Adam, to whom the Angels prostrated themselves and the 'Adam known to us', that is the Adam who fell, lay the whole Edenic period. In fact the changes which are said to have taken place in 'Adam' could not have taken place in a single being, for the Truth of Certainty is, by definition, That which cannot be lost; it is as we have already seen, for him who is veritably extinguished in It, Eternity after extinction.

In the Truth of Certainty - the Eye of Certainty is nothing at all; and yet for earthly darkness it is said to be a light so splendid and satisfying that at first it might scarcely leave room for the conception of any brighter lights. This may be understood from the Qur'anic narrative of how God raised Abraham from one degree of certainty to another until he reached the Truth... quoting about the Eye of Certainty:

And when he saw the moon uprising he said: 'This is my Lord.' - Qur'an, VI:77

He alone whose Heart is lit with this Moon may be called the true man, for not only is it normal for man to possess the Eye of Certainty but it may be said that this third Eye is his most characteristic feature whereby he is best to be distinguished from all other earthly creatures. If the earth be likened to a windowless house, then man is a watch-tower in the house, and the Eye of the Heart is as a single window in that watch-tower to which all the dwellers in the house look up for their light.


This term, 'Eye of the Heart' which is here the equivalent of the Eye of Certainty, always denotes direct spiritual vision, but its meaning varies in respect of the intensity of that vision; for in the Supreme Paradise the Heart, that is, the center of being, is no longer the Moon nor yet the Sun. These are 'worn' by the Beloved as ornaments of silver and gold; their spiritual possibilities are also represented by the green silk robes and by the 'immortal youths' which go round about them, whereas the Heart is the Essence Itself. It was evidently according to the highest sense that the Sufi Al-Hallaj said:

I saw my Lord with the Eye of the Heart.
I said: 'Who art Thou?' He answered: 'Thou'.

Without this Eye man ceases to fulfill his essential function, having fallen from his true nature; but with this Eye he is the sole earthly receptacle of the spiritual light of which he is the dispenser among his fellow creatures, so that if he is not actually lord of the Universe, he is at least lord of his state of existence, and though he does not possess the Heavens, yet the Heavens of themselves lean down to touch the earth in him its highest point.

His nature is thus made so majestic and holy that the titles of Vicegerent (khalifah) and Saint (wali, literally 'close friend of God') are given to him as well as to those above him. He also, like them, is a spiritual Master who may guide others to his state of human perfection; and for himself to rise from this state and to pass through the Heavens to extinction in the Truth he has no need of any outward Master, for with the Eye of Certainty he sees the path lying open before him along the ray of light which connects the Moon of his Heart with the Sun of the Spirit.


- from The Book of Certainty: The Sufi Doctrine of Faith, Vision and Gnosis by Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din


# Related:
* Theophanies and Lights in the Thought of Ibn 'Arabi
* Yaqeen entery on Wikipedia
* Nine level of Yaqin mindmap

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Monday, March 21, 2011

From knowing to seeing | from ilm al-Yaqin to 'ayn al-Yaqin





What is the state where you "know" the Great Love is listening, but you do not "see" physical clues of the fact that "It" is listening?

In short, what is the description for this state of "doubt" in Sufi teachings? What are the meditations to over come this state?



1.
Everything in creation is created by the Creator in pairs or in opposites (only the Divine alone is without opposite or partner, laa sharika laHu, Ekam). As long as we behold anything as a separate entity (or as long as the domain of illusion or maya of separateness operates for individual consciousness), that entity has an opposite. This also holds true not only for matter (anti-matter) but also for quality or emotion. The wise guides of the Path use allusions of opposite to transmit the knowledge of reality, to help us grasp the truth of how things really are.

The opposite of doubt is certainty, which in sufi language is called yaqin. Certainty is closer to truth while doubt is the absence of certainty and hence closer to falsehood. Thus the evolutionary journey of soul towards truth (Asato ma sadgamaya, tamaso ma jyotirgamaya) is from doubt to certainty.

Certainty and doubt are both functions of the faculty of mind and of the inner heart. Doubt happens when we lack knowledge, when we are uncertain of something, uncertain of true nature of things.

How do we remove doubt? Here is a simplified parable. Lets say we hear on the radio about a product, lets say in a commercial they claim that such and such product has this special ingredient which removes all dirt from any mirror surface in an instant and makes it super shiny than ever.

This stage of knowing about this product is mere information or hear-say knowledge. This is like the faith of common folk who only say by their tongue (and think on the external surface of their mind) when they hear certain doctrine of faith / articles of faith and they think that they believe. This is not certainty yet since one does not know whether the source is reliable or not, whether the message is true or false (simply propaganda). This has minimum value because just like in the example of the radio commercial, it is only information and in reality has no real value (just hearing about it is not going to clean your stuff). Thats why its said that faith without spiritual vision is mere assumption.

When one hear or read about something and has enough faith to trust in the source (which is important), such as we read in the book of science that the earth is floating in the space. Now this information is not verified by us directly, yet because of the reliability of the source, more or less we can achieve certain degree of certainty. In Sufi science this is called 'Ilm al-Yaqin, Knowledge of Certainty. This stage is more useful than the previous level because now the possibility to make it really useful exists in a greater probability field. To attain this degree, its important that the source be reliable and trust or faith be established.

In the language of religion, that trust must be established in the Divine Informer (Nabi) or in the Messenger. This is the spiritual significance of blessed Christ's saying, "No one goes to the Father except through me." That is to say, none can reach the Knowledge of Certainty of God except by reaching at the Knowledge of Certainty of the Messenger of God, the Divine Informer who Informs of the Knowledge of Unseen (ilmul Ghayab). This is also why faith and certainty of knowledge in the Rasul (Messenger) is a prerequisite to attain Ma'rifa, or Godly gnosis or divine illumination. The messenger is the reliable source who take us to the certainty of the message and more than that, the Source of message.

Going back to the example of radio commercial, lets say we come across the same product in the super market where a demonstration is being given and one can see with one's own eye that the product really cleans the surface of mirror as it claims. Then a new certainty is reached. This is the next stage of Yaqin or being certain which in Sufism is called, 'Ayn al-Yaqin - Eye of Certainty. A biblical example of literal Ayn al-Yaqin are the miracles performed by Moses and Christ which was aimed to help remove doubts from the heart. But just seeing with external eyes does not guarantee the vision with the Eyes of the Heart. Hence even though many would see miracles by their naked eyes, yet due to their veils over the heart, they can not attain the Certainty of Vision of Heart.

For indeed it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts, which are within the bosoms, that grow blind. (Quran 22:46)


“I am thirsty for this water,” said the little prince. “Give me some of it to drink…”

And I understood what he had been looking for.

I raised the bucket to his lips. He drank, his eyes closed. It was as sweet as some special festival treat. This water was indeed a different thing from ordinary nourishment. Its sweetness was born of the walk under the stars, the song of the pulley, the effort of my arms. It was good for the heart, like a present..

“The men where you live,” said the little prince, “raise five thousand roses in the same garden – and they do not find it in what they are looking for.”

“They do not find it,” I replied.

“And yet what they are looking for could be found in one single rose, or in a drop water.”

“Yes, that is true,” I said.

And the little prince added: “But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart…”

"Here is my secret. It is very simple. One sees clearly only with the heart. That which is quintessential is invisible to the eyes."

- from The Little Prince (1943), by Antoine de Saint Exupéry


Even though 'ayn al-yaqin or vision of certainty is better than just the knowledge of certainty, but it still is reliant upon second hand experience. The reality of it is still a distant reality, the duality still exists.

Again back to the example of radio commercial where after seeing the demonstration at market, next stage would be to obtain the product, take it home and use it for real on a real surface. Only when we experience it by ourselves, then no trace of doubt remains and we achieve or experience the third degree of certainty which is called Haqq al-Yaqin - Truth of Certainty. This is from direct experience which all mystics are about, which is the esoteric teachings of all religion is about. All Prophets, Messengers, Avatars, Sages, Mystics of absorbed states experience this at some point and in experiencing dissolve their duality. Hence they transmit what they transmit from that direct experience of the Haqq (Truth). The spirit of all religious or faith tradition thus rely on direct experiencing.

Truth of Certainty is in the tasting, dhawq. It is the tasting by one's own tongue.

The Raja of Mahmudabad gives another example:

Ilm al-Yaqin: You are told - there is a fire in the forest. You only hear it from others.
'Ayn al-Yaqin: You come close to the forest and see the glow of fire with your own eyes.
Haqq al-Yaqin: You are at the fire in the forest, experience it directly through its real effect such as heat, burning away.

So to address the question as to what is the state where you "know" the Great Love is listening, but you do not "see" physical clues of the fact that "It" is listening? - the answer would be that this state of Heart is 'Ilm al-Yaqin and yet to obtain 'Ayn al-Yaqin.


2.
From the writing of Osman Yahya, in the article, Theophanies and Lights in the Thought of Ibn 'Arabi:

Certainty (al-yaqîn), like Permanency and Extinction, comprises three degrees. The first degree is referred to by the Master and by current Sufis by the name 'ilm al-yaqîn (the knowledge of Certainty), which means that Certainty is the result of knowledge. At this degree the object of Certainty is knowledge just as the aim of knowledge is Certainty. Both together are in the soul uniquely, such that Certainty is the first degree of spiritual life and the last of speculative experience. This particular degree of mystical yaqîn is the result of divine theophanies in Act at the level of existence and also the result of theophanies of lights of nature at the gnostic level.

The second degree of yaqîn is what one calls in Sufi terms 'ayn al-yaqîn (the Eye of Certainty), that is, Certainty as a consequence of contemplation and vision. At this level, the object of Certainty is present in front of the gnostic and is not only a speculative concept. Here knowledge becomes what one calls 'ilm-hudûrî (Presence of knowledge), and that is the second aspect of Certainty in the spiritual way and in liberating experience. By this kind of knowledge, the man of the Way is distinguished from philosophers and learned men. This particular degree of spiritual Certainty is the result of divine theophanies of Attributes at the level of existence, just as it is the result of theophanies of lights of the intellect at the level of gnosis.

Finally, the last degree of yaqîn is called haqq al-yaqîn (the total reality of Certainty), that is, Certainty as supreme truth. Here, Certainty has a particular colouring: it is the fruit of an all-embracing experience because the object of Certainty is identical to the one who is experiencing it, knowledge being transformed into actual experience and actual experience into knowledge. At this stage, in fact, knowledge is not limited to the intellect, nor to the vision of the one who is contemplating it, it becomes one with the human being. This is the final phase of yaqîn, the apotheosis of the spiritual and intellectual journey. This high degree of Sufi Certainty is the effect of the Emanation of the divine Theophanies in Essence at its existential level and that of the diffusion of the Light of lights (Dazzling Irradiations) at the level of the theophanies of the gnostic.


3.
Verily every certainty has a reality (haqiqa).
- The blessed Prophet

From examples of real life we know intuitively that certainty about knowledge or situation is achievable. Often in the physical world matter of certainty depends on the mind, through good source, solid knowledge, better understanding and discernment one can arrive at certainty of things. There are well devised scientific methods to conduct experiment, derive theoretical and experimental models, produce reproducible and verifiable results to verify theory to arrive at certainty. In short, for physical phenomena there are techniques to remove doubts and bring about certainty.

When it comes to spiritual matters, certainty does not remain a function of mind only, but heart or inner faculty of perception also comes into great influence.

What prevents attaining certainty of the heart, in sufism they are generally called veils. Veils prevent the heart from attaining clear vision of truth. The metaphor of veil of heart is something universal.

In the Bible we read, "They have no knowledge or wisdom; for He has put a veil over their eyes, so that they may not see; and on their hearts, so that they may not give attention." (Isaiah 44:18)

This is also reflected in the Quran, "Over their hearts are veils which prevent them from grasping its inner meaning, and into their ears, deafness. And so, whenever you mention, while reciting the words of God, your Sustainer as the One and only Divine Being, they turn their backs in aversion." (Quran 17:46)

Just as there are techniques to arrive at certainty when it comes to matter of physical world, in the world of spirituality, arriving at the certainty of spiritual truth there are guidance in the Path.

To approach Ilm al-Yaqin one need to find the reliable source. The Sufis who accept all Divine revelations and make no distinctions among any of the Divine Messengers sent to humanity, understand that many authentic paths of significant past, over the time have lost their essential teachings. Many later introduced doctrines have clouded true essence of teachings. For this reason there is wisdom to receive from the renewed Revelations. Thus Sufis turn to the Criterion (the Quran) which confirms previous revelation and carry the primordial truth for the latter days and also Sufis accept the Last Divine Informer as reliable source of the knowledge of the Unseen. When the reliable source is identified, it help fortify the certainty on the knowledge level (Ilm al-Yaqin).

It is confirmed by every spiritual path that the sacred knowledge ideally transmit from heart to heart. That is why in order to attain Ilm al-Yaqin, one needs to have the right companion to receive that knowledge of certainty. The pages of book does not warrant such knowledge. That is why satsang or sohbet with right kind of people is important because in their company alchemy of heart happens and aspiration descends and hearts receive illumination. "Be in the company of the truthful ones" - commands the Quran. The truthful ones are the Satguru (Teachers of Truth, Kamil Murshid) and their companionship is called Satsang in eastern tradition.

Consider how wool is turned into an elegantly designed carpet by coming into contact with an intelligent person. See how dirt can be turned into a fine palace by coming into contact with an intelligent person.

If association with the intelligent has such an effect on inanimate objects, think what effect will be when one seeker of God associate with another!
- Rumi, Kabir Helminski

The moment you are united with the masters, it become effortless.
- Bhai Sahib

According to the teachings of sacred Hindu tradition, "illusions or maya is produced by ignorance and dissolves in the wake of knowledge." It is ignorance that give rise to negative doubt. The doubt that aspires one to probe deeper into the truth is positive doubt and useful. But the negative doubt keeps the Heart veiled from realizing truth, from tasting the sweetness of iman (faith).

Apart from companionship of the truthful ones and sincere seekers, Divine remembrance is another important tool to help remove the veil. Prayer, chants (loud zikr), contemplation and meditation - all can be considered as variety of Divine Remembrance.

In Corinthians it is affirmed, "Whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed." (Corinthians 3:15-16)

The Final Testament transmit the certain knowledge, "Indeed in the Remembrance of God the Hearts find rest and tranquility." And rest and tranquility of the Heart is an after-glow of the dawning of Certainty (yaqin).


4.
The transition from Ilm al-Yaqin to 'Ayn al-Yaqin, from Knowledge of Certainty to Eye of Certainty is significant and radical. The journey from doubt to certainty is not an instantaneous one, but like every journey this also happen in stages. It takes time for the soul to be pregnant with God but it can be done - says the Sufis.

You shall most certainly journey from stage to stage. (Quran 84:19)

Those who attain faith and do righteous work: blessedness is for them, and a beauteous station will be their journey's end. (13:29)

Attaining 'Ayn al-Yaqin prerequisite that seeker must pass through the valley of Ilm al-Yaqin, that is to say, his or her knowledge of certainty must be sound. The guides of the Path counsel us that if we want to remove the doubts in our mind regarding Allah, we must increase the level of our faith, and lessen the constricted distress in our soul regarding the truth about the life of this quickly passing world (truth must be learned about why we are here, what will happen after we die). That means the fundamental about the perennial truth, truth of our existence must be received from authentic authority of truth, from the divine astronomers who have done space walk and have seen what they have been shown. Unfortunately in today's world many religious ways have become such that they no longer preserve to provide the quintessential "theory of everything". Its of paramount necessity for a seeker to discover for himself or herself the Path which offers the truth of human existence, with no traces of doubt in it regarding pre-eternity, present life and its guidance and where we are going, our sure destination in post-eternity.

No! You are going to know.
Again! Indeed you are going to know.
Only if you knew with a sure knowledge (ilma al-yaqeen)!
Then you will surely see with the eye of certainty (ayna al-yaqeen).
(The Quran 102)


To attain 'Ayn al-Yaqin, the Certainty of Vision is not impossible and many have gone before us who have left traces of their footprint on the sand of eternity. There are successive chain of transmission through whom sacred knowledge and methods have been passed down.

When sacred knowledge is infused in the heart, when heart is washed clean of the impurities or blemishes, when ego self is tamed by knowing the criterion of right from wrong by the Command - then outward gleams and gleams of manifestation (tajalli) start to shine in front of the Eyes of the Heart. Here begins, by God's permission, entering into the realm of Ayn al-Yaqin.

To God belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. (Quran 2:255)

Ayn al-Yaqin is a special grant of unveiling of God's knowledge to His chosen servants and this secret is not disclosed to those who are not worthy of it. Hence the Quranic reminder, "they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills."

In the book The Hundred Steps, Shaykh Abdal Qadir al Murabit writes:

"All creation, good and corrupt, witness Allah. However, they do not recognise Him, and they do not see the Real as the Real and recognise Him except for the one whose heart has the light of meanings. These lights of meanings by which Allah is seen and recognised only appear in the heart by the exaltation of the senses intending to seek Allah. Similarly, the darkness of meanings only appears by the illumination of the senses because wisdom is not in witnessing. It is in gnosis, because Allah is manifest (zahir) to everyone, hidden (batin) to everyone.

The gnostic is the one who recognises Him in the outward as he recognises Him in the inward and recognises Him in the inward as he recognises Him in the outward. As for the one who recognises Him outwardly and not inwardly, or recognises Him inwardly and not outwardly, he is ignorant. The ignorant is not called gnostic.

Shaykh ash-Shushtari, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
Do not look at vessels.
Dive into the sea of meanings.
Perhaps you will see Me
In the company of the sufis.

The meanings become a condition of seeing, and exalting the senses becomes a condition in the manifestation of meanings. Directing consciousness to seeking Allah becomes a condition in darkening the senses. Allah gives success!

The watching (muraqaba) began when the faqir (one who claims nothing, who have nothing and wants nothing) guarded against the wrong actions of the self. Then the watching deepened to an attention in fikr which prevented anything 'other' entering into the awareness.

However there is a final stage of watching which is the summit of gnosis. It envelops the dislocation of awareness which is the experience of unity. Let us look again. In stage on you setup a Watcher to watch the outward and make it pure. In the second stage the Watcher watches the self in its inward descriptions. From this emerges a profound stage in which the Watcher is voided of any thing or form to watch, held only by the act of calling on the Name. This leads to the original Void. Then the seeker moves between the worlds, drawing sensory and meanings into closer and closer, finer and finer balance. When light dawns you know that you do not see Allah, but Allah sees you. Ihsan.

This is not pure monism or any other simplistic philosophical position - it is a situation that cannot be expressed in linear expression or formulate for it is subtle, dynamic and secret.

The wird (action) of this time is the Wird-asSahl.

Allahu Ma'ee (Allah is with us).
Allahu Nadhirun alayya (Allah is Seeing us).
Allahu Shahidun alayya (Allah is Witness upon us). 66 times.

Shaykh Ibn al-Habib said in his Diwan: "The Merciful is only to be seen in the manifestations." The gnostic moves from the tajalliyat of the Attributes to the Tajalli of the Essence. The end is direct vision of the Face.

Seek only the Face of Allah. Allah guides whoever He wants to His Light. Allah is in His slave's expectation of Him, so have a good expectation of Allah. Now go on."


5.
Yaar ko humne ja-ba-ja dekha
kahin zahir kahin chupa dekha
kahin momkin hoa kahin wajib
kahin fani kahin baqa dekha

I saw my Beloved in all I saw,
At times revealed, hidden at times.

Been familiar with knowledge of faith,
I saw the Face of my Beloved in all I saw.

At times a possibility, at times imperative,
At times ephemeral, at times eternal.

Inspired by the wish to see Himself,
He made Himself into every form.

He is the one who Sees and Hears
I saw no one other than Him.

Laughed gleefully through blooming flowers,
Crooned in nightingale's melodious songs.

He took the forms of the candle and the moth,
And annihilated Himself in flames of His own.

At times claiming "I am the Truth",
Witnessed His head raised on the Cross.

O 'Niyaz' He was beyond the bounds of `You' and `Me',
And yet I see Him in every `You' and `Me'.

At times He behaved like unfamiliar,
At timed I found him with familiar face.

At times He is the emperor in power,
At times seen with a mendicant's begging bowl.

At times, a devout worshiper,
Lord of rakes and drunkards at times.

At times in the beloved's attire,
He was seen throwing up His charms.

At times as a lover like 'Niyaz',
He was seen beating his breast and heart aflame.

- Kalam by Hazarat Shah Niaz, full lyrics


6.
Practical advice for attaining certainty, by Divine generosity and bestowing

Regardless of your faith, try your best to learn your own Scripture. Read regularly the Scripture of the Path you feel at home (be it New Testament, Gita or Torah). Along with it, also read translation of the Quran in your own language. If you do not have a copy, read from Online. Quran.com has standard translation. You may choose to read any random chapter, but important is to read it for the sake of attaining Ilm al-Yaqin, knowledge of certainty, which is the first stage of journey to certainty.

Try to spend time with people of spiritual knowledge. Find them if you do not know them yet. Sit in their circle. Attend remembrance (zikr) circle once a week if possible. Its very much possible that in your very town there exists such circle of remembrance where seekers and lovers of God gather. May we be included and accepted among such circle of lovers.

Glory be to Your Lord, the Lord of Might, above any description or limitations of mind, beyond any comparison. And true praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the multiverse. Abundant peace and blessings be upon all His chosen Messengers.


# Related:
* Blessed Glance as Sacred Practice (esoteric practices are hinted here for attaining 'Ayn al-Yaqin)
* Gazing At The Beloved
* When was God far? | Ibn Ataillah
* Esoteric Dimension and Gnosis of Immanence
* It is the heart that perceives beauty
* Vision of Allah is of two kinds
* The Hundred Steps by Shaykh Abdal Qadir al-Murabit (Recommended Reading)
* The Vision of God
* Remedy For Removing Doubtfulness And Ignorance
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Poetry of Hazrat Inayat Khan | Ajab shaan hai

Collage of Hazrat Inayat Khan by Sadiq Alam @ MysticSaint

Ajab shaan hai, mast e saut e azl kee
Na parwah rahay, oos ko thal kee na jal kee

What a unique glory has the one who is attuned to the sound of Eternity,
He is not concerned about the (happenings of the) land or the lake (the earth or water).

Oosi sur kay, dhiyaani hain roz e azl say
Kay maaray hooay, hain pia kay charan kay

It is the same sound that we have all been intoxicated by since the beginning of time,
It is the same sound that brings us to the feet of the Beloved.

Khudaee karain kar kay dikhlaayain dum main
Agar dair main hon kay hon ya haram main

Let us reflect Him through our breath and our actions,
Whether we are in the temple or in the mosque.

Inayat sada kay fidayee hain saaray
Parhain hain azl say pia kay duwaaray

Oh Inayat, we are all intoxicated by that which is Eternal,
 And since the beginning of time we have been lying at the doorstep of the Beloved.

Jo oos ka hai waisa hee hona hai laazim
Mijaz aur haqeeqat hain baahim mulaazim!

If you come from Him, you are bound to be like Him,
The inner and the outer world are, after all, one!

Ajab shaan hai, mast e saut e azl kee
Inayat karo bus bhee tum aur yeh baat

Oh what a unique glory has the one who is attuned to the sound of Eternity,
Oh Inayat, stop talking about such lofty ideals!

Haqeeqat kay charchay, tumhaaree yeh awqaat
Illahi karam ho, kay zara ho khursheed

Look at reality and look at your own lowly nature,
Still, if He wishes, He can turn a speck of dust into sunlight!

Karam ho to ho jayay, sar sabz umeed
Ajab shaan hai, mast e saut e azl kee!

And with His blessings, hope becomes evergreen,
Oh what a unique glory has the one who is intoxicated by the sound of eternity!


 ~ Poetry of Sufi Master, Hazrat Inayat Khan ~
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Friday, March 18, 2011

The Great Love is Always Listening

the mystic rose, Technology of the Soul






1.
a simple Sufi Meditation and seed for Remembrance -

The phrase to be recited, either aloud or silently in one's heart:

Sami Allahu Liman Hamidah

and the meaning to be resonated within the phrase is:

The Great Love is always Listening.



2.
About the phrase:

The Arabic phrase "Sami Allahu Liman Hamidah" was taught to the blessed Messenger as part of the salaat (namaz, the islamic yoga) in his celestial journey or ascension (miraj). The Islamic prayer has within it the various movements, such as standing, bowing, prostration and sitting straight - all the ways how human beings have adored the Divine from time immemorial. Inherent symbolism is that we face God in every aspect of living and being, in every movement and in every stillness we strive to become conscious of the Divine.

In salaat when one moves from bowing to standing again, one says this phrase "Sami Allahu Liman Hamidah." The phrase if literally translated means: “Allah listens to the one who praises Him", or "Allah respond to the one who adore", or "(All) Praise is Absorbed in Divine Listening."

Those who cling to the world,
Endeavor to free them;
Those who are free, praise.
- Mechthild of Magdeburg

There are many mysteries hidden in the act of praising the Divine and to say the least, when one praise the Divine, one is partaking in the most fundamental yet exalted action of every particles of the cosmos - which is always exalting and praising the Divine by the Very Reality with which they come into existence, are sustained and in which they ultimately must return, annihilated and stripped off their separateness.

When one remember to praise the Divine, one is in reality paying attention and moving towards the Perfection in which one is created. The praise for the great love is a praise of our own hidden reality waiting to be known.

The meditative verse is translated as "The Great Love is Always Listening" because the Divine Attribute as-Sami, the One Who listen is an act of love. The remembrance that The Great Love is always Listening is also a reflection and reminder of our own role that we must also be ready to hear the call of others in this river of life.

So if you can and when you are reminded during any part of the day or night, say, "Sami Allahu Liman Hamidah" and know in your heart of Heart that The Great Love is Always Listening.

May all our heart's longing be listened and be answered by That Great Love Who is One, without partner, for Love is indivisible.


3.
God Most High, the Great Love, Lover and Beloved brings forth the creation
and says, "Entrust Me with your secrets.

If you do not do this, then look toward Me.

If you do not do this, then listen to Me.

If you do not do this then wait at My door.

If you do none of this, at least tell Me your needs."


- Sahl


# Related:
* Invisible Hierarchy of the Journey Back to God

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sufi counsel from Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi


Happiness

Always be happy. No matter what happens, the single most important thing is to be happy and to spread happiness to others.

Peace

Once connection with God is established, the heart becomes completely satisfied and heavenly bliss of peace and tranquility becomes his or her destiny.

Love

Love and respect of others is the biggest secret of success.

Help

One of the best ways to become a friend of God is by helping and serving His creations.

Kindness

When two people meet, they always talk to each other. Before the conversation if one begins to think of words that will cause the other person to become delighted he or she will make the other person extremely at ease, convincible and light hearted.

Necessities

We must trust God for all of our needs. Look at your past and see how every single need that you had was met by Nature.

Obstacles

Real strength is gained by handling obstacles of life.

Quest

Quest for spiritual knowledge is everyone's duty. We must sincerely have a genuine desire in seeking the unseen world and encourage others for its quest.

Self

In the beginning the Spiritual Master makes you aware of your Self, of a treasure within you. And then he opens the door of that treasure.

Sincerity

That first candle burns by itself and then the moths give away their lives for the candle. Let us promise that we will follow the wisdom of the Prophets and will set the standards by first acting on them sincerely. We will introduce humanity to the Spiritual wisdom without making it a business so that we become true friends of God.

Spirituality

Spirituality is having, in addition of worldly and scientific knowledge, a desire for Spiritual growth and mystical knowledge.

Vastness of the Universe

* One Book (kitab al mobeen) - Open and clearly manifested.
* The Book contains three hundred million Preserved chapters therein.
* Each Preserved chapter consists of eighty thousand Galaxies.
* Each Galaxy has more than one hundred billion permanent inhabitants and settled systems and 1.2 trillion unstable systems.
* Each system is composed of a Sun (star) and its related planets; averaging 9.12 or 13 planets per solar system

Treating Others

Every single member of humanity whether male or female, big or small, young or old is brother and sister. Superiority is only for the one who is aware of the endless oceans of Spirituality within Soul, has good manners, serves humanity, and never hurts anyone in anyway or form.

Understanding

Never try to prove your Order superior to any other Sufi Orders, as all Sufi Orders are simply different ways of reaching the same destination. Understand your nocturnal life is as important as our diurnal life. We spend half of our lives in the nocturnal form (dreams, sub-conscious etc.).

Anger

Anger is a poison that contaminates the blood. It diminishes the stored up Spiritual Energy within you. You will never be able to become spiritual unless you overcome anger and resentment.

Waste

Whether it is good or bad do not whine. Whatever you have done, or whatever has past, try to forget it. You are given only a few breaths don't waste them.

Charity

Remember that whenever you give, do it with the intention of pleasing God; without any hope for fame, respect or reward from others.

Children

Do not scare children in an early age, as this fear will remain hidden in their minds, which would prevent them achieving big things in life.

Do not call your children lazy, bad, or worthless. Instead, when you notice their weaknesses and shortcomings imagine that not long ago, you were a child too and you made numerous mistakes and acted carelessly.

Treat them with respect and love so that their hearts are filled with you respect and obedience.

Doubt

Never let the doubt in. No one with doubt in his heart can be a Sufi. Doubt is the biggest weapon of Satan through which he is able to create distance between God and you.

Explanation

Simply believing explanations of the facts (assumption) is not acceptable in Spiritual world. Only seeing and experiences of the inner-eye are worth believing.

Forgiveness & Detachment

Three things that are the biggest secrets of success:
* When you do something to hurt anyone, be very quick to ask for forgiveness.
* If somebody hurts you, forgive him or her.
* Do your best, but do not worry about the outcome, because the outcome is in the hands of the Lord.

Greed

Because our life on this planet is short and someday all of us have to go, it is foolish to love a temporary place and ignore the final destination. It is like if someone stopped at a motel for a few days and started decorating or refurbishing the place even though he knew that he has to leave the place in a few days! Nobody lives forever, why then all the hassle?

- Teachings of Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi, Patriarch of Azeemia Sufi Order, via SufiBlog.com



About Shaykh Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi, may Allah be pleased with him

Born Khwaja Shamsuddin Ansari on October 17, 1927 in Siharanpur, U.P., India into a radical Sunni cleric household; young Shamsuddin saw first hand the superficiality of the legalistic outward religion. Growing up he had several encounters that provoked his interests in the esoteric side of religion. At the young age of twenty, he set out on the quest of finding a true murshid (Sufi Master). That nine-year journey took him from his native city to places like the Patiala State, India and then to Lahore and then later Sadiqabad, Pakistan. Finally in Karachi, he arrived at the doorsteps of the Syed Muhammad Azeem a.k.a. Qalandar Baba Auliya (1896-1979) founder of the Sufi Order of Azeemia and grandson of the famous Indian Sufi, Baba Tajuddin of Nagpur (1852?-1929).

The next fourteen years under his tutelage saw his transformation from an undereducated and functionally illiterate person into the respected author, advisor, healer and spiritual teacher. In 1962, Shaykh Azeemi started writing articles on spirituality in various Pakistani newspapers and magazines. The most famous of them was his advice column Roohani Daak, in Urdu Daily Jung. People from all walks of life and faith would write to him for his advice on their problems. On average, Shaykh Azeemi received 3,000 mails a day. Because of its huge success, a monthly magazine Roohani Digest was launched in 1978. Shaykh Azeemi is the Editor in Chief of the magazine. In 1979 before his physical death, Qalandar Baba Awliya designated Shaykh Azeemi as the Patriarch of the Sufi Order of Azeemia.

What sets this Sufi Order apart from most of the other Orders is that it is available to people from all the faiths. Hence, a number of Shaykh Azeemi's students are Hindus, Christians and Zoroastrians as well as members of other faiths. The main headquarters of the Sufi Order of Azeemia is its convent (khanqah) at Surjani Town, subdivision of Karachi, where Shaykh Azeemi still receives and gives free advice to people daily. The convent holds weekly Muraqaba sessions as well as training classes and lungar.

Since 2001, Shaykh Azeemi has delegated most of his editorial responsibilities to his eldest son and shaykh-designate Dr. Waqar Yousuf Azeemi.

Patriarch of the Sufi Order of Azeemia, Shaykh Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi is author of over 35 books and has written numerous articles on Parapsychology, Telepathy, ESP, Color therapy and on meditation. He has spent most of his life guiding the serious seekers of Self-awareness from all walks of life and also in dispelling the ignorance of the orthodox Muslims by awakening the higher consciousness of the Ultimate Reality.

The essence of the teachings of Qalandar Baba Auliya, spiritual teacher of Shaykh Azeemi is that man has not been created solely to pursue a livelihood in order to earn bread, to eat and clothe himself. The first and foremost purpose of his creation is that he should recognise his Own Self and have an intimate relationship with his Creator.

# Resources:
* Silsila Azeemia
* Azeemia Foundation, South Australia
* Azeemia Foundation, UK
* Muraqaba (Sufi Meditation) Halls in UK
* Muarqaba Halls around the World Pin It Now!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan: reflection on the missing conversation

Colette, Alchemy of the Divine1.
The body of the earth
is ravaged and torn.

Her cries are my cries.

Her bloody grief
flows forth,

Wailing prayers of healing
for Her body and mine.

When the veils are ripped away,
the numbness banished,
all boundaries dissolved,

You have only
to break open your heart
to know there is only
One wound.

World Wailing...

- COLETTE, contemporary mystic and visionary artist


We know the truth that Compassion is at the Heart of Creation, but the question is, are we compassionate to all those around us? Are we Compassionate towards the Earth, our ancient Home, sacred Womb, whom from ancient time we have been calling our Mother Earth? Have we, human being as a race became so corrupt that we are raping her very body? Are we so deaf that we can not hear her wailing, her cry of agony? Are we so blind in heart that we can not see all the Signs given to us?

There are Signs in the earth 
for those who are firm in their faith, 
and within yourselves. 
Can you not perceive? 
- Quran 51:20-21


The old Lakota was wise.  He knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.  ~ Chief Luther Standing Beara

As the world is still recovering from the shock and horror of the 11th March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, while watching some of the international news media, what made me really disappointed is the complete and deliberate omission of the role of climate change and man made environmental contributions which are having an additive effect to all the latest natural disasters. Its really long over due that we take climate change seriously and urgently address it from the most richest nation to the impoverished ones and make amend for our mindless abuse, environmental destruction, senseless exploitation which we are imparting upon the Mother Earth.

We seem to have progressed materially, but lost an important piece of gratitude and deep reverence for the Mother Earth. In ancient traditions this was at least better understood than us. The native indian wisdom tells us, "when we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us." This is true for our living, breathing Earth as well which is faithfully supporting the whole life system and ecology for millions of years.

Walk lightly in the spring; for the Mother Earth is pregnant.
- Kiowa

The reason for the unwillingness to even talk about human contributed climate change factors, tremendous environmental wreckage we are doing to our own planet - is not that hard to understand. The very corporates which do not allow government to fund renewable energy in order to continue making astronomical profit from oil and gas, keeping the mass in hostage to a hydro-carbon fuel driven economy, are the same group which fund the propaganda media channels. Remember how the oil and gas industry killed the electric card industry? [watch the trailer of the revealing documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car to refresh the perspective].

Thanks to agenda driven, highly controlled and sanitize news media, we have almost no meaningful conversation or even simply raising the issue of man made climate disasters or environmental abuse which again shows our degree of covering up real issues with misleading dumb down, idiotic talking-head information. Almost no one in the media has mentioned anything of the abuse we are causing to the planet earth in a massive, unprecedented way which is for the most part responsible for the natural disasters we are witnessing, specially since this last decade beginning from 2000. The decade of 2000-2010 is already termed as a decade of climate change.

We have already seen some of the most deadly natural disasters during this period. Notables are via Wikipedia:
2001: Gujarat earthquake India - close to 20,000 dead
2003: Europe Heat Waves- 35,000 dead. Iran Earthquake- 31,000 to 43,000 dead
2004: Hurricane Jeanne- 3,037 dead. Asian Tsunami- 225,000 to 275,000 dead
2005: Hurricane Katrina- 1,836 dead. Hurricane Stan- 1,598 dead. Pakistan Earthquake- 75,000 dead
2008: Burma (Myanmar) Cyclone- 146,000 dead. China Earthquake- 70,000 dead
2009: Global Swine Flu- 11,800 dead
2010: Haiti Earthquake- 316,000+ dead. Chile Earthquake- 750 dead. Iceland Volcanic eruption.
Pakistan Flooding- 1,800 dead. Tibet earthquake-2220 dead.
2011: Mysterious mass scale death of birds (1000s) and fishes (80,000 to 100,000) in US and Europe. Australian Flood: Affected area larger than France and Germany combined. New Zealdan Earthquake. Japanese earthquake and tsunami: 8,000 to 10,000 dead (recovery in progress).

Since the beginning of 2011 we have noticed few remarkable signs of serious climate change, including flood of biblical proportion in Australia, thousands upon thousands of fishes and bird dead over night and now this massive earthquake and tsunami killing thousands, destroying towns and cities and we are facing extremely dangerous nuclear disasters. The scale of this earthquake and tsunami was so high that the scientists are saying that it shifted Earth axis and entire Japan coast shifted by 2.4 metres.

Given the seriousness of these signs, yet the whole media is obsessed with oil and gas price, how to attack other nations, how to alienate a whole group of people in the pretext of their religion and how to give bailout to those greedy and corrupt institutions who are responsible for economic collapse in the first place.

Only after the last tree has been cut down, 
Only after the last river has been poisoned, 
Only after the last fish has been caught, 
Only then will you find money cannot be eaten.
~ Cree Prophecy


2.
The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future. ~ Marya Mannes, More in Anger, 1958

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.  ~ Richard P. Feynman

Award-winning journalist Naomi Klein has been reporting on global warming and the climate justice movement for years. Recently in an interview with Democracy Now she takes on this very issue how real threats of Climate Change is pushed back from public awareness. “My fear is that climate change is the biggest crisis of all,” Klein says. “If we don’t come up with a positive vision of how climate change can make our economies and our world more just, more livable, cleaner, fairer, then this crisis will be exploited to militarize our economies, to create fortress continents. And we’re really facing a choice. What we really need now is for the people fighting for economic justice and environmental justice to come together.” [Watch her interview here.]

When we see such massive scale natural disaster such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in which the Mother Earth protests for all the rape, abuse and untold stories of damage we are causing, we hardly understand about environmental justice, ecological justice. When we fail to honor the very living, breathing planet which is sustaining the whole life system for millions of years, we should not be surprised if she shows us some of her terrifying Jalali face.


Racial injustice, war, urban blight, and environmental rape have a common denominator in our exploitative economic system.  ~ Channing E. Phillips

With our so called knowledge of science we at least know already that this planet earth is a very special place, and there is nothing like it in the near vicinity of our solar system. We call it Mother Earth and we know it has a living ecology, its nature and its eco-system is very much inter-dependent, intricate, harmoniously connected to each other. Yet with all our scientific knowledge, we continue raping this very planet and worse even, we continue to cover up (kafara) our own criminal acts. And when the planet continue to show us its rage, its anger, its disapproval, we don't even pay attention to the truth and facts that need attention.


A human being is part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole [of] nature in its beauty.  ~ Albert Einstein, 1950


3.
Do not corrupt the earth after it has been set in harmony.
- The Quran, Surah al-A'araf

To see a true reality of the extent in which we are abusing this planet, American award winning documentary GAS LAND is an eye opener. It exposes some of the most destructive method used by gas industry to exploit what is beneath the surface, but in doing so, it leaves the environment totally ruined, balance of the ecosystem completely destroyed. There is a method called Hydraulic Fracturing or Fracking which blasts a mix of water and chemical about 8000 feet into the ground. Fracking is like a mini earthquake. The intense pressure from man made blast break apart the rocks and and frees up the gas. This method is been used all over world by the oil and gas industry and know this well that we are causing artificial Earthquake in the heart of this planet far many more times than it is giving earthquake by itself to us (have to learn about Fracking, a gas extraction method that at the moment continuing to create artificial earthquakes around the world by blasting and where do you think that accumulated collective energy goes?). Click on the image below to view the trailer of this documentary to know whats really goes on. If you can obtain the documentary, share with friends and write to your congressman, politicians to stop this heartless abuse of our only Home. Its our collective responsibility to take action or speak out against it, share it or at least to be aware of it and not live in total ignorance.

Click on the image above to watch the Trailer of Gas Land to understand what we do to the Earth

Its amazing what took the mother nature millions of years to build, 
can be destroyed in a few hours.
- GasLand, watch an extended trailer


Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?  ~ Pierre Troubetzkoy

Its high time that we stop exploiting the mother nature in such heartless way and continue to abuse the planet, destroy its rain forests, extinct its plants and animals, pollute its air and water and destroy the harmony of planet earth. Its time that we remember its sacredness and our reverence for that sacredness. Indeed all that is in the heaven and in the earth belongs to the One.


4.
Bismi'Llahir Rahmanir Raheem

Iza zulzilati al-ardu zilzalaha,
Wa akhrajati al-ardu athqalaha.


When Earth is shaken with her (final) earthquake,
And the earth throws up her burdens (from within),

Wa qala al-insanu 'ma laha?'

And man cries out (distressed): 'What is the matter with her?'

Yawma-izin tuhaddithu akhbaraha,
Bi-anna Rabbaka awha laha.


On that day she shall disclose her news,
Because your Lord has inspired her. 


Yawma-izin yasduru an-nasu ashtatan liyuraw aAAmalahum.
Fa man yaAAmal mithqala zarratin khayran yarahu,
Wa man yaAAmal mithqala zarratin sharran yarahu.


That day, the entire humanity shall come forth that they may be shown their deeds.
So whoever does an atom's weight of good shall see it,
And whoever does an atom's weight of evil shall
see it.

- Surah of Earthquake, the Final Testament



# References:
* Naomi Klein on Climate Change
* Gasland: a film exposing the destruction on nature by gas industry 
* Natural Gas Industry Attacks Oscar-Nominated Film “Gasland” for Chronicling Devastating Impact of Hydraulic Fracking
* Who Killed the Electric Car?
* Deadly flash flood hits Australia after six inches of rain fell in just 30 minutes
* The year of living dangerously. Masters: “The stunning extremes we witnessed gives me concern that our climate is showing the early signs of instability”
* 2000-2010: A Decade of (Climate) Change
* Pollution: a New Vision 
* Silencing the scientists: the rise of right-wing populism
* "I AM" - Official Trailer: Asking some of today's significant mind, What's wrong with our world and most importantly what we can do about it? 
* Watch live conversation on the web on Tsunami via Google Realtime
* Going Green: Ecology in Islam
* Ecology: an Islamic Perspective
* Ecology in Islam: Protection of the Web of Life a Duty for Muslims

(quake photos credit: Boston Globe, big picture) | top art by Colette via Alchemy of the Divine Pin It Now!

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