The 15th of Sha’ban – July 5, 2012

July 1, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Thursday, July 5th, 2012 is the 15th of Sha’ban this year, the 15th day of the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The preceding night is known as Laylatul Bara’ah or Laylatun Nisfe min Sha’ban in the Arab world, and as Shab-e-barat in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, and Afghanistan. These names are translated to the night of records, the night of assignment and the night of deliverance, and the observance involves a festive nightlong vigil with prayers, feasting and illumination.

Muslims observe Mid-Sha’ban as a night of worship and salvation; it is a night noted for its great blessings and virtues, when Allah determines the destiny of all people, including whether a person lives or dies in the coming year. For this reason it is sometimes called the “Night of Emancipation.” The date also may commemorate the saving of Noah’s followers from the deluge by Allah.

The Qur’an describes it as the blessed night, and fortunate indeed are those who attain the full blessings and benefits of this night by spending it in performing good and refraining from evil.

‘Ali (pbuh) narrates that the Prophet (saws) said, “When it is the fifteenth of Sha’ban, then stand (in worship) at night and fast during the day. Because Allah subhanahu wata’aala descends in this night at sunset to the first heaven and says: ‘Is there any seeker of forgiveness, that I may forgive him? Is there any seeker of sustenance, that I may sustain him? Is there anyone in affliction, that I may remove his affliction? And so on. This continues until Fajr, the dawn prayer.”  - (Ibn Mãjah)

Ya Haqq!


Laylat al-Miraj – The Night Journey!

June 15, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Glory to Allah! Exalted is He who did take His Servant by night from the Sacred Mosque ( al-Masjid al-Haram) to the farthest Mosque ( al-Masjid al- Aqsa), whose precincts We did bless, that We might show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.     - Qur’an 17:1

For indeed he saw him at a second descent,
Near the Lote-tree beyond which none may pass:
Near it is the
Garden of Abode.
Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!)
(His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong!
For truly did he see of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest!

- Qur’an, 53: 13-18

Alhamdulillah! This Saturday evening, June 16th, or the 17th in some parts of the world, is Laylat al-Miraj – The Night Journey.

The story of the Night Journey focuses on how the Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) heart was purified by the archangel Gabriel, who filled him with knowledge and faith in preparation to enter the seven levels of heaven. The exact date of the Journey is not clear, but is celebrated as though it took place before the Hijra and after Muhammad’s visit to the people of Ta’if. It is considered by some to have happened just over a year before the Hijra, on the 27th of Rajab. The Al-Aqsa Mosque and surrounding area, with the Dome of the Rock marking the place from which Muhammad is believed to have ascended to heaven, is the third-holiest place on earth for Muslims.

May Allah bless us all this Laylat al-Miraj, with the bounty of increased prayer, faith, and wisdom to discern His signs, on the horizons and in ourselves. Amin!

 

Ya Haqq!


In God’s Hands

May 30, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all: but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”

- Martin Luther

 

Ya Haqq!


“…those who spend for Allah’s sake…”

August 20, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“The likeness of those who spend for Allah’s sake is as the likeness of a grain of corn; it grows seven ears, every single ear has a hundred grains, and Allah multiplies (increases the reward) for whom He wills, and Allah is sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.”  – (Qur’an, 2:261)

“Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public. have their reward with their Rabb (God, the Sustainer). On them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.”  – (Qur‘an, 2:274)

Ya Haqq!


Sufi Masters and Disciples of Imagination

May 26, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

A man came to Sufi Master Bahaudin Shah Naqshband and said: “First I followed this teacher and then that one. Next I studied these books and then those. I feel that although I know nothing of you and your teachings, this experience has been slowly preparing me to learn from you.”

Bahaudin Shah said: “Nothing you have learned in the past will help you here. If you are to stay with us, you’ll have to abandon all pride in the past. That is a form of self-congratulation.”

This is true of any mystical path, and almost every initiate, and is a product of their subjective thinking and ego-centered imagination, the very habits the Master strives to cure them of.  As my own late Master, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, noted in one of this lectures, Sufis Who Are Disciples of Their Own Imaginations:

Most people who are drawn to the path of Sufism and become disciples of a master have, in fact, an image of the master in their minds, expecting the master to act according to this subjective image of theirs. If, after a while, they come to conclude that the master is not acting according to their mental image, they decide to leave this master, because, from their point of view, the master has not performed according to their expectations, and in point of fact they expect the master to be the disciple of their own mental image, otherwise they conclude that he or she is not a good master.

For ages the saying has been “The master’s infidelity is the disciple’s faith,” meaning that if the master says something contrary to the disciple’s beliefs, or does something against the disciple’s wishes, and the disciple remains loyal to him, it is proof that the disciple truly has faith in the master. There are very few disciples in the school of Sufism who love their master as he is and not as they would like him to be. For this reason, a true Sufi is a rare thing in this world. Most come through their imagination, and leave through their imagination.

- Edited from Discourses on the Sufi Path, by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh.

Ya Haqq!


The Buddhist Master’s Question

April 14, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

A Buddhist Master asks, “How do you know when the night has ended and the dawn has come?”  A student replies, “When I can tell a donkey apart from the hay.” Another says, “When I can see my hands clearly.” The master responds, “The night is over and the dawn has come when you look into a stranger’s eyes and instead of seeing something to judge, you see your brother or sister.”

 

Ya Haqq!


Mystic Heart – The 3rd Sufi Poetry Carnival!!!

April 7, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

God hath treasures beneath the Throne,
the keys whereof are the tongues of poets.
- a saying of the Prophet (pbuh)

Alhamdulillah!

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Sufi Poetry Carnival, co-hosted by our brother Sadiq of the highly acclaimed Technology of the Heart blog.

The Carnival will run from April 7th to April 30th, during National Poetry Month in the US, and will be posted on our blogs on May 7th, inshallah.  The Sufi theme this year is:

The Mystic Heart

If you have a blog or website, you can submit a direct link of your poem. If you don’t have a blog or website, you can email your submission to the address below, with the subject line:  Sufi Poetry Carnival

All May Enter: We are all spiritual beings having a human experience,  so may submit their poetry, whether a Sufi or not, as long as the poetry is in English and the Mystic Heart theme is followed.

Send your links and entries to me at: Irvingk1945@gmail.com

And please send a duplicate copy to Sadiq at mysticsaint@gmail.com

We will then each post a selection of the poems chosen :)

In your light I learn how to love,
in your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you,
but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.
- Rumi

 

Ya Haqq!


God is Love

March 25, 2011

God is love:
And he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God,
And God in him.
Perfect love casteth out fear.

- Epistle 1 of St. John

Ya Haqq!


“Under the Angel’s Wings!”

January 21, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

It is related that many years ago, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order, decided it was time to establish a khaniqah, a Sufi meeting house, in Koln, Germany. The dervishes had grown sufficiently in number, and had been holding their majlis, the twice weekly zekr, in the apartment of one of them. And so the Master directed the dervishes to begin the search for a suitable house that the Order could purchase.

They began the search the very next day. The house had to meet certain requirements of interior size and amenities; and was very difficult to find. The dervishes designated to conduct the search drove each day through the neighborhoods of Koln, and each day they looked at many house and found nothing suitable. And each night the Master would call them from England and ask, “Did you find the khaniqah?”  The dervishes would have to answer that they had not, and Dr. Nurbakhsh would say, “Keep looking!”

This went on for days, then weeks, and each night the Master would call, inquire of their progress, and tell them to keep looking.

Finally, one night when Dr. Nurbakhsh called, the darvishes were tired and disheartened after a long day of searching, and said, “Master, we have looked in every neighborhood, and can’t find anything.”

The Master said, “Keep looking! It is under the angel’s wings.”

They did not know what to make of that pronouncement, but the very next day as they were once again driving through neighborhoods, they saw a For Sale sign on a house in a good area, close to public transportation, and immediately called the broker listed on the sign. He came to meet them shortly thereafter and showed them the house. There were two large rooms on the first floor suitable for serving tea and holding the zekr, and large bedrooms on the second floor for living quarters. And there was an expansive yard that with work could be turned into a garden. It fit all the requirements of a khaniqah.

They made plans with the real estate agent to come to his office the next day and begin the process of negotiating the contract. As they were doing a final walk-through, and congratulating themselves on finding a suitable house, one of them noticed that in one corner of the garden, set on a three foot plaster pillar, was the figure of a angel, a stone cherubim, with wings outspread. The dervishes looked at each other in disbelief.

“Alhamdulillah!” They shouted.  All praise belongs to God alone, who has given to their Master the foresight of His true friends. Ya Ali! Ya Pir!

Ya Haqq!


Happy New Year 2011- with “Jannah!”

December 31, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Here is a short film entitled Jannah (the Islamic conception of paradise or heaven), a lovely and very touching visual poem by Ammar Al Shukry, produced by Belah Khan, for Leechon Films. A perfect way to greet the New Year :)

“Peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final home!” —  Qur’an, 13: 23-24

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Ya Haqq!


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