The 15th of Sha’ban – July 16, 2011

July 11, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Saturday, July 16, 2011 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 Glorious 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!


What Love Demands – Eid Mubarak!

November 11, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Eid Mubarak!

May Allah bless you all this Eid, dear Brothers and Sisters, with generosity of hand, sincerity of speech, kindness in action, and love and joy in remembrance of Him, who is the Source of all Generosity, Sincerity, Kindness, Joy, and Love. Ameen!

“O Lord! Let not our hearts deviate now after You have guided us, but grant us mercy from Your own Presence; for You are the Grantor of bounties without measure.” (Quran: 3:9)

Next week is Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice (Tuesday, November 16 in the Middle East, and Wednesday, the 17th in North America), which celebrates the faith of Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice even his son Isaac as God had commanded. Now what are we willing to sacrifice in order that our prayers may be accepted?

That is the question I ask myself every year. Jesus (pbuh) kissed the leper, the whore, and the thief, out of love and forgiveness and healing. Because of the great expansiveness of his heart, miracles were possible. What have we done, what can we still do, to be worthy of the love and forgiveness and healing we ask of God? The answer that comes to my heart is always the same:

Do what love demands.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

According to a hadith, the Prophet (SAW) once said, “A true believer is one with whom others feel secure. One who returns love for hatred.”

Alhamdulillah! Indeed, Love is the greatest miracle of God. There have been Spiritual Masters of the past who would not let an aspirant be initiated until they had gone to everyone whom they had wronged in their life, and begged forgiveness, making amends in any way that was required. And until they had gone to everyone that had wronged them in their lives, and granted them forgiveness without asking, and with a whole heart. Only then could such a one be initiated on the mystic path.

And so we come to the great task of our lives, brought into focus on this day of Eid al-Adha: To sacrifice our fear and hatred, our envy and greed and all the other works of the fearful and self-absorbed nafs, in the certain knowledge that anyone who forgives a debt will be repaid tenfold by God, and anyone who forgives a wrong will be forgiven by God a hundredfold, and anyone who returns love for hatred will make of this life a paradise. That is what love demands.

Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.
– Rumi

Ya Haqq!

 

NOTE: This essay from 2008 will be edited and reposted every year :)


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