Showing posts with label purity of heart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label purity of heart. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

'Live A True Ramadan'


Ramadan's Identity

We are living the days and nights of an exceptional month; a blessed month that has a lot of benefits and an opportunity for every Muslim. In order to enjoy it fully, it is important to know what this month symbolizes and what we can draw from it so that we can acquire the divine love and salvation, and hope to enter paradise one day. Insha-Allah.

Our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) said, “There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month, which Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has enjoined you to fast.” (Nasai).

For some Muslims, the arrival of the month of Ramadan is not welcomed because they will have to deprive themselves of food and drink and a lot of pleasures that they used to do. However, for a true believer, Ramadan is synonymous with Allah’s favour because this month is:

(1) The Month of Victory

Ramadan is a symbol of the victory of Islam and the Muslims because it was during this month that the first great battle took place at Badr on the 17th day of Ramadan in year 2 of the Hegira (AH) between the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – accompanied by his 313 companions / believers – and the infidels of Mecca and it was the Muslims who came out victorious. It is during this month that Allah chains our worst enemy, Satan, so that each individual can be victorious over him.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “When the first night of the month of Ramadan comes, the devils and rebellious jinn are chained up and the gates of Hell are closed, and not one gate of it is opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and not one gate of it is closed…” (Tirmidhi).

It is an undeniable truth that our life on earth is marked by a perpetual fight against Satan. He swore to deviate us from our Creator and to enslave us through his many attractions. He desires at all costs to separate us from the Master of the Worlds [Allah] and to make us become his own slaves; like puppets moving at his command. This makes Ramadan an opportunity to free ourselves from Satan’s slavery and avoid his traps. If a person cannot get the upper hand on Satan during the holy month of Ramadan, when does he think he can do it? That is why Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) taught us that through the prohibitions imposed during the holy month of Ramadan, and through our attachment to Allah and spirituality (Islam), we need to abandon Satan and prevent him from attacking us.

So who will succeed in this initiative? They are the true believers! It is for them that the gates of paradise will remain open and the gates of hell will remain closed. Allah gives each of us an opportunity to reform, to take the right path and to keep treading on it. It is for those who will take into consideration these divine counsels and commands that the demon will not succeed in influencing.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

What 'Jihad' Really Means


Which Jihad ?

'Jihad' is a religious duty, an act of faith, prescribed by the Holy Quran for every Muslim. 

Alas, Islamic teachings are, on the one hand, so little known by Muslims, and on the other, so vilified by non-Muslims, that many false conceptions have settled in people’s minds. 

For many people, it seems convenient and legitimate to cover under the term jihad (holy war) any struggle to settle a dispute where their interests are at stake (and thus, all means, even the most reprehensible, seem to be good). For the non-Muslim jihad has long been equated with the holy war against non-believers, for the spread of Islam. It seems to me necessary - through this series of sermons on jihad, terrorism and Islamophobia - to return to the sources of Islam, through the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to explain what jihad really is, for the objective minds.

The term jihad is derived from jahada which means making intense efforts to the ultimate limit (Al-Ankabut, 29:7). Jihad is such an important injunction for Muslims that it is mentioned in no less than 36 occasions in the Holy Quran.

Three types of Jihad

In fact, it is of such importance that all the acts of faith prescribed for the believer (prayer, fasting, zakah, and pilgrimage to Mecca) are spiritual exercises designed to overcome the weaknesses of the individual and prepare him for the accomplishment of jihad. Jihad, as it appears from the reading of the the Holy Qur’an, denotes three types of fighting:
  1. The fight against oneself (nafs).
  2. The fight against evil in all its forms.
  3. Armed combat against the visible enemy.
We can differentiate between the three types of jihad by calling them respectively Jihad-i-Akbar (greatest jihad), Jihad-i-Kabir (the great jihad) and Jihad-i-Saghir (the little/ lesser jihad). The Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) considered that Jihad-i-Akbar is the supreme, noblest combat and he said, when his troops returned from the Tabuk expedition: “You have accomplished the minor jihad now; there remains the supreme jihad.”

Djihad-i-Akbar:- it is the tireless fight against oneself, against one’s bad tendencies and inclinations. It is not therefore a fight of the State (the Country/ State/ Government, especially the Islamic One), but a struggle peculiar to the individual against his weak instincts/ carnal desires, such as infidelity, adultery, lies, dishonesty and materialism. However, the State has the obligation to help the citizen in this fight, creating the conditions conducive to his internal purification. It is the duty of the State to rid the social environment of any obstacle that may hinder the path of the individual to inner purity (e.g. the sale of alcoholic beverages, drugs, the practice of debauchery and games of chance).

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said, “Purity (or Cleanliness) is half of faith.” This purity denotes the purity of the spirit. According to my analysis, a soul encumbered with unhealthy desires remains hermetically closed to divine grace. By purifying one’s soul of every bad inclination, the individual accomplishes this supreme jihad and reaches half of the faith by becoming fit to receive the grace of his Creator and to follow the path of spiritual progress.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Bai'at: The Path to Cleanse the Heart


The founder of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, the Promised Massih and Imam Mahdi of the Later Days, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian (1835-1908 CE) has had profound spiritual expectations regarding the people who chose to come forward and take the Bai'atthe Covenant of Obedience to God and His Messenger (sa) and the Divine Elect of their times. In his book Kishti Noohu (The Noah's Ark), the Promised Messiah (as) spoke movingly about the vital importance of sincere soul searching and inner purity; righteous conduct and just relations in the  abiding quest for the illumination of the heart- to be accepted in the presence of God Almighty. Reproduced below is an extract from the Book where Hazrat Ahmad (as) speaks about the persons who take Bai'at with him, clearly distinguishing between those who truly belong and those who really do not: 

[Y]ou must not rest satisfied merely because in outward form you have taken Bai’at at my hand. The outward form means nothing: God sees what lies inside your hearts, and He would deal with you on the basis of what He sees there. 

Lo and behold! I herein discharge my duty unto you, by making it plain that sin is a poison. Do not take it. Disobedience to God is a dirty death which you should avoid. Turn to prayer that you should get the strength. At the time of prayer, if a man does not firmly believe that Allah has power over everything, except what may be contained in a previous promise, such a one is not of my community.

He who is caught in a tangle of worldly greed, and never even raises his eyes to things which pertain to the next life, is not of my community. Whosoever does not wholly and completely keep away from every sin and every evil action, like wine, gambling, looking lustfully at women, dishonesty, bribes, and from every kind of illegal gratification, he is not of my community.

Whosoever is not constantly turning to prayer, and does not remember Him in absolute humility of spirit, he is not of my community. Whosoever does not give up association with a bad companion, who exercises an unhealthy influence over him, he is not of my community. Whosoever does not respect his parents, whosoever does not render obedience to them in things which do not run counter to the Holy Quran, and whosoever is neglectful in rendering to them the service to which they are undoubtedly entitled, he is not of my community.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Human Heart and Spirituality

The human heart is the seat of all human emotions. A heart that is full of evil emotions and thoughts is but a favourite place for Satan. Satan takes residence in such a heart and uses it as a control centre to deviate the servant of Allah from the right path. Those hearts that are disbelieving, doubtful and mischief-mongering are, according to the Holy Quran, hearts that have been sealed. Allah (swt) says in His book: 'Thus do We seal the hearts of transgressors.' (Yunus 10: 75) and: 'I will instil terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve.' (Al-Anfal 8: 13).

The Holy Quran makes many such references to the human heart. The Book of Allah proclaims numerous merits of a sound heart, a contended heart full of unbounded love and deep understanding of God and mankind, His creation. For instance the Holy Quran proclaims: 'Verily, it is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts can find comfort.' (Ar-Rad 13: 29).

And Allah admonishes all Muslims that: 'He joined your hearts in love (brotherhood/ friendship)' (Al-Imran 3: 104); and that He: 'put your hearts at rest.' (Al-Imran 3: 127).

Scientific research has conclusively proved that there is a vital link between the state of one’s thinking and one’s physical well-being. A healthy heart will undoubtedly keep a mind healthy and vice versa. A person’s character is built on his thoughts, in other words, we are what we think. Allah our merciful Lord through His benevolence has given us the choice and power to govern our thoughts and thereby build a character that is worthy of praise.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Man and the Battles of the Heart

“The day whereon neither money nor children will avail, except him who comes to God with a sound heart.” (Ash-Shu’ara, 26: 89-90).

On Judgement Day, only a sound (pure) heart (Qalbun Saliim) shall benefit man. By a sound heart, it means a heart that holds the faith taught by God and His prophets (as) and which is free of any form of polytheism (Shirk). It is also, like I am telling you a heart that is pure from all kinds of dirt, including disobedience.”

The heart is continually exposed to the seductions of this world. When the heart is imbued with the fear of God, it manages to resist these temptations. But in the absence of that awe, the heart will be corrupted and will push the individual to disobey his Creator.

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: Temptations will be presented to men's hearts as reed mat is woven stick by stick and any heart which is impregnated by them will have a black mark put into it, but any heart which rejects them will have a white mark put in it. The result is that there will become two types of hearts: one white like a white stone which will not be harmed by any turmoil or temptation, so long as the heavens and the earth endure; and the other black and dust-coloured like a vessel which is upset (turned upside down), not recognizing what is good or rejecting what is abominable, but being impregnated with passion.” (Muslim).

Man must throughout his life wage a merciless battle against the seductions and temptations of this world. To achieve this, he must strengthen himself through acts of worship.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Instrumental Role of Divine Revelations

Revelation may be a single word but its meaning is immense, just like a drop of water rippling a whole ocean. The nature of revelation is various, and among the types of revelations, we have satanic whisperings also which are not to be confused with the spiritual truthful context of revelations, that is, Divine Revelations. Any person can receive divine inspirations, yet divine revelations, as pure and frequent as that received by messengers of Allah are of an exquisite nature, which leaves no doubt as to the source of this special light. Therefore, revelation in Islam is tantamount to the extraordinary connection which links an exceptional servant of Allah to His Lord. ( Inset: a depiction of the archangel Gabriel instructing Divine revelations to the Holy Prophet (sa), from the manuscript Jami' al-tawarikh by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, AD 1307). 

This servant of Allah comes to taste of a special bond through which Allah reveals Himself to His servant, and little by little – just like a gardener who waters a newly planted seed into the soil to see it grow big, strong and productive – this servant of Allah through dreams, visions, divine inspirations and revelations grows from one spiritual state to the other and in capacity of exceptional blessed instrument of Allah, he gets to receive within him such light as to illuminate the whole world. His being becomes an object of light, a beacon of light as to attract those who are within the nexus of the pleasure of Allah to perceive his light, just like a radar emitting a powerful signal, to manifest his presence among the people of the earth, especially, those endowed with true knowledge. (Inset: Prophet Moses (as) with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, a painting by Rembrandt (1659).  

Very often, these people who are qualified as “Ulul’al-Baab” (People of understanding, people endowed with true knowledge) are very humble in nature. They may be viewed as hopeless and poor people in the eyes of men, whereas in the eyes of the Almighty, their status is most high. This is because they do not sell their consciousness and pure heart and faith to the attractions of this world; they do not let themselves be attached to it. A person also can be rich and be among the true Ulul’al-Baab because despite the money and riches he earns, yet he is not greedy for it, and canalise this wealth in its proper channel, that is to say, he obeys the instructions and commandments of the Quran and he shares his wealth to the poor in the proportions made obligatory to him by Allah, and also those parts of his wealth that he gives in charity, with good faith as a voluntary action due to tenderness of his heart to help the less fortunate and also the community of believers in Dawah Mission (Inviting and Bringing people to Allah, to Islam).

Therefore, the Ulul’al-Baab, whether rich or poor, or in-between (neither too rich nor poor) captures the signal emitted by the special radar sent by Allah, so that within the circle of this exquisite connection one may be able to reach to Allah without any doubt. This Messenger of Allah, the Holder of Light, the guidance to the world comes to teach people how to get this connection with Allah. And this he is able to do with the help of the Ruh-il-Quddus (Holy Spirit).

Like I have always told my disciples in Mauritius ever since the beginning of the Divine Manifestation, connection with Allah comes with a purification of the heart, and it is in that state of purification – whereby there is no doubt as to the truthfulness of the Spiritual Guide (that is, this humble self) and the Divine Manifestation – and with belief, faith, and trust that the God who has sent His Messenger with the Holy Spirit has indeed the power of speech despite having no tongue to talk, that the person in question can reach to Allah. I am talking for the current Divine Manifestation of this age, because I have been sent in this era to you all to guide you to Allah, and thus, belief, faith and trust in the veracity of this humble self is essential if someone wants to get to the exquisite proximity of Allah taking this humble self as guide and mentor.