Showing posts with label soul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soul. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Virtues of Ramadan Fasting

Why Fasting ? 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ۝

“O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.” (Al-Baqara 2 :184)

Each year, for a month, more than a billion Muslim believers around the world fast between dawn and dusk. During these fasting hours, they are strictly prohibited from consuming any food, drink, or having intimate relationships between spouses, among other deprivations. Why?

First, what Ramadan fasting is not: it does not have the character of penance, as in other religions.

From the Muslim perspective, it enjoys with God an unparalleled grace with other acts of piety. It is an abstinence which concerns the body and the spirit and/or mind. Indeed, God has given us a brain, a marvellous mind in wonder; our body itself is a perpetual miracle. Our body, our ideas, our decisions are led by our spirit. The better the food of the spirit, the better our faculties and capacities of judgement, of evaluation, the better will be our initiatives. Fasting is thus perceived as total submission to God.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A Poem on ‘Taubah’


On Repentance and Returning to Allah

The time has come for me to see after the darkness of ignorance
My old age is a morning that calls me to its dawning rays
The night of youth is short, so proceed deliberately
The morning is the end of the road for the night traveler.

How have I been deceived by the world and its adornment,
Building my home on the crumbling ground, at the edge of a precipice?
A home whose transgressions remain, but whose delights perish:
How wretched is such a home!

The happy one is not one who is delighted by his worldly trinkets;
Rather, the happy one is the one saved from the torment of Hell.
I have awakened from wickedness, fearful and trembling,
For Allah knows my deeds, open and secret.

If I hold my sins to be grave and they fill me with despair,
I can only hope that they will be eradicated,
By the One who alone can do so…
The All Forgiving.

---(Written by Hadhrat Abul Hasan Abdul Aziz al-Jurjani (ra). Translated from the Arabic by Zaid Shakir)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Life @ 40: A Spiritual Gaze

‘Moses! 
I am your Lord. Take off your sandals: you are in the sacred valley of Tuwa.
I have chosen you, so listen to what is being revealed. 
I am Allah; there is no god but Me, so worship Me and keep up the prayer so that you remember Me'. (20: 12-15)

These verses in the Holy Qur’an allude to a time when Allah (swt) directly spoke to a servant of His, intimating him about the great Divine Mission that lies ahead of him; urging him to be detached from the personal relations that come in the way of  remaining engrossed in Divine Remembrance through fervent prayers and other devote supplications. In mystical commentaries of the aforesaid verses, the idea of "taking off the sandals" certainly points to the same: in being asked to remove his sandals, Hadhrat Musa (as) was being asked to cast aside this world by turning his face towards the Ocean of Divine Presence alone, dedicating oneself solely to Allah (swt). In a famous poem by  that medieval polymath Sheikh-ul-Akbar Muhyi-ud-Din Ibn Arabi, the imagery is explained eloquently: 

"Take off the sandals if you come
to this valley, for therein is Our Holiness.
Of the two worlds divest yourself,
and lift the veils of in-betweenness"

It is indeed a perennial practice of the Divine, a Sunnat Allah-according to the Qur’an- that He raises His Elects at places and times of His choice. Allah knows best where to place His Message’. (6:125)  One of the interesting facts about the present Divine Manifestation in Mauritius is this. When Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) began to be a recipient of Divine communications and other messages of an exquisite spiritual variety, the messages from the Unseen reminded him about the need for holding a lot of patience and to ‘forget’ this world and to devote his time in much remembrance of the Divine through prayer and other supplications: the same kind of Divine messages that were revealed to Hadhrat Musa (as) in that sacred valley of Tuwa almost three millennium ago and preserved in the Holy Qur’an for all times! Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Human Soul: States of Being

The spiritual journey is a life-long journey. Various stages of progress and development during the course of this journey may be described as achievements but the fact is that ultimate distinction and goal of this journey is never to be achieved in its totality. There is always a stage beyond the highest point of achievement and there is always a peak higher than that we set our feet upon. This has to be like that for the simple reason that in this spiritual journey we travel and ascend towards God whose infinite Being is, strictly speaking, beyond human comprehension.

Allah clearly states: Eyes cannot reach Him but He reaches the eyes. And He is the Incomprehensible, the All-Aware. (Al-Anam 6: 104).

Man discovers God according to his own limited knowledge and ability and along with the increase in his faculties of understanding God, his realisation of God goes on attaining higher stages. This point is well-epitomised in the Holy Quran. It says:
Every day he reveals Himself in a different state. (Ar-Rahman 55: 30).

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.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

'Learn to Dance with Your Soul'

Our era is drowned in Synthetic Pleasures

My dear disciples, please be aware that Muslims who copy Europeans seek the source of the Kawthar (Paradisiacal fountain) in a mirage. They are all ignorant of the secrets of faith; They are filled with hatred and resentment. Goodness and good are a dead letter for the privileged (the rich in this world); I found only truth and purity among the small people (i.e. those of humble means). Learn to distinguish people of religion (faith) and people of hatred. Seek out a true friend and stay with him.

I am afraid of that time (era) which has seen you born O my dear disciple - you who are the reflection of my own soul; It (that is, this era) is drowned in (worldly) matter, and knows little about the soul. As the body loses its value when the soul is absent, the man of God hides within himself. The search does not succeed in finding him, although it sees him face to face. So do not give up the taste for research, even if a hundred difficulties arise in your life. 

Need for Righteous Company in the Quest for God 

If you do not find the company of a wise man, take from me what comes from my father and my ancestors. Choose my master (Nabi Kareem, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) as a companion, so that God may grant you the desire and fervour (of faith), for my master (pbuh) knows how to distinguish things and knows the bark (of a tree; in other words, the extrinsic) and the core (i.e., the intrinsic). His foot stands firmly on the road that leads to the Friend (Allah). Many explanations have been given about him, but no one has really understood him. His true meaning escaped us, like the gazelle.

Men have learned to dance with their bodies, reciting their words, but their eyes have not opened to the dance of the soul! The dance of the body make dust swirl whereas the dance of the soul moves the heavens. Science and wisdom come from the dance of the soul. The earth and the sky also come from this dance. It gives the individual the rapture of Moses, and thanks to it, the community (of the pious) becomes the heir of the Kingdom! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

'Zikrullah' for Inner Happiness

“Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah: 
Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Rad, 13: 29).

Zikrullah (Remembrance of Allah) is the true nourishment of the hearts. The heart, mind and soul of man thrive on Zikrullah and shrink without it. Zikrullah is not difficult. It is indeed a most simple duty and the reward and significance of Zikrullah are indeed great. One who is neglectful of such an important, yet simple and most rewarding practice is most unfortunate. Indifference to Zikrullah is an invitation to calamity upon oneself.

Allah describes in the Holy Quran those who have let go of Zikrullah and relegated it to oblivion:

“Satan has gained the mastery over them, so he has caused them to forget the remembrance of Allah. They are the party of Satan. Verily, it is the party of Satan that will be the losers.” (Al-Mujadila, 58: 20).

Therefore, we Muslims should strive to remain in the remembrance of Allah (swt) even if it becomes increasingly hard when we engage ourselves in our worldly activities. Zikrullah is a powerful weapon against Satan’s whispers which slowly try to overtake our hearts and lead us to self-deception. Today we notice how even though technology is supposed to help people gain extra time and better quality of life, people are more and more restless, sad, stressed and anxious. This is because Satan is winning them over by distracting their attention from Allah (swt) and misleading them in their decisions. Staying in constant Zikrullah makes us fear Allah (swt), always allowing us to put life matters into perspective by rearranging priorities accordingly to Allah’s commands in order to maintain individual, social as well as environmental harmony. Consequently, evil deeds are wiped out by sincerity of the heart to enjoin what is good and forbid evil acts, permitting us to find tranquillity of heart.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Animals and Humans: Science and Spirituality

In his Friday Sermon of 06 December 2013 the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius gave an eloquent discourse on what makes us humans with unique responsibilities among all earthly creatures of the animal world. 

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:   

Man by nature, belongs to the animal kingdom with which he shares some common character traits. However, he is distinguished from animals by an innumerable number of differences which ensure him superiority and make him unequalled (in the animal world).

The essential difference between man and the animal world, which makes the very principle of humanity and gives source to what we call civilization and culture, comes from his vision of the world and the trends with which he is equipped (with Allah’s help), including his thinking capacity as well as various other abilities.

Man and the Annihilation of Self

In his Friday Sermon of 13 December 2013 Hadhrat Amir’ul Mu’mineen Muhyi-Ud-Din Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius gave a profound exposition on the many states of human existence.

From the carnal passions of the animalistic state, man can evolve into a morally-reflective human state, where his predatory instincts are under control and subject to moral precepts. One may even go on to the state of annihilation of the animalistic self and reach the angelic state of submission to the Divine Will through knowing the teachings of Divine Messengers and by following the subtle wisdom of the Holy Qur’an.

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:

“Doesn’t He who created know? And He is the Subtle, the All-Aware” (67: 15).

Knowledge and faith constitute the main and the basic difference between man and other living beings and that knowledge and faith form the basis on which man’s humanity depends.