Category: Reflections

Resoluteness

The Ottoman Shaykh and spiritual adept, Ismet Garībullāh, in his divan wrote:

Ūlū himmet ol, kalma fatūra da, ki Allāh rahmet edip gark ede nūr da
Have resolve, be not lethargic! For Allah in mercy has engulfed His servant in light

Resolve and aspiration are keys to spiritual success, let alone worldly. Had I not made the choice and then had resolute resolve to leave America in 1991 I would not have gone to Medina. Had I not had the resolve to get on that bus with only a hundred dollars in my pocket for a two day trek to Istanbul to be able to sit at the feet of one near to God Most High. I would not have acquired the knowledge, teachings and experience that could only be gleaned and gathered in the presence of a spiritual master.

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Categories: Reflections

Continuity or Rejection: The Choice of Our Generation

Our Liege Lord and Master Ali said, “The world is passing by and the afterlife is coming head-on and each has children, so be a child of the afterlife not a child of the world, for today there is effort without accountability, yet tomorrow there is accountability without work!” The ideas of ‘development’ (tatawwur), and ‘progress’ (taqaddum) and ‘renewal’ (tajdīd) and ‘renaissance’ (nahdah) have been used in the past decades by Muslim thinkers, politicians and pundits. Inherent in these words, particularly development, is the idea of moving away from principles and foundations. Though at times it is necessary to do so in order that applications may be applied, it is ever important to be near enough to them to remain in contact with them in order for them to be effective.

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Categories: General, Reflections

Safar dar Watan: Journeying in the Homeland

Journeying in one’s homeland means to the spiritual masters that the spiritual sojourner travels from the a’lam l’khalq/realm of creation to the presence of Truth the Exalted. This is indicated in the statement of the friend of God Abraham, “Indeed I am sojourning to my Lord.” One sojourns from one state to a more excellent one and from one station to one higher. This is as Abu Uthmān al-Maghribī, “It is necessary for the spiritual sojourner to ‘distance’ himself from his passions and desires (hawāhu wa shahwatuhu). His intent was that one is not journeying from one city to another, but many of the adepts of the spiritual path have spoken of the outward spiritual journeying as arrival and acquisition of a blessed spiritual guide. When one has attained to him he must submit his affair to him and take residence near him whence he will set aside his outward journey to begin his inward journey completing its intent and desire.

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Categories: Naqshbandī

Khalwa dar Anjuman: Solitude Amidst the Crowd

One should be aware that there are two types of solitude. The first is that which is outwardly manifest. It is for the seeker to isolate his/herself in one’s home away from others, allowing one to sit there to attain to the angelic realms. This is because outward sensory organs when restricted are diverted to ‘inner realms’, thus allowing the angelic dominions to become evident.

The second type: inward solitude. This is how Abdul Khalid Ghudjdawānī has described: khalwa dar Anjuma, as ‘solitude amidst the crowd’. Anjuman in Persian means ‘the collectivity of people’. It means that the heart of the seeker maintains the presence of God while in the midst of others, being unaware of others though physically amongst them. From this understanding the idea of ‘murāqiba’ or ‘meditative’ vigilance is understood.
It has been said it means for the rememberer (dhākir) to be engrossed in ‘dhikr qalbī’ or ‘heart dhikr’. It can be of such an intense activity that one can enter the market and not be aware of the sounds, etc. of that place due to the reality of the dhikr taking possession over the reality of the heart.

The Quran mentions such a state that one is not distracted from the presence of God whilst being amongst people. He says, “Men whom neither trade nor selling distract from the remembrance of God” It is said that this is something unique to the Naqshbandiyya. This is so because these great ones never isolate themselves from the generality of people. The Prophet said, “The believer who mixes with people enduing their trouble is better than the believer who does not mix with people”

Abu Sa’īd al-Karaz said, “The perfected individual is not the one from whom various miraculous occurrences arise, but he/she is the one who can sit amongst people, selling and buying with them, marrying and mixing with people, and yet still not be distracted from God for an instant”.

Let your heart be immersed in the beloved, colored thereby!
Let your outward form be manifest among the people.
This is an extraordinary path, rare are its people,
For they thrive with the most pleasant of drinks!

The new initiate must consider restricting interactions with others so as to set up barriers to outward intrusions that will affect the heart. The physical senses and their activities with ‘aghyār’ or ‘that which is other than God’, need to be reigned in by the new seeker, as one matures with centeredness on God, this is not necessary, nor even desirable.

Categories: Naqshbandī

Importance of the Zuhad’a

Importance of the Zuhad’a, People of Abstinence from the World
Extract from Tanbih l’Ghafilin
Abu Layth as-Samarqandi

It has been narrated from some of the people of divine wisdom that the sanctity of the those who abstain from the World/Zuhada’ is found in ten qualities [they possess]:

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Categories: Naqshbandī

An Exposition of the Technical Terms of the Naqshbandī Spiritual Heritage [Wuquf Qalbi]

The Ten Terms of Abdul l’Khāliq Ghuduwānī

An extract

Wuqūf qalbī means to have alertness and presence of heart with God Most High in such a way that the heart has no other attention other than God Most High
[Commentary] (Wuqūf qalbī) is the eleventh word which (means to have alertness) in all affairs by means of negating unawareness and forgetfulness [while] (presence of heart) [is] complete presence free of attention to anything else (with God Most High) such that one witnesses God Most High by witnessing Him in everything because everything is an action of the actions of God Most High, so one witnesses Him in one’s actions as has been narrated,

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Categories: Naqshbandī

Modernity and Islam

All of us are children of modernity and the thought under which it is hinged, a world view fashioned by the most pervasive intellectual and moral influences of recent European history, an outlook in conformity with the Zeitgeist of the times. Seyyed Hossein Nasr has noted that modernist tendencies fall under four general marks:
a) Anthropomorphism (and by extension, secularism), or homocentrism
b) Evolutionist progressivism
c) The absence of any sense of the sacred; and
d) An unrelieved ignorance of meta-physical principles

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Categories: Reflections

“No Monasticism in Islam”…

is a popular statement we quote to delineate that in Islam there is no withdrawal from the world. There is no unnaturalness and synthetic in Islam but only the organic and primordial. True, in the Christian and Buddhist expressions, indeed this may be so, but what this statement does mean is that contemplatives (dhakirun/dhakirat) must not withdraw from the world, but that the world must be withdrawn from them, the intrinsic idea of asceticism and meditative contemplation upon Allah is in no way affected.

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Categories: General

Jesus and Muhammad: Brothers in Faith

©2005

“If you would trust in God as is His right to be trusted He would give you your provision as He gives it to the birds, they leave their roosts hungry and return satiated”, said the final universal Messenger, Muhammad. Similarly the author of the Gospel of Mathew has his closest brother, Jesus saying to the crowds around him, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” A little later he addressed them as, “O you of little faith?”

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Categories: General

Salvation of God

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Salvation/Salus of God

Confusion exists with those who out of ignorance or ill intent to the true nature of God’s activity in the salus of humanity via muhammadi. Those who are in this confusion hold that those of faith in the descent of the Word of God and the prophetic office of Muhammad can have no certainty of the salvation extended by God, and that those of faith are securing their own salvation, that the gratia of God has no place in via muhammadi. The effort of this work is to show that it is only from God, by God and in God that the Muslim is in a station of amn , or security, that it is faithful fidelity and trust in God which is the foundation of all salvation, and that Muhammad is the means to this, that God has responded in kind to false doctrines projected upon Him, thus removing the falsity of idols, whether as objects of adoration or as false doctrine. The following need exposition:

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Categories: General