20 September, 2014 08:57

The hidden banner is planted in the temple of the sky; there the blue canopy decked with the moon and set with bright jewels is spread.There the light of the sun and the moon is shining: still your mind to silence before that splendour.

Kabîr says: “He who has drunk of this nectar, wanders like one who is mad.”

~The Songs of Kabir, tr. by Rabindranath Tagore

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Sufi Poets

Sufi Poets A wonderful collection of powerful words and thoughts

Hazrat Rabia al Basri r.a (717–801) is one of the first female Sufi Poets who helped to leave a rich teaching of Divine love through her mystical poetry.

Not much is known about Rabia al Basri, except that she lived in Basra in Iraq, in the second half of the 8th century AD.  She was born into poverty. But many spiritual stories are associated with her and what we can glean about her is reality merged with legend. These traditions come from Farid ud din Attar a later Sufi saint and poet, who used earlier sources. Rabia herself though has not left any written works. However, her oral poems were later written down, they frequently express themes of intense Divine Love.

Without You — my Life, my Love –
I would never have wandered across these endless countries.
You have poured out so much grace for me,
Done me so many favors, given me so many gifts –
I look everywhere for Your love –
Then suddenly I am filled with it.

– Rabia al Basri, (excerpt from, My Joy)

After her father’s death, there was a famine in Basra, and during that she was parted from her family. It is not clear how she was traveling in a caravan that was set upon by robbers. She was taken by the robbers and sold into slavery.

Her master worked her very hard, but at night after finishing her chores Rabia would turn to meditation and prayers and praising the Lord. Foregoing rest and sleep she spent her nights in prayers and she often fasted during the day.

There is a story that once, while in the market, she was pursued by a vagabond and in running to save herself she fell and broke her arm. She prayed to the Lord .

“I am a poor orphan and a slave,  Now my hand too is broken.  But I do not mind these things if Thou be pleased with me. “

and felt a voice reply:

“Never mind all these sufferings. On the Day of Judgement you shall  be accorded a status that shall be the envy of the angels even”

(follow link to read more)

 

You are the Perfect Man

The earth and sky kiss your doorstep; You are the Glow!
Covet of the angels, the Light of Allah; You are the Perfect Man!

The two worlds are illuminated by your [blessed] face
The sun and moon reflect your [blessed] countenance

O Light of Allah Almighty! You are the Luster!
Your eyebrows [reflect the beauty of] the verses of the Quran

Your hair [reflects the vigor of] the exegesis of the Quran
Your [blessed] soul is our Quran; You are [the foundation] of belief!

O Chosen One! O Elected One! Have mercy on us!
Our hands find nothing to cling to; You are the [covering] safe haven!

I am a sinner, I am weak, I am helpless — this is my condition
O Intercessor of the Day of Recompense! You are the savior!

Jami (ra) with his own eyes saw the likeness of the unveiling of God’s [vast] ocean
My body and soul are sacrificed for you; You are the essence!

The Seven Veils (ḥujub)

 … And verily We created above you seven paths … The Holy Quran [23:17]

That is, the seven veils (ḥujub) which veil [a person] from his Lord, Mighty and Majestic is He: the first veil is his intellect (ʿaql), the second his knowledge (ʿilm), the third his heart (qalb), the fourth his fear (khashiya), the fifth his self (nafs), the sixth his wish (irāda) and the seventh his will (mashīʾa). The intellect [is a veil] in its preoccupation with the management of the affairs of this world (tadbīr al-dunyā); knowledge because of the vainglory (mubāhāt) [it breeds] among peers; the heart in its heedlessness (ghafla); fear because of its disregard for influxes [of grace from above] (bi-ighfālihā ʿan mawārid al-umūr ʿalayhā)3; the self because it is the haven (maʾwā) for every tribulation (baliyya); the will because it is directed towards this world and turned away from the Hereafter; the wish due to its pursuance of sins.

~ Tafsīral-Tustarī by Sahl b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Tustarī | Great Commentaries on the Holy Qurʾān | Translated by Annabel Keeler and Ali Keeler

The Sharīʿa & Ṭarīqa

In his preface to the fifth book of the Mathnawī Rūmī summarizes
the relationship between the exoteric law (the Sharīʿa), the spiritual
wayfaring which the Sufis undergo (the Ṭarīqa), and the Truth which
is Sufism’s goal (the Ḥaqīqa). He says that the Mathnawī is:

 
. . . setting forth that the Religious Law is like a candle showing the
way. Unless you gain possession of the candle, there is no wayfaring
[i.e., unless you follow the Sharīʿa, you cannot enter the Ṭarīqa]; and
when you have come on to the way, your wayfaring is the Path; and
when you have reached the journey’s end, that is the Truth. Hence
it has been said, “If the truths (realities) were manifest, the religious
laws would be naught.” As (for example), when copper becomes
gold or was gold originally, it does not need the alchemy which is
the Law, nor need it rub itself upon the philosopher’s stone, which
(operation) is the Path; (for), as has been said, it is unseemly to
demand a guide after arrival at the goal, and blameworthy to discard
the guide before arrival at the goal. In short, the Law is like learning
the theory of alchemy from a teacher or book, and the Path is (like)
making use of chemicals and rubbing the copper upon the philosopher’s
stone, and the Truth is (like) the transmutation of the copper
into gold. Those who know alchemy rejoice in their knowledge of
it, saying, “We know the theory of this (science)”; and those who
practice it rejoice in their practice of it, saying, “We perform such
works”; and those who have experienced the reality rejoice in the
reality, saying, “We have become gold and are delivered from the
theory and practice of alchemy: we are God’s freedmen”. . . .21
The law is [theoretical22] knowledge, the Path action, the Truth
attainment unto God.

Foot Notes:
21 On the spiritual significance of alchemy see Burckhardt, Alchemy: Science
of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul (London, 1967).
22 It should be remembered that the original meaning of the Greek word
theôria is “viewing” or “contemplation”; doctrine is therefore “a view of the
mountain to be climbed.”

Tafsīr al-Tustarī

[9:122] … a party from each group should go forth so that they may become learned in religion

He said:
[That is], in order to learn what is necessary concerning their religion. It has been related from Ḥasan al-Baṣrī that he said, ‘The erudite (faqīh) is the one who has renounced this world (zāhid), who is desirous (rāghib) of the Hereafter, and who has insight (baṣīr) into religious affairs. Sahl was asked about the words of the Prophet , ‘Seeking knowledge is an obligation (farīḍa) for every Muslim’.He said, ‘This refers to the knowledge of [one’s] state (ḥāl).’

He was asked, ‘What is the knowledge of [one’s] state?’ He replied:
Inwardly it is sincerity (ikhlāṣ) and outwardly it is emulation (iqtidāʾ). Moreover, unless a person’s outward [self] (ẓāhir) is leading his inner [self] (bāṭin), and his inner self is the perfection (kamāl) of his outward self, he will merely be fatiguing his body.

He was asked, ‘What is the explanation of this?’ He said:
Truly God keeps watch over you, in what you keep secret and what you make known, in your [moments of] movement and stillness, and you are never absent from Him even for the blinking of the eye, just as He has said, Is He who stands over every soul [observing] what it has earned? [13:33], and He has said, There is not a secret consultation between three, but He makes the fourth among them [58:7]. He has also said, We are nearer to him than [his] aorta (ḥabl al-warīd) [50:16]. This is the artery located deep inside the heart, and He has informed us that He is closer to the heart than that artery. If you know this you should feel shame before Him. Furthermore, whenever some craving from the lower self stirs itself in the heart, and [at that moment] the servant remembers that God, Mighty and Majestic is He, is watching over him, and subsequently abandons [that craving], knowledge of his state will enter his heart, such that if what he is granted were to be distributed among the people of Medina, all of them would rejoice at it, and would triumph because of it. Mālik b. Anas  alluded to this point when he said, ‘Knowledge is not just about how much you can relate [from memory] (riwāya) but rather knowledge is a light that God places within the heart.’

He [Sahl] was asked, ‘How can a man recognize his state (ḥāl) and act upon it?’He replied:
When you speak, your state is that of speech, and when you observe silence, your state is that of silence. When you stand your state is that of standing, and when you sit your state is that of sitting. [To have] knowledge of your state you should see whether it is for God or for other than Him.19 If it is for God you may settle in it, but if it is for other than Him you should abandon it. This is the act of taking account of oneself (muḥāsaba) which ʿUmar  enjoined when he said, ‘Call yourselves to account before you are called to account, and weigh yourselves up before you are weighed up…’20 Indeed, ʿUmar used to beat his chest while calling himself to account.

Tafsīr al-Tustarī
by Sahl b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Tustarī
Great Commentaries on the Holy Qurʾān
translated by: Annabel Keeler and Ali Keeler

Laylat al-Bara’ah – Night of Salvation ,

Prophet Muhammad sal Allaho alaihe wasallam/Huzoor stated that Shaban is His month.  Huzoor has stated many benefits of this month.  Huzoor sal Allaho alaihe wasallam used to fast a lot this month. Prophet Muhammad sal Allaho alaihe wasallam/Huzoor stated:

“Shaban is my month, Rajab is Allah’s and Ramzan is my followers’ month.  Shaban helps take away sins, and Ramzan enables complete purification.”

Prophet Muhammad sal Allaho alaihe wasallam/Huzoor stated:

“The supremacy of Rajab over other months is like that of the Quran shareef over other books.  And, the supremacy of Shaban over all other months is like my supremacy over all other prophets, and the supremacy of Ramzan over other months is like Allah’s supremacy over all creation.”

Nafils are a superb worship.  Read nafils daily during the nights of Shaban, as many nafils as possible.