< Thoughts & Readings


Friday, October 15, 2004  

Believers, fasting is ordained for you -- as it was ordained for those before you, so that you may practice self-restraint -- for a certain number of days; and for those among you who are sick or on a journey, a number of other days, while incumbent upon those who can afford it is expiation by feeding a needy person. To do good willingly is better for one, and to fast is better for you if you did but know. [2:183-184] _____________________________________________________________________________________ Some of the Merits of the Month of Ramadan The greatest bounty, the highest degree in this lower world of ours, is the faith we owe to the assistance, favor and kindness of Allah. Upon us has been conferred the unique honor of being made His servants and the Community of His dearly beloved, and of being addressed by Him and given a place in the Qur'an. Now let us count another blessing: Once every year comes the month of Ramadan, of which "the beginning is mercy; the middle, forgiveness; the end, deliverance from the Fire." When Ramadan comes, appreciate it! It passes very quickly. Life itself passes very quickly too, as does the time for prayer. Do not say: "Ramadan will come again," because a Ramadan that has gone will never come again. Next Ramadan is a different Ramadan. Maybe Ramadan will keep coming around until the Resurrection, but this Ramadan may be your last. Do not say: "I missed that prayer but another will come." Perhaps this prayer will be your last. Do not say: "Let me retire and draw my pension, then I shall devote myself to worship!" Perhaps you will take your last ride before you draw your pension. They will dress you in a shroud, tying you up with rope or chain; so gird yourself for action right away. Make copious lamentation for your sins. Spend sleepless nights with heart aflame. Keep vigil for your Lord, reciting the Qur'an. Pay homage in His Presence. Ponder your own transitory nature, remembering that He is everlasting... Ponder your own weakness, remembering that He is strong... What a beautiful thing, to meet with the Lord! How can I get the taste of it across to you? One may speak to the blind about color, to the deaf about music and to the impotent about the joys of sexual intercourse, but can they be made to understand these experiences? Since the blind man cannot see, how can color be described to him in words? How can one show an unseeing eye the many-colored flowers, trees, sun and sky, and fish dancing in the stream? To one who has no smell, how can we describe the scent of the rose, the fragrance of the hyacinth or the jonquil's perfume? How can we tell the deaf about the chirping of the birds, the gurgling of running waters or the cadeness of the Qur'an and the call to prayer? If you spend time alone with your Lord, one day the veil will be lifted from your eyes and you will see the colors. You will acquire the sense of smell and detect the fragrance of roses, hyacinths, jonquils and narcissi. You deafness will disappear and you will hear the constant remembrance of Allah. The ear of your heart will open and you will delight in recitation of the Qur'an. Beneath the songs of the nightingales and the gurgling of the waters, you will hear the sound of the affirmation of Divine Unity. These are the bounties you will be able to attain in this world and one day they will come to an end. As for the bounties you will achieve in the Hereafter, they have no end, but are everlasting... When Ramadan came, could you hear the Voice calling nightly: "Does no one want Us, does no one love Us? We would love him, too!" This call is given every evening and every night in our lives. This is another divine bounty peculiar to the noble month of Ramadan. See what conversations the Prophet Moses enjoyed. Moses, the converser with Allah, used to go to Mount Sinai. You have your own Mount Sinai at the time of breaking fast, when you can hold a thousand and one conversations. When Moses said: "O my Lord, You speak with me, You address me. Will You not show me the beauty of Your countenance? Let me see Your beauty!" he received the reply: "You shall not see Me." [7:143] "Moses, how can you see My beauty when there are seventy-thousand curtains between us? You are incapable of seeing Me. But near the Resurrection I shall give a month as a gift to the Community of My beloved Muhammad. That month shall be called Ramadan. To the Community of Muhammad that fasts during that month, I shall so manifest Myself at the time of breaking fast that, whereas between you and Me there are now seventy-thousand veils, there will be no veil at all between Us and the fasting Community of Muhammad at the time of breaking fast." In a Sacred Tradition, the Exalted One says: "The fast is for Me and it is I who reward it." The reward of the fast is the vision of Divine Beauty. The emblem of Ramadan is forgiveness. Fasting should be done with sincerity and ardent affection. Our blessed Master said: "If my Community knew what success and salvation reside in Ramadan, they would beg Allah to let them spend their whole lives in that month!" -Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi, Irshad (Wisdom of a Sufi Master)



posted by Abubak'r | 10/15/2004 09:30:00 PM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
(Bukhari)
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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