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Sunday, June 05, 2005  

The Secrets of Invocation It is related that a man was standing on 'Arafat and in his hand were seven stones. He said, 'O ye seven stones, bear witness that I bear witness that there is no divinity but God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.' Later he slept and dreamt that the Day of Judgment had come, that he had been examined and that hellfire had been decreed for him. When he was led to one of the doors of hell, one of these seven stones came and threw itself against that door. The angels of chastisement gathered to remove it but they could not. Then he was led to the second door, but the same thing occurred there as with the first, and so on for seven doors. So he was led to the Throne, and God (may He be glorified!) said, 'My servant, you made the stones bear witness; hence, thou wilt not forfeit thy rights; and I am a Witness to thy testimony of faith in My Oneness. Enter Paradise.' When he approached the doors of Paradise, lo, they were closed. So the testimony of La ilaha illa'llah came and opened the doors, and the man entered Paradise. It is mentioned that the water in Baghdad rose until the city was in the verge of being submerged. One of the righteous said, This night I dreamt that I saw myself standing on the edge of the Tigris River, saying, 'There is no power or strength save in God! (La hawla wa la quwata illa bi'llah) Baghdad is flooded!' A handsome man came and I knew that he was an angel, and another angel came from another direction. One of them said to the other, 'What have you been commanded to do?' He said, 'I was commanded to drown Baghdad, then I was prohibited from doing it.' The other asked, 'Why?' he answered, 'The angels of the night reported that seven hundred girls had been deflowered yesterday in Baghdad. So God became angry and commanded me to drown it. But the angel of the day reported in the morning nine hundred calls to prayer (adhan) and introductory formulas to the prayers (iqamah). So God pardoned the former through the latter.' The one who had dreamt said, 'I awakened and went to the Tigris, and lo! the water had receded'. Someone has said, 'La ilaha illa'llah, Muhammad rasulu'llah (There is no divinity but God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God) consists of twenty-four letters; the hours of the day and night are of the same number. It is as if it were said, "Every sin which I have committed, whether great or small, secretly or openly, accidentally or intentionally, by word or by deed during these hours is pardoned by these words",' Also the phrase La ilaha illa'llah, Muhammad rasulu'llah consists of seven words. The servant has seven organs and hellfire has seven doors. Each of these seven words closes one of the seven doors to one of the seven organs. It is said that the phrase La ilaha illa'llah consists of twelve letters; so inevitably twelve obligations are enjoined--six outward and six inward. As for the outward ones, they include ritual purity, prayer, almsgiving, fasting, the pilgrimage, and holy war. As for the inward, they include trust in God, commitment, patience, contentment, asceticism, and repentance. As for Huwa (He), it is composed of two letters. They are the realities of the inhalation and exhalation, whether or not you pronounce it. The inhalation is the ha and the exhalation is the waw, which is the expansion. The ha pertains to the breath of life and the waw comes out of the fire of inner emotions, among which are the fervor of love for God Most High, the eagerness of seeking, the enthusiasm of invoking, the intensity of meditating, and the warmth of one's nature. Contraction and expansion of one's spiritual state will not disappear until the servant's appointed time: thus, God comes between the ha and the waw by means of a veil hidden from the illusions of the mind; and indeed, by means of what God Most High decreed in His eternal, pre-existing knowledge. All created beings exist because of God Most High in accordance with their subtle breaths, and all are subject to His power; were it not for that, chastisement would have overcome them. God spares the inner being of men from being overwhelmed by emotions through the selfsame inward Name, which is Huwa. For if the gnostic says Huwa, those burning passions gather and are expelled by the same breath to the spirit of the air. Then the breath returns with the coolness of the air, which is Huwa, except that it is coolness outwardly and heat inwardly, because it is air. The secret of the alif which has been added to the Huwa (in the word Hawa' which means air) is that it connotes intensification of life, because it is a combination of the inward Huwa and the outward alif with respect to the affirmation of Oneness. As for the invocation of transcendence, it is 'Glory be to God and in praise of Him' (Subhana'llah wa bi-hamdih). The meaning of glorification (tasbih) is transcendence (tanzih), and the saying 'Glory be to Him' (subhanahu) is in the accusative as a verbal noun. You say, 'I praise God with all glory' (sabbahtu 'llaha tasbihan wa subhanan). The meaning of 'Glory be to God' (subhana'llah) is that transcendence belongs to Him and He is free of every imperfection and attribute of creatures. Saying 'and in praise of Him' (wa bi-hamdih) that is, 'in praise of Thee I glorify Thee' means 'by Thy bounty toward me and Thy gifts and blessings upon me, I glorify, not by my power or strength'. Therein is gratitude towards God Most High for this blessing and recognition of it and commitment to God Most High. Verily, all deeds belong to Him Most High. -'Ibn 'Ata' Allah al-Iskandari, The Key to Salvation & the Lamp of Souls; A Sufi Manual of Invocation (Miftah al-Falah wa Misbah al-Arwah)



posted by Abubak'r | 6/05/2005 04:37:00 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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