Ramadhan


 

bessmillah

Week Four

Having given up all ideas and illusions, the salek (practitioner) waits tranquilly alone in the dark for the light of the full moon to shine in the heart and illuminate the way. When this divine light, so full of attraction and saturated with love, enters the heart, the salek lets go of all doubt for he or she can now see. This is the beginning of spirituality, the entrance into the world of unity.

The divine quality of human being, already wrapped within the heart of the salek but not as yet manifested, will find the opportunity to grow by this light. Material attachment will convert into divine qualities. The light processes and nourishes the complete human being. Those qualities that are growing in the wrong way will change. Those qualities not yet manifested will emerge.

What is most necessary in this time — and is the first and the last essential principal for the salek — is to be under the supervision of a fully illuminated divine teacher. Able now to see and attracted to the light, the salek must carefully follow step by step the divine instruction as communicated by the teacher and guard against adding his or her own ideas so as not to fall back into the world of illusion.

Holy Qur’an, 2:257
Allah is the gaurdian of those who have faith
from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light.

Waiting for the light, receiving the light, being guided and transformed by the light is the way to become fully human according to the blueprint of our creation. This is what the Divine wants for humankind. That is what we are created for.

 

Week Three

When the bewildered boat of imagination — which carries wishes, desires, questions, choices, beliefs, religious doctrines, ideas, and more within the limitation of self-conception — gets tired of being tossed and lost in the stormy sea, it seeks solace on the shore of the heart. Regretful but full of hope it seeks comfort and protection there. The heart, freed from the effects of the storm, remains tranquil under the clear night sky, peacefully waiting from dusk to dawn for the first ray of light. Full of love and hope, the heart glorifies and protects its waiting until the Divine light — the Guide, the Provider — illuminates the straight path and reveals the Source. This is the dawn of religion (din), the genesis of faith (iman), the beginning of true knowledge of self.

Prepare for the opening; let go of all ideas and settle into calm hope. Wait for the light.

Holy Qur’an, 24:35
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche
and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass:
the glass as it were a brilliant star:
Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive,
neither of the east nor of the west,
whose oil is well-nigh luminous,
though fire scarce touched it:
Light upon Light!
Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light:
Allah doth set forth Parables for men:
and Allah doth know all things.

Holy Qur’an, 24:46
We have indeed sent down signs
that make things manifest:
and Allah guides whom He wills to a way that is straight.

 

Week Two

Islam is the way (tariq) for freedom and the freeing of a human being from the slavery of desires and unnecessary and illogical material luxury. It is the healer of all imbalance within the self; the revealer of the complex mystery, glory and dignity of the human (ensun) in the chart of creation; the nourisher of the divine values of the human which are encoded within the self; the religion of knowledge and certainty; the guide to the straight path.

Ultimately, Islam is the meeting of human and Creator. The invitation of Allah is direct and a great honor for those who accept the invitation.

Holy Qur’an, Sura 14:60:

And your Lord says: Call on me; I will answer you.

The secret of this invitation and the way to receive the direct answer from God lies in the moment when the heart loses its attraction to everything outside itself and the mind fully recognizes its limitation and so takes refuge in the bosom of the heart like a child seeking comfort and security in its mother. This moment of harmony, where mind and heart are wrapped together and united in an exclusive embrace, creates a fertile ground of receptivity from which the invitation arises.

This invitation, and the acceptance of the invitation, has been prepared in the heart before the moment of the call. It exists in the moment of receptivity, the readiness to receive, and has always existed there, waiting, waiting for you, waiting in that moment when mind and heart unite and surrrender together.

 

Week One

Ramadhan, the month of fasting, is the perfect time for concentrated self-study and discovery. Throughout the year we spend most of our time on, and devote the majority of our energy to, the demands of the world and the fulfillment of our desires. Often we leave little concentrated time for the improvement of self. But during this one special month of the year we have an invaluable opportunity to willingly practice self-discipline and to concentrate our energies on our own self-improvement. By bringing all of the energy and attention that we normally direct out into the world toward the center of self, we confirm our deepest connection to the source of being. Should we choose to, we have the opportunity to recover from the busy-ness and tension of the past eleven months and become purified of all of the unnecessary and especially negative energy that is stored in our body and our memory and that is likely affecting our sense of stability, tranquility, and self-confidence.

By practicing self-discipline and self-control we break out of ingrained habits and find new ways of being. Through the practice of fasting we discover that we can master not only our physical energies but our mental energies, too. We discover that we can direct the energy of our mind to our benefit and we feel less inclined to use our mental energy for whatever does not help us to improve our personality and knowledge. And the more we lovingly devote our energies to our well-being, the more protective we become of ourself. By removing ourself from all the distractions of this world and directing our mental energies toward our heart, the center of our spirituality, we connect with the source of light and clarity. This connection is the ground of self-confidence and knowledge and is, in the language of the Qur’an, the "handhold which will never break," as we see in the following verse:

Holy Qur’an, Sura 2 Verse 256:

There is no compulsion in religion.
The right direction is distinct from error.
He who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah
hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break.
Allah is Hearer, Knower.

 

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