Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Ya Ali Madad and Idd Mubarak! On the most auspicious occasion of Idd ul-Fitr, please accept our heartfelt felicitations. May Allah grant material, spiritual and intellectual happiness to Muslims all over the world, and to all those who have submitted their wills to He Who is Above All Else. Ameen.
May Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam grant peace, prosperity, happiness, barakat, higher spiritual enlightenment, spiritual & luminous tayid (help) and empowerment to you, your family & Jamat, and the worldwide Jamat. Ameen.
The PDF version of this post can be downloaded from the SalmanSpiritual.Com website. A mp3 audio file with a track titled 'Noore Karim Plus 21 Tasbis' mp3 file can be downloaded from audio.salmanspiritual.com
Table of Contents:
- Worship of Those Who Are 'Free'
- What is the Difference Between Spiritual Slavehood and Ordinary Piety?
- What are the Traits of the Spiritual Slaves and the Righteous?
- What is the Process of Becoming Free and Become One with the Beloved?
- What do the Spiritual Slaves Become?
- The Combination of 'Noore Karim' with Tasbis Derived from 99 Beautiful Names of Allah
Part 1: Introduction
Let us first read the following saying of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) in which he has defined three classes of people with respect to their obedience:
"There are people who obey God to gain His Favours, they act like businessmen trading with God; while there are some who obey Him to keep themselves free from His Wrath (Anger), they act as slaves; but there are a few who obey Him out of their sense of gratitude and obligation, they act as gentlemen and noblemen."
(Nahjul Balagha: Sermons, letters and saying of Hazrat Ali, Sayings of Hazrat Ali 208, p. 294)
In Idd Namaz, we recite Dua-e Qunut five times in the first raka'ah and four times in the second raka'ah. The first sentence is the following ayat of the Holy Quran (2:201):
|'Rabbanaa 'aatinaa fid-dunya hasanatanw-wa fil-'Aakhirati hasanatanw-wa qinaa 'azaaban-Naar'
||'Our Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and guard us from the doom of Fire.'
In the above ayat, we are asking for the best in this world and the first world (i.e. the world from which our soul originated), and we are seeking protection from the God's anger. Thus, we fit in to the first two classes of believers described by Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.). So we now we have seek answer to a more difficult question: How to worship God out of a sense of gratitude? Is it simply an issue of expressing gratitude through speech and thought or is there a deeper answer? In this post, let us explore the qualities and achievements of the few who worship through a real sense of gratitude.
Part 2: Worship of Those Who Are 'Free'
I found another version of the above saying from the book titled 'Spiritual Quest—Reflections on Qur'anic Prayer According to the Teachings of Imam 'Ali' by Reza Shah-Kazemi, Occasional Papers 3, IIS, London (2011):
'...to the extent that one is aware that one has received the abundant good embodied in the Prophetic gifts—the Qur'an itself, the wisdom of Prophetic guidance—one can pray and sacrifice, as a manifestation of one's gratitude. One no longer prays only that one might be given some good in this world, or the next, but one prays out of gratitude for what has already been given, here and now. As noted earlier, Imam 'Ali refers to this kind of worship as being the worship of those who are 'free':
'Indeed there is a group who worship God out of desire [for something not yet attained], and this is the worship of the merchants. And there is a group who worship out of fear, and this is the worship of the enslaved. And there is a group who worship God out of gratitude, and this is the worship of the free.'
The Prophet, upon being asked why he persisted with such long prayer vigils through the night, replied by saying: 'Am I not a grateful servant?' (pp.91-92)
We have now moved forward with the above teaching and have discovered that the few who worship out of gratitude have the trait of being 'free'. Let us now look for some other sources of knowledge from the Holy Qur'an and the teachings of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) to find authoritative answers about those who worship out of gratitude.
Part 3: What is the Difference Between Spiritual Slavehood and Ordinary Piety?
I found an answer to this question from another part of Reza Shah-Kazemi's book which is based on the ayats presented in the Idd card:
'The relationship between spiritual slavehood and ordinary piety is alluded to in the distinction between the 'slaves of God' ('ibad Allah) and the 'righteous' at verses 5-6. ... While 'the righteous' drink from a cup 'whereof the mixture is of Kafur', the slaves of God drink directly from the spring itself, 'making it gush forth abundantly' (76:5-6). (p.47)
Part 4: What are the Traits of the Spiritual Slaves and the Righteous?
I found an answer to this question from another part of Reza Shah-Kazemi's book:
'The 'slaves' drinking directly from the fountain are empty of themselves, and 'belong' entirely to the Lord, in contrast to the 'righteous' who retain, alongside their piety, a lingering sense of self-consciousness, by which they are partly 'possessed' and thus cannot belong wholly to God as do the 'slaves'. They can only drink from a cup flavoured by the fountain, not from the fountain itself. Only those who are utterly empty of their egos, and who are thus filled by the presence of God, can drink directly from the fountain. But to be empty of one's ego is, from a relative point of view, a kind of death, from which the ordinary soul shrinks in fear: 'If ye claim that ye are friends of God (awliya' Allah), singled out apart from (all) mankind, then long for [a spiritual] death if ye are truthful' (62:6). (p.48)
Esoterically interpreted, this challenge can be seen to underscore the relationship between spiritual extinction or fana and sanctity, or walaya. For it is the awliya, who truly 'long' for this extinction which means death to egocentricity, in accordance with the Prophetic injunction: 'Die before you die'. One must die to one's egotism before physical death comes, and only the awliya can do this, or even want to do this, knowing that in his apparent 'death' resides true life, for the effaced slave becomes transparent to the Lord, and the very duality of slave-Lord is transcended, leaving only divine oneness. (p.48)
It is possible to find similar concepts in the ginanic traditions of the Indian subcontinent. In the sixth verse of the ginan, Abdhu man jite, Pir Hasan Kabirdin has also presented the concept of completely sacrificing the ego through the following wisdom filled words:
||âshâ mâro chinitâ jâro|
anê hu(n) khudi karo rasoi
âsan jito nindrâ jito,
kirtâr karê so hoi,
abdhu kirtâr karê so hoi.
||Shun desires, control your thoughts
and sacrifice your ego (nafs-i amara).
Control your posture during bandagi and discipline your sleeping patterns.
Whatever the Lord wills, will happen;
O Saint! Whateverthe Lord wills, will happen.
Part 5: What is the Process of Becoming Free and Become One with the Beloved?
The answer to the above question has been given by Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) in Reza Shah-Kazemi's book:
'This oneness in made apparent in te following remarkable saying of Imam 'Ali, which can be read as a commentary on the fountain of Kafur, and an intimation of what happens as a result of actually drinking from this fountain:
'Truly, God has a drink for His friends (awliya'ihi).
When they drink it, they are intoxicated (sakaru);
and when they are intoxicated, they are enraptured (tarabu);
and when they are enraptured, they are blessed (taabu);
and when they are blessed they dissolve (dhaabu);
and when they dissolve, they are free (khalasu);
and when they are free, they devote themselves purely (akhasu);
and when they devote themselves purely, they seek (talabu);
and when they seek, they find (wajadu);
and when they find, they arrive (wasalu);
and when they arrive, they are at one (ittasalu);
there is no difference between them and their Beloved.' (p.48)
In the following verse from the Ginan, Hu(n) re piyasi, Sayyed Khaan teaches us to remain focused on the Holy Imam by invoking His name with full concentration:
||Didaari hove so esa chahaave
Sahebji-ku(n) chhod kar orku(n) na dhiyaave
Didaari hoy so dil baandhe
Din din adka neh dhare
Ek man ho kar naam leve
Piyuka darshan so kare ji
||He who desires the vision should wish not
to pay attention to anything other than the Master.
He who would have the vision attaches his heart to Him,
increasing his love day by day.
Through invoking His name in singleness of mind,
he achieves the vision of the Beloved.
Part 6: What Do the Spiritual Slaves Become?
The answer to the above question is also given in Reza Shah-Kazemi's book:
'This is how 'Abd al-Razzaq al-Kashani, author of the most important esoteric commentaries, describes the slaves who drink directly from the fountain of Kafur:
'The slaves are [themselves] the source of this Fountain; there is no duality or otherness ... were it otherwise, it would not be the Fountain of Kafur, because of the darkness of the veil of egotism (ana'iyya) and duality.'
Here, the aspect of union is further emphasised: the 'slaves' are, in their innermost substance, not other than the source or fountain from which they outwardly drink, and the paradisal fountain is a symbol of the divine Essence. The light of knowledge, guidance and virtue which emanates from these slaves is therefore other than the light of God. Hence 'God is the Light of the Heavens and the earth', as the celebrated verse of light, tells us: 'light upon light'.'
And of great importance in the Sura is the verse relating to the chief means by which one manifests gratitude: the remembrance of God God [as described in the following verse of Holy Quran], 'And invoke the name of they Lord at morn and evening. And worship Him [a portion] of the night. And glorify Him through the livelong night' (76:26-27) (pp.48-49)
In our ginanic literature, we encounter words such as 'das', 'dasi', 'nari', 'sevek', and 'gulam'. For example, here is a verse from Pir Hasan Kabirdin's ginan, Aash Tamari Shri Ho Kayam Sami, in which the Pir supplicates as a humble servant (spiritual slave):
|| Pir Hasan Kabirdin sevek em vinve
Sami maara ham tere sharañ muraari Ya Shah
Hi joog kud kapat jal bhariya
Satse-thi paar utaaro
|O Lord!||Pir Hassan Kabirdin, the humble servant (spiritual slave) supplicates:
O my Lord! I seek Your shelter.
This age is full of evil and deceit,
take me across (this evil and deceitful ocean) by the way of Truth.
I hope that the trait of being a spiritual slave described by our Pirs in their Ginans will motivate us to adopt the attitude of utmost humility in our personal search for higher spiritual enlightenment.
Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam has given a firman that no one has a right to the Light and one must remain humble in personal search. Here the word 'humble' is used in the sense of 'nothingness' and the since the Light is being self-disclosed, it is not a right of a servant to lay a claim on it. Everything which manifests in us through the practice of faith and self-disclosure (i.e., unveiling) in a blessing and it does not belong to us! The Light is given to us as a baraka and should be considered as a trust (amanat) of the Holy Imam in our personal worlds. If we adopt a position of submission, humility and trustworthiness, we also build a shield of protection from the traits of our lower instincts!
Part 7: The Combination of 'Noore Karim' with Tasbis Derived from 99 Beautiful Names of Allah
Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) has encouraged all Muslims to recite 99 Beautiful Names of Allah. Each Divine name has its own luminosity, power, blessing and tayid (spiritual help) for believers. The names can also be recited as tasbis, e.g., a Beautiful Name such as 'Al-Malik' can be recited as 'Ya Malik' in a tasbi form.
Earlier in this article, we learned that God Himself has established various means by which He is to be approached, as described in the following ayat: 'seek unto Him a means of recourse (wasila)' (5:35). In the Ismaili Tariqah, the centrality of the present and living Imam is of paramount importance. The role of the present and living Imam is defined in article F of the Preamble of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim constitution as follows:
Historically and in accordance with Ismaili tradition, the Imam of the time is concerned with spiritual advancement as well as the improvement of the quality of life of his murids. The Imam's Ta'lim lights the murid's path to spiritual enlightenment and vision. In temporal matters, the Imam guides the murids, and motivates them to develop their potential.
In the firman made on December 13, 1964 in Karachi, Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam said that 'his Noor has indicated to you where and in which direction you must turn, so as to obtain spiritual and material satisfaction'. I have taken this firman to my heart and am now doing dhikrs which call on the Noor directly because in my heart, Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini (a.s.) is the pillar of Light and is represented by the words 'Noore Karim' in the dhikrs. I firmly hold on to this luminous pillar in my dhikr of selected tasbis from the 99 Beautiful Names as shown in the table below.
Download Noore Karim plus 21 Tasbis sound track in mp3 format (4.44 minutes; 6.52 MB)
|No. ||Tasbis Derived from the Beautiful Names of Allah ||Beautiful |
|Meaning of the Beautiful Name|
|01 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ghafuur || |
|The Great Forgiver|
|02 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ghaffar || |
|The Great Forgiver|
|03 ||Noore Karim, Ya 'Afuw || |
|The Supreme Pardoner|
|04 ||Noore Karim, Ya Tawwab || |
|The Ever-Acceptor of Repentance|
|05 ||Noore Karim, Ya Rahmaan || |
|06 ||Noore Karim, Ya Rahim || |
|07 ||Noore Karim, Ya Salaam || |
|The Embodiment of Peace|
|08 ||Noore Karim, Ya Sabuur || |
|The Extensively Enduring One|
|09 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ash-Shakur || |
|The Acknowledging One|
|10 ||Noore Karim, Ya Wadud || |
|The Loving One|
|11 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ahad || |
|The Sole One|
|12 ||Noore Karim, Ya Samad || |
|The Supreme Provider|
|13 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ghani || |
|The Self Sufficient One|
|14 ||Noore Karim, Ya Mughni || |
|The Bestower of Sufficiency|
|15 ||Noore Karim, Ya Razzaq || |
|The Total Provider|
|16 ||Noore Karim, Ya Wahaab || |
|The Supreme Bestower|
|17 ||Noore Karim, Ya Ali || |
|The Sublime One|
|18 ||Noore Karim, Ya Rabb || |
|Lord, Sustainer, Cherisher, Nourisher|
|19 ||Noore Karim, Ya Khaaliq || |
|20 ||Noore Karim, Ya Baari || |
|21 ||Noore Karim, Ya Musawwir || |
|The Flawless Shaper|
*Rabb is not one of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah, but is used extensively in Dhikrs
I would like to present a brief explanation which led to the selection of above tasbis. The first four tasbis (Ya Ghafuur, Ya Ghaffar, Ya 'Afuw and Ya Tawwab) are for forgiveness of sins. The next two (Ya Rahmaan, Ya Rahim) are for seeking mercy. These appear in the beginning because the themes for forgiveness and mercy are encountered in numerous places in the Holy Qur'an.
The Ya Salaam, Ya Sabuur, and Ya Ash-Shakur tasbis are for developing positive traits which are extremely important in our personal search for higher spiritual enlightenment. These traits also generate humility, devotion and stamina.
The Ya Wadud tasbi (number 10) is used to call up the Beloved. In the initial stages of path of love, there is a lover, the Beloved and the path, i.e., there is duality. However, when Beloved engulfs and absorbs the lover, then the lover, the Beloved and the Path become a single entity. Our goal is to grow into unity through the immense love of the Beloved. Our Holy Imam has told us that he loves all of us more than we can ever love him, therefore it is important to increase our love for his Noor.
The Ya Ahad tasbi (number 11) shows that Allah is above all else because He is Unique. Thus, this tasbi emphasizes the cardinal principle of Tawhid in Islam.
The Ya Samad tasbi (number 12) reminds us that Allah is Absolute and the Supreme Provider. The whole creation looks to Allah for support. The Ya Ghani tasbi (number 13) is related to Ya Samad tasbi. Allah is the Self Sufficient One. The Ya Mughni tasbi (number 14) is used to ask for material and spiritual sufficiency because Allah is the Bestower of Sufficiency. The Ya Razzaq tasbi (number 15) is for asking for material and spiritual sustenance. The Ya Wahaab tasbi (number 16) generates blessings which are bestowed even without asking for them. The Ya Ali tasbi (number 17) is for invoking the Sublime or the Most High. The Ya Wahaab and the Ya Ali tasbis are part of four tasbis which are recited every morning after the recitation of the morning Dua.
The Ya Rabb tasbi (number 18) is not one of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah, but is used extensively in dhikrs because it calls upon the Lord which is the Sustainer, Cherisher, and Nourisher of everything.
The path of spiritual progress and development involves: (1) the creation of human beings; (2) the evolution of human beings through the faith, knowledge, ibadat, and good deeds; and (3) re-creation of human beings into perfect beings. These three functions of Allah are represented by the Ya Khaaliq, the Ya Baari and the Ya Musawwir tasbis (Numbers 19. 20, and 21).
Part 8: Links:
- Download to the PDF version of Candle Posting 130 :: Worship of Those Who Are 'Free' ::
- Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali's (a.s.) Insight on Idd ul-Fitr
- Idd ul-Fitr Mubarak :: Tawil of Dua-e-Qunut
- Spiritual Aspirations for Idd ul-Fitr
- Noor Mowlana Mansur's Guidance, Supplication and Prayer (Idd ul-Fitr card)
- Download to the PDF version of Candle Posting 129 :: Insights into 'From Thee Alone We Seek Help' ::
- Download Noore Karim plus 21 Tasbis sound track in mp3 format (4.44 minutes; 6.52 MB)
Ya Ali, Ya NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, create Sunshine in our hearts, light in our foreheads, and bless us all with the inner vision of the Truth!
Ya Ali, Ya NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, grant the global Jamat luminous (noorani) and spiritual (ruhani) tayid (help) to advance materially, spiritually and intellectually. Ameen.
Haizinda — Qayampaya
(Our Present Imam is Living and His NOOR is Eternal)
The lit candle represents the Light of Imamat. Let us actualize this Light into our spiritual hearts, heads, & consciences so that we may also be able to submit spiritual & luminous nazranas in the Diamond Jubilee.