Ya Ali Madad! In this posting, I would like to present a mechanism of the ascent of the soul and show how a mu'min can present spiritual (ruhani) and luminous (noorani) nazranas to our beloved NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazir Imam (a.s.) on the occasion of 50 years of his glorious Imamat.
The Model of the Ascent of the Soul:
The conscience of terrestrial man is the workshop of soul and intellect. It is called the centre of intellectual and spiritual change (inqilab) and is called 'heart' (qalb) by Wise Qur'an. Qalb (heart) means 'to turn around, turn upwards, turn upside down' in Qur'anic terminology. Physically, heart is a hollow muscular organ found in the left side of the chest which, by rhythmical contraction and expansion forces the blood through the circulatory system of vertebrates. In psychology and literary usage, heart is the fount of man's emotion and deepest feelings. When it is used in the sense of 'intellect' as well as in the sense of 'spiritual intuition', it is the conscience of man. The word qalb (heart) in the Holy Qur'an is used in the latter sense and I will use it from here onwards. All the powers of good and evil are linked to the workshop of qalb, in which the intellect, rational soul and sensory soul work together.
Fig. 1. The ascent of the soul and its spiritual and intellectual resurrection.
The Mechanism for Spiritual Nazrana:
The mind is the instrument of the soul and reacts to input from the sensory soul, rational soul and intellect. It is said: "Every qalb has two ears. In one, the guiding angel converses and in the other, the mischievous Satan converses. The latter commands (to do bad deeds), the former prohibits. The Satan commands to commit sins, but the angel prevents to do so." (Usul-i Kafi, Chapter 109). Therefore there is always someone speaking in the qalb. It can either be the devil because an idle qalb (mind) (i.e., a personal world without Divine remembrance) is the workshop of devil or it can be the angel because a mind full of Divine Remembrance is the workshop of angels who develop the soul and intellect of the believer.
As the self-reproaching soul transforms the commanding soul, the intensity of Divine remembrance and religious obedience increases, and a believer reaches the stage of constant remembrance (ajampiya jamp). The satisfied soul is a pure and reconciled soul which is now capable of entering the realm of light. As the satan has been defeated, the whole qalb is filled with angels and the Holy Imam's soul. In other words, the mu'min with his great struggle against the satan has made room in his qalb (heart) for his Holy Imam and his angels. His qalb gets transformed from copper to gold and this is the best nazrana that a mu'min can present to his beloved Imam.
In order to achieve this, please go through the methods which have been prescribed by Allah, the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.), Hazrat Ali (a.s.), the Holy Imams (a.s.) and the Holy Pirs (r.a.) that are listed as quick links on the index page of SalmanSpiritual.com.
The Mechanism for Luminous Nazrana:
In order to understand this, let us first reflect on the following on the concept of Light of the Holy Imam and its relationship to the light of mu'mins:
"Let us study this blessed farman of Mawlana 'Ali, may peace be on him: "Nahnu nurun min nuri'llahi wa-shi'atu-na min-na (We (Imams) are a light of God and our followers are from us)". In this farman, there is a great glad tiding for the lovers of the pure Imams, may God's peace be upon them. For "min-na" (from us) means: "Our followers are from our light". And there is no doubt in the fact that the light of Imamat is with the mu'mins not only in the external world, but also in the internal world, linked with their (Imam's) intellect and soul. And it is also known that the light of guidance is ordained to follow the straight path and the paths of peace (57:28; 5:15-16), so that the everlasting treasures of marifat may be recognized, in which there are heaps of pearls and gems and silver and gold of the recognition of self, recognition of the Imam, recognition of the Prophet and recognition of God by every mumin." [Source: Sweet Smelling, pages 85-86]
As the pure and reconciled soul enters the realm of light it becomes enlightened through bandagi (luminous prayers with a luminous word at a luminous time) and reaches the stage of 'Qalb-i salim' (sound heart). This is a stage where the pure qalb is fully filled with the Light of the Holy Imam. This is the true meaning of the dua which Mowla gave to his Jamat in 2005 in which he said "I hope you will have sunshine in your hearts".
The best gift we can present to our Holy Imam at the level of NOOR (Light) is that we carry his LIGHT in our hearts. Only then, we can call ourselves as his true, real, spiritual, noorani (luminous) children. This is the fundamental principle of striving for a Golden Noorani Didar in our foreheads.
In order to do this, let us learn and apply the teachings of Imam Mustansir bi'l-laah II (a.s.) that are presented as the Norms for Enlightenment on the index page of SalmanSpiritual.com.
Linkages between the Lights of Allah, the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.), Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and the Holy Imam of the time (a.s.):
"The fundamental pure sunnat of the Holy Prophet was that he used to invite people to his luminosity, knowledge and wisdom and to that end he used to designate Mawla 'Ali as his door. The purpose of this was the door of God was the Prophet and that of the Prophet, the Imam of the time, as everything has a door. This means that all the treasures of God and the Prophet, including the treasures of the realities of azal (pre-eternity), become available to the one who enters through the door of the Imam of the time. So obedience to the exalted Imam is the supreme bliss for the people." [Source: Subtle Realities, pages 43-44]
Here is my understanding on the subject of light (Noor). The Light of Allah, the Light of the Holy Prophet, the Light of Hazrat Ali, the Light of the Imams, the Light of Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazer Imam and the Light of muímins is ONE light. From this perspective, since the Imam of the time is the door to all the treasures of Allah and His Prophet, we are entering through this door to seek enlightenment with the intention of spreading the barakat to all Ismaili Muslims, the Muslim Ummah and humanity at large. Since the manifest and revealed light is front of us, we are seeking it and want to actualize it in our personal worlds. May our beloved NOOR Mowlana Hazir Imam enable us to present three types of nazrana to him:
- Material Nazrana of time, knowledge and financial resources;
- Spiritual Nazrana in the form of a pure golden heart which is in a state of constant dhikr; and
- Luminous Nazrana in the form of a sound golden heart (qalb-i salim) which is in a state of constant dhikr and enlightenment. Ameen
Peace, light, barakat, taid and a 'golden noorani didar',
Feb. 12, 2007