"Alif. Lam. Ra. (This is) a Scripture which We have revealed unto thee (Muhammad) that thereby thou mayst bring forth mankind from darkness unto light." — Holy Qur'an 14:1
2017 — The Year for Higher Spiritual Enlightenment
Diamond Jubilee Spark :: Soul: Its Unique Nature and Journey Towards Enlightenment
Enlightenment Post No. 9 :: Knowledge & Prayers for Advancement
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Ya Ali Madad! The Diamond Jubilee of Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.) is only six months away. To keep up with the momentum, here is another post to increase our knowledge and enhance our yearning through Dhikr and Angelic Salwat.
In this Enlightenment post, I would like to address the topic of Soul (Nafs). We have all heard the firman in which Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam has taught us that the soul is created and given a physical form. In this post I will first present Ibn al-'Arabi's explanation of the soul is and its range of development.
Chittick writes: The three basic worlds of the macrocosm—the spiritual, imaginal and corporeal—are represented in man by spirit (ruh), soul (nafs), and body (jism). That the spirit should be spiritual and the body corporeal presents no difficulties. But what does it mean to say the soul pertains to the imaginal world?
The human spirit is also God's spirit. The Koran attributes the spirit breathed into Adam to God with the pronouns "His" (32:9) and "My" (15:29, 38:72). Hence this spirit is called the "attributed spirit" (al-ruh al-idafi), i.e., attributed to God, a term which suggested its ambiguous status, both divine and human at once. The spirit possesses all the spiritual or angelic attributes, such as luminosity, subtlety, awareness, and oneness. Clay stands at the opposite pole of the existent cosmos: dark, dense, multiple, dispersed. No connection can be established between one and many, the luminous and the dark, without an intermediary [or a bridge], which in man's case is the soul, the locus of our individual awareness [as shown in Fig. 1].
Fig. 1. The creation and progress of the soul.
The spirit is aware of God, though not of anything less than God. But we—at least before we have refined our souls—have no awareness of the spirit. Clay is unaware of anything at all. The soul, which develops gradually as a human being grows and matures, becomes aware of the world which it is put in touch in a never-ending process of self-discovery and self-finding. Ultimately it may attain to complete harmony with the spirit.
The soul is luminous and dark, subtle and dense, one and many. In some human beings its luminous or ascending tendency dominates, in others dark or descending tendency. Hence the Koranic revelation uses the language of guidance and misguidance, prophets and satans. Without discussing the question, it is easy to see that there must be a vast hierarchy of souls, ranging from the most spirit-like luminosity to the most clay-like darkness. The soul—that is to say its own self-awareness—represents an unlimited possibility of development, whether upward, downward, or sideways. (p.17)
Let us imagine that the soul is created and is at the 12 o'clock position (Fig.2). As it begins its journey, it descends into this world and gets separated from the world of Oneness. The soul now has a great task to create an awareness of its spirit within itself. The ascent is a life-long process and involves many stages which are shown on the right side of Fig. 1. The whole process involves intense purification of the soul and its continuous enrichment with light. The goal of the soul is to reach its origin which is at the 12 o'clock position. Since creation of humans is a continuous process, some spirits are descending from the origin and taking physical forms, while others are shedding their forms and ascending towards their origin as they complete their journeys (Fig. 2). The complete journey may take many, many lifetimes and depends directly on an individual's effort on one hand, and Divine Grace on the other.
Descent of the soul
Ascent of the soul
Fig. 2. The journey of the soul
|The divine root of human freedom and the fact that we choose the route by which we return to God is the fact that God created man upon His own form. In its primordial nature (fitra) every human microcosm is the outer form (sura) of inward meaning (ma'na) that is named "Allah". Allah, the all-comprehensive name, denotes not only the Essence of God but also the sum total of every attribute that the Essence assumes in relationship to the creatures. However, human beings do not enter the world as full-fledged divine forms. They start out as a sort of infinite potentiality for actualizing the all-comprehensive name. At the beginning they are only empty shells, the dimmest of apparitions [i.e., spirits] dancing on the farthest of walls. Between the apparition and Absolute Light stands a yawning chasm, an endless void. True, the apparition in relation to absolute darkness is light, but in effect it is shadow. To connect the apparition to the Light which it manifests is the human task. This involves a process through which light is intensified and darkness overcome. The dim apparition remains on the wall to all to see—the body remains a fixed reality until death—but human consciousness travels in the direction of the Light. (p.20)
When human beings return to God, whether by compulsion or their own free will choice, they go by the way of the intermediate worlds. The general characteristics of these worlds have to be sought out in the divine names which they manifest. The Koran tells us to pray, "Guide us on the straight path" (1:5). Just as this straight path can be imagined as an ascent through an ever increasing intensity of light that opens up into the Infinite Light of God, so also is envisaged in terms of many other divine attributes. To increase in light is to increase in life, knowledge, desire, power, speech, generosity, justice and so on. This is the process of actualizing all the divine names that are latent within the primordial human nature by the virtue of divine form. (pp.20-21)
Each one of us has a soul and a speck of divine light when we come into this world. If we keep ourselves aware of our origin and purpose of journey into this world, we will act to enlighten our souls which will permit us to make a greater contribution in the secular and spiritual dimensions of our lives. In the end, our spiritual status will be measured by the intensity of light in our souls. Our ethics dictate that we should only those things which increase light in our souls.
Dhikr Section: New Luminous Dhikr Titled Noore Ali, Noore Karim
Since we are in the theme of enlightenment, a new luminous dhikr titled Noore Ali, Noore Karim has been created. The aspect of Noor (Light) makes the Ismaili Imamat unique, therefore, let us perform the luminous dhikr of Noore Ali, Noore Karim with utmost humility and tenderness of the heart (length 2 min 47 sec; 3.8 MB). Let this dhikr ring in our spiritual hearts and create an aspiration to actualize the Light of the Holy Ahlul-Bait and Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam so that our spiritual hearts get filled with this NOOR and nothing else. Ameen. The lyrics for the 40 beads are given below:
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Noore Ali, Noore Muhammad; (12 times)
Noore Ali, Noore Karim; (12 times)
Noore Karim, Hazar Imam (12 times)
Noore Ali, Noore Muhammad; (1 time)
Noore Ali, Noore Karim; (1 time)
Noore Karim, Hazar Imam (2 times)
Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
Reaffirmation of Baiyat:
Let us also reaffirm our baiyat to our Holy Imam, NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam by reciting the Shahada from the second part of our Holy Dua:
"La ilaha illallah, Muhammadur-Rasoolullah, 'Aliyyun Amirul-Mu'mineen 'Aliyullah
Mowlana Shah Karim ul Hussaini, Al-Imamul Hazarul Maujood."
"There is no deity except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, 'Ali - the master of believers - is from Allah. Our Lord Shah Karim Al-Hussaini is our present and living Imam"
Angelic Salwat Nazrana:
Let us now start presenting a nazrana of at least 101 salwats or continuous salwat for 3 to 5 minutes to our beloved NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam for the fulfillment of our noble wishes. May our beloved Mowla continually keep us on the Right Path. Ameen.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (1)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (2)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (3)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (4)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (5)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (6)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (7)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (8)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (9)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (10)
Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (11)
Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
May NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.) grant peace, prosperity, happiness, barakat, higher spiritual enlightenment, spiritual & luminous tayid (help) and empowerment to you, your family, your Jamat and the worldwide Jamat! Ameen.
Rakh Mowla je Noor te Yaqeen (Certainly, we trust in Mowla's Light only)
Haizinda — Qayampaya
(Our Present Imam is Living and His NOOR is Eternal)
Your spiritual brother,
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017
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