Towards the Inner Vision of the Truth


"A messenger reciting unto you the revelations of Allah made plain, that He may bring forth those who believe and do good works from darkness unto light." — Holy Qur'an 65:11


2017 — The Year for Higher Spiritual Enlightenment

Diamond Jubilee Spark :: The Ascent of the Soul Through Enlightenment

Enlightenment Post No. 21 :: Knowledge & Prayers for Advancement

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Ya Ali Madad! The launch of Diamond Jubilee year of Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.) is only 76 days away. To keep up with the momentum, here is another enlightenment post to increase our knowledge and enhance our yearning through Dhikr and Angelic Salwat. This enlightenment post has a dhikr track titled, 'Noore Karim, Daaras-Salaam' because we must all yearn to reach that the Abode of Peace which is our final destination.

Knowledge Section:
In this Enlightenment Post, I would like to present knowledge and wisdom about the ascent of the soul through enlightenment and relate this to the firman made by Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam in Bombay (Mumbai) on 27th November, 1973 in which he said, "There are things that your are told to do and there are things you are told not do during your physical life time." I will show that our deeds will evaluated in terms of the intensity of Light in our souls and is directly related to things that we are told to do and things which we are told not to do. In addition of the above firman, I have also used resources from Ibn al-'Arabi, Rumi and the Holy Qur'an for this post, and pray to Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam to bestow spiritual and luminous tayid (help) so that we all can progress towards the Absolute Light of God. Ameen.

  1. Siratal Mustaqeem and Enlightenment: The Big Picture
    (Source: Ibn al-'Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination: The Sufi Path of Knowledge by William C. Chittick, State University of New York Press, 1989)
  2. Chittick writes: Different people make different choices. Some prefer to play with apparitions [i.e., spirits or visions], some seek various degrees of light, some gaze to the Absolute Light and can be satisfied with nothing less. The degrees of the light's intensity are practically limitless. Each degree can become a person's waystation (manzil) but a "waystation" exists only for the traveller to move on to the next. The journey goes on forever. How can the finite encompass the infinite?

    All paths do not lead in the direction of Absolute Light. A person may continue to wander in apparitions in this world and the next, or become transfixed by the innumerable barzakhs or interworlds that fill the chasm. Here we meet the imponderables of human destiny. Few are the human beings who have witnessed the interworlds with the clarity and perceptiveness of Ibn al-'Arabi and returned to map them out.

    When human beings return to God, whether by compulsion or their own free choice, they go by the way of intermediate worlds. The general characteristics of these worlds have to be sought out in the divine names they manifest. The Koran tells us to pray, "Guide us on the straight path" (1:5). Just as this straight path of return can be imagined as an ascent through an ever increasing intensity of light that open up into the Infinite Light of God, so it can be envisaged in terms of many other 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 the divine form. (pp.21-22)

    Fig. 1. The scale of light for different entities

    My insight: The journey of the soul can be measured by the intensity of Light which it harnessed during its time on earth. The end points of the horizontal gray scale of light correspond to darkness on the left and Absolute Light on the right. The satans are on the left and the angels are on the right. The human soul is composed of clay and the spirit and has the elements of darkness and light within itself. The purpose of life on the earth is to move the soul towards more light as described by Ibn al-'Arabi in the above section. In fact, the mandate of the Holy Prophets, Holy Imams, Saints, Pirs and enlightened souls is to motivate, help and guide the believers towards the Absolute Light. In the Ismaili Tariqah, the Noor of the present and living Imam, Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini (a.s.) illuminates the murid's path to spiritual enlightenment and vision. In the end, every soul will be measured by the intensity of light within itself. This concept, with Qur'anic wisdoms, is presented below.

  3. The Book of Deeds
  4. Transliteration English Translation
    Yawma nad-'uu kulla 'unaasim-bi - Imaamihim: faman 'uutiya kataabahuu bi-yamiinhii fa-'ulaaa-'ika yaqra-'uuna kitaabahum wa laa yus-lamuuna fatiilaa. (17:71) (Remember)1244,1245 the Day (of Judgment when We will summon every people with their Imam (Leader); then whosoever is given his book in his right hand, these shall read their books (with pleasure), and they shall not be dealt with (even) a shred unjustly. (17:71)
    Wa man-kaana fii haazi-hiii 'a'-maa fa-huwa fil-'Aakhirati 'a'-maa wa 'azallu Sabiilaa. (17:72) And1246 whosoever is blind in this (life), he shall in the hereafter (also) be blind and gone further astray from the (right) way (17:72)

    Here is the footnote (pp.905-906) for the above ayat from S. V. Mir Ahmed Ali's translation of the Holy Qu'ran:

    Vr. 71 (1244,1245) The Book mentioned here is the record of one's own deeds accompanying every individual which shall be manifested in a visible form on the day of Judgment.
    'Imam', i.e., Guide. It is said that whosoever an individual follows in his life, he will be with him on the Day of Judgment and will be called to account for his faith and deeds. Blessed are they who follow the best Guides—the Holy Ahlul-Bait, the purified ones of God. When this verse was revealed, people asked the Holy Prophet if he was not the Imam of all the people. The Holy Prophet said: "Yes." "I am the Imam until I am alive in this world and after me the Imam will be Ali-ibne-Abi-Taleb, followed by his divinely chosen issues. People attached to them will be safe and shall gain salvation, and those who go astray and disassociate themselves from them, will be lost."

    Vr. 72 (1246) The blindness mentioned here is not the blindness of the physical eye but the blindness of the heart. He whose heart did not get the benefit of correct belief in God, shall be deprived of seeing the light of salvation or the bliss in the life hereafter.

  5. The rewards for believers who did what they were told to do
  6. Transliteration English Translation
    Yaaa-'ayyuhal-'insaanu 'innaka kaadihun 'ilaa Rabbika kadhan-fa-mulaaqiih. (84:6) O'2953 man! Verily thou art in strive unto thy Lord!, (with) a striving, and thus thou art meeting Him! (84:6)
    Fa-'ammaa man 'uutiya Kitaabahuu bi-yamiinih. (84:7) And2954 he [i.e., the believer] who is given his Book in his right hand, (84:7)
    Fasawfa yuhaasabu hisaa-bany-yasiiraa, (84:8) Soon2955 shall he be reckoned (with) easy reckoning [i.e., the accounting], (84:8)
    Wa yanqalibu 'ilaaa 'ahlihii masruuraa. (84:9) And2956 he shall return unto his people delighted. (84:9)

    Here are the footnotes (pp.1830-1831) for the above ayats from S. V. Mir Ahmed Ali's translation of the Holy Qu'ran:

    Vr. 6 (2953) The path of righteousness, i.e., the path of those who earnestly wish to get nearer to the Lord, is full of toil and agony [of separation]. It is the godly ones that scorn and forgo the pleasures of this life and choose the life of want and difficulties [in their personal search of Light]. Those who toil in the sincere hope of meeting their Lord, are assured of their success so that they may not fall victims to dejection and give up their quest for Him.

    Vr. 7 (2954) See 17:71, 67:19. Those who suffered, and yet led pure lives of faith and righteousness and suffered agonies [of separation] in the way of the Lord, and yet toiled continuously to earn His pleasure for which they avoided the pleasures of this life and chose for themselves and remained contented with the agonies and sufferings. They avoided evil in spite of its strong attractions and earned goodness at all cost.

    Vr. 8 (2955) The reckoning [i.e., the accounting] will be effected with the least difficulty.

    Vr. 9 (2956) To his people, i.e., to his kith and kin and the others spiritually on the same level with him without the restriction of the age, i.e., preceding or succeeding him in time.

  7. The progressive enlightenment of believers who did what they were told to do
  8. Transliteration English Translation
    Falaaa 'uqsimu bish-Shafaq; (84:16) And* I swear by the Glow of the sunset, (84:16)
    Wallayli wa maa wasaq; (84:17) And* (by) the night and what it enshroudeth, (84:17)
    Wal-Qamari 'izat-tasaq; (84:18) And* (by) the moon when at her full, (84:18)
    La-tarkabunna tabaqan 'an-tabaq. (84:19) *That ye shall certainly ascend from state to state, plane after plane. (84:19)

    * My insights into ayats 16-19 are as follows:

    In the first three ayats, the Holy Prophet took an oath in which he invoked three powerful observations in nature, namely, the beautiful sunset, the night and the full moon, in order to emphasize the reality that the ascension of the souls of the righteous ones will take place from stage to stage and from plane to plane. The examples chosen also relate to the increase in the intensity of light which will be shown within the souls of the righteous ones as these journey from one plane to another.

  9. The condition of believers who did not do what they were told to do
  10. Transliteration English Translation
    Wa 'ammaa man 'uutiya Kitaabahuu waraaa-'a zahrih, (84:10) And2957 he who is given his Book (from) behind his back, (84:10)
    Fasawfa yad-'uu subuuraa, (84:11) He2958 shall invoke destruction, (84:11)
    Wa yaslaa Sa-'iiraa. (84:12) And shall be committed to the flaming fire. (84:12)
    'Innahuu kanna fiii 'ahlilii(84:13) Verily2959 he was joyous among his people. (84:13)
    'Innahuu zanna 'allany yahuur! (84:14) Verily2960 he thought that never will he return (unto God), (84:14)
    Balaaa 'inna Rabbahuu kaana bihii Basiiraa! (84:15) Yea!2961 Verily his Lord was always vigilant of him. (84:15)

    Here are the footnotes (pp.1831-1832) for the above ayats from S. V. Mir Ahmed Ali's translation of the Holy Qu'ran:

    Vr. 10 (2957) See 69:24. The disbelievers and the wicked will have their hands tied at their back and hence they will be given their records from behind them. He would wish that he had not been given any record at all—see 69:25. [In other places, the disbelievers and the wicked are given the records to their left hands.]

    Vr. 11 (2958) The wicked would wish for death and annihilation once for all but they will be in a state which is neither life nor death. See 20:74.

    Vr. 13 (2959) While in this life the wicked one was happy rejoicing and enjoying the pleasures of the world among his people, i.e., relatives and friends, without any regard to the pleasure or the displeasure of the Lord.

    Vr. 14 (2960) Man is led into evil ways of life mostly of his self-complacence and self-conceit, and getting himself intoxicated with the enjoyment of his carnal desires in his lower life, forgetting his personal responsibility and his accountability on his return to the Lord in the ultimate. He must remember the inevitability of his return to Him.

    Vr. 15 (2961) Man forgets that the Lord is ever watchful of him for his motives as well as his deeds.

  11. Rumi's description of man's effort and God's grace
    (Source: The Sufi Path of Love by William C. Chittick, State University of New York Press, 1983)
  12. Chittick writes: To undertake the discipline of the path, man must exert himself to the utmost of his ability. But this must not lead him to overestimate the importance of his own self, since in the last analysis, it is precisely his self from which he must escape. Hence, while Rumi constantly urges the spiritual traveler to expend effort on the path, he often reminds him that all of his effort and everything he possesses derives from God's bounty and grace ('inayaat). Man's spiritual aspiration (himmat) must aim high, but he must never forget that God has given him his aspiration. Ultimately God's grace and attraction are all that matter. For, in the words of the Prophet, "A single one of God's attractions equals all the works of jinn and man."

    Here are some samples of Rumi's writing on this topic (pp.160-162):

    The sufis polish their breasts with invocation and meditation so that the heart's mirror may receive virgin images (from the Unseen world). (M I 3154)
    Everyone sees the Unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon who much he has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more—more unseen forms become manifest in him. If you say, "Purity is God's bounty," well, this success in polishing the heart also derives from His bestowal. A man strives and prays to the extent of his spiritual aspiration: A man shall have to his account only as he has labored (53:39). God alone bestows aspiration—no wretched beggar aspires to be a king.(M IV 2909-13)
    Man imagines that he will be able to drive away his own reprehensible attributes by exertion and holy [internal] war [within himself]. After striving earnestly and expending his strength and means, he falls into despair. Then God says to him, "You imagined that you would accomplish this task through your own strength, activity and effort. This is the Habit that I have established: expend everything you have in Our way. Then Our bounty will come to you. In the endless road, We command you to travel with your own feeble hands and feet. We know you cannot traverse this way with feet so feeble. Indeed, in a hundred thousand years, you will not arrive at the first waystation. However, when you travel this road until your legs are exhausted and you fall down flat, until you have no more strength to move forward, then God's grace will take you in its arms." (F 78-79/91)
  13. Pir Hasan Kabirdeen's Supplication from the Granth 'Moti Venti'
  14. Eji châli châli hu(n) thâki rahi
    sâmi havê nahi(n) rê chalâya
    avgu(n) amârâ sâmi tamê ma juo
    sâmi havê nahi(n) rê rahêvâya

    mahêr karo morâ sâ(n)hiyâ
    abarâ sharan tamâri ...........................24

    0 Lord, I have been weary of wandering around
    and I cannot go any further.
    Overlook my shortcomings, O Lord,
    for I cannot subsist without you.

    Have mercy on me, my Lord.
    I am helpless and dependent on you. .....24

  15. Conclusion:
  16. In his firman made in Lahore on November 25, 1964, Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam said, "I do not want my spiritual children to forget that life on earth is but a very short passage in eternity, and you must not believe that you are here for what is only one existence and that thereafter you have to account for nothing." In this Enlightenment Post, we have learned that everyone will be given their own Book of Deeds. The separation into two major groups will be based on the intensity of the Light in one's soul. Therefore, the search for Light is the primary objective and all actions have to be evaluated in terms of Light. The question to be asked is very simple but powerful: 'Will this action create more light within my soul'? If the answer is yes, then proceed. If the answer is no, then it is better not to take that action because it will dim the Light in the soul. This question applies to all our actions! May Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam fill our spiritual hearts with his NOOR and nothing else! Ameen.

    Dhikr Section: New Luminous Dhikr: Noore Karim, Daaras-Salaam
    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 Noore Karim, Daaras-Salaam. Let us perform the luminous dhikr of Noore Karim, Daaras-Salaam with utmost humility and tenderness of the heart (length 2 min 59 sec; 4.1 MB). The lyrics for the 40 beads are given below:

    Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
    In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

    Noore Karim, Daaras-Salaam
    With the wasila of Noore Karim, I yearn for the Abode of Peace

    Recited by Noorallah Juma

    Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
    Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!

    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
    In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

    Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad:
    O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants

    Recited by Noorallah Juma

    Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
    Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!

    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,
    Noorallah Juma
    Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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