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


Preparation for Golden Noorani and Golden Jubilee Didars
:: Spiritual and Luminous Nazrana Sparks ::

Spark No. 15 :: The Ismaili Ethos of Higher Spiritual Enlightenment and Service to Humanity

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

Ya Ali Madad! Ethos means the fundamental and distinctive character of a group, social context, or period of time, typically expressed in attitudes, habits, and beliefs. The two pillars of Ismaili ethos are higher spiritual enlightenment and service to humanity. These were characterized by NOOR Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s.) in his Platinum Jubilee Message as follows:

"In these 70 years of my Imamat, man's material condition has totally changed. There has been immense increase in power over nature but, as we see, with strifes everywhere spiritual power has not increased.

It is my hope that my Spiritual Children, the Ismailis, will, by the example of their own higher enlightenment and helpful cooperative movements amongst themselves, set to the world an example of better fraternity and brotherhood which alone can free men from the fear and dangers of moral and mental discord which leads to disaster for all."

Our present and living Imam has spent 50 years to expand the pillar of service to humanity. The ethos of service to humanity is described on the official site of the Ismaili Muslim community as follows:

"In consonance with this vision of Islam and a long-standing tradition of service to humanity, the Ismailis have elaborated a well-defined institutional framework to build capacity and improve the quality of life within the communities in which they live. Under the Aga Khan's leadership, this framework expanded and evolved into the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of institutions working to improve living conditions and opportunities in specific regions of the developing world. In every country, these institutions work for the common good of all citizens regardless of their origin or religion. Their individual mandates range from architecture, education and health to the promotion of private sector enterprise, the enhancement of non-government organisations and rural development."

In his Irshad Mubarak to the global Jamat on July 11, 2007, NOOR Mowlana Hazar Imam encouraged each murid to use the mechanism of spiritual enlightenment for continual internal guidance. Spiritual enlightenment is a powerful, integrative and life-long process which enables a murid to advance through the four stages of religion (Shariat, Tariqat, Haqqikat and Marifat).

In his message to students in Bombay, NOOR Mowlana Shah Sultan Muhammad Shah Al-Husayni (a.s.) explained about the principle of spiritual enlightenment as follows:

" ... While the material conditions of life change, the spiritual conditions which are not only limited to this life but go beyond, are based on one fundamental principle, namely search for enlightenment by the right spiritual contact with the light of your holy faith." [Source: Precious Pearls No. 43]

In his message to Count Paroo on May 7, 1953, NOOR Mowlana Shah Sultan Muhammad Shah Al-Husayni (a.s.) also explained about the balance between din and duniya as follows:

" ...Islam has many forms of prayers. Ismailis in prayers go a higher and higher spiritual life till the supreme spiritual life immediately reached after death by union, as soon as the day comes, when the real calls the apparent to itself. But Islam first and Ismailism much more so insists on action; without action faith is useless; without action prayer becomes pride. With entire absorption in the work during the day and then higher prayers at night (i.e., bandagi in the small watches of the night), a new life may come provided the two occupations are total. So concentrate all your free time and thought to this end." [Source: Precious Pearls No. 41]

In his memoirs, NOOR Mowlana Shah Sultan Muhammad Shah Al-Husayni (a.s.) also described the extent to which a human being can advance in the field of spiritual enlightenment as follows:

"Islamic doctrine goes farther than the other great religions for it proclaims the presence of the soul, perhaps minute but nevertheless existing in an embryonic state in all existence in matter, in animals, trees, and space itself. Every individual, every molecule, every atom has its own spiritual relationship with the All-Powerful Soul of God. But men and women, being more highly developed, are immensely more advanced than the infinite number of other beings known to us. Islam acknowledges the existence of angels, of great souls who have developed themselves to the highest possible planes of human soul and higher, and who are centres of forces which are scattered throughout the universe. Without going as far as Christianity, Islam recognizes the existence of evil spirits which seek by means of their secret suggestions to turn us from good, from that stait way traced by God's finger for the eternal happiness of the humblest as of the greatest -- Abraham, Jesus, Mohammed." [Source: Memoirs of Aga Khan, p.177]

Let us now reflect on an excerpt of a Baitul Khyal firman of NOOR Mowlana Hazar Imam made at Chittagong, Bangladesh on 4th December 1964:

"If you read history you will come to know how Muslims could do so much in Prophet's time. This is because they used to perform Ibadat (bandagi)."

The mechanism of spiritual advancement is ardent practice of faith culminating in the practice of bandagi with ism-i azam. The ism-i azam (bol) is in its potential form when it is bestowed to a murid by the Holy Imam. When the murid follows all the practices of the faith and practices bandagi, i.e., the luminous prayer with a luminous word at a luminous time in the small watches of the night, the ism-i azam becomes actualized. The enlightened murid witnesses that the ism-i azam (bol) has become the light of Holy Imam in his/her forehead. A murid who achieves this loft status becomes a real spiritual and luminous child of the Holy Imam!

Our Holy Pirs, our Dais, our great scientists and artists all used the luminous energy of ism-i azam bestowed upon them by the Imam of the time to advance humanity. In this day and age, the ethos of spiritual enlightenment and service to humanity needs to be expanded exponentially so the Ismailis can fulfill the vision of our present and living Hazar Imam. Over the past 50 years, our Holy Imam has nurtured each one of us in the realm of spirituality and luminosity. Therefore, in this Golden Jubilee year, it is not impossible for us to execute the ethos of Ismailism, al-hamdulillah!

Golden Noorani and Golden Jubilee Didar Preparations:
In preparation for Golden Noorani and Golden Jubilee Didars, let us practise our faith with conviction by attending Jamat Khana regularly, submitting dasond, saying three Duas on time, practising bandagi because it is a luminous prayer, reciting angelic salwats, performing abundant dhikr, performing volunteer service, balancing din and duniya, and accumulating material, spiritual and luminous nazranas in our personal worlds. Educational resources for these activities are listed under the knowledge bank link in left side menu.

Dhikr Tasbis for Each Day of the Week:
Please follow these links for dhikr tasbis for each day. These pages contain the text, meaning and mp3 sound tracks. Dhikr tasbis are a magnificient way to reach the stage of constant remembrance and prepare for a spiritual and luminious nazrana in our personal worlds.

Global Prayer:
Ya Ali, Ya NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, grant us, our families, our Jamats, the worldwide Jamat, the Muslim Ummah, and humanity at large, luminous (noorani) and spiritual (ruhani) tayid (help) to advance materially, spiritually and intellectually.

O Mowla make us One global Jamat with One Sound Heart (Qalb-i Salim), bless us with the Golden Noorani and the Golden Jubilee Didars, and empower us to present Material, Spiritual and Luminous Nazranas. Ameen.

Haizinda — Qayampaya
(Our Present Imam is Living and His NOOR is Eternal)

Peace, Light, Barakat, Tayid and a 'Golden Noorani Didar',
Noorallah Juma
Thursday, July 19, 2007

Spiritual and Luminous Nazrana Sparks: