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Towards the Inner Vision of the Truth ::
An Ismaili Perspective
Promoting Personal Search for Higher Spiritual Enlightenment & Vision
"Lo! those who believe and do good works, their Lord guideth them by their faith."
— Holy Qur'an 10:9
Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam's ta'lim guides the murid to higher spiritual enlightenment & vision.
Preparation for Golden Noorani and Golden Jubilee Didars :: Spiritual and Luminous Nazrana Sparks ::
Spark No. 20 :: Spiritual and Luminous Service of Humanity Through Aalm-i Dharr
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Ya Ali Madad! The ethos of Ismailism can be defined as higher spiritual enlightenment and service to humanity starting from one's own family. Service to humanity can be through time, knowledge and means. There are numerous examples of selfless service to humanity being rendered by members of the global Jamat using the mechanisms of the body and the rational mind.
Keeping the dual pillars of higher spiritual enlightenment and service to humanity as guiding principles, is it possible to render spiritual and luminious service to humanity? The answer to this question is a resounding yes and in this posting I will share my thoughts on this topic. I will use the concept of Alam-i Dharr (the world of spiritual particles) to articulate my answer and also link this to the concepts of spiritual and luminous nazranas of time and knowledge which can be presented through these types of service.
What is in the personal world of Holy Prophets and Holy Imams?
The most direct answer to the above question is captured in the following excerpt:
"The personal world of the Prophets and Imams is also called the world of (spiritual) particles (alam-i dharr), in which all events and states from azal (pre-eternity) to abad (post-eternity) actually exist, so that the people of spirituality may have means of practical tawil (inner wisdom) and perfect marifat (recognition of God)." [Source: Pearls of Marifat, Part 2, p. 12]
Please also refer to item numbers 5 and 6 of post number 18 for more examples of this concept.
Can the external world be enfolded in human beings?
Let us reflect on the tawil of the word 'Imam' (Guide):
"(Let us) reflect duly and carefully upon this wisdom-filled saying of Mawla Ali: "And you think that you are a tiny body, while the great universe is enfolded in you." The above-mentioned state of human beings is in two ways: potentially and actually. Potentially, the external world is enfolded in every individual. Actually, it is the personal world of the manifest Imam in which God has encompassed the great world actually, and as such, no subtle thing, such as the Throne, the Pedestal, the Pen or the Tablet, is excluded from it. In short, the great world is centered and confined with the manifest Imam consummately and completely." [Source: A Thousand Wisdoms, Tawil number 109, p. 67]
How can mu'mins be annihilated in the Imam of the time?
"In order to annihilated, one has to progress in the obedience of God, the Prophet and the Imam of the time. One has to create in one's heart real and ardent love for all of them and have the ambition of sacrificing oneself (spiritually) for the cause of religion. These virtues are such that those mumins who develop then become living (spiritual) martyrs (57:19). To achieve this state is the potential annihilation in the Imam (at the level of soul and light)." [Source: Pearls of Marifat, Part 2, p. 16]
What kind of knowledge will be bestowed upon mu'mins who become annihilated in the Imam of the time?
"It is said in the Holy Qur'an: "See you not how Allah has subjugated to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth and has loaded you with His favours both externally and internally? And there are people who dispute concerning Allah, without knowledge or guidance or a luminous book" (31:20). According to this blessed verse, all external favours of God are available to man through the subjugation of the physical world and all His internal favours, from the subjugation of the world contained in man himself (i.e. the internal world within man). And all this can be achieved by the mu'min through the luminous book, which the spirituality, luminosity and practical ta'wil of the Imam, in which a complete picture of the universe exists in the form of knowledge." [Source: Pearls of Marifat, Part 2, p. 33-34]
When NOOR Mowlana Hazar Imam talks about knowledge, we must understand that there is knowledge which is acquired through formal education and lifelong learning. This equips us to operate in the material world. However, the subtle knowledge which is in the luminous book is called ilm-u laduni because it is inspired or given knowledge. Please make a note of this distinction because it is fundamental to our understanding of rendering spiritual and luminous service to humanity.
Can the alam-i dharr be allocated to mu'mins?
"Those mu'mins who accept the Imam of the time as their supreme soul, are allocated the world of particles, which is everything. For it is the intellect of the Imam which is the Universal Intellect, his Soul is the Universal Soul, his juththah-i ibdaiyyah (ibdai (luminous) body) is the Universal Body. Thus all things in the universe and the existents, are annihilated and contained in the Holy essence of the True Imam. Thus the (spiritual) creation and resurrection of people takes place in the Imam." [Source: Pearls of Marifat, Part 2, p. 12]
When the mu'mins are allocated the world of particles within their own spiritual world, this means that whatever spirituality and luminosity develops within their own soul is also beneficial to the all the people who are also present in the personal world of the mu'min. In other words, when a mu'min dedicates time to perform intensive dhikr and luminous prayer (bandagi), he is not only elevating himself but also serving all the other human beings and souls by sending positive energy to all of them.
How can mu'mins present spiritual and luminous nazranas?
From the above points, it is clear that mu'mins who advance in the path of religion will interact with the four archangels in Malakut (the world of Angelicity). Hazrat Jibril (a.s.) will teach spiritual knowledge, Hazrat Mikail (a.s.) will impart wisdom, Hazrat Israfil (a.s.) will play the luminous flute (sur) and awaken the alam-i dharr which was potentially hidden the mu'min and Hazrat Izrail (a.s.) will rejuvenate all the souls in the personal world.
The empowerment of the mu'min with ilm-u laduni (inspired knowledge) and activation of alam-i dharr (the world of spiritual particles) will enable him to perform unique and powerful service to humanity at the level of soul and light.
In his Irshad in Kampala, Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam has explained that quality of life is more than the material life because other factors such as life of the heart, spirit and soul also need to be considered. The enlightened mu'min can perform unique and outstanding service to humanity because his state of being in constant dhikr and higher enlightenment will enable him to send rays of light and hope to his fellow beings, and also supplicate for all of them in the luminous presence of the Holy Imam.
Finally, I would like to conclude this essay with an example of Pir Hasan Kabirdin (r.a.). This Holy Pir performed intense giriyauzari (supplication) and bandagi (luminous prayers); demonstrated patience, courage, ardent love, utmost humility, absolute submission to Imam Islam Shah; and composed 500 verses of Anant Akhado and 90 verses of Anant Naa Nav Chhuga which are full of knowledge. All these attributes and a nazrana of time and knowledge were packaged in a form of a turban.
In my humble opinion, the turban presented by Pir Hasan Kabirdin (a.s.) is the most magnificent example of a nazrana of time and knowledge which was presented to the Holy Imam. The impact of this Holy Pir's work has improved the quality of the life of the heart, spirit and soul of countless millions of souls in this world. The impact of his sacrifice, luminous prayers, humility and voluminous works of knowledge will also be felt by countless millions of souls in the hereafter.
Let us learn about the impact of this Holy Pir's work and his etiquette of presenting spiritual and luminous nazranas to the Holy Imam from the following verses of Anant Naa Nav Chhuga:
pâki nâri tamâri pragati
tê karvâ anatni sârji
tê to nâri anantnê odhârsê
utârê sahu(n) jivu(n)nê pâr
Your ripened (matured) wife has manifested to perform the good of the eternal (souls). This wife will save the countless (souls) and will enable all souls to cross the limits of material existence to eternity.
Hari You are eternal;
nav chhugâni shâh pâgaj bâ(n)dho
vinvê ubhi gharni nârji
anat tê mâ(n)hê vanyo hato
tê didho Hasan Shâhnê sâr
hari ana(n)t ana(n)t
hari ana(n)têjo svâmi shâh
ana(n)têjo a(n)t tu(n)hê jânêjê
Put on the entire turban of nine tussles, the (spiritual) wife pleaded while standing. The eternal task for salvation of infinite number of souls (alam-i Dharr) was folded inside it. The Imam granted it to Hasan Shah in its entirety by placing the turban on him.
Hari You are eternal;
Expression of Gratitude:
Praise be to our present and living Imam, NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.) for nurturing the material, spiritual and luminous dimensions of our existence and for opening doors of presenting the nazranas of time, knowledge and means to the global Jamat. I would like to express by sincere gratitude to our beloved Mowla for his grace and tayid which has enabled me to address such an important and vast topic.
I would like to conclude with two major discoveries in light of Irshad Mubarak of NOOR Mowlana Hazar Imam:
The ethos of Ismailism can be defined as higher spiritual enlightenment and service to humanity starting from one's own family. Service to humanity can be through time, knowledge and means.
This series of 20 postings has shed light on the spiritual and luminous dimensions of the nazarana of time and knowledge. This augments the concept of material nazrana and the nazrana of time and knowledge by working with Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam's institutions. Hopefully, this knowledge will enable us to present all types of nazranas to our Holy Imam in the Golden Jubilee year of his glorious Imamat.
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',
Saturday, September 8, 2007