Then Comes Passion

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Then Comes Passion

A spiritual seeker may be initially motivated by the love of paradise and fear of hell fire. The awakened person is no longer concerned about either, due to being absorbed in the love of the ever present perfection. Then comes passion, in which the lover has lost direction and identification, being lost in the Beloved. In the outer world being lost is stupidity and ignorance, whereas in the inner world being lost to the essence is the entry into serendipity and bliss.

By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Witnessing Perfection”

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Imbibed or Absorbed through Passion

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Imbibed or Absorbed through Passion

With the realization of life’s great potential, every moment becomes precious and is given its due respect and importance. To be deliberately enslaved to the supreme cosmic light is to be free from outer shadows. It is by God’s generosity, mercy and grace that we turn away from our egotistical dark shadows towards the luminous light of the soul within the heart. Prophets, messengers and enlightened beings have awakened to these companions and guides along the spiritual path. These revealed knowledges cannot be reached by reason, wisdom or supplication. They need to be imbibed or absorbed through passion.

By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Witnessing Perfection”

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There is None Except One

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There is None Except One

The disciple declared that there are countless beings in existence, but the master insisted that there is none except One. He then reminded the student that when you truly open your eyes many may appear within your sight, whereas in truth these are only shadows of the everlasting one light within them, before them and after them. The master then sang: ‘Passion for God has bewildered me; thus I am alien and a stranger in this world. When I appear He (God) vanishes, and when He appears I vanish.’

By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Witnessing Perfection”

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FIṬRAH: THE INNATE, NATURAL DISPOSITION

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FIṬRAH: THE INNATE, NATURAL DISPOSITION

Fiṭrah is the ‘natural and basic disposition’ of humankind and is derived from faṭara, to split or break apart, hence Ifṭār, ‘breaking of the fast’. Faṭara also means ‘to create’. Non-creation cracked and split open to reveal its opposite, creation. Basic knowledge is Fiṭrī, connected with the pre-creational crack. Access to Basic knowledge is through diving deep into the well to reach the source of the spring where the original crack is. The Safīh, the foolish, ignorant one whose life is cluttered and whose well is filled up with the debris of illusions, desires, attachments and covetousness, has no access to that original crack, that fiṭrah.

By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Man in Qur’ān and the Meaning of Furqān – Surat ul-Baqarah”

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‘You’ Are The Outer And The Inner

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‘You’ Are The Outer And The Inner

The main three realms of unity relate to the zones of action, attribute and essence. Action and manifestation are based on causality, reasoning and intellect. The reflective believer will soon discover that all experiences are balanced by their opposites. There is no pleasure without displeasure, no health without illness, and the root of these realities lies in their opposite. Higher attributes reflect the divine qualities and are most desirable for us as they are doors to inner happiness. Essence is the indiscernible and hidden root – the Light of lights. When one is illumined, the state of excellence (ihsān) is experienced and tasted. Then the All-Merciful appears and you will see His light in every situation.

The highest and subtlest realm of creation is called the Jabarūt, and it is the realm of essence, of pure light, primal energy and power. The Malakūt is the realm of attributes, of angels, devils (shaytan) and other invisible entities. The realm of the Mulk is the phenomenal world of action and manifestation – our discernible universe.

As life in our discernible world is based on action, it means we live with constant change; hence we are always seeking a reliable zone of reference so that we can understand change and deal with it with a sense of priority. We may desire a beautiful object, for example, but it can deteriorate and become ugly in time or under certain circumstances. Thus, what we really desire is the attribute of beauty, and not the object itself.

The realm of attributes is subtler than that of the realm of action and manifestation. Even subtler is the essence of Allah which is hidden in His attributes, which themselves are behind the actions and manifestations of physical existence. Therefore, witnessing and understanding the unity of action and manifestation comes before realising the unity of attributes, all of which meet in the one essence. The Prophet (pbuh) said,

“I take refuge in Your forgiveness from Your punishment
[unity of actions]
and I take refuge in Your mercy from Your anger
[unity of attributes]
and I take refuge in You from You
[unity of essence]

Oh Lord, do not let me rely upon myself,
not even for a blink of an eye.”

Its meaning is that there is only ‘You’ behind all that appears, and within all that there is. ‘You’ are the outer and the inner.

By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Calling Allah By His Most Beautiful Names”

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It All Hinges On Approaching Your Lord With A Wholesome Heart

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It All Hinges On Approaching Your Lord With A Wholesome Heart

Your Lord is the Ever-forgiving. Look at how much He loves you, that He gives you the option, but does not give Himself an option! You have the option of being an idiot, selfish, desirous, and leaving the inner joy of abandonment, of jannah – you are allowed all this. But Allah will never reject you the moment you say, ‘Astaghfirullah’ (beseeching His forgiveness). It all hinges on approaching your Lord with a wholesome heart. ‘ ‘Idh jā’a rabbahu biqalbin salīm’: When he (‘Ibrāhīm) came to his Lord with a sound heart’ (37:84). A sound heart is a heart that is not attached, not stuck.

By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Man in Qur’ān and the Meaning of Furqān – Surat ul-Baqarah”

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Sa’ir – Travelling

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Sa’ir – Travelling

“Say: Travel in the earth and see how He makes the first creation, then Allah creates the latter creation; surely Allah has power over all things.” – Al Qur’an (29: 20)

Commentary by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri:

The nature of existence is that of a journey. Everything is based on movement. The electrons journey around the nucleus and the earth journeys through space. The first thing a newborn child does is to move. The entire creation is a journey from Allah, to Allah, by Allah, and the highest benefit for man comes if he emulates it by journeying into the land.

In every way it is a blessing to travel. In the Shadhili tariqa (a Sufi path), the masters never slept in one place for more than three weeks, so as not to take what was around them for granted. Haraka ma’a-l-baraka: movement is with blessing. Man must change, he must move on so that he does not become a slave of outer habits and become fixated. Man is attracted to fixation because he loves the permanent, the ever-fixed within him. But to desire preservation of outer fixation is ignorance. The outer can never be fixed. No sooner does man try to control an event than he finds it beyond his power to do so.

Man wants to know the permanent but he mistakenly tries to bring it about in his environment by establishing rigid habits. At the lowest, most superficial level, travel disturbs this tendency. The earth would be sterile if it were not disturbed, if it were not plowed. The same thing applies to man’s heart. If it is not disturbed, if it is not cut off from its desires and attachments, how can it resonate and keep turning? At first one resents being cut off, but the purpose of one’s life is to move both outwardly and inwardly; outwardly by having dynamic attitudes toward the world and the earth, and inwardly by being willing to turn away from what the self desires.

By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “The Mercy of Qur’an and the Advent of Zaman – Commentary on Four Suras”

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There Is Nothing Besides Him

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There Is Nothing Besides Him

No existence alongside Allah veils you from Him, for there is nothing besides Him, But what veils you from Him is your illusion that others exist alongside Him.

From ‘The Hikam’ of Ibn ’Ata’ Allah.
Commentary by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri:

It is human perception and illusion which assign value to experiences and events. Our worldly interactions, expectations and attachments distract us from the original source of existence and from His Ever-Presence and Call. It is like imagining that the shadows of trees in the river will obstruct the movement of the boat. All existence in truth are the shadow of His Light.

By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “The Hikam – The Wisdom of Ibn ’Ata’ Allah”

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In Perfect Joy, In Timeless Bliss

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In Perfect Joy, In Timeless Bliss

Some time ago, I was asked to give my first public talk on Muharram to a crowd of British Muslims. I prayed for inspiration, and that night had a wonderful dream. There was a fine black tent, stretching towards the horizon. I was taken inside and saw the Prophet (pbuh) and his family scattered in different parts of the tent. Imam Ali beckoned to me and said, ‘You wanted to talk to my sons, and here they are.’ Both Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein appeared, as young men, cheerfully exchanging pleasantries. I cautiously approached Imam Hussein and asked, ‘Do I have your permission to talk about your martyrdom?’ ‘Of course you can’, he replied, ‘but only if you depict me as you see me now; in perfect joy, in timeless bliss – not in any other way.’

By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Son of Karbala – The Spiritual Journey of an Iraqi Muslim”

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Now – The Gateway of Eternity

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Now – The Gateway of Eternity

Allah’s protection and care is forever covering us. It is only we who go to the past and resurrect the dead. That is why the true mu’min regrets at the time, asks Allah’s forgiveness and moves on. We don’t constantly go and visit the scene of the crime. Expect the best of Allah and remember that one of His qualities as it is described in the Qur’an is al-‘Afuw. It is from the word ‘afā. It means effacing, obliterating, or wiping out, and hence, to pardon. From the same root ‘afuw comes ‘āfiyah, meaning wellbeing. The past doesn’t exist anymore because time, in reality, doesn’t exist. It is only as part of His ‘catchment’, so that we are in time and space yearning for non-time and non-space.

Though in reality the past does not exist, we are the product of it. In so far as we are the evidence it is relevant, but no more. The rest is mental sickness and the emotional stupidity of going back and forth in time – which robs us of presence. That is why one of the main conditions of a salāt that truly energizes us is hudūr (presence) of our hearts. That is why when we do wudu we stop connecting with the world and are now totally and utterly connected through our hearts and our rūh to our Creator – this helps us be present. All the ritual practices of Islam enhance our presence; they make us reflect and available totally. The only contact we have with Allah is now. Yesterday is of no use and we don’t know if we will be here tomorrow or not. The only gift we have is the present moment. If the moment is fully and utterly treasured then we are at the gateway of eternity.

By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Friday Discourse – Jum’ah Talks at the Rasooli Centre”

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