Monday, September 21, 2009

Conservation and Noah's Ark

On hari raya day while doing the Raya rounds I met a man , a a professor at a local university and the topic somehow steered its way to one of his favourite topics which is animals! I have known this uncle since I was a small child and have heard stories of how he loved animals even when he was a small boy. His father was a veterinary surgeon and he lived on a farm surrounded by nature and he spent his days absorbed in the beauty of nature. He went overseas to study and it is no wonder that he too became a vet. He was now talking about his latest project, a farm! On this farm he had ayam hutan! A thousand of them he said. He also has a pet python and numerous beautiful cats. An ardent believer of conservation , he had planned the ecology of his farm to include trees frequented by certain species of birds and animals. The result is that on his farm you will see creatures from the Malaysian wilds you would never otherwise see. He even released on his farm a local species of bird which is a favourite of the Malays who like to keep them in captivity , the tekukor. Unfortunately the local villagers ( kampung people) caught all the birds he released! Apparently they did not understand his purpose was to let them breed in the environment which he had created to be conducive to the birds. He then went on to tell about how our Malaysian environment was slowly but surely being destroyed and made toxic to little animals and birds. As he talked I could hear the sadness in his face and in his voice and the earnestness with which he spoke! If only I could have captured his words on a video ! The reticent old uncle did not even want me to name him . The old professor for the past 20 years has tried to make one of the local universities a sanctuary for the little animals and birds which were slowly being displaced with the destruction of the mangroves forests and the jungles , even the forest reserves to make way for plantations and estates growing cash crops . It would not have caused so much harm if these big corporate companies which will remain unnamed had employed eco-friendly techniques and mimimised the use of insecticides and weedkillers but what would you expect when the main consideration is profit? The professor earnestly said that these people are the worst thieves you can ever imagine because they were stealing from our future generation! They were stealing the beautiful birds and butterflies, the little animals and the myriad plants of which Malaysia is one of the richest places on earth endowed with species that did not grow elsewhere! He reminded his rapt audience of Noah's Ark. Noah he said was a conservationist. He saved the animals and the plants so they would be preserved for future generations. Conservationists and environmentalists are following in the sunnah of Noah! There is great blessing in being one. What I saw as I heard uncle professor talk is that he should be made to speak to our young people as yet untainted by greed of money and full of ideals and make them all into conservationists ! This is what it means to be God's Khalifah , Allah's vicegerent , protecting and conserving the earth, walking gently on this earth, taking of it what one needs but giving it back for the future generations. My fellow Malaysians, wake up to your responsibility and play your part in taking care of our rich legacy of birds butterflies fish and plants!

What he said had made this verse play itself in my mind over and over again and I kind of caught the sad nostalgia of his words as he reminisced about the past and how it was slowly disappearing because of lack of awareness.

Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea on account of that which men’s hands have wrought, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, so that they may return. Quran 30:41

I remembered my son in law's father who had come for a visit from Sumatera and had sat enjoying the sound of birds in my garden, something I took for granted every morning. I was not even aware that I listened to them every morning. He had mentioned rather sadly that these birds had disappeared from his own farmlands. They were hunted and eaten to extinction! The uncle had remarked that a lot of the people who worked in the plantations now are the same ones who had hunted the birds in their own country to extinction! Oh oh! I will let your imagination fill in the rest of what is happening now in our country !

Who and what will save us? I leave it to you to think !

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Farewell oh Beloved Ramadhan

It is the morning of the last day of Ramadhan. I am feeling a little folorn and sad.I have no idea why though. Is it because I feel I should have achieved more in terms of purifying my heart? Is it because I did not have enough solitude time because the household is awake in the early morning hours? Is is because I did not pay enough attention to those who wanted and needed my attention? Is it because I am wondering what the month of fasting and praying has done to transform me and propel me into plunging myself into the work ahead of me ?

My Lord God , Ya Rabbi , Ya Karim , Ya Alim, Ya Latif , Ya Khafi , Ya Allah....accept my duas , my solat, my fast, and change me and mould me as you wish me to be!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections final

"Praise be to Allah, the Rabb of all universes" Quran 1:2

Hassan's reflection

For everything all praise belongs to Allah. For the good as well as the bad, for the whole plan and scheme of things in this world, for the hope of paradise, for the fears in this world and the hellfire we owe so much thanks to Allah. Allah loves us, which is enough for us to be immensely thankful. Thinking of younger days what we wouldn’t give for the most beautiful girl in school to love us, give us attention, care for us and spend time with us. How much more beautiful is Allah! If there was no paradise, no hope, then what would our life be like? I suppose it would be like it is for many Palestinians right now, or Iraqis, Afghanistan, Pakistan or many other Muslim countries. We are given so much peace, so much hope; so much for us to be thankful for. If there was no hellfire, no pain, no hurting, no anger nor unhappiness could there ever be peace, happiness, or satisfaction? With one extreme comes the other. We would never know such good if we didn’t feel such bad. We could do this with all emotions, and even write a book on this! Suffice it to say Alhamdulilah. Alhamdulilah for everything, Alhamdulilah for addictions, for with addictions comes understanding and awareness. All glory belongs to Allah!

Suriya's reflection:

Praise be to Allah that we were born into this world , to experience this material existence and in doing so , are given a chance to gain knowledge that we would never otherwise have .Does the world not dazzle us with its many attractions and pleasures? Does it not entrance us with the many things we can do in it. Does our mind not become so busy with the work we set out to do? We become so thirsty for what life offers. Some thirst for knowledge , some for wealth and others for pleasures of the flesh. We get addicted to all that life offers or we get addicted to games, to drugs and to money. If we do not reconnect ourselves with our creator and the purpose of our earthly sojourn, we are like the child sent on and errand who gets distracted by the traveling circus and forgets about the errand !

In expressing our praise to Allah , glorifying Allah our creator , we remind ourselves that we are acting on God's behalf and we are here on God's errand and our mission is God's mission . Truly it sounds so dull and so boring to say what I just said, as if there is no fun anymore in life because we are mere servants doing our duty. The truth is that we are God's servant whether we like it or not, whether we do our duty or not but if we place ourselves in alignment with God's will for us, we free ourselves from being slaves of anything or anyone else. Not only that , we get to enjoy what we do and we get to feel peaceful and joyful. So much that even the mere reciting of the words of praise brings joy to our hearts . Allhamdulillahi Rabbil Alamin!

Ahad: One

Hassan's reflection

Allah is one. There is no multiplicity with Allah, for this world would be in such a mess if there were. To me the concept of one goes further. There is no pain and happiness as two separate things. They are both like ingredients Allah uses to complete us, to shape us, to cook us up till we are just right. Sometimes a little more sugar is used, sometimes a little less, but as one, not separate things.

Suriya's reflection

The real truth is , there is but the One . All of the universe including ourselves in but the manifestation of the One. We are all figments of God's imagination and God''s word. I will perhaps elaborate on this in our class and I will leave you with the thought of our being the figment of God's imagination.


Well, it’s been an interesting journey this month. Thank you. A bit overwhelming at times, but these exercises definitely made me think more deeply when reading the Quran translation and a bit more aware of things. Definitely it’s a long road when climbing the stairway to heaven, whereas the highway to hell is an easy path! I look forward to starting back the classes.


Yes it has been rewarding to do this exercise and may we all be guided to live this life to the best of our abilities in alignment with the Almighty's purpose for us. Each of our lives is unique and each of us contributes to humankind's experience of life on earth. There is a group consciousness beyond our individual consciousness and as you develop in spirit, you also help this consciousness to grow towards the goal for all of humankind. This group consciousness would explain the phenomenon of the 100th Monkey.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 15

We are spiritual beings in material world , We are sent here for training and we will leave behind everything except the skills we developed in training. Bearing this in mind , so many things we thought were so important simply fades into the background .

"You will not attain the Good until you give freely of what you love.
Quran 3:92

Hassan's reflection

We need to ‘walk the talk’. We say we are religious, we say we are on the right path; we think people should be like us. It is time for us to put this into practice. If we have money we might give money, but this is not really what is meant here. Our time might be so valuable to us. In this case we need to spend time helping others. Getting a seat on the train might be what we love as we are tired after a long day & not enough sleep from waking up early and going to bed late from tarawih. We need to put ourselves in others shoes and see that others might be even worse off and need our seat. Giving money is easy; giving what we truly love is very difficult! These are still easy examples. Imagine the time of the prophet when there was jihad and they had to give their lives. Would we really be strong enough for that? As Ramadan winds down it is a time of happiness in that we have learned so much, but also a time of sadness to see that we have so very far to go!

Suriya's reflection

I looked up other translations and found several , this one is interesting, I got it from It is not a standard translation:

3: 92 – By no means can you achieve the true freedom of Self unless you keep open (the resources) to fulfill the necessities of others from what you cherish greatly. And whatever you spend, surely Allah knows about it.

I think it conveys the meaning of the verse in a spiritual context . When we think that what we posses is ours , it is so hard to give anything up. It is only when we realise that all these things we own are not really ours, they are entrusted onto us to use for the greatest good it can bring. Sometimes , like in having a good car that is safe and trustworthy for a person who needs to travel , it is best we keep what we own. THere are many times however , others would put to better use what we leave in closets and drawers hardly touched yet find difficult to give away because we love so much our possessions. The person with true freedom from attachment is the one who can give of their most valuable possessions without blinking an eyelid. Ibn Arabi once gave away a whole mansion that was a gift to him from the King . He just walked out , giving it to a beggar. He was totally unattached to his possessions. I think the theme of this phrase as Hassan points out, is sacrifice of that which is dear to you for the sake of others . Giving something which is not of value to you is not sacrifice and will not result in attainment of that which is good for you. It is a spiritual training of the nafs .

"Say He is Allah - The One, The Eternal" Quran 112:1-2

Hassan's reflection

Allah is the One, eternally. Allah was not born and does not give birth. There is none like Allah. This is actually rather difficult to get my brain around. Allah has always existed and will always exist. My heart knows this as true, but the details of it are beyond my brain’s comprehension. People talk about the big bang theory and whatnot, but there must have been a being causing the bang, this is Allah.

When we are faced with difficulties, when we are faced with people doing things they should not do, bad influences on us, trying to convince us to do things we shouldn’t do, our path is clear. We must say that He is Allah, the One, the Eternal. This is our way of saying that no matter what comes our way, Allah is the One, and the way of Allah is the only way. This is not new, we have not made up something which has not always been around. Allah is eternal. Allah’s way is eternal. The path nabi Muhammad SAW taught us is as relevant now as it was so long ago. We have so much to be thankful for, we cannot think of anything or any path as having the same level or as important as Allah.

Suriya's reflection:

Allah is eternal and so are we. Allah has no beginning and no end, We had a beginning but no end. Having said that, as a material being on a material plain, our time is limited . The chances we are given to develop our souls is limited . Truly all that humankind builds and develops will come to naught in the end . What is left then is what we have done to our souls . The material things around us can be considered the gagdets we need to train and exercise our souls and get it to top form , This phrase Qul Huwallahu Ahad orients us to the eternal nature of our creator and ourselves and orients us towards the true purpose of our earthly materialisations.

We are spiritual beings in material world , We are sent here for training and we will leave behind everything except the skills we developed in training. Bearing this in mind , so many things we thought were so important simply fades into the background .

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 14

Enter in among my devotees and enter my garden
Quran 89:29-30

Hassan 's reflection:
Nice surah. We will be tested both with difficult tasks as well as with honor and gifts. When we get gifts we need to give back to others, wherever we can, not being greedy for more. Our souls will be in rest and relaxation, pleased with ourselves and Allah pleased with us. It fits in nicely with the spirit of Ramadan. To me this also implies that we need to stick with the Muslims. Even though we do not agree with everyone on everything, especially say political things, there is no room for ostracizing some Muslims because they belong to a different political party or say they are not real Muslims. We should stick together as a group, all Muslims, all Allah’s devotees together, in order to attain success. It doesn’t matter if they are Umno, Pas, PKR or DAP, stick together with all Allah’s devotees, not splitting the Muslims apart, but keeping us together so we can enter the garden.

Suriya's reflection

The phrase that comes after this as Hassan pointed out is Radhiyatun Marhdiyyah.The whole sentence would read

27> "O (thou) soul in (complete) rest and satisfaction!

28> "Come back thou to thy Lord well pleased (thyself) and well-pleasing unto Him!

29> "Enter thou then among my Devotees!

30> "Yea enter thou my Heaven"!

For me, this means in order for me to enter into my Lord's domain in the hereafter, my vibrations have to match that of the domain. The only way my vibrations will match is if I have already brought them up to this level, the level at which I will experience even now on earth, peace and , to be well pleased with myself which means at peace with myself and at peace with my Lord. This is what I have said on countless occasions, that my Lord Allah does not wrong us, and that we wrong ourselves by not doing the activities that qualifies us for this domain.

It is quite easy to mistake self righteousness and a holier than thou state for this state of being well please with one's self , only the self righteous holier than thou person has a sour expression on his face and his presence does not bring those around him/her the peace and God consciousness the soul at peace would. In fact any feeling that has the slightest connotation of vanity and pride would eradicate this peaceful state required to be nafsul mutmainnah !

Perhaps if we make it to this Domain , as Hassan said , we would be surprised who we find there amongst the people we once knew. I suspect that that those beings who make it into the Domain would recognise among the people they knew on earth who they will meet there. They recognise it because when they meet with certain people the joy in their hearts and the peace they feel within them increase as does their God consciousness and loftiness in thought and deed! Look out for these people . Some of them may not even call themselves Muslims yet !

"And Allah taught you what you did not know" Quran 2:151

Hassan's reflection

We are so lucky to have the prophet to guide us and show us the way. If we remember Allah, Allah will remember us. We need to be grateful to Allah. We need to seek help with patience and perseverance and prayer. Imagine without the Prophet, how difficult our life would be. I would be Christian; the Malays would be Hindu, who knows what the Arabs would be. We were given the Prophet so now we know the truth. At any time Allah could have changed the path of history and we would not have been taught this beautiful religion. Instead we are taught every day, in every way, in means we could not imagine. If only we as parents, bosses, teachers, friends, colleagues or neighbors could teach as effectively or in as many different methodologies as Allah teaches us!

Suriya's reflection

This phrase comes from this verse in the Quran:

Even as We have sent unto you a messenger from among you, who reciteth unto you Our revelations and causeth you to grow, and teacheth you the Scripture and wisdom, and teacheth you that which ye knew not. (QS. 2:151)

A list member from another list sent an article that pointed out the role of Hutu Muslims in protecting Tutsi Christians during an ugly racial genocide of Hutu Christians on Tutsi Christians. At this time , the Hutu Muslims who were a minority protected Tutsi's regardless of religion and race. They protected because the Quran teaches them DO NOT KILL ! So Allah , via the Quran teaches us and in teaching us , causes us to GROW IN SPIRIT. In this day and age, it is thus sad that there are people who call themselves Muslims and go about doing Muslim rituals and things and yet do not learn what has been taught or , learning it , misunderstand it and develop sour holier than thou, I am better than you attitutudes, seeking revenge , not being able to forgive ! The Muslims in Rwanda were a marginalised group , yet they protected those who marginalised them . It resulted in a huge wave of conversion to Islam after the massacre was over ! I believe, only the Muslims who have cleansed their hearts through their tears of repentence , who seek to understand what Allah teaches with all sincerity , who cry upon their Lord day and night in all earnestness and who walk on this earth softly and humbly who are the ones who will understand what Allah teaches, via the Quran , via analogies , via the hidden messages in our dreams and in the things that happen to us on a day to day basis and as we reflect on our lives not to regret the bad that happened to us but to reflect on how we reacted to what happened which then gives us a chance to learn from it and better ourselves in the future. The prophet SAW said a Muslim will not step into a biawak ( monitor lizard) hole twice . THis means he/ she learns from mistakes made and does not repeat them. My Lord Allah, make me not blind to what you teach me and make me not heedless of what you teach me ! Amin!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 13

But speak of the gracious bounty of your Rabb Quran 93:11

Hassan's reflection

Allah has done so much good for us, we need to be grateful and declare how well Allah has treated us. It’s like a teacher or parent who knows exactly the right blend of instruction, quizzes and mentoring that is needed to get us ready for our final exam. As much as it is difficult, it hurts much of the time, and we don’t feel “lucky” to be getting so much attention, in the end we will understand how Allah has truly given us so much and cared for us enough that we were not allowed to just live our life any way we wanted like so many of our friends.

Suriya's reflection:

This phrase comes from the surah Al Duha:

SURAH 93: AL DUHA (The Glorious Morning Light).

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

1 By the glorious morning light,

2 And by the night when it is still,

3 Your guardian Lord has not forsaken you, nor is he displeased.

4 And truly the hereafter will be better for you than the present.

5 And soon will your guardian Lord give you what shall please you.

6 Did he not find you an orphan and give you shelter?

7 And he found you wandering, and he gave you guidance.

8 And he found you in need, and made you independent.

9 Therefore, treat not the orphan with harshness,

10 Nor repulse the petitioner;

11 But rehearse and proclaim the bounty of your Lord!

How does one proclaim the bounty of our Lord? Some of us are prone to feel like the victim and are fond of having a ' poor me' attitude that makes us ungrateful for whatever blessings we have in our lives. We also have an English phrase that asks us to " Count your Blessings" I am not sure where it came from but it is probably a Christian phrase from the Prophet Isa Alaihisalam and brings us to the same direction as proclaiming the bounty of our Lord. It is far easier for us to look to see what the other person has that we do not have and far more difficult to see how there are people less fortunate than us . A friend who visited Delhi said to me that there are so many poor people there and he said it was sad . This is what I saw when I was in India. I saw a naked child covered with dust and grime , asking for food from a tourist . He looked well nourished and healthy and he was cheerful , not noticing that he did not have a stitch of clothing on him , no slippers, and slept at night on the pavement . One would wonder when he grew up , what would he have in order to proclaim the bounty of his Lord? Yet , the paradox is that he also will have blessings in his life as will even the most wretched of humans . The balance of nature , the bountiful food that exists in abundance in the earth are all bounties of the Lord. It is humankind who then goes on to destroy this balance by their activities and, by their lack of consideration for their fellow human , allowing people to live in poverty and distress and refusing to help those less fortunate than them . Declaring the bounty of our Lord to us is done by our active collective effort to right the wrongs wrought by human hands, to help the weak and oppressed and wronged and to use the bounties we have not for our own selves only but for those in need. There is enough wealth and enough food and enough provisions for every human being on this earth , if only it was distributed equitably. It is for this reason that humankind was made Khalifah, vicegerent on Earth and has to do God's work on earth. Writing this has made me feel a lot of regret over my own heedlessness and selfishness and I pray that I will in the future be better at fulfilling my role as a human and vicegerent.

" The one who diverts his self from vain desires will attain a place in the Garden" Quran 79:40-41

Hassan's reflection

In just a short period of time we will be standing before Allah at the Day of Judgment. We need to stop worrying about the small things and understand the truly important things in life. As much as it is so very easy to get caught up in the small things, we must if we are to take our place in the Garden. It is always said, fear Allah. Not sure how I feel about that. A saying of the saint Rabi’a sticks with me, when she says that if she is doing something to gain paradise then keep her from paradise, if she is doing something to stay away from hell then send her to hell. Accept her good deeds if she is doing something purely for love of Allah (something like that). That doesn’t imply fear, that implies pure love, but it also implies such love that we wouldn’t even think of committing sin. Like her phrase: May God steal from you all that steals you from Him. Can we really live up to that? Are we ready to have all the things we hold dearly taken from us? The good deeds we do in Ramadan sounds nice and feel good, but what if Allah took everything else away? Would we still be able to do the good deeds? Would we be angry with Allah? It is frightening sometimes, when you know what the pure straight path is, but also know the sacrifices which must be made. Are we really ready for that? Everyone loves their parents when they are being given chocolates and sweets, but what about when we are being punished and pushed hard if it’s in our best interests? Well, I need to go salat or something, tons of excess energy still inside

Suriya's reflection:

I seem to have reflected on this phrase already while doing the previous reflection!
Rabia does not have a perspective of fear. She has gone beyond fear to a perspective of pure love and is willing to undergo any suffering or sacrifice for love of Allah. This is something to think about in bringing up our children either as parents or teachers. Which will work better for them Love or Fear? Or are both needed ? In what proportions if we were to say both were needed? I would say tons of love with a small sprinkling of fear.

What are vain desires? Yes in a way it is the small things we worry about without seeing the big picture. In my work as a doctor , homeopath and energy psychologist , I have noted that the one thing that makes people suffer and unable to function is when they focus on their own selves. Their thoughts are all related to their own needs and their own misfortunes aches and pains. They hardly ever focus on the task they need to do or what is present to them at any point in time. They are totally distracted by their thoughts and do not live in the Now , they live either in the past, counting their past misfortunes or they live in the future , anxious over what will happen to them.

Another perspective of vain desires is the thirst of humankind for wealth and power. These are the two things that seem to motivate people. The quest for wealth is something quite obvious but the quest for power is more subtle and harder to trace . A person driven by higher principles inherent in being an upright human does not quest for wealth and power but attain wealth and power and use them as tools and does not allow them to become their masters. This is the difference we need to know .

Your reflections on the 'what if things were taken away and all' is one that actually happens to people . For some, it made them into better people , for others, it destroyed them. It is not that bad things happen to good people . It is bad things happen to every one and is part and parcel of being human. It is what we do when it happens that distinguishes us. It is at this point that we can see who are the ones who have grown in spirit and who have not. Ya Rabbi! Do not give me trials too hard for me !

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 12

Allah knows what is secret and what is manifest Quran 64:18 et al

Hassan's reflection

Allah knows everything. We cannot hide anything from Allah, so it’s best to surrender now. In our own world we spend so much effort creating plans to keep our own silly mistakes and accidents a secret. With Allah it is pointless as Allah is aware of everything. I think if we can put into practice this surrender our life will be so much simpler, and in turn it will be so much easier to surrender. It seems to be a cycle, the more we surrender to the will of Allah the more we are able to surrender deeper. On the other hand, the more we forget and try to keep secrets,even from ourselves, the harder it is to surrender.

Suriya's response

The point you make about ourselves not knowing about our own selves is to my mind something we should be well aware of. We have a subconscious mind that dictates our behaviour and this subconscious is hidden from us but not from Allah. The way to unravel our subconscious is by connecting with Allah and in so doing , to become enlightened by Allah's Nur which then reveals to us our own state.The trials we seem to be getting are what is just right for us to learn and overcome the shortcomings we have . Knowing this , we have to develop the attitude of hope and acceptance as well as gratitude. Many times, wives or husbands come to me to complain about their spouse. Many a times, they are justified in their complains. However, what they have to realise is that this thorn in their flesh is for them to grow their pearls. I am not saying that people who have these challenges should grin and bear it. Far from that! Overcoming these difficulties may mean patience , it may mean courage to break free , it may mean gaining in spiritual strength and with it , gaining in influence. There can be no person who is spiritually enlightened that the people around them do not change for the better or leave. The Nur from Allah shines from their presence and enlightens those around them who will find it easier to be postive and kind than to be negative. Their prayers are quickly answered by Allah and they pray for those around them as part of their spiritual practice. Those whose darkness and negativity are so thick will not be able to tolerate this Light and will leave of their own accord. This presence is not judgmental and evoking fearfulness in others but their presence is compassion and a sweetness that evokes tenderness and regret and reminds the people around of Allah without their having to even utter a word because their God consciousness is palpable. They may not know what people around them need but they will be inspired to give to others what they need by the All knowing Allah. Work on yourselves , do your zikr and meditations without pride and be consistent and you will see this miracle of transformation in yourself and in others around you.

And all that is in the heavens and earth glorifies Allah Quran 24:41

Hassan's reflection

In thinking of this I have faith that all creatures here glorify Allah, as does nature and whatnot. However, one thing that comes to mind is, if this is true, that means we humans must glorify Allah as well. At times this is definitely true, but when a rapist is raping a woman or a thief is stealing? That surely isn’t glorifying Allah. Perhaps the meaning is that it is a warning to us that all the other creatures glorify Allah, and we should be doing the same.

Suriya's response

Walking in natural surroundings , seeing the beauty of the mountains sky and sea are spiritual practices that attune us to nature and we can sense the glorification in the sound of the sea, the twinkling of the stars in a velvety sky and the sound of the birds.
Human beings have a choice. Either to be elevated higher than the angels or to be brought down lower than the beasts. This is mentioned in surah At TIn .
La qad khalaqnal Insana Fih ahsani Taqweem , Thumma radadna hu as fala safilin

Verily, We created man of the best stature (mould),
Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low,

Of all created creatures , it is humankind who have been given permission to disobey or not by their own personal choice and if we chose to glorify Allah, then we will be in alignment with the Universe.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 11

Say “the spirit is an act from my Rabb” (soul is an activity of God) Quran 17:85

Hassan Scott Odierno

Our spirit or soul is what defines us. At the Day of Judgment it will be the very definition of us, and it will be seen how we treated our soul, whether we kept it clean or dirtied it. All the external stuff such as what we look like, our physical characteristics, what we did for a living and whatnot will not be important. It will be our soul which will save us. Therefore we need to keep our soul as clean as possible. This soul starts out clean, and is created by God. This sentence implies an even deeper connection, one where God actively takes care of our soul. With God caring for our soul, what right do we have to dirty it!

Suriya's reflection

This is the context of the phrase and its place in the Quran

They Ask You Concerning The Spirit

They ask thee concerning the Spirit.
Say: "The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord:
Of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you."
If it were Our Will, We could take away that which We have sent thee by inspiration:
Then wouldst thou find none to plead thy affair in that matter against Us.

surah 17: 85-86 Al Isra’ (The Night Journey)
(Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an, 1989.)

Hazrat Inayat Khan explains that it means the soul is an activity of God. The true nature of this activity is revealed to Prophets and saints but even they know a little of the truth of the matter. How does Allah ochestrate the Universe and ochestrate our puny little lives is a mystery that we will be unlikely to comprehend entirely. Yet the human being was born with a thirst to know. Many even speculate when they do not know for sure. Personally I do not like to dwell on theories and speculations and prefer to keep things simple. For me , taking care of what I am inclined to do while guarding that this is in line outwardly with the Syariah code and does not harm anyone or any thing , to the best of my ability , is what I need to do in order to do my part to participate in Amri Rabbi, ie the command of my Lord. And , knowing that the soul is Allah's activity and under Allah's direct command makes me persist in asking for guidance by prayers meditations and zikr. Allah guides us to people who will be our collaborators in doing Allah's bidding by making us feel th synergy of working with certain people. They seem to arrive at one's doorstep so to speak and then they seem to fill in the gap that was preventing us from doing what was to be done. When what we set out to do keeps meeting with a wall and we find ourselves banging our heads against it , it is tme to have a relook at the intentions we had when we started out on the task and reevaluate. That does not mean all tasks that align with Allah's plan do not meet hardship. The Prophets are the ones who suffered the most at the hands of evil men yet they persisted, some were killed , as were many rightoeus men after them.
Yet death perhaps is also part of God's plan for it is sometimes the death that wakes up the others to set things right .

I am clear of what you associate (with Allah) Quran 6:19

Hassan's reflection

Allah is one. There is nothing similar to Allah. Allah is our creator and the creator of everything. How can anything be associated with Allah? There is nothing like Allah. This also makes it very clear that we are responsible for our own actions. We will not be able to say we were simply following someone else’s guidance and suggestions. We will need to take personal responsibility. If we try to place the blame on anyone or anything else they will clearly state that they were not a part of whatever we were up to.

Suriya's reflection
Indeed , associating with Allah that which usurp's Allah's command is shirk. The truth of the matter is , all of us are guilty of commiting shirk when we forget that the Ultimate cause of everything is Allah. Even the bad that comes to us is by Allah's permission. To seek to understand the reasons for bad things happening is not as important as to respond positively rather than react when bad things happen. Bad things do not choose good people, they happen to everyone. Good people respond positively and pick themselves up and overcome because they have acceptance and compassion as well as gratitude as part and parcel of their daily lives. They take responsibility and do not blame others , even though it seems that their trials were meted out to them by fellow humans yet these trials were sanctioned by Allah and these evil people also have souls that maybe heedless to guidance yet they act according to Allah's will. This paradox is perhaps difficult to understand and the truth is seldom simple.

Hassan's reflection on web article Attitide towards life

In the article on your website you mention that negative emotions are simply stuck feelings inside of us, and that for people in an occupied area it takes on the stuck feelings of the entire people. This is similar to Palestine now. So, what can be done by or for such people?

Suriya's response

Negative emotions are guests that come to the living room of our beings and stay for a while. The ones that fail to leave are the stuck emotions. EFT can deal with them and so can good spiritual practices.

The dialogue exercise was fascinating. I started with one subject but it quickly moved to another, with the final result being the conclusion that I have a strong desire not to get hurt. This causes me to put up defenses and do certain things where in reality I need to just accept that Allah has a plan, surrender to the fact that Allah knows best, and Allah will take good care of me, like a child in the parents arms.

Suriya's response

Yes indeed. I think my writing above helps us to understand this.


I have been giving a lot of thought on what to do with pain, like you asked in the article. So, is it best to live with the pain, take pain killers, focus on the pain thinking poor me, or find the source of the pain and get rid of it? I had always taken pain killers so I know that is not the right path. Saying poor me is also not right. This leaves living with the pain or finding the source of the pain and getting rid of it. Obviously getting rid of it is the best way, presumable through EFT. How to do this in real life though, as it can be quite a challenge? Reading your article, just being aware of the pain is best, as it will dissolve. Is this part of the practices we will learn?

Suriya's response

You have to be present to the pain and just let it be , giving it the attention it needs. I used to do zikr and breathing exercises and all I got was pain. My spiritual guide was perplexed , he was saying I should feel joyous, and I said no , it made me cry and filled me with deep pain and sadness. But I did not try to avoid it , I faced it and let it be experienced. It was like journeying in a tunnel and being unable to see any light at the end. As time went by , I kind of got used to feeling the sadness and the deep pain. Then one day I began to feel some of the joy that my guide talked about. I still have my moments of sadness and sometimes a feeling of sheer loneliness but now it is less intense and , I think that all of us , with no exception have some of this . It is the pain of separation from the Beloved and it is not another human being but Allah ! Human relationships are nice , but they are not the ultimate. When you think you are falling in love with another human being, the real truth is that you have not found a relationship that was completely fulfilling and you never will for this relationship cannot exist except with God no matter what the love stories tell you.


I agree that for all the things mentioned above not having expectations is best, along with having hope and doing zikr. Doing this will likely be a challenge though.


Yes indeed

On Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 8:02 PM, Hassan Scott Odierno wrote:

"Allah takes care of everything"(similar but not identical to 11:12)

We try so hard to be independent, to take care of ourselves. We plan so much for the future and the things that seem so important to us. In reality Allah takes care of everything. Allah knows what we really need and how we fit into this crazy world. It is up to us to surrender to the will and plan of Allah, to give up with our own selfish desires and plans. Allah will take care of everything; we can have faith in that. We still need to strive to the best of our ability in this world, but we must go with the flow, accepting when trials and tests hit us. Allah knows best!

The word used here is Wakil as compared to another phrase that is in the ayat seribu dinar. Innallaha bi kulli shai in qadir.
There is a difference in meaning between qadir and wakil . These two phrases are ones that I frequently teach healing students to use because they teach us two qualities that is redha and tawakkal. These need elaboration and I think you can read the elaboration here.
Scroll down to the pink writing if you do not want to read the whole article .

Allāhu nūru s-samāwāti wa-l-arḍ 24:35

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth


Sometimes things seem so dark with the tests and trials that we face. We are sometimes faced with such tests that it seems that there will never be a letup in the pressure to survive. In such times we need to just feel the light of Allah all around us, guiding us and protecting us. Allah is absolutely everywhere on the heavens and the earth, lighting the world for all of creation.


Allah is the Light . Ya Nur , Ya Munawwar. Light is one of the 99 names .The nature of light is to enlightened. "Allahu waliyul ladhi na amanu yukhrijuhim minazulumati ila nur." Allah is the protector of the faithful bringing them from darkness into light. When we polish our hearts with zikr and prayer good deeds and tears of repentence , we will find that there is light in our hearts. This is the light that is mentioned in the surah Nur and this is the light that when it is lit guides the faithful from within. Those whom Allah chooses will be able to recognise this light in another faithful and they indeed will love one another for this light has with it qualities of love , joy and peace and attracts those who have the potential to have these qualities. Those whose hearts are black with unconsciousness and heedlessness, even if they pray until there is a black mark on their foreheads , fast and go without sleep will not be able to recognise this Nur whether they see it in another or whether it reaches them when they pray. It is sad that many Muslims nowadays are not able to benefit from this Nur because they have blinded themselves to its nature . For this Nur to benefit one, the heart must b soft yielding , humble and empty of notions that are harsh and unyielding . Haq or truth is more strange than you could ever think so only those willing to empty themselves of all preconceived notions will recognise it when it comes to them.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 10

"Do not seek destruction by your own hand" Quran 2: 195

Hassan's reflection

To be a pessimist, there are a thousand and one ways for us to slip off the path of good and end up in hell. As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. With all these ways of potentially slipping up, it is ridiculous for us to actively seek to destroy ourselves and our chance at paradise. Is love enough? Is love for Allah enough to get us to paradise? I think this ayat implies that perhaps it is not, that we need to follow the rules and requirements set out for us. Doesn’t this kind of go against the thinking of Sufism though? There are Christian Sufis, who would take on the belief that through love for Jesus there is salvation and this is all that is needed. Does this mean that Sufism is simply a way to get closer to the one spirit that controls us all and has created the world, which we Muslims call Allah and not a belief system at all

Suriya's reflection:

Dear Hassan,

I think the questions you ask will be answered for you to your satisfaction as you gain in understanding.

Allah gave us guidance in two forms, one is the personal guidance that calls to us from within our hearts which we hear when we learn how to by purifying our hearts with zikr prayers and good deeds until the portal of the heart opens into our consciousness. The other is a more formal and public revelation in the form of the holy books , the Torah , the Injil the Zabur and the Quran, probably the Vedas as well. Most of the books have been altered in some ways except the Quran. The prescriptions in these books are similar in general principles and specific in some matters that coincide with the evolution of humankind in thought. The Quran was a book before its time and many of the injunctions were not understood at the time of revelation which makes in necessary to understand the Quran in the light of human evolution in thought and consciousness. Sufis believe human thought expands and grows in time. As an example the concept of slavery was not only accepted but felt right at that point in time but the Quran made freeing slaves a deed of merit . In time , there are no more slaves in a Muslim community because of the injunction to free them. This was the ideal but the Quran simply set in place the ideal without forcing it on to a people not ready to accept it. The same goes for the place of women in society. It is sad that even today, women are not given their rightful place in most societies including Muslim ones because the spirit of the Quran is still not fully understood and the prescription as regards women not carried out with interpretations of injunctions still trapped in the past.
The maker and creator of the universe and humankind has given us prescriptions which when we follow will lead us to our own felicity in this world and in the hereafter. Ignoring these injunctions will lead to our own destruction , mental, emotional , physical and spiritual. A simple injunction like " Eat food that is good" is difficult to follow nowadays with so many traps laid by the profit oriented food industry with its food enhancers additives flavors and whatnots. A faithful obedience to this injunction which is in the Quran means we need to take very good care of what we eat, avoiding over processed , chemical laden polluted food. The same goes for all the other recommendations in the Quran. So, what it means to not destroy ourselves by our own hands is to heed the guidance given to us , to understand its true meaning in the light of our own realisations and not to follow blindly interpretations, even the ones by exalted human beings who are for the most part very right for their day and age. Ibn Arabi said that he was limited by the time he lived in. He was well aware of that and he said it himself.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 9

"And Allah loves the patient." Quran 3:46

Hassan's reflection

We can never know Allah’s plan completely. We can guess, but more often than not we will not quite get it right. This means that most times what we think we want and need will not completely agree with what Allah has planned for us. Thus we need to be patient with our difficulties and have faith that Allah knows best. Along this line of thinking patience would seem to be a large part of faith. Like a child that doesn’t understand what his parents tell him to do, the parents love the child who does as he is told patiently rather than refusing to do it until the reasoning is clear. This is easy to say but oh so difficult to do unfortunately! For me I would say this is probably one of the most difficult things to do out of all aspects of Islam.

Suriya's reflection:

It takes patience to keep doing something when you cannot see immediate results. Exercising is one of the things I could use as an example. When you are struggiling with weak flabby muscles and a fat body, you look in the mirror and hate what you see and all of the exercises are a struggle. You end up with aching muscles for days on end. When you find the will to keep at it, the weak flabby body gains strength and tone. With strength , the muscles no longer ache, you get more energy and your body starts to look trim. This takes months and years of persistent exercising in order to happen as well as more discipline with food and drink.
Yet the rewards are great. How many people actually have the foresight to keep doing it with the certainty in their hearts of the results of their toil? When you farm ..I mean real farming , not virtual farming, it seems really long to wait for the seeds to grown into plants bearing fruits and you keep toiling and tending the plants with patience and the patience pays off. The love Allah gives to us for our patience in doing our worldly tasks is the fruit of our labour . The patience in doing our spiritual practices and prayers , Allah rewards us with inspiration, enlightenment , knowledge peace and joy. More than this, the good works we do is rewarded with an everlasting existence of more growth and joy . "Inna ma al usri yusra", Verily with hardship comes ease.

"Indeed Allah loves the Allah conscious" Quran 3:76

Hassan's reflection

For me this one ties in with the last one. We need to be patient at everything that comes our way, but how can we possibly be expected to do this if we do not keep Allah in our mind and thoughts at all times. If we are only thinking about our journey home we will be irritated when we don’t get a seat, or frustrated when someone “invades our space” so to speak. By right if Allah is in our mind and thoughts then we will be more able to keep patience in all that comes our way.

Suriya's reflection

God consciousness is the connection to Allah that keeps us guided in what we toil over. We see so many people busily working all day and sometimes all night and we see they have a lot of patience with what they do certain it will bring results . Invariably , they do get what they work for because it is God's law that what you work for will yield results. Yet doing so in a heedless manner without God consciousness will not bring with it the lasting results that will be with you long after the physical manifestation of what you toiled over is gone. Without God consciousness you may not be guided to your own life purpose , that which would bring you satisfaction to do now and joy everlasting.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 8

"Allah is the One, the Victorious " Quran 13:16

Hassan's reflection

Our sights must always be placed on Allah and what Allah wants from us. Sometimes other things seem so important in our lives, such as getting the right job, making lots of money, having the latest fashion or toys, or even having our kids score well on their exams. In reality the other things are not really that important, only Allah. Allah has created everything in this world, and has a plan for us.

Suriya's reflection:

Allah the Victorius. What the word victorius here means is the one who always has the upper hand. Al Qahhar means the irresistable Subduer.

This hadith Qudsi shows us the meaning :

“O My slave! You will, and I will. If you surrender to Me in what I will, I suffice you in what you will. But if you do not surrender to Me in what I will, I tire you out in what you will, and then, nothing shall be except what I will.”

We cannot win , only Allah can win , so might as well give up trying to get what we want against Allah's will and go with the flow. We will be much happier and , we will be aligned with the winner.The most essential part of us is in alignment with Allah but the ego part of us, the skewed part of us makes mistakes in what we want and we think we want something else. Like a mirage however , what we want keeps going further and further in front of us that when we reach it , it turns to sand. Have you ever felt like " If I get this , I will be happy", and then you get it , and you are still not happy. That which will really make us happy is to be happy to be "subdued" by Allah by willing surrender.

wa-llāhu yuḥibbu l-muṭṭahhirīna

"And Allah loves the pure" Quran 9:108

Hasan's reflection:

Allah loves those of us who love to be purified and make ourselves pure. We all have sins and are not pure, some more than others. Perhaps that is not the point though. Perhaps the point is the intention and the direction we are on. Perhaps Allah loves it when we strive to be pure, strive to avoid sins, striving to follow Allah’s rules and regulations, out of love for Allah. Dr Suriya is right in that someone who doesn’t have much sin, but is arrogant and doesn’t see the need for following Allah’s command is also not needed and loved by Allah. Shaiton comes to mind here, as shaiton had arrogance in worshipping Allah and would not bow down to Adam, as he didn’t understand the command. This implies that love is the pureness implied here, that if we truly love Allah we will follow the commandments even if we don’t quite understand. Like children who follow their parents commands, it is done out of love, not out of understanding of why they need to avoid playing near the street and whatnot. As parents these types of children just melt our own hearts and we naturally love them. Even if there is a child who is always forgetting and getting into trouble, if we see his sincerity and love for us and his trying to do what is right we love him dearly even though another child might have done less sins. I understand this now, even though it breaks my heart to be the child causing so much trouble, with so much ego and arrogance still getting in the way.

Suriya's reflection:

Muttahirin means those who always purify themselves. They are always cleansing away their sins and wrongs and always realigning themselves with God's purpose, always returning . Their tears of repentence cleanse them , their prayers cleanse them , their charity and their good works cleanse them . Allah loves them , not because they are sinless but because they are always on the lookout for what they do and how they do it and they do self correction while sending a prayer for forgiveness to Allah and then moving on to compensate and correct themselves. Allah loves them and reward them by giving them peace and joy and attainment for all their efforts.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 7

"They plan and God plans and God is the best of planners" Quran 8:30

Hassan's reflection

God has a plan, a beautiful plan for us and the whole world. Sometimes the world seems to be against us. There are pressures from work, from family, from everything around us, wanting us to do things we shouldn’t do or take time from things that are truly important. No matter what others plan for us, God also has a plan for us, and God is the best at planning.

Suriya's reflection

More than this , bad people make their evil plots, only to be confounded by Allah. Their best laid plans come to naught and injustice is replaced with justice. We human beings sometimes fail to see this happening and think that Allah does not change evil for good but if we look into human history over hundreds of year we will realise that things do change for the better and not all of it is human effort although the trial for us as people of faith and people who want justice is we have to constantly face the trials and tribulations at the hands of oppressors. This verse gives hope and optimism to us but we have to understand that effort has to come from ourselves along with a great deal of prayer and tawakkal . Only then will the 'extra push' needed come to us from Allah in the form of unexpected events changing the situation and bringing a good outcome on the side of Truth and Justice.

Ramadhan Reflections 6

"Certainly Allah exercises power in every matter (Allah is exalted in Power, Wise)" Quran2:20

Hassan's reflection

Allah controls the major things as well as the smallest of things. We can only “go with the flow” so to speak. We must always strive to do our best in everything we do, but in the end we must have faith that Allah is not my co-pilot, Allah is the pilot. I am the co-pilot!

Suriya's reflection

This verse is one that helps me to have faith in God's plans for me . When we strive the best we can and do not seem to be making progress , it is hard to see what lies ahead and when the situation will change . It is like being unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel while you are traveling in the tunnel , even though you are actually making progress and getting nearer to the end of the tunnel. What gives hope and keeps you going is the thought that Allah's plan is there in place and what will happen will be in accordance to Allah's decree and I just have to plod on as best I can. Sometimes also Allah's will does not coincide with what we want. And in this case we would find ourselves being thwarted at what we do. The path of least resistance has always been my style . This does not mean the easiest path because following where I feel guided to go has taken me around the world . I say it is the path of least resistance because things seem to be arranged for me and whatever provisions I need is made available and things fall into place. For this to happen I think what is needed is a constant connection with Allah in order to be in alignment with Allah's purpose for you.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Ramadhan reflections 5

"Certainly Allah sees Allah’s worshippers.' Quran 3:15

Hassan Scott Odiermo's reflection

Allah sees everything, knows everything, and understands everything. Allah knows who His true worshipers are. There is no need to fear that whatever small good deed we do it will be forgotten or not noticed. There is no need to publicize when we do something good. Allah knows. Allah watches over us, giving us guidance when we need it.

Suriya's reflection

The sense of this phrase is one of constantly being watched over , being looked after. On the other hand some might have a sense of " I cannot do anything bad because of being watched". I do not think I get into this frame, simply because my notion of Allah is as compassionate and loving God who understand our strengths and weaknesses and looks out for us , like a loving mother but even more so. A mother does not want us to be hurt or to suffer inconvenience but God allows us to be hurt and to suffer inconvenience if that is what is needed for us to grow in spirit , to become kind , to become wise . This then is a very much superior kind of love.
It also brings to my mind the difference in perspective we as human beings have in contrast with the all encompassing perspective of the Divine being with limitless knowledge of what came before and what lies beyond our earthly existence and takes into consideration all of that which transpired in our existence to map out for us the grand plan . This phrase , as a reminder to us of our being looked after and our welfare being catered for gives me a fuzzy warm feeling of love and comfort and, with true remembrance , this sense of being looked after will be the support we need to weather all of life's storms.

"Certainly Allah is All-Hearing and All-Knowing" Quran 22:75


Allah always hears our prayers, our cries for help, our complaints and even our frustration at this game called life. We need to be careful to not complain on our situation, as Allah hears us. We need to go with the flow in this life, knowing that Allah puts us in each situation for a reason and knows our situation perfectly.


This phrase emphasises the previous phrase and assures us of the encompassing nature of Allah's knowing lest we have any doubts about it. The more we understand this the closer we are to unravelling the mystery of God and the closer we get to the Divine Being.

This reminds me of the Hadis Qudsi:

"My Heaven cannot contain me, nor can My earth, but the heart of My believing slave can contain Me '- Hadith Qudsi

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 4

Allah is the First, the Last, the Outer, the Inner, and knows all things Quran 57:3

Hassan Scott Odiermo's reflection:

Allah is everywhere. Allah knows our inner intentions, our outer actions, knows everything that we ha ve done, and everything that we will do. With this in mind all we can do is be at peace with life as it comes, each step of the way asking Allah for guidance in the path we should take. Sometimes life can seem so confusing and complicated, but Allah knows what is best for us so we just need to have faith in that and take it one step at a time in peace and harmony with Allah and the world.

Suriya's reflecion:

This verse helps us to understand that Allah is as we have discussed before within and without everything and everywhere and before and after everything and everywhere. There is no where to escape from Allah. Like it or not , we are in Allah's kingdom. Like a fish swimming in the sea asking , "Where is the sea? What is the sea?", the fish being in the sea does not see the sea and only knows that part of the sea that it swims in and will never be able to swim the whole length and breadth of the sea.

Indeed Allah knows the essence of the breast, the secret of the chest, the inner dimension of the heart. Quran 3:119

Hassan Scott Odiermo's reflection:

To me this says that there is no where to hide. We have no choice but to surrender to the will of Allah, asking ourselves each day and each step of the way what was I meant to do here, why Allah puts me into this situation. Allah understands us and understands what is best for us. Allah knows deeper into our own intentions and actions than we could ever hope to know. Allah knows best!

Suriya's reflection:

This verse following on the previous one helps us to understand further the depth of knowing of Allah and brings us closer to understand our relationship with Allah although we cannot even begin to fathom the nature of Allah and it is not required of us. The seat of our connection with Allah is again, through the heart. When this heart is pure and polished, we can hear the guidance telling us what we need to know to get things done the most optimum way. Yet even so , we are given freedom to act according to what we think is right and of course our thinking is flawed, Divine guidance is not. When we manage to do things according to Divine guidance, we see that things fall into place in a most beautiful way. Yet sometimes it seems not to because our expectation leads us to believe the outcome should be this when what happens is that. This is when we need to remind ourselves that the Grand design is not ours but Allah's and the acceptance of what happens is what is required of us.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 3

Remember me and I will remember you Quran 2:52

Su's reflection

Zikr is remembering. It is often mentioned in the Quran and is a basic Sufi practice. A sufi remembers God on every breath. Jalaludin Rumi equated forgetting with death and remembrance with life. Remembering Allah is remembering who we really are. Who are we? We are souls from another plane of existence sent to the material world to live in human form. We came here to learn the material life and to gain experience . Remembering Allah is what helps us remember who we are and when we remember who we are , we are guided . Allah would never turn away or give up on us but it is we who give up on ourselves and turn away from Allah. When we do, it is like Allah not remembering us.

Hilmi's reflection

What I get is you are what you focus on. It's not simply what you think of but what you believe, what you hold as truth, what's in the undercurrents of your thoughts. So there are two levels of remembrance and the deeper level of remembrance where the undercurrents, our subconscious mind as it's also known as, would be turned towards remembering Allah. As this happens things will fall into place in your life. Our lives shift in ways unthinkable to us. In essence Allah remembers us, he's with us if we remember him.

Su's reflection

Allah is Nur, when we remember Allah , we enlighten our beings and doing so reveals the light of our soul , including our dark side. Unveiling the depth of our being reveals to us the Divine purpose meant for us.The more we remember , the more is revealed to us.

Turn Toward the One Quran 51:50

Su's reflection:
Again the above was explained by Dr Alan Godlas Abdal Haq. When we say astaghfirlah Innallah Kana tawaba . We are saying , Allah forgive us, we are from Allah and to Allah we turn or return in repentance. When we forget we return and remember, when we do wrong we return and remember , when we get Allah;s bounty we return , when we are broken and down, we return to Allah. Always we turn to Allah and Allah loves those who know they are dependent on Allah.

More on Zikr from:

Use of Meditation (dhikr, Zikrallah) in Prayer and Healing

Dhikr (Zikr meditation) are tacts of remembrance and communications with God as ordained to us.

  1. �When my servant asks you (O Muhammad) about Me, (tell them) I am close to them: I listen to the prayer of each supplicant when he asks Me. Let them listen to My call and believe in Me, that they may walk in the right way� (Quran, 2:186).
  2. �Your Lord says: �Call on Me and I will answer your call� (Quran, 40:60).
  3. �Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of God, for in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest� (Quran 13:28).
  4. �Remember Me, I will remember you, thank Me and reject Me not� (Quran, 2:152).
  5. �Remember thy Lord much and praise Him in the evening and morning� (Quran, 3:41).
  6. �Such as those who remember God standing, sitting and reclining� (Quran, 3:191).
  7. �And men who remember God much and women who remember God, God has prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward� (Quran, 33:35).
  8. �O you believe! Remembrance and glorify Him in the morning and evening� (Quran, 33:41-42).

Sayings of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.)

Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), like all other prophets of God, was engaged in the remembrance (dhikr) of God most of the time. He is known to have said:

  1. �There is a polish for everything that removes the rust and the polish for the rust-of-heart is the dhikr (remembrance) of God.�
  2. He was asked which people are most virtuous and most highly esteemed by God on the Day of Judgement. The messenger of God (p.b.u.h.) replied �Those who remember God often.�
  3. It is narrated in a Hadith Qudsi [direct revelation to Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.)] �God Most High says �I am as my Servant-think I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me by himself, I make mention of him to Myself. If he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than his. If he comes closer to Me a hand span, I come closer to him arms-length, if he comes to Me walking, I come to him running.�

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ramadhan Reflections 2

"We did not create the Jinn and Human except for worship" Quran 51:56

Su's reflection:

Many think worship is when you are on the prayer mat , praying or when you do zikr , or when you perform the Haj or Umrah and fast and pay the zakat. No , Worship is your whole life. How can it be otherwise when we are created to worship. Which brings us to the essential question , What is worship? It is living your life according to the principles of the highest ideals man can attain to. It is learning what this is and it is a constant striving to understand and to correct ourselves when we go astray from this highest ideal .It is connecting with the Divine source of guidance and being guided by this source . Worship is not tedious , it is not dull nor cumbersome. It is life well lived . Where then do we put the rituals of worship? The rituals are there to help us live this life and are like the foundation of that life. It helps us to keep our balance, it keeps us connected to the source of guidance when properly done and it gives rythm and discipline to our lives, all essential ingrediens to living an ideal life. Islam , of all the religions provides this rythm , discipline and connection most beautifully with the ritual obligatory worship. I look with great compassion upon Muslims who fail to use this wonderful prescription for living this life of attainment.

"Certainly Allah loves those who rely upon Allah"Quran3:159

Su's reflection:
Relying upon Allah is like the boat floating gently down the stream , going with the flow. Not resisting just allowing. Does that mean we cannot row? Yes we can still row but in the rowing we make use of the guidance , like a sail boat being able to go where it targets to go while yet relying on the wind to take it there.