Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Ya Ali Madad! Candle posts 59, 66 and 67 were developed from the Sayings of NOOR Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) and have shed light on the topics of knowledge, conviction and action of different types of people. The following is a sufi story taken from the book entitled 'When you hear hoofbeats think of a zebra' by Shems Friedlander (pages 70-72). Before we start reading the story, let us learn some definitions:
Sufi: An Islamic mystic
Sheikh: Spiritual head, teacher of a dervish order.
Dervish: Follower of a Sufi Path.
Let us first read the story and then do a self-assessment:
"At the time of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey, one of the viziers told the sultan about a great sheikh who lived in Anatolia. He warned the sultan to be careful of this sheikh, because he had hundreds of thousands of followers. And if this sheikh decided to turn against the sultan, the whole country could be in turmoil and he could even lose his throne.
The sultan got quite concerned. He sent for the sheikh to come to Istanbul. When they met, the sultan said, "What is this I hear, you have hundreds of thousands of dervish followers?"
"No, that is not so," the sheikh answered.
"Well, how many do you have? the sultan insisted.
"I have one and a half."
"If you have one and a half, why is everyone telling me that you have the power to overthrow this entire country? We shall see. There's a huge field at the edge of the town and tomorrow everyone is going to meet at that field."
The sultan sent out messengers to announce that anyone who was a follower of this great sheikh should come to this field the next day, because the sheikh would be there.
Above the field there was a hill where the sultan set up a huge tent. Inside the tent he put several sheep, but no one could see this.
The next day hundreds of thousands of people came to the field to see the great sheikh. In front of the tent the sultan stood next to the sheikh and said, "You said you didn't have many followers. Look at all these people who believe they're your followers."
"They are not," the sheikh said. I only have one and a half dervishes. You'll see."
"The sheikh has committed an indiscretion," the sultan said. "And unless ten of his dervishes give up their life for him, his life will be taken."
There was a great rumbling in the crowd. "He is my sheikh and teacher. Whatever I know came from him," one man came forward and said. "I will go and give my life for him."
The sultan's men marched him up the hill, took him into the tent, and slit the throat of a sheep. Everybody saw blood flowing from the side of the tent, and this made them very nervous.
The sultan declared, "Is there anyone else willing to give his life to the sheikh?"
Then one woman stood up and said she would. They marched her up and into the tent, and again they slit the throat of another sheep. Seeing more blood, the crowd began to disperse. Soon there was no one left in the field.
The sheikh turned to the sultan and said, "You see, as I told you, I only have one and a half dervishes."
The sultan said, "Oh, the man is your dervish, and woman is half a dervish?"
"No, no" the sheikh said. "The woman is my dervish, and the man is half a dervish."
Seeing the surprised expression on the sultan's face, the sheikh explained: "The man did not actually know that he was going to be killed when he entered the tent. But the woman knew, and she still came forward. She is my real dervish."
That is (a great example) of loyalty ..."
Self assessment: If the sheikh was your true murshid, would you have gone?
If yes, why? If no, why not?
Real Inner Sacrifices:
- Dhibh (1): That which is sacrificed
"It is mentioned in verse (37:107): "And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice." That is, Hazrat Isma'il was sacrificed spiritually instead of his external and physical sacrifice, which in many senses was greater than his physical sacrifice. He was sacrificed in the dream, his soul continued to be seized for several days in a wakeful state, he attained the rank of martyrdom in spiritual jihad and he was repeatedly sacrificed at the place of intellect as well."
(Source: A Thousand Wisdoms, Tawil No. 356, p. 193)
- Dhibh (2): That which is sacrificed
"Hazrat Ismail was the Permanent Imam and the asas. His intention and worship in the above-mentioned sacrifices were for God and their spiritual benefits were for the people. This is because the Imam, on behalf of God, is always present in this world so that he may accomplish for the people of the world, those useful deeds which they themselves are not able to do. An example of this is the spiritual sacrifice, which is not possible for everyone to accomplish."
(Source: A Thousand Wisdoms, Tawil No. 357, p9. 193-194)
- Dhibh (3): That which is sacrificed
Question: "How do the people of the world benefit from the inner sacrifices of the exalted Imam? Is there any such allusion in the Qur'an?"
Answer: "The wisdom-filled allusion of the Qur'an says the Imam of the time is not only the Imam of the righteous (Imamu'l-muttaqin, 22:74), but the Imam of the people (Imamu'n-nas, 2:214) as well. However, the great difference is that, the door of (spiritual) knowledge and wisdom opens instantly (in this world) for the righteous, whereas for the masses it is closed in this world."
(Source: A Thousand Wisdoms, Tawil No. 358, p. 194)
Each one of us has to the sacrifice nafs-i amara (the commanding soul symbolized by a sheep or an ox) with the practice of dhikr and bandagi so the doors to the spiritual and luminous worlds open up. Real success lies in making the inward journey from the physical world through the spiritual and luminous worlds into the world of oneness under the guidance of the True Imam. This path also leads to the creation of Sunshine in one's heart and a Golden Noorani Didar in one's forehead.
Prayer without action becomes pride. Good actions, piety, submission of dasond and enlightenment generate fuel within ourselves which would propel our souls into the spiritual and luminous worlds. Therefore, let us act and pray to become first category pure mu'mins like Salmân-i Fârsi in the time of our present and living Imam, NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini (a.s.).
Foundation of Faith :: Curriculum for Spiritual Enlightenment
Higher Spiritual Enlightenment :: Educational Resources
Ya Ali, Ya NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, create Sunshine in our hearts, light in our foreheads, and bless us all with the inner vision of the Truth!
Ya Ali, Ya NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, grant the global Jamat luminous (noorani) and spiritual (ruhani) tayid (help) to advance materially, spiritually and intellectually. Ameen.
Haizinda — Qayampaya
(Our Present Imam is Living and His NOOR is Eternal)
Rakh Mowla je Noor te Yaqeen (Certainly, we trust in Mowla's Light only),
Noorallah Juma (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009
The lit candle represents the Light of Imamat. Let us actualize this Light into our spiritual hearts, heads, & consciences so that we may also be able to submit spiritual & luminous nazranas in the Diamond Jubilee.