Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Ya Ali Madad. July 2013 is going to be a very busy month for Ismailis because we will participate in two major activities: Holy Ramadan and Imamat Day. In the Muslim calendar, a new month begins at sunset; therefore, Monday, July 8, 2013 is Chandraat and the first night of the Holy Ramadan for Ismailis in Canada. The first physical fast will be on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. A special educational resource section entitled 'Ramadan Resources' is available on the SalmanSpiritual.com to augment your Holy Ramadan experience.
The 56th anniversary of our beloved NOOR Mowlânâ Shâh Karim Al-Hussaini's (a.s.) accession to the masnat of Imamat will be celbrated on July 11, 2013. On the occasion Imamat Day 2013, please accept our heartfelt felicitations! May Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam grant peace, prosperity, happiness, barakat, higher spiritual enlightenment, spiritual & luminous tayid (help) and empowerment to you, your family & Jamat, and the worldwide Jamat. Ameen.
Let us first reflect upon the card which was prepared by the (late) Alwaez Rai Amiraly Amlani which was first published in 2003:
Noor Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s.) has taught us that according to the Ismaili tradition, the institution of Imamat is continuous, perpetual and everlasting. The Imam of the time is the 'Rope of Allah' therefore let us seek the Light of Imamat with a greater conviction by becoming more loyal, devoted and obedient spiritual children of Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.). Let us aim for this especially in this year because Imamat Day falls in the month of Holy Ramadan.
In this candle post, I have used excerpts from the following books:
- 'Ibn al-'Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination: The Sufi Path of Knowledge', written by William C. Chittick. This book was published by State University of New York Press, Albany in 1989.
- 'Contemplation and Action' which is the spiritual autobiography of a Muslim Scholar, Nasir al-Din Tusi. The book is edited and translated by S. J. Badakhchani and was published in 1999 by I.B. Tauris, London in association with IIS, London.
- 'Shi'i Interpretations of Islam' — Three Treatises on Theology & Eschatology. Edited and Translated by S. J. Badakhchani. This book was published in 2010 by I.B. Tauris, London in association with IIS, London.
Table of Contents
- What is the Science of Self-Disclosure?
- How is a Perfect Man Created?
- Why is it Necessary to Recognize the True Imam?
- What are the Relationships between Knowledge, Submission and Obedience?
- What is the Status of Your Spiritual House?
- Luminous Dhikr of Noore Muhammad, Noore Qur'an, Noore Ali, Noore Karim
Part 1: What is the Science of Self Disclosure?
In his book, Chittick has presented Ibn al-Arabi's answer to the question, 'What is Science of Self Disclosure' as follows:
"Since sciences are high and low in according with the object of knowledge, spiritual aspirations (himma) attach themselves to the noble and high sciences, those which, when man comes to know them, purify his soul and magnify his level. The science with the highest level is knowledge of God, and the highest way to knowledge of God is the knowledge of self-disclosures. Below that is the knowledge of rational consideration. There is no knowledge of God below consideration. Most people only have beliefs, not sciences." (p.218)
God disclosures Himself to a person who started from Shariat, followed the path of Tariqat, advanced on the path of Haqqiqat until he recognizes himself, i.e., his own soul. Then he yearns for knowledge of God and wants to advance to Marifat. However, the knowledge of God is beyond his reach. Therefore, he supplicates to God to open the curtains by unveiling so that he can see Him with his esoteric (inner) eyes. When God hears a very pious person's supplication, He discloses Himself by unveling. Ibn al-'Arabi says "the hightest way to knowledge of God is the the knowlege of self-disclosures" so from this we can understand that God becomes intimately involved in the perfection of his noble servant.
The path of spiritual progress and development involves: (1) the creation of human beings, (2) their evolution through faith, knowledge, ibadat, and good deeds, and (3) their re-creation into perfect beings. In the Ismaili Tariqah, the Holy Imam's Noor lights the path of spiritual enlightenment. In the final stages of development, enlightenment is increased by the continual unveiling of the Light of Imamat. This is an unpredecedented blessing.
Part 2: How is a Perfect Man Created?
In his book, Chittick described the how the perfect man is created:
"...the perfect servant, through his nothingness and effacement, manifests all divine traits. He assumes the traits and fully realizes the properties of every [Divine] name, without being delimited by any name or group of names.
(II 20:19)." (pp.371-372)
Ibn al-'Arabi's explanation is as follows:
"Perfect man is separated from him who is not perfect by a single intangible reality (raqiqa), which is that his servanthood is uncontaminated by any lordship whatsoever. Since perfect man has this high position, he alone is the goal sought after through the cosmos.
This perfection become manifest in Adam in His words, "He taught Adam the [Divine] names, all of them" (2:31). He added with "all", since it is a word that requires all-encompassingness. Thereby the Real gave witness to his perfection. In the same way it became manifest in Muhammad, in his words, "I came to know the knowledge of the ancients and the later folk." So Adam' knowledge was included in his knowledge, since Adam is among the ancients. (II 603.14)" (p.372)
From the above, we learn that there is a discloure of all Divine names into chosen human beings. Here servanthood, humility and submission become fused with knowlege of all Divine names.
From an esoteric point of view, according to Nasir al-Din Tusi, the first attestation of faith (shahadat) for Ismailis is the recognition of Allah through the Imam of the time because Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, 'I will appoint a vicegerent on earth' (2:30). ('Shi'i Interpretations of Islam', p.41). Therefore, we seek higher spiritual enlightenment through the Light of Imamat because each murid's soul is linked to the Imam's soul through the act of bayah.
Part 3: Why is it Necessary to Recognize the True Imam?
Nasir al-Din Tusi writes:
"[§42] To sum up, from these premises and the testimonies of intellect and religious law ('aqli wa shari), it became evident to me that the final steps on the path of the seekers after truth is to be blessed with success in knowing their instructor and to become knowledgeable through his knowledge, as it is expressed in the Fusul-i muqaddas: "Knowledge of God is [through] knowledge of the Imam." ('Contemplation and Action' p.47)
Part 4: What are the Relationships between Knowledge, Submission and Obedience?
Nasir al-Din Tusi writes:
"[§44] Now that I have come to know that unique person who is the man of the epoch, the Imam of the age, the teacher of the followers of talim, the locus of the word (mazhar-i-kalima), he who enables one to recognize God - praise be to Him - and now that I have surrendered to the fact that he is the [real] instructor, the truthful one, the ruler (hakim), and I have attained the status of submission, utterly abandoned my own will, and arrived at the realm of learning and subjection, [I realize] that my recognition and knowledge are to be that which my teacher says are [true] recognition and knowledge, and everything else is pure unknowing and ignorance." ('Contemplation and Action' pp. 47-48)
Part 5: What is the State of Your Spiritual House?
On this happy occasion, let us take time to reflect upon the state of our spiritual houses and tie it to the work of Imamat. On one hand, Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam has and is building architectural masterpieces around the world for the benefit of his murids and humanity at large. On the other hand, in the Spirit World, he is also partnering with staunch, obedient mumins to build scintillating spiritual houses.
The Foundation of the Spiritual House:
I would like to present a practical synthesis by using an analogy of building a spiritual house so that we may all have a mental picture of our spiritual journey. Detailed knowledge on these topics can be accessed through the hyperlinks. The foundation of the spiritual house is based on the first four items in the list. These are:
- Holy Didar and Iman (Faith)
- Holy Didar and Tauba (Sincere Repentance)
- Holy Didar and the Submission of Dasond (Tithe)
- Holy Didar and the Sacred Time to Recite the Holy Dua
We need to be certain that our foundation is strong and if there are any cracks in it, then this is a good time to fix them.
The Walls, Doors and Windows of the Spiritual House:
The walls, doors and windoes of the spiritual house are based on the next five items in the list:
- Holy Didar and the Practice of Bandagi
- Holy Didar and Giriyah-u zâri (Supplication)
- Holy Didar and Dhikr (Divine Remembrance)
- Holy Didar and Performing Seva (Voluntary Service)
- Holy Didar and Being Imam Conscious & Ethical
We need to be certain that the walls of our spiritual house are strong and of even height so that a roof can be placed on the structure. This raises the question of balance and the need of a multi-prong approach so that all the five walls get built simultaneously. The walls also have to accomodate doors and windows in our spiritual house.
The Roof and Dome of the Spiritual House:
The roof and the dome are at the apex of our spiritual house and represent the following:
- Holy Didar and the Recognition of the Holy Imam
As the final destination of our spiritual journey is the recognition of the Light of Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam in our foreheads, it is important to think about the transparent, colored glass roof with a dome for our spiritual house. This design would fully absorb the luminous rays of the Noor of Mowlana Hazar Imam.
Spiritual experiences such as tears of love for Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam, goosepumps, shivering, shaking and fragrances are signs that the soul is being purified. Let us hope some or all of these happen at the Darbars and in our personal worlds. In addition to this, for the perfected ones, there will be the didar of Light in the forehead. Let us hope and pray that this also happens at the Darbars and in our personal worlds.
Please go to the spiritual houses page to see the requirements for your house in the Spirit World and learn about future expansion plans to make it into a palace! This great journey which begins with a single click.
Please go to the higher spiritual enlightenment indicators page to conduct a self assessment by answering ten questions.
Shukranlillah wal hamdulillah! I bow my head, soul and intellect to Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.) for sending spiritual and luminous tayid to articulate the concept of building a spiritual house. All praise is due to the Holy Imam, the Lord of the present and the eternal time (Sahebiz-zamani wal asr)!
Part 6: Luminous Dhikr of Noore Muhammad, Noore Qur'an, Noore Ali, Noore Karim Hazar Imam
Let us perform the luminous dhikr of Noore_Karim Hazar_Imam with utmost humility and tenderness of the heart (length 4 min 41 sec; 6.5 MB) on the auspicious occasion of Imamat Day:
Download Noore_Karim Hazar_Imam sound track in mp3 format; or
Download Noore_Karim Hazar_Imam sound track in wma format.
The lyrics are given below:
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Noore Muhammad, Noore Quran; (1)
[The Light of Muhammad and the Light of Qur'an (are one)]
Noore Muhammad, Noore Ali; (2)
[The Light of Muhammad and Light of Ali (are one)]
Noore Ali, Noore Karim; (3)
[The Light of Ali is the Light of Karim Shah (through the Chain of Imamat)]
Noore Karim, Hazar Imam (4)
[All the above Lights are One Light which is in Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam]
Noore Muhammad, Hazar Imam (5)
[Therefore, the Light of Muhammad is in Hazar Imam]
Noore Qur'an, Hazar Imam (6)
[Also, the Light of the Holy Qur'an is in Hazar Imam]
Noore Ali, Hazar Imam (7)
[Also, the Light of Ali is in Hazar Imam]
Noore Karim, Hazar Imam (8)
[All the above Lights are One Light which is in Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam]
Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!
Part 7: Links:
- Download to the PDF version of Candle Posting 122 ::
What is the Status of Your Spiritual House? ::
- Welcoming Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam to our Spiritual Houses
- Higher Spiritual Enlightenment Indicators
- Resources for Holy Ramadan, Lail-tul Qadr & Idd-ul Fitr
- Haqqiqati Fasting and the True Spirit of Fasting ::
Teachings of Imam NOOR Mowlana Shah Mustansir bi'l-laah II (a.s.) &
NOOR Mowlana Shah Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s.)
- True and Sincere Repentance :: Teaching of NOOR Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.)
- MP3 and Real Streaming Audio Files on Audio.SalmanSpiritual.com
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)
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.