Salman Spiritual :: Towards the Inner Vision of the Truth :: An Ismaili Perspective

"Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light." — Holy Qur'an 2:257


Idd-ul-Adha: The Inner Meaning of the Sacrifice of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) &
Idd-e-Gaddir: A Time to Reflect on the Greatest Gift from the Holy Imam

Ya Ali Madad and Idd Mubark. On the occasion of Idd-ul-Adha and Idd-e-Ghaddir, may Allah grant material, spiritual and intellectual happiness to Muslims all over the world, and to all those who have submitted their wills to He Who is Above All Else. Ameen.

This post covers material on: (a) the the inner meaning of Idd-ul-Adha and the sacrifice of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) and significance of ; (b) the role of Holy Imam in the world as he was declared as the Commander of the faithful at Ghaddir-e-Khum; and (c) the mechanism to enter the luminosity of the Imam and the Qur'an. Let us reflect on the following ta'wils:

(a) The the inner meaning of Idd-ul-Adha and the sacrifice of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.)

  1. "Dhahib: One who follows the path of religion

    "The path of religion is the progressive ladder of the order of nature which is the example of spiritual ladder as well as the example of straight path and the rope of God. The wisdom-filled allusion of it is that as long as the world of unity is far away there are only ranks on ranks: there are ranks of knowledge of the Qur'an, there are ranks in the deeds of Islam, there are ranks in the spiritual journey and proximity of God. Thus it is true that there are four major destinations of religion, namely, shari'at, tariqat, haqqikat and ma'rifat and it is also true that Hazrat Ibrahim went to his Lord walking from one destination to another on the path of religion." (A Thousand Wisdoms, Tawil No. 355, pp.192-193)

  2. "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." (A Thousand Wisdoms, Tawil No. 356, p.193)

  3. "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." (A Thousand Wisdoms, Tawil No. 357, pp.193-194)

  4. "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." (A Thousand Wisdoms, Tawil No. 358, p.194)

  5. "There is a ray of golden light in understanding the concept of spiritual death from the story of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) for people who are on the path of tariqat and haqiqat. This can be described as follows:

    "The Wise Qur'an is the Book of heavenly and Divine wisdom, in which all the injunctions which are apparent are for all, the common as well as the chosen people, but the injunctions which are hidden in wisdom-filled allusions are only for the chosen, as God says; "On no soul does God place a burden greater than it can bear." (2:286). Thus, the Holy Qur'an indicates to the people of tariqat and haqiqat that they should experience spiritual death before the physical death and become enriched with the everlasting wealth of knowledge and recognition." (Source: Manifestations of Wisdom, p.27)

  6. Therefore, in my opinion, the clearest and the greatest lesson from Hazrat Ismail's (a.s.) sacrifice can be described as follows:

    Each one of us has to the sacrifice nafs-i amara (the commanding soul) 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. This path also leads to the creation of Sunshine in one's heart and a Golden Noorani Didar in one's forehead.

(b) The role of Holy Imam in the world
  1. Definition of Wilayat

    ""Wilayat," derived from wila', means power, authority or a right of certain kind. In Sh?'a theology, "wilayat" is the authority invested in the Prophet and the Ahlul Bayt as representatives of Almighty Allah on this earth." (Source: Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi)

  2. The Three stages of Religion

    "It is related that the Prophet said: "I enjoin upon those of you who have faith in God and in me and have declared me to be truthful, the walayat of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin Abu Talib. For, truly, the devotion to him is devotion to me, a command my Lord has given me and a covenant which he has made with me and has ordered me to convey to you from Himself." The greatest wisdom in this luminous teaching of the Holy Prophet is that belief in God and the Prophet is the first stage of religion, that affirmation of the Prophethood and Messengership is the second stage, and that affirmation of wilayat of Mawla Ali is the third stage." (Fruit of Paradise, p.36)

  3. The Mechanism and Importance of Salwat

    The verse (ayat) of the Holy Qur'an [Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation. (33:56)] indicates that the major entities which are involved in the execution of this prayer are: Allah, Angels, the Holy Prophet, the Holy Imams and believers. This mechanism of salwat is presented in the following diagram:

    Click here to play and right click here to save the mp3 track to your computer.

(c) The mechanism to enter the luminosity of the Imam and the Qur'an
  1. The Importance of Divine Remembrance

    "God says: "And he who is blind to the remembrance of God, We assign him a Satan who becomes his comrade." (43:36). The pure Imam is the living Supreme Name (ism-i azam) of God and His luminous remembrance, because it is from him that mu'mins obtain the light of Divine remembrance, which rescues them from the clutches of Satan. For the Imam of the time is in the position of Ali and is the gate to the city of knowledge and wisdom." (Fruit of Paradise, p.29)

  2. "Dhikrukum: Your remembrance

    See the blessed words of the verse (21:10): "Fihi dhikrukum".

    • "In it is the exhortation for you";
    • "In it is the remembrance of ism-i a'zam for you"; and
    • "In it is your own remembrance provided you are successful."

    When the Imam of time grants ism-i azam to one of his murids, it is certainly from the holy Qur'an. The purpose of the miraculous bridge of special ibadat (i.e., ibadat of ism-i azam) is that he or she may enter the luminosity of the Imam and the Qur'an." (A Thousand Wisdoms, Tawil No. 363, p. 196-197)

  3. In one of his teachings, NOOR Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (a.s.) has explained that through luminous prayer at a luminous time with a luminous word (bandagi with ism-i azam, the Supreme Name of God), a person can experience the merging of soul with God (fana fillah). In another place, he has explained that during the luminous prayer a person should focus on their ism-i azam (Supreme Name) to such an extent that they should not even be aware of their physical surroundings. In a third place, he has taught that one should die during meditation, i.e., one should be totally and fully immersed in the luminous prayer with the luminous word. Thus, through the Supreme Name (the luminous word), it is possible to go through the cycles of spiritual death and resurrection for the sake of spiritual enlightenment which will be given in the form of knowledge and recognition of higher realities.

  4. The ism-i azam is the door to luminosity, therefore it is a treasure that should be constantly remembered. Here is a humble dhikr to emphasize this point. Let us pray to NOOR Mowlana Hazir to empower us to practice the luminous prayer at a luminous time with a luminous word, i.e., perform bandagi with ism-i azam, the Supreme Name of God, with a greater effort, strength and enthusiasm.

  5. Click here to play and right click here to save the Ism-i Azam mp3 track to your computer.

Additional reading:

  1. Model of the Total Human Potential (web page)
  2. The Study of Man (web page)
  3. Let us Learn about the Power of Angelic Salwat (Download PDF)
  4. Creation of Light Within the Personal World Through Ism-i Azam (Download PDF)
  5. Enlightenment Norms from Pandiyat-i Jawanmardi (Download PDF)

Prayers for the Global Jamat:
Let us pray to our beloved NOOR Mowlana Hazar Imam:

Ya Ali, Ya NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, grant us, our families, our Jamats, the worldwide Jamat, the Muslim Ummah, and humanity at large, luminous (noorani) and spiritual (ruhani) tayid (help) to advance materially, spiritually and intellectually.

O Mowla make us one global Jamat with one Sound Heart (Qalb-i Salim), bless us with a Golden Noorani Didar, and empower us to present spiritual and luminous nazranas. Ameen.

Peace, light, barakat, tayid, and a Golden Noorani Didar,
Noorallah Juma
December 22, 2007

Festival Cards

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.