Posted in Words of Wisdom

The Islamic Calendar, The Month of Sha’ban & the Holy Night, Nisfu Sha’ban (Sha’ban 14-15, 1436 / June 1-2, 2015)

A note on the Islamic Calendar

Sufis  can  think  of  the  calendar  as  a  way  to  observe  Allah.  Often  when  we  are  caught  up  in   daily  tasks  and  routines  we  consume  time  blindly.  Special  months  and  holy  days  help  us  to   stop  living  automatically  and  pay  more  attention  to  what  Allah  is  sharing  with  us  all  the   time.

“My  servants  annoy  Me  when  they  complain  about  time,  for  I  am  time  (ana  ad-­‐dahr);   in  My  hand  is  the  day  and  the  night”.   — hadith  qudsi

Special  days  can  help  us  contemplate  the  meaning  of  this  hadith  qudsi.  The  calendar  is  one   means  of  noticing  His  qualities  and  actions  in  time  and  how  they  permeate  everything.

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The  Month  of  Sha’ban  

The  month  of  Sha’ban  (the  eighth  month of the Islamic Calendar)  has  its  own  special  qualities.  For  the   pre-­‐Islamic  Arabs,  it  was  called  the  month  of  separation,  when  the  tribes  and  clans  would   disperse  in  search  of  water  or  grasslands  for  their  flocks.

According  to  our  pir  Abdul  Qadir  al-­‐Geylani (may  Allah   sanctify  his  secret),  the  month  is  particularly  associated  with  the  Prophet  Muhammad   (peace  be  upon  him),  and  so  is  an  occasion  to  remember  him  more  and  do  more  salawat.

The  Prophet  (peace  be  upon  him)  used  to  observe  a  lot  of  optional  fast  days  in  the  first  half   of  Sha’ban,  more  than  any  other  month.  In  the  last  half  of  Sha’ban,  he  did  not  fast,  as   Ramadan  is  approaching.

A narrative  holds  that  in  a  sermon,  the  Prophet  (peace  be  upon  him)  said:     “O  people!    Lighten  and  cleanse  your  bodies  by  way  of  fasting  in  Sha’ban,  so  that  it   shall  be  easy  and  helpful  to  you  for  the  fast  during  Ramadan.  Whoso  fasts  for  three   days  during  Sha’ban,  all  his  past  sins  are  wiped  away.”

Holy Day & Night: Sha’ban 14-15, 1436 / June 1-2, 2015 — Nisfu Sha’ban (mid-Sha’ban)

The night when all sins are forgiven if prayed with sincerity. A blessed day to fast. Starts on Sha’ban 14 after sundown and ends at dusk on Sha-ban 15.

For this Holy Day do the following zikr:
1001 Estaughfirallah (trans: I ask for Your forgiveness)
501 Ya Gafur Ya Awf (Gafur: Forgiver, Hider of Faults or Shame; Awf: Forgiver)

Posted in Words of Wisdom

Prayer with Mindfulness / Be Conscious

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From Murshid Shaykh Taner Ansari

PRAYER WITH MINDFULNESS:

I explained Aqim al Salat. Some translate it as worship. We translate it as prayer, especially prayer of your heart. Prayer of your heart is very important. Establish the prayer when you’re eating. Establish the prayer when you’re sleeping. Establish the prayer whatever you’re doing.

Establish the formal prayer, which we call Namaz. Allah said this to all the nations. Establish the prayer does not just mean you have to establish Namaz, which means going up and down. Establish the prayer means all of that, and especially Zikr (Mention / Remembrance).

Some people say Sufism is Bid’ah (Innovation). First of all, Sufism is not Bid’ah. Second, our Prophet (pbuh) himself established Zikr for everybody. Zikr of Sufism is special to those people who want Allah’s Zat (Essence). Zikr of Sufism is designed to clean your nafs (ego). This is what the Prophet (pbuh) established. After each prayer, you say Subhanallah (Glory be to God) 33 times, Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God) 33 times, and Allahu Akbar (God is Greater) 33 times. Allah said: “When you are talking about the Quran, you start with Bismillah er Rahman er Rahim” (In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate). Then He added, “Euzu billahi minesh shaytan irrajim, Bismillah er Rahman er Rahim” (I seek refuge from Shaytan the outcast, in the name of God, the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate) !

BE CONSCIOUS:

What I am trying to do is to bring you to the consciousness of your actions and your acceptance and the belief so that you do not do actions blindly. You have to be conscious of what you are doing and acknowledge the importance of being conscious of what you are doing. Allah created us as Allah’s Khalifas (representatives) against shaytan’s objections, against the objections of the angels. So we owe Allah a lot. Allah chose us. And in return, we should choose Allah. That is why we say, “Bismillah er Rahman er Rahim. Euzu billahi minesh shaytan irrajim”, which means “I take refuge in Allah from the outcast/stoned shaytan, and in the Name of Allah, the Owner of Compassion and Who Acts with Compassion and Mercy.” What does this mean? It means that whatever you are doing will be in the Name of Allah. So that is a reminder to you that you are connected, you are representing Allah, and not to do anything that Allah is not pleased with. I also suggest you start each morning when you wake up by saying this: Euzu billahi minesh shaytan irrajim, Bismillah er Rahman er Rahim !