In the infinite ocean of compassion and love
Dear friends of Allah,
May the peace of the full moon of Shaban shine in your hearts!
Shaban is the month of Muhammad, peace be upon him, just as Rajab is the month of Allah, and Ramadan the month of the community. Therefore this month is a beautiful time to deepen our love to the Prophet and contemplate his reality. We can read some of the biographies, we can gaze through the hadith which are windows into his being, we can listen to Sheikh Muzaffer and Sheikh Nur in Irshad and Atom to receive the enlightened transmission of their love to him, we can recite the beautiful salawats from our salawat book which are fountains of mercy and light from his soul, and we can look deep into our heart and find him there, for he is our heart. He is everything good. He is the taste in our sustenance and the beauty in our vision and the security in our relation to Allah. He is the adornment of the kingdom. Every breath is in praise of him. Every life is in pledge to him. And he is not separate from our self - he is the essence of humanity, so by finding our self we find him. Love our self and we love him, love him and we love our self. Love him and we are loving Allah. Offering salawat to him is a wonderful way of learning about him because they are true representations of his being. I once asked Muzaffer Effendi, rahmetullah aleyhi, in the early days of dervishood, where the salawats came from and he answered, “from the Truth.” Only Truth can reveal the Truth. And Truth is in love. This is the beauty of the salawats - they are love poems from the divine to the divine.
Tonight, the 14th into the 15th of Shaban, we are dedicating ourselves to offer the 100 rakats, a gift brought by Sheikh Muzaffer and continued by Sheikh Nur, may Allah be immensely pleased with both of them. For those circles or individuals who are offering a smaller number (which is perfectly good) just make the intention for it to be the 100, even if it is only two. This is a night of boundless mercy and forgivenes. This is a night for abandoning ourselves to the All-Merciful, for offering all of our mistakes and bad habits as gifts to Allah, this is a night for emptying the vessel so it can be filled with the nectar of the Beloved. Furthermore, in the Irshad, Effendi reports the tradition in which it is revealed that on this night the destinies are written for the coming year. So, from that point of view also it is a very, very significant night. Imagine that we are invited to the court of the Sovereign of all worlds, on a specific night when marvelous gifts and responsibilities for the coming year will be given out, and at the same time all mistakes that we have made in the previous year will be erased. Would we not prepare ourselves to be among the recipients of bounty and forgiveness? This is the miracle of the 15th of Shaban, and unlike the Night of Power which is hidden, we are informed of when it falls. Whether or not we are able to be together in community on this night, let us all together turn to Allah in complete sincerity and abandon. Whether we are able or not to be in community, as servants of love we stand at the door of love in a special way at this time which has been pointed out. We join with the Prophet of love who together with his family was praying for Allah's forgiveness for all humanity on this night. After praying during the two preceding nights, and receiving the answer from the honorable Gabriel each of the following mornings that a third, and then another third of his community was forgiven, his tender heart could not accept that the All-Merciful would not forgive his entire community. On the third night he prayed even more fervently, this time accompanied by his blessed family. By dawn of the 15th day, he was informed by the trustworthy Gabriel, aleyhi salam, that all had been forgiven and all would be forgiven. (You may read the beautiful account of this event in Irshad, pp. 278-280.)
May we and all humanity be forgiven, and may we and all humanity receive the highest stations of nearness and Allah's pleasure.
Two simple, beautiful forgiveness prayers from the Prophet that we can offer apart from the wird prayers and our own spontaneous prayers and zikr:
“O Beloved Allah, You are the Forgiver and You love to forgive! Please forgive us completely!”
“O Beloved Allah, Your forgiveness is vaster than my wrongs, and I have more hope in Your Mercy than in my own action.”
May our beloved Prophet Muhammad receive the gift of all of the prayers of humanity and all of the forgetfulness of humanity, the gift of all of the gratitude of humanity and all of the ingratitude of humanity. May our beloved Prophet Muhammad be shining in our hearts as the intercessor for all, and as the owner of the station of universal praise! And may the family of the Prophet, those who carry the light, nectar and balm of his being, receive unlimited blessings and may all their prayers be answered.
May Allah the Merciful send special mercy to all of the beloved Pirs and sheikhs, and the entire community of Muhammad!
May we all be swept up in the torrent of love and light together!
As we are offering the 100 rakats on Monday night, we could offer a special bouquet of La ilahe ilallah and salawats and wird on Tuesday night, either communally or individually.