In Allah’s infinite Mercy and outpouring Love
Beloveds, May we all realize that we are living in Allah’s infinite Mercy and outpouring Love.
As the beloved Hafez cries, the subject tonight is love. What but love could bring the Beloved from the nearest Masjid in Mecca to the furthest Masjid in Jerusalem, and from there thru the seven heavens and then across seventy thousand veils of light into the presence of the Source of Being to receive 90,000 Words of light. “Some for prophets, some for saints, some only for Rasul”, as beloved Shaykh Nur sings. To follow this journey we must leave the mind behind. We must come with hearts purified to enter this holy sanctuary. We must beg the All Merciful to allow us to be part of this majesty and this utter intimacy, intimacy so complete that it is only the Beloved communing with the Beloved. There is no room for other in this sanctum of nearness.
The preparation for this journey began for us in the mystery of pre-eternity when our beings responded without hesitation and cried “Yes!” to the Sultan of Being in response to the question, “Am I not your Lord and Cherisher?” The preparation for this journey continued when we said “Yes!” again to the Beloved and offered our hand in dervishood as the sign of offering our life as a sacrifice of love. The preparation for this journey continues as we continue cultivating the divine courtesy in our being, the courtesy of love toward the Source of Love and toward all beings including our self. A sign of it in ourselves is that we do not speak words of harshness or think harsh thoughts about anyone, including ourselves. We have become entirely good, ehsan, and we emit goodness all around us. The Prophet of love declares, “I came to this creation to complete the divine courtesy.” The divine courtesy is what each of us will discover in our self. It is mature at the level of marifat, the level where human and divine are consciously fused. Then we see that it comes to us directly from Allah’s Own courtesy and grace, thru the intercession of the beloved Muhammad, may the supreme peace of mystic union be his eternally. The secret of this courtesy is La ilahe ilallah, Muhamamadun Rasulallah - One Being Alone exists, and humanity is the principle and vessel of Its manifestation. By allowing this courtesy of the Real to inhabit us and govern our being we are able to enter into the presence of the Sultan of Love to receive the essence of the miraj and the essence of our life. For the miraj is our life, and our life is the miraj.
Before we come to this night let us bathe in and drink from the four rivers of Paradise which the Prophet encountered in his miraj. He saw them flowing from the blessed Word Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim, which was radiating as a Dome of Light. These rivers that flowed from Allah’s boundless Compassion and infinite Love, were of water, milk, wine and honey.
O pilgrims to the Source, let us envision ourselves in the river of divine water which never becomes tainted. This is the water of divine life flowing into our being, giving rise to our being, never stopping, never dying or decomposing, the transparent Divine Life that is our life.
O seekers longing for divine knowledge, let us drink from the river of milk, which is the knowledge innate to the human being. Milk is what nourishes the child, the first food after coming from world of the womb. It flows from the mother’s breast, suckled in love and intimacy with the mother. The milk of knowledge flows to us from the love of the Essence, the Mother of our existence. It is the water transmuted into what nourishes us and makes us grow in the world of Spirit. It increases thru our need and devotion, just as the suckling child’s hunger draws more sustenance. Pray as the Prophet of Allah prayed, may he be embraced in the supreme peace of mystic union, “O Lord, increase me in knowledge!” The foundation of all knowledge is the clear seeing that Allah Alone is the living, the knowing, the desiring, the speaking the hearing and the seeing.
O ecstatic lovers, let us drink from the river of Allah’s wine, that love which makes us pass away from ourselves and die at the breast of love. It is the ishk which will guide our surrendered souls to wherever Love desires us. “As the great Ibn al Arabi proclaimed, “Love is my religion and my mount!” Ishk is the mount, the Buraq, which carried the Prophet of Allah, may he be showered in sublime peace, to Jerusalem. It became the back of Gabriel, peace be upon him, who lifted him into the heavens. Beyond the Lote Tree it transformed into the Rafraf, the mystical being who lifted him into utter Nearness. O lovers longing for Allah, pray as the Prophet prayed, “O beloved Allah, increase Your love upon me ceaselessly, so that my love for You may increase ceaselessly. Make us Your slaves of love! ”
Let us drink from the river of honey, which is the transmutation of life into sweetness, the taste of Paradise in our being and in all that we experience. O sweet ones, pray with our noble Pir Nureddin Jerrahi, may Allah’s Mercy embrace him, “O Allah make sweet for us what You have commanded us, make sweet what You desire for us so that we may desire it too!” May we exude this honey for the whole world.
As we go deeper in our contemplation of the divine journey of the blessed Prophet of Allah, let us realize that this beloved being only journeyed within himself. All the realms thru which he passed were the realms of his own being. The vast earth with all its creatures that he traversed, the seven heavens thru which he ascended, the magnificent Prophets who met him at each stage of the way, peace be upon them all, the seventy thousand veils of light and dark, the angelic beings, the throne and the pedestal, the rivers of paradise, all are in him. How astounding, how bewildering! All this creation is himself. Every being is himself. This is the Muhammadan Reality. Allah and Muhammad are the only existents. We have no existence apart from the Muhammadan Reality, Allah’s reality. “If not for you I would not have manifested Creation.”
What does the name Muhammad signify? It signifies praise, never-ending praise and glorification, by Allah for Allah, never ending love and unveiling of love, never ending life.
The vast soul of Muhammad is the soul of our soul. To attain to this soul is the goal of our life, for once we unveil this in ourselves we will know our life is his journey, the life of the Vast Soul unveiling endlessly, magnificently, in utter adoration and praise of the Source of Being. And we will be in eternal companionship with the Sultan of Love.
Do not think of this vision as exclusive of other traditions. It is the core of all sacred traditions, and it is what makes them sacred. Each tradition has its own name for this single soul being from whose existence all arises.
Let us love him beyond all other beings, and send salawats to him on the day of his blessed return to the Source in physical form. Let us send prayers and blessings upon his noble family and companions, and upon our Pirs who have guided us to the light, and let us send blessings and prayers upon all beings, for he is in all, he is all.
Heart in heart back into the Source, Fariha Fatima