Beloved mystic seekers
May the fullness of the Ramadan permeate you completely with divine peace.
[Let us relate] what some of the mystics have said about the deeper levels of fasting which we can taste in this last period of the Ramadan.
First level is the fast from eating, drinking and physical intimacy during the day.
Second level is the fast of the faculties of hearing, seeing and speaking. On this level we do not lend our ears to any divisive or negative talk, and we do not speak any negative or divisive words. We do not look at what is not appropriate. This does not mean that we turn our sight away from what some would consider ‘ugly,’ because the Prophet, may he be always showered in divine peace, pointed out to his companions the beauty of a dog carcass which they had shunned on the path. He pointed to the beauty of the teeth and how perfectly they were formed by the Creator. Fasting on this level means that we do not gaze at people or things in a desirous way. It means that we do not long for material and physical manifestations that are not ours. Our faculties do not become channels for our limited desires.
Third level is the fast from all desires of the lower self and all imaginations pertaining to it.
Fourth level is that we fast from all negative thoughts about anyone. This means controlling our mind because the mind is always upon judgment, division and condemnation. As soon as the mind leaps to judge we should cry inwardly “La ilahe ilallah!” or just “Allah!” This is also a level where we fast from knowing and thinking that we know. We are fasting from limited mind.
Fifth level is the fast of the heart. This means that we do not long for anything or anyone apart from Allah. Or that we see clearly that our love for our family and our beloveds and all beings is only love for Allah. To be on this level we must be sincere in consciously loving our beloveds for the sake of Allah, knowing Whom we are truly loving in them. Shaykh Muzaffer, rahmetullah aleyhi, warned, “Do not see your beloved and Allah as two.”
Allah declares in the Hadith Qudsi reported by the beloved Muhammad, may Allah bestow eternal peace upon him, “My love belongs to those who love each other in Me, who experience intimacy in Me, who shower each other with goodness for My Sake, and who visit each other joyfully for My Sake.” (Hadith 88 from the 101 Diamonds). Hazreti Abu Bakr as Siddiq, rahmetullah aleyhi, confirmed that before seeing anyone or anything in creation he saw Allah. First he would see Allah, then the particular identity would appear within the Divine Reality.
Sixth level is the fast of the ‘ruh,’ the spirit. This entails fasting from the desire for the states of Paradise and for the ease and bounties of Paradise. As Shaykh Nur, rahmetullah alayhi, cries out, “What need have I for sweetness or bliss, I long for Allah, Allah alone exists.” Instead of seeking the bounties we are seeking the Bestower. “I am weeping only weeping/ No nightingale no moonlight no rose/ Brilliant black heart-sky/ Empty of stars and names/ There is only La ilaha illallah.” This ilahi is a perfect companion for this level and the prior level of fasting from the heart’s impulses. This level entails moving from the rainbow of divine manifestation to the colorless light, from the delight of fragrances to the exquisite perfume of odorlessness, from delicious tastes to sublime tastelessness. This level corresponds to the Nur Muhammad as pure primordial light, undifferentiated by form. “Colorless and traceless I Am.” (Mevalana Jelaluddin Rumi, rahmetullah aleyhi) So we are no longer seeking Allah in form as form thru form by using the mirror of creation to see the Face and Attributes of the Beloved. We are seeking Allah as the invisible, traceless and colorless Essence, the unknown Mover of all events, the invisible One behind all manifestation, the Primal Light from which all is created. So this light is no longer the visible light of the earth, but rather the light of the heart/intellect. The mystics say that it can be experienced as a black light as well as a white light.
The seventh level is the fast of the “Sirr,” the secret heart. This level is so high that only Allah brings this level about, without our own intentions or efforts. This level is the fasting from all selfhood, any sense of independence or separation from the Truth. This is the disappearance into Pure Being. Shakyh Nur’s ilahi of Mansur al Hallaj, rahmetullah aleyhi, sings of this state. “Dear sisters brothers dear/ Save me from the Living Truth/Who steals away my sense of self/By crying out Anal Haqq” “O Allah You placed Your I/ In Hallaj and made him cry/Through Adam’s form most beautiful/ You shine forth when’ere you will.” “Cries Allah to Al-Hallaj/Your sacrifice is really Mine/Your pilgrimage Truth to Truth/From Divine into Divine” “Beyond the world the infinite/Beyond the Infinite the Heart/ Beyond the Heart the great I Am/ Anal Haqq I Am Truth.”
Throughout all these levels of fasting it is most essential not to think ill of anyone, especially anyone in our mystic community, but actually anyone anywhere, including our self. Refraining from such thoughts is much more productive for our well-being and for the well-being of our human family than doing a lot of worship and then falling into thinking badly of others. I would say that this is one of the most important fasts we could observe.
Blessed fasting from all aspects of the limited self and blessed feasting from the infinitely generous Hand of the Beloved!
May the All Merciful and All Knowing bless with the greatest and most bliss bestowing blessing the beautiful beloved Muhammad, peace be upon him, and the radiant Fatima, the sublime Maryam and beloved Issa, the great Khadija, the noble Ali, the joy of paradise Aisha, the luminous Hasan and Huseyn and their sister Zainab, pole of courage and love, and the entire silsilla of light which carries the divine mercy thru the arteries of creation, manifesting in our time as Hazreti Pir Nureddin Jerrahi, Amina Taslima al Jerrahi, Muzaffer Ashki al Jerrahi and Shaykh Nur al Jerrahi, peace be upon them all! May Allah Most Exalted grant to the beloved Muhammad the most beautiful Way of approach, the most bountiful bestowal of Grace, and the All-Encompassing Station of universal praise promised to him!
May we all continue going deeper in the mystery of the Ramadan and may our hearts be the open space and fertile ground in which the Night of Power descends!
Let us offer the primordial praise of La ilahe ilallah Muhammad rasulallah abundantly, abundantly, abundantly in these last days of the Ramadan!