The Noble Ramadan, Month of Mercy
In the Unfolding of Allah’s Boundless Generosity and Love
Beloved Circle Guides and Dervishes,
May each of you be embraced in the great peace of the Ramadan.
Here are some thoughts and inspirations regarding this month that I have left as notes. Insha’allah they will be helpful to you.
Ramadan, the best of months, the month of mercy, the month when the gates of paradise are wide open and the gates of the fires of negation are closed, the month of salvation for humanity
The blessed Muhammad, may he be showered in sublime peace, said that if we knew the value of the Ramadan to our souls we would occupy ourselves completely with Allah, the Exalted and Merciful, throughout the entire month.
Koran, Tasbih, Fasting, Community, Tarawih, Retreat, Love and Generosity, Renewal, Intimacy with Allah, Allah’s Pleasure, Essence of Allah
The Generous Koran
In the noble month of Ramadan the entire Koran descended into the realm of creation from the eternal essence of the Prophet, peace be upon him, into the realm of time. It was then revealed in smaller portions to the embodied consciousness of the Prophet, pbuh, over 23 years of his life, both through the intermediary of the entrusted Archangel Gabriel and also directly.
In his precious words, “Sometimes it comes like the loud ringing of a bell and that is the hardest on me. Then this state passes and I retain in memory what was transmitted.” “Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I retain in memory whatever he says. This way is the easiest for me.”
When the revelation came he would begin breathing very intensely and sweating profusely, even on a cold day. Sometimes if he was sitting he would simply bow his head – and all of his companions would bow their heads with him – and sometimes they would lay him down and cover him with a cloth until the revelation was completed.
What we call Koran is in reality the merging of the infinite ocean of Divine Consciousness and the exalted human consciousness, the Bismillah Consciousness, the Divine Unveiling to the human heart, the unveiling of the human heart to itself, the Divine Love Song whispered in the ear of our heart Koran is pure inspiration, and we receive it though the inspiration of the heart– we receive it thru becoming empty and turning to the Source of Love. It must be revealed anew to each heart.
“When the Koran is being recited still your hearts, minds and tongues to receive its full blessed power.”
Envision everything as Divine revelation in this month. See your life, cosmic life and all events as continuous revelation of mercy, moment by moment.
May we make this a month of contemplation, asking Allah to increase us in knowledge and understanding.
“O you faithful ones, fasting is prescribed for you as it was for those before you.”
…for our own good, for those of us who are not sick or weak or disabled in some way
We fast out of love to Allah
We fast to experience our love to Allah and Allah’s love to us with our whole heart, body, mind and soul
To taste and to know that our bond to Allah is beyond this world
Some fast for the love of Rasulallah, peace be upon him, to follow him and be near to him
Emptying ourselves of our self …to receive Allah’s Self
Emptying ourselves to receive the greatest mercy
Emptying ourselves so that we can become the vessels of Allah
Just as we breathe out to empty our lungs so that we can breathe in life-supporting fresh air, so fasting empties us of the old so that we can be receptive to new inspiration
Emptying ourselves so that we can receive revelation… the revelation of Koran in our soul
Emptying ourselves of food and becoming Rumi’s empty pot which gives a resonant sound. We are familiar with Rumi’s chic pea in the boiling water … this is Rumi’s empty pot which makes divine music
Emptying ourselves of personal habits – acquiring good habits
In the Ramadan we learn to live differently
Emptying ourselves to know that we rely on Allah alone, rather than upon anything in creation
In fasting we learn to trust in Allah
Fasting is a medicine for the soul
If you want to become intimate with yourself offer the fast. It is an amazing way to see into yourself and to come into the bridal chamber of the self.
Fasting, for those who are not ill or weak, is also a medicine for the body. The latest medical research speaks of the high value placed on caloric restriction for certain periods of time. Those who have fasted during the Ramadan know what a renewal and refreshment and re-booting it brings to the body as well as to the soul.
Ramadan is a time to completely renew
It is a time to examine ones beliefs and habits, and to change perspectives
Ramadan allows us to retreat from the world outside and to retreat from our inside world – from the habits and patterns we have created
Ramadan is a time to examine our sincerity where we are not sincere in relation to our self, in relation to Allah and in relation to others
Helpful Things During the Fast:
Remembering that you are undertaking this fast for love to Allah because Allah has enjoined this upon the lovers…for their own good
Keep asking help from Allah whenever you feel moments of difficulty this is wonderful because it keeps us always turning to the Source, and Divine help comes very swiftly
Remembering how many communities of lovers of God have fasted – in deserts, in caves, in cities, alone and in community
Connect to these friends of God and ask for their help
Remembering all those who are alive in this world and do not have enough food to eat - this is a fast of solidarity with them Pray for them
Reading Koran, listening to Koran,
Staying in the heart and not focusing on the world
Focusing on things of the spirit
Realizing that the fast will soon be over at sunset. And keeping in mind the promise of Allah, “I am with those who fast, and when they break their fast they see me.”
Focusing on the breath and breathing deeply and consciously. You can intone La ilahe ilallah, Allah or Hu.
Allah transmitted His own breath to Adam and that is what made the difference between a figure of water and clay and a divine living being who is the Khalifatullah, the vessel of divine mercy and wisdom in the universe
Become aware that you are being fed by Allah’s breath.
Breath is our main physical nourishment we can live without food for days and even weeks. we can live without water for a few days, but we can not live without breath for more than a few minutes we cannot live without Allah’s Rahmet for an instant so focusing on the Divine Mercy which creates us moment by moment and on the merciful Divine breath flowing through us is very helpful, rather than focusing on what we do not have
Renew your ablutions frequently and brush your teeth. This seems to bring renewed energy.
Take short naps if you can. Or even just close your eyes and relax.
Alternatives to Fasting
Fasting is not an end in itself. It is practiced to help empty the self of selfness
For those who cannot fast for reasons of work schedule or weakness, here are some suggestions:
If work is the problem, try fasting completely, from dawn until sunset, on the weekends and those days you are not working when you can rest and sleep more. Try fasting in the last ten days, or seven days of the Ramadan. By the end of the month, in proximity to the Night of Power, there is such a powerful energy that what was difficult in the beginning becomes much easier
If health is the problem, try a complete fast, but cut it short, either midday or by using the Meccan time table which is a shorter day. You can fast for twelve hours.
If health is a problem, you can try drinking water or other liquid. Although I have found that drinking water makes the fast from food more difficult.
The fast is between our self and our Beloved. It is not the concern of others. So offer what you can do best.
Fast from negative thinking, from judgment, from depressive thoughts, from self-congratulation or self-deprecation.
Fast from entertainments, from distractions, from wasting time.
Fast from fears.
Fast from anything that takes your consciousness away from Allah.
When we fast from our limited self, love, generosity, and guidance will flow.
Community, Feeding the Hungry
Ramadan is the month of community. Join with the dervish community as often as you can. Support the community in whatever way you can, through attending the zikrs and the Tarawih salat, through praying for the community, through cooking through cleaning through peaceful thoughts toward all members.
And support the community of humanity and the community of all living beings through your prayers, your help, your donations, your feeding the hungry.
Holy Koran states that if you do not fast then feed the hungry. So for anyone who is not fasting from food and drink they should feed others, both in the dervish community and outside. This will approximate the blessing of the fast, although Allah says that the fast is better for us, if we only knew.
Join for the Tarawih prayers which are 20 rakats which are offered after the night prayer and before the Witr prayer (the last 3 rakats). In community they are led by an imam or imama. You can also offer them alone. If you cannot do 20, then offer 12 or 8.
Read Shaykh Nur’s chapter of Salat and his chapter on the Month of Mercy in the Atom from the Sun of Knowledge
The entire Ramadan is a retreat, and should be enjoyed as such. We are on retreat with our Beloved Who has specially called us at this time to be consciously present.
Since the time of the Prophet, may he be showered in sublime peace, he and his wives, family and companions would retreat in the last ten days of the Ramadan. But any time in the Ramadan is good for retreat. In Mexico City, Shaykha Amina has established the practice of dervishes rotating retreats of three days during which time they offer 70,000 La ilahe ilallah Muhammad rasulallah. This is very powerful and can be done in any of the Circles. Other kinds of retreat can be offered as well.
Retreat can be offered in the Dergah or in the homes.
Strive to be in zikr and awareness of Allah at all times.
May Allah bless us with the greatest, most merciful, most loving, most beautiful, most fulfilling and most wisdom bestowing Ramadan ever!
May our fasting be easy and our Tarawih light.
May our zikrullah be ecstatic.
May our moments be inspired.
May we be filled with love, for Allah, for each other, and for all beings.
May we be guided in the most subtle ways of wisdom.
May our knots be untied and may the ways open for us.
May we be released from our burdens, grief and obsessions
May we experience the station of “closer than two bow lengths.”
And may we be completely embraced in the Night of Power receiving into the depth of our being its awesome power and wisdom.
However we choose to live this month may we be completely immersed in divine remembrance, gratitude, and praise! And may we be pleasing to the Beloved and to the beloved of the Beloved, may he be embraced in the great peace of divine union.
May Allah the Generous bless the great souls of our silsilla who led us into the path and illumined the path for us. Ya Pir Nureddin Jerrahi al Latif, rahmetullah aleyhi, Ya Shaykh Muzaffer Ashki al Aziz, rahmetullah aleyhi, Qutub al arifin, Ya Nur al Anwar al Malik, rahmetullah aleyhi, light of the new humanity.
Fariha Fatima Ramadan 2015