Ya Nur!

In the Name of Allah, All Embracing Compassion and Love

Beloved dervishes, Peace to your hearts on this glorious day of Shaykh Nur’s passing into the realm of Beauty! Ali and I have just returned from paying a visit to his wife Sheila in the house where they raised their family, and where they hosted many spiritual guides, among them Muzaffer Effendi and Bawa Muhayideen, and welcomed many spiritual seekers. It is Sheila’s custom, on special occasions like today, to take her guests upstairs to the little Ramakrishna room where Nur would sit daily in deep meditation, dissolving the barriers of the mind within the ocean of Reality. The room consists of a few sitting pillows and a shrine of photos of Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi, his spiritual wife, and some of his main disciples. On these occasions, in this abode of deep peace, Sheila begins by reading a poem from the book of Nur’s called Mother of the Universe, his visionary translations of Ramprasad’s ecstatic poetry that he also called Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment. On this day Sheila is wrapped in a wool shawl because the heat is still off from the storm. She emanates the atmosphere of Sarada Devi, the blessed holy consort. After reading her poem, Sheila passes the book to each one, who in turn opens and reads the poem that falls to them. The teachings that flow from the pages of the book and the lips of the companions come directly from the Source, and return to the Source again in each unique consciousness. For those of you who are unacquainted with the tradition of the Divine Mother, these poems might be surprising in their imagery and names. However, if you look more deeply, you will see the Divine Mother as the sublime manifestation of Rahman and Rahim. The two poems that were given to me were like two hands complementing each other. The first teaching was the cutting away of limited thinking and grasping, and the second was the affirmation of the personal self as the unlimited Self. In the first poem, the author, Ramprasad/Nur, is criticizing narrow-minded devotionalism, and is urging the seeker to let go of rigid conceptions of Reality, or one-sided understandings. He invites the seeker, with quite some force, to embrace the complete truth, beyond all dualities. This poem is called Kali’s Sword and Krishna’s Flute Are One, page 147, for those of you who have the book. The first verse declares, “O partially perceiving mind, your basic error of double vision has not been corrected….Why are you unable to perceive the embracing unity behind every manifestation of divinity?” This is a question that we should all present to our self every day. Shaykh Muzaffer’s story comes to mind. A teacher asked his student to go into the kitchen cabinet and fetch the bottle that was inside. The student went and returned empty handed, asking his teacher which bottle he wanted because there were two. The teacher said, ‘Go back and break one of the bottles and bring the other one.’ The student dutifully followed this order, and when he broke one of the two bottles he saw that there was no bottle left. Perplexed, he returned to his teacher telling him of this strange event. The teacher laughed and said, “You were double visioned! There was only one bottle to begin with!” Shaykh Nur clarifies that it is not about transcending manifestation, but about standing in life rooted in unity being. Daily we should contemplate the oneness of being in La ilahe ilallah – and the never ceasing flow of manifestation in Muhammad Rasulallah.

The second poem is called All Rituals of Religion Have Fallen Away, page 117, for those of you who would like to read it.

My entire life has now become the Goddess, immersed in her own secret contemplation.

I received this all-embracing Mother way from an adept of the open space beyond meditation, one who dwells in a brilliant landscape where there is neither night nor day.

I cannot practice formal concentration at the sacred hours of dawn and twilight, because the sun of her wisdom never rises or sets. All my hours have become her midnight. My once fertile dream-fields are now completely barren of fruit, because dream and dreamless sleep have disappeared into Mother. I feel I have been awake and clear for countless eons. Returning the veils of conventional sleep and conventional waking to the cosmic ignorance from which they spring, I sing the lullaby of Mother Wisdom, so sleeping and waking fall asleep forever.

Mother’s fire has purified all dross from the gold of consciousness. My only desire is to shape your human temple from this golden energy, O blissful Goddess, adorning it with your priceless gems: compassion, beauty, clarity, intensity. How I long to behold this sanctuary, this fully awakened humanity, diamond refuge for all suffering beings!

The singer of this hymn of enlightenment now cries aloud in ecstasy: “On my forehead I bear the treasure of incomparability, the crest-jewel of illumination, the radiance of pure love alone. I have known her final secret. One with Absolute Reality is Mother’s dynamic play. All rituals of religion have fallen away.”

So for the practitioners of the way of Sufism you may substitute Rahman or Rahim for the Mother or Goddess, and you will find that the illumination, the vision and the passion of love are compatible. I leave you with these jewels brought by Shaykh Nur to modern humanity and will insha’allah tomorrow speak more about our beloved guide as a pilgrim within the month of Hajj.

Shaykh Nur recommended that we not mix the sacred traditions. Each one is a distinct river from the Source and needs to be navigated from within its own currents. And yet in us they must mix in some way, especially at the level of Haqiqat, of Truth. No separate borders, no separate religions at this level. One of the most enjoyable and fruitful study practices that we undertake in the Dergah is, on Nur’s Urs, to place all of his books in a pile and invite every dervish in turn to pick one and open it by divine guidance and read a paragraph or more aloud. In this way all of the traditions resonate with each other plucked by the single Hand. Hu!

Night of Power Tonight

In the Name of Allah Who is Infinite Compassion and Love

We are looking for the Night of Power to descend on this night, the 27th night of Ramadan.

Where is our heart?
Let us look into our heart.
That is where the Night of Power descends.

We have indeed revealed the Message on the Night of Power.
And what could explain to you what the Night of Power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months, than a lifetime of striving.
For within it descend the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission spreading mercy everywhere.
Peace, Peace, Peace. Until the rise of dawn.

Happy Birthday Salawat for the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh

Salawat for the beloveds who are feasting at the banquet tables of love on the Prophet's birthday,

In Allah’s infinite mercy and love

O Allah, Source of all mercy and love, please bestow Your supreme love boundlessly upon the perfect mirror of Your Heart, Muhammad, and please shower him in Your infinite, myriad blessings, refreshing and illumining his heart, so that he becomes radiantly happy in Your boundless pleasure.

O beloved Allah, please bless him in such a way that we also become radiantly happy, merging our being into his being, bringing about a magnificent banquet of love where Your own divine Pleasure flows as the wine of ashk Muhammadi pouring into every heart, past, future, and eternal.

O beloved Allah please shower the same love and blessings upon all of the Prophets who came before Muhammad, and upon his noble family, his wives, his daughters and sons, his companions, his blood lineage, his spiritual lineage, and upon all humanity, for ever and ever.

Day of Arafat with Effendi and Nur

In Allah’s Infinite Mercy and Love

Labayk Allahume labbayk! I have come O Allah I have come to you!

Beloveds, peace be upon you and upon all those with you on this great day of Arafat!

May Allah’s wonderful Mercy cover us and all the pilgrims of love, guiding, protecting and flowing thru us as a great flood, filling all hearts.

Our beloved Muhammad, may he be embraced in the sublime peace of union with Allah, has declared, “Arafat is the Hajj.” For Arafat is the unveiling of the Beloved.

On the Day of Arafat, in the Islamic year 1400, Nur al Anwar stood side by side with Shaykh Muzaffer Effendi, may their secrets be blest together, under a tarp stretched horizontally to protect against the powerful desert sun, along with 40 dervishes of Effendi from Turkey and America who had joined with their shaykh for Hajj. Nur was holding up the tent with his umbrella while a hafiz chanter recited the thousand Names of Allah that the Angel Gabriel had recited over the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, before one of the holy battles. The recitation had been requested by Shaykh Muzaffer, who was brimming with the light of prophecy during this Hajj, and the event reverberated with the power and significance of the original event. As Nur stood upright holding up the tent he was like the axis and tent pole of the community of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, may sublime peace shower upon him eternally. During that recitation Nur became a true inheritor of the Prophet. He became Shaykh Nur, inheritor of the ancient lineage of prophecy kept alive by the mercy of Allah to awaken and guide humanity throughout the ages. This happened at the foot of Mount Arafat, the Mount of Mercy, simultaneously with the waves of pilgrims calling out Allah, ascending and descending the small mountain of vast mercy. It was as though verses of the Koran were being embodied and lived before our eyes.

This event stands out in my heart as the centerpiece of that Hajj. It belongs to each of you. It is part of your heritage, part of the bloodstream of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi lineage. It was a divine gift that will affect all of us eternally. The thousand Names of Allah were conferred upon Shaykh Nur, and thereby transmitted to us, just as the 28 Names have been transmitted to us thru Pir Nureddin Jerrahi, may Allah sanctify and ennoble his great secret.

Stand on the Mount of Arafat tomorrow with the Pirs, with the Prophets of Allah, with the Mothers of the Faithful and with humanity, knowing that you are with Allah.

Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alemin! All Praise flows to the One Alone, to Allah, Cherisher and Sustainer of all hearts. And peace and blessings be upon the beloved of Allah, Muhammad the Praiseworthy, and upon his family, his companions, and humanity. And peace be upon the blessed Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, upon Ishmael and Isaac, and upon the Mothers of the Faithful and all the Messengers and Prophets of Allah and their communities throughout time and eternity.

Hajj and Arafat

In the Blessed Name of Allah, infinite Compassion and Love

O Lovers, In these powerful days of the Hajj leading up to the day of Arafat, let us drop all inner preoccupation with other affairs, and turn our whole being to the one affair that is life giving and essential, the existence of Allah Exalted and Noble, and the existence of our being as the light of Allah. We have the opportunity in the beginning of this holy month to contemplate our entire life as a pilgrimage, from the Source returning into the Source. It is a pilgrimage that takes us from the light of the pre-eternity of souls into the seven layers of darkness of creation, where the spirit dwells as a seed in the ground or as the seven sleepers in the cave. Into this dreamlike cave of creation, Allah’s loving mercy and grace enters to awaken and inspire our hearts. Allah’s love takes the form of the light of Rasulallah, may the most exalted peace shower upon him and upon all the Messengers bearing this light, the same light which shines thru the hearts of our Pirs, our shaykhs and our community. Guided by this light, we begin the inner journey, the conscious pilgrimage, thru the holy land of the heart, passing thru all the way stations of the divine Names which constitute the heart. We return to our Beloved, together with all the pilgrims of the world who have engaged in the holy way of life. So let us take these days of the Hajj to envision ourselves following the footsteps of the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon his noble being, as he journeys thru the vast immensity of the heart into the Essence of the heart. Let us follow in the way of the blessed Abraham, Ishmael, and Hajjar, may they be embraced in sublime peace. Let us follow the way of all noble Prophets and Mothers of the Faithful living in this world as pilgrims who pause for a moment under the shade of a tree, as travelers who know the true destination and are not fooled by the shadow.

Let us imbue ourselves with the powerful fragrance of the Prophets and Mothers of the Faithful, their hearts like the desert, no overgrowth of earthly concerns, dry of all but Allah’s abounding grace which fills the oases of sacred knowledge and pours as rainfall from the heavens in sudden flashes of compassion, their hearts open to the sky of divine names shining in the darkness of Essence, their hearts as vast tents welcoming the saintly travelers who have come to join the caravan of return into eternal love.

Imbued with the sacred spirit of the Prophets, let us take the most direct way to join with them on this holy pilgrimage. And that way is to actualize with our whole being the meaning of La ilahe ilallah Muhammadun rasulallah, from chanting it on our tongue to realizing it on all levels of our self, culminating in the seventh level where Allah alone is chanting it thru all the seven levels. Let us intone this tasbih constantly in these holy days and for the remainder of our lives. La ilahe takes us from the illusion of creation, ilallah takes us to the Reality, Muhammad Rasulallah takes us from the Real into the divine creation which is the light of the Real. Let us chant with our whole being the holy name of Allah, which contains all the Names, and the blessed name Hu, the Essence. The journey thru these names comprises the true Hajj.

Let us contemplate for a moment how our spiritual life is embodied in the steps of the Umra and Hajj. The longing which stirs us to seek our Source is symbolized in the quest of Hajjar for help in the desert as she ran back and forth between the two hills, Safa and Marwa. The response of Allah to our longing and the discovery of the Source within our own heart is mirrored by the child Ishmael as he stomps his blessed foot on the ground releasing the life giving water of Zem Zem. Ignited by love, we are driven by the desire to offer our lives and what is most precious to us in sacrifice to our Beloved. This is manifested in sublime Abraham, peace be upon him, as he willingly prepares to offer his most precious son, Ishmael (Isaac for the Jewish nation) to his Beloved. And as Shaykh Nur, may his soul be blest, has commented, this is not just an immense, almost inconceivable personal sacrifice, it is the offering back to the Source of the very lineage of prophecy which sustains humanity. This is the affirmation of La ilahe ilallah in all of its depth. According to Muzaffer Effendi, rahmetullah aleyhi, the command of Allah to sacrifice his son came in the eighth night of the Hajj month. The next day is called the Day of Contemplation because the blessed Abraham fell into deep contemplation on that day after the dream, remembering that he had himself vowed to offer his son to Allah if he would be granted one. So let us also contemplate together with the Prophet Abraham on this day, remembering our nothingness and realizing that everything we have and are is from Allah’s infinite generosity. Let us contemplate on the greatness of the heart of Abraham, whose sacrifice sheltered humanity from its own erring and guided humanity to the light of the One. Let us ask ourselves if we can make the smallest sacrifice which is to offer our ego, our personal sense of self, to our Beloved. By the end of the day, Abraham concluded that he would respond to the divine command by sacrificing a hundred camels, praying for them to be accepted in the place of his son, and also because he was uncertain whether the command was literal or symbolic. The following night, the night before the Day of Arafat, came the command “Fulfill your vow O Abraham!” The next morning on the Day of Arafat, Abraham again sacrificed a hundred camels as an offering to be taken instead of his son. At this point let us pause and recall that this is the passing day of Pir Nureddin al Jerrahi, may Allah sanctify his soul. We begin to realize the greatness of his passing on this day as we understand it as a sacrifice to Allah for all humanity, and for modern humanity following in his wake. Returning to the account of the blessed Abraham, it is in the night between the 9th and the 10th, the night before the Day of the Feast (the Eid), that the command came a third time, “Fulfill your vow O Abraham!”. At this third request, the noble Prophet fully understood and accepted that he must offer his actual son as a living sacrifice to his Beloved. So, on the day of the 10th, the Eid, he, Ishmael and Hajjar set out for the place of sacrifice….

Insha’allah to be continued.

In Allah’s great love, Fariha

Blessed Hajj

In Allah’s infinite compassion and love

Beloveds, May Allah open our hearts and make our veils transparent to the Essence as we enter the sacred month of pilgrimage, the month of Hajj. Let each of us go on journey, leaving the home of what we know, leaving the companionship of habituated thoughts and actions, letting go of the possession of identity, and allowing the steed of our longing to take us into the unknown, destitute of plans and ideas, stripped of qualities, abandoned by any fixed sense of self, guided only by our thirst and hunger for the One Who dwells in our heart. Hu Hu Hu.

Come Today to Mount Arafat O Pilgrims of Love

In the Name of Allah, infinitely compassionate, boundlessly merciful

Beloveds,

May we all be filled with the sweetest peace of union on this glorious day, the ninth day of Hajj, the day of Arafat. The truthful Prophet, may Allah's mercy shower upon him in infinite abundance, said that Arafat is the Hajj. If we are at Arafat we have realized the Hajj… without it our Hajj is not valid. So let us, insha'allah, all stand together at Arafat in the inner realm. Let us be the pilgrims who seek the pleasure of their Cherisher and Sustainer, those who long for union through their Beloved. Let us be the people of union. It is at Arafat that our parents Adam and Eve found each other again after having fallen into the earthly realm from the paradise garden. So it is the meeting place of lover and beloved, where the longing soul quenches its thirst. It is also the place of knowing, for its name means "to know". We come to this mystic place to know our self and to know our Lord. We know our self by experiencing the fire of divine longing which separates us from the matters of the world, which translates us back into pure spirit, which gathers us into one essence of desire for Allah. We know our self when this desire dissolves into Allah in mystic union, losing all sense of self. We know our self when we lose our self and find our self in Allah. May we experience the mystery and bliss of Arafat.

As we gather this afternoon at the time of asr in our circles, or as we stand by our self in contemplation, we can feel the divine energy of the three million pilgrims who left their families and identities behind to be present at the Mount of Arafat. As our day comes after theirs, we can receive the baraka of their hearts, like a blessed cloud of mercy which gathers and pours onto the dry soil of our own divinely created need, our essential state of poverty before Allah. To know our poverty, to be a true fakir of the spirit, is to know our self. To experience the constant and ceaseless filling of this need, as revelation, as manifestation, as divine unveiling in our heart from Allah, is the immeasurable blessing that we are promised.

It is from the Mount of Arafat, also called the Mount of Mercy, that our Prophet gave his last sermon on the afternoon of the ninth day of Hajj, the day of Arafat. It is here that he called upon Allah as witness to his having delivered the message for humanity with which his Lord had entrusted him. It is here during that sermon that the last revelation occurred: "On this day those who hide themselves from the light of faith have given up all hope in what has been revealed to you as your Way. Fear them not, and remain in loving awe of Me. This day I have perfected your Way for you and completed my immense favor upon you, and have chosen for you the beautiful and essential way of surrender to Me as your religion, the way called Islam." The completion and confirmation of the path of the heart was given to our Messenger on this day - the merging of soul into Source through loving surrender and the shining forth of soul as pure attributes of Allah. And the crowning of the Prophet Muhammad as perfect and trustworthy messenger was given on Mount Arafat on this day. May Allah embrace him and his noble family and all humanity as his community with the perfect peace of eternal mystic union. Ya Hazreti Fatimah! Ya Hazreti Ali! Ya Hazreti Hasan! Ya Hazreti Huseyn!

It was also on the day of Arafat that one of the greatest miracles of our Pir, Nureddin Jerrahi, may his soul be immersed in mercy, was demonstrated. For on this day he mystically transported his dervishes to Arafat, by gathering them together outside the walls of Istanbul during the time of the asr (afternoon) prayer. He did this three times, the last three years of his blessed life. This points to the extreme mercy of Arafat, for he would not have broken the apparent structure of creation except for something of the highest importance. By doing this he also opened the possibility for us to experience Arafat beyond the limits of space and time. So please honor the immense gift he has given us by being present this afternoon in prayer and contemplation. The traditional prayer is "Labayk Allahume labayk. Labayk la sharike laka labayk. Inal Hamda wa Niamta, laka wal Mulk. La sharika lak." "I have come, I am here o my Allah. I have come to You, O You without other, I am here before You. To You belongs all praise and all good, and the entire realm of creation belongs to You alone. For You have no partner." Pray this prayer together if you can with the leaders of your circle, the friends of your souls, for they have been to Mount Arafat and they have prayed there.

The day of Arafat was also the passing day of Pir Nureddin, rahmetullah aleyhi. This year it is also the birthday, on the western calendar, of Muzaffer Effendi, rahmetullah aleyhi. So this is truly a great day!

Be blessed. Be the pilgrims of Arafat. Be the seekers of self revelation. Be the people of mercy.

Ya Hazreti Hagar! Ya Hazreti Ismail! Ya Hazreti Ibrahim! Ya Hazreti Muhammad, sallallahu aleyhi wa sellimhu taslima! Ya Ahli Bayt! Ya Muhajjirs! Ya Ansari! Ya Insan! Ya Allah!

Fariha

Come to the Night of Miraj

In Allah’s All-Embracing Love

Come lovers come to the journey of love, let us return through the heart of our heart, the core and essence of our being, to the Source of love and Cherisher of all beings, the Heart of all hearts, the Beloved of all, the infinite ocean of Mercy, the All-forgiving, the Nearer than near. Come within the caravan of love – for only love will take us there - guided by the master of all mystic masters, the one who is intimate with the Heart, Muhammad Mustafa, who has been chosen for this special night journey, may divine peace shower upon him and his noble family and blessed companions and entire community in abundance, in abundance, in everlasting abundance.

Come to constant remembrance of Allah. Come to the circles of dhikrullah. Come to the light of La ilaha ilallah Muhammadan rasulallah. Come to the inwardness and ascension of salat. Come to the dweller in our hearts. Come to profound gratitude. Come to the rose garden of lovers. Come to the infinite generosity of Truth. Come to submission. Come to fana. Come to reality. Come to the community of Muhammad Mustafa. Come to unity. Come to be. Come to be. Come to be.

On the eve of this night journey of love returning into the Source of love, all together as one, Fariha Fatima

Night of Power Tonight

In Allah's Night of Power, All-Embracing Mercy and Love

Beloved Dervishes,

When Muhammad the Beautiful, peace be upon him, was asked when the Night of Power fell, he replied that the All Merciful had hidden it. He then said to look for it in the last ten nights of Ramadan, on the odd nights. Our spiritual faculties have become very acute by that time and we are able to sense its presence - the atmosphere is full and rich, like a full term pregnancy. When it comes we usually recognize it, although there are several nights which seem to have great spiritual intensity. But on the Night of Power the heavens open up and grace and mercy descend like a rain of light. Angelic beings, dispatched by the Sultan of Mercy, bear gifts in all directions. The Holy Spirit descends filling the hearts with new knowledge and love. This is a night to be awake, praying for the hearts of humanity. We are honoring it tonight, yet know that it could descend on any one of the remaining nights. Allah knows. This is why we should try to be present and awake for some hours of the night (the last third of the night before dawn is the most potent time), together with the dervishes or by ourselves in retreat, during the last ten days. The Night of Power cannot be calculated or discerned by the mind - it can only be longingly awaited by the heart and joyfully recognized by the heart when it comes. Keep vigil in every moment from now until the end of Ramadan. Remain in a state of expectancy and tender longing. Ask the Pirs for help, ask that we all be fully present at its descent so that our own full potential, and the full potential of humanity, be ignited in the Majestic Power of Love. This is the great threshold, where our entire human family can turn to itself in love and recognize that God is present through this divine human form.

We have in truth revealed our mercy in the Night of Power
And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months,
On this Night descend the angels and the Holy Spirit through permission of the Merciful One, fulfilling every beautiful command,
Sublime Peace in all hearts….peace until the rise of dawn.

Prayer for Ramadan, 2007

In the Infinite ocean of Compassion and Love

O Beloved Allah, calm our thirst and hunger for the food and drink of the world and increase without end our thirst and hunger for You and Your beloved.

Make us to love what You love and turn us away from what You do not love.

Make delightful to us companionship with Your friends, and draw us away from keeping company with our own inner denier.

Make us love Your holy books, and guide us into their secret depths. Make us to cherish the Generous Koran and may it become the wellspring of our life. Open our eyes to see this entire creation as Your Koran.

Make us to love the blessed Muhammad more than our selves, our family, and all that is dear to us, for through his love we love all and through his love we become real.

O Love, make us real.

Beloveds,

May the peace of Ramadan heal our hearts, bodies and minds! This blessed month is the month of the ummat, the mystic community, humanity. In this month, the first revelation of Holy Koran, the Book of perfect humanity, came for humanity through our beloved Prophet Muhammad, may he be showered in infinite divine peace! He recounts that upon receiving the embrace of the Archangel and hearing the first words of Koran, he was overtaken by a state of awe, and he ran down from the mountain cave where he had been in retreat. He ran to the home of his wife, magnificent Khadija, who covered him with his cloak when he cried to her, trembling, “Cover me, cover me!” This cloak is humanity, his community, his lovers.

O Beloved Allah make us his lovers, and take us under his cloak! Do not separate us from him for even an instant, and may we taste what he tasted, even a drop. May we taste in this Ramadan the holy power of Your revelation, of Your majestic beauty, of Your sweet consolation!

You have asked us to honor Your Generosity as it poured through that Ramadan and through all succeeding Ramadans with our own generosity, which is truly Yours given to us on loan. You have asked us to honor it through fasting and prayer, through zikr and salawat, and by keeping company with the lovers of God. You have asked us to honor it by turning away from the world, just as Your beloved turned away from the world in his mountain cave, and by turning toward what the world turns away from, which is the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the misfortunate.

This Ramadan every dervish is encouraged to feed the poor and to reach out to those who are disenfranchised for whatever reason. This can also be stray animals, and insects which we refrain from harming. Whatever the world does not like, may we be inspired to tend.

And the fasting. Yes, fasting from dawn until dusk from food, drink, smoking and intimate relations. If you are not able to do this, Allah has asked us to feed the poor. I will not be making the complete fast this year as I will be drinking liquids. So I am contemplating different ways of fasting and ways of reaching out to others. One form of traditional fasting is that of refraining from speaking. You could choose certain days on which to do this when you do not have to interact with your job. This would be a time of retreat and prayer. Actually, there are as many forms of fasting as there are organs of perception and sensation, and each of these has many different levels. So we ask to fast from all that Allah does not love for us, and to feast on what the Beloved loves for us. Let us certainly fast from the limited mind, and all that it conjures up. Let us fast from fear, apart from fear and awe of Allah's majesty. Let us fast from thinking that we know, when Allah alone is the Knower. Let us fast from thinking negatively of anyone. Let us fast from our manipulations and strategies. Let us fast from all complaint about the life experiences that Allah gives us. Let us fast from our bad habits and our reactions. Let us fast from desiring what we do not have. Let us fast from obsession. Let us fast from despair. Let us fast from not loving our self, and from denying our heart. Let us fast from selfishness and self-centered behavior. Let us fast from thinking that only what serves us is important. Let us fast from seeing reality only from our own point of view. Let us fast from seeing any reality other than Allah, and from relying on anything other than Allah. Let us fast from desiring anything other than Allah and Allah's Prophets and friends, and our own true self. Essentially, let us fast from thinking that we have any existence separate from Allah!

Let us plunge into this Ramadan wholeheartedly, desiring to serve Love and to know Love and to become one with Love. Let us enter the Ramadan of our heart and feast with the Beloved in all the forms that the Beloved appears!

May all humanity and creation be forgiven and elevated in this holy time of spiritual knowledge and healing mercy. And may the confluence of the sacred traditions and their holy days be ever more clearly Your message of their unity, and of the oneness of humanity, and of the indivisibility of reality. Blessed New Year to the people of the Torah! And blessings to all people living the One Life through every sacred path!

We ask for Your infinite blessings to shower upon the vast soul of Muhammad and the souls of his wives, his family, his companions, his inheritors, and his community, humanity.

May we all experience the most blessed Ramadan ever!

Fariha