Come Today to Mount Arafat O Pilgrims of Love

In the Name of Allah, infinitely compassionate, boundlessly merciful


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!


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.


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!


May the Peace of the Full Moon of Shaban Shine in Your Hearts!

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.

Salawat for Miraj


Heartfelt greetings and peace to you O Tender-hearted Beloved of Allah!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to you O One invited to make the great journey of ascent into the essence and the journey of return to humanity bearing infinite divine mercy!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to you O Great Companion of Archangel Gabriel!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to you O Master of noble Buraq!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to you O Luminous Imam leading all prophets in prayer at the Temple of Solomon!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to you O One who was welcomed by the prophets in all seven heavens!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to you O One who mystically traversed seventy thousand veils of lights covering the Glorious Face of Essential Being!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to you O Chosen Messenger who received ninety thousand splendid words in intimate communion with the Beloved!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to you O Realizer of the highest mystical stations, revealer of the greatest divine mercy and intercessor for all hearts!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to you O One who returns to share his station with all humanity!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to you O Crown of Miraj, O Crown of humanity, O True human being!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to the five under the cloak, to your wives, your family, your companions, your inheritors, your community!
Heartfelt greetings and peace to all the prophets and messengers of Allah and their communities!
And all praises flow to Allah, Cherisher and Sustainer of all the worlds!

Ya Imam Huseyn!

In the Blessed Name of Allah, Infinite Mercy and Boundless Love

Ya Imam Huseyn! Ya Imam Huseyn! Ya Imam Huseyn!

The sun of Love shines from your great heart as you stand within the community of humanity.

It is Love that undertakes the journey into the desert of unknowing and the desert of longing to reveal Itself and to know Itself.

Love allows Itself to be captured by the forces of tyranny, arrogance and separation to teach humanity that they are just chimeras and shadows.

Love tastes the blood of suffering and transforms it into praise and gratitude.

Love meets hatred and ignorance and answers with prayer and intercession.

Love extinguishes the fires of those hells with its tears falling from the Essence.

Loves' tears contain the Ocean of Mercy and all the Holy Books.

Love unveils Itself in the center of the Center.

Love reaches beyond the Beyond.

Love cannot be contained by any boundary or limitation, any law, any custom, any form, any history, or any projection of future.

Now in the desert, in the divine human form, Love receives the crown of victory. Ya Huseyn! O martyrs of Karbala!

Humanity, jinn and angels are weeping around you O Huseyn, O martyrs!

Humanity, jinn and angels are rejoicing around you O Huseyn, O martyrs!

Ya Ashura! O great day for humanity.

Ya Ashura! O great day of victory for all the Prophets and their communities.

Ya Ashura! O great day for Muhammad the Beloved and Praiseworthy when he is crowned with the Makam al Mahmud, the Station of the Greatest All-Encompassing Praise, the One praising Itself through all manifest Being.

O great day of Truth and Happiness for all beings!

O Love!

Ya Hazreti Fatima al Kubra, aleyhi salam! Ya Hazreti Ali Amir al Muminin, aleyhi salam! Ya Hazreti Pir Nureddin Jerrahi, Ya Amina Tasleema al Jerrahi, Ya Hazreti Muzaffer Ashki al Jerrahi, Y Hazreti Nur al Anwar al Jerrahi, may Allah's loving Mercy encompass you all! Ya Ummeti Muhammad! Alhamdulillah!

Ya Imam Huseyn and Martyrs of Karbala, please intercede for us that we may be this Love!

Ya Hu Allah!

The Month of Hajj

In the Name of Allah's Infinite Love

We are in the month of Hajj, when the outer pilgrimage to the holy shrines of Mecca and Medina and the Mount of Arafat began. Over 2 million pilgrims will gather to perform the Hajj during the first ten days, seeking to follow the way of the enlightened Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and to fulfill the 5th pillar of Islam.

The life of the noble Muhammad, aleyhi salam, was an affirmation and continuation of the way of all the Prophets preceding him, the way of submission to Divine Reality and complete acceptance of a life of exile. The Prophet himself has said, "Live in the world as a stranger" - because the world is a stranger to us. Her divine responsibility is to push us out, not to let us rest in her lap. She is like the mother in labor, we are the children, and the world of reality is our birth place. The world and the body are the same, both envelopes of the jewel which is our true self. The world and the body are both blessed places of exile because they are the places of passage, they hold the signs pointing to the Truth, and thru them we undergo the transformation which reveals our hearts.

Therefore, pilgrimage is a primordial principle of our human nature. Coming into existence from the state of hidden essentiality, coming into earthly bodies from the world of spirit, journeying from birth to death, journeying from dark to light and sleep to waking, from known to unknown are all a form of pilgrimage. The sacred pilgrimage begins when we realize that we are returning to Allah. Once this has dawned in our hearts, the next stage of the journey is the awareness that we are journeying from Allah to Allah, and within Allah eternally. Our Lord says to us through the Book of Light, Holy Quran, "I will take you on an endless journey of love from one place of beauty to another," and "You will witness the signs of light on the horizons and in your own hearts." Guided consciously by Allah, our life becomes a ceaseless journey of witnessing, an outpouring of Allah's revelation into our hearts, a travel which happens through the unfolding of the petals of the divine Heart.

O Dervish
Dare to make the true Hajj
Dare to fully enter your humanity with all humanity
Dare to go on the pilgrimage of love, taking only love and trust in Allah as
your provision
Dare to drink the life-giving sap of zam zam from your essence
Dare to whirl around the Kaba of divinity in your heart
Dare to stand on the Mount Arafat of your being and pray for all being
Dare to descend from what you know into unknowing
Dare to enter the black core of your essence
Dare to let go of your attributes and dive into colorlessness
Dare to meet Allah on the prayer carpet of nearness and prostration,
completely open and naked
Dare to give your heart to love's devouring
Dare to die again and again
Dare to live with no ground to stand on, no mind to speak, no place to hide
Dare to let only Hu live
This is true Hajj

May our Hajj be true, may our Hajj be blessed

Fariha Fatima

The Hajj, the Pilgrimage, Fifth Pillar of Islam

In the Name of Allah's all-embracing Compassion and Love

The Hajj, the Pilgrimage, fifth pillar of Islam

Dear dervishes,

Once in our lifetime we are requested to undertake the sacred journey to the valley of Mecca for the sake of Allah, and thus follow the footsteps of the Prophets whose entire lives were only the sacred journey within Divine Reality. On this journey we experience the abandoning of family, home, possessions, name, and even life for the sake of Allah. We are invited to stand naked of identity and offer to our Lord what has never belonged to us, ourself; we are moved to realize that our life is not our own to live in whatever way we desire, seeking our own goals; we are opened to see that our salvation is in the guidance granted to us through the holy rivers of revelation; we are inspired to desire right guidance, the way to deeper and deeper levels of Allah's Pleasure, more than anything else in the world, and we pledge ourselves to our Source with all our being. We taste the sweetness of submission and the power of fana, complete annihilation in Allah. Standing at Arafat with heart empty of all but Allah is the essence of Hajj. The model of Hajj is essentially the life of every Prophet, and for each there is also an experience of a deeper hajj, an exile, or journey toward Allah, for exile from the world is the coming close to Allah. In the life of Adam and Eve it was the departure from the Garden and the 'falling' to earth. At this time the Kaba also descended to earth through Allah's mercy, as a luminous white structure, an extension of the heavenly house of devotion called Bayt al Mamur where angels are constantly circumambulating and worshipping Allah. Therefore when earth became the dwelling for our first parents, it was crowned with the holy temple, and it is said that they circumambulated it, chanting praises, as part of their worship. Thus whirling and praising are essential worship.

At the time of their descent, Adam and Eve had lost each other, and where they met on earth for the first time was the mountain at Arafat, the Mount of Mercy, Jabal Rahma. The main elements of the Hajj were thus in place on earth, and Adam and Eve were the first hajjis. Their journey was the quest for divine love, ashk, which they could not experience in their paradise state according to Sheykh Muzaffer. For Hazreti Noah the hajj was the journey through the flood in the ark with the ones chosen to begin a new life. For noble Abraham it was the departure from his father's kingdom, and then the leaving of Hagar and Ishamel in the desert according to the divine command, and then the journey to sacrifice Ishmael, or according to Judaic tradition, Isaac. For Hagar it was the experience of being left alone in the desert with her son. The Hajj today, as transmitted by our noble Prophet Muhammad, may Allah exalt his station, is based on the sacred experience of blessed Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael, may divine peace be upon them always. Hagar, Hajja in arabic, even bears the name of this exalted state of journeying. Her quest, as one of the mothers of the faithful, was to invoke Allah's overflowing mercy for humanity. In her seeking help for herself and her son, through her ardent prayers and her running back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwa, she was drawing out the deepest springs of mercy and nourishment for human beings, and this manifested overtly in the form of the Zam Zam water, which sprang up under the blessed foot of Ishmael, the forbearer of the prophet Muhammad. Years later, Abraham returned to the desert valley where he had left his son and Hagar, and together with Ishmael he rebuilt the Ka'aba which had fallen into ruin. After it was completed, the prayers of Abraham opened the way for all future pilgrims to the holy temple. In the powerful words of Holy Koran, "My Lord, make this a land of peace and security, and feed its people with the fruits of divine illumination, those of them who believe in Allah and in eternal life." The land he referred to was both the sacred valley of Mecca and the land of the heart that is inhabited by Allah alone. Blessed Abraham also prayed for the coming of Muhammad within this sacred valley.

The culminating Hajj was that of our blessed Prophet Muhammad, may Allah's peace and special favor always flow through him. His departure from Mecca, through Allah's command, marked the beginning of the full Muslim community in Medina. His return to Mecca ten years later marked the completion of the religion and established the full Hajj. Everything the hajji does today was offered by him. As he mounted his camel, dressed in the pilgrims cloth, and entered the holy precincts surrounding Mecca, he offered for the first time the prayer, "Labayk Allahume Labayk. Labbayk la sharike laka labayk. Inal hamda wa ni'mata, laka wal mulk. La sharike lak." "Here I am O Allah, here I am, empty and naked before You. And there is none other than You to claim existence. Here I am before You O Source and Reality of my being. All praise belongs only to You and flows to You alone. All blessings and favors come from You alone. Upon You alone rests the entire creation. There is none alongside You to claim dominion or reality." This prayer has become the pigrims' dhikr. On the following day, as he first came into view of the holy Kaba, upon which he had not set eyes since he left Mecca nine years before, he cried out 'Allahu Akbar'. He then offered the following prayer which is reminiscent of the prayer for peace of beloved Abraham. "O Allah, You are peace and the boundless Source of peace, and to you returns all peace. Our Lord, let us live our lives in peace, and draw us back into the garden of eternal peace. O Lord, blessed are You and exalted, O Owner of Glory and Generosity. O Allah, increase Your house in honor and dignity, and increase it more with the Hajj and Umra."

On the day of Arafat, we stand together in the afternoon, and offer the prayer of Labayk, connected in heart to all the pilgrims standing at Arafat. The holiness of this day is increased through it being the passing day of our Pir, Hazreti Nureddin Jerrahi, who left this realm for the realm of Beauty in the night after the day of Arafat, the eve of the Feast in the Islamic year 1133. For three consecutive years prior to his passing he miraculously transported his dervishes from Istanbul to the plain of Arafat to join the pilgrims. Therefore we have this as a gift of our Pir, and as we stand together on this day and pray through his name, we are also brought on the holy journey.

It was also at Arafat, in his sublime Hajj, that the final revelation descended to the Prophet Muhammad, may the Divine peace and favor always shower upon him, indicating that the outer stream of revelation was now sealed. In his sermon, called the Farewell Sermon, addressed to the hundred thousand pilgrims gathered with him around the Mount of Mercy at Arafat, he abolished the practice of taking interest on loans, he abolished the blood feud, he established the rights of women, he proclaimed that all Muslims were brothers and sisters to each other, and he pointed to the Koran as the guidance which he left to his followers. He then asked his people whether he had delivered Allah's message and had been a good counsellor to them. All of the pilgrims cried out resoundingly yes. Then he cried out three times, "O Lord be my witness, O Lord be my witness, O Lord be my witness." The revelation descended, "Today I have perfected your religion for you, and completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you the sublime and simple way of submission to Me alone." A few months later the soul of the glorious Prophet Muhammad, may Allah always increase him and his community in peace, was taken to the realm of beauty while he lay with his head in the lap of beloved Aisha. In regard for his exalted being, he was asked whether he wanted to remain in this world or leave for the next. Our mother Aisha heard his tender lips form the words, "With the companions on high." And at moment his soul left his blessed body.

May Allah accept our prayers and bless all of humanity with the inner hajj of the heart, the true hajj.

Fariha Fatima

The Great Full Moon Nights of the 13, 14, and 15 of Shaban

Dearest lovers of Truth

May Allah most Near embrace you in thousandfold love

The great full moon nights of the 13, 14, and 15 of Shaban are here, this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night.

Blessed Sheyk Muzaffer in Irshad, conveys the words of the Prophet Muhammad, may the divine splendor radiate from him always, regarding these nights. It was on the 13th night of Shaban that the angel Gabriel came to our Prophet from Allah most High, requesting him to rise in order to keep vigil and pray for the intercession of his cherished community. On this night Divine Mercy is outpouring and his prayers would be answered. So he rose and prayed throughout the night. At dawn the noble Gabriel came to inform him that he was granted one third of his community. He wept as he sought to find out the state of the rest. Gabriel, may divine peace be upon him, said that he could not answer him. The following night, the angel again appeared to him and told him to rise and pray as Allah's Mercy was overflowing. His tender heart, full of the love for his community, pleaded with his Lord for the guidance and enlightenment of humanity. At dawn, Gabriel returned to inform him that another third of his community was accepted into the Divine Pleasure. Still the heart of the Prophet was not content. On the third night, the 15th of Shaban, Gabriel appeared to him and said "Arise O Messenger of Allah! This is the night of Absolution, of complete forgiveness and mercy for all beings. Pray for your community." The Prophet of love entered the state of intimate communion and begged ardently from the Lord of love for the forgiveness and guidance of humanity. At dawn the blessed messenger angel reappeared and gave him the overwhelming news of Allah's great pleasure. All of his community was granted to him. He was then asked to gaze into the heavens and there he witnessed the astounding vision of all angelic beings in the seven heavens giving the good news to humanity and to those who offered either zikrullah or salat or prayer or contemplation or tears of love or recitation of Koran on this night. Thereupon Muhammad, may Allah's divine pleasure and peace shower eternally upon him, returned to his community and urged them always to pray and remember Allah on this special night. He who is the truthful tells us who are his community that Allah will surely forgive us and answer our prayers on this night. We have only to turn and to ask. This is one of the nights of power, so let us be awake in it. Let us be present in our heart. Let us offer whatever we are able to offer to Allah on this night. Traditionally the community is led in 100 rakats of salat, with one fatiha and one short sura or ayat in each standing portion. One could even break up the 100 into two or three portions so that one can rest for a moment or refresh oneself with water or tea. It is possible to offer fewer rakats, such as twenty or forty. Also on this night the wird would be a blessing, either the evening or morning one. Or one could offer a seated zikr with more tasbih. One could read from the Heart of Koran. All sincere offerings are pleasing to Allah. It is also common to fast on either the day before or the day after the 15th.

In our prayers tonight let us ask Allah the Generous for what the Prophet asked, for all beings. May we follow in his magnificent way of sublime generosity, pristine consiousness, and intimate union.

O Allah Who is Love please open the gates of Your awesome Mercy for us and for the family of creation tonight. Answer our prayers as You answered the prayers of Your beloved. Make us also Your beloveds. Please give all of us the worship that You desire. And please grant humanity the blessed destiny to realize itself completely in Your mystic Essence and beautiful Names. Grant humanity to know itself as the khalifatullah, Your own secret treasure. May humanity be completely released from the anxiety of illusion in which it sees itself as separate from You and which leads it into negativity. We ask this in Your greatest Name and for the sake of Muhammad through whom You answer all supplication, may You fill him with Your divine pleasure, and shower your peace upon all of his noble family and companions throughout time.

May you have the most blessed Night of Mercy.

Shayka Fariha