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Attention to God
Author :Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi
Short URL: http://iseek.online/?p=12939
On one occasion when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) finished his Muraqaba at the cave of Hira, he was given a commandment:
“O’ who covers with clothes! Spend thy night in vigil but a small portion, meaning the half night or even smaller portion. Or increased slightly from half and recite the Qur’an (Koran) very clearly. We are going to descend a heavy order on thee.”
During the hours of night when the outward senses get groggy and the inner senses are activated, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to keep night vigil. Because of long hours of standing, his feet would get swollen.
With increased mental concentration and physical awakening, this vigil made the strong link even greater, which he had with the unseen world and God. The higher his concentration went, the more he received the observation of the unseen realm and his spiritual growth.
He received another commandment:
“Sever from the rest and focus on Ilim, the Lord of the East and of the West.”
In Sufism, this attempt in which all mental aptitudes are turned toward God is known as Muraqaba of the Divine Essence (al-dhat). In the Qur’an (Koran) it is stated on several occasions that to create a connection with the Divine, is the sole objective behind all the prayers and exercises, whether it is salat, fasting, zakat (charity) or hajj (pilgrimage), dhikr (remembrance of God) or any other form of prayer.
Imam Ali ibn abi Talib has said:
“The foremost in religion is the Gnosis (maโarifa) of Him, the perfection of Gnosis is to testify (shahada) of Him, the perfection of testifying of Him is to believe in His Unity (tawheed), the perfection of believing in His Unity is to regard Him pure. He is a Being but not through the phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is away from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is Single, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in their absence.”
[Nahjul Balagha: Sermon 1]
“These are the people whom the trade and business of worldly life could not distract them in their remembrance (dhikr) of God.”
Religion has established the structure of prayers by keeping in mind the physical and spiritual needs of humans. Connection with the Divine, dhikr, imagining His omnipresence, establishing salat, imagining God as the sole existence through self-negation, fasting, detachment (istaghna), these are all the media through which the mental focus is established on one point and that point is the Essence (dhat) of God, who is the Ultimate Reality (haqiqat kubra) of this Universe.
In order to have this focus on God and to purify the heart, religion has established the obligatory system of prayers. In addition to that a person may add more non-obligatory (nafil) prayers depending on conditions and ability. The night vigils, dhikr, recitation of the Qur’an (Koran), non-obligatory fasting are used for this purpose. The cognition (fikr) is evident in all the prayers and activities. When attempts to achieve cognition are activated, and strengthened then the evil thoughts weaken, and the focus on God deepens. When someone achieves this ecstasy during prayers, the real benefits of prayers are gained.
See this article in printed book on the pages (or page): 51 to 52
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