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Muraqaba and Religion
Author :Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi
Short URL: http://iseek.online/?p=12946
Members of the religious establishment often declare Muraqaba (meditation) to be something outside of religion. They also claim that it could not be found in Scriptures. This whole argument may impress someone with marginal a mind, but when we look at this matter with wisdom and depth, the earlier notion simply melts away. When we look into the teachings of Scriptures including the Qur’an (Koran), we find that their main message is for us to contemplate.
Contemplation means to explore with all the mental capabilities the numerous signs scattered all over the Universe. The second main institution of religion is prayer (salat). Salat is a very broad term, which literally means to form a connection. Here it means that through contemplation a person is able to form a connection with the Divine. Contemplation is Muraqaba.
Muraqaba could not be limited to a specific pose because Muraqaba in essence is a mental activity or state. The system of rules and regulation put forth by religion has room for both outward and inward inspirations. Every pillar and activity has its outward (zahir) form as well as an inward (batin) or meaningful state. Both sides are equally important.
Through obligatory religious acts the most desired inward state is the station of ihsaan (higher awareness). The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has defined ihsaan in these words:
“When you perform salat, do it in such a way as if you were beholding God or that He were watching you.”
Through the inward state (contemplation) of religion when someone achieves that higher level of God-awareness (ihsaan), he or she is then able to gain gnosis of God.
During the time of the Prophet Muhammad, the faithful had his glorious company. The spirits of his companions were enlightened with his love. Most of their time was spent in the contemplation on his personality and essence. They were always busy finding the wisdom through his words and actions. Because of this focused life, they were able to gain the spiritual awareness. Moreover because of his company they had involuntarily gained the cognitive and intuitive angle of perception without much effort.
After his physical demise, the source of guidance was removed from the outward sight. Gradually the inward (batin) side of religion lost the prominence it had once enjoyed. Islam then turned into a collection of outward rituals and traditions. Ahlul Bayt and later Sufi saints then tried to popularize the inner mode of religion and created a system (silila; Sufi orders) through which gaining that awareness was made possible. Its purpose was to combine dhikr (remembrance) with fikr (contemplation). The practical form of fikr was then labeled as Muraqaba, which means to think or to focus on a given object.
See this article in printed book on the pages (or page): 42 to 43
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