Articles & Newsletters

Islam & Sufism

Articles & Newsletters



Sajdah - Prostration

Closeness to Allah is by sajdah, by prostration, which is the outer proof of inner abandonment. Outer prostration is the manifestation of an inner state; if it is not, it becomes an empty ritual. Sajada, the root of sajdah, also means “to obey,” meaning to obey the purpose of existence. The purpose of existence is merciful and benign.

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The Meaning of the Remembrance of Allah (Dhikru'llah)

The Arabic word for remembrance is dhikr. Remembrance is of several types or levels. There is the remembrance of physical things, which are in front of us, and there is the remembrance of one's desires, anxieties, and so on. Along the spiritual path, remembrance relates to that which is in one's innate nature. It is the remembrance of the Essence of Allah the Almighty, of the Source of all manifestations and attributes. That source is within everybody. On the Sufi path, one is required to dis-remember everything else that is discernible, everything that is other than Allah, in order to return to the original remembrance. The Arabic word for remembrance of Allah is dhikru'llah.

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Every Drama Is Self-Created

Ṣadr (plural ṣudūr) is the chest or breast, that part of one which faces what confronts one. It is where the battles and dramas take place. It must be remembered that every drama is self-created. Every imaginable human role stirs in the breast of man: the king, the despot, the afflicted, the jealous, the strong, the doubter, and the complainer. We have to take refuge from these, take refuge in the Lord Whose mercy brings us to the recognition that everything which occurs, visible and invisible, occurs according to a just system, according to perfect laws which govern this passage, this journey through the creation.

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The Meaning of the Black Stone of Ka'bah

We live in duality, and we seek to neutralize, but how do we neutralize? We neutralize our nafs by remaining silent, genuinely and positively. In that silence we have direct knowledge of the meaning of the Black Stone which is set into the corner of the Ka‘bah in Mecca. Few Muslims know the meaning of the Black Stone, even though they perform the rite of circling it and kissing it during the Ḥajj (pilgrimage) every year. Black contains all the colors — it symbolizes death, from which comes life. Life cannot be understood unless one is willing to die.

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