Articles & Newsletters

Islam & Sufism

Articles & Newsletters



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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Presence, Disappearance and Urgency

We must ask ourselves what is the journey we are taking? He is already there. We have been deflected. We are looking elsewhere. Stop looking elsewhere. Be present. Do your sajdah properly. Disappear into His light and you will be overflowing with the joy of His being present in your heart. Allah says in a divinely revealed tradition: 'My heavens and the earth cannot contain me, but the heart of him who has total faith and trust contains me.' We must take responsibility. We must have urgency. This moment may never return. The companions we have, our friends, the jama'ah we love or the place we have been learning from may not be there later. Other events may take over. So live the moment urgently and ask Allah's constant ghufran and His constant generosity of karam and jud to cover us.

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