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Archived Excerpts

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Archived Excerpts

 

September 30, 2001

"Life is full and you contain all of it, in a meaningful form, in your very breast. That is the meaning of the tradition related to the Prophet from Allah that 'The heavens and the earth do not contain Me, but the heart of a trusting believer contains Me.' In other words, a believer has in his heart the sub-genetically encoded seed of the meaning of the entire creation."

From "Living Islam – The Path of Unity" by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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October 7, 2001

Islam – submission – is easy. Witnessing and affirming that there is only One God is a reality accessible to everyone. This truth is encapsulated in the first phrase of the Muslim creed: 'I witness that there is no god but God.' The translation of the complementary second half of this testimony of belief, that 'Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah', is harder to decode. This is because through time its misapplication has clouded over its transformational dynamism.

From The Elements of Islam by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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October 14, 2001

In our traditions, simply asking for the knowledge of the Essence will get us nowhere. We have to seek the knowledge of God's attributes, of God's actions, of God's laws, so that we may guard against transgressing them in this world. Guarding against falling prey to the pitfalls of following our own whims will protect us from the reaction born of wrong action which we call punishment. Punishment is part of the love of Reality for us. The entire creation is based on love. The pain we occasionally feel is because the balance has been disturbed due to our ignorance, because we do not know how to unite our expectations and desires with God's decrees and absolute laws. We are bound to adjust to them, and that is the meaning of slavehood. We are enslaved to that truth, whether we like it or not. The sooner we submit to it – and this is the true meaning of Islam – the sooner we will come to know from our hearts where to stop and where not to venture. If we make a mistake, then we have acted upon a desire or whim.

The purification of the heart occurs degree by degree, and the way to this purification is by going against one's own personal selfish motives, desires, expectations, and so on. This is called the struggle of the self, al-jihad an-nafs. Maintaining this jihad constantly, and keeping diligently to the shari'ah (the body of Islamic law) as it has come to us, one eventually ends up being the free man who is a true slave. If you are a slave, you have no choice. If you have no choice, you are free. Choice is confusion. Enslavement is fusion. There is no other way to this purification.

From In Pursuit of True Knowledge
from
"Living Islam - East & West"
by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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October 21, 2001

The practice of pilgrimage has roots in the notion of inherent sacredness, which accounts for the universality of pilgrimage. Sanctity attaches to specific places in consequence of something decisive having happened there, for example, the Buddha Gaya near Benares in India, scene of Gautama’s enlightenment; Jerusalem (meaning the city of peace), the scene of Jesus’ alleged resurrection; and Canterbury where the archbishop Thomas was martyred. Any site of martyrdom (mashhad: martyrium) attracts pilgrims in its own right; witness the way pilgrims gravitate towards the scene of Hamza’s (the Prophet’s uncle) martyrdom at Uhud, or the city of Karbala which grew as a result of Imam Husayn being buried after he was martyred there.

From The Pilgrimage of Islam – Encompassing the Five Schools of Law

 by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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October 28, 2001

"The purpose of outer disturbance or affliction is to draw one closer to and make one more dependant on Allah alone, and thereby to increase one's knowledge. In a sense, Allah is most exclusive. He does not want man, even occasionally, to think that he is depending upon anybody else. Yet it is courteous to thank the person who is the vehicle or means of help. This is the true inner meaning of the din, the life-transaction, as it is called in the Qur`an."

by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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November 4, 2001

The human self (Nafs) resembles a hologram, which can reflect and reproduce ever-changing states and attributes. The range covers the lowest qualities to the highest Divine attributes. The Nafs can behave in the meanest and in contrast the most generous of ways. Fearful or courageous, patient or impulsive, stupid or wise, agitated or peaceful, ignorant or illuminated.

 From Ripples of Light

by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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November 11, 2001

Who is the Realized Being?

The fully realized being is the one who has returned to the source of one's origin, the pure state of divine unity. It is the original, adamic state, for Adam was originally in the pure and unified state in the Garden of bliss. He was given everything and had no whims, thoughts, or desires, manifesting only inspired and divinely guided continuous submission. He was in the realm of pure consciousness, the realm of joy and contentment.

Then a voice arose, a wave on the adamic consciousness of being, a whisper that cut through the state of pure submission. A different moment came about – the realm of our own existence based on opposite forces and energies. So Adam descended from the unified field into a realm of duality, a realm based on opposites where both right and wrong could be experienced. It is of course in this realm that the faculty of discrimination develops.

Adam was placed in this worldly condition in order to evolve in discrimination by being tested, so that he could develop towards a state of perfection equilibrium and contentment based on knowledge, differentiation and on a primal experience, for he was originally conceived in the Garden of absolute bliss.

Mankind, in essence, originated by command from the realm of divine unity, and has been placed in this realm of duality so that in every situation, he must discriminate between the two thresholds of good and evil. By this he may emerge, awakened from duality, and return to his original state.

From The Journey of the Self

by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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November 18, 2001

Nothing in existence takes place unless there is a reason behind it. Our scientific endeavors and technical achievements have all progressed because of the search for cause and effect, building up the information base for what is now our contemporary, modern society, with its far-reaching programs probing further into outer rather than inner space. Whatever we pursue in our intellectual life, using our brain capacity, is based on a sharable pattern that we can understand within the context of a language or culture. Whenever we are shocked, disappointed, afraid, or uncertain, it is because a discontinuity has taken place in our thought pattern. If someone suddenly begins speaking in a language one cannot understand, there will be an immediate freeze in the communication. So discontinuity is what we do not accept or like, by our innate nature.

From INNER MEANINGS OF THE QUR`AN
from 'Living Islam - East & West
by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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November 25, 2001

The month of Ramadan is a most difficult and the most easy and the most glorious month for the Muslims. Indeed, the Din of Islam is simply echoing all of that which were before it. The Din of Islam did not begin with the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) it ended, it was completed. All the prophets, all the messengers were prophets of Islam. They had to submit to the fact that we are here in order to leave, they had to submit to the fact that we are ignorant and that we are seeking knowledge. They had to submit to the fact that we are uncertain and that we are seeking certainty. They had to submit to the fact that we are insecure, seeking security on a personal level as well as that of a society. We are all in submission to these realities. The only difference is that some of us by that submission and that auba we get more and more tuned to the presence of eternal light and therefore we begin transformation rather than information. We all begin wanting to be informed but we all want to end up being transformed in the knowledge that Allah is in charge, that the glorious Lord and the Creator…… He has never neglected anything in existence because Allah’s permeates everything in existence known and unknown. Allah gives us constant opportunities for us to rediscover. Allah tells us in the Qur`an that he has created us all from one self and therefore equally in the eyes of God. We are all the same in the eye of Allah’s except according to our degree of abandonment according to our degree of detachment of less eagle, less of our animal self. More and more of the higher self which according to Allah’s is above the angels. We can be worse than the animals and we can be above the angels, this is the freedom we have.

From Eid Talk

by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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December 2, 2001

Ramadan Reflection

Behind all, is a constant One
His radiance pales the shinning sun

But we do not see Him through our veils
Our lower self's winds fill our sails

We spend our days chasing the shadow show
From hence life came we do not know

But soon death will knock at our door
And we will have to look some more

At where we have come and where are we going
And what our actions in this life are sowing

Is what we are doing leading to know Him?
Or are we following every passing whim?

To witness His names and attain true being
Requires awareness, the true art of seeing

It takes remembrance of the reality
For knowledge, light and solemnity

To lift the veils of the shadow show
To see things as they are and come to know

So take the mantle of doing without
And restrict the self and have no doubt

That from denial comes relief
To see the truth behind every leaf

For hidden within us is the universe
The Qur`an unveils it verse after verse

So rejoice it is Ramadan take to the fast!
For this month of barakat will not last

Soon the month of fasting will fly away
And all the habits that we have kept at bay
Will come forward to have their appetites display
Without restriction of the Ramadan day

But for all those of subtle light
Those whom have attained inner delight

Will make their fast last all the year
Making their lives so precious and dear

For they are the true ones that have found the treasure
That all life comes in a clear balance and measure

So seek His knowledge and turn away from the plight
To rejoice in the splendor of His eternal Light.

From Poems

by Hajj Mustafa Ali

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December 9, 2001

The Primal Pattern

Human beings are conditioned to:

Be healthy and well.

Seek and enjoy good food.

Seek comfort and ease.

Seek a clear and healthy mind.

To know what is needed and not to be kept in ignorance.

Have good relationships.

Give and receive love.

To be secure emotionally and materially.

To be content with the moment.

To be balanced between the opposites of: 

Action and rest.

Challenge and idleness.

Giving and taking.

Outer action and inner peace.

Once the mapping of the self, heart and Ruh is read,
then a self imposed discipline will come about.
The seeker wants the Ruh to illuminate his actions,
this desire is the ultimate root of moral and ethical character.

From Ripples of Light

by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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December 16, 2001

I thank Allah for His infinite mercies upon us. That mercies that are visible and the mercies which are invisible. The ultimate mercy of having created us in order to discover the reality behind all known and unknown realities. Allah and His eternal light. I tank Allah for enabling us to gather today to celebrate and rejoice for what is called Eid. Eid in Arabic is from the word that leads to the meaning of returning. ……
So that we return back and back to rejoice, and for us to celebrate and glorify Allah, and give gratitude that we have been glorified as human beings, so that we discover the world of the seen allowing the world of the unseen to impinge upon us and leading us into the next phase of life.

From Eid Talk

by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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December 23, 2001

Once ten learned men approached 'Ali and said, "We seek your permission for our putting a question to you.".

'Ali replied, "You are at perfect liberty."

They said, "Of knowledge and wealth which is better and why? Please give a separate answer to each of us."

'Ali gave the following ten answers:

  1. Knowledge is the legacy of the prophets. Wealth is the inheritance of the Pharaohs. Therefore knowledge is better than wealth.

  2. You are to guard your wealth but knowledge guards you. So knowledge is better.

  3. A man of wealth has many enemies while a man of knowledge has many friends. Hence knowledge is better.

  4. Knowledge is better because it increases with distribution. While wealth decreases by that act.

  5. Knowledge is better because a learned man is apt to be generous while a wealthy person is apt to be miserly.

  6. Knowledge is better because it cannot be stolen while wealth can be stolen.

  7. Knowledge is better because time cannot harm knowledge. But wealth rusts in course of time and wears away.

  8. Knowledge is better because it is boundless while wealth is limited and you can keep account of it.

  9. Knowledge is better because it illuminates the mind while wealth is apt to blacken it.

  10. Knowledge is better because knowledge induced the humanity in our Prophet to say to God, "We worship Thee as we are Your servant," while wealth engendered in Pharaoh and Nimrod the vanity which made them claim godhead.

From the Nuradeen Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 4, July 1981

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December 30, 2001

(c) Contention and (d) Quarrelsomeness. Contention and quarrelsomeness are both based on discord and disharmony, and are therefore aspects of ignorance. These two vices cause intimacy and friendship to disappear, producing instead repulsion, separation, dislike, hostility and ultimately destruction and breakdown, for the entire world and its functions and the universe itself depend on familiarity, love, harmony and unity.

Quarrelsomeness is among those basic corruptions that disrupt the order of the universe. As such, it is one of the most abhorred and destructive of vices. Engaging in contention or quarrelsomeness is to preserve one's own position while attacking another's. It is essentially destructive and negative.

The manner of resolving a dispute is as important as the reason for it. Quarrelsomeness only brings about greater anger, which in turn casts veil upon veil over ignorance. Instead of illuminating the heart of the matter, the darkness of ignorance is reinforced. It must therefore be stopped. The remedy is to bite one's tongue. Simply not to reply. Silence.

The treatment requires awareness and insight. The remedy can occur if one does not cling to a fixed image of oneself and one's position and reputation. Once a person sees that what one is doing is causing greater discord and dispersion, then the process of reduction and of an eventual end to one's pugnacious ways may occur. With that realization, one will only respond if it is of help or positive benefit to another, and if it upholds justice. This positive response will neutralize the contention, whereupon clarity will prevail and all will benefit.

From The Journey of the Self by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

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