O Allah! Confer for ever Your best blessings and ever increasing and never ending favours and Your Purest and Gracious boons on him who is exalted in the realm of the realities of the nature of humans and jinns, and is fully aware of all subtleties of faith, and is the Mount Sinai recieving Divine Illuminations and the place on which descend the mysteries of the All-Beneficent and who is a bridegroom in the Kingdom of the Lord, the centrally placed jewel in the chain of prophets, the first and the foremost in the front line of the army of Messengers, the leader of the caravan of the saints and the truthful, the most graceful of all creation, the bearer of the highest flag of honour, the owner of the keys to the shining gallery, the beholder of the secrets of eternity, the beholder of the pristine glow of Primal Light, the interpreter of the Divine Language, fountain-spring of knowledge, tolerance and wisdom, the manifestation of the existence of the secrets of the whole and its parts, and the person who is the (cause of the) existence of (everything) above and below, the soul in the body of both the worlds (that keeps them alive), the fountain of life of this world and of the world to come, the one who knows the reality of the high rank of servitude of Allah and is created with the highest spiritual stations of morality, the foremost among the friends of Allah and His beloved, highly honoured; our master, our patron, our beloved, Muhammad, son of 'Abdullah, son of 'Abdul Muttalib, Allah's blessings on him, his family and companions, in the number which is in Your Knowledge (O Allah) and as many times as Your Words, whenever You are remembered and he is remembered by those who remember and whenever You are not remembered and he is not remembered by the negligent, and abundant, never ending, complete salutations on him.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Spiritual Ecstasy

The Prophet, may Allah grant blessings and peace upon him, says, 'The one who has not experienced ecstasy and thereby received the manifestation of divine wisdom and truth has not lived'.

Hadrat Junayd, may Allah be pleased with him, said, 'When ecstasy meets the divine manifestations inside one, one is either in a state of the highest joy or the deepest sorrow'.

There are two kinds of ecstasy: physical ecstasy and spiritual ecstasy. Physical ecstasy is a product of the ego. It does not give one any spiritual satisfaction. It is under the influence of the senses. Often it is hypocritical, occurring so that others see or hear about it. This kind of ecstasy is totally devoid of value because it is purposeful, it is willed: the one who experiences it still thinks that he can do, that he can choose. It is not good to give any importance to such experiences.

Spiritual ecstasy, however, is a totally different state, a state caused by the overflow of spiritual energy. Ordinarily, exterior influences—such as a beautifully recited poem, or the Qur'an chanted by a beautiful voice, or the excitement brought on by the ceremony of remembrance of the Sufis—may cause this spiritual elevation. This happens because at such moments the physical resistance of the being is obliterated. The will, the ability of the mind to choose and to decide, is overcome. When the powers of both the body and the mind are undermined, the ecstatic state is purely spiritual. To go along with that kind of experience is beneficial to one.

The influences which incite spiritual ecstasy are described in the words of the Prophet, may Allah grant blessings and peace upon him, 'The verses of the Qur'an, the wise and wondrous poems of love and sounds and voices of yearning illuminate the face of the soul'.

The Prophet, may Allah grant blessings and peace upon him, says, 'The one who has not experienced ecstasy does not have the taste of his religion'.

There are ten states of ecstasy. Some of these are apparent and their signs visible, and some are hidden and unobservable by others, like the inner consciousness and remembrance of Allah, or a silent reading of the Holy Qur'an. To shed tears, to have deep feeling of regret, fear of Allah's punishment, longing and sorrow, shame for one's moments of unconsciousness; when one grows pale, or the face flushes with excitement from states within and from events around one, burning with the yearning for Allah—these and all physical and spiritual anomalies caused by such things are signs of ecstasy.

- Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani
Sirr al-Asrār (Secret of Secrets)