When we try to learn
a new skill or try to gain knowledge about a specific subject, we follow a
guideline or a system, which demands that we pay attention to the subject to
fully understand it. Our mind becomes curious to know the where, how and what
of it. When we pay attention to the minor details, that minor point itself
gains value. However, when we ignore the most important part and do not pay
any cognitive attention to it then even that major point loses its value and
importance. Through contemplation we gain knowledge about any object and the
deeper that knowledge, the more we learn about that object and its qualities.
meditation) is the name of that contemplation through which man is able
to gain the knowledge which is the primordial knowledge of his Ego, Self, or
Soul. After gaining that knowledge, any man can gain access to his Ego or
It appears that the
person performing Muraqba (Sufi meditation) is simply sitting in a pose with
his or her eyes closed. However, merely shutting the eyes and assuming a
specific pose does not serve the purpose. Muraqba (Sufi meditation) is in fact
an angle of perception through which the person doing the Muraqba (Sufi
meditation) frees him or herself from outward senses and begins their journey
in the inward senses.
Now we are going to
look into whether or not the Muraqba (Sufi meditation)-like conditions or
states exist in us, without adopting the specific pose of Muraqba (Sufi
Freedom from outward
senses happens in our daily life, both involuntarily and voluntarily. For
example, we go to sleep and while sleeping our brain disconnects from outward
senses. It is true that this disconnection is temporary however; this
condition could not be termed as anything but disconnection from outward
senses. Hence, we can say that Muraqba (Sufi meditation) is in fact a way of
imposing a state of sleeping without going to sleep.
Every human being,
from the time of birth to death spends life in two states. In other words, in
the human mind there are two types of conditions that prevail every moment of
our life. One of these conditions or state is wakening and the other sleeping
or dreaming. In the wakening state, they are trapped in Time and Space while
during dreaming they are free from the confines of spatiotemporal limitations.
This freedom of Time and Space is sought through Muraqba (Sufi meditation) by
converting the state of sleeping or dreaming into an awakened state. Because
during Muraqba (Sufi meditation), a person goes through the same conditions
that he or she goes through while sleeping or dreaming.
The notion that
dreams are nothing but thoughts is not correct. In all scriptures including
the Quran (Koran), dreams have been mentioned. The dreams that were mentioned
in the Quran show that the realm of dream is free from the restrictions
imposed by Time and Space. When a person tries to impose the state of dreaming
through Muraqba (Sufi meditation), they free themselves from that
spatiotemporal boundaries and they journey through the realm of dream the way
they travel while fully wake. All existing things need foundation; without it
they could not survive. This is not something that is hard to comprehend. For
example the foundation of a chair is its legs. A house remains erect only when
inside the earth its foundation is laid. Similarly, we can only learn a
subject or a branch of knowledge when we know its basics. These basics (or
formulas) are considered as the foundation of any branch of knowledge. God has
revealed it in the Quran,
Allah is the Light of
the heavens and earth.
In this Universe,
there are several worlds and galaxies. The Essence and Reality of God is
something only God knows or those with whom He has shared His Secrets. How
much of this information God has shared with His chosen servants is not our
concern. However, we do know that God created this entire universe for us
humans. It is stated on several occasions in the Quran that the foundation of
this universe is the Light (nur) of God. Based on this fact it is
imperative that Man and all of his abilities be centred on one foundation.
It is our daily
observation that not all of our actions, motions, whims, thoughts,
imaginations, and feelings are dependent on the body of bones and flesh.
Because when the Spirit disconnects its link with the physical body then this
body of bones and flesh is unable to act on its own. As long as the Spirit is
attached with the body, all the needs, and functions necessary for life are
present. In other words, Spirit (ruh) is the foundation of the body.
The Quran tells us
that a limited knowledge of the Spirit is given to us. Nevertheless even this
limited knowledge is still knowledge. What we are trying to emphasize is that
what we consider Man is a body of bones and flesh, though that Man is nothing
but fiction. The real Man is the one that protects that skeleton of flesh and
keeps it in motion, which the Quran calls ruh (Spirit). This ruh,
in order to fulfill the needs of life uses a medium. We call this medium,
chromosomes. In the Quran, God has said that, We poured Our ruh in him
(Adam). In other words, ruh created a medium and after that gave him
the senses. ruh is in fact a component of the Divine and in it all the
knowledge of Divine Discretions and Attributes are present, which God so
Willed. Just how this knowledge was acquired by the component, is a Divine
Mystery, which could never be explained.
There are eleven
thousand generators (latifa, plural lataif) at work inside the
Man. According to Sufism, there are eleven thousand Divine Names as well.
Every Divine Name is an Attribute and every Divine Attribute is knowledge (ilm).
This knowledge further expands into more and more spheres to become a
manifestation of the Divine Attributes.
To enter the unseen
world (al-ghayb) or to behold anything beyond Time and Space, we have
to first free ourselves from the clutches of spatiotemporal restrictions. This
is only possible when the vision that sees Time and Space frees itself from
its boundaries. To activate that vision, certain exercises have been created
through which even if the human mind is not totally free at least it is able
to come close to it.
Now the next question
is to how and when the human senses could be freed from that restriction. One
example is the state of dreaming. Sleeping actually is getting freedom from
the diurnal senses, which are Time and Space. When we go to sleep then our
senses are transferred to a realm where the state of Time and Space do exist
but not in the chronological order in which we spend our life. The Second way
is that while wake human mind could focus on any object with full
concentration. For example when we read an interesting book, we often lost
track of the time. When we finally look at our watch, we then realized that so
much time had elapsed, though we were not aware of it.
In the Quran, the
event of Moses receiving the Torah is mentioned in the following verse,
And We promised Moses
thirty nights and fulfilled it in forty nights.
Day and night are
mentioned in Quran in the following verses,
And We enter night
into the day and let the day enter into the night.
We take the night out
of the day and take the day out of the night.
We cover the day onto
night and night into the day
When we contemplate
these verses of Quran, we realized that day and night are in fact two senses.
In other words, our life is divided into two senses. One of the senses is day
the other one is night. During the day senses (diurnal senses) restricted with
Time and Space while during night senses (nocturnal senses) we are free from
The Divine Statement
that We promised Moses thirty nights and fulfilled it in forty nights is
interesting. Because Moses did not simply spend forty nights there, his entire
stay was forty days and forty nights. It was not that he was spending the
nights at the place and coming back during the day. He did spend his entire
stay at the Mount. Interestingly God did not mention days in the verse instead
mentions only night. It clearly suggests that during those forty days and
forty nights, Moses was under the influence of nocturnal senses. The same
nocturnal senses, which free us from the restrictions of Time and Space.
Hence, anyone who
would impose the nocturnal senses during the period of day and night on
themselves would be free from the confinement of Time and Space. This freedom
from spatiotemporal restriction is the way to exploring the unseen realm and
getting intuitive information.
During a battle, an
arrow injured Amirul Momineen Ali Ibn-e Abi Talib. It had entered his thigh
and the pain was excruciating. The surgeons could not operate on it. Because
of extreme pain he would not let them even touch it. One of his companions
suggested to surgeons that they wait until Imam Ali began his prayer. When
Imam Ali began his prayer, the surgeons were able to operate on him without
him showing any sign of pain. By the time he was done with his prayers, Imam
Ali realized that the surgeon had already performed the surgery and the wound
had already been stitched. This event is another example of the negation of
Time and Space. When Imam Ali started his prayers, his senses went from
diurnal state into nocturnal state. The moment his mind entered the nocturnal
senses his focus was shifted away from the diurnal senses (restriction and
pain). The foundation of Spirituality is based on the reality that Man has two
senses, two brains, and two lives. Just like the two sides of a coin, it has
two sides. One life is restricted; the other one is free. Constrained life is
day, wakefulness, and consciousness. On the other hand, free life is the name
of night, joy, peace and the contentment of the heart.
To gain that life the
easiest method in Spirituality is Muraqba (Sufi meditation). Muraqba (Sufi
meditation) is in fact the name of an exercise, effort and the angle of
perception. Through it, anyone can enter the nocturnal senses while keeping
the diurnal senses active as well.