THE WAY OF THE TRUE MUSLIM
But in the end we will find that it's only Prayerful Surrender, Deep Peace, Contentment and Satisfaction that heals all wounds. And that is the true definition of Islam. And Sufism (Arabic: Tasawwuf- Soul-cleansing, Self-purification) is the result of this True Surrender.
The word Islam means nothing less than "The True and Complete Surrender to the Manifest Will of the Divine Creator of us all". You can receive the fullest soul-cleansing and exalting benefit of Sufism (Tasawwuf - which means Soul purification - the root of all healing) only from the acceptance and practice of a pure Islam (True and Complete Surrender to the Manifest Will of the Divine Creator of us all).
Acceptance of Islam as a belief system means having a clear recognition that the faith and practices of Islam are in fact the revealed truth and way of humility and approach after Surrender. You may take your time to investigate this claim or simply accept it on my testimony. And that this faith and practice is in point of fact the latest and most complete of the prophetic revelations. And it is my testimony that the religion of Islam does in fact and truth support and confirm all that is right and true in the ways that have come before it, and it sets right, to the benefit of all, the fallacies, misconceptions and distortions in any and all of the truly spiritual ways of life. It is the positive and assertive way of true Unity, not merely "non-duality". It is only due to this fact that the sufis have claimed and proven their right to say that they are in love with the essence of ALL religions, and that their service is to help all seekers along their chosen path of study at the time.
This is the way of the true Muslim.
Testimony of your belief (in God) is the first of the
in the way of Surrender.
On remembering the Name.
It is not required that you refer to the Divine to Whom you are Surrendered as Allah, but you cannot reject that the Divine is referred to and refers to Himself by that Name in His revealed book (Holy Qur`an), and likes that that Name be used (read "The Switch"). Just try using it. This (that His Pleasure is upon and inherent in this Name) is the reason for the great enthusiasm that people have for the practice of "Dhikr" - Remembrance of the Divine Name. The same principle applies wherever the praises of the Divine are sung, in whatever language. In fact, it is said that all the heavens and earth vibrate in praise of the One who Creates, Sustains and Destroys - in Praise of the One is the Love of the Sufis and the Beloved of all lovers. Have you noticed?
It is understood that the Divine is of course without gender but there are no qualms about referring to Him as He because in this case, He (Arabic: HU) is considered to be one of the Names of God, and such is the nature of the languages we use.
Try this. Accept the religion of Islam as a fact. Know that it asks nothing from you more than you are willing to give. Look at it any way you want, but look at it - simply for the reason that rejection (of anything) causes conflict. Accepting belief systems releases their intensity, as well as their benefit. If you are accepting of belief systems, their power over you is neutralized and their benefit becomes available. God, who has you already, wants nothing more from you than what you truly want to offer. And the finest offering you have is your attention. Nothing, yet everything, changes. And you will learn!
Look at some of the things promised to one (by the Divine) upon Surrender (and acceptance).
Complete and utter forgiveness of all sins, both large and small. No one in Islam is ever interested in knowing anything about anything of your past. No embarrassing questions are ever asked. The past is forgotten, be it good or bad. Muslims see only the good in you (that your are a believer), and always greater than the degree that they see it in themselves. This forgiveness is palpable. You can feel it and feel safe in it. You are welcomed by Allah into the community of true lovers to partake in the celebration of the life in God's love free of charge. To "come clean" and to benefit yourself and others with your admitted and confessed presence (and confusion) in the garden of Allah, before the throne of Allah, in the grace of the Almighty, and in the company of His people.
You are given your Divine Name, which God has always known. It always reflects the manifestation of a Divine Quality in you. You are encourage to use it, thereby inviting others use it and feel its quality, which surrounds you (and them) with the light of its reality, and dispels illusion (at least for a moment).
You are taught (at your choosing and leisure) the esoteric prayers and practices that serve to develop your awareness, your understanding, your certainty and your self-confidence. I say esoteric because they are taught only to those who have surrendered, and they are known (or cared about) little in the world outside of the Sufis and Muslims. The Prophets all said that the world was divided into two camps, the world of conflict and the world of Peace and Surrender. And so it is with ourselves.
You are introduced to the secrets of creation, as revealed by the Author of Creation Himself. Nothing in the way of work or knowledge is expected or demanded of you except your own willingness to deepen your Surrender, for it leads to an open heart, utterly fulfilled and in unity with your true being. At that point Allah Himself reveals to you your very special robe of sanctity and honor, which will preserve the peace and security of your soul forever. And He gives to you the keys to wisdom, the knowledge and the insight that will enable you to manifest His Light in an irresistible way, that others will come to see, and to drink from the wine of love that comes forth from your heart.
The Attempted Devastation of True Surrender (Islam)
But the preservation of truth is on Allah, and it is promised that the last day will not arrive until the Sun has risen in the West, and is that not what we are beholding in this very time?
Should the self-proclaimed "Muslims" judge innocence as guilt? How poorly they judge. They judge themselves "righteous" in their "war" against unbelief, when the unbelief that they are fighting against is within themselves. They proclaim themselves 'complete' in, and the protectors of, the true religion, yet they make war on themselves and their own salvation, closing the gates by professing to open them, by belying and desecrating the teachings of the true masters of the religion they profess. They are professors who have not graduated for their own universities, have not received any seals of approval except from and by themselves. No one among the true believing "Sunnis" or the true "Shi`as" or the true "Sufis", or the true people of any religion or path, agrees with or approves of their obvious spiritual immaturity and their fundamentalist, childish and harmful beliefs that they alone are the holders and preservers of the truth. They stand alone, proud and defiant. They are the lost children of Islam, claiming to be the sole owners of it.
This tragic usurpation and imitation of the soul-quality by the ego is the story of life. It can be understood and corrected, but recognition of the harm of previous ways must be established in order for the need for repentance (rethinking and changing) to become obvious. That is why the earth was sent to us a trial and proving grounds - that we may indeed commit atrocities upon her for a limited time, seeing in her the reflections of our misdeeds and misunderstandings. We might then understand the consequences of our outward folly, and surrender ourselves to the one true God with hope and expectation of mercy and forgiveness, which would be a great reward.
Being born into Islam does not mean being born into Surrender. The influences of Muslim parents on their children become "good" Muslims are exactly the same as the influences of any parents anywhere to have their children succeed in the skills of their particular society. So there remains in the soul of the child the desire to manifest, and a sense of the rebellion that wants to make the right decisions based upon true experience, and not upon the acquired experience provided by parents, education and society.
This is not to say that the acquired experiences are inherently or necessarily bad, just to say that they are not the genuine experience of self, or the true 'knowing' of God. They tend to mask it, to deny it, and seek to replace it. And they are, for the most part, based upon a turning away from, or the suppression of, the urge to experience one's genuine-ness and authenticity. This urge will, however, continue to be 'sub-consciously' present, and will manifest itself in sometimes 'embarrassing' or even anti-social ways. This is the problem with child raising in all societies, and it is in observation of this that the quest for true satisfaction arises and distinguishes the seekers from the satisfied. The seekers, understanding themselves or not, become the agitators and dissenters to a complacent and self-content society, and eventually become either teachers or martyrs. They become the 'negative' to a false 'positive'.
True Surrender must be discovered, realized and accepted by each individual through the process of a quest for true self-understanding. This process was, is and has been preserved by them who seek it. And they are those who have heard and follow true guidance. They are not satisfied with the outward life of picking up a book, reading it, at proclaiming themselves knowledgeable. They realize that there is and must be more to life than simply learning how to compete, succeed and excel in the outward goals of material acquisition.
(Surrendered) Muslims and Sufis point out that Sufism is dedicated to the investigation, fulfillment and preservation of the essential, true and all-important inner obligations of the real Islam. And that that is and should be the goal and objective of all true Muslims, as it is the goal and objective of all true religions and spiritual paths. It is Haram, as in very strictly forbidden and severely and soulfully punishable by Allah and one's true inner self, to make a war of aggression, and particularly upon any people of peace, which includes all true religions and spiritual paths. This is especially true of the war of self-denial and self-rejection that some societies of outwardly observant Muslims are waging in their attempt to keep the religion pure and clean for others. They seek, in the name of their religion, to deny that inward purity and the quest for the inward experience of God have anything to do with Islam.
It may be true that there are levels of outward understanding and compliance with outward conformity that can and should be observed by common people in their daily lives. But to deny the proven and accepted inward realities of life and religion is simply to deny the self any opportunity to realize and truly know God. And truly knowing and glorifying God is our primary responsibility. If that if not fulfilled, of what use is the fulfillment of all of the outward observations except for the benefits of conformed and to be in the good graces of men and society. And that is truly the association of partners with Allah and a carryover of the basic ignorance of tribalism that has lead to the degeneration of the lofty teachings Divine revelation and which that very revelation was sent to correct.
The war is really against war, and in the final showdown it is the people of peace against the people of war, and the people of peace are not in attendance. They are instead, attendant upon the Peace and the teachings of peace. This leaves only the people of war to battle it out among themselves, and war is hell.
The affirmation of the Sufis is that the inner work of knowing and loving the Lord thy God with all thy body, heart, mind and soul is the sole point and primary obligation of religion. If it is true, then the people of the "outward" Islam who deny and refute this affirmation are understood by Allah and the psychology mature believers to be still and simply in denial. This is not necessarily a "bad" thing. Many people live long, fairly happy and productive lives in denial of one thing or another. But it is not the quest, and denial is still a serious psychologically observable state , and in Islamic and Spiritual psychology, the basis for pathological and sociopathic behaviors of all kinds. Does this lend itself to an understanding of what's happening in the world of Islam today?
It is not required of Muslims that they reach the end of the path of peace, only that they set foot firmly upon it. It is, however, absolutely required of all true Muslims that they actively assist and participate in the efforts of peace. Not war.
And if Muslims, or any other people, have ideological differences that lead to persecution and slaughter, and act aggressively upon those ideologies, or teach them with the intention of causing someone else to act aggressively upon them, then they are not in the way of Allah, nor in the way of any true religion, nor anywhere near in touch with their true selves, and far from the garden to which they aspire. They will be judged by men according to their deeds and by Allah according to what was in their hearts to cause such deeds. And this judgment is, in their convoluted way, exactly what they are hoping and praying for. So they will surely get what they are asking for, but it will not be what they want, for it is not in the way of true Surrender (Islam). And I'm sure that they will have a lot to atone for in wasting their lives in pursuit of compensatory and ego-gratifying power, some parcels of dirt and some material acquisitions at the cost of human lives. These are truly the unfortunate and the deprived, who abused the religion designed to show them and the rest of the world the way to the true home, and used their energies of their lives to pervert the intentions of Allah's Divine teaching to serve their own petty purposes.
And believe me, we do not want to be judged by Allah in that way. Not according to our deeds, but rather according to our understanding of religion and our Surrender, our praise and high estimation of Allah in his creation and in our selves.
It is stated in Qur`an quite clearly that there is none that can lay claim to the inheritance of eternal garden by virtue of his self-righteousness, for Allah looks not unto the deeds of men but to the hearts. And the hidden hypocrisy is that deeds of evil are done with the best of intentions. And that we have precious few touchstones of true Islam (Surrender) left on the planet. And that the teaching of truth with uncorrected intention is based upon and causing further reaction to the truth, but is not the truth. It is exactly the case with the ego. It is based upon an assumed imitation of truth but is not the genuine article. That's why in the West there is suddenly this important quest for the "Authentic" self. And Islam does and must confirm and support this quest, for it is only as a result of the quest for truth that the true Islam will be discovered. This quest is explained and corroborated by, but not limited to, the book (Qur`an) and the sunnah (prophetic practice).
We are not to be judges, saying that all will be right when I see it and say it is. This is the way parents treat children but this behavior cannot be transferred on to the world at large. Understanding this the world requires an entirely different education, an education in soul, for it is only the soul that can see the world in proper perspective. Soul is the manifestation of noble character. Development of character is time spent with essence, and first this essence must be identified and confirmed by one who has it. This is the importance and the obligation of the Sufi transmission, which originates from the Prophet Muhammad and is carried in the hearts of those who seek it, cherish it and are confirmed in it. This is the obligation and the debt of gratitude of the Muslims to the Sufis. To deny it is to deny your soul its purpose on earth and to remain trapped in the cage of your own illusions, never setting foot in the real world, the world of the inner reality, the world of Allah and his true believers. To deny it is to deny your own reality and truth. This is the kind real denial that Allah is referring to with the word "Kufr", Kuffar" and "Kafir".
The opposite of denial is acceptance. The elimination of internal denial is manifest in self-acceptance and the way of peace. The opposite of denial is manifest in a complete an undefended comfort. This is a taste of the promised garden of eternity. Denial (Kufr) in all forms can be eliminated when Acceptance is complete of self, love and God. The completion of this acceptance is the point of the Sufi work and all courses in self-realization from whatever tradition.