'O God, carry us in the ships of Thy deliverance, give us to enjoy the pleasure of whispered prayer to Thee, make us drink at the pools of Thy love, let us taste the sweetness of Thy affection and nearness, allow us to struggle in Thee, preoccupy us with obeying Thee, and purify our intentions in devoting works to Thee, for we exist through Thee and belong to Thee, and we have no one to mediate with Thee but Thee!' Imam Sajjad ('A); Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya

Monday, 10 December 2007

Ayatollah Tabrizi's secret to Ayatollah Isfahani

Ayatollah Muhammad Husain Isfahani known as Kompani was an outstanding Muslim Jurist and philosopher of his time.  In a letter to Ayatollah Tabrizi - known as ‘The Beauty of Wayfarers’ - he requested him to write a practical prescription for his spiritual perfection.
I quote parts of the prescription from my teacher Ayatollah Hasan-Zadeh (pictured) who quoted it from his teacher Allamah Tabatabaei:

“ … The beneficial way in knowing the self is to endeavour in reducing your animality by the following disciplines:
1. Reducing your meals in that you don’t have more than two meals a day and not to have meat more than two or three times in a week.
2. Reducing your sleeping hours in that you don’t sleep more than six hours.
3. Endeavour in safeguarding your tongue and abstaining from heedless people. These three will be very helpful in reducing the animality of man.

As for accelerating and reinforcing your spirituality:
1. Have permanent grief of the heart (not facial) in fear of not reaching your destination.
2. Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and Fikr (to think and ponder) as these two are the wings of flying to the heaven of knowledge. As for the Dhikr, the Dhikr of Yunusiyah (Laa Elaaha Ellaa Ant Sobhanaka Enni Konto Mena dhalemin) in the morning and at night is very much experienced and brings about many blessings. The minimum times of reciting it is 400 times. As for the Fikr for a beginner the best is to ponder upon death.”

Ayatollah Hasan-Zadeh, 1001 Words, Word 301

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