Spiritual Awareness - Ramadan Reflections 1/30 - 1436/2015

Translated by Shaykh Saleem Bhimji and edited by Arifa Hudda, this work looks at 30 topics through the supplications taught by Prophet Muhammad, prayers of God be upon him and his family, to be recited in the Blessed Month of Ramadan. In this part, the topic of "Spiritual Awareness" is elucidated upon.

Bismillah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Allahumma ja’al siyami fihi al-siyam al-saimeen, wa qiyami fhii al-qiyam al-qaimeen, wa nabbhini fihi ‘an naumat al-ghafileen, wa hubli jurmi fihi ya ilaha al-‘alameen, wa a’wf anni ya afi’a ‘an al.mujremeen [ Du'a of Day 1: O Allah, on this day make my fasts the fasts of those who fast (sincerely), and my standing up in prayer of those who stand up in prayer (obediently), awaken me in it from the sleep of the heedless, and forgive me my sins , O God of the worlds, and forgive me, O one who forgives the sinners].

'A'udhu billahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim, Bismillah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Assalamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa barakatuh. We have now entered into the blessed month of Ramadan and we begin with our review of the supplications, the daily supplications, taught to us by Prophet Muhammad, sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, as reflected in the book Ramadan Reflections.

And for today, the first day of the month of Ramadan, our topic will be spiritual awareness. The topic of spiritual awareness, in a nutshell, means that this is a ability, a trait that we need to try to inculcate within ourselves to develop and mature and nurture within ourselves, that will allow us to see the world for what it truly is, rather than just the apparent open façade view of the world. We want to delve into a deeper understanding of the world, of the dunya as we refer to it in the Islamic terminology and to truly understand what it has to offer for the human being.

Now we have a Hadith that we begin with, in which we had been told that the most negligent of people is the one who does not take a lesson from the ever changing events of the transient world. In essence, this Hadith is telling us that if we are not able to look at this world and take a lesson from it to see its ups and downs, its victories and downfalls, then we are actually deemed as being the most negligent of people, the ones who have fallen into a state of ghafla, of spiritual unawareness of this world.

The Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, has told us in another tradition. He says "Sufficient it is for one to be considered as being in a state of spiritual negligence that he wastes away his life in that which will not bring him redemption". This Hadith really nails it to the crux. This is the essence of what we need to be looking at, that when we waste our lives in things which will not bring about our redemption, our salvation and the next world, then the Imam says that we have fallen into that state of spiritual negligence, of ghafla, of forgetfulness of Allah, of the Day of Judgment, and all of the things that Allah has wanted us to reflect upon and to recall on a regular and a constant frequent basis.

We also have another Hadith, again, from the Commander of the Faithful where he has said that "One whose state of spiritual negligence is prolonged, he hastens towards his own destruction".

Again, very poignant and powerful words from the Commander of the Faithful that we need to think about, that if we are in the state of spiritual negligence, if we have forgotten Allah, we have forgotten ourselves, then we are only hastening towards our own destruction and downfall, not only in this world, but more importantly, in the next world, in the hereafter.

We close this discussion with a verse of the Qur'an because people may wonder, well, what is it that would cause my spiritual negligence, my ghafla? What would cause me to fall into a state of heedlessness?

And the answer comes in Surah Munafiqun, chapter number sixty three, verse number nine . And this verse, we are told by Allah "Oh you who have faith! Do not let your possessions and your children distract you from the remembrance of Allah, and whoever does that - it is they who are the true losers!"(63:9). That doesn't mean that we don't have a family, that we don't have a job, that we don't have income, that we don't enjoy these blessings of Allah, but rather we don't let these things be the outcome or the goal of our lives. We use our spouse. We use our children. We make them as vessels to get to Allah. We use our wealth to get closer to Allah.

And if we're able to balance this life of this world and the seeking of the akhirah to the next world, then we will be of those who have not fallen to a state of spiritual negligence and would be able to meet Allah in the most pleasing of forms. Wa assalamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

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