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See Phyllis Ferguson Islamization p. So his early exposure to the Muslim faith could be the underlying factor for his close affinity to the Muslim clergy and setting the precedence of incorporating Islamic structures in the Nam of Dagbon which some of his predecessors came to build upon. Secondly, for the fact that he abdicated the Kingship at a point in time to Andani Sigli his cousin could also be interpreted in the light of him not being over ambitious and maybe needed to spend the rest of his life in strengthening his relationship with his creator Allah.
Though it has been mentioned that it was the menace of the impermanent Gonja attacks and the need for a coalition from the other princes to deal with this situation that made him abdicate the stool as a deal to get situation solved. By this feat Zangina was portrayed as a ruler who has placed the interest of Dagbon above his parochial interest by abdicating the skin to foster unity and security for Dagbon.
This act of patriotism is a factor that is lacking in some of the present day royals that has significantly contributed to the ubiquitous Abudu and Andani gate clashes in recent years. A parallel of this can be found in the Hausaland when a King after several years of being on the throne abdicated it on religious grounds. Thereafter lived a life absolute piety and repented for his past misdeeds.
Zangina resettled in Agbandi where he died and was interned. Thesis University of Ghana, Staniland, Martin. He was circumcised and then given the name Mohammad Zangina. This stems from the fact that it is the summation of their individual contributions that was the manifest factor behind what Dagbon became and is in terms of its present religious state and inclination. As a young prince, he converted to Islam and undertook commercial trips to the Hausaland and beyond.
This opened up his horizons internally and externally. It also exposed him to the cultures and traditions of other societies. It, therefore, came as no surprise that, when he was mantled with the skins of authority as Yaa Naa, he made a dramatic impact on all aspects of life in Dagbon, with special emphasis on Islam. A source that discussed his succession to the throne proposed that attributed this to his economic acumen, public experience, and the wisdom that he acquired from his mercantile trips. The competition for the throne was so keen that the competitors, comprised of even Naa Zangina s elder brothers, his uncles and cousins, ultimately, had to resort to their cousins of the Mamprusi tribe to arbitrate among them.
This event most clearly, marked the establishment of Islam in Dagbon. The drift towards the Islamization of the Namship of Dagbon, can as posited by Phyllis Fergusson, can be divided into two chronologically. Na Zangina s ascension to the throne was the culmination of the second phase. And God has given me my father s house i. That is why I have come to you that you may beg God my Master that my land may remain good. Na Zangina entered. He worshipped towards Hausa land, and worshipped towards the land of Ashanti, and worshipped towards the land of Ashanti, and worshipped towards Moshiland.
At that time all the roads were much used. Then no wild animals caught any travelers on the road any more. Then many travelers journeyed from the different roads to Dagomba. Shaykh Sulayman was allocated a piece of land at Sabari in the river Oti valley where he erected a mosque and started a school. See Juula and the expansion of Islam into the forest by Ivor Wilks This therefore goes to authenticate the stratification of the phases of Islam in Dagbon into two by P.
Fergusson, the first phase being during the reign of Naa Luro and the second at the time Naa Zangina. Na Zangina prayed to God and the roads opened and many travelled by them, and that is why the Drummers say that Na Zangina made the world wise. Mallams the Muslim religious clerics were to have an essential role in the appointment of a king.
These structures and the roles that they play today under the canopy of Islam in are being questioned as to the veracity of their Islamic foundation. Some of these are now branded as innovations that were introduced into mainstream Islam by the earlier Mallams. These kinds of structures come under the classification of what I would term tht Dagbanbacization of West African Islam or Wangaracization or Hausacization.
The words of this prayer connote the length to which Zangina intended to go with the Islamization of the Kingdom of Dagbon. I am tempted to think that one of the reasons that have been forwarded for his abdication could be his extremism in Islamizing the Namship and Dagbon which might have peeved some of his royal counterparts and the populace most of whom were traditionalists. With regards to the festivals, some were placed under the spotlight of scrutiny as to its whether they were really Islamic, specifically, the Damba festival, which is meant to commemorate the birth of the Prophet but is regarded as an innovation.
The Bugum fire festival is also regarded as un-islamic. He also permitted invitation to Islam so that the majority of town-dwellers and an appreciable number of villagers came to embrace the religion. There was also an influx of strangers who did the same. All this was attributed to Zangina s prayer. The fact that these services were not performed for just the royals but for the masses as well, depicted the Islamic notion of universal equality in the eyes of God.
It also showed the precedence of Islamic brotherhood and norms over and above those of traditional affiliations and norms. Na Andani Sigli concentrated on the eastward expansion of the kingdom. Andani Sigli was a cousin to Naa Zangina. Although he vied for the throne and lost it to Zangina through the arbitration of the cousin state of Mamprugu, yet he was encouraged by the same arbitrator to give his loyalty to Naa Zangina, and he heeded this advice.
He was born with the insignia of military regalia around him. It is, therefore, not surprising that, when almost all the princes and chieftains turned their backs on Zangina, after little hesitation and with a promise of spiritual support from Mohammad Puusamle and other chieftains, he pledged allegiance to Naa Zangina.
Zangina showed his gratitude for this gesture. Naa Zangina, having the interest of greater Dagbon at heart during the state of war meeting with Na Sigle, immediately relinquished the chieftaincy necklace and the staff of office to him, and then addressed Na Sigli thus: The things of the chieftaincy are in the basket.
This is my daughter, take her and make her carry all your tuma medicines for war in order that you may go fight that slave of Gonja for me. Na Sigli is known for demolishing a lot of the traditional idols of the traditionalists. The idol of Sakpiegu was the most notable and dramatic. Upon breaking it, two birds emerged and flew to two different locations, and the idol continued saying Sigli yaa, Sigli yaa - meaning Sigli s strength, Sigle s strength in Dagbanli.
Na Sigli s aversion to idolatry showed the extent to which Islamic iconoclasm had permeated the fabric of his religious life. Thesis, Bowling Green State University, ,. As the eldest son of Yaa Naa Muhammad Zangina, he was given the upbringing of a prince of Yani by being sent for wubsibu fostering to one of the eunuch s chiefs, where he contracted yaws. From this point he became dejected, rejected and disillusioned and started moving from one place to another like a recluse until he reached Zakpalsi.
He was told that the only way that he would make it to the throne was to take advantage of a situation that would present itself after the death of Na Sigli, namely that two of his aunts princesses would try the regalia of kingship on him due to his unpleasant looks just for fun, and that he should not wait for the third aunt to appear but instead, dash out with the kingship regalia when it is tried on him. Tradition and custom demand that as soon as a prince wears the robe and comes out of that sacred room he is declared the King.
He too introduced new Islamic structures in Dagbon, especially Yidan Baba minister He was not a pleasant looking person thus his nickname Bimbiegu. The name means in Dagbanli ugly or unpleasant looking. It is my own categorization. These establishments were compartmentalized among the Islamizing agents that have assumed the status of Dagombas by either matrifiliation or patrifiliation.
Therefore it should not surprise us to see some Muslims beginning to question and declare some of the structures as un-islamic. Deriving from the fact that Islam was introduced into Ghana by their ancestors, each party deems it as its birthright to exercise leadership. According to Schildkrout, the configuration of the leadership structure in the Zongo takes the following form: Leadership pattern in the Zongo to some extent follows those of ethnic differentiation; in that each ethnic community has a headman and a group of titled elders To some extent they represent their communities to outsiders, that is, to government officials or to non-immigrants.
Leaders in the Zongo are united and divided on issues of religious, economic, and political policy and do not necessarily act as representatives of ethnic communities. The disputes as a rule tend to erupted in the southern part of Ghana which is predominantly Christian. The demographical setup in Ghana is such that the northern sector is predominantly Muslim and the southern principally Christian. In the northern sector, the mosque disputes that prevails are more the result of sectarian differences.
These Zongos are Ibid. Nkrumah invested him with the authority of taking charge of the Muslims in Tema and the newly built Tema dockyard. To the people of the south the alien Muslims like the Hausas from Nigeria, Mossis from Burkina Faso and Zabarmas from Mali and Niger and the migrant Muslims like the Dagombas and Gonjas are all considered as strangers. The bond of unity within this community is Islam and stranger status attached to them.
There emerged a shift in this relationship when credence began to be given to national identity. This situation began during independence but it escalated in during the Progress Party regime in the government s program of Ghanaianization of small capital enterprises and instilling structures to mute out alien competitors. This empowered the Northerners to use that to their advantage by extending it into the religious realms.
The importance of the mosque in any Muslim locale cannot be gainsaid. Since the time of the Prophet the mosque has not only served as a place of worship but as the nerve center of all the activities of the Muslim community. In Kumasi, and other areas in the south, this has been the order of the day, especially at the central mosque. The central mosque of Kumasi, according to Schildkrout, functioned as a symbol of unity for the diverse Muslim community.
With the introduction of the policy to Ghanaianize extending from Nkrumah s rule through the military regime of the National Liberation Council down to Busia s regime, the northern Muslims started their agitation for religious leadership positions, which as I earlier mentioned, were the preserve of the Hausas. The death of Mallam Chiroma in was pounced upon as an opportune time to implement their demand for the Imamate. For the first time, this decision was rescinded by the administration.
The Hausa community was never the less determined to keep the old order in place.
This sparked off deep unrest and the central mosque was closed down. The indigenous population, after careful, consideration, now wanted to take Ibid. They argued that independence meant liberation of all Ghanaians from all forms of foreign yoke and domination, including the domination of religious groups by foreigners. See Schildkrout, Islam and politics in Kumasi. This compromise was unacceptable to the Hausas.
The conflict, thereafter, assumed a legal dimension and was sent to the courts for resolution. Finally, the courts declared it to be more of a political than a legal issue and so, the parties were advised to withdraw it and to seek an amicable solution between them. The agitation therefore paid off by relinquishing the Imamship in subsequent years to qualified persons be they of immigrant descent or an indigenous person. The Sectarian Conflict The religious situation in Ghana currently exhibits a number of sectarian divisions. This includes intra-religious conflicts, which has adverse repercussions on all aspects of the relationships of the adherents both with one another and with the society that they live in.
The other Muslim sects, which includes minorities like the Ahmadis and the Shi ites, are also in the race for winning adherents but although their impact is felt, it is not as strong as those of the two major sects i. These sects have their methods of proselytization and how they go about winning adherents. This aspect will be dealt with in chapter four of this Ibid. The Wangaras took the lead and were followed by the Hausas. I have the opinion that the pilgrims who in time past had to do the trip by road within an expanse of a long duration of time could have been influenced.
This is not to say that the host country is not making efforts to capitalize on this unprecedented annual world convergence of Muslims from all quarters of the world to observe this pilgrimage. My concern is about its effectiveness. The list contains seven names showing the Sufi links of notable Hanbalis spanning a period of over three centuries. In order to find a solution to this issue and prepare himself to confront this situation, he travel led in search of learning in various fields. He ended up studying with various scholars in several Islamic centers of knowledge, including Syria, Iraq, Iran and the two holy cities of 10 Makdisi.
Ibn Taymiya Ibid. He spent twenty years on this journey before finally returning to Najd where he started his movement in all earnestness. Next, the movement penetrated Indonesia and Malaysia. He, like most of civil servants in colonized lands, had access to massive and in-depth information about the area in question.
His grandfather dreamt of a wild fire which started from his abode and engulfed the whole of Arabia. This dream was interpreted as 16 Ibid.
The History of the Wahhabis. Reading: Garnet Publishing Ltd. His ideas were rejected everywhere, and so he returned to his home town of Dir iyya, where he began his mission of proselytization. The aberrant usage of the term fundamentalism mostly by western scholars , with regards to Islam has to be carefully examined in the African context. William Shepard, in his presentation What is Islamic Fundamentalism? He therefore concludes that fundamentalism is a misnomer in the case of Islam, and that radicalism or revivalism could be the more appropriate appellation.
He concludes his book with advice for Muslims i. Following this he looks at other issues such as the building of tombs, praying and burning lamps at shrines and, finally, sacrificing and making pledges. Richard L. They owe their success to the links they created between wealthy Saudi Shaykhs and local businessmen.
These graduates are a window onto a new source of external financing for them, both locally and internationally. These issues will be considered the vis a vis scenario in northern Ghana. A corrupted form of the Arabic word Munkir which means someone who denies or refutes something. In the case of Nigeria they are known as Yan Izala a short of the name izalat al-bid a wa iqamat al-sunna the movement for the removal of innovation and up keeping of traditions of the prophet.
African Language Studies 17 ,. Its inception sparked disputes in the area. The work takes a thorough look at the stages of development of this movement in the sub-saharan region. Now, air transportation has curtailed this impact. In Burkina Faso, for example, Ousman, M. It may hold true in some areas, but not in all. Much attention on the other hand has been paid to Nigeria by John N. First, his emphasis is more on the external impact of the movement rather than the internal. Secondly, most of the data he cites is currently outmoded. Finally, there is a new scenario altogether, and recent developments need to be revisited.
It was only in the late s and early s, large flocks of youth from northern Ghana became the beneficiaries of these scholarships, which allowed them to pursue further studies. Kane Ousmane s book on the Yan Izala is also very informative. For instance, there is a new intellectual equation introduced in the northern part of Ghana. But, this has to be substantiated by field research and solid statistical evidence. His visionary leadership and the spirit of self-denial has resulted into numerous schools, mosques and other properties which need to be managed efficiently for the growth and development of Islam in particular and its membership in Ghana and beyond.
His activism was not limited only to the religious realm but it had socio-politico-economic dimensions as well. His central role in Nkrumah s political party and his subsequent position as chairman of the northern region branch of the Ghana Muslim Council , for example enhance his reputation as a scholar and a sociopolitical activist. His death in left a considerable hole in the community, leading to a scramble to fill his position. As was the norm with Islamic scholars, the 38 An interview with Mohamed Amin Anta who was the then deputy northern regional minister but now the Chief executive of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly.
Imoro has Savelugu as his birth place and Iddrisu has Ejura. After studying for ten years with Mallam Baba, he returned to Savelugu and then moved to Tamale, the northern regional capital where he settled permanently. According to oral sources, Afa Ajura was very proactive and radical when young, and had the habit of arguing with and challenging authority and being very skeptical. In fact, Afa Ajura was known more for his political activism in his formative years 47 Op cit. See, Voll, John. The cleavage was deepened by a conflict within the Dagomba Muslim community which had begun at least as early as , when Mallam Ajura, of the Bolgatanga Road mosque in Tamale, and Malam Wahabu of Yendi Alhassani s friend , both C.
P supporters, had signed the petition demanding the removal of Abudulai III. Its headquarters is at Saltpond in the Western region of Ghana. They have even found themselves banished from Pakistan. Consequently when they had already established roots in the south and were trying to get into the Muslim north, they were vehemently opposed and rejected Iddrisu Contesting Islam Staniland Martin. See Adam Imoro s Conflict 54 Ibid. See Tayo Haji Salahuddin P. Facts about Ahmadiyya Movement.
Riyadh: al-nasser press First, it was the Qadiriyya that was dominant. A visit to Ghana by a Muslim cleric would have been incomplete without paying a visit to the Muslimpopulated north. The visit to Tamale was officially in response to the invitation of the King of Dagbon. The 55 Ibid. The Andanis therefore had no choice but to turn to the Wahhabis for support. He goes further in arguing that the Andanis were victims of injustice, and that Afa Ajura always reiterated his stance on behalf of justice in the society.
He even quotes Afa Ajura as saying that he was more of an Abudu than an Andani, but because of the injustice meted out to the Andanis he gave his support to these latter. This seems to be, however, an over simplification of an intricate issue. The Influence 61 Wilks Since Shaykh Ibrahim was a continuum of this group of people, then his case cannot be taken in isolation and given a different interpretation.
So, given the activities that he had to transact within that short span of time, his inability to stop over at Mion to pay homage to the chief, was due to time constraints and not apathy towards the Andanis. This is further proven by his objection when he was told that the police commissioner wanted to have a meeting with him.
So for Iddrisu to base his argument on this occasion is unfortunate. According to Melvin Hiskett, a report by government officials to the governor of the northern territories in Kumasi stated that the crowds that greeted the Shaykh were unprecedented in the history of the north. Before the Shaykh s arrival there was an advance party of members of the brotherhood from Kumasi. While he stood reciting it there came a message from the police commissioner stating that he wanted a meeting with him.
He rode in the chief of Tolon s 64 car to Tamale town, and ultimately to the police parade ground. He is among the first crop of educated people who made it to the highest position in the government circles both in the pre-independence era through the era of independence. The police commissioner persuaded the Shaykh to say a prayer for him. Afterwards, the Shaykh sent a message to Muslim elders in Tamale that he was heading to Yendi at the request of the King of Dagbon.
He thanked them for their display of love and solidarity for the sake of Allah and prayed that Allah would recompense them. He assured them that he would spend time with them on his return from Yendi. This reassured the people and they waited for his return. The magnitude of the crowd gathered there, comprised of everyone from chiefs to ordinary people, made the house look small. Shaykh Ibrahim straightaway delivered his sermon. At one point he called for the renewal of faith and everybody in the park responded by chanting out the formula of faith after him and countless people in the crowd embraced Islam.
There too the audience was asked to renew their faith and even more people accepted Islam. A lodging place had been prepared for Shaykh Ibrahim and a request was made to him to spend the night in Tamale. The request was, however, once again turned down. After the sermon and prayers for the people, the Shaykh left Tamale for Kumasi. It is said to have been the turning point in Afa Ajura s life. He might have harbored some reservations and 66 Ibid. It is suggested by some that it was his nature, that he was a person who liked criticizing and arguing against religious practices as noted by Mallam Baba of Ejura.
Others opine that he was an extrovert and always wanted to be in the forefront of events. Haj Umar worked as a librarian and also pursued studies in medicine while in Mecca. He spent several years there. With this aura around him, he commanded a lot of influence. It was a point where immigrants from neighboring countries on the western boundary of Ghana received their inoculations. At the time of an outbreak of epidemics people were quarantined there and inoculated.
In response to the question whether his grandfather was of the same sect as him his response was that of uncertainty. He gave the author a brief history of his family background in an attempt to respond to his question, thus: I did not meet my grandfather, but I was told that he was one of the great olden time scholars.
He did not study much, for in those days when one was regarded as a scholar it was different from these days of scholarships. Those ulama of that time were chosen servants of Allah, they were very God-fearing. They were selective in their way of sustenance. They were not so much into studies, but very grounded in faith. But we, the ulama of this era though we have studied much more but are of little faith or piety and are not God-fearing. I heard that when my grandfather was in an angry mood and he was holding a rosary, the strings of the rosary got stripped.
We are princes of Nanton. Chekonaa Zakari Mahama mounted the throne of Cheko, but our grandfather Chekonaa Mahama refused to take the mantle when it was his turn. Cheko is a divisional chieftain of Nanton. So with us we can identify ourself with royalty or scholars when we wish. You have been born into the system. This has been refuted by Shaykh Baba Dua, who maintains that Afa Ajura already had that inclination before his maiden pilgrimage to Mecca.
Moreover, since that time his student s had not yet began studying in the Hijaz, which rules out somebody translating to him the discussions that might have ensued. It has been corrupted as Munchire. He therefore had no problem with anybody. This has commonly been seen in times of religious, scholarly and sectarian dispute. This over time led to conflict between clans, which in turn gave rise to the ubiquitous tribal wars that characterized this period of Arabian history.
This tradition has survived in of Islam till today, and is particularly evident in the religious sectarian disputes prevailing in northern Ghana. Afa Ajura began to execute his mission vigorously soon after Shaykh Ibrahim Niass departed on his maiden visit to the Gold Coast. Afa Ajura organized a counter-sermon condemning what had been 82 Ibid. At Prang during an interview with Khalifa Abul Fayd the same name came up as the first to introduce Wahabbist doctrines into Northern Ghana.
He capitalized on this to condemn the visit of the Shaykh and the occurrences that transpired during the visit. This explains the theme of one of Afa Ajura s polemical songs in Dagbani, which is translated as follows: A human being cannot see the Lord in this world. It is forbidden. He who says he has seen the Lord, all his worship is in vain. Angels too cannot see the Lord. The Prophet Mohammad did not see our Lord. How much more would you, a dirty one, see your Lord. To enter Tarbiya cannot make you see the Lord.
He who leaves it is free. If you refuse and join it, you become a Kafir. To enter Tarbiya is not Islam. Get out of it for it is forbidden. It assumed astronomical dimensions when an itinerant cleric from Somali named Nowaihi was invited to preach in one of the series of Munchire sermons and a question pertaining to seeing Allah was put to him; assessing the atmosphere, he answered in the negative.
Within a short period after this response, sticks and stones were hurled by people at their opponents, and a free-for-all fight ensued. There were a lot of casualties Adam, Conflict Ibid. Since the sources are both Anbariyya products, then it will be plausible to go by the first source, which predates the former. The interval between the two sources and its proximity to the time the event occurred, means that it One of the worst occurrences took place in Gumani, a new suburb of Tamale on the Bolga road, in There was loss of life on the spot and others later died in their homes as a result of bullets lodged in their bodies.
The Gulkpena 88 refused to grant them permission, because the Zamigu Central Mosque was the only authorized mosque where Friday prayers could be held. The former will be more convincing, because the lapse of time occurring before the latter could have introduced a loss of memory regarding the sequence of events and its accuracy. Secondly it could also mean a deliberate deconstruction of the former and reconstruction of the latter to exonerate the earlier generation of Munchires of their aggressive and antagonistic characteristics.
Afa Ajura had been nurtured religiously by them and they knew his level of erudition and character very well. The duel took place over several years in the late sixties and the early seventies and began when Afa Ajura added a political dimension 93 to his religious role, centered largely in the Munchire movement that he had founded. It could be a typographical error 95 Stewart, Tijaniyya. Shaykh Muntaqa too composed polemical songs, in particular against Afa Ajura and the Munchires, in the local Dagbani language. He adopted the same techniques as Afa Ajura. It is very difficult to identify a fool whose mouth is not spilled with spittle.
This came at a time of fierce opposition to Afa Ajura during the s. Afa Ajura was confronted on this occasion in front of the Rivoli cinema in Tamale, which is now an Agip gas station. The debate reached its apogee when Afa Ajura was asked to write something, and he refused to do so. It was an open secret that he could not write in Arabic. In the late s and early s, he posed a threat to the consolidation of Afa Ajura s grip over the Munchire population of Tamale.
He was resident at Prang in the Ashanti region of Ghana. In fact, about ninety-nine percent of the religious clashes that occurred in Tamale were involved him. When a follower s child committed adultery, both the follower and the ward were flogged. Adam captures the extent of Afa Ajura s power thus, He wields so much authority that he has, on a number of occasions, ordered fornicators to be whipped in public, acting in accordance to a Quranic injunction which dictates so. So, with this caliber of supporters, his commands were unquestionably implemented.
Additionally, there was a scholarly group with an appreciable knowledge of the religious sciences. He consulted them before he delivered his sermons and they provided him with ideas in the background. It can be suggested that he was always hasty in entering into temporary marriages of convenience with newly arrived scholars. These scholars, therefore, often broke off from him after awhile, for personal reasons. He was Mahama, Ibrahim. Dagbon History 13 His present day students obtain their motivation from those scholars.
In fact, the latter were able to motivate students to seek knowledge not only at home but abroad as well. As such, when the Saudi scholarships began to be offered, many students obtained them and went to pursue further studies in Saudi Arabia. Eventually this was solved amicably. This gathering was also used as a launch pad to forge unity between some of the scholars in Tamale Iddrisu, Contesting Islam,. The school currently has more than two thousand students and branches all over northern Ghana. The four-year development plan that it produced indicates that it has about twenty satellite schools.
Whatever the social costs of this rivalry, it has at least resulted in a decline in the regional illiteracy rate. However, Afa Ajura has denied a secular education to all these students. The government did establish a structure to supply all Islamic schools with secular teachers and offered to pay them to alleviate illiteracy in secular education.
The Niasiyya recite it twelve times whiles the Hamaliyya recite it eleven times. The breakdown of the data with regards to their staffing capacity is per the strategic plan document is as follows: 1 Doctor of Philosophy degree Ph. A and four 4 Postgraduate Diplomats. There are also twenty-nine 29 Bachelor degree B.
A , seven 7 diplomats and forty 40 certificated bearing teachers. Afa Ajura however refused this offer, thus denying those students in his school access to secular education. Things have since changed and policies towards western secular education have been revised. Currently the school welcomes secular teachers from the Ministry of Education. The teachers are on the payroll of the ministry.
The school, which teaches grades from nursery to the junior high school level, has been able to make a deal with the ministry of education to maintain its old stand, this in spite of the contentious issue of attending school on Thursdays and Fridays. The Sunnis argued that Thursdays and Fridays should be observed as weekend holidays, just as Saturdays and Sundays are for the Christians. This issue previously caused a huge divide between the proprietors of the Islamic education unit schools.
Finally the schools had to accept the Ministry of Educations rules by succumbing to the Saturday and Sunday weekend at the expense of Thursdays and Fridays. My informant from the Ministry of Education said that the concession given to Ambariyya School was a local arrangement. In other words, it was not official at the national level. The chief of Tamale Gulkpe Naa, who officially gives permission for the erection of buildings in the municipality, refused to grant permission for this project to go ahead. His order was nevertheless ignored and the mosque was built with volunteer labor.
I put it to him that it was an unfair deal since about ninety-nine percent of the Islamic school requested and fought for this deal which was denied them. He explained it off by saying that it was a local and an unofficial arrangement. This was to serve as guesthouse for both foreign teachers and pilgrims who came annually to take their flights to Mecca Attempts towards Ending the Endless Sectarian Conflict in Dagbon: With these religious issues destabilizing peace in Dagbon, the chief of Tamale made the first bold attempt to reconcile both parties.
This however did not yield the desired result. The terms of reference were to try to establish an amicable relationship between the parties in question. The second group was based in the Sakasaka mosque established by Afa Ajura. The last group was found at Ibid. Occasionally, they condemned or applauded some of the standpoints of the first two groups. He observed his Friday congregational prayers at Zamigu. He even gave sermons on special occasions and at ceremonies.
He was responsible for the translation of the Friday khutba sermon after it had been read for the prayer in Arabic. It is not known whether this was based on their personal lives or their religious viewpoints International Attempt at Finding a Solution to Sectarianism in Dagbon: High profile reconciliation, instigated at the international level, to reconcile the Muslims of the north did not yield the desired results either.
In all attempts at reconciliation Afa Ajura has set conditions that make any process difficult to accomplish. Examples of conditions that he sets are as quoted: 1. Leaders of both groups should be assembled and the causes of the conflict spelt out; 2. The group that is guilty should be made to accept its guilt and to stop all un-islamic activities. These conditions sealed the doom of the Saudi Ambassador s effort to forge I was a member of this reconciliation committee by the virtue of my position as the general secretary for Ghana Secondary School Tamale representative.
This was the view stated by C. Stewart in his M. The stated reason was the most obvious, i. He was the my matrilineal grandfather. In fact, in the north and to be precise Tamale , politics, religion and chieftaincy have become so intertwined or interwoven that one cannot safely distinguish the trio. The geopolitics of this area were various enough to allow governments and politicians to manipulate the local people. This group was furthermore inclined to the Abudu gate Abudu Yilli of the Dagomba kingdom. Resolving this state of affairs was a priority for the revolutionary government which had a zero tolerance for such divisions.
Frantic attempts were made to cement the existing rifts that kept the north behind in terms of development. Alhaji Hudu Yahaya, the northern regional secretary responsible for fostering northern unity under the AFRC placed the chief northern religio-politico-ethnic leaders in detention. The move was unprecedented and took on a historic significance. The mere mention of this event still raises eyebrows in Dagbon. The detainees were released in batches. For Afa Ajura, it was the grand Imam of the two holy mosques of Medina and Mecca who interceded for him.
He was later released. This single act is perceived as having influenced the lives of Afa Ajura and Ibrahim Mahama. Last but not least, Afa Ajura made his mark on the socio-economic life of the Munchires. Other traditional cultural practices that found their way into the religious life of the people were curtailed, e. These were often performed in an ostentatious manner. Afa Ajura proposed more affordable ways of doing things. In the case of funerals, each funeral, after the burial prayer, was to take place at the cemetery.
Money contributed after the return from the cemetery was given to the family of the deceased. There was to be no third day, seventh day, fortieth day or anniversary celebration, which had previously led to great expenses for the family of the deceased. Even though a lot of constraints and challenges impinged on his effort to develop Islam in Tamale, he never reneged. Anbariya, which started as a minority Islamic group in Tamale, is today the largest Muslim group in Northern Ghana with the best practices in all their endeavours.
This manifests the founder s statement that Anbariya has taken off. There was wide division among the people after his demise as Ibid. According to Sayyida Khadija, a fight almost broke out amongst his flock. Meanwhile, his counterpart Shaykh Tanko Abubakr, who had vied for the same position, has been assigned other duties in the community.
The solid foundation that Afa Ajura laid for the Munchire community that has adopted the generic name of the Anbariya Sunni community had made it possible for recent generation to mute out the idea of the development of a strategic plan with the aim of sustaining, maintaining and developing the dreams and aspirations of the latter. Since the turn of the century there has been a proliferation in Islamic movements across the world that renounce many of the traditions associated with the traditional practice of Islam and that are often at variance with the Sufi ideologies embedded in various Muslim societies.
They had as their prime goal a return to the pristine Islam practiced by the Prophet and his companions and the generation that followed. The case of West Africa is not very different. As was shown in the second chapter, Islam was brought by the Sufis and, as such, Sufi institutions were embedded in every aspect of the society. This was not envisaged to be a major threat to the hegemony of an already established and widely practiced Sufi Islam that had been classified by Westerlund as African Islam. These newcomers started as insignificant minorities in whichever region they found themselves, including Ghana.
The Munchire movement started as a minority group, as posited in the preamble of the Anbariyya strategic plan: Sheik Yussif Sualih Ajura did not relent in ensuring the propagation of Islam in Tamale. Even though a lot constraints and challenges impinged on his effort to develop Islam in Tamale, he never reneged. Anbariya which started as a minority Islamic group in Tamale is today the largest Muslim group in Northern Ghana with the best practices in all their endeavors. However, the variations in this phenomenon depend on the geographical area in question and the prevailing circumstances in that milieu.
It is the orthodox that have suffered the greatest decline overall. The heterodox orders on the other hand were marked in their spirituality by a renunciation of the religious law and inclusion of practices such as amulets and magic, practices strongly frowned upon by the traditional Sufis. Sufism; An Account of the Mystics of Islam. London: George and Unwin During this period, there was expansion and mutation of the religious orders. These orders, thanks to the patronage that they enjoyed from rulers and those in authority, saw their expansion accelerate. Soon after this time, diminishing returns set in and the efficacy of the orders started to decline.
Arberry summarizes some of the factors in this decline as follows: It was inevitable, as soon as legends of miracles became attached to the names of the great mystics, that the credulous masses should applaud impostures more than true devotion; the cult of saints, against which orthodox Islam ineffectually protested, promoted ignorance and superstition, and confounded charlatanry with lofty speculation. To live scandalously, to act impudently, to speak unintelligibly this was this was the easy highroad to fame, wealth and power. For whatever the Sufis of old may have been and many of them were openly hostile to orthodoxy and bold against authority of every kind they generally maintained a descent respect for study, and constantly had upon their lips the prophet s injunction to seek learning, even if it be from China.
The new Sufis, however, made boast of ignorance, which they were indeed interested to applaud in the masses, for it secured them from rational attack and lent credence to their claims of miraculous powers. Meanwhile magic assumed an increasing importance in their repertory. Early Sufism had been refreshingly free of this most mischievous variety of mystification and obscurantism; in this age of decline, as in all similar times, charms and amulets came to acquire a special a special value in the eyes of men no longer confident against the vicissitudes of fortune; cabbalism and witchcraft provided an attractive substitute for defeated reason.
When it failed to meet these requirements, then the tradition was rejected and classified as spurious or inauthentic. The hadith scholars had come to a consensus that whatever could not be traced back to the Prophet by their methodology was an innovation and had to be discarded. That era was characterized by a desire to subject everything to rationality. A resurgence of this rationalist phenomenon with more defined characteristics began to spread into sub-saharan Africa in the early s and late s as posited by Kaba Lansine. This was attributed to the return of al-azhar graduates, pilgrims and, more recently, returnee graduates of Saudi institutions.
The issue at stake today is to define and identify the dimensions in which the ascendancy is making an impact and where the decline is setting in. However, al-hussein added that there may be a decline in progress. In my examination of this phenomenon, I will categorize the causes under four sections: political, educational, economic and social.
They took to verbal militancy instead of armed struggle, reminiscent of the 20 th century Islamic current in Egypt. He further states that: The influences of education and pilgrimage coupled with the internal needs of the West African Muslims have been the driving forces of the Wahhabiyya among the traders and the first generation of the elite. The reform gave a new impulse to the religiosity of these two categories and to the whole issue of contemporary Islamic problems. Although the brotherhoods that were targeted did not disappear, their positions were weakened on various fronts during the past decade and a half.
Some of this weakness can be attributed, according to Lansine, to religious, educational and political ineptness. Younger people were regarded as still being under the influence of youthful exuberance and thus subject to getting carried away, as well as being tools in the hands of satanic forces. This created the serene atmosphere that was needed for this devotion. Second, it shrouded it with the secrecy and sanctity that are the bedrock of Islamic religious spirituality. These factors were applicable in the above case, yet the Niassiyya perspectives on that strategy seem to be plausible.
For them, religiosity was not the exclusive prerogative of a particular age group or literary class. This is the case in Senegal, where there exists a plethora of Maraboutic and 14 Ibid. This implies that the youth are of a mature frame of mind. In some parts of Northern Nigeria, this is roughly the situation. On the other hand, in places where youth do not have the privilege of receiving an education during their early development, it would be inappropriate to implement such a proselytization strategy.
So long as this was not fulfilled, then the person would not qualify for membership Wahhabist Influence in Electoral Politics: Religion plays a significant role in the politics of our region. It has become synonymous to the names of the two political parties. The involvement of Afanema Muslim scholars in the politics of the region started since the time of the Islamization of the monarchy of Dagbon. Ferguson state about this involvement thus: the Muslims began to assume a much more active, and aggressive role in the Dagomba political process: that is, in the affairs of the nam. Members of the Alfanema class began to utilize their resources to develop personal constituencies, to finance candidates for chiefly office, and indeed in some cases themselves to bid for such offices: a development made possible by the fact that an increasing number of the alfanema were sons of women from the chiefly class and could, therefore make legitimate claim to those skins reserved for grandsons or yanga, as descendents of Ya Nas through their daughters rather than their sons.
He set precedence for the phenomenon of Afanema active involvement of later Afanema s involvement in politics. It can therefore be inferred that Afa Ajura s involvement in the geo-politics of Dagbon was from Dobla s legacy. Furthermore, with the inception of the Europeans into the arena of Gold Coast and later inclusion of the Northern territories in their domain of authority the local politics assumed a national dimension and hence the Western style of politics slowly crept into the system.
The colonial rulers started dabbling in this institution since the time of the partition of Africa. It has been posited that Wahhabis activism gained ascendancy based on the fact that the parties which they give their votes to always wins the majority of the seats in the northern Ghana. In order to substantiate the political factor that I have posited as an indicator for the 17 Ferguson. My main concern is Tamale which is the focal point of the two sectarian divides. I draw my figures from the election through to the election to establish my supposition. In the election the opposition parties refused to participate because of their preconceive notion that the incumbent head of state s party had comparative advantage over any other participating party in this election and hence the government could use the state s apparatus in its favor to manipulate the outcome of the election results.
To this end the major opposition party which was led by Professor Adu Boahene withdrew from the presidential election and three other parties. This did not hamper the proceeding of the election it continued as programmed. Aryee Joseph summarized it thus: The outcome of the and elections were disputed by the losing presidential candidates and therefore did not exhibit the grace to congratulate the winners as was the case in and For instance, in the presidential elections, the opposition parties made up of the New Patriotic Party NPP , the People s National Convention PNC , the National Independence Party NIP and the People s Heritage Party PHP complained against the unfair electoral environment, the Provisional National Defence Council s PNDC control over the then Interim National Electoral Commission INEC and voter registration and manipulation of the presidential elections themselves and subsequently boycotted the presidential elections in December It was a landslide victory for the National Democratic Congress NDC , thanks especially to the north where it received a massive vote.
In fact the northern region is considered to be the second strong hold for the NDC next to the Volta region, from which the former president hails. At the time of the election the religious factor, which I seek to 18 Ayee Joseph R. The support was based not on ethnicity as it was in the Volta region but rather on the fact that the north was one of the neglected areas of the country in terms of development and hence was ready to support a party that would correct this. The SDF results in this election analytically might be said to have depended on local politics, in which the struggle for the chieftaincy was a major card.
So those who voted for that party were mainly the Andani-gate hardliners. The influence of the religious factor cannot be completely ruled out here because some of the Munchires who were Andani sympathizers voted for the SDF party. In the election, in which the major opposition party chose to participate, the results for the northern region were as follows: out of the , votes cast the NDC polled This election took on a dramatic sectarian dimension.
They saw it as a betrayal of the cause for which they stood for. Agyekum Kufour. The latter offered the incumbent NDC a very strong contest and even won the election. Here again the northern region played a crucial role. Out of , votes cast in the region, the NPP polled In the election the incumbent president won the election for a second time.
The old pattern still dominated, however, as indicated by the results. Out of the , votes cast, the NDC won The incumbent NPP party won This pattern, translated into religious cum geopolitical terms, points to the continuing dominance of Wahhabi political activism, which could in turn suggest that their political dominance has given them leverage in the power of disseminating their doctrinal beliefs and acceptance by the people.
Based on the election results of , , , and , the performance of the Wahhabi-supported parties suggests that, armed with the ability to galvanize public support for the party of their choice and the ability to win and maintain their dominance in the political sphere, the Wahhabi option is on the ascendancy in the religious realm in the region. This should not be generalized in terms of other parts of the country. The latter included all the brotherhoods in Senegal. Allah, the Exalted, says: "Successful, indeed, are the believers who are submissive in their salats," Submission in the salat is regarded as a sign of faith [iman].
So, whoever is not submissive in his salat, will, according to Allah's saying, be excluded from the faithful [ahl-i iman]. Our salats which are not accompanied with submission are caused by a deficiency of faith or by lacking it. A belief [i'tiqad] and knowledge are other than faith, our knowledge of Allah, His Names and Attributes and of other divine Knowledge [ma'arij], is other than faith.
Satan, according to the testimony of Allah, has information about the Beginning and the Resurrection, yet, he is a disbeliever. He said: "You have created me of fire, while You created him of dust," So, he believes in Allah and in His being the Creator; and he says: "Respite me until the day they are resurrected", So, he believes in the Day of Resurrection, too.
He knows about the Books, the Messengers and the angels. Nevertheless, Allah addresses him as a disbeliever, excluding him from the group of the believers [mu'minin]. Thus, the people of knowledge are distinct from those of faith. Not every man of knowledge is a man of faith.
Therefore, after acquiring knowledge, one has to join the believers, and to convey the Greatness, Majesty, Brightness and Beauty of Allah, the Most Exalted and High, to his heart, so that it may become submissive, since mere knowledge does not result in submission. You can realize it in yourself: although you do believe in the Beginning and the Resurrection and in Allah's Majesty and Glory, your heart is not submissive. As to Allah's saying: "Has not the time yet come for those who believe that their hearts should be submissive when remembering Allah and what has come down of the truth,"  it may be that it is the formal faith the very belief in what the Prophet SA has brought - which is intended here, for the true faith is accompanied by a degree of submission; or the submission in the noble ayah may refer to a submission at its complete degree, as sometimes they.
In the terms of the Book and the Sunnah, knowledge, faith and Islam refer to different degrees, the explanation of which is out of the scope of these papers. Generally speaking, the salik on the way to the Hereafter -specially if with the mi'raj ascending step of the salat -will have to make his heart submissive by the light of knowledge and faith, so as to strengthen, as much as he can, this divine gift and the beneficent gleam, in his heart, trying to keep this state during the whole length of the salat. This state of consolidation and stability, though a bit difficult at the beginning for people like us, it becomes quite possible by practice and by exercising the heart.
My dear: Acquiring perfection and the provision for the Hereafter requires demand and seriousness, and the greater the demand, the more it deserves being serious about it. Certainly, with such a state of weakness, laxity and carelessness, one cannot ascend to the divine proximity and to be in a place neighbouring the Lord of Might.
Since you do believe in the Hereafter, and find no way of comparability between that world and this -whether regarding their happiness and perfection, or their sufferings and calamities, as that world is eternal, with no death and perishing, where the happy live in comfort and dignity and in everlasting bliss, a comfort which has no like in this world, a divine glory and sovereignty, the like of which cannot be found in this life, and a bliss which never occurs in anybody's imagination, and similarly regarding the sufferings of that world, its pains, torments and evils can have no match in this world -you should know that the way to happiness runs through obeying Allah, the Lord of Might.
None of the acts of worship and obedience can be on the same footing as that of the salat, which is a comprehensive [jami] divine mixture [ma'jun] undertaking the happiness of humanity. If it is accepted, all other acts of worship will be accepted. So, you are to exert utmost seriousness in obtaining it, never to feel tired in the quest, and to bear whatever hardship there may be, though there will be none. Actually if you continued it for a while and got cordially familiar with it, you would get, in this very world, so much pleasure out of your talk with Allah -a pleasure which cannot be compared with anyone of this world's pleasures.
In general, to sum up our discussions in this chapter, we may say that, having comprehended the Greatness, the Beauty, and the Majesty of Allah, either by means of reasoning and proofs, or through the explanations of the prophets AS , one must remind his heart of it, and then, by gradual remindings, cordial attention and continual remembering Allah's Greatness and Majesty, he has to bring about the state of submission in his heart, so as to attain to the required result. At any rate, the salikshould not suffice himself with his present station, as any station which we may obtain does not worth a farthing in the market of the people of knowledge, nor it worths a grain of mustard in the bazar of "the people of heart".
The salik must, in all situations, remember his own faults and deficiencies, so that he may find, through this, a way to his happiness. And praise be to Allah. Notes: . Nahjul Balaghah, sermon Surah al-Mu'minun: Surah al-A'raf: Surah al-Hadid: Surah Fatir: Tranquillity Of the important cordial disciplines of worships, especially the invoking worships, one is tranquillity [tuma'ninah], which is not the same tranquillity as demanded by the jurisprudents may Allah be pleased with them in the salat.
It is that the salikshould perform his worship with a quietude of the heart and a tranquillity of the mind, because if the worship was performed in a state of anxiety and with shaky heart, the heart would not have any reaction, and no effects of worship would appear in the dominion of the heart, and the reality of the worship would not become an inner image of the heart. One of the significances of the repetition of worships and the increase of supplications and invocations is that the heart is effected by them and there will be an emotion until, gradually, the reality of worship and supplication forms the innermost part of the salik, and his heart unites with the spirit of worship.
Should the heart lack tranquillity [itminan], quietude and serenity, there would be no effect of the supplications and the rituals on it, and they would not pass from the outer appearance and limits of the body to the dominion of the inner soul, and the cordial parts of the truth of worship would not be effected. This is one of the clear matters that need no explanation, as it could be understood by a little contemplation. If a worship was such that the heart could have no information whatsoever about it, and there was no effect at all in the interior, it would not be kept in other dominions, nor would it ascend from the kingdom of this world to the kingdom of the heavens.
And it may be that at the times of difficulties of the illness of death and its horrible agonies, and the terrors and calamities of after death, the image of such a worship may completely be effaced -God forbid! For example, if one recites the noble supplicatiton: La ilaha illallah, Muhammad Rasulullah There is no god but Allah; Muhammad.
He said: "Let your heart be your tongue's qiblah ,and do not move it except by the heart's order, the reason's assent and the faith's consent,"  At the beginning, before the tongue learns talking, the salik on the way to the Hereafter, is to teach it and to instruct it, in tranquillity and quietude, with the supplications. As soon as the heart finds its tongue, it becomes the qiblah the focus of attraction of the mouth's tongue and of the other organs of the body. When it starts supplication, the whole kingdom of the human existence becomes supplicant.
But if the noble supplication is recited without the tranquillity and calmness of the heart, but with haste, trouble, and unbalanced senses, it will have no effect on the heart, and will not pass the limits of the animal tongue and ear of the outer body to the interior and the human hearing, and its truth will not be implemented in the core of the heart, nor will it become a perfect and non-transitory image of the heart.
Thus, when there are terrors and difficulties, especially the terrors of the agonies of death and the difficulties of the throes of the last breaths, one completely forgets supplication and it will be erased from the plane of the heart. Even the name of Allah the Exalted, the Seal of the Prophets SA , the noble religion of Islam, the divine sacred Book, the Imams of guidance AS and other knowledge [ma'arif] which have not been conveyed to the heart, will be forgotten, and when he is questioned in the grave, he cannot answer, and thetalqin will be of no avail, because he does not find in himself any trace of the truth of Lordship, prophethood or other knowledge [ma'arif], and that what he used to chatter about, and had no image in his heart, vanishes from his memory, and thus he will have no share of testifying the Lordship, prophethood and other knowledge [ma'arif].
It is stated in a hadith that a group of the people [ummah] of the Messenger of Allah SA , on being entered into Hell, forget the name of the Prophet because of the fearfulness of the Hell-keeper, despite the fact that the same hadith states that they are of the believers and their hearts and features glitter brightly because of the light of faith.
The Glorious Qur'an orders that it the Qur'an should be recited in tartil, and it is stated in the noblehadiths that: "Whoever forgets a surah from the Qur'an, it will appear before him in Paradise in a most beautiful image. When he looks at it he says: 'What are you? How wonderful you are! I wish you were mine'. It will reply: 'Do you not know me? I am so-and-so surah. If you had not forgotten me, I would have lifted you to this high rank. There are many hadiths in this respect, to which we shall refer when we discuss "recitation", insha 'allah.
In a noble hadith it is said: "Nothing is more loved by Allah than a deed which is done persistently, no matter how small the deed. Notes: . Misbahush-Shari'ah, ch. Mir'atul 'Uqul, vol. Protecting the Worships from Satan's Intrusion One of the important cordial disciplines of the salat and other worships which is of the chief cordial disciplines, and to implement it is one of the great affairs and minute problems, is protecting the worships against the intrusion of Satan. The noble ayah :"And those who keep guard on their salats" probably refers to all degrees of keeping guard, a degree of which, or rather the most important one of them, is to guard against Satan's intrusion.
To go into details, we say that it is quite explicit to the people of knowledge and the men of heart that as bodies require material food for nourishment, and that the food should be suitable for their disposition so that they may be brought up corporeally and have vegetable growth, similarly the hearts and the souls require a particular food to suit them both, so that they may be educated with it, and feed on it to grow up spiritually and progress inwardly. The nutritions suitable for the growth [nash'ah] of the souls are the divine knowledge [ma'arif] from the beginning of existence till the ultimate end of the system of existence.
It is expressed in defining philosophy by the great experts that: "It is man's development into a mental world matching the material world in its form and perfection. It must be noted that each one of these foods, if kept away from Satan's intrusion and prepared by the hands of the guardianship of the Seal of the Prophets and Allah's great friend SA , the soul and the heart would be nourished by them and would attain to the perfection becoming of humanity and ascend to the proximity of Allah.
Getting rid of Satan's intrusion, which is a preliminary step to sincerity, cannot really be brought about, unless the salik be in quest of Allah in his suluk, and tread upon his selfishness and self-conceit, which are the origin of all evils and the inner diseases. This, in its full meaning, is not possible except by the Perfect Man, or,. But the salik must not despair of the inner kindness of Allah, because to despair of Allah's mercy is the beginning of all coldnesses and weaknesses, and it is one of the great sins. That which is possible for the common people, too, is the delight of eyes of "the people of knowledge" [ahl-i ma'rifat].
So, it is a must for the salik on the road to the other world to act very seriously to rid his knowledge [ma'arif] and rites [manasik] of the intrusion of Satan and the commanding soul [nafs-i ammarah], and to go deep into his doings, quests and desires, with strictness and examination, so as to find out the ultimate objective of his journey, learning the principles of his inner activities and spiritual nutrition. He is not to neglect the tricks of the soul and Satan, as well as the snares of the commanding soul and Iblis.
He is always to distrust his self in all his doings and activities, and never to let it go willfully. It is quite possible that, with a little negligence, it may overcome man, knock him down and drive him to perdition and annihilation. If the spiritual foods were not free from Satan's intrusion, and if he shared in preparing them, the souls and hearts would not be educated with them nor can they reach their becoming perfection, let alone the irreparable insufficiency that would befall them.
Such foods may probably cause man to join the group of Satans or the quadruped and beasts of prey. Then whatever is the capital of happiness, the source of the human perfection and the means of attaining to high ranks, results in the opposite, and drives man to the dark abyss of misfortune. Actually we did come across some of the so-called gnostics who had been led astray because of their deep indulgence in the gnostic terminology, such that their hearts became inverted and their interiors were darkened.
Their gnostic practices strengthened their selfishness and I-ness, and they uttered improper allegations and abnormal expressions. Similarly, among the ascetics and the devotees there were persons who practised asceticism and self-purification, yet their exercises only aggravated their hearts' impurity and their interiors' darkness. This is because they did not keep on their divine spiritual journey and migration to Allah, and their scholarly and ascetic suluk journey was subject to the intrusion of Satan and the self's desire, and so, it was to Satan and self. We also noted that among the students of religious sciences there were some who had badly been affected by their studies, which increased their moral corruption; and knowledge, which should have guided them to success and salvation, had driven them to annihilation and led them to ignorance, hypocrisy, arrogance and deception.
Likewise, it is seen that among the people of worship and ceremonies, who persist in observing disciplines. These are also caused by neglecting to observe those divine mixtures [ma'ajin]. Naturally, the mixture [ma'jun] prepared by Satan's filthy hand and the meddling of the obstinate self can give birth to nothing but Satanic character , and, since the heart gets its nourishment from them, in any case, and they become the inner image of the soul, after a while of man's so continuation, he becomes an offspring of Satan, and will be brought up under his patronage.
And when the visible eye of such a man is closed and his invisible eye is opened, he will see himself among the Satans. Thus, the result will be nothing but a loss, and his regret and repent will avail him to nothing. Consequently, the traveler on the road to the Hereafter , notwithstanding his religious branch or divine method, has, firstly to be on the alert, like a kind doctor or a compassionate nurse, to take full care of his moods, looking for the faults of his conduct with strictness, and secondly, as he does so, he is not to neglect seeking refuge with the Sacred Essence of Allah, the Glorified and Most High, in his privacy, and supplicating in the presence of His Sanctity and Majesty.
O Lord! You do know our weakness and helplessness. You do know that without Your helping hand we cannot find our way out of the hands of such a powerful enemy who covets the great prophets and the perfect and high holy men. Without Your spark of kindness and mercy, this strong-handed enemy will knock us down on the ground of annihilation and hurl us into the pit of darkness and wretchedness. We adjure You by Your distinguished favourites and intimate confidants to extend Your helping hand to us, the bewildered in the valley of error and the fallen down in the desert of seduction.
Purge our hearts from rancour, deceit, polytheism and doubt. Surely You are the Patron of Guidance! Notes: . Surah Ma'arij: 34, and Surah Mu'minun: 9. Mulla Sadra and his disciples used this expression to define philosophy, to which some added the phrase: "in its image and perfection,".
On Vivacity and Cheerfulness Of other cordial disciplines of the salat and other worships ,one, which has good results, or rather it opens some doors and uncovers some secrets of worships, is that the salik is to try to worship with vivacity, cheerfulness of heart and gaiety of mind, and to avoid laziness and reluctance in performing worships. He is to choose for worship a time in which he is quite prepared to perform it with animation and freshness, feeling no tiredness or lassitude.
Should one force oneself to worship in times of laziness and tiredness, it would probably bring about bad consequences, such as feeling tired of worshipping and of taking the trouble and bearing difficulty. Then, gradually, one may feel disgusted with worshipping. Furthermore, it may possibly turn man completely away from remembering Allah, and give pains to the spirit from the state of servitude, which is the source of all happiness. Such worship will bring no luminosity to the heart, and the inside of the soul will not have any reaction, and the image of servitude will not become the image of the inner heart.
It has already been said that the aim of worship is that the inner soul should become the image of servitude. We now say that one of the secrets and results of worships and austerities is that the will of the soul becomes operative on the realm of the body, and its authority is overcome by the majesty of the soul and is annihilated, and the forces and soldiers spread in the kingdom of the body can no longer revolt, disobey and be obstinate and selfish.
They actually surrender to the inner kingdom of the heart, or rather those forces gradually dissolve in the invisible heavenly domain, and its command is effective on the visible dominion. The will of the soul gets stronger and takes the reins of the kingdom from Satan and the commanding soul, and the soldiers of the soul are driven to submission, from submission to contentment, and from contentment to annihilation. In this situation the soul will get to discover some secrets of worship and some actual.
But all these cannot be implemented unless the worships are performed cheerfully and actively, away from every sort of laziness and carelessness, so that a mood of affection and love towards remembering Allah, the Exalted, and the state of servitude, with familiarity and consistency, happen. Loving Allah and remembering Him is one of the great affairs which is very much cared for by the people of knowledge, and is a subject of competition among the people of suluk. Physicians believe that if food is eaten with cheerfulness and gaiety, it will be digested much easier. Similarly, psychiatrists stress that if the spiritual nutrition is taken cheerfully and enthusiastically, and with avoiding laziness and affectedness, its effect will appear very quickly in the heart and the inner heart will be purified more quickly, too.
Some narratives refer to this discipline. By relating some of them we shall give pride to these papers. This is a general instruction to deposit in your hearts any information you may when they are lively and gay, and leave them alone when they are restive. So, in acquiring knowledge [ma'arif] and sciences this discipline must also be applied , and the hearts must not be forced when they are irresponsive.
It can be gathered from this and other hadiths that there is another discipline which is also an important chapter of asceticism. This discipline is "considerateness" [mura'at], that is, the salik, in whatever stage he is, in scholarly or in spiritual and practical austerities and strifes, must consider his conditions, treat his soul with kindness and care, and avoid burdening himself with more than it can bear, especially the young people and the inexperienced, to whom this discipline is quite important. If the young people do not treat themselves considerately and kindly,.
The danger is that when one is too severe with his self and pulls the reins too hard, they will break off, and then the will gets out of control, and the accumulated natural needs and the sharp fires of desire, under unlimited pressure of austerity, burn out the whole kingdom. If asalik's reins break off -God forbid!
Thus, asalik, like a clever physician, has to feel his own pulse during his progress on the journey and to treat his self according to the requirements of the conditions of the journey. So, he is to marry, as it is one of the great divine laws, which, besides being the base of the survival of the species, has a great effect on the journey to the Hereafter, too.
He came to them and asked them: 'Do you reject women your wives? I do go into women my wives , eat in daytime and sleep at night. Whoever disregards my tradition is not of me. Allah, the Exalted, has revealed: "O you who believe! Surely Allah does not love the transgressors, And eat of what Allah has provided you as lawful and good, and fear Allah in Whom you believe," Generally speaking, the traveler along the road to the Hereafter is to be considerate with respect to the ups and downs of the soul. And, while he is never to curb the needs of his nature which, otherwise, would cause big mischiefs, he is also not to be severe nor to exert pressure upon himself with respect to worship and practical austerities, especially during his youth and on starting the journey, as otherwise this will also.
This point is frequently referred to in the noble hadiths. My father told me: 'My son, act less on that, as when Allah, the Exalted, loves someone, He will accept his little"'. When one's soul is strong and able to perform worships and bear hardship with good endurance, he should, then, try to perform the acts of worship. As to those who have crossed the prime of life, and the fires of their desires have subsided to some extent, it is suitable for them to increase their ascetic austerity, and to set foot on the road of self-discipline with manly vigilance and industry.
The more they accustom themselves to ascetic practices, the more doors will be opened to them, until the soul gradually overcomes the forces of their nature, which will be subjugated to them under the majesty of the soul. Concerning the noble hadiths which urge the people to strive earnestly in worshipping and praise the people who do so with reference to the worships and austerities of the Imams of the Islamic guidance AS , as well as the noble hadiths which recommend economy in worshipping and praise it, both categories are based on the different people of suluk and the ranks and conditions of the soul.
The general criterion is the vivacity and the strength of the soul or its weakness and aversion. Notes: . Surah at Taubah: Surah an-Nisa': Bihar al-Anwar, vol. Ibid, hadiths 18 and 35, quoting Raudatul Wa'izin, p.
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Wasa'ilush-Shi'ah, p. Surah al-Ma'idah: On Informing the Heart A cordial discipline of worship, especially the invoking worship, is "informing" [tafhim]. It is to take the heart, at the beginning, as a child not yet able to speak, and is wanted to be taught. So, each of the invocations, recitations, facts and secrets of worship is to be taught to the heart with strict accuracy and effort, and whatever the degree of perfection, one has to teach to the heart the facts which he has so far recognized.
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Even if one was unable to understand the meanings of the Qur'an and the invocations, and had no share of the secrets of worship, he, nevertheless, would have to teach his heart the very general meanings, such as telling it that the Qur'an is the words of Allah, that the invocations are remembrance of Allah, and that worship is obeying the Creator.
He has to teach his heart such general information. Should he be of those who understand the apparent meanings of the Qur'an and the invocations, such as the promises, warnings, biddings and forbiddings, as well as the information about the Source [mabda'] and Resurrection [ma'ad], he must inform his heart of whatever has been understood from them by him.
Should a fact of knowledge or a secret of worship be exposed to him, he is to inform it to his heart carefully and strictly. The result of such information is that after a period of perseverance the tongue of the heart will open to speaking and will become an invoker and a reminder. At the beginning the heart is a learner and the tongue a teacher. Whenever the tongue invokes, the heart also becomes an invoker, and so the heart is a follower of the tongue. But after that the heart's tongue learns to speak, the contrary happens: the heart becomes invoker and the tongue follows it in invocation and in movement.
In short, at the beginning man must observe this discipline, that is, "informing", so that the tongue of the heart starts speaking, which is the real objective. The sign denoting that the heart's tongue has been released is that the tiredness and the hardship of the invocation are removed and replaced by animation and pleasure. It is like a baby which has not yet started talking, its tutor feels tired and bored before it speaks.
No sooner the baby starts prattling than his tutor's fatigue goes away and the teacher follows up the child's utterances without tiredness or trouble. Similar is the heart. It is a mere infant at the start, knowing not how to speak. It is to be taught, and the invocations and the recitations are to be placed on its tongue. Then, as it begins talking, man begins to be its follower, and there will remain no pain of teaching nor any tiredness of invocating. This discipline is quite necessary for the beginners.
It must be noted that one of the secrets of repeating the invocations and benedictions and continuing the remembrance and worshipping is that the heart's tongue gets untied, and the heart becomes an invoking devotee. Without observing this discipline the tongue of the heart would remain tied up. Some noble hadiths refer to this. A hadith relates that Imam as Sadiq may Allah's peace be upon him once was subject to a fit during the salat and fainted. When he came to his senses and he was asked about the reason, he said: "I kept repeating this ayah to my heart until I heard it from the one Who spoke it, and so, my body could not bear to see His power.
This is referred to in a number of hadiths. As long as the said discipline is not observed, no cordial invocation will happen, and the heart will not come out of its being inattentive and negligent. It is narrated that Imam as Sadiq A. S said: "Make your heart a qiblah to your tongue and do not move it except by a sign from the heart. Should it happen without the observation of this discipline, it would be a rarity, and one must not take pride in it. Notes: .
Surah Isra': Usulul Kafi, vol. Al Kafi, Raudah , Vol. Biharul Anwar, vol. Al-Mahajjatul Bayda' vol. And Biharul Anwar, vol. On the Presence of Heart One of the important cordial disciplines, which many other disciplines may be its preliminaries, and worship without it would be lifeless, and it is the key to the lock of perfections and the door of the doors of blisses, and the noble hadiths seldom attach so much importance to a discipline other than that, is the "presence of heart".
Although we have sufficiently explained this topic, together with its ranks and degrees in the thesis The Secret of the Salat  and in Forty hadiths, nevertheless, we shall allude to it once again, to complete the benefit, and to avoid reference. It has already been explained that worships, ceremonies, invocations and benedictions can have their results only when they become the inner image of the heart, and the interior of the essence of man is mixed with them, and his heart takes the form of servitude, renouncing disobedience and obstinacy.
It has also been noted that one of the secrets and advantages of worship is that one's will gets stronger, the soul overcomes one's nature, the forces of the nature become subjugated to the soul's power and sovereignty and the will of the invisible soul overrules the visible body, such that the forces turn like the angels with regard to Allah, the Exalted, i.
This is regarded as one of the low degrees of the annihilation of the forces and wills in Allah's will. Then, gradually, big consequences appear, the physical man becomes divine, and the soul practices servitude to Allah. The soldiers of Iblis will totally be defeated and abolished, and the heart and its powers surrender to Allah, and in it appear some inner stages of. The result of this submitting of the will to Allah in the Hereafter will be that Allah, the Exalted, will enforce make effective the will of such a servant in the invisible worlds and make him His "sublime similitude" [mathali a'la].
And, like His Sacred Self when at His mere Will everything He wants is created, He makes this servant's will like His; as some of the people of knowledge, quoting the Messenger of Allah SA , concerning the people of Paradise, say that an angel comes to them, and, after asking permission from them, he enters and after conveying Allah's greeting to them he delivers a letter from Allah, the Exalted.
The letter says to whomsoever it is addressed: "From the Everliving, the Everlasting, Who never dies, to the everliving, the everlasting, who never dies. Now then, I tell a thing: Be! I made you tell a thing: Be! None of the said results may take place except with the complete "presence of heart". If the heart was negligent and forgetful during the salat, his worship would not be real, but more like a play and sporting. Such a worship, as a matter of fact, will have no effect whatsoever on the soul, and the worship will never sublime from its outer form to the inside and the invisible world [malakut].
This fact is referred to by many narratives. The powers of the soul would not surrender, through such worship, to the soul itself, nor can the sovereignty of the soul be seen on them. Similarly, the outward and inward powers will not surrender to Allah's will , and the kingdom will not be subdued to Allah's Majesty, as is quite clear. That is why you can see no effect from forty or fifty years of worship on us.
On the contrary, the darkness of the heart and the obstinacy of the powers increase day after day, since our longing for nature, our obedience to our desires and to the Satanic whispers, increase, too. These mean nothing but that our worships are empty and their interior and exterior disciplines are not observed.
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A torch should be lighted in the heart, and a light must shine in one's interior so as to guide him to the invisible world, and there appears a divine preventer which prevents man from disobedience. We do regard ourselves among the musallin, and we have been engaged in this great worship for decades, without seeing such a light, nor discerning such a preventer in our interior. So woe to us on the day. See if such deeds can be accepted by His Majesty, and whether such a salat, in such a deformed and darkened form, can bring one nearer to His Presence. Is it right to treat this great divine trust and the advice of the prophets and wasis executors of the prophets' wills in such a way, and to let the treacherous hand of the cursed Satan, the enemy of Allah, meddle in it?
The salat, which is the mi'rajof the believer and the means of proximity of the pious, why should it keep you away from the sacred proximity to the divine Presence? What would be our share on that day except regret, remorse, helplessness, wretchedness, shame and disgrace? This world's regrets, are, at any rate, mixed with a thousand kinds of hope, and the shamelessness here is transitory, while there is nothing there except regret and remorse day after day. Allah, the Exalted, says: "And warn them of the day of regret, when the matter shall have been decided.
The prophets came and brought Books, and they proclaimed their calls, with a lot of celebrities, enduring pains and hardships, in order to wake us up from the sleep of negligence and to sober us from the nature's intoxication, and to take us to the world of light and the source of joy and pleasure, and to introduce us to the eternal life, the everlasting bliss and the unlimited delights, and to deliver us from annihilation, misery, fire, darkness, regret and remorse.
All these are for our own benefit, without there being any profit for them, as those sacred personalities are in no need of our faith and deeds. Despite all that, they had not the least effect on us, as Satan was so firmly closing the ears of our heart, and exerted so a strong control over our inside and outside that none of their admonitions could ever have an effect on us, nor could any of the ayahs and hadiths pierce the ears of our hearts, going to no farther than our outer animal ears.
In short, O respected reader who read these papers, do not be, like the writer, void of all lights, and empty-handed of all good deeds, entangled in the sensual desires. Have mercy on yourself, and get a fruit from your life. Carefully look into the lives of the prophets and the perfect godly men [awliya], and cast away the false desires and Satan's promises. Do not be deceived by Satan's fraud, nor by the deceptions of the. Sometimes they fool man by making him think that he will repent at the end of his life, and thus, drag him into wretchedness, despite the fact that repenting at the end of life, after the accumulation of the darkness of sins, and the numerous acts of injustice against the people and against Allah's right, is a very difficult task.
Now, when man is still strong and in the prime of life, and the tree of sin is still frail and the influence of Satan has not yet become widespread in the soul, and the soul is still new to the invisible world and very near the God-given disposition, and the conditions for an acceptable repentance are easy, they do not let man repent and uproot this frail tree and overthrow the dependent kingdom. They suggest old age, when, on the contrary, the will is weak, the powers have given way, the trees of different sins are strong and deep rooted, the kingdom of Iblis, inwardly and outwardly, is independent and firm, the familiarity with nature is strong, the distance from the invisible world is great, the light of innate disposition is extinguished, and the situation for repentance is difficult and bitter.
This is nothing but delusion. In another instance the promise of the intercession of the intercessors AS drives man out of their sacred realm and deprives him of their intercession, because indulgence in disobedience gradually darkens and upsets the heart and drags man to a bad end.
Satan's aim is to rob man's faith, and he makes committing sins a preliminary step to that aim so as to attain to it. If a man covetously thinks of intercession, he must try hard in this world to keep his connection with his intercessors, and think of the status of those who will intercede on the Day of Resurrection to see how their state of worship and devotion was. Suppose that you died a faithful man, but if the load of the sins and injustices was heavy, it is possible that concerning the different pains and tortures in the barzakh there would be no intercession for you, as Imam as Sadiq was quoted to have said: "Your barzakh is with yourselves".
It will probably last for millions and millions of years. It is possible that, in the Hereafter and after long periods of diverse and unbearable kinds of torture, we get the intercession, as it is also related in the hadiths. In some instances, Satan,. The whole world is enveloped in the vast mercy of Allah, while we, at the fringe of the spring of life, die of thirst. The greatest of the divine mercies is the Qur'an. If you are looking greedily for the mercy of the Most Merciful, hoping for His vast mercy, do benefit from the Qur'an, the vast mercy.
It has opened to you the way to happiness, and has distinguished for you the pit from the paved road. But you fall over into the pit by yourself, because you deviate from the right path.
So, what has mercy to do with that? Had it been possible to show the road of good and happiness to the people in a different way ,it would have been done, according to the vastness of the mercy. Had it been possible to force the people into happiness, it would have been done.
But alas! How far it is! The road to the Hereafter is a road which cannot be trodden except at one's free will. Happiness cannot be attained forcibly. Piety and righteous deeds are not so if not done voluntarily. This is probably the very meaning of the noble ayah: "There is no compulsion in religion" Yes, what can be made compulsory and forcible is the appearance of the divine religion, not its reality. The prophets AS were enjoined to impose the appearance, in any possible way, on the people, so that the appearance of the world might become the appearance of the divine justice, and to guide the people to the interior, so that they themselves might march on their own feet towards happiness.
In short, this is also a Satanic delusion which cuts, by coveting mercy, man's hand short from mercy. Notes: . Forty hadiths is one of Imam Khomeini's works, which he finished in the month of Muharram, H. I, thus, wrote it in Persian. I ask Allah, the Exalted, to help me in finishing it. Surely He is the Giver of success! Surah at Tahrim: 6. Ilmul Yaqin, vol. Surah ' Ankabut: It refers to the ayah: "Read your book; your soul suffices as a reckoner against you this day. I'tiqadat, p. Furul 'ul Kafi, vol. Surah Maryam: This concept is understood from the narrative of 'Amr ibn Yazid in Furul 'ul Kafi, vol.
As in Biharul Anwar, vol. If you do not see Him, He does see you. That is, he is engaged in the Present [hadir], neglecting the presence [hudur] and company [mahdar]. The second degree, which is lower in rank, is that the salik sees himself present in His Presence [mahdar] and observes the discipline of the Presence [hudur] and Company [mahdar]. The Messenger of Allah SA says: "If you can be of those who are in the first degree, then worship Allah accordingly, or else, do not neglect the fact that you are in the Presence [mahdar] of the Lord.
His cloak slipped off his shoulders, but he did not try to rearrange it until he finished the salat. When I asked him about that, he said: 'Woe unto you! Do you know at whose service I was? He also said: "Is the person who turns his face in the salat not afraid that it may turn into the face of an ass? Another salat may be folded, like an old dress, and be thrown back at the face of its owner".
So, when you perform your salat, turn with your heart to Allah, the Glorified, the Almighty, because there would be no believing servant who would turn with his heart to Allah, the Exalted, during the salat and invocation, unless Allah would turn to him the hearts of the believers, and with their love He would back him and lead him to Paradise.
So, if one performed it completely mistaken, or neglected its disciplines, it would be folded and thrown back at its owner's face. That is, of his salat will not ascend except that part which is performed with an attentive heart. We have been commanded to perform the nafilah so as to make up for the shortcomings of the obligatory salats.
If you do not care for it, Allah will not care for you. So, sometimes, does not ascend of the salatexcept one-third, one-fourth or one-sixth,. Allah grants nothing to the negligent. Notes: . Makarimul Akhlaq, p. Wasa 'il ush-Shi'ah, vol. Mustadrakul Wasail, "Book of as Salat", chs. Mustadrakul Wasa'il, "Book of as Salat," chs. Wasa'ilush-Shi'ah, vol. Mustadrakul Wasa'il, "Book of as Salat", chs. See footnote No. On Calling to Acquiring the Presence of Heart Now that you have understood the rational and traditional merits and characteristics of the presence of heart, as well as the disadvantages of neglecting it, you should know that understanding alone is not enough, though it strengthens the evidence.
So, use all your endeavors and try to acquire that which you have understood, and turn your understanding into practice in order to be benefited by it and get its advantage. Think a little, as, according to narratives from the infallible Ahlul Bayt AS -who are the sources of revelation, and all their knowledge and utterances are of divine inspirations and Muhammadan SA intuition [kashf] -the acceptance of thesalat by Allah is the condition for the acceptance of other acts of worship.
If the salat is rejected, they will not pay attention to the other acts at all. Without the presence of heart in the salat it would be worthless and not becoming of being in the Presence of Allah and cannot be accepted, as had been explained by formerly mentioned hadiths. Thus, the key to the treasury [ganjinah] of deeds and the entrance to the doors of all kinds of happiness is the presence of heart, with which the door of happiness is opened to man, and without it all worships are degraded and worthless.
Now, with a look of regard, contemplate a little, and with the eye of insight look at the importance and the greatness of the situation, and carry it out with complete seriousness. The key to the door of happiness and the doors of Paradise, as well as the key to the door of wretchedness and the doors of Hell are in this world, in your own pocket.
You can open the doors of Paradise and happiness to yourself, and you can be on the contrary. The reigns are in your hands. Allah, the Exalted, has completed the evidence for you, showed you the roads to happiness and wretchedness, and has offered you the outward and the inward successes. What was needed on the part of Allah and His friends [awliya],.
Now it is our turn for action. They are the guides and we are the treaders. They did their work as best as possible without the least negligence, such that there remained no excuse whatsoever. So, you, too, wake up from your sleep of negligence and tread upon the road to happiness and make use of your years and powers, since, if you waste your cash of years and youth, and your treasure of power and ability, no compensation can make up for them.
If you are young, do not let yourself reach old age, because old age has its particular shortcomings which are known to the elderly people, and you do not know. To reform oneself in old age and in weakness is quite difficult. If you are old, do not let the rest of your years waste away, because, at any rate, as long as you are alive, you still have a way to happiness, and a door of happiness is open to you -God forbid its being closed and the road being blocked, as in that case you lose your free will and there remains nothing but regret, remorse and repentance of the past, of which you have no portion.
So, my dear, if you believe in what has been said, which is the sayings of the prophets AS , and if you prepare yourself for attaining to happiness and for the journey to the Hereafter, and find it necessary to obtain the presence of heart, which is the key to the treasure of happiness, the way to obtain it is to remove, first, the obstacles which prevent the presence of heart and to uproot the thorns from the road of the journey, and then to practice it. The obstacles which prevent the presence of heart in worship are the dispersion of the mind and too many engagements of the heart.
They happen most frequently from outside and through the outer senses, such as the ear hearing some sound during worship and the mind is, thus, distracted, stirring the imagination and inner thoughts, which fall under the effect of fancy, flying from one branch to another. Or a person's eye may see something which disturbs the mind and distracts the thoughts. Likewise, other senses may be attracted, causing imaginative transitions.
Regarding the doing away with these obstacles, they have said that it is done by removing the causes, such as standing in a dark place, or in a privacy, when performing the salat, and closing the eyes during the salat, and refraining from performing it in places causing mental distraction. The late prosperous martyr the Second Martyr may Allah be pleased with him , quotes some devotees to have said that they used to worship and perform their salats in a small dark room barely large enough for worshipping. It may. So, uprooting the whole matter is done by reforming one's imagination and fancy.
Later on we shall return to this point. However, this type of treatment is sometimes effective and helpful in some souls, but we are looking for a decisive cure and uprooting the real cause, and it cannot be done that way. Sometimes the disturbance of mind and absence of heart are caused by inner matters, which, generally speaking, are originated by two big causes to which return most of the matters: One is the dissoluteness and volatileness of the bird of imagination.
Imagination is, indeed, an extremely slippery power. It flies from one branch to another and from a peak to a peak. This is not connected to loving the world or paying attention to worldly matters, wealth or position. Actually, the volatility of imagination is, in itself, a calamity that afflicts even the ascetics. Acquiring calmness of mind, peace of soul and repose of imagination are of the important affairs which, if acquired, can bring about the final remedy.
This shall be referred to later on. The other cause is the love of the world and the attraction of mind to mundane matters. This cause is at the top of the sins and it is the mother of the inner diseases, the thorn of the road of the people of suluk and the source of disasters, As long as the heart loves this world and is indulged in it, the way to reforming the heart is closed and the door of all happiness is shut in the face of man. We shall, within two chapters, refer to these two big origins and strong obstacles, if Allah wills. Notes: . See footnote Know that each one of the inner and outer powers of the soul can be educated and taught by way of practicing a particular austerity.
For example, human eye is unable to gaze at a point or at an intense light, such as the disk of the sun, for a long time, without blinking. But if a man educates his eye, such as that which is done by some of the people of false asceticism for certain purposes, he can look into the sun for several hours without blinking or getting tired. Similarly, he can gaze at a certain point for hours without any movement. This is also true of the other faculties, like stopping breathing, which, as they say, is seen among the people of false asceticism, as there are some who can stop breathing for an extraordinary period.
Of the faculties which can be educated are the faculties of imagination and fancy. Before educating them, they are like two ever-jumpy and restless birds flying from a branch to another, and from one thing to another. If one tries to watch them for a single minute, he will see their many successive movements of very slight and far-fetched connections. Many think that to control the bird of imagination and tame it is out of the limits of possibilities, and falls within the realm of the common impossibilities.
But, as a matter of fact, it is not so. With hardship, practice and timetaking education, it can be tamed, and the bird of imagination can be put under one's control and will be such that it can be confined for several hours and for a certain purpose, according to one's will. The principal way of taming it is to act to its contrary. That is, at the time of the salat one is to prepare himself to control the imagination during the salat and confine it to action, and, as soon as it tries to slip out of his hand, to recapture it.
One should carefully watch it in all the actions, recitings, invocations, etc.