Friday, July 4, 2008

Months of Spiritual Upliftment

As we embrace the holy month of Rajab al-Murajjab, a group of concerned Muslims throughout the world begin their program of self-purification and self-development. If one tries to study the supplications that the Holy Prophet (s) and his infallible progeny (‘a) would constantly recite in the months of Rajab and Sha’ban, one would realize the fundamental importance of these months: these two months actually serve as preparatory months for the actual Divine feast of the Holy Month of Ramadhan. The Holy Month of Ramadhan thereafter naturally becomes ‘eid (lit. from ‘awd which means “to return” to one’s innate God-seeking nature) for those who were successful in preparing themselves. Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (‘a) in his brilliant prayer manual al-Sahifat al-Sajjadiyya, while bidding farewell to the Holy Month of Ramadhan, addresses the month of Ramadhan as Eid of the Friends of Allah. He says: “Assalamu ‘alayka ya shahra Allahi al-akbar wa ya ida awliyaa’ihi” (Peace be unto you O the greatest Month of Allah and the eid of His close servants). The majority however start their program of self-purification in the Holy Month of Ramadhan. Due to their unprepared state, they cannot enjoy the true spiritual repast that Almighty Allah has prepared for the believers. As a result, the day of eid only serves a day of material enjoyment. They do not comprehend the spiritual state of Return which eid actually manifests. We must therefore ask ourselves whether we would like to be among the minority who can really enjoy the actual spiritual Divine banquet that Allah has prepared for those who have struggled to make themselves spiritually receptive, or the majority, who gain very less due to their laxity and unreceptive nature? The days of this transient life are unpredictable for so many of us. The best resolution therefore would be to start “now”.

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