Tag Archive | spirituality

When Einstein Met Tagore: A Meeting of Science and Spirituality*

When Einstein Met Tagore: A Meeting of Science and Spirituality*

On July 14, 1930, Albert Einstein welcomed into his home on the outskirts of Berlin the Indian philosopher, musician, and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. 

The two proceeded to have one of the most stimulating, intellectually riveting conversations in history, exploring the age-old friction between science and religion.

Science and the Indian Tradition: When Einstein Met Tagore (public library) recounts the historic encounter, amidst a broader discussion of the intellectual renaissance that swept India in the early twentieth century, germinating a curious osmosis of Indian traditions and secular Western scientific doctrine.

The following excerpt from one of Einstein and Tagore’s conversations dances between previously examined definitions of science, beauty, consciousness, and philosophy in a masterful meditation on the most fundamental questions of human existence.

EINSTEIN: Do you believe in the Divine as isolated from the world?

TAGORE: Not isolated. The infinite personality of Man comprehends the Universe. There cannot be anything that cannot be subsumed by the human personality, and this proves that the Truth of the Universe is human Truth.

I have taken a scientific fact to explain this — Matter is composed of protons and electrons, with gaps between them; but matter may seem to be solid.

Similarly humanity is composed of individuals, yet they have their interconnection of human relationship, which gives living unity to man’s world.

The entire universe is linked up with us in a similar manner, it is a human universe. I have pursued this thought through art, literature and the religious consciousness of man.

EINSTEIN: There are two different conceptions about the nature of the universe:

(1) The world as a unity dependent on humanity.

(2) The world as a reality independent of the human factor.

TAGORE: When our universe is in harmony with Man, the eternal, we know it as Truth, we feel it as beauty.

EINSTEIN: This is the purely human conception of the universe.

TAGORE: There can be no other conception. This world is a human world — the scientific view of it is also that of the scientific man.

There is some standard of reason and enjoyment which gives it Truth, the standard of the Eternal Man whose experiences are through our experiences.

EINSTEIN: This is a realization of the human entity.

TAGORE: Yes, one eternal entity. We have to realize it through our emotions and activities. We realized the Supreme Man who has no individual limitations through our limitations.

Science is concerned with that which is not confined to individuals; it is the impersonal human world of Truths.

Religion realizes these Truths and links them up with our deeper needs; our individual consciousness of Truth gains universal significance.

Religion applies values to Truth, and we know this Truth as good through our own harmony with it.

EINSTEIN: Truth, then, or Beauty is not independent of Man?

TAGORE: No.

EINSTEIN: If there would be no human beings any more, the Apollo of Belvedere would no longer be beautiful.

TAGORE: No.

EINSTEIN: I agree with regard to this conception of Beauty, but not with regard to Truth.

TAGORE: Why not? Truth is realized through man.

EINSTEIN: I cannot prove that my conception is right, but that is my religion.

TAGORE: Beauty is in the ideal of perfect harmony which is in the Universal Being; Truth the perfect comprehension of the Universal Mind.

We individuals approach it through our own mistakes and blunders, through our accumulated experiences, through our illumined consciousness — how, otherwise, can we know Truth?

EINSTEIN: I cannot prove scientifically that Truth must be conceived as a Truth that is valid independent of humanity; but I believe it firmly.

I believe, for instance, that the Pythagorean theorem in geometry states something that is approximately true, independent of the existence of man.

Anyway, if there is a reality independent of man, there is also a Truth relative to this reality; and in the same way the negation of the first engenders a negation of the existence of the latter.

TAGORE: Truth, which is one with the Universal Being, must essentially be human, otherwise whatever we individuals realize as true can never be called truth – at least the Truth which is described as scientific and which only can be reached through the process of logic, in other words, by an organ of thoughts which is human.

According to Indian Philosophy there is Brahman, the absolute Truth, which cannot be conceived by the isolation of the individual mind or described by words but can only be realized by completely merging the individual in its infinity.

But such a Truth cannot belong to Science. The nature of Truth which we are discussing is an appearance – that is to say, what appears to be true to the human mind and therefore is human, and may be called maya or illusion.

EINSTEIN: So according to your conception, which may be the Indian conception, it is not the illusion of the individual, but of humanity as a whole.

TAGORE: The species also belongs to a unity, to humanity. Therefore the entire human mind realizes Truth; the Indian or the European mind meet in a common realization.

EINSTEIN: The word species is used in German for all human beings, as a matter of fact, even the apes and the frogs would belong to it.

TAGORE: In science we go through the discipline of eliminating the personal limitations of our individual minds and thus reach that comprehension of Truth which is in the mind of the Universal Man.

EINSTEIN: The problem begins whether Truth is independent of our consciousness.

TAGORE: What we call truth lies in the rational harmony between the subjective and objective aspects of reality, both of which belong to the super-personal man.

EINSTEIN: Even in our everyday life we feel compelled to ascribe a reality independent of man to the objects we use.

We do this to connect the experiences of our senses in a reasonable way. For instance, if nobody is in this house, yet that table remains where it is.

TAGORE: Yes, it remains outside the individual mind, but not the universal mind. The table which I perceive is perceptible by the same kind of consciousness which I possess.

EINSTEIN: If nobody would be in the house the table would exist all the same — but this is already illegitimate from your point of view — because we cannot explain what it means that the table is there, independently of us.

Our natural point of view in regard to the existence of truth apart from humanity cannot be explained or proved, but it is a belief which nobody can lack — no primitive beings even.

We attribute to Truth a super-human objectivity; it is indispensable for us, this reality which is independent of our existence and our experience and our mind — though we cannot say what it means.

TAGORE: Science has proved that the table as a solid object is an appearance and therefore that which the human mind perceives as a table would not exist if that mind were naught.

At the same time it must be admitted that the fact, that the ultimate physical reality is nothing but a multitude of separate revolving centres of electric force, also belongs to the human mind.

In the apprehension of Truth there is an eternal conflict between the universal human mind and the same mind confined in the individual.

The perpetual process of reconciliation is being carried on in our science, philosophy, in our ethics. In any case, if there be any Truth absolutely unrelated to humanity then for us it is absolutely non-existing.

It is not difficult to imagine a mind to which the sequence of things happens not in space but only in time like the sequence of notes in music.

For such a mind such conception of reality is akin to the musical reality in which Pythagorean geometry can have no meaning. There is the reality of paper, infinitely different from the reality of literature.

For the kind of mind possessed by the moth which eats that paper literature is absolutely non-existent, yet for Man’s mind literature has a greater value of Truth than the paper itself.

In a similar manner if there be some Truth which has no sensuous or rational relation to the human mind, it will ever remain as nothing so long as we remain human beings.

EINSTEIN: Then I am more religious than you are!

TAGORE: My religion is in the reconciliation of the Super-personal Man, the universal human spirit, in my own individual being.

Source*

Related Topics:

Researchers Discover a Gigantic Ring of Galaxies That Could Bring Einstein’s Gravity into Question*

Einstein’s Letter to His Daughter about the Universal Force of Love*

A Universal Shift in Reality!

Aligning with the Universal Changes: Your Mind

Aligning with the Universal Changes: Your Health

From Polytheism to Unity

Sunnis ,Shi’as Pray for Unity Week after Bombing*

Dying to Live: Unity and Oneness, vs. Corporate Enslavement

Rumi on Trusting Yourself*

The Journey Beyond Yourself: On Welcoming Who You Truly Are*

Love for the Poor*

Love for the Poor*

The Prophet (pbuh) enjoined upon Muslims to treat the poor kindly and to help them with zakat, and in other ways. He said:

“He is not a perfect Muslim who eats his fill and lets his neighbour go hungry.” (Hadith)

Monopoly is unlawful in Islam and the Prophet(pbuh) preached that :

“It is diffucult for a man laden with riches to climb the steep path that leads to bliss.”(Hadith, Muslim)

He did not prohibit or discourage the aquisition of wealth but insisted that it be lawfully acquired by honest means and that a portion of it would go to the poor.

He did not encourage beggary either and stated that :

“Allah(God) is gracious to him who earns his living by his own labour, and that if a man begs to increase his property, Allah(God) will diminish it.” (Hadith).

He always paid the debts of the dead and issued instructions to the effect that if anyone died leaving any debt, he should be informed of it so that he could pay it off. Whenever the Prophet (pbuh) met any miserly person, he advised him to be more generous and charitable.

To his wife he said: “O Aysha, love the poor and let them come to you and Allah(God) will draw you near to Himself.” (Hadith, Sahih Bukhari).

Abu Dharr reported that one evening he was walking with the Prophet(pbuh) when he said:

“If the mountain of Uhud were turned into gold for me, I would not like three nights to pass and one dinar still be left with me, excepting what I would leave for paying my debts.” (Hadith)

No person could ever equal the Prophet (pbuh) in generosity.Whatever he received he gave away to others and felt more pleasure than those who received the gift. He never turned anyone away empty-handed from his house and always gave preference to the needy over his own needs. His charity was of various kinds. Sometimes he gave a gift; sometimes he borrowed something and repaid it generously; sometimes he bought a thing and paid more than the price to the seller; and sometimes he gave charity. He accepted gifts from other people but always gave more gifts in return for them.

His love for the poor was so deep that he used to pray: “O Allah(God), keep me poor in my life and at my death and raise me at resurrection among those who are poor.” (Hadith, Nasai, Chapter: Pardon)

Source*

Related Topics:

The Charity of Love

The Gift (Sunnah) of a Smile

The Heart is Green!

How Enslaved Muslims in the Americas fasted in Ramadhan*

How Enslaved Muslims in the Americas fasted in Ramadhan*

By Amir Webb

There is no doubt that the strains of living as a slave were many and the conditions brutal. One had their days and nights planned out by their masters from the day they were born until the day they died, albeit the Muslims talked about here were born free and then enslaved. Whether one was born free or born a slave, you were not in control of your daily life. There were certain aspects that West African Muslim slaves did try to control once they came to the Americas. For example, enslaved Muslims found the nakedness they were forced into humiliating and offensive to their religion. They looked to make head wraps and long garments from anything from old blankets or hand-me-downs from their owners.

Where slaves could find autonomy they exercised it; one of these was adhering to the Islamic dietary laws. One of these laws was abstaining from alcohol even though it was widely available and consumption was encouraged.  Ayuba Suleyman Diallo, from modern day Senegal, was enslaved in Maryland for two years before being sent to England. It was in Maryland that Diallo was interrogated about a crime and was offered alcohol to ease his fears about the situation, he flatly refused. Diallo was not alone in his refusal of alcohol; Ibrahima Rahman, also refused alcohol.

Unfortunately, there was less control over the types of meat that was given and available to eat. The cheapest meat of the day was pork and was found in abundance. There were instances such as Nero, a Muslim slave who was the bookkeeper for the William Ball plantation in South Carolina. Nero was allowed to draw his meat rations from beef rather than pork. This may be a privilege of being a bookkeeper (a prestigious job that a slave could have) and less his owner being concerned with Islamic dietary law. Diallo, not only refused alcohol (as mentioned before) but, would only eat halal meat.  The other option would be to forgo the consumption of meat, which is what Salih Bilali and other enslaved Muslims did on the Hopeton Plantation in Georgia.

Enslaved Muslims tried their hardest to observe not only dietary laws, but also fasting during Ramadhan. Free and enslaved Muslims in Brazil had less restrictions on their everyday lives than their North American counterparts and were allowed to eat together and even attended school together in some occasions. The non-Muslim Brazilian population watched as Muslims fasted and exchanged gifts that the Brazilians understood as saka this was a variation of the Arabic term for alms-giving zakat.

Enslaved Muslims living on Sea Island, Georgia also fasted when they could and the women on the island would fix rice cakes known as saraka to the non-Muslim observers. Saraka was a variation of the word sadaqah in Arabic meaning non-obligatory charity. The son of Salih Bilali was sent to a plantation on Saint Simmons Island, Georgia but, he kept his Islamic faith and not only fasted but made saraka for other slaves, Muslim and non-Muslims. Omar ibn Said, a Muslim slave in North Carolina was said to have been a “staunch Mohammedan and the first month of the year kept his fast of Ramadhan with strictness.”

Enslaved Muslims could have chosen not to fast during Ramadhan but, there are a few reasons why they may have chosen to. It is important to acknowledge that each plantation had to have their own moon sighting to keep track of the Islamic months. Enslaved Muslims were looking to keep their Islamic identity in enslavement just as they would have if they were slaves in their respective homelands. Enslaved Muslims were fighting this idea of not only being slaves but, being legal property with little to no rights. Muslims could not justify neglecting their religious duties because of the social conditions.  This was not a phenomenon only in the United States but, wherever West African Muslims landed there was an attempt to hold onto their religious duties. Muhammad Kaba for example, a Muslim slave in Jamaica, would pretend to be sick whenever he wished to observe fasting.

In the hostile world that Muslims found themselves in following their religious customs was a way to stay connected to home and worship. The eagerness to follow their religious rituals and laws was seen in the United States, South America, and the Caribbean. Individual Muslims, families on plantations, and entire communities in Brazil, looked to salvage the little autonomy they had by following through with their religious obligations the best they could.

Source*

Related Topics:

Ramadhan a Beacon of Light in Jerusalem*

Ramadhan amongst the Rubble of Gaza*

Ramadhan Journey Across the Desert of the Sinai*

Ramadhan in Kenya*

Working and Staying Sane in Ramadhan*

Prophet Muhammed (SAW) on Ramadhan

No Increase in Preterm Delivery With Ramadhan Fasting

Ramadhan Reflections: How Do I Find The Balance To Do What I Should

Ramadhan Reflections: Remembering Those Who Don’t Have the Choice to Fast‏

 

Tarawih Prayed During the Time of the Prophet and His Successors*

Tarawih Prayed During the Time of the Prophet and His Successors*

Answers by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: As-salamu alaykum

How was the Tarawih prayed during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his successors (may Allah be pleased with them)?

Answer: As-salam ‘alaykum. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question. May Allah increase in you in knowledge and guidance.

The Tarawih prayer during the month of Ramadan, consisting of 20 cycles of prayer, is a sunna of the Prophet . After the Prophet’s passing away , the Companions continued to pray Tarawih each night of Ramadan, but not as one congregation. Sayyidna Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) later enjoined the people to gather as a unified congregation to pray the Tarawih prayer, and this was continued by the Righteous Caliphs after him and down to this very day.

Tarawih during the time of the Prophet

The Prophet prayed the Tarawih prayer in congregation and individually at home. It is related in al Bukhari, from Zaid ibn Thabit, that,

‘The Prophet took a room made of date palm leaves mats in the mosque. Allah’s Messenger prayed in it for a few nights till the people gathered [to pray the Tarawih prayer behind him]. Then on the 4th night the people did not hear his voice and they thought he had slept, so some of them started humming in order that he might come out. The Prophet then said, ‘You continued doing what I saw you doing till I was afraid that this [Tarawih prayer] might be enjoined on you, and if it were enjoined on you, you would not continue performing it. Therefore, O people! Perform your prayers at your homes, for the best prayer of a person is what is performed at his home except the compulsory congregational) prayer.’

The Prophet continued to pray the Tarawih prayer at home, and the companions continued to pray individually. This continued during the reign of Sayyidna Abu Bakr and the beginning of Sayyidna Umar’s caliphate (May Allah be pleased with them).

Ibn Shihab, sub-narrating on a hadith from Abu Huraira, said, ‘Allah’s Messenger passed away and the people continued observing that [the Tarawih prayer individually), and it remained as it was during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and in the early days of ‘Umar’s Caliphate.’ [al Bukhari]

Tarawih during the time of Sayyidna Umar

As mentioned, at the beginning of Sayyidna Umar’s rule, the people would offer Tarawih individually, but some would also pray in different groups in the masjid. Sayyidna Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) noticed this and decided that it would be better to perform the prayer as one larger congregation, the unified congregation being more in the spirit of Islam. This was the beginning of the congregational Tarawih as we know it now.

Abdul Rahman ibn Abd al Qari narrates, ‘I went out with Umar ibn al Khattab in Ramadan to the masjid and the people there were spread out in groups. Some men were praying by themselves, whilst others were praying in small groups. Umar said, ‘By Allah! It would be better in my opinion if these people gathered behind one reciter.’ So he gathered them behind Ubayy ibn Ka’ab. Then I went out with him another night and the people were praying behind their Qur’an reciter. Umar said, ‘How excellent this new way is!’ [al Bukhari, al Muwatta]

During the reigns of Sayyidna Uthman and Sayyidna Ali

The third righteous Caliph, Uthman, and the fourth righteous Caliph, Ali (May Allah be pleased with them) continued the practice of praying the 20 cycles of Tarawih prayer in congregation, followed by the three cycles of the Witr prayer. This practice, which was agreed upon by the Companions, The Followers, and all subsequent generations, has continued ever since.

The validity of such practice is established by the words of the Prophet , ‘Allah will not cause my ummah to agree on misguidance. The hand of Allah is with the group.’ [al Tirmidhi], and further corroborated by the words of the great Companion Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him), ‘Whatever the Muslims deem to be good is good in the eyes of Allah, and whatever they consider bad is bad in Allah’s view.’ [Musnad Ahmad].

I pray this clarifies things for you.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Source*

Related Topics:

Proper Movements in Muslim Prayer can Reduce Lower Back Pain*

When a Prayer is Answered with a Test*

U.S. Students form Protective Wall around Praying Muslim Classmates*

British Movie Theatres Just Banned the Lord’s Prayer*

German TV Airs Muslim Prayers*

Sunnis ,Shi’as Pray for Unity Week after Bombing*

Surprising Benefits of Eating at Night*

Night Prayer and the Human Body Clock

Prophet Muhammed (SAW) on Ramadhan

Working and Staying Sane in Ramadhan*

The Ancient Power of Chanting (Mantra) Validated by Modern Science*

Shab-i-Barat: The Night of Forgiveness*

Shab-i-Barat: The Night of  Forgiveness*

Faithful on Thursday night observe “Shab-i-Barat” with great religious reverence and fervour across the country.

With the setting of the sun, the faithful started gathering in mosques to offer special prayers for peace, progress, and prosperity of the country besides seeking forgiveness for their sins.

An illuminated view of Badshahi Mosque decorated with colorful lights on the eve of Shab-i-Barat.

 

Women release oil lamps and candles in the water of Ravi river, seeking forgiveness and repentance.

 

The people also organised several gatherings and Mahafil-i-Naat to achieve Allah Almighty’s blessing in the world and the life hereafter.

Religious scholars in their sermons highlighted the teachings of Islam and various aspects of the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) so that the followers could lead their lives in line with the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Family members light lamps and pray at a grave of their relative. —AP

 

A woman reads the holy verses besides a grave of her relative at a graveyard in Karachi. —AP

 

Special prayers were offered to get rid of the menace of terrorism besides showing the right path to disgruntled people, playing in the hands of anti-state elements.

On this occasion, houses, streets and especially mosques were decorated with colorful pennants and bunting whereas at night these were well illuminated by means of electric lights, candles or even oil lamps.

People read holy verses near the graves of their relatives to mark the night of forgiveness. —AFP

 

Besides, people visited graves of their near and dear ones, seeking Allah’s blessings for the departed souls.

Special security arrangements were made for peaceful observance of “Shab-i-Barat”.

People attend a sermon at a mosque in Karachi.

 

Source*

Related Topics:

Layla-tul Bara’at

Prophet Muhammed (SAW) on Ramadhan

Ten Ways to Prepare for Ramadhan From Now*

Ramadhan Journey Across the Desert of the Sinai*

Freedom in Ramadhan*

Working and Staying Sane in Ramadhan*

I’tekaf – The Gem of Worship that you May not Know About*

I’tekaf – The Gem of Worship that you May not Know About*

“…And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ismael, (saying): Purify My house for those who perform Tawaf (Ta’ifeen) and those who are staying [there] (A’kifeen) for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].” (The Holy Qur’an 2:125)

Once again the blessed month of Rajab has arrived, and the anticipation for the feast of Allah has started. You may be already thinking:

 “how can I make the best of the next two months to help prepare for a Ramadhan that’s not just all about hunger and thirst?”

If that is the case, then it is your lucky day, because you may have just stumbled upon the perfect method to get you ready for Ramadhan; and that’s through I’tekaf.

Those of us who have lived or visited Muslim countries before are more likely to have heard of the ritual of I’tekaf, but if it doesn’t ring a bell, you’re in for a surprise! It is a fascinating practice which can only be likened to the ihram of Hajj, where you give up on many of your worldly desires and start a journey of self-purification and spiritual revival.

In essence, I’tekaf refers to the act of residing in a mosque for a period of three days or more, during which an individual seeks closeness to Allah (swt) by performing various A’mal (rituals) and refraining from a number of prohibited acts. It may sound simple, but there is a beauty to I’tekaf that makes it so special compared to other rituals in Islam.

Yes, we have all recited our beloved Qur’an before; we have all stood shoulder to shoulder next to our brothers and sister in congregational prayers, but each of these A’mal when performed in I’tekaf gain a whole new dimension. Imagine you are on a three-day journey to Allah where each individual A’mal count as a station along a journey that is set to enrich us for the rest of it. That Quran recitation on the back of that beautiful lecture, followed by an inspiring dua and later on by Salatul Layl, all performed amongst other mo’takifeen who have devoted themselves to Allah (swt) for three days… that’s what makes I’tekaf so special. You are no longer in this world, but in a place where none of your daily worries matter.

What is I’tekaf?

I’tekaf literally means ‘to stop in a certain place‘, and in the Islamic context it refers to staying in a mosque for a period of three days or more. An individual can do I’tekaf at any time of the year, but the best period is between 13th to 15th of Rajab and during the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadhan. The I’tekaf in Rajab is more common as it is a great way to prepare ourselves for the holy month of Ramadhan.

The beauty and importance of I’tekaf can be seen in the holy Qur’an, where Allah (swt) mentions in Surah Baqara:

“…And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ismael, (saying): Purify My house for those who perform Tawaf (Ta’ifeen) and those who are staying [there] (A’kifeen) for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].” (2:125)

The word A’kifeen is a reference to those who perform I’tekaf in the house of Allah. This ayah shows that I’tekaf is not an act only introduced by Islam, but one that was practiced by followers of other prophets including prophet Ibrahim (as).

It is narrated from Imam Ali (as):
فلم يزل يعتکف في العشر الاو اخر من رمضان حتي توفاه الله
“The Prophet (sa) was always in state of I’tekaf in the last ten days of Ramadhan until Allah (swt) took his life”. (Bihar al-Anwar, v. 94, p. 7)

What A’mal must to be performed during the three days?

I’tekaf officially starts at Fajr on 13th of Rajab, and ends at Maghrib on 15th. To be regarded a Mo’takef, it is obligatory for an individual residing in the mosque to fast for each of the three days. A person who is not able to fast for whatever reason, is not able to perform I’tekaf. Apart from this, there are no other obligatory A’mal, but it is highly recommended to recite plenty of Qur’an and be in constant remembrance of Allah (swt). And of course the last day of I’tekaf in Rajab coincides with the beautiful A’mal of Umm Dawood.

What acts are prohibited?

Leaving the Masjid is not permissible during the state of I’tekaf except for a necessity. Applying perfume and smelling perfume with the intention of deriving pleasure is prohibited, and this act makes I’tekaf null and void and is also a sin. Also prohibited are discussions and arguments both in relation to the world and the faith. This means that a person argues with another to prove that he is better or smarter or that he knows more, etc… However, if a person must argue or debate to uphold the truth and destroy falsehood, it is permissible – and in fact, this is the best form of worship and servitude to Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) during this noble state. Buying and selling anything is prohibited, as is deriving pleasure from one’s spouse in any way – holding hands, hugging, kissing, etc… all are completely forbidden in the state of I’tekaf. If any of these things are performed, one’s I’tekaf becomes void.

What do we aim to achieve?

The period of I’tekaf is the best time to force one’s self to sit and think and reflect on the self and the world around, and it is the best time to forget the worries of the transient world and to return to the soul and the Creator of the soul.

It is also the best time to return back to Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) in true repentance for our sins committed through the year, and to concentrate on the Words of Allah in the Qur’an, the prayers and supplications used to call upon Him, and all of those things which are related to Him and His Sacred Essence.

I’tekaf is not a three-day holiday from work or school; it is not a time to sit in the Masjid in complete ignorance of ones’ self and his spiritual surroundings; and it is not the venue to pass one’s time in idleness. I’tekaf is not the act of sleeping and snoring in the Masjid and killing time either. Truly, I’tekaf is a three day spiritual retreat to build the self; it is the act of leaving one’s personal house to be in the service of Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) and to recognize one’s self in Allah’s house (the Masjid) while at the same time, being a guest in the House of Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him), eating His food which He has sent and being around His servants which He has guided.

Where can I perform I’tekaf?

I’tekaf is widely practiced in many of the mosques in Muslim countries. However, in more recent years it has become more common in Western countries. The following is a list of known cities that will host I’tekaf programmes this year between 11th and 13th April. Participants arrive at the mosque on 10th April in the evening, in time to be present for Fajr of 11th. All these events require registration and have limited spaces:

London / UK – Imam Ali Mosque (contact: itekaflondon@gmail.com)
Hamburg / Germany – Imam Ali Mosque (more info on: http://en.izhamburg.de/)
Stockholm / Sweden – Imam Ali Islamic Center (contact: info@imamalicenter.se)
Vancouver / Canada – Az-Zahraa Islamic Centre (contact: info@az-zahraa.org)

Source*

Related Topics:

Arguing God from Being?

Our Conception of God isn’t Big Enough*

Layla-tul Bara’at

Ten Ways to Prepare for Ramadhan From Now*

Are We Ready for Ramadhan?*

Prophet Muhammed (SAW) on Ramadhan

Nepal’s Military Set to Use Transcendental Meditation to Relieve Global Collective Stress and Stop War*

Nepal’s Military Set to Use Transcendental Meditation to Relieve Global Collective Stress and Stop War*

Never say never in a world that has become hard-wired to disengage from the real meaning of life…

By Col. (Ret.) Jitendra Jung Karki, Dr. David R. Leffler

Nepal’s army schools are finishing their first stage implementation of Invincible Defense Technology (IDT). The ultimate goal of IDT is to prevent enemies from arising by reducing the collective societal stress that culminates in war, terrorism, and crime. IDT involves use of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and its advanced practices, ideally by the military, to reduce this collective societal stress.

Extensive peer-reviewed research has documented the efficacy of this approach. Militaries and police worldwide have successfully field-tested and are now using this approach (see Review Nepal, 10 August 2016 “IDT: A powerful, proven Tool for Police and Military“).

The army school in Bhaktapur, Nepal was the first military school to implement TM. Three hundred of its teaching staff and 2700 students there have greatly benefited from practicing TM, according to TM teacher Ms. Pappy Regmi. Ms. Regmi says: “TM has been practiced by the students of Sainik Awasiya Mahavidyalaya Sallaghari Bhaktapur for the past three years.

After the students mastered the simple, natural, and easy-to-learn TM procedure, we noticed many positive changes in them. They are less irritable, aggressive and destructive in nature than before. Many students improved their academic performance. This non-religious scientifically-validated technique is helping the students in their overall development.”

Author Col. (Retd) Jitendra Karki lectures about Invincible Defense Technology while former Nepalese Home Minister, Deepak Prakash Baskota attentively listens

 

Mr. Samim Anwar Shamim, the former Principal of the army school also noticed improvements: “Daily Transcendental Meditation practice in the school greatly reduced the abuse problems and antisocial behavior of students. It has been the best tool to maintain discipline and healthy environment in the premises of the army school.”

There are many other individual benefits to be gained for warriors who regularly practice TM. Three hundred ninety five peer reviewed studies show that TM improves physical and mental health and wellbeing. TM reduces the pathological and physiological results of chronic stress. Clinical trials and meta-analyses show reductions in: anxiety, high blood pressure, smoking, alcohol use, hardening of the arteries, insulin resistance, and a nearly 50% reduction in risk of heart attack, stroke or death.

Due to the initial success of IDT implementation, the NEPAL ARMY WELFARE DIRECTORATE has taken IDT seriously and has decided to implement it in three schools of the Nepal army. Two army schools from Chitwan and Pokhara have already started the TM program as a part of the project.

There are other important IDT benefits. Research has shown that the TM technique promotes development and resilience, improves wellness, and dramatically reduces burnout and symptoms of post-traumatic stress. For this reason, the Veterans Society of Nepal and the Nepal Maharishi Vedic Foundation jointly launched a project to teach the TM program to retired army personnel. Due to their combined efforts, retired Nepalese army officers and Nepal Army Rehabilitation Center war casualties have learned TM.

The individual benefits of IDT for the warrior are promising. Invincible Defense Technology is aptly named. The most important benefit to be gained from implementation of IDT is invincibility for the nation of Nepal. Invincible means incapable of being defeated; unconquerable. Defense means to defend and to protect. Technology is applied science. The goal of IDT is to prevent enemies from arising. The military that properly applies it can ultimately obtain victory before war. Once this goal is achieved, the military becomes invincible because there are no enemies to fight.

Former Home Minister, Deepak Prakash Baskota was one of the first Nepalese leaders to advocate military use of IDT to create invincibility. In an 2012 article published in Eurasia Review titled “How Nepal Can Have An ‘Invincible’ Military” he wrote: “Leaders in Nepal could make their mark if they adopt this most ideal defense system. The implementation of IDT would mark a turning point in the history of Nepal’s national defense, and the leaders in Nepal would also be leading the world into perpetual peace.”

Nepalese military leaders were wise to follow his advice. These are exciting times for the military of Nepal as increased numbers of TM meditators in the army schools will be learning a more advanced practice of IDT. In just a short time these warriors will have an even more powerful influence. IDT “Prevention Wings of the Military” will accelerate reduction of Nepal’s collective stress.

When their training is complete they will be able to operate directly at the level of the unified field of all the laws of nature — a level that is a thousand million, million (10 to the 15th power) times more powerful than the nuclear force. It is the level where all the fundamental forces of natures are united. For this reason, IDT supersedes all other known defense technologies (which are based on electronic, chemical, and/or nuclear forces). Therefore, the military of Nepal will gain the ultimate strategic advantage of invincibility by averting the rise of any enemy and they WILL achieve victory before war.

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