Volume 6 - Issue 09
SEPTEMBER - 2008
To preserve the Unity of Allah, Islam lays great emphasis on total submission or surrender of one’s will to Allah. In fact, Islam is all about ‘Total Surrender of the Mind to God’. A true Muslim is a person who has surrendered his/her mind completely to Allah.
The reason for this is very evident. The Unity of Divinity is attained only when the mind is surrendered. The mind is at the very root of the our illusionary impression that we are seperate from the Oneness of Allah. It is the mind that makes one think that he/she is different from their brothers and sisters, diverse from creation and in fact, singular from Allah Himself. Once you think you are different from Allah, you make yourself another god! And so, there is multiplicity of gods and you begin to “join gods with Allah” as Qu’ran warns us against. It is the mind that creates this false impression of ‘others’ where indeed there are no others.
It is the mind that sees many where there is only One and creates this grand illusion of many gods! It separates that which, in essence, is inseparable and joins that which, in Truth, is not composite. Just read the story below and it will become clearer.
The total annihilation of the mind - to bring the mind to complete submission to Allah, the Supreme Self, is the Holy War, the Jihad that the Prophet tirelessly propagated.
If we realize this important truth:
Then we cannot but accept:
‘Islam’ is the state of total submission of the will to Allah. But what is this will that must be brought under complete surrender? What is it that wills? It is the ‘I’ – the individuated consciousness. This ‘I’ or ‘ego’ is also at the root of the mind. Without the ‘I’ there is no willing and without the act of willing, there are no thoughts. Without thoughts, there is no mind. And without the mind, there are no images. Without images, the illusion of separation disappears and what remains is Allah who has no second.
The Way of Islam is the process of submitting the will to Allah. Willing occurs when the ‘I’ moves out of Itself as ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that’; ‘I want this’ or ‘I want that’. When the will is submitted to Allah, there is no willing and there is no wanting.
In this state of stillness, the individuated “I – Consciousness” dissolves in the Universal undifferentiated Existence. The small “I” that separates disappears and what remains is the Universal “I AM”. This Universal “I AM” is Allah. “Allah is That which IS”. Allah is pure Existence. Everything that is, is Allah. There is nothing apart from Allah.
Once we destroy the root cause of our separation with Allah, which is the ego, we reach that highest state of awareness where we realize that there is none apart from Allah and that we are not and cannot, and have never been separated from Him. We are One with God.
The fundamental sin in Islam is to join “gods unto God” which amounts to the disunity of Allah’s Oneness. This sin is called fundamental because it is the root of all other sins. This is also the “original sin” in Christianity, namely, Adam’s ancient forgetfulness of his Oneness with Yahweh.
When one thinks that there is more than One, then one tries to join or separate that which is inseparable. It is the mind that separates. It is also the same mind that tries to join that which it has separated.
Once we succeed in surrendering this mind to God, we not only uproot the very root of all sins but we also attain the goal of Islam: namely the Unity of Divinity.The primary duty of a Muslim is to attain Islam which entails the total annihilation of the mind. This is referred in Islam as “ Fana”.
First Understand the Nature of the Mind: It is like a Handkerchief
Our beloved Baba has in many of His Divine Discourses compared the mind with the handkerchief. The mind is like a veil that covers the Oneness of Allah. Because it covers, the mind also separates.
But we must first find out the basis or root of the mind. Once we are able to get to the root of the mind, then it is very easy to uproot the mind permanently from its very source.
But since the mind is like the handkerchief, let us first find out the basis for the handkerchief? The handkerchief has been woven from intricate webs and interlocks of single threads. But where have the threads come from? The threads are made from the cotton.
Hence, the handkerchief cannot be made without the cotton. The cotton is the fundamental object that forms the basis for the thread and the handkerchief. But where has the cotton come from? It has come from the cotton tree. Without the cotton tree, there would be no cotton and without the cotton there would be no threads and handkerchief.
When we inquire further, we discover that even the cotton tree has grown from the cotton seed. The point is that even when all the handkerchiefs in the world are burnt, and all the cotton trees cut down, new handkerchiefs could always be produced once we have the cotton seed.
The cotton seed is the root and once we succeed in destroying the seed, we would be able to destroy permanently the veil of the handkerchief! Hence, without destroying the basis of the veil, all other efforts will yield only a temporary result.
The Seed of Desire
The mind is like the handkerchief. The threads are the thoughts. When the single threads of thought are woven together, they form an intricate web of strong desires which are binding and blinding. Where has the thoughts originated? They have arisen from the root “I” thought. Without the root “I” thought, no other thought is possible. The root “I” thought may be regarded as the cotton which forms the threads of thought. Beyond the root “I” thought, there is a feeling of “I” ness which is not a thought. It is a feeling or awareness of being which has its source in the Heart. This “I” ness is the tree of life. It is the tree which produces the cotton of the “I” thought which in turn form the threads from which the veil of the mind is woven.
Now we notice that in the deep sleep state, there is no feeling of “I” ness! There is total ignorance or darkness. The tree seems to be dead but alas the seed is still alive! And immediately we wake up from deep sleep, the seed sprouts up again into a tree and within seconds one is cut up in a web of desires. This is also what happens in deep meditation when one reaches the state of thoughtlessness. But because the seed has not been destroyed immediately, one wakes up from deep sleep or from deep meditation, and one is caught up again in a web of thoughts and desires.
What is this seed of desire? It is the “I” impulse or the primal urge to create. Until this seed is roasted or destroyed, it is impossible to get rid of the mind.
How does Islam annihilate this seed - the “I” impulse? The first and foremost tool is Salah - the second pillar of Islam. But before we get into this, let us have a short break and recreate our souls with a few heavenly stories narrated by Ms. Nooshin Mehrabani on the Power of Prayer.
Nooshin is a Muslim. She was born in the capital city of Iran and worked in the United States as a journalist and reporter for Iranian TV in Los Angeles, California. In her book "Love and Suffering: My Road to Liberation", she tells us how Divinity came into her life at a time when her only need was God and how this encounter transformed her especially through the Power of Prayer.
Author: Father Charles Ogada, a Catholic Priest of the Order of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers and an ardent devotee of Sai.
End of Part-1
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- Heart2Heart Team
Vol 6 Issue 09 - SEPTEMBER 2008
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