Monday, July 05, 2010

Quran Surah III: 14-15

Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things of this world that they covet...

Say: Here are glad tidings far better than the things of this world:

For those in nearness to the Light: Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath. Therein is their Eternal home, with Companions pure and holy. And they dwell therein for the good pleasure of God.

The key to understanding this profound passage is the contrast between this world in which our lower selves are drawn to and the eternal abode which is far better. We should avoid falling into the modern trap of imagining these gardens are only figurative. They are real and they can be experienced now while we are in our bodies. The second point to pull out is that our Companions are there waiting for us. These Companions serve as our spirit guides while we walk in dense matter. And finally, our access to the garden is not something we earn, but it is through the grace of Allah.

To experience the garden, perform a ritual ablution and recite a prayer, asking for forgiveness (recite ayat 16: "Our Lord, we have believed. Forgive us our sins, and save us from the Fire"). Then get comfortable and close your eyes. Begin counting down. Pay special attention to your breaths as you count down from 13 to 1. Imagine yourself going down a flight of stairs. In your mind you will see a door with Quranic inscriptions. Next to the door is a niche with a flame burning. In your hand is a stick. Go to the niche, say Allah Akbar, and light your stick. Then enter through the door into the garden. Experience the garden. See the trees. Feel the breeze. Hear the water bubbling up from underneath. There in the gardens will be your Companions. Go to them. Sit with them. Do you have questions you need answered? Feel free to ask them. Do you need guidance? They will help you as a friend helps a friend. Do you need them to pray for you, ask them to pray for you or a loved one for a specific condition. Or just sit quietly with them, enjoying their presence.

When you are ready, return through the door, walk back up the stairs and open your eyes, finding yourself in your body.


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