May 2, 2009

Sahl al-Tostari on Dhikr

I was three years old when I began to pray all night.
My uncle Mohammad ibn Sawwar wept to see me pray.
“Sahl, go to sleep. You make me anxious,” he said.
I kept watch on my uncle secretly and openly.
Then matters reached the point that one day I said to him,
“Uncle, I have a hard state to contend with. I seem to see my head
prostrate before the Throne.”
“Keep this state secret, my boy, and tell no one,” he advised. Then he added,
“Recollect when you are in your bed clothes rolling from side to side. As your
tongue moves, say,
‘God is with me, God is watching over me, God is witnessing me.’
I used this formula, and informed my uncle so.
“Say the words seven times each night,” he counseled me.
I informed him that I had done so.
“Say them fifteen times.”
I did as my uncle directed, and a sweetness invaded my heart therefrom.
A year passed. Then my uncle said,
“Keep my instructions and continue that practice until you go to the grave.
The fruits thereof will be yours in this world and the next.”
Years passed, and I used the same formula until the sweetness of it penetrated
my most secret heart.

Tadhkirat al-Auliya’ by Farid al-Din Attar

Sahl said to one of his disciples: Strive to say continuously for one day:
"O Allah! O Allah! O Allah!" and do same next day and the day after that -
until he became habituated to saying those words.
The he bade him to repeat them at night also,until they became so familiar
that he uttered them even during his sleep.
Then he said:"Do not repeat them anymore,but let all your faculties be engrossed
in remembering God!" The disciple did this, until he became absorbed in the thought
of God.One day,when he was in his house, a piece of wood fell on his head
and broke it.The drop of blood which trickled to the ground bore the legend
" Allah! Allah! Allah!

Kasyful Mahjub by Hujwiri

Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 12:11am

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