In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful
RADIANT VALLEY ASSOCIATION
SUFIS MUSIC OF ECSTACY
Utilization and conception of music, song,trance,dance is an intrinscic aid to their religious lifestyle. It is of the utmost importance to the developemnt of the soul in two ways:(1) physically on account of musical structure (2) spiritually, in structural similarity to the soul. Sufi masters such as al-Hujwiri (11.c) and al-Ghazali (d.111) separated people influenced by music into two groups: (a) those who hear material sounds,(b)those who hear spiritual meaning. Sufis doctrine per sae does not hear notes or beats, melodies or rythums of music. Hujwiri quotes prophet Mohammad's (sws) saying: "O Allah, let us see things as they are." The "listening (sema-sama)" to music only,and alone will acconplish that requirement.
Thus Sufis teachings reaveals the meaning of music in the Schopenhaurian sense as eternal will itself. The great Arab mystic, Abu Sa'id ibn al-Arabi (d.952) believed ultimate truth could be caught only through Divine ecstasy, as the lifting of a curtain-veil, and witnessing the Watcher Allahu. An epitome of potent means for attainment of ecstasy to achieve is "listening (sema-sama)" of sacred music. Dhu'l-en Nun Misiri, the Egyptian mystic said: "We have in this "listening (sema-sama)" a power that creates a Divine influence which stirs the heart to seek Allah, and leads one to find the existence of the Truth behind the spiritual curtain-veil", as did Abu'l-Husein al-Darraj who also having previously testified (p.719)- 1909).
It was from these strong beliefs and practices that spiritually sprang the numerous Sufi Dervish orders (tariqats), with which music and dancing are used to create a spiritual hypnosis-trance for attainment of higher religious sublimation to Allah. Almost all these Sufi religious orders (tariqats) have set laws and rules governing their particular order (tariqat) or "pathways",they have their chosen Sufi masters they follow, who passed down their succession (Khalifat) the teachings to the various seekers of the Truth, those who have not been taught the aesthetic, spiritual esoteric ways, thus perpetuating lines (silsilas) of succession of their particular "Sufi orders (tariqats)."
Religious sacred music in Islam does not begin nor end in pious edifices as such, since in every Islamic land, religious cantillation(talhins) has been an integeral part of social life. Muslims in their Islamic festivals religious, and also social events all recieve the pleasure in religious music. Where ever one travels in Muslim lands, the universality of hymns (nasha'ids-Illahis) and cantillation (talhin) is very apparent indeed. In some regions it has been a part of formal education, and has prevailed in spite of the vehement opposition of some powerful legal patriarchs. Music at that time was considered a diversion,and was taken as unpraisworthy, and "frowned upon (makruh)" by some legist-puritans,as with some others strenously with constancy did oppose music in any form as being sinful and "not allowed" (haram) because of their own specific puritan interpretations.
SUFI DERVISHES - SEMA/SAMA :- MUSIC, TRANCE, DANCE, ECSTASY.
Prophet Mohammad (sws) announced: "In Islam their is no monkery" in Quran V:89. In 632 C.E. Higra, forty-five men during the time of holy prophet (sws) in Mecca joined themselves to as many in Medina, and took oath of fidelity from the Holy prophet Mohammad (sws)himself,and pledged too his teachings, thusly forming the very first Islamic Sufi paternal- fraternal order. This fist Sufi order intended was to establish community property, and reform daily religious practices through penitence with patience. These initial members of the newly formed fraternity wore rough wool clothes for more penitence with patience,kept in honor for their master prophet Muhammad (sws),they called themselves Sufis from a word "Suf" meaning wool. This word also meant wise, pure, purity as well as refering to the suffah, the platform on which the Holy prophet (sws) and his companions all sat upon discoursed,recited spiritual meditative prayers and sang sacred songs together.
Abu Bakr father in-law, and Ali ibn Talib (b.599 - d.661) son-inlaw of prophet Mohammad (sws) also established assemblies (jama'at-majalis) wherein vows were taken with religious excersises were practiced. In 657 C.E Uwais Qarani (d.657) established the second Sufi paternal/fraternal religious order (tariqat) in honor of prophet Mohammad (sws). The holy Prophet had lost several teeth in battle of Uhud (625 C.E), and Uwais broke out his own front teeth, and he also required his followers to do the same. The very first "House of Unity (tekke-kanegah-dergah)" was built by Syrian Zahid (d.780 C.E) to provide a house for any and all those Sufi dervishes who followed the Holy Prophet's (sws)given Sufi doctrine(tassawuf),and as a place of sanctury for those weary dervish travelers,for the impoverished, hungry,and also for the unwanted, forgotten, dregs of societal misfortune, for all to come and be safe, and rest in Allah's Light(Nur),and learn to recite the 99 names of Almighy Allahu in Rememberance-Ziker-Dhiker.
Sufis believe souls differ in degree but not in kind from Divine spirit, their particles ultimately will be absorbed, the spirit of Allah pervades the universe, ever Omnipresent Allahu alone is the Perfect Benevolence, Perfect Truth, Perfect Beauty, Perfect True Love (eshq-en-haqqiqa). The material love is objectivity, an illusory love (eshq-en-majazi). All beauties of nature are faint resemblences, images in a mirror of The Divine charms, eternity without end, supreme bestowed happiness. All humankind can attain to this only by performing their part in the primal covenent between themselves and The One Creator. Nothing is pure or has absolute existence but with mind and spirit. Material substances are no more than lovely pictures sent to the mind by the Sempiternal Artist. Beware of attachments, except that to Allahu exclusively, soley and truly. Remain in a forlorn state of Remeberance of Allahu. Sweetest music with gentle dance, glorious singing are as myriad fragrant flowers, perpetually refreshing a fading memory, melting them with tender affections that cherish the flames of love by abstracting their souls from all vanity. Proximity to Allahu's Essence (Dhat) in final union too and from Allahu who will form their supreme spiritual beatitude.
SUFIS REMEMBERANCE-(ZIKR-DHIKR) ALLAHU!
The statutes of nearly all the orders (tariqats) require them to repeat the following names of Allah on daily basis praising with reciting in remembrance as follows:
Bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim
(In the name of Allah the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate)
La ilaha ill Allah!
(No god but The One God)
Ya Allah (O God)
A Hu (A Presence)
Ya Nur (O Light)
Ya Hayy (O Living)
Ya Haqq (O Truth)
Ya Kerime (O Genrous One)
Ya Gafoor(O Forgiving)
Ya Qayyum (O Self-Subisting)
Ya Majid (O Glorious)
Ya Wedud (O Loving)
Ya Quddus(O Holy One)
Ya Sabur (O Patient
Ya Samad (O Eternal)
Ya Qahar (O Dominant)
These exercises of awe-filled contemplation (muraqibah) and Divine Unity (tawhid) are practised as follows:(1) The Sufi dervishes kneeling sit back on their heels, elbows touching lightly in a circle with simultaneous movement carefully balanced, slowly turning heads first to right shoulder, with head pause in center,and then to left shoulder with head return to center.(2) All seated as they begin these motions in measured cadence, with fixed countenance, eyes are closed or fixed looking downward to the ground or floor, then slowly stand up on their feet raising eyes up to sky or ceiling, and heads comes back down in bowed position as they sit back down again.(3) The Sufi dervishes,sit nine to thirteen in number in circles or in one big circle, all are sitting on sheepskin/rugs on the floor at equal distances from eachother, for half an hour arms folded on chest, eyes closed, heads bowed,in this position they will remain in an motionless, and quiet, absolute, profound, reverant meditation.
The Sheykhs/Sheykhas, are sitting at their head of circle, they sit on red or black wool rug or a small carpet,and will break the silence with a hymn (nasha'id) in honor of Allahu,then they invite the assembly (majalis) to recite with with him/her the first Verse (Sura) of Quran. After that the respective sheykhs/sheykhas chant (qi'ra) paying honor to Allahu, to all the prophets, especially Mohammad (sws) and his family, to his first wife Khadija, his daugher Fatema, his grandsons Hassan and Hussein, all his other wives and departed kin, all of Allah's followers,and the prophet's (svs) companions-(auliya). To all the holy women and men saints of Islam, to the founder/s of the order/s, to all the many Sheykhs/sheykhas past and present, their long line of successors-(sililas), to all Sufi dervishes, and the seekers of "pathway of Truth" (tariqat), for Islam and all it's adherents,for prosperity, peace, and compassionate mercy for all the non-believers from every cultural society existing upon this planet earth.
The Sufi muscians (mitribs) now start to play their sacred lilting music with vibrancy and sweetness, dipicting The Most Beloved Allahu. The sounds of the instruments escalate in volume, and the throbing of drums keeping steady rythum simulating heart-beats, as the rest of the instruments used play in perfect harmony, making all the many participants in this sacred, spiritual, dance, ecstatic in trance as the Sufi dervishes sway, and turn smoothly in unison in time with the lilting, spiritual music, and with this loving ecstatic experience unlocking the very Essence (Dhat) of Allahu's presence in their minds, hearts,and souls, oblivious to all who are present. Now the sacred, spiritual Divine ecstacy dance ceremony starts as follows:
All the Sufi dervishes stand in line to the Sheykhs/Sheykhas left side, with arms folded on chest, head bowed, and slowly approach the right side of Sheykhs/Sheykhas and bow in salute, then with two steps foward stand opposite facing the right side of sheikhs/sheikhas, once again turning to them and bowing in salute. The rotary/turn dance (daur-raqs) now begins. The sacred dance consists in turning on left heel to toe, simultaneously followed by the right foot, then rotating around the hall or courtyard with eyes closed, arms stetched outward on each side of their body, hands held open with right palm facing up and left palm facing down so the blessings of Allahu flow trough them while they rotate/turn (daur-raqs). The dervishes intermittantly stop their turns (raqs), stand still for short pauses, while their repective Sheykhs/Sheykhas recite more prayers (duas) as the dance of Divine ecstasy lasts about two hours. Then returning to their seats the Sheykhs/sheykhas recites (qi'ra)the first Verse (Sura) of Quran with more short prayers (duas). The dance is now concluded all dervishes leave in single file for the dining hall into "House of Unity"(tekke-kanegah-dergah)for refreshments and light socializing. The Sufi dervishes then depart to their repective duties in life until the next sacred, spiritual, session of "listening (sema-sama)" with the blessings of Almighty Allahu carried within their minds, hearts and souls.
The Sufi musicians (mitribs) their task well done, now leave carrying their instruments as the assembly disperses, where each listener holds within them the fullness of a world of sacred tunes of spiriutal melody of sounds heard, that still lingers over the now silent hall/courtyard. With this Divine Essence (Dhat) power of The Divine love (eshq), permeating sounds of spiritual music speaks, is most welcome sound to all ears with a familiar sweet message, while revealing to the "seekers of the Truth " of the realms beyond their human knowledge,leading them each on their own personal spiritual pathway, and yet joining all together in revered fervor of shared sacred, spiritual, mystical music experience. May The Great One Creator Omnipresence of A HU!, bring all participants the many countless,sweet, enlightened blessings,and to all who those who seek the "pathway of Truth!"
copywrite © © © 1998 R.V.A. Updated 2011
Quran: Ayat 63, Sura Al-Furqan
And the servants of the Most Beneficent (All‚h) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.
Prophet Mohammad (sws) said: "This world is forbidden to those of the next world. Life in the next world is forbidden to those of this world. Both are forbidden to the servants of Allahu!"(All who are believers on earth are the servants of Allah!)
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