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Surrender in The Sufi Way
by Ali Ansari

The word "Islam" is the divine command to surrender. Real obedience to this command is the first act of worship and the true doorway to increase one's direct awareness of divine will. There is a direct relationship between awareness (true knowledge of the divine) and surrender. The more one surrenders, the more one knows, and the more one knows, the more one surrenders. Such is the relationship between the lover and the Beloved. It is only from the standpoint of this total surrender to divine will that the inspirational and brilliant nature of the Islamic teaching appears clearly.

Sufism: The principles and practices of the spiritually-realized in Islam (surrender) and their students, known as murids, or "desiring". Surrendering to a teacher in order to learn, deepen or verify the truth of your surrender is the ultimate act of sincerity. Sufism is a personally transmitted system of spiritual education derived from the realizations experienced and passed on by the Sufis, masters and teachers of the Islamic faith who followed the principles taught directly by the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be Allah's Peace and Blessings.

Spiritual Healing: Knowing and dwelling in the Essence of Divine love is the greatest healing power known to man. The only thing keeping us from receiving the full benefit of that love is the limitations we impose upon ourselves. Overcoming these limitations is our life's work, and "Allah places not upon a soul a burden greater than it can bear." The Sufi way to perfect Surrender and Knowing (Islam) is the "Spiritual Alchemy" - that which transforms the lead of our personal heaviness into the gold of our total and complete awakening and realization.

Allah - the Name: The Divine Name of God, indicating The One, the Supreme - Conscious, Living, Creating, over Whom there is none, greater than Whom there is none, other than Whom there is none. The "God" of Abraham, Isaac, Moses and Jesus. The Beloved, of Whom the Sufi poets sing.

Allah - the Means: In the Sufi way, there are four stages of certitude. The first stage is hearing about it, by voice or letter, the second is witnessing it, by seeing it clearly in yourself and others, the third is realizing the truth of it through direct experience, and the fourth stage is to acquire it, owning it freely to share with others. In practice, it is said that the Name and the Essence are One. So first we hear Allah, then we say Allah, then we know the Essence of Allah and ourselves, and finally live in the Reality. So Allah (His Name and His Essence being One), is the means. Hence we say "We know Allah by Allah".

Allah - the Goal: The goal of Surrender in the Sufi way is to bring us into Reality - to know and perceive our Divinity with every cell and action. To be in our reality, and to carry none of the illusions of selfhood any more. To be free of delusion and walking in the reality of our true existence, which is HU (Arabic pronoun for Divinity).

The Sufi Path: This path consists of prayer, fasting, alms-giving, travel in the Holy way, and learning and teaching. It begins and ends with the witnessing of God and all His Prophets, includes palpable forgiveness and practices for self-purification, and is done entirely in surrender. It leads, via the struggle for perfection, through the garden of the heart to the Ultimate Abode.

I invite you to enrich the garden of your heart by means of saying the Holy Name and knowing Allah in Essence. I wish to remind you that Divine Peace is found most strongly in the hearts of those who serve it.

"Who trusts in Allah has taken a mighty handhold indeed." (Qur`an)

In Love, Salaam alaikum.

For those interested in deeper walking and further knowledge of Sufi practices, regular groups and personal sessions are available. Call 503.955.4838 or go to www.geocities.com/reachnin

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