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Photo taken in the sacred town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun in northern Morocco. Photographed by me (Armaan Siddiqi) during a recent trip!

Photo taken in the sacred town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun in northern Morocco. Photographed by Armaan Siddiqi during a recent trip using a digital camera. 

“O Beginninglessly Eternal! O Endlessly Everlasting! O Formlessly Manifest! O Apparently Hidden! Hear my call as You heard the call of Your servant, Zachary; grant me victory through You, for You; support me through You, for You; join me to You; come between myself and anything other than You…”

Excerpt from as-salat-al-mashishiyya, the sublime benediction upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), by the venerable Moroccan saint Abd al-Salam ibn Mashish–student of Sidi Abu Madyan and shaykh of Abul-Hasan al-Shadhili–may Allah sanctify their secrets. One scholar has written that in this prayer “the believer calls upon Allah to bless the Prophet as if to thank him for having received Islam through him.”

You can hear the full prayer here

“You must be patient.  Even if the pains of waiting and wishing and praying tire you, be patient. Even when long periods of time pass by and others are blessed with what they’ve been praying for while you still wait, be patient. For Allah does not waste the effort of the doers of good. He delays His response only to hear you call to Him more. Be patient. For what awaits you is sweeter than the bitterness of longing” 

Sunrise in Dubai. November 2014. Photo taken using an iPhone 6 by Sidra Mushtaq

Sunrise in Dubai. November 2014. Photo taken using an iPhone 6 by Sidra Mushtaq

” Good architecture is to promote thankfulness” ~Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad

The Dome of the Rock Mosque, Jerusalem, 2013. Photo taken with  A SLR by Sidra Mushtaq

The Dome of the Rock Mosque, Jerusalem, 2013. Photo taken with
A SLR by Sidra Mushtaq

“Remembrance is the cornerstone of the Path, the key to realisation, the weapon of the seeker, and the authentication of sainthood.” Habib Ahmad Mashur al-Haddad

Photo taken on Canon EOS 40D by Muhammad Atif   www.sacredfootsteps.org

Photo taken on Canon EOS 40D by Muhammad Atif http://www.sacredfootsteps.org

Altered reality…..

Photo taken using a Nikon D70s with Lightroom adjustments by Mas'ud Ahmed Khan. Instagram ID: masud.a.khan

Photo taken using a Nikon D70s with Lightroom adjustments by Mas’ud Ahmed Khan. Instagram ID: masud.a.khan

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

 

1st Bowl. Southend-on-End Photo taken using an iPhone 5s by: Ahqib Hussain. Instagram ID: iamclarkkent23

1st Bowl. Southend-on-End
Photo taken using an iPhone 5s by: Ahqib Hussain. Instagram ID: iamclarkkent23

Everything you see has its roots
in the Unseen world.
The forms may change,
yet the essence remains the same.

Every wondrous sight will vanish,
Every sweet word will fade.
But do not be disheartened,
The Source they come from is eternal –
Growing, branching out,
giving new life and new joy.

Why do you weep? –
That Source is within you,
And this whole world
is springing up from it.

The Source is full,
Its waters are ever-flowing;
Do not grieve,
drink your fill!
Don’t think it will ever run dry –
This is the endless Ocean.

From the moment you came into this world
A ladder was place in front of you
that you might escape.

From earth you became a plant,
from plant you became animal.
Afterwards you became a human being,
Endowed with knowledge, intellect, and faith.

Behold the body, born of dust-
How perfect it has become!

Why should you fear its end?
When were you ever made less by dying?

When you pass beyond this human form,
No doubt you will become an angel
And soar through the heavens!

But don’t stop there,
Even heavenly bodies grow old.

Pass again from the heavenly realm
and plunge into the vast ocean of Consciousness.
Le the drop of water that is you
become a hundred mighty seas.

But do not think that the drop alone
Becomes the Ocean –
the Ocean, too, becomes the drop!

~ Mevlana Rumi 

Autumn trees in England, UK. Photo taken using an iPhone by: Sidra Mushtaq

Autumn trees in England, UK. Photo taken using an iPhone by: Sidra Mushtaq

My dear friend Taslim very recently wrote a piece on her excellent blog called: Four Words (which is well worth a read, in fact her whole blog is worth reading and bookmarking!). She ended the blog post with the following question:

“What four words would you choose?”

Although it was perhaps a rhetorical question, it did inspire me to think. What four words would I choose?

As Taslim mentioned in her blog post, words are powerful, and I fully agree with her in the sense that words do carry the power to affect us in a positive or negative way.

Towards the end of August, on a 5 hour train journey to a friend’s wedding in Glasgow, I reflected on words which impact me.  I came up with many words which resonate with me, inspire me or perhaps describe my outlook on life. But since I could only choose “four”, I narrowed my selection down and wrote the four words which hold deep meaning, and impact me the most:

HealingHeartsPic

Prayer is a source of comfort. It strengthens belief.

Belief is a form of acceptance and submission, and it ignites hope.

Hope gives us courage and the strength to carry on moving forward. It encourages us to be positive and patient, and look forward to receiving that joy we pray, believe and hope for.

Joy is that feeling of pleasure, delight, triumph and gratitude, which leads us back to prayer, thanking our Creator for the blessing, because our belief and hope was in Him all along.

We pray to strengthen our belief, which then provides us with hope, and ultimately we are led to joy.

As you can see, the four words I chose are interconnected.

What four words would you choose?

It’s that time of year again where Pilgrims from all around the world are setting off for the journey of a lifetime: the Hajj. All year round, the heart has this desire of wanting to visit and return back to the Holy Lands; but for some reason, during the Hajj season, that yearning becomes much stronger to visit and in particular to be around the Ka’aba. Well, that most certainly is the case for me as this is a feeling I have noticed within myself over the past few years. If there is one thing we can feel selfish about wanting in abundance is being able to visit the Holy Lands frequently! Then again, that’s just my personal opinion.  Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad sums up this feeling of nostalgia beautifully which I have been reflecting on and wanted to share:

 

“The yearning for the Ka‘ba which sincere Muslims feel whenever they think of it is therefore not, in fact, a yearning for the building. In itself it is no less part of the created order than anything else in creation. The yearning is, instead, a fragment, a breath of the nostalgia for our point of origin, for that glorious time out of time when we were in our Maker’s presence” 

..when we were in our Maker’s presence…

..when we were in our Maker’s presence…

I just get goosebumps reading that part…. the mind cannot comprehend what it must have been like, yet the soul knows what it felt like being in the presence of our Maker in that world…..

May we be invited again and again to the Holy Lands!

(Read the full article here)

 

kaaba

 

“As you struggle with whatever you’re struggling with, understand that the opening will come. The darkest part of the night is just before the dawn. Never despair, never lose hope, be patient, the opening will come, just as it came for the Prophet ﷺ and for his community” ~ Imam Zaid Shakir

image

Iphotography at Magrib time, 20 Ramadan 2014

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