Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Transfigured Night

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from Signs on the Horizons by Shaykh Michael Sugich.

“It was the night of Mawlid an-Nabi, the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  We formed a circle and began reciting prayers on the Prophet (s.a.w.), including the famous prayer of Shaykh ibn Mashish (q.s.): ‘First!  O Last!  O Manifest!  O Most Hidden!  Hear my call as You Heard the call of Your servant, Zakariyya and Grant me victory through You, for You and Support me through You, for You, and Join me to You and Come between myself and anything other than You…’

By the time we disbanded, each to our own private devotions, night had fallen.  An immense white moon high in the crystal sky radiated an ethereal canopy of light above the Rif Valley.  In the bracing icy air, I walked across the white cork floor, glowing in moon-wash, to the edge of the mosque.  The floor ended abruptly – a sheer drop into the abyss.  But the valley had filled with clouds to the very edge of the floor, creating a vast carpet illuminated by the piercing white moon, extending from the white mosque floor of Moulay Abdul Salam to the distant peaks at the far perimeter of the valley.

This dazzling nocturnal vision was Blakean in its sacred power.  I fully expected ranks of angels to descend from the white heavens and was tempted to step out from the edge of the precipice onto the soft illusory cloud cover and walk across the sky.  I lifted my hands in awe and takbir, looking out on the dreamlike spectacle before me – a sign on the horizon – and began a cycle of prayer that would take me to dawn on this white celestial night bathed in the living illuminated presence of the departed saint.”

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