Feb 21, 2002

Sacrifice the Lower and Attain the Higher!

  • From the Feast Speech of Master Ali Rafea (Dhi-el-Hejja10th, 1420 HC/March 16th, 2000)
  • Translated and Prepared for publishing by: Aisha Rafea
  • Date: 2002-02-21
Master Ali Rafea touches upon a basic truth that man needs to be aware of, and to experience truthfully in his spiritual journey (suluk). A soul who seeks being spiritually realized needs two things: First, the support of a higher source of Light to supply him with spiritual power; second, the exertion of his soul in resisting the temptation of the lower self. This is the core of the Path to attain Servanthood to Allah. Master Ali Rafea reflects upon this truth as implicit in the rituals of the Sacrifice Feast Eid al Adha.
We start our Sacrifice Feast Eid al Adha by Takbeer and Hamd (revering Allah’s Greatness and praising Him), as a sign that we long for Him, the Most Great and Most Sublime, and that we are full heartedly grateful to Him for His Grace. It is He Who has taught us what we knew not before, and guided us to the Way of truth and fruitfulness. The Sacrifice Feast Eid Adha is rich with many meanings and conceptions that would guide us to the Righteous Path.
.. to thy Lord turn in Prayer and Sacrifice. (HQ: 108: 2)
“Prayer”, as we always learn, symbolizes man’s “seeking attachment to Allah”. This is an essential principle in our Religion and in our primordial nature fitra. It is through Prayer that we experience being connected to Allah, and hence, receive His sublime power and mercy.
“Sacrifice” or Nahr connotes several meanings. It points to “renouncing the lower self” with all its darkness, and Nahr is also associated with “seeking closeness to Allah” by offering a Sacrifice: qurban.
Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! they each presented a sacrifice (to Allah): it was accepted from one, but not from the other.(HQ: 5: 27)
To offer a Sacrifice qurban, or to come closer to the Lord is only possible when one rids himself from all that makes one afar from Him; it is the lower self nafs with all its dimness that puts the barriers between a person and his Lord. By being attached to the source of divine power, mercy and care, a person gets spiritually qualified for “slaughtering” his dark lower self, and hence comes closer to Allah, from within and all around. Closeness to Allah transcends physical place and/or time. Closeness is a deep feeling of God’s presence in every moment of a person’s lifetime. In all his actions, feelings, in motion and silence, and with every beat of his heart, he feels that God is with him.
We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. (HQ: 50: 16)
He is with you wheresoever ye may be.(HQ: 57: 4)
whithersoever ye turn, there is Allah's countenance.(HQ: 2: 115)
God is within you:
Earth and Heaven contain Me not and the heart of My faithful Servant contains Me
God is with man, as He exists in the very texture of his primordial nature fitra, which God created, and baptized him with. God is with man in all his actions. Many divine words urge man to deal with Allah:
Who is he that will loan to Allah a beautiful loan? For (Allah) will increase it manifold to his credit (HQ: 57: 11)
Charity is received by the Hands of God (PH)
In dealing with any matter, throughout the earthly journey, one is dealing with Allah. When man forgets this truth, his life turns into hell. That is to say that if a person cannot see what is beyond people’s physical existences and material attributes, he would not be able to live among them. However, if he handled life from the perspective of dealing with Allah, things would be very different. A person would see God’s wisdom embedded in everything. He would see it as God’s door open, when matters of life go smooth turning his good intentions into action.
In this way, our Religion teaches us how to come closer to Allah in all our actions both inwardly and outwardly. Closeness to Allah is not possible unless we eradicate our darkness, which cannot be done unless we have sought being attached to a higher source of guidance that would empower the truth, the light, and the life within.
This is our reading of the honorable Feast Eid. It is still rich with many more symbols that we can decode whenever we reflect upon its meaning. However, holding on to even a single meaning, realizing it honestly, and living it existentially, would lead to our transformation. The meaning we have focused upon today is:
.. to thy Lord turn in Prayer and Sacrifice. (HQ: 108: 2)
We hope that we are truly connected to our Lord, and that we are in the process of eradicating our dark lower self so that we might come closer to the Truth, to Allah, and see Him within, and in all our actions. As such we might truly witness that there is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God La Ilaha Illa Allah, Muhammad Rasulu Allah.
Servants of God, we must read the Divine’s “mess