birthday of the Holy Master, Maulana Shah Maghsoud, is a day of
joyful celebration. Students spend the day in remembrance, reading
his writings and thinking of the many ways that this magnanimous
person contributed to the advancement of humanity and enriched
the lives of so many. After a day of reflection on his life and
teachings, we come from all over to the home of our teachers for
a birthday celebration where a great feast is enjoyed.
arrive at the Uwaiysi Tarighat center in Northern California with
bouquets of flowers in honor of the birthday of Hazrat Shah Maghsoud.
Bowing to the holy Masters, each student takes a seat until the
various rooms of the khaneghah are entirely full. The evening
begins with a lecture from our holy teachers Shah Nazar Seyed
Dr. Ali Kianfar, the beloved student of Hazrat Shah Maghsoud,
and Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha, the eldest child and first student
of Hazrat Shah Maghsoud. Their enlightend words shine through
our hearts, illuminated by the divine message brought forth by
Hazrat Shah Maghsoud through his two dedicated disciples. Students
may also be invited to share stories, read the Holy master's poems,
or share reflections in commemoration of the day. The formal gathering
ends with a reading from the Holy Qur'an and tafsir
(commentary) by the living master. This is followed a group Zekr
(remembrance service) and special prayers of the Uwaiysi Tarighat.
each person returns to inner contemplation, several designated
servers rise and leave the gathering to prepare the feast. In
the Persian Sufi tradition, several hand made sofrehs
(meal cloths) made especially for Hazrat Shah Maghsoud and inscribed
with Qur'anic verses, the names of the Holy Prophet and Holy Masters
of the Uwaiysi Tarighat, are neatly spread on the floor. Careful
not to step on the sofreh, the servers set plates
and utensils in front of their teachers and each guest.
we take a moment to savor the feast held in honor of our Holy
Master, everyone waits until the Master gives the signal for the
Sheikh to recite the Fatiha and the meal begins. As plates are
passed around and filled with delicious food, we settle down to
the meal, enjoying the good food and company of our teachers and
brothers and sisters. After eating our full, the meal ends with
recitation of the Fatiha, followed by special prayers and dua
from the Uwaiysi tradition, saluting the original human being
Adam, Prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Hazrat Muhammad, Hazrat
Ali, Hazrat Fatima, and our Holy Master Maulana Shah Maghsoud.
As the servers rise and take the dishes and leftovers into the
kitchen, the group relaxes and waits for tea. As tea is served,
we listen intently to the parting words of our Masters before
heading into the night. As we leave the Uwaiysi Center, bodies
and minds fully sated, we head home and once again return to our
private remembrance of our beloved Holy Master Maulana Shah Maghsoud.
Hazrat Moulana Shah Maghsouds words, I ask myself what is
the meaning of solitude? What are the qualities of
solitude? In recent weeks, I have been attempting to follow the
instructions of our wise teacher Seyedeh Dr. Angha for meditation.
When she first gave these instructions she talked about isolation
and solitude being alone feeling loneliness. This
is the way to hear your heart beat - to find your heart.
Principles of Sufism, Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha, Moulana
Shah Maghsoud's eldest child, defines solitude for us: Inward
solitude expresses the Sufis freedom from the preoccupation
with the future. He asks for nothing except God. He empties his
mind and heart of all else. He is the seeker of reality, and reality
alone is what he searches for.
often asked the question, how did I become a student of Sufism.
I am still not completely sure how and why. But the more I study
the teachings of Hazrat Moulana Shah Maghsoud and this school,
I hear the message of solitude and realize how I am attracted
to that message - and how I have my whole life increasingly become
attracted to this message. I realize that somehow along my way,
the Divine has at least given me this opportunity.
all honesty, I am not sure if I have really fully experienced
this message, the state of solitude, but for me the teachings
of Hazrat Moulana Shah Maghsoud and his students, our teachers,
Seyedeh Dr. Angha and Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Kianfar continually
remind us of the importance of solitude how we must carry
this practice and principle always - in every moment - in every
Yet in solitude I dont necessarily see myself as separate
from everyone else. To the contrary, in solitude there is only
God but if God is everywhere, then the reality of the Existence
is the unity of everything with God. We do not turn our back on
the world - rather we recognize and strive for awareness and lift
the veils of illusion to see that there is nothing but God.
this message in the life of Hazrat Moulana Shah Maghsoud, a unique
human being for his time - who maintained the quality of solitude
in every moment yet, like the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), spent his
whole life teaching the Divine message. From his solitude came
his inspiration for the service of God and humanity. As Seyedeh
Dr. Angha stressed at the working retreat last week, if you have
knowledge you have a personal responsibility to share that knowledge.
You have to serve humanity. For us, Hazrat Moulana Shah Maghsoud,
as do our teachers, embodies solitude and service.
return again to Dr. Anghas instruction and to the essence
of Moulana Shah Maghsouds teaching. The starting point for
all Divine messages including the message of solitude is the center
of the heart - in our heartbeat which belongs to no one but ourselves.
The heartbeat is the symbol of the opportunity the Divine has
given us to know and serve Him. The heartbeat is the pure
melody of truth. Allah.
this special day, we should again listen to the teaching of Hazrat
Moulana Shah Maghsoud:
the human power is concentrated at one point and in that moment
one is not disturbed by any subject or thing, the concentration
of his obtained power would be the granting principle that he
has been bestowed by the universal, existence, God or whatever
you may call it.
Serve thy Lord until there come unto thee the hour that is certain.
Qur'an: Sura 15, Aya 99
ayat is very apropos for this day of celebration of the life Hazrate
Shah Maghsoud. For, when one looks at the life of Maulana Shah
Maghsoud, we see that he was successful in many fields of study,
was a prolific writer and great Sufi teacher. However, we can
summarize all of his endeavors under the title servant of
we look at human history it is safe to say that being a servant
of Allah is the highest calling that a human being can engage
in, why? The only goal of the servant of Allah is to point people
in the direction of Allah. On the other hand, the servant of the
world helps one live and prosper in the world, and as we know,
the world is a place of limitation and change. Allah says in the
Quran, everything will fade, except my face which
Shah Maghsoud in the language of his teaching says:
is open to the influence of corruption, destruction, and eradication
fosters anger, greed, fear, hopelessness, sickness, sorrow,
and old age. There are the agents of death that have been born
times in this gathering we have heard that Maulana Shah Maghsouds
mission was to once again go back and clean up the face of religion;
a face that had been sullied by those who failed to understand
the meaning of the teachings of the holy prophets (peace and blessings
upon them). In his book Payam-e-Del, he says:
names of God are read to the hearts in truth. But those who
do not know will not discover the truth behind the words, yet
believe in the holiness of the meaningless image of the unknown.
we forget, this was similar to the work of the Holy Prophet (s)
during his lifetime. Imam Ali continued this legacy after the
death of the Holy Prophet (s) and the Holy Imams sacrificed their
lives to uphold the integrity of this message.
The holy prophets and holy masters come only to serve humanity.
I would like to share a few thoughts on service from Maulana Shah
Maghsoud that we heard on the night of his remembrance, November
17, l999. He said that the halat is a cloak of service and whoever
receives it has to be in service to those who need to understand
Islam. One important point is that in introducing Islam to the
people, do so without introducing anything of your own teaching.
Maulana Shah Maghsoud in Psalms of Gods says:
wise person knows that he does no know, but the ignorant does
not realize his own ignorance.
carry unknown loads along long roads and yet are proud of bearing
what they do not possess.
clothes are a reminder of the teaching of Islam, not for reward
or payment, just for the betterment of humankind. When you put
on the clothes of the believer, it is an appointment for service
and nothing else. Guidance is from Allah and Allah only. Dont
call on people, call on Allah and keep calling. Sometimes
when invited to do service, the ego gets in the way, and from
the ego comes fear, doubt and hesitation, all enemies of a believer.
When this happens Allah instructs us when you meet a force,
stand firm and call on Allah. Maulana
Shah Maghsoud, the prophet of our time teaches us in his words:
souls eject strangers from their domains and do not allow them
to stubbornly remain there. Divine dignity does not permit any
rule other than that of peace and tranquility, and so anxiety
and distraction have no foundation for survival.
holy masters teach us that service comes only after receiving.
Before that one is only sharing that of which one has no knowledge.
Maulana Shah Maghsoud says:
comes from the heart, or else one will be blind in this life
and the afterlife ...
the Holy Quran teaches: Dont follow that of
which you have no knowledge.
closing, we have been blessed with a great opportunity to come
and sit in this circle. How can we repay Allah for this wonderful
blessing and all of the blessings, barakat and mercy that has
flowed our way since coming here? Our holy master through his
lifes work and example gives us a clear answer. Serve the
people and invite them to the truth. Al hamdulillah, through the
teachings and barakat of the holy master, we have been given the
tools necessary to carry out whatever mission we are called to
do. Let me leave you with one more thought of encouragement from
our holy master. He says:
light of heavens purge fear and sorrow from sacred souls.
also admonishes us that time is short and the Day of Judgment
to honor Moulana Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha today for what he
is to me An American Hero. Although his ancestry goes back
to a line of one of Irans noblest families he has
done a great service for this country and I want to thank him
I say Hero, I mean someone who is an impeccable example
of how to live life to the fullest. He gave humanity an example
of how wise, knowledgeable and powerful a human being CAN BE.
Shah Maghsoud introduced the Holy Prophet to this country in the
best light at a time when we really need to understand Islam
totally separated from culture and prejudice.
by doing this, he actually introduced the universal culture that
unites the best in all of us throughout the world. He separated
the great message and invitation of the Prophets from the dubious
religion of orthodoxy and made the meaning of religion clear.
left two perfect examples of his message to continue his work:
Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Ali Kianfar.
They continue to educate and inspire people here in America and
through out the world. Gradually, we as students are beginning
to understand that we are not small, limited beings. The whole
universe is wrapped in us and each of us can bring forth marvelous
things and tap untold power if we but try.
Shah Maghsoud showed us the foundation of religion as a system
that demonstrates the larger world of spirituality and its goals
as something undeniable and immediate, not something shaky or
doubtful. Everyone of us has had some introduction to true spiritual
experience. Weve seen an opening to a larger world that
most people, scholars, philosophers and theologians have to leave
to argument and hypothesis. We have experience. AND WITH EXPERIENCE
is the legacy MSM has left for us in this school. Few others in
the world in history could achieve such a thing and it is the
least that we can do to mention his name in reverence and awe
and thank him for what he did.
isnt there more we can do? Isnt there more we should
do? What can we do to show our appreciation?
people are coming to America, the land of opportunity, to do nothing
but take. Here is an example of someone who only came to give
- a perfect gift no strings attached: a perfect religion
free of all the distractions of politics, culture, ceremony and
so many things
his gift is complete to America for America.
And, as Americans, it is your property. SUFISM FOR AMERICA!
is an enormous fortune
enough to last many generations
it only comes with one condition: you have to go and get it.
of value is easily obtained and Moulana Shah Maghsouds treasure
is an Eternal treasure that you never have to give back.
have to remember that this path he left for us is not the task
of a day, a month or a year. It is the task of a life.
should review the strength of our convictions and our aspirations.
best we can do, if we really want to honor Moulana Shah Maghsoud
is to honor his path.
last time, we should decide if we are in or if we are out. This
decision isnt about stress or pressure. It is about honesty,
am I really a person interested to continue on this path and see
what knowledge and portion it has for me. We should search deeply,
to the depths of our being and decide one last time.
if we see that Yes, I am a person for this path then
we must do one thing and never, never, never let ourselves falter.
have to commit ourselves completely to this path and see it straight
through to its depths and never allow anything, especially ourselves,
to hold us back again. Every day we should take one step forward
and not surrender one step back.
have the best of everything. He gave it to us. This path lacks
your mind objects to progress, leave your mind behind.
honor Moulana Shah Maghsouds birthday, and I hope that you
will join me, I promise from this day forward I will increase
my efforts and leave doubt, negativity and hesitation behind.
I come to a point where my mind objects and creates problems for
me, I promise to trust in Allah, call for Allahs help and
remember my teachers in my heart. They will help me and they are
enough to help.
PUSH FORWARD AND NOT LOOK BACK.
is the best way, I can think of, to honor our grand Master.
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