SPIRITUAL PRACTICES

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" You cannot imagine being close to Allah Almighty, physically, but when you are keeping your soul (heart) with Allah Almighty, then you become closer to His Divine Presence, and that carries your body to be also in the Divine Presence" - Moulana Sheikh Nazim

Dhikr

Weekly Naqshbandi Dhikr

Meditation

Sohbet - Association with The Sheik

Prayers & Recitals

Special Days of Spiritual Power

Sufi Practices

The Sufis say: “There are three ways to relate to the Divine: One is Prayer, a step up from that is Meditation, and a step up from that is Sohbet.”

The core of all their practices is to remember God, fill the heart with God, and unite oneself with Him.

The journey of the Sufi is the journey of the lover returning to the arms of the Beloved, a journey of love in which we ‘die’ as egos so we can be one with Him. It’s the way of the heart. All of the practices are aimed at letting go of one’s ego, which is considered the biggest obstacle to realization.

Spiritual Practices can be broadly catogorized as below:

1. Dhikr

One of the most common ways to keep the remembrance of the Beloved, in Sufi orders, is by repeating His Name.  This establishes an inner connection with the Divine and results in bliss.

In the Naqshbandi way, there is the weekly congregational Dhikr called Khatm al Khawajagn. Sheikh Nazim says  it is vital for a spiritual seeker in the path to participate for this Dhikr which is done weekly and enphasises its importance by saying "Dhikr is fuel for our “Ruh” to fly over clouds, and to fly over the universe, and to reach to the heavens. You can’t reach there with anything, other than Dhikr"​

2. Meditation 

In Arabic, the word for meditation is muraqabah, and the literal meaning is to watch over, or observe. The core of Sufi meditation is to be conscious of the Divine at all times, until there is no longer a sense of separation between meditation, God, and daily life. This is called oneness —that is, the complete merging with the Beloved and cessation of duality. 

The essence of Sufi meditation is two-fold:

- ​Keeping your attention focused on God, and awaken love in your heart so that you can merge with the Beloved. Sheikh Nazim says that Real Dhikr is to be in Contemplation of Allah Almighty always, in all situations all the time.

- Watching your mind and make sure that no bad thoughts that are considered harmful, spring out from your ego.  On this Sheikh Nazim says "So many people are saying, Allah! Allah! but when they are acting they are not with their Lord, only their tongues"

To reach to the constant focus on God one could begin with contemplating the Sufi Master. Sheikh Nazim says on this, Allah Almighty is the Transcendent Being– you can’t even begin to fathom anything about Him Almighty – but it is easy to love
those who represent His Love among mankind, for it is much easier for us to begin to understand and love human beings like ourselves. You will find nothing in their hearts but the Love of Allah; therefore, loving them is a means to approach the Divine Love.

3. Sohbet

Sohbet, in Sufism, is a spiritual transaction between teacher and student which relies on ancient oral storytelling traditions and practices. Mystical knowledge and Devotional Love is transmitted during Sohbet in such a way that it attempts to circumvent the knots of the rational mind and connect the hearts of the seekers and cleanse their Souls.

Everything in the created cosmos is also in ceaseless conversation, in endless symbiosis and those with attuned ears of the inner heart are able to listen to the great voice of the cosmos, of the inner song of existence. Jesus the Annointed One said, “It is to those who are worthy of (hearing and understanding) my mysteries that I tell my mysteries.” – Christ, The Gospel of Thomas

Sohbet means ’sitting down near’ an enlightened spiritual master and engaging in spiritual conversation, where Knowledge of the Divine is transmitted to the hearts of Students. True sohbets are so powerful that it can bring a much deeper realization in short space of time, than years of prayers or meditation alone. Thus the Naqshbandi Sufi path emphasizes Sohbet as the main Pillar of the path.