About As'sayed Ali Rafea [1]

As'sayed Ali Rafea is the son of As'sayed Rafea Muhammad Rafea, the guide of the Spiritual Islamic Circle. During his earthly life, As'sayed Rafea Muhammad Rafea pointed out in different places and in different occasions that after his passing to the higher dimension of life, his son Ali would take the lead and continue the road that he initiated. As'sayed Ali Rafea would not have chosen to take this responsibility; he would have liked to live his father's teachings on a personal level, limiting his call to himself. By expressing that tendency, he proved his father's words when he said "the real teacher is a continuous learner". As'sayed Ali Rafea does not see himself as a teacher or a sheikh but a seeker of a truth. Because of his modesty and humbleness, he appeals to everyone who gets close to him. Yet certain awe and respect fill the heart of whomever he speaks to.

As'sayed Ali Rafea asks the members of the spiritual group, not to consider him a sheikh; he is only the symbol of the circle. He continuously confirms that they are not to take his words without thinking, rather they should think deeply and find the truth themselves. This attitude in itself is a breakthrough in Sufi orders. It is a renovation of the guide-disciple relationship. It also implies a request from the disciples to exert themselves devotedly, and not to limit their interaction with the teachings on a superficial level. That is, a spiritual seeker is not to be dependent on outside sources alone; knowledge should come from within, from one's own experience.

One of the main points that As'sayed Ali Rafea is stressing in the circle, is gaining the consciousness that every day activities are part and parcel of one’s spiritual training; to live the path of devotion to God in every and each moment.

As'sayed Ali Rafea’s sincerity and straightforwardness, his devotion and simplicity are striking. His enlightened soul shines within clean hearts in the circle's members. They feel him very close, his words echo in their hearts, springing from within their souls. He guides their steps all the way through.

As'sayed Ali Rafea’s life on earth started on the seventh of April, in the middle of the twentieth century, that is in 1950. He was a committed student, very successful in his study. As a matter of fact, he did so well that he was chosen to be affiliated to an experimental school that was only for top students in the country. He pursued his study at the College of Engineering, Cairo University, then specialized in Computer Science, and had his Ph.D. from France. He is now working as a professor at the American University in Cairo.

 

The following are excerpts from the article about As'sayed Ali Rafea in Karen Sawyer’s book Soul Companions: Conversations with Contemporary Wisdom Keepers - A Collection of Encounters with Spirit [2]:

 

A SUFI MASTER’S BLESSING by Master Ali Rafea Born on April 7th, 1950:  Master Ali Rafea is the son of a sheikh (Sufi Master and spiritual teacher) – Master Rafea Muhammad Rafea. After his father’s passing, he was entrusted with the position of spiritual guide of the Spiritual Islamic Circle. He asks the followers of the order not to consider him a sheikh – he is only the symbol of the Circle. He continuously confirms that they are not to take his words without thinking, rather they should think hard and find the truth themselves. This attitude in itself is a renovation of the guide-disciple relationship and a breakthrough in Sufi orders. Master Ali Rafea is also a Computer Science Professor at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He believes that it is possible to feel God’s presence with oneself at all times – not just during prayer, meditation and contemplation. This is how he became a prominent scientist and a spiritual leader at the same time without any contradiction. The spiritual vision of Master Ali Rafea, which he has been conveying in his speeches over the years, is presented in an anthology that has been compiled and translated from Arabic into English by some close members of the spiritual circle, entitled Islam: Living in Harmony with the Laws of Life. (link to the book)

 

The following is how As'sayed Ali Rafea reports his life journey:

 

"I believe that everyone has some sort of guidance from the unseen part of the world. This guidance could be from our higher consciousness, another person who lived on earth sometime ago or from unseen creatures, like angels, or by any other means that we cannot imagine."

"My father, Master Rafea Muhammad Rafea, was the spiritual leader for the Spiritual Islamic Circle. Master Silver Birch [3] was the Circle’s spirit guide. He communicated through the medium Muhammad Eid Gharib (known as Abu-Sri’I) in spiritual sessions that were attended by the Circle members. Silver Birch had previously told his group that a Sufi man would come and ‘take the lead’. The members of that Circle were searching for that man. They met other Sufi leaders but Master Silver Birch had told them that the expected one was still to come. The spirit guide welcomed Master Rafea to the circle and gave him an assignment – to be a human guide for the circle. My father learned that Master Silver Birch’s mission is that of all religions. In other words, he found no contradictions between Islam and the guidance of Silver Birch. The language of the spiritual call is to remove the barriers between East and West, and the false barriers that are put between religions. Some of my father’s talks were collected, printed and distributed in his circle. My father also wrote two spiritual-fiction books – ‘Memoirs of Khabridis’, which anticipated the manifestation of the spiritual message on earth, and ‘From the Revelation of Yathrib’ about a sheikh and his disciples who came from different parts of the world… each of these disciples choosing a specific subject to deal with, sharing his insights with others."

"The spiritual guide, Master Silver Birch, also has many books [3] in the West which talk about the Divine Law of life – how man’s behavior on this earth has its effect on his spiritual life... how every moment a man lives on this earth is intimately related to his future life… how that if praying is not sincerely addressed to God or is aimed at attaining spiritual or moral gains it is without meaning or value. These books played a great role in softening the materialistic outlook of Western Societies, which didn’t believe in the extension of life beyond death. These books have also helped the Islamic Society to reinforce the beliefs of the Moslems and all those who seek spiritual values and meanings to cultivate a deep appreciation of the meaning of life’s extension beyond earth."

 

"After my father’s passing, Master Silver Birch asked the Circle members to renew the pledge with me as their guide. I was not interested in being a guide and was in conflict between acceptance and rejection. I finally decided to accept based on the simple reason that my rejection would lead to the destruction of the Circle, which I could not morally accept. Even now, I do not accept myself as a traditional Sufi guide. I am an ordinary person who is trying to think freely and go deeper in understanding the wisdom we have on earth coming from different sources. I feel, however, that one should not be completely dependent on outside sources and that knowledge should come from within, from one’s own experience. I tell the members of the Circle that everything I am saying is not absolute and can be discussed – that they are only hearing wisdom from me because of their love, confidence and belief in me. We are all one… if I am the tongue, they are the ears. If I am the mind, they are the heart and body. We complement each other by love, desire for knowing the truth and a wish to improve our earthly lives and to be exposed to the mercy of God. I accepted the role of ‘guide’ to the group under this new definition."

 

"I do not usually remember my dreams, but not long after I accepted my role as guide, I had a vivid vision that I felt was reality. In this vision, my father was holding my hands in the same way he did when a new ‘brother’ came to join the Order. In Sufism, this is called Kabda – it is like a pledge that is made after reading a specific verse from the Koran. This vision gave me the feeling of a new start. I felt comforted that my father was satisfied with my new approach. As I did not personally receive the Kabada from my father while he was on earth, I felt that he had visited me in my dream to give me his blessing and the power to continue his spiritual work."

 

"Six years after my father passed away, the medium of our Circle, Mr. Gharib, passed away. Since then, we have not had another medium to communicate with Master Birch as we used to. This was another turning point in my life, when I suddenly found myself without direct guidance except for my inner consciousness and intuition. Deep in our hearts, we sense another dimension of self that is unique to each one of us, yet it is beyond limitations. We cannot experience inner peace unless we nurture this spiritual core, this divine part within our own existence – the primordial nature, the Self, the inner messenger, or inner voice. The Self is sensed but cannot be defined. Sensing the Self is the gateway to inner peace. The Self sees its reflection in everything, and evokes love in the heart of humans. It harmonizes with the rhythm of divine law, and achieves a balance where peace becomes its expression. Unless we awaken this divinity within, it is hard to be able to listen, to understand, to tolerate differences and live in harmony. On the spiritual level, the more we are in harmony with the purpose of our existence, the more we are able to take messages from our inner Self and the more we realize that human beings are endowed with divine source that links them to one another. That realization widens our scope and enables us to see beyond our limited interests. Purifying the heart from negative energies is a process that is cultivated through spiritual training as well as good deeds. I feel that meditation helps me to purify myself to be better exposed to mercy, knowledge and wisdom."

 

"Sometimes, I experience external signs and coincidences in my life… an unexpected event may occur to explain an issue I am thinking about, confirm an idea I have or inspire me with a new idea. Mostly, I feel guided by an inner sense of ‘knowing’. When I talk to brothers and sisters in a gathering, some ideas come into my mind that I might not have previously considered. I sometimes raise a question and I really do not know the answer in advance, but I try to go through analyzing the question piece by piece until, suddenly, the clear answer emerges. As we always say, spiritual contact is an ongoing message because every man can go through this experience in different ways. I believe that God is transcendent and, for sure, all guidance comes from Him in the end"

[1] Prof. Dr. Ahmed Rafea is known among his family and spirtiual circle as As\Aly Rafea is the name for

[2] Karen Sawyer, Soul Companions: Conversations with Contemporary Wisdom Keepers - A Collection of Encounters with Spirit
[3] Sliver Birch Books

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