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  • Assayed Rafea Muhammad Rafea | ESSCR

    Assayed Rafea Muhammad Rafea ​ 1.1 Profile [1] Assayed Rafea Muhammad Rafea (1903-1970, Egypt) is one of the spiritual teachers of humanity, seekers of truth, or devoted servants of God in the twentieth century. He was born to intuitively connect to the innermost part of his being, and to respect reason in each step of his life. This connection led him to instinctively realize a relationship to the higher dimension of life; the Divine, and to express it in a sense of love, care, and service for his fellow humans. Dedication to pure service took different forms along his earthly life during which he had the same pure motives. Assayed Rafea was born to a well -known family and his parents were well off. He was the eldest of four siblings. However, in his early childhood, his father who was a rich trader, got bankrupted, and no longer able to provide for his family. His mother, Assayeda Aisha Al Sharif, was not legally allowed to spend from her inheritance, according to the Endowment Law then, unless she were a single mother. So, his parents had to divorce for the sake of their kids’ interests. In his very early youth, his younger beloved brother got seriously ill and passed away. He had to face and endure this tragedy and to comfort his mother for her loss. He had another brother and a sister whom he took care of. So early in his childhood, young Rafea felt the innate longing to connect to the Divine and started to pray in solitude, keeping it as his own secret that had to be kept away from anybody even his beloved mother. [2] 1.2 An Advocate of Freedom and Justice Being spontaneously a giver, Assayed Rafea gave himself fully to the national movement in Egypt during the 1920s, in early youth, then as an independent lawyer. He innately considered freedom as a high value for human dignity. About this phase of his life, he says: I must say that I was not practicing politics, as politics were not what I would enjoy. To put it more correctly, I would say I was one of the freedom defenders, as part of this national movement which rose in 1919, and I was born through its birth. As I can see now, when I shared in this movement, I was not a nationalist either, but an advocate for the right of this country to be an independent nation. For me, justice should be realized, freedom should be provided for everyone, and people should respect each other. [3] In another part of his memoirs, Assayed Rafea illustrates: I found in this country’s attainment of independence a kind of justice that has to be reached, liberty that has to be realized, and mutual respect among humans that has to be fostered. This was my drive-in truth…. In this spirit and by that urge I participated in the field of politics or the mundane life… …. [4] About the value of the freedom of thought and belief, Assayed Rafea writes: A society that is denied the freedom to disbelieve is deprived from enjoying authentic faith. Faith, both on the individual and collective level, cannot exist unless in a free environment where full freedom is prevailing for individuals and groups. [5] As an acknowledged lawyer, Assayed Rafea was supportive to the unprivileged labor force that had no social insurance then. He exerted all efforts in collaboration with other lawyers to make the government supply the laborers with pensions, health insurance and other rights. Those efforts were only part of his endeavor to enhance justice and respect of human dignity for individuals and the country as a whole. About that phase of his life he says: I can say that I worked in that field for twenty years with passion and devotion where I exerted myself without seeking any material reward. After those twenty years I abandoned that field of being directly involved in the activities of the mundane life in the same spirit and for the same motives that made me float from the work with one of the then political leaders to another. [6] About being a political activist or leader, Assayed Rafea also says: In taking that special direction (involvement in public service) I was following an instinctive tendency within me to share with people whatever I accept or reach (of experiences, principles, meanings or values). That is, by instinct I had the nature of what you call a teacher or a leader. I did not, however, see this character as pointing to a state of being a shaykh or a spiritual guide. I saw it as a duty of humans towards their fellow humans; as part of their inborn nature; as a sense of compassion to each other; mutual advice to truth as taught in the Revelation; and mutual advice to patience as they are guided to. That is what I thought the common morals ought to be; and I thought that the common morals ought to be religion. This instinctive tendency in me was the original cause for all the efforts exerted and the investments I made in the public life. [7] To his surprise and disappointment, Assayed Rafea realized that political leaders of the liberation movement put their personal gains above the country’s interests. As a result, he had to give up his free style of life as a private lawyer, owning his own business, to be an employee by the government as a means of earning his living. This was a very hard moment in which he had to surrender, and to open up for what would come next. The words and the life of Assayed Rafea show clearly that even though he quitted politics ever since, his inner drive for being in service of his fellow humans, and his spirit in fostering the humane principles went even stronger and deeper. 1.3 A Great Transformative Event The first day of marriage was like a start of a new phase in Assayed Rafea’s spiritual journey where he found himself inclined to spiritual seclusion, and not willing to involve in public life gatherings as he used to. What took place unexpectedly on the day of marriage was like a prelude to another way of expressing his very high sense of humanity, which he was destined to. That is what he says about it: After marriage I experienced a tendency to withdraw from political and social activities. Simultaneously, my inner life, psychologically and mentally started to shift. After few months during which we, my wife and myself, were living in the house of her family, we started to prepare a house of our own in the district of Helmia al Gedida, street Ilhami, no 8, and moved there. During the time in which my wife was pregnant with our first daughter Hanaa, I was surprised to go through an experience in which I saw in a vision that some light was descending from heaven in the shape of a diamond brooch made approximately in the form of what is known to us as Al Basmalah that is usually written in works of art (The writing of the holy verse: In the Name of God the All-Merciful and All-Compassionate). That form was not clear for me then, but I came to feel it later when, in the vision, the light was descending from heaven towards my chest, it reached there, then penetrated it causing me a strong shivering while articulating the holy Name of God: Allah, Allah, Allah in a way that can be heard by anyone. [8] Assayed Rafea narrates the above-mentioned event as a start of series of unworldly experiences in which his soul roamed in higher spheres learning directly about many truths of the macrocosm and the microcosm. 1.4 Searching for a New Direction for Service In the course of his spiritual journey it became clear for Assayed Rafea that existing political and social oppressions find their roots in humans’ practice of grave self-oppression by being heedless of their innate need to nurture their innate divine core. He frequently says that when our God-given potentials are awakened, we would naturally express them through moral deeds and values. Lack of spiritual awareness, Assayed Rafea stresses, are the roots of selfishness, greed and tyranny which normally lead to many levels of individual and societal oppression. Social reform, as such, cannot be realized except when individuals become conscious of the life beyond the egoistic limitations. For this, he devoted his life. Each and every experience in Assayed Rafea’s life made him more conscious that the external life of a person is just a manifestation of what resides within them; he says: What is going on inside a human is not an effect of what is going on around him. But what is going on around a human might be a reflection of what is happening within him. [9] ​ From that perspective Assayed Rafea’s whole journey was one of learning how to make the inside more and more conscious, purer and devoted to a higher purpose. Assayed Rafea could not ignore that the problem of politics was a problem of the quality of human who cannot experience self-transcendence. He thought that an upright society is one which would reflect the high values bred in its individuals, based on consciousness of the inner dimensions of life. So, his shift from political activism to spirituality was not a matter of change in the core and the spirit he had all the time, it was a shift in the tools and the domains he expressed them. That is how he expressed the shift in that stage of his life: Then I took the direction towards religion. By saying ‘took the direction towards religion’ I point to what took place on face value. To say it in a more accurate way, it is better to say that I took steps forward towards what was already within me and what was my innate nature, to which I gave different names; nationalism, politics or public work. Give it any name you want but, in truth, it is the pure nature of religion and the hue of truth. [10] 1.5 What Is Religion? For Assayed Rafea, the word ’religion’ has some associations and dimensions that are different from the common usage of the word. For him ‘religion’ is highly related to how humans enjoy or lack consciousness of who they are, what purpose they live for, individually and collectively. He writes: An individual is actually a reflection of a group as one whole. That is, if we recognize how humans behave within themselves and to each other, on the individual level, we can, by analogy, recognize how a human group behaves within itself and towards others on the collective level. In case individuals are united by love and devotion to the higher morals of life, this unity and devotion to what is most honorable in them as a human species, we call ‘religion’, religious integrity, and what living according to religious teachings really implies . [11] Religion in its sense as living, individually and collectively, according to the higher morals imprinted in the hearts of all humans can lead to the growth of the value of altruism on the individual level and to revering justice as a core value on the societal level. Assayed Rafea writes: According to Islam this would lead to the emergence of two indispensable realms; the first is a school and the second is a kingdom. The school means the kind of knowledge to be spread, and the kingdom is the rise and sustainability of justice. The natural result of Knowledge and justice would be the birth of a wholesome society or nation with a sensible ruler and an efficient system potentialized to be an example to other nations. This is how the Call and the Message (of religion) is transformed from individuals to nations. [12] 1.6 Joining Sufism Amid the mystical experiences he went through following his marriage, Assayed Rafea went into a kind of exploring the human spiritual heritage including Islam, other heavenly Revelations, the ancient wisdom of the far east, as well as modern Spirituality. Following many readings, Assayed Rafea found home in Islamic Sufism. He was in harmony with Sufis as they experience the heart as the residence of the Lord: Within human there exists a holy shrine, a temple or a sacred city that he neither loses nor brings to existence; he only discovers it and be part of its existence. This is the heart. It is the central point of his (the human’s) existence and the essence of his being. To the heart he directs his whole self, and from it he receives the effulgence coming from the circle around it and sends to his whole being. It (the heart) is the lamp inside the niche of human’s chest; his work is the oil that rekindles the lamp and enlightens his all being. [13] 1.7 Servanthood to God and love Assayed Rafea found resonance between what his heart and mind told him, and what touched him in the Islamic holy Sources as well as the Sufi Literature. He found in them the meaning of life he was always pursuing; to be serving God in every breath. Servanthood to God is the straight path distinguishing between ‘being’ and ‘non-being’, and between ‘houses’[14] and ruins. Seek God, and you will find him within yourselves. Seek God, and His houses will be raised in your hearts, within your ribs. You shall be raised then as bearers of Truth amongst people.[15] For Assayed Rafea to be a servant of God and to be channeling His love to humans are one and the same thing: In case a person really experienced the meanings of what servanthood to God signifies, and he directed his love to the One and Only God, he would flood people by his love. He would love them over and over until he would see them as his own self. He would see their faces as nothing but a mirror of His Lord. [16] Servanthood to God is the straight path distinguishing between ‘being’ and ‘non-being’, and between ‘houses’[17] and ruins. Seek God, and you will find him within yourselves. Seek God, and His houses will be raised in your hearts, within your ribs. You shall be raised then as bearers of Truth amongst people.[18] The meaning of love and life took many mystical meanings in which he reached the conclusion that the kind of love that two persons or a group of people authentically experience is just a glimpse of God’s love showering upon them all since God is the Source of all love. When my companions overwhelm me with their amicability, humility, their cordial feelings and faith (in me), I feel it as God’s love to me. I do not feel it as a love from me directed to God. I am not in a position to address Him as a lover …. I cannot see any existence of me separate from His Existence. To say that “I” love Him, for me, is to associate partners with Him. So, how can “I” know love?[19] 1.8 In Search of a Spiritual Companion Early in his life Assayed Rafea, experienced a mystic bond that he felt with the Light of the Messenger of God.[20] He always felt his grandfather’s[21] care, love and guidance within his heart amid the hardships of life. About that mystic companionship he says: “I have never felt that I have been walking the path alone. I saw from within that I am one of those whom the Prophet said, ‘I am their Companion’. I have never been alone while the Prophet is my Companion. And through his Companionship to me I see God as my Companion and Caretaker. I have never been alone.” [22] Assayed Rafea used to listen to the voice of his innate teacher in all the major decisions in his life. He expressed his connection to the Divine within and the guidance of the Prophet, as his inner teacher in devoting himself selflessly for serving the higher principles of life. His mystic experience was also manifest through unexpected spiritual visions showering him with some mystic knowledge and intuitions about the spiritual life, human beings and the universe. He also had diverse vivid dreams which inspired him with knowledge. In the meantime, he also exerted himself in reading in all religious and spiritual literature seeking to know whether there are other people who went through similar spiritual encounters.[23] Companionship in God was a significant yearning for Assayed Rafea in all stages of his spiritual journey and manifested in different ways.[24] When he went through vivid spiritual experiences in his thirties, following his marriage, he searched in the spiritual literature for people who might have gone by similar encounters, and he found home in Sufis. Assayed Rafea, then, felt he had to look for a spiritual teacher Shaykh out of respect to the Sufi guidance not to walk the path alone. His sound faith that the spirit of the Messenger of God is his Master and guardian, however, never faded away. “Nevertheless, I wanted to respect the discipline and the guidance of the Sufis just as it was evidently. I would not refuse to have a companion from among humans who would support me and catch my hand. I rather yearn for that strongly. I prayed to God always to endow me with success in finding such a companion.”[25] After a long journey of searching he found Shaykh Muhammad Abdel Wahed who happened to be a Shadheli.[26] With joining the Order, he became part of a growing Sufi group where members, with the Shaykh himself, did not fail to notice Rafea’s exalted and illuminated presence that was a center of attraction to many people. Shaykh Muhammad Abdel Wahed used to tell Assayed Rafea from the first moment he saw him that he considered him a companion and not a disciple. Assayed Rafea took his words to be out of the Shaykh’s noble humility and respected him even more, and always considered him as his beloved Shaykh. While Assayed Rafea treasured his relationship with Shaykh Muhammad Abdel Wahed and never thought of quitting him, it seemed like the universe was planning something else. Assayed Rafea’s joining the modern Spirit movement, as will be seen later, brought anger to Shaykh Muhammad Abdel Wahed who believed that the spiritual path should be confined to the Message of the Prophet Muhammad in its specific form and texture.[27] A rift took place from the side of Shaykh Muhammad Abdel Wahed, which caused Assayed Rafea a great pain as he did not want to quit his shaykh even if each of them would have some different views but bonded in a relation of love and respect. 1.9 Refusing What He Saw as Distortion of Religion Assayed Rafea was not comfortable with the mainstream religiosity in which people around him were reducing that very lofty relationship of human and God into literal observance of rituals or superficial commitment to teachings in general. Assayed Rafea could see early in his life that the way that Islam is approached and practiced by many Muslims led to a sense of duality and double standard attitudes where people are not transformed into better human beings. In his teachings Assayed Rafea confirmed always that if people lived religion as an inner experience rather than mere outer commitment to teachings, they would be able to observe its effect on their own souls here and now. Awakening to our divinity, he elaborates, we awaken to our oneness as humans, and we can see the mistake of our ancestors as our own mistakes and learn from them. And through the oneness of the divine truth, Assayed Rafea teaches, we can see ourselves as parts of Teachers and experience them as our spiritual future. Assayed Rafea did not approve the approach of men of religion who, in their preaching, tell people that they would not know anything about the fruits of their earthly journey except in the Afterlife. Such clergies seem like ignoring all the abilities of humans to self-observation and prompt discernment of the effects of their thoughts, feelings and behavior on their souls. Assayed Rafea writes: What kind of religion is that which is all built on postponing everything to the Life after, and none of its perspective can be really experienced in this life?!! The Day of Judgment! It will come one day; Heaven! You will go to one day; Hell! You will enter one day; judgment! It will be on the Day of Judgment; God! You will meet Him on the Day of Judgment; the Mercy Prophet! He will intercede for you on the Day of Intercession. For now, it is enough for people to listen to these deluding speeches, and so their hearts die, their minds are deactivated, and their souls remain in a level of consciousness that is more like imprisonment!! Religion in its authentic sense does not imply postponement; whatever it mentions can be experienced here and now. It describes life as it is with its two aspects; the human self and the spirit.[28] For Assayed Rafea, we humans can experience Heaven and Hell here and now since the soul can be connected to the truth that is beyond time and can partly realize how far it is spiritually liberated or encaged. He writes: Heaven lies in your quality of being and is connected to your own existence as long as you are seeking liberation from the prison of your material body. And Hell is when your soul is imprisoned in its instincts. And God is ever with you; closer to you than your jugular veins mentally and existentially. Whoever wants to experience that it cannot be realized through argument. Let them join the school of the Spirit.[29] The relationship between human and God, according to Assayed Rafea is so intimate that a devotee, through self-observation, can trace his or her pitfalls and also gains. Devotees’ souls, he writes, can be the books upon which their whole journey is recorded, and they can learn from them here and now: God is Swift at judging you; He does it in every breath of yours. The documentation of that judgment, however, is in your hands in case you evaluate yourself by yourself. In case you want to know that (evaluation) it will be both your reward and your damnation. If His grace were uncovered to you, so this would be your allotment. Goodness is within your soul, and evil is within your soul. Your soul is always your Book; your present life, and your mount.[30] A core insight in Assayed Rafea’s teachings is that God is not an authoritative Entity as approached by the majority of people, nor is the Prophet Muhammad a mere person. For him God and His Messenger are a Presence and a Reality beyond any form; they embrace all creation as part of them. He writes: God and His Messenger are a presence and a reality intrinsic in a believer and a non-believer, the sinful and the sinless. God and His Messenger are the secret of life and its honor. They are the appearance and the reality of human. God and His Messenger are there in every religion, faith, Knowledge, and in every nation, time and place. Human’s existence is not discrete from their existence. No human work of integrity is away from God and His Messenger’s domain whether he knew it or not; whether he voluntarily abided by their guidance or did not, he is of them, to them, and he is theirs. If human gained awareness of that, it would make his heaven; if he were negligent of it, it would be his misery; if he resisted it would be his destruction; if he were loyal to it, it would be his honor; if he loved it, it would be his truth; and if he became one with it, he would be its word.[31] Assayed Rafea experienced religion, and introduced it, as an inborn relationship between a human and their Lord; a relationship that embraces their whole life, and that manifests in myriad experiences: Religion is not a discourse to be diffused or lyrics to be echoed. It is a presence to be attained, and a state of elevation to be looked up to, ensued, and pursued.[32] 1.10 Islam The Religion of Fitra Assayed Rafea believed that all that takes place in the universe and on earth is but part of an eternal and comprehensive divine order that manifests in the creation of nature, the humankind, and in all that exists. Among diverse levels of the word fitra,[33] Assayed Rafea uses this word to be pointing to the Divine’s working laws in all the cosmos. Fitra, in its sense as the divine order, is beyond the grasp of humans, and at the same time is manifest in all aspects of creation. Fitra as such, transcends times, places, forms, names and all variations of creation. Fitra, for him, is inherent in the qualities of humankind while they are instinctively looking up for their Creator and for a life of meaning. Fitra is at the heart of all holy Books in all times and places. That’s all authentic spiritual teachings were revealing to humans the natural laws of creation that govern both their bodies and souls. The knowledge revealed of the laws of creation, according to Assayed Rafea, are increasing since the birth of human on earth and along the coming of the successive Messengers and Prophets of God, as well as teachers of humanity. Out of fitra or the comprehensive divine law of creation, humans were born with the abilities to search for the secrets of natural life. Scientists in all fields, for Assayed Rafea, have been messengers of God in continuously revealing to humanity knowledge of the natural laws of creation. He says: Uncovering some laws of nature is new revelations sent by Him Whose wisdom and power are behind nature[34]. Within that approach to the divine law or Fitra, Assayed Rafea reads the Revelation to all the Prophets of God including Jesus and Muhammad to have introduced to humanity anew the laws of creation that invite people to dig into themselves and find out their divine spark. Therein, they can read the work of the divine law or fitra in every word of truth and realize the presence of the divine behind all of them. Assayed Rafea says: Those who believe in the presence of the fitra and in its continuous revelation, believe that it is the truth behind every Messenger, and that its revelation is the collective oneness of all the Messengers’ revelations.[35] Assayed Rafea reflects on the spiritual human evolvement as a process that follows a divine order. He teaches that humans are born with a latent divinity to seek a quality of a higher life that is in harmony with their birthright divine imprint. When they are awakened to their innate nature (fitra), according to Assayed Rafea, they take the path to realizing their humanity; being Insan. Each and every human, for Assayed Rafea, has a journey on earth during which they have the chance to realize their humanity through the embedded guidance of the divine. Assayed Rafea says: Not all creatures born to earth enjoy being human (Insan) even if they have the same outer form of human.[36] The sacredness of human (Insan) lies in his or her innate sacred will not their egos.[37] Those who live in harmony with the divine order or fitra, by responding to the voice of their innate nature, experience their relationship with the Divine as manifested in their own creation and all around, accordingly they become his servants. To be a servant of God, Assayed Rafea reflects: They are not alike at all; a case in which human worships what he made, and another in which human worships his Lord.[38] The day a human is transformed into a servant of God, one who is liberated from being a servant to himself, widens to contain what heaven and earth would not contain. He or she soars in heaven and earth, and even higher and lower, as a teacher and guide.[39] Assayed Rafea believed that Islam in its sense as the Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad, and all revelations, came not to impose something alien to what already exists inherently in human’s own creation, but rather to uncover to them what they have forgotten about the fitra. In that respect, Assayed Rafea asserts that his goal is not to show the excellency of the Prophet Muhammad over all the Prophets but rather to highlight the truthfulness of the Prophet’s presentation of Islam as “the religion of the fitra”: According to the work of the divine law many humans from within the Prophet Muhammad’s community, and the wider world, have become God’s manifestations and expressions. That is so because the whole earth is embraced by the Messenger of God as a teacher of humankind in general. Accordingly, God has been bringing about many revelations in the western nations; English, French, Italian…etc. [40] Assayed Rafea, in another place, says: Religion, revelations and holy Books are the gifts of the fitra to those who have it within so as to reveal the work of the law; they shift from dormancy to activity through getting out from lack of knowledge about the Self to knowing It through It.[41] Assayed Rafea reminds that any kind of understanding or teaching that is not in harmony with the fitra with all its dimensions leads humans away from the religious message. Assayed Rafea says: What religion warns us about and what it gives good new of, is but a revelation of what natural laws (fitra) reveal. A given religious teaching, certainly, is not in conflict with a law of nature (fitra). Whenever a religious teaching seems to be in conflict with a natural law (fitra), it must be due to some mistake or misinterpretation of the one who receives the teaching. To review one’s understanding through reference to laws of nature is a practice of truthfulness.[42] Assayed Rafea highlights the interrelationship between a given Message, the Messenger and the followers. That interrelationship is itself part of the Fitra; the three of them is intrinsically related; the absence of any leads to the absence of the other two. Assayed Rafea explains: Is religion a Message or a Messenger? There can be no Message without a Messenger; and there can be no Messenger without a Message. Veiling of the Messenger leads to inactivation of the Message. Veiling of the Message within its followers leads to inactivation of the Messenger. The Messenger and the Message thus inevitably go together in sustenance of each other (the Book of God and the lineage of His Messenger). Without a Message, its Messenger, and its followers, religion is not there anymore. Without religion the fitra is disturbed, and its laws are interrupted. Fitra is integrity and following the laws of fitra and activating them is in the heart of reform.[43] 1.11 Islam Is a Path of Surrender to the Divine For Assayed Rafea, Islam is not a name of a creed. Islam, for him, is to follow the path of surrender to the divine, as taught by the Prophets, Messengers of God and wise humans around the globe. For Assayed Rafea, surrender is fulfilled through the heart. The heart is the center towards which humans should direct their inner journey. This journey moves from the known to the unknown, and vice versus. In his words: In this phase of one’s life, you know only about what is revealed to you, but you are not aware of what is hidden from you. However, you are enabled to know the hidden aspects of life from within your being. That is how you would learn what is revealed and what is hidden. It is through what is revealed you reach what is hidden, and through what is hidden you know more about what is revealed. As such you become knowledgeable of what is revealed and what is hidden. This is how your Lord describes Himself as “The all Knowledgeable of The Revealed and the Hidden عالم الغيب والشهادة) and you acquire this sort of knowledge from Him by Him. You will not be able to reach knowledge about Allah unless you reach knowledge about who you are, using your awareness, consciousness, experiences, existence, and purity. Allah is within your heart, and you cognize Him within when your heart becomes full of His love and be in awesome. Allah is around you, above you, within you, the revealed and the hidden. Allah is within you, within your family, your community. He is in the nature which controls, dominates, limits and directs your movement and stillness. You acknowledge His existence within you, when you liberate yourself from your own nature, and its domination upon you, so you go in a process of liberation through phases and each phase you give up part of the limited you. Gradually, you will be set free by His own power which stand behind and within your struggles, so that you will be in control of your sensual limitations, and in control of everything that hinders the process of your integration. Surrender includes surrender to Allah’s Will, surrender to Allah through the teachings of any of His messengers, or surrender to Allah through your innate nature by reflection and awakening life within. We are more concerned with surrender to Allah by being in the path of His servants and to the Words of God present among people, by His Will. They represent basins of life from whom seekers drink the water of life. Those are the lamps by whom humans are guided by light amid the darkness of the earthly life. They are the source of warmth for us; a burning wood of life from whom we acquire Life and be life. They exist among people to present Divine Houses which Allah may ascend high, and at the same time these houses are there for people and within people. [44] Seekers direct themselves towards those servants of Allah to follow the path through them. Taking this path, enables the seekers to experience oneself as part of a collective whole. This is the core of surrender Islam. In other words, we surrender to Allah’s message through surrendering to His messenger (s). One surrenders one’s whole being to the divine center to one’s self (the heart). When the heart is transparent, and the body parts and senses are directed to it in integrity by prayers; when the mind sits on its throne in the temple of the body, human is truthfully revived, and his or her ignorance comes to an end. As such, he or she is liberated from being transient, and assured eternity for his soul, mind and essence. This is Islam. [45] This inner journey is embedded in the very nature of human being; it is Fitra. Assayed Rafea says: The Fitra and the mind are the basis of every knowledge and consciousness. The wise one who thinks within the circle of Fitra; and the active one who manages things within the orbit of Fitra, would be taking the process of acquiring to change (to be better human beings). As such, they will be subject to receive God’s support to promote the changes. “God does not change people unless they change what is within themselves.” “Those who exert themselves in Us, we guide them to Our paths.” [46] In the same direction, Assayed Rafea stresses the power of intention and steadiness: In sticking to integrity according to what one’s mind can realize and in following the voice of one’s conscience, does, for sure, carry one to all goodness one day: “Consult your heart no matter the consultation they supply to you. [47] To surrender to God, for Assayed Rafea , is a case in which all what human wills for himself or herself, is intrinsically in harmony with what Allah wills for him or her. For the devotee Allah is present in one’s consciousness in every moment of one’ life here and in the hereafter. If you do not see God in your present state, you will not see Him in the state you will be in later. [48] Him who does not see God in the earthly life will not see Him in the next Life . [49] ​ Once Allah is present in one’s life, a person would be truthful to oneself, not paying attention to what he would lose or win. The person who is truthful is ever preoccupied by being in a state of truthfulness and, as such, he is not concerned by winning or losing; his winning may be lying in his loss, and his loss in winning. [50] Through his faith, a Muslim is liberated from the grip of earth moving to the grip of God. As such, he annihilates as a human creature and is raised as a living truth; a face of God, a word of God, and a name of God . [51] 1.12The Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad Discloses the Oneness of Revelations The strong sense of his belonging to the Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad was not only an existential passion for the Prophet as being his grandfather; it is also because he approached it as a Revelation that clearly confirmed the oneness of all revelations and the oneness of humanity. Each and every word of truth, he heard or read from any source, he did not separate it from Islam as he approaches it. Religion for him, heavenly or primordial, is an eternal truth that expressed itself since the beginning of time within humans in their search for understanding who they are truly, what they were created for; that is the core of the divine oneness and the multiplicity of human expressions. As such, Assayed Rafea absolutely rejected any sense of superiority that adherents of different revelations assume in the name of religion. He was intuitively sure that it is against the core objective of religion or even the guts of the pure primordial nature of human. He could see that all of revelations, heavenly or primordial, share the call to humans to know more about themselves and find meaning for their lives. He used to stress that core goal: The loftiest of all sciences is the one related to human’s knowledge of their own selves. And the most cherished of all gains for a human being is to realize being really ‘human’. [52] ​ Learn how to live so as to learn how to die. And learn how to die so as to learn how to live. [53] For Assayed Rafea the Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad clearly confirmed the oneness of all revelations and the oneness of humanity. If the dust that covers the revelation to the Prophets as well as the wisdom of the Sages was moved away, people will find that they all belong to one revelation, one Truth, and one Religion of interrelated circles. In the wholeness of all of them resides the Truth; and the Truth is still beyond all. [54] On handling divine oneness Assayed Rafea explains that in the course of time Teachers of humanity received successive Revelations that would help humans find their ways to a fulfilling life. Every time and in many ways the very truth expresses itself in new forms; truth is one and the vessels are multiple. So, every time a religion came, he explains, it was a revival of the ancient truth inherent in the preceding ones and in the innermost temperament of human. Truth, according to Assayed Rafea will never stop from revealing itself in ever new forms as long as human beings never stop covering its essence by dust! He writes: There is nothing new in religion, and there is nothing new under the sun. What is ‘new’ is the blowing away of the dust covering the ancient truth . [55] Assayed Rafea recurrently reflected on the unity of creation and oneness of humanity beyond the variation of names, colors, and labels. Awareness of that bond, he stresses, would make all the difference in humans’ approach to themselves, to the world, to their fellow humans, and to their sacred Sources. Assayed Rafea stresses that the sense of oneness among humans is a natural fruit that would blossom had they realized their divine essence. The vision that God is within humankind entails no discrimination among people in that respect even if they vary in the degree. Discrimination is like associating partners (with God). [56] Assayed Rafea frequently expressed his profound view that the Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad explicitly confirmed the oneness of all revelations, heavenly and natural, and the Prophet guided his followers to contemplate the divine teachings according to that sense of oneness. This denotes to the oneness of humanity. He used to quote the Saying of the Prophet Muhammad that “The parable of (the relationship between) the Prophets who preceded and myself is like a building where one brick was missing. So, whenever people passed by that building, expressing their fascination in its beauty, they used to say, ‘the missing brick has to be laid.’ And I am (like) that brick.” Assayed Rafea also highlighted the Prophet’s caution to his followers never to claim the superiority of one Prophet, including himself, over other Prophets, and not to turn their loyalty to him into fanaticism and prejudice against other Prophets and their followers.” [57] In that same direction he says: What Confucius, Buddha, and sages of the East; China and India came up with, is but some facets of the same truth. What Socrates, Plato and sages of the West came up with is some facets of the same truth. What Adam, Noah, Abraham and his off springs revealed of Books and Words are but some facets of the same truth. Jesus was but a facet from among infinite facets of truth. The presence of Muhammad was but a collective manifestation, reflecting truth ……… The knowledge of humankind about itself is knowledge about truth. [58] Assayed Rafea sums it in the phrase: Prophets are one Prophethood, one Prophet of One Truth, (sent to) one world, one creation in one existence of one being. [59] 1.13 Joining the Spirit Communication Movement When reading about the phenomenon of modern Spiritualism of the 19th and 20th century that emerged in the West, Assayed Rafea, thought that modern Spirit communication is but a phase of an old experience of humankind that had been existing for long: Humanity has been connected to Spirit since ancient times, and through Spirit it lives and evolves. Contemplating the past and the present, and the phenomena of that connection (Spirit/human) in different environments and in all ages, we can realize that it has existed in prehistoric eras which we do not have documentation of. All we can know is what was recorded in the history of nations in the East, West and the middle region of earth. Spiritual communication has been common among the humankind . [60] The belief in the eternal connection and communication between Spirit and human, according to Assayed Rafea, is part and parcel of the creation of God the Fitra , when He Almighty breathed His Spirit into human, and made it as part of human nature to long to its Origin. Spirit communication, in that sense, takes place in diverse forms and grades that humans are already familiar with; it is behind the living phenomenon of inspiration, intuition, vivid dreams, creativity and first-hand experiences of the Divine among humans. Spiritual communication in its loftiest form was behind the heavenly revelations to all the Prophets and Messengers of God. [61] This is how Assayed Rafea illustrates his impression about the modern movement of Spirit communication in the West: “At that time, I did not know Master Eagle or Master Silver Birch in person, but I used to read some Arabic-translated books about modern Spiritualism. I was not among those who rejected that kind of communication or accused it of being against the teachings of Islam. On the contrary, I thought that the ongoing Spirit communication was not to happen for no good reason. Rather, it was a means for making the truth embedded in Islamic Revelation raise high; the truth that the Muslim Sufis expressed in their path. I guessed that there was a kind of wisdom behind that phenomenon, and it might be a kind of (divine) support to Islam and Sufi Muslims. [62] Assayed Rafea elaborated often that, “the teachings presented through modern Spiritualism are already included somehow in Sufism, whether in Islam or in other environments of Messengers, sages, and Teachers of the ancient East.” [63] His first direct contact with the Spirit guide Master Silver Birch then, was when he was invited to one of the seances held in Egypt. Silver Birch is described worldwide as one of the best-known spiritual, inspirational influences in recent spiritual history who communicated through the medium Maurice Barbanel, held in the home circle of Hannen Swaffer in one of the districts of London. [64] In most of his talks Assayed Rafea stresses the connection between the teachings of the modern Spirit Communication and those of heavenly Revelations. He says: The spiritual message does not come up with a new revelation, new rituals or new information system. It only brings to our consciousness the essential and very clear truths that all the Prophets revealed but we have been inattentive to. It introduces us anew to what is common in the teachings of all the Prophets: guiding to God; building up our understanding about Him, by Him and from Him. This is an essential and broad issue that stands as a backbone of all the religious messages in the Middle East as well as it is a backbone of the wisdom of the East and West. [65] ​ For several months of attending those séances he stayed as an observer, contemplating all that was going on and being said. As time passed, Assayed Rafea became even more sure that the teachings presented by Silver Birch are accepted by pure common sense, reasonability, compassionate hearts, and also the moral principles in all revelations, heavenly and natural. 1.14 The Islamic Spiritual Society After several months through which Assayed Rafea continued attending the séances regularly the spirit guide Silver Birch chose him to be the teacher of the spiritual circle. The Spirit guide told the members of the circle to perform the rite of Al Qabdha with Assayed Rafea; the Sufi oath that is recited while they are putting their fists together symbolizing the brotherhood or sisterhood in God between a disciple and his teacher. When asked if that rite was a must for anyone who would like to join the spiritual circle, the Spirit guide confirmed that it was. [66] He urged members of the spiritual circle to observe the weekly Friday ceremony led by Assayed Rafea, and to practice zikr (remembrance of God) regularly. That is, to add the Sufi practice to the meditation they used to do. Acknowledging the deep link between the teachings of Spirituality as presented by the Spirit Guide Silver Birch, and the core of Islamic teachings as presented by the Sufi path, Assayed Rafea had the insight of presenting that connection under one umbrella. Now, and with agreement of Silver Birch, a new circle was established where Assayed Rafea kept the traditions of the Sufi Order Zikr and also led the meditation sessions with the Spirit Guide. Activities went under the umbrella of the Islamic Spiritual Society initiated by Assayed Rafea early 1950s. In the opening ceremony, Assayed Rafea disclosed to the members of the Islamic Spiritual Society his approach to what companionship in a life in God implied for him. It was not a matter of hierarchy; it was a transformative experience for both companions where their egos melt away, and another higher consciousness arises to nourish all. He saw the relationship in which two or more persons are connected to the root of the root of their being, as a core secret of connecting to higher Life, beyond time and place. The bond of love and Friendship allows the higher Power, Life, or Pure Energy to manifest in humans: “Spirited talk is a bond between the speaker and the listener; it joins the life within each of them to a higher life that belongs not to any of them alone; it is the life of Him who embraces both of them.” [67] On announcing the initiation of the Islamic Spiritual Society, Assayed Rafea addressed the spiritual family as follows: I am but one of you; an epitome of your gathering; an example of your being instinctively born to Islam; an interpreter to your call to fulfillment. Hence, there is no one from among us to claim that he alone is the shaykh (teacher). Our gathering is our shaykh. Allah is our Lord. The spirit of him (the Prophet Muhammad), Peace and Blessings be Upon him, is our leader and guide. And those who guide to Him from among the servants of Him Almighty, are our leaders and brothers. [68] Under the umbrella of the Islamic Spiritual Society, Assayed Rafea continued to teach about the core spiritual principles of Islam and pinpointing their harmony with the teachings of Master Silver Birch. One basic common principle between the two spiritual companions is the belief in the special status that human has in the cosmos, and the positive effect it would have when people awaken to their human worth. Assayed Rafea reflects: [69] The Message of the Spirit Communication that is spreading on earth, east and west, reveals to humankind the honor that human enjoyed in his past being created in the best proportion; the honor that human would have in his future, going forth to the best proportion; the honor of human in his present when he has the kingdom of God within himself , and a Home for God in his temple. The Message of Spirit Communication aims for preparing the human instrument, which is the body, by evolving it, nurturing the soul that resides therein by light and awareness of the God-given potential making it ready for higher psychological levels that give the soul the chance to shift and elevate so as to grow, broaden and propel, purifying its essence from low qualities. [70] [71] [72] [73] [74] Under the co-guidance of Assayed Rafea and Master Silver Birch, the Islamic Spiritual Society, made of ‘service’ a focal target of its activities. Master Silver Birch asserts that serving each other in love and compassion altruistically is an expression of serving God. Service in the Islamic Spiritual Society included: 1- Spiritual trainings through meditation of silence and heart awakening. 2- Sufi Zikr. 3- Spiritual Healing. [75] [76] Here is how Assayed Rafea, again presents the Spiritual Message to the public: "Spirit communication, my brothers, is but a sound faith in God, a faith that is in harmony with all religions. It purifies religion of all evil (caused by followers) and brings to light its latent meanings that are most beloved to faithful souls and believing minds. Spirit communication is a straight path for liberating the soul of the imprisonment of matter so as to enjoy living freely in the infinitely grand realm of God Almighty. It is God's Hand that is extended to liberate those minds, souls and spirits from the limitations of the physical bodies supporting them to gain insight into some issues related to this life and the coming one which need more clarity. As such it supplies them with means for gaining bliss and fulfillment". [77] A common objective that Assayed Rafea and Master Silver Birch worked together for was enhancing world peace. Under their co-guidance, members of the spiritual circle used to pray for peace in general and also when wars erupted in specific regions of the world. Both Assayed Rafea and Master Silver Birch believed that if humans awaken to their one spiritual origin, they would be much keener not to fight each other. [78] [79] On another dimension, Assayed Rafea was keen to warn people who are interested in Spiritualism for its own sake from being driven to seeking enjoyment of mere supernatural phenomena, and as such divert from the noble mission of that Message. He writes: Those who make of their desire to go through physical supernatural phenomena through Spiritualism are but practicing self-deceptiveness. Such a desire would take them to an opposite direction other than the meant elevation. Instead of letting the Spirit communication support their faith in the Revelations; correct their beliefs and behavior; purify their souls by more submission to God and His Messenger; be motivated for attaining more uprightness and exertion of the self and altruism; and open new forums of higher knowledge; instead of all of that, their fascination by those phenomena (for their own sake) breeds in them self-conceit, vanity and self-attachment after they were supposed to be spiritually liberated from the self. As such, the whims of the self are multiplied, its vanity increases, and the door opens widely for it to return to its physical structure………….The circle is in a state of carefulness and alert towards the self and its pitfalls. It (the spiritual circle) was all there for practicing mutual advice for sticking to truth and being patient in our search for truth until God ordains what He destines according to His Will . [80] ​ 2. References To conclude, Assayed Rafea was a human who was innately a seeker of truth and had a strong passion for serving his fellow humans on diverse levels. He was the same devoted person when he was an advocate for freedom and justice in his early youth; when he joined the Sufi path, and when he welcomed the modern Spirit Communication movement, and when he founded the Islamic Spiritual Society in Egypt. Under its umbrella he worked for spreading the awareness that the Message of Islam as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad as well as all Prophets invite people to awaken to the oneness of the higher Source under any name, the wisdom inherent in all words of truth, and the oneness of humanity. With that awareness, they would make their lives more meaningful, purposeful, and peaceful. The disciples and children of Assayed Rafea are continuing his message under the guidance and care of Assayed Ali Rafea (later on we can put the link to esscr but now we can put the face book links. 3. References Excerpts from One Humanity One Home: Journeys of Spiritual Seekers by Ali, Aliaa, Aisha Rafea. (Coming our soon). [1] Read more in , (Hikmat Al Islam Fi Sirat Muslim), prepared by his daughter Aliaa Redahu Rafea [2] The Wisdom of Islam Expressed in the Autobiography of a Muslim Ibid, p. 68 [3] Assayed Rafea’s autobiography, prepared by his daughter Aliaa, p. 68 [4] Ibid., p. 263. [5] Assayed Rafea’s autobiography, prepared by his daughter Aliaa, p. 68 [6] Ibid., p. 92, 93 [7] Assayed Rafea’s Autobiography edited by his daughter, Aliaa Rafea: ص ٧٨ [8] Rafea, M. Rafea, Khatarat Wa Nadharat (Insights of the Mind and Soul), 86 [9] Assayed Rafea’s autobiography, prepared by his daughter Aliaa, p. 69 [10] Ibid., 265 [11] Ibid., p. 265 [12] Rafea, M. Rafea, Alwah Ma Baina Qabrin Wa Minbar (Scripts: Between Tombs and Platforms) Collections of Assayed Rafea’s Speeches in Arabic, Part Three, Speech 1. [13] The term ‘house of God’ is used in Islamic literature to be pointing to any place of worship and also to the heart of human where God dwells. [14] Alwah Ma Baina Qabrin Wa Minber (Collection of Assayed Rafea’s Speeches) [15] [16] Assayed Rafea’s autobiography Hikmat Al Islam Fi Sirat Muslim, (The Wisdom of Islam in the Biography of a Muslim, prepared by his daughter Aliaa, p. 63 The term ‘house of God’ is used in Islamic literature to be pointing to any place of worship and also to the heart of human where God dwells. [17] Alwah Ma Baina Qabrin Wa Minber (Collection of Assayed Rafea’s Speeches) [18] Ibid., p. 62 [19] This insight of pointing to the Prophet Muhammad as not a mere figure but an undying Light is known among Sufis as the Muhammadan Reality الحقيقة المحمدية. the Messenger of God for Assayed Rafea and many Sufis was not a mere historical figure, he was more like a manifestation of divine Light and Love that has ever existed and has ever been guiding seekers of truth in their journeys. [20] Assayed Rafea is an offspring of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. [21] Read more in Assayed Rafea’s Autobiography p. 101 [22] Read more in Assayed Rafea’s Autobiography: حكمة الإسلام في سيرة مسلم [23] Read more in Assayed Rafea’s Autobiography in Arabic, حكمة الإسلام في سيرة مسلم . [24] Ibid., p. 101 [25] A disciple of the Sufi teacher Assayed Abual Hassan Al Shadheli (593 AH/1196 AD – 656 AH/1258 AD) [26] Read more in حكمة الإسلام في سيرة مسلم [27] السيد رافع: ألواح ما بين قبر ومنبر: الجزء الأول: الحديث الثاني: [28] المرجع السابق [29] المرجع السابق [30] المرجع السابق، الحديث الرابع [31] السيد رافع، خطرات ونظرات ص 31د [32] This word fitra is derived from the Arabic verb fatara which means ‘created’. Assayed Rafea uses the word Fitra on diverse levels and with various connotations that are reflected upon in different parts of this book. It is presented in more depth in the General Conclusion. [33] Khatarat Wa Nadharat:خطرات ونظرات [34] 229- الكشف عن قوانين الطبيعة تبليغ جديد ممن هو وراء الطبيعة بحكمته وقدرته. (ص ١٥) إن الذين يؤمنون بالفطرة قياما، وبرسـالتها دواما، يؤمنون بأنها الحق وراء كل رسـول، وأن رسـالتها لرسـالات الرسـل جماع.) ألواح ما بين قبر ومنبر، الجزء الثالث: الحديث الأول "الحق والعدالة". [35] [36] Khatarat Wa Nadharat:خطرات ونظرات [36] 64- ليس كل من دب على الأرض في معنى الإنسان وان قام بجهاز في وصفه. (ص٥) Khatarat Wa Nadharat خطرات ونظرات [37] 177- قدسية الإنسان في إرادته وليست في ذاته. (ص ١٣) Khatarat Wa Nazarat: خطرات ونظرات [38] 33- شتان بين عبادة الإنسان لصنعه وعبادة الإنسان لصانعه. (ص٣) إن الإنسان، يوم يصير عبدا لله، ويتحرر من عبوديته لنفسه، يتسع لما لم تتسع له السماوات والأرض، إنه يسبح طليقا في السماوات والأرض وما فوقها وما دونها معلما ودليلا، ٨ من جمادى الأولى 1388 الموافق 2 من أغسطس 1968 [39] From the introduction of Assayed Rafea’s autobiography. The words in Arabic: [40] أظهر الناموس الكثيرين من الرجال، آيات لله، وكلمات لله في هذه الأمة المنسوبة لمحمد(صلعم)، وفي هذه الأمة الواسعة بوصف إن الأرض مزوية له، وإنه معلمٌ للبشرية في عمومها، فأبرز الله الكثير من الآيات، في الشعوب الغربية.. في الشعوب الإنجليزية.. وفي الشعوب الفرنسية، وفي الشعوب الإيطالية.. Khatarat Wa Nzarat: خطرات ونظرات [41] 454- إن الدين والرسالة والكتب هي هدايا الفطرة للمنفطرين بها لإعمال الناموس والخروج من الركود إلى الحركة بالخروج من الجهل بالنفس إلى العلم بها بالعلم عنها.(ص ٣٤) Khatarat Wa Nazarat: خطرات ونظرات [42] 228- ما حذر منه الدين، وما بشر به إنما هو كشف لما هو قائم في قانون الطبيعة. 230- لا يختلف أو يتعارض مأمور للدين مع قانون للطبيعة. 231- إذا بدا في الدين ما يختلف وقانون طبيعي. كان الخطأ في الفهم والتحريف من المتلقي، والرجوع بما يجب فهمه للقانون الطبيعي هو الاستقامة. (ص ١٥) Khatarat Wa Nadharat: خطرات ونظرات [43] 806- هل الدين رسالة أم رسول؟ ليس هناك رسالة بدون رسول.. وليس هناك رسول بدون رسالة.. وغيبة الرسول عن الرسالة تعطيل للرسالة.. وغيبة الرسالة عن العامل لها تعطيل للرسول. فالرسول والرسالة قيام متلازم متساند {كتاب الله وعترة رسوله}، وبدون رسالة ورسولها وعاملها لا دين، وبلا دين تختل الفطرة وتقاوم قوانينها. والفطرة هي الصلاح ومتابعة قوانينها وأعمالها هو الإصلاح. (ص ٧٨) Rafea, M. Rafea, Alwah Ma Baina Qabrin Wa Minbar (Scripts: Between Tombs and Platforms) Collections of Assayed Rafea’s Speeches in Arabic, Part One, Speech 6 [44] ألواح ما بين قبر ومنبر، مجموعة أحاديث للسيد رافع، من مطبوعات الجمعية الإسلامية الروحية، الجزء الأول، الحديث ٦: إنك فى هذا الدور، وفى هذا الطور من الحياة، تعلم ظاهرا من الحياة ولا تعلم باطنا من الحياة، ولكنك مؤهل بظاهر الحياة، اذا ما عكسـت البصر إلى معناك، أن تعلم باطنا من الحياة منك في عين معناك، وبذلك تعلم ظاهرا من الحياة وباطنا من الحياة، وبذلك تعلم عن شـهادة الحياة وعن غيب الحياة ، وتتصف وتتخلق بما اتصف به عندك منشـودك ومعبـودك من الله عالم الغيب والشـهادة. فلا غيب إلا من شـهادة الشـهادة، ولا شـهادة إلا من غيب الغيب. إنك لن تحيط علـما به إلا بمـا تحيط من العلم به عن نفسـك، بوعيك وحسـك وإدراكك، ووجودك، وتقديرك، وطهرك. إنه في قلبك ما اهتز قلبك حبا له أو خشـية منه، وما استقام قيامك طاعة له، واستجابة لأمره، وانتهاء عن نهيه. إنه حولك، وفوقك، وفيك، بوجهك في ظاهر الحياة، وفى باطن الحياة، إنه في تكوينك، إنه في أسـرتك، إنه في أمتك، إنه في إنسـانيتك، إنه في الطبيعة تتسـلط عليك، وتتحكم فيك، وتقيد وتوجه حركاتك، وسـكناتك. إنه فيك ما تخلصت من ضيق طبيعتك، ومن قيود الطبيعة تسـيطر عليك فتخرج من طبيعة إلى طبيعة، ومنها إلى أخرى، فى انطلاق بسـلطانه، يفاض عليك في سـلطان اجتهادك فتتسـلط على قيود حسـك، وعوائق تكاملك. وأن الإسـلام لله تسـليما لقدرته، أو الإسـلام لله مع رسـول من رسـله، أو الإسـلام لله مع سـليم فطرتك، كل هذا إنما هو إسـلام، فالإسـلام لله مع رسـول من رسـله فـي القيـام، والإسـلام لله مع رسـول من رسـله في التعاليم والدين، والإسـلام لله مع الفطرة، والتأمل والحياة، كل ذلك صور للإسـلام. ولكن الذي يعنينا وتقصيه البشـرية بالإسـلام، إنما هو الإسـلام لله مع عبـاده، مع عباد لله، وكلمات لله يقيمها بين الناس، ويجعل منها أحواضا للناس، يرتشـفون منها ماء الحياة، ويجعل منهم مصابيح للخلق يسـتضيئون بها في ظلمات الحياة الأرضية، ويجعل منهم دفئا لنا، وجذوة متقدة من الحياة نقتبس منها، ونعنون بها، إذ يقيمهم الله في الناس بيوتا له يأذن لها أن تُرفع، وأن تُقام في الناس وبين الناس Rafea, M. Rafea, Khatarat Wa Nadharat (Insights of the Mind and Soul), statement no: 543 [45] خطرات ونظرات: عبارة رقم ٥٤٣ إذا صفا القلب ليكون قبلة، واستقامت الجوارح متجهة إليه بالصلاة، وعاد العقل المتحرر ليستوي على عرشه من الهيكل، بُعث الإنسان بالحق وانتهت جاهليته، وتخلص من توقيته، وضمن لنفسه وعقله وذاته البقاء والدوام وهذا هو الإسلام Rafea, M. Rafea, Alwah Ma Baina Qabrin Wa Minbar (Scripts: Between Tombs and Platforms) Collections of Assayed Rafea’s Speeches in Arabic, Part Two, Speech 4: [46] السيد رافع، ألواح ما بين قبر ومنبر، الجزء الثاني، الحديث الرابع: إن الفطرة والعقل أسـاس كل معرفة وكل وعي. وإن العاقل المفكر في دائرة الفطرة، وإن السـاعي المدبر في دائرة الفطرة، إنما يغير شـيئا مما في نفسـه، وإن اللـه مغير ما به يوما (لا يغير اللـه ما بقوم حتى يغيروا ما بأنفسـهم). (والذين جاهدوا فينا لنهديهم سـبلنـا) Ibid. [47] إن اسـتقامة الإنسـان على مدرك عقله، ومتابعته لحديث ضميره، إنه واصل به إلى الخير يوما. (اسـتفت قلبك وإن أفتوك وإن أفتوك وإن أفتوك): Rafea, M. Rafea, Khatarat Wa Nadharat (Insights of the Mind and Soul), statement no: 755 [48] خطرات ونظرات عبارة رقم ٧٥٥-إذا لم تر الله حيث أنت فلن تراه في حيث تصير. Ibid. statement 756 [49] خطرات ونظرات عبارة رقم ٧٥٦ - من لم ير الله في دنياه من الوجود فلن يرى الله في أخراه من التواج Ibid., statement 665 [50] خطرات ونظرات: ٦٦٥- الصادق يشغله صدقه، ولا يعنيه هزيمته ونصره، فقد يكون نصره في هزيمته وقد تكون هزيمته في نصره. Ibid. statement no 785 [51] : خطرات ونظرات : ٧٨٥- المسلم يتحرر بإيمانه من قبضة الأرض إلى قبضة الله، فيفنى بموصوف الخلق، ويُبعث في موصوف الحق، وجها لله، وكلمة لله، واسما لله. Rafea, M. Rafea, Khatarat Wa Nadharat (Insights of the Mind and Soul), p., 22 [52] السيد رافع، خطرات ونظرات ص 22 أرقى علوم الإنسان علم الإنسان عن نفسه وأفضل مكاسب الإنسان كسب الإنسان لنفسه. Rafea, M. Rafea, Khatarat Wa Nadharat (Insights of the Mind and Soul), p. 19 [53] السيد رافع، خطرات ونظرات ص19 تعلّم كيف تحيا لتتعلم كيف تموت وتعلّم كيف تموت لتتعلم كيف تحيا Rafea, M. Rafea, Alwah Ma Baina Qabrin Wa Minbar (Scripts: Between Tombs and Platforms) Collections of Assayed Rafea’s Speeches in Arabic, Part One, Speech 23: [54] السيد رافع، ألواح ما بين قبر ومنبر، الجزء الأول، الحديث 23: : إذا نُفض الغبار عن ملة الأنبياء وحكمة الحكماء لَوَجد الناس أنهم في ملة واحدة وحقيقة واحدة ودين متصل الحلقات، جمعه الحق ولا يجمع هو الحق. السيد رافع، خطرات ونظرات، ص 46 [55] لا جديد في الدين ولا جديد تحت الشمس إنما الجديد هو نفض الغبار عن الحق القديم Khatarat Wa Nadharat: خطرات ونظرات [56] - إن رؤية الله في الإنسان تقتضي عدم التمييز بين الناس من حيث هذه الحقيقة، وإن تفاوتت درجاتهم، والتميز بينهم في ذلك هو الشرك481 [57] Ibid.: {وما مثلي ومثل الأنبياء من قبلي إلا كبناء تم لم تنقصه إلا لبنة فكل من رآه قال ما أجمله لولا نقص هذه اللبنة أنا لبنة البناء }. لا تفاضلوا ولا تفرِّقوا بيني وبين الأنبياء من قبلي. لقد حذرنا الرسـول كثيرا من ذلك . لقد نهانا عن التعصب له ، وعن مخاصمة الأنبياء وأُممهم (الألواح: الجز الأول، حديث رقم 23) We presented our own view of how the Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad is related to previous Revelations in our book: Rafea, Ali, Aliaa, and Aisha, Islam from Adam to Muhammad and Beyond, Or The Book Of Essential Islam, The Book Foundation, Watsonville, California Bath England, 2004 الإسلام رسالة من قديم وإلى قادم، علي رافع وعلياء وعائشة، ٢٠٠٧ (دار النشر غير مكتوبة( Rafea, M. Rafea, Alwah Ma Baina Qabrin Wa Minbar (Scripts: Between Tombs and Platforms) Collections of Assayed Rafea’s Speeches in Arabic, Part Three, Speech 1: [58] السيد رافع، ألواح ما بين قبر ومنبر، الجزء الثالث، الحديث الأول: فما جاء به كونفوشيوس وبوذا وحكماء الشـرق من الصين والهند إلا وجه من وجوه الحق. وما جاء سـقراط وأفلاطون وحكماء الغرب إلا بوجه من وجوه الحـق. وما جاء آدم ونوح وإبراهيم وأبنـاؤه من الكتب والكلمات إلا وجوها من وجوه للحق. وما كان عيسـى إلا وجها من لانهائي وجوه للحق. وما قام محمد إلا أمرا جامعا لأمور للحق…….. فعلم الإنسـانية عن نفسـها هو علمها عن الحقيقة. Khatarat Wa Nadharat: خطرات ونظرات [59] - 432الأنبياء نبوة واحدة ونبي واحد لحق واحد، ولعالم واحد، ولخلق واحد في وجود واحد لموجود واحد. [60] حكمة الإسلام في سيرة مسلم البشـرية متصلة من قديم بالروح، وهي بالروح تحيا وتقوم، فإذا تأملنا كأناس يفكرون، ويربـطون حاضـرهم بماضيهم، ويربطون ظـواهر هذا الاتصـال، في بيئاته من البشـرية، في جميع العصور، نجد أن هذا الاتصال قام في قديم الجنـس، في عهود لم يصل إدراكنا، وتسجيلنا في نظامنا التاريخي إليها. وكل ما يمكننا أن ندركه، هو ما سجلته تواريخ الأمم في الشرق والغرب والمنطقة الوسـطى من الأرض، فهذا الاتصال عامّ في الجنس . )الجزء الأول من ألواح ما بين قبر ومنبر، الاتصال الروحي في عصرنا الحاضر ، محاضرة ألقيت بدار الشبان المسيحيين في مساء يوم الجمعة 19 من شعبان 1378 الموافق 27 من فبراير 1959( The connotations of the word Fitra as used by Assayed Rafea, and as inspired by the divine literature of Islam are very versatile. In its original sense linguistically Fitra means ‘the process or laws according to which the Creator made the universe’. On another dimension, it implies the one truth behind all creation that manifested in diverse forms. In some other contexts Fitra possibly points to the divine potential inherent in humankind according to some divine law. The word Fitra can still be more inspiring. [61] حكمة الإسلام في سيرة مسلم: [62] وفي ذلك الوقت لم أكن في حالة تعارف مع السيد إيجل ولا مع السيد سيلفربرش، ولكني كنت أقرأ ما نقل إلى العربية عن الروحية وعن الإتصال الروحي. وكنت لا أعارض مثل هذا الإتصال أو اتهمه كما يتهمه من يجهله بأنه أمر خارج عن الإسلام أو عن دين الإسلام أو تعاليمه بل بالعكس، كنت أرى أن هذا الإتصال، ما تواجد عبثاً، وأنه ما تواجد إلا لنصرة ما في دين الإسلام من الحق، وأن ما هو من الحق في دين الإسلام ما كان إلا هو مسلك الطريق والمتصوفة.....، وكنت أرى أن هذا الإتصال لا بد أن يكون له حكمة، واستنتجت أن تكون هذه الحكمة تأييد الإسلام وتأييد المتصوفة من المسلمين. P. 211 ألواح ما بين قبر ومنبر الجزء الأول [63] لم يكن شيء مما تأتي به الروحية في هذا العصر في غير متناول التصوف الإسلامي أو التصوف في بيئات الرسل والحكماء من معلمي الشرق على قدر فيه. Silver Birch was the guide of Maurice Barbanell (3rd May 1902 - 19th July 1981) Medium, and Founder-Editor of Psychic News) who, during Maurice's life, channeled the great works and spirit teachings from the Spirit World which was published under his name "Silver Birch". Silver Birch came back to the earth plane under this name and as a North American Indian, even though it is believed not to have been his own. It was obviously a very evolved soul who wanted to bring the teachings of spirit to mankind using Maurice Barbanell as his medium. His teachings are excellent and have helped millions of people to live their lives. His teachings explain to us the reason for life, death and incarnation. They explain to us the meaning of existence and reveal the Natural and Universal Laws by which we are all governed and live. Read more about Silver Birch at: [64] http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?16891-Maurice-Barbanell-and-his-spirit-guide-Silver-Birch http://goldenageofgaia.com/the-2012-scenario/2012-history-4/silver-birchs-new-world-2/ Silver Birch Anthology: http://www.jhardaker.plus.com/pdf/Silver%20Birch%20Anthology.pdf An excerpt from a Speech of Assayed Rafea: [65] "(إن الروحية) لا تأتي إلينا ببلاغ جديد، ولا بمناسك جديدة، ولا بنظام للمعلومات جديد، ولكنها تأتي إلينا بما غفلنا عنه من الحق الصراح، الحق الخالص الذي جاء به سائر الأنبياء، والذي يتلاقى عليه ويتلاقى فيه النبيون جميعاً وهو التعريف عن الله وعن الفهم فيه والفهم عنه والفهم به والفهم منه. وهذا أمر جوهري، وأمر واسع عريض قام وراء جميع الرسالات الدينية في الشرق الأوسط وفي حكمة الشرق والغرب." الجزء الأول من ألواح بين قبر ومنبر ص10 The séance held on Thursday, July 2nd, 1953. [66] Khatarat Wa Nadhrat: خطرات ونظرات [67] الكلام الحي يربط بين المتكلم والسامع لجمع ما فيهما من حياة في حياة أكبر ليست هي حياة المتكلم ولا حياة السامع ولكن حياة المحيط بالسامع والمتكلم. The Message of Unity and Differentiation رسالة التوحيد والتعديد [68] فلست بينكم إلا أحدكم، عنوانا لجمعكم، ومثالا لفطرتكم على الإسلام، وترجمانا لدعوتكم على القيام، فلا شيخوخة بيننا، جمعنا شيخنا، والله ولينا، وروحه صلى الله عليه وسلم مرشدنا وهادينا، والمرشدون إليه من عباده تعالى أئمتنا وإخواننا. (فقرات من كلمة للسيد رافع بمناسبة الإسراء والمعراج السبت ١١ أبريل ١٩٥٣ الموافق ٢٧ رجب ١٣٧٢ كتاب التوحيد والتعديد ص ٢٣٥ In the Holy Quran we read: We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it; - He was indeed unjust and foolish. (The Holy Qur'an: 33: 72) [69] إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الإِنسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولا (الأحزاب: 33: 72) Silver Birch says, “We strive to make you realize the latent divinity that is yours, that you may express more of the Great Spirit, that you may rise to greater heights and fill your mind with greater truth and wisdom. Anthology of Silver Birch p. 19: . http://www.jhardaker.plus.com/pdf/Silver%20Birch%20Anthology.pdf We have honored the offspring of Adam) وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ (الإسراء ٧٠) (HQ: [70] التين ٤ لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ (We have created human in the best proportion). [71] This statement is in harmony with what comes in the Gospels: Luke 17:20-21 King James Version (KJV) [72] 20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. القلب بيت الرب The Heart of human is the Home (temple) of God. A Prophetic Hadith [73] The Message of Unity and Differentiationرسالة التوحيد والتعديد ; [74] فرسالة الاتصال الروحي، التي تأخذ مكانها، في مشارق الأرض ومغاربها، لتكشف لإنسانية الأرض، شرف الإنسان في قديمه، من أحسن تقويم، وشرف الإنسان في قابله أحسن تقويم، وشرف الإنسان في حاضره، ملكوتا لله في نفسه، وبيتا لله في هيكله، إنما تعمل، لإعداد الجهاز الفيزيقي، وهو الجسد، عن طريق التطور به، وتغذية النفس المقيمة فيه، بالنور والقابلية الوهبية الواعية، لتقبل مستويات نفسية أكبر، تهيئ الفرصة، لهذه النفس المقيمة للتطور والارتقاء، بالنمو والاتساع والانطلاق، بتنقيتها في جوهرها، من مرذول الصفات. التوحيد والتعديد ص ١٠٥ Master Silver Birch describes service as the heart of religion: [75] Religion is that which increases the tie between you and the Great Spirit and between you and His other children. Religion is that which makes you go out into your world and give service wherever you can. Religion is service, and service is religion. : P. 46 http://www.jhardaker.plus.com/pdf/Silver%20Birch%20Anthology.pdf Read more in The Message of Unity and Differentiation: رسالة التوحيد والتعديد ص ٢٠٥- ٢٠٨ [76] Master Silver Birch says, “The spirit grows through kindness, toleration, sympathy, love, service and doing of good works. Character evolves only when you allow the divine spirit to be made manifest in your daily lives. If you harbour unkind thoughts, thoughts of hatred, of malice, of vengeance, of selfishness, you yourself will be the victim and you yourself must pay the price in a warped, distorted and thwarted character. : P. 9 http://www.jhardaker.plus.com/pdf/Silver%20Birch%20Anthology.pdf The really faithful in the Holy Quran enjoy the highest of morals: And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive, - (Saying),"We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks. (The Holy Qur’an: 76: 8, 9) وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لا نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَاء وَلا شُكُورًا (الإنسان 8, 9 :76: ) The principle of service is in the heart of the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings: Allah will be in your support as long as you are in support of your fellow humans. وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ فِي عَوْنِ الْعَبْدِ مَادَامَ الْعَبْدُ فِي عَوْنِ أَخِيهِ." صحيح مسلم Part of a Speech by Assayed Rafea: [77] " فالاتصال الروحي يا إخواني ما هو إلا عقيدة سليمة في الله تؤيدها جميع الأديان، ووسيلة تنقي جميع الأديان من الخبث ويظهر بها ما في الأديان من جوهر سليم، حبيب إلى النفس المؤمنة والعقل المعتقد. إنها طريق مستقيم، إنها تفك أسر الروح من سجن المادة لتنطلق في ملكوت الله العظيم اللامتناهي، إنها يد الله الممتدة لإطلاق هذه العقول وهذه النفوس وهذه الأرواح من سجون أشباحها، ولكشف الغطاء عنها لتدرك ما غمض من قضاياها في حاضرها ومستقبلها فتفتح لها بذلك أسباب السعادة وطريق كسبها" الجزء الأول من ألواح بين قبر ومنبر ص 12 Silver Birch often reminds humans of their oneness: [78] “The same blood flows in our veins, the same spirit is in each of our natures. The Great Spirit has made us all members of one family. The children make differences and fail to see the underlying unity, and they have to be reminded that there is no true progress until these spiritual realities take their place in all worldly systems. “All races and all colors are part of the Great Spirit of all life Who provides harmony in the perfect mixture of all hues. Look at nature’s handiwork and realize that no matter how profuse or variegated are the colors of flowers in a vast garden, never is the note of disharmony or color discord struck anywhere. When the colors are blended among men, you will be emerging towards the perfect race.” : P. 35 http://www.jhardaker.plus.com/pdf/Silver%20Birch%20Anthology.pdf In the Holy Quran where we are told that we humans come from the same origin and hence we are connected to each other: O mankind! Revere your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women; - reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you. (The Holy Qur’an: 4:1) [79] {يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا ونساء}. (النساء 4: 1). O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. . (The Holy Qur’an: 49:13) يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ(الحجرات: ١٣) In his last Speech before passing to the higher dimension of life, the Prophet Muhammad reminded Muslims of the core principle of Islam where the oneness of humankind is a basic one: “O humankind, Your Lord is but One, and Your Father is but one; An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white except by piety.” يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، أَلَا إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ وَاحِدٌ، وَإِنَّ أَبَاكُمْ وَاحِدٌ، أَلَا لَا فَضْلَ لِعَرَبِيٍّ عَلَى أَعْجَمِيٍّ، وَلَا لِعَجَمِيٍّ عَلَى عَرَبِيٍّ، وَلَا لِأَحْمَرَ عَلَى أَسْوَدَ، وَلَا أَسْوَدَ عَلَى أَحْمَرَ إِلَّا بِالتَّقْوَى. The Message of Unity and Differentiationرسالة التوحيد والتعديد Page 133 [80]

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