Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tafakkur and Contemplation

Glory to God Most High, full of Grace and Mercy;

Peace and Blessings be upon His slave Muhammad,
Along with his family and companions

An hour's reflection is better than a whole night spent in worship.
[- ibn Abbas]

Tafakkur literally means to think on a subject deeply, systematically, and in great detail. In this context, it signifies reflection, which is the heart’s lamp, the spirit’s food, the spirit of knowledge, and the essence and light of the Islamic way of life.

One should try and engage in reflection (tafakkur) and comtemplation. To seek, by mediation and thought to develop an appreciative understanding of your Creator.

Among the things to one could reflect upon:

o The fleeting nature of this world, and its worth compared to the Hereafter. Seek with this to develop the patience and steadfastness to aspire towards the Hereafter.

o Think of the rewards in store for one's worship, if it is accepted. Strive with this to purify and increase your worship, with arodor and active enthusiasm.

Reflect on the favours and blessed gifts of Allah, and on his Names and Attributes. Through this, increase your love for the Exalted and Majestic Creator.

o Think about the proofs and evidences of our faith, the many signs of its Truth in every aspect of creation, and on their Creator. "In the earth are signs for those who have certainty, and in yourselves; can you then not see?"

o Reflect on Allah's complete awareness of you, and His seeing and knowing all about you. This should result in your feeling ashamed if you do something He has forbidden or if you miss something He has commanded.

o Reflect on your own shortcomings in worshipping your Lord. He has said: "I created jinn and men only to worship Me."
This should increase our fear of Allah, and encourage us to blame and reproach our souls, and to increase our perseverence.

o Reflect on the imminence of death, and the regret and remorse which occur when it is too late.

o Reflect at Allah's descriptions of the attributes and actions of His Friends and His enemies, and on the immediate and delayed rewards for each.

o Some good ayahs in the Qur'an for this include: (surah/ayah) 82/12-14 32/18 92/5-7 8/2-4 24/55 39/40 9/67-68 9/71-72 10/7-10.
This kind of reflection is that you will come to love those who are guided to habituate yourself to emulating their behaviour, and to taking on their qualities.

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