Talking to Allah
A prayer is a devotional act of extending praises and gratitude for the all of Love, knowing, experiencing and submitting to the Creator of all seen and unseen whom we as Moorish American Moslems call Allah. It can be non-verbal being in thought only, or verbal forms of speaking, shouting, singing in worshipful communication to Allah in a sincere supplication of devotional thanksgiving (El, 2009). Prayer is directly talking to Allah which can be done in private, as a small group or large community, it is done in complete silence, soft whisper, or vocalized like roaring thunder. “Salat (performing the daily prayers) is the second pillar of Islam and is the most important one of all” (Demirci, 2018). There is indeed no wrong way to submit to Allah. It can be expressed with the five daily customary prayers (salat) of Al-Islam, or the three customary prayers of Moorish American Moslems.
The true and pure intentions of any prayer in Islam is merely to express to Allah that you are grateful, thankful and submissive to his will. Moorish American Moslems form of Islam reflects a Sufi nature which places a greater emphasis on the spirituality in thought instead of habitual outwardly show (El, 2009). However, it should be understood that all Moorish Americans are not in unison with the prescrribed manner and observation of the Prophet Drew Ali teachings, dictates and caveats (El, 2009). Prayer is a universal act to be in harmony with the Creator, for Moorish Moslems it is a time used to be acknowledged by the Divine, to be wrapped entirely within all the essences of love. We don’t use prayer as a time to plead or beg Allah to place us in a better situation or obtain greater worldly gains.
“The essence of Salat comprises three basic elements. It is composed of a) Feeling of respect, reverence and awe in the heart totally, b) Remembrance of Allah by tongue (word), c) Showing bodily (physical) respect and reverence to Allah at the utmost degree” (Demirci, 2018). It is a time to remove the mind and body from the carnal world, move to a safe area, give complete and utter devotion to the ultimate of all love, prayer is the humble act of complete submission. The supplication in praying as a Moslem is wanting to come closer to the Divine seeking to be in the oneness of Allah.
Listening to Allah
Meditation for Moorish Moslems is to bring the mind and body into a complete state of attentiveness in listening for Divine guidance. Meditation is a practice that crosses over many cultures and faiths; it is a state of stillness in thought to hear the voice of God speaking. Most Westerners will often attach the practice of meditation with “Yoga” an ancient Hindu Sanskrit word which means to unite. In most cultures there is the various practice of meditation, Moorish American Moslems have mastered several forms of meditation that is reflective of the culture and tradition of their ancient forefathers. It is a way to escape the physical cage and travel to lands of fleshless things, in meeting with Allah to hear instructions and receive answers. Moorish Moslems meditation can be in a group setting with the aid of a guide leading the group on a spiritual journey of discovery.
In preparation for a Moorish American Sufi meditation journey, we bring the body into a perfect tone in complete harmony. By igniting all five senses in a pleasant state, for the sound, we may use ambient music or sounds of nature. For a pleasant taste we may use a peppermint or lemon drop, for touch we suggest wearing soft cotton or silk while sitting on a soft prayer rug. For a pleasant smell burning sweet candles or incense, a personal favorite for meditation is Nag Champa.
For sight, it is generally a natural setting in which the meditation guide will help push the visualization with the mind’s eye. In-bounding all five senses, sound, touch, taste, smell, and sight in harmony. A Moorish Sufi meditation is a spiritual journey in meeting with Allah that words are unable to explain fully. It is also the stages of the journey that is experienced by a Moslem, the more spiritually in nature a Moslem becomes, the more in-depth the meditation journey will reveal. There is guided meditation which is having a trusted voice walking with you; self-guided meditation is using the peaceful sounds as a guide in meeting with Allah. Moorish Sufi meditation involves the awakening of the spiritual centers that lie quietly within. Another form of Moorish Sufi meditation is the repetition of words or a phrase; in middle Eastern Sufi practice it is called “Zikr.”
Zikr is what is known as the devotional acts in Islam in which short phrases or prayers are repeatedly recited silently within the mind or aloud. It can be done as a group or alone, it is often done with the use of prayer beads. With each bead a recitation of a word or phrase is done until the completion of the cycle of beads is done. Each bead represents a footstep taking us closer to the meeting with Allah, the string of beads represents the path the Arabic term for "path" or "road" is called the Mustakim.
Meditation for a Moorish Moslem represents a faithful journey on the straight path in meeting with Allah, a highly anticipated journey taken without having to drive or purchase a plane ticket. The nearest place for a Moslem to meet Allah is in the heart of the mind, a sacred meeting place that we strive to keep pure by keeping our thoughts pure. Making sure that no debris of hindrance from the Divine is blocking our path, on our journey to listen to Allah.
Demirci, M. (2018). Namaz Zamani. Retrieved from http://namazzamani.net/english/MehmetDemirci.htm El, R. (2009). Prescribe Manner of Prayer & Praying. Atlanta, GA: The Moorish Science Temple of America-1928 /Saadi El Publication.
A Nights Journey
It’s the close of day the sweet cool night air moves in like a gentle hug, the night creatures sing their evening joy welcoming the close of day. Stillness is the dance my body seeks after speaking the closing prayer. I prepare my body for the journey as I lay close to my love we both will be traveling alone into the land of fleshless things an anticipated meeting from on high to hear the answers to questions not yet understood, moving past time and space. It’s quite and calm am alone but not alone, faces of former lives I have encountered. I’m walking in the moment my past is now my present I seek to hear the voice of Allah to hear His answer to hear His words. I pray that I understand the message, I pray that I become the message.