“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays” – Soren Kierkegaard
In this very busy world of ours the only thing we seem to be doing with any sort of consistency is constantly run around, our minds filled with distractions and a whole lot of stress. And while this was once limited to only adults, it now seems to have spread to our children as well; distractions and stress hindering our ability to focus and achieve our goals. This situation has manifested to such a level that people now claim that even their prayers don’t work anymore or that they are not able to pray like before, perhaps as they once did in their childhood, before the advent of all the busy distractions. So when such a claim arises it is worthwhile to study if it is the prayer that is to be blamed or the way we are praying that should take blame. Praying is nothing but connecting with God, the supreme one and if you try to communicate without your heart and soul in it, you would be just going through the motions and not really taking full benefit of the power of worship.
And how can we attain that level of concentration and participation in our prayers?
Well, author and Doctor Ahmad Javid say in his book, ‘Sufi Light’, that meditation is the key. And he stresses that the meditation introduced by invoking the mystic Sufi element in Islam religion seems to be the way forward. Because when we lead a life without meditating, we are just passing through time and space without contemplating about anything of consequence. And like a lot of other world religions, Islam too values the important role that meditation plays in one’s life. The book explains that meditation, or rather meditating on the personal name of God, Allah can be done in many ways. It can be as simple as visualizing Allah’s name and reciting it out aloud and through conscious and controlled breathing. Sufism extrapolates further that there has always been a divine and close relationship between God and his creation and therefore encourages the creation to shed its human trappings to become whole once again with his creator.
Dr. Ahmad Javid encourages us to identify and recognize that only Allah is worthy of our praise and worship. And it is his truths and thoughts that should guide us on our life path. There have been many prophets and saints who have further addressed and propagated his words but for you to take full advantage of it, you must meditate. Meditating through concentration, contemplation, reflection and observation of your mind will lead to an increased awareness of your body and mind which will eventually lead to real spiritual development and obtaining maximum benefits from your prayers.
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather whose book ‘Irfan’ was a ground breaking revelation on Sufism; Dr. Ahmad Javid has crafted this book in a very unique manner. Its uniqueness stems from the fact that this book doesn’t read like a drab version of one of those ‘How to Improve your life’ self-help books. In fact he made a clear case for simplicity and helpfulness by taking on a esoteric subject like Sufism and has tried to broaden its appeal and shed its very definite tag of exclusivity and thereby inculcate more people into its midst.
By narrating so many personal stories Dr Ahmad Javid has successfully managed to envelop the reader with an aura of faith, magical mysticism and belief that sets up the platform for narrating the message on Sufism and meditation through it. He truly seems to have had an enlightened childhood which apart from the great lineage can also be assessed through the many real life incidents and anecdotes that he has so graciously shared with the public. We are also introduced to Hazrat Sultan Bahu, the poet and saint and his many poems and thoughts. He has given a detailed explanation bordering on a biography in a standalone book dedicated to him in, ‘The Spirit of Sultan’.
The verses from Quran seem to have been selected after much afterthought and are appropriate to the occasion. Sufi Light is an informative book on Islam and its tenets that also provide much disclosure on Sufism and meditation; it is a must buy for everyone who prays.
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Balboa Press (December 9, 2011)