Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Feeling Powerless? Angry? Depressed? Overwhelmed with sadness, suffering, or trauma?
Jonah's (Yunus عليه السلام)'s prayer while he was in the belly of the whale:
لَّا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
Lā ilāha illā anta subḥānaka innī kuntu mina ẓ-ẓālimīn
There is no god but Thou! Glory be to Thee. I was among the wrongdoers [submerged in darkness]" (Qur'an Surat al-Anbiya 21:87).
This has traditionally been used as a form of the grateful remembrance of God, especially when one is facing a worldly situation or inner state in which one seems trapped. Also, in the Ni'matullahi Sufi order in the early-mid 20th century this was given as a practice (to be repeated multiple times, one after the other) prior to formal entry into the tariqa.
The part of the Qur'anic verse in the calligraphy is preceded in the Qur'an by وَذَا النُّونِ إِذْ ذَهَبَ مُغَاضِبًا فَظَنَّ أَنْ لَنْ نَقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ فَنَادَى فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ
And [remember] Dhu'l Nun (Jonah, Yunus) when he left angrily and imagined that We [i.e. God] had no power over him. Then he cried out [while submerged] in the depths of darkness (al-zulumat). This part, however, was not included in this calligraphy.
The early scholar of the Qur'an, Yahya ibn Ziyad al-Farra (207 AH) in his work Ma'ani al-Qur'an, glossed the "forms of darkness" (zulumat) as ظلمة البحر، وبطن الحوت ومِعاها الذي كان فيه يونس "the darkness of the ocean, the stomach of the whale and its gut, in which Jonah was."
This supplication is particularly relevant when one is aware that one is stuck in a state of consciousness and is in need of a birth-like transformation out from that particular kind of darkness. Etymologically. a zalim (wrongdoer) is one who stuck or submerged in zulmah (darkness). Commonly, this sense of being a zalim (oppressor or wrongdoer) against one's own soul is often neglected since the word zalim, today, generally is used to mean a tyrant or oppressive ruler.
This levha was calligraphed in 1443/2021-22 in the bold thuluth (celi sülüs) script by the Turkish calligrapher, Osman Özçay. Signed كتبه عثمان Osman wrote it.
May be an image of text


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