Inner Jihad
by Dr. Shahid Athar
from Vol. 10, No. 3.

The Purpose of Sufi Training
by Shah Sufi Moulana
Syed Maizebhandari
from Vol. 9, No. 4.

Finding Faith in
the Depths of Darkness

by Sheikh Salman Baruti
from Vol. 8, No. 3.

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On A Night Journey


Master Ali Rafea is the guide of the Egyptian Society for Spiritual and Cultural Research ESSCR, and the son of Master Rafea, an Egyptian prominent Sufi. For over 30 years, Master Ali has been providing his disciples with genuine readings in Islam, Sufism and spirituality. He stresses that knowledge should come from within, from one’s own experience. Only then is a person spiritually ready to receive guidance. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science. He is recognized as a prominent scientist in the Who's Who Encyclopedia.

In every session, Master Ali Rafea reads from the History of Prophet Mohammad’s life, a message that is more like a spiritual treasure that inspires pure hearts with new meanings and understandings. He says that Israa (the Night Journey of Prophet Mohammad to Aqsa Mosque) is not mere history. It is the spiritual journey that every sincere Servant of God will take if he makes himself fully accessible to God’s Grace. He, thus, would reach such a high stage spiritually when God rewards him by making it possible for him to attain the “maximum” (Aqsa) that is spiritually attainable while on earth. It is a journey where the Prophet Mohammad is the Exemplar, the eternal Teacher and beloved. The relationship with him is not a history either; it is an eternal attraction to the Center of Light.

Master Rafea’s words are an invitation to every human to try his or her best while on earth to gain spiritual awareness, and to make oneself open to divine Love, Mercy and Light. The following is an excerpt from one of his talks translated from Arabic into English by Aisha Rafea.

When God Takes His Servant On a Night Journey!

We have been learning unceasingly that events and Signs that took place during the Revelation of Prophet Mohammad are living wisdom. When we treasure them in our hearts, contemplate and discuss together, we are prepared to read God’s implicit messages and be guided by them.

The Night Journey of the Prophet to the Aqsa Mosque Israa, is rich with guidance from which we can learn. We are guided to prepare ourselves fully, so that we receive God’s graces. By being responsive to divine graces unceasingly, a time will come when we are qualified for attaining the “maximum” that is spiritually attainable while on Earth. (Aqsa in Arabic means maximum).

Glory to Allah Who did take His servant on a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Aqsa Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of Our Signs (Qur'an: 17: 1).

In these verses, we read that God “took His servant on a journey.” We can see that the first precondition is that a person is a Servant of God. Being a servant of God is being keen to prepare oneself, spiritually, to be chosen for God’s blessings and to be welcomed in the “Sacred Mosque” which is a symbol of God’s Mercy on earth. The Sacred Mosque represents Qibla, the chosen Center toward which Muslims direct their prayers for Allah. It is symbolically the Divine Home, Baytu’llah to which each believer aspires to belong. We can see that a person is not apt to be a Servant of God unless he is embraced by God’s Mercy. Because God’s Mercy is manifested in the Messenger of Allah, to be embraced by God’s Mercy is in itself, so to speak, taking refuge in His Prophet, the symbol of His Mercy.

My Family among you is like Noah’s Ark; those who take refuge in it are saved and those who do not join are losers (Prophetic Hadith). Holy Sayings highlight for us that our relationship with God implies attachment to His Prophet:

“If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.” (Qur'an: 3:31)

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Aisha Rafea, an Egyptian Sufi, is the daughter of Master Rafea M. Rafea. She has a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication. Aisha is a writer and a translator of Sufi texts and literature. She also represents the Sufi Women Organization's Egyptian Chapter.