Nourished by the Night

The title of this gallery comes from a poem by Allama Iqbal, which in its self-explanatory beauty says it all. It talks about the magnificence of the night and the elevated status of night vigilance supported by the calm and stillness one cannot possibly find in the day.

The stars asked the moon
“We have grown weary shining.
Are we destined to journey forever?
When will we rest?” The moon replied
“My friends,
you who are nourished by the night,
movement is in all Creation,
time is a galloping steed.
This path has no resting-place.
In rest hides death.
Those who gallop are free,
those who rest are destroyed.
The path’s beginning is passion,
and absolute passion the end.”

 ~ Muhammad Allama Iqbal (1873-1938) “Poet of the East”

 

During the day numerous affairs occupy the time and mind of the human being. In the midst of all this preoccupation, it is difficult to have the peace of mind and heart so necessary for good worship. But at night, when it is dark and silent, when the demands of the material world are quiet for a while, the human being can acquire a tranquil state, which allows him to be in harmony with his Creator. It is at this time that the human being acquires a special state of mind and energy, which is very conducive to increasing his spirituality and strengthening the connection with his Creator.  That is why the friends of Allah, and those who seek nearness to Him, always make the most of the last part of the night. They purify their souls, enliven their hearts, strengthen their wills, and perfect their sincerity, through worship at this special time. There are many verses of the Holy Qur’an, which talk about the importance of Salatul Layl (Night Prayers), also referred to as Qiyam ul Layl. These verses describe it as the practice of the pious people, and the means to attain closeness to Allah. Those who wish to attain this nearness forego a part of their sleep, and wake up early to seek forgiveness from Allah. They sacrifice their sleep and comfort for the pleasure of reciting Salatul Layl. In many verses of the Qur’an, Allah enjoins the rising by the night for glorification and worship of Allah. He says:

And for part of the night also praise thou Him,- and at the retreat of the stars! (52:49)

And part of the night, prostrate thyself to Him; and glorify Him a long night through. (76:26)

They were in the habit of sleeping but little by night, And in the hour of early dawn, they (were found) praying for Forgiveness; (51: 17–18)

Their limbs do forsake their beds of sleep, the while they call on their Lord, in Fear and Hope: and they spend (in charity) out of the sustenance which We have bestowed on them.

Now no person knows what delights of the eye are kept hidden (in reserve) for them – as a reward for their (good) deeds. (32: 16–17)

Therefore, the reward for those who rise by night to glorify Allah cannot be described.  As the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said:

There is no good deed except that its reward has been outlined in the Qur’an, except Salatul Layl. Almighty Allah has not specified its reward due to its greatness with Him.

Excerpt: http://www.yusufmosque.com/worship/night-prayers-qiyam/

Narrated Masruq: I asked `Aisha “What deed was the most beloved to the Prophet?” She said, “The regular constant one.” I said, “At what time did he use to get up at night (for the Tahajjud night prayer)?’ She said, “He used to get up on hearing (the crowing of) the cock (the last third of the night).

Sahih al-Bukhari 6461, Book 81, Hadith 50, Vol. 8, Book 76, Hadith 468

I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too
I have come all this way,
eager for you

Without shoes or shawl
I want you to laugh
To kill all your worries
To love you To nourish you.”

~ 

 Hazrat. Mawlana Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (r.a)

“Stars burn clear all night till dawn.
Do that yourself,
and a spring will rise in the dark
with water your deepest thirst is for.”

~ 

Hazrat. Mawlana Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (r.a)

“At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come
and press its face against mine.
Breathe into me.
Close the language-door and open the love-window.
The moon won’t use the door, only the window.” 

~ 

Hazrat. Mawlana Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (r.a)

“Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;
How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.” 

~ 

Hazrat. Mawlana Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (r.a)

The eye knows pleasure, delights in the body’s shape
the ear hears words that talk about all this.
When hearing takes place, character areas change;
but when you see, inner areas change.
If all you know about fire is what you have heard
see if the fire will agree to cook you!
Certain energies come only when you burn.
If you long for belief, sit down in the fire!
When the ear receives subtly; it turns into an eye.
But if words do not reach the ear in the chest, nothing happens.

~

Hazrat. Mawlana Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (r.a)

The moon came to me last night With a sweet question.

She said, “The sun has been my faithful lover For millions of years.
Whenever I offer my body to him Brilliant light pours from his heart.
Thousands then notice my happines And delight in pointing Toward my beauty.
Hafiz Is it true that our destiny Is to turn into Light Itself?”

And I replied, Dear moon,
Now that your love is maturing,
We need to sit together Close like this more often
So I might instruct you How to become Who you Are!

~ 

Hazrat Khwajeh Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafez Shirazi r.a

The caravan of stars Proceeds without a whisper or a sound;
Mountain, forest, river, All in lull;
Nature seems lost in contemplation.
O heart, you too be still.
Hold thy grief to thy bosom, and sleep

~ 

~Muhammad Allama Iqbal

Everything dark not really all that dark
Everything  sunny sunshine breathtaking
Not all that blinding bright
I always see you
No matter what or how
Thank you my love

~ 

~fm

The stars follow me as I do them
The destination not a concern
The time spent together means
Much and more

Life and times with you shine on
Cherished  watercolour memories 
Imprinted in my minds eye 
Timeless true and more

Happy with this single care in the world
Life makes sense of the nonsense
Please be with me my love 
Here there forever and more

 ~fm