The Elixir of Love

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The Elixir of Love Author:
Publisher: Dar al-Hadith Publications
Category: Islamic Personalities

The Elixir of Love

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Author: M. Mohammadi Rayshahri
Publisher: Dar al-Hadith Publications
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The Elixir of Love

The Elixir of Love

Author:
Publisher: Dar al-Hadith Publications
English

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Alhassanain (p) Network for Islamic Heritage and Thought

The Elixir of Love

In the memory of Shaikh Rajab Ali Khayyat

Spiritual lessons on the love of Allah (swt) from the life of the 20th century spiritual exemplar, Shaykh Rajab Ali Khayyat. Includes anecotes from his life and practical ethical advice for living a spiritual life.

Author(s): Ayatullah Muhammadi Rayshahri

Publisher(s): Dar al-Hadith Publications

www.alhassanain.org/english

Table of Contents

Foreword 8

The Charisma of the Shaykh's Sayings 8

The Style of Writing 9

Beyond a Commemorative Volume 9

Authenticity of the Sources 10

Stations of the People possessing Divine Knowledge 10

The Human Beings who cannot be perceived 11

Notes 12

Part 1: Traits 13

Life 14

The Shaykh's House 14

The Shaykh's Clothing 15

The Shaykh's Food 15

Notes 15

Occupation 16

Perseverance in his Work 16

Equity in Receiving Wages 17

A Reward for Equity 17

Imam al- 'Asr (aj) in the Blacksmiths' Bazaar 18

The Equity of the Old Locksmith 18

I will Visit him! 19

Notes 19

Self -Sacrifice 20

Self-Sacrifice toward other People's Children 20

Self-Sacrifice toward a Bankrupt Neighbor 20

Self-Sacrifice on the New Year's Eve 21

Notes 21

Acts of Selfless Devotion 22

Taqlid 22

Dedicating the Work for God 23

Refuting un-Islamic Mortification 23

First Payoff Your Khums 24

Notes 24

Ethics 25

Humbleness 25

Reconciliation 26

Profound Reverence for the Sayyids 26

Respect for All People 26

Indifference to the Worldly Positions 26

Notes 27

Awaiting the Faraj (Second Coming of Imam al-'Asr (aj)) 28

The Shaykh's Significant Demand 28

How the Ant Strived to Reach the Beloved 28

A Cobbler in Shahr-i Ray 29

Notes 29

Poetry 30

Reciting (singing) Poetry in a Delightful Voice 30

I seek Allah's forgiveness for my fictitious existence 30

A Poem by the Shaykh and Reminiscence 31

Notes 32

Politics 33

Two Political Predictions 33

The Future of the Islamic Revolution 33

Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar in the Purgatory World 33

Praising the Tyrannical Monarch 33

Cooperation with the American Military Attaches 34

Notes 34

Part 2: A Leap Forward 35

Divine Training 36

The Shaykh's Masters 36

A Turning Point 36

How he Received Divine Training 37

The Eyes and Ears of the Heart 38

Notes 38

Help from the Unseen World 41

Penalty of a Disapproved Thought 41

Notes 43

Spiritual Perfections 44

Absorbed in Monotheism 45

The Lover of God 45

The Greatest Status 46

Finding Way into all Worlds 46

The Shaykh at the Age of Sixty 47

The great Difference Between our Knowledge and his 47

Helping out the Hard-Working Laborer 48

Contact with the Souls of Dr. Farzam's Parents 48

How a Relation was established between Dr. Shaykh and Shaykh Rajab Ali 49

Your Request is granted 50

The Effect of Humility toward People for God's Sake 51

Talking to Plants 51

The Reward for the Inventor of Electric Fan 51

Conditional Fulfillment of Supplication 52

Helping the One Who Had Lost his Properties 52

The Scent of Red Apples 53

The Reward for Abstaining from Unlawful Look 54

The Fire within the Unlawful Property 54

How the Gramophone Stopped Working 54

The Appeal by the Youth in Love 54

Responding Satan's Temptation 55

Notes 55

Part 3: Self-Building 58

The Ways of Self-Building 59

Self-Building by One's Manners 59

Educational Methods 60

1. Public Sessions 60

Emphasis on Obeying God and Refraining from Carnal Desires 63

Recognition of Internal States 63

Putting the Shaykh to Test 64

The Presence of an Informer 64

2. Special Guidelines 65

The Importance of a Perfect Instructor 66

Sins and Calamities in Life 66

Annoying the Child 67

Annoying the Wife 67

Annoying the Husband 68

The Displeased Sister 68

Unkindness toward the Sister 69

The Displeased Mother 69

The Broken-Hearted Aunt 69

Annoying the Employer's Son 70

Annoying the Employee 70

Usurping the Old Woman's Right 71

Cruelty to Animals 71

Notes 72

The Basis of Self-Building 74

Cleansing of Polytheism 75

Traveling for the Purpose of Telling a Point 76

Personality Cult and Polytheism 77

How to Reach the Reality of Monotheism 78

Notes 78

The Elixir of Self-Building 80

The Real Elixir 80

The Shaykh's Greatest Art 81

Shirin and Farhad 82

Fundamentals of Love of God 83

Attaining Intuitive Knowledge 84

The Pitfall of Love toward God 84

The Inward Aspects of the Worldly-Minded People 85

The God-Displaying Heart 86

Attaining Divine Mysteries 87

The Status of the Intellect and that of the Soul 87

Worship Based on Affection 88

The Highest Levels of Piety 88

The School of Love 89

Opening up the Heart's Eye 89

The Inward Aspect of Heart 89

The Heart to which Everything is Present 90

The Man who Performs Godly Acts 90

The Way to Love God 90

Notes 91

Sincerity of Friends of God 93

All Deeds for God's Sake 93

Come Over for God's sake! 94

What have you done for God's Sake? 95

To Become Good for God's Sake 95

Fruits of Sincerity 96

Divine Guidance 96

The Fragrance of God in Deeds 96

Overpowering the Satan 97

Opening up of the Heart's Eye 97

Material and Spiritual Blessings 97

I taught them for God's Sake 98

Notes 98

The Dhikr of the Friends of God 100

Perpetual Presence 100

How to Liberate from Carnal Soul and the Satan 101

Remembrance of God in Sleep 102

A Message from Barzakh 102

Virtues of some Dhikrs 102

Giving Importance to Two Dhikrs 103

On Overcoming Carnal Desires 103

Suppressing the Satanic Temptations when Encountering Women other than our Next of Kin 103

For the Love of God 104

For Attaining the Honor of Meeting Wali 'Asr (aj) 104

1. How Ayatollah Ziyarati Attained this Honor 104

2. How a Shopkeeper found this Honor 104

For Solving Problems and Curing Illnesses 105

For Averting Heat and Cold 105

Notes 105

Supplications of the Friends of God 107

Supplications of the Shaykh 107

His Regular Supplication 107

"Find a Pretext to Seek 'Him'!" 108

The Value of Weeping and Whispered Prayer 108

An instructive intuition is quoted from the shaykh which confirms the above statement 108

Ayatollah Fahri quoted the Shaykh as saying 108

The Way to Proximity to God 108

The Ziyarat of 'Ashura 110

The Condition for Getting Answers to Supplications 110

The Capacity of the Worshipper 111

Courtesy of the Worshipper 111

Notes 111

Benevolence of the Friends of God 113

The Mystery of Creation 113

Giving Alms while in Poverty 113

"Fast and Give Alms!" 114

Benevolence to a Jobless Person Encumbered by a Large Family 114

Benevolence to the Sister 114

The Shaykh and Rendering Service to People 115

Recommendation for Serving Meals 115

The Blessings of Rendering Service to People 116

The Status of Hazrat Abdul Azim Hasani 116

The Blessing of the Taxi Driver's Service 116

Assisting the Blind Man and the Luminosity of the Heart 117

Giving Meals to Forty People and the Healing of the Patient 117

Rain in a Drought 117

Giving Victuals by the Father to Beget a Child 118

The Blessing of Feeding a Hungry Animal 118

Benevolence Based on Love of God 118

Words of Imam Khomeini (ra) on rendering Service to People 119

Notes 119

Prayers of the Friends of God 120

1. Love 120

2. Courtesy 120

3. Presence of Heart 121

4. Perseverance in Performing Prayers at their Due Time 121

Anger, the Bane of Prayers 122

Notes 122

The Hajj of the Friends of God 124

Recommendations of the Shaykh to the Hajj Pilgrims 124

"From your departure until forty days read the noble ayah 124

3. Complete Orientation towards God While Circumambulating Ka'bah 124

5. Killing the Carnal Soul in Mina 124

The Banquet for Returning from Hajj 125

The Secret of Circumambulation 126

Allegiance to God 126

Sa'y (Attempt) in finding the Beloved 126

Mindfulness and 'Irfan (Gnosticism) in Mash'ar and 'Arafat 126

The Secret of Making Sacrifices in Mina 126

Notes 127

Friends of God's Fear 128

The Meaning of Fear of God 128

Fear of Separation 128

Fear of not being accepted by the Beloved 129

Notes 130

Part 4: Passing Away 131

The Passing Away of Shaykh Rajab Ali Khayyat 132

The Day before his Heavenly Departure 132

A Dream by One of his Disciples 132

The Shaykh on his Deathbed 132

The First Night after the Burial 133

Notes 133

Occupation 135

Perseverance in his Work 135

Equity in Receiving Wages 136

A Reward for Equity 136

Imam al- 'Asr (aj) in the Blacksmiths' Bazaar 137

The Equity of the Old Locksmith 137

Notes 138

The Passing Away of Ayatollah Hujjat 139

House Repair 139

Resorting to the Holy Qur'an 140

"Without an Intermediary?!" 141

"Bila fasl, ihch fasili yukhdi, lap bila fasli lap bila fasli kimin fasli war 141

Notes 142

The Passing Away of Haj Akhund Turbati 143

One Week before his Heavenly Departure 143

"Salam Alaikum ya Rasulallah (s)! You have come to visit this unworthy servant?!" 143

Note 144

Foreword

The first question that may occur to the reader as to the reason the author (of the present book) has undertaken writing a commemorative volume about the perfect Gnostic, the pious servant, and the reverend "Shaykh Rajab Ali Khayyat"-particularly if the reader has been one of his disciples, would probably be: Why has a writer, who has never met with the Shaykh and whose field of work and research is not writing commemorative biographies, made such an attempt like this?

The Charisma of the Shaykh's Sayings

Imam Ali (a) has been quoted as saying:

ان على كلّ حقِّ حقيقة، وعلى كل صواب نوراُ

"Together with every righteous affair there is a truth, and with every correct matter, a light"1

Once at early youth when I accidentally encountered in Masjid-i Jamkaran in Qum with one of the devotees of Shaykh Rajab Ali, I became devotedly attached to the latter despite having never met him in person. I found in his words such truthfulness, radiance and charisma that scented of the fragrance of the friends of God.

For years, I eagerly longed for the life-story and words of that "unschooled beloved" and instructor of ethics at whose feet many professors from Universities and Hawza (Islamic Seminaries) had knelt in devotion, to be compiled, published and presented to the public, especially the youth-who are in dire need of it at the outset of their life.

If one of disciples of the Shaykh, who is given to writing, had made this valuable and instructive endeavor, there would have undoubtedly been compiled a more comprehensive collection than the present volume. For some reason, however, this was not accomplished, mainly due to the fact that most of the Shaykh's disciples and companions, who potentially could have played a helpful part in compilation of such work, have already departed from this world.

Several years ago I began to feel that the chance for accomplishing this task was gradually being lost, and if the memories of those devotees of the Shaykh who are still alive were not complied by now, perhaps it would never be possible to write his didactic biography, and truth-seekers would be deprived for ever of knowing the truths that this man of God had been able to discover. Thus, I brought up the issue with a brother-in-faith and asked him to arrange interviews with the Shaykh's devotees and record their memories on the basis of the topics that I had gathered about him.

This was carried out and the memories were written down. It was, then, prepared and edited by The Islamic Research Foundation and in June, 1997 was published by Dar al-Hadith Publication by the name of Tandis-i Ikhlas (A Figure of Sincerity).

In spite of all its inefficiencies, the book was highly acclaimed by the readers, especially the young generation, to the extent that in a short while it sold out over a hundred thousand copies in eleven reprints.

By further research, more valuable points about the Shaykh's spiritual wayfaring and self-enrichment were revealed. This time, despite all my busy occupations, for some reasons I decided to reorganize the book in a way that the spiritual character of that devoted gnostic, secrets of his spiritual achievements, and his method of self-improvement can be rewritten. The present book is, by Grace of Allah, the product of that decision. In this new edition, renamed 'The Elixir of Love', some considerable remarks have been made.

The Style of Writing

In authoring this book, all the interviews made with Shaykh Rajab Ali's devotees were revised and catalogued. Afterwards, the significant and instructive points were extracted from among the dialogues and categorized in four parts: Traits, A Leap Forward, Self-Building; and Passing Away. In the end, the main task of chaptering and editing began. The significant distinction between the biography of the reverend Shaykh and other biographies is the utilization of Islamic texts to authenticate his guidelines or some of his miraculous acts. Remarks on some relevant prophecies and miracles that occurred to other friends of God were also included.

Another point is that, brief quotations from Islamic texts brought up on each topic are referred to more as examples. For further details, however, the interested reader may refer to the newly published Persian translation of Mizan al-Hikmah by the same author as specified at the footnotes.

Beyond a Commemorative Volume

This way, the volume on the late Shaykh turned out to go beyond a mere commemoration. It not only indicates the path to the sublime destination for humanity, but also serves as an impetus to self-improvement, guiding the spiritual seeker toward the status of the righteous and the truth-seekers by means of the Holy Qur'an and traditions of the Infallible Imams (a). In an introduction to his commentary on the Hadith of the Armies of Intellect and Ignorance, Imam Khomeini (ra) asserts the inefficiency of books written about ethics from scientific and philosophical points of view, and emphasizes the society's need for books on ethics such as the present one. He further comments:

"To my humble opinion, scientific and historical ethics as well as literal and scientific interpretation (of the Qur'an) and commentary on hadiths in like manner, divert one from their destination and goal and is distancing rather than approximating. It is my contention that in ethics and commentary on the related hadiths or interpretation of the noble verses referring to it (ethics), it is important that the writer should instill his purposes in the souls (of his audience) by means of warning and giving glad tidings, preaching and admonishing, and reminding.

In other words, a book on ethics should be of a practical preaching nature, curing maladies and defects by itself, rather than showing how to cure.

Explaining the roots of morals and indicating the way to remedy (of immorality) does not drive one near to destination, does not enlighten a darkened heart, and does not rectify a corrupt disposition. A book on ethics is one that by reading it a hard (and unfeeling) soul turns tender, the impure becomes purified, and the darkened gets radiant; and that is achievable only if the scholar (preacher) is a leader while instructing, a therapist while presenting (ways of) therapy, and if his book itself is the medicine for the ailment rather than a prescription exposing medications. The words of a spiritual physician should serve as medicine, not prescriptions; and the above mentioned books are prescriptions rather than medications; though if I dared I would say that some of them (even) seem doubtful to be (considered as) prescriptions -this topic, however had better be dispensed with."

The reader will find out by experience that the present Commemorative Volume is not prescription revealing medications; rather, it is indeed a medicine that heals diseases of the heart, makes the hearts tender and radiant, and takes the spiritual seeker closer to his destination and goal.

Authenticity of the Sources

As mentioned before, the sources of the Shaykh's Commemorative Volume comprises interviews made with his disciples and devotees; and except in few cases, all narrations are directly quoted from the Shaykh. And all the narrators -both the ones whose names are given and those who for some reason preferred not to be named-are reliable and I am confident that what they have said is nothing but truth.

What is remarkable is that all the things said about the reverend Shaykh here is what his disciples have said about him without referring to them in details.

Another point worth mentioning is that in quoting from the interviews great care has been taken to mention the exact words and make the least literal and editorial corrections as far as possible.

Stations of the People possessing Divine Knowledge

The greatest art of the reverend Shaykh is his attaining the elixir of love of God. He was actually an expert in such alchemy2 ; and the book was, accordingly, named, The Elixir of Love. Exploiting this elixir, the reverend Shaykh attained the truth of Unity (of God). In chapter three of part three of the present volume you will read the Shaykh's words in this respect:

"The truth of elixir (alchemy) is to attain God Himself.... Love of God is the final sttion of servitude. ...The standard for evaluation of deeds is the standard by which the doer loves God Almighty."

I presume whoever reads the Shaykh's biography, they will confirm that he had perceived the truth of the elixir of loving God; that through loving his Creator he had attained such perfection and high stations that is so baffling-if not impossible-for us even to imagme.

Many a time it happens that some ignorant individuals will deny the high stations of those possessed of Divine knowledge, merely out of their own disability and failure in comprehending those stations. That was why the late Imam Khomeini (ra)-the founder of The Islamic Revolution, strongly cautioned his beloved son, Haj Ahmad Agha, of such attitude. He wrote:

"My son! What I first and foremost recommend to you is not to deny the stations of those endowed with Divine knowledge, which is the manner of the ignorant; and beware of those denying the status of the friends of God, as they are highway robbers of Truth."3

And in his advice to Haj Ahmad Agha's wife, he states: "I would not like to exonerate the pretenders; 'for many a cloak deserve to be burnt'. Rather I want you not to negate the essence of spirituality, which the book (the Qur'an) and the Sunnah (of Rasul Allah (s)) have alluded to and its opponents have either ignored it or have engaged themselves in the monotheism of the masses. I enjoin you (to know) that the first step is to get out of the thick veil of negation, which is an obstacle to any development and any positive step. This (first) step is not perfection (in itself); rather it opens up the path to perfection."

"In any case, one cannot find a way toward Divine knowledge with a negating attitude. As being selfish and egotistic, those who negate the stations of the gnostics and the positions of spiritual seekers would not attribute to their own ignorance whatever they do not comprehend, and negate it lest their selfishness and egotism would not be marred."4

The Human Beings who cannot be perceived

The stations of those endowed with Divine Knowledge are virtues that cannot be explained and described to most of the people. In this respect, a beautiful hadith is quoted from Imam al-Sadiq (a) as follows:

" لايقدر الخلائق على كنه صفة الله عز وجل، فكما لايُقدر على كنه صفة الله عز وجل فكذلك لايقدر على كنه صفة رسول الله ] صلى الله عليه وآله [ وكما لايقدر على كنه صفة الرسول ] ص [ فكذلك لايقدر على كنه صفة الامام ] عليه السلام [ وكما لايقدر على كنه صفة الامام -ع- كذلك لايقدر على كنه صفة المؤمن "

"Masses are unable of perceiving the innermost core of Almighty Allah's (s) Attributes, and as they are unable of accessing the essence of Allah's (s) Attributes, they are likewise unable to perceive the depth of the attributes of His Apostle (s); and as they are unable to find out about the innermost attributes of his Apostle, they are likewise unable to fathom the attributes of the Imams (a); and as they cannot know the Imams as they should be known, they are likewise unable to recognize the truth of the faithful as they should."5

When reached the stage of annihilation in Allah, man becomes His vicegerent and representative in the world of existence. It is at this stage that analysis and description of his virtues, like that of God Almighty, would be impossible for the ordinary people. In this, characteristic, as it was noticed in the words of Imam al-Sadiq (a), there is no difference between the Prophet (s), the Imam (a), and the Faithful. Thus, it is not surprising to say that the spiritual stations and virtues of individuals like the reverend Shaykh are indescribable.

A disciple of the Shaykh, to whom the present author has for years been devoted and quoted various accounts on the Shaykh's spiritual stations from, said that Once the Shaykh had told him:

"O such and such! No one knew me in the world, but I will be known on two occasions; once when the twelfth Imam (aj) will have returned, and once on the Resurrection Day."

Accordingly, introducing the spiritual virtues and perfection of the reverend Shaykh in itself is a task that cannot be carried out by such books as the present volume and the like. The deepest impact that writing his radiant biography can leave would be by illuminating the general features of the reverend Shaykh's life, secret of his attaining the high spiritual stations of those endowed with Divine Knowledge, and his way in education and self-building. This, in itself, is a great and valuable task that has, by the Grace of Bounteous Allah, been undertaken. We are grateful to Him for such great achievement. Perhaps this writing is going to be a beginning step toward the actualization of the Shaykh's prophecy of his being briefly known after his death. As his son has quoted him saying: "No one gets to know me and after my death, I will be known."

Muhammadi Rayshahri April 1, 1999

Notes

1. Al-Kafi, II, 54: 4; Mizan al-Hikmah, XIII, 6520: 20838

2. See "The Shaykh's Greatest Art", chapter three, part three.

3. Sahifeh Noor, XXII, 371.

4. Ibid, XXII, 348.

5. Mizan al-Hikmah, I, 390: 1400.

Part 1: Traits

Life

Occupation

Self - Sacrifice

Acts of Selfless Devotion

Ethics

Awaiting the Faraj (Second Coming of Imam al-'Asr (aj))

Poetry

Politics