Muraqbah: A Tool For Purification of Souls

By Maulana Sahid Mahmood Muslim

LITERAL MEANING OF MURAQBAH

The word Muraqbah is an Arabic construction, that is derived from three lettered root ر ق ب (rqb). This root renders to the meaning of watching something. The word Muraqbah is constructed on the standard scale of Mufa’alah مفاعلہ that renders to interaction. Hence the literal meaning of Muraqbah is watching each other.

TERMINOLOGICAL MEANING OF MORAQBAH

This term has been coined based on the agreed upon authentic Hadith, that is known as Hadith of Jibreel.

Umar bin Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: One day while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), there came before us a man with extremely white clothing and extremely black hair. There were no signs of travel on him and none of us knew him. He [came and] sat next to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He supported his knees up against the knees of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and put his hand on his thighs. He said, ‘O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’  The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Islam is to testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast [the month of] Ramadan, and to make pilgrimage to the House if you have the means to do so.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully [or correctly].’ We were amazed that he asks the question and then says that he had spoken truthfully. He said, ‘Tell me about Imaan (faith).’ He [the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)] responded, ‘It is to believe in Allah, His angles, His books, His Messengers, the Last Day and to believe in the divine decree, [both] the good and the evil thereof.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully.’ He said, ‘Tell me about al-Ihsaan (goodness).’ He [the Prophet (s)] answered, ‘It is that you worship Allah as if you see Him. And even though you do not see Him, 

He sees you.’ He said, ‘Tell me about [the time of] the Hour,’ He [the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)] answered, ‘The one being asked does not know more than the one asking.’ He said, ‘Tell me about it’s signs.’ He answered, ‘The slave-girl shall give birth to her master, and you will see the barefooted, scantily-clothed, destitute shepherds competing in constructing lofty buildings.’ Then he went away. I stayed for a long time. Then he [the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)] said, ‘O Umar, do you know who the questioner was?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘It was [the angel] Jibreel who came to teach you your religion.’

[Sahih Muslim #5; Aboo Daawood #4695; at-Tirmidhee #2610; Ibn Maajah #63]

Namely, the endurance of the servant’s knowledge and his conviction and certainty that Allah is watching over his internal and external affairs. To have this knowledge and certainty at all times is called Muraqabah. It is the fruit of the servant’s knowledge that Allah is his Watcher, Over-seeing him, Hearing his utterances, and Observing all of his deeds at all times.

So the terminological meaning of Muraqbah is to believe that Allah Almighty is watching you and imagine that you are watching your Lord Allah Almighty.

OBJECTIVES OF MURAQBAH

The foremost objective of Moraqbah is to enhance the love for Allah Almighty. However there are some other objectives of Moraqbah:

  1. Concentrate on the Divine Attributes, His signs in your-self and the cosmos.
  2. Appreciate His endless mercy and love for you.
  3. Evaluate your actions, whether these conform with His pleasure or not.
  4. Enlighten your mind, heart and soul.
  5. Purify your soul and get rid of evil thoughts and desires.

Allah Almighty says:

“The time of their account has approached for the people, while they are in heedlessness turning away. No mention comes to them anew from their Lord except that they listen to it while they are at play. With their hearts distracted. And those who do wrong conceal their private conversation,

, “Is this [Prophet] except a human being like you? So would you approach magic while you are aware [of it]?”[21:1-3]

The state of heedlessness is blameworthy and disliked as it is the characteristic of disbelievers, so paying heed to His commands, attributes and signs is required. Muraqbah is headed for this God-consciousness.

It is the characteristic of the believers that they ponder over the sings of His Will and Power scattered throughout the universe. As Allah Almighty says:

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding. Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire. Our Lord, indeed whoever You admit to the Fire – You have disgraced him, and for the wrongdoers there are no helpers. Our Lord, indeed we have heard a caller calling to faith, [saying], ‘Believe in your Lord,’ and we have believed. Our Lord, so forgive us our sins and remove from us our misdeeds and cause us to die with the righteous. Our Lord, and grant us what You promised us through Your messengers and do not disgrace us on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, You do not fail in [Your] promise.” [3:190-194]

BEST TIME FOR MURAQBAH

The best time of Muraqbah is at night, when your mind is free of worldly worries and feels comfortable as compared to day time. Though you can do it, whenever, you are free in seclusion. The preferred time for Muraqbah is after Maghrib or Isha and Tahajjud before dawn.

NIYAH/INTENTION

Your intention is most important, whenever, you perform a good deed. Muraqbah needs the purest intention for purification of your heart. You should intend to attain all the objectives mentioned above, though, your utmost goal should be pleasure of your Lord Allah Almighty. Some misguided people have evil intentions with Muraqbah like attaining the status of an apostle, gaining supernatural powers or worldly fame. Your intention makes your Muraqbah different than the meditations of Hindu or Buddhist yoga exercises.

PRE-REQUISETS

As Muraqbah is a method to get enlightened, you should make ablution and recite the following Kalimat, to protect you from evil thoughts.

1. Al-Fatihah (Once)

2. Ayatul Kursi (Al-Baqarah:255-257] (Once)

3. Surah Al-Ikhlas (Thrice)

4. Surah Al-Falaq (Thrice)

5. Surah An-Naas (Thrice)

6.  اَللّٰھُمَّ صَلِ عَلیٰ سَیِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدِ نِ النَّبِیِّ الاُمِّیِّ وَعَلیٰ آلِہِ وَ اَصۡحَابِہِ وَسَلِّم (10 times)

7. سُبۡحَانَ اللہِ وَبِحَمۡدِہِ سُبۡحَانَ اللہِ الۡعَظِیۡمِ  (100 times)

METHOD

1. Sit on your buttocks, crossed legs, facing Qiblah, on a mat/carpet preferably.

2. Imagine that there is a large ocean of Noor (light) and you are swimming in this ocean in a slow motion.

3. When you have fully concentrated on this imagination, you will feel weightlessness, as you are really swimming in the water.

4. You will feel that Noor is penetrating in your soul, filling your heart and mind with that Noor.

5. Enjoy this swimming and enlightenment as long as you can comfortably.

6. Finish your Muraqbah when you have lost your concentration.

7. Say these Kalimat after Muraqbah:

اَسۡتَغۡفِرُ اللہَ رَبِّی مِنۡ کُلِّ ذَنۡبٍ وَّ اَتُوۡبُ اِلَیۡہِ

PRECAUTIONS

1.    Don’t bother about time elapsed during Muraqbah.

2.    You can change your posture, if you feel uncomfortable, after a reasonable resistance.

3.    Muraqbah requires an empty stomach, so don’t do it after meal immediately.

4.    Don’t worry if you fail to concentrate on the said imagination. Either try again or postpone it till next day.

5.    Your sitting place should be comfortable as required by the local atmosphere.

Note: The method mentioned above, is for beginners.

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