In Movement is Life
(from The Treasure - Issue #24)

"He that spends his possessions [on others] so that he might grow in purity - not as payment for favours received, but only out of a longing for the countenance of his Sustainer, the All-Highest: and such, indeed, shall in time be well-pleased" (Holy Qur'an 92: 18-21).

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful , Dear Brothers, Sisters and Friends,

Peace, inward and outward, be upon you all.

It has been more than 60 years since the end of the last World War, when humanity was shaken so greatly that its very foundations were rocked by the possibility that humanity could destroy itself so totally and completely in a matter of moments. It was, and still is, a huge wake-up call to all of us. Constant reminders appear in the movies people watch and in the news they see daily. Because of this shake-up, many people began to look for an alternative in their lives, a way to achieve peace and harmony in this life and in the next.

Many thought that 'modernisation', materialism and the new religions of 'free love' and 'do as you please, as long as you don't hurt anyone' were the answer. They thought these things would give them relief from the emptiness within that so many people deal with each and every day. As is evident from the number of 'do it yourself' New Age and 'pseudo spiritualist' philosophies continually springing up, people are still searching. They mistake empty psychic phenomena and malignant spirit manifestations for 'divine revelation' and 'angelic presence'.

Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, "Whoever struggles, struggles for the good of his own self. Whoever finds, he will find his own self. And whoever is misguided will be misguided unto his own self".

The self of the human being is the most precious commodity in the world. The struggle of humans to find their Real self is the purpose for the creation of this vast universe. All of the Prophets and Messengers throughout time and all of the Divine Revelations have been for this purpose - to guide mankind to his True Self; to uncover his real purpose in life. The Holy Prophet Muhammad said "Whosoever knows himself, knows his Lord". And Allah says in the Holy Qur'an: "Consider the human self, and how it is formed in accordance with what it is meant to be, and how it is imbued with moral failings as well as with consciousness of God! To a happy state shall indeed attain he who causes this [self] to grow in purity" (The Sun 91:7-9).

Many communities around the world have been established for this purpose-to help guide humanity to its higher aim in life-to bring about the development of the self from the condition that we are in to the state that Allah loves for us to be in. The Merciful and Beloved Allah has not forgotten humanity, even though they are slumbering.

As the Holy Prophet said: "Man is asleep. When he dies (to his ego self), he awakens".

The Way and the guidance we are speaking of is the Sufi Way - the mystical heart teaching of Inner Islam, which has the power to save one's soul, even from the very first step. If one then continues in the teaching with sincerity, devotion and love, it guarantees for the traveller a state of purity and nearness to Allah. This is a very lofty aspiration for those who have the will and the determination.

Many years ago, our Murshid, F. A. Ali ElSenossi came to the island of Tasmania - the southern-most part of Australia. Under the direction of his own teachers, he established an esoteric bookshop and study centre in the capital city of Hobart, to provide access to the teaching for all sincere seekers of the Truth. Al Isra & Mi'raj Bookshop was originally established in Tasmania on the tourist train at Margate, just south of the city . The bookshop and study centre have been through many changes over the years, each time being reborn and re-established as something better and more beautiful. The Centre has been known as Almiraj Sufi and Islamic Study Centre for many years now and Almiraj Sufi Books operates under its umbrella.

The Qamus as Sufi - the Language of the Future (dictionary of Sufi terminology), written under the direction of our Murshid, defines a zawiyya (Sufi Centre) as:

"The transmission of the Divine Wisdom which flows from the Murshid to his murids traditionally takes place in a space or room or building, which is set aside specifically for that sacred purpose. Such a place is called a zawiyyah, which literally means 'corner'. The necessity for such a special place is self evident. The Murshid, upon whom so many murids depend to learn the science of the Prophet Muhammad, needs to make himself available to them as much as possible. And, this meeting place, frequented as it is by numerous spiritual people, will rapidly develop into a site of highly concentrated spiritual power and blessing (barakah). An ideal zawiyyah contains not only its own mosque, or room selected for prayer and gatherings for the remembrance of Allah, but also larger meeting rooms for the sharing of food, both earthly and celestial. Small chambers for murids to enter spiritual retreat (khalwa) is of paramount importance, where the Murshid supervises and watches over individual murids as they undergo arduous and demanding periods of seclusion. It is during such times that immense advances are made along the Spiritual Path. Just as Allah Almighty chooses to elevate certain people amongst His creation, by filling their hearts with pure love of Allah and turning them towards His Remembrance, so too does Allah elevate certain pieces of His earth. Such sites are destined to become Holy places, where mosques are built, zawiyyahs are erected or where sanctified people live in His Remembrance. The barakah which accumulates around and emanates from these parts of Allah's vast earth eventually attracts the pious believers and yearning lovers of Allah".

The Sufi Centre has always been a place of learning for all wayfarers. The Purpose of the Centre is published in each issue of The Treasure magazine and also includes the goals of:

1. Establishing a permanent place with enough rooms and facilities so that time can be spent in intensive training and that murids can be accommodated within the Centre when they come to visit.
2. To conduct courses on the study of Sufism and the practices of the outer and the inner aspects of the Teaching.
3. To allow visitors to spend time in the Centre and benefit spiritually from that time.
4. To bring Sufi Teachers from other parts of the world, to demonstrate certain techniques and to explain and make commentaries on the teaching.
5. To allow the weekly gathering of the Remembrance of Allah.
6. To provide a reference library for those involved in research and writing.
7. To allow the availability of our Murshid to those who seek his help and guidance.

The time has come upon us, once again, my dear brothers and sisters, to make sincere efforts towards a greater aim. The space that we have occupied for the last ten years is being redeveloped by the owners. Their plan is to construct a multi-storey (800+ spaces) car park behind our building and to 'reconfigure' the space internally to make a shopping arcade and offices. This means that Almiraj Sufi & Islamic Study Centre and Almiraj Sufi Books will need to find a new place. Insha'Allah, now is the time to speak again of establishing a permanent home for the Centre and Bookshop. From the view of the Tariqah, establishing a permanent place for the Centre will allow the work to enter a new phase.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad said:

"When a person leaves his earthly body, all his good actions cease except for 3 things:
1. Continuous acts of charity.
2. Knowledge that benefits people.
3. A pious child who supplicates for his parents after their death".

And he also said, "The righteous work that continues to benefit a believer after his death is the knowledge that he gained and spread among others".

Almiraj Sufi & Islamic Study Centre is a place for people to gain knowledge and also a place for the dissemination of knowledge. The work that is done here is for the sake of Allah and the benefit of our own selves, for if we accept guidance, it is for the benefit of our selves, if we are grateful to Allah, it is for the benefit of our own selves and if we strive towards purifying ourselves, it is for our own benefit and the benefit of those around us.

To be connected in any way to the continuation of the teaching of the Holy Prophet is a great honour and blessing bestowed upon us by the Merciful and Loving Allah. The Centre is, and, will continue to be, with the Grace of Allah, a place of knowledge, learning, teaching, worship, prayer and remembrance of Allah. It is a place of refuge and rest for the traveller and a source of life giving water.

We would like to invite you all to contribute to the establishment of a permanent home for the Centre. To participate in this project is to be a part of a work that is of great benefit to ourselves and to all who come after us. To be connected in any way to such a spiritual endeavour, indeed will bring great baraka. If you are able to assist in any way, whether financially or otherwise, please contact Muqaddam Ahmad Salih at the Centre. Donations may also be made directly to building account which has been established for this purpose.

The details are as follows:

Bendigo Bank (BSB 633 000 Account #1218 64144).

May the Beloved Allah reward you for any efforts you make towards this noble purpose. Wa ma tawfiq illa billah al 'Aly al 'Atheem.

Page last updated on November 28, 2012