Monday, February 20, 2017

Healing the Individual soul through Cllective consciousness.

Yesterday being Friday, Iwas at the mosque sitting on the front line as usual. To my left sat a gentleman who I respect for his quiet and unassuming posture and on my left a younger man was doing his 'Solat sunat masjid' a non mandatory prayer of usually two 'rakaats' or four at the most. This yong man all dressed like a Wahabi from Riyadh with his white 'jubah' and a white truban was praying non-stop like he was going to prayer all through the Friday. Even when the Imam was beginning to start his sermon from the 'MImbar' or the pulpit the young man was still praying, Then after he had decided enough was enough he sat and took out his hp and started browsing the Face Book! What the hell! I thought to myself but b4ing in the mosque and listening to the Imam I just had to pull my mind away from doing anything that i would regret later, like grab his phone and fling it at the wall in front of me. 
Ironically the Imam talked all about the right manners and etiquette of performing the Friday prayer in a congregation and specifically mentioned about the use of the hp especially when the Imam is on the Mimbar. I had the feeling that the Imam had noticed this young man's antiques and aimed his talk specifically at the guy.Bottom line the Imam said your Friday prayer was a waste of time. Later that evening while I was having dinner at one of the restaurant near my home i sat by an elderly gentleman who claimed he was recently retied from being the chairman for the Masjid or mosque board of governing body and he told me without my asking, that there is allot of issues the mosque is facing internal as well as external. Telling it as it is perhaps is not of any significance to those who read it but to me these little connected events means a great deal as i watch things and people goes about their daily lives. It is like i feel what is about to happen next in any given situation as result of what had happened just that moment. Perhaps it is a part of being an observer without any form of attachment as i have been practicing.
What is a ritual?
ritual "is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence." Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. - Wikepedia

Why is ritual an important part of human activity for most society? Rituals is a form bonding element that holds a society together in its observation of certain activities that involves a group belonging to a common faith or belief such that it allows for a collective conscious to materialize among those who are involved. Whether is it performed individually as in the Shamanistic rituals or happens as a public involvement rituals helps to record certain actions as to how or when the actiity is performed. For example the 'Rokuhatsu' or the full moon ceremony takes place every full moon of the lunar calendar and is performed systematically according to each and every tradition of the Zen or Chan community. In this ceremony the taking or repetition of the Bodhisatva vows is performed with nine times round of prostrations.
The five times a day prayer in Islam is a ritual that all Muslims are required to undergo and it begins with the ritual wash or cleansing of the physical self followed by the professing of the act about to be performed. The 'wudukh' or ritual cleaning has its own guide to be followed to make it valid and these are observed by all each and every step of the way. 
Since the days of the Prophet of Allah, the five times a day prayer itself has never changed from beginning till the end. The physical act as well as the reciting of the verses while doing this is standardized varying only in the length of the verses according to the one who performs with his ability to recite his verses of choice. Islam has from the day of its inception through the Prophet, has set rules and guides on how or when certain rituals are appropriate or recommended. The Prophet was thorough in His recommendations on just about every ritual from praying to how to brush one's teeth or sit to ease our bowels. If closely observed, nothing is left to chance and each and every ritual has its benefits that is often not realized by our common mind.
We have pretty much taken for granted on how we live our lives as individuals and seek help to remedy our ailments through the collective at our convenience. Rituals are a form of of reminding us that we are all interrelated and by paying close attention to certain rituals in our lives we are more in touch with the whole of humanity and that Collective Spirit that helps to heal.  

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