GETTING GROUNDED WITH GOD
Experience the Divine through His Creation
Dar Al Islam • Abiquiu, New Mexico
THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 2023
Class 1: What would this land testify to on the day of judgment?
“Abi Barza said: “Prophet of God, teach me something that will benefit me.’ The Prophet responded: ‘Remove anything that would disturb Muslims as they go along their pathways.”
“He (peace and blessing up him) said: ‘Be mindful of Allah where these beasts are concerned: take care of them when you ride them; and take care of them when you eat them.” (Our Master Muhammad pg. 241)
Class 2: Silence and Solitude - What can we learn from stillness?
“Silence is wisdom, and those who practice it are few”-Hadith
“Our Lady A’isha (may God be pleased with her) said: ‘The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) did not use to draw out his speech as you all do; he would speak so that if someone wished to count his words, they would be able to.’ (Our Master Muhammad, pg. 63)
“In my opinion, it was chiefly owing to their deep contemplation in their silent retreats in the days of youth that the old Indian orators acquired their habit of carefully arranging their thoughts. They listened to the warbling of the birds and noted the grandeur and the beauties of the forest. The majestic cloud--which appear like mountains of granite floating in the air-- the golden tints of a summer evening sky, and all the changes of nature, possessed a mysterious significance. All this combined to furnish ample matter for reflection to the contemplating youth.”
-Blackbird, Ottawa pg. 118
“The first American mingled with his pride a singular humility. Spiritual arrogance was foreign to his nature and teaching. He never claimed that the power of articulate speech was proof of superiority over the dumb creation; on the other hand, it is to him a perilous gift. He believes profoundly in silence-- the sign of perfect equilibrium. Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind, and spirit. The man who preserves his selfhood is ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence-- not a leaf, as it were, astir on the tree; not a ripple upon the surface of the shining pool-- his, in the mind of the unlettered sage, is the ideal attitude and conduct of life.
If you ask him: “What is silence?” he will answer: “It is the Great Mystery!” ‘The holy silence is His voice!” If you ask: “What are the fruits of silence?” he will say: “They are self-control, true courage or endurance, patience, dignity, and reverence.” Silence is the cornerstone of character.”
Ohiyesa Wahpeton Dakota (pg. 98)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 25, 2023
Class 1: PAYING ATTENTION TO THE NATURAL WORLD
It is important for us to pay attention to the fact that God has determined prayer times by natural signs, by sense experience-which is stable, as opposed to other determinations of time which can be culturally relative
"Do you not see how your Lord lengthens the shade? If He had willed, He could have made it stand still-- We made the sun its indicator-- but We gradually draw it towards Us, little by little” al-Furqan 25: 45-46
According to the Qur’an, Fajr begins when the “white thread of dawn becomes distinct from the black” (2:187)
“So perform the regular prayers in the period from the time the sun is past its zenith till the darkness of the night, and recite the Qur’an at dawn--dawn recitation is always witnessed.” (17:78)
Class 2: Being aware of our responsibilities as human beings as well as the consequences of our actions; What does it mean to be a khalifa?
“God has created within us and within His other creatures a natural tendency towards uprightness and order. Our innate nature calls on us to be loving and peaceful; it is only when our hearts become blackened with sin that corruption appears in our society and in our environment. As God says, “Corruption has flourished on land and sea as a result of people’s actions and He will make them taste the consequences of some of their own actions so that they may turn back. al-Rum 30:41” Ali Goma’a pg. 49-50
ظَهَرَ الۡفَسَادُ فِى الۡبَرِّ وَالۡبَحۡرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتۡ اَيۡدِى النَّاسِ لِيُذِيۡقَهُمۡ بَعۡضَ الَّذِىۡ عَمِلُوۡا لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُوۡنَ
SATURDAY, AUGUST 26, 2023
Class 1: Imam al-Ghazali: Wisdom of the Earth and Mountains
“To stand before a mighty mountain and to meditate upon its passing away before the Divine Majesty is to gain a glimpse of that Divine Face which alone subsists while all else dies and perishes.” pg. 162 (from Seyyed Hossein Nasr)
“Do not be surprised [when things do] not go your way: the universe is greater than you. Do not be surprised that you do not understand why they have not gone your way: for you cannot fathom the logic of the universe. See how small you are next to the mountains. Accept what is bigger than you and you do not understand...Our lives are not the measure of all things. Consider sublime places for a reminder of human insignificance and frailty” Book of Nature pg. 73
“When a man does a piece of work which is admired by all we say that it is wonderful; but when we see the changes of the day and night, the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky, and the changing seasons upon the earth, with their ripening fruits, anyone must realize that it is the work of someone more powerful than man.”
-Chased by Bears, Yanktonai Dakota Pg. 88
“With his best intelligence and greatest skill in the use of his hands, man is powerless to bring into existence even so much as the tiniest flower, while out of the force of the will of the mysterious One, all things in the heaven and the earth have come into existence with beauty, grandeur, and majesty.”
-Francis Laflesche, Omaha pg. 48
Class 2: Where do we go from here?
In this last formal class session, our hope is to draw on practical ways we can take the lessons we’ve learned individually and as a group during our time on retreat and apply them when we return back home. Moments like this are meant to be a means through which we enhance the understanding of our realities, rather than be an escape from them.
All meals, activities, accommodations and lectures are included.
With a $ 400 Refundable Deposit Per Participant.