Call On Me, I Will Answer You

By Jamal Rahman

“Call to your Sustainer humbly, and in the secrecy of your hearts.” (Qur’an 7:55)

“O God I remembered you so much
Little by little you arrived
Little by little I departed.”      

(Sufi Saying)

When we evoke the sacred name of Divinity as often as possible we will experience in course of time a deep sense of being uplifted, nourished and comforted. We begin to feel the blessing of Presence in our life.

Sufi teachers offer an explanation. When we arrive here on earth, we are separated from Source. This detachment pains our soul and it yearns for union. No matter how many of our material wants are fulfilled, a mysterious ache persists. This is what made the 8th century beloved female saint Rabia cry out, “There is a disease in my breast no doctor can cure; only union with the Friend can cure this.”

This repetition of a mantra during meditation and in our waking hours conjures in the soul a memory of the joy it felt when it was united with God. We experience a connection with Mystery. This connection invites Presence that softens and diminishes the dissatisfaction caused by dramas and melodramas of the ego. The Qur’an says, “Truly in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest.” (13:28)

Similarly, by repeating the mantra continuously, the vibration of God consciousness, little by little, makes its home in our being. We become colored by the dye of God. Thus, when a Bedouin begged the Prophet Muhammad for a simple but powerful practice, he said, “Keep your tongue forever moistened with the name of Allah.”

But will this sense of Presence abide in us as we repeat the sacred names again and again? Yes! Several traditions use the same metaphor to explain the amazing power of repeating a sacred mantra. Dip a piece of cloth in a vat of dye and the cloth assumes a beautiful color. However, the color fades over time. But if you dip the cloth repeatedly in the dye, there comes a time when the color abides. It becomes colorfast!

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