Allah manifests in a variety of ways. Sufis of the Qadiri Rifai Tariqa are taught to learn Allah by being in the world. Allah’s light is everywhere and it just may not be readily recognized if one is busy with their nafs. So, it is our job, as sufis to not obey our nafs but instead to see Allah in everything. One way in which to do this is to travel to areas or neighborhoods that are not familiar to us. Being away from home or our own region may cause us to feel uncomfortable or even judge what we see. However, isn’t this a prime opportunity to look for Al Zahir instead? Perhaps a seemingly sketchy looking neighborhood has a gem of a community center that brings kids in off the street after school or a specialty shop that is run by a man whose story is inspiring. But if we stay in our comfort zones and never travel outside of our immediate areas or neighborhood we will never see the manifestations of Allah from other perspectives. Allah presents Himself from so many different angles, let’s surrender our nafs and begin to experience and learn Allah from another viewpoint!
Shaykh Kevin and Dianne Germain al Ansari
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