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Awakenings: A Ninety-Nine Day Immersion in the Names of Allah
How can we understand the Names?
How can we come to witness them within and around us?
How can they awaken us to a deeper experience of the Divine Presence?
The Prophet ﷺ said, “God has ninety-nine names, whoever preserves them enters eternal bliss.” For 1500 years mystics, philosophers, metaphysicians, and poets have spilled oceans of ink in exposition of the meaning of these words. While the divine essence is transcendent beyond any mental conception, the Names provide pathways to know and draw near to Allah. The Names, as al-Ghazali put it, “are doors to proximity.” We can awaken each Name within ourselves through increased contemplation and invocation. As we deepen our relationship with the Names we come to witness them all around us and within us, until we see all of existence as an expression of the Divine Names.
The Sufis in particular have focused on the ways that human beings can come to actualize the Names within themselves, as expressed in the famous saying, “Qualify yourself with the qualities of God (takhaluq b’akhlaq’illah).” The spiritual heart, like a mirror, has the ability to reflect the divine names and attributes. The practice of remembrance, dhikr'Allah, is a means to remove that which obscures the heart’s natural reflectivity and to polish the mirror to awaken what lies dormant deep within us.
Taking the great Sufi sages as our guides, we will reflect upon a single name each day, exploring all Ninety-Nine Names over the course of ninety-nine days and nights. Each day participants will receive a commentary and meditation upon a specific Name. Using this as a guide, participants will write a reflection on each Name exploring the way it presents itself in the world and within themselves. We will consider the ways that the prophets and sages have exemplified the perfection of these Names and contemplate their advice on the ways to awaken them in ourselves.
-A series of videos exploring and explaining key the Ninety-Nine Names of Allah
-Daily audio brief exposition of each Name, including meditation, reflection and ways to awaken each particular name
-Daily Writing Prompt on the Name
-Online “classroom” discussion board to share writings and reflections with cohort
-Live discussion session each month (recorded)
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