Beloved Family,

Back from Mother India a little less than two weeks and off to Ashland, OR to give a Raga Concert and Sufi Retreat. And I’m so looking forward to traveling down to Columbia, South America in the middle of March to teach Mysticism of Sound & Music with Murshida Darvesha at a beautiful Ecovillage in the countryside near Cali with a very young and large group of devotees and dancers.

Our annual Jamiat Aam retreat for all mureeds and dancers will be in Charlottesville VA in April, where I will be teaching alongside Murshid(a)s Darvesha, Asha and Sauluddin.

If you want to plan ahead I’ll be in Europe for three separate events. First a retreat in Golzow, near Berlin, followed by the annual Federation of the Sufi Message in Berlin for the first time, and lastly in Scotland teaching alongside Murshid Saadi.

For our next wazifa practice, I have chosen from an unusual group called the “opposites”. Ya Muhyi ~Ya Mumit. Invoking God as the only bringer of life and the only bringer of death help us experience the hand of the Sacred in everything, rather than some things good and some things bad, that everything has come in the form of the Friend, that Life is the Teacher. It wouldn’t be uncommon to add YA HAAY at the end to experience that both the temporal life and death are included in the essence of LIFE/VITALITY/EVER-LIVING.

Lastly, I’ll include more photos from India and some local as well.

Much love, Shabda



Recite 101x Ya Muhyi (yaa MUḤ-yee)  Ya Mumit (yaa mu-MEET)

60. Ya Muhyi (yaa MUḤ-yee)

Al-Muhyi is the one who gives life, the one who is the only cause of life. It quickens. Nothing that is living is outside of al-Muhyi. It is the opposite of al-Mumit (61), which is the giver of death. Both these divine Names are about causation, and serve the function of taking us beyond secondary causes. Sperm and egg cause life; disease and old age cause death, but God is the ultimate cause of both. Repetition of these two Names together is recommended.

When Ya Muhyi is paired with Ya Mumit, you are inwardly directed toward the realization of the one who bestows reality on what we call life and death. By invocation of these qualities as a pair, you are led to a transcendental Name, al-Hayy (62), the perfection of everlasting life. Al-Hayy includes both these divine opposites in its meaning. Reciting first Ya Mumit, Ya Muhyi and then gradually adding Ya Hayy is also recommended as a way of approaching grief.

Recitation of Ya Muhyi is helpful for those who have lost vitality or who are so depressed they want to die. Al-Muhyi is related through its root to al-hayawaan, the gradation of nafs called the animal soul.

61. Ya Mumit (yaa mu-MEET)

Al-Mumit is the only one who causes death. It is the other side of al-Muhyi (60). Ya Mumit should be paired with Ya Muhyi to bring a person to equanimity about the life and death of individual beings, and to rise above secondary causes, as described above. There is a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad where we are invited to “die before death.”

Essential to Sufism is the teaching that physical death is a symbol for fana, the dissolving of the egoself. When God sends you a type of death—spiritual, mental, or physical—it is a mechanism for spiritual transformation. The lover realizes with every death of the self that they are being drawn in toward the Beloved. It is a process that leads to liqaa', the union of lovers. A person’s death day, or 'urs, is seen as a wedding day.

In the Qur'an, al-Mumit and al-Muhyi are described as temporary states, when viewed from the infinity of God’s being. See Ya Hayy (62), and Ya Muhyi (60).

To hear the pronunciation:  Ya Muhyi ~ Ya Mumit


This month we finish reading "The Bestowal of Blessing" by Murshid Samuel Lewis, also known as Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti (One Who is Drawn to God by Grace). Read Chapters 15, 16, 17 & 18, pages 55-65. Click here to download the document. 
1LittleTajMahalbuiltbyNurJananwifeofMoghal emperorJahangir"Little Taj Mahal" built by Nur Janan, wife of Moghal emperor Jahangir 
2CeilinginLittleTajMahalCeiling in Little Taj Mahal 
3HumayunTombcomplexHumayun Tomb Complex 
4FloorinHumayunstombFloor in Humayun's Tomb 
5RingneckedparakeetRingnecked parakeet near tombs 
6RenderingofMurshidSamsDargahonthe DargahofKhwajaQutbuddinBakhtiarKakiRendering of Murshid Sam's Dargah on the Dargah of Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki 
7LocalBabaneaDargahofKhwajaQutbuddinBakhtiarKakiin2010Local Baba near Dargah of Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki in 2010 
8SameBabain2014Same Baba in 2014 
9SameBabathisyearwithPirShabdain2016Same Baba this year with Pir Shabda in 2016 
10RenderinfofDargahofMurshidSamontheDargahofHazratMaulanaFakhruddinthe32ndPirinourChishtiLineageRendering of Dargah of Murshid Sam on the Dargah of Hazrat Maulana Fakhruddin, the 32nd Pir in our Chishti Lineage 
11PirShabdaattheIternationalSufiFestivalPir Shabda at the International Sufi Festival 
12NewDelhiEaglesNew Delhi Eagles 
13NewDelhiRed wattledLapwingNew Delhi Red-Wattled Lapwing 
14KingfisheratBharatpurBirdSanctuaryKingfisher at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary 
15PaintedStorkin fightatBharatpurBirdSanctuaryPainted Stork in flight at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary 
16HeronatBharatpurBird SanctuaryHeron at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary 
17LocalCaliforniaDucksLocal California Ducks 
19LocalGreatBlueHeronLocal Great Blue Heron 
20LocalGreenHeronLocal Green Heron 
21Boat talied grackledancingtoattractafemaleBoat-tailed Grackle dancing to attract a female 
22CeonothusinourvbackyareCeanothus in our backyard
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