The Aayat-Al-Kursi

I first heard about Aayat-Al-Kursi via a blog site of young Muslim girl – where she had written that walking home from classes one day, late evening, she had to walk through a deserted lane which used to be a favorite hang-out for local colony boys. Passing through that lane often involved being subject to leering, jeering et al, and that was the case even if you were in a large group of girls, so being absolutely alone would send some different jitters down your spine.

On entering the lane she realized that a group of boys (about 10 in number) were somewhere in the mid of the deserted lane; unable to turn back and equally fearful of walking ahead, she started on her chant of Aayat-Al-Kursi as she made her way ahead in the lane; while passing by them she realized from the corner of her eye that they had all lowered their heads, frozen in their stance, and absolutely silent; the girl quickly crossed the lane and made her safe way home.

She couldn’t quite understand what stopped these boys from their usual behavior – until few days later. An aunt from the same colony visited her, to ask her mom a question. The question was: who were those 4 burly surly looking wrestlers who accompanied your daughter home from classes the other day, and apparently walked her through the lane till she reached the end of it?

Obviously the girl had no knowledge of any burly surly looking wrestlers who would have escorted her safely home – but she did attribute the vision to her chant of Aayat-Al-Kursi, as she crossed the lane.

It interested me enough to research about it. What I found all the more interesting about it – was its connection, as explained by scholars, to Hinduism’s Maha-Mrutyunjaya-Stotram.

  1. Aayat-Al-Kursi means: Aayat (amulet / taveez), Al (The), Kursi (Chair / Throne). The Amulet of The Throne.
  2. This is The Throne that belongs to Almighty God or Allah, as fondly refered to by Muslims.
  3. Chanting this prayer is equivalent to tying a protective amulet around you. You will now be under the protection of The Throne of God Almighty.
  4. A study made by Hindu scholars of the chant of Aayat-Al-Kursi revealed that – the sound vibrations emanating from this chant matched the sound vibrations that emanate when Hindus chant their Maha-Mrutyunjaya-Stotram – indicating that these are 2 chants that are on the same `wavelength’ of `sound notes’ that travel upwards (towards God) when we pray.
  5. This created a curiosity in me enough to try the chant. I searched for the internet for its original Arabic version, its English translation (to understand the meaning) and its audio files so that I get the pronunciation and intonations correct. After learning it by rote, I ran it through a Maulviji in Ahmedabad, to know if I had got it right. He gave me the green signal and also the compliment that I chanted it better than his Muslim students.

Then I got started on the chant, to test its effects so a say, as an experiment actually. What effects come into play when you chant the Aayat-Al-Kursi? That was my inner question. The effects that I experienced were as follows:-

  1. I chanted with the hope of finding that “Shiva-connect”.
  2. Within in about a couple of weeks, I woke up to early morning dreams about Shiva-lingams. Old, dark, hidden, ancient, mysterious, secret-looking, perhaps even eerie Shiva temples with a Shiva-lingam in sanctum sanctorum. Never had I visited such places or even knew that such temples existed. But I always woke up with a peaceful feeling of having “been somewhere”.
  3. The 2nd visible effect was – if I slept on a question, I woke up to an answer. The answer could be a sentence / phrase / words that I happened to be thinking about when I woke – or a series of quick images that would flash before my eyes just before I woke up to morning consciousness. But the answer would be there.
  4. Then I thought of notching up numbers. I don’t know if I ever mentioned this – but the ritualistic / conformist side of me is slightly missing. One would never see me engaged in any more-than-necessary rituals or poojas or procedures. My style is more of a mind-connect, on lines of Hey dude, Hey there, You bloody rascal, You old bugger… Outrageous yes, but that’s how it is. Has always been.
  5. There was a time when I was unusually ill, and night sleep eluded me for many long years; then there would be days I would park my feet on the Shiva-Puranam, just to spite God so to say – and on those nights I would sleep like a baby. When I used to tell my Mom about it – she would hold a Dr. Spock expression and say – it’s ok to sleep with your feet in your father’s lap, even Dad wouldn’t mind it, if you did it.
  6. So “notching up numbers” for me means, chanting randomly throughout the day and keeping a tally on Clicker App on my phone (earlier it was a diary). So no japa-malas and stuff like that for me. I notched up sufficient amount of numbers of Aayat-Al-Kursi without really knowing what to do with them. Then when I felt I “needed” something, I would “pay” from my prayer account by subtracting few numbers on my Clicker App. It worked every single time. Something like a Debit Card.
  7. Recently, I noticed one of my stray dogs (a trio of 3 who have adopted my building) was limping on 3 paws. Her right front paw seemed twisted into slight bow, and also a bad swelling. Perhaps an injury and a possible fracture. I saw her suffering for days. Persecuted that she already is, it seemed a sad add-on. Now how does one treat a stray dog injury in India? There are options, yes, but mostly it’s a helpless situation.
  8. It’s with that helplessness that I asked God for a solution that day. Then I checked my phone App. It still had quite a number of Aayats in it. I subtracted all at one go – just make her ok, I prayed. When there is no other solution, then God is the solution. I asked my Mom too to send some Reiki – which she did. Next morning, I saw the stray bounding around on all 4s.
  9. I have tried chanting Aayat-Al-Kursi in the sanctum sanctorum of Mahakaal in Ujjain (albeit in my mind to avoid obvious offence to other orthodox devouts) – and I don’t know how to explain this – but a distinct electrical current ran through me from ground to shoulders.
  10. My Mom once asked me (when I narrated a certain experience) that what prevents me from chanting the Maha-Mrutyunjaya mantram instead? I mean, she was curious. But same answer really – the conformist side of me is missing somewhere. I find it difficult to do what it is expected. There’s no other answer really.

So those are my experiences but what is my conclusion, you might ask. Simple really. God is One. Always has been. You have to try it to believe in it.

This is the holy month of Shraavan running. A month dedicated exclusively to Lord Shiva of the Hindu pantheon. And I chant the Aayat every day, along with my other prayers. Can it be mere coincidence that the festival of Eid falls in the month of Shraavan?

No, don’t think so. Eid Mubarak & God bless!

Aayat Al-Kursi (The Amulet of The Throne)
Surah 2:255

Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
Allahu la illaha illa hu
Wal Hayyul Qayyum
La te huzuhu sinetun wala nawmun
Lahu ma fissemawati wa ma fil’ardi
Men thallathiy yeshfe’u indehu illa biznih
Ya’lemu ma beyne eydiyhim
wa ma halfehum
wa la yuhiytune
bishey’in min ilmihi
illa bima sha-a wasia kursiyyuhu semavati wal’ard
Wa la yeuduhu hifzuhuma wa hu wal aliy ul aziym!

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
There is no God but He,
The Living, the Self-subsisting, the Eternal.
No slumber can seize Him, nor sleep.
All things in heaven and earth are His.
Who could intercede in His presence without His permission?
He knows what appears in front of and behind His creatures.
Nor can they encompass any knowledge of Him except what he wills.
His throne extends over the heavens and the earth,
And He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them,
For He is the Highest and Most Exalted.
Allah, the Most High, speaks the truth.

Translated by Kabir Helminski


My Road to Shirdi

My road to Shirdi

Sai of Shirdi has been a childhood faith, started from a time when I could not even understand the concepts of god-men or gurus. For me, this bearded old man in the picture had a benign presence & somehow he could work miracles.

There have never been any rituals or prayers that I associate with this old man of Shirdi, but whenever I reach a dead end, I look towards his photograph & plead mentally – and somehow a door I have never seen before, seems to exist.

I don’t pester him on a daily basis; but sometimes I do ask him to reveal himself through unusual occurrences or events – just so I know that he is there.

My impending trip to Shirdi is not exactly a random one. It’s roughly 6 months overdue. It’s the fulfillment of something that I had asked. That something stands amicably fulfilled.

But I delayed my trip with the hope that I could club it with a conclusive finale of something that was just 1 step short of falling into place.

Conclusive finale it was; in more ways than one. In 1089 days. From start to finish. Numbers from the start, numbers to the finish. The Universe spoke to me that night.

But it merits my visit to Shirdi. Why? One may ask…

Any act of creation or building, needs divine intervention. Be it – life, art, science, medicine, religion – creation cannot come to pass without the subtle hand of God.

How many times have we witnessed experts in their respective fields reach a dead end – in operating theatres, in sculptures, in architecture, in science laboratories, on the sports field – and they look upwards for the briefest moment & say “God help me here, show me a way”. And things fall in place.

Creation needs God-force – but destruction? Destruction needs no God, man is enough. All it needs is man’s Ego & a belief that he is God himself.

The library of Alexandra was built over time by an entire Egyptian civilization – yet was plundered in 7 days by an invasion that wished to destroy the knowledge it contained. The estimated manuscripts books in Alexandra’s library – crossed a million in those times. Its books were used to fuel kitchen fires in a vicious bid of destruction. Who knows what rare knowledge was consumed to flames over a cup of tea… and many more acts across civilizations.

Destruction needs no God. Just 1 man who believes that he is God.

My trip to Shirdi is an affirmation of God’s intervention in every aspect of my life.

Seeming acts of man – only fell into place for me, after they received their due stamp of approval – from a corresponding act of God. How can I then ignore & condemn all that has happened for a mere something that didn’t happen?

I have often been witness – in my own life & my observation of those around me – that a lot human pleas go answered by God. We wonder why He is not listening to us.

He listens alright. But He chooses to ignore you. Somewhere in recent / distant past – God must have intervened in your life – to make things happen for you – and give you a series of magical experiences – that others can only envy from a distance. He would have put many of his children on hold, to work these miracles for you…. A loving work of creation, God’s handiwork….

And then – you believe you are the Creator – you believe you are God – you have no power to create magic like He does – but you need to prove to yourself & others that you are God – you want more that what He may have decided to give you – you want to script your own story – so you snatch the pen away from Him – but sadly you are powerless to create your own story – your Ego is crushed – and so you destroy – in a single second – all that He lovingly & painstakingly created for you.

That is when He turns away from you. He will never work this same miracle for you again. Next time you crave it, do it on your steam. Next time, you may be the one watching from sidelines, while He works the same miracles for others. You are not worthy of His attention anymore. Hence… a lot of our pleas go answered.

But me – I don’t ever want Him to turn His face away from me. I don’t ever want Him to stop working miracles for me. I cherish what He has created for me. I have never destroyed what He has created for me. Those who mindlessly have – that karma is their own to resolve.

Which is why – my road will always lead to Shirdi. In thanksgiving. In gratitude.

This brings back to memory a very unique & unusual experience I had during Pitru Paksh of 2012. A moment where I truly believed I connected with ancestors – and a certain ancestor whom I never recognized – but someone who surfaced in my meditation ritual from day 1 – made a prediction for me that came to pass before 14 days were over. “What you have asked for from Sai of Shirdi has been granted” he said…

Perhaps later sometime on this.