The Circle Group > Guest Perspectives

Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director, and producer whose notable career spans more than three decades providing breathtaking imagery for feature films, television shows, documentaries and commercials. His time lapse photography is outstanding. This piece includes his short film on Gratitude and Happiness Revealed.

time lapse flower opening

time lapse flower opening

David Steindl-Rast’s spoken words, Gary Malkin’s musical compositions and Louie’s cinematography make this a stunningly beautiful piece, reminding us of the precious gift of life, and the beauty all around us.

As a visual artist, Louie has created some of the most iconic and memorable film moments of our time. He is an innovator in the world of time-lapse, nature, aerial and “slice-of-life” photography – the only cinematographer in the world who has literally been shooting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week continuously for more than 30 years.

Enjoy this video:

Louie spoke at the TED 2011 conference in Long Beach, CA and has been a regular presenter at the annual Bioneers Conference in San Francisco. Currently, Louie is in production with National Geographic to produce Hidden Worlds, a 3D Imax film.

The theme and intention of Soul TV is to foster peace and understanding in a world which has been plunged into unprecedented oppression and sectarian violence. Here are two of Tayie Rehem’s  recent videos for you to enjoy.

“Patience belongs to a world where if you want to pick a fruit from the tree  we know you have to wait for it to be ripe and when we see the signs of impatience we are also seeing the signs of ingratitude.  Whenever we are impatient we have forgotten to be grateful.” –Shaykh Ahmed Abdur Rashid

Live Gratitude … Touch Heaven

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University Of  The Heart“It was that angelic voice I have heard in a place I call University of the Heart. It was like a breath of fresh air brought that noisy, chaotic everyday life to standstill.” -Tayie Rehem

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We wanted to share with you a wonderful Youtube Channel from the “School of Knowledge and Learning”.

Their self proclaimed interest is Meeting Shuyukh And Awliya And Increasing My Knowledge On The Awliya“. They have many videos with rare footage of venerable Shaykhs (may Allah protect their secrets) from around the world and time, as well as nasheed and qasida recitation. Please enjoy this wealth of collected footage.



Prayers and Aa’maal during the Month of Rajab
By: Abbas Shahid Baqir (LUMS)

Rajab is one of the four months declared sacred by Allah in the Holy Qur’an.

Special prayers and Aa’maal that can be prayed and carried out on any day or daily for this month reached us on the authority of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), Imam Ali (A.S.), Imam Ali Al-Zaynul A’abideen (A.S.), Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (A.S.) and Imam Saahibuz Zamaan (A.S.), are given below:

  1. The month of Rajab, in its superabundant favors and benefits, reverence and sanctity, is next to none. It is linked to Almighty Allah as Sha’aban to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and Ramadan to his Ummah.
  2. Whoso observes fast (even one day) during the month of Rajab gets Allah’s pleasure
  3. Ask forgiveness and turn repentant to Allah as much as you can because mercy drops from the heaven like a gentle rain in the month of Rajab (also known as “As’abb”- pouring out, full of love and kindness).
  4. Allah shall forgive and have mercy on him who recites:

  • ‘Astaghfirulaahallad’ee Laa Ilaaha Ilaa Huwa Wah’dahoo La Shareeka Lahoo Wa Atoobu Ilayh (I ask forgiveness of Allah, who is “There is no God save He, and no other; has no partner”, and I turn repentant to Him)’ at least 100 times (400 times will accrue more rewards)
  • and recites “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah” 1000 times, during the month of Rajab
  • and gives alms in the name of Allah at the completion.

5. Recite Surah Al-Ikhlas at least 100 times (1000 or 10000 times will accrue more rewards) in the month of Rajab.

Merits of Fasting In Rajab:

Rajab marks the beginning of the spiritual season of every believer ending with the end of the fasting month of Ramadan with the Eid Al-Fitr. These three months are unmatched in their importance.

Praise be to the Almighty and thanks to Him for granting us yet another opportunity to cleanse ourselves of our sins and oversights.

The Holy Prophet (SAW) has said:

“Rajab is a great month of Allah, unmatched by any other month in the respect and significance (accorded to it); war with the infidels during this month is prohibited; Verily, Rajab is Allah’s month, Sha’aban my month and Ramadan the month of my Ummah; whosoever fasts a day in the month of Rajab will be granted the great reward of Ridwan (an angel in heaven); the wrath of Allah shall be distanced and a door of the Hell shall be closed.”

Fasting is one of the most recommended acts during this spiritual season. It becomes Wajib during the month of Ramadan, but is highly recommended during the months of Rajab and Sha’baan. As will be noted from the Hadith above and others to follow, fasting, be it for only one day during these months, is rewarded with untold bounties.

Hadrat Salmaan Farsi narrates that the Final Messenger of Allah (SAW) said that there is a day in the month of Rajab on which if a person fasts and does Qiyaamul Lail (night vigil) on that night, he will receive rewards like a person who fasts for 100 years and does Qiyaamul Lail for nights of 100 years. This night is the night of the 27th (Rajab) and the day of the 27th (Rajab). This is the day on which Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) was appointed to Messenger hood, (Ghuniyatut Talibeen, Tarteeb Shareef page 781).

Hadrat Salmaan narrates that the Beloved of Allah, Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said,

“O Salmaan, there is no Mumin (True Believer) and Muminah (Truly Believing Female) who performs 30 Raka’ah in the month of Rajab and in each Raka’ah recites Surah Al-Faatihah once, Surah Al-Ikhlaas 3 times, and Surah Al-Kafiroon 3 times that Allah does forgive them their sins and bestows rewards upon them as upon a person who has fasted a whole month. He becomes among those who will be steadfast in their Salaat in the year which is to come. For him the deeds of the day are equal to that of the martyr. He will be raised with the Martyrs of the Holy Battle of Badr. For him is written for the fast of each day, one year’s worship. His station is raised 1000 times higher.

If he fasts the entire month of Rajab and he performs this (Above) Salaat, Allah will give him salvation from the Hell Fire, make Waajib for him, His Paradise and bestow His Nearness upon him. Hadrat Jibreel informed me “O Muhammad this is the sign between you and the Mushrikeen (Polytheists) and the Munaafiqeen (Hypocrites) because the Munafiq does not perform this Salaat.”

Hadrat Salmaan says, I beseeched “O Rasoolallah tell me when and how shall I perform this Salaat (Prayer)” He said,

“O Salmaan, perform 10 Raka’ah on the first of it (month of Rajab) and in each Raka’ah recite Surah Al-Faatihah once, Surah Al-Ikhlaas thrice and Surah Al-Kafiroon thrice and after you do your Salaam (at the end of the Salaat) raise your hands and say: “There is no God but Allah, The One Who has no partners. To Him belong all His kingdom and all the praise, Who created life and death and Who is Alive without Death. From His hands (only) good is done and Who has Power over everything. Dearest Allah, no one can stop what You bestow and no one can give what You prevent. There is no one who can profit us except You the August among all.” Then spread your hands over your face.

In the middle of the month perform 10 Raka’ah and in each Raka’ah recite Surah Al-Faatihah once, Surah Al-Ikhlaas thrice, and Surah Al-Kafiroon thrice and after you do your salaam (at the end of the Salaat) raise your hands towards the heavens and say:
“There is no God but Allah, the One who has no partners. To Him belong all His Kingdom and all the praise. Who created life and death and Who is Alive without Death. From His Hands (only) good is done and Who has Power over everything. The only God, Unique, Who has no needs. He has no wife and no children.” Then spread your hands over your face.

You perform this Salaat at the end of the month, 10 Raka’ah. In every Raka’ah recite Surah Al-Faatihah once, Surah Al-Ikhlaas thrice and Surah Al-Kafiroon thrice. After you do your salaam, raise your hand towards the heaven and say: “There is no God but Allah, The One Who has no partners. To Him belong all His Kingdom and all the praise. Who created life and death and Who is Alive without Death. From His Hands (only) good is done and Who has Power over everything. And the blessing of Allah be upon the Master Muhammad and upon his pure progeny and there is no power greater than that of Allah Who is the Greatest in Might”.
Then ask for your needs (to be fulfilled). Your Supplication will be accepted and Allah will create 70 trenches between you and the Hell fire, the distance between each trench will be like it is between Heaven and Earth and written for you will be freedom from Fire of Hell, and from crossing the Bridge of Siraat.” When the Beloved of Allah, Hadrat Muhammad had finished, I fell down in prostration, weeping out of gratitude towards Allah for the abundance of the rewards.

We present this beautiful hadith from Imam Musa al-Kadhim (peace be upon him) on the greatness of Rajab and just fasting one day from this blessed month.

It has been narrated from Rasulullah (saw) in a very long hadith that there is no month as great or noble in the sight of Allah as the month of Rajab and even the Arabs of the time of Ignorance held this month in great esteem, and with the coming of the religion of al-Islam at the hands of the final Messenger of Allah, nothing was added to it except an increase in its greatness. The Prophet went on to say that the month of Rajab is the month of Allah; Sha’baan was his month and the month of Ramadhaan was the month of the Muslim Ummah.

In this length tradition which can be found in Thawaab al-A’maal wa Iqaab al-A’maal (new print), Page 115 to 124, the Prophet went on to mention the specialties and favors that would be showered upon that person who fasted during this month and for every day he fasted, a different favor and bounty would be graced upon him.

Our Prophet Muhammad (may Allah shower him and his righteous family with never-ending blessings), if a person were to fast one day in this month for the belief and hope of reward from Allah (SWT), then he would have earned the pleasure of Allah (SWT) and the fast of that one day would put out the anger of Allah (SWT) and would cause the doors of the hellfire to be closed for him. If the entire land were to be filled with gold and that gold was to be spent in the way of Allah (SWT), then even this act would not add up to the bounties of fasting just one day. There is not a single thing in the world that would perfect that person’s reward except for good (from Allah (SWT)) as long as he was sincere to Allah (SWT) (in has fasting). When the evening time comes, ten of that person’s prayers would be granted, and if he were to supplicate for anything of the worldly life, Allah (SWT) would give it to him, and if it were not given to him, then Allah (SWT) would preserve that which is greater (than what he supplicated for) and that which the friends, lovers and chosen ones of Allah have prayed to him for.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was  in Springfield, Massachuestts to inaugurate “The Desmond Tutu Lecture Series on Public Health Awareness.” He received an honorary doctorate degree from American International College on April 20th and spoke to over 1000 students, faculty and guests. Read More »

by Imam Zaid Shakir.  “This is my response to the Fort Hood tragedy and events both associated imamzaidwith it and ensuing from it. I begin by expressing my deepest condolences to the families of all of the dead and wounded. There is no legitimate reason for their deaths, just as I firmly believe there is no legitimate reason for the deaths of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani civilians who have perished as a result of those two conflicts. Read More »


 Listen to the dars by Sulayman Nyang on the historical narrative of Muslims in America today called “Movement from Footnote to Main Text”.

Dr. Sulyman Nyang presents an historical yet relevant perspective of Muslims in society during the 2009 Ramadan Retreat at the khanaqah of Shaykh Ahmed Abdu-r-Rashid in the Masjid Rabbil Aalameen. 

Part 1 of 8 httpv://

Part 2 of 8 httpv://

Part 3 of 8 httpv://

Part 4 of 8 httpv://

Part 5 of 8  httpv://

Part 6 of 8 httpv://

Part 7 of 8  httpv://

Part 8 of 8 httpv://


soultvSee video of Ramadhan Retreat at

  •  If you want to get more out of fasting than hunger or thirst, to nourish the spiritual side is to nourish the body too.  – click on “spirituality” channel
  • Article by Dr. Abdel Hadi Honerkamp

    ibn-abbad1Ibn ‘Abbad (732/1332 – 792/1390) was a Sufi mentor who lived in what has been called the “Classical Period” of Sufism, generally considered to be between 1200 and 1500 CE. He has always been held in high esteem within the circles of Muslim scholars, and early hagiographic sources describe him as a Maliki jurist and an early exemplar of the Shadhili Sufi Read More »