2700 years ago the Prophet Isaiah revealed a beautiful promise from God “On this holy mountain the Lord of Hosts will prepare a banquet of rich sustenance for all the peoples, a banquet of holy food and mature wine strained clear of all impurity, a banquet of deep wisdom and intoxicating divine love. On this sacred mountain the Lord will destroy the veil shrouding humanity, the obscuring veil of blindness and self-interest thrown over all the nations. He will destroy death and negativity forever. Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face, and throughout the world remove the indignities from His people.” This banquet is the great gathering of humanity, the homecoming into the One Reality. The sufis and mystics of all traditions, are the ones extending the Divine invitation to the banquet. They have touched the ground of their being and realize that the ground is the same for all. They are God’s messengers and peacemakers. They know that all the hearts are rays of one heart. They see that all the traditions are streams in one ocean of revelation. Each brings innumerable gifts to the human family to be shared, not disputed.
700 years after Isaiah came Jesus, the living spirit of God, to invite the poor in spirit, the excluded, the transgressor to the banquet. The Last Supper, which was a Passover feast, represents the Agape, the banquet of love to which all were invited. Divine doors opened, barriers came down. There were no criteria necessary to attend the feast besides love. God was revealed as love longing for Itself. To feel love was to be called. To love Jesus, the son of Man, was to love God and to be loved by God. By merging into the essence of Jesus one merged into God. “May they all be one. As You Father are in me and I in You so may they be in Us. I made Your Name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love You have for me may be in them, and I in them. (From the holy disciple John)” The way was made easy. The latter days were here, the afternoon of creation, and the divine urgency of love opened the way to Itself.
600 years after the Spirit of God blew through the human hearts, calling them home, came the Majestic Prophet completing the message and uniting all the paths of return. With his embodiment, and with allthe main traditions now on earth, the axis of unity reveals itself at the center of all religions and paths of belief as Love. Once this axis is seen, the divine unity is revealed. Religions are no longer irreconcilable realities, but rather streams from the same Source of Love, facets of one diamond. The last and greatest obstacle to the banquet is now dissolved. All humanity can gather together as they are, with their varying beliefs, with their individual fragrance and color. These are to be shared and delighted in, rather than converted and eliminated.
Shaykh Nur calls the Prophet Muhammad the Distributor of the light of prophecy into all human hearts because through him the divine permission and mercy has reached its culmination. All hearts are invited to be the vessels of divine revelation. They are the endless flowing fountains of paradise pouring the water of love and wisdom to each other. All the hearts are truly one heart. The prophetic message is now complete in the sense that it is given to all. It is endless in the sense that as long as there is a heart, divine revelation will never cease flowing.
The banquet represents the return of us all into God through the mystical body of the blessed Muhammad, enlightened Fatima, holy Jesus, exalted Mariam, sublime Moses, truthful Abraham, and all the sources of truth, Buddha, Avatar, Sage, women and men from the East and West merged in God, peace be upon them all. The banquet is the One Being living the exalted life of Love. Simply by accepting the invitation, saying ‘yes’, and linking ourselves heart to heart we are absorbed into the mystical body and returned to our original state in God. The banquet is initiation into universal tariqat, as the light of love kindled at the table of prophecy leaps from heart to heart. The banquet is holy friendship, loving each other in God, as God. With every offering of love we extend the banquet. God is love, humanity is love.
Finally we have come to know ourself, and have let go of limited identities. We can say with Rumi, “I am neither Muslim, nor Christian nor Jew...” We are divine and we have no identity from the world. Empty of all form, we can now say with Ibn Arabi “My heart is capable of all forms...” We are the empty vessel of divine manifestation. Whatever God manifests in our heart moment by moment is who we are.