Sufism has long constituted one of the most powerful drawcards to people embracing Islam. This book considers a broad range of questions relating to Sufism, including its history, manifestations in various countries and communities, its expression in poetry, women and Sufism, and expressions among popular spirituality. In addition, the volume challenges the long-held view of Sufism as being necessarily peaceful, through a consideration in one paper of Sufis engaging in violent Jihad. The book works at the interface between the scholarly and the practical, using rigorous methodology to ensure that its findings are reliable, while also giving attention to how Sufi thinking impacts the daily lives of Sufis. This represents an original and important dimension of this study, given the significant role played by Sufis throughout Islamic history in enriching discussion of intellectual and charismatic questions, as well as informing popular practice among “Folk” Muslims.
By the Grace of God, my spiritual guide knew far, far more than what I have heard him say on any given occasion. Unfortunately, I have forgotten far, far more than what I remember of what has been related to me by him. Moreover, I have written far less than what I remember of what he taught me. The result of this funneling process is the present book – An Introduction to the Sufi Path. Everything that is good and correct in this book comes, by the Grace of God, through my shaykh or spiritual teacher who was willing to accept me as a reclamation project. Everything that is incorrect in An Introduction to the Sufi Path comes from my own shortcomings and ignorance. The material contained within An Introduction to the Sufi Path is intended to stimulate reflection concerning a variety of themes that are important to spiritual life in the midst of everyday life. God willing, the content given expression through the different chapters constitutes -- both individually as well as collectively -- a Sufi perspective. However, one does not have to be on the Sufi path or inclined to that path in order to engage the material in this book. Anyone with an interest in spirituality and mysticism will find, God willing, an abundance of themes within the boundaries of this work that are able to form the seeds of contemplative reflection for any faith background.
Shaikh Sharfuddin Maneri (14th century) is also known as Makhdum-ul-Mulk, or Master of the Kingdom. Born near Patna in Behar, India, he was initiated by Najibuddin Firdausi and was equally proficient in secular learning and esoteric knowledge. The present book consists of the translation of extracts from the Maktubat-i-Sadi ("The Hundred Letters," or rather essays on definite subjects), the most elaborate and comprehensive of his works.
The Image of Spiritual Liberty in the Western Sufi Movement Following Hazrat Inayat Khan
This is a study of how present-day Sufis following Hazrat Inayat Khan seek to experience spiritual liberty in daily life. Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927) was an Indian mystic who left for America in 1910 in order to bring a universal Sufi Message to the Western world. His teachings, The Sufi Message, describe Unity of Being as the mystical relationship between God, man and creation. The Sufi Movement is an international organisation of people following the Sufi Message. It functions as a framework for people searching an embodied spirituality that transcends the varieties of religious beliefs. This study reveals dimensions of the individual's spiritual and psychological development and shows how this is prompted by guidance and esoteric practices. The individual's development process involves different important elements including gradual annihilation of the ego and assimilation of more complex images of the self. Self-realisation is pictured as an outcome of this process. Personal experience of God within is seen significant for self-realisation. In addition to the individual and organisational dimensions explored, this book also gives insight into the historical development of the Sufi Movement and its reception in The Netherlands.
The religious landscape of the United States has changed dramatically in recent decades. How are Christians relating to their Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and other new religious neighbors? Using local examples, The Faith Next Door covers the gamut of Christian responses to America's multireligious reality. The book also examines how the events of September 11, 2001 have shaped Christian approaches to believers from other faiths, from engaging in dialogue to hoping for conversion. Here Christian theology meets the multireligious real world, with multiple results suggestive of national trends. The Faith Next Door will appeal to Christians from all denominations and perspectives who seek models for relationships in the diverse contemporary context. It will also inform non-Christian readers and general observers of trends in American religion about the variety of local Christian responses to other religions.
The experience of the divine in India merges the three components of sight, performance, and sound. One in a trilogy of books that include Diana Eck's Darsan: Seeing the Divine in India, Mantra presents an introduction to the use of sound-mantra-in the practice of Indian religion. Mantra-in the form of prayers, rituals, and chants-permeates the practice of Indian religion in both temple and home settings. This book investigates the power of mantra to transform consciousness. Examining the use and theory of mantra under various religious schools, such as the Patanjali sutras and tantra, it includes references to Hindu, Sikh, Sufi, Muslim, and Buddhist traditions. This second edition adds new sections on the use of sacred sound in Hindu and Sikh North American diaspora communities and on the North American non-Indian practice of yoga and mantra.
Although told in a largely refashioned manner, a number of the following stories are very loosely based upon either time-honored stories of the mystics or are built around various, essential spiritual insights drawn from their teachings. Other stories appearing in this volume are wholly original but are still rooted in a traditional, spiritual perspective. In either case, the names have been changed to protect the innocent, and, as well, considerable poetic license has been taken in the telling and/or re-telling of some of these spiritual tales. The author is neither a shaykh nor a guide, but he did have the opportunity to serve and work closely with an adept of Islamic mysticism, and, as a result, was exposed to a variety of principles, values, and teachings of the Sufi path. The stories are being given expression in the present volume because they might have something of value to offer to anyone who cares to engage them and reflect on what is being said.
Diving Deep and Surfacing reveals how the writings of Kate Chopin, Margaret Atwood, Doris Lessing, Adrienne Rich, and Ntozake Shange can inform women's search for spiritual renewal. A new afterword testifies to the importance of spiritual autobiography for women.