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Books and Documents

Islam and Spiritualism

Sufism is indefinable; it is a way of life. Tasawwuf (Sufism) is neither a religion nor a philosophy; nor is it a ritual or mere learning.  If it was ritual, one could learn it by practice.  If it was mere learning, one could acquire it by studying. To be a true human being, free from all bondage and honest with the Almighty is being a Sufi. ....

 

Charity is an essential part of the Islamic faith. It is the calling of each and every member of the ummah to do charitable works, whether in the form of zakat (obligatory) or sadaqa (voluntary). The Prophet, peace be upon him, once said that on the day of resurrection, it is our charity that will become our shelter, when all other shelter and shade is gone. He also said that charity stands in the way of calamity.

The great Sufi sects in the Sudan include the Gadriyah, Sammaniyah, Khatmiyah and Burhaniyah, according to the author of the book under review who pointed out that the Gadriyah is Africa's biggest sect which was established by Sheikh Abdul Gadir al-Jailany in the 13th century. Jailany intended to instill the religious spirit among the people and guide them, using all means of persuasion in a way that suits each individual community.

 

This belief helps him become strong in the world. He fears nothing and nobody apart from our Almighty Lord Allah. Qur’an describes it in this way: “They say, ‘If we return to Madinah, the mightier will drive out the inferior.’ But all might belongs to Allah and to His Messenger and the believers. But the hypocrites do not know this. (Surah Al-Munafiqun, 8)

 

The 13th-century Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi (Mevlâna) is all but considered a saint. One of the world’s great mystic philosophers, his poetry and religious writings are among the most beloved and respected in Islam and well beyond.

In a time of increasing tension in the region the festival is a beacon of hope for culture and freedom. Rumi was a scholar, who taught peace, love and tolerance, and eventually gained a large following.

 
Sufism Is Present In Gaza
Fadi N. Shafei
Sufism Is Present In Gaza
Fadi N. Shafei

Sufism is a Muslim school of thought that spread in the Muslim world in the third century Hijri (Islamic calendar) as an individual call for asceticism. Those movements evolved into distinctive and well-known practices, which some consider mere delusions and superstitions.

 

While the religious intent is for these prayers to serve as penta-daily reminders, in practice things get a little complicated. That is, my phone's buzzed for prayer in a lot of strange situations. Backstage with a fake beard dressed as Albus Dumbledore, while setting up a Christmas tree and decorations at a friend's house one winter, in the middle of an intense BB gun battle that left me bleeding, etc.

 

In fact, Islam is a religion that has successfully married the temporal aspects of life with the spiritual needs of the soul. This combination of the two was done in such a manner that even temporal action, if done with the proper intention, is an act of worship.

 

“…I believe that religion is a form of gaining power and influence. It is an easy way to control masses hence anybody who seems to have a convincing message can lead a few needy souls astray. It is why we have all these opposing sects and ideologies within even one religion...someone always profits from it. I’m not sure if this will ever change though...it is an age old problem...”

The Sufi's Religion
Hazrat Inayat Khan
The Sufi's Religion
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Religion in the ordinary sense of the word, as known by the world, is the creeds. There are not many religions in the world, but there are many creeds. And what does creed mean? Creed means a cover over the religion. There is one religion and there are many covers. Each of these covers is called 'Christianity,' 'Buddhism,' 'Hebrew Religion,' 'Muslim Religion,' etc.,....

Khwaja Mu'inuddin Hasan Chishti was born in Persia, around 533 AH / 1138 C.E.. He was initiated into the Chishti Sufi Order by Khwaja Usman Haruni. At Baghdad, he met the great Abdu-l-Qadir Jilani, the founder of the Qadiri Sufi Order and also Abu-n-Najib Suhrawardi, the renowned Sufi of the Suhrawardi Sufi Order.

 
BARAKA: Reconnecting With Our Spiritual Legacy
Kabir Helminski
BARAKA: Reconnecting With Our Spiritual Legacy
Kabir Helminski

The Qur’an describes the degeneration of authentic religion of the heart into a code of oppressive rules. Religious Law is necessary for establishing limits, for preventing harm and injustice, and for codifying religious practice. But knowledge of the Law does not necessarily open the heart.

One should not consider a challenge as arising due to an ‘external conspiracy’. Rather, difficulties, both physical difficulties and intellectual problems, are part of this world. There are two kinds of challenges: crippling and non-crippling challenges. It is a crippling challenge that is a problem. Otherwise, a challenge is a booster for a community as it serves as a shock treatment, which, in turn, enhances one’s creativity. It is one’s response to challenges that determines one’s success in dealing with them. Chapter Yusuf of the Quran tells us that the right kind of response is one based on Taqwa, or God-consciousness....

Steadfast to his belief in the face of his people, soon Abraham, still a young man, found himself on trial, standing all alone in front of a king, most probably King Nimrod.

Even his father was not on his side. But God was, as He always had been.

In Islam, Abraham is seen as a strict monotheist who calls his people to the worship of God alone. For this belief, he bears great hardships, even disassociating himself with his family and people through migration to various lands. He is one who fulfills various commandments of God though which he is tested, proving true to each one.

 
The ‘Unfinished Agenda’
The ‘Unfinished Agenda’
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

Violence is absolutely not an option for Muslims, nor should struggling to achieve political gain be their goal. Muslims have only one choice before them, that is, to engage in peaceful Dawah work. A study of the Quran shows that it has been revealed for all mankind. (25:1) Therefore, the greatest unfinished agenda of the Muslim community is only one – and that is the universal dissemination of Quranic teachings.....

A messenger from the Roman king came to Madina and asked the people for the address of the palace of the Caliph Umar (RA) so he could present the gifts he had brought. The people told him that Hazrat Umar (RA) had no palace and though he was renowned as a ruler, he lived like an ordinary poor person. How could you appreciate his grandeur when you are already prejudiced? You must remember that the Almighty is present everywhere, just like the moon.

 

The name of Konya in the mind of any Muslim around the world immediately conjures up the monumental figure of the Muslim mystic saint Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273), whose shrine and mausoleum today grace that ancient city, and whose poetry has been a consistent source of solace and inspiration for generations of his admirers. From the Mawlawi Sufi Order to the towering text of his "Masnavi", and from his lyrical poetry to the ritual veneration with which he is held by many Muslims worldwide, all have placed Rumi at the centre of Muslim piety and poetry alike.....

 

The Christian scholars and students showed keen interest and asked brainstorming questions on Islam and Sufism in a live question-and-answer session. Striking the conversation, one of them asked the guest speaker to clarify whether Sufis preached their peaceful messages with intent to convert others to their own faith.

Attaining Allah's Pleasure: The Ultimate Purpose of the Believer's Life and Death
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam
Attaining Allah's Pleasure: The Ultimate Purpose of the Believer's Life and Death
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam

In order to live a life that is fully aware of and truly prepared for our ultimate meeting with Allah Almighty, we must strive to remember the real aim of our human existence and act in such a way that our daily living must be in conformity to the true objective of life—pleasing Allah Almighty and gaining his good pleasure. However, living a life that truly pleases Allah is difficult for as long as we think that this present world is our eternal dwelling place. It is easy to forget the divine goal of our existence in this day-and-age when many forms of forbidden pleasures and sinful activities are readily available and are continually being committed by negligent souls in this world.....

Remember that in the Qur’an Allah Subḥānahu wa Ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us that we were created weak, and He says that He wants to lighten this burden for us. This weakness can be seen when we are so easily afflicted with sickness and weakness in a matter of minutes. We do not have control over where we are born or how we will die, among many other factors. We have this fragile nature that requires plenty of care to survive. We are constantly faced with tests and tribulations.....

 
Mercy: The Understated Sign of Islam
Louay Fatoohi
Mercy: The Understated Sign of Islam
Louay Fatoohi

Fanaticism and extremism should be fought in every way possible. But combating them with the argument of mercy is easier, clearer, and stronger than any doctrinal discourse. Everyone — educated and uneducated, young and old — understands mercy and recognizes it. Allah may have given us different degrees of knowledge, but He has made us all equally capable of feeling mercy and identifying cruelty. Any Muslim, or indeed non-Muslim, only needs to recognize the role of mercy in the Qur’an to be able to see that those who practice cruelty in the name of Islam have nothing to do with this heart-nurturing religion.....

They carried bundles of hay that they spread out and sat down upon. Some nursed wailing babies, others chased after toddlers to make sure they wouldn’t be crushed in the crowd. One woman was frantically searching for a tiny gold nose-pin, the only piece of jewellery she owned, which she lost in the push and pull of the crowd. She didn’t find it. A pregnant, breathless young woman with tears in her eyes said she had waited all night in hunger, slept at the local Dargah and even then was returning home empty-handed.....

 

What we need are ideas rooted in religion and society that recognize the concept of social orphans. Only then can we seek a solution through the injunction to fast and provide for those in need. Without this, Islam will merely be a set of rituals that has lost its essence as a religion of justice that defends the poor and the weak......

 
Learning Nothing from Ramadan
Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
Learning Nothing from Ramadan
Abdulateef Al-Mulhim

Islam is a religion, which is not confined to any geographical area or time. Its teachings encompass time and space and that is why Allah has declared Qur’an as His final words. Thanks to the institution of Ijtihad, Muslim scholars have always been able to come up with Islamic solutions to new problems or issues that emerge with the changing times.

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