333 Saints: A Life of Scholarship Under Threat, Alexandra Huddleston

Mali scholarsSome time ago I blogged about a video by Alexandra Huddleston, 333 Saints: A Life of Scholarship Under Threat

The good news is that Alexandra is now ready to publish her work on this subject with magnificent photos. The photo included in this post is one of the many beautiful images she has captured. This work is of great importance in recording the life of scholars in Mali especially as they have recently been under threat. Alexandra needs the funds to publish the book and she has launched a Kickstarter project to raise the money. You can see the page that describes the project here

Please take a look and consider donating and you will be rewarded for doing so.

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Rumi’s Sermon

Irving, author of the blog, Darvish, has posted a translation of one of Jalaluddin Rumi’s last sermons. Irving notes that,

“We do not know if it dates from before or after his meeting with Shams al-Din of Tabriz. Rumi delivered the opening benediction and the Hadith in Arabic, the liturgical language, then switched to Persian. Only seven sermons are so far known to exist in manuscript form.”

To read the full sermon go over to Irving’s blog at Darvish by just clicking here.

Please note that Irving has also written a powerful Sufi novel, Master of the Jinn. You can find details about this novel on the blog.

Longing for the Beloved

The Sufi writes words of longing for her Beloved but she’s not a poet for she knows that words cannot contain the One. It is the spaces between words into which she dives and drowns in the clear waters of love, and it is in the pauses where the vibrant silence of the Beloved’s Presence causes her to gasp in ecstasy. These words are a poor cladding of rags for the light that enthrals the dervish but she gives with love whatever she can bring.

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Shekinah and Sakinah: The Indwelling

The beginning of movement is stillness. The beginning of sound is silence. Within every dance of creation, the flutter of a bird’s wings, the explosion of a star, the hand that heals an injured child, is stillness at the core. Within every sound in this universe, the singing of a choir, the hammering of a nail, the cry of a gull at sea, there is silence at the centre of each utterance. The Shekinah, Sakinah, the Indwelling, God with us at the heart of all being and It’s manifestations. Ya Hayy!

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Justice and Well-Being Kiss Each Other

I was just speaking to a friend on SU about the film Bab’Aziz and said how I feel the mystic tradition of all religions comes very close to the core reality of being. For me it is the Sufi path but I also find inspiration from the Kabbalah and Mahayyana Buddhism. Finally we are all one, diverse expressions of the One Being. I’m doing research at the moment on the connections between Sufi and Jewish mystics and the rising popularity of Sufism in Israel. I’ll be going there for a field study next year as I want to see to what extent Sufi practices transform the individuals perception of self and other to a more unified, reflective perspective and whether this can contribute to justice and peace. It is really very simple, we are all interconnected and therefore the well being of ourselves in every respect is directly connected to the well being of all those around us and the whole planet. We have to stop giving our egos the primary place in our lives and begin living from the heart, that space of the inner being where the One resides and speaks to us if we listen. The image here is of justice and peace kissing each other. in Psalm 85:11 (Tanakh translation) it says, “Faithfulness and truth meet; justice and well-being kiss”. Jean Paul Lederach uses this verse in his work on reconciliation. I like the image of justice and well-being (peace) kissing. Justice is necessary when people are suffering from the injustices done them but when well-being is an intimate associate of justice then she is accompanied by compassion and seeks a path that leads away from revenge and fear and pursues the well-being of all.

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