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Turning Toward the Heart:Awakening to the Sufi Way

Turning Toward the Heart:Awakening to the Sufi Way
Responding to questions asked by spiritual seekers in Europe and the United States, Sufi teacher Hazrat Azad Rasool provides concise, timely, and thought-provoking insights into the path of Islamic mysticism. Topics range from the role of spirituality in Islam to the significance of the Sufi guide, from qualities of an enlighted human being to the importance of service in the mystic search. The author, who spent thirty years as an instructor and headmaster at Jamia Milia University in Delhi, India, combines the warmth and wit of a seasoned teacher with the wisdom gained through his own study and practice of Sufism. While addressing concerns of those who seek the truth today through up-to-date, relevant language and examples, Hazrat Rasool grounds his responses in the classical teachings of Sufi lineages that stretch back more than 1,400 years to the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). Anecdotes and historical summaries, explanations of techniques and personal reflections, practical instruction and gems gleaned from works of Sufi elders are skillfully interwoven in a work that will both introduce newcomers to Sufism, and expand the knowledge of those already familiar with the Sufi path.

Most Sufi shaykhs represent a single lineage of masters. Hazrat Sayid Abdul Bari Shah, the nineteenth century shaykh from who Hazrat Rasool?s teachings descent, was exceptional in receiving authorization to instruct students in multiple orders. Drawing from the wealth of these traditions, he adapted practices to fit the changing life styles brought about by industrialization and modernization. Abdul Bari Shah?s spiritual heir, Hazrat Rasool, continues the process here; he not only explains centuries-old concepts such as remembrance of the Divine (dhikr=Allah), the inner centers of consciousness (lataif), and meditation or contemplation (muraqabah), but responds with equal insight to questions about Islam?s treatment of women, the process of choosing a mystical path, and the significance of spiritual endeavor for humanity?s future.

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