Sinners, Seekers, Saints and the Road to Redemption
Author: Michael Sugich
'Hearts Turn' is a singular and gripping exploration of the act of 'tawba', a Qur'anic term commonly translated as repentance. In English, repentance is a forbidding word that suggests a puritanical finality. But in Arabic the term 'tawba' is dynamic, meaning to 'turn' or 'return'. 'At-Tawwab' is one of the Names of God, the Oft-Returning or Ever-Relenting. It is an active constant, an ongoing, compassionate reality that renews every moment we are alive. The process of purification is a process of continuous turning. In 'Hearts Turn' Michael Sugich, author of 'Signs on the Horizons', tells stories that are harrowing and hilarious, heartrending and bizarre, profane and transcendent, and altogether full of hope, showing how men and women from many parts of the world and many walks of life have turned themselves around and taken a fork in the road toward a higher reality. "This book is a declaration of mercy and certainty. Formed of a collection of stories I've experienced, read or heard, about how malleable the human heart can be and how wrongdoing, remorse, need, and yearning intersect with Divine Compassion, Forgiveness and Guidance. It is also about the sudden transitions from confusion to clarity, from sin to virtue, from sleep to wakefulness, from ignorance to knowledge, from foolishness to wisdom. And finally it is about the path of our lives, which leads us gradually, and for those who God favors, inexorably to salvation." From the introduction to 'Hearts Turn'"Magnificent!...Interlacing ancient and modern experiences of the unexpected presence of God, this unique anthology of conversion stories reminds us of the ongoing spiritual power of Islamic faith." Dr. Timothy Winter (Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad) Dean of Cambridge Muslim College"Michael Sugich is a master storyteller as he demonstrated in 'Signs on the Horizons'. 'Hearts Turn' is a brilliantly written reminder that God's Mercy is always open to each of us, no matter our position in life. This book has the power to leave the reader wanting to turn to God and to His Mercy. I loved this book." Sami Yusuf Singer, Composer, Humanitarian"A really heartwarming book...for a generation of young Muslims and converts who face inner doubts and in need of a few smart lessons from Michael's journeybook, told through many voices and his own unique spiritual history. It is a relief to know I am not alone." Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
The essays explore Sufism as it developed in the Indian subcontinent, including translations of previously unavailable texts, and revealing unexpected insights into the lives, practices, and teachings of Indian Muslims over nearly a thousand years. They also trace remarkable moments in the history of Muslim engagement with Indian religious and cultural practices. This includes not only Muslim participation in Indian art and literature, but also the extraordinary role that Sufis have played in the practice of yoga. Employing new approaches to religious studies that avoid essentialism and ideological concepts of religion, and shorn of unnecessary jargon, these compelling essays will be easily accessible to a larger audience.
According to Ibn 'Arabi, voyaging never ceases, and this applies in all worlds and dimensions. The paradigmatic voyages recounted in this remarkable book offer the reader an inexhaustible source of reflection. As a well-known Sufi saying puts it, 'the spiritual journey is called "voyage" (safar) because it "unveils" (yusfiru) the characters of the Men of God'. The Secrets of Voyaging explores the theme of journeying and spiritual unveiling as it plays out in the cosmos, in scripture and within the soul of the mystic. Beginning with a series of cosmological contemplations, Ibn 'Arabi then turns to his own selective readings of Prophetic lore, in which he gives profound insights on the voyages of Muhammad, Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Jacob and Joseph, and Moses. Angela Jaffray's translation brings this major treatise to an English-speaking audience for the first time. It is accompanied by a new edition of the Arabic text based on a manuscript in Ibn 'Arabi's own hand, an introduction and extensive notes. It also includes a rich in-depth commentary that will guide the reader through Ibn 'Arabi's subtle and allusive writing.
Near and Distant Horizons: In Search of the Primary Sources of Knowledge With originality and insight, the author makes a compelling case for the need to identify the sources of a traditional knowledge that still has the power to enrich people's lives in today's materialistic and anti-spiritual world. What are the true sources of knowledge? Are there headwaters for the universal laws of nature? Is there a source so transcendent that it can resolve the perennial mystery concerning the origin of life and the creation of man? Is there a wellspring of knowledge that can neutralize the duality of the world by offering a unified vision of the Whole? This work reflects upon the significance of three principal sources of knowledge in the Islamic Traditions. They are Revelation as the expression of the supreme mind of God, Nature as the universal body of God, and Man as the human image of God. The book's absorbing inquiry and reflective style throw light on the dark mysteries that still confront people today, and will appeal to readers interested in an alternative to the theories of modern science, taking them on an inward journey whose destination lies far beyond the horizon of our time. John Herlihy, an American Muslim, was educated at Boston University and Columbia University in New York City. He has written a number of books on traditional themes, including Modern Man at the Crossroads and Borderlands of the Spirit. He is the Director of an educational program at the Petroleum Institute, a new engineering university in the United Arab Emirates.
'The Signs of God' explores the importance of mystical consciousness at this time of global transition. In the depths of the heart is hidden the secret purpose of creation, which is the key to our present time of transformation. The work of the mystic is to make this key accessible to humanity, and so open the doors of revelation. The possibilities of the future are present but veiled, the joy of life is waiting to return. The mystic can help us to awaken to the oneness that is essential to life, and to recognize the signs of God that will guide us and reveal our true purpose.
In The Praised and the Virgin, Rusmir Mahmutćehajić provides a theological and philosophical meditation on the relationship between the Prophet Muhammad and the Virgin Mary as complementary bearers of God’s Word, through the historical example of intermingling traditions in Bosnia.
Seven Doors to Islam reveals the religious worldview and spiritual tradition of the world's one billion Muslims. Spanning the breadth of Islamic civilization from Morocco to Indonesia, this book demonstrates how Muslims have used the literary and visual arts in all their richness and diversity to communicate religious values. Each of the seven chapters opens a "door" that leads progressively closer to the very heart of Islam, from the foundational revelation in the Qur'an to the transcendent experience of the Sufi mystics. However, unlike most studies of Islam, which see spirituality as the concern of a minority of mystical seekers, Seven Doors demonstrates its central role in every aspect of the Islamic tradition.
This book is one of the first ones of its kind in the market clearly explaining and expounding the Attributes of God in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions. This book is a valuable guide not only to any university student; but is equally interesting for a general reader who wonders and appreciates the bonding of compassion and love God has for His creatures as seen in His Attributes.