Book Notes – Master of the Jinn

September 30, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:


Master of the Jinn has been published in INDIA, in English, by Hay House/India :)  If you live in India, you can purchase a copy at your local bookseller, or online HERE.

Master of the Jinn will also be translated and published in Malayalam, the language of the Kerala State of India, early in 2011.

The Kindle Ebook of Master of the Jinn is now available in the UK, and can be downloaded HERE.

Master of the Jinn will be translated and published in Malaysia in late 2010/early 2011, and will be titled Tuan Jin.

Abu Pokeman, a fan of Master of the Jinn has revealed on his blog what the characters would look like if they were made of Lego. Very cute :) You can see them below:

Ya Haqq :)

Review of Meister der Jinn – the German Translation

September 26, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Here is an old review (June, 2009) a friend was kind enough to finally translate of Meister der Jinn, the German translation of Master of the Jinn, from the magazine Spirit Connection. To order the book, click HERE.

Sufism in the Form of a Novel

This Sufi novel leads the reader into the desert, in a sandstorm, which brings the hidden into the light, into a night out of the limits of time and into the city of the Jinn. The Jinn are, like humans and angels, creatures fashioned by God; they possess free will and their fortunes/destiny lie at the core of this story.

The external journey is at the same time an inner spiritual one. The adventure of a Master and his Dervishes (Sufi apprentices) is very vividly described, so that one can easily empathize with its images. The rhythm of the novel alternates between slow passages and intensive climactic moments, thus ensuring suspense. As in the novels of Paulo Coehlo, the characters, adventures and spiritual notions are kneaded into a mixture; one is so riveted by the events of the book that one wants to read the book very quickly to the end. Through the statements of the main character of the novel and the interspersed citations of Sufi Masters, the reader is brought closer to an understanding of Sufi Philosophy.  Not only is the Terminology of the Sufis explained in a glossary at the end of the book, but also short and concise elucidations are given in the text itself so that one does not always need to leaf back and forth through the pages of the book.

It is possible that some will feel that there is a lack of philosophical depth; however, that is not necessarily the purpose of a novel. In any case, emotionally sensitive people will not be shortchanged and will be able to be deeply touched. But then again, the end was too sweet for my personal taste with its Hollywood-type happy conclusion.

Readers who are easily stimulated into reflection will find in this book enough opportunities to do so, for example when the Master asks: “And do you also think that they do not know what you think of them now”?  If this had been the case in our own reality, how differently we would feel inwardly and how differently we would all live together outwardly.

In all, this is a felicitous book that presents a good change from the many spiritual “non-fiction books”.

– Alfred Groff

Ya Haqq!

The Knowing Heart

September 21, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“The Sufis have been the educators of hearts for at least fourteen centuries. Their teaching and methods are based neither upon dogma nor conjecture, but upon a divine and objective foundation which is the primordial religion of humanity.

“Sufism does not offer salvation in the sense of a guarantee of heaven in the afterlife. Sufism offers a path to complete humanness, a state in which the spiritual and the human are unified, in which the world of spiritual qualities and material existence are seen as one.

“This education is empirical, practical, and integrated with daily life. At the same time it is attuned to the most transcendent Truth. This education is a unified whole, but it touches on so many areas of experience: individual psychology, relationships, marriage, family, community, livelihood, creativity, and worship.”

We are the mirror as well as the face in it.

We are drunk on this life of God.

We are both the pain and its cure.

We are the fresh, cool water

and the jar that pours.

–  Rumi (Quatrain 1652)

From The Knowing Heart: A Sufi Path of Transformation by Kabir Helminski

Ya Haqq!

Book Review – The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson

September 12, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

G. Willow Wilson is honest to the bone, and I laughed and cried by turns at the vivid and poetic account of her life’s journey in The Butterfly Mosque.

From a student’s philosophic interest in Islam to a religious awakening in the hospital while suffering from what she calls adrenal distress, to Egypt, where she accepted a teaching position for a year, to meeting Omar, her adored and adoring soon-to-be Sufi husband and his extended family—all against the backdrop of the Middle Eastern way of life in Cairo, that overcrowded, overhot, overdusty great city of the Nile.

Willow’s descriptive and analytical powers are at once affectionate and insightful. The Middle Eastern way of life, with its emphasis on family and community interdependence instead of independence, its Islamic tradition of courtesy and hospitality,  and its foundation of religion woven into every aspect of daily living, is something few in the secular West seem to appreciate.

Indeed, the Middle East division of the State Department as well as Western Think Tanks and Islamic Studies seminars would benefit greatly if The Butterfly Mosque were required reading.

Her candor is both refreshing and thoughtfully intelligent, and her bravery in forging a common ground, a space in which to live with her husband and within Islam the way her heart beckoned, is to glimpse what is left unsaid, but there between the lines—those that accept their calling and follow their heart are on the Divine path, no matter their religion.

If you have not yet read this wise and intimate memoir, buy a copy now, or order it online here, or check it out of your local library.  Willow’s is a life worth knowing.

Highly Recommended!

Ya Haqq!

Hazrat Ali’s Sermon on Eid ul-Fitr

September 6, 2010

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The blessed month of Ramadan will be over in a few days, and so it is fitting to repost this from last year.  On the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, Hazrat Ali (A.S.) delivered a sermon in which he said:

“O people! Verily this day of yours is the day when the righteous are awarded and the wretched are losers. It is a day which is similar to the one on which you shall be standing (before your Lord). Therefore, when you come out of your homes to go to places of your prayer, remind yourselves about the day when you (your souls) shall come out of your bodies to go to your Lord. When you stand on places of your prayer, remind yourselves of your standing in the presence of your Lord (on the day of Judgment). And when you return to your homes (after prayer), remind yourselves about your returning to your homes in Paradise. O Servants of Allah! Verily the minimum reward for those men and women who fasted (during Ramadan), is an Angel, who calls out to them on the last day of the month of Ramadan (saying): O SERVANTS OF ALLAH! REJOICE THE GLAD TIDING THAT ALL YOUR PREVIOUS SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN…”

– From the Nahjul-Balaghah.

Eid-ul-Fitr is a unique festival. It has no connection with any historical event nor is it related to the changes of seasons or cycles of agriculture. It is not a festival related in any way to worldly affairs. Its significance is purely spiritual. It is the day when Muslims thank God for having given them the will, the strength and the endurance to observe the fast and obey His commandments during the holy month of Ramadan.

Alhamdulillah! May Allah bless us all, and grant that we use this Eid as a lens to focus the sun of good works, which have shone so brightly during Ramadan, to light the way through this coming year until the next Ramadan. Amin! Amin!

Eid Mubarak!

Ya Haqq!