The Circle Group > Inspirations

islam_democracy_bookIslam and Democracy

A Cooperative Approach Toward Understanding Democracy: A Foundation for Ending Extremism and Preventing Conflict by J.E. Rash, was created as part of a citizen exchange program delivered by Legacy International, entitled Religion, Human Rights & Democracy: Peer Interactions between Religious and Civic Leaders in the U.S. and in Kazakhstan. Activities for the Religion, Human Rights & Democracy program were designed “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations.and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.”

Classical Teachings for the Contemporary Seeker

applied_sufismApplied Sufism frames the teachings of Sufism in the form of a response to those seeking a whole and integral path, a unity of form and meaning, and intimate knowledge of God. The intimate portrayal of conscience afforded the reader in the exposition of these principles imbues these lectures with a light that is at once familiar and rare. In short, Shaykh Ahmed Abdur Rashid, as an exemplar and spiritual mentor, and in his teaching legacy has provided us with timeless criteria, clear and coherent, of the theoretical and practical aspects of the timeless spiritual discourse of traditional Islam.

  • The book is well-written and is a good representation of the traditional Sufi way most useful for our times. Traditional concepts have been explained in a clear manner which is easy to comprehend. The reader will surely return many times to seek new meaning on the timeless subject. The relevant Qur’anic verses and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) are scattered throughout the work to give it great authenticity and support required in Islamic discourse of such type. These writings have been composed from a series of lecture given by the author over several years. The author is a guide of the Sufi tradition who belongs to a renowned tarika from India.He has also written on various Islamic themes. Shaykh Abdur Rashid is resident of the USA. The book is strongly recommended. ~ Sohail Mahmood, professor of political science at the International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Join his group,  the Islamic Sufi Tradition – the Muslim Approach Towards Peace Building at the ipeace website.

Excerpt – pg 89

“Small groups of devoted, dedicated people can alter the course of history: for good or for evil.  If we aspire to be mureeduun-those who desire God-and muraad-those whom God wishes to draw near to Him-then we have a responsibility to define the middle way, the way of moderation as exemplified by the Prophet (salla Llaahu’alayhi wa sallam) in terms and on issues that are manifest in today’s world.   We face an immediate imperative to distinguish, by action, philosophy, and theology, the extremist members of our communities from those who are firmly comitted to the essentials of Islam as based in moderation and inclusivity: essentials such as tarbiyah (education), muhaasabah (self-examination), ‘adl (justice), salaam and sulh (peace and reconciliation), and others which  today parallel democratic mainstays like freedom of opinion, decision-making by consensus, freedom of speech, citizens’ duties to the community.  This in turn necessitates a defined spectrum of moderate opinion so that the different voices and visions of moderation may be heard.  A self-critical, constructive, and honest approach will go a long way toward creating trust within and outside of the community.”

Publisher: Wingspan Press
ISBN: 1595941215
EAN: 9781595941213
No. of Pages: 332

Turning Toward the Heart, Awakening to the Sufi Way, Forty Questions and Answers with  Shaykh al-Tariqat Hazrat Azad Rasool

Excerpt from:  “Question 35: Awakening the Heart

What does it mean for the heart to become “awakend” or “enlightened”?

turning_heart……As the salik devotes more time to muraqabah (meditation), the heart continues to be polished until it becomes like a mirror, accurately reflecting events and circumstances around it.   The heart  is “open” when the remembrance of God engages it fully.  Light suffuses the heart, revealing aspects of reality that previously lay hidden.   There dawns a new, more complete understanding of life in all its aspects.  In short, the seeker is enlightened.

The Indian master Sayyid ‘Abd al Bari Shah (r.a.) (d. 1900) once said, “To restore life to a dead person is not a miracle.”  His student Hazrat Hamid Hasan ‘Alawi (r.a.) (d.1959) asked in amazement, “If reviving the dead does not constitute a miracle, what does?”  Sayyid  ‘Abd al-Bari Shah (r.a.) replied, “The greater task is to awaken a lifeless heart.   To awaken a dead heart is not within the reach of any person unless and until the grace of God supports this effort”.

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