Sufism and Islam

sufismandislam
Many Muslims look into their hearts today and find a spiritual emptiness. Speeches abound, but when the chairs are folded up and people go home, they find their prayers and inner life as dry as ever. Something is clearly missing. This essay shows that at the centre of the Islamic revelation, there is a brilliant light that has never been put out, but in our time has been covered over by the bushel-basket of modernist and Muslim-reform literature It proves from the Qur’an and sunna that from the very beginning of Islam, there has been a fully orthodox and operational science for increasing the impetus and intensity of one’s relationship with the Divine, a traditional spirituality that is today called ‘Sufism’, in all previous Islamic eras was simple known and practised as ‘the way to Allah’. It discusses critics of Sufism, ancient and modern, and shows that if the false coin has sometimes circulated among Muslims, the real thing is the brightest hope Islam has to offer a world benighted by nihilism and materialism.

About the Author

NUH HA MIM KELLER was born in the northwestern United States in 1954. He read philosophy and classical Arabic at the University of Chicago and UCLA, and became a Muslim in Cairo in 1977. He was a disciple in the Shadhili order of the Sufi master and poet Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri of Damascus from 1982 until the latter’s death in 2004, and was authorized as a sheikh in the order by Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman in 1996. He has studied Shafi‘i and Hanafi jurisprudence, hadith, and other subjects with traditional scholars in the Middle East, and in the 1980s, under the tutelage of Islamic scholars in Syria and Jordan, produced Reliance of the Traveller, the first translation of a standard Islamic legal reference in a European language to be certified by al-Azhar, the Muslim world’s oldest institution of higher learning. Among his other works and translations are Becoming Muslim, Sufism in Islam, al-Maqasid: Imam Nawawi’s Manual of Islam, Invocations of the Shadhili Order, Port in a Storm: A Fiqh Solution to the Qibla of North America, and an illuminated calligraphic edition of Dala‘il al-Khayrat. He has travelled and lectured on Islam extensively, and he writes and teaches in Amman, where he has lived since 1980.

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