Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Where to buy black seed products

I had been using black cumin, also known as Kala Jeera, in Bengali cuisine for several years before I realized that it was the same seed that is so well known by Muslims as Black Seed and prized for its healing properties. I was delighted.

Sweet Sunnah are experts in the benefits of black seed and have a variety of medicinal and cosmetic products for sale.
clipped from
is phytotherapuetic (Herbal medicine ) and has been known to reduce your risk to illness and disease by strengthening your immune system and protecting your body’s most important organs. It is a wondrous herb that has been used for centuries throughout the world for its many therapeutic properties.
Our goal is to provide you with a wealth of information, products and gifts that support and promote natural healing.

Finally, Sweet Sunnah Black Seed Herbals has developed an expertise in two domains, Black Seed therapeutic and herbal medicine products and, in a lesser proportion, Black Seed natural herbal cosmetics. The development of these lines of products is simply the consequence of answering to the demand from many of our satisfied customers.

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Thursday, 24 July 2008

Mystical Dimensions of Islam

Mystical Dimensions of Islam by Annemarie Schimmel was the first book I read about Sufism and I still have a great fondness for it. Annemarie Schimmel was a great scholar and also a practising Sufi. It is a beautiful and very thorough survey of Sufism, its history, its practices, and with special emphasis on Sufi poetry. This is an excerpt from the product description,

Mystical Dimensions of Islam presents, for the first time, a balanced historical treatment of the transnational phenomenon of Sufism—Islamic mysticism—from its beginnings through the nineteenth century. Through her sensitivity and deep understanding of the subject, Annemarie Schimmel, an eminent scholar of Eastern religions, draws the reader into the mood, the vision, the way of the Sufi in a manner that adds an essential ingredient to her analysis of the history of Sufism.

It is well worth having this book and reading it often.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Alternative Healing: The Sufi Way

For those interested in the art of Sufi healing you couldn’t wish for a more thorough and inspired work than this one by Shaykh Taner Ansari. It includes chapters on the spiritual being and the physical being with a list of ailments and appropriate remedies with verses from the Qu’ran and the Beautiful Names to be recited for each ailment. There is a section on diagnosis and another on the necessary preparation of the practitioner to move into a healing mode. The book was edited by Shaykh Kevin Germain (mentioned in a previous post on the sound of the universe). Shaykh Taner and his wife, Shaykha Muzeyyen, have been running workshops on Sufi healing in America, England, and Australia. I attended the workshop in London and benefited enormously from their marvellous sense of humour and sensitivity to the needs of all attendees. This book is a wonderful and very thorough accompaniment to those workshops but also stands alone as a potential bringer of great blessings to the attentive reader.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Sufi Musicians

For all those interested in Sufi music and Sufi ways of understanding and experiencing music there are some great articles over on Kevin's blog, Acoustics, Health, and Sufism
He is writing about a fascinating theory on the sound of the Big Bang, well worth reading, and his latest post is about a theory of his own on musical adab and the way in which musical intervals correspond to psychological states or attributes. These are then related to the Names of Allah. I believe it is true that music communicates in a way that language cannot, or it is a different mode of communication which works on the soul in subtle ways. The idea of a musical adab is enlightening.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes

Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes by Shems Friedlander is a book I first read when doing research for a dissertation on dance and the sacred in Islam. It is a beautiful book with many photographs of dervishes whirling and the story of how Sultan Walad, the son of Rumi instigated this particular form of sema after his father’s death in 1273. It was Sultan Walad who gave the Mevlevi Order its structure and contributed to the choreography of the sema with parts like the stately walk around the space before the whirling begins, and it is in the sema, as it has been danced for centuries, that the spirit of Rumi’s love and devotion has been carried down to the present time along with the great corpus of his poetry. In this book you will find the words of a twelve year old participant that express so aptly the power of the sema today. He says, “Sometimes, during the sema, it feels as if Mevlana is holding my hand. I begin to smile inside and my heart is warm, and later it is as if what my eyes see is different from before”

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Contemporary Sufi Poetry

If you do a Google search on Sufi poetry the results will most likely bring up a wealth of sites with information and examples of the masters of the art. Honoured and respected poets on the Sufi path who wrote about what they experienced and ‘tasted’ on the journey of return to unity with the One. It is a journey of longing and struggle in which all things are seen as the signs of God, including our own selves. Metaphors of love are commonly used in such poetry where the lover longs for union with the Beloved. We see this in the images of the nightingale singing to the rose or the moth drawn to the flame. There are many translations from the original languages in which this poetry was written, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, to English. Some of these translations are more like free interpretations attempting to capture the spirit of a piece for contemporary readers. For example, the thirteenth century Sufi poet/mystic Jalaluddin Rumi is one of the most widely read poets in the United States today. But what about Sufi poetry written today by contemporary students on the Sufi path?

Very little contemporary Sufi poetry is published for a mainstream readership. There appears to be little publishing interest in contemporary Sufi writing. Yet many of today’s dervishes, like Sufis of old, still feel compelled to allow words to flow and the recent phenomenon of the blog provides a structure for that expression. Try some of the following blogs for poetry from the heart written today. Just click on the titles.

Knocking from Inside

Poems from the Edge of the Continent

The Wandering Troubadour

The Court of Lions (collaborative poetry blog)

Daniel Abd al-Hayy Moore Poetry

Gathering of Thoughts

There are also publications of contemporary Sufi poetry. Here are some well worth reading from Daniel Abd al-Hayy Moore and Tiel Aisha Ansari

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Sufi Teaching Tales

Laughter and tears, adventures, struggles, and lessons to be learnt, all with the promise of treasure far greater than gold. These are some of the elements of traditional Sufi tales whose aim is often to break down accustomed ways of thinking and make you feel perplexed. Hidden within the words of what might seem like a charming folk tale are the moments of bafflement when habit is challenged and a door is opened to a clear view of reality. A little like the Koan and Zen teaching stories, allow them to work on you and shed light on our all too human failings. Here are a few good collections of such stories.

Welcome to a Treasure Trove of Sufi Books and Music

Dear Friends and Readers,

Welcome to the Sufi Book and Music Blog. Step in and look around the many sections here that all relate to an aspect of Sufism. There are also DVD's of music from master musicians. If you know of any books that are not here then you are welcome to write and let me know so I can add them. The idea of this site is to bring together in one place as many books on the subject of Sufism as possible so that it is easier for you to discover what is available without doing long searches. So take your time and browse as you would in any library or book store. As I speak of the books available in the store so it is also an opportunity to look at different aspects of the Sufi path and the many friends who have trodden this path in the past and in the present day.