Andalusian Reality

andalusia was another "house of wisdom" - A forum for discussing :: Charles Le Gai Eaton | Martin Lings |Rene Guenon | Titus Burchkhardt | Frithjof Schuon |Seyyed Hossein Nasr :: mostly Philosophia Perennis and others Rumi | Tariq Ramadan | Muhammad Asad | Murad Hoffman | Ghazali

Monday, March 06, 2006

Muhammad Asad - The Message of the Quran
aka Leopold Weiss (Translator & Commentary )
Adobe - PDF - Entire Text

If I recall correctly, it was towards the end of grade 9, that I started reading, or let me say 'discovered' - "The Message of the Quran". On a particular day, I was highly stressed out, and something made me pick this book up. After reading for a while, like an Epiphany, all my despair, and stress vanished away. I felt that, now, for the first time ever, something about the Revelation resonated within me. It was a feeling unlike any other.

I felt Peace at last.

I devote this blog to that Jew's legacy.

Blog on Muhammad Asad's - The Road to Mecca

Friday, December 16, 2005

Now I'm Free:

It is amazing how an illness can be a cure in itself.

The temperments, and experiances that are begotten not only reshape one's worldview but acknowledge the possibility of having another (in the first place). How far I've come from my own shell yet paradoxically find myself having returned to "what was closer" all along. Amazing how my frames of references have been shattered and rebuilt time and time again. It won't be far-fetched for me to say that the very sad act of seeing what was a mere construct, destroyed - can be a manifestation of Truth itself.

It is impossible to formulate a universal reconciliation of reason, and other possibilies; for doing so would be to tread or more appropriatly - step over the very opposing realms that attempt to diminish or destroy the other. Be pragmatic, let each one have 'their' share, and move on with what ought to be really concerning you...

Will the sum total of experiances matter or will it be a single moment. Was the universe eternal or created; will it end in some final act, or will it morph into something else, did we really come from single point or do we fall into the trap of infinite regression - who knows ? Will your current act, gurantee the consequences, or will the premonition, turn out to be some conspiracy that you willingly duped yourself into ?

When I'll come to know the answers, none of this will matter, because by then I'll realize it was not the answers that I was seeking, but an easy way out. Frame not the frames, but embrace the paradoxes of life.

Only now do you submit, but ironically, now you are free.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Do Not Submit !

O - You who thought you submit
Follow not the dorks, and idiots of this world
They seek naught but thy downfall

Submit not to the whims and fancies
For who can say, the glorious were these bigots

Submission to the One & Only,
Entails you to surpass even the laws of the physical
Heck – who told you the physical was the absolute
You live in relativity, why stop now, why bother?

Take command of your Destiny,
For destiny can be changed by Dua,
For those who tell you otherwise, let them suffer

It all depends on: in ma’l amal bi’niyah


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Martin Lings - Passed Away this month [ May 2005 ]

May God grant him a high station in the afterlife. - Ameen

In my journey - God had used Lings' book on Sufism as a point of return (from a state of scepticism). In this very same period, I then came across "Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources" and in this I saw light.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was right when he said [we] are like "travellers".

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Blogger: Andalusian Reality

"Every blessing ignored becomes a curse”.

"When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person realize his dream"

This must be one of the most profound spiritual novels that I’ve ever come across. The brazillian author - Paulo, lucidly conveys the essence of mysticism through the journeys of a young boy. The Sophia of a universal language is delivered to the reader with utmost simplicity. The story of a young Andalusian boy, *ahem*, being led to seek the inner meanings of life, strikes deep chords and parallels with the moments of light and torrents of darkness that I’ve had to sail over and across.

The Alchemist reaffirms what I’ve learnt about the auspicious signs; the very motifs that help me to understand the inner truths of what has "been written”.

A must read. (Thanks Ramadan)

(I read “The Alchemist” during my last transatlantic flight, three months ago, what made me delay this blog – maktub?)

That was: The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Incoherence of the Philsophers
Author: Al-Ghazali - Michael Marmura (Trans)
Blogger: Andalusian Reality

If you don’t know the question, the answer remains meaningless.

Al Ghazali’s(1058-1111), Tahafut al-falasifa, is no easy read. The proofs presented by the author shall enlighten those who are familiar with the polemics of philosophy in relation to metaphysics. The preface makes it clear that the proofs laid out have nothing against logic, the physical sciences or philosophy itself, as they – in Ghazali’s opinion - are neutral in man’s relationship with his creator.

“The Incoherence of the Philosophers” practically shatters arguments in the very language of philosophy; arguments that are made to limit the traditional aspects of religion and its metaphysical implications. In this regards the author has done an excellent job.
While his Ihya ulum al-din is meant for everyone. This book’s target audience is the Academia.

That was: The Incoherence of the Philosphers - Al-Ghazali - Michael Marmura

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Islam and the Destiny of Man
Author: Charles Le Gai Eaton
Blogger: Andalusian Reality * Philosophia Perennis

Islam and the Destiny of Man answered a lot of inner questions for me just when I was caught in the labyrinth of several trends, and to this day it continues to do so. Charles Le Gai Eaton has stroked up a masterpiece that is cohesive in content and form. This blend of Sophia, true to the annals of human history and thought cannot fail to impress the seeking mind.

The pages of this book are as richly interwoven as Eaton’s own background: He is Swiss born from an English extraction; along with a mother who grew up in France. The author’s experiences during childhood made him highly skeptical of everything. By the time he was at Cambridge he quit believing in God.

During the period that followed, his quest for symbolism along with his chance to meet L.H. Myers, T.S Eliot followed by Rene Guenon profoundly increased his ability to have his questions answered and in this intensification of understanding he met Martin Lings. The writings of traditionalists such as Frithjof Schuon further influenced Eaton. A certain key in unraveling perennial philosophy lies in the works of Gai Eaton.

No doubt - Islam and the Destiny of Man is highly effectual in conveying a sense of satisfaction to the reader, with an unmatched style and depth – you’ll want to read more about the return to the primordial state.

That was: Islam and the Destiny of Man - Charles Le Gai Eaton

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Rumi Daylight
Author: Rumi, translated by Camille and Helminski
Blogger: Andalusian Reality

Consider yourself in a journey to eternity where each stage of the journey symbolizes a station, within each station lies hardships and toil. You experience pain and misery at each station but with every hardship you are greeted with ease.

You are living that journey. The secrets of each station are not known to all but signposts and guides are present along the way. Ascending from one station to another is no easy task. You will gain wisdom from those who have traversed the path before you. This help shall smoothen thy task, but in the end, the journey is yours.

If you really have considered what you have just read then try the Mathnavi of Rumi . . .

Without an escort you’re bewildered on a familiar road;
don’t travel alone on a way you haven’t seen at all;
don’t turn your head away from the Guide. [ I, 2944-5 ]

If you are irritated by every rub,
how will your mirror be polished? [ I, 2980]

A thorn in the foot is hard to find.
What about a thorn in the heart ?
If everyone saw the thorn in his heart,
When would sorrow gain the upper hand ? [ I, 152-3]

Completing the Mathnavi of Rumi is a mammoth task on its own – where to begin ?

Helminski’s “Daylight” makes the task easier for those who seek to begin. Start with a good intention, contemplate over his selection. Try one couplet a day.

[ If you would like to share some of your favorite Rumi couplets – start posting in the comments section – I would love to read them ]

That was: Rumi Daylight – Rumi Trans: Camille & Helminski

Monday, July 05, 2004

The Road to Mecca
Author: Leopold Weiss | Muhammad Asad
Blogger: Andalusian Reality

‘Why is it that, even after finding my place among the people who believe in the things I myself have come to believe, I have struck no root?’ If anything else describes my position better I still have to come across that book. Leopold Weiss (aka Asad) in “Road to Mecca” illustrates his journeys; conversion and profound thoughts all in his widely acclaimed autobiography. However, apart from all the exciting memoirs he has chronicled and the spiritual deserts he had to cross, more importantly he has summarized the very regret of my life, “… I have struck no root”.

The author helped me to discover my place in the cosmos. Before and after.

Using a clever structure Asad conveys his autobiography in fractured narratives; with a disrupted chronology he uses a fragmented style of narration with multi time frames. I’ve tried to ‘classify’ them as follows: The outward journey that will take him to the final pilgrimage; complimented by the inward feelings, moods and thoughts while shifting back and forth between the past and the ‘present’.

Leopold Weiss [Asad] (1900-1992) had completed the book in August 1954, initiated at the curious request of his western colleagues. Could it be possible that a person from that era be writing something that has connected the heart of an unlikely reader? I mean do different people with altogether different backgrounds think alike? Can a person who had in his day seen World War 1 be compared with an individual whose life is being laid out in the 21st? ‘The Story of a story’, means more to me than a mere ‘autobiography’. The manner in which Asad has portrayed his experiences is dear to me.

I personally have found this book to be one of self discovery.

Asad’s writing is best described by Jacob De Haan, a genial Holldener whom he meets in Cairo. Haan exclaims “How do you manage to convey in a half-sentence an almost mystical significance to things that are apparently so commonplace?”

I was left passionately crying by the time I had reached within and felt what he saw .. .

“ We ride on, rushing, flying over the plain, and to me it seems that we flying with the wind, abandoned to a happiness that knows neither end nor limit . . . and the wind shouts a wild paean of joy into my ears: ‘Never again, never again, never again will you be a stranger!’
… I turn around in my saddle and see behind me the waving, weaving mass of thousands of white-clad riders and, beyond them, the bridge over which I have come: its end is just behind me while its beginning is already lost in the midst of distance. ”

Now he had transcended his identity, reached a new sense of belonging and momentarily shared an epiphany that I too long to join . . . “Labaykalah huma labayk . . .”

That was: The Road to Mecca - Leopold Weiss | Muhammad Asad

Sunday, July 04, 2004

The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam
Author: Allama Muhammad Iqbal
Blogger: Andalusian Reality

I like Iqbal.
He never seems to lose focus of rationality. Although he articulates certain limitations of rationality with respect to metaphysics, this book is rich. The language is richly that of contemporary philosophy and psychology, with a rich understanding of divine verses.

I was overwhelmed to come across the Ash'arite school of thoughts take on the Atom. It is surely a must read for students of Physics and Chemistry. Some text from the book relating to this topic is available in the comments section.

That was: The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam - Iqbal

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Heart of Islam:
Enduring Values for Humanity
Author: Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Blogger: Andalusian Reality * Philosophia Perennis
[ ]

Having read Iqbal, Ramadan [Tariq], Eaton, Asad, Lings, Guenon, Hoffman, Rumi, Esposito, Ghazali, Jilani . . . this summer I still had the nerve to purchase yet another book. Hossein Nasr was on my list for quite some time now, keenly from the days of Eatons' 'Rememberence of God'. Hadn't had the opportunity to touch his works - till now.

If classifying Ramadan was hard wait till you come across Nasr. Nasr is another member to the perennia philosphic tradition, with Persian roots and an Academic post @ George Washington U. he is a must read.

His book [ Heart of Islam ] would be a nice mixture of Eatons' Destiny of man, Lings' What is Sufism, Hoffmans' Islam the Alternative, Esposito's Islam the Straight Path, Love poetry of Rumi and the extensive depth and coverage of Muslim lands that would parallel Asads' Road to Mecca. I was amazed to see the cohesive forces that bind the chapters and issues present in this book. Using Nasr's style I would unashamedly call this book the Alpha, Omega of Modern Academic works that deal with Islam and Muslim issues.

That was: Heart of Islam, Enduring Values for Humanity - Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Monday, May 17, 2004

Western Muslims and The Future of Islam


Author: Tariq Ramadan Blogger: Andalusian

The preface has left me surprised...perhaps it shouldn't have and yet maybe it should. The perinas sophia has returned. I had not expected this from the grandson of Hasan and yet maybe this is what I can expect from such a thinker.

Had a harrowing experiance with my ticket today - oh how the preface resonates and brings the memories of those strange hours of today back onto me. The humility that sought to wipe off the frustrations of my own shortcommings and how it now floats behind me - forever.

How indespecable the individual "I" can reach - saw it on display over the cathode tube after the preface and how worst are those who remain silent. Would would 'X' say . . . "Power only understands Power".

-My expectations and presumptions

Recently I had expressed my personal frustrations in "Nuclear Crossroads of Mine", therein I was able to extrapolate my inner wrestlings with certain idosyncrasies of mine. Those where the inner reasons yet among the outer, it's the bickering between different models available before me. I now long and look towards an all inclusive model as mentioned by a certain speaker at the Revival Conference.

Although I have realized on one hand what I would like to move towards . . .and yet the means, the real-life issues and the reactions from others since then haven't had the right positive momentum. People are still and will always be stuck with "what they've learnt from their forefathers"., the "other" is always acted towards with hostility.

My interactions in the first year of Nuclear Engineering have made me realize more than ever - that at our current cross-roads we yet again need a new model. A model that includes all the groups even if they are rallied against each other with the fierest proponents of controversy we need a new proactive understanding that is willing to say "I believe in the One Transcendent God". Period.

Here is where I look forward to "Western Muslims and The Future of Islam".


' There is no Islamic Theology ' - For some strange reason I agree with that...more on that when I shall be able to articulate it.

'Soul and Flesh' ( soul vs. flesh ain't us), recall Gai Eaton reaching to the same conclusions in "Destiny of Man". I consider this model where certain things are neutral by fitra more apealing than - ironically the soul and flesh model absorbed by even some of our conservatives ( To think the soul vs. flesh model was supposedly foreign to our doctrines. )

After reaching to "Revelation: Principles and Tools". I can summerize the intent of the author as such: He seeks that we understand our first principle frame of reference which is inbued in Tawheed and the fact that we have already bore witness to our creator and his absoluteness.

A paragraph that was very meaningful for me was:

"The idea that an intelligent being may find itself alone, abandoned, a prey to doubt with no landmarks in the midst of the "tragedy of life" is alien to Islam: God always makes available to humankind tools and signs on the road that leads to recognizing Him."

The chapter ends with a proper classification of all the current 'models' and ranks them with respect to ijtihad and other factors. To be able to clearly synthesize the different movements and schools of thoughts in an appropriate fashion as such is a mammoth task on its own. I am glad Ramadan has touched the different 'Islams'.

Now that I'm done with the first chapter and have anchored my own "frame of reference" for the book. I can start jumping all over the place. I'm moving towards the end.

Speaking of harrowing ticket experiance - lol. Alhamdulliah I got another one and have jotted it down on my PDA. However the essence could be captured in the following statement over the BA counter at Pearson Intl., " You should consider yourself to be very - lucky, you are the last person to get the seat on board [ Perhaps from amongst those who were on the cancelled flight - I'll never know - but the point otherwise is fairly clear. ]

I was about to puke after the first bite of the Salamon on board, I immediately got it on a tissue. Couldn't help recalling Farid Esack's mentioning of eating alone in Brazil and calling the waiter upon sensing the taste of Alcohol. As for me - I really wouldn't know if it was the "taste of Alcohol", however I had a lot of reasons for not continuing the inflight meal and I didn't -:).

I pulled out "Western Muslims" again, although very much towards the end of the journey. I did what I was waiting for - I read the last chapter and the conclusion. The discussion of what I severly felt was missing from the Muslim life in Western lands ( I'm glad he covered the novels and literature topic as well ) [ or lol - strangly and ironically in westernized lands ] was comprehensively treated and ended with the right conclusions about Western Muslims ( perhaps opposed and different than "Muslims in the West" ) bearing a lot of responsibilty for the new revival - a point that was clearly expounded by Murad Hoffman.

Apart from my strange habit of starting with the first chapter - then moving towards "Interest Chapters" - I also ended up going through the footnotes of some chapters as well ( talk about eccentric reading habits ).

Now I'll be looking forward to reading some "inbetween material" that refers to the "sciences chart". This is an area or topic that directly relates to a dimension of "differences" that I would like to make in my scientific career [Ameen].

My, my that was an interesting read. 3 names predominately filled my head. Muhammad Asad, Murad Hoffman and Seyyid Hossein Nasr.

Ramadan's view is more "insync" with Hoffman's view over "Islamization of Knowledge", both seem to disagree with such a trend. In contrast Nasr presents and raises this issue as well. Science has it's on worldview and so do the Newtonian or Eisteinian concepts - his theory propounds that Ummar Khayyam's work in Algebra would immerse the reader into another world view of things and . . .

Muhammad Asad's statement ( the one about philosophy and morality determining the course of science ) could be summed up with Ramadan's statement: " . . . it means that Muslims must engage, within their own areas of competence, in groundbreaking specialization in all the areas of contemporary knowledge and that, far from becoming intoxicated by that knowledge and changing it into a new idol of modern times, they must make their contribution to the ethical equations it raises.

This statement by the author I believe beatifully sums up Asad's intent in "Islam at the Crossroads".

Back to the Nasr vs. Ramadan topic. The chart (figure 2.2) does to a certain extent present the moralities issue and relavance to each science nicely however I do believe the third orbit can be merged with the second orbit in areas of theoretical reasearch as mentioned by Asad. However, pragmatically speaking both Ramadan and Nasr's view shall preoccupy my mind for quite some time to come - a cross between the ideas might eventually be my view - God knows best, perhaps I might end up with my own idea over these debatable issues.

That was: Western Muslims and The Future of Islam - Tariq Ramadan

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Maintaining focus on prayers, studies and a good book allows one to save a lot of time. I came across the book of a philospher admired by me ( the name shouldn't surprise you ):

Morals and Behaviour - By Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi.

Monday, March 15, 2004

"Do not curse the wind. if events contradict your wishes, pray [ instead ]."