Photo: Persian dervish with sword and begging bowl; Qajar Iran.
Meditation in God is my capital.
Reason and sound logic are the root of my existence.
Love is the foundation of my existence.
Enthusiasm is the vehicle of my life.
Contemplation of Allah is my companion.
Faith is the source of my power.
Sorrow is my friend.
Knowledge is my weapon.
Patience is my clothing and virtue.
Submission to the Divine Will is my pride.
Truth is my salvation.
Worship is my habit.
And in prayer lies the coolness of my eye and my peace of mind.
'Living and Dying with Grace: Counsels of Hadrat Ali'
By Thomas Cleary (Translator)
Living and Dying with Grace is a book of aphoristic Sufi teachings on how to make one'e way in the world - especially on how to bring spiritual insights to the affairs of daily life. Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam, contains a vast body of knowledge concerning the inner development of the complete human being. This book contains four hundred of Hadrat 'Ali's teachings, showing how people can use the everyday realities of their lives to cultivate wisdom and well-being, both temporal and eternal, offering a path to living and dying with grace.
''Ali, a great warrior and statesman of emergent Islam, was well known and well respected for his knowledge of the esoteric. His compassion, loyalty, and devotion marked his tenure as both a political and religious leader. The sayings here collected reveal penetrating and timeless insights into the world of life and death. For example, 'Ali's reflection that "the ignorant among you are promoted, while the knowledgeable are put off," could be a description of contemporary American politics. Cleary's able translation retains the liveliness of the original. Recommended for large public libraries or for libraries interested in Islamic spirituality.'