With the loss of understanding of metaphysics and symbolism within the Islamic world, Rumi's Garden intends to share articles about the importance of Islamic sacred art, crafts and relics.
One of the biggest struggles we as Muslims face today, is a major schism and internal conflict when it comes to integrating the vast intellectual tradition and heritage of Islam into our daily lives. The reasons for this discord are many and complicated, but they have left us disoriented - to the extent that we are no longer able to understand ourselves through the lens of our own tradition. On the contrary, we have become a people with very little intellectual independence and we seek to understand ourselves through the lens of the other; a lens, that on many levels, is integrally opposed to our own worldview.
As educators and parents ourselves, Rumi's Garden has launched a book recommendation listing. We recommend books that will allow English speaking Muslim parents to grow a library in their homes and supplement the education of their children (ages 0-18). The books range in topic, and are handpicked by us to allow for a wholesome liberal education focusing on growth, spirituality, Islam and of course, entertainment.
Please note that many of our book choices are inspired by the Great Books curriculum, Harvard Classics, Sacred Books of the East Series, recommendations by Muslim scholars, as well as our experience with our own children. The age categories the books are placed under are not definitive. We humbly ask that you look into the books that interest you, to see if it is suitable for your child.
As Muslims it is important for us to become familiar with our brothers and sisters in faith from other religions. They too face similar obstacles to ours; their trials are often similar to ours. Furthermore, since other religions are far older than Islam, we can learn much from their experiences both past and present.
Learning from each other's traditions serves a higher purpose than a mere interfaith dialogue - it grants peace within and around, to those who seek it. It brings acceptance, which goes above and beyond tolerance. It blesses us a new way and opening into how we can understand our own religious tradition.
With this in mind, Rumi's Garden aspires to transport you to a more traditional world through beautiful old photography and timeless wisdom quotes from the East and West. This section mainly focuses on the mystical aspects of the various world religions, in order to make evident the commonalities of the faithful whether they be Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist or Indigenous.
As part of a healthy Islamic household, it is crucial that entertainment fits into the Islamic spiritual ethos. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf explains the potential spiritual and psychological dangers of social media, television and the film industry in a lecture given in Malaysia 2014. The norm of the film industry has become one that damages the psyche and heart of both adults and children. In order to safeguard ourselves, our children and the sanctity of our homes, we will recommend films that are suitable for a spiritual home.
The great books of the Western canon is a selection of classic texts that both tradition as well as various institutions and authorities, have all regarded as constituting or best expressing the foundations of Western culture; derivatively the term also refers to a curriculum or method of education based around a list of such books.
As Muslims it is critical for us not only to immerse ourselves in our own rich tradition, but also to learn various Western disciplines. By doing this, we enable ourselves to provide our own answers in a world in which we are faced with tremendous challenges. In this way, we may learn, to the extent possible, what we wish to know of Western disciplines without becoming excessively absorbed in an unconscious way by elements which could distort our religious perspective, uproot us spiritually and intellectually, and risk alienating us from our own traditional background.