When you step into the Prophet Muhammad's mosque in Medina--at the heart of the Islamic world, shoulder to shoulder with people of every ethnicity on earth--the deep subtle brilliant beauty is resounding. Everything is in perfect balance.
While meditation takes me inward into an essential inner silence and emptiness, this early morning walking is a prayer. In prayer there is a meeting: I meet and bow before the One in Its many colors, sounds and smells.
Sunday brought a distinctive commemoration of Muslim spirituality. The occasion was Baba Rexheb Appreciation Day, honoring an Albanian-born Sufi.
In a country facing a myriad of challenges, our mission is one of restoring hope and securing the future of the poor, marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded.
The search for beauty, the desire for beauty, the love of beauty all lead to the same destination -- God. I hope in this month of Ramadan, Muslims find it in their hearts to reflect on the relationship between aesthetics and spirituality.
Anyone wondering where Christian-Muslim dialogue and relations is headed might consider the content of this prophetic example for inspiration.
I believe that mystical practice may involve greater religious devotion because it eliminates all the superfluous elements.
Appeals for peaceful Muslim-Jewish discourse based on common spirituality may be dismissed as naïve. The first step may be to reply to the false narrative of permanent hatred with the authentic narrative of Jewish-Muslim affinities, as seen in Kabbalah and Sufism.
One Through Love is truly "a gathering of lovers," since it presents an international gathering of Rumi "lovers" -- scholars, musicians, dervishes and other sufi practitioners from Turkey, Iran, Europe and the US.
Walking in the footsteps of great Sufi poets Dr. Ahmed expresses "primal emotions that are universal." His poetry touches the heart and soul while reflecting on the past with memories of the partition of India.
This man spoke softly into my soul, and for the first time in my life, I knew there was such a thing as a human being with no ego, only heart, only love.
I began to realize that my spiritual thirst was not to be quenched in either the male or the female section of the mosque, but maybe somewhere along the Madhhab-e Eshgh or the "Path of Love" in Islam.
The situation of the Sufis in Iran is complex and unfortunate, not least because every attempt to publicize their plight is manipulated by the regime to further attack them.
At a time when extremism threatens to undermine Egypt's multi-ethnic unity, Sufism, which permeates society at all levels, offers a message of peace and tolerance.
I find it extraordinary that two people growing up hundreds of years ago, living in worlds far apart in nearly every way, saw the answer to our modern ills in the exact same way.
A new collection of poetry by Akbar Ahmed, a world-renowned Islamic scholar, gives an authentic and new perspective on a religion and a part of the world that is so constantly on our minds.