book, events, lecture

Friday, October 28, 2016 | Book EVENT: Lifting the Boundaries: Muzaffer Efendi and the Transmission of Sufism to the West | A conversation with the author Gregory Blann | 7:00 – 9:00 pm | Suggested donation $10

This book chronicles the life of Muzaffer Efendi and provides an account of the rich legacy of Sufi teachings which he offered as a gift to the West. Like Bodhidharma’s transmission of Zen Buddhism to China in the fourth century, Muzaffer Efendi is honored as an important modern pioneer in the transmission of authentic Islamic mysticism to the United States. The teachings of Sufism are love-centered and pacifist, rather than penal-centered and retributive, a much needed balance to the restrictive and often violent interpretation of Islam so often featured in the world media today.

This new edition of Lifting the Boundaries revises and expands the 2005 first edition, offer- ing a substantial amount of new material and photographs. The new edition incorporates nearly a decade of further research, more interviews and input from Muzaffer Efendi’s intimate companions and family members, as well as additional Sufi teachings from archival recordings of Efendi’s sohbets in America.

Gregory Blann has been an active student of Sufism and the world’s religions for over three decades. He received initiation from Pir Vilayat Khan in the Sufi Order International in 1980 and served as a representative in that order for a number of years. In 1990, he received bayat (initiation) in the Halveti-Jerrahi Order from Sheikh Nur al-Jerrahi (Lex Hixon), and also studied with Safer Efendi. He was given the name Muhammad Jamal, and became a Jerrahi sheikh in 1994. He worked closely with Sheikh Nur for four years, translating the traditional mystic hymns of the Jerrahis from Turkish into English, to be sung by dervishes in the West.

events, workshop

Sunday, October 23, 2016 | Whirling Workshop by Sakina | 3:30 – 6:30 pm | Registration Required

Please let us know of your intention to come as soon as you can.


Mevlana and Music: “The sema is like a spiritual field where one can plant seeds of faith. The teaching of Mevlana depends upon and is expressed in three elements: dance, music, and love.”

The workshop will be led by Sakina, a dervish of Shaykha Fariha al-Jerrahi. Please call or email to register for the workshop. Donations are welcome.


Friday, September 30, 2016 | SPECIAL EVENT: Birthday Celebration – Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi + Special Guest Oruç Güvenç | 6:00 – 10:00 pm | Please RSVP



birthday celebration
mevlana jalaluddin rumi
friday, september 30, 2016

6:00 – 7:15 pm
whirling workshop

7:30 – 9:00 pm
sema ceremony

special guest: oruç güvenç

9:00 – 10:00 pm

all are welcome
please rsvp

nur ashki jerrahi community
dergah al-farah
245 west broadway
new york, ny 10013
212 966 9773

dergah al-farah
is located in tribeca – lower manhattan
cross streets: white & walker street
subway: a / c / e train to canal street
or the 1 train to franklin street


Saturday, April 9, 2016 | SOLD OUT: An Intimate Evening of Traditional Trance Music From Morocco with Innov Gnawa | 8:00 pm – midnight


The lila is a healing ritual of song, music, dance, costume, and incense performed by the Gnawa people of Morocco. It takes place over the course of an entire night and this is why it is called lila (layla), which means night in Arabic. Invocations to God, the Prophet Muhammad and saints, including Syed Bilal, are invoked in order to purify the atmosphere and intentions for the ritual. The repetitive rhythm of the sintir and castanets produces a deep meditative trance state (jadba), moving some to dance. The Maalem (master) uses specific sounds and colors to guide participants through a healing journey, especially when an illness concerns an imbalance with a master protector spirit (melk).

The Gnawa lila is similar to the hadra ceremonies of other Moroccan Aissawa, Hamadsha and Jilala Sufis, however with some key differences. Since the Gnawa’s ancestors were neither literate nor speakers of Arabic, they do not begin with awrad or prayer texts, but instead they remember, through song and dance, the Gnawa of times past, their lands of origin and the experiences of their slave ancestors from various areas in Africa. Their songs tell a tale of separation, loneliness and ultimate redemption.

Innov Gnawa – Toura Toura from remix-culture on Vimeo.


Saturday, November 14, 2015 | What Goes On Inside: Ibn ‘Arabi on Discerning the Pathways and Pitfalls of Spiritual Realization | Talk by James Morris | 4:00 pm | Suggested Donation $10

One of the most fascinating and practically rewarding sections of Ibn ‘Arabi’s Meccan Illuminations is chapters 51-59 in the opening Section of that immense work, where he takes up the recurrent challenges of discernment raised by the constant interplay, in everyone’s inner life, of inspiration, intuition, random thoughts and inclinations, temptations, faith, reasoning, revelation, and the eventual contributions of all of these elements to right action and spiritual growth.  After a brief overview of those chapters, we will turn to the discussion of a few key translated passages illustrating these themes.

Professor James Morris (Boston College) has taught Islamic and comparative religious studies at the Universities of Exeter, Princeton, Oberlin, and the Sorbonne, and lectures widely on Sufism, the Islamic humanities, Islamic philosophy, the Qur’an, and Shiite thought. Recent books include Ostad Elahi’s Knowing the Spirit (2007); The Reflective Heart: Discovering Spiritual Intelligence in Ibn ‘Arabi’s ‘Meccan Illuminations’ (2005); Orientations: Islamic Thought in a World Civilisation (2004); and Ibn ‘Arabi’s The Meccan Revelations (Pir Press, 2003).