Browsing Category

events

events, special

Saturday, November 23, 2019 | An Evening with Hafiz of Shiraz | 8 pm | Advance Tix $20 – At Door $30

An Evening with Hafiz of Shiraz

Saturday, November 23, 2019
8 pm

Recently published translations by:
Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. & Iraj Anvar
Music performed by:
Dawn Avery & Afshin Goodarzi

Tickets: Advance Online Purchase $20 – Price at door: $30

A special evening of the ghazals of Hafiz, sung and recited in English and Persian, accompanied by classical Persian and Western musicians.




The ghazals of Khwája Muhammad Shams ud-Din Háfiz-i Shírází (d. 1389), the pre-eminent lyric poet of Persian literature, speak of love, human and divine. So finely do they hover on this interface with the divine that he is known as “The Interpreter of Mysteries” and “The Tongue of the Invisible.” His poems speak to each individual heart, and they continue to be recited and sung by people throughout the Eastern Islamic world: scholars and bus drivers, writers and performers, school children and Sufis.

On this special evening the ghazals of Hafiz will be sung and recited in English and Persian, accompanied by classical Persian and Western musicians, in an intimate evening gathering at the Dergah al-Farah. The evening will feature recently-published English translations of Hafiz by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. and Iraj Anvar, and music performed by Dawn Avery (Darya) and Afshin Goodarzi.

 

PERFORMERS

Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. is a poet, translator, and corporate consultant. Translations from classical and contemporary Persian include Wine & Prayer: Eighty Ghazals from the Diwán of Háfiz (2019), The Green Sea of Heaven: Fifty Ghazals from the Diwan-i Hafiz-i Shirazi (1995), Iran: Poems of Dissent (2013), and “Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season” by Forough Farrokhzad (in Mantis, 2014). Sections of the Tibeto-Mongolian folk epic “The Life of King Kesar of Ling,” co-translated with Dr. Siddiq Wahid of the University of Kashmir, appear in Columbia University Press’s Sources of Tibetan Tradition (2013). She has published two books of original poetry: Salient (New Directions, 2020) and SERIES | INDIA (Four Way Books, 2015). She was the founding CEO and Managing Partner of Conflict Management, Inc. and Alliance Management Partners, LLC. She serves as Chairman of The Beloit Poetry Journal Foundation and as Corporate Secretary of Friends of Writers. She joined the Board of Human Rights and Democracy in Iran, based in Washington, D.C, in 2018, and served as Chair of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, in New Haven, Connecticut from 2009-2015. She holds a B.A. and J. D. from Harvard University and an M. F. A. from Warren Wilson College. She lives in New York City.  www.elizabethtgrayjr.com.

Iraj Anvar is an actor, singer, stage and film director, writer, translator, and educator.  He earned a degree in acting and directing at Alessandro Fersen’s Studio di Arti Sceniche in Rome, Italy and upon returning to Tehran, co-founded the Tehran Theater Workshop which became the most important center for innovative and avant-guard theater in Iran. He earned his Ph. D. in Middle Eastern Studies at NYU where he taught Persian language and literature for several years. He has also taught Persian literature and language at Harvard, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, New York University and Wisconsin University. He has had a lifelong involvement in the poetry of Rumi and Hafez. In New York, he has read and sung Rumi and Hafez in Persian and in his own translations at the Asia Society, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. Bartholomew’s Church, and elsewhere. He has published two books of translations of Rumi’s ghazals: Divan-i Shams-i Tabriz, Forty Eight Ghazals (2002), and Rumi, Say Nothing (2008), and another book is forthcoming. He co-translated a collection of Hafiz’s ghazals, Wine & Prayer: Eighty Ghazals from the Diwán of Háfiz, with Elizabeth T. Gray Jr. (2019). He teaches Persian at Brown University and lives in Rhode Island with his wife and his youngest son.

Dawn Avery‘s exploration of sacred music led her to study the relationship between music and spirituality.  Dawn (Darya) has led meditation groups and spiritual music performances at the Esalen Institute, the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Milan Sacred Music Festival, The Open Center in NYC, and Musicales Visuales in Mexico City.  As a leader of meditation and creativity workshops, she has worked with great healers such as the Dalai Lama, Sherif Baba Catalkaya of the Refa’i Sufi Order, Rick Jarow, Ron Young, Chidvilasananda and Hilda Charlton. Her musical path has led to critically acclaimed collaborations with Ustad Sultan Khan and Pandit Makes Jadhav, Humayun Khan, Reza Derakshani  (Water from the Well), Sussan Deyhim (Madman of God, Shy Angels, and soundtracks with Sussan Deyhim in the films of Shirin Neshat).  She is also known for her collaborative Rumi Concerts with Coleman Barks, Zuleikha, Glen Velez, Shahrok Moshkin Ghalam, and Omar Faruk Tekbilek. The newest Sufi inspired multi-media project “Beloved” with Dawn Avery (voice, cello) features Behfar Bahadoran (Persian daf, tar, setar, voice), Larry Mitchell (ambient, electric and acoustic guitars), guest whirling dervishes, and video projection by Kate Freer.  She was honored to record in an earlier project of Hafiz translations by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. with Reza Derakshani, “The Green Sea of Heaven” (2002), and is delighted to join Liz, Iraj and musicians at the very special Dergah al-Farah of Shaykha Fariha Nur.

Afshin Goodarzi has been an avid student of Iranian classical music for over 25 years. He started his studies of the Iranian Setar with Reza Derakhshani and has continued to study the Radif and its performance over the past 20 years. Afshin Goodarzi has performed and lectured at numerous venues throughout the northeast.

 

Venue: The Sufi Lodge
245 West Broadway, New York City

Nur Ashki Jerrahi Community
thesufilodge.com / 212-966-9773

events, special

Friday, August 16, 2019 | Uyghur Benefit Concert: Folk and Sufi music from Persia and the Caucasus | 8 pm | $25

Uyghur Benefit Concert

Folk and Sufi music from Persia and the Caucasus
Friday, August 16, 2019
8 pm / $25

TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR.
DOORS WILL OPEN AT 7:30 pm

(proceeds from tickets sales will be donated to benefit the Uyghur people.
available online at sufibooks.com)

venue: The Sufi Lodge
245 West Broadway, New York City

musicians:
Gabriel Marin – dutar/guitar
Mehdi Leghyeh – vocals
Dan Kurfirst – percussion

Nur Ashki Jerrahi Community
thesufilodge.com / 212-966-0773

#SaveUyghur

book, events, special

Friday & Saturday, March 29-30, 2019 | Pir Press Book Launch of Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi’s The Openings Revealed in Makkah (Volume 1) with Dr. Eric Winkel

Pir Press Book Launch

Muhyiddin Ibn al-‘Arabi’s The Openings Revealed in Makkah – Volume 1 (al-Futuhat al-Makkiyah – Books 1 & 2)

Translated by Dr. Eric Winkel

A two-day book launch with Dr. Eric Winkel March 29-30, 2019 – New York City

Friday Book Launch

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Book Release & Talk
Meet the translator Dr. Eric Winkel and hear about the making of the book

The making of the book – translation, editing, typesetting. We consider difficulties of translating this work, which has been widely commended over the centuries, but also highly inaccessible. We examine the challenges of editing, and the need to find and use Ibn al-Arabi’s connections and structural supports across more than ten thousand pages of text. And we look at what goes in to typesetting, to facilitate the reader’s comprehension.

The Openings Revealed in Makkah is a vision, and a counseling, encouraging us to understand this world, and the next. Eight hundred years later, it is more relevant today than it has ever been – and its presence, implicitly, historically, in every Path tells us that this vision has always been relevant. From water protectors holding mirrors confronting militarized attackers in Standing Rock, to humans endangering their environment – and the environment endangering them, to one person’s question why, Ibn al-Arabi’s insights and his reading of key texts clarify our situations, from the individual to the species.

Saturday Lecture

1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Visual doors to the Openings 
Ibn al-Arabi’s Spiritual Aesthetics

Visual doors into the Openings Revealed in Makkah. We consider a dozen slides, each presenting a visual aesthetic or mechanical (schematic) translation of an aspect of Ibn al-Arabi’s vision, preparing the viewer to realize and verify for oneself (tahqiq) a truth. These are mafatih (keys) to the openings (futuhat), necessary for understanding this work.

Ibn al-Arabi’s spiritual aesthetic – participatory, interactive themes from the Openings Revealed in Makkah: mirror, shadow play, photography; the fingers of al-Rahman, the good estimation of the True; the harsh names and words of the Divine; and four words for love.

Venue

The Sufi Lodge
245 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
tel: 212.966.9773

Free Admission. Please RSVP

email: info@thesufilodge.com

 

The Futuhat Project is Dr. Eric Winkel’s translation project of the entirety of Muhyiddin Ibn al-‘Arabi’s al-Futuhat al-Makkiyah, The Openings Revealed in Makkah.

The Greatest Teacher, al-shaykh al-akbar, Ibn al-‘Arabi dictated to his close friends this work of over 10,000 manuscript pages depicting the extraordinary vision of the Youth he encountered while circling the Kabah in Makkah. Despite its clear provenance as a completely accurate work, from the hand and mind of its transcriber, and its reputation through the centuries as the most significant and profound reflection of Islamic thought, the Futuhat al-Makkiyah has never been translated from the original classical Arabic in its entirety. From 2012, Dr. Winkel has been working exclusively on translating this work in order to produce the first complete translation into English of the Futuhat al-Makkiyah.

Pir Press is publishing the first volume of The Openings Revealed in Makkah in March 2019 and the project is anticipated to be completed in 2022 in nineteen volumes.

“At this juncture of human evolution, we are in desperate need of clear heart-guidance. We need knowledge that will help to guide us out of the dream labyrinth in which we are wandering – a labyrinth of materialism, of clinging to separate identities and nationalities, addicted to conflict, sickened by the lack of deep meaning in our life and the terror of being adrift in an uncaring universe. The only guidance that can lead us out of this haunted condition is the knowledge of the human heart which comes through the great hearts of humanity. These Masters of the heart rest in deep God-consciousness. Their light shines beyond the borders of separate religions and nations and transcends the changes of time. This is the guidance we need to urgently attend to for the survival of life on Earth and for peace and mutual understanding in our human family. It is the light that will awaken our own heart, where Truth dwells.

The subtle science of human nature and Divine Reality presented by the Master Ibn al-Arabi is this rare and precious knowledge, far beyond what empirical science can provide but also complementing it and grounding it in a spiritual universe.

May we drink from the wells of the Master of the heart, Ibn al-Arabi, and be spiritually revived.”

Fariha Fatima Friedrich, Shaykh of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order

events, lecture

Saturday, March 16, 2019 | “Safe Harbors” : Exploring Women’s Spaces of Solace and Refuge in American Islam | A talk by Sylvia Chan-Malik | 3 pm | $10

“Safe Harbors” : Exploring Women’s Spaces of Solace and Refuge in American Islam

A talk by Sylvia Chan-Malik / Saturday, March 16, 2019 / 3 pm / $10



Tickets will be available at the door.
In her talk, Sylvia Chan-Malik discusses how issues of safety and solace—which are at once physical, emotional, and spiritual—have been central to women’s engagements with Islam in the United States. In particular, she will address how spiritual practices of Islam and women’s desires to engage Divine Love have operated as and produced sites of refuge from the effects of racism, sexism, poverty, and other societal ills at various moments in time. Borrowing author Toni Morrison’s concept of the “safe harbor,” Dr. Chan-Malik’s talk will discuss how such spaces of safety have shifted and evolved for various communities of U.S. Muslim women across the past century, how seeking solace is intertwined to women’s desires for justice, and what lessons we may learn from how U.S. Muslim women have historically sought refuge in Islam.
Sylvia Chan-Malik is Associate Professor in the Departments of American and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where she directs the Social Justice Program and teaches courses on race and ethnicity in the United States, Islam in/and America, social justice movements, feminist methodologies, and multiethnic literature and culture in the U.S. She is the author of Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam (NYU Press, 2018), which offers an alternative narrative of American Islam in the 20th-21st century that centers the lives, subjectivities, voice, and representations of women of color. Her writings are also featured in numerous anthologies, including With Stones in Our Hands: Writings on Muslim, Racism, and Empire (UMinn Press, 2018), Routledge Handbook of Islam in the West(Routledge, 2015), and The Cambridge Companion to American Islam (Cambridge, 2013), and in scholarly journals, such as AmerasiaCUNY ForumJournal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion, and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. She speaks frequently on issues of U.S. Muslim politics and culture, Islam and gender, and racial and gender politics in the U.S., and her commentary has appeared in venues such as Slate NewsThe InterceptDaily BeastPRI, Huffington Post, Patheos, Religion News Service, and others. She holds a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Mills College.
events, lecture

Saturday, January 26, 2019 | Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition | Talk with Omid Safi | 3 pm | $10

Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition

Talk with Omid Safi / Saturday, January 26, 2019 / 3 pm / $10

ONLINE TICKET SALE HAS ENDED. 

There will only be a limited number of tickets available at the door on Saturday and they will SELL OUT quickly so please arrive when doors open at 2:30 pm.

We are very excited to once again host Omid Safi at Dergah al-Farah. He will be sharing with us from his most recent book, Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition.

Omid Safi is Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University specializing in contemporary Islamic thought and spirituality. He is a leading Muslim public intellectual who is committed to the intersection of spirituality and social justice.    He has been invited by the family of Dr. King to speak at Ebenezer Church on the relevance of Dr. King for today’s America.  Omid is the editor of Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism in which he inaugurated a new understanding of Islam that is rooted in social justice, gender equality and religious/ethnic pluralism.  His Memories of Muhammad is an award-winning biography of the Prophet Muhammad.   His most recent book is Radical Love:  Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition (published by Yale).   Omid often appears as an expert on Islam in the New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, BBC, CNN and other outlets . He is a recent columnist for On Being, and now has a podcast(“Sufi Heart”) at Be Here Now.  He leads a spiritually oriented adult tour to Turkey and Morocco called Illuminated Tours (http://www.illuminatedtours.com) which is open to people of all faith backgrounds. 

events, special

Sunday, December 16, 2018 | Whirling with the Friend: Celebrating Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi | 5-7 pm | AT SUBUD NEW YORK | Free Admission

Whirling with the Friend

A two hour mystical journey with Zikr, Whirling and Music
celebrating Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi on his wedding night
Sunday, December 16, 2018
5 -7 pm

Come, Come …

VENUE:
Subud New York – downstairs
230 West 29th Street
New York City

*Audience will be invited to join the Zikr and Whirling

FREE ADMISSION
no rsvp required
thesufilodge.com / @thesufilodge / 212-966-0773

lecture

Friday, November 9, 2018 | “He is beautiful, and He loves beauty”: Beauty and the Mysteries of Love and Persistence | Lecture by Dr. James Morris | 8:00 pm | Admission $15 – Tickets available at door

“He is beautiful, and He loves beauty”: Beauty and the Mysteries of Love and Persistence

Lecture by Dr. James Morris
Friday, November 9, 2018 / 8:00 pm
Admission: $15 (Tickets available at door)

Throughout life, moments of transforming revelation and spiritual insight—of dhikr Allah—arrive in very different forms and contexts, sometimes serendipitous, sometimes the fruits of long practice and meditation.  While music and poetry, calligraphy and sacred architecture are perhaps the most influential and familiar forms of spiritual expression in Islamic civilization, visual arts have often played similar roles.  The extraordinary miniature painting that we will explore on this occasion is a kind of Islamic “mandala”—a comprehensive, intentionally highly personal and individualized evocation of the human condition in all its levels and dimensions.  And its imagery is largely recognizable from the masterworks of Islamic mystical poetry, together with their own root symbols in the Qur’an and hadith.  In this session, we can share what each participant recognizes and discovers in contemplating this complex, vibrantly cinematic image of the ways each of us gradually discovers the spiritual meaning, direction, and inherent promises of life.

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).

 

events, lecture

Friday, September 14, 2018 | The Journey of an American Sufi | A talk by Shaykh Abdur Rasheed al-Mukashfi | 8:00 pm | Free Admission

The Journey of an American Sufi
A talk by Shaykh Abdur Rasheed al-Mukashfi
Friday, September 14 / 8 pm / Free Admission

Shaykh Abdur Rashid is the founder and director of The Mukashfi Institute of America, in Brooklyn, a branch of the Mukashfi Qadiriyya Sufi Order in Sudan. The Shaykh studied 5 years in Sudan and received permission to teach Islam and its inner sciences in America. He is a “son of New York” as his journey has taken him full circle through the Black Panther Party in his youth, the Nation of Islam, the community of Imam Warith D. Muhammad, living in Medina Munawara, joining a Sufi order in Sudan and returning to community activism in New York City. His specialty is interfaith dialogue and purification of the heart.

lecture, past

Friday, August 3, 2018 | Sufism and the Religion of Love, from Rabi‘a to Ibn ‘Arabi | Lecture by Dr. Leonard Lewisohn | 8:00 pm

Sufism and the Religion of Love, from Rabi‘a to Ibn ‘Arabi
Lecture by Dr. Leonard Lewisohn
Friday. August 3 / 8 pm

$15 – Tickets will be available at the door – Doors will open at 7:30 pm

One day in pre-eternity a ray of your beauty
Shot forth in a blaze of epiphany.
Then Love revealed itself and cast down
A fire which razed the earth from toe to crown.
– Hafiz

“The religious conscience of Islam is centred upon a fact of meta-history” wrote Henry Corbin, referring here to the pre-eternal covenant mentioned in the Qur’an (VII: 172), where God asks the yet uncreated souls of Adam’s offspring, “Am I not your Lord?” and the souls in their pre-creational state, reply: “Yes (bala),” thus acknowledging Him as their Lord. The entire mythopoetic romance of Sufism developed out of this primordial, pre-eternal covenant (mithaq) between man and God. Apropos of this verse, one of the later theoreticians of the Sufi erotic religion (Ruzbihan Baqli, d. 606/1210) was thus to comment how “the spirits of the prophets and saints became intoxicated from the influence of hearing the divine speech and seeing the beauty of majesty. They fell in love with the eternal beloved, with no trace of temporality.” Referring to another Qur’anic verse: “He loves them and they love Him” (V: 54), another Sufi theorist, Ahmad Ghazali (d. 520/1126), would compare God’s love for mankind (“them”) to a seed sewn in pre-Eternity sprouting up in the tree of “they love Him.” There is only one love that pervades the hearts of men according to Ghazali, for all love is ultimately spiritual, all love ultimately originating in the “Spirit’s Court.”

Sufis know that to experientially apprehend God’s love for humankind one must practice works of devotion, leading to “proximity caused by supererogotative works of worship” (qurb al-nawafil), as encapsulated in the famous hadith qudsi, often referred to as the hadith of ‘intimacy with God’: “My slave draws near to Me through nothing I love more than that which I have made obligatory for him. My slave never ceases to draw near to Me through supererogatory acts until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing by which he hears, his sight by which he sees, his hand by which he grasps, and his foot by which he walks. And when he approaches a span, I approach a cubit and when he comes walking I come running.”

The idea of God’s pre-eternal love passionate love (‘ishq) expressed in this hadith, the above-cited verses as well as many other passages from the Qur’an, infiltrated the spirituality of Islam from the very earliest period. In this lecture I will sketch the basic contours of the theories and doctrines of Sufi erotic theology and the religion of love in the Qur’an and Hadith. Based on numerous references to the Muslim scripture, five key themes eventually evolved—Pre-eternal Love and Beauty, Salvation through Love, Love of Beauty, Charity and Love of one’s Neighbour, and Romantic Love/Erotic Love—into fundamental topoi of what later became known as the ‘Religion of Love’ (in Arabic: din al-Hubb; in Persian: madhhab-i ‘ishq) in Sufism.

My discussion of love in the Sufi tradition commences with the love mysticism in the Qur’an followed by a survey of the thought of one of the key founders of early Sufi ascetic theology, Rabi‘a Adawiyya (d. ca. 162-176/788-92), who figures as supreme mistress of the Sufi religion of love, before chronologically surveying the Sufi theosophy of Eros and the erotic in Sufism over the ensuing five hundred years. The talk ends with the final blossoming and culmination of Islam’s ‘religion-of-love mysticism’ in the thought of Ibn ‘Arabi (d. 638/1240). Lastly, several pages of examples (provided in handouts) of how topoi relating to the ‘Religion of Love’ was illustrated in verse by some thirty odd classical Persian poets, from Humam-i Tabrizi (d. 714/ 1314) to ‘Abd al-Rahman Jami (d. 898/1492) will be discussed.

Dr. Leonard Lewisohn is Senior Lecturer in Persian and Iran Heritage Foundation Fellow in Classical Persian and Sufi Literature at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies of the University of Exeter in England where he currently teaches Islamic Studies, Sufism, history of Iran, as well as courses on Persian texts and Persian poetry in translation. He specializes in translation of Persian Sufi poetic and prose texts.

He is the author of Beyond Faith and Infidelity: The Sufi Poetry and Teachings of Mahmud Shabistari (London: 1995), and the editor of three volumes on The Heritage of Sufism, vol. 1: The Legacy of Mediæval Persian Sufism, vol. 2: Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi, vol. 3 (with David Morgan): Late Classical Persianate Sufism: the Safavid and Mughal Period (Oxford: 1999)—covering a millennium of Islamic history.

He is editor of the Mawlana Rumi Review, an annual journal devoted to Jalal al-Din Rumi (d. 1273). He is also editor (with Christopher Shackle) of The Art of Spiritual Flight: Farid al-Din ‘Attar and the Persian Sufi Tradition (London: I.B. Tauris 2006), co-translator with Robert Bly of The Angels Knocking on the Tavern Door: Thirty Poems of Hafiz (New York: HarperCollins 2008), editor of Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry (London: I.B. Tauris 2010), and editor of The Philosophy of Ecstasy: Rumi and the Sufi Tradition (Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom 2014), and co-editor (with Reza Tabandeh) of Sufis and Mullahs: Sufis and their Opponents in the Persianate World (forthcoming 2018).

Dr. Lewisohn has contributed articles to the Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, Encyclopedia of Islam (2nd and 3rd editions), Encyclopædia Iranica, Encyclopædia of Philosophy, 2nd Edition, Encyclopædia of Religion, 2nd Edition, Iran Nameh, Iranian Studies, African Affairs, Islamic Culture, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and the Temenos Academy Review.