Friday & Saturday, December 1-2, 2017 | The Futuhat Project: The world of Muhyiddin Ibn al-‘Arabi | A two-day workshop with Dr. Eric Winkel | Advance Registration Online – $50

The Futuhat Project
The world of Muhyiddin Ibn al-‘Arabi
A two-day workshop with Dr. Eric Winkel
December 1-2, 2017 – New York City

Friday Night Lecture

7:30 pm – doors open

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The Futuhat Project:
The world of Muhyiddin Ibn al-‘Arabi

Saturday Workshop

9:30 am – doors open

10:00 am – 11:30 am – Session 1
The mirror, the shadow, and the mother

11:30 am – 12:00 pm- break

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Session 2
The (sexual) grammar of Be!, hearing the scratching pens of destiny, and fihi ma fihi

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm – lunch break

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Session 3
Finding a signpost in the world

5:00 pm – end

Event Registration

Friday Night & Saturday
Advance registration online has closed. Tickets will be available at the door.
$60: At the door
$30: Member
$30: Student (ID required at the door)

Friday Night only
$15: Friday Night only

Saturday only
$45: Saturday only


Dergah al-Farah
245 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
tel: 212.966.9773

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. To learn more please visit

The Youth said, “I am the ripened meadow, the universal harvest, so lift my veils and recite what is contained etched in my lines; what you learn from me, put in your book, and speak directly in it to everyone dearest to you.” I lifted his veils and I observed his etched lines, and there shone to my eyes his light that was deposited with- in him, all that he contained and encompassed of hidden knowledge. The first line I recited and the first mystery from that line which I learned are what I shall cite now in this second chapter following. And God, exalted beyond, is the guide to knowledge and to an evened path.

Throughout the Openings Revealed in Makkah we hear the two imperatives: Learn, and Verify for yourself. The six sections of the Youth, etched in light and revealed to Ibn al-Arabi, correspond to six processes we seek to learn, and verify for ourselves. The all-day workshop gives us time to process what we learn, and prepares us to verify for ourselves all along our spiritual paths.

The six sections are as follows. Recognitions: what we need to recognize. Interactions: how we need to interact, among ourselves, and fundamentally as creatures with the Creator. States: how we are, and how we can learn from our transitory, passing states and situations. Mansions: where we learn. Alighting places: where we meet with the Kind, the Compassionate; the One who descends to the sky of this world in the third part of the night. And Stations: the context and siting of places where we learn.

You discover the beauty of the Openings when you begin to find languages that express exactly what you know, perhaps deep within, perhaps inchoately, perhaps unconsciously. The sacred text you know has been speaking to you suddenly begins to be tying together all you know. You know why you love the beloved. You know how to love the beloved. Ibn al-Arabi speaks from the heart of the Youth, to the heart of all who are ready to be cast onto the path, and who are on the path. Even at ten thousand pages, hand-written over three years, Ibn al-Arabi calls the Openings Revealed in Makkah a hastily assembled provision sack for you to draw upon during your journey. These provisions nourish and encourage the committed traveler, the traveler prepared to do the work that is the propulsion along the path.


Saturday, November 18, 2017 | SOLD OUT – Gnawa Lila with Maalem Hassan Ben Jaafer and Innov Gnawa | 8:00 PM | Advance Tickets: $30 | At Door: $35


In this intimate and sacred gnawa gathering, Innov Gnawa will take you through a traditional gnawa ceremony called a lila (pronounced lee-la). The lila, meaning “night”, ritual usually takes place from dusk to dawn in private homes where the community gathers for spiritual healing. In this rare 4-hour immersive experience, Maalem (Master) Hassan Ben Jaafer and Innov Gnawa will invite listeners into this private ceremony and take audiences through the seven colors of gnawa.

Maalem (Master) Hassan Ben Jaafer – vocals and sintir
Samir Langus – vocals and qraqeb
Amino Belyamani- vocals and qraqeb
Ahmed Jeriouda- vocals and qraqeb
Nawfal Atiq- vocals and qraqeb
Said Bourhana- vocals and qraqeb
Kareem Ababo – vocals and qraqeb

About Innov Gnawa

Innov Gnawa is a musical collective dedicated to exploring Morocco’s venerable gnawa music tradition in the heart of New York City. Formed in the summer of 2014 by Moroccan expat Samir LanGus, the group draws on the considerable talents and expertise of Hassan Ben Jaafer, a Maâlem, or master gnawa musician, originally from Fes, Morocco. Under the guidance of Ben Jaafer, Innov has delved deep into the roots and rituals of gnawa music, and made a big splash in NYC, playing some of the city’s most prestigious rooms including Lincoln Center, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bowl, Terminal 5, Celebrate Brooklyn as well around the US at Coachella, Red Rocks Amphitheater, and The Cleveland Museum of Art.

For the uninitiated, gnawa music is the ritual trance music of Morocco’s black communities, originally descended from slaves and soldiers once brought to Morocco from Northern Mali and Mauritania. Often called “The Moroccan Blues”, gnawa music has a raw, hypnotic power that’s fascinated outsiders as diverse as writer/composer Paul Bowles, jazz giant Randy Weston and rock god Jimi Hendrix. The music is utterly singular, played on an array of unique instruments — from the lute-like sintir that the Maâlem uses to call the tune, to the metal qarqaba (castinets) with which the kouyos (chorus) keep time and pound out clattering, hypnotic rhythms.

Hailed by Brooklyn Magazine as one of the “5 Bands You Need to Know in Brooklyn’s Arabic Music Scene“, Innov Gnawa make great use of this traditional repertoire, and add their own, contemporary spin with additional African and Latin percussion. Taken as a whole, this exciting new outfit works hard to fuse a centuries old North African tradition with the pulse and attitude of New York City.

I. AADA (Musical Procession)

II. WLAD BAMBARA (Children of Bambara) / Joyous music

III. FTOUH RAHBA (Opening Ritual) / WHITE

IV. KOUHAL (The Blacks) / BLACK


VI. L’HOUMAR (The Reds) / RED

VII. CHORFA (The Saints) / GREEN

VIII. WLAD L’GHABA (Children of the Forest) / BLACK



Saturday, October 7, 2017 | Discovering the “Messenger from Our Souls/Selves”: Assimilating the Deeper Dimensions of the Hadith | Talk by James Morris | 4:00 pm | Suggested Donation $10

It is well known that both the classical poetic and spiritual expressions of the Islamic humanities (including the vernacular masterpieces of Sufi poetry and spiritual pedagogy across the Muslim world) and the learned Arabic intellectual and spiritual traditions of Islamic thought are alike deeply rooted in contemplation, practice, and ongoing reflection on the immense corpus of Prophetic sayings and teachings that were recorded in the early centuries of the Islamic era.  Yet today Muslims and non-Muslims alike often tend to imagine the hadith as somehow limited to their most mundane–and often problematic–uses by jurists, political ideologues, and the like. 

Since we are just entering a period when more and more hadith are increasingly available in English, this short talk will begin by introducing a few basic considerations that can help anyone (I.e., without any specialized background) to begin to appreciate the deeper spiritual dimensions of a wide range of translated hadith.  Then we will turn to discussion and questions regarding  a  representative sample of a few very practical hadith on adab, or spiritually appropriate attitudes and behavior. 

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).


Saturday, May 13, 2017 | In the Company of Friends – An Ecstatic Night of Sufi Music with Amin Sarshar, Juliet Rabia Gentile, April Centrone, Ali Rahman & Special Guests | 8:00 PM | Advance Tickets: $20 | At Door: $25


Persian Music Ensemble’s music is infused with the lyrical poetry of Rumi and Hafez, as well as Sufi repertoire including Persian Ghazal, Arabic folk songs, and Turkish Sacred songs (Illahi). Instrumentation includes the rich sound of the Persian Setar, the Arabic Oud and world percussion.Amin Sarshar – Setar, vocals
April Centrone- Oud, percussion
Juliet Rabia Gentile – Vocals, frame drum
Ali Rahman – Vocals, dafAmin Sarshar is originally from Hamadan, Iran and has performed with various ensembles. He was also classically trained to sing Persian ghazals under the Persian Dastagh system. He received his PHD in mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology.

April Centrone is the Executive Director of The New York Arabic Orchestra. She is a versatile performer of drumset in the genres of hard rock, jazz, funk, world, progressive and avante-garde. Her other trademark is as a performer and educator of the riqq (Arabic tambourine), as well as the darbekkeh (goblet drum) and frame drum. For almost ten years, she was student of master Lebanese/Palestinian percussionist, Michel Baklouk Merhej, and studied Arabic music and its other instruments, including the oud (Arabic lute), buzuq (Arabic ‘saz’) and violin. She has performed with renowned Arab artists such as Marcel Khalife, Ziad Rahbani, Bassam Saba, Charbel Rouhana and Najib Shaheen.

Juliet Rabia Gentile is a student of sufism, writer and performance artist. She holds an MA from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA from New School University. She is a student of her teacher Shaykha Fariha Fatima of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Community. Juliet has led prayer ceremonies and lectured widely on Sufism throughout New York City at venues including: the U.N. General Assembly, Riverside Church, Barnard College, Cathedral St. John the Divine, New York Open Center, Union Theological, Auburn Seminary, Museum of Jewish Heritage and One Spirit Learning Alliance. Juliet is a vocalist who sings Sufi improvisational chants in Arabic known as Qaside, Persian folk songs and Turkish sacred songs, as well as plays the frame drum. She performs in several ensembles including Red Union, Brooklyn Raga Massive, American Sufi Project, Adam Maalouf and The Tribe, I Guillari di Piazza. She also teaches Sufi Sema (whirling) both privately and in groups in NYC.


Saturday, April 29, 2017 | THE HEART OF THE FUTUHAT: an Ibn Arabi Lecture by Eric Shu’ayb Winkel | 7:00 PM | Suggested donation: $10

“There is no proof, among the animals, of the epithet of the True described as every day hu is upon a brilliant radiance more indicative of change than chameleons. You see, there is no adjective in the universe and no state which remains for two time periods, and no image which emerges visibly two times – and knowing accompanies the first and the last, so hu is the first and the last, and the visible and the invisible. This is the hu – she is colored and one in multiplicity.”

Dr. Eric Winkel (Shu’ayb) has just printed the third of six sections of the 10,000 page Openings revealed in Makkah to Ibn al-Arabi, the chapters on Changes. Here, halfway through the Futuhat al-Makkiyah, Ibn al-Arabi is counseling us to learn about changes, by observing ourselves and by identifying the coursing of the Divine in the cosmos. In the animal world, we observe the chameleon. In the human world, we watch the shadow play, which children and others who recognize the Divine understand is exactly their religion, while the obtuse adults dismiss it as frivolous: they are taking their Religion, which teaches us that we are shadows in a play, as mere play and amusement.

Murshid Ali writes in The Treasure, “With Dr. Shu’ayb’s translation of the Futuhat, by the gift of the Merciful, there will be no more exclusivity of this great work, which is a gift to all of humanity. The time has come to see people gathering and exploring and studying, and removing the darkness that has been plaguing this world for so long. The only way is to make peace with Heaven so that Earth will be transformed for the new humanity. I beseech my Beloved Allah to fulfill this vision of mine in the near future.”







Saturday, March 25, 2017 | The Sublime Art of Calligraphy – A Talk & Presentation by Elinor Aishah Holland | 7 pm | Suggested donation: $10

Calligraphy is the most prominent art in Islamic culture. Having its roots in the Qur’an, the practice of calligraphy is a multidimensional endeavor. The practice of calligraphy requires patience and discipline, develops understanding of space and design, and, as the calligrapher develops, engages the intellect in a contemplative way. Mastery of the craft comes after years of effort, but the rewards that come from perseverance along the path enrich the soul.

Elinor Aishah Holland is one of four North American calligraphers to receive an icazet in Thuluth and Nashk scripts within the rigorous Ottoman School. She is the only calligrapher among her contemporaries to practice with equal discipline in both the Arabic and Latin scripts. Holland presents and exhibits extensively across the US and Canada. Clients include the Smithsonian Institute, US Department of State, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Rubin Museum. She has exhibited at King Fahd Qur’an Conference, Sharjah and Kuwait Biennials, New York Islamic Arts Kadim Sanatin.


Saturday, February 25, 2017 | ASCENSION: An Evening of Spiritual Music from Beyond East and West – featuring Gabriel Marin and Dan Kurfirst | 8:00 PM

Marin and Kurfirst’s music has grown out of a decade-plus friendship and collaboration rooted in a shared interest in music as a spiritual vehicle. Their exploration reached new heights in 2016 as they were invited to perform in Calcutta and Goa, India with the American Sufi Project an ensemble which demonstrates the potential of interfaith and cross cultural relationships through reinterpreting traditional sufi music in a modern context

Join us for an evening of exploratory music originating from Central Asia, Turkey, Iran and the Middle East, as interpreted in New York City. The first set will showcase explorations of this music on traditional acoustic instruments . The second set will utilize these traditional melodies of the Islamic world as fertile ground for group improvisations, allowing for a unique blend of Eastern modes and Jazz sensibilities. Gabriel’s use of the fretless electric guitar will serve as the nexus where East meets West, a truly one of a kind instrument where the possibilities for cultural syncretism are endless.

They will be joined by many special guests throughout the evening.

Dan Kurfirst is an NYC based percussionist, composer and improviser. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, his music is a product of his good fortune to have been brought up amongst people of all different cultures and master practitioners of all styles of music.

He has performed extensively in the New York City world music and improvised music scenes for years and has performed with various groups throughout Europe, India and the Middle East. Some of his most frequent collaborators include Gabriel Marin, Abraham Mennen, Matt Darriau, Tomchess, Brian Prunka, Kane Mathis, Daro Behroozi, Brandon Terzic and Fima Chupakhin.

Dan currently serves as creative director of the American Sufi Project, an ensemble which demonstrates the potential of interfaith and cross cultural relationships through reinterpreting traditional sufi music in a modern context. In 2016 he co founded Ensemble Fanaa, a trio that explores the past and future of global musical exchange.

He recently worked as Musical Director with the Children’s Museum of Manhattan to develop a touchscreen app for Children to explore music of the Islamic world.

Multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Marin “boasts insane chops, impeccable time, mastery of diverse traditional scales, rare fretless guitar fluency, and a gift for manipulating effects-” Premier Guitar Magazine. Called “the guiding light for his generation of six-stringers”-Buffalo Times, And “A fretless guitar virtuoso whose microtonal adventures rival those of many eastern musicians, and a talent for rhythm and nuttines- Bass Musician Magazine

Gabriel has studied and performed music from North and South India, Iran, The Balkans, Turkey and Central Asia as well as western classical music and avant-garde jazz. As one of the few players to explore the fretless guitar, he has found a truly unique and expressive voice. He is a founding member of internationally renowned fusion band Consider the Source. In addition to Guitar, Gabriel is versed in Dutar, Dombra, Tanbour, Balti Saz, and Kamancha.