The red brick walk outlines the quintessential suburban comforts – it passes a Honda Pilot in the driveway, winds through a manicured lawn, and ends at the white columned entrance to the Malik family’s spacious newly built home.
But, says Salman Malik, who immigrated to the United States from Pakistan at age 9, there’s something missing: “In the US, Muslim kids are in trouble [because] they lack role models and institutions.”
And here, on the outskirts of Manchester, N.H., it’s far from any Muslim community; a fledgling mosque is under construction, but it’s a small institution without many services. So Mr. Malik and his wife, Romana, “have to step in to fill that void,” he says. “We have no choice. Their [Muslim] identity is very important to us. We want to make sure they know who they are.”
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Stations of the Wayfarers has always been one of the pillars of Sufi studies for Arabic-speaking scholars and students. For generations, seekers and novices have depended on it to build up their knowledge. The fact that no English translation of this basic treatise exists is regrettable, although excerpts of it have been provided, notably in Professor Ravan Farhadi's work on Abdullah Al-Ansari published in the Curzon Sufi Series in 1996. The present complete translation is therefore aimed at filling that gap. English-speaking scholars and students will find in it an authoritative, detailed and inspiring description of the spiritual stages leading to annihilation and union with the Supreme Being. The depth of its concepts is astounding, yet Al-Ansari is invariably rational and devoted to Orthodox Islam, as represented by Hanafi School. The book has a structure that is unique, both in form and content. The Shaikh dictated it as a manual under a format designed to facilitate memorizing by students. It follows a mnemonic system, each chapter being divided into three levels, indication the degrees of the spiritual experience, as well as the "hierarch" of the candidates for the experience. A verse of the Qur an introduces each chapter. It is noteworthy that Al-Ansari was already blind when he dictated the treatise in 1082 A.D. (475 H.) The Stations consists of the following Parts or Sections: 1. The Beginnings, comprising chapters on Awakening, Repentance, Reckoning, Turning to God, Reflection, Meditation, Taking Shelter, Escape, Retreat or Inurement and Audition. 2. The Gates, comprising chapters on Grief, Fear, Solicitude, Reverence, Capitulation or Humility, Renunciation, Piety, Consecration or Devotion, Hope and Aspiration. Behavior, comprising chapters on Caring, Observation, Reverence, Honesty, Betterment, Rectitude, Reliance, Delegation, Trust and Submission. Distributed in USA by Rumi Bookstore
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