Holistic Islam: Sufism, Transformation, and the Needs of Our Time

Holistic Islam: Sufism, Transformation, and the Needs of Our Time

by Kabir Helminski


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Holistic Islam: Sufism, Transformation, and the Needs of Our Time by Kabir Helminski

Islam once gave birth to a great civilization that respected religious diversity, freedom of conscience, and scientific thought, and Islamic knowledge contributed to the birth of humanism in the Renaissance. Today's world is desperately in need of a spirituality that is free of dogma, based in experiences not beliefs, one that can reconcile the human and spiritual realms. In his new book, renowned spiritual teacher and Sufi sheikh Kabir Helminski, gives us a compelling interpretation of spiritual or holistic Islam that will hearten contemporary Muslims looking for a faith suited for our times, and providing non-Muslims a brilliant introduction to this rich spiritual tradition.

Helminksi’s holistic Islam is an emerging force in the world. It is reflected in the rise of the popularity of the writings of Jalal ad-Din Rumi who is loved by followers of all faiths and none. Helminski shows how it is the great Sufi teachers of the Islamic tradition who show the way to this universal wisdom. Holistic Islam is an expression of the primordial religion of humanity that recognizes a journey through levels of consciousness leading to the transformation of self and the mature human being.

While all religions have a tendency to decline into sectarianism, legalism, fundamentalism, and superstition, humanity is never without the presence of realized human beings who have shared the knowledge and practice of communion with Ultimate Reality.

Holistic Islam is a spiritual antidote to extremism and fundamentalism, established on a clear Quranic basis
Holistic Islam uses Quranic arguments to establish a spiritually progressive Islam

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781940468556
Publisher: White Cloud Press
Publication date: 09/12/2017
Series: Islamic Encounter Series
Pages: 168
Sales rank: 624,515
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Kabir Helminski is a translator of the works of Rumi a Shaikh of the Mevlevi Order, co-director of The Threshold Society and director/founder of the Baraka Institute. In 2009 Kabir was named as one of the "500 Most Influential Muslims in the World.” He is author/translator of over a dozen books.

Table of Contents

Prologue ix

Introduction 1

A World Out of Balance 1

Islam as a State of Being 4

A Religion of Love or A Religion of Fear? 5

Reimagining Islam through Sufism 8

1 The Coming Renewal: Rediscovering the Integrity of Islam 10

A Renewal of the Islamic Spirit 10

The Decline of Spiritual Civilization 12

Relationship with the Divine 14

Elements of Essential Islam: the Qur'an 15

Elements of Essential Islam: Surrender 18

2 Sufism as a Path of Transformation and Liberation 20

The Raw and the Cooked 21

Transformation of the Self 21

The Example of the Prophet 23

A Path to Universal Spirituality 25

What does love mean in Sufism? 27

Finding the Way by Spiritual Discernment 28

Reading the Book of the Heart 29

3 Sufism as Ideal, Perception and Historical Reality 32

Misperceptions and Misunderstandings 32

Revealed Book and Living Book 34

The Pure Religion of Abraham 37

Essential Sufism 39

Sufism Today 40

Many Traditions, One Primordial Religion 42

The Call to Awakening 44

4 A Spirituality Adequate to Our Time 53

Satisfying the Heart 47

The Misplaced Center 49

Propositions, Distortions, and Clarifications 50

A Spirituality Adequate to the Times 53

Vital Questions 55

The Spirit of Emancipation & the Light of Oneness 57

5 A Revolution in Consciousness 61

Contemporary Jahiliyyah 61

Authoritarian Religion 63

Pathologies within Islam 66

Islam: The Reconciler of Faiths 68

6 Dialogue of Civilizations, Globalization of Spirit 70

A Dialogue Among the Faithful 70

The Remedy for Islamophobia 72

What Islam Can Offer 74

Envisioning Applied Spirituality 82

7 Things You Wanted to Know But Didn't Know How to Ask 85

What Role Can Women Have in Islam? 85

The Question of Spiritual Authority 85

What Does the Sura of Consultation Say? 88

The Quran's Guidance for Our Circumstances Today 90

8 Islam & Eros 91

Is Love Permitted in Islam? 91

Cultural vs. Islamic Codes of Morality 94

How the Tradition Views Intimate Relationships 97

What the Qur'an Says About Sex 102

9 What is Shariah Really About? 110

The Historical Context of Shariah 112

The Place of Hadith 116

Western Fears and Misperceptions About Shariah 119

Man-made Formulations vs. Eternal Truths 120

10 Muhammad's Sunnah: Flexibility & Spiritual Perception 123

Spiritual Perception 124

A Messenger from Among Yourselves 125

Muhammad's Sunnah: Flexibility & Essential Meaning 126

The Gnostic as Witness 128

Epilogue 132

Bibliography 137

Acknowledgments 139

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Sufism has long been the kernel of Islamic truth and the embodiment of its wisdom. Kabir Helminski's Holistic Islam is a sagacious and indeed perspicacious walk through the heart and soul of Islam. It is an essential source for anyone who is interested in Sufism or in the moral impulse that motivated great sages like Rumi and Hafiz. Perhaps, more importantly, I think this book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the real Islamic faith. –Dr. Khalid Abou El Fadl, Distinguished Professor of Islamic Law at the UCLA Law School, UCLA. and author of The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists

Kabir Helminski has written an important and redolent book which deserves to be read and reread. His book, rebalances the understanding of Islam, away from the political and theological, and towards the realm of the spiritual and the ethical. For Islam above all is a way and a discipline that seeks to encounter the ever-present traces of the divine in the world. Helminski evokes the beauty and solace that countless millions in history have witnessed and experienced in Islam, and continue to do so to this very day. Holistic Islam is not only about Sufism. It is about a profoundly spiritual religion which continues to be a touchstone for those seeking an authentic path of inner awareness and outer harmony. –Ali Allawi, author of The Crisis of Islamic Civilization ( Economist “Best Book of the Year”), and former Minister of Finance and Minister of Defense, Iraqi Transition Government

Like Judaism, Christianity and every other religion, Islam has a variety of different stands and interpretations, some extremely repressive, others deeply enlightened. In the midst of an historical period of growing Islamophobia, Kabir Helminski's presentation of the Sufi version of Islam, much like Christian and Jewish liberation theologies, opens us to the creativity, beauty, and spiritual wisdom of this tradition. Helminski himself is a spiritual master of great depth, and anyone reading Holistic Islam will inevitably find in it wellsprings of inspiration and have new insights about why 1.5 billion people on our planet are attracted to Islam. –Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine and author of the national bestsellers Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation and of The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right

Holistic Islam awakens readers to the realization that moral and spiritual perfection should be the primary goal of every Muslim. Normative models associated with formal religious practice—such as those embedded in classical Islamic law—should not be absolutized nor allowed to harden into dogma. In this book, Shaykh Kabir convincingly demonstrates how Islam may be practiced in a holistic manner, and thus help to bring about a world in which Islam, and Muslims, are truly beneficent and contribute to the well-being of all humanity. –Kyai Haji Yayha Cholil Staquf, General Secretary, Supreme Council of Nahdlatul Ulama (50 million members)

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