Sacred Laughter of the Sufis: Awakening the Soul with the Mulla's Comic Teaching Stories and Other Islamic Wisdom

Sacred Laughter of the Sufis: Awakening the Soul with the Mulla's Comic Teaching Stories and Other Islamic Wisdom

by Imam Jamal Rahman


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A first-of-its-kind combination of the legendary wisdom stories of Islam's great comic foil with spiritual insights for seekers of all traditions—or none.

"We would do well to heed the Mulla's wisdom. One day, inevitably, our personal storms will not abate before causing destruction. Something will break our hearts and cause us to ask deeper questions. At that point we will become spiritual seekers, each in our own way.... We will begin to hear deep inside the mysterious calling of our soul to fulfill the purpose for which we were created."
—from the chapter "The Storms in Our Lives"

The mythical Mulla Nasruddin is a village simpleton and sage rolled into one. His wisdom stories, timeless and placeless, emanate from a source beyond book learning, and contain several layers of meaning.

In this unique presentation, Imam Jamal Rahman weaves together spiritual insights with the Mulla's humorous teaching stories and connects them to the issues at the heart of the spiritual quest. Addressing such topics as human vulnerability, the rigors of inner and outer spiritual work, the hazards of the ego and more, he roots the Mulla’s stories in Islamic spirituality by pairing them with sayings from the Qur’an, the Prophet Muhammad, Rumi, Hafiz and other Islamic sages.

Together, these sources combined with spiritual practices will awaken your spirit with laughter and inspire you to transform yourself and the world around you.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594735479
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 04/01/2014
Pages: 180
Sales rank: 760,205
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Imam Jamal Rahman is a beloved teacher and retreat leader whose passion for helping people deepen their spiritual lives and cultivate interfaith understanding has inspired audiences throughout the world. He has been featured in the New York Times, on CBS News, the BBC and many NPR programs. He is cofounder and Muslim Sufi minister at Interfaith Community Sanctuary, adjunct faculty at Seattle University and a former host of Interfaith Talk Radio. He is author of Sacred Laughter of the Sufis: Awakening the Soul with the Mulla's Comic Teaching Stories & Other Islamic Wisdom and Spiritual Gems of Islam: Insights & Practices from the Qur'an, Hadith, Rumi & Muslim Teaching Stories to Enlighten the Heart & Mind (both SkyLight Paths) and The Fragrance of Faith: The Enlightened Heart of Islam; and coauthor of Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi & an Imam and Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith (both SkyLight Paths), among other books.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Searching for Our True Identity 3
Stuck in Patterns 6
Overlooking the Obvious 8

The Storms in Our Lives 13
Asking Deeper Questions 16
Spirituality Is an Experience 18
We Foolish Humans 21
Three Stages of Knowing Oneself 23

Seeking Approval from Others 29
Clinging to an Image 32
Slavish Dependence on
Authorities and Experts 34
Swayed by Outer Forms 36
Appetite for Praise and Titles 38
Know and Laugh at Your Eccentricities 41
Excuse after Excuse 44
Truth of Convenience 48
Attached to the Familiar 51
Fear Is All You Need 54
Fear Has No Favorites 57

Deferred Spiritual Maintenance 61
How Some Religious Customs Began 64
Belief, Faith, and Borrowed Certainty 67
Honor the Present Moment 73
Strive to Be Grateful 77
Spirit of Prayer 81
Efficacy of Prayers of Supplication 84
Efficacy of Rituals and 86
Spiritual Practices
Signs in Nature 88

Seeking in the Right Direction 93
Not All Tears Are Equal 96
Little by Little 99
Blessed Are the Flexible 102
A Sense of Balance 104
Web of Interconnection 107
Thank God for Diversity 109
Cultivate Hope through 112
Patience and Faith
The True Teacher Kindles the Light 115

Connecting to Mystery 121
If God Wills 125

Do What Is Beautiful 131
Building Community 134
Justice and Conflict Resolution 137
Revere the Wombs That Bore You 140
Advice on Marriage 143
Honor the Children 145

It's Later Than You Think 151
The End Is Coming! 154
It's Not Like You Think It Is 156

Notes 160
Suggestions for Further Reading 162

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