To: Friends of Daru 'l-Masnavi.org
From: The webmaster of this site, Ibrahim Gamard
Date: March 21, 2004
I'm pleased to announce the publication of a book I was invited to write in 2003. An editor from Skylight Paths Publishing came across my Rumi website (www.dar-al-masnavi.org) and said that the format I use is similar to that used in their "Skylight Illuminations Series"--translations of selections from mystical classics on the right-hand pages, with facing-page explanatory notes on the left. She specifically invited me to write a book about what Rumi said about the Prophet Muhammad. What a blessed opportunity to write a book about what Mawlana (may God sanctify his spirit) and the Prophet (may God pour blessings upon him and give him peace) both said! Per my belief that the best title for a book is one that expresses its contents, my proposed title was "Rumi: On Muhammad". However,the publisher wanted a tile that would hopefully be more interesting to perspective buyers of the book.
The book was titled "RUMI AND ISLAM" and has three sections: (1) stories about the Prophet (exemplifying his kindness, compassion and wisdom), (2) wise sayings of the Prophet (where Rumi said "Ahmad/Mustafa/Payghambar said..."), and (3) praises of the Prophet (where Rumi mentioned the Prophet very favorably). The first part, more than half of the book, is from Rumi's Masnavi/Mathnawi; the rest of the book is mainly from Rumi's Divan-i Kabir ("ecstatic poems"), but also from the Masnavi and the Discourses ("Fihi Ma Fihi"), as well as a few quotes from the Sermons ("Majalis-i Saba`ah") and Letters ("Maktubat"). The selections from the Masnavi often have Rumi's own profound explanations following some of the verses. These are direct translations from Persian and include references to the Persian editions.
It is my hope that the book will further knowledge about how Rumi's mysticism was firmly rooted in Islam (in contrast to the popularized Rumi books which minimize or avoid the Islamic context, terms, and references in his poetry), how he was strongly devoted to the Prophet Muhammad and his example and wisdom (in addition to his famous devotion toward his spiritual master, Shams-i Tabrizi), and about how Islam is a religion of great compassion, wisdom, and moderation (in contrast to stereotypes about fanaticism).
The book can be ordered directly from the publisher at SkylighPaths.
Or from other sites on the Internet, such as Amazon.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BRINGING RUMI (BACK) TO MUHAMMAD
Great Islamic Mystic's Work--Popularized as "Love Poetry"--Finally Returns to Its Muslim Roots
"This work will shatter some old myths and bring new light to the subject." --Ravan Farhadi, former professor of history of Persian classics at the University of California, Berkeley; ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations
Mawlana Jalauddin Rumi is considered one of the most important Muslim teachers in history. But while Rumi has long been revered in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, in recent years, popularized versions of his poetry have made his name well known in America and Europe as well. This Western popularization emphasizes heartfelt themes of lover-Beloved mysticism and its spiritual joy, while sacrificing Rumi's profound Muslim piety as a dedicated follower of the Prophet Muhammad. In Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses--Annotated & Explained (SkyLight Paths / April 2004 / Quality Paperback Original / $15.99)
Dr. Ibrahim Gamard focuses on Rumi's place within the Sufi tradition of Islam, as one of the greatest Muslim followers of the Prophet Muhammed, and on the Islamic foundations of his lover- Beloved mystical poetry. By probing Rumižs spiritual teachings verse by verse, Gamard provides insight into the mystical side of the Quržan and Islam, a religion that holds a deep love of God at its core.
Praise for RUMI AND ISLAM Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses--Annotated & Explained Translation and Annotation by Dr. Ibrahim Gamard "Dr. Ibrahim Gamard, after painstaking research from classical Persian texts, has masterfully managed to assemble wonderful summaries, quotations, and a wealth of important information in one book. This work will shatter some old myths and bring new light to the subject." --Ravan Farhadi, former professor of history of Persian classics at the University of California, Berkeley; ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations
2- Readers of Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses--Annotated & Explained will experience the profound and uplifting wisdom of Rumi even if they have no previous knowledge of Sufism or Islam. In this edition, Gamard presents the most important of Rumi's writings, mainly from the Mathnawi, with insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that conveys how his teachings about the nature of love for God and God's love for people.
"This book you are now holding is a selection of what I believe are the best of Rumi's accounts of the compassionate actions, sayings, and qualities of the Prophet, which include Rumižs own inspired comments and explanations," writes Gamard in the preface. "It is my hope that you will be surprised and uplifted by the profound wisdom that Jalaluddin Rumi conveys through these stories and sayings."
Ibrahim Gamard first translated Rumi's poetry from Persian in 1985, and started posting selected Rumi translations, commentary, and Persian transliterations on the Internet in 1997. His website, www.dar-al-masnavi.org, is one of the best Web sources for in-depth information about the great Sufi mystic. Gamard is a member of the Mevlevi Order, a 730-year-old Sufi order that originated with Rumi himself. A licensed psychologist, Dr. Gamard converted to Islam twenty years ago.
"We are delighted to add this book to our successful SkyLight Illuminations series of classic spiritual texts," says Jon M. Sweeney, editor in chief, SkyLight Paths. "Ibrahim Gamard had done a great service by reintroducing Rumi's Muslim origins to those who wish to truly understand the richness and depth of his writings."
-more- -3- Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and DiscoursesãAnnotated & Explained, tranlation and annotation by Dr. Ibrahim Gamard, is available at bookstores or directly from SkyLight Paths Publishing, Sunset Farm Offices, Route 4, P.O. Box 237, Woodstock, Vermont 05091; Quality Paperback Original; $15.99; add $3.75 for shipping and handling for the first book, $2.00 for each additional book. For credit card orders, call 800-962-4544. # # # If possible, please include our 800 number with your mention or review. Thank you.
Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses--Annotated & Explained (5_" x 8_", 240 pp., Quality Paperback Original, ISBN 1-59473-002-4, $15.99) is available from Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, Cokesbury, Doubleday, Indigo/Chapters, Waldenbooks, B. Dalton, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, DeVorss, New Leaf, and many other booksellers, or directly from SkyLight Paths Publishing, P.O. Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091; Tel.: (802) 457-4000; Fax: (802) 457-4004; www.skylightpaths.com. For credit card orders, call (800) 962-4544. Add $3.75 shipping and handling for the first book, $2.00 each additional book.