In the Name of God, Full of Grace, Full of Mercy. May Peace and Blessings be unto you and welcome to this blog.
“God is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the likeness of His Light is as a niche wherein is a lamp that is in a glass; the glass, which as it were is a glittering star kindled from a Blessed Tree, an olive that is neither of the East nor of the West whose oil wellnigh would shine, even if no fire touched it; Light upon Light; God guides to His Light whom He will. And God strikes parables for men, and God has knowledge of everything.” (24:35)
I am a son to loving parents; a sibling to loving brothers; a husband to a beautiful wife; and a father to two equally beautiful children–with hopes for more children and prayers for their future here in the West. By vocation I am a Physician in Private Practice. My physical origin or land of birth is America, my ethnic origin is from the Punjab region of the Subcontinent associated with Pakistan; my religious origin is Islam; yet my ultimate identity is shared with all of humanity’s spiritual Origin which is found ‘with God in Pre-Eternity’ which is “neither of the East nor of the West”. My interests include Traditional spirituality and Traditional thought in general, and Islamic spirituality and thought in particular; comparative religion and perennial philosophy; traditional and alternative medicines which serve to compliment my Modern Medical practice.
Upon the request of several friends, I have decided to start sharing some personal reflections upon the more universal dimensions of the Islamic Tradition as they specifically pertain to my existential context as a Western Muslim. I shall focus more on the spiritual and intellectual aspects of Islam without altogether ignoring the equally important role of the Sacred Law which defines and circumscribes all spiritual practice proper to Islam. As a spiritual seeker whose ethnic and cultural heritage hails from the East yet whose existential predicament is uniquely Western and Muslim, I often feel that I am “in” the worlds of both East and West, but not “of” these worlds. Such experiences have given me–and like minded persons I am sure–unique insights into things Sacred, both of the East and of the West. As such, this blog shall be dedicated to the inquiry of those aspects of Traditional, Revealed and Inspired Wisdom which, to use the above Quranic metaphor, are “Neither of the East nor of the West”.
My intention throughout this blog shall not be to circumvent the formal and creedal elements of the Islamic Tradition, but rather to compliment them through broadening one’s awareness of those very same elements in Islam and as they may relate to other revealed wisdom traditions. In this light, I shall focus on expressions of a Wisdom or “Light” rooted in the Sacred which is timeless or eternal, whose appeal is universal, and whose scope is ‘confined’ by “neither East nor West” yet ‘defined’ by my personal experiences in both East and West as a Muslim. I pray this endeavor to blog certain thoughts, discussions, and experiences over a few years of searching for such wisdom in Islam and other Revealed Traditions through mutually enriching intra-faith as well as inter-faith contact and dialogue may be of benefit to various seekers of Truth.
I pray these reflections lead not only to a heightened awareness of the beauty of Islam, but also to a more profound recognition of Divine Reality along with a deepening of one’s spiritual and religious practice in whichever revealed religion one finds themselves to be in. In particular I pray this blog may serve as a bridge for those Muslims who seek a similar bridging of the gap between their Western and Muslim identities in order to live in peace with themselves and in harmony with others in the Name of God. I also pray that this blog may be of benefit to those seekers across religious frontiers and global hemispheres who seek a similar bridging between a sense of “Self” and “Other” without blurring formal distinctions, all in order to bring deeper meaning into their lives. Amen.