In Search of the Sacred: A Conversation with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on His Life and Thought

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John Hart , pp. Why Do Muslims Fast? Certain truths are by nature evident and need not be discussed in normal circumstances. But, in a day and age when the most evident truths are shrouded by the clouds of doubts and questioned, one is forced to discuss even the most obvious of them. One such truth is the necessity for an ascetic element in human life. Without an element of self-denial and asceticism no religion and therefore no human culture is possible.

In Search of the Sacred: A Conversation with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on His Life and Thought

One must withdraw occasionally from the full life of the senses even in order to be able to enjoy the fruit of sensual perception. As the Taoist saying affirms, it is the empty space of the wheel which makes the wheel.

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It is only a certain degree of restraint from the material objects of the senses that makes even the life of the senses balanced, not to speak of making possible an opening in the human soul for the spiritual life. One such practice of restraint is fasting, promulgated in Islam as obligatory for the month of Ramadan and recommended for other periods of the year.

As the Holy Quran asserts, it is a practice which existed in older religions and in Islam it was only revived and institutionalised in the form of the sawm of Ramadan. Fasting during this month possesses, of course, many social and external benefits and features which have been discussed often and in fact even somewhat overemphasised in certain quarters, where the chief virtue of fasting is reduced to charity towards the poor. This element of charity is, of course, there but like all true charity it becomes spiritually significant only when it is directed towards God.

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And in fasting it is the obeying of the Divine Will which has as its fruit charity towards the poor and the needy and an actual participation in their hunger and thirst. But the most difficult aspect of the fast is the edge of the sword of abstention directed toward the carnal soul, the al-nafs al-ammarah of the Holy Quran.

In fasting, the rebellious tendencies of the carnal soul are gradually dampened and pacified through a systematic submission of these tendencies to the Divine Will, for at every moment of hunger the soul of the Muslim is reminded that it is in order to obey a Divine Command that the passions of the carnal soul go unheeded. That is also why the fast does not include only food but also abstention from every form of lust and carnal passion. As a result of this systematic restraint, the human soul becomes aware that it is independent of its immediate natural environment and conscious that it is in this world but not of it.

Ghorbat-e Gharbi Occidental Exile: Law, Society, Science, Philosophy and Sufism. Translated by Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Edited, introduced, and annotated by Ibrahim Kalin. This book gave me a comprehensive look on his life and views in general.

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I found myself relating to many of his experiences such as his experience in university, studying physics. His purpose behind studying physics was to learn "the nature of things," but instead he found a gap in the modern scientific study and instead was more interested in the metaphysical. In my case, when I started my psychology degree, in a sense what I wanted to learn - to put it in Nasr's terms - was the nature of the human being. Instead, I was faced with a fragmented science dealing with fragments of the human mind and behaviour as opposed to a holistic view of mind-body-soul.

The gap in my study of psychology has led me to "search for the sacred" in other disciplines such as literature and philosophy there will always be the spiritual gap if we do not actively seek it.

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In Search of the Sacred: A Conversation with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on His Life and Thought [Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Ramin Jahanbegloo] on In Search of the Sacred: A Conversation with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on His Life and Thought By RaminJahanbegloowith Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

Another thing I really like about Nasr's worldview is that he links everything back to the Sacred and Divine. For example, his views on architecture. He believes that the architecture of the building should reflect its purpose, so you cannot build a mosque like an industrial building, a "box" that deprives the space of its spiritual essence.

Another important issue he addresses is the environmental crisis, which is ultimately caused by the modern spiritual crisis and neglecting the sacredness of nature, and the only way we can actually "solve" the environmental crisis is to reconnect with our spiritual essence and to rebuild our connection with nature. Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read In Search of the Sacred.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein

The garden of truth: Sufism is the poetry and mysticism of Islam. This mystical movement from the early ninth century rejects worship motivated by the desire for heavenly reward or the fear of punishment, insisting rather on the love of God as the only valid form of adoration.

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Sufism has made significant contributions to Islamic civilization in music and philosophy, dance and literature. The Sufi poet Rumi is the bestselling poet in America. But in recent centuries Sufism has been a target for some extremist Islamic movements as well as many modernists.

The Garden of Truth presents the beliefs and vision of the mystical heart of Islam, along with a history of Sufi saints and schools of thought. Sufi essays by Seyyed Hossein Nasr Book 54 editions published between and in 6 languages and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide "What begins as a meditation on love and the body soon breaks down into a collage of voices culled from media reports, childhood memories, testimonies from Abu Ghraib detainees, passages from documentary films, overheard conversations, and scraps of poems and song, only to reassemble with a gathering sonic force.

It's as if all the noise that fills our days were a storm, yet at the center is a quiet place, but to get there you must first pass through the storm, with eyes wide open, singing. Each poem becomes a hallucinatory, shifting experience, through jump cut, lyric persuasion, and deadpan utterance. History of Islamic philosophy by Seyyed Hossein Nasr Book 45 editions published between and in English and French and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide Islamic Philosophy has often been treated as mainly of historical interest, belonging to the history of ideas rather than to philosophy.

This is volume challenges this belief. The Routledge History of Philosophy is made up entirely of essays by a distinguished list of writers.

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They provide detailed discussions of the most important thinkers and the key concepts in Islamic philosophy, from earliest times to the present day. Knowledge and the sacred by Seyyed Hossein Nasr Book 37 editions published between and in 4 languages and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Mecca the blessed, Medina the radiant: The distinguished Japanese photographer Ali Kazuyoshi Nomachi, a convert to the Muslim faith, was given unprecedented access to both cities, including Medina's Mosque of the Prophet and Mecca's sacred center, the Ka'bah, the remarkable and beautiful building to which more than a million pilgrims travel every year during the holy month of Ramadan.

Nomachi's rich color images include views of the teeming crowds making their annual pilgrimage, or hajj; details of extraordinary Islamic architecture; portraits of faithful worshippers; and aerial and ground-level photographs of desert areas nearby.

Seyyed Hossein Nasr-Spirituality and Community

Accompanying the photographs and numerous archival illustrations, Dr.