By Dr. Assad Ali
Translated by Camille Helminski, Kabir Helminski, and Dr. Ibrahim Shihabi
Including 30 Chapters of the Qur’an in a new spirit by Kabir Helminski
The voice of these poems is the voice of the Desert in an ardent appeal to the heart of Reality. Each of these poems is also a lesson in higher education from a loving teacher, the Desert. As Dr. Ali himself says, “These hymns have not been written to address any one of the creatures, even though they are exuberant with creatures’ concerns, and their true interest is in them and in appealing to God for them. They have been written in a method similar to physical training, but as spiritual training in the world of the body and the Word.”
These thirty poems were inspired by the first thirty chapters of the Qur’an that were revealed to Muhammad. This volume also contains a translation in a new spirit of these thirty chapters.
Dr. Assad Ali, Professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Damascus, with advanced degrees in Law, Arabic, and Persian, Founder and Secretary General of the World Union of Writers in Arabic, is one of the most respected and prolific writers in the Arab world. Yet his literary accomplishments, which include more than a hundred titles in literary criticism, poetry, and the philosophy of Sufism, are but the rich harvest of a deeply spiritual life.
“Happiness Without Death is an exercise of creative genius and artistic sensitivity.” — Dr. Abdul Aziz Said, American University, Professor of International Relations
“…a lucid and clear poetic rendering… which reflects the long tradition of classical Arabic Sufi poetry concerned with the soul enflamed by the love of God. It is wonderful to see this tradition survive and be made available in English at a time when so much of the contemporary Arabic literature being presented to the West is concerned with anything but matters of spiritual significance. The translators are to be congratulated for having made this poetry accessible to the English-speaking audience.” — Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University, Professor of Islamic Studies
“I feel that Happiness Without Death, if read carefully as it deserves, can help Westerners to understand the grandeur and power of pristine Islam. I sincerely hope that it will be read and mediated upon by many readers.” — Dr. Annemarie Schimmel, Harvard University, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Emeritus
Read an excerpt…