Sunday, September 12, 2010


We named our first born Jamil.  At that time, his father and I were celebrating in the Dances of Universal Peace (Sufi Dancing) around Charlottesville, Va and Atlanta, Ga. Jamil is one of the ninety nine names or attributes of Allah. It means 'the beautiful'.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the proposed Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center, is a Sufi. Sufism is generally understood by scholars to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam. One of the most prominent Sufis was Rumi, the Persian  also known as the Sufi poet of love.

The Sufi Community is vibrant and peaceful around Charlottesville where I live. A few years ago, while studying Japanese Tea Ceremony, I designed a pendant for my teacher Asha Greer (senior teacher in the Sufi Ruhaniat The piece is called ‘Gratitude’ and it includes the Sufi heart and wings in a gesture of gratitude and service (giving and receiving).  Click here to find out more...

So…. when news reached my ears that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a practicing Sufi I sat down at the computer to study a little more and then….write. The current news story about the mosque at ground zero is  fascinating to me as I gather more information.  It is being used, often shamefully and ignorantly, by politicians and pundits to further a variety of fears and untruths. I hope you will be moved to do some earnest research about the ancient mystics, including Christian and Jewish Gnosticism and Sufi masters. 

"Our work is to spread the knowledge and love and light of God. By stressing the positive, the affirmative, the true, we help ourselves and all humanity".
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis

 PS: My son Jamil loves his Sufi name. He has a tattoo of it in Arabic on his shoulder. The name  fits him well as he is bright and happy with a spiritually inquisitive and open mind.