Click to visit the IAS Bookstore
Click to view bookstore

Editor's Note is a quarterly column with inspirational words of wisdom from the Editor-in-Chief of Sufism: An Inquiry, Shah Nazar Seyed
Dr. Ali Kianfar

Knowledge is the Light God Pours
Into the Heart of whoever
He Desires

Editor's Note
from Vol. 2, No. 2

Can We Step Beyond Our

Editor's Note
from Vol. 9, No. 4

An Essential Principle of Sufi Teaching
Editor's Note
from Vol. 6, No. 3


Contact Us:
Sufism Journal
14 Commercial Blvd.
Suite 101
Novato, California
94949   USA
Tel: +1 415 382 SUFI
Tel: +1 415 382 7834


The Sufism Journal is a publication
of the International Association of
, a non-profit organization
affiliated with the United Nations.

The various articles presented
here represent the individual
views of their authors. SUFISM
does not imply any gender bias
by the use of feminine or
masculine terms, nouns
and/or pronouns.

© Sufism Journal and the
International Association of
Sufism. All rights reserved.




From Vol. 8, No. 2

by Shah Nazar Seyed Ali Kianfar

The search for an answer to solve the mystery of God and to understand the relationship between the human being and God has an ancient history. Every culture and every era has searched for answers, according to its scope of understanding and its fund of knowledge. The diversity of the world's peoples and cultures has colored the results of this search, and as a result many different answers have been proposed. But when the human search for the Divine and its understanding

steps back from the material world of sense perception, with all its limitations of time and place, and is directed instead toward an inward search, an inner quest to witness such understanding, then many similarities in method emerge between very different religions and belief systems.

The different systems of spirituality and religious belief have developed an esoteric dimension to their approach to solve the question of the Divine. They have crafted systems of an inner traveling as a way to understanding the reality of Being. This esoteric dimension reflects the dissatisfaction that conventional descriptive metaphysical theories of religion engender. No matter how much one may theorize from sense perception, no matter how carefully one may reason in constructing abstract systems of metaphysics, the spark of life remains elsewhere, for it is only to be found within. Typically, the esoteric dimension of religions has focused their search towards the practice of the ways of understanding, rather than reading and talking about them.

As history progressed, civilizations developed, and theories and practices found their chapter in the book of humanity; many of these practices and teachings of the inner journey of the schools of spirituality and faith found their rightful place in the book of cultures.

Many such systems emerged as a reaction towards the immorality of social conditions and the degradation of the established forms of religions. They arose in rebellion against the leaders' fascination and desire for wealth and unlimited personal power, and in revolt over the cultures of self-indulgence that brought such leaders to the fore. This may be one of the reasons why most inner schools of religions have focused on piety, virtue, compassion, abandonment of the world, and freeing one's self from the temptations of the world.

But merely to rebel against the world and turn inward is not enough. It may reveal spiritual advances, and it will bring a certain measure of inner freedom to the individual; but mere introspection cannot discover the truth of religion, any more than meditation on nothing can lead to the understanding of Being.

Those who search to find a way towards understanding the meaning of the Divine have developed their own way, their own tarighat, as the way towards the Divine. Their conceptions of the Divine differ. Yet it is of no surprise that many religions and belief systems focusing on inner traveling as a key to understanding God have found a degree of common ground; for example, in monotheism, the realization of the wholeness of Being . . .

To read the rest of this article,
press the subscribe button below and order
Volume 8, Number 2 from our Archive Page,
and while you are there you can subscribe
so you never miss another issue!