The Search for Truth: Life and Teachings of an Indian Shaykh
The Search for Truth
By Shaykh Hazrat Azad Rasool (r)
186pp., 6 x 9, paper, ISBN: 9781891785436
“The Search for Truth is a valuable contribution to the literature on Sufism, providing an engaging account of the life of a contemporary Naqshbandi master from South Asia. This comprehensive presentation of Islamic Sufi teachings and spiritual practices includes fascinating examples of the adaptation of Sufism to the modern context. This is to be highly recommended for students of mysticism”
– Dr. Carl Ernst, Wiliam R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
“This is an eloquent and thoughtful book with many surprises, especially for scholars unfamiliar with the creative connections made in the Indian Sufi context amongs Islam, western philosopical discourse, and distinctive categories drawn from the indigenous experience of pluralistic life in South Asia. Of particular interest to historians of religion is the treatment of biblical characters and narratives in a hierarchy of concepts blending Sufism and specifically Indian concepts of self , community and deity. The characters are larger than life, the story is spell-binding, and the presentation is almost gnostic in its careful layering of the stages and spheres of understanding”
– Dr Brannon Wheeler, Director, Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy
“This book is about those who have aspired to and have experienced God’s Oneness, diligently cultivating a unitary consciousness. The Search for Truth goes on to explain the verified methods available to experience God that have been followed by Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi sufis. In between the written lines the reader is called to our common human birthright – the human experience of consciously experiencing a vastness of the Larger Context, the goal of all spiritual quests”
– From the foreward by Dr. Arthur F. Buehler, author of Sufi Heirs of the Prophet.
In Sufism, biographies describing the lives of the saints support the practical learning a seeker or student must undertake with the guidance of a Sufi shaykh. This biography of Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Sa’id Khan (r.a.) is the second book published in English by Hazrat Azad Rasool (r.a.). In this new book, the author supplements a selection of Hazrat Maulvi Mohammed Sa’id Khan’s (r.a.) writings, letters and discourses with his own writing to contextualize and provide insight into, the life and teaching methods of his shaykh. This original material, translated here into English from the Urdu, has been selected from a larger body of material that was transcribed and collected by the author over the course of thirty years, whilst traveling and working with his teacher across the Indian sub continent.
The biography is presented here as both a tribute to a great saint and teacher and as a contemporary essay on the practice and teaching of Sufism as practiced by the shaykhs of the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi order, of which the author Hazrat Azad Rasool (r.a.), was himself a master and teacher. It also provides a rare insight into the relationship of a Sufi shaykh to his students (murids) and makes clear to the reader the vital role of the teacher in relation to a student’s spiritual progress. The detailed explanation of his shaykh’s teaching methodology is intended to give the uninitiated seeker a true sense of the work of the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi order of Sufism, and in writing this new biography, he himself extends this tradition of innovation in teaching.
Carefully written to specifically address those Westerners seeking a genuine spiritual path and a teacher, this book intends to inspire the student and seeker alike through the recounting of two inextricably linked lives, lived in and with God. It is a book about the teaching and learning process itself, the process of spiritual refinement and what it is to be successful on the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi Sufi path.
The author of The Search for Truth, the late Hazrat Azad Rasool (may his inner heart be sanctified) who passed from this earth in 2006, was the thirty-third link in the initatic chain going back to the Prophet (S) via Abu Bakra as-Siddiq (d. 634 Mecca), Baha’uddin Naqshband (d. 1389 Bukhara), Ahmed Sirhindi (d. 1624 Sirhind), and Adam Banauri (d. 1644 Medina), Ahmed Sirhindi’s most spiritually advanced successor.