The Hundred Letters

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"An ambitious and much welcomed series...The books will be welcomed not only by those who are interested in deepening their knowledge of the Western spiritual tradition but also by those who are looking for more than the usual gruel served up by many of our contemporary 'spiritual' writers." The New Review of Books and Religion Sharafuddin Maneri: The Hundred Letters translation, introduction and notes by Paul Jackson, S.J. preface by Syed Hasan Askari foreword by Bruce Lawrence When, however, the light of God Almighty comes into view without the veil of soul or heart, it becomes perfectly clear. There is no colour, quality, limit, comparison, or contrast to it. It itself is the stability and firm support of all existing beings. Here there remains neither rising nor setting; right nor left; height nor depth; space nor time; near nor far; day nor night; neither earth nor world nor heaven itself. Here the pen breaks; the tongue is tied; the intellect sinks into the pit of nothingness, while understanding and knowledge are lost in the wilderness of amazement. Ibn Yahya Maneri, c 1263-1381 Known as "The Spiritual Teacher of the Realm," Maneri is venerated as on e of the most famous Islamic saints. This Sufi master was born in Bengal in Northeast India where he lived, taught, and founded the Firdausiya order of Bihar. These letters were written to the Governor of Chausa in Western Bihar as a basic presentation of his teachings for spiritual advancement. Dr. Bruce Lawrence in his foreword says of the letters that "they are unrivaled...and cannot be an invitation to experience the Sufi Way as a Sufi master experienced and described it, to join him in the endless struggle which has been ordained for man alone in the whole created order, to seek perfection while clinging to the pain of love." Syed Hasan Askari in speaking of Maneri says, "He still enjoys immense popularity in religious and official circles, among Hindus as well as Muslims, a tribute which has been denied to other Sufi masters..." +

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