The Fragrance of Faith: The Enlightened Heart of Islam by Jamal Rahman

In this heartfelt book, the essence of Islamic wisdom is shared with the reader through teaching stories, Rumi poetry, and sacred verses from the Qur’an and Hadith (sayings of Muhammad). It expresses a deeply compassionate view of the world along with simple spiritual practices that have a profound effect on integrating this wisdom into everyday living.

On Transformation
(from The Fragrance of Faith, by Jamal Rahman)

The Qur’an was revealed over a period of twenty-three years. It was sent down, little by little, stage by stage, in order that it might “strengthen the heart.”

There is sacredness in the words “little by little.” God could have sent full-blown perfect beings, flying through the cosmos, to arrive here in one instant. Gradualness, it seems, is favored by that mysterious Intelligence.

The marvelous creation of a child takes nine months. A great task is often accomplished by a series of small acts. A skillful cook lets the pot boil slowly. Night by night the new moon gives a lesson in gradualness. The Qur’an says that “God only commands when willing anything is saying to it, ‘Be!’—and it is” [Surah Ya Sin 36:82]. But even the Universe took a few days to be in place! Gradualness, indeed, is a characteristic of the action of the Sustainer of the Universe.

Do your work of transformation little by little. Rumi says: “Little by little, wean yourself. This is the gist of what I have to say. From an embryo, whose nourishment comes through the blood, move to an infant drinking milk, to a child on solid food, to a searcher after wisdom, to a hunter of more invisible game.”

Grandfather said that by doing the work of inner growth, little by little you make progress, increment by increment and again, a big jump! The big jump happens because of the little-by-little application. It’s a law. Truly, it pays to persist, little by little.

Grandfather enjoyed telling the following story. The Mullah was enamored of Indian classical music. He eagerly sought out a teacher to take private lessons. “How much will it cost?” asked the Mullah.

“Three pieces of silver the first month and one piece of silver from the second month onward,” replied the teacher.

“Excellent!” replied the Mullah. “Sign me up from the second month!”

Spiritual Directors International learns from Jamal Rahman

Spiritual Directors International learns from Jamal Rahman, a Muslim Sufi, speaks about prayer, the Qur’an, and describes how spiritual teachers and spiritual directors in the Muslim tradition provide support for learning how to be at peace with yourself and offer service in the world. Jamal answers the question, How do I find a spiritual director? He is co-host of Interfaith Talk Radio, author of Out of Darkness into Light, and co-minister of Interfaith Community Church.

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