Pakistani Sufi Singer Amjad Sabri Murdered | Clarion Project

This breaks my heart.  Sufism, the mystical sect of Islam, is the inner core of true beauty in the Islamic faith.

Many of you have read the Sufi poet Rumi, or the Rubayyat of Omar Khayyam, or the poetry of Khalil Gibran, whose line “Drink of the same wine but not from the same cup” has enriched many a set of wedding vows.

Everyone has heard of the “whirling Dervishes,” but not everyone knows that a Darweesh is a mystical adept who spins through a complex pattern of movements in deep trance, in order to achieve synchrony with the Divine! 

And although this has been practiced since at least the 7th century c.e., and perhaps earlier, and even though Sufism has always been a deep and enduring branch of knowing God in the context of Islam, now it’s being branded as heresy and its practitioners are being killed.

Such a tragedy!

I have been associated with Sufis since 1990, when I studied African drumming with a black American Sufi and his white Jewish American Sufi wife.  While in Israel I hung out with Sufi musicians who were Jewish.  Yes, that happens in Israel.  You don’t hear about it on the news…the ecstatic music sessions on the streets and in the market places late at night, when Muslims and Jews gather to praise our mutual Creator with flutes, drums, and lyres…this too is taking a risk, now that the imams seem to be branding anything pleasurable as “haram” (forbidden).

Heaven help us.

In the meantime, please enjoy your life.  Dance.  Make music.  Howl at the moon!  Listen to music, read, pray.  Enjoy Nature!  Enjoy one another!

Live with joy, live the juice of life! 

Counter repression with expression!

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  1. Thank you for your meaningful thoughts, Laura. Your faith based posts are a learning experience for me! Enjoy your life too! 🎉 Elizabeth

  2. thank you Laura
    Hope all is well
    Miss you
    As always Sheldon

    • You’re welcome, Sheldon! I celebrate those who find beauty in celebrating life. Sufis and Sufism are precious in the world. To see them snuffed out by an evil regime is a tragedy beyond imagining. They contribute so much to our tenuous existence, whether we are aware of it or not. They are there in the background, creating connection and joy. We must include them in our prayers, and especially in our art, for they are of the highest, just like all of the precious mystics of the world. Baruch Dayan ha’Emet–blessed be the Righteous Judge.

      I’ve been in retreat for a while, don’t know when I’ll be out. It’s good.

      Love you, dear Sheldon!

  3. Hi Laura! So sad, these damn extremists taking away all that is good in our lives. Love music and dance, signing up for dance classes right now: Hip hop 🙂 xxxooo

    • If you haven’t already, check out The Clarion Project and their amazing film The Honor Diaries, which is a roundtable discussion with a group of Muslim women, religious and secular, who discuss the issues involved with getting free of enforced/forced religious/cultural practices, and their personal experiences. I’ve watched it twice and cried and cried for our sisters who are not free….

  4. Midwestern Plant Girl

     /  June 24, 2016

    Such sad news! I hope peace can come to all of us soon… I’m dreaming big here… 🙁

  5. That’s awful news. So I’m liking only your sentiments at the end, Laura. Music/art should never get anyone murdered.

    • You’re so right. Unfortunately, in repressive regimes, self-expression is the quickest route to extinction. And it can be insidious…just look at public school budgets in the US. Up with the contact sports, down with the arts and sciences. A dumbed-down populace is easier to control.

      • Yeah, I have to agree with you there. But, as a young country (not an excuse), I think America has lots of lessons to learn, like (as you rightly suggest) cherishing reason/erudition and creativity–the two aren’t mutually exclusive!–as our European, and Asian and . . . oh so many other world counterparts do. As for the contact sports, sadly, that is and will continue to come back to haunt us (as a human species, and as any country who prides itself on pugilistic sport) in the form of TBIs such as concussions and the aftermath (depression, early dementia, etc.).

  6. True love is always killed either by the society, fundamentalists or sadly by our own loved ones.

    Hope you are good.

    Love & Light.

  7. Tragic. I briefly attended services of a Sufi sect in Oakland, for I was drawn to their mystic experiences while dancing/twirling. I ended up focusing on the Roman Catholic mystic saints. Bottom line, though, is the commonality of experiencing God personally, which is wonderful.


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