"I try to explain Love, I expound on it, but when I am faced with it, I have no words, and admit with humility that something as momentous as Love cannot be explained. When the Pen writing on the Guarded Tablet (Law-he-Mahfooz) reached the word Ishq it could go no further, for its heart, it's very being, was rent into two. "- Hazrat Jalal-ud-din Rumi. Rumi and the Masters of Light is a book of 34 short stories based on the teachings of Sufism, compiled and taught by the Sufi master Shaykh Manzoor Alam of India. These stories are varied in depth and meaning and speak widely to all humanity regardless of caste, nationality, race and religion. The first twenty-two chapters of this book are based upon stories from Hazrat Jalaluddin Rumi's famous Masnavi. The rest of the twelve chapters are based on the lives of the great Sufi masters of the past that are full of instruction, metaphors and guidance relevant to our current lives and times. Rumi has been widely read, translated and referenced all over the world as the epitome of love and poetry. The uniqueness of this book, lies in its approach of short story telling to capture different aspects of Sufi mysticism which is the essence of Rumi's poetry and life. The book was originally published in the Indian language and therefore the stories are rich with foreign words and honorifics, all of which have been explained and clarified for the first-time reader of a Sufi text. The theme of this book is set by Rumi himself. "Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not from the East or the West, not out of the ocean or up from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not composed of elements at all. . . . I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one and that one call to and know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human being." - Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Rumi as explained by Shaykh Manzoor Alam
Love is the essence of this book. Shah Manzoor Alam and Rumi are guides of love. They are singularly committed to honoring the soul's journey back to the Source, the One and do not for a moment let the soul get caught in the limited identities of being Christian, Muslims or Jew. The stories of Rumi and the lessons from the Great Sufi Masters are that sun and the light of life that can guide humankind out of the doldrums of inner darkness. They are a spiritual treasure that become a mirror for different places within us that we are unaware of. Shah Manzoor Alam brings out Rumi's original metaphors, and magnifies the reflections, so that the seeker doesn't miss any of the subtleties within their own being that are applicable regardless of one's gender, religion, race or color. The handmaiden, sickly attached to the goldsmith, the cunning yet quick learning fox, the majestic falcon- turned away from the source of its most deserved provision, the denigrating mystic- crudely unaware of his pettiness are all examples of metaphors that are universal in nature if one chooses to look deep inside. This is the invitation for sustenance that nourishes the sensitive heart, the yearning soul, and the hankering mind in its quest for love, peace, beauty, light and Oneness. At all times, there have been men and women who have been introspective, and searched for deeper meaning in life. Sufi teachings provide a deep comprehension of the spiritual dimensions which are contained within every human being. Sufi teachers help to open human hearts towards a flowering of love and joy, and above all hope for a life of contentment, and a state of inner peace and equilibrium. Their doors are open at all times to all people, regardless of caste and creed, religion and nationality.