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Nizam Ad-din Awliya / Morals for the Heart

Nizam Ad-din Awliya / Morals for the Heart

Sijzi, Amir Hasan

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The Malfuzat series is a unique genre of books that records the utterances emanating from the lips of the sage through the pen of the devoted disciple. These words of wisdom are not only a source of guidance for the initiated but will provide inspiration and edification for the general reader. The first and foremost representative of a literary genre that attained great popularity among South Asian Sufis, Fawaid al-Fu’ad or Morals for the Heart, contains the conversation of a major India saint, Shaykh Nizam ad-din Awliya (D.1325). Though recorded by a poet-disciple Amir Hasan, they were edited by the saint himself, and reflect his chaste, understated tone. In its style Morals for the Heart exemplifies the virtue of Persian prose as a didactic instrument. It communicates the numerous skills, the diverse moods, and the remarkable sensibilities of its austere subject. It captures the spirit of Shaykh Nizam ad-din’s towering presence, his absolute loyalty to his spiritual master, his taste for poetry and music, and his empathy with the sufferings of others. We see him crying and laughing and praying. Passionate in his quest for God, he has left in Morals for the Heart a spiritual legacy that still animates and satisfies others who ever Knew him. Here Muslims discover one more treasure from their pre-modern past. Here non-Muslims encounter an Islam that brings peace and spiritual insight. Here all humanity is stilled by the saga of a Muslim exemplar who enshrined sacrifice and love as the highest goals of human existence when framed by faith in God.
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