Nahid Angha, Ph.D. Every culture, every time era and every faith sees these questions from a point of view. Even though we all are looking for God, nonetheless, we are all looking from different perspectives, from different angles, from different experiences. There is not a common answer. Throughout history we have come to many puzzles, many mysteries have amazed us; some have kept us in a state of awe and some have fascinated us for a long time. We have found a few answers along the way and as long as our search was/is on the surface of nature and fell/falls into the dimensions of time and place we can acquire much information. Questions of our own and divine identity have received many answers and still we demand more clarification. For ages we have searched outside of ourselves in seeking to solve the mystery of God and His relationship to ourselves. Lacking knowledge, we have come together and worshipped the Divine in hopes of finding salvation and eternal peace. Our prayers have reflected our limitations; our dissatisfaction with the answers of conventional religion and faith has not proved a substitute for knowledge. To believe in an unknown god is simply to rely on what we do not know. It may be comforting for a while, but does not answer questions. To some, perhaps, such not-knowing is bliss. There are many who are afraid to
face the eternal question of life after death and yet there are others who do not stop searching. The truth of religion does not consist of public manifestations. Religion it is not an assembly of people; it is not worshipping an unknown; it is not a political party or social ideology; it is not a business of selling heaven. The truth lies elsewhere. Religion is fact, an abstract, an eternal law. It is a road towards understanding and as such is personal, private and based on the knowledge of the self. Once an individual understands the “fact” and the “law” s/he also understands that the only way to expand his or her horizon is to submit to the law and become united with it. Such a union is not transferable from one mind to another. It is a practice to be undertaken by a seeker. This is what lies within the covers of the book of religion—a divine book that offers guidance for the pure; for those who dwell within the depths of their being and become united with the law of Being. “Call Me, I will answer; remember Me, I will remember you.” One has to discover and learn to submit to the same law that the Divine has chosen for its Reality, so to discover that ultimate Unity within the manifestations of multiplicty. One has to take the step from one’s self and begin the journey towards the Eternal Self, before any question may be answered or any puzzle revealed.
Seyedeh Nahid Angha, Ph.D. Executive Editor of the journal, is Co-Director of the International Association of Sufism and founder of the international Sufi Women’s Organization. She is an acclaimed Sufi Master and spiritual leader from an ancient Sufi lineage, an active leader in the interfaith community worldwide and the first Muslim woman initiated in the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame. Sufism: An Inquiry Vol XVI, No. 1