Greetings of Peace. This blog contains selections from my correspondence and other sources on a variety of subjects related to religion, philosophy, and spirituality. I hope that they may be of benefit to the interested reader. Concerning the title of the blog, read this entry.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Esoteric Affiliation and Conversion

It is my understanding that affiliation with an esoteric organization has less to do with belonging to a group, although this too is important, than it does with attaching oneself to a spiritual master who can provide guidance and direction. It is sometimes the case that one may convert to another religion out of spiritual expedience, where such guidance and direction is more readily accessible, even while retaining a subjective view of the superiority of one's tradition of origin.

Concerning the validity of one's daily prayers in Islam, these are fundamentally prayers to God, not demonstrations of one's love of the Islamic form. However, because the Islamic form proceeds from the transmission and example of the Prophet Muhammad - May peace and blessings be upon him - I believe that such a love will arise inevitably through prolonged contact or devotion to a spiritual master or shaykh. In Islam there is a saying that "One cannot love God unless God loves him first, and God loves those who love His Prophet." Within the heritage of Islamic spirituality it is the awliya, the great saints or "friends of God" who are the closest in character to the example of the Prophet such that the love of one naturally proceeds or issues from the love of the other. I have heard that historically, the example of these great men and women has been a more powerful impetus toward conversion to Islam, and therefore the love of the Islamic form, than any other human phenomenon.

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