Sea Without Shore: A Manual of the Sufi Path

Sea Without Shore: A Manual of the Sufi Path

"The Summons of the Divine Presence extends across time and place through all heaven-sent revelations. At the core of every heart it reaches it creates a desire to lift the veil between the human and the Divine, not merely to believe and worship and practice, but to see, know, and be with the One who is greater than all. Sufism is a way of worship of the Divine through suc...

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Title:Sea Without Shore: A Manual of the Sufi Path
Author:Nuh Ha Mim Keller
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Edition Language:English

Sea Without Shore: A Manual of the Sufi Path Reviews

  • Lumumba Shakur

    Shaykh Nuh said this book is part of his legacy and that is indeed what it is. It is composed of three parts, which he titles: Men of the Path, The Way and Bearings.

    "Men of the Path" is composed of five original biographies of five Sufis that the author personally met and

    Shaykh Nuh said this book is part of his legacy and that is indeed what it is. It is composed of three parts, which he titles: Men of the Path, The Way and Bearings.

    "Men of the Path" is composed of five original biographies of five Sufis that the author personally met and spent much time in the company of. The first is of his own mentor, Shaykh Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri. He then gives the biographies of three other Shadhilis connected to Shaykh al-Hashimi (Shaykh Abd al-Wakil Durubi, Shaykh Yunus and Shaykh Adel) and concludes with a biography of his wife's shaykh, Hajji Baba, a traditional old school Turkish Naqshbandi whom he affectionately refers to as "The Last Ottoman". Far from being a simple biography, it contains personal insights and reflections that reveal a level of humanity of the author that is quite refreshing and unusual, though just as instructive.

    "The Way" is a re-write of

    and serves a general manual of the Sufi life that the author teaches and lives himself. In addition to the previous material, the author included chapters on family life, past times (i.e. internet usage, restaurants, music, etc.) and friends, each giving injunctions relating directly to one's

    (spiritual progress). That being said, perhaps the most brilliant aspect of the book is a chapter called "The Shadhili Rule" which is an original point-by-point summary of the path along the lines of Sidi Ahmad Zarruq's

    and rivals anything like it that has been written. It is in brief, a code of ethics, simplified and refined, summarizing the entire spiritual travel of the author that is able to be penned. As to the importance and practicality of this section, the author states:

    This entire section for aspirants delineates the expectations and goals one should have and for those unfamiliar with the Hashimi Order, lays out what exactly this

    thing is all about from an insiders perspective.

    Lasty, "Bearings" is a collection of articles that answer what are perhaps the most important (and perhaps most controversial) contemporary theological questions relating to the spiritual life. Of this section perhaps the most profound is a 30-page answer to the issue of theodicy (the problem of evil) from a practical perspective.

    In summary, anyone who is interested in what Orthodox Sufism looks like in the 20th century, one could do a lot worse. As for those already connected to the author, it is a manual for what we should be doing and a model of what we should eventually become.

  • Brian

    I love this book, I love my sheikh, I am biased to this book because I love my sheikh.

  • Umar

    A friend told me most people bought this because of the biographies. It is really a great book. The biographies are genuinely awesome and nuanced and where you really get a glimpse at sh. Nuh's personality. Mashallah, he is a smart man, who is well-read (in his talks he warns against philosophy, yet he references it in the book, which confused me) but he also has an astute eye for double meaning or hidden meaning, or reading in between the lines. That struck me. I wish he wrote more about biogra

    A friend told me most people bought this because of the biographies. It is really a great book. The biographies are genuinely awesome and nuanced and where you really get a glimpse at sh. Nuh's personality. Mashallah, he is a smart man, who is well-read (in his talks he warns against philosophy, yet he references it in the book, which confused me) but he also has an astute eye for double meaning or hidden meaning, or reading in between the lines. That struck me. I wish he wrote more about biographies, since as Imam Junayd said, the stories of the pious are soldiers from the armies of Allah.

    I didn't really touch the tariqa notes since I'm not a Shadhili but I might go back to it. The last section of essays are helpful but sometimes what he is trying to say is a little vague and could use more elaboration...much like al-Maqasid where its one sentence on a fiqh issue that could mean 2 or 3 things. But maybe I just need to re-read.

    Crux: Shaykh Nuh needs to write more.

  • Ali Ismail

    Everything I return to this text I come away with countless new benefits. Perhaps one of the greatest benefit is the recognition that wilaya (Friendship with God) is not a thing confined to the past, it is a alive and well today.

  • Sean Blevins

    "A great part of every man's توفيق is wisdom...The scholars of Islam explain it as "putting a thing where it should be....Wisdom means accepting God as God and man as man."

    "Were any of you to behold the unseen, you would not choose anything but what actually is."

    -From the final chapter.

    This is the real deal, not popcorn-sufi fluff stuff. This is shariah, haqqiqah, tarbiyah, muraqabah tasawwuf. This is the straight-up old-time religion: gimme summa that. This is why we came to Jordan and who we h

    "A great part of every man's توفيق is wisdom...The scholars of Islam explain it as "putting a thing where it should be....Wisdom means accepting God as God and man as man."

    "Were any of you to behold the unseen, you would not choose anything but what actually is."

    -From the final chapter.

    This is the real deal, not popcorn-sufi fluff stuff. This is shariah, haqqiqah, tarbiyah, muraqabah tasawwuf. This is the straight-up old-time religion: gimme summa that. This is why we came to Jordan and who we hope to be.

  • Eid Umar

    When I first approached this book, I was unprepared and foolish. The initial reading after Sheikh Nuh's initiation on the spiritual path, suddenly became labourious. Part of the problem was that I read the book with an quizzing mind, often trying to reconcile salafist queries with the Sufi traditions. I found it hard to read at times. When I removed my waswasa, ceasing my cross-referencing and prejudices, the book becomes monumental, lucid and reflective. Sea with Shore is not only an indispensa

    When I first approached this book, I was unprepared and foolish. The initial reading after Sheikh Nuh's initiation on the spiritual path, suddenly became labourious. Part of the problem was that I read the book with an quizzing mind, often trying to reconcile salafist queries with the Sufi traditions. I found it hard to read at times. When I removed my waswasa, ceasing my cross-referencing and prejudices, the book becomes monumental, lucid and reflective. Sea with Shore is not only an indispensable manual but a clarion call for those who seek God and the path of spiritual ascension.

  • Aqsa

    A book which makes you learn to welcome both pleasure and pain with the same gratefulness. I plan to read this book over and over again.

  • Aditya I.P.

    Dr Shadee Elmasry said that if you want to disappear in a book, read Sea Without Shore. He couldn't be more right. If I had to recommend one book of sufism, off the top of my head I would choose this, provided you already got your fard 'ain right and have read some basic works of sufism.

  • lifeofsadnan

    Good read. Lives of the awliya, the path of the sufi, contemporary philosophy. Some very interesting (alebit still in line with traditional) views. Would recommend

  • Lydia Mills

    Born into this modernity it might not be so easy for the hearts to notice subtlety.

    i don't really know how, but this book really helped me to "see" in a more nuanced way, and every time I return to it I understand something new.

    I would recommend this book for anyone intersted in Islam, and I suggest it be read putting aside preconceptions.

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