From the Translator’s Desk (Book Muraqaba)
Author :Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi
Short URL: http://iseek.online/?p=15915
I have been a fan of Shaykh Azeemi’s writing since my teen years. Early on when I observed the hypocrisy and shallowness of the religious establishment and was growing tired of the rhetoric, his writings on metaphysics, on parapsychology as well as other social evils facing the Muslims Societies were a breath of fresh air. His approach was very different; instead of being overly critical or self- righteous, he always offered hope, introduced new ideas and optimism. The first time that I attended the Urs ceremony of Qalandar Baba Awliya (1896-1979) in Karachi was in 1990, I noticed that toward the end of the ceremony people, young and old, male and female would line up just to get a hug from the Shaykh. You could see their anxiousness as they wait their turn. In a culture of least physical contact, where even parents do not hug their adult children and public display of affection is limited to very young children, that too was refreshing. Back then I was only familiar with his writing and have not yet met the Shaykh in person. So I too joined the queue. After a long wait, in which people of different economic and ethnic backgrounds and from different parts of the world formed a single line, got their hug, some cried on his shoulder, some asked him to pray for them, I too got my turn. I then realized why people were waiting so anxiously for so long. It was a very brief hug but I felt something. It wasn’t that I hadn’t hugged anyone before but this was different.
Shaykh Azeemi has since transformed many lives through his writings and his teachings of spiritual awareness. When this book Muraqaba first came out in Urdu, I almost had this urge that this book in particular need to be translated into English. Fortunately, the Shaykh on his last visit to Houston granted me the permission to translate it.
Anyone who has written or translated a book knows that it is not a one-man job. It is indeed a team effort. I could not have translated this book without the support, encouragements, and advice of countless friends and well-wishers. First, I would like to thank Dr. Harold Raley for the excellent editing and David Raley of Kingsley Literary Services for the cover design and layout setup. I could not have done without you. To Dr. Carl W. Ernst, Author and Professor of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his advice on uniformity of using the Sufi terms. To Shaykh Kabir Helminski for his kind words for the project. To Syed M Azhar, founder of Sheikh Chilli Restaurant of Houston, the first and only Pakistani-restaurant in the city back in 70’s and a popular local radio personality, for his encouragements throughout the project. Mr. Azhar is definitely the icon of the South Asian community of Houston. I would also like to thank Brother Abdul Hafeez Butt of Manchester, England, who last year lost his wife and life companion Syeda Saeeda Khatoon, yet
gracefully assisted in the project. To Naseem Burke of New Orleans and Rashida Jilani of Toronto, Canada, both in charge of their local chapters of Azeemi Order for wishing the project well. To Fasahat Mohiuddin of Modern Tribune and to Urdu literary society of Houston, Gahwar-e-Adab’s Attorney Syed Nayyer Izfar, Syed Mohsin Zaidi, Arslan Usmani, Syed Ameerul Hasan, former labor leader Ghulam Mohyuddin Chisti, Imtiaz Ahsan, Aman Khan, Aijaz Ahmed, Khalid Ali, Shoaib Ahmed, Syed Athar Ali Kazmi, Moidul Hasan, Ali Hasan, Azam Akhtar, City Councilman M J Khan and HPD officer Muzaffar Siddiqi and to Mr. Ashraf Meghani of J&M for taking care of most of my accounting and other related paper-work and to Mian Nazir of Rehmania for his kind wishes as well and to anyone I missed, I apologize in advance. I thank all of you for your support and kind words.
Last but not least, I would like to show my gratitude for Shaykh Azeemi for entrusting me with this task and giving me the permission to translate his book and to God for giving me the ability to do and complete this job.
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