The Merciful Door: Living with a Sufi Teacher in India


A record of the intimate conversations, mystical teachings and spiritual practices shared between an Indian Sufi master and his American disciple.

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“Wherever it may be, the candle burns, and in burning it gives others light. That is the way you must be.” When the soul burns with love, the ego softens like wax and dissolves, and others benefit by the light it transmits. So taught Pir Rasheed Kaleemi, a Sufi master who lived in Hyderabad, India. The Merciful Door narrates what his American disciple learned from him over a decade of living in India and translating his teachings into practice in America.

This book, born out of a direct request from Pir Rasheed himself, records the intimate conversations, mystical teachings, spiritual practices, and Qawwali songs that they shared. How is the soul related to the spirit? What is the body and how do we discover its hidden treasures? What is the eternal sound and how do we listen of it in music and in nature? How can we navigate interpersonal challenges, gender difference, sexual desire, political conflict and religious fundamentalism? The Sufi teacher offers his disciple insights from the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad’s example, and the rich depths of Sufi poetry in Persian and Urdu to illuminate these questions and other guidance. The book also reveals teachings of the Kaleemi Order, which combines Chishti and Qadiri initiations, with ancient roots in Arabia and India and modern global branches.

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Paperback, Hardback


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