I Submit to You is a record of the author’s thoughts while she was studying with the Sufi master Shaykh Muhammad Adil Ar-Rabbani. The shaykh is a master of the Naqshibandi Golden Chain, one of the many mystic Sufi disciplines or paths to the realization of a unification with God.
Miyan’s aim is to share the light her shaykh gave her, hoping it brings readers “closer to [their] own divine presence.” The book is oversized, and each page contains one or several thoughts, with plentiful white space surrounding them. The ideas are divided into seven chapters, including “Divine Presence,” “Allah,” “Love,” “Overcoming Depression and Anxiety,” “Purity of the Heart,” and “Shaykh and Muhammad.”
Her final chapter, “Weapons of Light,” briefly discusses some components of Sufi practice, such as: “It is important to remember the shaykh at least three times a day. This ensures that you connect your heart to him ….” Miyan also provides a helpful glossary of Arabic and Sufi terms.
Most of Miyan’s entries are from one to three lines long, and run a gamut in tone from journal entry to aphorism. Some are indicative of her mental state: “My prayers are the only things that make life worth living.” Some give advice: “Attach your heart to the true love inside you, the connection with the One.” Some have the “aha” quality of a koan: “Sometimes I wish the Lord would take me, but then I realise He already has.”
No context is given for any of the sayings, and the book lacks the power it might have if coupled with the author’s trials as a Sufi adept. Certainly, entries like, “What the heart submits to, the mind manifests,” lack the impact they might have juxtaposed to a life event.
Nonetheless, for lay readers and mystics, the book requires little time and is worth reading, if only for simple, yet poignant sentences like, “I belong wherever God is.”
Also available as an ebook.