Into the Heart of Reality, a series of spiritual reflections on God, nature, psychology and Islam, is written with suppleness, tenderness and intelligence. Author Safiullah’s poetic prose challenges us to look closely at the world we know—the world of sensation and emotion, the world of mistrust and infidelity—and go beyond it; to open our minds and souls to a new understanding of the Master (or Allah) and this temporal world. “Rolling on thought after thought—the rumination, none the wiser by it,” Safiullah writes. “When will you step back? Stop in your strides for a silent moment to swerve from the repeating groves that keep you bound and dependent. Wake up, wake up; it is now or never.”
The urgency in his tone elevates this book to a call of action. Heart works best as a daily devotional where the author serves up teaching and inspiration in short, pensive vignettes. Topics covered include: quieting the chatter in our minds, death, the need for silence in our daily lives, being grateful, living in truth, the importance of pilgrimage, the destructiveness of anger, and the blessing of friendship. Grounded in a solid understanding of Islamic spirituality and mysticism (as well as Buddhism and Neurolinguistic Programming or NLP), Safiullah provides copious footnotes throughout that serve as a terrific guide for understanding Islam and the depth of its teaching. Accompanying the text is a number of line drawings that can be used to further enhance meditation and prayer.
Into the Heart of Reality is rich in thought and overall professionally executed. While some of the author’s lines could use the help of an editor to smooth certain areas (“Are you anxious, frustrated, no [sic] nothing is working out?”), this is a minor quibble. Safiullah has done fine work here, offering a book that will appeal not just to a Muslim audience but also to general readers looking for spiritual renewal.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.