Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khwajah Abdullah Ansari (1006-1088) was a famous Persian poet and Sufi. He was born and died in Herat (then Khorasan, now one of the cities of Afghanistan), and that is why he is known as Pir of Herat. He is also known as “Shaikul Mashayekh” [Master of (Sufi) Masters] and his title was “Shaikhul Islam”.
Joe Miller (1904 — 1992) was an American mystic best known for his Thursday Morning Walks in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park with his wife Guin during the 1970s and 1980s. Joe was widely respected for his spiritual clarity and Dr. Evans-Wentz, the original translator of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and other sacred Mahayana texts, considered Joe Miller “the only man he had met in the West who understood the Doctrine of the Clear Light.” Joe was a close friend of Samuel L. Lewis who upon his deathbed asked Joe to “Take care of my disciples.” Joe provided spiritual guidance to Sam’s disciples, and many others, until his death in 1992.
Uthman ibn Affan (Arabic: عثمان بن عفان, strict transliteration: ʻUthmān ibn ʻAffān) (c. 579 – 656CE) was one of the companions of the prophet, Muhammad. He played a major role in early Islamic history as the third Sunni Rashidun or Rightly Guided Caliph.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church. The Feast of the Assumption, celebrated every year on August 15, is a very old feast of the Church, celebrated universally by the sixth century. It commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay–a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time. Because it signifies the Blessed Virgin’s passing into eternal life, it is the most important of all Marian feasts and a holy day of obligation in the Catholic Church.
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The Hadj, or sacred journey, is the pilgrimage to the house of God at Mecca that all Muslims are asked to make once in their lifetimes. One of the world’s longest-lived religious rites, having continued without break for fourteen hundred years, it is, like all things Islamic, shrouded in mystery for Westerners. In The Hadj, Michael Wolfe, an American who converted to Islam, recounts his own journey a pilgrim, and in doing so brings readers close to the heart of what the pilgrimage means to a member of the religion that claims one-sixth of the world’s population. Not since Sir Richard Burton’s account of the pilgrimage to Mecca over one hundred years ago has a Western writer described the Hadj in such fascinating detail.