LiVe YoUr DrEaM…

1408529068sufi-rumiName: Sufi Comics: Rumi

Author:  Mohammed Ali VakilMohammed Arif Vakil

Genre : Comics, Sufi Comics

Series: Sufi Comics #3

Pages : 180+ pages

Publication Year:  30 August 2014

Is Review Spoiler: No

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

Buy: You can get it from here.

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Ever since I read Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī’s (is also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī’s) Masnavi – I am completely Rumified. His magical and spritual words will leave you wanting more, such is the writing of Rumi.
Born in the village of Wakhsh, a small town located at the river Wakhsh in Persia (in what is now Tajikistan) in the year 30 September 1207.

When I was reading book 3 of Masnavi, I heard that Vakil brothers are going to publish a comic on Rumi, Since that day I was wondering which stories will they pick up from the wast collections of stories in Masnavi. One more thing which made me restless and curious to read this book was – how the stories will be rendered? will it match my imagination or better than that?

When I read the comic book and the stories in it – they are way better than what I imagined they might look like in comic form. The book is divided into different chapters,each chapter will tell a spiritually illuminating story, the first one is the story which will tell the origins of Rumi – How Rumi became Rumi. Origin story is beautifully illustrated by Rahil Mohsin and conveys to user the true origins of Rumi. I didn’t  knew before reading this story that Rumi and His father met Ibn Al-Arabi (the greatest Sufi master) and how he uttered when he saw Rumi and His father – “There goes the sea followed by ocean!”.

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The story I most liked and one of my favorite is the ‘Keep your dragon in snow’ – this story is awesomely illustrated and tells user that your Lower Self (Nafs) is never dead and don’t assume it to be otherwise. It’s exactly like a frozen dragon in snow – if you think it to be dead and bring it out in light of wanting-energy – it will brake out from freeze and kill you without showing the slightest mercy. So Keep your dragon in snow

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Another timeless tale which tells of annihilation of Self when you are on the path of Haqiqa [Reality] beautifully rendered and illustrated in the tale named “Since You Are I“. As one of the Sufi mystics puts it ‘When you are on the path of Sharia ‘I‘ is required and When you are on the path of Haqiqa there is no ‘I‘ ‘. 

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When we user our sensual eye we cannot see the world as a whole – because sensual eyes has limited visibility but if we user our intellectual (aqli) eye – it can cover the infinite boundaries of universe and see the world as whole. This point is illustrated beautifully in Sufi Comic’s ‘The Elephant in the Dark‘ tale.

Some Indian bring an elephant to be exhibited in a dark room. A number of men touch and feel the elephant in the dark and, depending upon where they touch it,  they believe the elephant to be like a water spout (trunk), a fan (ear), a pillar (leg) and a throne (back).  Rumi uses this story as an example of the limits of individual perception – as he puts it

“The sensual eye is just like the palm of the hand. The palm has not the means of covering the whole of the beast”.
“If each had a candle and they went in together the differences would disappear.”

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Each story is followed by an Ayath of the Holy Quran and Sayings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace be upon him) or Hazrath Ali (May Allah be pleased with him). Each Ayah/Saying is chosen to match the story.

Go ahead and read this wonderfully illustrated and spiritually illuminating tales from Rumi – in the comic form. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to read “Comics for the soul”.

Sayed Khadri:

In Search of Water – Sufi Comics

Originally posted on Being Sufi:

In-Search-of-Water-1In-Search-of-Water-2In-Search-of-Water-3

In the name of Allah the Merciful and the Compassionate, and peace and blessings of Allah be upon our master the Prophet Muhammed.

Allah (The Glorified and the Exalted is He) has revealed to his beloved Messenger Muhammed (blessings and peace be upon him) in Holy Quran – 2:115:
“And to Allah belongs the east and the west. So wherever you [might] turn, there is the Face of Allah . Indeed, Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.”(Sahih International)

Alhamdulillah, the quest of the fish for finding the meaning of water after reading the ayath of Quran – 21:30 beautifully explains the Omnipresence of the Creator.

Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?” (21:30, Sahih International)

Have you ever reflected on the names of Allah (The…

View original 590 more words


The-Silkworm-by-Robert-Galbraith-aka-JK-Rowling-book-coverName: The Silkworm

Author:  Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling)

Genre : Detective fiction

Series: Cormoran Strike, #2

Pages : 454 pages

Publication Year:  June, 2014

Is Review Spoiler: No

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

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What do you need in a detective story? Or let me put it in another way, what do you expect in a detective story? A brutal murder, usual and unusual suspects, crime scene, clues leading to the murderer and a detective along with his side kick running against time to catch the real killer. Isn’t that all we expect in a detective fiction? You will find all this and more in J. K. Rowling’s (a.k.a Robert Galbraith) book #2 in Cormoran Strike series.

Cormoran Strike is an ex-military who lost his leg in Afghanistan now turned to a private investigator, after solving the Lula Landry case, his business has improved and getting steady stream of divorce cases and the occasional job on behalf of a tabloid journalist.

Strike one day gets an unexpected visit by  Leonora Quine with plea to locate her missing husband, a well-known author Owen Quine, who has disappeared without a trace. While investigating the disappearance of Owen, Strike finds out that this not the first time he disappeared and he has a habit of going out or vanishing for couple of weeks and suddenly returning one day. That’s the reason Owen’s wife contacted Strike not police because once she did contact police but he came back the other day and both police and Owen was very angry with her.

As Strike progress with the investigation of Owen, he comes across with the latest unpublished novel Owen wrote before his disappearance named “Bombyx mori” which if made public will reveal the dark and hidden secrets of almost everyone he knew in the publishing industry including some very big authors and publishers.

When Strike finds the mutilated and horrifically murdered body of Owen and from the way he has been murdered, it’s pretty clear that murder has to be one of the guys who’s secretes Owen tried to reveal in his gothic like fiction “Bombyx mori”.  Hence the number of suspects are being reduced to very few persons and Rowling reveals all the facts as we progress in the story – the relations of Owen with authors and publishers, his sadistic sex life and his passion for getting media attention.

In this book the flow of story has become smooth and characters looks matured and confident and as we all know J.K. Rowling is pretty good story-teller. The story has depth and good plot with some great twists and turns. Apart from investigating Owen case, we also see that both the main character Strike and Robin are struggling in their personal live’s. Strike is broken-up with his girlfriend charlotte who is not getting married to another guy and Robin is having troubles with her fiance Matthew – who doesn’t like her working with Strike whereas Robin constantly trying patch-up between his fiance and strike.

Rowling’s The Silkworm has all the ingredients one need in detective fiction and I am looking forward to next novel in Cormoran Strike series. I will recommend this book to everyone who loves crime/mystery/detective fiction.

Excerpt from book:

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before . . .

Wise-Fool-Baghdad-3d-Cover-Image-transparent-800_grandeName: The Wise Fool of Baghdad

Author:  Mohammed Ali Vakil 

Genre : Comics, Sufism

Series: Sufi Comics #01

Pages : 132 pages

Publication Year:  2012

Is Review Spoiler: No

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

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Awesome book and a must read for all. This book has great sufi stories of Wāhab ibn Amr (واهب ابن عمرو) also known as Bahlūl which means “Wise Fool” who lived in the time of the Caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd. He was well known judge and scholar who came from a wealthy background.

This book is beautifully written by Mohammed Ali Vakil with amazing illustration by  Rahil Mohsin.  A must read book for all who wants to read real life and inspirational Sufi teaching of Wāhab ibn Amr who is also knwon as known as Bahlūl which means “Wise Fool”.

To know why and how he became Bahlul (Wise Fool) and other great stories of Bahlul, do read this book.

You can buy a digital kindle edition from Amazon.com, here is the direct link: The Wise Fool of Baghdad.

64bc225b9da0c2a9a3abb010.LName: Dune Messiah

Author:  Frank Herbert

Genre : Science fiction novel

Series: Dune Chronicles, #2

Pages : 256 pages

Publication Year: 1969

Is Review Spoiler: No

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

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Dune Messiah is the second book in dune chronicles series. This book start after twelve years of the events of the first book Dune.

You can find the review of Dune chronicles book 1 – “Dune” here.

Unlike “Dune” which deals with a prophecy, noble houses, controlling Arrakis home to a very rare & most valued spice known a melange and revolution brought by Atreides in Arrakis and fulfillment of Fremen prophecy of coming of Mahdi, this second book deals with personal struggle of Paul Atreides – most powerful emperor ever ruled and conspiracy to topple Paul as emperor.

In a way Dune Messiah is the compilation of first book Dune, you can say it’s part two of book 1 instead of saying sequel or separate book. If you read both books – you will realize that this book brings a perfect conclusion to the events started in Dune.

Paul Atreides is now in control of Arrakis and most importantly the spice melange without which the Guild steersman cannot navigate the space, without which the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood would lose there power, without which millions people could die from withdrawal and without which Arrakis won’t be so valuable planet.

History is evident that when someone holds such a power (melange) their always will be someone who wants that power for themselves. The Melange is more than a power its drug without which the Guild and Bene Gesserit Sisterhood would be powerless. So they all along with Scytale – A Face Dancer (Tleilaxu Face Dancers had the ability to take on the physical appearance of other individuals.) hatch a conspiracy to topple the governance of Atreides.

The Tleilaxu Face Dancer Scytale gives Paul a gift he cannot resist: a Tleilaxu-grown ghola of the deceased Duncan Idaho, Paul’s childhood teacher and friend, now called “Hayt” with a mission to kill Paul at an appropriate time.

Overall the book is excellently written and great conclusion to the events started in book 1 of Dune.

Some great quotes from the book:

  • “Truth suffers from too much analysis.”
  • “I have said: “Blow out the lamp! Day is here!” And you keep saying: “Give me a lamp so I can find the day.”
  • “Constitutions become the ultimate tyranny,” Paul said. “They’re organized power on such a scale as to be overwhelming. The constitution is social power mobilized and it has no conscience. It can crush the highest and the lowest, removing all dignity and individuality. It has an unstable balance point and no limitations.”
  • “There was a man so wise, He jumped into
    A sandy place
    And burnt out both his eyes!
    And when he knew his eyes were gone,
    He offered no complaint.
    He summoned up a vision
    And made himself a saint.
    -Children’s Verse
    from History of Muad’dib”

Excerpt from book:

Paul Atreides, ruler of a thousand planets, great victor of a holy war, prince turned revolutionary leader, messiah of a fanatical religious sisterhood, is to be brought low by the very forces that created him. Yet foreseeing the plans of his enemies, he determines to drive on towards his own, shockingly different, vision of the future.

 

brassverdictName: The Brass Verdict

Author:  Michael Connelly 

Genre : crime fictionmystery, legal thriller

Series: Mickey Haller #2Harry Bosch #14

Pages : 422 pages pages

Publication Year: October 14, 2008

Is Review Spoiler: No

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

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It’s been over a year since the events of The Lincoln Lawyer, attorney Mickey Haller has spent a year recuperating from his wounds and addiction to pain killers. Now he is planning  to get back to law practice slowly.

One fine day when he was planning to get back to work again, he gets a call from senior judge telling him that his colleague Jerry Vincent is dead, shot in his car twice. Judge informs him that Vincent has appointed him to take over his practice if anything was to happen to him.

Haller all of sudden from o cases, he gets 31 active cases of Jerry Vincent. Though most the cases are straight forward except one, the high-profile case of Walter Elliott, a Hollywood mogul accused of murdering his wife Mitzi and her German lover.

Meanwhile, maverick LAPD detective Harry Bosch, the main character in the several other novels written by Michael Connelly is investigating the case of Jerry Vincent’s murder. Harry Bosch warns Haller that the killer may come after him and the mystery murderer may be one of the clients Vincent handled.  While Haller is busy preparing for double murder trial, he also curies about the behavior of his new client  Walter Elliott who don’t want trial to be prolonged and somehow is sure that he will win the trial. Elliott tells Haller that Vincent told him that he found some “magic bullet” which will make Elliott win but as killer took his laptop along with some major files, Haller has to found “Magic Bullet” for himself to solve the case and watch over his shoulder for as killer is still out there.

This is the first Michael Connelly which I read after watching the movie The Lincoln Lawyer, being a huge fan of legal thriller and John Grisham, I was looking for someone who call fill the void till next Grisham novel comes out and luckily I found Connelly and to my surprise he is as good as Grisham.

The Brass Verdict is excellently plotted book with great character development and perfect suspense to keep you reading till the last page. You won’t feel bored for a single second while reading the book. I highly recommend this book to all John Grisham fans as well as those who like Mystery/Suspense/Legal thrillers.

Excerpt from book:

Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent’s killer may be coming for him next.

Enter Harry Bosch. Determined to find Vincent’s killer, he is not opposed to using Haller as bait. But as danger mounts and the stakes rise, these two loners realize their only choice is to work together.

Bringing together Michael Connelly’s two most popular characters, The Brass Verdict is sure to be his biggest book yet.

 

9780340899298Name: The Alexandria Link

Author:  Steve Berry 

Genre : Historical Fiction

Series: Cotton Malone #2

Pages : 480 pages pages

Publication Year: January 30th 2007

Is Review Spoiler: Yes

Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)

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The Alexandria Link is the second book in the Cotton Malone series by Steve Berry. As the name suggests this book revolves around finding the lost library of Alexandra Library of Alexandria.

This book goes in line with Dan Brown’s ‘The DaVinci Code’ in a sense that it also involves a high stake treasure hunt by male protagonist and a female side kick. As in DaVinci, here also protagonist is persuaded by the merciless villains who wants the treasure for themselves to accomplish there sinister agenda.

Library of Alexandria is always remained a mystery for the treasure hunters and everyone want’s know the fate of library. Is it still exists? or is any scrolls or books present in library still somehow survived?

In 642 AD, Alexandria was captured by the Muslim army of Amr ibn al `Aas. It’s said that the library is destroyed by the orders of Caliph Omar (R.A), The longest version of the story is in the Syriac Christian author Bar-Hebraeus (1226–1286), also known as Abu’l Faraj. He translated extracts from his history, the Chronicum Syriacum into Arabic, and added extra material from Arab sources. In this Historia Compendiosa Dynastiarum[20] he describes a certain “John Grammaticus” (490–570) asking Amr for the “books in the royal library.” Amr writes to Omar for instructions, and Omar replies: “If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if these are opposed to the Quran, destroy them.” [Wikipedia]

Whatever the fate of library, Steve Berry here tried to weave the formation of Israel with Old Testament, stating that the Old Testament was mistranslated from it’s orginal Hebrew and the verse about the promised land of Jews is not referring to Palestine but it’s somewhere else and Jews occupation of Palestine land and formation Israel is illegal.

To reveal the actual location of the promised land – Cotton Malone has to race against time find the lost library of Alexandria before anyone else finds it and if actual locations is revealed it may involve greater conflicts between Jews, Christian and Muslims.

At times the book is enjoyable but if you have read Dan Brown or any other religious fiction books, at the middle of the book you will find it hard to digest the facts presented and special about the promised land being Saudi Arabia, though many facts contrary to that has been historically proved.

If you are a Steve Berry fan or like religious fiction, you may like this book but if you are Dan Brown fan you may dislike this book. The choice is yours.

Excerpt from book:

Cotton Malone retired from the high-risk world of elite operatives for the U.S. Justice Department to lead the low-key life of a rare-book dealer. But his quiet existence is shattered when he receives an anonymous e-mail: “You have something I want. You’re the only person on earth who knows where to find it. Go get it. You have 72 hours. If I don’t hear from you, you will be childless.” His horrified ex-wife confirms that the threat is real: Their teenage son has been kidnapped. When Malone’s Copenhagen bookshop is burned to the ground, it becomes brutally clear that those responsible will stop at nothing to get what they want. And what they want is nothing less than the lost Library of Alexandria.

A cradle of ideas–historical, philosophical, literary, scientific, and religious–the Library of Alexandria was unparalleled in the world. But fifteen hundred years ago, it vanished into the mists of myth and legend–its vast bounty of wisdom coveted ever since by scholars, fortune hunters, and those who believe its untold secrets hold the key to ultimate power.

Now a cartel of wealthy international moguls, bent on altering the course of history, is desperate to breach the library’s hallowed halls–and only Malone possesses the information they need to succeed. At stake is an explosive ancient document with the potential not only to change the destiny of the Middle East but to shake the world’s three major religions to their very foundations.

Pursued by a lethal mercenary, Malone crosses the globe in search of answers. His quest will lead him to England and Portugal, even to the highest levels of American government–and the shattering outcome, deep in the Sinai desert, will have worldwide repercussions.

 

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