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Where Two Seas Meet: Al-Khidr & Moses
Where Two Seas Meet: Al-Khidr & Moses
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Details:  Where Two Seas Meet:  Al-Khidr and Moses,
Paperback - 342 pages,
by Hugh Talat Halman.

Description :

Where Two Seas Meet: Al-Khidr and Moses -- The Qur’anic Story of al-Khidr and Moses in Sufi Commentaries as a Model for Spiritual Guidance.

The immortal Islamic Green Man, al-Khidr, alayhi as-Salaam, has been compared [by non-Muslims] to the Celtic Green Man, Hermes and the Buddha and in cultural practice to Elijah and Saint George. Al-Khidr, peace be upon him, figures prominently in the Qur’an, Hadith, hagiographies, and the Alexander Romance. He is cited by Sufi teachers, who draw wisdom from his story as the guide of Moses (al-Qur’an 18:60-82) about the Sufi path and spiritual authority.

This book presents the explanations of the story as shown by three medieval Sufi Qur’an commentators, al-Qushayri (986-1072), Ruzbihan Baqli (1128-1209), and al-Qashani (d. 1329), presented here in translation for the first time. In addition, it reveals al-Khidr’s special compassion and inner knowledge (‘ilm al-ladduni) as divine inspiration distinct from conceptual knowledge and as a model of the mentoring master (shaykh al-suhba), who is distincet from the instructing master (shaykh al-ta‘lim) discussed in hadith, Qur’an commentaries, and hagiographies. The master-disciple relationship, particularly the role of companionship (suhba) and manners (adab) is central.

Where Two Seas Meet also includes important Sufi stories, including those of Rumi, Hafiz, and Ibn ‘Arabi. It then  explores the story in light of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker’s theory of human death-denial through the aspiration for both physical and symbolic immortality.

This book will empower people in understanding and navigating the dynamics of the master-disciple relationship and learn to value that relationship, deal with death-anxiety, and understand and pursue the quest for symbolic immortality at the heart of our lives. This book opens a conversation about a story that has been more acclaimed than studied, more valorized than examined, more revered than understood, and illuminates the dynamics of the master-disciple relationship and our relationship to death and dying and the quest for immortality.

[Moses] found one of Our servants - a man to whom we had granted Our mercy and whom We had given knowledge from Our own. ---al-Qur'an (al-Kahf) 18:65.


Blessed is the one who finds such a "servant" and who holds the story of Moses and al-Khidr in his heart, and makes it his Imam. ---Shams-i Tabrizi.

Contents :

---Foreword by Bruce B. Lawrence vii,
---Acknowledgments xiii,
---Introduction 1,
---Al-Khidr: Immortal Mediator, Interpreter, and Mentor,

Chapter One 14,
---Interpreting the Master-Disciple Relationship: al-Khidr, the Mentor of Moses,

Chapter Two 51,
---The Immortal al-Khidr in Qur’an, Hadith, and Sufi Tafsirs,

Chapter Three 103,
---Sufi Tafsirs in Translation: Three Medieval Sufi Tafsirs on the Story of al-Khidr and Moses,

Chapter Four 136,
---Intertextuality among Sufi Tafsirs: Companionship, Training and Knowledge,

Chapter Five 189,
---Al-Khidr in the Lives of Sufi Saints: Mirror and Model of the Master in Sufi Hagiography and Literature,

Chapter Six 240,
---Alexander’s Quest for the Water of Eternal Life: Al-Khiḍr, Alexander the Great and Saint George in Muslim Tradition,

Chapter Seven 250,
---Conclusion: Ādāb and Ṣuhba—God is Found Through I-and-Thou.

---Epilogue: Why All Rivers Flowing into the Sea Are Never Full: Boundary-Crossing Consciousness of Moses-Elijah, 
---Bibliography 281,

Review : The story of Moses and Khidr stands at the very heart of the Islamic mystical tradition. It’s all here: the relationship between a master and a seeker, mysteries and paradox, the path, parting and union, and above all, Intimate Knowledge from God’s own presence. No one, no one, has done more to unpack and explore this narrative than H. Talat Halman, and this long-anticipated volume is most enthusiastically recommended for all students of Islam, as well as readers of all spiritual traditions who seek the mysteries. A must read! ---Omid Safi , Professor of Islamic Studies, UNC Chapel Hill.

Current Reviews: 0

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 13 June, 2013.