Media Library   |   Writings   |   Dr. Alireza Nurbakhsh

Dr. Alireza Nurbakhsh is the present Master of the Nimatullahi Order, succeeding his father in October 2008. Dr. Nurbakhsh received his PhD. in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. He lives in London where he works as a solicitor and is the editor of SUFI. What follows is a selection of his writings.

  • Caring for Others: Sufism and Altruism

    “If we are to survive as a species on this planet, we need to embrace views or belief systems that are inclusive of others.”
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  • Silence, The Breath is Precious

    It was written in beautiful Persian calligraphy and was placed above the door of the old Tehran khaniqah. I first noticed it when I was a child: sokout dam ghanimat ast, “silence: the breath is precious.”
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  • Friendship

    The Sufis refer to God as the Friend (dūst). This is based on the Koranic verse yuhibbuhum wa yuhibbuhunah (God loves them and they love Him, 5:45), which is interpreted by the Sufis as meaning that it is God’s love for us that gives rise to our love for Him.
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  • In Memory of My Dear Father

    I would like to welcome everyone to this gathering to commemorate the death of my dear father, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, who passed away last Friday on the lOth of October 2008.
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  • Divine Love

    The first time I read Rumi's story of Moses and the Shepherd, I was struck by the fact that the shepherd was much closer to God than Moses even though the shepherd's conception of God was not even remotely plausible. Years later, when I revisited this story, it appeared to me that Rumi had unravelled a deep mystery of divine love: in order to love God, one does not need to have a correct conception or description of God; what is required is a burning heart.
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  • The Meaning of Surrender

    The first step on the path of Sufism is to surrender oneself to God. True surrender is not a self-conscious decision carried out as a result of a series of deliberations. It usually happens after years of frustration in finding the 'right' way to manage our lives, the right way to deal with others or to control our self-destructive behavior.
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  • The Master Disciple Relationship Revisited

    The relationship between a master and a disciple has often been characterized in Sufism as that of unwavering trust, where the disciple follows the master without asking questions or raising objections in his or her journey towards the truth.
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  • The Experience of Nothingness

    When I was about 13 years old, I was allowed to sit outside the main gathering place of the Sufis where my father conducted weekly meetings and the occasional vocal zekr. I don't quite remember the first time I sat outside the room listening to the vocal zekr, but I do distinctly remember the fir st time I heard my father utter these words: "Ilahi 'ajz wa inkesar, wa nisti 'ata befarma" (0 Lord grant us [the state of] helplessness, abjectness and nothingness).
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