For Sharifa Felicia Norton, Week Seven’s theme “Redefining Europe,” was the perfect opportunity to bring together religion, art and history.
The soul is unique in that every person has his or her own, and each person’s soul should be honored in an individual way. This is one of the key aspects of Sufism, Muinuddin Charles Smith said.
Zeki Saritoprak, the Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies at John Carroll University, considers Fethullah Gülen to be one of the most influential Muslim Turkish scholars in the late 20th century, citing his contributions to education, aid organization and interfaith dialogue.
Gülen leads the Gülen movement, also known as Hizmet, which began in the 1960s. In his 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture today in the Hall of Philosophy, Saritoprak will discuss the movement’s significance, as well as religion and culture in Turkey.
In the poem “Come, Come, Whoever You Are,” Sufi mystic Rumi wrote, “Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving./ It doesn’t matter./ Ours is not a caravan of despair.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan, the first Sufi teacher to the West, taught that true religion to a Sufi is the sea of truth and that all the different faith traditions are its waves. For a spiritual seeker like Sharifa Norton and Muinuddin Smith, Sufism is the best meditation tradition they could have wound up in.
The word “Sufi” is derived from the word “sofia,” which means wisdom. The practice and tradition of Sufism is about developing a deeper knowledge and understanding about life.
“It’s actually about finding the wisdom in life and everyday life, not just off in a cage,” Sharifa Felicia Norton said.
During Week Seven, Norton and her husband, Muinuddin Charles Smith, a professor, will return to Chautauqua to lead the Mystic Heart Program in the meditation traditions of Sufism. They will lead the daily morning meditation sessions and also the semi-weekly afternoon seminars Tuesday and Thursday. The afternoon seminars will focus on the Week Seven religion theme, “Creating Cultures of Honor and Integrity.”