The Jerusalem Trilogy




Murshid Samuel L. Lewis

(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)


When one considers the life of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti, 1896-1971), the question which naturally arises is, What enabled him to be accepted by so many different religions as a teacher within the tradition of each? For he was accepted by Jews as a teacher of Kabbalah, by Christians as an interpreter of the Scriptures, and by Muslims as a Sufi Murshid (Master), as well as by Buddhists and Hindus. These extraordinary facts can be documented. They are living proof of the claim that a fully realized being can function directly as a Divine channel, transcending the differences and distinctions which are accentuated by the various theologies. It is a Sufi teaching that one should be able to accommodate oneself to the points of view of different peoples and show the universality of each. But this art is more easily described theoretically than it is achieved practically—all of which makes Murshid’s life and writings truly remarkable.

In the course of these three poems Murshid speaks in the name of many of the Prophets and Masters of the past—such beings as Moses, Jeremiah, Jesus and Mohammed. How can one evaluate such a claim? The only real proof would be if one were to be touched by the beings of these Messengers through the vehicle of the poetry. Sufism teaches that through the link of initiation and attunement one is united with all the illuminated souls, and these illuminated souls of all times together form the embodiment of the one Master, the Spirit of Guidance. These poems can be taken as a demonstration of this teaching. To quote Murshid, “I am being roused and awakened constantly by what we call the Sufis-in-chain, which is a reality, and which you will not read about in books because the book-writers never study Sufism with Sufis, so they know nothing about this reality….”

How accurate is it then to call these works “poetry?” Might not “prophecy” be a more descriptive word? There was among the Jewish people the tradition of the Prophet; and the question must be asked, Is there any reason why this was a phenomenon which only happened in the past? Is the spirit of prophet hood still alive today? Murshid has written elsewhere about prophecy and its relation to his poetry:

Prophesying doesn’t mean predicting, it means just this: When your Heart is open, you receive from God and speak to man. That is prophesying, whether you’re predicting or not. My poetry is not ego poetry. It did not come from me; it came through me. It’s a very different thing. You know, in ancient poetry Homer starts. “Sing, goddess, the wrath of Achilles….” He lets the goddess sing through him. Ancient poetry was done that way, letting the gods speak through you, not you writing poetry. And my poetry’s that way, where I’ve felt the Divine, not necessarily in the perfect form or level. There’s all kinds of levels and quite a few before you come to the Divine level. And the Divine level is pretty rare, but not impossible at all. I have said Christ appeared to me…. When you have the mind of Christ, you have to be listening all the time, feeling all the time, and not trying to produce your own particular ideas. And if your ideas are wrong you throw them out immediately…. Hazrat Inayat Khan [Murshid’s first Sufi teacher] wrote that an artist subscribes his creations to Allah (God). So it is in humility, but not modesty, that one relates here the personal history. Book II of “Saladin” was not an inspiration, but a direct transmission from Rassoul-Lillah [Mohammed]. In this sense it is questionable how far man is a creator and how far an instrument.

The Hebrew Prophets of old addressed the people and the events of the day from the standpoint of a God who involves Himself in the processes of time and thus has a message for man in every stage of history. Murshid’s poetic writings, in the same way, invite us to view God not as an abstraction, but as a Presence in our midst who gives specific guidance for the solution of problems in our own time. On occasion, Murshid fulfills the role of the forewarner who shows the shape of things to come if certain trends are not changed; and then he offers the positive alternative. It would be better to hear from him directly on this point:

All my poetry for the last twenty-five years is prophetic and all rejected…. The odd is odd and must be rejected, but the fact remains, it is all prophetic and now I am amazed how much is true, but to be correct does not make one popular…. More attention is always given to the newspapermen first and the politicians next—whose predictions are seldom true. It was only that during the war the G2 [Army Intelligence] recognized some of my predictions and asked me to shut up. That was not difficult because nobody accepted anything anyhow…. A certain person returned my papers after many years, and I found among them my poems written in 1932 on the death of Hitler, the fall of the British Empire, the independence of India, the return of Jews to Palestine, etc.

One does not have to have any “third-eye” if he is honest, for he sees the operation of karma so deliberately and definitely that it is easy to predict anything. All one has to do is to examine the events and persons dispassionately. Actually, this is the way Sufis teach occultism, without any psychic or siddhantic elements [development of powers]. You just have to be impersonal and honest as the scientific researchers are.

Somebody came to me recently, and I had the audacity to tell him that I was much greater than Nostradamus. For two reasons: first, 75% of my predictions, though they are not published, have come true, and not symbolically; second, I have always felt they were under Divine Guidance and with Love and Compassion for humanity, and not with the idea of just looking into tomorrow. St. Paul said, “I die daily,” and if you really die daily you can see into the future easier.

The reader is invited to sample one of the short prophetic poems which Murshid refers to above, from his unpublished Book of Cosmic Prophecy, entitled “Against Hitlerism, May 9, 1932”:

          The doom of the Ashkenazi.
          Say; Ye shall not be doomed,
          But insofar as ye turn against the children of the Lord,
          Then shall ye be doomed;
          Insofar as ye turn unto your self-will,
          Then shall ye continue to suffer.
          The thorn and the briar intended for others has become your goad.
          The lash and the whip prepared for others has been hurled against your backs,
          The servitude for others has been redeemed against yourselves.
          Now before you is the pardon of your Lord or the worst of grievances.
          Now before you is relief from trepidation,
          Or a thousandfold punishment.
          Thus sayeth the Lord, the Holy One;
          “On that hour when you hurl the lash against my people,
          Yours will be the fate of Sepharad and Lusitania and Sarmatia;
          Down shall ye go into barbarism,
          Hand will be turned against hand, even brother against brother,
          The forest shall conquer the city, and the tares the pleasant fields.
          Woe, woe unto you who threaten danger,
          For upon you and all your people shall fall the doom.

It would certainly be consistent with Murshid’s life and practice not to make extravagant claims as to the nature of the three poems presented in this volume. The internal evidence should be sufficient. Indeed, Murshid often quoted the Sufi Al-Ghazzali who stated that mysticism is based on experience and not on premises. Let us then hear Murshid’s own description of a mystical experience which provided the basis for not only his poetry but for much of his spiritual work as well:

On June 10, 1925 Samuel L. Lewis of San Francisco left his family home and the city of his birth to go to Kaaba Allah, Fairfax. This was a Sufi retreat in Marin county. He had been in pain for years; there was not an organ in his body properly operating; he had had a complete nervous breakdown and was preparing for death. Too weak to carry books with him he brought only a thin volume of the poetry of Hafiz, a notebook, and a little food.

The first few days in the wilderness he was too tired for anything but meditation and Sufic practices. But he was able to read a little. On the third day he completed the reading of Hafiz as the sun was setting. The rays of the sun fell on the book, and as he finished the last page two doves suddenly appeared, circling his head, cooing. That night as he was doing his spiritual practices he felt a presence and he was sure it was Khwaja Khidr. There are many legends about Khwaja Khidr, the teacher of Moses described in Holy Qur’an, who, like Elijah, is said to always be present in the world. But while even some Western occultists have accepted the reality of the legends, when it comes to actual events, that is something different again. If you believe in legends you are “saved,” but if you propose that your belief is based on actual experience that is a sure sign you are a pretender….

There was a recurrence of this appearance of Khwaja Khidr on the second night and then on the third. He offered me the gifts of Poetry and Music, and whatever anybody else says, these are now in my keeping. Besides that, he invariably confers longevity. The Poetry came first; and years later the Music came also, and with it the Dance, but these are different stories. After the third night I began writing incessantly. At the end of ten days all the health and vigor were restored, and Sam prepared an initiatory ceremony for noon June 21, the equinoxial hour. In turn Shiva, Buddha, Zoroaster, Moses and Jesus appeared. Then Mohammed appeared, but double, on the left and on the right, and he was on horseback. All the others came singly. Then the Six Messengers of God formed a circle and danced and became one, and as they danced the Prophet Elijah appeared and bestowed on me the Robe.

Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan said “yes” to these experiences and initiated me as a “Sufi.” His mureeds, with the exception of Paul Reps, said “no.” It is an unfortunate but common characteristic of those who assay to fame and leadership to reject unwelcome facts, no matter how well substantiated. Inayat Khan died shortly thereafter and his followers split and I never used this term “Sufi” until it was publicly announced by Pir Sufi Barkat Ali of the Chisti Order in 1961 at Salarwala, West Pakistan.

The proof of the validity of the above comes first in the physical and mental vigor of the person blessed by Khwaja Khidr, exactly in accordance with the traditions. And persons who do not accept the personality cannot otherwise explain this vitality. In addition to that, there is the poetry, especially great epics which have in the past been snubbed and rejected, and which are now on their way toward publication. The poetry in its finest form is in “Saladin.” This attests to hal and makam better than anything else.

All mystics, and especially those entrusted with responsibilities in the Spiritual Hierarchy, have to undergo certain outer as well as inner crucifixions, so to speak. But the resurrection follows the crucifixions, actually and not symbolically. And this has happened in my own life thanks to the Grace of Allah.

The blessings of Khidr with regard to this poetry are something which the reader can judge for himself. In the last period of Murshid’s life, when he functioned as a spiritual teacher to a large family of young Americans, the transmissions in the field of Music and Dance also became evident. Earlier in his life he had been inspired to perform a “Dance of Universal Peace” at Fatehpur Sikri in India before the tomb of the Saint Selim Chisti. Sometimes he called this “The Dream of Akbar” (the Moghul emperor of India who convened the first world conference of religions). This became the theme for his Dances of Universal Peace, a compendium of sacred Dances which involves repetition of sacred phrases from all the world’s religions. These Dances are now being done by thousands of young people throughout the United States and Europe under the auspices of the Sufi Order which is directed by Pir Vilayat Khan (eldest son of Murshid’s first Sufi teacher). The center for concentration on these Dances is the San Francisco Bay area where Murshid’s Khalif and successor Moineddin Jablonski is in charge. The transmission in the field of Music is manifest today in the work of the Sufi Choir, which was initiated by Murshid and is under the direction of Alauddin Mathieu.

As to Murshid’s vitality, the other practical indicator of the Khidr experience which he mentions above, he was a true phenomenon. Picture a man in his seventies teaching numerous classes in mysticism, including tireless Dance instruction, carrying on a world-wide correspondence, writing creatively, handling interviews with disciples with a sense of complete responsibility for their well-being, gardening, running a household, etc., at a pace which his disciples, mostly in their twenties and thirties, found utterly impossible to keep up with—and all this for roughly 18 hours a day. Often at night he was not allowed to sleep, but was kept awake with visions of dances and pageants.

He did everything with an all-pervading sense of service to God and humanity. He said that the greatest Sufis and Vedantists he ever met were the living embodiment of the words of Jesus Christ: “Let he who would be master, be the servant of all the rest.” This was certainly Murshid’s concentration; and it introduces the subject of the Spiritual Hierarchy, a subject which is one of central importance in understanding Murshid’s life and writings. When a man accepts responsibility for all humanity he becomes what is called in Buddhist terminology, a Bodhisattva. It becomes his purpose in life to bring the Divine Blessings into the world for the benefit of all sentient beings. Thus, in specific circumstances different roles may be called for, and one has to be capable of leaving his ego personality entirely behind in order to fulfill the needs of the moment. In the mineral kingdom there is a stone called Bedelium (Hebrew: “mysterious dividing”) which is a change-stone; on occasion Murshid compared his role in life with that stone.

So at different times in Murshid’s life we find him fulfilling the most diverse roles. For example, he worked as an assistant in army intelligence (G2) in World War II; when his interests turned to the goal of solving world food problems and reclaiming the deserts of the Middle East, he studied at universities and in the field until he became an expert in the areas of soil science, horticulture and related fields; he lived as a beachcomber and hermit on the shores of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; for 40 years, at the request of Dr. Henry Atkinson of the World Church Peace Union, he made a study of the Scriptures of all the world’s religions; in Pakistan he became known as a teacher of Islamic philosophy and the inner path (Tarikat) of Sufism; in Japan he was initiated as Fudo, the fierce Bodhisattva responsible for the protection of the pure teachings of the Buddha; he spent years primarily as a writer of poetry and esoteric commentaries; and so on, in many roles and guises too numerous to detail here. For he was a practitioner of what Sufis called Mushahida and the Buddhists the Maha Mudra meditation; this requires the internationalization of the heart and the internalization of all the events of the world into the sphere of one’s own heart. Thus one begins to realize and exercise power through the innate capacities in one’s own heart for love and peace. Murshid describes this faculty as it operated in his role of Sufi teacher:

Jesus said, “Only God is Perfect.” But he also said—and this is not a part of what is called “Christianity”—“Be you perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect….” The relation of a Sufi teacher to his disciple is according to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”—the disciple is not apart from the teacher nor the teacher from the disciple. So the teacher normally and naturally shares with the pupil, and having a much greater operative electromotive force—to use a scientific analogy he enables the pupil to draw upon it, not by any giving … but by attunement-induction, just as what takes place in electromotive operations. Thus the pupil finds he has the same thing in himself as the teacher...

Since this subject of the Spiritual Hierarchy is one of such importance, it would be appropriate here to quote a few statements of Murshid’s relating to this point. It should be borne in mind that, as Murshid says, “The standard is our surrender to Allah (God) every moment and in reality.”

Even praise or blame does not affect your Murshid, but when the proper questions are asked, then he either is transformed or transforms himself. There is a large sector of your Murshid’s history in Cairo which looks as if it came out of something more bizarre than even the Arabian Nights. For behind Sufism and the Sufi Orders there is that Hierarchy which controls the destiny of the world. Only this Hierarchy is not only manifesting through Islam, it manifests above and beyond all religions. You have read this in Book II of “Saladin” which came from Rassoul-Lillah himself [Mohammed], and all wisdoms of the world come through him, and not just what we call “Islam” alone, separating it from anything. Indeed, your Murshid has had initiations into six great religions, even from the Chinese.

Now, Beloved One of Allah, the Dervish is one, as was said in Cairo, before whom there are no walls…. It is time for us to learn, and this is most difficult, that there is no ego personality, that there is a vast Universal Heart which beats in and through all of us and which is the Nexus of Infinite Mercy, Compassion and Wisdom, and the basis of all religion even before the formation of time.

Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan has said that the Spiritual Hierarchy is more real than creation itself. This is what he says, and it is published in his books too, but even mureeds do not accept this fact. They are not always very different from the public in wanting a God who is an international banker, or Santa Claus, or sometimes a cosmic policeman. Sufism is divine wisdom and not human sagacity. The imaginary saint, or Sir Galahad, is a picture of human imagination which can be explained by Jungian psychology. It has nothing to do with Hierarchy…. Pre-eminence depends neither on silence nor speech, and no saint or hierarch has to act according to rules laid down by the public and non-initiates…. Behind “me” is the Divine Voice which constantly comes from within. To listen to and obey this is Hierarchy. This is reality and this is the way the Sufi works—he does not work by human preconceptions or human desires, and he is not a doll to he admired but never to do anything slightly reprehensible…. Big problems are only solved by big effort and behind big effort is the Voice of, God, which comes from within. Hypocrisy, according to the greatest Sufis, is the only sin. When we have candor and sincerity our faults will be forgiven; when we are double toward ourselves we are in difficulty. Humility consists in using the ears and bowing the head; it is everything but soft-voiced pride.

God does not leave this world without guidance. And we like to say things like “the people without vision perish,” but when somebody comes along who has vision, he perishes. And after a while we find out that God always informs us. The last time I took this matter up, it was with regard to affairs in the Near East. A certain person and I discussed just exactly what was going to happen down to details, but we were not much interested in the politics of it. We want to restore the Holy Land as a Holy Land.

Murshid’s duties in the Spiritual Hierarchy sometimes made it impossible for him to avoid coming into direct contact with the forces which dominate the world politically and militarily. This work, generally speaking, was most difficult; for as he said, most of the parties lack candor and appreciation of spiritual realities:

It not a simple matter to out-argue belligerent nationals that “God alone is great”—Allaho Akbar—and that UN’s and alliances and weapons have only a finite operative field. Besides, this person is not sure as to whom or who is right or wrong in the political field. He does know that the great powers of this world have not given an iota of consideration to much of the actual humanity living in contested areas. This is the rejection in toto of Jesus Christ’s “Whatsoever Ye Do to the Least of These My Creatures Ye Do It Unto Me.”

Murshid was utterly committed to the bringing of peace in the Holy Land, and indeed to the restoration of the Holy Land as a Holy Land. This was one of the most important concentrations of his life. And it was one that in the last year of his life he was able to say he saw “ultimately coming out entirely successful.” The three poems in this volume all deal directly with the subject of world peace, the restoration of the Holy Land, and the relationships thereof;

          The unity of Israel shall not come by race,
          Neither shall it arise from concordance of worship,
          But he that sees the Spirit of God shall be known as “Israel.”
          And he that follows the Law of God shall be called “Jacob.”
          There shall be peace in the world when there is peace in Zion . . .

In a very real sense these poems provide the mystical basis for the accomplishment of this concentration. They contain within them the keys to a lasting peace. They are exactly parallel to the writings of the Hebrew Prophets, such as Isaiah, Ezekiel and Malachi, on the subject of the true rejuvenation of Jerusalem. Murshid said this about the Prophet Malachi:

I am very much disturbed by a complete ignorance among the Jewish people of the Book of Malachi, which was supposed to be the last book they ever received from God in the Old Testament. It’s virtually dead today. And the themes are very simple—that if the children of Ishmael (Muslims), the children of Edom (Christians), and the children of Israel (Jews) didn’t get together, God would come to the earth and smite it with a curse; and that if man would turn aside from his selfish oppressive actions to God, then God would turn to him. And they seem to prefer the curse. I mean this and not sarcasm. But this is a thing we can all be working for: to receive the blessing; and we receive when the spiritual side of our life is open. And this involves two things: the love side, and the intuitive side, which can spread and become inspiration or even, God-willing, revelation.

It is in Malachi that we find the phrase, “Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?” The work of bringing peace to the Holy Land really takes this as a foundation stone. Mutual appreciation of the religious teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is one of the real keys to success. Murshid was fond of saying that his peace plan was based on eating, dancing and praying with people. He and his disciples have been successful in bringing together Christians, Muslims, Jews, Israelis, Arabs and others in this spirit of brotherhood. The first such gathering was held at the Chassidic House of Love and Prayer in San Francisco in the fall of 1970. This was so successful that the Muslims and Arabs involved reciprocated with a dinner of their own.

The use of deep religious understanding as a means of bringing peace is a subject Murshid worked on for over fifty years; and in the last year of his life he attended a conference of the world’s religions in Geneva sponsored by The Temple of Understanding of Washington, D. C., with the theme of bringing peace through religion. In relation to the problems of the Near East and the various rivalries involved, Murshid was often called upon to function as a strong warner, directly confronting zealots of all camps.

Ever since I was a child I have been moved by the Biblical passage, “My house shall be a house of prayer for all peoples.” It seemed to me at an early age that some Jewish people were destined to return to Palestine, but the putting of political concerns ahead of the actual universal Zionism led to the present confusions…. Why not restore a temple, even as Nehemiah did, but as a house of prayer for all peoples. The real Jewish tradition, which has been hidden, was that when the Messiah returned the Holy Land would extend even from Jerusalem unto Minsk. All pure Messianism has been repudiated, and in this we have the age-old habit which the Prophets declaimed against for centuries, that every man did according to his own ego. My objection to what is called “Zionism” is that most of these people don’t even pray. I want to see this become a Holy Land, a place of refuge for all worshippers and all the holy places preserved.

Murshid felt that a genuine historical study of the policies of certain rulers of Palestine would give a real basis for contemporary peace efforts, a real basis for the cooperation of the different religions concerned with the area. In particular he felt that the policies of the Khalif Omar, of the Turkish ruler Suleiman the Magnificent and of the historical Sultan Saladin would offer many approaches which would still be valid today. While all of these rulers were Islamic, their policies were quite universal in scope.

The play Nathan the Wise, written by the German philosopher Lessing, is a work which also gave great inspiration to Murshid in this sphere. This play was given a great deal of emphasis by Jewish people when they were the subjects of religious persecution, though today we hear very little of it. It features an enlightened Jew who lived at the time of Saladin. The climax of the story comes with “The Tale of the Three Rings,” which occurs originally in the Decamaron of Boccaccio. Nathan is a rich man and Saladin is at that time in need of money. So he decides to trap Nathan in a religious debate and thus force him to give him the money he requires. So, calling Nathan before his throne, he asks which religion is the superior one—Judaism, Christianity or Islam. Nathan replies to his question by telling the story of a supremely wise king who had a ring which conferred on the wearer all manner of blessings, that he would be loved by God and man. He decided to pass this on to one of his sons who proved the most deserving. This he did, and things continued in this vein for a number of generations, until there came a time when there was a king who had three sons, who, by all tests, proved equally deserving. The king did not wish to slight two of his sons, so he had two more rings fashioned, each identical in every respect to the first, and passed on all three. The sons were not able to determine which of them had the original ring, though each claimed that his ring was the one. They took their case before a wise magistrate who said that since the rings were identical, no decision was possible. He further counseled that each of them should be careful to make sure that the attribute of the ring, namely that of bringing blessings to the people, remain intact throughout time. That would be the only true test. Upon hearing this story, Saladin fell on his face before Allah and then rose to embrace Nathan as an equal.

This representation of the three religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as the three rings inspired Murshid to give this name to his peace efforts in the Holy Land. A group of his disciples are actively continuing his concentration in this field, under the name “Hallelujah! The Three Rings.” At the conference of the world’s religions in Geneva, Murshid had a great time running around and telling people he was an incarnation of Nathan the Wise. This, he said, could easily be confirmed by his poetry. And it is the three poems here which, like three rings, demonstrate his realization from the standpoint of each of these three world religions.

Murshid’s occupation in life was that of a gardener and soil scientist. Consequently, his plan for the solutions to problems in Palestine and the Middle East is very practical. Central to the plan is the reclamation of the desert through salt­water conversion and desalinization, through ascertaining the proper crops for different types of soils, through the use of petroleum waste products and other low-cost materials in the construction of dwellings, and many other similar programs. It is the integrative approach which he champions. Thus he felt that a first necessary step would be to make a complete geographical and economic-geological survey of the entire area.

Murshid was always pointing out that the solutions to these and other related problems already exist, but that the scientists who have the knowledge are not given proper consideration by the news media and the various governments involved. In his life, time and again Murshid had to come face to face with this attitude on the part of the press and the U.S. Government. Valuable reports by himself and others actually on the scene in different countries were simply ignored. And, instead, speculations by newsmen and politicians with the most superficial experience of the lands and cultures were accepted, often with drastic consequences, as in the case of Vietnam. Murshid’s most vitriolic letters are in response to this malefic influence of the fourth estate.

The faculty of integrative thinking, the drawing together and blending of many different factors, is an intrinsic feature of Murshid’s thought and life. He had the great advantage of being a mystic, a student of all the world’s religions, a historian and a scientist. And he knew how to relate findings of one field to the next. His knowledge was truly encyclopedic. His friend, the well-known late astrologer Gavin Arthur, once used to live in an adjoining apartment; he tells the story that whenever he had a question on any topic he would just knock on the wall and ask Sam; he said he found him faster and more accurate than the Encyclopedia Britannica.

One sample of the blending of the religious and the scientific is found in his “Garden of Allah” project:

I submitted two plans for North Africa, the second one being an agricultural program based on the fact that the Date is the sacred plant of Islam; and that Qur’an itself has a Sura which begins, By the Fig and By the Olive….” And to submit a program calling for large plantings of Figs, Olives, Grapes and Dates in North Africa is the last thing the political and ecclesiastic religieunes consider, even though this area is perfect for such cultivation…. What I should like to see is a master idea for the proper soil and water rehabilitation of the whole Arab world.

But this faculty of integrative thinking does not always make Murshid an easy person to read, because he is constantly stretching our consciousness by bringing in new factors and by relating all factors to many levels of experience. So the reader of these poems is warned not to be satisfied with one or even two readings, for there are more and more riches to be found when one begins to get the overall integrative picture of Murshid’s vision.

I have refrained in this Preface from commenting specifically on the three individual poems which compose Murshid’s trilogy, the work which he considered his most important literary effort. The introductory notes before each of the poems have been written to help the reader enter the poet’s perspective. This is also true of the extensive glossaries included for each poem, in lieu of excessive footnotes. These glossaries have been compiled, wherever possible, from Murshid’s published and unpublished writings, and are intended to serve the casual reader as well as the scholar. Most the footnotes in the poems are those of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis and are indicated by symbols (*, †, ‡, etc.), where explanations of specific lines were necessary (indicated in the text by numbers). The editors have written additional footnotes which appear at the end of the poem in a section called “Notes.” In addition, three appendices have been included: a) several spiritual practices extracted from the poems; b) Murshid’s paper on the reconciliation of Judaism and Islam; and c) the reconciliation of Christianity and Islam.

No doubt, much more could be “explained,” and yet we do not feel this is necessary. The answers to all the questions are contained within the poems themselves, waiting to be found by the reader who takes up the challenge of meeting Murshid face to face.

Masheikh Wall Ali Meyer
San Francisco, California
June, 1975



List of Abbreviations

A.V.        Authorized (King James) Version

Cor.         Corinthians

Deut.       Deuteronomy

Ex.           Exodus

Ezek.       Ezekiel

Gen.        Genesis

Isa.          Isaiah

Jer.          Jeremiah

K.I.T.       The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures

Lev.         Leviticus

Matt.       Matthew

Mic.         Micah

M.T.        Masoretic Text

Num.       Numbers

Ps.           Psalms

Rev.         Revelation

R.S.V.      Revised Standard Version

S.             Sura

S.L.L.      Samuel L. Lewis