Archives 89 – The Guide: Interview with a Sufi Shaykh

89-INTERVIEW-SliderInterview by Safoura Nourbakhsh

Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh was the master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order for 55 years before his passing on October 10, 2008. It is still difficult for most of his disciples to talk about him in the past tense. His photographs continue to grace the walls of the khaniqahs,

and his teachings via audio recordings still permeate Sufi gatherings across the globe. The following interview is with Hossein Kashani, one of the shaykhs of the Nimatullahi Order.

This is something that was very difficult for us to address, maybe even as recently as a few years ago. But now somehow I think we are in a space where we can talk about it maybe for the first time, and that is this process of transitioning from one master to another master.

First of all let me ask you, how long were you on the path with Dr. Nurbakhsh as your teacher? I cannot say, well … [pause] he’s still my teacher.

He’s still your teacher? Yes.

Yes. But in terms of when he passed, in terms of physical presence? He’s now in the person of his son.

Can you explain that? This transitioning has been, of course, a very difficult process for many of us. Yes, I think, as you said, it’s a process. It’s not a problem, it’s a process.

Yes, it is a process. And the process is, at first there is a sense of loss, even for the new master.

Especially for him. Yes. Especially for him.

For people who didn’t know Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, how would you talk about him? What differentiated him from other masters in your view? [laughing] I don’t know about other masters, but if I had to describe Dr. Nurbakhsh in one word, it would be “Love.” He was the embodiment of that. Buy the current issue to read the entire article.

Photo © Nimatullahi Sufi Order

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