- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Fons Vitae (1 April 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1929148623
- ISBN-13: 978-1929148622
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 942,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Spy of the Heart Paperback – 1 Apr 2007
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"This fascinating autobiographical travelogue . . . presents a more positive view of Islam than currently represented in the Western press. . . . The Spy of the Heart is a simply told, but an intensely gripping story of study and later initiation into Sufism." --Professor Leonard Lewisohn, PhD, Islamic Studies Department, University of Exeter
""The Spy of the Heart" is better than most bestsellers about Afghanistan. It is not only a must-read for researchers and journalists . . . and the students of modern Afghan history and politics, but also the Afghans themselves." --"Daily Outlook Afghanistan "(March 27, 2011)
About the Author
Robert Abdul Hayy Darr is an American Muslim who has translated and published works of Afghan and Persian literature into English, such as the poetry of Raz Mohammed Zaray and Ustad Khalilullah Khalili, and the book "The Garden of Mystery."
Top Customer Reviews
In rejecting "institutional sufism", Robert Abdul Hayy Darr went to that strange and challenging land and embarked on a sometimes perilous, yet ultimately fruitful personal journey. It is one that ought to encourage anyone who thinks of himself or herself as a seeker. To be willing to leave our ordinary lives to pursue something more meaningful, something to which we feel drawn, is perhaps our true calling as humans. To read of this transformative effort and to be able to share in it, however vicariously, is a wonderful boon. I recommend this book to would-be sufis (or Buddhists, or seekers on any path). It cannot help but be a provocative antidote to much of what is presented to Westerners today.
1980s and early 1990s. I enjoyed his encounters with the Afghan poet Khalili and the miniaturist painter Etemadi. Darr's descriptions of Arabs coming to Afghanistan for early jihad provides information helpful to understanding Bin Laden today. His experience with Sufism rings true as does his understanding of a tolerant Islam too often distorted by militants.
For me, the crux of the book was the following sentence:
'I had come to believe--after observing myself and others--that the cultivation of a religious persona can lead one to disown other aspects of personal experience, and make one false and neurotic in the process of this denial.'
This is such a liberating concept that people of all religious and ideological persuasions should pay serious attentions to it if they aspire to discover the core of their own being and hence the Spirit of everything.
The book also contains some excellent photographs of, beside other things, the characters whose description in the book really brings them to life for the reader.
Highly recommended for all and especially for the Muslims who are trying to come to terms with a modern pluralistic world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are a few recent autobiographical accounts of westerners in Afghanistan, such as An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan, The Places In Between and The Storyteller's... Read morePublished on 9 Jan. 2013 by MAH
This book was both an engrossing personal account of a difficult humanitarian relief effort across the inhospitable terrain of Afghanistan and the simultaneous journey of a seeker... Read morePublished on 8 Sept. 2007 by Mark J. Nelson
This is an amazing book. It reads as easily as any adventure story but is full of insights about Islamic fundamentalism vs. traditional Islam. Read morePublished on 8 Sept. 2007 by Roger Radcliff