The Spiritual Path The Spiritual Path

The Spiritual Path

A Conversation Between Professor Ali A. Allawi and Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri On His Life, Thought and Work

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Publisher Description

This book is a transcription of extensive interviews between Professor Ali A. Allawi and Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri, conducted in South Africa during January-February of 2014.

In them, Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri discusses his life story, the spiritual journey and the path he has been on ever since.

Professor Allawi’s questions highlight Shaykh Haeri’s life-changing encounters with Sufi Masters and other spiritual teachers and his travels and teaching with Sufi communities.

Drawing out Shaykh Haeri’s far-reaching views on the future of religion, Sufi orders and global spirituality, the conversations probe deeply into how one attains enlightenment and what it means to live in the light of the Absolute in a relative world.

Deeply engaging and inspiring for any serious seeker.

These interviews were transcribed by Julia Khadija Lafene and edited by Anjum Jaleel.

In order to publish it as a book, chapter headings, subheadings and footnotes have been added, many gaps within the conversations have been filled, and footnotes and a glossary have been added.


Acknowledged as a master of self-knowledge and a spiritual philosopher, Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri’s role as a teacher grew naturally out of his own quest for self-fulfillment.

He travelled extensively on a spiritual quest which led to his eventual rediscovery of the pure and original Islamic heritage of his birth, and the discovery of the truth that reconciles the past with the present, the East with the West, the worldly with the spiritual – a link between the ancient wisdom teachings and our present time.

A descendant of five generations of well-known and revered spiritual leaders, Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri has taught students throughout the world for over 30 years.

He is a gifted exponent of how the self relates to the soul, humankind’s link with the Divine, and how consciousness can be groomed to reflect our higher nature.

The unifying scope of his perspective emphasizes practical, actionable knowledge that leads to self-transformation, and provides a natural bridge between seemingly different Eastern and Western approaches to spirituality, as well as offering a common ground of higher knowledge for various religions, sects and secular outlooks.

He is a prolific author of more than thirty books relating to the universal principles of Islam, the Qur’an, and its core purpose of enlightenment.


Prof. Ali Allawi has had a distinguished career in the Iraqi government, serving as Minister of Trade, Minister of Defense and most recently, Minister of Finance in 2006. Dr. Allawi has been a Research Professor at the National University of Singapore, and at Oxford University. In 2009-2010 he was elected Senior Visiting Fellow at Princeton University and at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Allawi holds an S.B. in Civil Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School. 

New York Times Book Review called his book The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace, the most comprehensive historical account of the aftermath of the American invasion.

Also, in October 2009 the Washington Institute for Near East Policy announced that Dr. Allawi’s book The Crisis of Islamic Civilization was awarded the silver prize of its annual book prize.

In March 2014, his major political biography of Faisal I of Iraq, set against the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the formation of the modern state system in the Middle East, was published. In December 2014, the Economist placed the book on its list of Best Books for 2014.

In April 2016, Ali Allawi was nominated as the Distinguished Fellow at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

He is presently working on a book commissioned by Yale University Press, entitled The Chasm. This will be an economic history of the developing world, tracing the evolution of development paradigms and policies from the end of World War II to the present.

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