Civilization of Paradise

Camille Helminski, Ibrahim Shihabi, Kabir Helminski, Mahmoud Mostafa


Poetry, in the case of Asad Ali, is a way of life and prayer. In the state of cnscioousness from which he speaks, we become the companions of great beings: the Timeless Desert, the Infinitely Compassionate, the Supplicating Earth, the Universal Human.

Each of these poems is related to a Surah of the Qur’an, as noted below the title of each poem. The great scholar Anne-Marie Schimmel said of Asad Ali’s earlier volume, “If read carefully, as it deserves, Happiness Without Death (Threshold Books, 1990) can reveal the immense power of pristine Islam.”


  • 978-188775224-4
  • 215

Product Description

Civilization of Paradise is both a collection of Qur’an inspired poetry and a fascinating record of intimate dialogs with a Sufi master in Damascus.


While billions breathe and the world turns, as tragedies pile up and souls are formed in the Valley of Love and Effort, the spiritual health of the planet continues to rely on the hearts and brains of a handful of perfect people. Asad Ali is one of these people. Here he addresses an inner circle of those engaged with these horizons. The rest of us are fortunate to eavesdrop.
-Michael Wolfe, Author of One Thousand Roads to Mecca
In these times, when we are deeply in need of reconciliation of the nearly unbearable polarities within Syria, between Muslims and the West, and between devotees of the spiritual and material worlds, the voice of Asad Ali rises up from his retreat with the Qur'an, taking our wounded hearts and bathing them in the frgrant light of his compassion and wisdom. His lucidly translated poetry will illuminate and open previously unrecognized doorways.
-Dr. Alan 'Abd al-Haqq Godlas, University of Georgia