Dr. Angha @ The Commonwealth Club of California

On October 25, 2012, at the invitation of The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, Dr. Nahid Angha addressed a capacity crowd on the subject of Sufism: The Mysticism of Islam. Michael Pappas, Executive Director of the San Francisco Interfaith Council, was the host and moderator. This was a rare chance for a general audience to learn about Sufism and Sufi poetry from a Sufi master who is a bridge between cultures and between religion and humanity. Dr.Angha’s talk began with the position of women in Islam, and then connected the discussion of women’s rights in Islam to the theme of Divine Love in Sufi poetry.  Divine love, she explained, is often expressed in the metaphor of a love story between the lover and Beloved. Feminine beauty becomes a metaphor for the Divine. Many other subtle elements of Sufi poetry were also discussed, such as how beautifully the great Sufi masters have offered a mesmerizing poetic language, an expression of the divine beauty, of that eternal beloved, to the nations. The eloquence of their words expressed in a romantic language, magnificent metaphors, imagery, rhyme, special beat and rhythm, all make Sufi poetry a soothing journey (which makes the translation very hard) where you discover something new in every verse, or even every word.

She explained how Sufi poets connect directly to readers and transcend time and culture. The last 30 minutes was devoted to questions from the audience. Dr. Angha answered a wide range of questions covering various aspects of Sufism, Sufi poetry and Islam.

Dr. Angha at The Commonwealth Club of California

Sufism: Mysticism of Islam
Nahid Angha, Ph.D. , Co-director, The International Association of Sufism; Director, Sufi Women Organization
Michael Pappas, Executive Director, SF Interfaith Council – Moderator

Sufism – the inner, mystical interpretation and expression of Islam – from an internationally esteemed Persian Sufi scholar, author and lecturer. Dr. Nahid Angha on Sufi history and Sufi literature, with an emphasis on the poetry of Rumi and Omar Khayam, considered by many to be among the highest literary expressions of spirituality. Dr. Angha, a persistent advocate for human rights, women’s rights and interfaith, will also address the rights of women in Islam.  The Commonwealth Club presents some of the world’s most important and interesting speakers. Founded in 1903, the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco has continuously hosted diverse discussions.


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